by Marcie Bridges @Marcie_Bridges

Guest Blogger Andrea Merrell @AndreaMerrell

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Hello Friends! 
Today we are doing something a bit different. My good friend Andrea Merrell has written a very personal story about how she and her husband struggled while their children strayed from home and their faith. Praying for the Prodigal: Encouragement and Practical Advice While Waiting for the Prodigal to Return is a very heart-felt, sincere, tear-jerking journey through their lives and it will be the most helpful tool you’ve ever read during your agonizing wait for your own prodigal to return. (I’ve read this book and I can’t wait to read it again and again!) 
Today Andrea answers questions about writing this book and at the end I’ll provide links for you to get your own copy! 

Welcome to Heart Thoughts Andrea! 
Thank you for sharing your story with us today… 

long have you been writing?

Writing has been a
joy for as long as I can remember, but my career took a serious turn fifteen
years ago when my husband and I attended a marriage retreat. One morning when
the speaker asked about hobbies and passions, I mentioned writing. “Yes, and
I’ll bet that’s at the bottom of your priority list,” was his response. When I
admitted it was, he said, “Well, it’s time to get it off the bottom and put it
on the top.” Then he leaned in a little closer and said, “After all, you’re not
getting any younger, you know!”
I went home, started
writing seriously, and have never turned back.
are also an editor. Can you tell us a little about what you do?

love words and have always had an eye for detail. About seven years ago, I
started proofreading the daily devotions for Christian Devotions Ministry. Not
long after that, I became a freelance editor and an associate editor with
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I enjoy using my editing skills to help
other writers become the best they can be. Being a newbie in the writing and
publishing industry can be very intimidating, and I always strive to be an
encourager and help to mentor those seeking to learn the trade and sharpen
their skills. If I can challenge a writer to keep moving forward, inspire them
to reach higher, and give them hope and encouragement, I feel my purpose has
been accomplished.

Do you ever teach at writers conferences?

I have taught classes
at Writers Boot Camp (the Asheville Christian Writers Conference), the Kentucky
Christian Writers Conference (KCWC), and the CLASS Christian Writers
Conference. It was also my honor, along with Meaghan Burnette, to do a
presentation for NSA Carolinas (National Speakers Association) on how to get
your manuscript ready for publication.

What are you currently working on?

The majority of my time is spent editing,
editing, editing. My biggest challenge is balancing my time between writing and
editing. With the release of my new book, Praying
for the Prodigal
, I have been busy with marketing. I also write devotions,
articles, and blog posts, but I have three novels in various stages that are
begging to be completed.

you tell us a little about Praying for
the Prodigal

This book tells the story of my
five-year journey dealing with two prodigals. My son and daughter both took the
wrong path at the same time, and my husband and I experienced our own personal
hell. Because
I’ve been there—and survived—I want to share some of the lessons I learned,
offer some practical advice, and encourage parents to learn to pray the Word of
God over their children daily. My husband and I never thought this could happen
to us, but we learned that even good
kids rebel, and even good parents can
end up with a prodigal. We also learned that God is faithful, His Word is true,
and we should never give up on our children.

What else have you written?  

My work has been published in several anthologies
and online venues.  My first book, Murder of a Manuscript, is full of
writing and editing tips to help writers keep their book out of the editorial
graveyard. I write devotions for, and co-write a blog with fellow editor, Alycia
This site is designed especially for writers, written from an
editor’s perspective, and we strive to give helpful tips to both new and
seasoned writers. We feature a guest blogger on the second Monday of each month
to share their wisdom with our followers. We also do a lot of book giveaways
and would love for people to sign up and connect with us. My devotional blog is

How can people
connect with you?

I would love for folks to visit and and connect with us by subscribing to the posts. You can follow me on
Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.

BIO                                                                                                                                      Andrea Merrell is Associate
Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the
Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at the Kentucky
Christian Writers Conference, Writers Boot Camp, and The CLASS Christian Writers
Conference. She has been published in
numerous anthologies and online venues.
Her first book, Murder of a Manuscript,
gives writing and editing tips to help keep your book out of the editorial
graveyard. Her newest book, Praying for
the Prodigal
is now available at Amazon. To learn more about Andrea, visit or   

Amazon link for Murder of a Manuscript
Amazon link for Praying for the Prodigal
Amazon link for The Gift
Goodreads –


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

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