≡ Menu

Emily Josephine’s Latest Publication

Coming soon!

I’m going to release the first four books of my new faith-based series between mid-July and early August, 2019. The name of the series is “Pine Mountain Estates”, and the title of the first book is Pine Mountain Secrets. When I launch the series, I will also have a boxed set available for purchase for those who’d like to buy all four books at a discounted price.

Read on for the description of Pine Mountain Secrets!

What if the one secret you were holding was the one thing holding you back from a life of complete freedom?

Arianna, a sixteen-year-old from Uganda, is on the run. Who and what she is running from, she doesn’t want to tell. She’s learned, over the past eight years, not to trust Americans. But when an injury forces her onto the mercy of Allison Whitlock, who finds Arianna in her shed one cold, southeast Oklahoma winter morning, she begins to see that some people are worth her trust.

Until Allie’s best friend comes along, pushing Arianna to make a decision that could not only destroy her only hope at freedom, but that could take her life.

Allie has her own secret, a secret that is slowly eating away at her conscious. What the authorities believe about the car accident that killed her husband and one of her sons five years ago may not be the complete truth. But the one person who knows the truth, her older son Jared, ran away four and a half years ago and has not been heard from since.

The secret begins to burn even hotter when Jeb Mitchell, the man accused of causing the accident, returns from his time in prison and shows up at Allie’s door. Allie wants to make things right with her neighbor and former friend, whose wife was also killed in the accident. But she doesn’t believe it’s her place, since she wasn’t at the scene. And so, the secret continues taking its toll.

A girl and a woman, each holding tightly to a secret that binds them. Forgiveness and trust are the first steps toward freedom, but they need a miracle to push them all the way.

Make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter so you don’t miss it when it first comes out!

0 comments

There are two kinds of Christian fiction readers in this world: the kind that realizes that Christian novelists are as imperfect as they are, and the kind that puts writers of Christian fiction up onto a pedestal. That kind believes that Christian authors actually think, speak, and live like Yeshua did. They believe that authors who write faith-based fiction actually live out, on a daily basis, the godly wisdom and principles they set forth in their books.

A-hem. Without making any mistakes.

I’m going to speak to that second kind of Christian fiction reader in this post. I’m going to knock myself – and, I hope, ever other Christian author they’ve ever read – off of our undeserved pedestals.

I could describe one of the many times when I bit my husband’s head off (apparently, he’s skilled at reattaching it). Or one of the many times when I complained to God about not working with my plans (I know you’ve never done that, so pray for me). Or about how I’ve manipulated people to get what I wanted done, done.

But I’ll stick to my rude behavior toward Customer Service Representatives (heretofore to be abbreviated as CSR).

I was nuts to e-mail when I was still angry

Living in the middle of nowhere, I love online stores. Especially those that provide organic food. About a year ago, we started ordering product from nuts.com, and have mostly have had great experiences with the company.

But a couple of months ago, they sent us raw peanuts instead of almonds.

Twenty-five pounds of them.

I immediately e-mailed the company. I was not nice. All the anger I was feeling poured out into my words. I kept my language civil, but barely. I wish I still had my original e-mail to share, but I don’t.

Let’s just say that not too much time passed before I started to feel bad about how I’d dealt with the issue.

Not too long after I sent the e-mail, a CSR from nuts.com replied, apologizing for the mix-up and asking me to send photos of the peanuts to verify that indeed, we’d been sent the wrong thing. I took three photos and sent them promptly.

She replied:

Thank you so much for getting back to me with these photos! Again, I truly do apologize for this mishap. I’ve forwarded these photos to our Food Safety team to avoid this in the future. In the meantime, I’ve gone ahead & reshipped a new case of the Raw Almonds for you. In a moment, you’ll receive a separate email outlining the details of your replacement order. Once it has shipped, you’ll receive another email with tracking details. No need to worry about returning the product, please feel free to toss it any way you see fit. 

Thanks again for your order and for your honest feedback. It’s customers like you that make us a better company! If you need anything else, we are ready to help!

By then, I’d calmed down and was really feeling bad about my nasty e-mail. So I wrote:

I’m sorry I was so angry over the peanuts. It wasn’t that big of a deal – I knew you guys would handle it. You’re gonna laugh, but I was reading a novel prior to receiving the order and the hero was acting like a complete IDIOT and I got totally frustrated with him – or should I say, the way the author decided to have him act toward the end. So I was already irritated when FedEx showed up, and then the driver drives onto our FRONT LAWN, thinking it’s part of the driveway (UPS has done the same
thing), so I had to tell her through gritted teeth that this space with GRASS GROWING ON IT is NOT the driveway.


Then…*SIGH*…peanuts instead of almonds. Last straw. I blew up. Forgive me.

The CSR’s response:

Oh my goodness I can definitely understand how you feel – Haha! Although, I do truly apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for you. This is something we don’t want to happen again in the future so I completely understand the frustration. You’ll be getting the case of Raw Almonds (No Shell) very soon for you to enjoy 🙂 If there is anything else you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d be more than happy to help!

If you’re the Christian fiction reader who thought I was super-spiritual, you’re going to react in one of two ways. You’re going to be shocked and determine never to read any of my books ever again, because you think I am Satan Incarnated.

Or, at least, a Big Fat Hypocrite (although no one in their right mind would ever call me fat).

The other way you might react is to say, “Aw, look! As soon as the Holy Spirit convicted her, she sent an e-mail apologizing for her behavior. She’s such an authentic follower of Jesus! I wish I could be as good as she is.”

If that’s you, do me a favor.

Take. Me. Off. Your. Pedestal.

Yesterday.

Maybe you need one more example to get it into your head that I’ve sinned and fallen short of the glory of God as much as anybody and everybody else has.

I’ve eaten a whole jar, and am still alive to tell about it

More recently, I ordered two jars of tahini made from raw, sprouted sesame seeds from Amazon. When they arrived, the lids weren’t completely sealed and there was oil dripping down the sides of both jars. I promptly went to Amazon and wrote a scathing review.

Then I found the company’s website and told them about the review. Here’s what I wrote to them:

Thought you’d like to read the review of the Max Sesame Tahini I just posted to Amazon:

I bought one jar of this. Liked the taste, so I bought two more. When I opened up the package, there was oil all over the outside of both the jars and neither lid popped when it was first unscrewed, like it’s supposed to do if it’s properly sealed. Since we live in the middle of nowhere and it’s a PITB to do Amazon returns, we’re out 38 bucks. I. Am. ANGRY.
(End of review.)

The much kinder reply from the company:

Hi Emily,

I’m so sorry about the situation and aggravation that you went through and I really want to solve this problem with you. Please read the below information and let’s try to work it out.

Can you please provide me with your phone number? I would like to discuss it with you.

You usually hear a ‘pop’ when you open a jar is because it has been packaged at a very high temperature.  When a jar is filled with food products at extremely high temperatures (beyond boiling point), and then tightly closed, the food product cools inside the jar, resulting in a pressurized environment. This keeps the lid very tight on the jar. The food cools down and builds air pressure, which is released when you open the jar with a ‘pop’. 

However, all of our Nut & seed Butters are packaged at a cold temperature, so there is no air pressure buildup and no ‘pop’.

When a jar is filled with food produced in cold press process (like our products), the lid of the jar can sometimes become loose due to being shaken harshly during the shipping process and therefore the butter’s oil leaks during the shipping process.

We carefully wrap each bottle inside bubble wrap. The bubble wrap is sterile and protects the jar and butter from contamination and the butter is definitely safe to be eaten.

My reply:

Thank you for your prompt reply, and I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions. I did, a couple hours after emailing you, ask a question about it on Amazon. What you said makes sense, and I will go edit my review as I do enjoy the product.

My review went from one star, to five stars. And though the jars were full of tahini, I discovered a bunch of egg on my face.

Oh, and I’ve been eating the tahini every day since, and am still alive to tell about it. 😉

The long and the short of it

I love my Father and my Savior. I thank God every day for His grace and mercy. I pray daily for help in keeping my thoughts, words, and actions lined up with His will and His ways.

But still, I fall short. Always will, until I shed this earthly body and take on the heavenly one God has prepared for me.

If ever a story I write makes me seem particularly wise or godly, it’s only because I’m writing what I wish could be. What I hope I’m moving toward.

Forgive me for not being the perfect person you thought I was.  😉

0 comments

Rethinking The Call

God called me to write novels. I know that, as sure as I know that the prediction for rain in two days is going to come true.

When, a few months ago, I realized that the strong desire to write novels was an actual heavenly call, I started listening to all sorts of podcasts about writing and marketing books. At first, it was exciting.

But lately, it’s become anything but. And I began resenting the call.

Why? An independently published author is “supposed to” write at least four novels a year – more is better. She’s supposed to pay several hundred dollars per book cover, plus shell out another several hundred for professional editing and proofreading. For just one book.

On top of that, she has to experiment with Amazon and Facebook ads (or take a $500 course on the subject) and spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month on advertising. Theoretically, she’ll eventually figure it out and make a profit.

She’s supposed to have a Facebook page. Network with other authors. Write what “everybody” is reading.

Oh, and let’s not forget: the smart authors dictate their stories.

All these “supposed to’s” and “shoulds” have been building up in me to the point that I wanted to scream the other day. Instead, I lamented silently to the Lord about His call on my life to be a novelist.

Because I don’t want to do all of that. I just want to write when I have a story on my heart, and use book promotion sites to get them in front of people’s eyeballs.

Know what the Lord said to me? He whispered, “Since when have I ever asked you to follow everybody else?”

Oh.

So, when God calls you to engage in a certain task, it’s not necessarily in the way that the world would have you to do.

Whew. Thank You, Jesus.

0 comments

A little over a week ago, I finished the first draft of the fourth book in my “Pine Mountain Estates” series, Finding Dalia. What does a novelist do after finishing a novel? Dive right into editing? Take a well-earned vacation?

I can’t speak for other authors, but up to a certain point in my novel-writing year I have a previous novel to edit and proofread right after I get done writing the latest novel.

See, once an author finishes the first draft of a novel, they need to set it aside for a few weeks so that when they return to edit and proofread it, they can look at it with more objective eyes. Since I write in series, I almost always have some editing and proofreading to do of a previous novel in the series upon completing the first draft of the latest novel.

That takes me about a week. Then what? If I have not yet completed the novels I planned to write for that year, I start to outline the next story. If I have completed them all, I take a break for a week, then do some more editing and proofreading for a week, take a break, and so on, until I’ve gone through all the novels for the year three times. At some point in there, I start planning out my next series.

And, of course, all along the way, I’m marketing my previously written books and – with the help of my husband – creating covers for my latest novels.

That may sound like I’m working hard year-round, but I’ve scheduled it so that I’m writing novels from the beginning of October through the beginning of June. A traditional school year, I guess you could say, with plenty of vacation time for four months. The editing and proofreading I’ll do in a day only takes about an hour, so the weeks that I’m doing that task are still pretty laid-back.

There ya go. A peek into my life as an author.

0 comments

Like you, I’ve heard all my life that there’s a first time for everything. What is difficult to infer from that statement, but which seems to be the case more often than not, is that this “everything” is often something you haven’t thought about before.

For example, I never in my life thought I’d get an e-mail from a blind person. Especially, a blind person who is a fan of my books.

But, that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday. It’s not that I’d never thought about blind people purchasing digital books. I actually have contemplated that off and on, because I myself “read” Kindle books using the Text-To-Speech feature because my eyes get tired quickly from reading. I’d just never thought about a person without sight consuming one of my books – and e-mailing me on top of it!

I wanted to share a bit of what her e-mail was about because she gave me some interesting information. She recently signed up to my e-mail list, and when you do, some of the e-mails you receive from me are follow-ups. These e-mails are automated; I set them up once and they get sent out to subscribers after so many days in a certain order.

One of the e-mails explains the horrible, rampant Internet book piracy, of which I have become a victim. This is why I’m no longer going to sell print books, so that if I ever see someone trying to sell a print title of one of my digital-only books, I will be able to tell Amazon in no uncertain terms that the seller has pirated my work.

Anyway, my new fan – I’ll call her Anne in case she’d like to remain anonymous – replied to that e-mail to tell me about the BookShare website. This is a low-cost subscription site that legally provides books for blind people, as well as others who have trouble reading text such as dyslexics, people with cerebral palsy, etc.  That is, they get permission from publishers to provide certain books in a format that such people can access – audiobooks, Braille, etc.

Unfortunately, Anne told me, many Christian book publishers don’t allow their books to be put on the site. Anne has gone on to read His Second Chance, and thanked me for providing books on Kindle that aren’t full of “evil and filth.”

You’re welcome, Anne. And thank you for enlarging my world a little bit more by helping me to remember that people of all kinds consume books.

0 comments

A Beautiful Ending

Yesterday, I finished the first draft of the fourth book in my “Pine Mountain Estates” series. (Insert canned applause and cheering here.) The title is Finding Dalia, and as I typed out the last few paragraphs, I realized something.

I’ve learned to craft a beautiful ending.

I don’t meant to sound bragadocious. But for this recovering perfectionist, writing a satisfactory ending has been a struggle. Every novelist wants to end their book in a way that will help their readers remember the book, and this can often be more difficult than crafting clever dialogue or producing an unexpected plot twist. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’ve grown in my craft to the extent that I can write a beautiful ending without pulling my hair out.

I’m not saying that I’m totally unhappy with how any of my other novels end. I’m saying that this time, it was easier to write, and I was totally happy with it. Which, up until now, has been a rare occurrence.

Now, on to the first edit and proofreading of Pine Mountain Dreams, the third book in the series.

A writer’s work is never done, but it can be oh so much fun.

0 comments