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Love That Lasts Podcast with Alyssa Bethke

Do you listen to the Love That Lasts Podcast with Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke?

Alyssa and I met 8 years ago and snapped this photo. She grew up reading the Christy Miller books and recognized me. It felt so random at the time.

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We never dreamed we’d stay connected, share many deep conversations, write a book together titled, Spoken For and then end up living near each other in the same small community.

Alyssa and her husband Jeff invited me to come over last week and chat for one of their Love That Lasts podcasts.

Well, Alyssa and I started sharing the way we do whenever we meet up for one of our from-the-heart talks. Let’s just say we ended up recording enough to fill several podcasts.

The first one airs this week on Love That Lasts podcast with Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke. I’m so happy to invite you into the conversation!

If you follow me on social media you’ve probably noticed that we’re celebrating the Christy Miller series with a giveaway each week during the month of July. Can you believe it’s been 30 years since the first book, Summer Promise released?Married Years Month

This week you’ll find the Christy & Todd: The Married Years series on sale for only $10 a book in my Online Shop.

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Christy Miller’s Birthday Month

Did you know that it took me 2 years to write the first Christy Miller novel and it was rejected by 10 publishers? 

It would have made sense to give up. But at just the right time, with just the right publisher Summer Promise went into print and released on July 5, 1988. That first book led to a series of 12 stories about Christy in her High School years with 3 cover changes over the years.

Which cover was on your first copy of Summer Promise?SummerPromiseCovers

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I’ve continued writing stories about these characters and there are now 43 books about Christy and her Forever Friends.

You can read summaries and listen to a few pages in my Online Shop.

Moms who grew up with Christy are now reading the stories again with their own daughters. Young girls who love to read are discovering the books for the first time.

 

What’s Next?

The Christy Miller AUDIO BOOKS will be available soon!
The Christy Miller WEBSITE will launch in a few weeks!
The Christy Miller Series Official account is now up on INSTAGRAM!
The possibility of the stories going into film production keeps riding the roller coaster of maybe yes — maybe no. I keep praying and I know that many of you have been praying with me for years. Don’t stop!

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God’s hand of blessing has been on this series and that’s why we like to celebrate every July. Our favorite way of saying thank you and God bless you to all you Beautiful Readers is by making the books available in my Online Shop at the lowest discounts we’re able to offer.

Perhaps you know a young girl (or guy!) in this generation who would benefit from these books. The verse below is the one I wrote on a card when I was writing Summer Promise. I framed it and put it in the kitchen windowsill where I looked at it every day and prayed for you Beautiful Readers before that first book was even finished — before many of you were even born!
God has extravagantly answered my prayer. Now I’m asking Him for MORE!

Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.

Psalm 102:18

 

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Happenings For You

 

4 Happenings For You

1. Writers!

 

2018 Summer Conference

Is it time to get serious about your writing? Join me at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference August 20-23, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. Kim Meeder and I will be the Keynote Speakers. I hope to see you there! Click here

2. Gift Idea for Mother’s Day

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A Pocketful of Hope For Mothers
is available now at most Barnes and Noble stores and in my
Robin’s Nest BookShop

3. Did you see the first two Father Christmas movies?
Marrying Father Christmas, the third Hallmark Movie inspired by my Father Christmas novels is scheduled to air this November on the Hallmark Movies & Mystery Channel.

IMG_5281My agent, Janet and I loved every minute of being on set in March with the actors and crew.  And yes, we got to be extras again this year! Watch for us in the tree lighting scene (if we make it past the editing stage.)

4. A new book about Christy!
I’m writing a new novel in a new series that will release in 2019 from Multnomah, a division of Random House.
Both Christy and Sierra along with Jennalyn from The Baby Years series are main characters in this new story. The tale is woven between five women in their thirties who are doing life together and drawing closer in a circle of experiences and celebrations.

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Springtime Dreams

IMG_6577I once heard my grandmother say,

“Every spring God says to His creation, ‘Okay. One more time.’”

That memory keeps falling on me like pink blossoms as I head out this week to be on set for the filming of the third Hallmark movie based on my Father Christmas novels. The third movie!

In a hidden place in my heart, (the cozy corner where God and I share secrets), it’s as if He is saying, “Okay. One more time.”

After the Hallmark project I fly to Los Angeles to work with a different producer on a different film project. What will come of it? I don’t know. But I’m showing up and praying lots and hoping with all my heart that God says, “Okay. One more time.”

This morning I put aside the two binders of scripts and notes and schedules and printed emails. I stopped thinking about what to pack and I sat quietly before the Author and Finisher of my faith. I consecrated myself to Him anew. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. Yet, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What a mysterious balance is found in these two truths in John 15 and Philippians 4. That balance has kept me going over the past few years as I have faced of many obstacles. My continual prayer has been for wisdom and direction.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal today. I hope it brings you courage as you live out the same mysterious balance in your life regardless of the obstacles.

Do it again, God

Speak to me

I, too, am Your creation

Say the words, One more time 

Create something out of nothing the way You did

In the beginning

Send Your Spirit to brood over the deep

Plant a garden in the Eden of my soul

Awaken the springtime blossoms hidden in winter darkness 

Make something new in me, of me, through me, in spite of me

Leave Your fingerprints on everything You touch

So it will be evident

You are the Author and Finisher of it all

For more encouragement from my Mama Robin heart to yours, read A Pocketful of Hope. Available now at BookShop.robingunn.com

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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New Gift Book – A Pocketful of Hope for Mothers

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This new gift book is especially for you, Beautiful Readers

I partnered with Tyndale House Publishers to create this special collection of personal stories, heartwarming quotes and favorite verses that will bring hope to mothers of all ages.

You’ll find copies available for Pre-Order NOW in my Robin’s Nest BookShop 

Release Date March 20, 2018

If you read Sunset Lullaby you’ll recognize A Pocketful of Hope as the book from which Christy read the vignette, “More Than”. I included that piece in the Christy&Todd Baby Years novel because I wrote those words for my own daughter as I was watching her become a “More Than” mama.

To be honest, I feel pretty vulnerable sharing this new book with you. It’s because all the stories are personal. They were lifted from my journals and drawn  from conversations I’ve shared with many young moms. I didn’t include names of the women who inspired the tender thoughts but I think you will recognize your own life on these pages. I pray that this book, written from my Mama Robin heart, will bring you renewed hope.

Here’s a sample of the whimsical design you’ll find in A Pocketful of Hope.

Visit Robin’s Nest BookShop for more sneak peeks.

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Christmas Traditions

Nativity

When our children were young our Christmas Eve tradition was to gather before bedtime and listen while my husband read Luke chapter 2. One year when the cousins were visiting we gave them five minutes to pick a role, find a costume and assemble in their own version of a Nativity. This picture still makes my heart smile. They are now grown, married and have children of their own.

As you can see, the bridesmaid dress from my sister’s wedding made a beautiful blue gown for Mary. Our daughter’s ballet tutu and a hand towel transformed my oldest nephew into a solemn wise guy. I mean, wise man. Add a couple of bath robes, an angel gazing adoringly, a stuffed lamb and a bottle of canola oil (hidden behind Joseph in the pink pillowcase head dress) and the reenactment was complete.

The true story of Christmas is this simple. Unto us, a child is born.

And yet that heaven-come-to-earth moment it unimaginably complex. God’s intervention changed everything forever.

The Word became flesh and moved into our neighborhood. God kept His promise and sent His Son to redeem us.

Emmanuel – God is WITH us.

My prayer for all of you this Advent season is that you would sense God’s presence more than you ever have. He is with you.  Come as you are. Adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Sunset Lullaby

I’d like to tell you a story.

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When I was writing Sunset Lullaby, the 3rd book in the Christy & Todd: The Baby Years series, I had serious back issues. I finished the last few chapters lying on my stomach with my arms extended to the laptop keyboard.

One afternoon my husband heard me sobbing. He ran into my office to see me stretched out on the floor. I couldn’t stop crying. He was about to dial 911 when I finally caught my breath and said, “I finished it! The ending of this book . . .” I gave a quivering gasp “I didn’t see it coming until I typed the last three pages. It felt like it really happened.

He sat beside me and asked me to read the end of the book to him. Then he started crying. It was the hee-hee laughing sort of crying he does whenever he sees a God thing happening. We both laughed and cried. Such a journey.

I have been writing about Christy and her Forever Friends for 30 years. Christy was 14 in the first book. She celebrates her 30th birthday in Sunset Lullaby. There are a total of 45 books about these characters. I’ve included the complete list below.

All I can say is what an adventure it is when you trust God step by step. You never know how He will lead you or how He will use the work of your hands to bless others and expand His kingdom.

Complete List of Books

by Robin Jones Gunn

Featuring Christy Miller and her Forever Friends

Including the Main Characters that Appear in Each Book

Christy Miller Collection

Volumes 1,2,3 and 4 – 12 books total

(Christy, Todd, Katie, Sierra)

Sierra Jensen Collection

Volumes 1,2,3 and 4 – 12 books total

(Sierra, Christy, Katie)

Departures

(Christy, Sierra)

Christy & Todd: The College Years

Until Tomorrow

As You Wish

I Promise

(Christy, Todd, Katie, Sierra)

Katie Weldon Series

Peculiar Treasures

On a Whim

Coming Attractions

Finally & Forever

(Katie, Eli, Christy, Todd)

Christy Miller’s Diary

(Christy, Todd)

Christy & Todd: The Married Years

Forever With You

Home of Our Hearts

One More Wish

(Christy, Todd, Katie, Sierra)

Christy & Todd: The Baby Years

Sandy Toes

Salty Kisses 

Sunset Lullaby 

Glenbrooke Series

Whispers

(Teri Moreno’s love story – Terri appeared in Christy Miller Vol 2)

Sunsets

(Alissa Benton’s love story – Alissa appeared in Christy Miller Vol 1, 2 and in One More Wish)

Standalone Novels

Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii

(Sierra Jensen’s love story)

Canary Island Song

(Todd’s dad’s love story)

Cottage by the Sea

(More of Sierra’s story)

Forever Friends Journal

(currently out of print)

Please know, dear Peculiar Treasures, that I pray for you each time I write a new book. You can be sure that I’m praying for you now because yes, I’m writing a new book. Page by page, prayer by prayer. I hold you in my heart.

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Engaging Father Christmas Behind the Scenes

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Engaging Father Christmas

A Hallmark Movie

What an honor it was to be on set during the filming of Engaging Father Christmas with these wonderful actors!

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Finding Father Christmas

broke the network record by being the

#1 Most Watched and Highest Rated film for 2016.

Thank YOU, dear Beautiful Readers.

Your support made this film successful and paved the way to the sequel, Engaging Father Christmas.

I have a few important viewing dates for you but first I want to tell you about a special moment on set. Wendie Malick was running lines before they started filming inside Rose Cottage. She turned toward where I was standing in the background, pointed at me and said, “Robin, I love the way you write.”

Photo Jun 20, 5 23 44 PM There were at least two dozen crew members busy doing their jobs in the crowded space. They took turns glancing at me curiously because they had no idea who I was or why Janet and I were there getting in their way. The director spoke up and said, “Treat her like royalty. She’s the reason we all have jobs.”

I saw once again how important it is to tell good stories. It’s essential that writers do the hard work and write credible tales of love and reconciliation and redemption. This art form of writing stories, scripting them and seeing actors bring the truths to life is essential in our culture.

Books and movies are mirrors. When we look into them and see a reflection of what has gone awry in our own lives we find courage to extend grace, right a wrong and chose to love.

Engaging Father Christmas airs

November 12th

on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel

 

DVD

Finding Father Christmas

will be available in DVD on October 2, 2017.

When you join in the fun of sending out a tweet or post about the new movie be sure to include #EngagingFatherChristmas. For more updates, be sure to sign up for the Robin’s Nest Newsletter!

 

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A New Hallmark Movie — It’s Happening!

Hallmark is producing Engaging Father Christmas as one of their 2017 Christmas movies! This is what my desk looks like right now and it feels like a huge God-thing.

The principal actors from Finding Father Christmas all signed on and I’ve been invited to go on set for three days later this month.

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I’ll be posting lots of photos and video while I’m on set. Be sure to join my Instagram account and sign up to receive the Robin’s Nest Newsletter. I want you to share all the fun moments on set with Niall Matter, Erin Krakow and Wendie Malick.

Summer Reading

Some of you have read, How My Book Became a Movie and you know how difficult it was for me to write “Engaging Father Christmas”. You read how I almost gave up and never finished writing this story.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever guess

Engaging Father Christmas

would one day become a movie!

Do you need encouragement in the midst of something difficult you’re going through? I hope you’ll read How My Book Became a Movie. You’ll find yourself ready to dare to dream again and you might even #AskForTheMoon. Best of all, you’ll be supporting LittWorld, a wonderful ministry that provides training for writers in difficult places in the world.

Are you curious about how my husband and I ended up moving to Hawai’i almost seven years ago? I shared all the vulnerable details of the painful circumstances that brought us here in my book Victim of Grace. This book is also available at Audible.com. You can listen to me reading about my favorite women in the Bible as well as sharing glimpses of the writing life I’ve experienced over the past thirty years.

Summer Contests

My clever team is putting together some lovely FREE giveaways, downloads and drawings that will be announced over the next few months. Be sure to stay connected on my social media and watch for the next Robin’s Nest Newsletter with all the details.

For those of you who have been so faithful about praying for me, especially in the area of film productions, please pray during the next few weeks while I’m traveling and on set. My prayer is that my life would radiate God’s irresistible love and grace in every situation.

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Spring Babies

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April brought two babies into our lives.

Our son and his wife welcomed this precious bundle of Sweetness – our first granddaughter! Their 3 year-old is enraptured with her and so are we. A 7-hour plane ride separates us so we’re counting the days until we can go visit.

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BABY YEARS - New Release Salty Kisses - Wide BannerThe second baby of April is a book-baby.

Salty Kisses released April 28th and the reader reviews have been terrific for this 2nd book in the Christy & Todd: the Baby Years series.

It’s crazy to think that when I started writing about Christy Miller and her Forever Friends our own two children were babies. Now our children are married and having babies of their own. It seems fitting that these imaginary characters are having babies, too.

I hope you enjoy catching up with Christy in the new Baby Years series!

 

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