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Month: November 2020

Black Friday Sale – Books Make Great Gifts!

I love shopping, especially Black Friday shopping. I LOVE the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the underlying energy, the displays. I never go on Thursday. I wait until super early Friday morning and go until I’m shopped out.

This year will be so different as people hit keyboards instead of shopping malls. I’m bummed about this. We will also be mailing more packages because of “Safer at Home” holidays.

Know what mails well? Books!

Books are perfect gifts for giving when you have to mail a package. Plus, they’re super easy to wrap. And, they provide the recipient with hours of entertainment.

This year, I’m offering a 25% coupon on my Square store. Go to and order the books you want. There is a flat $8 shipping charge added to all orders that contain paper books (ebooks don’t get the shipping charge). Use the coupon code: 25FOR2020

This coupon expires Monday night at 11:59 pm, so use it while you can!

Get shopping! If you want me to sign the books to someone specific, please put that information in the instructions. Otherwise, I’ll just sign them generically. Enjoy your shopping weekend and I hope you find some terrific deals!

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Interview with Davalynn Spencer 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 excited to have Davalynn Spencer as my guest.  You know that a former rodeo reporter and wife/mother of rodeo clowns can write some seriously good cowboy romances! I loved her interview, her advice for aspiring writers, and especially love that she wanted to be my guest this week. Read on to see how you can win a copy of her latest release (which sounds so good!)

Tell us a little bit about yourself. As the wife and mother of professional rodeo clowns, I spent plenty of years on my knees outside the arena praying! But rodeo is also where I got my start writing nonfiction—there’s nothing make-believe about some of the wrecks I’ve seen. However, I always wanted to be a novelist, so after several years as a newspaper crime-beat reporter and rodeo journalist, I went after my dream. I also put all those years around cowboys to good use, and 15 out of 16 of my published titles—both historical and contemporary—have a cowboy hero. Gotta love ‘em, right?

Tell us about your current release. High-Country Christmas is a two-novella collection of unrelated stories set in the high country of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. In Snow Angel, Lena Carver lost something precious as a child at Christmas. Twenty years later, she’s about to lose her heart when a bruised and broken cowboy shows up at her physician brother’s home with a bullet-creased scalp and a mysterious dog. Just in Time for Christmas is the story of Abigale Millerton and the boy she grew away from. However, when she returns home to run her grandfather’s ranch, her neighbor Seth Holt is there waiting, as determined and true as ever.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? What a great question! Writing fast isn’t the answer for me – it’s writing everywhere. I think I have the corner on the sticky-note market, and they litter my desk and computer screen. However, I’ve journaled since the sixth grade, so most of my ideas start there, in whatever color notebook I’ve chosen for the year. I’ve always said I self-medicate with words, so if it has to do with words, it’s in my journal.

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)? I write because I have to. It may have helped that I started as a journalist and developed a thick skin to criticism and a warped sense of time where deadlines are concerned. I’m simply compelled to write, whether anyone reads it or not. But I believe the big push for me came several years ago when I read a novel by a well-known author and was surprised at the style, wording, plot – everything. “I can do that,” I thought. So I did. By God’s grace and gift, I did.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I’m not sure if I experience writer’s block the way other authors do. Rarely does a blank page (paper or pixel) stay blank if I’m within pencil distance. But sometimes I have trouble transitioning from one scene to the next in a story. When that happens, I scroll down in the document where I’m working and write another scene, completely unrelated to the one I’m struggling with. Once I wrote the ending to a story before I had reached the halfway mark. And that’s saying something for me, because I’m primarily a seat-of-the-pantser. No outlines for me, thank you very much.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? I always wanted to drive an old Volkswagen beetle (bug). “Someday I’m going to have a VW bug,” I’d say. But it didn’t take long to realize that someday was never going to just show up and say, “Here I am. Time for a bug!” So I gathered my savings, hunted the newspaper, found two bugs (older models from the 70s) and bought one. That was only the beginning.

I always wanted to be a novelist too, and I read everything I could get my hands on. Soon all the articles were blending together and saying the same things. No one was going to write my book for me, so I set out to finish and sell the one I’d started. That was twelve years ago, right after a well-known author at a writer’s conference told me it was too late, that I should have started years before.

My tough, former-reporter skin got in the way of that advice, and my sixteenth title releases next summer.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? My advice is simplistic and mundane. It’s been repeated by countless people in various positions of leadership, stardom, whatever. Even Winston Churchill is reported to have said it.

Here goes:

Don’t quit. Never give up. You will fail only if you stop.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? In the parking lot at Big Daddy’s in Canon City, Colorado. A woman in the driver’s seat of the parked car facing me was on her cell phone, and in a flash, I got an entire story about a gal on the run from her money-hungry uncle/guardian who was forcing her into a money-making marriage. So she ran.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? I once got in an argument with my heroine about what her dog was going to do. (I know, that’s crazy. But you’re asking questions of a person who writes about people that don’t exist.) After a mind-bending discussion, I acquiesced and went with what she wanted. It worked. Actually, it was much better than what I was going to do because it ratcheted up the tension and the stakes.

Here is where you can find Davalynn online:

Quarterly Author Update and free e-book:






Davalynn is giving away a signed copy of A High-Country Christmas to a reader! See below how to enter to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/16/20 – How Do You Do It All?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m going to answer the question, “You seem to have a lot going on. How do you get done what you need to get done in a day?”
Whew! Fun question!

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today!


An interview with Jennifer Heeren 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 happy to have Jennifer Heeren as my guest. I love Jennifer’s perspective about writing for God and love the sound of her latest release. I’m in the midst of writing a book about a pregnant woman – in Atlanta – so it totally resonated with me. And any fan of Judy Blume can be a friend of mine. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I love to write and want to live in such a way that people are encouraged by my writing and my attitude. I love to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. My cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. I regularly contribute devotional articles to I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband.

Tell us about your current release. Twenty-two-year-old Lisette Carter is grief-stricken over her husband’s death—which occurred before she knew she was pregnant. Now in her last trimester, she meets David Baranski, who has a tragic past of his own. He seems to care for Lisette, but she’s not sure she can trust him. Besides, her sorrow and survivor guilt are all she can handle.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I had a person review my book that had been through a similar scenario that my main character, Lisette, went through. She related to Lisette’s story and said that it felt real even though I wrote it as a fiction story. I hope that my reader felt a little less alone while she was reading it. So, yes, if it was only written for her, it was worth it.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I’ve found that the best way to stop writer’s block is to tell someone else my word count goal and then report back to them my actual result.

Have you always wanted to write a book? I wrote short stories as a teenager and then when I took a Creative Writing course in college, I realized that I wanted to write novels.

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 decide on the basic idea and then I prepare a basic outline that includes a theme for the story, some notes on the characters, inciting incident, and some conflict points along the way. Then I write the story which usually ends up shorter than I would like, so I go back and fill in missing details and scenes. The Story Equation by Susan May Warren helps with this. One of these days, maybe I’ll get all the information that I need before writing but so far that’s not how it has worked out. 😉

What is your inspiration for writing? I want to write stories that help readers see that hope can exist even when circumstances aren’t ideal. And, most importantly, that hope comes from God.

Who was your favorite author as a child? I loved Judy Blume books. She wrote beautifully about childhood problems and teenage angst. She writes both comedy and drama in a down-to-earth way.

Here is where you can find Jennifer online:

Jennifer is giving away a copy of A Different Season to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway


Interview with Ann Brodeur 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 happy to have Ann Brodeur as my guest. I love stories about lost loves that reconnect, and it sounds like her new release is all that and more! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a Christmas ornament!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I didn’t have a terribly exciting childhood, but I did have an active imagination. We didn’t travel, but that didn’t stop me from finding adventure in books. Perhaps it was those early years that whet my appetite for traveling God’s beautiful earth and for creating stories set in beautiful locations.

I’m a wife, mother of four, and a writer. There’s nothing we love better than packing up our travel trailer to explore Canada (and pre-COVID the United States), where many story ideas have been seeded and written down in a notebook just waiting to be told.

Tell us about your current release. My debut novel published by Anaiah Press, releases in two days on November 6.  SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is a novel about uncovering the pain of the past and trusting God’s leading. It’s a story of redemption and second chances, set in the fictional town of Winterberry Falls, Vermont during the most celebrated season of all, Christmas. A winter storm thrusts my heroine back into a town that only holds bittersweet memories for her, and onto the doorstep of the man who’d stolen her heart and disappeared twelve years earlier. The only way to protect the woman he fell in love with is to stay out of her life, but what’s a guy to do when she shows up out of the blue? And how will he ever keep her safe from the secret that will destroy her family when she’s stuck in town indefinitely?

A buried story.  A powerful senator.  A Christmas they won’t forget.

I love questions from readers!

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Recently I was unearthing two boxes of favourite books I kept from my childhood in search of a new read for one of my daughters. To my delight, the books are still in excellent condition (after 30+ years) and I had a lot of fun sorting through my collection. I have the complete original series of Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard (all single released titles), the complete Elizabeth Gail series by Hilda Stahl and a good stash of original Babysitters Club books by Ann Martin. I also re-discovered my collection of Nancy Drew mysteries (both classic, Files, and my favourites – The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries).

At the bottom of one of the boxes was my diary I’d kept when I was ten. My girls and I read through the entries and enjoyed a laugh or two (what things a ten year old thinks about!).  One particular entry stopped me in my tracks: “To be a famous Christian writer would mean a lot to me. It would mean that I may bring people to the Lord.” So to answer your question, yes. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a writer and my career path has always included an element of writing (program notes for symphonic performances, grant writing for non-profits, articles for volunteer magazines).

Though I’m not a famous Christian writer, I’m living my dream of writing fiction from a Christian perspective. Maybe someday, I’ll achieve that first part. But if my writing leads one to or back to Christ, then the whole journey has been worth it.

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)? I think every writer experiences self-doubt at some point throughout the writing/publishing process. I’ve always been the kind of person to push through, especially when it gets hard. Artists pour so much of themselves into their work that there is always a bit of fear releasing it into the world. Writers depend on readers and their opinions, and they depend on the approval of acquisition editors if they choose to go traditional. A good friend said to me once when I received yet another rejection of my manuscript, “It’s not a definite ‘no’, it’s just ‘not right now’.” It has been a tremendous help mentally. But more than that, I know that if God has placed a story on my heart, He’ll help me write it and bring it to the right people at the right time.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never saw myself eating bugs! A missionary friend brought back a specialty from the mission field – chocolate covered grasshoppers. And yes, I was one of the brave ones who ate one. And only one.

I also never saw myself camping. The first time I ever went camping was with my husband when I was three months pregnant with our twins. I hated tent camping, but he loved it (and I’m pretty sure my dislike of the activity had something to do with being unable to get comfortable on the ground to sleep with an oversized belly and having to pee every hour or two). But a few years later we bought a travel trailer and it is now my happy place.

Now it’s your turn for a question or two: What book has touched you the most in recent memory and how?

Here is where you can find Ann online:

Sweet Hope and Happy Endings…

Ann is giving away a Christmas ornament to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/02/20 – What do you collect?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “What is something you collect that’s odd?”

What a fun question! I hope you are able to learn more about me as I answer it. If you have a question for me, you can ask it at this link.

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