I’ve had a few moments like this in my life, and while some were small, others were life changing.
I’m Mandi Blake, and I’m a new blogger here at Inspy Romance. Being asked to be a part of this wonderful group of authors who share their love of Christian romance is no small thing to me.
In the last few months, I’ve felt the need for a platform. I’m only thirty years old, but I’m sitting at the kids table when it comes to computers and the internet. I don’t even update my own website, so starting my own blog wasn’t something I knew how to do.
And then one day, I was asked to join the Inspy Romance blogging team, and I just smiled. The Lord knew about that stirring in my heart, and he provided the perfect opportunity.
This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed the Lord’s perfect timing. I’ve been an avid reader most of my life. I devoured books. My first two jobs were in bookstores, and they had to kick me out at closing time. I often showed up on my off days. I couldn’t get enough.
As much as I loved reading, it never occurred to me that I might enjoy writing my own stories. I graduated with a bachelor degree in English where I happily submitted an in depth undergrad thesis. I still didn’t feel the need to write fiction. I was happy reading. Why would I write something new when others had done that for me?
Then I married my husband, and I immediately wanted to start a family. Being a mother had always ranked higher than a successful career in my life goals, and I was eager to make my dream a reality.
But God’s plans weren’t the same as mine, and I was made to wait. That’s when I learned to trust His timing.
When my daughter was born, she didn’t sleep through the night for the first thirteen months, and I started reading during those sleepless nights. On average, I read a book a night.
Then, I started writing down ideas. They didn’t have much structure or meaning, but I started to believe I could write a story of my own. About six months later, I had the first draft of a book I’d written on my phone in the midnight hours. It wasn’t very good, and it didn’t have a purpose. It just sat there, reminding me of those nightly snuggles with my daughter.
Then one day I was sitting in church, and I had a life-changing idea. That stagnant story was supposed to be Christian fiction. The book was bland and lifeless, but it needed the Lord’s words. After that, I asked God to guide my words and make the book what He intended it to be.
That was almost two years ago. Since then, I’ve published ten Christian romance books filled with characters who lean on God’s word, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
He has opened every door for me, and each book I’ve written has been to share the amazing things He has done for me. I started writing the Unfailing Love series, and those books will forever hold a special place in my heart. The characters are not immune to struggles because being a Christian doesn’t mean life will be easy. Many of them are also looking for a place to call home, and they’ll find it in Christ.
When the Unfailing Love series was finished with six books, I started the Blackwater Ranch series. I wanted to feature a similar small-town setting as the Unfailing Love series, but I also felt called to highlight my own upbringing. I grew up on a cattle farm in rural Alabama, and farming has been a way of life for my family since before I was born.
Last year, Tara Grace Ericson invited me to join a multi-author series she was planning, and the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series was born. My book, Rescued by the Hero, is the first book in the Christian Christmas series, and a new story will release in this series every other week until the middle of December 2020. We’ve worked hard to bring you a unique series filled with loveable characters in a sweet Christmas town nestled in the Rocky Mountains.
Writing has never been a solitary task for me. I love talking about books and the messages that can be found within them, so I would be thrilled if you would connect with me on the social platform you love most.
Are you a reader who likes to write too? Poetry, journaling, short stories, or even novels? Share your love of reading or writing in the comments.