Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Margaret Brownley's "A Lady Like Sarah"


We're happy to have Margaret Brownley with us. Read on to learn more about Margaret and her book...

1) How did this story come to you? The story was inspired by the escapades of Pearl Hart. Desperate to help her seriously-ill mother, she stopped a stage and, with the help of a loaded pistol, convinced its passengers to help pay her poor mama’s medical bills. (Bet you didn’t know that health care was highway robbery even back in the Old West.) The question that kept running though my mind was, how desperate would a person have to be to rob a stage? Suddenly Sarah popped up on the page and demanded in no uncertain terms that I tell her story.

So I had my outlaw. Now all I needed was the hero. That turned out to be disgraced preacher Justin Wells who finds Sarah handcuffed to a dying marshal on the dusty trail to Texas.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I entered the book in a bunch of contests at first to get reader feed-back. It won the contests but judges were adamant that I’d have to tone down the heroine if I ever hoped to see the book published. One day, I sat down at my computer to follow that advice, but I felt like I was losing her, losing the person she was meant to be. So I put her back as she was and was determined to keep her that way even if it meant the book would never see the light of day. Fortunately, my agent liked the book the way it was written and she landed me a three book contract. Sometimes, you just have to go with your instincts.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
• I pretty much failed English in school (still can’t diagram a sentence).
• Ditto history (Who can remember all those dates and battles?)
• A historical writer who failed English and history in school isn’t surprising enough?

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just finished book 2 of my Rocky Creek series, A Suitor for Jenny. I’m currently working on book 3. I haven’t had time to think about what’s next.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you for having me on your blog—and thank you all for visiting. Have a great 2010!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet? You can visit me at www.margaretbrownley.com. I’m also a regular blogger on www.petticoatsandpistols.com

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Michelle Sutton's "It's Not About Me" Review


"It's Not About Me" by Michelle Sutton

I'm a big fan of Michelle Sutton's "Danger at the Door" and decided to give "It's Not About Me" a try. I'm glad I did. This has been marketed as a young adult book, but it's an excellent read for adults as her characters are heading into college. Trust me, you won't even recognize that you're reading a young adult book.

Michelle does such an excellent job of showing the tension between couples that you feel like you're there with them, rooting for the best man to win (that's all I'll say as I don't want to give away her plot). There are some surprising twists in this book that will keep you reading as you wonder what's going to happen next. I stayed up past my bed time last night because I just HAD to finish it.

True to her reputation, Michelle tackles some real life topics in this book that other authors may shy away from, making the book even more believable. Michelle also has a knack for writing romance scenes. My step-daughter says that Michelle's romance scenes leave her breathless. I agree.

Synopsis:
Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night when an unexpected visitor appears, Annie's safe world is destroyed. As she tries to recover the pieces of her broken life, a war ensues between two brothers who both claim to have her best interests at heart. But who will Annie choose? Or will she decide to turn her life in a different direction?

Farewell 2009


Farewell to 2009!
The beach is my favorite place on earth and I was lucky enough to visit two times in 2009. I usually make reservations at least a month in advance and count down the days until the trip. Once vacation is over, I leave with mixed emotions. I'm happy to be returning home to family, friends, and pets, but it's hard to leave the ocean. After numerous trips there with my husband over the last 14 years, it's kind of become "our" place. It's a magical place I'd like to live one day.
I approach saying farewell to 2009 in like manner. It was a good year. I spent a lot of time studying the craft of writing and reading. I finished writing three novels (a miracle in itself when you consider that I have a full-time job outside of writing. Maybe I'll blog one day about how I manage to get so much done). Two of my books will be published next year through Desert Breeze Publishing, a WWII romantic suspense in April and a romantic suspense in August, both in the inspirational category. That said, 2009 holds a special place in my heart just like the ocean. However, it's okay to leave it because I can't wait to see what happens next.

Goals for 2010?


Some of you e-mailed and asked me how I was able to get so much done in 2009 and what my goals are for 2010. This blog's for you! Goal setting with the help of a calendar is the master tool in my took kit. Goal setting comes naturally for me because I'm a planner. I start each novel by plotting. I'll choose one of the stories that's been rolling around in my head and pull out a stack of index cards. Each main character has a card on which I list their GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict...I bought a great book on this at http://www.debradixon.com/gmc.html or you can search the internet for more information.) Also, I'll have a card labeled "scenes" where I'll make notes about the main scenes in the book. I carry these cards everywhere because they're small and handy.

Once I have an idea of where my plot is headed, I begin to visualize the completed project. I always shoot for 60,000words when I begin a new book. I pull out a calendar and choose a start date and an end date. I'll then calculate how many words I need to write each day and I'll note on the calendar what my total word count should be at the end of each day. It's a great motivational tool because it encourages me to stay on track or to catch up if I fall behind. If you write 2,000 words per day, at the end of the month, you'll have a complete first draft. Once I've finished this draft, I'll shelve it and take some time off, maybe do a little plotting on the next one. I like to wait at least a month before editing because that allows me to distance myself from the story and makes it easier to catch errors or plot weaknesses.

Also, I write something every day. At one time, I wouldn't even start to write unless I knew I had at least an hour of free time. I've changed my attack plan and now write even if I have only a few minutes. You won't believe how much you can get done in just fifteen minutes. Take those fifteen minute blocks and spread them across the day and you'll write more than you could ever imagine.

Now you have all my secrets. On to my goals. In 2010, I will have two books released from Desert Breeze Publishing in ebook format. My goals are to finish final the edits on these when they come back from my editor. Also, I'd like nab an agent, and hopefully sign a contract for a print book. And of course, write something every day with a goal to finish three novels this year. Good luck with your writing goals!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Darlene Franklin's Beacon of Love


We're happy to have Darlene Franklin with us this week. To learn more about her, check out the interview below...

1) How did this story come to you?
I researched Rhode Island’s history in the 1810s and came across “the Great Gale of 1816” and the Point Judith lighthouse which was destroyed during the storm. I knew I wanted to write about a lighthouse during a hurricane.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Heartsong Presents has been publishing three historical romances and three contemporary romances based in all 50 states. Two other writers and I put together a proposal for historical Rhode Island and were delighted when JoAnne Simmons chose our stories.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m the world’s worst housekeeper (if you doubt me, let’s compare homes one day.)
Although I’ve lived most of life in states with a strong tradition of winter sports (Maine and Colorado), I have never gone skiing.
I used to be humor-challenged. Now people say I smile all the time.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am working on the second book of m three-part Vermont historical series for Heartsong, Bridge to Love. Like Beacon of Love, the story takes place in 1816 and features a a veteran of the War of 1812. However, my hero and heroine are battling the Year of No Summer, when it snowed every month, and the possible loss of the family farm.
I hope to write a third Vermont historical romance, this one during the Civil War about the “northernmost battle” of that conflict. And I will have another novella come out next Christmas, The Face of Mary in A Woodlands Christmas.
I am working to expand my writing base. A publisher has expressed interest in a longer book, same time period, about a family who moves from Maine to Ohio and becomes involved with the Underground Railroad. My devotional writing is finding a home and keeps me busy.
5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me as your guest today! I always enjoy chatting with readers.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot..com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Margaret Daley's Christmas Peril


We're happy to have Margaret Daley with us this week!
Click on the photo to the left to visit the author's website. Read on to learn more about Margaret and her book...

1) How did this story come to you?
I was asked to write a novella with a Christmas theme so I came up with Christmas, OK to be the setting for my story. My heroine is fleeing for her life with her five-years-old daughter and ends up in Christmas, OK.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’ve been writing for over thirty years. I sold my first book after writing almost three years back in 1981. My first book came out in 1982.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m not sure what would surprise my readers, but here are three things about me. I love Christmas music throughout the year. I hate exercising, but I’m doing the treadmill for forty-five minutes every other day. Watching a TV show helps the time pass faster when I’m exercising. I have a neurotic cat and two somewhat normal ones.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m finishing up my third book in my homeschooling series for Love Inspired called A Daughter for Christmas. It will be out next November. After that I have a Love Inspired Suspense book I have to write about a group of female bodyguards. The first book in that series will be out next December called Christmas Bodyguard.

5) Parting comments?
I love to hear from readers. They can contact me at margaretdaley@gmail.com or visit my Web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com/ and read excerpts from my books.

Friday, December 11, 2009

January Writing Contest Deadlines

January 8
Award of Excellence (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Colorado Romance Writers
http://coloradoromancewriters.org/aoe.html

January 9
Book Buyer's Best Contest (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Orange County Romance Writers of America
http://www.occrwa.org/bbb2010.html

January 12
Write Touch Readers Award (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America
http://www.wisrwa.org/contest.html

January 15
Bookseller's Best Award (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America
http://www.gdrwa.org/bba_entryform2010.html

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Southern Magic Romance Writers of America
http://southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html

Golden Quill (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY)
Desert Rose Romance Writers of America
http://www.desertroserwa.org/goldenquill/goldenquill.htm

Judge a Book By Its Cover
Houston Bay Area Romance Writers of America
http://www.hbarwa.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=82

Marlene Award
Washington Romance Writers of America
http://www.wrwdc.com/ee/index.php/marlene_awards/

January 23
Winter Rose Award for Excellence-Published (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Yellow Rose Romance Writers of America
http://yellowroserwa.com/contestPub.php

Winter Rose Award for Excellence-Unpublished (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY)
Yellow Rose Romance Writers of America
http://yellowroserwa.com/contestUnpub.php

Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Do your own research before entering any contest. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs.

Ebooks vs Print Books


Yesterday's post regarding my journey to publication caused some questions regarding my decision to publish in ebook format. First of all, it's the way of the future. Barnes & Noble owns fictionwise.com. They're reformatting from 350-500 books per week in the ebook format. Do you think they'd be taking the time if this wasn't a lucrative venture? Hardly.
Secondly, the ebook market is booming. Many large publishing houses are opening up e-lines. They realize that ebooks are the way of the future. Most people have what they need to read an ebook in their pocket. Smart phones. (For info on what type of software you need to download in order to read ebooks on your cell, go to www.fictionwise.com.)
The benefits of ebooks are endless. I save paper and ink. I can read anywhere, anytime when I download ebooks to my Blackberry. I have 12 of them stored in it right now. In a long line at Walmart? No problem. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting for an appointment? No problem. I can read in bed and not disturb my husband because I don't need a night light. The font is adjustable. Right now, my font is larger, darker, and brighter than any paperback and I believe it causes less eye strain. Many ebooks, especially classics that have fallen into public domain, are free. And, ebooks are cheaper than print books. Currently, I'm paying $5.99 or less for the books I download from www.desertbreezepublishing.com.
So, in a nut shell, I LOVE ebooks. Currently, I buy nothing but e. There are a couple of new releases I've been interested in, but I refuse to buy them in print format. I'm waiting for them to hit the market in e. I don't have to time to wait until the perfect time to read a print book. I can read e almost anywhere, any time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Never Give Up!


I've had several people ask me to share my journey to publication and offer a little advice. Here goes... The little guy above is a white faced squirrel who was persistent. He lives on a golf course in Myrtle Beach and if you leave your cart unattended while making a shot, you'll find that whatever you were snacking on has disappeared. His perseverance paid off.

The first book I finished writing was a young adult novel. That was approximately three years ago. Eventually, I shelved it and decided I wasn't getting anywhere because I didn't have a good grasp of the craft. At that point, I bought every book I could find on writing. Most of them came from eBay because I can find even the out of print books there.

I studied everything I could find on writing for over two years. I knew I wanted to write Christian fiction, but wasn't sure where to start. I was lucky enough to find ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers.) The membership fee was the best money I've ever spent. I was amazed that some of the big names in the Christian market were nice enough to take the time to answer questions. I can't recommend ACFW enough if you're interested in writing Christian Fiction. You can learn more about them at http://www.acfw.com/.

I finished my first adult novel, Killing Time, and began entering it in contests. I used the feedback to make my story stronger. I must have rewritten that novel a dozen times. It finaled in the 2009 Duel on the Delta. It was written in first person and when I found out that the contest judge was a Harlequin editor, I had a short amount of time to change it from first person into third (Harlequin doesn't buy first person for their Steeple Hill line). I had no clue how to write a deep third person and expected third place, which is how the saga ended.

I continued to rework Killing Time. I was told by an agent that it might be a hard sell because the first 3 or 4 chapters are set in a jail. That novel has found a home at Desert Breeze Publishing and will be out in August of 2010. It wasn't submitted to any other publishing house and I'm content with my decision to publish in ebook format. The people at Desert Breeze are among the nicest people in the business and their books consistently receive high reviews and they allow authors to write what's on their heart.

The best advice I can give you is...NEVER GIVE UP! You'll never reach the goal of publication if you give up. Also, write something every day. If you write 1,000 words a day, you'll have a novel in two months. Take another month or two to edit and it will be ready to submit. And, STUDY, STUDY, and STUDY SOME MORE! I take writing very seriously and still buy and study writing books. I learn something new from every one I read.

And one more piece of advice...take advantage of NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) if at all possible. It will change the way you write forever. I wrote a WWII romantic suspense, Queen of Hearts, during NaNoWriMo. If all goes as planned, it will release in April of 2010 with Desert Breeze Publishing.

If I'd given up, I wouldn't have found a home for these two books. SO, NEVER GIVE UP AND KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

John L. Owens' THE NINTH GENERATION


We're happy to have John L. Owens with us. Click on the photo to the left to visit his website. Read on to learn more about John and his book...

1) How did this story come to you?
The story slowly unfolded while cleaning the acrylics of our family-owned tanning salon. My wife and I took turns running it. Between customers, it was a great escape to delve into the setting of The Ninth Generation and to ponder the dialogue that might have taken place between Noah’s father, Lameck, at 112 and Enoch, at 364 years of age. The time period before the flood had fascinated me and there were mysteries that I longed to solve. I had also prayed for something that would help our 18-yr-old adopted son to obtain a Biblical world view. An adventurous, fast-moving novel with some clean romance seemed in order.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had followed the advice of David Morrell, author of First Blood, who said to writers, “Your goal should be to write something that’s important to you, not to the critics.” And while I had utilized the editorial arm of The Christian Writers Guild, the final novel was a difficult sell to a regular publisher – most prefer a New Testament time period. I had also taken a position on Genesis 6:4 – the angelic / human view – that may have been uncomfortable to some. So, with prayerful consideration and some advertising – publishing experience, I decided to go with a reputable pod Christian publisher (Xulon). If it was meant to multiply, perhaps it would. At least I had something to give my son and, interestingly by request, to the mothers of his friends.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I passed out once when asked to speak in public. / God used a witch to open my eyes to the reality of the demonic (she was delivered and saved). / I served as academic dean to the first above-ground pastoral training school in the former USSR.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am working on a field manual on spiritual warfare – Positioned for Victory (non-fiction), while thinking about another more contemporary fictional novel that might parallel The Ninth Generation – Jesus prophesied that the last days will compare to the days of Noah.

5) Parting comments?
For those who have ever wondered what it was like living among the centenarians, and would like to preview a well-researched, imaginative novel, please visit my book site.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.TheNinthGeneration.com – contains links to blog and podcasts

Laurie Alice Eakes "The Glassblower"


We're happy to have Laurie Alice Eakes with us today talking about her new release "The Glassblower." Click on the image of her book to visit her blog and learn more about the book. Here's her interview:

1) How did this story come to you?
a. I set out to write a historical novel about New Jersey for Heartsong and started reading a book on New Jersey history. A chapter on the glassmaking industry fascinated me, and I built from there.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
a. That was painful. I’d sold two books when I submitted this proposal. I’d submitted a lot of proposals around this time and subsequently. 20 months later, nothing had sold and I was thoroughly discouraged. I was even looking into going back to school and kept praying that God would show me what else to do if He no longer wanted me to write. I was in New Jersey at a training when I got the call from my agent that JoAnne Simons wanted my New Jersey historical series. That led to the sale of eleven books in the next nine months.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a. I’m extremely shy in person.
b. Pasta makes me gag unless it’s smothered in cheese.
c. I read a hundred and fifty books a year.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now, I just finished my first long mainstream historical for Revell called Bride of the Mist out in January of 2011 and am working on the third New Jersey Historical, set in Cape May in 1899. Next I’ll start on my first Regency for Revell, out in May of 2011.

5) Parting comments?
I think as a younger woman I must have prayed for courage, patience, and a job I could love, for God made me a writer, a profession one can love, but which certainly takes courage and patience.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My blog is most frequently updated www.seizethechance.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fayette-A Time To Laugh by Donna Winters

Donna Winters' Fayette A Time to Laugh:

The greatest passion of Flora McAdams’ life has always been her love of animals. From girlhood she has made it her mission to care for orphaned wild creatures and hurting family pets in the pig iron town of Fayette. Now, at age eighteen, she has no lack of four-footed patients needing her skill, and no time or thought for romance, until a quiet Norwegian machinist comes to town.Sven Jorgensen hoped his first encounter with the feisty Flora McAdams would be his last. Whether at the village vegetable garden or the town racetrack, he can’t seem to avoid her. But time works miracles. And after witnessing her transform neglected and homeless canines into healthy, loving pets, his thoughts of her are altered as well. Can he somehow convince her that he has more than friendship in mind for their future?

Interview:
1) How did this story come to you?
My story is based largely on the information about the setting gleaned from historical accounts in newspapers and archives. I have a microfilm reader and purchase microfilm of historic newspapers when they are available for the location of my story. Against the true history about the time and place, I set fictional characters which often interact with true historic figures of the era.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This book was the fifteenth romance novel I’ve had published and the second story about the remote iron smelting town of Fayette, Michigan that operated during the period from 1867-1891. My writing career began in 1982 with my first title being released by Thomas Nelson in 1985. Though younger writers will find this hard to believe, there was a great lull in the Christian fiction market in the late 1980’s which forced me to become resourceful in getting my work into print. I took control of the process by developing my trademark series, Great Lakes Romances, and from 1988 on I have developed titles for this series.
3) What do you love most about being a writer?
What I love most about writing is the complete sense of escape from reality into the world of my characters and their joys and challenges.
4) What frustrates you about being a writer?
The most challenging aspect of writing is expanding my readership. I hope through this interview, readers who have not heard about Great Lakes Romances will discover historic stories they can enjoy.
5) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Some aspects of myself that would surprise many, if meeting me in person (I’m a slight-built lady), are that I was a trumpet major in college, and I am a hobby weight lifter with exceptionally large biceps. Additionally, I took up cross-country and downhill skiing at the ages of 57 and 58.
6) What are you working on now and what's next for you?

At this time I am working on expanding my readership through social internet contacts and (soon to come) a rebuild of my website at http://www.greatlakesromances.com/. Concerning writing and publishing, I have in mind to develop a cookbook based on the heritage of historic Fayette, Michigan.
7) Parting comments?
I’m new to the social websites and am profoundly grateful for the supportive nature of my contacts there. I pray God’s blessings for all who touch my life via the web.

Love Finds You in Holiday Florida by Sandra D. Bricker


Interview with the author:

1) How did this story come to you?
I received a call from Rachel Meisel, the senior editor at Summerside, asking if I would be interested in writing something light and funny for a town they thought had a cute name. It was Holiday, Florida. Living in Tampa, I’m sorry to tell you that I didn’t even know I was only 30 minutes from Holiday! So my friend Marian and I went on an exploration trip, thinking we’d spend the day there. But when we arrived, we quickly learned that a whole day in Holiday was a pretty funny idea. There wasn’t much to the place! But we started driving through the residential streets there, trying to find some inspiration. Just when I was feeling a little light on creativity, I turned a corner (literally and figuratively!). Two elderly women in spandex and fanny packs were power-walking down the street in front of my car, showing no signs of moving to the side. I kind of groaned while I waited, glanced over at the front yard of one of the houses on that street, and there were these two ridiculous pink flamingo lawn ornaments staring back at me. The connection was made right then and there! Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida turned out to be filled with quirky characters in a hysterical community of people.

Bostonian Cassie Constantine is only in Florida long enough to use her Christmas break to get the vacation house that she’s always despised ready for the real estate market. But her widow status is like a target on her back, and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn. Holiday is a land mine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Nope, not Sophie the crazy Collie. It's Richard Dillon, the stuffed shirt she’s paired with on the dance floor. He makes her heartbeat tap faster than the rhythm of The Quickstep.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Due to some fairly poor planning on my part, as well as some accidental scheduling hiccups that were out of my control, I had three contracted books come up with deadlines very close to each other. Since I also work a full-time day job, it was an extremely delicate balance to meet all three of those deadlines. I ended up taking some vacation time for Holiday, or we might not be talking about it right now. I did a lot of fretting, praying and brainstorming during those weeks, but when both Summerside editors came back telling me how much they loved the end product, I could breathe easier. Now that I’ve gone back and read it all the way through, I’m really excited about the finished product.

3) What do you love most about being a writer?
The process. I really love storytelling. I have a very visual style, and most of my stories are character driven. That gives me a wonderful opportunity to really get to know my characters as I’m writing. I’m often sad to see my friends go when I write the final lines of a book.

4) What frustrates you about being a writer?
Rules. Don’t get me wrong, I do know that those RULES FOR WRITERS are there for a purpose, and it’s important to know them. But when you come up with a strategy to break them, and it’s really working, it can be very frustrating when other writers want to cling so vehemently to their rules that they take the adventure out of it!

5) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hmmm. Well … I suppose #1 would have to be that I’m very, very shy. People who have met me are often stunned by this admission because my characters are so quirky and out there, but it’s true.

#2: I’m a cancer survivor. More people probably know now than they did before because my devotional coming out this month (Be Still … and Let Your Nail Polish Dry) has been earmarked for a portion of the royalties to be sent to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Because of that, I’ve done several interviews about my battle with the disease, and I’ve begun talking about it for the first time. I’m 5-1/2 years cancer-free now though!

#3: I spent 15 years as a publicist to soap stars. I had my own business in Los Angeles and had clients on General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, Bold & Beautiful, etc. It was a whole other life than the one I live now.

6) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve got The Big 5-OH! coming out in February, and I’m just finishing Always the Baker, Never the Bride, my second comedy for Abingdon Press’ new fiction line, which will be out in the fall of 2010. It’s a funny account of a diabetic baker who can’t eat her own confections. After this, I’ll have a couple of months before I have to start writing my next Love Finds You book. Between now and then, it’s promotion for Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida and NAPS. Lots and lots of naps.

7) Parting comments?
I’ve been so blessed over the last couple of years. Although I’ve been writing for a very long time, I finally broke into the inspirational market last year with Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, and that was a benchmark book for me in my personal mission to deliver uplifting, Christian-based fiction that can touch a reader’s spirit as well as make them laugh out loud. Especially after cancer, I know firsthand the importance of finding something to laugh about in times of challenge and struggle. I live my life by that scripture that says that a merry heart is like good medicine, and I’m so grateful to the many readers who have encouraged me in finding my voice and living this dream of mine. There’s just so much bad secular fiction out there, and I’m committed to the ministry of painting my little corner of the world with Godly hues so that people have something to turn to. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have helped me do that, and to all of you who are just starting to join me in the cause. I’m continually humbled and thankful for the turns my life has taken on this road, and every time a reader tells me they laughed AND cried through one of my books, I know that God is doing what He promised. It’s life-changing, and I’m so grateful.

Web site: http://www.sandradbricker.com/
Personal blog: http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com/
Group blog: http://bestilldevos.blogspot.com/

NaNoWriMo Success!


I'm happy to say that perseverance paid off. I finished NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) about a week early. The book I wrote during NaNo is an inspirational romantic suspense called Queen of Hearts. It will be released through Desert Breeze Publishing in April 2010 if all goes as planned.
This book was particularly fun because my husband helped me brainstorm the plot. He's not much of a reader, but wants to read it. I have a really hard time coming up with titles. He gave it the title, Queen of Hearts, and threw in some ideas that helped move the plot along. It's pretty suspenseful. Even scared me at times.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Trish Perry's TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

1) How did this story come to you?
I actually wrote Too Good to Be True before The Guy I’m Not Dating. I had just finished writing an intense supernatural thriller and needed to write something more light and fun. I wanted Ren, the heroine, to be funny but somewhat vulnerable emotionally. I knew her story would have much to do with our timing versus God's. I had specific romantic encounters in mind for her and Tru, the hero. The more serious facets of the story—surviving divorce, infertility, trying to adopt, and honoring one's humorously manipulative parents—just started floating around in my head while I folded laundry, applied my makeup, drove to the grocery store. As often happens, the random ideas settled into place once I sat down at the computer and got to work. That "settling" is one of God's many blessings during the writing process—great fun!
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
As I mentioned above, I had already written a book (still unpublished) before I started Too Good to Be True. I was four chapters into Too Good when I entered a writing contest with the first three chapters. The judge was a literary agent who awarded me first place and asked the contest coordinator for my contact information. I was thrilled to sign on with her! Once I finished the manuscript, she began shopping it to various houses until we received an offer. In fact, because I immediately began writing The Guy I’m Not Dating once I finished Too Good to Be True, my agent was able to get me a two-book contract. So it’s in a new writer’s best interest to keep on writing, even after that first manuscript is done and out there. That first contract came about after I had been seriously writing for about ten years.

3) What do you love most about being a writer?
I feel I’m doing what God created me to do. This isn’t a money-making endeavor by any means—not for the majority of novelists, anyway. And this certainly isn’t the path to fame. But when I hear from a reader that a particular book of mine was exactly what God wanted her to read at that point in her life? It doesn’t get any better than that. A total blessing.

4) What frustrates you about being a writer?
Definitely the blank page. Once I get started, words flow. But it can be such a struggle to get those first few words down. Lately I’ve been doing a bit more writing by hand than I usually do. I’m finding I don’t censor myself as much when I write by hand, and I love sitting down to the computer afterward and already having something to slap down on that page.

5) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I used to sing in a rock band. Loved it.
I can’t swim. I don’t mean I’m not a strong swimmer. I mean it’s curtains for me if I get in water over my head.
I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

6) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m excited to be writing my next contemporary romance series, the first book of which probably won’t release until early 2011. The Tea Shop Series is set in historic Middleburg, Virginia. Each book will involve a different set of characters. The first book, The Perfect Blend, is about a young woman who burns all of her bridges and dashes to Middleburg to elope with her fiancé, only to find nothing is working out as she expected.

7) Parting comments?
I invite your readers to stop by my blog at http://www.trishperry.com/. I typically interview two novelists a week, and they give away a signed copy of their current book and talk about their novels, their lives, and the craft of writing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sue Dent's Never Ceese


A determined young werewolf acting on her long-held wish to free herself of her curse, teams up with a skeptical vampire who can no longer admit that having his curse removed is something he wants.Will Cassi Felts be able to help them, as her grandmother implored her to do? or will they suffer at the hands of a radical and evil stem cell researcher?

Interview with Sue:
1) How did this story come to you? It’s always been there. Stories are a part of who I am. This one is no different. I do so love the vampire and werewolf genre though and felt it a wonderful place to start. And for the record, my vampire and werewolf story was out before Twilight so it’s not a copycat. I have many Twilight readers as fans though and many readers who don’t like Twilight.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published. I finished my MS in October of 2006. I solicited and found a freelance professional editor that same month. She edited my work with a guaranteed 2% error rate. A publisher I found on WritersMarket.com took an interest right away when they saw they’d have little to do, in other words nothing other than printing 5000 copies, to get my work ready to be published. I did the cover art as well (I’m not bragging, I’m just saying. I’ve a degree in Fine Arts. I did the cover.)
My first publisher went under though and sold all of their stock to a liquidator. I republished my debut novel, Never Ceese through my own publishing company to keep it alive. Please purchase the paperback as I make nothing off the hardback. Forever Richard, the second in my Thirsting for Blood Series was picked up by another non-affiliated Christian publisher, The Writers’ Café Press, who also publishes Frank Creed’s cyber-punk novel Flashpoint and Susan Kirkland’s military novel, Fair Balance along with several other titles respectful of, but not limited to, a Christian audience. They’ve been great support and took my series up right away. Thanks to their fine editing, Forever Richard garnished a book blurb and resounding review from the British Fantasy Society.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I don’t think anything about me surprises my readers. LOL I am who I am (and what God made me) they seem to be okay with that.
2. Okay, here’s one. I was once a professional Foosball player, meaning I made money playing Foosball. I won Women’s Doubles in 1992 at the National Finals in Minneapolis with my partner Jackie Gummeson and then took first the next year in Designated Mixed with Russ King putting the number one player in the world out of the event early. Actually I put him out every time I played him in Designated Mixed, where the girl has to play front (you have a back player and a front player unless you’re playing singles.) My Snake Shot was unblockable most of the time. But to be fair, I’d never be able to beat World Champion Todd Lafreddo any other way. He is a master of the game and always will be. Good times. J
3. I’ve never read any of Anne Rice’s vampire books and never had a desire to. I know, weird, right? I think perhaps what sealed it for me was her getting her start writing erotica under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. Fine if that’s what you want to write, and she clearly did a fabulous job, I just couldn’t see her moving far from those roots in her vampire books. Hey, I was a kid at the time. My Momma would’ve skinned me if I would’ve brought something that suggestive home. After all, my granddaddy Lawler was a definitive Southern Baptist preacher. Mom did let us watch Dark Shadows though. That show was a huge influence for me even though it “skeered” me at times. LOL I was somewhere around ten or eleven. I LOVED Barnabus Collins, the vampire.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just happen to be working on the third installment in my series entitled Cyn No More. It too will be written for general market readers. I’ve a contract with The Writers’ Café Press to write five more speculative titles, as this is what they specialize in, but I am open to hearing from any publishers interested in less speculative work. Hey, an author has to earn a living and writing is what I do. I’ve got several MS’s that aren’t nearly as speculative as what I’ve been writing.

5) Parting comments?
I’d just like to say a “ginormous” thank you to all my Christian readers, affiliated and otherwise, for all your support. How wonderful that you found something redeeming about my stories and are ready to shout about it! It’s really good to have your support. I THANK you! An author can’t make it without readers and we absolutely can’t make it without industry support. ;)
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Have you googled Sue Dent lately . . . or maybe that’s just me that does that. LOL Oh wait, you meant where can someone find me on the web. Here you go: http://www.thewriterscafe.com/ http://www.thewriterscafepressauthors.blogspot.com/ http://www.neverceese.com/, http://www.foreverrichard.com/, http://www.suedent.blogspot.com/, I’m also on Facebook and of course I’m on http://www.shoutlife.com/ a Christian oriented social network. Richard the vampire from my stories, aka Stevie Mac, is part owner of ShoutLife and the whole team there did the official book launch for Forever Richard in January. Those are the main spots.

December Writing Contests

December 1

National Readers' Choice Awards
http://www.okrwa.com/nrca.htm

Writer's Digest
Short Short Story Competition
http://www.writersdigest.com/short

Romance Writer's of America
RITA
http://www.rwanational.org/cs/contests_and_awards/rita_awards/contest_rules

International Thriller Writers
Thriller Award
http://www.thrillerwriters.org/thrillerfest/2010awards.html

Connecticut Romance Writers of America
The Write Stuff
http://ctrwa.org/connections/


December 30
North Texas Romance Writers of America
Great Expectations
http://www.ntrwa.org/contest/contest.aspx


December 31
Random House
Delacorte Press Contest
http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/writingcontests/#youngadult



Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Do your own research before entering any contest. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Alice Wisler's Rain Song


Rain Song: Pineapple chutney, cucumber sandwiches, Southern etiquette, a donkey named Maggie McCormick, an Irish pet store owner, and Earl Grey tea are some of the important aspects about a novel set in the Mount Olive Pickle Company region of the United States. Kimono, koi, playgrounds with swings, and songs about the falling rain, fill the story from the Japanese side of the globe.A little about Rain Song...Thirty-one-year-old Nicole, a middle school English teacher in Mount Olive, is surrounded by loving, though quirky, relatives like her maternal grandmother Ducee and great-aunt Iva. Trying everyone's patience is three-year-old Monet who likes to smear her fingerprints all over Nicole's 55-gallon tank of marine fish. While the relatives plan the annual family reunion, Nicole connects with Harrison, a childhood friend, who helps her fill in the gaps of her mysterious childhood in Kyoto, Japan.1) How did this story come to you?
Rain Song came to me over the years, as I tweaked it from first person to third and back to first again. I grew up as a missionary kid in Japan, so I wanted to write about my birth land. I found the concept of someone knowing more about your past than you do an intriguing one. I like the last line from one of the early chapters, “Nicole, my mother remembers the night you were born.” That line provides mystery, and I always like a little mystery in my novels.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I sent my manuscript to many agents, and received lots of rejections. Yes, I felt defeated. One rejection letter told me that I needed to change the tone of the narrative voice in my story. After I did, I sent the first three chapters to an agent I’d just discovered on http://www.agentquery.com/, and she called to say she wanted to see the whole manuscript. I sent it, and waited. Two weeks later she called to say she wanted to represent me. She sent Rain Song (I had titled it The Kimono Lady Sings) to about ten publishers, and almost immediately she heard from Bethany House. This publisher was interested, and offered a two-book deal. I was elated! I’m so glad that they let me into the club!
3) What do you love most about being a writer?
I enjoy it when a character surprises me. In Rain Song, Monet, the three-year-old, a.k.a., The Wild Child, was only supposed to have a small role, but she begged for more. I find her character fascinating because she can be demanding, but gradually grows into your heart. Grandma Ducee says you have to look for the “beauty within” each person. Authors needs to be surprised along the way, or if they aren’t, they get bored and have a hard time completing their work.
4) What frustrates you about being a writer?
I always have a great story in my mind, but the capability to get it on paper is often limited. I constantly strive to write beautifully, so that my hope for what is printed will be closer to my vision of not only the story I want to tell, but the style in which I desire for it to be written. Basically, I want to excel, aiming for that trophy called perfection.
5) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I once got on the wrong airplane. Luckily, I got off before it took off and I ended up in Charleston, SC.
My uncle is the author of The Message, Eugene H. Peterson.
Although my novel, Rain Song, is all about family reunions, I’ve never been to one.
6) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Currently, the manuscript for my third novel, Hatteras Girl, is being read by my editor. (I sure hope she likes it!) Hatteras Girl will be published in the fall of 2010. I’m writing the synopsis for my fourth novel, tentatively titled A Wedding Invitation, to be released in the fall of 2011. Also, I’m promoting my two published novels, Rain Song (Christy Finalist 2009), and How Sweet It Is.
7) Parting comments?
Thanks for the interview! Visit my website, to learn not only about my novels, but about my Writing the Heartache Workshops I give online. Also, sign up for my free newsletter, Literary Lyrics. Here’s the link: http://www.alicewisler.com/

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Stones" by Eleanor Gustafson

THE STONES by Eleanor Gustafson

1) How did this story come to you?
The David story is unparalleled for its sheer drama, complex characters, romance, and tragedy. The Bible version, however, lacks a certain dimension, and I wanted to make the story and characters come alive and accessible for the average reader. Many have told me that I succeeded well and that the book brought a new and vital understanding of David and the Psalms.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published. All told, I invested 15 or more years in researching, writing, and marketing the book. From the beginning, I felt strongly that it would be God’s timing and not my own that would land a publisher. I had a friend who prayed faithfully with me all those years, and I dedicated the book to her. The Big Moment came, not through one more query letter, but by going to church one morning. There I greeted a former interim pastor who had come that Sunday to preach on missions. He asked if I had found a publisher, and when I said no, he gave me his son’s business card as a contact at Whitaker House. That key did indeed open the door, and Whitaker House took me on. My interim pastor friend, Dr. Tim Tennent, has since gone on to become president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He is also one of my very special endorsers.

3) What do you love most about being a writer?
I have always loved stories, and I love to create good plot lines and solid, believable characters. Editing, however, is my favorite part of the process, and I polish my writing with love and patience. I don’t write fast and normally work through a novel at least 50 times. I enjoy chopping words, making dialogue authentic, finding a better way to say something. I love breathing spiritual content into the story without sounding hokey. The Stones was relatively easy, in that the plot line and characters were already laid out for me to fuss over and plump up.

4) What frustrates you about being a writer?
Lack of time. My life does not revolve around just writing, as much as I love it. I am driven relationally to welcome and interact with strangers and the “little” people in church. I maintain through email, phone, and regular mail a large network of relatives and friends, including a man in prison. I am passionate about missions and serve on the missions team at our church. That too involves much correspondence, sometimes in Spanish, which I don’t speak. My husband of nearly 55 years requires a fair amount of relational time, much of it on our daily, hour-long walks. I’m trying online networking but lack the time required for effective interacting. This interview with Dawn, by the way, is a networking spinoff, and I am grateful to her. And trips to Vermont and our tree farm to cut and haul several cords of firewood per year. Then there’s housework—but let’s not go there. Writing gets squeezed in somehow, but not easily.

Another serious problem for me is that my books tend to fall outside successful marketing parameters. Even my David book has not sold as well as I would like. It is acknowledged to be good, but it’s long (601 pp) and heavy with innate complexities, even though I tried very hard to make the writing itself accessible to most readers. All along, however, my heart has instructed me to write as best I can as I feed off of God. I was to not worry about copies sold. God is my first and most important market.

5) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I actively helped build our two-story house—framing, roofing, siding, sheetrock, and finish woodworking—along with a 15-foot canvas tepee for my children and a log playhouse for my grandchildren.
· On my way to a TV interview, I buried a pocket penknife in an airport planter so it wouldn’t be confiscated at security. I dug it up, none the worse for wear, when I got back. J
· Eugene Peterson was the first person to endorse my book. He and Tim Tennent are right up there on my hero list!

6) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am writing a horse story with strong spiritual overtones. A five-gaited horse named Dynamo serves as a metaphor for a man’s passion for God and his fear of God.
The long and short of it, Jeth Cavenaugh is terrified of God. For starters, how often does a hard slap send a person into the Kingdom? Good things, bad things, make him moan plaintively, “Does God ever work this way with anyone else? I feel like I’m being set up for something.” He is, indeed. Nothing in Jeth’s life is predictable.

7) Parting comments?
I would encourage you to tackle The Stones. It’s a big book because David is big. He is a warrior—big into war, sex, and blood. But he is big into God and is called a man after God’s own heart, despite his egregious sin. And David’s prickly relationship with his ruthless commander-in-chief Joab: Could David have carved out God’s earthly kingdom without Joab’s military genius? This is a novel that will make you see David and his psalms in a brand-new and thoughtful way. Check out the reader responses to my book on Amazon.

And thanks for listening to all of this! May God breathe his Spirit on your writing.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Camy Tang's Sushi for One?


Sushi for One
This week's book give away is "Camy Tang's Sushi for One?" Camy Tang is one of the best "chick lit" writers in the market with a refreshing voice. In order to be entered to win, follow these steps

1) If you've not already done so, please place your e-mail address in the box to the right labeled "Subscribe to my blog via e-mail.".
2) Shoot me an e-mail at kdawnbyrd_author@yahoo.com (that's kdawnbyrd(underscore)author@yahoo.com) with the answer to the following question. In the book, Camy's character had a 6 point check list from the book of Ephesians detailing the perfect mate. What's your check list? Two or three qualities that you consider absolutely necessary in spousal material or a significant other will be fine. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat. Thanks for entering and good luck!

I asked Camy if she had a few words for us and here's what she said:
Hi everybody! I'm so thrilled Dawn asked me to write a little something. My latest novel, DEADLY INTENT, just released in July, and right now, I'm writing the sequel, FORMULA FOR DANGER. I'm really excited to be diving in to Rachel's story (sister to Naomi from DEADLY INTENT). I feel a kinship with her because she's geeky and shy and a little weird, just like me! Here's a quick blurb: Someone is trying to steal dermatologist researcher Rachel Grant’s latest research. She turns to Edward Villa, a man she secretly loves, but can even he protect her from the enemy after her life?FORMULA FOR DANGER will release in September 2010! Keep an eye out for it! Thanks for letting me blog, Dawn!Camy

Thanks for sharing with us, Camy! I loved Deadly Intent and can't wait for the sequel.

Monday, October 19, 2009

NaNoWriMo Ups the Ante...Working Under Pressure


Okay. I announced earlier that I'm taking the NaNoWriMo Challenge this year...50,000 words in 30 days (http://www.nanowrimo.org/). I've asked other authors to join me for the challenge and have about a dozen "buddies" for the journey. I thought it would be nice to have the support and also being accountable generally brings about success.
After corresponding with the wonderful, Gail Delaney, Editor and Chief at Desert Breeze Publishing (DBP), I found out that she needs a historical novel for the month of April. My first novel, an inspirational romantic suspense, will release with DBP in August. You can find out more about DBP on their website at http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/.
I said in an earlier post that I've been thinking about writing a WWII novel. Gail is holding the April slot for my historical, which I will write during NaNoWriMo. The title of the novel is Queen of Hearts. Good thing I work well under pressure. Give me a deadline and I'll break my neck meeting it. What about you? Do you work well under pressure or do you faint?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

November Writing Contests

November 1
Inland Valley Romance Writers of America
Bad Kitty Contest
http://www.ivrwa.org/contest07.htm

Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America
Enchanted Words
http://www.ovrwa.com/enchanted_words/

Hudson Valley Romance Writers of America
Hook, Line, and Sinker
http://www.hudsonvalleyrwa.com/contest

Dorchester Publishing
Next Best Cellar
http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?ID=2685

November 2
Harlequin
Harlequin Presents Writing Competition
http://www.iheartpresents.com/2009/07/the-harlequin-presents-writing-competition-2009-is-now-open/comment-page-1/

Writer's Digest
Pop Fiction Awards
http://www.writersdigest.com/popularfictionawards

November 4
Silicon Valley Romance Writers of America
Gotcha!
http://www.svrwa.com/gotcha

November 15
Pikes Peaks Writers
The Paul Gillette Awards
http://www.ppwc.net/ppw-fiction-writing-contest

United Press International and uwenp
UPI National Student Journalism Writing Contest
http://www.uwemp.com/contest

November 16
Romance Writers of America
Golden Heart
http://www.rwanational.org/cs/contests_and_awards/golden_heart_awards/contest_rules

November 30
Review Fuse
Book 1st Chapter Contest
http://www.reviewfuse.com/blog/2009/09/book-1st-chapter-contest-november-2009/

Women on Writing
Flash Fiction Contest
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Do your own research before entering any contest. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo Challenge


November is national novel writing month. Are you up for the challenge? The goal is to write 50,000 words from November 1 to midnight November 30. This breaks down to just 1,667 words per day. There's no grand prize except the elation you'll feel for finishing the challenge. You can register at www.nanowrimo.org.
So, if you're up for the challenge, here's a little advice. Get all unfinished business out of the way. Let your family members know that you'll be writing during the month of November and need their support. Set aside a block of time every day to write. Start plotting now so you'll have a road map as to where you're headed with your story.
Any takers our there? If you want to be my buddy for the journey, you can add me after you sign up. My user name is kdawnbyrd. Happy writing!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Desert Breeze Publishing offers contract




Desert Breeze Publishing Offers Contract




Last Thursday, I was thinking about all of the last minute things I needed to do before I could leave for the beach. There was laundry to finish up, a house to lock up, dogs to deliver to in-laws, birds to be taken care of, etc. I knew that it was about time that I heard back from Desert Breeze Publishing, an ebook publisher Michelle Sutton recommended when she found out that I write inspirational romantic suspense that's not the run of the mill. For one thing, the first few chapters of the book, Killing Time, were set in a jail. What do you think would happen if a strong Christian woman was wrongly accused and incarcerated? Would she crack under the pressure? And, what would happen if inmates were being murdered at the jail and someone was trying to frame her?


Killing Time didn't make the rounds much. Desert Breeze Publishing was the only publisher to see it. It placed third in the Duel on the Delta contest, which Tina Columbo of Steeple Hill judged. She didn't request a full, stating that it didn't fit their line, but requested that I send her something else. I've not had anything else to send because I'm a new author and don't have a stock pile of manuscripts that some authors have from having written for years.


I'm elated about the opportunity to publish with Desert Breeze Publishing. After learning how to download ebooks to my Blackberry, I no longer purchase in print books unless I really want a book and can't get it in ebook format. I believe ebooks to be the way of the future and am excited about getting in on the ground floor. Killing Time is currently scheduled for an August 2010 release. I'll upload the cover as soon as it's available.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

October 2009 Contests

October 1
First Coast Romance Writers
Beacon Contest for Unpublished Writers
http://www.firstcoastromancewriters.com/contest_un.htm

New England RW
First Kiss
http://necrwa.org/thefirstkiss2009.htm

New York City RWA
Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter
http://www.rwanyc.com/Love-LaughterContest.html

Maine RWA
MERWA Synopsis is Not a Four-Letter Word
http://www.mainerwa.com/2009_Synopis_Rules.htm

North Louisiana StoryTellers and Authors of Romance
The Suzannah
http://www.nolastars.com/node/84


October 7
West Houston RWA
The Emily
http://whrwa.com/emily/


October 11
Southern Magic RWA
Linda Howard Award of Excellence
http://www.southernmagic.org/lindahowardcontest.html


October 17
Western Pennsylvania RWA
Bump in the Night
http://wprw.wordpress.com/bump-in-the-night-flash-fiction-contest/


October 31
Christian Writers of the West
The Phoenix Rattler
http://joyfulhutch.googlepages.com/rattlerscontest




Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs. Do your own research before entering any contest.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Angel With A Ray Gun Review


Deborah Kinnard's book "Angel with a Ray Gun" is a great read. I put off buying it because I assumed that the title depicted a science fiction novel and I don't read science fiction (nothing against you sci-fi fans, it's just not my cup of tea like my love of romantic suspense might not be yours.) I'm so glad that fellow author Michelle Sutton (Danger at the Door http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-29/Danger-at-the-Door/Detail.bok) recommended Angel with a Ray Gun. Deborah's characters were very believable and likeable and A.J.'s spiritual journey seemed so real as we traveled it with her. The author uses tension well and makes us want to read on to see if the two characters end up in a relationship. We travel a delightful, but bumpy road as a woman raised by a hippie chick mother and a minister begin to realize an attraction and feelings for each other. Deborah is a skilled writer who will draw you into the story and make you love her characters so much that you'll want to read on see what happens next. I'm looking forward to her next release.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ebooks Verses Print Books

First and foremost, I'm a book collector. I've been one for approximately 20 years. It all began when I found a Nancy Drew book in an antique store in Charlotte in the 1990's. This book was blue with an orange silhouette of Nancy Drew on the cover. It intrigued me because I'd never seen one before. Nancy Drew had been my favorite as a child. I must have read all that the library in our small town had to offer. I bought the book and from then on purchased every "old" Nancy Drew book I could find. Truth be told, I had over 1,000 at last count if you take into consideration my paperback collection.

Since I'm a book lover at heart, you can imagine how I've fought the dawning of a new age...the ebook. I love the smell of a printed book, especially an old one. It's kind of a sweet smell. Calming for the soul. I vowed that I would never buy an ebook. My money would never support publishing companies that might eventually cause the print book to fade into nonexistence.

I was browsing the internet one day and ran across a blurb about Michelle Sutton's new release Danger at the Door. Since I work full-time in the mental health field, I really wanted to read it. I was disappointed that it was offered only as an ebook. I tossed the idea around for a few weeks before e-mailing Michelle to ask her if she recommended her publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing. She did and was so nice in her reply that I decided to give the book a try.

The end result was that I loved it. I had a little trouble getting it downloaded to my Blackberry because I didn't know that I needed reading software (You can download Mobipocket for free.) The people at Desert Breeze were wonderful. I'd downloaded a .pdf file and was disappointed when it became too blurry to read when I zoomed in on it on the Blackberry. Gail at Desert Breeze understood my plight and e-mailed me a .prc format that worked wonderfully.

That said, I absolutely love ebooks. I'm not killing trees, using expensive ink and lugging around a heavy object. And best of all, I can read when I want my cell phone. And, I can read in bed with hubby right beside me and don't have to worry about disturbing him with a bedside light. I can adjust the font if needed and there's no need to spend money on an expensive Kindle or ebook reader. Also, ebooks are very inexpensive (Michelle's was $5.99 at http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/) and many ebooks are free if they're in the public domain. An internet acquaintence recommended http://www.fictionwise.com/, but I've not yet purchased from them. . I've had a great experience with ebooks (Michelle's book is wonderful!) and I believe them to a wave of the future. After all, how many people fought purchasing a dvd player? Cell phone? And, now an ebook? It is my hope that the ebook is here to stay.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

September Contest Dealines

September 1
Southwest Florida Romance Writers
Hold Me, Thrill Me Contest
http://www.swfrw.org/contest.php

Valley of the Sun RWA
Hot Prospect Contest
http://www.valleyofthesunrw.com/vos-hot-prospects.htm

East Texas RWA
Southern Heat
http://www.easttexasrwa.com/html/southern_heat.php

Romance Writers Ink
Where the Magic Begins
http://rwimagiccontests.wordpress.com/

September 4
Oklahoma RWA
Finally A Bride
http://www.okrwa.com/fab_index.htm

September 5
SpacecoasT Authors of Romance RWA
Launching A Star
http://www.authorsofromance.com/contest.htm

September 11
Mid-America RWA
Fiction From The Heartland
http://mararwa.com/Contest/contest.htm

Missouri RWA
Gateway to the Best
http://www.morwa.org/gateway.htm

September 30
White Rose Publishing
Hearts Crossing
http://whiterosepublishing.blogspot.com/2009/05/short-story-contest-hearts-crossing.html

East Valley Authors Query Contest
http://www.eastvalleyauthors.com/contest.html

Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs. Do your own research before entering any contest.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton


I just finished reading Michelle Sutton's Danger at the Door published by Desert Breeze Publishing. You can click on the title above to go Desert Breeze's website to read the blurb about this awesome read. Don't be turned off by the ebook format. I was at first because after sitting at computer all day, I wanted to read a book that I can hold in my hands. I'm so glad that I downloded Danger at the Door. Michelle has developed some very memorable characters in this book and a love interest that's to die for. If you like suspense, you'll love it. I haven't read anything in the suspense line this good in about a year since I finished the Brandilyn Collins Kanner Lake series. Michelle is an excellent writer who kept me turning the page. I stayed up way too late last night and started reading again this morning with a bagel in hand for breakfast. I didn't stop reading until I reached the end and even though she brought it to a funny and delightful close, I still begged for more. If you're like me and you love it, we'll have more to love as I've heard that the sequel is coming out in April. Michelle Sutton you've outdone yourself and I can't wait to read what's coming next in the lives of these two wonderful characters.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brides of Benneterre series by Kaye Dacus

NEWS FLASH... I just received an e-mail from Kaye Dacus. The third book in the Brides of Bonneterre series will be out in February 2010. For those of you who are following the series, the third book is Forbes' story. I replied to Kay that I can't wait to read about the handsome mystery man who every woman wants to date to make their ex's jealous. The title will be "A Case For Love," a fitting title indeed considering the fact that Forbes is a successful attorney.



Menu for Romance-- Kaye Dacus has done it again. Book two in the Brides of Bonneterre series is an awesome read! And, as an added bonus, it you like food, you'll drool over the menu. Kaye is excellent at building tension between the two love interests. She'll keep you on your toes wondering what's going to happen next. You'll feel so much like these characters are your friends that you'll be rooting for them as you read and praying to God that after being friends for eight years, someone will help these two realize their love for each other. I was particularly fascinated by the chef mother. I have always been interested in mental health and am working in the mental health field. Kaye does a wonderful job at showing that mental illness is not scary. The chef's mother is delightful and will keep you laughing. I live in the boonies and made a special trip 30 miles away to buy the book on the release date. You can imagine my disappointment when it wasn't in stock. I posted on American Christian Fiction Writers (Kaye is also a member and I highly recommend this group if you're a Christian writer.) Imagine my surprise when Kaye responded. Kaye is every bit as delightful as her characters. Please...someone tell me that there's going to be third book in this series!



Stand In Groom-- Kaye Dacus' recent release, is an excellent book. I highly recommend it after you'd had a stressful day and want to get away. One thing that really stands out in my mind about the book is that Kaye's heroine is a beautiful, full-figured, size 18 woman. Kaye shows us that size 18 is as beautiful as size 4. After all, we are all beautiful in God's eyes. The hero, who works out several times a week and is in good shape falls for this shapely woman. This book also speaks to us of how God can heal relationships and past hurts. I won't go into detail other than to say that the heroine was hurt years ago and has never been able to forgive and let it go. God works everything out in HIS timing. Kaye does an excellent job of showing how God comes through and answers prayers. Our hero and heroine face many obstacles, but healing and a happy end is found for all. This was one of those books that I just could not put down. Kaye did an excellent job of portraying her characters so well that we come to know them as friends and can't wait to see what happens next. So, make a bee line for your Christian bookstore and pick it up. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August Contest Deadlines

August Deadlines

The Golden Rose
Rose City RWA
August 8 deadline
http://www.rosecityromancewriters.com/contest.html


The Golden Pen
The Golden Network RWA
August 15
http://www.thegoldennetwork.com/goldenpen.html


Heart to Heart
San Francisco Area RWA
August 15
http://www.sfarwa.com/contests.asp


On The Far Side
FF&P RWA Chapter
http://www.romance-ffp.com/OTFS.htm


Laurel Wreath Award
Volusia County Romance Writers
http://vcrw.net/index.php/contests