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Author Interview And Book Spotlight — Widowhood

14 Sep

About The Book

Book:  widowhood

Author: Mary Bruce

Genre:  Personal Growth

Release Date: May 12, 2020

A woman may have many names and many titles, but “widow” is not necessarily one she plans for. And when the unexpected happens, she is thrust into the role of being the captain of her ship, the decision-maker, and the one solely responsible for the direction of her and her family’s future. The emotions a widow experiences as she faces her life from this new position of aloneness are as varied and unique as each widow is. But what all widows share is a calling to be a leader in the midst of the chaos of the death of their husbands.

In Widowhood: A Calling to Leadership, Mary Bruce encourages widows to embrace their new role with hope and to unashamedly rely on the resources God provides to sustain them through his Spirit and through his body, the church. She illuminates for church leaders how to direct and mentor widows in their church families and how to provide these women with opportunities to express their new God-given calling of leadership.

This book will give you a fresh perspective on widowhood. It will help widows to see the energy they possess as fuel for godly leadership, and it will help church leaders to see their widows as esteemed gifts instead of burdens.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

Mary Bruce is a registered nurse, a former homeschooling mother, and a widow since the weekend before 9/11. Born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, she still resides there and works as an associate pastor. In the early 1990s, she initiated a grassroots movement to pray in Connecticut on the National Day of Prayer. Since then she has served as a state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force and is currently its National Area Leader for the nine northeast states.

 

More from Mary

Have you ever wanted to wake up one morning with a new start, a brand new start?

I can say that, during the 2001/2002 school year, for 360 of 365 days that is exactly what I learned to do, wake up with a new start. Mine was the school of hard knocks.   After 9/11, there were many of us who found ourselves on a daily automatic wake-up call before sunrise. No alarm clock was involved. Perhaps it was the stress of a new start for so many.  It’s not like we went to bed super early so we could wake up early.  Sleeping just wasn’t the same.

 

For me, by the time daylight started , I was already sitting on the steps of our back porch, waiting to greet the day, watching the eastern skies over the 5 acre mowed field behind our house.  Each morning I would grab a cup of coffee, my journal, a pen and my Bible, wrap myself in winter coat and blankets and sit there waiting: waiting on the sunrise, acknowledging the earth’s stillness, waiting for some revelation from God or insight into my own life situation. It was not a worrisome time, that came later in the day.  It was just a sitting and waiting time. Even my reading would have to wait until the dawn’s early light grew sufficient to see the print.  There was nothing to interrupt, to distract from that alone time of solitude and meditation.

Then, like a shot in the dark, the 7am bell would ring out from high school across the street, a roar of automobile sounds would drift over the house, and the magic quiet spell would be broken.

 

In those early moments, I saw things I had been too busy to notice before.  In spring, I watched fog roll over the field, literally roll on the grass from east to west, from the field to the road.  In summer, I noticed nearly a whole year of early mornings without pouring rain. Pouring rain was my only hindrance to sitting outside.  In autumn, I saw a female doe pulling apples off the low branches and her 3 young charges dancing on hind legs trying to reach the apples. In winter, I realized that I could sit out in freezing weather, when I did not even like to walk from the house to the car in the cold. I learned to take the outward opening storm door off before the snow fell, so that I could just open the inside door and step out.  I said, “Good morning”  to the Maker of the universe as my first spoken words of the day.

 

I don’t think I was alone.  2001 was a hard year for many widows.  I was fortunate to spend each start of the day with the Maker, appreciating his faithfulness, which is new every morning –  a new start.  “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  NLT Lam. 3:23

 

Q&A with Mary Bruce

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this? 

Mary — I realized this upon the publication of this first book.  I’ve been writing for years, in personal journals, in letters, in policies and procedure books, in educational materials for Bible studies, but until this publication, I could not claim the name “author”.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Mary — When I was age 22, a nursing supervisor asked me to write out my 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 20 year and 50 year goals.  This started me thinking about collecting stories, descriptions, incidents which became journal entries.  Another inspiration was a soldier during the revolutionary war who wrote home to his wife that without Jesus, they would not be alive.  He wrote that personal letter to his wife over 100 years ago, and it was included in a historical publication passed on to new people coming into the town.   

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Mary — I was working full time as an associate pastor to a moderately large church, serving a national ministry as a regional coordinator for nine states, and working as a nurse for our local daycare.  These other commitments demanded much time and energy.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Mary — For this book, I researched other books about widows and grief.

BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal inyour writing schedule? 

Mary — I have had to be structured due to my heavy responsibilities.  I have currently moved from the northeast to the mid-south and no longer carry those same responsibilities.  My schedule now is to study, research and write mornings, and some afternoons.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book? 

Mary — I was inspired by the complaints of church leaders about the lack of leadership material within the church and my recognition of the leadership qualities all widows have.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishingWidowhood: A Calling to Leadership?

Mary — For widows: a sense of camaraderie knowing they are not alone in the feelings they think or experience, for church leaders: a deeper understanding of ways to help widows develop their leadership skills.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Mary — Yes, I have two children’s books in the works: one on loss and one about my new cat, which my 9 year old grand-daughter is helping with.  

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Mary — I have just relocated from New England to the mid-south. I enjoy prayer-walking, praying with others for our nation, and piano worship with a team.

 

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 5

Beauty in the Binding, September 6 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 7

Through the Fire Blogs, September 8 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

For the Love of Literature, September 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

For Him and My Family, September 12

Simple Harvest Reads, September 13 (Author Interview)

By The Book, September 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 14

Artistic Nobody, September 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 18

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fffe/widowhood-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Season to Dance Scavenger Hunt! — September 11-24

10 Sep

About The Book

Book: A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

About The Author

Patricia writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. She is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance and Desert Willow (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017 and 2020). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit her at http://www.patriciabeal.com for more.

More from Patricia Beal

When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important.

I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good.

She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting.

During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein.

When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.”

So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.

God’s Plan — Phase One

One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece.

When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it.

Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that.

See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.”

Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start.

Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

God’s Plan — Phase Two

As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop.

After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good.

During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted…

But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.

The One Open Door

When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013.

I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing!

A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits.

I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.

Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good.

Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good.

I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good.

ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good.

My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good.

Q&A with Patricia Beal

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Patricia — The desire to write a novel came about 35 years ago, when as a teenage girl back home in Brazil, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist touched my heart. I wanted to do that to people, touch their hearts with a simple story that had something to say about the human condition. 

Now, the first time I saw myself as a fiction writer, was much later. That happened during a writers’ meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Columbus, Georgia, about ten years ago. 

Here’s that story –

Someone once told me that getting a book published was like shooting the moon. “What are you really going to do with the rest of your life?”

That conversation bothered me, but I started writing a novel anyway. 

When I took the first chapter of A Season to Dance – fresh out of my head and hot off my cheap printer – to my Barnes & Noble writing group, I asked the leader to read it to the group for me (my accent is something else). As she did, I saw a box of motivational cards on a shelf behind her. It read: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars…”

That hard-to-please group loved my first chapter guys, and I’d received a sign. Yay! Cinderella story, right? I felt like a writer. Big time. 

Now, two years later the novel hadn’t gone far. I stand corrected. It’d gone far – just not successfully. In the summer of 2012, the novel was rejected in three different continents in the same week.

Then Jesus passed by. 

Six months later I was born again and realized that for two years I’d been writing my own salvation story. The novel wasn’t working yet because it was missing a layer. It was more than the story of a ballerina with big dreams and dreamy suitors. It’s about a young woman trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with misguided career and romantic pursuits. 

The bad news was that the rewrite would be lengthy and painful. God gave me people who encouraged me through the fourteen months of labor, and the work got done. He gave me something else too. A Cadillac commercial that remined me of the moon sign – a reminder of where we’d been, and where we were going.

In the commercial, a kid is riding with his dad. It’s dark. There’s nothing to be seen anywhere. Suddenly you start hearing lunar landing audio:

“We are now in the approach phase–everything looking good.”
“Velocity twelve hundred feet per second.”
“You are looking great to us, Eagle.”
“Two thousand feet.”

A big moon shows up at the end of the road. Dad’s hands are strong on the wheel. The kid and Dad exchange an expectant look.

“Still looking very good.”
“Fourteen hundred feet.”

Dad goes faster. The music gets bigger. The moon gets bigger.

Narrator: “Funny thing happens when you shoot for the moon.”
Lunar landing audio: “That’s affirmative.”
Narrator: “You get there.”
Lunar landing audio: “You are GO for landing–over.”

Here’s the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_NavbP3GA 

I love sharing that story because I think it’s so important to celebrate our miracles, share them and remember…

If you’re paralyzed by fear today, be free from it. Do you write? Are you doubting your calling? Most of us do. Don’t let that stop you. God already knows most of us feel that way. 

I love this conversation between Jesus and a dad who asks for help for his possessed child: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:23-24).

God can handle our tendency to believe and not believe at the same time. He’s not surprised. Ask Him for help, like this Bible dad did. He got his miracle. You’ll get yours. Believe. Keep working. Let me be your shoot-for-the-moon box of cards today. Do it. Shoot for the moon! Write that book. Pitch. Submit. Rewrite. Repeat. Get published. 

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Patricia — On-site visits whenever possible. It’s like I see the characters. All I have to do is write down what I observe. 

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Patricia — Redemption. Redemption. Redemption. My name is Patricia Beal, and I write beauty-for-ashes stories 😊

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) 

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!

https://promosimple.com/ps/10068/a-season-to-dance-celebration-scavenger-hunt-giveaway

Scavenger Hunt!

My word for the scavenger hunt is 

To connect with all those participating, click HERE!

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Good And Faithful Servant

10 Sep

good and faithful servant-banner

About The Book:

Book:  Good And Faithful Servant

Author: Wes Daughenbaugh

Genre:  Non-fiction, leadership

Release Date: July, 2020

Good & Faithful ServentThe greatest need in the body of Christ today is for spiritual leadership training, and the first law of spiritual leadership is that you are not the leader—the Holy Spirit is! If you follow him, you will lead many to righteousness.

Veteran pastor Wes Daughenbaugh, a Christian leader for nearly fifty years and author of five books, presents a wealth of spiritual wisdom designed to help Christian leaders develop skills for true godly leadership.

Key topics:

The differences between secularized leadership and spiritual leadership.

How to avoid using people to obtain a secularized vision and instead have God’s vision for the individuals you are leading.

How to have influence with God (power in prayer).

The importance of spiritual warnings.

Seven ways to live in Christlike character virtues.

Over sixty professional drawings to help you “see” spiritual truths.

If you long for intimacy with God and want your life to glorify Jesus, you’ll find Good and Faithful Servant to be a comprehensive, timely resource to help you be a Spirit-led servant of Jesus Christ and his church.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

Wes D. PhotoMulti-published author Wes Daughenbaugh understands pastors and church leadership. He has served forty-six years in ministry as associate pastor, lead pastor, and traveling teacher-evangelist, preaching in fifty US states and several foreign countries. With the gift of teaching, Wes turns complex truths into easy-to-remember illustrations for leaders and readers. Ordained with the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Wes lives with his wife, Bonnie, in western Oregon. They have two daughters, three grandsons, and one granddaughter. Learn more at www.EncouragementExpert.com.

 

More from Wes

WHY I WROTE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT

 

During my many years in the ministry I’ve tried to feed my leadership gift with books on leadership but I never bonded with them. They were so dry. Then never talked about being rich in God, how to get supernatural faith, have a dynamic prayer life or live in the power of the Spirit. I finally decided I just must not be a leader but only a “teacher.”  During those years I “led” thousands to Christ and led thousands more into forgiveness and lessons in Christ-like maturity.       Two years ago I began to pray earnestly that God would restore spiritual POWER to the American Church. Then to my surprise, God strongly impressed me to write a book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP and gave me the title and subtitle.  The book gushed out of me in eight days of writing and I’ve spent the last year and a half perfecting the copy and getting the sixty plus drawings finished.  This book has the leadership lessons the Holy Spirit personally taught me.  They are not DRY.  You’ll find God’s presence in this book.  It will teach you how to be a great follower of the real LEADER of the church, the Holy Spirit.

 

ONE MORE THING:  These lessons are for every Christian.  We don’t need titles and positions to be spiritual leaders.  Just desire to “lead many to righteousness” by being a great follower of the Holy Spirit.  God will use YOU to bring “massive glory” to His name.

 

Q&A with Wes Daughenbaugh

 

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this.

Wes — I started writing serial stories when I was in grade school and students would sometimes stay inside during recess to hear my next episode.  But when I was twenty-three I said to God, “I love you so much I wish I could put myself in that copy machine and make thousands of me to serve you all over the world.”  God spoke instantly and firmly, “DO IT!”  Every tract, booklet, audio CD, DVD, and book is a “copy of me.” I’ve been writing these things for forty-seven years.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Wes — I’ve read many leadership books and “success” books.  My content for my book on spiritual leadership, however, came from the thousands of hours of listening to the Bible, reading it, or studying it with the aid of a computer.  My content also comes from hearing directly from God on a number of occasions and from living my entire adult life under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book.

Wes — During the 18 years I pastored a church I’d often listen to leadership teachings, read leadership books, and sometimes go to leadership seminars.  But try as I may, I just couldn’t get excited about any of it.  It bored me.  I finally decided that I must not be a “leader” but only a teacher and evangelist.

During my 47 years in the ministry I’ve led thousands to Christ, led thousands of people into forgiveness, taught thousands to be effective in prayer, and led thousands into intimate experiences with the Holy Spirit.  But I didn’t consider myself  a “leader.”

A little more than two years ago I began to grieve over the powerless state of the American church.  I told God I would like to become a living prayer for a restoration of spiritual power in His churches.  

During a special series of meetings in Vermont I preached THE WAY BACK TO SPIRITUAL POWER.  We experienced a strong move of the Holy Spirit and a prophetic lady told me God was giving me a “trumpet.”

A few days after that I got up one morning and God clearly commissioned me to write an impassioned book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP.  I realized that the reason I hadn’t bonded with other leadership training was because most of it was secularized, unplugged from the Holy Spirit, the true Leader of the Church.

The book gushed out of me in eight days. Then I spent a year and a half carefully going over every word as well as thinking up the illustrations and getting my artist to adjust them to perfection.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing Good And Faithful Servant?

Wes — What I want readers to take away with them after finishing GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT—A Trumpet Call To Return To Spiritual Leadership. I want all my readers to put into practice these lessons because they are for every believer. We are all called to FOLLOW THE LEADER and bear spiritual fruit.  I want the readers to desire to be used of God, to bring Him “massive glory” and become spiritual “door openers for God.”  I’m praying that my book will be part of a great world-wide move of God that raises up powerful and godly spiritual leaders for an international revival that precedes the return of Jesus Christ.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Wes — I want to write a book called FREE INDEED — A Checklist For Spiritual Liberty. This book will have about 30 great individual lessons about how to live and walk in the Kingdom of God.  It will major on revealing Christ and minor on exposing the devil.  It will help you major on worship and minor on spiritual warfare.

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Wes — GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT will become a full curriculum with a DVD set of me teaching through it, along with a Teacher’s Guide (E-book) and a fillable Student Workbook (also an E-book).  My delight would be for many of you to not only read it but to TEACH IT so that you use it to train and raise up true spiritual leaders.

I believe the need for spiritual leaders is the GREATEST NEED in the world, and there are surely many needs.  To say that anything is the GREATEST NEED is quite a statement.  Nevertheless, it is true.  There is no greater need than the need for hundreds of thousands of true spiritual leaders to be raised up.

 

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

By The Book, September 10 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

For the Love of Literature, September 15 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 15

For Him and My Family, September 16

Artistic Nobody, September 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 19

Through the Fire Blogs, September 20 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Wes is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10094/good-and-faithful-servant-celebration-tour-giveaway

Top 10 Tuesday — Author Interviews

25 Aug

I have been blessed over the years in opportunities to meet fantastic authors. It’s always a thrill to interact with writers either face to face or via email and social media. In the ten plus years I have been blogging, I have interviewed a number of my favorites, and since I am not as creative as them I have a stock list of questions. For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday I decided to highlight the answers authors gave to my number one question — When did you know you were a writer? I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into their writing journeys. And to see the rest of the interviews, just click on the author’s name.

For more author info/interviews, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.  

 

When did you first become a writer?

 

Pepper Basham author of The Red Ribbon (October 2020)

I feel like I’ve always been a storyteller, but I didn’t start ‘writing’ down those stories until I was about 7 or 8. I actually still have a story I wrote and illustrated from when I was 9. Poorly illustrated . . . it was pretty clear writing was more my forte than drawing (especially from the sizes of the noses on my poor people I drew 😉 .

 

 

Lori Benton author of Mountain Laurel (September 2020)

I’ve always been a writer, making up stories as a child. Really! I was in the third grade and already a voracious reader when my best friend said out of the blue, “I wrote a story.” She showed it to me, and I was instantly intrigued. Could I write a story? It was an epiphany. I wrote a story. And never really stopped. But one day I decided to get more serious about it (I was about 21 by this time) and see if I could write a novel and maybe (if I could figure out how one did so) get it published. That novel, which I did finish, wasn’t published. Nor the one I wrote after that. It was quite a few years later (22 years in fact) before my debut novel Burning Sky reached store shelves. 

 

 

Kimberly Duffy author of A Mosaic of Wings

I wrote my first story at the age of eleven. It was about an inchworm. When I was twelve I wrote my first romance — about a girl who gets stuck in an elevator with her celebrity crush. And I really haven’t stopped writing since. Before I began writing, though, I loved stories and words and daydreams. 

 

 

Rachel Dylan of Backlash (October 2020)

I think I have always been a writer. As a child, I was a voracious reader. I gobbled up books left and right. I started writing stories and poems in elementary school. Everyone in high school assumed I was going to become an English professor. It didn’t turn out quite like that, but writing has always been a part of who I am.

 

 

Camille Eide author of Wings Like A Dove

Age 7. I wrote and illustrated my first novel. It was about Snoopy. I don’t remember it, but am fairly certain it wasn’t a bestseller.

 

 

Heather Day Gilbert of No Filter, Barks And Beans Cafe mystery series

From the time I was about four, I loved words and reading. I won a writing contest in fifth grade . . . but I didn’t realize I was a writer until I was about twelve. We came back from an ocean trip and I sat on the porch and wrote a poem . . . and Boom! It hit me — I was a writer. I promptly shared this epiphany with my mom and my grandma, and they were duly impressed. LOL. That’s not to say I launched into an immediate writing career trajectory. Goodness knows I entertained plenty of other majors in college, though I wound up with a degree in Humanities that focused on literature and writing.

 

 

Jocelyn Green author of Veiled in Smoke

My first book was writing captions in my Bugs Bunny coloring book to make it an actual story. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t writing. My first published books were nonfiction, though, mostly devotionals, before I started writing historical fiction.

 

Tracy Groot of The Maggie Bright

I think it was when I sought to right what I considered was a wrong: In the early years of my marriage, my father-in-law told me that his family had rescued a Jewish boy during WWII. They risked their lives to shelter him for one year, and then they got him to England through the Dutch underground. I asked him, “Did he ever come back to thank you for what he did?” “No.” “Well — did anyone thank you?” “No.”

 

 

Richard Mabry, MD author of Critical Decision

I never considered becoming an author outside of medicine until the death of my first wife, Cynthia. Almost a year after her passing, I began to consider turning the journaling I’d done into a book, but had no idea how. Finally, at a writer’s conference, I got an inkling of 1) how to write a book, and 2) how hard it is to get one published. But I did and it was. The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse has been out for a decade and ministered to many thousands who have suffered a similar loss.

 

 

Rachel McMillan author of The London Restoration

I always loved reading and making up stories in my head. One year, my brother Jared gave me a diary for Christmas and I wrote all the time. That’s when I knew. Even if I never publish another book, I will always write stories. I enjoy it so much.

 

 

 

 

Spotlight And Author Interview — Jane Doe

4 Jul

About The Book

Book:  Jane Doe

Author: Lillian Duncan

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 26, 2020

A Broken Body. A Broken Mind. What If She Wasn’t The Last Victim?Jane Doe

Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. She wants to put the past behind her, but nightmarish memories won’t let her . . . At first because she doesn’t have them, and then because she does.

Even though her fractured memory can’t recall every detail, she’s haunted by one thought: What if she wasn’t the last victim? Her search for answers leads her to the highest politicians in the land. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth — and to even more danger.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

 

About The Author

Lillian Duncan… turning faith into fiction.

Lillian lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband. She writes the types of books she loves to read. Even though her books cross genres, they have one thing in common, faith-based stories that demonstrate God’s love—and lots of action. OK, that’s two things.

She was a school speech pathologist for over 30 years but retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic disease.

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:www.lillianduncan.com.

 

More from Lillian

JANE DOE is my latest novel and it’s a doozy!

What’s the genre you ask? It’s suspense with lots of drama and action…but it also a political thriller…but it also has a lot of mystery components…but there’s the romance element as well… and let’s not forget the spiritual message! No matter what genre you classify it as, it’s one I think you’ll enjoy!

So how did JANE DOE come about?

I’d finished all my edits on a current book and was feeling very uninspired. I had no idea for my next story, so I went on FB and asked people to send me an idea for my next suspense novel. An old high school friend sent me the suggestion to write a story where the main character struggled with memory loss.

Mmmm… but the old amnesia plot has been done and it’s a big no-no that writing experts warn against. I took the challenge and wrote JANE DOE. It’s definitely not your typical amnesia plot, but the main character is haunted by her memories.

First, because she doesn’t have them and then because she does!

Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. Even though she can’t remember the details of her kidnapping, she’s haunted by the thought that someone else is being victimized by the kidnapper she can’t remember.

Her journey to discover the truth leads her to the highest politicians in the state and then the country. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth — and to even more danger.

I’m not going to give away the plot, but there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading late into the night!

 

Q&A with Lillian Duncan

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

If that’s your definition of a writer, then I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I called it daydreaming, but it was much more than daydreaming. My daydreams were filled with characters who did all sorts of interesting things. But I didn’t actually start to put my stories on paper until I was forty. And even then, I didn’t feel like a “real writer.” It wasn’t until I got my first traditional contract that I started to feel that way.

Why did you choose the suspense genre?

Mystery and suspense are my favorite genres to read so it makes sense that I write them as well. But I’ve branched out in my writing to include women’s fiction, YA novels, and stories that I simply call Christian Stories.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

For most of the 25 years I’ve been writing, I was very structured. I wrote every day but the amount of time varied. I’m not nearly as structured as I used to be for health reasons, but I still try to write every day — if only for a few minutes.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

I was actually feeling very uninspired, so I went on FB and asked people to send me an idea for my next suspense novel. An old high school friend sent me the suggestion to write a story where the main character struggled with memory loss. I took the challenge and wrote JANE DOE.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Life isn’t always pretty or easy. I want my stories to reflect God’s goodness and power as my characters face difficult circumstances and challenges 

If we keep God at the center of our life, he promises to give us beauty for the ashes. I know this to be true in my own life. Since being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in 2012, God has strengthened me, kept me in peace and joy, and blessed me in so many ways.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I’m so excited about my new MESSENGER series. It’s a YA series, but really anyone who loves dystopian, futuristic type stories will enjoy it. The novella series follows Magdalena Denton as she struggles to learn about God in the godless country of NewAmerica where all religion has been banned, even saying the name of God is punishable by death. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 2

Just the Write Escape, July 3

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, July 4

Inklings and notions, July 5

Betti Mace, July 6

Andrea Christenson, July 7 (Author Interview)

Hebrews 12 Endurance, July 7

For Him and My Family, July 8

Texas Book-aholic, July 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 11

For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)

Bigreadersite, July 12

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, July 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lillian is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fd8f/jane-doe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spotlight And Author Interview — Something I Am Not

4 Jul

About The Book

Book:  Something I am Not

Author: Cher Gatto

Genre: YA Fiction

Release Date: January 25, 2019

Something I am NotA father who never loved him…
A woman who stole his worth…
And a brother he couldn’t protect.

Where does someone run in the face of his deepest shame?

Billy McQueen works hard to keep his life together … and concealed. At seventeen, he dreams of an escape from the barroom, his father’s manipulation, and the advances of his father’s girlfriend. However, on his eighteenth birthday, Billy is introduced to a younger brother he never knew he had. An eight-year-old who is barely capable of navigating the corrupt world of his father’s boxing club.

Now, in order to secure his freedom, Billy must fight for it. But to save his little brother who is next in line for the slave trade … he must die for it.

SOMETHING I AM NOT, formerly titled Billy, won the ACFW Genesis Award for the Contemporary category. It was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

cher ghattoCher Gatto is a native to NJ and lives with her husband (pastor) and five teenagers. Their family spent 10 years in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids (see more about the ranch below) and founded an addictions ministry (R-HUB) back in the states. Cher has a Master’s in Psychology and serves as president of the ACFW NY/NJ chapter. Cher’s debut novel won the Genesis Award in 2016 and the Christian Indie Award for Best YA in 2020. Her new novel, Regent, is scheduled to release this fall, and she has begun a sequel to Something I Am Not.

 

More from Cher

I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (my husband and I and our five children) lived in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families in impoverished villages surrounding the ranch. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter in the city, and we used the horses to love on the girls there. I say “women’s” shelter, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.

About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. And one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it.

I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. But three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I thought I was writing a fiction novel, but Billy’s journey gave me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.

I needed a different ending—a redemption. Billy’s story became an allegory on life. He lives under the wrong “father,” as an orphan, believing the fear and shame that those lies wield. But in finding the right Father, he finds where he truly belong. Billy’s story is about coming home. It’s his story, and it’s ours.

Something I Am Not was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. It won the 2016 Genesis Award for the contemporary category and 2020 Christian Indie Award for best Young Adult fiction.

 

Q&A With Cher Gatto

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer? And what inspired your latest novel?

These two questions go hand-in-hand for me, and both came out of left field. The truth is I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (myself, husband and 5 kids) lived in Mexico for ten years developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter, and we used the horses to love on the women. I say women, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.

 About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. Then one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it. Just one distinct scene, actually. 

I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. In truth, I had no idea it connected to my life at all. Three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. And I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I realized later that Billy’s journey had given me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.

 I needed a different ending — a redemption story. 

I thought I was done after that. One novel in me and that was it. But one turned into the next, and now I’m hooked.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

When I wrote Billy’s story, I wrote it alone. In a back room at our ranch in Mexico. I never intended it to be for someone else’s eyes. I think that’s what gave me the freedom to just write. On one of my mom’s vacations to see us, she asked to read some. Reluctantly, I gave her the first chapter, then the next and the next. I couldn’t keep up with her ferocious appetite for the story until it was finished and she had read it all. That’s a mom for you, right?! But it gave me an ounce of courage to show my writing to the rest of the world. 

Why did you choose YA genre?

I never chose YA, it chose me I guess. My strongest reader group is still women over 40! But I am continually drawn to the heart of a young adult. The turmoil of that time in our lives. It’s passions, vulnerabilities, and constant upheaval. It’s a unique time that can be both formative and life-changing.  

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

My second novel, Regent, is in its final stages of editing. If you’re interested, my webpage has book trailers of both novels and their first chapters. For anyone interested in being on my Street Team for the upcoming launch of Regent, reach out to me. I’m always looking for Beta readers.

Although Something I Am Not is a stand-alone novel, my readers have asked for a sequel. A few weeks ago, I began that. It was like meeting an old friend. I slipped back into his skin with little effort and am enjoying this new journey of healing through Billy’s eyes. 

 

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5

Book of Ruth Ann, July 6

Artistic Nobody, July 7 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Wishful Endings, July 9 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, July 9

Inklings and notions, July 10

For Him and My Family, July 11

For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, July 16

Just the Write Escape, July 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cher is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fd98/something-i-am-not-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight And Author Interview: Practicing Muder

21 Jun

About The Book

Book:  Practicing Murder

Author: Erin Unger

Genre:  Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 2019

Graduate student Maddie Clare is never talking to her ex-boyfriend Joze Evans or God again. Broken from her past and Joze’s betrayal, she must go home for her Aunt Lonna’s funeral. But after a run-in with a stalker, who insists Maddie knows the secret that had Aunt Lonna investigating him, she’s afraid for her life and must accept Joze’s protection.

As the stalker draws closer, how will Maddie and Joze face the past and their love that never died? And will Maddie stay out of the stalker’s grip long enough to figure out what secret he possesses?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

About The Author

Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her grown children and a couple grandkids.

 

More from Erin

Books are powerful. Whole other worlds can unfold in a few well-stated sentences. There’s nothing like that feeling a reader gets when the perfect book is open on their lap and it pulls them in on the first page. It’s like a gift. Sometimes they make us rethink long held ideas. At times they mirror what we’re going through. And sometimes they remind us of areas in our lives we haven’t worked on.

But not every book is for every person. Sometimes it’s not the best seller that struck the right cord, or the book everyone’s reading, it’s the one you stumbled upon on a special or heard of from a friend. It’s a God-ordained tool to show us His ways and plans.

As Christian writers, the power to transform is even more in our hands. We have the ability to show how great our God is and how he works in the most unusual ways at times. We use our gift to do more than only entertain, we want to make Him more real to our readers. We want to show them how to grow and change as our characters do. And it’s amazing that we can use fiction to do so.

Next time you pick up a book, see if you can find the message hidden in the character’s struggles. Maybe God used a writer to put it there just for you to learn.

 

Q&A with Erin Unger

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

When I was in sixth grade, I wrote my first entire story for a contest our teacher wanted all the students to enter. That was the when I became a writer. But it did take many years after that for me to write for publication.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My biggest encourager from day one was my husband, and he’s the one that keeps pushing me to write when I get down about the writing world.

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

Researching is one of my favorite parts about writing. I’ve been to pretty much every place I’ve written about. I research the location every time through these visits. And I use the internet and GPS to help also. Books are an important resource as well. I like to compare writing styles and descriptive details in other authors’ works in the same genre.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

When I write, I always work when my husband is at work. We’re too busy for me to write when he’s home. So if he works a fourteen hour day, then I write a good portion of that time myself. His schedule is not set, so every week is different for me.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Lisa Carter, writer of suspense and romance for Abingdon Press and Harlequin, inspired my latest novel. I had no intent to ever write Amish suspense, but once she started talking about it, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And God seemed to be tapping me on the shoulder about it, so I sat down and wrote a book in four weeks that was in that genre.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 11

Wishful Endings, June 12 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 14

Inklings and notions, June 15

Blossoms and Blessings, June 16 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, June 16

Betti Mace, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 18

Blogging With Carol, June 19

Artistic Nobody, June 20 (Guest Review from Kelsey Barela)

By The Book, June 21 (Author Interview)

CarpeDiem, June 22

Simple Harvest Reads, June 23 (Guest Review from Joni)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc71/practicing-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Valley of Shadows by Candace West

16 Jun

Valley of Shadows FB Banner

About The Book

Book:  Valley of Shadows

Author: Candace West

Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: March 17, 2020

Final Final Final Valley of ShadowsForgiving is far from forgetting.

Lorena Steen gave up on love years ago. After arriving at Valley Creek to visit her daughters, she stumbles first thing into Earl, the husband who abandoned her.

As for Earl, facing Lorena while fighting his own demons tempts him to flee town. How can he rebuild a relationship with his daughters and cynical neighbors when guilt shadows every step?
While the storm brews between them, another storm descends on Valley Creek. Will a ghost town stand in its wake?

But then the townsfolk devise a plan. All they need is a former concert pianist and violinist. A wife and husband estranged.

Can Lorena and Earl set aside their feelings to rescue a community? Even though it sweeps them back through valleys best forgotten? Especially when a forbidden love claims his right to win Lorena’s heart?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

 

About the Author

Candace PoseyCandace West was born in the Mississippi delta to a young minister and his wife. She grew up in small-town Arkansas and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. When she was twelve years old, she wrote her first story, “Following Prairie River.” In 2018, she published her debut novel Lane Steen. By weaving hope-filled, page-turning stories, Candace shares the Gospel and encourages her readers. She currently lives in her beloved Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three cats.

 

 

 

More from Candace

Why I Wrote Valley of Shadows

Can a villain become a hero? When I ended my debut novel Lane Steen, I knew someday I had to discover if a kidnapper and alcoholic was worth saving. Could that same person save a town after tragedy strikes while wrestling with his own demons?

Earl Steen had a dark valley to cross.

With a destroyed reputation, Earl must prove in Valley of Shadows that God has not wasted His efforts on him. Also, Lorena, his estranged wife, has her own score to settle. How can she when the villain no longer exists?

Nothing tugs at my heart more than lost, unrequited love. My second book focuses on their lost relationship. Earl and Lorena had haunted one another long enough. Could God mend what Earl had shattered?

Sitting down to write, I returned to Valley Creek and uncovered places within Earl’s heart that I never knew existed. Lorena’s struggles became mine as she grappled with understanding and forgiving. The dark places of their past somehow had to merge with the light of a hopeful future.

Getting Earl and Lorena to rediscover their love was a journey fraught with tension, grief, frustration, and hope. Was it worth every rewrite, every long hour staring at my computer screen waiting for my characters’ next move?

You bet!

Q&A with Candace West

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved hearing stories and telling them. As a child, I was an avid reader, but I never wrote a story until I was twelve years old. We were on a trip to Colorado. To pass the time, I picked up my notebook and started writing a story about two orphans on a Kansas prairie (we were traveling through Kansas). I’ve been writing ever since. 

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My mother is my greatest encourager, always pushing me to write the stories of my heart. Through the years, I’ve had close friends who have lovingly pushed and prodded me to publish my stories. I thank all of them because I wouldn’t have done it if they hadn’t believed in me. 

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

From start to finish, it takes almost a year to craft a story from first draft to release day. I admire and envy writers who can write 5,000 words or more a day. How do they do it? I’m a homeschooling mama. There are tons of chores and a big yard to mow. And that’s not counting the daily unexpected adventures of country living. Some days I’m thrilled if I write 250 words. I’ve learned one thing, though. Never stop writing and give yourself grace even if you don’t make your goal. 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

In Valley of Shadows, I had to get to know Earl Steen better. In my first book, he was the villain, a character I loved to hate. Along the way, I started peeling away layers of his past. Why was Earl such an angry man? By the end of book one, I wanted Earl to become the hero of book two. Valley of Shadows is his story as well as Lorena’s, his estranged wife. 

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I’m currently working on book three of the Valley Creek Redemption series. My story focuses on two side characters from book two, Ella and George. I’m excited to discover the journey they’re taking!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 4

For the Love of Literature, June 5 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, June 6

Texas Book-aholic, June 7

Older & Smarter?, June 8

Betti Mace, June 9

Artistic Nobody, June 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Through the Fire Blogs, June 12

For Him and My Family, June 13

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, June 15

By The Book, June 16 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, one signed paperback copy of Lane Steen and Valley of Shadows!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc17/valley-of-shadows-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Relentless Love by Heather Greer

10 Jun

About The Book

Book:  Relentless Love

Author: Heather Greer

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Without passion, there is no love. Without love, is she even living? Relentless Love Cover

Living with limits protects a heart from hurt. After unexpectedly losing her husband, it’s a lesson Katie Blake has learned well. From moving in with her elderly father to staying at home with her son, Sammy, Katie’s life has been arranged to avoid further pain.

After three years, life feels stagnant. It’s time to carefully venture into the world once again. Sammy needs friends his age, and Katie needs a project to focus on.

As Sammy adjusts to preschool, Katie finds her perfect job. Her position even allows her to befriend Anna, a young mother who needs encouragement. Events also bring Nathan Phillips, a childhood friend, back into her life. Each successful step forward encourages Katie to continue opening her heart. By the time her friendship with Nathan begins to deepen, Katie is ready to pursue the relationship.

Nathan’s encouragement gives Katie strength to make tough decisions regarding her father’s care as his dementia progresses. But when Sammy is injured while in Nathan’s care, Katie knows she’s made a mistake. It won’t happen again. Abandoning their relationship in favor of safety is only the beginning. Katie has felt God calling her to help change Anna’s situation, but the risk is too great. God will have to find another way to help.

It takes a strange message from her father for Katie to understand God’s relentless love and desire for her life to reflect His love. But will Katie take the risk or continue limiting love in favor of a life without hurt?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

 

About The Author

Heather Greer is a pastor’s kid and pastor’s wife from southern Illinois. Though her nest is quickly approaching the empty stage, with three of her four children out on their own, she enjoys the times she gets to spend with all her children, husband, and grandson. Equal mix geek and romantic, you could as easily find Heather watching an episode of Doctor Who as the latest Hallmark movie. Of course, you may find her baking, reading, or crafting too!

Heather’s writing and teaching ministries revolve around a passion to see believers grow in their faith. Though God has used her most often with teens and adults, she has worked in ministries reaching all age groups through the years. It is Heather’s prayer for God to use what she writes in her books and on her blog to challenge and encourage readers in their faith walks.

 

 

More from Heather

Authors leave a bit of themselves on the pages of what they write. Whether it comes out in a name or character’s special interest or a faith lesson the author had to learn themselves before they could put in on paper, somewhere in what is written readers will find a hint of the author in the story. This glimpse into the author’s world add a feeling of authenticity to the story.

My family and friends will quickly recognize at least one of these windows into my world as they read Relentless Love. Though I didn’t intend it, my personal experiences with dementia and Alzheimer’s care are woven into the story. While the exact details are different, I was a full-time caregiver to my grandmother through the middle and late stages of her life with dementia. Dealing with the confusion, illogical thinking, obsessing, and paranoia that are portrayed in the story is part of everyday life for a caregiver.

In including Katie’s experience with her father’s deteriorating mental health, I pray others facing the same struggle find encouragement and strength. And because my time with my grandma was blessed with sweet memories, in spite of the struggles, I’d like to share a recipe she passed down to me in high school. I cannot make this cookie without thinking of the one who made it first and all the lessons she taught me about what it means to love God, our families, and others.

Lace Cookies  – from the kitchen of Sue Ellen Forby

Ingredients:

1 cup oats                                            3Tbs. flour

¼ tsp. salt                                            1 stick butter

1 cup sugar                                          1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. baking powder                         1 egg

Directions: Mix oats, salt, sugar, baking powder, and flour. Melt butter and pour over dry ingredients. Add vanilla and egg. Mix well. Refrigerate at least one hour, until set.

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into marble sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Edges of cookies will be golden brown. Remove from oven and carefully slide parchment from pan to let cookies cool completely before removing them from paper. These cookies puff during cooking but flatten out completely as they cool.

 

Q&A with Heather Greer

 

Why did you choose the contemporary Christian romance genre?

I didn’t set out to write in this genre. I love reading in the contemporary Christian romance genre, but I also enjoy historical romance, fantasy, and even a little suspense now and then. It was the story and Katie herself that determined the genre and even the setting of the story. As Katie and her story developed, the needed genre and setting were clear. 

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

There are easy to point to obstacles in my writing journey. I have four children. When I began pursuing writing seriously, they were younger and demanded more of my time. Currently, I work full-time outside the home. Writing and keeping up with all the extras that come with writing is more difficult when your most productive times are spent at another job. It means weekends and evenings are packed, and you have difficult choices to make about what you will and won’t commit to. But I want to be completely honest with you today. One of my biggest obstacles to overcome in writing is doubt or fear. Writing means putting yourself out there, and it includes feedback. We get feedback from critique partners, agents, publishers, and readers. That’s a scary thing when you’ve put part of yourself on the page. I have to keep reminding myself that if God has given me this way to minster to others, He is the one taking it where He wants it to go and will make the stories speak to whomever He needs it to speak to. 

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

It depends on the book. My first book took a while because I had to learn how to focus and get it done. From start to publication probably took a year and a half to two years. The second and third book had to go from idea to release in one year. An unrelated book I wrote after finishing this series only took a few months to finish, though I know before publication it will have to face more time being edited and perfected for print. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Like all authors, I want my stories to entertain readers. I want them to feel like they’ve spent time with new friends. But I want my stories to be more than entertainment. No matter what I write, I want readers to leave the story feeling encouraged or challenged in their faith. Whether it’s something new about God’s love and living faith or a reminder about one of those things, I pray God uses the story to bless each reader.  

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I have a couple works in progress I can talk about. One is a finished manuscript that I had a lot of fun writing. It is contemporary. But where this series dealt with the heavy stuff of life, this new one is lighthearted. It tells the story of a cupcake truck owner’s experience as a competitor on a televised baking competition.  

The second is one I recently started working on. It is a historical fiction set in the 1920s. This book will be one part of a series I’m working on with a couple friends of mine. Each of us is writing one novel in the series, and our stories are tied together with a beautiful stained glass window. I’m excited to see where the window and the stories end up. 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Andrea Christenson, June 3 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, June 4

Rebecca Tews, June 5

Batya’s Bits, June 6

My Devotional Thoughts, June 7 (Author Interview)

Writing from the Heart Land, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 9

By The Book, June 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, June 11

Quiet Quilter, June 12

Artistic Nobody, June 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, June 14

deb’s Book Review, June 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Heather is giving away the grand prize of $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fccd/relentless-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Lilah by Caryl McAdoo

9 Jun

About The Book

Book:  Lilah

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2020

How can death, betrayal, a rash proposal, and revenge lead to romance?

An abusive controller compels reluctant travelers westward. To flee her foul stepfather, Lilah proposes marriage to the wagon train scout, which only leaves Padraig thinking she’s a bit soft in the head. It’s 1855. Come join the journey along the Oregon Trail with Captain Cumby. Wagon Ho!

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

 

About The Author

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling novels — over fifty published — delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her — listen to a few at YouTube. Sharing four children and eighteen grandsugars with Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, she lives in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

 

More from Caryl

Writing Lilah wasn’t as easy as some of the past stories because of dealing with such an evil man—her uncle then stepfather, forcing himself on her mother after Papa passed. But my young heroine’s courage, spunk, and daunting outspokenness had me grinning in no time.

Straight off the bat, the fifteen-year-old proposes to the first single man she runs into! It almost reminds me of my own romance, when on the second night of our life together (we’d had our first date the evening before) my husband Ron told me, “I know it doesn’t mean much now, but I love you.”

Later I learned he’d told his mother that same night that he’d met the girl he was going to marry. She didn’t share that until after we were an old married couple with two little boys.

We all have our own love stories, and I’d love to hear yours! This is the reason I so love writing romance! And historical romance is even better because I loved the way women were so honored back then. For the most part, they stayed home and reared their own children and worked hard as the helpmate of their husbands.

Plus, I love the research for the era of the novels and once written, a historical is never out of date! Contemporary romance will be outdated almost as soon as it’s written these days due to the technology. In my lifetime—the first twenty years of such is now considered as “history” by the publishing industry!—things have changed extraordinarily!

I don’t know if any generation has seen such advances as my own. My parents’ watched the first televisions, but that can’t begin to compare with computers in every home. I believe we truly are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation—a peculiar people who will show forth the praises of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord with me and be blessed!
This Texas author hopes readers will love Lilah as I always am, “Praying my story gives God glory!”

 

Q&A with Caryl McAdoo

 

Why did you choose historical Christian romance genre?

I never could choose one genre. I have contemporary Christian romance, Biblical fiction, and stories for mid-grade readers and for Young Adults, but by far historical Christian romance is my favorite genre and the one my readers love most.

My author’s motto or tagline is “Praying my story gives God glory!” History can be considered HIS-story and while I never appreciated history in school, it was Ron’s favorite subject (another thing that makes our writing collaboration so successful). We’ve been enjoying being romantic for over fifty-four years now, since we were sixteen. (married at eighteen) God is Love. 

It seems so right.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

The agent, Mary Sue Seymour, told me to write the book on the way to DFW International Airport to catch her flight home. She’d flown in for a small writers’ conference in East Texas. That was the last Sunday of April, and we — my co-author husband and I — started writing it the next day. It took nine weeks to finish and send it to her. She sent a contract to represent us and sold it after a few edits in two months to Simon & Schuster!

They had eight different edits work on it and took almost two years, until March of 2014 to release it into the stores. I publish independently now and can’t imagine ever selling another title to a traditional publisher.

Now I can write a three hundred page story, get it edited and proofread (new eyes — NO author should ever try to be their own!), then formatted while working on the cover, and published at Amazon in two months if I’m in a hurry, not two years. That’s only ONE of the reasons I love being hybrid! 

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

It’s always different for each book. We took off and drove the Oregon / California Trail for research and also visited Washington on the Brazos in Central Texas to see where they voted to join the Union. We research what books came out that year for our characters to read or perhaps what plays were at the Theaters.

I like to study the vernacular of their slang then to include a little of that in the books. Ron researches about how wine barrels are made and how the pioneers fixed their broken wagon wheels! Then for BITTER HONEY, we researched vineyards and making wine and hunting alligators! 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule? 

Ron, my husband often gets up very early, before the chickens or the sun. After he prays about an hour, he plays spider solitaire then writes. I get up dependent on when I went to sleep—he never knows unless I’m still awake when he gets up which happens frequently. He lets me sleep until I wake up which this morning was a little after ten.

After a cup of coffee and a little bite to break my fast, I go over what he’s written, adding what I want as I go then I write ahead and he will go over mine and write ahead. That’s how we go. We usually write about an hour each and almost always write over a thousand words per day.

When we’re ridin’ in the car (Walmart is 45 minutes away in Paris, Texas), we’ll discuss the story and where we want it to go next, and never know when we start how it’s going to end. We write for discovery.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Coming June 9th is KENTUCKY BRIDE, book eight in the North & South: Civil War Brides Collection in which each state or territory that had any role in the war is highlighted for their most famous event in the order of each battle or incident.

There are thirty-seven books in all by seventeen authors. Reading the entire series in order will give a great overview of that terrible time in our country’s history.

Then in July, A NURSE FOR JACOB debuts. It’s in the Nursing the Heart Collection. 

And the title we’re writing now TEXAS TROUBLES is book five in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga AND also in the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection!

 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

For Him and My Family, June 7

deb’s Book Review, June 8

By The Book, June 9 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 12 (Author Interview)

Betti Mace, June 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 14

A Baker’s Perspective, June 15 (Author Interview)

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16

Artistic Nobody, June 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

My Devotional Thoughts, June 18 (Author Interview)

Connie’s History Classroom, June 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc1b/lilah-celebration-tour-giveaway