An Invitation


I’ll begin with a confession:  for many years, life for me was about books. Reading. Writing. Editing. Self-editing. Getting published.

Then, one day. . .or maybe it was one year. . .or one decade. . .
Everything changed.

A close friend died, suddenly and without time to say good-bye.
Before I had time to recover, my father slipped away. My mother declined, raged against the dying of the light, and finally found her peace. Then my partner’s mother–one day vibrant and alive at 95, and gone the next.

And I realized:  Life’s not about publishing. It’s about living. It’s about loving the people around you. It’s about leaving something important behind–not cash assets or publishing credits, but a legacy of kindness and passion and purpose.

Life Beyond Books is. . .013_1

  • An affirmation of the enduring value of good writing
  • A platform for discussion about books and writers
  • A forum to bring writers and readers together
  • An opportunity to explore the connections between fiction and philosophical/spiritual truth

Come join me. Let’s spend some time together. Let’s talk about what has been meaningful to us in life, and where we find that meaning in fiction.

Ask questions. Raise issues for discussion. And if you discover something of value here, by all means share it. Text it, Tweet it, Facebook it. Let others know.

Open the gate. Find yourself. Find your truth.
In books. In life. In Life Beyond Books.

4 Responses to An Invitation

  1. bonnie blose says:

    Penelope, I host an internet talk show entitled Books And Beyond. I would love to have you appear as an upcoming guest. I can be reached at bookmaveappear as an upcoming guest.

  2. It’s marvellous, reading these books, it can change yourself, I’m just reading “Circle of Grace.”
    Today it was the chapter about Amanda who wirtes down her steps of live. Famous. I stopped reading and thought: I’ll do the same.
    I’m 51 and I’m in a chapter to think over about my “goals of live” where will I go to, what are my further destinations of live. What must I do to find the solution….?

  3. P. J. Stokes says:

    Thank you so much for your comments. I’m so pleased that Circle of Grace is having an impact on your life.

  4. Debra says:

    I just had to find a way to let you know how much I appreciate all the wonderful knowledge and insight you put into “The Complete Guide to Writing And Selling The Christian Novel.” I checked it out of the local library over and over and over again until I decided I just had to have a copy for myself. It answered questions I didn’t know to ask, in a way that inspired and encouraged me to keep on writing.

    I have to admit I don’t remember ever reading your novels but, believe me, I am headed to the library as we speak!

    After reading what your wrote about the children of Vietnam, I knew we were kindred spirits. I spent 4 years building and running an orphanage and community school in Zambia. The plight of children has been a passion for me ever since.

    I am doing the rewrite on my first novel, “Journey To Freedom.” It chronicles three people and their struggles to survive the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It’s about how their faith sustains them, their hope drives them, and God’s grace and mercy helps them to forgive. One of the characters is based on a dear friend of mine who, as an eleven year old girl, crossed three countries alone before she finds safe haven in Zambia.

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