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Month: November 2019

Interview with Robin Densmore Fuson 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 author Robin Densmore Fuson as my guest. I am so inspired by Robin! I have a couple of friends whose children struggle with dyslexia, and to know that Robin is an author with dyslexia reminds me that God will call us even if we can’t imagine the area where He’s calling from! I’m even more impressed by her ability to write her stories out long hand. I have tried that and cannot do it. It is amazing when I hear about authors who do that! Read on to see how you cen enter to win a copy of Robin’s latest book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a recent transplant from Colorado to Tennessee to be near one set of grandchildren and their parents. This move brought me closer to the other two families. I love being a grandmother and have eleven grandchildren from my three children and six step-grandchildren from my husband Jimmy’s son. We’ve been married for a short eight years and have moved five times.

Jimmy and I have a wonderful three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Kenzi. This breed is trained to be police, military, and search and rescue dogs. She is active and very smart and thinks she is my lap dog.

I’ve had many occupations over the years. For a time, I owned my own house cleaning business. For most of my married life, I worked with my late husband in construction work (house painting, roofing, floor coverings, etc.), and we were Awana missionaries for a few years. My late husband and I ran a book fair business out of our house for a few years. Last but not least a certified optician. Whew!

Now, I work from home crafting stories. I love watching movies, especially mysteries and trying to figure out who the bad person is as soon as possible. I enjoy making an occasional craft and I like to paint and upgrade the house in which I’m currently living. I enjoy gardening and love the color of flowers in my yard. I collect giraffes and have them scattered all over our home.

Teaching God’s Word and helping others with their walk with Him are passions of mine. Spending time with family, especially grandchildren, lights up my world. My favorite season is autumn and I LOVE Christmas.

Tell us about your current release. My current release, Restoration, starts in exciting and sometimes dangerous Alaska and ends in one of the most sought-after vacations spots in the world, warm Florida. I enjoyed researching some of the fun elements in my story including helicopters, small airplanes, and antique cars. I visited Alaska twice when my parents lived there many years ago and had the opportunity to travel into the bush on a boat and stay at a hunting cabin.

Here is the back cover blurb:   Nurse Rebecca Porter and bush pilot Kyle Warren’s relationship started terrific, tight, memorable and romantic. Kyle swept Rebecca off her feet in a remarkable marriage proposal. Their fantastic wedding day surrounded by beauty, family, words of wisdom and promises made went without a hitch. An unexpected marvelous honeymoon trip takes them up in the air to enjoy the rugged landscape of Alaska.

Can their storybook relationship go on without a flaw or will tragedy strike?

A fluke accident upended Kyle’s world and unraveled the tapestry of their relationship. Kyle blamed himself and distanced himself as Rebecca tried to hold on to a thread of their failing marriage. When all seemed hopeless, wild creatures changed the course of their lives and caused Kyle to realize the value of Rebecca.

Can he find the courage to peer deep into his soul and change his character enough to win her love all over again—or is it too late?

This Christmas novella story travels from coast to coast. From the young love of 1996 and the staggering beauty of Alaska to mature forty-something love in present-day Miami, one of the most coveted vacation spots in Florida.

If you knew ahead of time if your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes. God called me to encourage others and He has chosen my written word to be one of those means. I pray for and think of the person that the Lord wants to speak to through the message He gave me. That person may only be myself as I write or one other person. I write and pray for that one, whoever that one may be.

With all of those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Sometimes it feels impossible as my fingers skim across the keys of my keyboard. After spilling it all out, I look back and fix all the errors I find. Oh boy, that can be daunting. If a thought or a character speaks and I’m not ready for them, I write a quick note about it so I can get back to what I’m working on. I keep paper and notebooks everywhere, even in the glove box of my vehicles, and beside my bed so I can jot down a thought. (I’ve been known to write complete scenes in the dark and it’s legible.) I even have a whiteboard by my tub so when the voices interrupt me while I’m soaking, I can take their words out of my mind and place them on the board. This makes my characters happy that I listened to them and I can return to reading the book I’m enjoying while relaxing in my hot bath.

Who was your first screen/musical crush? Donny Osmond. I still love hearing him sing. I listen to him and others when I write romance scenes.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I loved to act out Bible stories for children at church and to make up stories for my grandchildren but I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d become a writer.

One night, when my late husband was alive but not doing well, I cried out to the Lord to ask Him how I would support myself in the event I needed to do so. His came to flooding into my mind with the story of Rosita Valdez. I couldn’t wait to get up and write it down. I wrote it longhand on notebook paper during the times my first granddaughter, whom I babysat, took her naps. When she woke, I read to her what I wrote. Although only about ten months old, she liked it, not squirming to get down and play. I had the whole story written in two weeks. It sat on a shelf until I remarried and my husband Jimmy encouraged me to do something with what God had given me. I started a blog, fixed up the rough draft, Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle, and wrote two more accompanying stories—Rosita Valdez and the Attic’s Secret and Rosita Valdez and the Spanish Doll. These chapter adventure stories have an underlying character building theme. Rosie’s story gave me the confidence to plunge into the writing world. I have an added bonus—my mom drew the pencil illustrations.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes. Both really. I have a rough idea with some “have to happen spots” in the plot or things the individual needs to go through and learn. I ask my characters questions and determine what their temperament is along with their loves and dislikes. Then I let them take me on the journey of the story. Sometimes I get stuck and I have to wait a while until they are ready to tell me what’s happening, and then off we go. My husband asks me questions like, “How is he going to get out of that scrape?” He shakes his head when I say, ‘I don’t know, my character hasn’t told me yet.’ He doesn’t understand the conversations in my head, nor that the people on the page are the ones telling the story. Sometimes they take me places I didn’t know we would go. It can be quite fun.

What is your preferred method of writing? I started writing by hand on paper. Then I would painstakingly put it onto the computer using a voice recognition software. The software I had back then came up with some incredible things it thought I said. Now, I type it into a word document. This is still a slow process. I’m not a proficient typist.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel? What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? The Lord gifted me in the art of storytelling. To find my stories materialize in written form is incredible. He indeed is awesome. It’s a miracle. School was difficult for me, especially reading and writing. I’m dyslexic. There are many forms of dyslexia and mine manifests itself not only where things appear backward but sometimes in my mind’s eye information on the page is missing. This can be perplexing and frustrating for me. Some days when I’m extra tired, it is more pronounced. Needless to say, I have wonderful readers, proofreaders, and editors who make this possible. With God’s grace, I’ve come a long way.

I started my writing career in the children’s world. I have a chapter book series for grade school kids and a blog that has over a hundred fun Biblically-based character-building stories. The main characters are animals who need to become self-aware and grow in character. Churches, Christian schools, and homeschool families have utilized my site for their children.

A few years back, a contest presented itself and I submitted a historical romance, The Dress Shop, which won first place against all genres. This led me to write historical and contemporary romances, romantic suspense, and romantic Christian fiction. Right now, I’m working on my twelfth and thirteenth books simultaneously.

Here is where you can find Robin online:

Robin is giving away a copy of reader’s choice of ebook or paperback of Restoration to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway





Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/18/19 – Planning the Thanksgiving Video Extravaganza!

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m going over the plan for the Thanksgiving meal cooking video extravaganza!

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Thanksgiving Menu

We are celebrating Thanksgiving early this year. Because I’ll be cooking a full week before everyone else, I’ll be donning my old Hallee the Homemaker hat and doing a video series, walking you through how I make my Thanksgiving meal with whole food/real food.

Here is my menu:

  • Roasted turkey
  • Cornbread dressing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Wild rice stuffed pumpkins
  • Sautéed green beans with almonds
  • Fresh cranberry sauce
  • Turkey gravy
  • Whole wheat rolls
  • Fresh pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie
  • Dessert made from my newsletter competition (still not picked which one)
  • Cranberry punch
  • Mulled wine

Join me next week as we cook this dinner!

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Interview with Pamela Poole 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 pleased to have Pamela Poole as my guest! I really enjoyed the depth of her answers regarding faith and her writing, and I also love the fact that we share the same love for the south. Charleston, South Carolina, is on our short list for retirement! I 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!

About me and my current new release: Hi, I’m Pamela Poole, and I live an amazing life as an artist and author! What makes my life amazing isn’t the things I get to do. It’s the scope of experiences, from devastating to incredibly wonderful, that are used by Christ to weave my story and make it one worth telling and living.

A deeply held love for the South inspires my books and paintings. The setting for my novels and short stories in the Painter Place Saga is a fictional island between Charleston, SC and Myrtle Beach. I live life loving Jesus and my family as a wife, mother, and GiGi. Though my husband and I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina, we consider the Lowcounty of South Carolina “home” and hope to retire there someday.

Have you ever noticed that people entertain themselves at the expense of the suffering of others? What about the book you’re currently reading? Would you be interested in the story if the author didn’t drag the characters through excruciating ordeals so they could

grow into a better person? We tend to pray for protection from trouble for ourselves and loved ones, then we relish reading or watching others as they cope with it. Their stories are the ones we find amazing. What irony!

In my latest novel, Landmark, I take readers back to the year 1960 to journey with the Painter and Gregory families as they navigate through trouble on the verge of a tumultuous new decade. Their efforts to do the right things as they walk with Christ will not eliminate the valuable struggle ahead of them. Like other novels in the saga, Landmark is a nostalgic, entertaining, and wholesome story, yet it is packed with meaningful insights that encourage us as we set up our own landmarks to remember for the times when Jesus was faithful through our struggles.

Landmark is the first book in the saga chronologically and can be read first.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Hands down, it is lack of Biblical conviction and spiritual maturity in authors. This plays out in sappy worldliness and compromise, like writing to satisfy emotional neediness with a focus on self-fulfillment. Relationships look like how the world interacts, especially in romance but also in speech (my pet peeve is Christians who curse and impose it on others). Most Christian fiction I try out lacks artistic substance and is barely an inch deep in spiritual maturity. Christian authors should be aware that they are held accountable to Jesus as influencers in the faith and should not be the blind leading the blind over a cliff.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? One day, after I’d returned a stack of disappointing and unread books to the library, my son encouraged me to write the book I wanted to read. I used the inspiration from a dream to take him up on the challenge, assuming only my family and friends would ever read it. But he said it was good enough to be published and encouraged me to seek a publisher, though the rule of thumb then was that you had to spend a lot of money on conventions and years of networking, then find an agent, etc. That sounded ridiculous to me and I would not have traveled that road. But I did a search and found 3 Christian and inspirational publishers who were accepting stories. I submitted the manuscript. Three weeks later, I had a nibble from a big established one, but I’m so glad in retrospect that I didn’t pursue it. I signed a contract with a smaller publisher, asking for a limitation of only 2 years because I thought I might want to be independent and didn’t want my rights to be tied up. By the time I was writing my 3rd novel in the series, I’d learned enough about publishing and the experiences of fellow authors with publishers to know I had to be independent, so I established Southern Sky Publishing and launched Jaguar, Painter Place Saga 3. I got the rights back from my original publisher for my first 2 novels, re-launched them under my brand, and never looked back. Perhaps getting a publisher so quickly helped me with the confidence that comes from the confirmation that I had a quality product, but I know my path is to be an independent author.

What is your inspiration for writing? Honestly, I thought of myself as an artist and art teacher, not an author, and never dreamed of writing novels. However, those who have ever had a “calling” will understand when I say that’s what my experience as an author has been like. As I walk with Christ in faith and pray about His will for my life in service to Him, this is the door He sent me through and the thing He’s using to grip my heart and attention. Stories are a way to reach thirsty hearts, and He sends me experiences and interactions to jot down and communicate in novels and stories. Most of my books were born in a dream, an idea that lingered when I woke up, and that I recorded as a basis for the next book. 

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? My typical readers will enjoy Christian fiction and perhaps art and the beach. But my “tribe” will be the ones looking for depth and conviction in entertaining stories. They will be the kind of readers who hope to feel like better people for having read the story.

Do you write your book for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? The perfect reader for my books is ME. All of my books, short stories, poetry, and paintings are created for an audience of 2 – myself and Jesus. By making my work public, I have opened myself up as a target for criticism and unkind readers, but I keep my focus on my satisfaction as a picky reader who depicts characters who live out their faith.

Here is where you can find Pamela online:

Pamela is giving away a copy of her book Jaguar to a reader! See below how to enter to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/11/19 – The Joy of Reading

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about beginning the journey to rediscover my joy of reading.

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What Veteran’s Day Means to Me

I love this country. It is truly the greatest country on earth, with so much promise and potential. I get annoyed a lot of times at gluttony, greed, laziness, entitlement, etc., and I sometimes forget and let those feelings overshadow the fact that there is so much good here, so much hard work that built this land — that we live in a land that people actually die trying to get to.

I am so proud of the military legacy of my family. I pray that my sons continue it, and continue to fight for and stand for America. Here is my annual “What Veteran’ Day Means to Me” posting of the honor of my family’s service to our country:

My Great-Grandfather, WWI
my great-grandfather, WWI
my maternal grandfather, WWII
my maternal grandfather, WWII
my paternal grandfather, WWII
my paternal grandfather, WWII
my father-in-law, Vietnam
My father-in-law, Vietnam
My dad, 2nd Ranger Battallion, 1980
My father, 2nd Ranger Battallion, 1980
My father-in-law and sister-in-law, Jump School Graduation, 1989
My father-in-law and sister-in-law, Jump School Graduation, 1986
My dad, Ranger School Instructor, 1986
My dad, Ranger School Instructor, 1986
My husband, his dad, his sister, Kuwait, 1991
My husband, his dad, his sister, Dharhan, Saudi Arabia, Easter Sunday 1991
my mom and dad, 1998
my mom and dad, 1998
my husband, Afghanistan, 2002
My husband, Afghanistan, 2002

my husband and me, 2003
my husband and me, 2003
Gregg and Scott, 2007
my husband and son, 2007
my children, 2008
My sister-in-law and my father-in-law during her promotion to COL (O-6) 2011
My husband teaching my sons the parachute landing fall (PLF) 2012

The valor and sacrifice of all Veterans can never be honored enough. I am so very proud of every one of you, and I pray daily for those of you currently serving. I hope you will accept my humble thanks.

Happy Veterans’ Day.

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