What is a Novella?

Novella (nō-ˈve-lə)
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea––what do they all have in common? They are all novellas. 
What is a novella? A work of fiction, longer than a short story, shorter than a novel; a common literary genre. As you can see from the examples listed above, it’s not a new idea. 
From Robert Silverberg (Sailing to Byzantium): [The novella] is one of the richest and most rewarding of literary forms…it allows for more extended development of theme and character than does the short story, without making the elaborate structural demands of the full-length book. Thus it provides an intense, detailed exploration of its subject, providing to some degree both the concentrated focus of the short story and the broad scope of the novel.
Whatever its origin or purpose, the novella is a lovely idea. 
A Dozen Apologies is a collaborative* novella from Write Integrity Press. As the story begins, a beautiful young woman named Mara Adkins has lost her job, her confidence, and most of her self-esteem. She ends up back home with her parents. You can read the opening chapter here.
I was asked to contribute one chapter, creating a destination, a hero and his occupation. And the story would need to flow together with the chapters of eleven other writers. And one more thing––our readers would be asked to vote on their favorite hero. That guy will star in the final chapter and have the chance to win Mara’s heart. Sounds like fun, right? Especially since the readers––I hope that includes you––won’t know who wrote which chapter until it’s all over.
So there you have it. What began as a brilliant idea in the mind of the very talented Fay Lamb, (you can read about her idea here) and with the help of her editor, Tracy Ruckman, is now on its way to you. 
I hope you’ll have time to read the chapters as they become available. And when all the chapters are posted, please vote on your favorite hero. When the votes are in, the final chapter will be added and the completed novella will be released as an ebook on Valentine’s Day. Oh, and here’s the best part of all––it will be a FREE download on February 14th, 15th, and 16th. 
*produced or conducted by two or more parties working together

Jennifer Hallmark – God’s Plans vs. My Own

A Dozen Apologies

Mara Adkins

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

But which one?

Join us on Monday, January 20th for the release of the first chapter of Mara’s journey, then each weekday afterwards for subsequent chapters. Once you’ve met the twelve heroes and read Mara’s apologies, you’ll have the opportunity to vote on your favorite. The winning hero will star in the final chapter when the ebook is released on Valentine’s Day.


The Arctic Blast & A Dozen Apologies

Coming in January!

Just a few days ago, we were hunkering down indoors, trying to escape brutal cold as an Arctic blast moved through. The wind chill dipped down into the minus 30’s. Today the thermostat says 34º, sixty degrees higher! I look out my window to find the lawn filled with robins. They’re a a little early. Each year, they return en masse and devour the berries on all the holly trees in the neighborhood. Within hours, there will be no red berries on any of our trees.

Spring creeps in, a day at a time, taking its own sweet time. We’re weeks away from the actual day, but the robins’ return reminds me it’s coming. The days will lengthen by minutes then hours. The pain of the harsh cold will become a memory.

Mara Adkins

2014 is only ten days old at this writing and already, it has been busy and exciting. In the next few days, I will see the release of A Dozen Apologies, a delightful Valentine’s novella, I was honored to work on. The lovely heroine, Mara Adkins, is having a difficult year as she journeys through her past and offers twelve apologies. Which one will lead her to the next phase of her journey? It’s a fast, fun read! Watch for it here and on my Facebook author page.

I hope you’re staying warm through these early January days. And as the weeks of winter give way to the warmth of spring, may God bless your days with Joy and Light.

Thanks for stopping by!