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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June book giveaway--Game of Love by Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Collins Johnson is one of my best writer buddies, and I love all her books, but Game of Love is extra special to me--the hero's last name is McCauley, and the book is dedicated to me! So leave a comment with your email address anytime between today and June 30th to be entered in the drawing.

I have several other posts featuring Jennifer and her books, so search with her name in the box at the top left hand corner of my blog and you will find them and a bunch of pics of her and her family and even some with me.

Winner to be announced on July 1st. Must have a US mailing addy to win.

And the winner of Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin is...Peggy Trotter!

Peggy has been contacted, and the book will be on its way to her as soon as she sends me her mailing address. Happy reading, Peggy, and for those of you who didn't win, I hope you will buy it in paperback or ebook. And check back next month for another giveaway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Victoria Bylin Interview and giveaway of Until I Found You

I am so happy to introduce you all to a fellow KY writer--Victoria Bylin, who is giving away one autographed copy of Until I Found You to someone who leaves a comment on this post. Drawing to be in one week, so check back on May 28th to see if you won! 

Welcome, Victoria. So glad to have you stop by. Please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
 I was ten years old when I discovered The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.  My grandmother gave it to me along with several others in the series. I loved them all but especially that first one where Alec and his horse are stranded on a desert island. At its heart, the book is about courage and love. My favorite book as an adult is harder to pick. When I think about it, though, one title shoots to the top. That’s Jane Eyre.  A classic!

These two book don’t have much in common on the surface, but I can see how they both influenced my writing. The Black Stallion  is full of risk and adventure, while Jane Eyre is a classic romance.  My writing has both of these elements.

Jane Eyre was one of my faves, too. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
 I just love Isaiah 50:10:  

“Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.

It’s my favorite verse because it talks about trusting God even in the dark. The Christian life is full of challenges.  This verse reminds me that God is with us always.  

When it comes specifically to the writing, I don’t have a specific verse that encourages me (they all do!), but I often recall something I heard in a sermon. It was just three words: “Don’t Limit God.”  When life gets a tad bit crazy, it’s good to remember that God is bigger than all of it.

Amen! If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
 I’d go to central California and hang out at the beach, then I’d drive all over the state. It’s home and I miss it.  My current book for Bethany House is set in the Los Padres National Forest in a town where my family and I lived for eight years.  It would be great to visit!

Hope you make it back there soon, Victoria, but I am very glad you live in KY now! 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?
 I’m with you completely, Rose.  If I had to write by hand or even on a typewriter, I don’t think I could finish a book.  I’m more of an editor than a writer, which means I construct books out of dozens of drafts.  I usually end up with several files called “trash” because I’m constantly rewriting. I couldn’t do that on an old IBM Selectric, or even older, that blue Smith Corona I used in college.

I love the convenience of technology, and it’s tons of fun to interact with readers on Facebook and Twitter.  At the same time, technology has depersonalized our world in frightening ways. We tend to stare at computer screens instead of chatting with our neighbors. At the same time, I love being in touch with writers and readers around the globe.  It’s a huge blessing to me.

I agree that technology is a mixed blessing. It is only as good as we make it. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
 I stretched big-time with Until I Found You. When I made the decision to jump from writing westerns for Love Inspired Historicals to trying my hand at a single-title contemporary, I felt like someone in a Star Trek movie traveling to a distant planet. Until I Found You is longer than my westerns, and the plotting is more complex.  It also includes a first-person diary, something I’d never done before. 

Until I Found You sounds great! Can't wait to read it. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
 Study the craft!  Inspiration is a gift from God. Discipline is a choice. But technique can be learned.  My life changed drastically when I discovered section 808.00 in the Fairfax Co. Public Library in northern Virginia.  That’s where the writing books are shelved.  I particularly latched on to Jack Bickham’s  “38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes.”  It gave me a solid set of tools for building a book and taught me how a novel is structured.

Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
 Just one thing . . . As much as I love Nick and Kate, the couple in Until I Found You, my favorite character just might be Kate’s grandmother, Leona Darby. She can’t speak because of a stroke, so she writes her own story in a journal.  Until I Found You is primarily a romance, but it’s also about family, faith, and taking chances.  I hope readers enjoy it!  It’s available now at Amazon , B&N, Christianbook.com, and just about everywhere Christian fiction is sold.

Thanks for having me, Rose! 

Christianbook.com :  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Review of Lorna Seilstad's When Love Calls

I've read and enjoyed several of Lorna Seilstad's books in the Lake Manawa series, so was happy to read this book which begins a new series by her called The Gregory Sisters. The first one is entitled When Love Calls, and is the story of the oldest sister, Hannah, who drops out of college where she is studying law to become a switchboard operator in order to support her two younger sisters after the death of both their parents.

Life can be hard in the early 1900s for those without support, so she is happy to find this job as a "Hello Girl" even with the strict rules. Little does she know that the hardship of losing the home their parents raised them in will cause her to meet a lawyer who does care for justice and the poor.

This book has it all--history, family relationships and a love story, too. A delightful read, and I can't wait for the next book in this series. This book was supplied by the publisher for a review, but these thoughts are all my own.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review--Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest book was something I may not have chosen to read from the back cover blurb if I hadn't read all of this author's others books and knew I could trust her writing.

Blurb: "Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel...Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive." The short beginning section was difficult to read because Dinah Hubley lived a difficult life in Chicago, but it also made me even more sympathetic to the heroine, and left me cheering on her and the hero, chicken farmer Amos Ackerman, as they encounter the bumps along the way to finding their true happiness.

Like Dinah, give yourself a chance to experience God's love and the love of a good man in this novel.

This book was a gift from the publisher, but this review is my honest opinion.