Skip to content

Month: February 2014

Interview with Author Jean C. Gordon and Giveaway!!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This is a special edition of Readers Write to Know highlighting the wonderful Jean C. Gordon’s Small-Town Midwife. – Jean is giving away either a paperback OR ebook (reader’s choice) of this book I’m SOOOO excited because this book doesn’t release until March 1st!  Which means you’ll have a chance to win it just as it’s coming out!

Enjoy this interview and check out the Rafflecopter below to see how you can enter to win this brand new book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself
Writing is a natural extension of my love of reading. From that day in first grade when I realized t-h-e was the word “the,” I’ve been reading everything I can put my hands on. A professional financial planner and editor for a financial publisher, I’m as at home writing retirement- and investment-planning advice as writing romance novels, but novels are a lot more fun.

My college-sweetheart husband and I tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to our native Upstate New York. We share a 170-year-old farmhouse just south of Albany, NY, with our daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a menagerie of pets. Our son lives nearby. While I create stories, my family grows organic fruits and vegetables and tends the livestock de jour.

Although my day job, writing and family don’t leave me a lot of spare time, I like to give back when I can. My husband and I team-taught a seventh-and-eighth-grade Sunday school class for several years and currently serve on our church’s Evangelism Committee. I also share my love of books with others by volunteering at the church’s Book Nook.

jean gordonTell us about your current release.

My heroine Autumn Hazard feels her purpose in life has deserted her. My hero Dr. Jonathan Mitchell Hanlon sees his new position as director of the Ticonderoga birthing center as a stepping stone to achieving his. What neither realizes is that they can’t move forward without each other.

Like my other Love Inspired books, SMALL-TOWN MIDWIFE is set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. An experience my daughter, a midwife, had inspired the story. I thought, what if Autumn was a midwife who no longer had the confidence to catch babies. Then, I brought in Jon, a man from her past, who exudes nothing but confidence in his technical approach to delivering babies. A man whose faith helps Autumn come to grips with her situation, while he’s unaware that he, too, needs to take some direction from above concerning his own career and life.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?

I think I would. I recently received a letter from a reader who wrote how SMALL-TOWN MIDWIFE had touched her life and the satisfaction I felt was overwhelming.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)

I think it has helped me immensely that my day job is also a writing job. I’m used to people reviewing my work and my having to make changes to it for publication. So, when I’ve gotten a revise and resubmit letter from a publisher or agent, I haven’t been devastated (for more than the first day). I also belong to a very good and encouraging critique group. I think having the support of other writers is very important in having the courage to submit a project. But not as important as having God’s support. I put myself in His hands for the writing and the submitting. And, as a recent example, I was determined to write a particular story, and it took two rejections from my editor before I listened to Him and began the story He wants me to write.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? (ie. Moon Walk, Watergate, Pope being shot)

Going to give away my age here. It was the assassination of President Kennedy. I was in second grade and we were in an all-school assembly watching a space launch (maybe) and another teacher came over to my teacher and she started crying.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

One thing I have always done is “just write.” Particularly, when I’m on a deadline (publisher- or self-imposed), I set a daily/weekly word count goal and try to meet it. If you have any words on the page, you can fix them later. When I get stuck on a detail or character action, I’ll put a phrase in brackets [look up later], [some kind of action/emotion here] and continue. Lately, I’ve started to write scenes out of order. If I’m stuck on something in chapter four, but I know what’s going to happen after that, I’ll skip ahead and write what I know.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?

I have always wanted to write. I worked on the school newspaper in high school and sold my first piece to the Buffalo Evening News — a short essay on my family’s Christmas traditions — when I was in high school. I majored in journalism in college and worked on the student newspaper there, too. After I graduated, I went to work for the financial publisher I still work for. My writing expanded into fiction writing when I started doing romance novel reviews for a now-defunct review magazine. From there, I tried my hand at writing sweet romances and published five with Avalon Books that are now available in Kindle format from Amazon Publishing. After that, I had a renewal of faith and felt called to write Christian romance. And here I am.

MidwifeDo you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?

I always know the beginning and end of the story and basically who my hero and heroine are when I start. The middle and other characters, as well as further development of my main characters, evolve as I write.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction?

This is kind of a continuation of the previous question. I always change my mind on at least some things as I write. For instance, when I wrote my proposal for SMALL-TOWN MIDWIFE, it had nothing about Jon’s grandmother, who became a major character. She just appeared as I was writing.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?

Not to sound mercenary, but I have always written my fiction with the intention of having it published. So, before I’ve started a book, I’ve always had a publisher or similar publishers in mind and have written to the word length of those publishers. I also keep a spreadsheet that tracks my count-up to the required length. I discovered early that my nonfiction writer has made me a better short-book writer than long-book writer.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?

A little of each. I enjoy writing my books and I write them for people to read. I believe my story lines are my own. I don’t particularly fashion them to what I think people want to read. However, I do have a certain reader in mind when I write — Christian readers and other romance readers who want a clean read — and write my stories to those readers, knowing I can’t please all of them all of the time.

Find Jean on the web:


Small-Town Midwife| Love Inspired | Look for it in March 2014
Small-Town Mom| Love Inspired | July 2013
Mandy and the Mayor & Love Undercover| Montlake| July 2013

Facebook, Twitter, Website

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/small-town-midwife-jean-c-gordon/1116871029?ean=9780373878741

Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=50656
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


10 Comments

Interview with Author Davalynn Spencer and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am excited to introduce to you Davalynn Spencer. A crime-beat reporter turned fiction writer, Davalynn is married to her cowboy husband – a love at first sight story that made me smile. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.

Davalynn is giving away a copy of her latest release,  The Cowboy Takes a Wife! So,be sure to check out the Rafflecopter at the end of this post to see how to be entered to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

When the dark-eyed cowboy walked into church that Sunday, my seventeen-year-old heart knew I was looking at my future. At least I like to think so. It took a couple of years, but we made it to “I do” and since then, so many of my nonfiction stories have come along because of him. I’ve written for Prorodeo Sports News, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Power for Living, The Upper Room, Quiet Hour, and many other publications. And when I broke into fiction, our life was often the inspiration—ranches, rodeos, and romance. For several years I worked as a crime-beat reporter and religion page editor for a mid-size daily newspaper, and now I teach writing at the community college. I live on Colorado’s Front Range with the cowboy and our Queensland heeler, Blue. Contemporary worship is my favorite music genre.

davalynnspencerTell us about your current release.

The Cowboy Takes a Wife is set in Cañon City before Colorado was a state. Annie Whitaker follows her widowed father to the fledgling mine-camp supply town where she helps him set up and run his mercantile. Caleb Hutton rides through town on his way to a ranch that doesn’t need him. But it’s what he’s riding from that leads him to stay around, get to know Annie and her father, and find his way back to his true calling. Cowboy is the first in the three-book series about the Hutton and Whitaker families – all fictional, of course, but written against the bold backdrop of the rugged Rocky Mountains and the Arkansas River Valley.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?

Yes. That’s how valuable each of us is to God.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

Fingers-on-keyboard. I don’t have trouble with writer’s block, and I credit my years as a reporter. When you write everyday on deadline, you learn to just write. It was great training on the way to what I really wanted to do. God knew that; I didn’t.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?

Words have always drawn me. In the sixth grade I wrote a short sci-fi romance—without knowing it was a romance. Crazy, right? But beyond that, I’ve always had an internal need to find the right words to show what I see or feel or experience.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?

I am definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer. However, after 50-100 pages, I start plotting a bit. I also keep a notebook as I write that has a story calendar, page numbers of important events, and character sketches.

cowboytakesawifeDo you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?

It depends upon the publisher. I just start writing. Once the story sells, I can tailor it to be longer or shorter than what I have.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea?

I don’t know if it’s the strangest place, but the most recent place was the parking lot at a local gas station/diner on a major highway that runs through our small town. I parked facing another car with a woman behind the wheel talking on her cell phone. I sat there for a moment and the story flooded in. Two months later, I sold that story’s premise to a publisher.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?

I write what interests me, not what the “market” says people want to read. I can’t do that, because the words come from a well within. However, I can tailor the story to fit a certain publisher’s standards, or fill a need in their line-up. That becomes a challenge similar to going out and finding a news story as a reporter.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write?

As a Christian, I am learning to walk by faith. Jesus says, “Trust Me.” Rarely does He say, “This is the way we’re going and here’s how it’s going to work out.” The same thing happens in my writing—I just write. It’s not perfect, it’s not my final draft, but if I don’t put something down on paper, then I have nothing to work with. The first words are a blob of clay on a potter’s wheel. They look a lot different than the finished product.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction?

I usually have the ending in mind when I begin a book. The fun part is how I get there, and sometimes my characters have ideas of their own along the way.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done?

I never saw myself writing historical romance, but when I look back at my life, I see the underpinnings of the genre – faith, fresh hope, the longing of our hearts for God’s all- encompassing love, and my ongoing delight in history and all things Western.

Find Davalynn online:

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn

Find The Cowboy Takes a Wife online:


The second book in the series, Branding the Wrangler’s Heart, can be pre-ordered for the May release, and the third book, Romancing the Widow, releases in August.

Davalynn is giving away a copy of The Cowboy Takes a Wife!

ANNIE WHITAKER HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PLAIN JANE 

But in the bustling gold-rush town of Canon City, Colorado, she turns heads, especially that of cowboy Caleb Hutton. Annie’s seen Caleb many times in her father’s mercantile, and she’s surprised and pleased when he takes a special interest in her.

Caleb’s faith was shattered when his fiancée jilted him for a wealthier man. But as he gets to know Annie, his view of women—and God—soon takes a turn for the better. Can Annie’s steadfast faith help the former preacher find his way back to his calling and a second chance at love?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Pin It
16 Comments

Pens on Fire!

On Saturday I had the honor of sitting on Woodford County Library’s Second Annual Romance Author Pens on Fire Panel. I was one of 10 romance writers featured — part of a group of talented women whom I consider to be my friends. I look forward to every time we get together.

As a panel, we introduced ourselves to the audience, then answered questions from the audience.  Afterwards, we gave away and sold autographed books.

Here we all are:

pens on fire

Back row:

Laurel McKinley, J.M. Madden, Kathleen Brooks, ME!, Seraphina Donavan, Teresa Reasor, Katherine Lowry Logan

Front row: Kallypso Masters, Robyn Peterman, Donna McDonald, Kris Calvert
halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Leave a Comment

Interview with YA Author Laura Jackson & Autographed Paperback Giveaway!!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so pleased to introduce you to Laura Jackson.  Laura is a school librarian who writes young adult. And – she prays for her readers! I love that! I have a young adult daughter who is a voracious reader and to think that the author of the book on her Kindle might be praying for her is such a beautiful thought.

Laura is giving away a paperback copy of her book, Worth the Wait, to one of my visitors! Make sure you check out the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway!

Thank you for joining me today, Laura.  I’m so pleased to have you on my blog!

 1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a school librarian by day and author by night. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by great books and enthusiastic readers all day. It inspires me to write.

9781938708268Twitter2.  Tell us about your current release.
Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn’t get it. She always does the right thing – doesn’t God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?
Yes! Even if it had never been contracted for publication, waiting on God and His plan was a lesson I needed to learn (and am continuing to learn). It was worth the effort even if I had been the only one to read it.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction?
Some realism that life isn’t always perfect—that it doesn’t always end in a nicely wrapped package with a colorful bow. That it’s messy even when you love Jesus and are trying to seek Him and His will for your life. However, as a reader, I do like the endings to be nicely tied together, so I see why authors and publishers give us that.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)?
Great question! I was and still am hesitant to let people I know read my writing. I’ve never really cared what people thought about me until I started sharing my work. It’s a scary feeling to put your heart and soul into a book and for people to reject it.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush?
I loved Tom Cruise, but I may have liked Michael Jordan first. Not sure which was first, but I do know I had plenty of MJ posters on my wall. I’m still a big basketball fan.

laura jacksonWhat made you take the plunge and finally do it?
My dad was dying of cancer. My sister and I would alternate sitting with him so that my mom would go to church. I wanted to write something with a happy ending, so I tried writing a love story. It was horrible. But, I loved writing. So, I thought about what I loved to read. YA was my first thought, so I decided to do that. I wrote 50k in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—November), and added to it the next two months.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?
No but I wish I did. I have the character in mind. I know where she starts and where she finishes. I have a vague idea of what she’ll go through, but not much more. It’s an adventure, but it probably takes longer.

I did try plotting once, and  a few months later, I found that sheet of paper, which was completely different than what I ended up writing.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be?

I picture her as a girl/woman looking for her place in the world. Whether she’s a Christian or not, I see her as still searching to find herself.
And, I’m praying for her, whoever she is. I’m praying she finds a true relationship with Jesus, the best and most amazing love she’ll ever know.

Author Links:
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Links:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Pin It
16 Comments

And the Winner of the Autographed Jewel Series Is…

The winner of the autographed Jewel Series who commented on what “Love Is…” is:

winner

Commenter #11: Peg!

Thank you so much, everyone, for participating in my Valentine’s Day giveaway.

There are currently two more giveaways going on here:

Janis Cox is giving away a copy of her children’s book Tadeo Turtle

Kimberly Payne is giving away a copy of her children’s book Trees of the Book

Be sure to visit those interviews and enter to win the books!

 

1 Comment

Interview: Author Kimberly Payne & Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.

Any of you who have ever followed me on Hallee the Homemaker know that two things are of great interest to me: spiritual health and physical health.  I was so excited to interview her last year with her Fit for Faith, which is all about spiritual AND physical health.

Her most recent publication is Trees of the Book is a 26 page children’s activity book, #1 in the Science & Faith Matters Series. It explores the trees discussed in the Bible in a way that is both fun and informative for children ages 7-9. I LOVE Biblical science, and her upcoming release is Adam’s Animals – Fun Facts about God’s Creation, a children’s activity book that features more than 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each! I am going to get this entire collection for my 5 & 7 year-old sons.

Kimberly is also giving away a copy of Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation ( http://amzn.to/1hoCogt ) to one commenter on this post! Thank you, Kimberly!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an author and speaker living in Canada. In March 2013, I released my first children’s book in the Science and Faith Matters series, called Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation, a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.( http://amzn.to/1hoCogt )

Kimberley Payne (2) 2. Tell us about your current release.

I’m working on the second book in the series, Adam’s Animals – Fun Facts about God’s Creation, a children’s activity book that features more than 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It’s ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.

The book is still in manuscript form and I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family. Backers who pledge a minimum of $15 through Kickstarter will receive an autographed copy of Adam’s Animals.

3. If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?

Absolutely!  It’s a book that’s been on my heart for many years. I’d love for it to make a difference for many children, but if it helps only one child grow closer to God, I’d be thrilled.

 4. Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?

That is one of the reasons I’ve chosen to self-publish. I don’t need to compromise my standards and can create the product I feel God’s placed on my heart.

Trees of the book5. How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)?

Prayer! I pray and I ask for prayer from other writers and my church family. I don’t think I could be in this creative world without the protection of prayer.

6. What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

A good nap! I find that as I start to drift into the sleep stage, my mind is flooded with ideas. When I wake I’m refreshed and ready to write again.

 7. What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?

I can’t not write. I started writing as a child journalling my travels and writing in a diary. I wrote poems as a teenager and stories to entertain my girlfriends. As an adult, I keep a journal where I can write about my day and process my world.

 8. How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

I lack patience and so have always resented the long waits and timelines of traditional publishing. I self-published because it fit my own schedule.

1 Fit for Faith Cover9. Have you always wanted to write a book?

Yes, it’s been on my “bucket list” since I was young. Although my first books were for women, I always wanted to write a children’s book.

 9.What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.)

I like both. I usually start with pen and paper – writing in my journal – to flesh out my ideas. Then I move to the computer where it’s easy for me to cut and paste.

Author Links

Website: http://www.kimberleypayne.com

Blog: http://www.scienceandfaithmatters.wordpress.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitForFaith

Kickstarter Campaign:  Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Pin It
3 Comments
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera