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Month: May 2019

Interview with June Foster 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 pleased to have June Foster as my guest. I very much enjoyed reading about her writing style and I am so intrigued by the plot of her book Dreams Deferred – and LOVE that it was inspired by the love story of her great-grandparents! June is giving away a copy of the book, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her next contemporary romance or romantic suspense. June’s characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. To date June has seen publication of 19 novels and 1 devotional.

Tell us about your current release. Frances Matthew Hall is obedient to family tradition: all firstborn sons will serve as a priest. Now Matt officiates at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. But when on Easter Sunday, he notices a beautiful young woman who takes his breath away, he must fight against his attraction to her or leave the priesthood and alienate his entire family.
Mary Louise Graham is a middle school teacher and devout catholic. Yet no amount of service to the community can ease the heavy load of guilt she carries. God can never forgive her unspeakable mistake. But when Father Matt tells her about a forgiving God through His son Jesus Christ, she’s free. Only thing, the Godly priest now means more to her than he should.
Dreams Deferred is inspired by the author’s great grandfather and great grandmother’s story.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Most definitely. This is my purpose in penning fictional works. My hope is readers will identify with the characters in the story and find freedom in the Lord. If it’s only one, than I’ve served the Lord.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?  The issue has arisen in my writing journey, however, I feel God has placed these stories on my heart and in my mind, and I don’t have the option of deviating from them.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? When I first began writing, I was told by editors and agents that my work was too “preachy.” I considered toning down the spiritual aspect of my writing and couldn’t. I believe that Christian fiction writers should follow the Lord instead of the market in penning novels.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I’m a plotter rather than a panster so I generally have a scene by scene synopsis written down before I even start the novel. However, as I write each scene, my characters sometimes tell me to go in a different direction than I’d orginally planned. I’m always open to change and new ideas.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? This almost sounds too simple, but if I write a G (goal), M (motivation), C (conflict) chart on each character, ideas tend to flow.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Unlike most authors, I began writing at an older age. In fact, I was a retired teacher and a grandmother. One day I noticed a story in my head and happen to tell my daughter the entire story. She said she thought I should write it, and that was the spark I needed. I wrote that novel and eighteen others to date plus one devotional. I have no doubt God orchestrated the venture!

What is your preferred method of writing? If I didn’t have my computer, I probably wouldn’t write!

Find June online at:

http://junefoster.com

https://www.facebook.com/authorjunefoster/

https://twitter.com/vjifoster

https://www.pinterest.com/junefoster/

June is giving away an ebook copy of Dreams Deferred to a lucky reader! See below how to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Lynn H. Blackburn 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! I’m always excited when a friend is my guest. As I type this introduction, Lyn is at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with me.  Our paths have crossed many times over the years and she has always been a very dynamic presence. I really enjoyed this interview and am so excited that she’s giving away a copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in South Carolina with my husband, three children, and a spoiled rotten mini goldendoodle. When I’m not writing, you can frequently find me cheering for one of my kids on a baseball field or basketball court. And if it’s a Saturday in the Fall, I’ll be cheering for the Clemson Tigers.

Tell us about your current release. In Too Deep is the second book in the Dive Team Investigations series. When the Carrington Sheriff’s Office dive team discovers an encrypted laptop that is linked to an open murder investigation, white collar crimes Investigator Adam Campbell turns to the only person he can trust—cybercrimes expert Dr. Sabrina Fleming—to help him with the case. But when their investigation uncovers an unsettling connection to Adam’s family, they will face a choice between loyalty and the truth.

Have you always wanted to write a book? Not at all! I was a reader for decades before I ever attempted to write anything. I had always had stories in my head but it was a long time before I decided to try to write one down and see what would happen.

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’m a very organic writer. I know the general idea of how the book will end, and the general idea of what the suspense plot is, but how I’m going to get from Chapter One to The End is always an adventure. I’ve tried to outline and plan it all out in advance and it just never works for me. So I write the first scene and then see where the characters and story take me.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? There are too many to list, but the ones that jump to the top of the list are always L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon) and C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia). But my first favorite (as evidenced by the photographs my parents have) was definitely Dr. Suess. 🙂 

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? The first person I contact is my friend and mentor, Lynette Eason. She can usually fix any plot disaster I’ve created. 🙂 I’m also blessed to have a group of writer friends who are amazing brainstormers. 

I 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? For me, it’s BRUTAL! I can stare at the first blank page for hours before I ever get things moving. I’m a very slow starter, but once I get a few chapters written, that’s when the words begin to flow.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? I pray! I also have found that watching something like sci-fi or fantasty – which is nothing like what I write – always inspires me. Live theater or live concerts do the same thing. And if none of those things are an option, I take a shower. I get some of my best ideas there! 🙂

Find Lynn online:

www.LynnHBlackburn.com

www.facebook.com/LynnHBlackburn

www.twitter.com/LynnHBlackburn

www.instagram.com/LynnHBlackburn

Lynn is giving away a copy of her newest book along with a bookmark (within US only). See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 5/20/20 – Talking About Writing and Revelation at the #BRMCWC

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Today, I’m talking about how a keynote of “Perhaps God” versus “God will definitely” completely affirms my writing ministry and mission statement, my definition of success, and how it inspired and encouraged me during the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.


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Interview with Deb Gorman 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’m so pleased to have Deb Gorman as my guest. I always love meeting people from the Pacific Northwest. Both of my parents were born and raised there, and to me, despite being an Army brat who has claimed first Florida then Kentucky as hers, the Pacific Northwest will always be “home”. I loved Deb’s writing purpose statement, and hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little about yourself: Hi! My name is Deb Gorman and I was born and still live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I actually live in the town where I spent my childhood—a medium-sized metropolis of about 100,00 if you count the surrounding county—in central Washington.

I did live in southern California between 1972 and 1980, where I went to college. I was married to my first husband and had three children while living in the LA area. We moved back to my hometown in 1980, just in time to experience Mt. St. Helens.

I am now married to my second husband (thirty-one years!) and we have twenty-three grandchildren. I recently retired from my career in healthcare and am busy building my writerly business. My husband has been retired for ten years and has his own business also. We have a very lively four-year-old German shepherd named Hoka.

Tell us about your current release: I have three books released. They are written in the devotional style, with study questions. The books contain stories of biblical characters, some well-known, some not. The stories are fiction, but based upon real events in the Bible.

Currently, I’m working on two novels—my first! The first novel—The Master’s Inn—is presently with my editor, the lovely and talented Dori De Vries Harrell. The second—the sequel to the first—is in first draft stage. I hope to write a third in this series. We shall see.

The Master’s Inn is the story of three families who are stranded together in a freak blizzard in northeastern Washington State. Tom and Bill are Marine combat veterans from the Vietnam era and Iraq, respectively, and who still chase their demons. They and their families meet the God who planned the storm and brought them together, learning that no tragedy, no deep secret, and no loss is beyond his capacity to forgive and heal.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I was nine years old when President Kennedy was shot. I remember my teacher gathering all of us on the playground to tell us. I remember watching the news that night with Mom and Dad. And I remember days and days of headlines, grownups talking and arguing about it. Not much different than today!

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always been a voracious reader, since about age six. I didn’t think about writing books until about 2013. I decided to try writing a Christmas play the year before. I worked on it most of that year and in December of 2013, my church produced it with me as the director. What a hoot! It was very well received. The characters in that play—the imaginary ones in my head–then started hounding me to put them into a novel. I’ve been working on it ever since, with three devotional-style books published in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? I’d had some ideas for stories half-written on my laptop for a long time. I wrote them just for my own pleasure. We have two published authors who attend our church, so one day I looked up their websites. One website mentioned the name of her editor, so I looked up her website. I sent her a sample of my writing and she replied saying she’d like to work with me. That’s all it took!

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? The Master’s Inn—the play—was outlined on the back of the church bulletin, character and scene sketched, and cast while I was sitting in the worship service one Sunday at my church. I’m sure my pastor was very proud of how vigorously I was taking sermon notes!

Do you have a particular character that you fell in love with and keep them alive in your mind? My favorite character is from the first chapter of my first book—”Who Are These People?” Her name is Ariella—meaning Lioness of God in Hebrew—and she is the heroine in the story of the little girl in 2 Kings 5:2-3 who was stolen from Israel and taken to Syria as a slave. She appears in just those two verses. Her story in my book takes place between those verses. The reason I wrote her story is that I was curious what would make a little girl who was ripped from her family and taken to a foreign country compassionately tell her captor about the man of God who could heal him of his leprosy. Such bravery! Her story captivated me, so I had to write it.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I’m not sure it’s a lack, but I think Christian writers must begin to tackle the encroaching evil of our times—and tackle it loudly. There’s nothing wrong with writing novels that are light-hearted and entertain us, that help us to escape this dark world for a while, but we are called to be Kingdom-bearers. If our fiction writing doesn’t point clearly to Jesus, Messiah—and denounce the enemy loudly and unapologetically—then what is the purpose? If God has given me the gift of storytelling, I’d best be using it to lay another brick for eternity, not just another buck in my bank account.

Here is where you can find Deb online:

https://www.debggorman.com/

https://twitter.com/@bikerdebo

https://www.facebook.com/debggorman

Deb is giving away a copy of one of her ebooks (readers choice) see below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nurses Are The Rockstars

When I was 29 weeks pregnant with my son Scott, I started having contractions that would not go away. Eventually, I asked my husband to take me to the Labor and Delivery at my hospital. The triage nurse put the blood pressure cuff on my arm and my contractions left, never to return. My blood pressure was super scary high. High enough that they admitted me that night and I stayed in the prenatal ward of the hospital for the next ten days.

In that timeframe, the people who cared for me hour by hour were the nurses. They communicated with me, encouraged me, ministered to me. They relayed information to the doctor and back to me.

I saw my doctor every morning for about five minutes. The rest of my care belonged to the nurses.

After ten days, my body started crashing and Scott’s body started crashing and it became a race to see who the doctor could save first. I don’t think both of us were expected to actually survive the day.  While the doctor made surgical arrangements, one of my nurses came into my room.

She tried to talk to me but was overcome with emotion and just patted my shoulder and cried. I was really concerned for her, so I asked her if I could pray for her and she just started crying harder.

I had an emergency C-section a couple hours later. A nurse held my hand and walked me through the spinal block, making sure I stayed still and calm. She actually had me bent over her, hugging her while the anesthesiologist worked. I will honestly never forget how steadfast she was, how calm, how reassuring.

Once Scott was born, I was put into ICU. But, they’d given me magnesium, and I’ve learned that magnesium turns normally stoic Hallee into a very emotional Hallee. I was hyper, upset, frantic about my 3 pound baby. Finally, a nurse came up to me and grabbed both of my cheeks in her strong hands and put her face close to mine. “Your baby is fine. You are not. If you don’t calm down and trust us to take care of him, you’re going to die.”

I believe very sincerely that she saved my life.

During the next two weeks, we only ever talked to nurses in the NICU. We never saw the doctor. He never talked to us. He was present in the NICU, but wouldn’t come around when the parents were in the rooms. I thought that was very funny. But, we talked to the nurses all the time. My stoicness had returned, and I got to know the nurses caring for our little 3-pounder as if sitting next to them in a coffee shop. I wasn’t the panicked mom who needed reassurance. I was the calm mom who needed information as plainly as possible so that I could process it. They got that. They never condescended to me.  They never made me feel like I should be something or some way that I wasn’t. They just loved on Scott like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Two weeks later, we were transferred out of the NICU and into a room in the PICU. This was wonderful for us because I could room in the PICU with Scott instead of having to go home. The nurses in the PICU were fantastic. They’d come into my room in the middle of the night and watch television with me, hang with me, chat with me. They made me feel REALLY OKAY about our circumstances, almost as if what we were experiencing was normal.

Again, the entire time in the PICU, I did not talk to the doctor except during rounds. I don’t even know if was the same doctor that we had in the NICU or not.

I realize the doctors gave all the orders in these almost six weeks of hospital stay. I’m sure a doctor gave the order to admit me. I know my doctor was on top of my health and well-being during my prenatal stay and that he rocked the surgery and saved us both. I know a doctor gave orders and instructions during the NICU and PICU stays.

However, the rock stars were the nurses. They were the ones in the spotlight, being the face to me of  mine and our baby’s life-giving care. They never faltered. They never wavered. They never acted like the point of their 12-hour shift was a paycheck at the end of the week. Every nurse made me feel important, cherished, a joy to care for and to know.

I will never forget the nurses who were there for us during this unfathomable time. I am so in awe of what nurses do and the way God gifts them to do it. I am overwhelmed at the care that pours out of nurses day after day.

Love on nurses this week. They have so earned it.

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