Vicki Hinze: Feeling Just Short Of Winning?


Everyone’s Story warmly welcomes multi-published author Vicki Hinze. While the writing world may appear huge on the surface with so many wonderful authors, it’s really a small tight-knit community. I’ve known Vicki by name for quite a few years and might have bumped into her at a RWA conference years ago. Vicki’s novels lean heavily toward suspense in all different shades, both for the Christian and general markets. She shares with us very encouraging words this week, plus offers a BookGiveaway.  Both Vicki and I look forward to hearing from you.







Vicki is offering 1 Kindle edition of The Marked Star. The winner will be announced here on Friday, April 29th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note something new regarding BookGiveaways: to further protect your privacy, and since emails are appearing for “my eyes only” when the comments go into my moderation box, emails within comments are no longer required. However, if yours does NOT appear I will leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.


Blurb of The Marked Star:


Superstar Elle Bostwick is kidnapped in London. But who has kidnapped her? NINA, a group of powerful and ruthless opportunists who will do anything to anyone to gain access to something Elle has that they want? Or the CIA, who is equally determined to prevent NINA access to what it wants? And why a singer? Why Elle? And why does she not know what they’re after?

Days later, Elle mysteriously turns up at a Shadow Watcher’s wedding reception, and the Shadow Watchers, Nick Sloan specifically, is ordered to keep her safe—indefinitely. But the top secret entity issuing the orders doesn’t say why or who is pursuing Elle. All information is being atypically withheld. That has never before happened. Why now?


Nick and Elle have a history. He left her without even saying good-bye, determined to never need or want anyone—not after surviving his horror show of a family. Nick learned the hard way to never dare to love anyone. He didn’t know Elle had been walking wounded, too.

Now she’s burst back into his life–with baggage that could get them and the other Shadow Watchers killed. Who is on their side? Who is their real enemy? And what does that enemy really want? Most importantly, will they find out before they end up dead.


Nick willingly risks his life for her, but does he dare to risk his heart? Does Elle? Both have little reason to trust. Little reason to dare, except for the hope of love they find in each other. But neither is certain… Is love enough to heal deep wounds? To spare the lives and hearts of Nick and The Marked Star?


Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED STAR (Shadow Watchers, Book 2)

Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED BRIDE (Shadow Watchers, Book 1)


The Ten-Cent Maid by Vicki Hinze

Many years ago in school, there was a contest for the homecoming court. Everyone was to sell votes for a dime. This was one of the school’s biggest fundraisers, so it wasn’t actually like selling votes in the context we’d think of today. Anyway, everyone was expected to do their part and sell votes.

I worked hard at it. Very hard. And as sales mounted, I finally began believing I might just have a shot at making the homecoming court. Well, the contest ended and the votes were counted, and I lost. By ten cents. One vote short.

In no way can I say I wasn’t disappointed—I had worked very hard—but I can’t say I was devastated, either. I remember thinking there was a reason I’d lost by a dime and just because I didn’t know the reason didn’t mean it wasn’t important. Not winning didn’t mean my efforts had been lacking, though I did wonder if losing by a little bit was going to be the way things went in my life. Being second—second-rate, second best, just second—with the best being reserved for others.

I’m not sure where that idea came from to wonder, but I vividly recall doing it. Yet, even then I thought it was an odd thing to think. Why had it been planted in my mind? I had no idea, but it was there, and I did note it.

Later that school year, I figured I’d needed to note it so I would remember it. The ten-cent maid loss became significant because the girl who won by that dime suffered serious challenges that removed her from school. And it dawned on me that perhaps I’d lost by a dime and she’d won because she’d needed to win more. She wouldn’t have another chance at something like homecoming court, or a second chance at other school-related wins. That day, my attitude changed. I was glad she had won, and I was happy I’d been the ten-cent maid.


Looking back, I have seen that “falling just short” pattern repeat in my life several times. But after the first experience, and the recognition that wants and needs are different and warrant respect, I never again wondered if I was second-rate or second best. Instead, I saw second as a position placement privilege. I understood that sometimes other people’s needs are greater. We all want wins. But only some need wins. The implications were a lot for me to absorb frankly, but the important part stuck with me.

Oh, I’ve won my fair share and then some of honors and awards and accolades, and I truly am grateful for each and every one. But there was and remains something special about the lessons learned at being the ten-cent maid.

In a sense, that’s a similar experience to Elle Bostwick’s in The Marked Star. Elle is a singer, a superstar, and everyone thinks she’s got it all. From the outside, she does. Talent, looks, fame, and fortune. But Elle’s done her stint at the ten-cent table, too. Only hers was in a far more substantial way, and she played her part for a lifetime.

Elle wasn’t given her parents’ name. She was, from the beginning, their secret daughter. It wasn’t that she wasn’t loved; she most certainly was. But the very things others coveted in Elle’s life were the things that made claiming her identity dangerous. Her family wanted to protect her, and her parents did, but at a great cost to Elle.

Like the rest of us, Elle was shaped by her experiences, and while some might have been bitter and given into anger, she sought understanding—and, because she did, she found her heart’s desire. Found it and recognized it and claimed it. And that’s something she couldn’t have done without the lessons she had learned while seated at the ten-cent table.

Sometimes when we feel stuck or as if we’re falling behind and no matter how hard we try we just keep falling short, we need to remember the blessings and joys we learn to recognize by our time at our own ten-cent table.

Vicki’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Multi-published author @vickihinze asks: Are you a Ten-cent maid? (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @vickihinze shares a “falling just short” story. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Check out The Marked Star by @vickihinze. #BookGiveaway #Suspense (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

A USA Today best selling and award-winning author, Vicki Hinze, has written over thirty-five books (fiction and nonfiction) and hundreds of articles that have been published in as many as 63 countries. She is also a columnist for the global Social-In Network. Vicki writes most often in Romantic Suspense, Thrillers with a romantic element, and Military Romance or Military Thrillers for the general market or for the Christian market. She has written series, political thrillers, suspense, paranormal romantic suspense, time-travel suspense, women’s action adventure, thrillers, psycho-thrillers and contemporary romance with a strong mystery element. All of her books contain elements of suspense, mystery and romance. She enjoys genre-blending and is known as a trailblazer for doing so. After her fourth published novel, she returned to college and earned an MA in creative writing then a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). She founded Writers’ Aids to mentor other authors, which evolved into Writers’ Zone, where she answers questions on craft, the business of writing and the writing life and maintains a free online writers’ library, ON WRITING, on her website (see below). Additional podcasts, workshops, lectures and feature articles are also in the writing library. Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a career Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. They and their children moved every few years and have now settled in Northwest Florida.

Places to connect with Vicki:











Always With You

Elaine Stock


Barnes & Noble

BookDepository (offering worldwide free delivery)


I’ll be at ACFW in August, along at this amazing event… will you be?


Vicki and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. Click “Comments.”

19 comments to Vicki Hinze: Feeling Just Short Of Winning?

  • Ann Ellison

    Another author I definitely need to add to my reading list. Would love to win a copy of her book.

  • Oh, wow! This was great on many fronts. It’s funny, but I got the lesson about wants versus needs a few years ago. And now, I accept when I don’t win something that it wasn’t in God’s plan for me, but it was His plan for someone else. Doesn’t mean I don’t get disappointed, I do, but I get over it.

    And the Marked Star sounds fabulous!

  • Thanks so much for your comments and your interest in what I’m sharing. I sincerely appreciate your interest and comments.

    And Elaine, thank you for the invitation. You’re a terrific host!


  • Marilyn

    Another new author to read. I appreciate Vicki sharing about winning and losing. God knows what is best for each of us–whether we win or lose along with the lessons He wants us to learn from each situation. As the Bible says “be content in all things”. I’m thankful my Heavenly Father knows best. God bless you both as you continue to write Christuan books.

    • elaineadmin

      Ah, contentment. Another reason why I believe in God: we humans think we know it all and know what’s good for us but nope, we don’t. I for one continuously learn that like the old TV show Father Knows Best, Father is thankfully infinitely smarter than us. I’m thankful for His guiding Hand. Thankful for you too,, Marilyn, for your visits here. Be blessed today and always.

  • I’ve heard of Vicki but haven’t read her books. From this article, I’ll have to remedy that situation. 🙂

  • Another new to me author. Adding Vicki’s “Marked Star” to my TBR list. Book sounds amazing.

  • Hi Vicki:

    Wherein lies the rub? In not finishing first or in not doing the tiny extra that would have produced a win? I don’t often expect to win but I really lament when so little extra effort would have captured the laurels.

    Our heroes have help create a cult of winning. Quotes I’ve heard many times gowing up:

    Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. Vince Lambardi

    They’re nice guys. They’ll finish last.
    Leo Durocher (This is what he really said.)

    No one remembers who finished second.
    Walter Hagen

    There are no second acts in American lives.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Then there was my military experience: A witty DI began his instruction at Basic training this way:

    “Gentleman: welcome to grenade throwing. Here close counts.”

    (That is, as long as it is not close to you!)

    However, there is something you wrote in your book “One Way to Write a Novel” that I really think examplfies a way of life:

    “You hear no so frequently, and especially early on, yes is almost an extinct language. But you must not despair and you must not be discouraged. You must also never believe that hearing no will stop when you cross some magical threshold, because there is no magical threshold.

    “Here’s the best advice I can give you on dealing with the harsh realities:

    “Love the books you write. If you love them, then you al-ways have that. Fifty editors can reject the book for whatever reason (which often has nothing to do with the book) and it just doesn’t matter. You love it, and you love what you’re doing in writing the book.”

    Hinze, Vicki (2010-08-02). One Way to Write A Novel (Kindle Locations 2333-2335). . Kindle Edition.

    I’d like to be in the drawing for your new book. Your books all seem to be very different. You really must be writing the books you love!

    BTW: Could you tell us how to pronounce your name? Is it HEN-SAH or HEN-ZEE?


    • elaineadmin

      Vince, thanks for quoting from Vicki’s One Way To Write a Novel! Definite encouragement to us writers who realize that not everyone will love our stories.

    • Vince, thanks for your note. The name is pronounced HEN-ZEE. 🙂

      Yes, our culture does place emphasis on winning. Yet, those of us who are purpose-oriented, and do what we love, do not permit our culture to define winning. We do that ourselves. We define winning, losing, success and worth. That’s as it should be since we are each responsible for our own actions.

      I do write a lot of different types of novels. I have one writing rule: I will not write a book I don’t love. I have many interests, so I write a lot of different things–fiction and non-fiction, short stories to books. Frankly, it’s harder to build a writing career doing that. It would be much easier to write one type of book and to keep writing that type of book. But my interest exceeds building a writing career. I am and have been building a life. One that is purpose-driven and meaningful as I define it.

      If you read my books, you’ll see there are commonalities. In each, you’ll find suspense, mystery and romance. You’ll also see a healing theme. That’s consistent regardless of genre. The difference is on which of those things the story focuses. I think I’ve written in every genre (including a couple that didn’t yet exist!) except horror. That genre, at least so far, hasn’t meshed well with my elements. Those elements–the suspense, mystery and romance with a healing theme–are the things I need in a story to love it. So that’s not flexible, but there’s a lot of wiggle room in the storylines and people. 🙂

      As for winning. Whether or not a book sells a zillion copies isn’t significant to me. What is significant are things like a grieving parent writing to you after her child’s suicide saying she’d been stuck but read your book and found her way back to living. Or the person on deathwatch with a loved one who sat bedside and read a book a few pages here and there to escape the harsh reality if only for a moment and finding strength in your book.

      Notes like that define success to me. They matter. That’s what I mean by defining success and defining winning for yourself. Why it’s so important.

      Thanks, Vince, for your note. And thanks to all of you who have commented. I’ve read each of them, and you feed my soul!



      • elaineadmin

        There’s that word again: Purpose. Vicki, thanks for sharing this. “Purpose” and His purpose for us was the sermon topic yesterday at church and I’m thinking it’s not coincidental that this word keeps popping into my life since then.

        What an encouragement you just shared with us!

  • I’m so glad, Elaine.

    In this, or any business really, it’s hard to stay centered and focused on what most matters. Others will tug you in directions that they want or need you to go to achieve their objectives, and you do need to fit into the market to stay relevant. The key, IMHO, is to find relevance that is compatible and fits your purpose. Do that, stick to purpose, and whatever you’re doing will always be relevant to someone.

    A primary tenet of faith is to love one another. Purpose is the path to that. In fulfilling yours, you provide opportunities to others to find what they need when they need it. A key to that is to stand firm on your purpose and to trust that those intended to find those opportunities will.

    Sometimes that takes a lot of faith. But if you believe it with every atom in your body, it does happen. We both know how. 🙂

  • elaineadmin

    It’s always fun to introduce a new guest to my viewers and “sharing” Vicki Hinze was a true pleasure! Vicki, thanks so much for being such a great guest and for responding to viewers’ comments. You just might have gained a few new fans 😊 and I hope many more adoring readers are blessed by your stories and in return bless you.

    Thanks for you BookGiveaway of The Marked Star. And the winner of Vicki’s novel is…

    Susan R. Congratulations Susan. Both Vicki and I will be in touch with you shortly.

    Blessings to all.

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