"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

1/22/10

"Delivered" excerpt (and giveaway!): Friday Fiction


I'm in the middle of (or, more accurately, at the tail end of) a giveaway of a novel collaboration I'm a contributor to. Delivered, a Peculiar People Collaboration, was released earlier this month, and it is a wonderful book on the power of prayer, and the power of Christ in the life of a new believer. Click here to order a copy!

The giveaway ends Saturday at 6am - and you can enter TWICE. First, you can comment on my blog post from Tuesday with a prayer request (that's one entry). Second, you can leave a comment on THIS post (that's another entry!). I'll announce the winner on my blog some time tomorrow.


Anyhow, being as it's Fiction Friday, I'm posting an excerpt from MY chapter in this wonderful book. Hoping it piques your curiosity--it really is an amazing read. Oh - and stop by Lynn Squire's blog for MORE great fiction.


A Child Will Lead Them
(from Delivered)
by
Joanne Sher

Engrossed in paperwork, Phillip Hansen almost missed the tinkle of the bell on his shop door. He looked up and forced a smile, a speck of irritation in his eyes.

“Can I help you, ma’am?”

“No thanks.” The well-dressed blonde flipped her hair from her eyes. “Just browsing.”

Phillip snickered under his breath. He couldn’t remember if he’d ever had a woman “browse” his hardware store before. Men, sure – but women always had questions or at least a particular item in mind.

He watched his customer with interest. She appeared to be heading toward lighting, in the back. Her steps were firm and her stride assured. As she walked out of his line of sight, Phillip briefly pondered restocking light bulbs, but decided against it. Instead, he returned to his bookkeeping.

“Hi, Mrs. Williams.”

Phillip’s ears perked up as he heard his son’s voice from the rear corner of the store. “Whatcha doing here?”

“Hello, PJ.” It dawned on Phillip why the woman’s face had been vaguely familiar. “Actually, I’m looking for you.”

Phillip put his pencil behind his ear, closed up his ledger and sauntered toward the back. He found PJ sitting at his desk in the rear corner, Mrs. Williams standing beside him.

“For me?” PJ smiled.

Mrs. Williams nodded and returned the grin. “Oh, and I also need to pick up some cork board, a box of nails, and maybe a couple other things for my classroom.”

“Hello there.” Phillip extended his hand toward the woman. “I’m PJ’s dad, Phillip Hansen.”

Mrs. Williams shook his hand firmly. “I remember you from Back-To-School Night. I’m Marion Williams.”

Phillip looked at her quizzically. “Don’t know many teachers who make house calls. Is there a problem with PJ?”

Her smile was wide. “Oh, not at all.” She patted the boy on the head. “PJ is a wonderful student: one of the friendliest, and hardest workers I’ve had since I started teaching third grade a couple years ago.”

PJ blushed.

“Anyhow, I had to pick up a few things for my room, and I remembered PJ mentioning he spent Saturdays in the hardware store with his dad.” She winked. “Just figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.”

Giggling, the boy looked up at his teacher. “That’s a good one, Mrs. Williams.”

Phillip scrunched his face in confusion.

“We’re learning about idioms in school,” PJ commented.

Phillip smiled and nodded, unwilling to admit he had no idea what an idiom was.

“So, PJ, I wanted to talk to you about your postcard idea.” Mrs. Williams pursed her lips. “I’m afraid it’s against school policy.”

Phillip raised his eyebrows. “Now, what kind of illegal idea did my son come up with?”

Mrs. Williams smiled. “Oh, it’s nothing like that.” She tapped PJ on the head and looked at Phillip. “It’s only that assigning kids to write a prayer request is frowned upon by the separation of church and state folks.”

Oh. THOSE postcards. PJ had mentioned the cards. The boy had found some when he was unpacking some boxes for his father last week. Phillip had told him to just toss them in the trash; that prayer wouldn’t do a bit of good, and that he wasn’t going to waste the cost of postage to England on some scheme that wouldn’t do anything but get their hopes up. Besides, since his wife Jordan had died, Phillip had sworn off God, and he wasn’t ready to forgive Him for ripping the most important, precious thing he had away from him for good.

***

Want to hear more? Buy the book! ;) (or win it - remember you can enter on this  post, and this one.)

Oh - and stop by Lynn's blog for more great fiction!


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6 comments:

  1. Great writing, Joanne. And yes, should I not win, I'll look into buying the time next month's "fun allowance" rolls in. I'm intrigued...

    peace~elaine

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  2. I can't wait to READ the entire book!

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  3. sounds very intriguing! But I need to add to my other prayer request. That I get the job I interviewed for on thursday.

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  4. Heavenly Father, You know how much Ruth wants this job. I pray that You would work in the heart and mind of those who interviewed her on Thursday, making Ruth stand out in his or her mind as the person to fill this job. If it is Your will, Lord, let this decision be made quickly, and in her favor. If it is not, Lord, open the door to the position You do want her to hold.

    In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

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