Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BOOK REVIEW & CFBA Tour: The Vigilante's Bride


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Vigilante's Bride
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)

by
Yvonne Harris

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which is her debut novel.







ABOUT THE BOOK
Montana Territory, 1884...Is Her Kidnapper the Only Man Who Can Keep Her Safe?
Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and abducting a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expected to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from his pa, but instead ended up rescuing a feisty copper-haired woman who was on her way to marry Sullivan's dangerous enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn't take kindly to her so-called rescue. Still, she's hoping Providence will turn her situation for good, especially when it seems Luke Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Luke has crossed a vicious man, a powerful rancher not used to losing, and Emily is the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Vigilante's Bride, go HERE

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to except when I picked up THE VIGILANTE’S BRIDE, I certainly did not expect to be swept away.



I don’t come across many western romances that have the true flavor of the old west without feeling sappy or clich├ęd. The characters were well developed and the middle never sagged and nowhere in the book did my attention lag. Tension and character emotions were ratcheted and stressed.


The love story was sweet and moved forward at a fast clip, but it didn’t feel stilted. The entire book had an excellent pace to it. It is a fast read, but in no way did that distract me from the true enjoyment of the book.


There were a lot of points of view in the story and I would have liked the hero’s faith journey to have grown a bit more before the ending, but I do feel I can leave the characters, confidant they will continue to "grow."

All in all this is one of the best western romances I have read in a long time; it has that true “old west” shoot ‘em up flavor without feeling sluggish or overdone.


Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review through CFBA. This is my honest opinion.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: The Healer's Apprentice

I have been SO excited for this interview and hope you enjoy it as well. So please help me welcome debut author, Melanie Dickerson to the blog!!

Welcome to Writing for Christ! Thank you for being with us today.


Hi, Casey! I’m so happy to be on your blog today! Thanks for inviting me!
Tell us a little about yourself!

Bio:
Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine.


She now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.melaniedickerson.com/

1: How long did you write before you were published?

I wrote a lot when I was a kid, and I finished two novels by the time I graduated high school. But then I stopped writing for about 15 years and finally started back 7 years ago. At first I was only writing short stories, but I’ve been writing novels for 5 or 6 years and my first book is coming out in four days. (Yippee!)

2: When you held that first book in your hands, what was your first thought?

So far, Casey, I’ve only held the Advance Reader Copy. As I write this, I’m still waiting to get my author copies of the book that will be in bookstores. But it’s a wonderful feeling. That’s what all authors say, and I thought that was how I would feel, but honestly? It scared me half to death. It kind of turned my stomach and made the nervous butterflies knock themselves out. LOL! Sorry, but it’s true! I’m calmed down enough now that I think I might be able to open it up and read a little bit of it. My daughter, who had already read the manuscript, picked it up when she got home from school and didn’t give it back to me until she finished reading it again. (She says my book is “yummy.” My favorite compliment so far.) Now it’s been sitting on the end table for several days and I just glance at it kind of nervously when I walk by. I think what I’m really nervous about is that I forgot to mention someone in my acknowledgments, or that the letter to the reader in the back sounds stupid.

3: What are you working on now?

Marketing! And I have just finished some revisions on my second medieval YA romance, tentatively titled The Beholder. It’s a Beauty and the Beast story. I hope to also write a Snow White story.

4: Where can readers find out more about your books?

On my website, http://www.melaniedickerson.com/  you can find out all about The Healer’s Apprentice and some hints about future books.

5: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?

God works out all things according to his good purpose for our lives if we love Him and try to follow Him. In The Healer’s Apprentice, the main characters struggle and strive to control their future, but in the end they realize God had a perfect plan for them all along.

6: What are two things that people wouldn't normally know about you as a writer and or person?

I grew up in L.A. – Lower Alabama, that is – about thirty miles from Monroeville where Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, grew up. I also shared the same last name as Harper Lee. I was Melanie Lee until I married my husband. Secondly, my father was named after a famous author, Zane Grey. I think that’s kind of cool, since I turned out to be a writer!

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?

Thanks so much for having me, Casey. I just want everyone to know that God loves you. That seems to be the theme that runs through all my books. God loves you. Bad things happen, but God loves you. Your life may not be perfect, but God loves you. He’s helped you at times and in ways you don’t even realize. So follow your dreams, but let God lead you!

Casey here again: I hope you take a few minutes to watch this book trailer for The Healer's Apprentice. It is incrediable!!



And now readers, here is your chance to enter to win Melanie's debut novel! (which also happens to be an ACFW book club selection.)

Leave a comment with your email address. IF I DRAW YOUR NAME AND THERE IS NO EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WILL NOT WIN!
For extra entries:
~be a follower
~be an email subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Follow Melanie's blog HERE

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items of said prize.
Thanks for coming by to enter!

Contest ends on September 11th.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Music to Encourage and Inspire on Your Sunday

Natalie Grant has a new cd that has come out and I love this one song that is making a huge splash on the radio and among singers. So here she is singing it "live" at the Dove Awards: Human. Please take a few minutes to enjoy. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the winner is...

For The Fence My Father Built.....

sonflower277......

Congratulations and you have a week to get back with me so I can get your snail mail to Linda. Thanks Linda for letting me host you!

And now I have to share some pretty exciting news (I think). GOD IS SO GOOD! I know I get a lot of books. I review for quite a few agencies and always have plenty to read, but there was a book that I have been waiting to read and just haven't gotten around to it. The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall. My library has it, but I haven't gotten to it yet and after winning the second book in the series, The Bridge of Peace, I seriously considered buying the first one so I could have a complete set.

TALK ABOUT PERFECT TIMING.

I am going to the nearest "major" city on Monday and planned on stopping at Barnes and Noble.

But when I check the mail today I found this in my box:


And a note from Waterbrook "You have been randomly selected as one of your few winners to receive A Hope of Refuge"

So now I have the complete set until the third book comes out! GOD IS SO GOOD! I can't thank Him enough, He COMPLETELY provided this book. How awesome is that??

And now I have to thank each and every one of you. Because Writing for Christ has now hit 200 followers! I can't believe it really, it blows me away and I am just in awe of the blessings God has bestowed on me through this blog. I can't thank you enough for making my new favorite hobby such a success. I would have been happy with a handful, but God has blessed me with 200!!!! All of you mean so much to me, thanks for visiting!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What I Read This Week

6 books this week, but with the start of school approaching and my family moving towards Fall, I am looking more towards my edits and the books that will be helping in the process. I am getting back this week to my "self-help" writing books and looking forward to my first substasive edits on my WIP. I have Fall jewelry to make too, so be watching my other site for the pics. :-)


And they are....

Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon by Miralee Ferrell
A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston
How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler
Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad
Gone to Green by Judy Christie
Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart

All pretty great books. Making Waves was my favorite!!!!!!! Be sure and check it out! I will have a review sometime next month for the Revell blog tour. Can't wait to share my thoughts with you!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

BOOK REVIEW & CFBA Tour: Surrender the Heart


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing
Surrender the Heart
Barbour Publishing (August 1, 2010)

by
M. L. Tyndall
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
M. L. (MaryLu) Tyndall grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.
One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

She had written stories her whole life, but never had the confidence to try and get any of them published. But as God began to change her heart, He also showed her that writing had been His wonderful plan for her all along!

ABOUT THE BOOK
For the sake of her ailing mother, Marianne Denton becomes engaged to Noah Brennin---a merchantman she despises. But as the War of 1812 escalates, Jonah's ship is captured by the British, and the ill-matched couple learns vital information that could aid America's cause.

Relive the rich history of the War of 1812 through the eyes of Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin, who both long to please their families but neither one wishes to marry the other. Noah is determined to get his cargo to England before war breaks out, and Marianne is equally determined to have a wedding so that her inheritance can be unlocked and her destitute family saved. When their stubborn games get them captured by a British warship, can they escape and bring liberty to their country—and growing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Surrender the Heart, go HERE.

My Review:

What is it about a ship on the high seas, filled with action, drama, and a love story that never fails to send a quiver through my heart and make me sigh, that just so enthralls me?



The answer can only be found in two words: MaryLu Tyndall.


This author never fails to deliver an entertaining story that sweeps me off my feet and transports me to another time and place. The lyrical prose paints a picture until I can see the ocean and taste the salt on my lips. Envision the cannons belching black smoke and fire and best of all, truly know the characters both inside and out. See their amazing growth and transformation until I am confident they can survive without me.


Though known for her sweeping pirate epics, MaryLu has taken her story a few centuries forward in time and given us a story set in the war of 1812. She has proven she is very competent of writing a story without the pirates and still entertain her faithful readers. I for one loved this book and if you are a fan of her Charles Towne Belles series, this book is a must read. I can’t wait for book two in this series!!


This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Love, Charleston

While a fast read, I have to say that I enjoyed LOVE, CHARLESTON. The story took off right from the start and I was pulled in when likable characters were pushed into difficult situations. What followed was filled with dips and dives from valleys to mountain tops with the characters.


There were several characters view points, but never did I get their storylines confused; the story flowed well and I had a difficult time putting it down. The pacing was good, the character growth and change kept me reading and holding my breath, hoping they wouldn’t make that bad decision.

The only thing I felt a little disquieted about is, I wish the relationship between Lish and her husband had been cleared up more. I felt I was left hanging a bit.

Like I said, this is a fast read, but I don’t think that took away from the enjoyment I spent while reading. There was one comment to “prehistoric life” that I did not appreciate, but it was never brought up again. Just something to keep in mind.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I had different angles and turns to keep me invested in the pages.

This is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

Changes Are Coming....

For those of  you who don't know, aside from this blog I also run a blog to encourage authors, Operation Encourage an Author. My mission to show the authors that are spotlighted (one a week) that they are important and valued for the quality fiction they produce. And this blog maintains itself on the premise that readers such as yourself come by to encourage.

Since it started in February of this year, OEA has fallen into a slump, barely making it into the teens on the number of comments left by followers or people that want to let the authors know (whether they have read their fiction or not) that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

I am in turmoil over this. I don't believe it is right to the author who is spotlighted to get such a mediocre response. After prayer and turning it over to God (who inspired this blog in the first place) I am going to do a face lift on the blog. Change the look to hopefully inspire interest again. I will be busy doing that today, but if you are at your computer reading this, please take a few minutes and stop by the blog. These authors need our support, they can't do it alone and neither can OEA.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BOOK REVIEW & CFBA Tour: Masquerade



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


Masquerade
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)
by


Nancy Moser
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane(Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novel is Masquerade. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at
http://www.nancymoser.com/ and http://www.sistercircles.com./

ABOUT THE BOOK

They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...
1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine.

She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.

As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for?
Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Masquerade, go HERE.

View the book trailer:




My Review:

Set during the Gilded Age in England and America this book has a flavor of the era and a taste of two completely different worlds.



I enjoyed the historical significance of this book. I got to see the vast riches of one side of New York City and the deprivation of the poor immigrants yearning for a new life in America on the other.


The story line is fairly unique where a mistress and her servant swap places, both yearning for adventure, both yearning for love, but can they find it in the deceptive web they continue to spin?


While I did enjoy the story and though it a pretty good story, I just wasn’t able to really delve into the story. It was slow moving and didn’t have a lot of “edge” to it. I thought there could have been stronger tension and better character development so I could truly enter their “world”.


I wouldn’t totally write off this novel. I did find it a nice read, but it hasn’t been the best I have read this year. It just failed to entertain me to the fullest.


This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: Stars in the Night

I have been so excited to post this interview. My friend and one of my favorite authors, Cara Putman is here today giving away a copy of Stars in the Night her first trade paperback book, woo-hoo!! Be sure and read to the end to find out how to enter. : )

Welcome back to Writing for Christ, I am excited to have you here for a second time.
Thanks so much for having me, Casey. I love coming by.

What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

My first trade novel, Stars in the Night has released. I am so excited about this book because it marries my loves: World War II and romantic suspense. The result is a book set in Hollywood during World War II (think glamour and glitz) with a hint of Murder on the Orient Express.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

You like asking the hard questions, don’t you :-). A truly spectacular read? It would half to be one that I couldn’t anticipate the ending or if I could, I didn’t care because I loved the characters so much. Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones was excellent. Jenny has a delightful way with humor that had me laughing out loud through the whole book. But the spiritual thread was so strong that she also had me in tears a few times. I basically sat down and read the book in one setting, putting the world on hold for a night. My husband kept asking what was so funny. But don’t get me wrong. There is a depth to that book that I was willing to go to because I knew Jenny wouldn’t leave me in the dumps. It is truly a beautiful book. Christa Parrish’s Watch Over Me was similar without the humor.

Do you have favorite authors?

This is a tough question because I read so much. Good writers have to read almost voraciously. See what’s working and doesn’t work. I loved Terri Blackstock’s newest release Predator. Great book that’s ripped from the headlines. I am also reading Cynthia Ruchti’s They Almost Always Come Home as well as Marybeth Whalen’s The Mailbox. Both of these are very different from my traditional historical or romantic suspense reads. Other authors that I will always read are Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Christa Parrish and Deeanne Gist. They’ve earned the right to have me always buy their books since they always write a read I can’t put down.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?

Honestly? I love meeting people. Even if it’s over the internet, I love the community of readers and writers. The chance to minister to people, but frankly God surprises me with the way I am ministered to as well. That’s a benefit I never anticipated but has definitely occurred. I love breathing life into other people’s dreams. And connecting readers with books that I’ve loved – especially those that aren’t mine. Though I love it when readers find my books, too!

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings?
I do a lot of writing at home in my office and at Panera. I find I can’t write days on end in the same environment. That’s why I love escaping to Panera or McAllisters for a few hours. There’s activity but not enough to distract me. Last night I wrote for two hours while at the gym waiting for my daughter at team practice. I’ve basically learned how to turn on and off and focus when I need to so I can make my word count.

Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?

Wow! I think I had one day with over 8000 words this spring. I had two books due, one February 1st and the second March 1st, and both contracts arrived in the middle of October. That was a lot of words without a lot of time. But I have a wonderfully supportive husband and family and was able to escape a couple times to rack up high word counts. I’m very goal driven, so I knew I had to have a couple of those. Fortunately, I knew where the stories were headed.

Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels.

Thanks so much, Casey! And if people want to read the first chapters of any of my novels, be sure to stop by my website: http://www.caraputman.com/ .


Okay readers, here is your chance to win Cara's latest book, Stars in the Night!!

PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber
And a NEW one:
~Follow my friend Cara's blog HERE

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.
Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on September 4th.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

TWO Winners!!

This will be my last two winners for a while. I am pretty much back on track for only one giveaway a week. But I have some GREAT ones coming up, and a super special giveaway that I am sooooo excited about. I can hardly contain myself, but! I'm not going to say anything, though I just might pop in the process!

And now the winners of the giveaways are....

For her choice of either Sarah's Christmas Miracle or The Way to a Man's Heart is...

Nancy!!!! (naburcaw@....)

And the winner of Refuge is......

Ariel!!!! (pinkdaddysgirl@......)

Congrats to the winners! They have a week to get back with me once I email them in a few minutes. Have a great weekend everyone, plenty of fun coming again on Monday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What I Read This Week

5 books this week. I just love knowing that there is such a wealth of excellent fiction awaiting to be read and enjoyed. I know I have said this before, but we are so blessed to be able to read such edifying fiction. God has truly blessed the authors that write and the publishers who put out their fiction. Makes me so grateful, because I could never read mainstream fiction.


And they are:
Canteen Dreams by Cara Putman
The Telling by Beverly Lewis
Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish
The Homecoming by Gilbert Morris
Dandelion Bride by Joyce Livingston

There is still one more day to enter to win a couple new reads! So be sure and check out the giveaways on the right of the screen and get your name in the hat!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today on The Writer's Alley

I am blogging today on the Writer's Alley about description in writing. I hope you can take a few minutes to check it out.

Also on the Writer's Alley: enter to win Cara Lynn James's novel, Love on a Dime HERE. Contest ends on 8/21

And coming this weekend (Saturday), a special interview with best-selling author, Angela Hunt!! Be sure and stop by to visit and read the fun interview I had with this wonderful lady and author.

Have a great day everyone. : )

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stand

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."
Acts 5: 41

My devotions have been in the book of Acts for the last few weeks and as I was finished up chapter 5 the other day, this verse seemed to jump out at me and I read it over again. I have always taken such strength and promise from reading the book of Acts.

The persecution that Peter and the other disciples bore. The martyr of Stephen. The saving of Saul, the image of a seemingly hopeless sinner. It recounts such a strength and infuses me in my Christian walk. And for some reason, this verse really stood out to when I read it.

They rejoiced because they were counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

What would that look like? I had to ask myself this. What would such rejoicing look like, such love that these men who were being persecuted by the Sanhedrin, beaten, whipped and spat upon by others in their society and yet it would make them glad that they were able to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ.

Could you imagine such love that these men were grateful to be beaten to further the kingdom of Christ? I don't know if I have ever seen that kind of love.

But I do know one thing, I want to fall so thoroughly in love with Christ that I would rejoice to take a whip in His name. To tell the world He means that much to me.

And should that day ever come, though I do not beg its arrival, I pray that I will stand up and do honor to His name and show Him just how much His sacrifice on the cross, taking my sins and forgiving them, has changed my life.

How much I love Him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Review: Homecoming Hero

A sweet romance that took me quite by surprise has turned into a lovely little novel that will not be leaving my keeper shelf anytime soon.


I really wasn’t sure what to expect in HOMECOMING HERO. But the story in and of itself drew me in. It is a sweet romance between a returning Iraqi vet and a young woman determined to head to the Middle East to be a missionary. The circumstances that thrust them together keep the story going and the romantic connection progressed at a natural pace.

What I really liked about this book is it felt genuine. So often in romance, the hero and heroine get into a big fight and never speak to each other until a immense event thrusts them back together. But what I loved so much about this story is the heroine has a good head on her shoulders. She doesn’t fly to conclusions or make flippant remarks. She has her struggles and her growth along with the hero’s is a great progression through the story, but it felt natural.

I liked the military angle, but it didn’t overwhelm the story. The faith element and the romance were all perfectly balanced and I enjoyed the time I spent reading this story. I would definitely say this book is well worth it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: The Fence My Father Built

Welcome to Writing for Christ Linda Clare! Thank you for being with us today.


Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m a reformed public school art teacher turned writing instructor and novelist. I teach for a community college and for George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, I graduated Arizona State University and moved to Oregon in the mid-1980s. I’m married to a cool Ex-Marine named Brad and we have 4 grown kids and 5 cats.

1: How long did you write before you were published?

I had to learn everything. While my friends all made the big time, I published articles, poems and booklets for years before Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love them (Waterbrook, 2001), released, and that was with Melody Carlson and Heather Harpham Kopp. Then I wrote two more nonfiction books with Kristen Johnson Ingram, including Making Peace with a Dangerous God (Revell, 2005). I wrote my debut novel The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon Press) fifteen years before it was published in 2009. I say that to encourage those who fear they’ll never be published. Not that I’m bitter, of course. But I longed to publish a book by myself.

2: When you held that first book in your hands, what was your first thought?

Oprah, here I come! The next day, practically, she announced her retirement. Do you think I scared her off? Seriously, I almost fainted. To see only my name on the cover—no offense, coauthors—was a thrill.

3: What are you working on now?

So glad you asked! I’m finishing up an historical novel, From Where the Sun Now Stands, about Dinah Clark, a Kansas girl in the 1880s whose parents send her to an Idaho mission outpost to break up a relationship they don’t approve of. There she meets real-life characters Sue and Kate McBeth, missionaries to the Nez Perce Indians. But when she falls for another dangerous suitor, Dinah must come to grips with her beliefs and her faith.

4: Where can readers find out more about your books?

On my blog, Linda Clare’s Writer’s Tips, (http://godsonggrace.blogspot.com/ ) I give writing tips and also update readers on my writing. Facebook, Shoutlife and Twitter are other ways readers can stay in touch. The Fence My Father Built is available from brick and mortar bookstores, on Amazon, ChristianBook Distributors and Abingdonpress.com and Cokesbury.com sites.

5: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?

God loves you! In my stories, my characters usually discover or rediscover a part of God they couldn’t see before, so God’s grace is a big theme for me. Redemption is what happens when you see what was there all along: God’s love—there for you.

6: What are two things that people wouldn't normally know about you as a writer and or person?

The first thing I usually think of is that my left arm and hand are paralyzed from polio I contracted in infancy. I type one-handed and as long as I’m not transcribing someone else’s words, I type fairly fast. Another thing most people don’t know is that I had a brief career as a professional singer. Very brief, very long ago.

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?

Since I teach and blog about writing, I’d like to encourage all readers who’d like to write but wonder if they have the time, talent or other properties necessary. There is a big secret to being a writer: you must write. You must write when there isn’t time. You must write a lot of awful, bad, no-good stuff (yes, even those writers called by God) in order to practice that 10,000 hours necessary. You must be willing to write no matter how ungifted you feel, no matter how many editors reject or cruel folks say you stink. Writing is a craft. You can learn a craft. If you feel God’s call to write, get busy and write at Absolute Top Speed.

Readers here is your chance to enter to win Linda's novel: The Fence My Father Built. Leave a comment with your email address. IF I DRAW YOUR NAME AND THERE IS NO EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WILL NOT WIN!

For extra entries:
~be a follower
~be an email subscriber
And a NEW one:
~Follow Linda's blog HERE

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items of said prize.
Thanks for coming by to enter!
Contest ends on August 27th.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Music to Encourage and Inspire on Your Sunday

Point of Grace is one of my favorite music groups, but this following song I had never heard of before. I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to it. It is so inspiring and uplifting.

All I'll Ever Need by Point of Grace

Saturday, August 14, 2010

TWO Winners!!

And they are.....

The winner of Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson is....

MissKallie!!!!

And the winner of Seaside Romance by Darlene Franklin is...

Barbjan10!!!!

Congrats to the winners, they have a week to get back with me with their addresses or new winners will be drawn. Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend. : )

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I Read This Week

I just got home a few hours ago. Got settled back in and am ready to enjoy a week of quiet (hopefully) before the swing of the "end of summer" and the looming deadlines of new bracelets needing to be made and a book to be edited comes crashing down on the final week of summer.

But I had a great vacation, hello family in CA!! And hopefully I will be able to share a few more pictures later in the week.  And hopefully get back on a regular blogging schedule and get to interact with you all again! I have missed it.

News flash: My sweet cousin Becca just started a new blog!! Be sure and check it out HERE. She is a budding photographer and is WONDERFUL at it! You will find a few pictures of me on her new blog too. : )

 I read 5 books this week. A lot of good reading time while traveling. I just loved it. ; )




And they are:
Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart
The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens
The Masquerade by Nancy Moser
Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall
The Bartered Bride by Erica Vetsch

Tomorrow winners of a couple giveaways will be announced, so be sure and check it out! : )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review: Licensed for Trouble (and KINDLE contest!!)

There are just some stories that grab a reader’s heart, fill their head with a fantastic story and characters, while taking them on a roller coaster into the life of that character.


When I enter the world of PJ Sugar, I am no longer within mine, I become a part of the story and see the world through her eyes. I wish I had her spunk and determination!

LICENSED FOR TROUBLE is the perfect conclusion to a great series, and I am sorry to see it end. It perfectly sums up PJ’s character and leaves me with the sense that she just might be okay. Deeper issues are unearthed that have smoldered in the background of PJ’s life and within her own struggles, she brings out the best and worst of those around her. The story may be strictly in her point of view, but the other characters have plenty of room to grow too. Jeremy’s story and growth was a captivating addition to the story and I am so glad with the transformation he made.

I speak of these characters as if they were real, and they are. They have truly danced to life on the screen of my imagination and I wouldn’t be the same without knowing them. I have nothing but good things to say about this entire series!

Thanks to LitFuse publicity for my copy to review. This review is my honest opinion.


Enter PJ Sugar's "Sweet" Giveaway

Enter PJ Sugar's
Licensed for Trouble, Susan's brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.
One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:
  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)
  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 2nd.


Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Licensed for Trouble here!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome to LegoLand, California!

An unexpected trip awaited us on this vacation in California. A close friend of my mom's was taking her daughters to Legoland in California and wanted to treat us to a day at the amusement park! What a treat and such fun! I don't know if you have ever been to Legoland, but it is truly mind blowing. Almost everything is built from legos down to the most intricate detail. It was spectacular. And of course there were rides, everything from roller coasters and "training" centers for little guys to learn how to drive. It is definitely a family oriented theme park and down home in their rides. It was a great day, very full and filled with lots of waiting in line for a ride, but fun. Enjoy the photos!

Welcome to LegoLand!

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The pig and clothes on the line are ALL built from legos that are then glued together. This was during the fairy tale boat ride.
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I got such a kick out of this sign! I wanted to go to Hollywood while here, but I don't think we are going to make it
These truly blew my mind. They have built everything from the Eiffel Tower to a pyramid. It takes your breath away.
I don't think this is it, (can't remember all of it), but there was parts of the New York skyline. Absolutely amazing!
The Sdney Opera House. I really wanted to get a picture of the lego scale model of Mount Rushmore, but it didn't end up working out. So I got a postcard instead.
It was a great day. Very memorable and we all had a good time, but it does explain for the fact that I have not been on my computer for almost three days. Which isn't so bad in and of itself expect... for the 132 emails awaiting me. Ack. So much for bringing my computer!

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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