Monday, April 27, 2015


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... 

How 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.

You are also an editor. Can you tell us a little about what you do?

I 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.

Can 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 Morales, 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


  1. Andrea, I LOVED hearing some of your story and journey. You are such a blessing to so many people. Marcie, thank you for sharing Andrea with us.

    1. Nan, thank you so much for your encouragement. Blessings to you! :)

  2. Enjoyed reading the interview!

    1. Thank you Vie for stopping by. So glad you enjoyed it. Blessings, Marcie


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