A Publishing God-Thing

I’m not inclined to believe in coincidences. I DO believe God sometimes works circumstances out in ways that may SEEM coincidental, however.

First a little back story. On February 17, I received a letter from Barbour Publishing. Barbour was the company that had published my first two books, FOUND IN TRANSLATION and LOST IN DREAMS. Wonderful folks to deal with. I had (and have) nothing but good to say about them.

Nonetheless, they were writing to tell me that not only were those books officially out-of-print, but they were reverting the rights to them back to me. I was free to do anything I wanted with them, including finding a publisher who’d be willing be re-release them.

None of that was bad news in and of itself. But it was HORRIBLE timing. I was just a month or so away from releasing my self-published ROSA NO-NAME, which I’d written ten years earlier as a prequel to FOUND IN TRANSLATION, and I’d been counting on ROSA and FOUND to promote one another. Although either book can be read first, each one is apt to make the reader interested in reading the other one.

Amazon still had a few print copies, but Barbour had Amazon remove the Kindle versions almost immediately. What was going to happen to my mutual promotion plans? Yes, I could self-publish those books, but I didn’t have any money left for professional cover design or editing after having those things done for ROSA. And preparing for ROSA’s release would’ve made it impossible for me to do that any time soon anyhow.

A VERY short time later, I responded to something I’d read on an email loop I belong to. Although my response had nothing to do with my out-of-print books, I “just happened” to mention my situation to the lady I was responding to. When she responded, she recommended her small publisher, Take Me Away Books.

Wow! Godsend idea or what? But I didn’t have time to get in touch with that publisher. I intended to when I had more time, however.

Just a few weeks later I was emailing this same author. But I had forgotten about telling her my problem. Whether she forgot about recommending her publisher earlier or not, I can’t say, but she recommended Take Me Away books all over again.

Okay, Lord! You don’t need to hit me in the head with a Bible.  I’m paying attention now. This is Your idea. It’s NOT a coincidence.

So on April 2 I emailed the owner of the publishing company–at least I think she’s the owner–and on April 5 she offered me a contract not only to republish FOUND IN TRANSLATION and LOST IN DREAMS, but also OVERSHADOWED, my intended third book in the Altered Hearts series that had been completed but not published and THE FLOWERS OF HIS FIELD (tentative title), the still-unwritten final book in the series.

After praying with my wife about it, we felt this was God’s answer. How could we question the “coincidence” of the twin recommendations of this publisher, the coincidence that wasn’t one?

My publisher works uber-fast. By the end of last week, FOUND IN TRANSLATION was available on Kindle again with a different cover, one Kathleen and I found and recommended as a really suitable cover image. Just a few days later, LOST IN DREAMS, which we’d requested to be renamed as A SEASON OF PEBBLES, was available on Kindle.

I’m currently editing and revising OVERSHADOWED with the intention of having it to her by the end of this week. That means it’ll be available on Kindle within a few days of the following week. (Print versions of these books will be available, too, but not as quickly.)

Some things in life may appear to be coincidences, but this whole story was a “Publishing God-Thing” and NOT a coincidence for sure.

Has anything happened in your life that might seem coincidental to others but you attribute to God’s working? How about sharing a comment?



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Best regards,

A Truly Amazing Adoption Tale

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I’m adopted, and so is my daughter, Kristi. I thought you might be interested in something about her adoption that sounds almost too amazing to be true.

Debbie, my wife at that time, was one of those women who was desperate to become a mother. And she succeeded at getting pregnant–once. Beth was born on August 18, 1976; she died of an improperly developed heart on the 21st.

Debbie was never able to get pregnant again, even though she went to Johns Hopkins for microsurgery to have the possible problem corrected. It didn’t work.

After moving from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Richmond, we decided to apply for adoption. I was in my mid-to-late thirties at the time. The best I can recall, we had only been on the approved list about a year–much sooner than we’d expected–when we got the call that a baby would be available the next week. That was in 1987.

Our agency never let the adoptive parents know about a baby until the time the birth mother had for legally changing her mind had passed. So there was no danger we would lose our baby at some point in the future.

Our agency also had a foster parent program, and our social worker invited us to a thank you banquet for foster parents being held that weekend. She told us our baby’s foster parents would be there and she would point them out to us.

But since they’d had Kristi–I think her original birth name was Ashley–for quite some time, they were having trouble adjusting to the idea of having to give her up. So we were under strict orders not to say anything to them. We didn’t.

Flash forward a few years–I’m not sure how many–and Debbie and I were visiting my father’s former church in Farmville, Virginia, which is about seventy miles from Richmond. Not far, but far enough.

At lunch, we sat near a woman who appeared to be around our age. In talking with her, we discovered that her husband–I believe he was home sitting with one or more sick children–had been my best friend during the first eight years of my life, when I lived in Farmville. As if that wasn’t a pleasant enough surprise, wait till you hear the rest of the story!

While Kristi’s foster parents were attending that banquet, Chuck and his wife were babysitting Kristi!

Some people would call that an amazing coincidence, but we call it a God-thing. How Kristi, who’d been born in a city east of Richmond, ended up in a small community west of Richmond and connected in such a special way with someone who’d once been so important to me is too wild a story to think of as anything but a God-thing.

Unfortunately, Chuck died unexpectedly before getting to see Kristi.

What do you think? How about leaving a comment?


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Best regards,