Thursday, July 28, 2016

MY NEW BOOK!

Just a quick note today. I'm very excited about my new release!

In the Land of White Nights is now available for Pre-order.


Pre-Order Bonnie Leon's latest book!

"... beautifully written book...Bonnie Leon is a talented author who has brought back to life one of her best series and improved on it. RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars.

The second installment of Bonnie Leon's Northern Lights series--the 20th Anniversary Revised Edition, that is--will be released August 5th. But you have the chance to Pre-order the ebook for the discounted price of $2.99 (regularly $4.99). Don't let the Gold Rush pass you by! Pre-order your copy today.


Anna or rivers of gold--which will captivate his heart?
The lure of the nineteenth-century gold rush calls to Erik, a civil-war veteran. He and Anna, his Aleutian bride, set sail for a new life together in Sitka.
Anna stands strong against the adversities of the new land with its unfamiliar culture and fearsome challenges. She fights the prejudice of others, while growing in her newfound faith in the white man’s God.
When forced to move farther north and begin again, Anna refuses to give up, allowing nothing to stand in the way of her family’s happiness. They discover joy as well as heartache in the Alaskan wilderness. But will Erik’s love of gold put all they’ve worked so hard for in jeopardy?
Again, you can pre-order your copy today for the discounted price of $2.99!

I can't wait to hear from you. I hope you like this story.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

Saturday, June 11, 2016

For Writers & Everyone Else


I'm pretty sure writers will understand this post, and I think everyone else will too.

I had a story, the story of my heart, that weighed on me for years. It was always in the back of my mind, asking me to write it. I wanted to, but I was busy, or the time wasn't right or publishers wanted something else from me. For years I let it go. But it had to be heard and finally I stepped away from everything else and went to work on the story of my heart.

It wasn't easy. The characters had to be real and quirky and fun. They were together in most scenes. Research required a cross country trip. The book was contemporary and all I'd written was historical. It was personal and revealed my soul. It was risky. And I had to get it right. 

I did it. And I felt good about that book. 


To Dance With Dolphins is the story I had to tell. It's a good story. But it's not one that at first glance is appealing to the masses. It's about people, young and old who live with mental and physical illness. They are real, they are people who suffer like so many of us do. 

So, why would anyone want to spend time with characters who suffer? Read an entire book about people who fight just to get out of bed in the morning?

If sales say anything about readers, my guess is that most people don't want to spend more time where they already live. Only, they'd be wrong if they think that's all this book is about. The journey my characters take across this amazing country called America is one we should all take. It's a place to discover who we are, why we're here, and to realize there is so much to hope for and that exuberant joy exists even for the afflicted. 

We all experience physical or emotional obstacles. After living with chronic pain for twenty-five years, one thing I know is that everyone has stuff. We all walk through valleys, some of them terrifying and dark, but nevertheless we walk through ... one step at a time. We also climb mountains and stand on summits and gaze at amazing vistas that make us cry because we can't believe something so beautiful even exists. We give and receive love and devotion that reminds us that goodness still flourishes on this planet where we live. And there are troubles we think we will never overcome and then we do. 

We try to ignore the places we don't want to think about. The "what ifs" of life. Where there are no winners. Where our bones and souls are crushed - where God meets us. He reaches down and lifts us up, pulls us into His arms, presses us against His heart and wipes away our tears.

How extraordinary it is when we realize that with the Lord there are no losers. Whether in this life or the next, His children win.

I wrote To Dance With Dolphins because I had to. It is a story for those who have no hope. It is a place where they may find it. And for those who stand alongside the suffering I pray it will give you strength. 

Mostly it is not about suffering. It is about living and discovering love, joy, and hope. It is the story of my heart, the one I had to tell. I want people to read it. I pray people will read it. 


Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

You can purchase the book here:  http://amzn.to/1PkPGu2

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Light

 My mother blesses my life. She's ninety-one and a bit worse for wear, but she's still moving forward, and I love how she travels. She's like a light in the darkness. 

These days, Mom can't walk, not even with the help of a walker, but she still manages to get around a bit in her wheel chair. We don't get out much because transporting causes her pain and takes someone who is strong enough to lift her in and out of the car. My aching back won't let me and it's even getting difficult for my aging husband. 

Life is not easy for Mom, but I rarely hear a word of complaint. If you ask me, she has a lot to complain about, but she doesn't see things that way. Through the years, she has found a grateful heart.

Though Mom grieves the loss of two husbands, a daughter, her parents, six of her siblings and many other loved ones, she understands they have simply gone on ahead of her and one day they will meet again. She looks forward to a grand reunion. 

Mom lives a life of dependence, relying on others to help her bathe, use the restroom, get her dressed in the morning and ready for bed at night. She no longer makes her own meals. Those are prepared by her caregivers. The details of her life are worked out by others, mostly those who love her. She never misses an opportunity to let us know how grateful she is.

Sometimes Mom wonders why she's still here on earth. Only God knows for certain, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the tenderness, warmth and affection she offers the people in her life. We need her.



I see Mom as a radiating light that reminds me to embrace life and to be thankful for all the gifts offered to me each day. 

Yesterday she gave me another beautiful reminder. Mom's not been able to attend church because it's difficult to transport her. When she told me she how much she misses going I decided to find a way. It wasn't difficult and I wonder why I hadn't thought of it before. I called the ambulance service we use for taking her to the doctor and was glad to discover they are open on Sundays and would be happy to take Mom to church. 

Yesterday I met her there. The driver was such a nice man and was clearly smitten with my mother. Many people are. She's a charmer. I think it's the light in her eyes and her warm smile. Just as worship began I wheeled her inside and we found a place to sit. 

Mom had difficulty reading the words on the screen, but sang the songs she knew. She listened to the pastor and only dozed a little. I wasn't sure just how much she'd gotten from her time there, but hoped she'd enjoyed the service. While we waited for her ride we chatted with friends. Mom was clearly having a good time. She crooked her finger at me and I bent to hear what she had to say.

"I don't think you understand how wonderful this is!" she told me, her face alight.

She was right. I didn't. And it could have been different. She might have been focused on how many times she hadn't been able to go, or have been grumpy about her pain or lack of sleep ... or ... That's not Mom's way. 

I marvel at what a grateful heart can find to be thankful for, and by how much joy and blessing there is to be had if we seek the beauty in life instead of its imperfections.

So grateful to be my mother's daughter.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Writer - Good Enough?


In recent days there have been announcements made commending writers in the Christian world of publishing. Lists of finalists have been posted for several writing contests. Congratulations to all! Undoubtedly you worked hard to hone your craft and polish your stories. Thank you for honoring God through your gift of writing.

While I cheer on my colleagues, I am certain there are some writers who entered   who were not recognized and now feel discouraged. You may even wonder if you're "good enough" to call yourself a writer, good enough to achieve your dreams, good enough to fulfill God's purpose. I feel your unsteadiness, your vulnerability. After all, I'm a writer too.

Whether or not your book made the final cut in one of the recent contests or not doesn't define who you are as a person or as a writer. You worked hard. You took a risk. You followed your dream. All of which are highly commendable qualities. Do not forget that among the books submitted, winners or not, there are many unique and spectacular stories. 

Being recognized as one of the "best" books of the year has so much to do with God and His purposes ... not ours. He chooses whom he will lift up. We can trust His judgment and His perfect timing. 

I'm sixty-four years old and have been reading for most of my life. Very few of the books I digested were award winning, but I loved them anyway. I am grateful to the writers who spent hours creating and crafting stories for people like me. I've been entertained, encouraged, and inspired. 

Thank you! 

If you are called to write, please push through the insecurities, the long hours, and the agony of creating and keep at it. Without your brilliant stories my life would be less bright. I'm grateful for your sacrifice.

As friends, colleagues, and word-crafters pray for one another and continue to follow your passion.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Writer's Life - God's Best




When I first started creating stories it was just a hobby. I never dreamed it would be anything more. But after being side-lined by an auto accident, God gave me a new vision, a new way to serve Him through the gift of writing. Though I didn’t fully understand what I was saying yes to, I was committed to the call. God threw open every door, and it was clear that writing novels was part of His plan for me. I vowed to remain faithful until He led me elsewhere.

I often hear writers speak about weariness of spirit. The job of writing (which is huge) along with discouragement and the general difficulties of living can wring the energy and joy from their lives. Writers work hard. Not only do we create stories, but there can be mountains of research to do before we can even begin. And the editing process can feel endless. Plus there’s marketing, which begins long before we’ve completed a book. It eats up huge chunks of our time.

Often, what is required is more difficult than we’d imagined. I’ve heard writers voice thoughts of walking away. I’ve been there myself a time or two. Each time the Holy Spirit calls me back, reminding me of what God asked me to do and of the vow I made to Him. Ultimately my spirit is refreshed and I continue this unpredictable adventure ... for now ... until I am called elsewhere.

God has a purpose in choosing the paths He places us on. We each have a journey and commission chosen by Him. If we walk away we lose something precious—God’s Best.

 When we set out on this writing quest did we really believe it would be easy? If you’re new to the world of writing get ready to be surprised by its joys and its sorrows. And if you’ve been traveling this road for a while, I pray you’ll hold fast to the dream, remembering God has a bigger picture in mind—it’s not about sales numbers, awards won or achieving fame. It’s about doing what we love and doing it with intention. It can be grueling, but it’s also full of fun, discovery and remarkable people. I know no greater sense of accomplishment than writing “The End” when I’ve completed a novel.

Expect rough patches, dry places where we thirst and valleys so dark we fear passing through them. Tribulations can throw us off track, but there is always a way back. Reach out to God. He will set us back on our feet.

I’m grateful that I get to write. Despite poor wages and long hours, it’s fantastic fun to create characters and leap into their stories. And what a blessing it is to do something with my life that makes a positive difference in the world. I’ve received many letters thanking me and my characters for being an encouragement or helping someone find their way, even some who discover Jesus for the first time.

When we find ourselves worn out or uncertain remember God is our Father.  Seek Him. Talk with Him. Rest in Him. Lay your troubles, your disillusionment, your fatigue and sorrow at His feet. He will reach out with love, mercy and wisdom. His strength will lift us up and once again help us see the path laid out for us and know the joy of serving others.

Sometimes we need rest. Don’t push forward when God says stop. Resting is not deserting our call. It is good to be a wise steward of the gifts given. If we keep going when God says stop, we’re working in our own strength not His, which is no strength at all.

Turn your hearts toward Christ and find joy in service. Remember that as writers we have the privilege of glorifying God through our gift of writing. No matter how difficult it may seem don’t miss God’s best.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Writer - Have We Arrived?


I've been having fun mentoring this month. I've met new writers and I've been learning ... yes ... learning ... from them.

Open minds provide space for growth. A young writer I met this week provided a special opportunity for me.

While going through her synopsis and first chapter I came across a point of view (POV) I'm not familiar with - First Person Present. Though the writing was good the POV felt awkward to me. I spent a bit of time maneuvering the POV into First Person, then sent it back to the writer with suggestions. Courageously she asked me about the POV change and pointed out that teen books often use this POV.

Hmm. I decided to check it out and did some research. I also asked some of my writing friends what they knew about it. I discovered that First Person Present is often used in teen books. I was also told it is difficult to do well. I doubt I could master it. I went back to the manuscript and looked at it with new eyes, accepting the POV. The beauty and power of the writing emerged.

Learning never ends. We never arrive.

How amazing are our minds and our hearts. They can be fertile soil if we embrace changes and creativity ... cultivate growth. We can continue to improve, but first we need to be brave and put aside our pride. There is so much wonder waiting for us. We need to go after it.

Growing and learning makes life more fun. I can't wait to see what's in store for me today. How about you? Have you learned something new this week?

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

Monday, April 04, 2016

A Day of Rejoicing










Today is a day of rejoicing!











Matthew 10:29-31

"But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." 

Don't you love these verses? God is so good all the time. He sees us, everyone. Even when we are invisible to the world, we are never invisible to The Father.

A friend sent me a note of encouragement today and reminded me of these verses. How precious are the words of the Lord. They uplift me. They remind me of who He is. They make me strong.

We have had a couple of really awful years (so many challenges), but today, is a day to rejoice. 

My grandson was badly injured in an ATV accident two years ago.


Day of Ezra's First Surgery
Recovering 



Two years later, riding bikes with his Mom.

He is struggling with a traumatic brain injury and when he moved to Central Oregon his nightmare intensified. The kids in the new school just didn't get it ... and it appeared they didn't want to. Ezra suffered from indifference and brutality. It was a grueling year.

Today is different. Ezra has come home to Glide where he is known and loved. And the kids and teachers at school let him know how glad they are to have him back, that they love him, care about him, and will support him. Bless you Glide!

God never took His eyes off Ezra and He never will. 

God loves His children. He cares about us and for us. We can count on Him. Even on the darkest day we are never alone. He is the one who gives us courage and hope ... and a new day.

I have no idea what Ezra's future holds, but I am certain God does and He has already laid down the foundations for the rest of his life, just as He has for our lives.

Praise you Lord.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

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