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Month: July 2019

Interview with Beth Steury 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 bring you young adult author Beth Steury. Beth has a passion for teaching truth to teen readers, and I love seeing that come out in her interview. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book Before I Knew You!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a foundling. Emphasis on found. I’m a daughter.

I’m a wife, a mom, a gram.

I’m a cheerleader for saving sex for marriage. Waiting matters.

I’m a follower of Christ who’s seeking to know HIM better.

I’m a champion of adoption and adoption rights. A complex, complicated subject. 

I’m passionate about seeing GOD at work in the everyday “slices of life.”

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that life matters.

And I write about ALL of it!

Tell us about your current release. In the next month, book 2 in the Choices Matter YA realistic contemporary series will launch. Because I know you picks up hours after the actions ceases in the first Choices Matter book, before I knew you.

For high school juniors Preston and Maggie, life has become incredibly complicated. But the worst is over, according to Preston, who agrees to give Maggie time to reach that same conclusion. But is anything ever as simple as that? The short answer to that question is a no.

Be sure to read before I knew you first to get acquainted with Preston, Maggie, and the cast of characters who journey along with them as they navigate the choppy waters of saving sex for marriage and “renewed waiting.”

before I knew you

After a series of bad choices rocked his world, seventeen-year-old Preston charts a new course as far from his ladies’ man ways as he can get. He distances himself from the dating scene and avoids his party-loving friends—the things that once dominated his life. Then he meets Maggie, the new girl in town, the first day of their junior year. She’s beautiful on the inside and out, knows nothing of his past, and he can’t get her out of his mind.

When a disastrous first date leaves her skeptical about the guys at Madison High, Maggie slows down her pursuit of a guy to trust with her white-wedding-dress future. She wants a boyfriend, sure, but he’d have to be nothing like the jerk who forced her first kiss. Someone more like Preston, who’s been nothing but sweet and helpful, not to mention, easy on the eyes. But he is so out of her league.

Can Maggie afford to let her guard down around the charming Preston? Will Preston’s past jeopardize his chances with the one girl who could anchor his future?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely, without a doubt!

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? That’s an easy question: reality. Realistic situations and scenarios, characters and relationships. Real life is messy and complicated. While some readers prefer that   Christian Fiction ignore life’s realities in favor of more pleasant, mild-mannered stories, many readers yearn for a more realistic approach that tackles the nitty-gritty of complicated lives from a Christian worldview.

I must say with applause and cheering that more authors are grappling with real-life issues and striving to reach out to a hurting world with realistic stories that shine GOD’s truth on our complicated world.

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)? Ooh, that’s a great question. That very scenario has swirled through my mind repeatedly over the _________ (can’t bear to see the number in print!) years it took me to bring this series to an audience. While it may sound cliché or even egotistical to say this, the realization came to me that this series isn’t mine. Preston and Maggie’s story is GOD’s story, one that He asked me to write down. With that realization came the understanding that it’s not a story that will resonate with everyone, and that’s okay.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Just WRITE. It doesn’t matter what you write, simply commit words and ideas to paper, or more likely your computer’s hard drive. Don’t worry about every word being exactly right. Don’t be too concerned with the beginning, middle, and end. In a finished work, those are important and worthwhile concerns, but too much worry about getting every word, sentence, and paragraph in the correct place, hinders the flow of ideas. Be thankful that in today’s technologically-advanced world, it’s incredibly easy to move passages around, add or delete as needed, and rearrange to your heart’s content.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? The inspiration for this series came from a radio interview I heard many years ago. Following a presentation, a well-known youth speaker met outside in the parking lot with a young man from the audience. The young guy leaned on his truck and looked up at the speaker. “What happens when true love didn’t wait?” he asked. The speaker went on to say how that young man’s question changed how he approached the subject of teenagers and sex.

For days, that scenario played through my mind accompanied by the faces of the many teenagers I knew who also had stumbled into premarital sex. From there, the story of Preston and Maggie began to percolate in my mind.

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? I am so fortunate to have a group of online critique partners who we’ve become close, dear friends. Their input has been truly priceless. Their friendships are priceless as well.

What is the farthest location you traveled to in order to research a book?

My next writing project will be the recording of my adoption/search journey, tentatively titled, A Doorstep Baby’s Search for Answers. My husband and I traveled to Kailua Kona, Hawaii, to meet my biological father and my half-sister. Think overwhelmingly emotional and wonderful all at the same time. Nearly every moment of the trip is forever creased into my memory.

Find Beth online:

https://bethsteury.com/

https://twitter.com/beth_steury

https://www.facebook.com/author.BethSteury/

https://www.instagram.com/bethsteury/

Beth is giving away an ebook or print copy (readers choice) of before I knew you to a lucky reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/22/19 – Do You Read Reviews and What Do You Do About Negative Reviews?

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m chatting about Space Camp, summer travels, and answering the question, “Do you read reviews and what do you do about negative reviews?”


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Interview with Sara Beth Williams 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 thrilled to have Sara Beth Williams as my guest. I am in the middle of reading Sara Beth’s latest release A Worthy Heart (and can tell you it’s very good!). More than that, I love helping promote a friend’s book. I’ve known Sara Beth online for several years now, and am thankful she’s giving me the opportunity to spread the word about her new release. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her recent release When Hearts Collide for yourself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in Northern California. I just celebrated 12 years of marriage. We have 2 spunky little girls. I love to read and write (of course) play guitar, and engage in anything else that involves creativity. I will try anything that involves creating!

Tell us about your current release? When Joel Bennett discovers his sister’s best friend is stuck in an abusive relationship, he’ll do everything in his power to protect her—but it might cost him more than he bargained for. A Worthy Heart follows Joel and Serena’s romantic journey as they both learn to lean on the One who holds all things in His hands.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I think Christian Fiction has come a long way, and there are plenty of new authors and even established authors making headway on this – but I have always felt that some Christian Fiction lacks in authenticity. Authentic characters and authentic situations. Characters from various backgrounds, both racial and economical. I read so many books with rich white characters and while I usually read romance, this is a trend I’d like to see change direction. I have also noticed that more readers are looking for books with a setting or origin of story other than the United States, and I would agree with 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)? It is difficult to not become discouraged because there really are SO many amazing, wonderful and talented authors out there, especially in the romance genre. I think what helps me push past the fears of inadequacy in my writing is to determine to do my very best. And to remember that there will always be someone better than me. But those people who are better – and who really can determine the definition of ‘better’ anyway – I can learn and grow from them. Every book I read, every author I encounter, I learn from them.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I am sure there were others, but I distinctly remember September 11th, 2001. When I began attending high school, I developed a habit of turning on the news in the mornings before going to school. My sophomore year, September 11th, 01, I took a shower, which I don’t normally do before school – because #sleep – and then came out to hear this awful news story unfolding on TV. My entire family sat and watched for half an hour and we actually saw the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. I rode my bike to school under cloud cover, which was also weird for the time of year, and spent the rest of the day watching coverage throughout all my classes, except drama class. Even in Spanish class, we watched Spanish world news. It was just incredibly surreal.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I cannot pinpoint any one thing that inspired me to begin writing. I’ve always loved writing stories. I used to write copycat stories of Little Women. I wrote poetry for many years. It came easily to me, where many other things did not – ahem, math – so I took hold of writing and held on tight.

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 love to free-write. It’s my favorite part of writing. I’ve got a ton of story ideas. Some of them pan out, some of them do not. It does help significantly to do character sketches and whatnot, but I don’t like to plot in the very beginning. I only plot once I’ve free-written a sufficient amount of my story – usually 20 or more thousand words of rubbish. Then, once I think the story has potential to become a full length novel, I sit down and plot out an outline to fill in the gaps of time, organize events, flesh out the theme/overall message. I use it to keep myself from straying so far off the map that I can’t find my way back again.

Here is where you can find Sara Beth online:

Newsletter subscription

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sara.b.williams.3

Twitter @WilliamsSaraB

Instagram: @sarabethauthor2018/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403465.Sara_Beth_Williams

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sara-beth-williams

Blog: www.authorswilliams.wordpress.com

Sara Beth is giving away a signed print copy of When Hearts Collide to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/15/19 – Chatting from Huntsville Alabama

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m chatting about A Melody for James, Valerie’s Verdict, plotting out the next book, and answering the question, “What is your spirit animal?”


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Interview with Patricia Bradley 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 thrilled to bring you Patricia Bradley. I love Patricia. Every time our paths cross, I enjoy talking to her and getting to know her just a little bit more. I also LOVE the fact that she wrote what had to be a hard book to write – with a protagonist who escaped the imprisonment of human sex trafficking. Wow! And the title Justice Delivered, knowing the content, gives me chills! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in Northeast Mississippi with my two rescue kitties, Suzy and Tux who are very jealous of each other. Tux is a Johnny-Come-Lately and Suzy wants him to leave. I never thought about being a writer until I turned thirty-five and these people came to live in my head and wouldn’t leave until I wrote their stories. Woman’s World published the very first short story I wrote and I thought I was on the fast track to publishing success. And I was if you count thirty plus years before my first novel released the fast track. But I persevered and learned the craft and when God opened the publishing door, I walked through it. I’m working on books eleven and twelve.

Tell us about your current release. Justice Delivered is a book I had to write after a volunteer from Advocates From Freedom came to our church and told us about human trafficking. Here’s the back cover copy:

Carly Smith came by her trust issues honestly. A victim of sex trafficking, she’s been at the mercy of merciless men, ignored by law enforcement officers who should have helped her, and seemingly rejected by her family. She can’t even trust herself to do the right thing. Though she escaped her captors and is working hard on building a new life, the past continues to haunt her when she discovers that the man she couldn’t bring herself to report to police for fear of reliving her captivity is still out there, luring vulnerable girls under the guise of being a modeling agent.

When her own niece is kidnapped, Carly must overcome her fears and come forward with the information she has before it’s too late. When that proves to be not enough, she’ll have to go after the perpetrators herself.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes. I decided long ago that I was writing for an audience of One – God. It would be up to Him what He did with my stories. So far it’s worked out pretty well.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? First of all I pray, asking God to reveal why I’ve hit the wall. Then I go back and look at my POV characters. What have they not told me? What did I miss about their wound and lie? When I figure that out, I get back on track.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I was always a reader and hadn’t thought anything about being a writer. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep, this man appeared in my vision. He stood at a window looking out at the smokestacks billowing in the background, and then he turned around and looked straight at me and said, “This isn’t how my life was supposed to turn out.”

For the next week, I told myself stories about what went wrong in his life, and pretty soon I was putting those stores on paper.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? When I first started writing, I loosely plotted my books out. Then on the third Memphis Cold Case novel, I hit that writer’s block wall before I ever started writing. My deadline was getting closer so I just started writing, going wherever my characters took me. It happened again on this book. It took writing about my characters before I could get to know them.

Now there are three things I have to have before I start writing: who is murdered and why now; what lie do my POV characters believe about themselves that make them who they are when they walk onto the page; what can they do at the end of the book that they couldn’t do at the beginning.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Never give up. From the time I first started writing it took thirty-one years before my first novel was released. What if I’d quit at year 30?

What is your preferred method of writing? I wrote my first short story by pen then on a manual Hermes portable typewriter. If I had to do that with my books, there would be no books. So my preferred method is COMPUTER!!

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? My ideas pop into my head at the most bizarre times. This last book was conceived in church. My very first book, Shadows of the Past, came to me after God had called me to lay aside my writing in order to work in the abstinence program for seven years. Then one day as I sat on my sofa doing my daily Bible study, a woman popped into my head and told me her name was Taylor and someone was trying to kill her. I pumped my fist and yelled out loud, “Yes!” For God had given my precious murder stories back. lol

Here is where you can find Patricia online:

https://ptbradley.com/

https://twitter.com/PTBradley1

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patricia-Bradley-Author/310231559090148

Patricia is giving away a signed copy (US only) or ebook copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/8 – How Emotional Is Writing for You?

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat! Today I’m answering the question: How emotional is writing for you?

I appreciate the question and hope you learn more about me as a writer through my answer!

The books mentioned in the video are:

Sapphire Ice

A Melody for James

Temperance’s Trial

A Carol for Kent

A Harmony for Steve


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