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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Giveaway and More about K Dawn Byrd's new book Something Beautiful

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing on Feb 1st for this book.

Cover blurb:Something Beautiful

Lauren Milton has always followed the rules, but when she meets Antony Marcos, she discovers just how much fun it is to do her own thing. When Antony, the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, professes his love for her, her life is complete. He's her soul mate, but when she finds that he's harboring secrets, can she forgive him?

Antony is terrified that his secrets will destroy their relationship when Lauren finds out the truth. Does he tell the truth and face losing her or continue his activities, possibly placing her in danger? Can they make things work even though her family and friends are against him?

Lauren has PTSD from the car accident that killed her boyfriend and her mother. Can she face her greatest fears while risking everything for the guy she loves? Can they overcome the obstacles facing them to find their happily ever after?

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Interview with K.Dawn Byrd and giveaway of Something Beautiful

We have a repeat visit with K Dawn Byrd today, so she is answering some of her own questions. And please come back tomorrow to read more about her very interesting book. She is giving away a download of the book Something Beautiful to one reader who leaves a comment with contact info on today's post or tomorrow's. Drawing to be on Feb. 1st. Be sure to leave contact info.

Welcome back, K Dawn! What would you like readers to take away from your book?

God is with us and we need to learn to trust our hearts.

Why did you choose to write this book?
I thought it would be fun to explore what it would be like to have a guy and gal fall in love who are from very different backgrounds. She's a wealthy young woman who has always had everything she's ever wanted. He's a Hispanic bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Her friends and family don't approve, which adds tension to the story.

What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I really do love writing romance, especially romance that contains suspense passages.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer
Finding time to write. I work a full-time job and also a lot of weekends, which means that I have to be really devoted to my writing time. I set aside at least an hour every night, six days a week if possible. The fact that I start with a well-developed plot makes things move faster.

What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I fill out character sketches in order to get to know my characters better. I ask myself what their goals are, what motivates them, and what's keeping them from reaching their goals. Sometimes, I start by writing a synopsis. This gives me information about the plot as it develops. I usually have a pretty strong plot before I actually begin the story.

What are your favorite writing conferences and why?
The ACFW conference is my favorite because I absolutely love the worship. It blesses my heart. It's also really nice to chat with like-minded people.

Why do you write?
I write because I can't stop. It's more than a hobby, it's a passion. It's the most fun I've ever had in my life! I like to say that I write for the simple joy of placing words on the page and it's true!

What's next for you?
I have three releases in 2012, all young adult. Something Beautiful in January. The Hot Line Girl in June. Luck of the Draw in November.

Tell us a little more about yourself , with three things not many people know

a) I have a masters degree in professional counseling from Liberty University.

b) I'm an animal lover. I have two hairless Chinese Crested dogs, an African Gray parrot, three ferrets, and several aquariums in my home, and somehow recently my niece ended up with a tiny fancy mouse who has found a home at my house.

c) I love sour foods. I'd rather have olives, pickles, or dilly beans than something sweet sometimes.

Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.
My latest release Something Beautiful, which is how I would describe the romance between my hero and heroine. Readers who enjoy Christian romance should enjoy this book.

Blog: www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com
Twitter: kdawnbyrd
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pam Hillman on how to write a novel--one spreadsheet at a time!

I'm excited to share with my readers a guest blog from Pam Hillman on how to plot a novel. And she has a wonderful giveaway going on for the next few weeks for an e-reader, so read on to check it out, and be sure to enter.

Laying it on the Line One Spreadsheet at a Time by Pam Hillman

Even if you’re not a writer, I imagine you have ways of getting your work done. Do you work in an office? If so, you probably get settled in, check voice mail, click through email, look at the messages left by the receptionist, open the folder you left on your desk the day before. If you run a bakery, the first thing you do is turn on the ovens….well, right after you start the coffee. lol

We all have rituals and procedures to get our work done. I’m a writer, and I have my routine. Once an idea has taken root, I open a spreadsheet and start typing scene ideas. Sometimes I’ve already got a few of them on a notepad or as notes in my phone. I just keep brainstorming ideas until my head spins. I’ll also run the basic idea by my writing friends and the Seekers and let them throw stuff at me.
Anything goes at this point. It all gets added to the spreadsheet, one scene idea per cell, very brief, but enough that I can remember what I had in mind for that scene. Looking over the spreadsheets for my current release Claiming Mariah, and for Stealing Jake (Tyndale House, July 2011), each had about 150 scene ideas. And when I say scenes, I’m breaking it up by point of view as well. Three to five of my “scene ideas” might actually end up being a chapter with multiple points-of-view…but not too many POVs. Just enough to fully tell the story without overwhelming the reader.

Some ideas get moved to the bottom of the spreadsheet, but never deleted. Who knows what direction the story might take before it’s done, or even after it’s finished in the rewrite? Some of those ideas might cycle up again and become a pivotal point in the story. I have an overall idea of the major plot points, and a glimmer of the ending scenes, but just that I don’t know every little scene in detail until I get to that Act in the story.

Once I have a pretty good handle on the overall plot, I write the first few scenes, tweak them, all the time fine-tuning my spreadsheet to match the live document that’s written in Word. This spreadsheet is a living document. It grows and changes as the story does. I’m sure the thought of tweaking the spreadsheet makes some authors break out in hives, but I guess it’s my way of working through the story, building, thinking, planning.

I like the 3 act structure as described in James Scott Bell’s book Plot and Structure. This works for me because I’m a linear thinker.

Assume your novel has 360 pages, 32 chapters, give or take a few.
Act I is the first 8 chapters / 90 pages

Act II the next 16 chapters / 180 pages

Act III the final 8 chapters / 90 pages

And around every 45 pages or so, or every 4 chapters you have a major twist or explosion of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a real explosion, even though it can be. It might be something that throws the reader for a loop, a curve the reader didn’t see coming, something totally out of left field. It could be something physical as in your heroine is kidnapped, or it could be where the hero finds out that he’s not the street rat he thought he was, but the long-lost son of a king, or where a major plot point is revealed, like the hero admitting that he’s in love with the heroine even if it’s just to himself.

So, that’s the method to my madness. It’s not smooth, and it’s not pretty, but it works. Sometimes it’s like catching and pulling the eye teeth of a mountain lion…without anesthesia (for either of us!), but so far I’ve managed to wrestle that cat to the ground.

How do you get the job done whether it’s writing, pushing papers, bagging groceries, or digging ditches?

Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel, Claiming Mariah

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

Claiming Mariah Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/apnzl5n  
Claiming Mariah B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7

Claiming Mariah CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7

Claiming Mariah Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j

Claiming Mariah 1st Chapter: http://tinyurl.com/ageh54r

To celebrate, Pam is giving away two eReaders

Facebook Drawing: Kindle/Nook Giveaway https://www.facebook.com/events/583454505015085/

Newsletter: Pam’s newsletter. http://pamhillman.blogspot.com/2007/11/mailing-list.html

A horn fountain pen handcrafted by Herbert Johnston https://www.facebook.com/events/583454505015085/

(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" Display, or Nook Simple Touch)

Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.

Facebook Drawing: Kindle/Nook Giveaway

Newsletter: Pam’s newsletter.

Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’

Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.

And....that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.

Pam is especially excited about this week’s giveaway:

A horn fountain pen handcrafted by Herbert Johnston

Clinton, MS


January 11th: Blogging with Catherine Terry

Daddy's Girl


January 15th: Blogging with Cheryl St. John

Wallflower Writer to the Rescue


Click for a Complete List of Stops Along the Tour


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New book contest to win Perfect by Harry Kraus, MD

MaryAnn Diorio is the winner of last month's book by Karen Scalf Linamen.

And all of this month's commenters who leave contact info will be entered into the drawing for a copy of Perfect by Harry Kraus, MD.

Harry Kraus is a board-certified general surgeon, and he and his wife have served as missionaries in East Africa many years.

Just by reading the back cover blurb on this book caused me to move it up close to the top of my tottering TBR (to be read) pile! Read below and see if you feel the same way.

"Wendi Stratford's job as an accident reconstructionist is just one more enviable reflection of her ideal life. She's got it all--perfect career, perfect looks, perfect husband, perfect home, perfect faith. There's just one problem: it's all a sham right down to her bleached-blonde hair.

So Wendi hatches an impulsive and exhilarating plan to break free of the lie she's been living--only to watch her hopes die in a terrible accident. But as she sifts through the wreckage, Wendi comes to a shocking conclusion. this was no accident...With engaging characters swept into a millrace of mystery and suspense, Harry Kraus's new novel is...perfect."