Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday with Friends--JoAnn Durgin with a Giveaway!

I am happy to welcome JoAnn Durgin from Southern Indiana today. We haven't met in person yet, but have connected by email several times so I feel like I already know her. I'm certain you will enjoy getting to know more about her and her books, too. And she has generously offered to give a copy of her first book to one commenter who leaves a message on this post before midnight on Aug. 7th. she knows several people have been having trouble posting due to problems on blogger, so is allowing extra time for you to post, so if it doesn't work this time, try back in a day or two.

Guestblog by JoAnn Durgin
Hi there! I’ve done a lot of blog interviews for my debut novel, Awakening, which released in November 2010. Wanting to do something a little different and “fresh” for Rose’s blog, I decided to share a fun passage from Awakening which reveals the characters, playfulness and humor shared between my hero, Sam Lewis, and his heroine, Lexa Clarke. My second novel, Second Time Around, releases September 15th (read more about it at the end of this article).

For those of you who might not be familiar with me or my books, here are the pertinent facts in a nutshell:

*Awakening was originally written more than a decade ago and is very loosely based on my love story with my own husband. It’s more the characters of strong, faith-driven Sam and his feisty but resilient and resourceful Lexa that are truly representative of us.

*My husband was in the ministry, and we’ve “been around” in the nicest sense of the word, having met in TX, moved to CA, then PA, then MA and now we live in my little corner of the world, home in my heart where I grew up, southern (stress that) IN (where IN meets KY at the Ohio River in Louisville).

* I penned my first full-length romance novel as a young, stay-at-home mom. I spent a decade raising our children, and it wasn’t until I moved back to IN that I dug out my manuscripts (the number had grown) and literally blew off the dust bunnies. I still don’t have an agent, but Awakening sold to the first publisher who reviewed it (please don’t hate me for telling you that, but it’s a testament to dogged determination – authors, if you’ve written your passion, don’t ever give up!).

*Awakening has reached the Top-Rated List in several categories on Amazon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It will be featured in the Christian Book Distributors catalog this fall, and that thrills my heart.

Without further ado, here’s that excerpt:

Lexa’s eyes narrowed with suspicion. “Who made these rules and regulations, anyway?”

Sam avoided her gaze and grunted, retrieving his hat. “I think you know the answer to that one. I have a board who works with me, you know. It’s not like I decide these things all by myself, and they’re set in stone.”

“You mean you’re not really Moses and they’re not really the Ten Commandments?”

“No.” Sam laughed.

“Still, I was right,” she grumbled. “I’ve been drafted, and this is boot camp.” Sam’s attention turned to her bed where something peeked out from underneath her pillow.

Oh, no. Lexa reached out to stop him, but it was too late. Following close behind, her cheeks grew warm with shame. She watched helplessly as Sam pulled out the corner of the romance novel. Lexa’s hands dropped to her sides, and she hung her head. She hadn’t been so humiliated since the whole incident when he rescued her from the thugs in San Antonio. And before that, there’d been the armadillo encounter. She supposed she should be grateful to Sam since he must not have written her up for the offending incident of going out to the worksite by herself on only her second day in the TeamWork camp. What a fool she’d been. A few times over. But somehow, the man still seemed to like her.

Sam’s words brought her back to the present. “What do we have here?” He chuckled under his breath, and his eyes held thinly-veiled amusement. Considering the shirtless Sam look-alike on the cover, Lexa knew her cheeks must be positively flaming. Surely this moment qualified as the most humiliating incident.

“I’m not really reading it.” The protest sounded weak. It was a useless defense although true. After all, it was the same book she’d started since coming to the camp. Under normal circumstances, she would have been on a fourth or fifth romance novel by now. “Besides, my bed, my pillow, and certainly this book,” Lexa muttered, seizing it from his hands, “is my personal property, thank you very much. At least while I’m here in the TeamWork camp,” she stammered.

“But it is your book, right?”

“Just shoot me now.” Lexa buried her face in her hands.

Sam surprised her by laughing. “I won’t say a word except to say the guy on the front looks vaguely familiar. He has a rather ugly mug, wouldn’t you say?”

Lexa stared at him, not bothering to hide her surprise. “For the record, I bought that book a long time ago. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve spent a lot more time reading your Bible than this silly book.” Although he said nothing, Sam’s expression was far too smug. She blew out a quick breath. “Go ahead. Tell me. I’m sure you have an opinion you’re just dying to share.” She motioned with her hands. “Let me have it.”

Carrying the chair back across the room, Sam returned to where she once again sat on the edge of the bed. “Okay, but only since you asked.”

Lexa tilted her chin. “I’m listening.”

“I don’t really know much about those kinds of books except that they’re full of situations that should be reserved for a marriage relationship, if even that.” He looked embarrassed, as though wondering why he’d voiced his opinion in the first place. Pulling Lexa quickly to her feet, Sam wrapped his hands securely around her waist. His slightly rough jaw brushed against her cheek as he leaned close.

She loved his nearness, the smell of the outdoors resonating from him, the feel of those strong arms holding her, completely encircling her.

“I also know something else, Miss Clarke.” With his whispered words, Sam’s lips, soft and warm, brushed over her temple. “Real life is a whole lot more fun.”

With a final wave and a parting smile, Sam was gone. Watching him replace the Stetson on his way out the door, Lexa slumped back down to the bed, covering her head with the pillow to stifle her escaping moan.

Second Time Around focuses on Natalie, one of Lexa’s roommates in the San Antonio TeamWork Missions work camp. She’s a newlywed in Boston, and due to circumstances beyond the control of Natalie and her husband, Marc, they are forced apart. It’s a story of finding their way back to one another, and you’ll root for Marc (told primarily from his point of view) and Natalie as they discover that surrendering all at the throne of grace doesn’t mean failure, it’s simply called faith. I spend a good deal of time setting up their story and then bring in Sam and Lexa and eventually most of the other TeamWork volunteers. If you enjoyed Awakening, I think you’ll also enjoy Marc and Natalie’s adventures.

Thank you for hosting me today, Rose! I welcome any comments. Blessings! Matthew 5:16

Thank you for sharing, JoAnn. Below are the links to JoAnn's website and regular blogs. Her books (paperback for $12.99 and Kindle, Nook and other e-book versions for $5.99) are available online at Amazon, Christian Book Distributors (online and in the catalog in Fall 2011), Barnes & Noble and other online outlets.



Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Spotlight on Bernard Boulton

Join me today in welcoming another member of our John316 Blog Tour. We'll start with a bio: Bernard has been a reader since at the age of five when his cousin Yvette placed a book in his hand and introduced him to the wonderful world of books. Throughout his life he has read fiction and nonfiction books that have gripped his imagination and made him believe in greater things.
Bernard’s reading sparked a desire in him to one day produce his own story. As he got older the spark became a vision and the vision is about to be manifested through his first novel.
As a student at the Cuyahoga Community College Bernard was mentored by Dr. George
Eppley who encouraged his gift and ability in writing. Dr. Eppley encouraged Bernard to
pursue his writing for publication. As a member of the New Sardis Church in Cleveland
Ohio Bernard used his gifts in writing as a staff member of the church’s newsletter.
Bernard continues to be thankful for Pastor Larry Tatum and Lady Iris B. Tatum for the
opportunity to write and move in his purpose of writing.
Bernard attended the Cleveland Ohio Public School System graduating from East High
in June 1985. He attended Cuyahoga Community College, Warren Bible Institute,
Moody Bible Institute and he graduated from Christian Life School of Theology where
he received an Associate degree in Theology.
Bernard gave his life to Jesus at the age of eight and entered the preaching ministry at
the age of seventeen. He is a widely traveled preacher with a relevant word and he has
ministered in the Word throughout the United States and Haiti. He has pastored
churches in the states of West Virginia, Texas and Virginia. He is in his ninth year as the
pastor of the New Mine Creek Church in south Virginia.
Bernard is married to his wife of nineteen years Vantoria and they are the parents of their son Bernard Quincy.
Bernard’s hobbies include reading, traveling and supporting his hometown team the
Cleveland Cavaliers.
Visit Bernard online at http://www.bernardboulton.com/.

Next we'll do a Q and A:
What was your favorite book as a child and what is your fave book as an adult? Do you see any connection between the two?
1. My favorite book from childhood was Roots by Alex Haley. I’ve not had a favorite book as an adult but my favorite genre has been Christian Fiction.

What is your favorite life Scripture and the most encouraging Scripture for you as a writer?
2. My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11. As I was writing my first novel the scripture that encouraged me not to give up was Romans 8:28.

Do you have a special place you would like to travel for research for a book?
3. I would love to visit the Holy Land during the first century when the church was growing up.

How has technology enhanced or hindered your writing?
4. I love technology. I started writing on a typewriter. Writing on a keypad is much better. There’s nothing about technology that slows down my writing. Marketing my book slows me down.

How has becoming a writer stretched you?
5. Writing has caused me to stretch. For years I was comfortable being a pastor and preacher. Pursuing my childhood dream of being a published author has stretched me comfortably.

Any advice for other aspiring writers that you wish you had known at the beginning of your journey?
6. I’m quite satisfied with my journey as a writer. The one thing that I would tell an aspiring writer is don’t wait to pursue writing but start writing now. Don’t let life impede the gift that’s in you.

Any last minute things you'd like us to know about you or your book?
7. My book can be ordered at my website http://www.bernardboulton.com/ and it’s available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, Smashword.

I also have an excerpt from my book on my website: http://www.bernardboulton.com/books/dywbmw.excerpt.html

And now, here's a blurb about his book.
Do You Wanna Be Made Whole?
ISBN 13: 978-0-9843213-0-8
ISBN 10: 0-9843213-0-6
Pastor James Maxwell knows the pain of making poor choices that damage families. He has dedicated his
life to helping men avoid the mistakes that he has made in his life. Now he walks through the valley with
three of his spiritual sons as they try to find their way to wholeness.
Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Theo find forgiveness for the one who betrayed him?
Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Michael who suffered a great tragedy in his life?
Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Adam face his past and discover a new future?

Read an Excerpt at http://www.blogger.com/goog_1377726128


Purchase a copy of the book at http://www.bernardboulton.com./ 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday with Friends Guest blog by Thomas Blubaugh

It is nearly 100 degrees outside and I have been on this computer most of the day in my air-conditioned office, while sipping on a cherry and orange smoothie and cold glasses of diet root beer. I’ve been working at marketing my historical fiction novel Night of the Cossack and reading How to Launch a Christian Best Seller Book, the John 3:16 Marketing Network Manual by Lorilyn Roberts.

About mid-afternoon, I found myself leaning back in my comfortable office chair and staring out the window. I was wondering how in the world an author marketed his book before computer, before Facebook, before twitter, before . . . . Out of curiosity I googled books published in 1911. I was surprised to find out that was the year the library was founded. I had never thought about that particular bit of history since libraries have been around my whole life.

I wondered what books were published in 1911. Here are seven of them: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie; The Girl Story by L. M. Montgomery; The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes by Beatrix Potter; Ethan Frome by Edith Warton; Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey and Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad. I picked out Zane Grey for some research on the Wikipedia site. Other than the difference of writing language, it was like reading a history of publishing today, but without the entire social media tools. “Grey had difficulties in writing his first novel, Betty Zane (1903). When Harper & Brothers rejected it, he lapsed into despair. The novel dramatized the heroism of an ancestor who had saved Fort Henry. He self-published it, perhaps with funds provided by his wife Dolly or his brother R. C.'s wealthy girlfriend Reba Smith.”

I don’t know why I was surprised that he self-published his first book. It didn’t say whether he was successful or not in this venture. After this, he went on a mountain lion hunting trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He took a camera and recorded details of scenery, activities and dialogue, which he converted to a book The Last of the Plainsman. Harper’s editor, Ripley Hitchcock rejected it, the fourth work in a row. He told Grey, “I do not see anything in this to convince me you can write either narrative or fiction.” Grey wrote dejectedly, "I don’t know which way to turn. I cannot decide what to write next. That which I desire to write does not seem to be what the editors want...I am full of stories and zeal and fire...yet I am inhibited by doubt, by fear that my feeling for life is false.”

The book was published by Outing magazine and Grey continued writing magazine articles and youth novels. In 1911, eight years after his first novel, he wrote Riders of the Purple Sage, his all time best seller. Ripley Hitchcock rejected this one as well, but by then Grey had become a household name and Grey took it directly to the vice president of Harper, who accepted the book. Zane Grey produced over sixty books in his career.

This brought to mind an article for an insurance magazine. The reporter asked me what made my agency successful. My answer was persistence. The woman writing the article said she did not understand. I told her I had hired people who dressed well, spoke well, presented themselves well, yet failed , but I had never hired a person who, day after day, did what she was taught who wasn’t successful. This was a picture of Zane Grey. Although his work was rejected, his writing ability was rejected; he was discouraged, but never quit. He self-published, turned to magazines, managed to make his name a household word and succeeded.

Will I be as successful as Zane Grey? I don’t know. I am 69 years old. My goal is to make my name well known enough that readers will buy my book Night of the Cossack. I have Facebook, Twitter, amazon.com, B&N, Goodreads and all the other social media tools on the Internet with a potential of hundreds of millions readers. Today I will persist.

Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack--Read the first chapter get a signed copy by ordering here. FREE shipping in USA. Published by Bound by Faith Publishers.

Tom Blubaugh is a freelance writer living in Southwest Missouri with Barbara, his wife. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Tom has written non-fiction most of his adult life, but has recently written a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack, published by Bound by Faith Publishers. This is Tom’s first novel. He co-wrote a devotional journal in 2009 for Barbour Publishing titled The Great Adventure. His other writings include articles for a denominational magazine and an insurance publication. He also self-published a book, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry in 1974.

Tom started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His vision of turning them into lyrics for rock and roll songs for popular artists didn’t develop. He considers writing to be a God-given talent and feels led to develop it. His first novel was published at his age of 69. Tom says it’s never too late. He is now writing a sequel.
Tom spent twelve years as an insurance agent and eleven years as a financial planner. He is the past president of Jericho Commission, Inc., and still serves on the board of directors.

ebook for Kindle available at Amazon.com. Be sure to like my page and do a review when you finish, if you like my book.

ebook for Nook available at Barnes & Noble

Night of the Cossack Facebook page. Be sure to like my page while you're there please.

Visit My Blog. Be sure to sign up as a follower.

Check me out on Goodreads.

Co-author of The Great Adventure published by Barbour Publishing. (out of print).

Genesis Project

Jericho Commission, Inc.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Spotlight on Eddie Snipes

Eddie Snipes is a member of the John316 marketing network I belong to. I ordered his book a few days ago and started it, but didn't have time to finish it due to an out of town guests and a funeral this past week. But, what I have read so far is very interesting, and I can't wait to finish it soon! Please read on to find out more of the Confessions of a Dyslexic Writer. And, as you will see, a very humorous writer!

What made you write I CALLED HIM DANCER? Have you ever danced, taken lessons?

The only dance lesson I’ve received came when I was walking in the woods. A yellow cloud surrounded me and I began swatting yellow jackets like a break-dancer. Upon reflection, I don’t think I had the grace needed to make it big, so I quit after my first lesson. No more bees for me.

The inspiration for I Called Him Dancer came from a song performed by Tralena Walker and co-written by Tom Webster. I attended a meeting at the Atlanta Writers Club. Tralena and Tom were guest speakers. The topic was on how to write a story in lyrics for songs. Not my cup of Formosa Oolong, but at least it was entertaining. After performing the song, "Dancer", either Tom or Tralena said, “We’ve been looking for someone who will turn the song into a novel. We think it would make a great story.”

Until those words were spoken, I was a passive observer. I looked up and words were swarming around me like those yellow jackets. They attacked my head while I lay screaming on the floor. Okay, maybe I didn’t scream – but my mind did. In an instant, the story unfolded in my mind and I knew this was something I was to write.

I knew nothing about dancing (other than what the bees taught me). Tom and Tralena gave me the lyrics and I started researching and writing. I have to admit that I worried about the dancing scenes, but I knew things took shape when people began asking how I became so knowledgeable about dance. I thought back to the bees and said, “It’s just something that hit me while walking in the woods.”

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was a child, I got my first book. I flipped through the pages, then tore it apart. I didn't know it at the time, but that's exactly what you do when editing a manuscript.

I hated writing when I was younger. I only did what I had to do, and sometimes not even that. Writers block was more like writers dementia. My mind didn't return to me until after... hmmm. What were we talking about?

In 1998, I became active in prison ministry. Many of the men I ministered to were eager to learn. Someone asked me if I had my studies or notes on paper. I agreed to write out the next study and then my writing career was born. The problem wasn't that I couldn't write. It was that I didn't have something to say. Or didn't realize I had something to say. Over time writing transformed from a task to a passion.
Tell us a little about your book, I Called Him Dancer.
For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turned his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windows for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless friend who has given up on life.

Who is your favorite character in I CALLED HIM DANCER?
The character that inspired me the most is Kenyon. Many readers have stated the same. He’s human, struggling to do what is right, and lives by a genuine faith. At times he wrestles between what he knows God wants him to do, and what he wants. Kenyon is down to earth, not preachy, yet his life has an impact on others.

In the story I tried to present Christianity in an honest light. Many who claim to be Christians show hypocrisy and drive others (like the Dancer) away from the faith. This is a real problem in the Christian culture. Kenyon shows what sincere faith looks like. He’s far from perfect, but his simple faith impacts those around him. Kenyon’s sincerity is something the Dancer can’t understand and it piques his curiosity.

What would you like your readers to take away from this novel?
I want people to look at the reality of how faith impacts the world around us. Hypocrisy is being pretentious about faith, and there is a difference between failure and hypocritical behavior. Christians shouldn’t feel dejected when they fail. It’s part of this life of reaching upward.

Also, we all know someone who appears hopeless and hostile toward God, but we don’t know what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. Ultimately, hope is what everyone should take away. Hope that readers are not alone in their struggles. Hope that our lives can make an impact – even with our imperfections. Finally, hope that the people we care about are never out of God’s reach.

How can readers get in touch with you?
You can flash a light on the clouds that says, ‘Free chicken fingers,’ and I’ll play Batman music and come running. Some people prefer the simpler route of connecting with me on Twitter @eddiesnipes. My facebook username is eddiesnipes. It might seem like a strange coincidence, but my LinkedIn name is also eddiesnipes. Even more crazy is my website: http://www.eddiesnipes.com/. On each of these, I just closed my eyes and typed out random letters. I might have peeked on a few letters.

You can get Eddie’s novel I Called Him Dancer for only 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/I-Called-Him-Dancer-ebook/dp/B004ISLPUE/

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Review--A Woman Called Sage by DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills writes historicals and contemporaries, doing great jobs at both. The last couple books I read of hers were contemporary mystery, and I loved both of them and their characters, so I wasn't surprised when I also found myself falling in love with Sage Morrow and Marshall Parker Timmons, two very unconventional characters in a story set in Colorado in the 1870s and 1880s.

Sage is half Indian and has survived a tragedy by becoming a bounty hunter. Marshall Timmons is a nice guy with a tough job. This book contains murder, kidnapping, and some shooting, but also has wonderful spiritual themes and, like all DiAnn Mills books, a heart-stopping romance! I highly recommend this book to anyone searching for a great read!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fridays with Friends--guestblog by Cara Lynn James

I am happy to introduce author Cara Lynn James to my readers. And to let you know that Cara will be giving away a copy of Love by the Book IF she receives at least ten comments, so be sure to leave a comment and your contact info in case you win. And I am sure you will want to win after you read the synopsis below. Cara leaves us hanging, and I want to find out how the story ends! The deadline for the drawing is Sunday night at midnight, and if we have enough commenters, Cara will let me know on Monday who won the drawing. It could be you! But it can't be you if you don't leave a comment!

Now, I'll turn the microphone over to Cara:

Rose, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I’m an author, wife, mother of two, grandmother of two adorable grandsons and one grand-dog, a Papillion named Sparky. We all live in northwest Florida. I’m a 13th generation New Englander and still consider myself a Connecticut Yankee.

Here’s a short history of my Ladies of Summerhill series—three historical romances set during the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island.

My first two books in the series, Love on a Dime and Love on Assignment, were essentially completed when I sold to Thomas Nelson Publishers two years ago. Of course that made everything easier—or so I thought. Wrong!

I’ve taken my writing step-by-step, meaning I don’t look ahead and try to plan the future. I concentrate on the present and what I have to do today. So I learned the writing craft (a continuing process), joined RWA and the local chapter, ACFW and joined a critique group and wrote a lot. Once I finished a story I submitted it to contests, received both positive and negative comments, and eventually finaled.

When Thomas Nelson bought Love on a Dime I naively expected only a few minor revisions. After all if they didn’t like it they wouldn’t have given me a contract, would they? However, they suggested lots of necessary improvements in a very, very long, single spaced editorial letter. Yes, it shocked me! But when I finished making corrections I learned they were SO right. We had a much stronger book.

Book 2, Love on Assignment, was the first novel I ever wrote, but not the first book I sold. After it was completed, I decided it didn’t work well as a contemporary romance, so I tried to turn it into a historical assuming it would be fairly easy. Wrong, again! Converting from one time period to another was a huge job and involved several major rewrites. That taught me how different the turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) was from the present. I had to rethink the story and change nearly every aspect of it. Even though human nature doesn’t change from generation to generation, our society sure does! My characters lived in a totally different world than our own, though they still had the same virtues, faults, needs and desires as we have now.

The third story in the series, Love by the Book (released July 12th) was the most challenging novel of all. I had a contract and a deadline and no finished story or even a good idea in mind. The days and weeks ticked by before my editor and I agreed on a synopsis. Then panic set in. How do I write and revise a 90,000 word book in 4 ½ months? I always took years to write and polish a manuscript and they were always much shorter.

If I wanted to become a credible, professional author I had to learn how to write faster and better. Lots of writers find this relatively easy. But not me! I’m slow and methodical. So I began by organizing myself. I used a notebook filled with things to remember and reference, a storyboard for a picture of the plot, and research files. Although I’m not a particularly organized person, I did my best to cut down on the amount of time I usually waste fumbling around for information.

I wrote when I wasn’t ‘in my writing zone’, when I was bored, when I was tired, when I wanted to do something else—anything else. It was hard to believe I could actually settle down and work as if this were an ordinary 9 to 5 job. Every author knows her muse can be stubborn and won’t always appear on command. But that doesn’t matter. My point is: if I can do it, so can you.

Writing a first draft is an art (at least for me), but revision is all craft. I’d get the words down on the computer screen even when I thought they were awful, and later I’d fix and polish. I learned to write even when my muse went on vacation and left me without inspiration. Just keep on keeping on!

Here’s a summary of Love by the Book.

Savor this sweeping love story set in a lavish seaside mansion in 1901 Rhode Island.

Melinda Hollister is a society lady, intent on finding a rich husband before her peers discover her quickly diminishing wealth. Nick Bryson is all business, focused on making a name for himself in his father’s steamship line. Despite the marriage of their siblings, they rarely gave each other a second glance—until a tragic accident results in Melinda and Nick being appointed as co-guardians of their three-year-old niece Nell.

In order to get better acquainted with Nell and one another, Melinda and Nick agree to spend the summer in their own private quarters of the Bryson family vacation home, Summerhill. As their love for Nell grows, so does their attraction to each other. And for the first time in their lives, they sense that God has a bigger plan in motion.

Yet old habits die hard – and Melinda and Nick each find it difficult to resist the pull of their former worlds.

When the unthinkable happens, they find themselves faced with seemingly impossible choices and a new understanding of God’s true love.

Rose back again: If you have read this synopsis, I am sure you want to win a copy of the book, so hurry up and leave a message!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Tuesday with Ashley Wintters!

I am happy to introduce you to another of my cyber friends from the John316 group--Ashley Wintters

1. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?

My favorite book as a child was (there are a lot to choose from) but I would have to say the one with the biggest impact at an early age was the 'Boxcar Children'....actually I enjoyed that whole series! Now my favorite book is 'Danger in the Shadows' by Dee Henderson. Both books have mystery so I can see that similarity. I guess the Boxcar Children books were a small step toward more of the mystery and suspense but not quite the romance that was added in. :)

2. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?

I know it is a lot of people's favorite but John 3:16 will always be my fav. It was the first one I was taught to memorize as a child and the one that has stayed with me most as an adult. 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son...' That is powerful! I can't think of a specific one that I go to for writing but any time that I get stuck or am looking for something, if I pick up my Bible, all of a sudden, there is the answer staring at me! I LOVE how that works.

3. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?

Australia. I've always wanted to go there. As a kid growing up I was fascinated by all the animals and the aboriginal tribes. Now I think it would be the perfect setting for a murder mystery :) There are so many possibilities there. There can be water scenes, desert, mountainous, and a whole host of other picturesque scenery. The story line has a hundred different ways it could go from a plot for murder to an actual one or even someone is trying to 'harvest' animals and selling them at an astronomical rate. It would be so much more believable, at least to me, to write a story about a place that I've seen and visited. At least that is what I'm trying to convince my husband of!

4. I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?

Well, my weird quirk for writing is I do handwrite my book before I type it. I love the feeling of having it in front of me on paper and it just flows for me. After I type it up, you wouldn't believe the red and green squiggles under all my words. I can't spell at all so it is like every other word is wrong or the tense. I do love that it checks your spelling but I wish I had something that would check to make sure its the correct word! Sometimes when I'm typing (like at work) I write trail when I'm really meaning trial but spell check doesn't catch it because it trail is a word and is spelled correctly. Technology has made research for me quite a lot easier. If I'm trying to write about a place I've never seen or a police procedure that I know nothing about, just a couple clicks and I've got it in front of me. Of course, I think that also makes me somewhat lazy. Instead of going and doing research physically, I just look on the Internet. If it is police procedure, I could go actually visit with a detective and probably find out more than on line but instead I take the easy route!

5. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?

I've made public appearances and spoken a few places. Speaking in public is WAY out of my comfort zone. I'm fine with groups, as long as I'm not the center of attention but a few times, this has given me a wonderful opportunity to share my faith. Speaking even in small groups took a lot of effort for me but I have to admit that it can be fun. Explaining how you come up with your book ideas, the writing process, what your book is about or even why you write are fun for me to share. I still get tongue tied but so far no one has laughed too hard!

6. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?

No matter what other people say, believe in yourself and your work. If you believe and are passionate about your work then that will attract others to you who can help and will be passionate about your work as well. If you aren't passionate, why would someone else be?

7. Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?

Shadows of Suspicion is only $2.99 in ebook form and can be bought from any ebook retailer such as Amazon or Smashwords. If you want a paperback book, you can order them through Amazon or directly through me by emailing me at ashleywintters@gmail.com .

Book Synopsis:

Revenge is the agenda…

“Find my sister.”

Rick Reiley’s words were what drove Luke to search mercilessly for Kerry. He is in a race against time to find her and will have to face more than a criminal mastermind to get close to her. He is prepared to give his life for her, but what about his heart?

“…I would like you to meet….My wife.”

Those words from her enigmatic rescuer threw Kerry more than anything else that had happened to her in the last few days…and that was saying a lot! Kerry’s simple life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere by a madman. She trusts Luke with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

As Luke fights to keep Kerry safe, the chemistry ignites and the danger gets closer.

Will God protect them while Luke tries to sort out his heart….and capture Kerry’s?

About the Author

Author Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent's office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant. Ashley has been writing professionally for the past seven years and has two published books. Her first book, Shadows From The Past, was originally published by Tate Publishing and is considered more of a traditionally published book while the second, Shadows of Suspicion, was published by self publication using AuthorHouse. She is currently working on multiple projects including the third in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled Shadows of Pain and also a standalone mystery about a serial killer that remains untitled. Ashley also has a review blog to share her love of reading, Ashley’s Bookshelf, where she reads and reviews books of all genres. (http://ashleysbookshelf.blogspot.com) She and her family make their home in Texas.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Fridays with Friends--guestblog by Paulette Harper

I am happy to share this good advice from Paulette Harper about writing, editing, publishing and marketing, four things writers always want to know more about!
I Want To Write a Book by Paulette Harper

I have heard that statement so many times. When I started writing my first book in 2007, it took me all of three months to complete. To some, that might be a very short time. But believe me, I know authors who have written a book in six weeks! Regardless of where you are, you can get your thoughts on paper, and share those thoughts with the world. The main thing is to get started. Don’t procrastinate; that’s a bad word in this industry. And I want to share with you a few steps to getting your book/books published.

Before I do that, let me introduce myself. I’m Paulette Harper-Johnson: writer, speaker, life coach, and author. Since 2007, I’ve gone on and written four books--two of which are anthologies and two Christian-inspirational books. My most recent book was just released, Completely Whole, a self-published text. I am also working on my first Christian-fiction book. I believe I know a little about writing, so with that said, I will share some of what I’ve learned over my few years as a writer.

The first thing you must decide is what it is you want to write about. In other words, you must choose your topic. What are you an expert in? Here are a few things to get you thinking:
1. Do I want to write about my life’s experiences?
2. What about my job or my profession?
3. Travel
4. Things I’ve gone through
5. What about something that interest me?

Believe it or not, there is something you have to say. It’s just a matter of deciding what it is. When you first start out, it doesn’t have to be perfect…just start journaling. As you do the research on the topic, you will become an expert in that field. Expert? Yes, expert. Don’t let that word intimidate you. An expert mainly means one who is skillful, one who has practiced, or one who is a professional in a given field or subject. I believe we all are experts when it comes to life’s experiences.

Once you have completed your manuscript, you are ready to get it edited. I would highly recommend you hire a professional editor, and in some cases, several editors. Please don’t let momma, sister, or brother do your edits. I would even recommend that you refrain from editing your own material. I know that might sound funny, but believe me, I have seen unedited books, and it does not speak well of the author. Your book is a reflection of you. Remember that! Your readers will notice how poorly your books are edited more than the story or advice you write about. Here are some examples of the type of editing you should use:

Developmental Editing- making suggestions about content, organization, and presentation. A developmental editor will help you transform your manuscript into a better book.

Substantive Editing-identifying and solving problems of overall clarity or accuracy, reorganizing paragraphs, sections, or chapters to improve the order in which the text is presented.

Copyediting (sometimes called line editing) - correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text; preparing a manuscript for the next stage of the publication process.

Proofreading- querying or correcting errors or inconsistencies that may have escaped an editor or writer, reading for typographical errors or for sense without reading against copy. The proof reader is the last stage before printing. Now you’re getting closer to having your book in your hand.

Now that you have completed the editing of your book, you will need to consider how to publish it. You have several options:
1. Self-publishing--A method of publishing in which the author does all the things a publisher does from editing to printing to distribution.
2. Traditional--Traditional publishing is the most well-known and the hardest to break into.
3. Vanity--Vanity publishing requires the author to pay the expenses of being published along with marketing.

Next, you need to decide how your books are going to get printed. Here are two links that will help you with your decision:

Please visit: http://www.bookmarket.com/101print.htm and https://www.createspace.com/

And finally, market your book. Here are three places to market your book:
1. Social networking and social media
2. Virtual book tours
3. Radio and TV talk shows

Hope I’ve helped you get motivated. Enjoy your journey… it is so much fun!

©2011 Paulette Harper Johnson, Author of
That Was Then This is Now, Completely Whole

Website: http://www.pauletteharper.com/

Blog: http://www.pauletteharper.blogspot.com/

E-mail: info@pauletteharper.com

This article content is provided free of charge by the author. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through Paulette Harper Johnson@info@pauletteharper.com

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Monday Musings pre-empted for the next seven weeks to bring you...
Spotlights on Authors!

The first author I am spotlighting is Amanda Stephan, a fellow member of the John316MarketingNetwork and also ACFW. Amanda's first book, The Price of Trust, a Christian romance/suspense is available now, and she is offering a pdf copy of the book to one commenter so be sure to comment on this post and leave your email addy by Saturday night as she will draw at the end of this week.

Here are some questions I asked her followed by her answers. Be sure to keep reading for the book blurb and more info on Amanda and her new book out this fall.

Thank you, Rose for having me here today! I look forward to meeting your readers!

1. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
My favorite book as a child would have to be the Trixie Belden mystery series. I almost devoured those books, and at one time had the entire collection of hardbacks. As an adult, my favorite book is Pride and Prejudice with Jane Eyre at a very close second. I really can't see a connection through those books ~ I guess I just love a good story!

2. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
My favorite Scripture is 3 John 4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. I look at my children, and realize they are a walking testament to what my husband and I have taught. If they serve the Lord, it doesn't matter what else I've ever done or will do ~ they will be my success. (Rose adds: that's one of my fave verses, too, and I have it three places in my house!) When I'm discouraged--yes, it happens--I turn immediately to the Psalms. To pick a favorite is almost impossible.

3. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose? Scotland or Ireland, hands down!

4. I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
One thing I don't like about technology, is how easily it is to get sidetracked. You know it's bad when your husband has to email you to remind you to cook dinner! I actually have stories I wrote in college and high school the hard way. Pen and paper! Boy those were the days... ;)

5. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
Wow, that's a very easy question! When I finished my book, The Price of Trust, I had initially intended it only to be a love letter to our children. A kind of encouragement during times when they thought they had to settle for abuse ~ and when I finished it, my husband asked me to at least try to have it published, and that's the rest of the story. It wasn't easy to let people--strangers, even--read it. Now, we're rounding the corner for my second novel, Lonely Hearts to be released in October, so I guess I could say I'm getting a little used to it! ;) By the way, if any of your readers would like to get a sneak peek and read the first three chapters of The Price of Trust and the first chapter of Lonely Hearts, they can do so by visiting HERE.

6. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Research potential publishers. Check them out thoroughly, ask questions, ask authors that are with that publisher, and make a list of the pros and cons.

7. Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
You can purchase The Price of Trust on Amazon.com, ThePriceofTrust.com, Christianbook.com, or BooksByAmanda.com

The Price of Trust - Christian Romance/Suspense
Beaten and betrayed by the one who was supposed to love her...
Carly Richards is on the run.
Forced to live as a fugitive as her ex-fiance stalks her across country, she finds refuge in a small town in Montana. Her emotional scars are reluctant to heal, and Carly resists the friendliness of those around her ~ especially handsome farmer Joe Baird. Caught in the circumstances, the kind people around her begin to creep into her softening heart. God is at work, and she has to trust Him not only to take care of her, but care for the people she is learning to love.

EVERY purchase includes a FREE audio book download (mp3 format)

Lonely Hearts ~ releasing in October, 2011!
One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors and VERY yummy apple pie!
Becky Callis is the widowed mother of two. When they move to a new town, she only intended it to be a safe haven where she didn't have to be reminded of her late husband. Her children had other plans, as well as a variety of men to choose from!
~*~ releases October 2011 ~*~

**follow Amanda's blog, Facebook, or Twitter for exciting release news as well as many opportunities to win great prizes*

Amanda Stephan
Author - The Price of Trust
Lonely Hearts - Coming Fall, 2011
Follow me on Twitter

Saturday, July 02, 2011

We have a winner...
in last month's book drawing contest. Valerie Comer has won a copy of A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad. I have contacted her and will mail it after receiving her mailing address. Everyone with a US mailing address except Valerie is eligible for this month's drawing which is for a copy of Gail Sattler's Love by the Yard. And please leave an email address to make it easy to contact you.

I love Gail Sattler and I love her writing! Love by the Yard did not disappoint. Shanna McPherson is a widow trying to raise two kids and a dog. Her dog makes Brenden Gafferty's job of landscaping her yard a lot harder.  As the back cover asks: "When Shanna receives menacing threats from an angry relative, can she trust Brendan enough to turn to him for help--and maybe even another chance at love?"

Leave a comment anytime this month to be placed in the drawing held on August 1st. And come back on Monday for my special guest Amanda Stephan.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday with Friends--guestblog by Ane Mulligan

My readers are certainly in for a treat today. Our guestblogger is the lovely, zany (as evidenced by her photo!) Ane Mulligan. Ane and I met at an ACFW conference several years ago and have been friends ever since. Of course, I don't know anyone who meets Ane who doesn't claim her as friend. Her engaging personality attracts friends like a bird feeder filled with red sugar does a hummingbird. Could it be the red hair? I know you will enjoy and learn from her article below, and I hope you will also check out her bio and the websites listed at the end of the article to find out more about Ane.

Bio: Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, she's worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), business manager, drama director and writer. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She's a humor columnist for ACFW's e-zine Afictionado and a featured blogger on Suwanee Patch. She's published dozens of plays and numerous articles and won several awards in contests for unpublished novels, including a three-time Genesis finalist. A past Board member of ACFW, she's mom, a grandmom, and resides in Suwanee, GA, with her husband and one very large dog.

Exasperating Characters ~ Plotting via Motivation

Maybe I should have called this NO Plot via Motivation. Have you ever had a character that refused to talk to you? I have. I'm dealing with her right now. I'm in the second book of a series.

This character, Lacy, was in the first manuscript. She's the sister of another character in my small fictional town. My "plan" was to have her story the main plotline of the second manuscript.

The set-up

In the first novel and through the main POV characters, I set-up Lacy's personality ... or at least what I'd gleaned from her character analysis. I use a fairly detailed character interview, including the GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) and the lie the character believes about herself.

In the first manuscript Lacy played a very minor part, so I didn't dwell on her GMC. All I needed to do was let the reader know she was shy, hardly ever spoke, and was plain (and I don't mean Amish).

Lacy is the invisible kind of plain. I wanted a person other people overlooked. The kind who could be at a party and no one remembers them being there. Interestingly enough, her husband is cute, the boy next door. And he adores her.

The problem

I finished the first manuscript having set-up Lacy exactly as I planned. In the second one, she and her sister would both play POV parts. I went through their character analysis sheets and expanded them for POV.

What I discovered changed everything. First of all, I thought these sisters were close, since Lacy's sister, Lydia, had moved after the death of her husband, to be closer to Lacy. Ha! I found deep-seeded animosity between them, stemming from their childhood. Was I shocked!

Lydia was easy. She's open and shared her life with me. Lacy? She clammed up. So much so, I realized she wasn't ready to be a POV character.

Resolution ... for now

I changed the second manuscript's plot and POV character. Lacy will play an increasing part in this one, and it's my hope I'll discover more of her motivation. That's what has me stuck. I know what she wants, I know her conflict, but I don't know her motivation.

At first I thought perhaps I'm not far enough along as a writer to write a character that is so far removed from me. After all, I'm not remotely shy. Well, maybe a tad in certain situations. Oh, come on, I can be shy. But not as shy as Lacy. While we always grow as writers, I'm still fascinated by Lacy.

I've decided to forge ahead, even though I can't figure her out ... yet. However, I took a course, "Plotting Via Motivation" by Laurie Schnebly Campbell (LaurieClass-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). That link will subscribe you to her class schedule only. She told me, accompanied by a chuckle, that she'd looked forward to playing counselor to Lacy.

By the third day into the course, I hollered, "Eureka!" I found her motivation. I highly recommend the course. I'm hoping we can get her for an EB at a conference one of these days.

Southern-fried Fiction: http://www.anemulligan.com
Southern-fried Musings: http://anemulligan.blogspot.com
Novel Rocket: http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.com (you'll be redirected)
Adoption Share: http://www.adoptionshare.blogspot.com