Posts By: Christy Hoss

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

Steve Laube and Christy Hoss

My stomach was in knots as we drove onto the conference grounds.

Ridgecrest Conf Ctr

I remember that feeling from the very first conference I attended back in 2008. I wanted to turn the car around and go home, despite the beauty of the mountains surrounding us.

Driving to Blue Ridge writers conference

Why did I feel this way? I’ve been attending conferences for more than 15 years. I am certainly not inexperienced. Maybe it was the three-year break due to COVID or maybe it was because I am in need of some serious change as a writer.

As things got started and the first general session’s speaker began, my exuberance bubbled out. I couldn’t help but shout a few “amens.” Afterwards a writer turned around and told me how she appreciated hearing them and she gave me a beautiful card and pen.

I met up with a friend from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Christy Hoss and Jon Vonhof

To be truthful, it reminded me of my first conference: navigating a new campus, figuring out what workshops to take, and making appointments. But this time, the appointments were with old friends.

Steve Laube and Christy Hoss

Needless to say, the nerves went away quickly. And thanks to my praying friends and time on my knees, the conference is now a priority for me, not only to attend, but to be involved in.

God gave me some divine appointments, including one with the director of the conference just as we were preparing to leave.

Edie Melson and Christy Hoss

God is making all things new. Keep praying for me and the future of my writing. I will always keep you posted.

‘The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer’ – It’s Here!

Rubber Band roadies, Kevin and Christy Hoss.

As I write this, Kevin and I are attending our first writer’s conference together, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.

While here, The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer (book three in the Rubber Band series) was officially birthed.

Childbirth is hard, but so is publishing a book. The fun part is writing; the hard part is refining, editing, communicating, cover art, and many other things that a reader may not realize happens before they hold the hard copy in their hands and turn the first page.

Most authors must do all the marketing themselves. I recently enjoyed marketing by sharing a booth with a family friend at a local fair.

I loved talking to interested readers and making connections which I hope will turn into speaking engagements.

The Rocky-as-Elvis prop drew interest, and I had a few posers.

One had to show off her Elvis tattoo.

Yes, It’s hard work to be a writer, but I love my dream career. No matter what pains I must go through, I am going to keep bringing my writing babies into the world.

‘The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer’ – Hot Off the Press

If you have ever been to summer camp, I guarantee you will enjoy the Rubber Band’s newest adventure. I couldn’t resist writing this light-hearted, fun-filled, nonstop adventure for the band (but not without its serious message that I am hoping will encourage strength in my readers).

One week at Bible camp was always the highlight of my summer, giving me something to look forward to.

I’m on the far right, in the smiley-face t-shirt.

The week always ended too soon for me. Fresh out of high school, I flew to Southern California and worked as a counselor for inner-city kids at a Salvation Army camp in Malibu.

Me with campers, circa 1987.

It was so much fun that I worked three more summers at various camps on the East Coast and then two more back in Malibu. It was inevitable I would write about the experiences.

Although this is a fictional story, some of it is based on reality. Bearskin Meadow Diabetes Camp does exist and some of the names I used are real people who have given me permission to honor them and what they do. Becca’s exaggerated outdoor adventure camp is, however, purely non-existent and based only on my imagination.

I have many fun and crazy stories of my camp experiences, and I’d love to hear your stories of summer camp.

Let’s have a contest!

Email me your favorite camp memory and I will enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Entries due by June 30, 2022. Winner will be announced in my July newsletter.

P.S. If you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter, you can subscribe from any page on my website. Simply scroll down near the bottom of the page and you’ll see a large form that says “Free Stuff.”

The Author Reads – ‘Today is Going to Be a Good Day,’ by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

This book has come into my life at the most appropriate time. My life has been turned upside down, packed up, moved out and on to new things, thousands of miles away from my normal life, permanently.

In the process, I am hurting and struggle every day. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Today is Going to Be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right, has come to my rescue.

Dr. Michelle has been struggling with cancer, which has caused major health issues for months. Yet through her ongoing pain, she published a book to encourage and uplift its readers.

Dr. Michelle’s strength through a difficult trial, in and of itself, should inspire us. But she has opened her heart and bared her soul to share personal thoughts she kept through her days of painful struggles.

I have been reading her book daily and love how she includes scripture and a suggested piece of music to listen to. I find myself singing the song and if I’m not familiar with it, I will look it up. Christian music always lifts my spirits.

What is really cool is I already had a reminder on my wall about having a good day.

Dr. Michelle’s book is compact, making it easy to tuck into in a purse or briefcase. It’s one I plan on sharing with hurting friends.

God knows what He is doing if we trust Him, and I believe there is a bright side to life no matter how crazy it can get. This book has truly been a blessing to me, and I am grateful Dr. Michelle chose to share it with the world.

Today is truly going to be a good day.

Order it on Amazon.

My Reason for Blogging

Christy Hoss writing on laptop

Christy Hoss writing on laptopRecently I read a blog post on writing. I try to read things that are uplifting and encouraging, but after reading this one, I crashed into a deep, dark hole of writing woes.

The article said that if you don’t have anything to offer your readers, why write?

So, I asked myself, “Why do I write?”

It goes all the way back to second grade. I dreamed of writing all my life. Now that I am published, my purpose for writing is to keep telling stories.

But why do I write a blog?

Does anyone care about what I have to say?

After much evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that I write because I want to connect with people. I want my readers to know I am a real, imperfect person with all kinds of problems, pursuing her life’s dream of being an author.

The point is, people need each other. If I reach one person with my musings, that is why I write.

I also have stories roaming around in my head that demand I put them to the page. If I don’t get them out, the characters will drive me crazy!

Also, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God has called me to write for Him.

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible,’ by Mary DeMuth

It’s easy to feel unheard and misunderstood in today’s age of hyper-speed communication.

But guess what? Feeling misunderstood is nothing new.

In this unique book, Mary DeMuth tells the stories of ten women in the Bible who were misunderstood in their own time (and often still are)

This book offers real-life conversations about what it means to endure the pain of being misunderstood and reminds you that there is always One who understands you perfectly.

My thoughts:

Mary DeMuth has always been an author who knows how to address tough subjects with grace.

As a woman, I feel misunderstood and underappreciated all the time. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough.

How wonderful it is to have a book that gives insight into the lives of Biblical women who went through the same feelings women go through but may not talk about. Those hidden feelings are universal and though women may experience them differently, this book gives camaraderie to modern women from relatable women of a different era.

Biblical women helping women deal with issues only women understand. I am reminded that we are not meant to be alone in this world.

DeMuth has crafted this book with great care to encourage and strengthen women in spirit and faith. It is worth every minute of a misunderstood woman’s time, or, if you happen to be a man, read it to learn more of how women think and feel.

The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible – purchase on Amazon

 

MercyMe!

Long before our move to Tennessee was even a thought, my favorite sister in the whole wide world (my only sister and sibling) bought eighth row, floor seat tickets to a MercyMe concert.

We’d been to one together in 2019 and declared it the best concert ever so I knew I wouldn’t want to miss it. As our move became imminent, I assured my sister I would return. A full day’s travel, early morning hours with little sleep and two airports later, I returned to California.


There is something special about the group MercyMe. I have been blessed by their music for years. The words always seem to heal my broken heart and minister to my soul with exactly what I need.

Every song on their latest album, inhale (exhale) spoke to my heart and kept me going through the long journey of ups and downs, barely breathing at times, in the process of moving to Tennessee and settling in.

MercyMe does a song called Happy Dance that encourages the audience to dance and be silly, then they shower us with confetti.

I took full advantage of the opportunity and found myself enjoying every moment of my own happy dance. Silliness relieves a great deal of stress.

Needless to say, the lyrics of that night’s concert keep me going as I inhale and exhale while missing friends, family and the network of self-care I had established after 27 years in Santa Rosa.

Breathe - MercyMe concert

I am trying really hard and leaning on my faith, and thanks to the words of one of MercyMe’s tunes, I will prevail.

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘Sanctuary,’ by Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory

Patrick Barrett grew up on the back of a donkey. In the small village of Liscarroll, the young boy helped his family run a sanctuary for abandoned and abused donkeys.

Struggling in school, Patrick only felt truly accepted in the presence of these funny, fuzzy, touching animals. It was like magic, how he and the donkeys understood each other. He became a true “donkey whisperer”—reading their body language, communicating with them in ways they could understand, and teaching himself how to “speak” in their distinctive calls.

But when Patrick was of age, he shipped out with the Irish Army and encountered unimaginable wartime horrors in Lebanon and Kosovo. In the aftermath, he returned home a broken man, sinking into the depths of PTSD and addictions. He believed nothing could save him. But he hadn’t counted on the donkeys.

SanctuarySanctuary is the remarkable true story of how faith turned one lost man’s life around with the help of the rescue animals who loved him. It’s an antidote to despair and a call to hope, revealing the beauty and wonder of Ireland as you’ve never seen it before.

My Thoughts:

This true story of an Irish village, a man who lost his way and the rescue donkeys that led him home should be recommended reading for all those in recovery programs of every kind.

Patrick shares his raw, honest emotions at every stage in his journey, from childhood alcoholism to humble submission to God’s call on his wayward heart. His open sharing of his experience evoked a range of emotions within me from sorrow to joy, frustration to clarity.

Woven within the story by analogy is his love for rescuing and relating to donkeys and their personality traits. Animal lovers will enjoy this read as Patrick truly has a soft heart for his four-legged friends and should be known as the ‘donkey whisperer.’

Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory

Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory, co-authors of Sanctuary.

Sanctuary will encourage and uplift an addicted heart to seek help, reminding the reader that God’s love is unconditional. I enjoyed this true story of rebellion and redemption and highly recommend it.

Purchase from Amazon

Purchase from Tyndale – This link includes a free excerpt and a free sample of the audiobook (the voice actor has a great Irish accent!)

TARDIS Flies!

TARDIS lawn ornament

Moving is not fun. I’ve had to let go of things I love…

… The colored walls in my house are now painted a neutral white.

… The huge succulent plants that won’t survive in Tennessee have been sold or given away to neighbors and friends.

But most of all, I had to let go of the TARDIS lending library. The realtor insisted it go before we showed the house. I emptied it of five boxes of books ranging in age from baby to more experienced readers.

Tardis lending library

As the TARDIS fell, we considered taking it apart (GASP! – something Doctor Who would never allow) and packing it in the moving truck.

Tardis falls

As we stood considering what to do with it, and as I was about to push the publish button on Facebook Marketplace for free pick up, a neighbor stopped.

“What are you doing with the TARDIS?” she asked.

Turns out she’s a huge Doctor Who fan and loves the color blue. So, the TARDIS came back to life and was transported three houses down the street to live another day. (Actually, it was a little elbow grease and our pickup truck, but where’s the fun in that?)

It has landed in the perfect spot on the corner for all to see. One day, it might return to being a lending library once again. Until then, it is the perfect lawn ornament for a Doctor Who lover and her dark blue-trimmed house.

TARDIS lawn ornament

The Author Reads Book Review: The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

Aiden reading The Lady's Mine

Christy reading The Lady's MineFrancine Rivers’ latest novel, The Lady’s Mine, is true to Rivers’ writing form.

You’ll be in California Gold Rush days from page one to the end, feeling like you’re living it. Rivers’ detailed style draws the reader into that era with flair as you feel every bump on the washboard, dusty gravel roads, to slipping around on mud-slathered streets. Calvada, though fictional, is true to western settlements of those early California-Nevada days.

Then, just for fun, Rivers builds an unlikely romance between the main characters. Like the back cover reads, she’s new to the lawless mining town and he’s one of its most prominent citizens. Neither wants anything to do with the other. It will tug at your heart strings and have you laughing one minute and crying the next.

Yet another Francine Rivers novel you can’t put down.

Even Aiden is enjoying it!

Aiden reading The Lady's Mine

For more on Francine, check out her website, francinerivers.com

Read Aiden’s blog post about attending the Redeeming Love movie premiere

Check out the Redeeming Love movie trailer