Lilly Maytree is in Alaska today...

Lilly Maytree is in Alaska, today...looking for adventure and divine appointments. Want to follow along? Enter her ARMCHAIR TRAVELERS PORTAL


The Magnificent World Book Tour...

Welcome to the travelers on the World Book Tour! Should you stay on this trail to the "ends of the earth" you will be rich, indeed. A couple a day is all it will take, as a journey that circles the globe is still taken one step at a time.

Meet the authors... 

First of all, my many thanks and blessings to Carol Brown, who invited me to follow her enlightening World Book Tour post, over at:

Carol is a spiritual traveler (and adventurer!) of the calibre I rarely see. She makes you want to grab hold and take off with her as she describes the wonderful things she has seen and heard along her amazing spiritual journey. And well-qualified she is for that journey, too, as she has traveled through many dangerous places and lived to tell about it. Miraculous--don't miss getting to know her! Carol’s background is in education, teaching all ages from first graders to the university and adult levels before joining the Elijah House staff in the U.S. (a pastoral counseling ministry). Since she was diagnosed with M.S., in 1989, she has concentrated her ministry in writing. Her fiction writing happened as a respite from doing the "hard books" (non-fiction). She began story telling as crowd control for four boisterous brothers!

And now, on to my part of this writing world, as I answer the same four questions you will find throughout the entire tour, that invites you to take a look at how we actually work...

1. What am I working on?

I happen to be working on one of the most unusual projects of my life, right now. You might even say it's a form of "time travel" (I love that thought--don't get me started on it). It is combining fiction and reality (the theory of "real-ativity?"), launching into hyper-speed, and theoretically aiming for an amazing merge at the end. Either that, or a total collapse at the other end... I'm not sure which.

Let me rephrase that. I am on a sailboat, adventuring north to Alaska, writing about a group of friends who are doing the same thing (The Stella Madison Capers--I'm working on Caper #4 of a six-part series), and hoping the same things don't happen to me as must happen to them in order to make a good story. However, should any of that actually occur, I have taken the precaution of drawing up a last will and testament (all sailors do that), and am having the story published in installments along the way. Just in case it should turn into a "choose your own ending" type of a deal. 

NOTE: If you are reading this, I will have left three days ago, and not actually be here to host you (just like in that old movie The Time Machine--I love that thing). But don't worry, I'll leave instructions at the end of this post on how to make contact with me, no matter where I am. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Probably in the way that I have this incredible compulsion to "live out my stories" in real life, and a husband who goes along with it. But before you say, "How amazing is that?" I should probably confess that I began doing it purely out of self-defense against being married to an adventurer who (I felt) was continually putting my life in jeopardy. Somewhere along the line he turned into a hero to make up for it, so I can't complain. At any rate, we've survived all our accidents and keep doing the same sort of things over and over. Which is really all I can say about that because I don't understand it, myself.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Ah, now we get to the life-blood of art. Amazing stuff, blood. Especially considering it comes from deep inside the bones. I write Inspirational adventure fiction out of the sheer amazement of what I have observed along my travels. If I didn't, I would go crazy. Because I keep picking up all these lovely treasures along the way. I love treasure--especially treasures of the heart--it's my favorite theme. But it should come with a hazard warning, since the two always seem to go hand-in-hand. However, I have found it wonderfully satisfying to pass off my treasure to others, rather than stashing it somewhere. Not only does it help me keep my balance (gold is heavy!), the more you give the more you get. Heh, heh... 

4. How does my writing process work?

And so to the bones. I am an outliner, a plotter, and an avid researcher. Absolutely love all that. But before you think how utterly boring that must be... think, again. Think Indiana Jones pouring over a musty old tome, deep in the basement of some ancient museum, and it suddenly trembles beneath his touch. Now, time is not an issue. You are going to follow that thing no matter how long it takes, and go wherever it takes you to learn its secret. So, the first thing I do in my writing process is to search for something out of the past that responds to me when I reach out to it. But it must be something noble, and good, and full of light (all that is dark leads to death, and I am personally not interested in any of that).

Along the way, characters come to me (I love this part!), and we get to know each other. Then I ask the Holy Spirit what the purpose of this story is (what's in it for readers? what's the treasure?)... at which point I either begin following "His footsteps" along a very exciting path, or...

Tuck it away for later, because it isn't time, yet. Either that, or it's part of a larger story altogether, and will make fabulous supporting material. I love it when that happens, too, because it means I am onto something magnificent, that will have to be constructed in stages. Great fun for me, there, and--oh, the adventures along the way! But sometimes, it's all just a false lead from my arch-nemesis of evil, and I will scrap the thing altogether. But I don't consider any of that time wasted, as I have learned those instances are usually smoke screens to keep me from hidden treasures, nearby, that are even better. Not to mention one begins to notice tell-tale hazard-signs to avoid (having run into them many times before) and they are more easily recognized as the years go by. I think that's called learning from experience. 

Available Now!
Eventually, I end up with a story that I hope will be half the adventure to read, as it was for me to write. At the very least, I can guarantee some bit of treasure one can take away that will be worth something to barter with, in real life. Sometimes, it's only a little something. A good recipe for goulash, maybe. But other times, it's pure gold. Which is why I like to describe my writing process as having an incredible case of gold fever... and what a fine, maddening, magnificent thing that is to have. In my own opinion, anyway. Which is always debatable. Just saying. But there you have it.

Up next on this Magnificent World Book Tour: Meet the Authors...

Now, on to the fascinating people I have chosen to follow me. You will love them, each one is a fellow adventurer in their own unique way. And, oh, what stories they have to tell you! Their posts will be up seven days after mine which is June 16.

Karla Akins: Besides being a fine author, she is a pastor's wife who rides motorcycles!  Her post will be at:

Karla Akins is an award-winning, prolific writer of books, short stories, plays, poems, songs, and countless nonfiction articles. Her biography of Jacques Cartier went #1 in its category on Amazon. Besides writing biographies and history books for middle grades, she also writes fiction. Her first fiction novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was released in 2013.

Tanya Stowe: Has found unique fuel for her stories by traveling extensively and living abroad. Her post will be here: 

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.

Eddie Jones: Wears so many hats, I didn't know which to pick. But my two favorites are that he writes fiction for boys, and is a fellow sailor. You will find his World Book Tour post here:

Eddie Jones is Founder and CEO of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries. He is also an award-winning novelist of middle-grade fiction for boys. If you have questions about the book publishing industry, the writing process, or any of Eddie’s books, email him at:

Meanwhile, thank you for stopping by my blog today, and here's wishing you fair winds as you continue along this magnificent World Book Tour over the coming weeks. Oh, yes, and if you would like to follow my Alaska travels, my Armchair Travelers Portal is here:

And for anyone who has managed to get all the way to the end of this very long post, I would like to give you a gift of Stella Madison's Caper #1: Home Before Dark. Just drop me an email at lilly (at), and request it (for delivery purposes only, I won't put your name on any list).


Suite T, Anyone?

I have always admired southern hospitality, and often wished I was in on some of those secrets that can make a guest--any guest--feel so welcome. It's beautiful country, too. Something I know first hand, having had the wonderful opportunity (thank you, Sally Apokedak!) to actually spend some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains, last fall, after having only visited via many months of research for a novel.

So, I felt very honored when I was invited to do a guest blog over on Southern Writers Magazine's author blog, "Suite T." It's a place where people share worthwhile tips and insights of the writing life, along with many interesting discussions on what has proved helpful in their journey. Personally, I've had a rather unusual journey. Still, I decided to share THE ONE THING that has made all the difference for me.

And while I started out to write something helpful about character development, I have to admit it turned into an explanation of why I so often end up literally "jumping into my characters' shoes" to see if life could really be lived that way. That same thing that has landed me--at this very moment--afloat on the Pacific Ocean, aboard the Glory B, in the middle of an "adventure of a lifetime." For which I can make no apologies, because everything I said in that article is absolutely true. Not only is it how I arrived at this place, but how I have every intention of continuing on.

Go to Suite T
Simply because I find being an "inspirational adventure novelist" one of the most exciting professions in the world. Utterly divine. At the same time, I believe in telling the absolute truth of the way things really are. Which is why I will be available over at the Suite T site, this evening, to answer any questions that might come up about my "divine encounter." And whether it has, or hasn't, stood "the test of time." I would love it if you would join me there, to chime in on your own opinion of the matter. 

I know you will be more than welcome!


10 commandments of writing...

(just for Lilly Maytree)

Many thanks to Delia Latham for coming up with this wonderful idea of sharing our own "10 commandments of writing" today. I'm looking forward to blog-hopping around to the rest of the participants, so I can learn a few tips from my colleagues! 

NOTE: I added examples to mine, so for readers in a hurry (aren't we all?) just stick with the bold print.

    1. Have something of value to share
   "The secret ingredient had been passed down through her family for generations…"
    2. It must be entertaining
   "Stella made his favorite breakfast that morning, because she knew he would hit the roof when he heard heard what she had to say…"
    3. It must be complete in itself (with a beginning, middle, and end), even if part of a series
   "Are we happy, dear?"
    "Oh, yes. Extremely happy," she replied, unable to take her eyes off the neatly stacked gold coins that made up her very own half of the treasure. "At least, for now."
    4. It must be realistic, and not cross readers' "willing suspension of disbelief"   
   Mildred had a close call that morning on the way to work, and thanked heaven she could still make herself invisible whenever she heard sirens. (Um… no. Not for me)
    5. It must have engaging characters
   Most of the passengers moving slowly up the ramp, gasped when they saw the little girl fall, and stood frozen. As if some giant director-voice had suddenly yelled, "Cut!" But not Stella. She jumped into the icy water, fully-clothed, in spite of her sixty-one years, and the Gucci purse that had cost a quarter of her monthly allotment. 
    6. It must have believable conflict
   She wanted to be a movie director. And--to be truly happy--she would have to win an Academy Award… even though she was only sixteen. (Um… not unless her grandfather was Frank Capra)
  7. It must have a universal message "threaded in" throughout the fabric of the story, that brings the reader to that conclusion, without having to actually state it in the narrative.
   Martin wrestled with demons, last night (oh--did he ever!), and wouldn't be surprised if a few weren't still clinging to his clothes on the way to the store. He would put back every one of the items he hid behind shelves for that ridiculous "escape" they had been planning. Start dealing with the crisis like normal people. 
   "Choices, Marty," he reminded himself as he pushed through the double doors without even stopping to talk to Sam. "From now on, there will be no such thing as a new normal. Not for me!"
    8. It must have rising action (or tension) from beginning to end
   (I am in favor of the "one darn thing after another" method… yes, indeed!)
  9. Must have a clear conclusion, preferably with a believable twist.
   "If I thought I could get away with it," said the Professor, "I'd run off."
     "I'd go with you," said Harriet.
     Which was why the entire dismal little group rose up from the bench, with one accord, and followed the familiar figure, like robots, when--to their amazement-- he suddenly passed by. So. He hadn't gone on alone, after all!
     "Did they confiscate your ark, Gordie? Is that why you're still here?"
     "Not on your life, Harriet. Implemented a slight modification on Noah's method, and that made all the difference."
     "What sort of modification could you make on an outlawed vehicle that wouldn't be considered against the law?" asked the Professor.
     "Well, since I never felt called to preach, I decided not to build it under everyone's noses. To the wilderness, dear friends--our carriage awaits!"
    10. I must love the idea enough to spend the time it takes to succeed in all the above points 
   (which happens to be a LOT of love, let me tell you)

Click cover to download
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! In honor of the subject, I dragged out one of my notebook studies on the writing craft (from the days when I had enough time to do such things!). Feel free to download the PDF, here.

Meanwhile, I'm heading over to enjoy all these other wonderful blogs, and learn something new today...

Paula Mowery on Creative Christian Writers Crank Up 

Delia Latham on Write Right!

Clare Revell on The World Can Wait  

Jayna Morrow on Jayna 

Brooksie on Groovie Brooksie

Julia M. Toto on

Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place (posting on Thursday)

Therese Travis at Paperfaces