"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Sunday, February 26, 2006


A Literary Agent Recommends...

DAY SEVEN - Steve Laube, Literary Agent
God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

Thank you for tuning in this past week. I've been asked to recommend other books to aspiring writers. The following is a quick list of good resources:


It has been great being with you this week. Look forward to better writers and wonderful stories from the future guest bloggers!

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all forevermore.

Steve Laube

Please join me in thanking Steve Laube for his participation this past week as the first Guest Blogger in our 2006 God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger Series. I encourage you to visit Steve's Web site to find out more about his Literary Aency, Speakers Bureau, and for helpful tips if you are a writer.

Our next Guest Blogger will be W. Terry Whalin who begins his seven days of blogging on the God Allows U-Turns BLOG on Monday, March 6.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Book Proposals that SELL!

DAY SIX - Steve Laube, Literary Agent
God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

If you want to become a published author? Please. Please. Please. Buy and study BOOK PROPOSALS THAT SELL by W. Terry Whalin (Write Now Publications).

It is a tremendous tool. The majority of proposals that hit my desk as an agent should never have been sent in the first place. Bad cover letters (that spell "Internet" as "inner net"), chaotic organization, no sense of the market, etc all conspire to fill our piles with unready proposals.

Our agency receives thirty to fifty new unsolicited proposals each week. You can imagine the variety. Everything from a fabulous new writer to a "Gothic horror gay allegory." (I didn't make that up.) Consider that the book proposal is like a job application. The idea is to impress the editor with the power of the idea and the power of your writing. I can't emphasize enough how important a quality proposal can be.

That's all for today, folks. Come back tomorrow for Steve's last post as our official God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger!

'Till then, God's blessings on your life.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Writing and Speaking Go Hand in Hand

DAY FIVE - Steve Laube, Literary Agent
God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

If you have the opportunity to develop a speaking ministry, by all means do so. Speaking forces you to articulate your ideas in a way that communicates effectively. It always makes you a better writer. There's a book out there called IF YOU CAN SPEAK YOU CAN WRITE and it is so true. Speaking can give you focus, give you a place to try out explosive ideas, give you a way to gauge the power of the concept you are trying to communicate. Consider working your God Allows U-Turns story into a 30-40 minutes talk that can be given at a variety of events. Frequently I run into successful authors who started this way.

Last year our agency formed a Speaker's Bureau to help our clients negotiate and develop that aspect of their ministry. It is an exciting facet to the total ministry of each writer we have the privilege of working with.

That's all for today ....

Come back tomorrow for another pithy posting from Steve Laube, our Guest Blogger.

'Till then, may God bless and keep you.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


A Career U-Turn

DAY FOUR - Steve Laube, Literary Agent
God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

Fourteen years ago I lost a corporate battle I didn't know I was fighting.

The result? I lost my job as a bookstore manager despite having won the national CBA store of the year award, serving as national book buyer for the chain, being offered the vice-presidency of the company, and training five new store managers. I was fired. I was unemployed. For nine months I felt like I had let my family down and I had few options in the industry. At one point I took a night theology class from Fuller Seminary extension, because I had the time. The first night of class they went around the room asking for the person's name and their profession. It came to me and I had to say, "My name is Steve Laube and I'm unemployed." The humiliation of that night was so great that I left during the break and never returned. Losing my job was tantamount to losing my identity.

But God Allows U-Turns. Out of the blue Carol Johnson of Bethany House Publishers offered me a job as an editor. This was the beginning of a new phase of the life God had prepared for me. This is a quick snippet of my career U-Turn story. At every stage, including my switch to becoming an agent, God's fingerprints can be found.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Marketing Your Brand

DAY THREE - Steve Laube, Literary Agent
Guest Blogger for God Allows U-Turns

I've been asked a number of times if it is important for an author to be involved with the marketing of their own book. The answer is a resounding, "YES!!" In fact publishers prefer to work with authors who can bring a ready made audience or are energetic in pursuing the development of their brand and their name visibility. Allison Bottke is one of the most tireless and productive authors I know. She works every day in finding new ways to promote and develop the reach of the God Allow U-Turns ministry.

I'm a firm believer that a book does not have a ministry unless it is read. And a book will not be read until it is purchased. So for a book to have an effective ministry one absolutely must give thought to the marketing and sales process. Some may think this sounds too commercial and worldly.

Granted, but it doesn't change the facts. Until a book is in someone's hands and they sit and begin to read, the words will not have the chance to be heard. Some writers eschew the marketing and sales side of the equation...to their detriment. The most successful books have both solid writing/message combined with energetic marketing and sales efforts.

Everyone is a MIRACLE!

DAY TWO - From Steve Laube, Literary Agent
and God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

Personal stories, by themselves, are very difficult to sell in the book world. Why is it that in the general market there seems to be openness to the memoir, but not in the Christian market? I've given this much thought.

My theory is that, among believers, every one of is a miracle. Each of us has a salvation story. But in the general market, without Christ, the miraculous is the exception rather than the rule. Thus a memoir of overcoming extraordinary circumstances has a readership in the general market, but the same story is a tough sell in the Christian market. That is why the God Allows U-Turns is such a wonderful thing. It allows a place for hundreds of miraculous stories of God's grace to be told AND sold!

Monday, February 20, 2006


Steve Laube - Guest Blogger

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Steve Laube, Literary Agent Extraordinaire. For the next seven days Steve will share his thoughts with us about the writing business.

As the first (brave guy) Guest Blogger in our 2006 Guest Blogger Series, please join me in welcoming Steve Laube. Make sure to check out his informative web site --- full of great writer helps and resources.

Let the ruminations begin! ...

Day One from Steve Laube, Literary Agent

It is a great honor to be the inaugural contributor for the God Allows U-Turns blog! I also have the privilege of serving as Allison Bottke's literary agent which is ironic because of the long journey she and I have had with this project. Many years ago while the acquisitions editor for Bethany House Publishers I handed Allison a STOP sign in the form of a rejection letter. The U-Turns book at the time was Allison's personal story and I felt that it wasn't strong enough to work in the marketplace. Instead of letting that "No" be the final word, Allison, by the grace of God, reworked the material and found a publisher who caught the vision.

This is simple example how God not only allows U-Turns but provides the opportunity for U-Turns! A series of rejections turned into a ministry that has grown to unimaginable proportions.

Stop back tomorrow for a new thought from Steve Laube. See you then.
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Friday, February 17, 2006


New God Allows U-Turns Books Shipping NOW!

Do you feel like you're headed down a road that shouldn't be traveled? You're not alone. Sometimes it's too easy to find the wrong path. Sometimes you just feel lost. But God is waiting to help you turn your life around; He wants to show you the way.

This powerful collection of stories in two new books from real-life women and real-life teens offers encouragement and support as women overcome difficult relationships, financial battles, serious illness, or the death of a loved one ... and as teens overcome poor relationships with your parents, physical or sexual abuse, drug addiction, or painful consequences to choices that have been made.

With God, all things are possible. Are you ready for a U-Turn?

Order your copies today by visiting your local bookstore or the God Allows U-Turns storefront on our web site.

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Monday, February 13, 2006


Announcing Weekly God Allows U-Turns Column on Crosswalk.com

We're excited to announce that starting today, a true short story excerpt from the two new God Allows U-Turns anthologies will appear weekly online at Crosswalk.com. Make sure to check out this weeks story, My Family's Hands, written by Sharon Fink of Central Point, Oregon. And be sure to visit Crosswalk.com each and every Monday throughout 2006 to read a God Allows U-Turns true short story.

You'll want to share these life-changing stories of God's grace with the ones you love.

by Sharon Fink, Central Point, Oregon
from God Allows U-Turns - The Choices Women Make

God has used my loved ones as His instruments to unclench my own selfish fists. It's not always easy, but I remember the wise words of Corrie ten Boom, a survivor of the Holocaust: "When we close our hands, we miss the many blessings God wants to place in them."

From the new book: God Allows U-Turns - The Choices Women Make
Releasing from Bethany House Publishers in March 2006

Read the story here, Crosswalk.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2006



I love the way my writer friend, Amy Wallace, describes the Word of the Lord.

Chocolate. That one word makes my mouth water and my hips expand without permission. Even so, like countless females before and after me, it remains one of my favorite things.
Heart Chocolate. A new twist on a wonderful treat that can be enjoyed without jean-splitting consequences. This type of chocolate indulgence consists of words that wrap around the heart and bring excitement, comfort, and an expanded perspective of how awesome God is.

Amy will be one of our Guest Bloggers in November. We're excited about what the Lord is doing in her writing life.

I'd like to encourage you to visit Amy's web site and check out her BLOG while you're at it. Make sure to register to win FREE GODIVA CHOCOLATE while you're there.

And if you win, remember who sent you, okay?

And that's what's on my mind today.

Friday, February 03, 2006


It's My Choice - The Abortion Lie !

Welcome back to our week long feature from my newest book: I Can't Do it all. Today will be the final installment from the book. Please let me know what you thought. Scroll down to previous posts to read the beginning of this chapter titled:

"It's My Choice."


In her story ‘‘Tea and Crackers,’’ Gail Hayes writes of her experience in an abortion clinic.

The counselor was all too happy to explain that this was not a human life but merely a glob of tissue that needed to be cleaned out of my body. This would be a simple procedure, she said. She took my money, covered my fear with smiles, and undressed me with deceit. I submitted myself and ‘‘this glob’’ to the abortionist’s hand. Afterward, I was served tea and crackers. I ate, not realizing the high price I would later pay for this snack.

A high price indeed. Even after I came to know the Lord it took a while for me to discover how intrinsic my abortions had been to the other dysfunctions that ruled my life. At that time little information existed to help women like me heal, so I paid a high price for my freedom of choice.

I began to deal with the pain of my abortion choices early in my walk as a new Christian. The convictions I felt for my poor choices came hard and heavy during those days, and it took a month-long stay in a Christian program called New Life to help me break through the guilt and shame-based fog that encompassed my life. It wasn’t just post-abortive guilt and shame tearing at the fabric of my life, but a host of other worldly behaviors that I suddenly saw as sin. It would be years before I came to understand the connection between my abortions and that ‘‘host of other worldly behaviors’’ I had embraced for so long.

Jennifer O’Neill, in her book You’re Not Alone: Healing Through God’s Grace After Abortion, says this about that connection:

For years abortion remained a dark place within me, an indefinable root of my pain, because its consequences didn’t exist according to those ‘‘helping me’’ with my bouts of depression. Unbelievably, my doctors never brought up abortion on any level as a possible negative experience in my life, let alone the lynchpin to my pain. The despair I felt when I had my
abortion was nothing, according to the therapists and according to a society that accepts abortion as a legitimate answer to pregnancy.

In pro-life circles the question is often asked: If pro-choice is so right, then why do we keep our abortion a secret after we’ve had one?

Indeed. Why?

I feel it’s because we know deep within our hearts that what we have done is inherently wrong. But if enough people stand up and tell me it’s okay, if I buy enough of the lies being spoon-fed
to me, then I am justified in my selfish actions.

While deciding on the lies to highlight in this book, maybe we should have added this one: It’s all about me, because that is the one all-pervasive lie that has changed the complexion of our world. We’ve become a nation of people who feel entitled to everything we want, whenever we want it, at whatever cost.

Every time I found myself pregnant out of wedlock, the timing couldn’t have been worse . . . never mind that I shouldn’t have been intimate with my partner in the first place. It was never my fault, I reasoned, because I was taking birth control measures that didn’t work. The pill didn’t work, an IUD didn’t work—therefore, I was justified in my pro-choice decision. What a fool I was!

I can say that now, but back then I thought I was oh-so smart. It was my body ... my life ... my future ... and no one could tell me otherwise. Clearly, it was all about me.

Pastor Lowell Lundstrom once said an amazing thing during a media interview. ‘‘I believe in pro-choice!’’ he exclaimed, to the surprise of the reporter. ‘‘Sure I do. I believe every woman can choose to have sex or not. But if she becomes pregnant as a result of that choice, then it becomes a baby—not a choice—and it’s out of her hands.’’

Some Other Reasons

Of course, selfishness is not always at the root of an abortion choice. Some women have gotten an abortion because at the time they felt they had no choice in the matter. Perhaps a boyfriend, husband, or parent was pressuring them, and they knew of nowhere else to go for help. I’m not suggesting that we make excuses for poor choices, but many times poor choices come out of desperate situations. I know women who have had abortions who are as far from selfish as the east is from the west, so we must try and understand the situation that existed at the time the choice for abortion was made. Every situation is different.

Pro-choice advocates often use the circumstance of rape as a way to gain acceptance of the procedure that has killed millions of babies: ‘‘What about the women who have been raped, who literally had no choice in the matter?’’

Yes, what about them? We know there are women who have become pregnant by someone else’s choice. One such brave soul was Heather Gemmen.

Brutally raped at knifepoint in her own home, Heather’s story is powerfully recounted in her book Startling Beauty: My Journey From Rape to Restoration. A few hours after the attack she was given a pill that may have prevented a pregnancy—or aborted it.

‘‘I held the pill in my hand,’’ Heather recounted. ‘‘It seems possible that I was born with the belief that killing unborn babies is wrong. As a child I had eaten warm stew from a thermos at many cold and wet Right-to-Life walks and protests. In high school, when hypothetical situations had black-and-white answers, I discussed long into the night my passionate beliefs on this volatile issue. In college I earned a perfect A on a paper that lobbied against abortion. Integrity is so much more than claiming noble ethics. It is more than holding passionate conviction. Integrity is living out expressed beliefs. It is making choices that accurately reflect
core values.’’

Heather did not take the pill that would have changed the environment of her uterus. Nine months later her daughter Rachel was born.

Heather did not see taking that pill as her choice. Nor did she feel having an abortion at any time over the course of her pregnancy was a choice. The only choice Heather and her husband had was whether to place the child for adoption or raise it as their own.

Now, there’s a choice that was never presented to me at the abortion clinics—adoption. Why didn’t I consider the countless parents that could not conceive, who were aching to have a child to raise? I didn’t think about them because that would mean carrying the baby to term, allowing the world to see what I had done, and then dealing with the aftereffects of placing the baby for adoption. What mother/monster could give up her child? Back then it simply wasn’t done. Let’s not forget the inconvenience adoption would cause, either. I had an exciting career, and there was no time for pregnancy in my plan.

I, I, I—as the world touted—it was all about me. My abortion choices took place during a time in my life when I had fully bought the lie that I deserved to have everything I wanted—that it was my right as a card-carrying feminist to control my body, my destiny, my life, and my future.

No one talked about grief or any long-term effects. No one mentioned that my choices would come back years later to haunt me in unimaginable ways. No one told me they would leave an emptiness in my soul that I would try to fill with drugs, alcohol, empty relationships, and frivolous pursuits.

I must stress once again that not every abortion choice is founded on selfish motives. Many women would have made the choice to have the baby they carried into the abortion clinic, but at the time they felt powerless to take any other steps. Grieving is something that touches every one of us, no matter what our reasons or motives might have been.

This will be the last installment from this chapter. For more from this chapter called: It’s My Choice, pick up my newest book at bookstores everywhere or on Amazon.com. I Can’t Do it All, by Allison Bottke, Tracie Peterson and Dianne O’Brian. Posted by Picasa