Bill Sanderson's Blog

September 17, 2014

I don't normally respond to reviews because I want my readers to feel free to criticise my work, which I am well aware is not close to perfect. However...

One reader posted a review criticizing the foul language in one of my books. The decision to allow bad guys to use bad language was a conscious one on my part. I held a long internal debate while I was editing the work for publication and came to the conclusion that the bad guy needed to have some visible markers of being bad, and having lived in the neighbourhood I was describing, I know how they speak.

Because I tag many of my books as Christian, I understand that some people will pick up my books expecting compliance to the CBA standards. But I will always choose reality over political correctness. Therefore my bad guys are bad. It is shown in their attitudes, actions and language.

As well, Christians of my acquaintance occasionally use foul language when provoked. New seekers and converts especially have a period where their old bad habits often come to the fore. I have been frequently tempted and occasionally give voice to the foul language in my head, usually when I stub my toes on our oak rocking chair. I ask forgiveness immediately and vow to suppress it in future, knowing that I will fail and trusting that the Lord will forgive me yet again.

Evil does exist in the world and God does allow people to reject him. All God's children go to heaven but not all of his creations accept the offer of adoption that makes them His children. And I choose words that will make that clear to the reader.

I am well aware that my writing does not fully comply with the Christian Booksellers Association guidelines and that some of my readers feel that tagging my work as Christian is misleading. But the CBA is not the authority on what is or is not Christian fiction, only on what they feel is appropriate for their members to sell.

Update
Now that I've calmed down a bit, I realized that the reviewer had a valid point underneath the review, so I have put a profanity warning in the description of the book in question.
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Published on September 17, 2014 08:11 • 194 views

September 11, 2014

Cassie Marcussen is on the street because her stepfather is hitting on her. Frank Ellis spots her and is moved to help. But neither expected that they would be married the next day.

Frank is very rich; Cassie is very poor. But after the seeds of love are planted they grow together, despite his family's opposition and her PTSD.

Right now, the book is only available at Smashwords, at this link. It should be available at the usual ebooksellers (Apple, Barnes & Noble, Blio, Flipkart, Kobo, Oyster, and Scribd) in a few days.
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Published on September 11, 2014 06:57 • 251 views

April 18, 2014

I was asked to present a meditation on the second word at our Good Friday service. This is what I said:

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

Crucifixion is possibly the most painful, gruesome and humiliating way for a human to be publicly put to death. Our word for the highest degree of pain is excruciating from the Latin ex crucio, from the cross.

Rome and other ancient empires deliberately used crucifixion as an object lesson to its subjects. It was a punishment reserved for slaves, pirates and traitors – the lowest of the low. The mocking sign above Jesus head was particularly sarcastic – labelling a person king yet executing them as though they had less status than a slave.

The stronger the person being executed, the longer they lasted on the cross before they died, the longer they suffered the pain. After they died the body would be left on the cross, unless the deceased had rich friends, to continue the object lesson that defying Rome had consequences.

Jesus, the true king, is crucified in between two other convicts. Tradition says that the men were highwaymen who waylaid, killed and robbed travellers who passed through the desert on the road south from Jerusalem. The authorities place Jesus in between two men who are no better than pirates, thus implying that Jesus is himself no better than either of the two notorious highwaymen or even in league with them.

For some length of time, perhaps an hour, perhaps four, depending on whose timeline you believe, Jesus was continually mocked by the assembled crowd. He was mocked by the thieves themselves, at least at first. The crowd, out for an afternoon of free entertainment, mocked Jesus for his supposed pretensions. The thieves mocked him because an all-powerful Messiah would be able to save himself and them from this excruciating humiliation. But Jesus chooses not save to himself, therefore, in the eyes of the crowd he cannot be the Messiah that they expect.

But over the minutes and hours of hanging on the cross in dreadful pain in that terrible place under the hot sun, one of the thieves begins to observe that Jesus is not reacting as expected. Jesus does not turn inward to a place of endurance; he does not shut out the crowd nor does he rail at them. The bandit hears Jesus quote Psalm 22 and realizes that Jesus has truly forgiven the crowd and him with them.

Then the impenitent thief makes one final plea to Jesus to save him from this earthly torment. If you are the Messiah save yourself, and more importantly, save me.

The penitent thief, convinced of Jesus’ authority, rebukes his fellow highwayman. The words of the penitent make it clear that he fears God enough to know that he had done wrong; that he was going to a deserved fate. He acknowledges Jesus’ innocence and his own guilt.

Then he does something remarkable. He asks Jesus for a boon. Not a great boon in the eyes of the world but a boon nonetheless. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

In the eyes of the world this is true folly. A condemned murderer and thief asking a convicted enemy of Rome to remember him when, not if, but when he comes into his kingdom. He does not ask pardon. He does not ask forgiveness. He does not ask for a place at the table or even a menial job in the stables. He asks only that Jesus remember him.

Then Jesus does something equally remarkable. He demonstrates yet again that he has true authority, the authority of a king, and grants that boon. Those hearing the words without faith would interpret them as merely comforting words from one misguided criminal to another. But Jesus again reveals, in the midst of the most painful humiliating death imaginable, that he is Lord of all.

And he said to the penitent thief, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

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Published on April 18, 2014 15:41 • 224 views • Tags: christian

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to all.

The story of Jesus birth has four visits from angels. Angels are not cute and cuddly beings. They are angelos, messengers, from the Creator of everything.

As Father Paul was speaking I was reminded that every angel has the phrase 'fear not' in the record of the conversation.

I remembered the time that I was peremptorily summoned to the Minister's office to explain the details of some audit finding. Of course the messenger did not, being human, tell me to 'fear not'. So I arrived, full of fear and trepidation, trying to compose myself so that I could speak clearly and factually about the unknown topic of the meeting.

It turned out to be quite routine. The Minister herself was not present, only one of her senior advisors. The political implications of the file I was working on depended somewhat on whether the malefactor I had identified was the COO or the chairman of the organization. The COO was politically connected with the Minister's party, the chairman was not.

A few questions and a short discussion later I was dismissed. I did comment that I would have appreciated knowing the topic of the meeting so I could be better prepared.

But the memory of that fear came back to me while Father Paul was speaking about the angels. If I can get that worked up about a surprise meeting with the Minister of my Department, how much greater would be my shock and fear if the Lord of the entire universe sent a messenger directly to me.

No wonder the angel had to reassure everyone.
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Published on December 25, 2013 05:24 • 176 views

June 13, 2013

I'm currently hip deep in a major audit project that is draining quite a lot of my creative energy but I am finding some time to write.

The story of Cassie, the runaway, and Frank, the billionaire's grandson is closest to completion. There are a few scenes that still need to be written and a complete edit and continuity check needs to be done. I'm hoping to be able to publish that in July or August. The working title is Building Trust.

The Woman on the Bus
, the story of Heather, a pregnant widow, and Jim, who lives in fear of losing his sobriety and temper, is beginning to reassert itself in my head. That one has got the potential for a spin-off as well.

I seem to generate story ideas faster than I can write them, which is good because it means I'm never without company. There is also a Regency novel in the works, about one of the Huxley sisters I introduced in The Vicar's Daughter.

In all, I have about a dozen outlines and another six concepts waiting to inspire me. And it is always possible that a Bible verse or sermon will inspire me to take a sidetrack and end up with a book, as happened with both Running Home and A Brother's Duty.

And to think, I had been wondering what I would do after I retired.
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Published on June 13, 2013 07:59 • 215 views

March 12, 2013

My wife is a volunteer with an outreach mission to homeless people and the conversation often turns to some of the challenges that face people on the streets. In December, Environment Canada issued a wind chill warning advising that the temperatures could drop below minus 45.

The person speaking with my wife made the offhand comment that he hoped the police were stepping up patrols near the strip clubs because a lot of the girls on the street would probably hang around trying to pick up a guy who could offer them a warm bed.

That got me to thinking about what sort of girl would be that desperate and what sort of white knight would come to her rescue.

Cassandra finds herself married to her workaholic prince and tossed into the deep end of his dysfunctional family and high society life. Frank, who is a committed Christian, really does fall in love at first sight with his underage Cinderella with trust issues.

There are seeds of love on both sides and with careful nurturing, mutual respect and some false starts along the way, their relationship grows deeper, until Cassie finally trusts Frank enough to fully commit to him.

It's been interesting trying to imagine the challenges inherent in a marriage between a 31 year old successful businessman and a 17 year old young woman who is returning for her last year in high school.

There was one such couple that I knew, although not well, and they waited until after she graduated high school to marry. Very few people thought it was possible that they were actually in love with each other and there was some malicious gossip that she'd had a miscarriage shortly after they married. For the first ten years of their marriage they were seldom seen together in public because of it. The last I had news of them, they'd celebrated their twentieth anniversary and I hope that they will be able to celebrate number 38 this year.

I won't give a timeline for it to be completed but the writing is going well. There are 14 complete chapters and about 80,000 words of a planned 98,000 or so.

In the mean time, if you'd like to read some of my work, both Running Home and A Brother's Duty are free at Smashwords, the Nook Store, and other ebook retails.

Running Home by Bill Sanderson A Brother's Duty by Bill Sanderson The Vicar's Daughter (Huxleys #1) by Bill Sanderson Getting His Attention by Bill Sanderson Choosing Hope by Bill Sanderson A May-September Wedding by Bill Sanderson
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Published on March 12, 2013 12:34 • 225 views

March 4, 2013

My distributor, Smashwords is having its annual sitewide promotion - Read An Ebook Week - from March 3 to 9.

I have entered a 100% off coupon for The Vicar's Daughter and 50% off coupons for my other books.

Please visit to see what some of my fellow independent romance authors are writing. Many of them have also registered 100% off coupons to tempt you to give them a try.
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Published on March 04, 2013 08:51 • 176 views

December 24, 2012

To my readers and especially to those who have taken the time to give me feedback via ratings and reviews, thank you for your support in the past year.

Christmas is a time when we count our blessings and give thanks for the many gifts that God manifests in our lives. I would like to thank my family for their support and to my many friends, colleagues and acquaintances for their stories, some of which mutate and conflate to become parts of my books.

May He always bring you blessings, even the ones that seem like the darkest trials at the time, and bring you joy and contentment in their season. Christmas is a reminder that great things come from humble beginnings and that temporal power and riches are no guarantee of long term success. May your prayers always be answered and may He always teach you to recognize when they are.

Merry Christmas everyone and may God shower his blessings upon you each and every day.
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Published on December 24, 2012 10:29 • 141 views • Tags: christmas-thanks

November 27, 2012

It's published and I've already found three typos in the .epub version I'm reviewing.

For now, it's only available through Smashwords. Click here to go to the page.

I've decided that this book should also be free.

I hope you enjoy it but regardless I'd like to hear your thoughts via reviews or ratings.

Update:

Now available at Kobo.
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Published on November 27, 2012 06:42 • 197 views • Tags: free

November 16, 2012

I wish I was a trained artist. I have a concept for the artwork for Brother's Duty but my hands won't obey my imagination.

Good visual images are both a sales tool and an indicator of the content. But far too often the covers can be somewhat misleading.

Recently I read a book that featured a protagonist who is described as having Native American features. The cover shows a very handsome man but neither his skin tone nor his features looked remotely like any of the many Native Americans I've known over the years. Another book described the heroine as having straight dark auburn hair and amber eyes but the model in the cover photo was a redhead with pale blue eyes. I can't imagine the authors were entirely happy with the covers.

Suffice it to say that it may take longer than I was expecting to release A Brother's Duty because I'd like something more attractive than the kinds of plain bindings common in the 1800s.
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Published on November 16, 2012 08:20 • 103 views