Interview with Gina Holder 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, this week I have fellow Kentuckian Gina Holder as my guest. Her new book sounds like so much fun! Wait until you read the blurb. Gina is giving away a copy of her debut novel. Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us about yourself. My name is Gina Holder. I’m 35 years old. I’ve been married to my best friend for 12 years and we have one lovely 11-year-old daughter. I’m a stay at home mom and I homeschool. We currently live in Kentucky, but we are moving back to Colorado in May. I indie published my first novel in 2017 and now I’m preparing to release my next book at the end of April.

Tell us about your current release. My current release is titled, No Greater Love. It’s about a book-loving, coffee-drinking Portlander who discovers she is a “safe haven” baby after finding a Bible and a bookmark, leading her to the town of Whitman, Oregon to search for her birthmother. Unfortunately, her birthmother doesn’t want to be found and Paige’s past comes back to haunt her when she becomes the primary suspect in a series of local robberies. Paige was adopted by a firefighter and after his death, she vows never to fall in love with a first responder- a hero. She can’t understand someone willing to give their life for a stranger. Patrol Officer Hamilton Bryant is investigating the robberies. After the death of his best friend and fellow officer, he vows never to fall in love with anyone, except Paige has stolen his heart and he doesn’t know what to do about it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because how would I know exactly who that person was? I would want to get my story out there so that one person could know the love of Jesus Christ. If the good shepherd can leave the 99 sheep to go after the one lost one, I think I can write a book, even if it would only touch one soul.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Absolutely. I think every author does, if they’re being honest. We want to reach as many people as we can and with personal standards covering such a wide scope, it would be so easy to fudge on your own standards to build a bigger audience. I want to stay true to my heart and the things I believe are right or wrong. God holds me accountable for my actions—my beliefs, not the actions or beliefs of others.

At what age did you know you wanted to write? I’ve heard stories of people who were writing stories in childhood (which is what I’d expect). But I’ve heard of others who randomly started much later in life, and that is so interesting to me! When I was a young child, I struggled with both reading and writing, but then it was like a big switch happened. I still don’t know why or how, but I suddenly started trying to write stories. I was less than ten years old. The first short story (about a paragraph long) I wrote was about God’s promise of the rainbow. When God became a part of my life, I wanted to tell stories so others could know about Him. Still today, that is the inspiration behind everything I write. When I was about 12 years old, I wrote my first “novel,” it was less than 40,000 words in length, but it was mine. Funny thing, at the time, I thought it was good enough to get published, I didn’t know that I had so much still to learn!

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? It’s very difficult to get traditionally published when you are a nobody; you’re just too high of a risk. I chose to self-publish to build a platform and a name first. Once I can show that I have an audience, that I am worth the risk, I hope to be traditionally published.

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 start with a couple of characters, a theme, and a general idea of how the story will go. That’s it. Everything else develops as I write the story. Some writers start with a plot, or a character, or a theme. I hear conversations in my head. No joke.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t give up and never stop learning. Don’t stop growing. Don’t allow pride to keep you from advancing and challenging your craft.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved the Anne of Green Gables series, Laura Ingalls Wilder series, Mandie Mysteries series, and Lauraine Snelling’s High Hurdles and Golden Filly series.


Here is where you can find Gina online:

http://storiesbygina.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/storiesbygina

http://twitter.com/ginaholder83

http://instagram.com/storiesbygina

https://pinterest.com/ginaaholder/

My debut novel is titled, Whither Shall I Go? It’s a historical missionary romance. It tells the story of an orphaned girl who goes from rags to riches, then falls in love with a young preacher. When he goes MIA during WWI, she continues their dream of being missionaries to Brazil, where she faces jaguars, anacondas, and an antagonistic Shaman. Amidst it all, she learns that God had a better plan for her life than she ever thought possible. This story is based on the Scriptures found in Psalm 139.

Gina is giving away a signed copy of her debut novel, Whither Shall I Go? to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Hallee's Interviews with Christian Authors | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Interview with Bonita McCoy 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 have romance author Bonita McCoy as my guest! She learned that she loved writing romance more than anything – much like me – and is giving away a copy of her latest book. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little about yourself. Well, I live in the great state of Alabama with my husband of almost thirty years on a five-acre hobby farm. We have two dogs, two cats, and two horses. It’s sort of reminds me of Noah’s ark.

We have three mostly grown sons. The two oldest are married, and we enjoy both of our daughters-in-love very much. Our youngest son is living at home while he attends college. With college and work, we don’t see him much.

I spend my days praying, drinking coffee, teaching high school literature to homeschoolers, and writing sweet, clean romances. Oh, and I do like to surf Facebook and Instagram on occasion.

Tell us about your current release. Truth Be Told is a sweet, clean romance centered around the Sawyer Family and the small town of Miller Creek.

Adele Sawyer loves to play matchmaker. So, when she finds out that Claire Reed needs a job and that her nephew Haden Sawyer needs a secretary for his construction company, she thinks it’s a match built in heaven.

The last thing on Claire Reed’s mind is love. She has one man in her life, and he’s all she needs. Well, he’s all she can juggle. Taking care of her son Henry with his medical issues and trying to stay employed is all Claire has time for these days. But she can’t stop herself from noticing the dimples etched in Haden’s rugged features or how much he loves his family. No matter how infuriating the man can be.

Haden suffered from a broken heart after he called off his wedding to Sarah Dempsey. But after a year’s worth of telling himself he did the right thing and a mound of cheeseburgers, he thinks he might be willing to welcome someone new into his life. However, when his ex-fiancé moves back to town, a little white lie threatens to wreck his chances with the kindhearted Claire.

I am currently working on book two of the Sawyer Family series, and I am hoping to release Seeds of Love in April.

I keep pretty busy between writing, marketing, and publishing. I love it though. I’m sure you understand all about that.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? A funny thing happened on the way to home room one day in Junior High. I found out about the Journalism class and decided to try out for it. I got it and spent the next two years learning to write news articles.

We not only wrote the articles, but we took the pictures and did the layouts. The local newspaper printed ours for us, so I got real world experience at thirteen. It was such a thrill to see your words in print. I guess I kept going.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? Both and no, that’s not a cop out. My first novel was a cozy murder mystery. I do like to read those type stories, but I found I was more interested in writing the love subplot then I was trying to fit in the red herrings.

So, I moved to romance and immediately loved it.

However, I was not ignorant of the fact that eighty percent of fiction is written for the romance genre, or that it is still the number one best seller. So, I am blessed. I get to write what I love and what is popular.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? It’s either on horseback while we were out on a trail ride or at the mall with my brain storming buddy. Whenever we get together and start plotting out a scene, we laugh and cut up. I’m sure if anyone over heard us they’d think we were talking about real people the way we chat about the characters.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? A lot of prayer and my personality. I like learning all about the business and determining for myself what I can do and what to delegate to others.

It is a little scary and very daunting being an indie author, but I’ve enjoyed the process. The learning curve has been steep, but with each book published, I add to my arsenal of information, so each book is better then the one before it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because God is the one who has called me to write. He put it in me to do. So, I don’t write necessarily to please people but to please God. How he chooses to use this skill He gave me is up to Him. Ten, five, one or none. If He says write, I write.

Here is where you can find Bonita online: Facebook.com/bonitaymccoyauthor or Instagram.com/bonitaymccoy

Website: www.bonitaymccoy.com

Blogs: www.beautifulpiecesofgrace.blogspot.com            www.courageuswriters.com

And as a crew member of www.inspiredprompt.com

Bonita is giving away a copy of Truth be Told to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Hallee's Interviews with Christian Authors | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Interview with Linda Shenton Matchett 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 excited to have Linda Shenton Matchett as my guest. Ya’ll know how much I love WWII stories – Linda has combined inspiration from the Biblical story of Rahab with WWII spies! Gasp! I love this so much! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of this fascinating story!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.
About my book – Love’s Harvest:
A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.
Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?
Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?
Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

What’s the first major news headline you can remember and what do you remember? I remember the moon walk. My family and I were in Ocean City, Maryland on vacation. My grandparents were in one condo, and we were across the pool in another condo. My grandparents brought their tiny black and white television from home and set it up on a metal tray table. We all crowded around the TV in their living room to watch. I remember that it was an incredibly hot day and how warm it was inside the condo. There was a huge box fan in the window, but all it did was blow hot air.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write, write, and write some more. As with any skill, a person only gets better through practice. Read everything you can get your hands on about craft. Also read lots of fiction, and not just in your genre, so you can see what other authors do. It is a great time to be an author. The options are more extensive than ever before. There is no one right way to have a writing career. If someone tells you there is, they are selling something. You have it in you to be successful.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I loved Curious George and Babar books as a child. I read every single one of them multiple times. As a pre-teen I discovered Madeline L’Engle and Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), and those two books are what created the desire to be an author. Both those books made deep impressions on me, and I wanted to write stories that had that kind of impact on others.

Do you keep a story journal with lots of ideas for future books? I have a file folder stuffed with ideas. The ideas are on napkins, sticky notes, and scrap-paper of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I also have copies of magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. Ideas come to me at all kinds of crazy (inopportune) times, so I write them down on whatever is handy. As organized as I am with all my other writing associated tasks, I’ve never created a journal.

I’ve often wondered…when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? I outline all my stories, so all of the scenes are mapped out extensively. I generally know how I want to start the book, but the first sentence doesn’t always come easy. I write and rewrite it until it feels as perfect as it can be, then I move on to the rest of the first chapter. I revisit the sentence as I progress through the book and continue to tweak it if needed. Often it doesn’t resemble the original.

At what age did you know you wanted to write? I’ve been writing since I was a very young child. My parents must have seen some spark of imagination, because they gave me a writing tablet and suggested I fill it. I still have that pad full of stories. When I was around eight years old I created a family newspaper called “The Good Times.” I was reporter, editor, and weather girl. Writing during my teen years mostly consisted of angst-filled diary entries, but I also wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook.

How hard is it to come up with names for your characters? What are some of the sources you use? I love coming up with character names. It’s one of the first things I do with a new project. The bulk of my writing is set during WWII, and I have several high school yearbooks from that time period. My maternal grandparents had lots of siblings with unusual names, and I have used some of those. There are also websites that indicate popular names during certain eras and countries.

Here is where you can find Linda online:

http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com

http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

http://www.twitter.com/lindasmatchett

Linda is giving away an ebook copy of her new book, Love’s Rescue to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Hallee's Interviews with Christian Authors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Interview with Judy DuCharme 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 have mystery/suspense author and brand new grandma Judy DuCharme as my guest. Her latest release sounds FASCINATING – I love the idea behind it. Check out how you can enter to win yourself a copy!

Tell us about yourself. I live in northeastern Wisconsin on the Door Peninsula with my husband and son. Our daughter and her husband are near Washington DC and have recently given us our first grandbaby, a beautiful boy with whom I’m totally smitten. We are active in our church and community. I’m a retired 5th grade teacher and love to jet ski, hike, worship, teach Bible Studies, and cheer on the Green Bay Packers. We winter for three months in Florida.

Six of my books have been published and I’ve won numerous awards. The Cheesehead Devotional: Kickoff Edition (LPC 2012) won Best New Writer 2013 at the prestigious Write to Publish Conference. In 2018, The Cheesehead Devotional: Hall of Fame Edition (LPC September 2017) took Second Place Nonfiction in the Serious Writer Awards, also at Write to Publish. That same book took Third Place Nonfiction in the 2018 Wright Awards and was a Finalist in Sports in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. The NIEA had over a thousand entries. In 2014 I was one of twelve winners of the Guideposts Magazine Workshop Contest, which had 3000-4000 entries, and have had seven pieces published in their magazines and two more are contracted to be in one of their books due out in the next year.

My short story, Christmas Ivy (Prism/Pelican BookGroup 2016), was a winner in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards and took First Place Short Story at the 2016 Florida Christian Writers Conference.  At that conference in 2018, my novel Blood Moon Redemption, was awarded Honorable Mention Mystery/Suspense.

My first novel,Society of the L.A.M.B., was published by Prism/Pelican BookGroup in 2016, as was my novella, Run With the Wind.

 Tell us about your current release Blood Moon Redemption is a riveting novel following suspenseful and gripping journeys the characters must travel to find their true destinies. An ancient relic, a puzzling prophecy, and a young woman tied together through the ages . . . It was only a relic, and hers just a name, but who knew what time it really was? Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.

My sixth book was released October 31, 2018. A few years in the making, the novel is, in the words of the publisher, Ambassador International, ‘gripping and suspenseful from start to finish’.

Tassie, named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn’t have time for silly children’s stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?

My husband encouraged me to write the book and gave me the idea for the relic and Hector. We both love Israel and Biblical prophecy. We were intrigued by the information surrounding the Blood Moons and the end-times. My husband reads nonfiction exclusively whereas I love fiction. I wanted to draw the reader into their own research concerning all these events by weaving them into a fictional story with historical background, current events, and end-time prophecy. That started Blood Moon Redemption and then the characters took over and I felt God’s hand in the writing. Our son is also in the book doing just what he would do.

For those interested, I’ve also put together a 7 week Bible Study entitled Blood Covenant, Israel, and the End-times. It’s on my website.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out, how do you write fast enough to get it all down? It’s tricky, but fun. Sometimes it’s like watching a movie and I’m just transcribing and I pray I’m fast enough and don’t forget anything.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher or agent? As my friend once told me when I was so nervous to have her read the manuscript I was working on: “Judy, isn’t the idea for people to read it.” So, you just go for it. BUT, take the time to learn some things at conferences, workshops, books, etc. Be open to suggestions and critiques – it’s so hard at first but it will improve your writing. Pray!!! AND, don’t quit when someone is critical of your writing. Imitate other styles as you search for your own and practice by writing, writing, writing. 

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write but thought to be a writer, I’d have to cloister myself away for 8 hours a day and I’m much too social for that. I wrote short stories and poetry in high-school and college, took a writing correspondence course when my children were babies, then went into teaching and loved it. As I neared retirement, the desire to write again began to stir in my heart and I felt it was a calling from the Lord. I rarely spend hours writing – unless I have a deadline. I write here and there for 45 minutes to a few hours. I’m what you’d call a panster. I try to make myself adhere to a schedule but it doesn’t work.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Even though a teacher and a good grammarian, I didn’t trust myself to put together a book ready to self-publish. I just felt being published by a traditional publisher was better vetting for me. I have considered it from time to time, but I’m just happier with the ‘approval’ of a traditional publisher.

Do you have your plot line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have ideas, a direction, but often no idea where it will continue and end. Sometimes the characters take over and I just follow their lead. I certainly pray and feel the Lord gives me direction and ideas as I go. It’s a little crazy at times and sometimes it just flows. I have ideas and scenarios swirling in my head all the time. My friends laugh at me as they can almost see the gears of my imagination taking off when we encounter different situations.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Go to a writers conference. That’s where you meet publishers, agents, editors, and other writers who are serious about writing. There are so many workshops on every aspect of writing and opportunities to be critiqued, learn to pitch, and network with other writers. And pray about your writing. Let God speak to you and trust Him. Realize that just because you have a calling doesn’t mean you don’t need to hone your craft. And we all need editors.

Here is where you can find Judy online:
https://www.facebook.com/judy.ducharme.18
http://judithducharme.com/

Judy is giving away a signed copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

halleeLOGOspinefinal

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Hallee's Interviews with Christian Authors | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Don’t, Do, and a Promise

Philippians 4:6 tells us: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…

Be anxious for…NOTHING
Pray for…EVERYTHING.

But, it doesn’t stop with don’t and do. Notice the ellipsis at the end of that verse. It is only half the sentence. Beyond “don’t do this thing that is in human nature and do this thing that you have to consciously do all the time with thanksgiving in your heart even if times are really super hard,” there is the promise of a beautiful gift.

Philippians 4:7 says: …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The PEACE of GOD which surpasses ALL understanding will GUARD our hearts and minds through CHRIST Jesus.

I know I want that peace. I know I cling to the promise that I will receive that peace that passes all understanding. I know even in the depth of the valley when I’m sinking and overcome with despair, I can seek God, open that line of communication with Him, and receive HIS peace.

What burdens are on your heart, friend? How can I pray for you today?

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Devotional Writings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 2/19/18 – An Appeal for Readers’ Help!

 

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m appealing for reader’s help with an upcoming book.

Join the discussion and get entered to win the prize!


halleeLOGOspinefinal


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Blog, Monday Morning Chats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment