Archive | Author, Author! RSS feed for this section

Book Review + Author Interview — Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery

26 Jul

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translate, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

My Impressions:

Healing Love can be categorized as a contemporary romance since it has a love story that develops throughout the book. But its message is so much more than that. If anything it tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with God’s people. Inspired by a mission trip the author’s family participated in, this dual setting novel (California and El Salvador) explores the desperate needs of people and our response to it. I really liked this one, and if you have a heart for missions and love a happily-ever-after ending, you will too!

Brooke Endress is two years out of grad school and pursuing her dream of working in broadcast journalism. Reluctantly she agrees to accompany her teenaged sister on a mission trip to El Salvador. As Brooke is confronted with the realities of the desperate life of poverty in that country, her whole perspective is turned upside down. Translator Ubaldo Calla has his worldview challenged as well when discovers that the beautiful North American is not the spoiled woman he thought, but deeply caring with a love for his home country.

The contrast between American life and the crippling poverty of El Salvador is uncovered in Healing Love. This novel brought the struggle of survival to life for this reader. Slattery doesn’t shy away from sharing the problems of El Salvador — poverty, child labor, sexual abuse, poor education. The missions team that Brooke accompanies makes an impression, but it is really long term action that is required to truly make a difference. I really liked the spiritual growth that Brooke and Ubaldo undergo as they heal relationships and touch lives.

Full of heart, faith, and love, Healing Love is a great story. It is one that will leave you thinking long after the last page is turned. It is an especially good choice for a book club or missions group.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (It’s free for Kindle Unlimited!)

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com.

Q&A with Jennifer Slattery

When did you begin to write?

I’ve been writing in one fashion or another since I learned to hold a pencil. I wrote my first story (or at least, the first one I remember) when I was in maybe fourth or fifth grade for a young author’s contest. I remember being selected from my class, though I can’t remember what I was selected for! Maybe to have my story included in a publication?

For years, I wrote poems, which is interesting because now I stink at poetry, though I do often write song lyrics for my stories. (Music can be such a powerful way to connect with God and soak in truth!). I never really pursued publication or even thought about what that might look like until about a decade ago when I began to sense a clear call from God. I felt God was telling me not only was I to write, and write for Him, but this was to be my predominant focus.

After a bit of resisting (for numerous reasons all related to pride and fear), I surrendered, plunked myself in front of my computer, and penned what later became Breaking Free (my fourth and so far, most popular, release).

What led you to write Healing Love?

The idea for this story came while on a plane ride leaving El Salvador, a country I was initially nervous to visit but quickly became reluctant to leave. Our family joined our church (at the time) for a weeklong mission trip, during which we served at an orphanage for girls who had been sexually abused. It was an incredibly emotional and eye-opening experience.

I left with a broken heart and a large pile of letters the girls had written to me before we left. Those letters remain in the top drawer of my bedside table to this day and serve as a reminder of God’s call to love — however and whenever I can.

On the plane ride back, tears pricking my eyes, letters in my lap, I processed all I’d experienced and saw during my week. All God had shown me, not just about the El Salvador people and the sweet orphans I had so quickly fallen in love with, but about His heart. And almost instantly, a story idea took hold.

The next six months or so were incredibly painful as I researched what life was really like for countless families in El Salvador, many of whom have no choice but to work long hours in the hot sun, many of whom are forced to have their children as young as seven and eight working beside them. Many others who live on trash heaps, scavenging for food. Others still who, desperate to survive, sell their children into sex trafficking. Women and children who’ve sold themselves.

One of the downfalls of having a writer’s brain is that everything in my mind plays out in vivid detail. Add to that the fact that I have a bit of OCD, and my brain can get stuck on replay mode, in this case, a replay that utterly broke me.

One afternoon, I went for a walk, trying not to think about all I learned and the precious children our family had encountered — trying not to see their faces as they flashed through my mind — I started to pray. I don’t remember what I said, except that I asked God why He was allowing me to see such heartache and pain, such suffering.

And as if in response, a gentle yet clear thought arose: This is what He sees daily, only more so. Not only does He see the pain, but He hears their constant, desperate cries as they beg for aid.

Aid that, most often, comes through you and I.

In what ways can you relate to Brooke, the heroine in Healing Love?

Oh, my word! In many, and not always the best of ways. I’ve already admitted I have a bit of OCD. In other words, I like to control my world and everything in it. As with Brooke, this comes out strongest when I feel out of control — threatened, vulnerable. Fearful. When instead I should be turning to God in surrender — because that’s when I find strength and peace. But I’m learning, as is Brooke.

In what ways can you relate to Ubaldo, the hero?

Sweet Ubaldo. He means well, and he’s done and is doing a lot of good. I love that he’s driven by his integrity and a genuine love for others. But he can get so focused on doing what he believes to be right that he can in fact hurt others and push them away. I can do that, also. My stubborn, passionate side can become too passionate, working against me and whatever God is calling me to do. Finding the balance between love and truth, passion and grace, can be hard. But again, I’m learning.

Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your story and your heart!

 

Book Spotlight + Author Interview (And A Giveaway!) — My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

11 Jul

 

Series: My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island
Genre: Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Barbour
Publication date: July 1

Journey now to Mackinac Island where . . . . A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds. Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders — including Maude — and he digs deep for his story. But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARBOURB&N | CBD | BOOK DEPOSITORYTARGET

ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at http://www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER  | PINTEREST AMAZON | LINKEDIN |WEBSITE
OVERCOMING WITH GOD | 
COLONIAL QUILLS

 

 

Do you have any funny stories from fans meeting you for the first time?

I don’t think funny stories but I have been so blessed by the readers I’ve met, especially last year in Shepherd Michigan when Joyce Noyes brought her absolutely adorable granddaughters with her!

What did your writing process for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island look like?

Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy! This was like having a problem child who needed a lot of therapy and rehab!

What type of research did you do for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island? Did you do any traveling for this research?

I actually lived on and worked on the island as a teenager and grew up in the area. And I’ve been there often visiting. One of my close friends has family from the island and she inspired that aspect of the story. We specifically stayed at both the Grand Hotel for research and at the Windermere, which is the inspiration for my heroine’s inn.

What inspired the idea for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

I wondered what an independent miss, brought up by the strong women of the island, would do if her father resisted her becoming a business manager/inn manager which is her birthright but is at a time when young women were sheltered.

What do you want readers to take away from reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

The only inheritance you need to concern yourself with is that of being a child of the living God.

Do you have any advice you would give to other potential authors?

Don’t give up if you have a manuscript that is giving you fits, not if the Lord tells you to keep working on it. Hire the best freelance editors that you can and pray! This problem child became an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for July PTL!

 

 

Grand Prize Giveaway – Kindle Fire + Mackinac Gift Pack Set: postcards from Mackinac Island, bookmarks, hand-made earrings, winner’s choice of a signed paperback of this novel (or an upcoming release or other book if you already have read My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island), and a Mackinac Island mug.
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Author, Author! (+ Giveaway!) — Amber Lynn Perry

27 Jun

I am pleased to welcome to the blog, author Amber Lynn Perry. Her latest book is So Pure A Heart, an historical romance novel set during the American Revolutionary War. Be sure to check it out!

 

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

Oh! That’s a great question! It was Deeanne Gist who first told me I should write. I’m not even sure if she remembers mentioning anything to me, but after she said it I thought, “Hey! Why not??”

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?

Actually, being an author never really came to mind, though I did first start writing—just for fun—in middle school. That was when the idea for So Fair a Lady began!

Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do these authors inspire your own writing?

Some of my favorite authors are Laura Frantz, and Tamara Leigh. Their stories, their prose, the depth of their characters—everything about their writing inspires me to be better.

What inspired the idea for the Daughters in His Kingdom Series? What inspired the idea for So Pure a Heart?

I first got the idea for the series when I was young — I’ve been obsessed with the American Revolution since middle school, and I thought how exciting it would be to bring the era to life. I hope that readers will be inspired by the courage and perseverance of the early Americans. Before writing So Pure a Heart, I did a lot of studying on spying during the Revolution and was so astonished and awed-inspired by the incredible things that regular citizens did for the cause that I just knew I needed to write about them . . . while including a good bit of romance, too, of course. 😉

What do you want readers to take away from reading So Pure a Heart?

Oh, my . . . well, I know that every reader reads a book a little differently, even though they are reading the same words — but overall, I do hope people will (like I mentioned before) be inspired by the sacrifices people made for freedom.

When you are not writing, what other “caps” do you wear and what hobbies do you enjoy?

Fun!! I love talking about writing, but I love this question, too — life is full of exciting things! I love to teach — I do homeschool with my girls and I also teach songs to the children in my church group. 

 

A Pacific Northwest native, Amber Lynn Perry lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She studied humanities at Portland State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree focused on art history. As a homeschooling mom, Amber spends much of her time teaching everything from Shakespeare to science.
When she isn’t crafting with her kids, making dinner or driving to dance classes, Amber is either reading or writing about her favorite time in American history. The Revolutionary era has captured her imagination from the time she was in middle school. Through her books, Amber hopes to not only give readers a glimpse into the past, but to instill in them a lasting love of liberty.

 

June 26–Remembrancy,  Heidi Reads…
June 27–Paulette’s Papers
June 28– Reading Is My SuperPower, Katie’s Clean Book Collection
June 29–Joy of Reading, Faithfully Bookish
June 30–Red Headed Book Lady, Singing Librarian Books
July 1–Book by Book, Getting Your Read On

 

Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors Dad Will Love

13 Jun

Father’s Day is only a few days away. Have you picked out a tie or socks for your favorite dad yet? Don’t do it! Get them something they will really love! The authors I am featuring today have already been dad-approved. My husband and many of the husbands of the gals in my book club have read the books below — and loved them! You won’t have a problem with things that don’t fit or having to return that nose-hair trimmer that doesn’t work. (EWW!) Seriously, these guys know how to write a book that will keep dad turning the pages and thanking you for the great gift you gave him this year. Not convinced, then head over to The Broke And The Bookish for other bloggers’ recommendations based on dads.

 

 

Top Authors For Dad!

 

J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand is the author of the crime novels Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide, featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. The Weekly Standard dubbed him “a major crime-fiction talent.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota.

Find out more online at http://www.jmarkbertrand.com.

 

 

Mark Mynheir

Mark Mynheir is a former Marine who’s worked in law enforcement over twenty-eight-years. In his career, Mark has served as a patrol officer, an undercover narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. Team member, and a homicide detective.

Mark has parlayed his police experiences into a successful speaking and writing career. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, Lookout magazine, and Christian Fictiononline and is also the author of five novels: Rolling Thunder, From the Belly of the Dragon, The Void, The Corruptible, and the Christy nominated The Night Watchman. Mark has also co-written two books with Max Lucado — Pocket Prayers for Dads and Pocket Prayers for Military Life.

He and his family currently live in central Florida. You can visit Mark’s website at http://www.copwriter.com or on his Facebook page.

 

Randy Singer

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing — part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

You can find Robert Whitlow at his website, robertwhitlow.com.

Author, Author! — Jody Hedlund

9 Jun

 

 

By The Book is pleased to welcome Jody Hedlund to the blog today. Jody has just released the first book in a new series, With You Always, The Orphan Train series. Thanks, Jody, for sharing with my readers!

1. What is the inspiration behind your new Orphan Train series?

I have long been fascinated by the era of the Orphan Trains and the heart-wrenching stories of the homeless and helpless young orphans that were taken from the streets of New York City and other eastern cities and shipped West by the dozens. I was familiar with stories of those scared orphans who were placed out in what was thought to be a more wholesome, healthy environment of the newly settled Mid-Western states. Some of the orphans found happy endings and were adopted into loving families. Others experienced great abuse and heartache in their new homes.

While stories of the orphans who rode the trains have been told — and rightly so — the stories of the women who were involved in the movement are not as well known. One of the things I particularly like to do when telling my stories, is focus on women who have been overlooked by the pages of history. I consider it a great privilege to be able to bring forgotten women to life for our modern generation. Thus, throughout this series, I’ll be focusing each book on a different aspect of the Orphan Train movement, particularly from the perspective of women who experienced riding the trains in one form or another.

2. An e-novella, An Awakened Heart, kicks off the series. What is the novella about, and is it a must-read in order to understand the series?

An Awakened Heart is not a must-read in order to understand the series. But I do highly recommend reading it. (Plus it’s FREE, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try!) The e-novella introduces a couple, Guy and Christine, who are both passionate about helping the poor immigrants crowded into the overflowing and dirty tenements of New York City. The novella shows their efforts to bring about change in the city, but also brings them together in a satisfying love story.

The novella also introduces the three orphan sisters who will each become main characters for the three full-length novels in the series. It gives some of the background information on their situation, particularly how they become orphans, which I think readers will find helpful as well as informative.

3. How did you come up with the idea for the first book in the series, With You Always?

For this first book in the series, I decided to base the story around the placing out of women that happened in 1857 as a result of a financial crisis and economic panic in the autumn of that year. Women laborers were already at a disadvantage with poor working conditions and low wages. In September of 1857, estimates of New York unemployment ran as high as forty percent. Female employment was cut by almost half. With prostitution already a main source of income for many women, the recession drove even more to desperate measures and the number of women in prison rose as well.

To meet the growing crisis, the Children’s Aid Society in New York, along with organizations in other cities, who were already sending children West, decided to set up special placement offices to find jobs for seamstresses and trade girls in the West. The associations only wanted women of “good character” and they were required to provide references. If the women met the qualifications, then they were sent on trains to towns in Mid-Western states, particularly central Illinois where the demand for cheap labor was prevalent. They were presented to western employers as “helpless females left without the means of support.” Placement of these women continued until the spring of 1858.

It was my hope through the first book in the series, With You Always, to give readers a glimpse into the disadvantage of women during this particular era by showing the heroine Elise Neumann’s struggle, first in New York City and then also the continued heartache and problems that arose after leaving her family behind so that she could attempt to start a new life in central Illinois.

4. What special research did you do in writing With You Always?

In the beginning phases of writing this series, I did a great deal of reading about the orphan train movement. In particular, I really loved Stephen O’Conor’s book, Orphan Trains, because he includes so many personal stories and details about real orphans, which are heart wrenching.

I also read, A History of New York City to 1898, by Burrows and Wallace, which gave me great insights into the lives of immigrants, particularly immigrant women. Masses of foreigners were arriving into New York City on a daily basis, and the book gave a detailed look into their pathetic housing situation, the difficult working conditions, as well as gang problems and the underworld.
Finally, another important aspect of the story that required a concentrated amount of research was the development of railroads. The mid-1800’s was an incredible period of growth for the railroad industry in the Mid-West. The new railroads aided the orphan train movement but also brought about the settlement of the Midwestern states, including Illinois, which is one of the settings of the book.

5. Many of your previous stories are set in Michigan. With You Always takes place in both New York City as well as Illinois. Why did you decide to change settings?

I definitely could have used Michigan as the Mid-western setting for this book since the very first orphan train went to Dowagiac, a small town in southwestern Michigan. However, as I studied railroads and town development, I decided that the plains of central Illinois would really add to the story, especially because the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) was built between 1851 and 1856 during the time of my story.

With this new railroad that ran the length of Illinois from north to south, investors were looking at attempting to build towns along the railroad in order to attract new settlers who would use the railroad. Since my hero, Thornton Quincy, is involved in the development of the IC, he and his family have an invested interest in seeing the growth of towns along the new railroad. Adding in a competition with Thornton’s twin brother for the development of one such town made the story and setting in Illinois come alive.

I also loved having my heroine, Elise Neumann, be able to travel from the crowded dirty streets of New York City to the plains of Illinois where she experienced a culture shock. She’s taken from a bustling city life to an isolated farming town that consists of only a few buildings when she arrives.

6. What do you hope readers take away from With You Always?

One of my hopes in telling this story is to leave readers with the reminder that God is walking with us in whatever dark valley we’re going through. Often, like Elise, we tend to pull away from God and let the bitterness of our circumstances drive us into a cave of isolation and self-blame and heartache. But God wants us to realize that even if we pull away from Him, He’s still there walking by our side, waiting for us to reach out our hand and grab ahold of Him. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He’s there waiting.

7. What is your inspiration to write?

I write because I love telling stories. I love the quote by Toni Morrison because it sums up part of why I write: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Essentially, I write the stories that I LOVE to read! Of course there are other, deeper reasons I write too. But mostly I just really enjoy the process of creating imaginary people and places.

8. Is there something you tell yourself before writing?

Usually I tell myself to sit down, put my hands to the keyboard, and get to work. I don’t wait for inspiration or magical fairy dust to hit me before writing. I just do it.

But I also always ask myself, what could make this story better? How can I increase the tension? How can add more excitement? What can I do to make my characters more likeable? I’m constantly challenging myself to make my story more vibrant and alive.

9. What role does faith play in your novels?

While I try not to preach at my readers, I do weave faith themes through my books. My faith also motivates me to keep my stories “clean.” I believe Christian fiction is a much needed alternative, especially Christian romance.

I just recently got an email from a reader telling me she that she’d picked up several books and been really turned off by the explicitness within them, but that she didn’t realize the books contained such content until she started reading them. She wanted to know if there was a rating system or some way that she could tell if the book would be “clean” before she started reading. I was glad that I could point her to inspirational Christian fiction, that she would be guaranteed the sweet romance she desired.

10. With You Always is the third book you’ve released in 2017. How do you find time to write so many books?

I keep a very rigorous writing schedule, usually writing six days a week. I give myself a challenging word count goal—a certain number of words to write every day. Then, in the morning, I sit down and write until I meet my goals. It’s as simple . . . and as hard as that!

I like to compare being an author to a marathon runner. The person training to run a marathon doesn’t start off running twenty-six miles the first time she runs. Instead she begins with just a few miles, strengthens her muscles, builds her endurance, and slowly adds more miles.

Writing is the same way. Over the years, I’ve strengthened my writing muscles and built up my endurance so that now I can write faster and for longer stretches.

11. What are you working on next?

The second book in the orphan train series releases next summer in 2018. The story continues with Marianne Neumann. She gets involved in the orphan train movement as one of the placing agents and accompanies the orphans as they ride the trains west. I hope readers will enjoy Marianne’s story and also appreciate learning more about the orphan train movement from the eyes of the compassionate workers who tried to place the orphans into new homes.

12. Do you have any parting words?

I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!

I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund

I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund

My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com

Find me on Instagram: instagram.com/jodyhedlund/

Come pin with me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/pins/

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors!

28 Mar

I have had lots of fun in the 8 years I have been blogging, but the most fun has been meeting authors. And I mean in the flesh! It’s hard not to fan-girl when you finally get to meet your favorite author, and I have mostly succeeded. Okay, I probably haven’t, but the writers I have met have all been so gracious to overlook my enthusiasm!

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are talking about authors we’ve met and those we’d like to meet. So I am introducing you to an even dozen of fabulous authors that I have interacted with over the years. To find out who other bloggers are talking about, click HERE.

 

Top 12 Authors I’ve Met (And Those I Want To)

Author’s I’ve Actually Met! Squeal!

Liz Curtis Higgs — I have been a stalker fan of Liz for years. I have gotten to meet her several times and interviewed her twice. She is just as funny in person as she is on stage and in videos. She is also very gracious and welcoming.

 

Cynthia Ruchti — Cynthia was my first, interview that is. I was so nervous! I’m sure I babbled and made no sense whatsoever. But she was great and made the experience great. Her women’s fiction is the best!

 

 

 

Elizabeth Musser — I interviewed Elizabeth after reading several of her books. She is a favorite of my book club, and since she is a Georgia girl she had some great tips for road trips for her books.

 

Kathi Macias — Kathi is passionate about her subject matter. She broke my heart describing some of the background for her novels. If you want a book with a missions emphasis, you need to check her out.

 

Robert Whitlow — Robert Whitlow is another favorite of my book club. During my interview of him, he basically gave me the whole story of his then WIP. His wife kept trying to get him to hush, but he was so excited about the project, and I promised not to tell! 😉

 

Tracy Groot — My book clubs had the great pleasure of hosting Tracy for a Meet and Greet. And because I am the coordinator for the groups, I got to take her out to dinner! My husband and I had the best time with Tracy and her husband. Her books are fabulous, by the way!

 

Suzanne Woods Fisher — The first time I met Suzanne, I was standing in line to get a book signed by another writer, and she was too! A little later we were in line to get into an author’s luncheon, and she invited me to sit with her. Oh yeah, I did! She is the sweetest.

 

 

Ginny Yttrup — It was country come to town when I attended a Christy Award dinner in Atlanta. I sat at an in the back table with some wonderful people, including Ginny. She had just released her first novel and was making the rounds of the conference. The next year in Orlando, I had the pleasure of congratulating her on her Christy Award!

 

 

Authors I Feel Like I’ve Met, But I Haven’t

I am friends with the following authors. Ok, it’s online — FB and Twitter. But I do interact with these authors and really want to meet them in person one day. Hopefully, they won’t run the other way!

Richard Mabry — He calls me Beckie By The Book, and I don’t discourage him. Richard has been great to include me on his influencer teams.

Rachel Dylan — I have been reading Rachel’s books for years and been on her influencer teams. I am so excited that she will be releasing a new series for Bethany in the Fall. Here’s hoping she makes it to Georgia for a book tour.

Lisa Harris — Lisa is a missionary in Africa, so I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance to actually meet her, but I sure want to. I love, love her romantic suspense.

Rachel McMillan — Rachel has a big internet presence and an active tweeter and poster to Intagram. I’ve enjoyed traveling with her!

 

 

What authors have you met?

Guest Post + Giveaway! — Dr. Richard Mabry, Author of Doctor’s Dilemma

15 Mar

By The Book welcomes Dr. Richard Mabry. Dr. Mabry writes medical suspense with heart and does it really, really well! Today Richard is sharing the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing. Also he has generously offered a copy of his newest novella, Doctor’s Dilemma, for one of my readers. Leave a comment or question for Dr. Mabry to enter the giveaway. Giveaway runs through March 22. (Please note: entries from the US only.)

SELF-PUBLICATION AND “TRADITIONAL” PUBLISHING

When I first started down this road to writing, self-publication was a phrase often equated with “vanity publishing.” It was generally held that those who chose this route were people who couldn’t get a contract with a traditional publisher, or for some similar reason chose this way to make certain their work was published. But that’s changed a lot over the past decade.
I’m not going to go into the arguments that exist to this day between those who choose the self-publication route and those who seek a traditional contract. Suffice it to say that there are valid reasons now for good writers to oversee the entire publishing process themselves, just as there are arguments to be made for asking a traditional publisher to share the responsibility for a book’s publication and marketing.

I’ve had ten novels of medical mystery published by traditional publishers. I’ve also dipped my toe (or perhaps I should say, my pen) into the self-publishing waters with three novellas. That makes me a member of a group called “hybrid authors”, having had books published both ways.

Why did I choose to self-publish this novella? There are two main reasons. The first is that only a very few publishers are interested in medical suspense/thriller/mystery books right now, either novels or the shorter form, novellas. I’ve had the good fortune to have publishing contracts with a number of respected houses, but in many cases those publishers have eventually shut down their fiction line, making the odds of getting a traditional contract slimmer still for authors.
The other factor is getting a book out frequently enough to keep name recognition going. Some authors do well publishing one book a year, while others do it more or less frequently. No one really knows whether an author’s fans forget him/her if there’s not a book to remind them of their writing. But no one wants to test that theory. I received enough questions about when my next book was coming out that I finally decided to self-publish this novella. The response of those who buy and read it will tell me a lot. I hope it’s a positive experience — for you, the reader, and for me, the author.

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical suspense with heart.” He is the author of ten published novels, three novellas, and a non-fiction book. His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a proud member of the ACFW, the International Thriller Writers, the Christian Authors Network, the FHL chapter of the RWA, and Novelists Inc.

You can connect with Richard on the Internet at his blog page and Facebook fan page, as well as Twitter and Goodreads.

Doctor’s Dilemma — Dr. Tyler Gentry had it all planned out, but the death of his parents in a plane crash changed everything. When he discovered his father had left him a mountain of debt, piled on top of his own student debt, the offer from Dr. William Hall to join his group of surgeons seemed a perfect solution. But the night before he was to start, Tyler received a call that told him to get out while he could.

Despite the salary and perks, Tyler found a curtain of mystery surrounding the surgical group. The only thing that made it worthwhile was the lovely operating room nurse, Ashley Wynn, with whom Tyler seemed to make an instant connection. But when their first date ended with his car exploding while she watched, Ashley seemed hesitant to continue their relationship.

The stakes continued to rise while Tyler was faced with his dilemma: stay or go?