2017 Year In Review – Read Your Bible

2017 Year In Review – Read Your Bible


Today is the final day of the year 2017 and it’s been a year I won’t forget. I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord in leaps and bounds while at the same time seen some of the most dismal sales months I have ever seen. In my publishing life this year I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t in big, big ways. For instance “traditionally published” looks cute on a list of accomplishments but means little in overall sales (at least in my experience). Another discovery I made this year in my publishing life is my readers primarily enjoy Christian Romance, not suspense or mystery (though some do like those other ones).

The biggest change I’ve seen this year has nothing to do with writing. It’s not something you will see on the evening news or read about in a newspaper tomorrow. You won’t find it on my list of books I’ve published this year either. No, but it’s the greatest change I’ve seen in my own life in years.

I hate to admit this, but it’s the truth. This year was the first time I seriously read my Bible from cover-to-cover. I’ve always read a daily devotional here, a sermon there, a few Scriptures just because, but a serious and heavy Bible reading schedule hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do. I had always longed for it in the past, often picking up the Bible for a week or two in a row, but only to forget or let it fall away because I “didn’t have enough time” or “I know what’s in there.” It wasn’t until August of this year I started to take reading my Bible serious. August and onward through the rest of the year was very trying in my personal life and I can’t help but think of Psalm 119:67, it says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.”

You see, at this time my sales were tumbling, I couldn’t afford the remaining year lease on my house (10 months left), my Dad had just finished fighting another blood clot, and my mother was battling skin cancer. I was so unsure of what to do. But you know what? Finding God’s strength, finding His shelter often happens when we become afflicted. Only happens when we need Him more than ever. It makes me sad to think about all the wasted years of my life I have spent not in daily reading of His Word and real in-depth prayer the way I am now, but it’s not good to dwell too much on the past.

So I realized reading the Bible isn’t that difficult. It only took roughly 90 days to finish reading the Bible starting a few books into the old testament (I forget where I started, I had done some reading earlier in the year and started from there). Here’s a nifty chart to break it down on how long it takes to read each book in the Bible.


So here’s what happened and shortly into my adventure of reading God’s word daily in heavy devotions. First, my prayer life blossomed. I naturally felt the need to do my side of communicating more (Praying is me talking to God, reading the Bible is God talking to me). Also, my marriage and children benefited. The more I read the Bible and aligned my mind and heart with His, the more God took over in my life, the more I saw changes for the better. I’ve been a Christian for a long time (since I was 12 years old, I’m 31 now), but I had been missing something significant in my life. POWER. Not my power, but God’s power in my life! Suddenly I wasn’t just trying to do the right thing in this circumstance or that situation, but I was doing it naturally because I was truly walking in the Spirit and in truth.

Another big improvement I’ve noticed through a closer and more intimate relationship with God is the love aspect. Honestly, my hunk of flesh doesn’t care for crowds, conversations or really people in general that much. But guess what? God does! I know it’s strange for the introverted book writer to be anti-social, right? Haha. The point of this is simple. God is working on that part of me and I’m seeing His changes for the good. Am I perfect? No. I’ll never be perfect, but I can still watch and see how God is moving in my life and the people around and that’s a reason to get pretty excited.

I know this isn’t the typical “year in review” type of post I have been doing the last couple years, but I think it’s by far the most important.

Listen. I know our lives can be busy and full of scheduled activities, but we have to ask ourselves a very important question. Where is God? Does He fit in where it’s comfortable? Or does He invade every aspect of our lives? His power should be evident in the believer’s life and a reflection of His glory and goodness.

This song below is one that has brought me to tears during service while singing. It’s so true. God gently brings us to our knees. He will reveal Himself to us in our lives, but we MUST put Him at the center, not just on the schedule.


Now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, let’s look at goals from 2017 and what God did. Then make some new goals.

Books Published in 2017

One Wednesday Dinner (Diamond Lake Series)

Walking in the Spirit

If Only

Because Of You

The Lies We Believe

In His Love

Love’s Return (Protected By Love Series)

Love’s Promise (Protected By Love Series)


Book not listed: Mark of Destiny (co-author project that ended up unpublished)


Looking back over 2017 Goals…

  1. Publish one book through a different avenue outside of self-publishing (Kindle Scout or Publishing House).
    Done. Published “If Only” with Kindle Scout/Kindle Press (Traditional Publishing House)
  2. Write 2 standalone novels
  3. Start and finish a series by the end of the year
    Done sort of… Wrote “Protected By Love” series, last one releases 1/2/2018.
  4. Start on a new series that will bleed into 2018
    Nope. I decided I won’t release longer series, but instead 3 or 4 book series only. Nothing currently released has a planned series.
  5. Attend one writing conference
    Yet to make it to one.


2018 Goals

  1. Publish two series.
  2. Release only Christian Romance (main genre for each release).
  3. Get in physical shape (seriously cliche, but c’mon… gotta try!)


Thinking over 2017 as I look forward to 2018 I can’t help but smile. God’s done so much in this little year of 2017, I can’t imagine what is next. No matter what happens, either in my personal life or in my writing life, I hope it all glorifies God.


What I learned in 2017…

Being traditionally published doesn’t matter.

God is in control.

Friends come and go.

God’s approval is the only approval I truly desire.

Love never fails.

Share the joy
  • 12


  1. Marj Sutton
    Marj Sutton January 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm .

    May God richly bless you in this year to come. Thank you for writing good, clean romances. God is our strength, our comfort, our salvation. May we walk with Him.

  2. Bev Jones
    Bev Jones January 4, 2018 at 6:47 am .

    This is so awesome T.K. Thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your life! As for myself, I also need to get into and stay into the Word much more consistently. I also need to work out more, but I have an issue with chronic pain. However, I get to participate in a pain therapy program sometime after I see my physician on the 8th so I am hoping that will help. I am really looking forward to it with a positive attitude that it will benefit me! I am told I probably will not be able to get off of all of my pain meds because my issue deals with my central nervous system. But by the grace of God and if it is His will, I WILL get off of all or at least part of them. They make me feel sluggish so I don’t want to do anything, and they are damaging to my organs. I also take some other meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, and depression. My goal is to get off of all or most of them in 2018.

    Also, I finally got my laptop and am getting it all set up with everything I need on it. I have just started reading your new series and hope to be caught up to you soon. I also have one of Juliette’s to read and review. So please forgive me for not keeping up with reading and reviews, but I know in the next few months God is going to pull me out of this funk I’ve been in because I am also going to dive into the Word and walk in the Spirit. I joined your wife’s group also and am already behind. My quiet time is more in the evening because I have an in-home care provider part of the day. With my central nervous issue, I am a fall risk. I am also going to be 63 in May so falling scares me because older people usually break a hip. That is another thing I hope to be rid of in 2018!

    Thank you again for sharing. It is an encouragement to me. I pray you have a blessed 2018, and I am looking forward to more of your books no matter what type they are. I have loved them all. If I had to choose, I think the Diamond Lake Series was my favorite. It’s on my bucket list to visit that inn. I can only imagine how beautiful it really is.

    As you think about it, I would appreciate your prayers for God’s will with my physical condition and also for my commitment to stay in the Word! I know you are busy so just from time to time would be awesome!

    Thanks again, and God bless as you embark on your journey for 2018.

  3. Lynn Gibbons
    Lynn Gibbons February 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm .

    Thank you so much for making your Christian Romances available in the Audible Romance Collection. I have just finished 6 of your books and moving on to the 7th. I have asked Audible to feature more of your books, and they said they need me to request titles by name. Is there a master list of all your books published? I will email them and request each and every name they don’t already carry. My email is Loklynn@gmail.com if you can email me a link to the list. Love your books!!! Thank you and God bless you and your family!

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