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Month: September 2020

Alexandra’s Appeal Releases Today!

I am THRILLED to announce the release of Alexandra’s Appeal, Book 3 in the Dixon Brothers Series.

Get your copy on Amazon today.

Stripped of everything, Alex comes to Jon for help, and only then does she learn her true value.
ALEXANDRA FISHER has very little say in her life choices. Raised Jewish and with a wealthy controlling father who holds her in contempt, she learned to comply with any request to keep the peace, even agreeing to marry his ideal candidate for her husband. When her father sends her from her home down to Tennessee to babysit her troublesome cousin, she feels powerless to say no despite having other plans and priorities. Her cousin takes off the first night there, and Alex finds her in a local honky-tonk where she meets JONATHAN DIXON.
Construction empire scion Jon took a mall project in Nashville as a way to spend solitary time healing. Very much the prodigal, about six months from completion of the project, he realizes how far off of the path of his traditional Christian upbringing he’s strayed and works to repair his relationship with God before returning home to mend fences with his family. A horrific news story sends him back into a tailspin, and he finds himself in a honky-tonk where he instructs the waitress to keep the drinks coming.
Jon and Alex meet and share a mutual attraction for each other. She decides to take control of her life at the same time he seeks something to help him forget a trauma in his past. They both end up making bad decisions that night that come with permanent consequences.
Back home, when Alex stands up to her father about keeping her unborn child, he pulls her trust fund, closes her accounts, applies influence to her employers, and evicts her from her apartment. Alone, pregnant, and cut off, she can do nothing more than journey to Atlanta hoping Jon can help.
When Alex discovers Jon is not the poor blue-collar construction worker she assumed, she feels betrayed. However, his family’s zest for life, love for Christ, and deep respect for each other show her how much was missing from her life before. She soon finds herself falling in love with Jon, but doesn’t think he’ll believe her. Jon knows he’s fallen in love with Alex, but doesn’t know how to convey his feelings.
Can these two broken people cling to each other and learn to connect with God, or will all of their baggage destroy their marriage before it even has a chance to get off the ground?

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 9/28/20 – Alexandra’s Appeal Releases Tomorrow!

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about tomorrow’s release of Alexandra’s Appeal and the faith element in that story.

Preorder Alexandra’s Appeal for the September 29, 2020 release here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CBBP334?tag=hallethehomem-20

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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Interview with Christy Distler 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, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am pleased to have author Christy Distler as my guest. Christy beautifully words how she gets past “imposter syndrome“, something for which I am painfully familiar with, in order to follow God’s will in her life. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win an autographed copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Christy Distler, obviously. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed my most vivid dreams with my eyes wide open. Names became people—people who didn’t exist in this time and place but couldn’t have been more real in my heart and mind. So I’ve done the only rational thing: give them a voice by writing fiction.

My novels, whether historical or contemporary, delve into betrayal and reconciliation, faith and grace, and always involve the intertwining of cultures. When not writing, I work as an editor for Christian publishing houses and independent authors.

Obsession with words aside, I’m also a wife and the mom of kids and dogs. I consider dark chocolate a food group (level on the pyramid all depends on the day). I love to laugh. And I’m thankful. If I’m not reading, writing, editing, or involved with family and church activities, you can find me trolling yard sales and thrift stores. I live in the same Pennsylvania town where I grew up.

Tell us about your current release. As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in Horsham, the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?

Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.

Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him.

A Cord of Three Strands weaves fact and fiction into a captivating portrayal of Colonial-era Quaker life, including Friends’ roles in Pennsylvania Indian relations and in refuting slavery.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. Even benefitting only one person would make it worth it.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. While I think (probably) every author wants to be successful, I love writing so much that I’d still do it even if I was the only person who ever read what I wrote. I certainly want to reach as large of an audience as possible, but I could never compromise my beliefs/standards to do so, especially if it included material that would be offensive to God and/or cause others to stumble.

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)? This was the hardest part of publishing for me. I think all writers suffer from some degree of imposter syndrome (doubting your talents or accomplishments). For a while, I was happy just writing because I love it, but then I realized that, no matter my doubts, God has called me to write stories that bring glory to him, and that by not sharing them with others, I’m not being obedient. My deepest desire is to be obedient to him, so I had to get out of my own way and let him lead.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Going for a walk. For some reason, that always gets the characters talking to me. I also tend to write better if I’m listening to music that relates to the story. Of course, in the case of A Cord of Three Strands, that wasn’t possible since early Quakers didn’t participate in any type of music.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always been a writer. Somewhere in my mom’s attic, there’s a book I wrote (and she illustrated) when I was about seven. If I remember right, it’s called Unicornland.

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 mostly pants’d A Cord of Three Strands. For my WIP, which is almost finished, I decided it would be better to make a rough outline first, and that has definitely cut down on the writing time required. I’ve still made some changes along the way, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay a plotter from now on.

What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. I use Scrivener for storyboarding, keeping track of chapter word counts, etc., but I prefer to write in Word because I use endnotes to keep track of my research.

Here is where you can find Christy online:

www.christydistler.com

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter.

Christy is giving away a signed copy of A Cord of Three Strands and a cord of three strands bookmark like Elisabeth Alden made in the book to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Happy New Year 5781!

Last night at sundown marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, or, The Feast of Trumpets.
This is the celebration of the earth’s physical birthday (happy 5781!) on the 1st day of the month of Tishri (which happens to fall as the seventh month in the Jewish calendar.) Rosh Hashanah means head of the year.
Trumpets (shofars) will be blown today.
Those who still wait for a messiah consider the sound of the shofar a rousing call to repentance on the part of each individual. They will spend the next the next ten days seeking forgiveness from people they have wronged and searching their hearts for evil thoughts and deeds. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) will be spent fasting and praying and seeking God’s forgiveness for those sins.
For the followers of Jesus, the blowing of the trumpets is a sign of the return of Christ and a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when he substituted a ram to be sacrified instead of Isaac (who foreshadows Jesus).
Psalm 81 was written for Rosh Hashana.
We will celebrate today by feasting and eating sweet things (traditionally, apples and honey; however, I have a bag of carrots so I’m making a carrot and apple cake.) The sweet foods represent the sweet year to come. This will be our prayer as we partake of the sweet dessert: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of the fruit of the tree.” (Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam, borai p’ri haetz.)
Happy birthday, Earth! Happy New Year, friends!
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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 9/14/20 – Where Do You Get Your Creative Inspiration?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “Where do you get your creative inspiration?”

Preorder Alexandra’s Appeal for the September 29, 2020 release here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CBBP334?tag=hallethehomem-20

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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Interview with Adam Blumer 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, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so excited to have mystery author Adam Blumer as my guest. I love that Adam and I have very similar writing philosophies – to write realistic characters battling real-world problems. Adam’s new release sounds SO GOOD – read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in lower Michigan and began writing at an early age, mostly pirate stories. I graduated to mysteries in high school and took novel writing in college, along with journalism as my degree. Winning a few writing contests in high and college fanned the flames of my desire to be a published novelist.

I live in Upper Michigan with my wife and two daughters, and I edit books from home for a living. In my free time, I work on my next clean Christian thriller. God opened the door in 2009 for me to publish my first suspense novel with Kregel. I’ve traditionally published three novels so far, but my fourth, coming out this fall, will be self-published. I believe in writing “Meaningful Suspense,” adrenaline-laced suspense that includes a redemptive message to encourage both believers and unbelievers.

Tell us about your current release. I was recently invited to join nine other Christian suspense authors for a novella collection called Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection, which releases on October 6. My contribution is the novella Death the Halls, which was a blast to write. I hope readers are able to get their hands on it and enjoy it. Award-winning authors contributing to the collection include Nancy Mehl, Loree Lough, Vicki Hinze, and Cara Putman.

What is Death the Halls about? Here is the back-cover blurb:

Two strangers join the Henry family Christmas reunion. One wants Lauren for a ransom. The other wants her dead.

Lauren Henry looks forward to introducing her boyfriend, James, at the Christmas family reunion at Henry Haven, her parents’ Upper Michigan getaway. But when two strangers surprise the family in a home invasion that turns deadly, they take Lauren as their captive.

Now she finds herself at the mercy of a man with a mysterious connection to her family’s past. The two men are at odds about what to do with Lauren. When tempers flare, she has only one option to stay alive: escape. Meanwhile, James becomes concerned that he may never see Lauren alive again. There’s one sure way to put his fears to rest: find her or die trying.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I don’t usually struggle with this problem, but when I do, I get away from my computer, go for a walk, and pray. I ask God to help me sort through the story and find the right path. Then I take the advice of Steven James in his book Story Trumps Structure. I think about the story and consider what could possibly go wrong. Then I show the protagonist making things right. Usually at this point, a variety of options emerge, and I can take my pick.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Yes, this is a very real pressure for anyone seeking to write books that will sell. A few industry professionals have told me, “Your next book needs to be secular” or “How about you try to remove religious references from your manuscript?” I believe in writing my tagline, “Meaningful Suspense.” That means I deliver not only an action-packed story but also a redemptive message. Without delivering the truth, what else is there but entertainment, which has no eternal value? That’s not the path for me. I’d rather write for a smaller audience that desires a strong plot wedded with a meaningful message.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Depth. As I stated in my last response, there is pressure in the industry to either go secular or tone down the redemptive message. But when has there ever been a more opportune time in our world to share the message of Jesus Christ? A lot of Christian fiction is primarily written like secular fiction with God thrown in here and there with only a little meaningful takeaway. I believe in showing realistic character grappling with real-world issues and finding answers only God provides.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. I read a lot of mystery and fantasy authors. All those novels inspired me to write my own stories. When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. I rarely finished them, and I never had a plan. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. I loved writing fiction and couldn’t stop.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? If you’re a writer who wants to be a published novelist, be patient and work hard but keep in mind that doors will open for you only in the Lord’s timing. We can’t rush God. If He has prompted you to write, God gave you that desire for a reason. Explore what His will could be, but learn to wait on Him—perhaps even for a long time. When He’s ready, He’ll let you know. In the meantime, seek Him with your whole heart.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. I also enjoyed fantasy authors C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, and Madeleine L’Engle.

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 always begin a novel with a story premise in mind that I hope readers will find unique. Then I have a clear beginning path for my main character, perhaps even a possible ending. But then I mold the story and characters as I write based on the story world that emerges. I was a meticulous plotter and planner for my early novels, but more recently, I’ve discovered a much more enjoyable experience when I allow the story and characters to present new possibilities. I choose from those options as I move along. I assume that if I’m surprised by where the story goes, readers will be too. In my opinion, nothing is worse in a story than predictability. Though I may have a novel ending in mind, often new possibilities emerge as I draw closer to the finish line. Usually, an ending or even a plot twist emerges that is far better than anything I planned at the beginning.

Here is where you can find Adam online:

Website: http://www.adamblumerbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdamBlumerNovelist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamblumer

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/adamblumer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2315682.Adam_Blumer

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adamblumer/

Adam is giving away an ebook copy of Mistletoe and Murder to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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