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Month: December 2020

Did You Get an E-Reader for Christmas?

E-readers are wonderful! You can load them down with thousands of books and just binge read to your heart’s content.

Here are a couple of options from my library:

Courting Calla

Ian knows God has chosen Calla as the woman for him, but Calla is hiding something big. Can Calla trust Ian with her secret, or will she let it destroy any possible hope for a future they may have?

Subscribers to my newsletter get Courting Calla for free. Click here for more information.

Christmas Diamond

Christmas Diamond is a Christmas story I wrote as a gift to my readers. It is free at all ebook retailers.

Christmas is a time of miracles. Faith Green and TJ Viscolli share the common bond of a love of history and romance blossoms. But an accident during the Christmas Eve air show threatens their hope of a life spent together. Will God provide a Christmas miracle, or will the future look cold and dark like a winter night?

Sapphire Ice

The men in ROBIN’S life have never been anything but pushers and users. TONY’S intrusion into her exhausted world both infuriates and intrigues her. Does Tony have a chance to break through the wall of ice Robin built around her heart?

Sapphire Ice is only 99 cents at all ebook retailers!

A Melody for James

Melody and James lead separate lives of discord until an unexpected meeting brings them to a sinister realization. Unbeknownst to them, dark forces have directed their lives from the shadows, orchestrating movements that keep them in disharmony. Fire, loss, and bloodshed can’t shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that will leave lives forever changed.

A Melody for James is only $1.99 at all ebook retailers!

A Harmony for Steve

Though both are internationally recognized singing mega-stars, HARMONY Harper and STEVE Slayer could not be more different. Steve screams out sinfully satanic strains while Harmony uses her God given gifts to bring glory to the Risen Savoir. Somehow, when they meet on even terms, their differences don’t matter. Can they be together when fanatical followers would do anything to keep them apart?

A Harmony for Steve is on sale at all ebook retailers for 99 cents until January 7th.

Temperance’s Trial

MARIE GILBERT and her elder brother flee from Vichy France after the Gestapo arrest her father for suspicion of aiding Jewish children to escape the oncoming fascist front. Once in London, Marie is recruited into an experimental all female cohort dubbed the Virtues, a collection of seven extraordinary women with highly specialized skills.

Temperance’s Trial is free at all ebook retailers!

I hope you are able to take advantage of these offers for ebooks!

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Interview with Lori Altebaumer 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 Lori Alterbaumer as my guest. Her debut book sounds SO GOOD. If you love romantic suspense, you definitely want to check it out. I very much enjoyed seeing the glimpses of Lori’s heart for our God in her answers 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 book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Howdy from the Lone Star State!  I’m Lori Altebaumer and admitting to others that telling lies is my passion seems a bit harsh. I’m a fiction writer seems so much more acceptable. I do write both fiction and non-fiction (which means I’m not always telling lies), although fiction is my first love (which might tell you about my propensity for telling lies). Of course, truth is truth no matter where you find it—even if it comes wrapped up in fiction.

I have a degree from Texas A&M University in Agricultural Development, and I love my country roots. It’s true that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. And eventually, the girl moves back to the country. Those country roots are evident in my writing and my perspective on life. I’m a wandering soul with a home keeping heart, so I enjoy exploring new places with my husband—and always coming home to our place in the country. I look forward to traveling more soon, but until then I am visiting the homes of my adult children often where I can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat there.

Tell us about your current release. My debut novel, A Firm Place to Stand, is a romantic suspense that released in January 2020. It’s a story of not only the power of forgiveness, but of the desperate need we have to both give and receive this forgiveness. This is the story of a young woman trying to disappear from her past, who comes to understand this need of forgiveness by looking from the outside into the lives of others. Set at a summer camp for girls in West Texas, Maribel has to contend with both the darker side of human nature as well as the brutal side of Mother Nature. But most deadly of all is the proof that she is being stalked, and disappearing in Turnaround, Texas, hasn’t made her as invisible as she hoped.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I answer to God for everything I write. He alone has the final say and He alone is my source of affirmation. When I sit down to write, I am on a path of discovery with God. If I gave in to the pressure to write for worldly success, I am convinced I would lose the joy of writing. The process would lose its ability to be a path of discovery if I tried to direct my steps—my words—to meet the expectations of others.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? The answer to this question depends on the goal and purpose of a work of Christian Fiction. If I’m writing a novel meant to entertain without offending, I think the Christian Fiction market is pretty clear on what is acceptable. But if I’m writing a novel that I hope will inspire a transformation, bring healing, lead someone to the word of God, the expectations get a bit murkier. I believe what is often missing in some Christian Fiction is a more accurate portrayal of reality. We live in a broken and sinful world. The stories that can reflect that without sensationalizing or glorifying it are the ones with the most power to reach the lost. They have the most power to change lives. That is the kind of writing I aspire to. If my writing is to be a path of discovery with God, then I have to be honest about the world around me. I have to go where God goes, and that is often to the seedy side of town in search of a lost lamb.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? The answers to the questions above probably give you some clue as to the reason why I felt comfortable with self-publishing. The real answer is multi-faceted though. For starters, I lacked the platform numbers needed to find an agent. I’m sure I could have shopped around and found someone willing to take the chance, but at what cost of time when I already possessed the resources needed to move forward. Not being an overly tech savvy or social person, I knew it would be a long, uphill climb to reach those numbers. I also knew I would need to hire editors, cover designers, and formatters to tackle the parts I’m not proficient in. I wanted a quality book so readers to feel it was worth their time and money. Oddly enough, publishing my book has done more for my numbers than anything else I have tried, not to mention giving me a boldness to talk about it I didn’t have before. While having the credibility of a traditional publisher behind my book would be great, I don’t regret moving forward with publishing this book the way I saw it and making it available for others to read. I’ve been pleased with the reviews and comments I have received from readers, so it has been worth it for me.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? They definitely develop as I write. I start with an idea—most likely a scene—that has popped into my head, capturing my attention. It demands I find out more about these characters and what’s going on. The characters are often just like people I meet in real life who don’t tell me everything right at first. They are especially annoying when they withhold key information until I’m almost finished and suddenly they reveal something crucial to the plot that I didn’t know… “What do you mean he’s your step-brother and why couldn’t you tell me this twenty chapters ago?” With that being said, I am trying to blend some elements of planning into my process in order to avoid the massive amounts of rewriting I have to do by learning as I go.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? The biggest thing I learned from finishing my first book was that you have to write a book to truly understand how to write a book. I had been reading books on craft for years, but until I actually sat down and did the work to make it all happen, I couldn’t get a good grasp on so many of the things I was reading and learning. Don’t wait until you know it all (you never will) to write the book. Write the book, study craft as much as you can, and engage with a group of brutally honest (not the same as mean) critique partners. And never give up.

Here is where you can find Lori online:

Website               https://www.lorialtebaumer.com/

Facebook             https://www.facebook.com/lori.altebaumer

Twitter                  https://twitter.com/lori_altebaumer

Instagram            https://www.instagram.com/lori_altebaumer/

Book Bub             https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lori-altebaumer

Goodreads          https://www.goodreads.com/lori_altebaumer

Lori is giving away an ebook copy of her newest release A Firm Place to Stand. See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 12/21/20 – Holidays and Writing

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “How to the holidays affect your writing schedule?”

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/
Do you want one of those cool cups? Get one here: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/ceramic-coffee-mug/

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Interview with Jennifer Delamere 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 Jennifer Delamere as my guest. Jennifer’s parents sound like they’d be the starring characters in a contemporary romance novel — the journalist and the Navy pilot. I love it! As an Army brat, I can completely understand moving around a lot, and I think that also inspired my love of reading and traveling. It’s always fun to have a guest that I can relate to. 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!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m the youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist. We moved around a lot during my formative years. I credit this for both my love of travel and my love of reading. These days, I live in North Carolina. This affords me plenty of opportunities for day hiking, which is my favorite away-from-the-computer activity. For my “day job,” I’m an editor and project manager for a company that produces educational materials. I love reading history books, so when I became it writer it seemed inevitable that I would want to write historical fiction. My books are set in Victorian England, a time and place I find fascinating. It was a time of great innovation, with many shifts in technology and culture—and in that sense, not unlike our own times!

Tell us about your current release. Line By Line is the first book in my new series about three friends who are telegraph operators in Victorian London. Almost from the beginning, telegraphy was an occupation pursued by women as well as men. Sometimes they worked in separate departments, but more and more, men and women worked right alongside each other. It didn’t escape too many people at the time that this setup could easily give rise to workplace romances. That’s a fun fact that I’ll be pursuing in this series.

Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen success as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she has yet to regret her freedom and foregoing love and marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company’s ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.

For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He’s also determined to marry into high society—a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.

He immediately earns Alice’s respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. My primary aim is always to write books that are entertaining, interesting, edifying, and inspiring. If my book accomplishes any of those goals for a reader, I feel it has been a success. That said, there are always spiritual themes in my books, and I do hope they strike a chord with the reader and help them see some aspect of their lives in a new light.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? It’s quite the opposite, really. I’m always striving to become a better writer, because I feel that’s what will ultimately help me reach a larger audience.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I sold my first book in the fall of 2011. Self-publishing was still very new at that time, and I never really considered it as an option. Today, I still prefer traditional publishing. I’m thankful for my publisher’s support in marketing, the art department making fabulous book covers, and most of all for the high-quality editing support. These things help me focus on the writing, which is what I love most, and make me feel I’ve produced the best book possible for my readers.

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 have the “big picture” elements laid out before I begin writing. I have a synopsis that’s about 8-10 pages long. My books always end up following that general thread (so far!), but there is also room for discoveries along the way. Characters will surprise me at times, and new plot threads will emerge. That’s always exciting! My synopsis is more like a general framework within which the creative process can still thrive.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? There are times when I struggle to figure out what the next scene should be, despite my synopsis. That’s when I find it really helpful to brainstorm with another writer. Talking it out helps me clarify where I’m going. This discussion helps spark new ideas in my mind, plus she’ll offer suggestions that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. I love that collaborative process. At other times, when I know what scene to write but can’t figure out the best way to approach it, I’ve gone a different route. I step away from the computer and sit somewhere comfortable with pen and paper and begin writing the parts of the scene that I do know. That seems to free up a different part of my writing brain. Before too long, the scene begins to take shape, and I know how to use those writing scraps I started with.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? Not sure if this counts, but when I was visiting the Roman Baths in Bath, England, I came across a display in the little museum there that suddenly sparked an idea for an interesting and probably very odd time-travel story. I have yet to write it, but perhaps someday I will!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write the book you want to read. It’s the best way to discover your writing “voice” and allow it to develop and thrive into a style that is uniquely yours. Understand also that writing is a craft, a skill that needs to be developed. Learn from writing workshops, books, and fellow authors. Not every piece of information you get from others will work for you, but much of it will (or can be adapted to your unique writing process). Don’t expect perfection the first time around. Keep working at it. Enjoy the journey!

Here is where you can find Jennifer online:

Webpage : www.jenniferdelamere.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Jennifer.delamere

Twitter: @JenDelamere

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jenniferdelamere

Jennifer is giving away two copies of Line by LIne to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Winners of the Annual Christian Fiction Christmas Scavenger Hunt!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the annual Christian Fiction Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

The winners are:

First place, $350 Amazon Gift Card: Deanna at djenni**s31bags@gmail.com

Second place, $250 Amazon Gift Card: Carol at crw**6@gmail.com

Third place, $150 Amazon Gift Card: Lisa at lisaboe**haems@hotmail.com

If this looks like you, check your email!

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Interview with Sherrinda Ketchersid 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 historical romance author Sherrinda Ketchersid as my guest. I have to say – I LOVE medieval romances – especially Scottish medieval romances. As soon as I saw the cover, I was immediately attracted to his book – and the description even more makes me want to read it! I enjoyed getting to know Sherrinda more and finding a kindred spirit in a Han Solo fan. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release.

Tell us about your current release. When Ian McGowan attempts to claim Whitfield Castle as his rightful inheritance, he finds himself barred by a tempestuous lass who is entailed to be the bride of the castle’s new owner.

Claire Beaumont, the orphaned ward of Whitfield, has good reason to hate Scots, and she is not about to let a Scot enter her beloved home. But when the handsome knight steals into the castle and proves his claim on the land, she must face her ultimate nightmare—marriage to her sworn enemy—in order to save those she cares about most.

Restoring the failing Whitfield Castle while wooing his defiant intended proves more challenging than Ian anticipated. His struggles reach a crisis when his nemesis arrives at the castle, and he must overcome his past demons to prove his worth. He must fight for what is his to keep—and it could well cost him his heart.

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 have always been a people pleaser, so this is a struggle for me. I’ve learned over the years to have a tougher skin—you must if you are going to stay in this business. I think what helps is the hope that I can produce a story that readers will enjoy. Reading has been such a joy to me, and I strive to create something that readers can get lost in.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh my goodness. This will tell my age, but Han Solo in Star Wars. I was 12 when the first Star Wars came out on the screen, and while everyone else fell in love with Luke, I fell in love with Han. The tough guy with a tender heart. A hero who has a soft underbelly. And he is hilarious. I love a guy with a great sense of humor.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I loved reading, even as a young child. My aunt got me hooked on romances in high school and that is when the dream to write began. I even started a novel in high school. But life got in the way, and I put my dream aside until I turned 40 years old. I decided then that I would cross that off my bucket list before I died! I’ve been writing ever since.

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, I like to do character development with the enneagram and figure out their goals, motivation, and conflict. I do like to have the basic plot points laid out but have some leeway in getting to those points. I think it helps to know the character and how they would respond in certain situations before you start writing. Of course, as I write, they will surprise me and act completely opposite, but I figure that is the fun part of writing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I would say to read books on how to write and attend seminars and conferences. But most of all, you need to enjoy the journey and don’t fret over getting published. Keep writing. Keep loving it. Keep telling stories. There are so many paths to take on this journey, but you should have fun on whatever path you take.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved C.S. Lewis’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia. I also loved George MacDonald’s fairytales. Of course, Anne of Green Gables, and The Girl of the Limberlost (my grandmother’s favorite book).

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I would have to say Fiona, Ian McGowan’s sister,  in His to Keep. She is a peacemaker and that is me … I love harmony. She tries to calm down Ian’s nemesis in the story, as well as point Ian to God’s peace. She is the heroine in my next book, which I am now plotting.

Here is where you can find Sherrinda online:

Website: www.sherrinda.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SherrindaKetchersidAuthor/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sherrinda

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sherrinda

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sherrinda/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19022507.Sherrinda_Ketchersid

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid

Newsletter Signup: https://www.subscribepage.com/z2m6x3

Sherrinda is giving away an ebook or print copy of His to Keep to a reader! (Print to US only) See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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