All posts by Lynne Collier/Author

Hello. My blogs are mostly about my work as a writer of Speculative Fiction, my faith as a Christ follower, and my childhood in mid-century England. My hope is that something I say will put a smile on your face today and encourage you in your journey.​

RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED. part 2

My Parents as Teens in West Yorkshire in the 1950’s

– part 2 of my memoir “RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED”

My parents were teenagers when they met. Two young kids from a small town in West Yorkshire, England. Theirs was a small town full of woollen mills and factories. Where most people eked out a small wage and dreams were even smaller. No one dared have lofty ideas of world travel and fame. Their thoughts were on paying rent and buying enough food for the day. Entertainment was a couple of beers at the local pub and, if they were fortunate enough to be able to save a few shillings, a bus trip to the seaside at Bank Holiday time.

Lyndon was seventeen. A young merchant seaman. The son of a coal merchant and a housekeeper. ‘Coal merchant’ may be a tad misleading if you envisioned a smart businessman in a suit, sitting behind a mahogany desk in a downtown office. My grandfather, Arthur, rode a horse and cart down the cobbled back streets, delivering coal to residents. He collected the coal from a depot in huge bags and tipped it into a hole at the back of the house (if there was a back of the house). The hole had a grate that he’d remove and replace when he’d done. The hole led to the cold, damp cellar. Then off he’d go to the next-door neighbour’s house to do the same. The horse dutifully stepping slowly down the tar-covered street. At the end of the day, they’d trot down to the field at the bottom of the row houses. The weary horse would be fed and patted, and told she was a ‘good lass’ before the weary old man shuffled home. It was a hard life, as were many in the small town in the Pennines.

photo by Terry Sayers on Pixabay

Grandad Calvert also owned many single-car garages and rented those to residents of the row houses. Quite often, there would be a row of houses followed by a row of toilets, followed by a row of garages as time progressed. The houses were attached, often without a back door because there was another row of houses attached at the back. These were often referred to as ‘one-up one-down’ homes. The row of toilets were the same, back to back. Not a lot of privacy, and newspapers for toilet paper. At least we had an advantage during the Covid pandemic. We remembered what we learned as children–use the stock market page!

My father didn’t live with Grandad Calvert. When he was home from his tour of duty he lived with his mother, Edith, a housekeeper, and her sister, Ada, who didn’t work at the time. I don’t know if Ada ever had a job. I know the women worked the factories during the war effort but I don’t know if she worked anywhere after that. Funny how children just don’t feel the need to ask. Now, as an older woman myself, I wish I’d asked more while I still could.

~read the first episode of RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED here~

And you can find more photos of 1950s England on my Pinterest board including a photo of an outdoor loo!

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

If you followed my work during NaNoWriMo 2019, you’ll maybe remember my novel was about lies and deception in a small Canadian town. The story follows a middle-aged woman (my unlikely hero) and the local church community. Hence the title of my blog A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. I published my novel last October.

I’d like to share with you the talent of my wonderful artist, Gustavo Ruiz, who created the perfect expression of my antagonist. Just look at those eyes! This image is one of the introductory pages of the novel.

A wolf in sheep's skin
art by Gustavo Ruiz

“ABUNDANT LIFE” is now available on Amazon.

Want to read some of scenes from the first draft? They’re in Book Bites. In the rough. Unedited or revised.

Til next time, know you’re loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

RESCUED-REDEEMED-RESTORED

This Is My Story

This is my story. A story of God’s awesome power to rescue, redeem and restore. And His immeasurable love.

I’ve struggled with writing my memoir for many years. I’m finally taking a course about it and I’ll share some of my first draft with you. Not complete chapters but maybe a scene or two. And not much editing. This is the messy draft. The final draft may take a while…

Writing the story of my life seemed a little daunting, if not overwhelming, staring at the blank screen. After all, I’ve lived many years. So many stories to tell. But I set out to, above all else, tell the theme of my life. And I think the three words at the beginning convey that well.

As I sit here at my desk, fingers poised over the keyboard, I wonder how I will write this story of mine. I’m just an ordinary person, not a celebrity or politician that I have vast amounts of knowledge or scathing, deep secrets to shed on the world. But maybe you’ve had enough of that by now and my story will bring you back from the chaos even for one brief moment in time. Back to a place of reflection on the simple fact that God is here. He always is. He always has been. He hasn’t forgotten any of us and He isn’t content for us to be swept away in the torrent of disparity and hopelessness.

RESCUED   REDEEMED   RESTORED

Image of a girl on a swing over water
photo by Susan Cipriano, Pixabay

When I was a young child, I always had a strange fascination with death. Not that I was a violent person—far from it—but that death held a mystery no one seemed to be able to adequately explain. It crept into my thoughts when I least expected it and took up residence in the recesses of my mind.

My walk to school as a 5-year-old was past the graveyard of a church. It was a pleasant walk on the other side of the hand-made stone wall with English ivy creeping slowly across the cracks. But I didn’t walk with the other children where the graves were hidden. No, I walked on the inside, between the headstones, careful not to step on a grave and be disrespectful. Reading the names and dates and how the people who had gone before died, I learned about history. Even though I was still new to reading and I’m sure got it wrong many times, I was still fascinated by the quotes and bible verses chiselled on the headstones. And there was often a smushed toad to poke with a stick.

I used the spending money I received from my grandparents to buy trading cards about ‘The War of The Worlds’ and ‘Zombies’. When other eight-year-old girls were collecting fancy hairclips and cards of famous singers and ballerinas, I was fascinated by cards depicted decapitations by alien machinery and bodies rising from graves. Never the less, I was thought of a gentle soul in every way–and kind. Everyone said I would give away my last sweetie.

–This is a little backstory of my early years. An introduction to my life then. (I no longer collect horror cards but I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead!) Some things haven’t changed.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

Gifts of Good Words: Christian Suspense

 Follow the Gifts of Good Words Blog Hop taking place from November 4-18, 2020, and find quality Canadian Christian books for those on your Christmas list! Then on November 18th, join the Good Words Virtual Book Fair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/3376193032494045

I’m introducing my new Christian suspense novel Abundant Life: If you see it–does it exist?

Synopsis

“Maddie wants nothing more than a quiet, peaceful life in her small Canadian town but her husband is getting bored with his early retirement and searches for a project that will pocket him a few extra dollars for a trip abroad. He accepts an invitation from a newcomer to the church who has been talking about an innovative business opportunity. When Maddie gets drawn into the marketing group, she begins to see things which shouldn’t be happening and fears she may be losing her mind but others suspect it may be something much worse.”

My Inspiration

I wrote my novel as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge of 2018 after a strange dream started me thinking about deception around God’s Word. I had my own experience with false teachers to draw from and soon found I had a storyline evolving. It was a long process and required many hours of research to make sure my characters were based on factual personality traits. Writing it also immersed me more in scripture which was a delightful bonus.

My hope for my novel

The hero of my story is a middle-aged woman and her struggle with reality as she fights for unity in her church and town. I think it will appeal mostly to readers who enjoy a suspenseful story with a psychological twist. My hope is that it causes readers to dig deeper into God’s Word too.

A little about me and my church experience

I’ve been a churchgoer most of my life here in Canada and in England as a child. Having moved around a lot I attended various denominational churches with different points of view and Bible interpretations. About 20 years ago I became a regular attendee at a church which opened my eyes to inconsistencies and the falsehoods they advance. I learned to question my old beliefs and check them against scripture.

In recent years I’ve been involved with the Alpha course and been able to help new Christians, and those returning to faith, ground their beliefs in truth. It’s been a very rewarding experience.

Abundant Life by Lynne Collier, novel unboxed

You can find my book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UbXg53

Please check out books by my fellow Canadian Christian authors!

Wednesday, November 4—Ruth L. Snyder https://ruthlsnyder.com/2020/11/04/gifts-of-good-words-blog-hop/

Thursday, November 5—Eunice Matchett https://albertastoryteller.com/

Friday, November 6—Grace Wulff https://gracewulff.com/

Saturday, November 7—Tandy Balson https://www.timewithtandy.com/

Sunday, November 8—LD Stauth https://www.ldstauth-author.com/

Monday, November 9—Sally Meadows https://sallymeadows.com/

Tuesday, November 10—Janet Sketchley https://janetsketchley.ca/

Thursday, November 12—Marcia Laycock https://marcialeelaycock.com/

Friday, November 13—Ruth Meyer (on Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/events/3376193032494045

Saturday, November 14—Laurie Haughton http://lensofmotherhood.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 15—Carolyn Wilker https://www.carolynwilker.ca/

Monday, November 16—Janice Cox https://www.janiscox.com/

Tuesday, November 17—Lynne Collier https://lynnecollier.com

Wednesday, November 18—Barrie Doyle https://barriedoyle.com/

See you on the blog hop.

Blessings,

Lynne

New Novel Cover Reveal

Here’s My New Novel Cover & Synopsis

Maddie wants nothing more than a quiet, peaceful life in her small Canadian town but her husband is getting bored with his early retirement and searches for a project that will pocket him a few extra dollars for a trip abroad. He accepts an invitation from a newcomer to the church who has been talking about an innovative business opportunity. When Maddie gets drawn into the marketing group, she begins to see things which shouldn’t be happening and fears she may be losing her mind, but others suspect it may be something much worse.”

Abundant Life by Lynne Collier, novel unboxed
Abundant Life novel unboxed by Lynne Collier

And here’s the third teaser for the draw —

Will he make all their dreams come true—or is he plunging them into a nightmare?

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

Book Teaser #2

Here’s the second teaser in the Countdown Launch of my new novel. Be sure to ‘like’ the post to enter the draw for a copy of the book. And head over to my Facebook page and ‘like’ that too for a second chance to win. The draw will be on Thursday, Oct 29th.

Can she get through to her husband—or will he be drawn away by a pretty face and a red sports car?

Red sports car

‘Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

First Book Teaser

Ok, I couldn’t wait until next week.

Here’s the first teaser. Be sure to like the post to enter the draw!

Is Maddie losing touch with reality—or is it everyone else?

Til next time–Remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

Book Launch Giveaway

Watch for a Giveaway coming next week!

My new novel is ready for launching. I’m so excited.

It’s a contemporary suspense about lies and deception in a small town. I blogged about it last year in Book Bites as I was revising it from a previous NaNoWriMo challenge.

I’ll be posting teasers and gems as a Launch Countdown each day next week and doing a draw on the 29th.

2 winners will receive a signed copy of my new book.

Be sure to follow me on my Facebook Author Page for a chance to win!

And ‘like’ this blog for a second chance to win!

And remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

Opening a box from Amazon

Poem For Ephesians

Have you ever received a fantastic review for a book or had someone buy a bunch of them for a study group? Feels amazing, doesn’t it? If not yet then plod on, author. It took me quite some time to get a review on Amazon or have a piece chosen for an anthology, but it did come eventually. Fellow authors have said the same. Plodding pays off.

I attended an online conference by The Word Guild this past summer and one of the courses was a 4-week Poetry Intensive by D.S. Martin who’s a Poet-In-Residence at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. Students had a weekly assignment to write a poem on a specific topic and have the group critique it. One of those assignments was to write a contemporary poem about a segment of our choice from the Book Of Ephesians. And I’m very honoured to announce my poem was published today in Poems For Ephesians!

You can read my poem here in the e-pub.

I’m very thankful to The Word Guild for making such a rewarding conference available as we all socially distance and to D.S Martin for sharing his knowledge and creativity with the group. And especially for choosing one of my poems for publication. I am totally chuffed!

I’m also grateful to fellow Christian poets in the group who gave such encouraging critiques on my attempts. I’m fairly new to poetry-writing and had many errors to correct as we edited and revised. It was an amazing experience.

How are you doing with your writing? Have you reached a goal, set a new one, or are you busy planning and plotting for your upcoming NaNo novel? I’d love you to share your WIPs in the comments.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image–and plod on, author 🙂

Lynne

Previous poetry:

CONTENTMENT

SONG OF THE BENEVOLENTS

SPENT

Contentment

An instructor from one of my online poetry classes gave us a list of words and asked us to choose one to write a poem in any form we chose. I chose to write in simple rhyme about the word “contentment”. I find I’m more at peace and full of contentment in my garden.

How do you find contentment?

CONTENTMENT

Children grown

Life’s my own.

Friends are few

That will do.

Birds they sing.

No phones ring.

Flowers dance,

Bunnies prance.

Slow now – good.

As I should.

It’s not hard

In my yard.

‘Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Blessing,

Lynne