Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Story Time (With Red Velvet Cake)

So I sold a book. My FIRST book.

Am I excited?

You bet your sweet bippie :-)

Now before I break into the long, drawn out, possibly boring story of THE CALL, I want to entice you with some of this wonderful red velvet sheet cake. (The recipe will have to wait until next week)

Go ahead and eat all you want, it's on the house. (Just don't tell Ruthy)

When I started writing, some eight and a half years ago, I just knew I was destined to be the next Nora Roberts.

Then I joined a writer's group and got a nice dose of reality.

Back then, I was writing for the secular market. Shoot, I didn't even know there was such a thing as Christian fiction. No, that's not true. I had heard of it, but they were all prairie romances (no offence intended), and I was not a prairie romance kind of gal.

But God had other plans. And He used whatever avenue necessary to let me know that He wanted me to write for Him.

About that same time, I heard about a group completely devoted to Christian fiction and that people wrote just about everything that was in the secular market, but from a Christian worldview.

So, in 2006, I joined ACFW and have never regretted the decision to write for God's glory.

In 2010, my first novel, a romantic suspense, finaled in the Genesis. But it still wasn't good enough for publication. And today it still sits on my shelf because I had another calling--romance.

Oh, how I love to watch people fall in love. And what better place to do it than in a breath-taking setting like Ouray, Colorado. I fell in love the first time my MIL introduced me to the small alpine town where her parents' homesteaded in the 1920's.

Fast forward to ACFW Conference 2011, a conference I almost missed because my husband broke his back ten days before I was due to leave. He could barely get out of bed on his own, let alone dress himself. Nonetheless, he was determined that I was going to go.

So I did.

I pitched my Ouray story to Melissa Endlich and she requested the full manuscript. I'd never had a request for a full before, so this was VERY exciting.

I came home, polished that puppy, got it out the door in early October, and waited. And waited. Which turned out to be a good thing since, through the broken back, they discovered my husband had kidney cancer and had to have his kidney removed. Long story, just know that it was contained and he's cancer free.

Long about last spring I received a revision letter from Melissa. I brainstormed, rewrote, and sent it back to her this past October. Again, I waited, knowing that God's timing is perfect, and I would sell in His time.

So Friday morning I had just finished my quiet time. I was still in my comfy quiet-time chair, checking emails on my Ipad, when a new email popped up. Oh, my gosh. It's from Melissa Endlich! And she wants to talk to me!

My serene moment was over as my heart about pounded out of my chest. I rushed up the stairs to my husband's office.

"I just got an email from Melissa Endlich."

"So email her back." (like I wasn't going to)

When she called, she said those words I will never forget. "I'd like to offer you a contract."

I guess I had spent all my excitement before she called, because I was surprisingly calm. But then I screamed as soon as I hung up the phone.

So my book will come out THIS September, I'm fixin' to be neck deep in revisions, I finally get to see what an art fact sheet is, and I have no idea what my title will be.

But I got THE CALL. And it's every bit as exciting as I dreamed it would be. Actually, even more so, because by Friday's end, I had signed with Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency as well.

The publisher of my dreams, the editor of my dreams, and the agent of my dreams...all in one day.

God is so stinkin' good to me.

Oh, and in case you want to know a little bit of what my story is about:

Dr. Trent Lockridge came to Ouray, Colorado for a fresh start. What he finds is a son and the woman he betrayed ten years ago. Having grown up in the foster system, Trent’s greatest desire is to have a family. Is he destined to be alone or is love strong enough to overcome the past?

How about another piece of cake? You know you want one.


  1. WOW!!!!!!

    I love this story!!


    And your husband's recovery is wonderful. I almost fell off my chair at the broken back, then the kidney cancer, then the cancer free.

    Praise Jesus, so thankful he's okay.

    Eating a HUGE piece of cake because I've actually enver had red velvet cake. :)

    Happy day to you!!!!!

    1. Never had red velvet cake? Oh, Virginia, we must correct this. Edna would so enjoy mixing those beautiful colors.

      Okay, so next week I'll share the red velvet sheet cake recipe. Sheet cakes are easy. Edna will love it.

      Yes, hubby's story is quite a testimony. Long story with many twists and turns, but an amazing outcome.


      Now, that's SOMETHIN', TEX!!!! :)

      Oh my stars, I'm so excited by all this, almost as excited as I was to see red velvet cake (which we all know I make with a mix from Duncan Hines and swear by that mix for all that's righteous and holy!!!)

      MINDY!!! Congratulations, dear friend and beautiful lady!!!

      YEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAWWWW! Happy dancin' in the cafe!

      Coffee is on the house!!!


    3. Coffee on the house? Wow! You really are in a good mood, Ruthy.

      Drink up, everyone!

      And there's nothing better than a nice smoked ham :-)

  2. Congrats Mindy, Is it a LIH? Im excited for you. If you are looking for a blog to feature you closer to release I would love to feature you.

    Glad your husband is cancer free also.

    now the cake like Virginia never had Red Velvet cake but as its virtual I will have some.

    Its a bit sad when I go into the supermarket walk down the lolly isle (candy isle) and my brain goes no you will not buy one then I go down the biscuit (cookie) isle and my brain does the same forget going down the chip isle! I haven't bought any of these things for 13 days now. I have been wanting a snack and just cant buy them so we go to the cooking isle and get more dried Apricots at least they have iron in them! I get Bananas too. But I haven't said to my brain cake is of the menu! (But at the same time I got rid of the 3+ kilos I put on since going to Adelaide end of Nov last year. I have lost about 7.7 pounds.)

    1. Jenny, I find the best thing is to avoid those aisles all together. If I travel down them, I want. So it's best to just pass them up.

      Congrats on the weight loss. Though it may not have been exactly how you wanted to lose them. Sometimes we just have to reprogram our brains. My big thing is being satisfied. There's what I want to eat and what I should eat. What I should eat doesn't necessarily satisfy me. So I have to think (only on the rarest of occasions to I actually use my brain cells:-), what is it I really want. Then I try to come up with an alternative that will satisfy me, while still being kind to my body.

      My release is an LI. No H for this gal. Too much work. Although you know what they say...never say never.

    2. Yay on the weight loss, Jenny! It's hard work.

      My daughter lost 45 pounds last year. She followed what she calls "The Oreo Diet". She started moving more (walking, running, working out) and started eating healthier (and stopped eating snacks like Oreos - hence the name of her diet).

      I think it only works if you're in your twenties, though.

    3. Mindy, Jan, I use to eat a bag of lollies or something similar most days, I also would eat chips at times not as much and a few things like that. I put weight on while in the city in Nov with the extra shakes etc. Then when I hurt the wrist I wasn't doing as much and over christmas with all the cookies I put on weight. I decided on Jan 3rd to buy No more bags of lollies, chips. Also cookies. I will have one at church but one is ok. I do have boiled candies (forget what you call it but they are hard and one or two will satisfy). I still have chocolate milk but it is low fat milk. I know have a banana most days now and I feel better for it. My first goal is less than a pound away. then the next goal is 11 more pounds away.

      I love LI also.

  3. I just love hearing THE CALL stories and yours is wonderful -- and testimony to patience!!! Thankful that your husband is well too. I bet editors get as much thrill out of making THE CALL as authors. I bet Melissa was disappointed you didn't scream in her ear. LOL. Can't wait to read your untitled book!!! And I've never had red velvet cake either -- but I'm game to try a slice or two.

    1. I can't believe so many folks have never had red velvet cake.

      Thank you, Kav! And you're right, that has to be the best part of their job. I know how much I enjoy calling Carol finalists. That's the best part of MY job.

  4. Mindy, reading your story makes me re-live the day I got THE CALL. Makes me giggle along with you. I hope you and hubby went out to celebrate :)

    God's timing is perfect, isn't it? Can you imagine going through all the revisions and everything you have to do to get a book out while your hubby was fighting his health battles? No way. But you were able to devote time and energy to him when he needed it - and now you can devote time and energy to your book.

    Happy sigh :)

    And I'm an historical writer. I love the research - it's how I brainstorm my story. I have no idea how I'd write a contemporary!

    Looking forward to your Red Velvet Cake recipe. No one makes Red Velvet cake like a Texan.

    1. No, Jan, I can't imagine. And with a quick release like this, I probably would have had to decline. And wouldn't that have been the pits?

      Historical do love their research. It's in the job description. Otherwise, how would know all the stuff that shows up in their books? But I sure appreciate that research when I read:-)

  5. Congrats! Can't wait to put you on pre-order!

    1. Ooo, I like the way you think, Julie.

      I will definitely keep everyone posted.

      Thanks for celebrating with me.

  6. Oh, Mindy! Hearing your story makes me relive mine all over again, especially the calmness. I didn't snoopy dance until a few weeks later.

    So excited for you! Congratulations!!!!

    1. But at least you DID snoopy dance, Christina. If you hadn't, we'd just be worried about you:-)

      So you who have had the call more than once, is it always this exciting?

  7. Congrats, Mindy!! This is an awesome story. God is good.

  8. Thank you for posting your call story, Mindy! It was not boring at all and gives hope to the unpubbed, while we can do a snoopy dance for you! And I am glad that your hubby is well; what a supportive guy!

    What a brilliant idea to entice folk with the red velvet sheet cake picture at the beginning. Gorgeous! I never had red velvet cake growing up in Pittsburgh, and only tried it when I moved to Atlanta. Once I had some, I have never looked back. I am like Ruthy and use the DH mix. I have tried to make it from scratch but all of my efforts have fallen short. I look forward to your recipe and your book! Congrats!


    1. Piper, I have lost my most-loved red velvet recipe, but I like that this one--well, the one I'll share next week--is a sheet cake. Great for taking to potlucks, parties, etc.

      Thank you for reading my story (and for saying it wasn't boring:-) My husband really is my biggest cheerleader. I mean, how many men would place themselves at the mercy of others so his wife could go to a writer's conference? But I'm so glad he did.

    2. FIRST: Call stories are NEVER BORING.

      SECOND: Call stories are NEVER BORING.

      THIRD: Call stories are NEVER BORING!!!

      They're the frosting on a long-awaited cake that took 8 and a half years to bake.

      THEY. ARE. NEVER. BORING. We're so happy for you and LI tweeted about this on the bird-thing. :) Again!

  9. Woo hoo!! Y'all, when Mindy called the other day and I saw her name pop up on my phone, I just KNEW she had good writing news for me!! Mindy, I'm so excited for you!!!

    Congrats on doing such a great job on those revisions! I can't wait to read it.

    1. Missy, that Melissa is so sweet. She thought I did such a good job on those first revisions, she gave me more:-P

      But I'm not complaining.

    2. Ditto, here. I figured there was only one reason I was getting an Obenhaus call, which is SAD because I've got peeps that call me all the time.... BUT I KNEW AND HAPPY DANCED!!!!

    3. LOL, Ruthy! Mindy, that means you need to call us more often! :)

  10. Oh, and hey, Mindy has this GREAT CHOCOLATE STORE in Ouray... I mean GREAT chocolate store.


    Mindy, tell us about the GREAT CHOCOLATE STORE!!!

    1. That would be Mouse's Chocolates. http://mouseschocolates.com/
      Best chocolate I've ever had (and I've had plenty:-)
      I did a blog post on it back in March, complete with pictures. Here's the link: http://yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com/search/label/field%20trip

  11. Great story, Mindy. Many congrats for all the victories! Thanks for sharing. Prayers to your husband.


  12. CAKE AND A FIRST SALE. This is wonderful. Congratulations!!!!

    We live for first call stories, Mindy. They never, ever get old.

    We live for cake too.

    1. Thank you, Tina! (bouncy, squealy hugs)

      I love cake:-)

  13. Mindy,

    Love hearing the whole story behind the CALL! Congrats again. Can't wait to read it!


  14. Yay!!! So excited for you!!! AND excited for me that there's going to be another author whose books can help fill my already overstuffed bookshelves. I love hearing The Call stories... gives me encouragement. I trust in God's timing but some days the morale needs a little boost. :)

    Looking forward to that red velvet cake recipe. I'm another who has never eaten it.