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Author: Hallee

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/6/20 – My 30-Week Preemie Story

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about my son Scott, who was born at 30 weeks, and the pastor who anointed him with oil and prayed over him in the NICU.

Preorder Alexandra’s Appeal for the September 29, 2020 release here.

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! https://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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Triple Berry Patriotic Pie

Fresh fruit is one of the best parts of summer. I can barely keep fresh berries stocked in my house. The day I buy them, my children inhale them. This pie is a wonderful summer tradition. It’s the perfect companion for a celebration picnic or a festive barbeque.  I like to serve it with homemade ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS:

Recipe for 2-crust pie
1 1/3 cup each fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
1 cup sugar
5 TBS flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
11/2 TBS butter

SUPPLIES:

measuring cups/spoons
collander
2 large bowls
1 small bowl
rolling pin
pie plate

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 425° degrees F (220° degrees C)

Wash berries thoroughly. Drain. Remove stems and hulls. Slice strawberries into quarters.

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the pie crust dough. Roll out half the dough and line the pie plate.

Place the berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Gently toss with the berries. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with the butter.

Roll out the remaining dough and cut into shapes, lattice pieces, or a pie top.

Top the berries. If using a whole pie crust, cut several holes in it for venting. Pinch/trim edges as needed.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the juice is bubbling through the crust.

Let stand before serving. The juice will thicken in the flour and sugar as the pie cools.

YIELD:

1 pie; 8 servings

NUTRITION:

House of Bread Books™*, P.O. Box 470, Fort Knox, KY 40392-4393

NOTES:

I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?
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Interview with Patti Stockdale 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 Patti Stockdale as my guest. I love the story about how she started writing — clearly God had a plan for her! I also love how her latest release was inspired! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of it!

Tell us about yourself: Patti loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet-although snug-Batman costume. She no longer works there. These days, Patti writes books and reading assessments for an educational publisher.

Tell us about your current release: One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.

Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.

Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.

One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to a war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I returned to college at the age of 35, taking classes two nights a week at a satellite campus. Although I valued the convenience, I had few choices on courses. But that was okay. I’d nail down the basics then declare a major. After the college canceled Western Civ one semester, my only other Monday/Wednesday option was, you guessed it, Creative Writing. Could I work full-time, raise a family, and complete the labor-intensive assignments? I had to try. Surprise, surprise. I fell in love with storytelling.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? My favorite authors swoop me into their stories, tug on my heartstrings, and reveal how true love wins. I also appreciate deep POV and humor. Whether historical or contemporary, my goal is to write books I want to read.

Who was your first screen/musical crush? At a recent book signing back in my hometown, a friend reminded me I’d once mailed Christopher Knight, Peter Brady from the Brady Bunch, a fan letter. How had that slipped my mind? Anyway, according to my friend, he mailed me his autographed publicity photo. No, it’s no longer pinned to my bulletin board.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Perseverance. I wrote the first draft of Three Little Things over 20 years ago. Then, it hid in a box while I worked at a busy nonprofit. A million times, I could have given up on my old dream but never caved. It’s not always the most talented writers who sign contracts. It’s those who hone their craft and never quit. My other tip is to hand the manuscript to God, let Him handle the worries and the rejections.

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? I needed a new project for a creative writing class. At the same time, my mom and her sisters found an old tin of love letters their parents had exchanged. Writing a historical had never crossed my mind. But why not? I loved reading the genre. Once I persuaded the ladies to loan me their letters, I wrote the rough draft of Three Little Things. Initially, I tried to tell my grandparents’ story. But all great characters need flaws. Guess what? It was impossible to flaw my grandparents. After this revelation, my real-life characters morphed into fictional characters, making Three Little Things a much better book.

Here is where you can find Patti online:

Patti is giving a copy of Three Little Things to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Dawn Kinzer 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 Dawn Kinzer as my guest. Dawn is giving away a copy of her latest release — and, friends, this book sounds so good! Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a freelance editor, and my own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. I co-host and write for the Seriously Write blog. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in my historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton. Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy. My latest release, By All Appearances, is a contemporary romance set in the Seattle area.

I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin—third generation to be raised there. That town’s setting and history inspired The Daughters of Riverton. I’ve lived in the Seattle area for twenty-six years, and I love everything about the Pacific Northwest, except the Seattle traffic!

I’m a wife, a mom to two grown daughters (a stepmom to another), and a nana to four young grandchildren. We’re a close family, and I adore those little ones. When I’m not consumed in writing, editing, or family time, I enjoy gardening, music, and spending time in nature. I’m also a Masterpiece Theatre junkie!

Tell us about your current release. By All Appearances is about a social event planner and a disfigured musician who discover that not all people or situations are what they seem. The story challenges readers to think about how we often make judgments before we know the facts or take time to know the person behind the mask.

Story blurb …

Liana Tate, a special events planner grew up in a high-profile family. No matter what she does, Liana feels she never measures up.

Bryan Langley, a talented musician, was close to signing a recording contract when a barn fire left part of his face severely burned. He survived, but his career did not.

When Liana’s father hires Bryan as a caretaker on the family estate outside of Seattle, Liana’s and Bryan’s lives become entangled. He risks public humiliation for Liana’s success, and she encourages him to use his musical gifts, despite his reluctance. Thrown together, will they achieve their elusive dreams? And will the two find the love and acceptance they yearn for, or will their actions only drive each other away?

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I was in the first grade, and we were in class when our teacher announced that he’d been shot. She brought a black and white TV into the classroom and showed us a replay of a news broadcast. I think our teacher felt it was important for us to understand and discuss what happened. We were all stunned that he was gone, and it was difficult to process the situation.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? As a child and teen, I wrote simple stories. I took a sci-fi literature class in college and wrote a story as my final project and received an “A.” At the time, I didn’t want to teach English, and I didn’t want to go into journalism. I’d placed authors on a pedestal, and I didn’t believe I would ever be good enough to write anything publishable. So, I focused on science—another passion—and graduated with a BS in biology and chemistry.

Years passed, I became involved with the drama program at my church, and I was asked to co-write a play for the teens to perform. A friend and I ended up writing three full-length plays, and during the writing process, it felt like I’d found “home.” I realized that writing filled a creative void. That’s when I decided to write my first novel—just to prove to myself that I could do it, and that decision started me on the journey to publication.

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 plotter. I need a roadmap of where I want to go. When I start writing a novel, I know the beginning, most of the challenges along the journey, and how the story will end. However, surprises always pop up along the way. More ideas come as I write. I also have a pretty good understanding of my characters, and I know their dreams, goals, and fears, along with the spiritual lies they believe. But I still get a rush when one of them reveals something new about themselves. For me, those revelations are exciting because they’re signs that the characters are coming to life.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? As I learned to read Dick and Jane in first grade, a new world opened up for me, and I became an avid reader. Living in a rural town with a population of 500 people, there wasn’t much more to do than read, play with friends, or ride bikes.

A small revolving library was created in a back room of our town’s fire station. One summer, the librarian held a contest with awards for reading the most books. My first place prize included two Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene. I was hooked! I think I spent any money I earned on that series. I still have those novels and two others I inherited from an older relative: The Secret of the Red Gate Farm (1931) and The Message in the Hollow Oak (1935). Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of my all-time favorite books. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte made a huge impression when I first read the story, and it remains a treasure.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Sarah McCall may reflect my personality the most. She’s my heroine in Sarah’s Smile, (Book 1 in The Daughters of Riverton series). But it’s almost impossible to pick one of my characters because a part of me is reflected in all of my heroines. Some of their struggles have been my own struggles, and they handle situations like I would—or have. They tend to be independent and a little more on the serious side, but they also have a sense of humor and can be funny at times. They’re strong but also softies at heart. They strive to do the right thing, but they’re imperfect and make mistakes.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? When I struggle with what to write, I give myself permission to daydream. Sometimes our brains are so overloaded with all the other “things” in our lives, we don’t leave any room for creativity. The best place for me to daydream is somewhere in nature (if the weather cooperates). Sometimes, it works to let my mind wander when the house is quiet for the night or in the early morning hours while I’m lingering in bed. It’s amazing what will come when you slow down for a few minutes.

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 changed direction while writing The Daughters of Riverton series. Annie Banks is first introduced as a minor character in Book 1, Sarah’s Smile. In Hope’s Design, she was originally going to play another small role and then take the lead as the heroine in Book 3.

But as I wrote Hope’s Design and began fleshing out more of Annie’s role, I discovered that the storyline I was originally going to use in Book 3 would make a strong subplot in Hope’s story.

I also realized that I could provide an interesting character arc and a satisfying ending to the series if Rebecca Hoyt became the heroine in Book 3. Readers disliked Rebecca intensely in Sarah’s Smile, but by the time they finished Rebecca’s Song, they’d watched her transformation, and they’d grown to love her. So, Annie never got her own story, but she was still able to have a fun and meaningful role in the series.

 Here is where you can find Dawn online:

Author WebsiteFaithfully Write EditingSeriously Write, FacebookPinterestInstagramAmazon Author Page, BookBub, and Goodreads.

 Dawn is giving away an ebook or paperback (US only) copy of By All Appearances to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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