Thursday, November 20, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH FAY LAMB: CRITIQUE, STALKING, BITTERNESS, REVENGE, HUMOR-FROM AN AUTHOR'S LIFE AND WRITING




1.    
Your brand is “Writing with a Romans 8:28 attitude.” How does that come through in your books, etc?
I’m so glad you asked. Long ago, I learned that God is always in the details of our lives. In my writing, I try to show that even when we make our biggest mistakes, God is true to His word. He makes all things good for those who love Him. God even gives us an example of this verse in His own suffering—as both God the Father and God the Son when Jesus took our sins upon Him at the cross. That horrible death, the separation of Father and Son, it happened for my good. I want my readers to realize how much God does love them.

2.    How has your work with the American Christian Fiction Writers Critique Groups helped you as a writer?
My work with the critique group began when I questioned a mentor about networking. I wasn’t sold on the process of approaching someone for what they could do for me. This wise woman turned the tables on me.
She said, “You don’t network for what you can get. You find out what you can give. Get in and serve and don’t expect things to happen—but they will.”
I enjoyed my work, but it was the best thing to happen for my writing career. Critique partners at every state of their writing put their two-cents into my works in progress, and those pennies were worth a million to me. Likewise, as I critiqued others, I reinforced my knowledge of the story elements that I feel are so important to writing fiction.

I miss the large group, and I’m trying to get back into it. I have remained in critique, though, as I have some amazing critique partners in three separate groups.

3.    Your books have interesting themes, subjects and characters, such as Stalking Willow. Have you even known a stalker? How does a person handle the fear of such a person?
I have never been stalked, thank the Lord. My mother was, though, by a man who’d robbed the store in which she worked. He shot her in the face, but my mom was a survivor. She continued to work in that store for years until the man who shot her went to prison, but he was released only eight short years later. The first place he came was to our front door. I was a teenager, and I was at home with my mother. I recall my mother’s bravery that night, but I also remember my fear and that’s what I gave to Willow.

Fear can be paralyzing, but God can work through it if we allow Him to do so. I can’t imagine facing anything so terrifying without the Lord.
Though my mother had a breakdown after the man’s return, her weakness allowed God to be her strength. I’ve never really thought about the chain of events, but I was saved as a young child. I didn’t get baptized until the year of the breakdown, and my mother was saved just before that and baptized on the same day with me.


This goes back to your first question about Romans 8:28, and I’m just now realizing it. That man intended to kill my mother on the night he shot her, but God turned his evil into eternal life for her, and I now have the hope of seeing her again.

4.    You caught a hold of a monster when you decided to write about bitterness. Did you research legitimate reasons why many people are bitter; the consequences.  and how did you use research in your books?

This is going to sound as if I don’t care about research. I truly do. I didn’t have to research bitterness, though. I had it inside of me. I know it from the inside out.
That old adage that says, “write what you know” is one I follow. When I write issues, they are ones that I have battled. I have worked hard to overcome bitterness. I’d like to say that I’ve conquered it. I haven’t. But when the roots start to grow, I pray, and God plucks them up. He reminds me that bitterness puts a wall between me and those I love. It can even cause me to say I hate someone, and God does not call us to hatred, but to love. He does not call us to isolation. If the roots grow deep enough bitterness becomes a hefty hedge that keeps others out. And if they do that, how can I be an effective witness for Him?

5.    Is bitterness something we release or do we need a miraculous touch from God? Can we get away from it by ourselves? How does a person begin the process?
A miraculous touch to eliminate bitterness once and for all would be wonderful, but I think that the description of roots is applicable. When bitterness seeps into our hearts, it burrows in, and the more fertile the soil, the heartier it grows. Bitterness is a weed, and we know that weeds can grow anywhere. Weeds choke out healthy plants (love, patience, forgiveness, longsuffering).
I can’t imagine conquering bitterness without God, and I believe that as in all things, the process of eliminating it begins with prayer, asking God to help you to see the evil in harboring ill-will or grudges against others. Ask His forgiveness, and every time that the bitter thoughts ravage your mind, pray and ask God to take them away from you. Then, gradually, as God works in your life, add the person you hold a grudge against to your prayer list. Pray good things into their life.

6.    Your next book in the Amazing Grace series is titled Better than Revenge. Is revenge almost part of the DNA in some families like a disease? What is the cure to stop it from going through the generations?

The need for revenge is actually rooted in pride. Revenge says you did something to me, and you deserve to pay. Revenge doesn’t take into account that I did something to Christ for which I deserved exactly opposite of what He gave to me, despite my wrongdoing.
In Better Than Revenge, Christ-like forgiveness is explored, and I truly believe that the greatest “revenge” is to see our enemies come to Christ. The emotion that it will evoke (love) is much stronger than the hatred that it would replace.

7.    In another novel you write of home repossessions, an education ended because of lack of finances, but this story, Charisse, also has bitterness and revenge after a murder. How do you satisfy readers with the resolution of these huge problems?

Again, I think it goes back to my Romans 8:28 perspective. Charisse is a young widow who loses her husband to a hit and run driver. She can’t believe that her old high school buddy, now a judge, would enter a directed verdict, which means the judge has decided the state does not have enough evidence to bring the charges, and the matter should never have been brought to trial. Charisse wants retribution, but she discovers that her heart has the ability to forgive. She never would have realized that had she not been allowed to face off with the hero, Judge Gideon Tabor, and with the accused, proving that God had Charisse in His arms all along.

I also like to add humor in my books. In Charisse, Gideon provides a lot of laughs, and he lightens the mood quite a bit. I think that when we can see the humor in situations, it provides a satisfying ending whether it be in life or in story.

8.    You also have a book, The Art of Characterization. How long had you written and how many novels did you write before you could teach about creating great characters?

I’ve been writing since I was five years old. Now, we know I wasn’t writing well all those years.
I truly got serious about the talents God has given me and my need to study the craft when I was in my early twenties. I’m a bit older now by thirty some years, and I didn’t get published until 2010. I had three novels published when I wrote the tutorial on characterization and a fourth one was scheduled for release. I have also been teaching workshops over the last few years, and The Art of Characterization was born from one of those workshops.

9.    What is the biggest obstacle you face when you begin a novel?

The first chapter. Literally. If I can break through that first chapter and have an idea where the story is going, keep the characters corralled and not trying to come on stage at once, and if I can get the characters to open up to me, I’m good, but sometimes that takes me awhile. I occasionally use an index system, but I can’t outline. I bristle at outlines, though, I’d probably get a book written quicker with one.

10. What are you working on now?

I have a few projects in the work. My novel Storms in Serenity, the first book in the Serenity Key series will be released in early 2015. I’m writing the third book in the Amazing Grace series, entitled Everybody’s Broken. I am also working on a multi-author collaboration, a Valentine’s Day novella entitled The Love Boat Bachelor. This story is a sequel to last year’s A Dozen Apologies. Also, the next book in my The Ties that Bind series, Hope, will be released in 2015.

Ada, thank you for allowing me to share with your readers.


Charisse
By Fay Lamb

He wants a family. She wants retribution.

Charisse Wellman’s husband has been gone a year, and she’s about to lose the only home her son, V.J., has ever known. She’s quit law school but the money just isn’t there. Her only option is to work as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The only problem: Gideon is the judge who let her husband’s killer go free, and Gideon doesn’t know the connection.

Gideon Tabor can’t believe that the woman interviewing for the job is the girl he loved in high school. Charisse is hesitant about accepting his job offer, and when she does, Gideon makes every attempt to apologize for his relationship-ending blunder in high school. Charisse accepts his apology, but she keeps him at a distance. When Gideon learns that Charisse’s anger actually stems from his release of the man who ran down her husband, he tries to explain, but Charisse doesn’t want Gideon’s excuses or the love he has to offer. She wants her husband’s killer to pay.

Stalking Willow
By Fay Lamb

Bitterness, a stalker, and a neighbor to die for. What's a girl to do?
Trailed by a stalker in New York City, Willow Thomas, a young ad executive, scurries back to her small North Carolina hometown and the lake house where ten years earlier a scandal revealed her entire life had been a lie, and a seed of bitterness took root in her soul. The cocoon of safety Willow feels upon her arrival home soon unravels when she meets opposition from her family, faces the man she left behind, and the stalker reveals he is close on her heels. 

Can Willow learn to trust God to tear out her roots of resentment, reunite her family, ferret out a deadly stalker, and to rekindle the love she left behind?

 BIO
Fay Lamb is an author, editor, and writing coach.
Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.
Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE SPIES OF WORLD WAR II AND A LOVE STORY




Fascinating Stuff.

By Carole Brown

With Music in Their Heart Blurb:


Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?


With Music in Their Heart


 HOW OLD PHOTOS TURNED INTO A LOVE STORY

By Carole Brown

Do you have a favorite military picture of a loved one?

Ÿ  Most everyone can relate to WWII because we know or have known someone who served or lived thru this period.Ÿ  It’s a time in life, whether from our grand or great grandparents, that draws us closer through our own memories or those from our past making it more realistically a historical part of us.

Ÿ  We can empathize because we sense the value of those years.

What caught my interest in WWII? The exact reasons I posted in the above paragraph. My mother lived through that war. I heard her tales of the jobs she worked, the hardships, and most of all, I viewed the pictures she showed me. I fell in love!

It was a time of excitement but trouble too. Unrest and greed was spawning through certain oversea countries. Country takeovers were everywhere. All the major countries were either on one side or the other.

On the home front, at first, there was not much difference. Women and men lived as lavishly as they were materially able. Radio shows and  patriotic speeches were all the rave. Singers, new songs and plays spread across the land via the radio, and stages and restaurants. Food, at first, was abundant.

But eventually, reality set in. The United States realized this was no month or two war. It would take steel grit and determination and loyalty and bravery to defeat the enemies and our men gave it.

What was there not to love about this era? It opened my eyes to the manly strength shown and given. To the sacrifices our ancestors made. Was it easy to give up an abundant life style? To have your food rationed? To fear attacks? To plan how to defeat an enemy who invades our personal space, our own homeland?

It touched my heart in so many ways to see the styles, hear the songs-the crooning, sadness, seriousness and lightheartedness that went into the singer’s voices to serve as a measure of relief, if only for a few minutes or an hour.

Research carried me into many avenues of this war. I’ll share a few here
:
Ÿ  Dates were vital.
Ÿ  Language (phrases and words) was important and gave flavor to the story.
Ÿ  Clothing styles. What was popular? What were the men’s suits like? Their trousers made? Did the women favor pleats and polka dots?
Ÿ  Hats--a favorite of mine in research. Elaborate, and a necessary part of the wardrobe!
Ÿ  Shoes
Ÿ  Music. I checked on songs from that era (or close to it). I checked out a Musical university. A dabbled a little in reading of music--notes, etc.
Ÿ  I did a little Biblical research.
Ÿ  I checked on certain jobs and available positions for that time period

Emotionally, I will always be attached to this time period. I have at least two more novels I plan in this series, and it’s with anticipation to know I can revisit it again.  

What’s YOUR favorite era to read about? I’d love to know!

  

Thank you so much, Ada, for allowing me this visit! I so appreciate it.




Carole Brown not only has her award winning (Romance Writers Association International Digital Awards Contest 2nd place in Inspirational, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies. Look for the second book, Bat Crazy, late winter.

Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


Connect with her here:


I also am part of several other blogs:
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/



Monday, November 17, 2014

A MOM WHO HITS THE FLOOR RUNNING CAN FLY

NOTE: Flylady.com offers a system for organizing and managing a home, based on the concept of daily routines and a focus on small, time- and space-limited tasks. Provides resources.

Jenna and Kristen at camp

Jenna and Kaeli with scarecrow
MEET LAURA HILTON

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also  has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.


A WOMAN WHO DOES IT ALL?

By Laura Hilton

“I’m a pastor’s wife and I still don’t have all the answers…” (borrowed from a pastor’s wife’s facebook page)

I was recently asked to write an article on parenting. How do I balance things I must do with what I want to do and how that affects me, each child, my husband, and the people in the church?

Laura Hilton

The short answer:  Be flexible!  Life has a way of changing in a heartbeat.

I start every day with devotions and prayer and I have a “to do list” that I write every morning of things I want to accomplish. I started it when my mother had a severe stroke and moved into my home. I had Mom duties as well as being a mom, wife, pastor’s wife, etc. And I discovered then that nothing would get done if I didn’t write it down! It was too overwhelming to look at my day and think I can’t do it all. It was enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.  

Lundy Hilton
I signed up for Flylady to help me keep my house clean. As a pastor’s wife, that is mandatory. You never know who will stop by. Flylady says, “You are not behind. Don’t try to catch up.” And she reminds us to shine our sink every night. That seems to expand into the whole counter – which makes the kitchen look nice. And my bed is made every morning. That goes a long way to making the bedroom presentable.

As for the rest, it’s one step at a time. If I don’t have time to write
Michael Hilton
because my son dived too deep and somehow hit his tooth on the bottom of the pool and needs an emergency trip to the dentist, then my son comes first.

As some people say, the order is God, family, and then work. Homeschooling my children is put before any words are written. If someone from church needs to talk, that comes first. I read at night before I go to bed, when I need to relax and I always carry reading material with me, just in case I have to wait.

There are days when only one thing on my to-do list is done. And days when everything is crossed off (those are rare).

When I start getting overwhelmed because everything hits at once – a
Laura and the girls
deadline, book edits, articles to write, a book launch and a radio interview all the same week I have to step back, pray, decompress, and remind myself, baby steps. One thing at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once.

God will bless, if you give it all to Him.
 
Steve and Laura

Proverbs 31:27  “She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

The Snow Globe
By Laura Hilton

Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off.

 During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm.

When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.”

Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase my books:



Saturday, November 15, 2014

What a Jewish Convert Says About Jesus






NOTE: Direct quotes and summaries of Paul's conversion from Acts 9:1-19; retold in Acts 22:6-21 and Acts 26:12-18. His writing about Jesus is located in Philippians 2.

Some of His Preaching Started with a riot.

As Paul preached about Jesus and that Salvation was for the Gentiles as well as the Jew, the people began to riot and seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. They were beating him until the commander of the garrison and soldiers intervened.

The commander put Paul in chains, and then asked what he had done.

The crowd cried one and thing and then another. They sought to kill the preacher.

Paul said, "I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people."

When he received permission, When there was a great silence, Paul spoke in Hebrew, although he also knew Greek,

"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the law, and was zealous toward God as you are today.

"I persecuted this way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As the high priest bears witness and the council of the elders, I went to Damascus to bring in chains those who were to be punished.

"As I journeyed near Damascus at about noon, a great light from heaven shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice: 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'

"I said, 'Who are you Lord?'

"He said, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.'

"Others with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice. I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?'

Paul continued: "The Lord said, 'Go into Damascus and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.' Since I couldn't see for the glory of that light, those with me led me into Damascus. There Ananias, a devout man according to the law, came to me and said, 'Saul, receive sight,' and that same hour I looked up at him.

Ananias prophesied that the Lord chose Paul to be His witness and baptized him as Paul called on the name of the Lord. Paul repented on the spot, mentioning that he'd persecuted those who believed in Jesus, and held the coats of those who stoned Stephen to death.

Paul told how the Lord said Paul would take the gospel to the Gentiles.

The crowd tore their clothes and threw dust in the air. "He is not fit to live!"

Many beatings, chains, but successful and miraculous spreading of the gospel, fast forward to Paul in the Philippian jail where Saul, whose name was changed to Paul wrote: "Let this mind be in you who also are in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming  in the likeness of men.

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

"Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus... every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."

MY COMMENTARY
After persecuting the church, Paul gave his life for Jesus, which still is a testimony for God's love for man and Salvation and forgiveness of sins once for all by Jesus' blood. Plus because He rose from the death, we can live forever!






Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TEED OFF: A MURDER MYSTERY



CREATING MEMORABLE CHARACTERS

By Nicola Furlong

Quick, think of Gone with the Wind, Murder on the Orient Express or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What jumps into your mind first? A snippet of the story or a character?

For me, Scarlett O’Hara, Hercule Poirot and Lisbeth Salander leap to the fore. Their personalities live well beyond words on a page, and represent the gold standard in character development. Once met, never forgotten.

So, how does an author go about developing an unforgettable persona? I’m not sure about other professional scribblers, but I craft my cast of imaginary players making endless decisions, using an assortment of techniques, and answering countless questions. Way too many to detail here, however, I thought I would share an insight into the birth of two of my lead characters.

The first critical decision a novelist must make is who is telling the tale? Once known, you can decide on how the story is told.

For example, while penning my first murder mystery Teed Off!, I wanted readers to go behind the scenes of professional women’s golf and hustle down the fairways along with my storyteller, pro golfer and coroner Riley Quinn. By choosing a First Person point of view, readers are up close and personal with Riley, and experience her grief and anger as she struggles to solve a murder, reconcile with an estranged sibling and accept her new physical limitations.

I desired something different in Heartsong, the first in my new series of cozy novels about family and forgiveness. This series features three quirky sisters—Faith, Hope and Charly Shepherd—all key to the storylines, but how would their fun and inspirational tales unfold? I needed both proximity and distance to allow me to create the series’ gentle tone, and finally decided to tell the story from a Third Person point of view, through the youngest daughter’s perspective.

But who is Riley Quinn and why is she so teed off? And what is missing in Charly Shepherd’s life that compels this single mom to question her destiny?

First step to developing a fictional character involves pondering basic tombstone stuff, like age, sex, occupation, appearance and family. Then, the writer takes a deeper, more personal dive, examining temperament, personality, values, motivations, fears and dreams.

Conflict is key to creating reader interest. That’s why Scarlett is torn between two men, why Hercule clashes with quaint English mores, and why Lisbeth’s dreadful past haunts her. I decided to place both Riley Quinn and Charly Shepherd at a crossroads in their lives. Something has happened to alter who they are and to force them to rethink who they will be.

For Riley, a physical injury drove her from the women’s golf tour. No longer a professional athlete, she’s struggling to redefine herself, and bamboozled by what she sees. Charly has been content growing flowers and raising children, until her mother’s death opens a surprising longing for a spiritual reward.

Both women are mourning. Both are probing for unfamiliar expectations. Both are perfectly posed to beguile readers. At least, that’s my plan.

While I’m considering what’s special and unforgettable about my fake folks, I want to ensure that readers really love them, even if they are as irascible (easily angered) as Nero Wolf or as single-minded as D.S. Jane Tennison. Everyone has a soft or funny or intriguing side to their personality. Rex Stout's brilliant detective is an orchid-growing gastronome and the star of Prime Suspect is constantly challenging the Old Boys' Club.

I dig characters with unexpected traits, like how my headstrong, confident Riley Quinn falters when faced with a fancy social occasion or how my prudent, earthy Charly Shepherd opens up to a divine yearning.

When characters have strong inner motivations (such as a need for love, self-esteem, confidence or security) that shape their personalities and force their actions, we immediately connect emotionally with their hopes and struggles and root for them. That’s why we applaud Scarlett’s indomitable spirit, admire Poirot’s thirst for the truth, and empathize with Lisbeth’s taste for revenge.

These captivating fundamental needs, quirks and vulnerabilities make us human and when adroitly applied in creative writing, result in imaginary individuals that stalk off the page and into your heart.
-------------------------

Author Bio
Nicola pens mystery and inspirational novels, creates interactive books for the iPad, podcasts about genre writing (The Novel Experience), and teaches electronic publishing, when she's not playing Old-Timer’s hockey, growing blossoms and bamboo or eating chocolate fudge.


Her first contemporary women's series, the Sisterhood of Shepherds, debuted with HEARTSONG in May 2014 (MantleRockPublishing). Nicola's swinging whodunit, TEED OFF! (republished in February 2014 by OakTreePress), features professional golfer and coroner Riley Quinn.
.
Her other novels include a psychological thriller (A HEMORRHAGING OF SOULS), six novels in The Church Choir Mysteries series and a multimedia online thriller, UNNATURALSTATES.
In addition, she has published three ebooks, YOUDUNIT WHODUNIT! HOW TO WRITE MYSTERIES, SELF-PUBLISH YOUR E-BOOK IN MINUTES! and TOP TEN GARDENING TIPS, as well as her first musical interactive children's book for the iPad, SAVING GRAPE-JELLY CHEEKS.

Nicola lives in a small seaside town on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. For more information, please visit
http://www.nicolafurlong.com or
http://www.pinterest.com/novelnicola
She also produces kickass book trailers as Quillrbiz:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=quillrbiz&aq=f


Monday, November 10, 2014

VANQUISHED: KATIE CLARK'S DYSTOPIAN ENSLAVED NOVEL


The Making of Vanquished

By Katie Clark

Thank you for having me today! I’m thrilled to introduce your readers to my debut novel, Vanquished. People are always asking me how I got the idea for Vanquished, and since it’s a story I love telling I am happy to share it.
Writing young adult novels came naturally, because I trained in writing for children and teens. Besides, I enjoyed reading YA, so writing it was an obvious choice.
However, this wasn’t an easy idea. It came to me in bits and pieces over the course of a few years. It started with the main character, Hana. I was always thinking about this girl. This strong but vulnerable girl. She wanted to believe in the life she’d been led to live. She wanted to follow the rules. Except she couldn’t.
At that time, I had no idea what brought about her unhappiness or dissatisfaction, I only knew she needed to work toward something more.
Fast forward a year or two, I was given the idea to write a story set in a world where there was no God. No Bible. No religion. Would this world be better? Worse? And how? I had no idea how to make this story happen, but the idea stuck in my head and percolated.
Finally, the two halves came together to make a whole. One day I was sitting in church (yes, I admit I was daydreaming), and it hit me. These two stories were the same story. Hana was dissatisfied because she suspected there was more than met the eye in her city, and she set out to find it. Her mom was sick, and she needed answers. What she uncovered went way beyond hidden medications and technology—what she found was the truth that the God she’d been told was myth might not be myth at all. The story just flew from there, and it didn’t end for three books!
I hope you all read and enjoy the entire Enslaved Series, or will consider giving it to the teen readers in your life. Connecting with the young adult audience is so important to the success of the series, and my focus has been on schools and church youth groups so far. Writing the series was an emotional and thrilling ride, and it is my prayer that the story will end up in exactly the right hands. Will they be yours?

About Vanquished:

When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life.  Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help—except Hana’s not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years.  Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows?  Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society?



KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. The books released in paperback in September, and will release in ebook form on November 22, 2014. You can connect with Katie at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

SWEET CHRISTIAN ROMANCE


By Kimberly Rose Johnson

How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn't read any of your books?
I write sweet Christian romance stories that appeal to women of all ages.

Please tell us about A Holiday Proposal.
A Holiday Proposal is the third book in a series of four that takes place in Leavenworth, Washington—A quaint Bavarian village nestled in the Washington Cascades. Each book stands alone and features one of the women we first met in The Christmas Promise.

Here is the back cover blurb.

Just out of nursing school, Holly can't risk any distractions. She knows a slipup could cost a life. Like the mistake she made years ago that still plagues her conscience. When she runs into old high school friend Matthew Cook, she hesitates to let romance into her life. Even if the handsome baker is as delectable as his fabulous pastries.
She didn't notice him back in high school, but things have sure changed. Now that Matthew has Holly's attention, maybe the holiday season is the perfect time for him to show her that she deserves to have it all-work, family, friends and a love that lasts a lifetime.

How did you research or plan your book?

I am fortunate because my husband has extended family in the town of Leavenworth, WA where the story takes place. When I came up the idea for using that setting, I took the train to town and walked
Kimberly Rose Johnson
around the village just thinking and feeling the vibe of the place. Once I had a general idea for the story, I asked my husband’s family tons of questions. They were so nice and helpful. They even shared lots of antics from their own lives that inspired many things in the series.
My husband’s aunt called me one day and mentioned that she though I should add a homeless person to the story since Leavenworth has had a few. I thought about her idea and the charcter Elsa in this book was born. She’s not exactly homeless, but she was inspired by my husband's aunt.

What was the best thing a reader said about your writing/books?

My readers have been very kind to me, but in light of my past endeavor to write suspense this comment stands out to me and puts a smile on my face. This comment was made regarding A Romance Rekindled, book 2 in the series.
I have to say it has enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat!”
I love that she thought it was suspenseful because for years I tried and failed to get published as a romantic suspense writer.J

I enjoyed this comment so much about my first book, The Christmas Promise, I put it on my websites-landing page.
Kimberly Rose Johnson writes from a fresh clear perspective. Her heart is in her writing as well as her beguiling and subtle humor in situations that will make you laugh out loud.

What is your next project?
The next book that will release is A Match for Meghan. It is the fourth and final book in my Leavenworth series. Here is the back cover blurb.

MEGHAN BLACK HAS FINALLY MET HER MATCH 

The veterinary assistant never backs down from a dare…and what greater challenge than finding die-hard bachelor Ben Young his ideal mate? But what's an incurable cupid to do when the handsome vet turns the tables and asks her out?

Ben is perfectly content with his single life. And he figures there's only one way to get the petite dynamo to quit her matchmaking—date her himself! But his plan backfires when he realizes that Meghan could be The One. Can he convince a woman who believes in happy endings for everyone but herself that he's her Mr. Right?



MEET THE AUTHOR


Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and is a graduate of Northwest University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two teenage sons and their yellow lab. Kimberly is an avid reader and loves romance, suspense and romantic suspense. She enjoys playing the piano, hiking and coffee with friends. She loves hearing from her fans. You can connect with her on her website or follow her on Twitter.
Links:
Amazon
Christianbooks.com
The book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/Holiday-Proposal-Kimberly-Rose-Johnson/9780373487318