Friday, September 30, 2011

Cold Call Friday with Kim Vogel Sawyer!!

Welcome Kim, to your “Cold Call” interview!! For those of you who don’t know what the “Cold Call” feature is, at the beginning of the month I have a poll, the winning author YOU then get to interview!! Kim Vogel Sawyer won this month’s vote and I am thrilled to present her here with YOUR questions. Without any further ado, heeeerrrre’s Kim!

How many cats do you have and how do they help/hinder your writing?

 Four cats allow me to share “their” house. Most of the time, they provide company while I’m writing, which is nice, because I spend so much time alone. If a fly finds its way into the house, they can be a hindrance, because they are so entertaining. It’s awfully hard to write when they’re being uber cute. :o) 

I’m a Taco Bell Addict. Do you have a favorite fast food place? If so, what are you most likely to order there?

Every now and then I get a craving for a Subway Meatball Marinara...mmm!

With the same maiden name as I have, I am wondering if you have relatives in Germany?

My father’s family came to America from Russia, so the Vogels in Germany are less likely to be related to me. I might be related to Voths or Klaassens, through, since my mom’s family immigrated from Germany to Russia in the 1770s and then to America in the 1870s.

Do any of your novels really stand out as a favorite? If you had to pick one… could you?

I have favorite elements in each of my novels--whether a main character, a situation, or a supporting character. But if someone has never read any of my books and asks where to start, I usually say MY HEART REMEMBERS because it’s written to honor a very dear person whose gone on to her eternal reward.

You refer to your grandchildren as the “Sweeties”, “Bugaboos” and a “Wugmump”. Is that so you can mention them in your writings without having to use real names, or do these names have special meaning?

In part it is a safety issue. But the first time I held my first grandchild, I cooed, “You’re such a sweetie.” So all of my oldest daughters became “the sweeties.” When my middle daughter gave birth, my grandson had such an ornery look on his face, I teasingly called him a Bugaboo. So it became my nickname for middle daughter’s two boys. As for the Wugmump, I sometimes referred to my youngest daughter as Mugwump; so I turned it around a bit and thought of her baby as a Wugmump even before the baby was born. (If I call my 4-year-old grandson by his name, he says, “No, Gramma. Call me Bugaboo.” <g>)

What is your favorite scripture or life-verse and why?

I’ve chosen Phil 4:4-8 as my life verses--“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Those verses are not only good advice (as well as offering a wonderful assurance), but when I follow them, I experience a much better attitude toward life.

I have a totally off the wall question for Kim….Do you “frost” or “ice” a cake?  

I frost a cake with icing.

And for the ever so joyous fans, eager to get their hands on your latest book, where can they find you online?

Please join me at www.KimVogelSawyer.com :o)

Thanks! This was fun!


Friday note:
Thank you for being patient with me as I was running late on announcing a few of these winners. I have them now, so if your name is on the list, be haunting your inbox!

The winners are...
Love Finds You on Christmas Morning by  Trish Perry and Debby Mayne:
Sarah!

To Die For by Sandra Byrd:
Jo!

A Vision for Lucy by Margaret Brownley:
Faye!

Congratulations ladies!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: The Chair

Welcome to Writing for Christ Jim Rubart, it is great to have you here! 

Very fun to be with you again, Casey. 

Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know? 

I've done voice over work for radio commercials along with character voices. My first job out of college was on-air at a radio station. Then I sold radio time, then started my own ad agency in '94. Occasionally I would get behind the mic or the camera for radio and TV spots.

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

I love to read speculative fiction and within that genre my favorite is time travel. With regard to writing (I know this will be a shock) my favorite to write is stories with a supernatural or speculative element set within an ordinary, contemporary world.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

The books shouldn't point to me as the author. They should point to Jesus and making Him more famous and taking people deeper into Him, because He is where all true life flows from.



What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

When readers e-mail me and say my stories have changed their lives it blows my mind. So cool! That's the biggest thrill, because that's my desire—that when people finish one of my books they will be more free than when they started.

Places for readers to learn more about you?


FB: James L. Rubart

Twitter: @jimrubart  

Thank you for being with us today!

Thanks for having me, Casey.
Hey Readers, here is your chance to win Jim's latest novel!

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 an EXTRA one:
~Read and rate this review on my blog. (This allows me to continue to provide quality fiction reviews. Thank you!!)

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 October 15th

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calling an Edit Partner!!

Hello Writers!!

I'm getting ready (as soon as I can draw a deep breath from getting home from ACFW) to take a class from Lawson Writer's Acadamy with Tiffany Lawson Inman:
An Actor’s Take On Writing Physicality, Choreography, and Action


That's the plan for the next month, (October 2-30) and I need an Edit Partner! Someone else who is taking the class and would want to swap lecture assignments with me. Interested?? I hope so, it really makes a HUGE difference when you have an edit partner on the same "page" when it comes to Inspirational fiction.


I ALSO have the lecture packet from Margie: Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

This is a two week lecture packet, but I'm more than willing to stretch that puppy out for at least a month. ;-) I would love to have someone to bounce assignments off of. Makes the learning more fun. :-))

What do ya say? Any takers for either one or both?? (click the links for more details)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Emotionally Drained - In a Good Way! ~ Heiress by Susan May Warren ~ Review

What a story! I think I went through the ringer of emotions with this book and there were more twists than a curvy road – surprises I never saw coming.
                Warren writes a story that makes me feel as if I have stepped into a movie screen. Only better. I can smell, hear, taste, see what is happening to the characters and their emotions become my emotions. I felt the rage of indignation, the sweet power of love and the passion of the era bottled in each of the characters. Jinx and Esme especially. I was emotionally exhausted (in a good way!) when I closed the novel.
                Though set in the Gilded Age, the story wasn’t confined to New York or London, but expanded to the western plains and beyond. What breadth “Heiress” involved within its plots! Jinx and Esme’s stories are gripping each in their own right, but once come together become “don’t-bother-me-I’m-reading” plot.
                What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Those words aren’t uttered in the book, but I felt them.  A lesson in the human condition and God’s everlasting grace, I didn’t want to put this book down. It’s a great historical, a gripping novel and a cast of characters with more than their share of problems, but I can’t wait to see them again in book 2.
                This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Special extra news to celebrate the release of Heiress!!
Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest historical book, Heiress!

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!
Heiress, a richly complex historical romance, is the first in Susan's three book Daughters of Fortune series. In honor of Heiress’ debut, Susan is hosting a FABULOUS Gilded Age Giveaway and giving away an opulent prize pack fit for an heiress!




One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
  • A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
  • A beautiful strand of Pearls
  • Titanic DVD
  • Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
  • Heiress by Susan May Warren
Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11. The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Monday, September 26, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: A Harvest of Hearts

Welcome back to Writing for Christ, Laura V. Hilton, I am excited to have you here for a second time. J

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

My second book, A Harvest of Hearts has released from Whitaker House and I’m really excited about this book.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

 I don’t think I read anything truly spectacular recently, but I do have one that I’m going to start reading today that sounds exciting—Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon. I enjoy her suspense novels, and am looking forward to getting into this one.

Do you have favorite authors? 

Yes I do.  Amish authors include Beverly Lewis, Mary Ellis, Suzanne Fisher Woods. WWII authors are Tricia Goyer.  Romance – Kristin Billerbeck, Sandra Bricker, Denise Hunter, and the list goes on. J

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

Writing is really enjoyable, but I have enjoyed getting to know some of my readers.

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings? J 

Ideal?  Quiet… with no interruptions.  And no. I have five children. My computer is in the living room. And well – this is Grand Central Station. Need I say more?

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? 

We had Music School (www.brockwellmusicschool.com) this past summer, and my youngest daughter was able to go for the first time. My husband took the kids and stayed out there and I was able to stay home and write. I wrote more  than 35K in that two week period.



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

Thank you for having me!

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Laura's latest book!


Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.


For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

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 October 7th

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm at ACFW!!

Hi All!

Consider this your official "Out of Office" message! I am currently attending the American Christian Fiction Writer's conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I'm sorry I won't be around to reply to your comments, but rest assured I have or will seen them!

I'm so OCD though I had to schedule ALL my blog posts before I left, I just can't let my blog go that long without attention. : -)

To the winners of Sandra Byrd and Trish Perry's books, I will do my best to draw names when I can, but that might not be until I get back on the 28th. Enter away until then! The contest isn't over until I draw a name. :-)

I'm going to try and insert a picture here for you all to see, but don't know if there will be time for that.

So much to learn, so many people to meet, I wish you all could be here with me!

Today I am attending classes taught by Erin Healy, Tamera Alexander and Deborah Raney, attending the My Book Therapy Pizza party (where the Frasier winner will be announced- Ahhh!) and finally taking a class from Steve Laube and Tamela Hancock Murray.

I'm off all!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quirky, Fun Fiction ~ Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride by Sandra Bricker ~ Review

I love me a quirky romance. You know the kind that never seems to go the way it should? Or the kind that always throws out a bit of a surprise to the characters without seeming cheesy? I think this new novel fits the bill nicely.

            When I first read the title, I thought it was going to be about a wedding planner unlucky in love, when it was really about a wedding planner and her fiancĂ©e that keep getting stalled on the way to the altar. Missing wedding dresses, a motion sickness-prone dog and allergies to the groom?? It made the story the perfect mix of quirky and serious as the bride and groom work through issues before the wedding.

            The cast of characters are a fun blend of enjoyable and serious sprinkled with dialogue that is witty, to the point or just plain true to life that gave me a smile.

            The novel is a fun, light-hearted read, but with a message to be who God created you to be and not try to be someone else. I cheered for the hero and heroine as they jogged two steps forward, one step back through the story.

            It’s not *as* LOL funny as the previous novel written in the same vein (you don’t really need one book for the other), but still a fun story sure to please the hearts that read it.

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


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

As a wedding planner, Sherilyn Caine should have the perfect wedding experience...
After all, she just landed her dream job at the wedding destination hotel, The Tanglewood. The rest should be a piece of cake for Sherilyn's Type A personality.
But while everything else goes smoothly, her own wedding plans start to sink right before her eyes. One way or the other, Sherilyn is determined to make this wedding work—until the latest development threatens to call the whole thing off. Is it possible that Sherilyn is allergic to her fiancĂ©?



**I am currently traveling to St. Louis, Missouri. Rest assured your comments are seen and so appreciated, but I won't be around to respond. Thank you for understanding! I appreciate each and every one of you so much!!**

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God Has Given Us Dreams for a Reason

I don't believe any dream is ever wasted. When we reside in the middle of God's perfect will, and we have given complete control of our lives over to Him, we know our dreams come straight from His heart.

Because once we start giving our lives to Him, His dreams for us become our dreams in tandem.

But sometimes we can get too close to our dreams and forget Who gave them to us in the first place.

Dreams are so important. A dream becomes a goal, a goal becomes a reality and a reality can be used by God to speak to His children.

Everything we do in this life should be looked through the glasses, "how can this further my Father's kingdom?"

Sure our dreams ultimately start out with something we want. I want to marry a cowboy and live happily ever after. I want to see my name on  the cover of a book. I want to be the daughter, sister and friend I should be.

But when our dreams become WANTS, they aren't worth dreaming after anymore. Because we are forgetting who gave us that dream in the first place. You don't think you just woke up one morning with a new passion, did you?

God gave that to you. I don't want to forget that. Every single one of our dreams deserves a special place in our hearts...because they wouldn't be there unless God wanted us to use each one for His kingdom's glory.

Our dreams have a reason, a purpose, a beauty in living. It's exciting to think of partnering with our Creator in this exciting endeavor!


**I am currently traveling to St. Louis, Missouri. Rest assured your comments are seen and so appreciated, but I won't be around to respond. Thank you for understanding! I appreciate each and every one of you so much!!**

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Move Over A Passion Most Pure! ~ A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman ~ Review

5 stars does NOT do this novel justice. And I am completely unbiased in that statement.

            So few books stir me to feel hemmed in by our rating system and make me wish to burst from that bubble and rate a book the way I REALLY want to rate it. Like with “A Heart Revealed” a story worthy of way more than 5 stars. But it deserves every single one of those glowing yellows.

            I am a diehard Lessman fan, but none of her novels have been able to knock A Passion Most Pure (her debut novel) from the coveted “favorite” position. I’m sorry APMP, take a back seat, because I’ve got a new favorite. “A Heart Revealed” has everything a strong Christian novel should have. Passion for Christ, love and life. Characters that leap from the page with dexterity of form and trueness to life. No other author I know can give me over a dozen characters and I’m never confused.

            This novel is crafted and honed and a labor of love that sings from every single one of the 503 pages. It’s a page turner to the inth degree, dragging my attention away from sleep and deeper into the story. With a passion for God and a passion for love, this novel will win awards, but more importantly than ANY physical award this novel WILL garner, is the seed of God’s love planted in the heart of any reader who picks up this novel.

            Guaranteed.

            (And by the way, just got to say, that Casey is my *favorite* character yet. ;-)

            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my lovely signed copy and the publishers for my copy to review and share.

            **Available September 2011 from Revell a division of Baker Publishers—so WHAT are you waiting for???**

**I am currently traveling to St. Louis, Missouri. Rest assured your comments are seen and so appreciated, but I won't be around to respond. Thank you for understanding! I appreciate each and every one of you so much!!**

Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: A Vision of Lucy

 Welcome to Writing for Christ Margaret Brownley, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?
First I want to thank you for letting me visit today.  Hello everyone!

I don’t know how interesting this is but I failed eight grade English and still don’t know how to diagram a sentence.  Come to think of it I wasn’t that great in history, either (all those dates and battles).  Math and science were more my style. I was probably more qualified to be an astronaut than a writer of historical novels.


Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?
I read all over the board but I favor historical romances and that’s what I write. I also like to curl up with a good mystery or thriller.   
Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing? 

I used to have a terrible time with endings and could never get them right.   Then I read somewhere that if there’s a problem with the ending there’s almost always something wrong with the first chapter.  Now, whenever I have a problem I go back to square one and that usually helps me figure out the ending.  Come to think of it going back to square one is pretty good advice for just about anything. 


What do you enjoy most about being a published author?


Being published means I can justify the time spent writing.  (Deadlines are a great excuse for getting out of all sorts of things—like housework!) I wrote four books before I published my first and that old guilt complex kicked in whenever I escaped to my office to write.  Being published means I can honestly say I’m working. 


Places for readers to learn more about you?
Readers can contact me through my website: www.margaretbrownley.com
I’m also on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for being with us today!

Readers here is YOUR chance to enter to win Margaret's latest novel!
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


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 30th

Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Country

I had meant to blog about this earlier when it happened in August. We had gone up to Oregon's Steen Mountain for my mom to race a 10K.

The Steens are absolutely gorgeous! They take my breath away!

There is a reason they say Oregon is God's Country!









Friday's Note:
The winner of Margaret Daley's Hidden in the Everglades is:

Doreen @ Privies and Prims!!

Congratulations Doreen! Be haunting your inbox. : -))

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jody Hedlund, Sweep Me Away! ~ The Doctor's Lady ~ Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Doctor's Lady
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Jody Hedlund
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jody has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).


Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.


Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released this September. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!   


ABOUT THE BOOK
Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.


Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Doctor's Lady, go HERE.


Watch the book trailer:



My Review: (btw, that is a REALLY good trailer, check it out!)

            I was swept away. In the tide of a love discovered after a marriage. In an adventure filled with the thrills of the trail. Swept away in a novel filled with everything I love in really good fiction.

            Jody Hedlund is a new name in today’s fiction, but one I firmly believe will not be leaving us any time soon. I certainly hope to never see that day! Hedlund crafts a story that stirred my heart and emotions with the expert wielding of her deft writing hand.

            Priscilla and Eli are characters you just long to meet. They sing with depth upon the page.  They remain the flawed characters you cheer for to reach their coveted ending, but at the same time never want to their story to end, because you know you must leave them.

            The romance sizzled upon the page! Talk about forbidden attraction between this couple. The entire book I seemed to be holding my breath for them to finally reach that moment when they could give up their misguided holdings. And when that moment came…I mustn’t talk too much for fear of giving away the ending. But talk about a release of a lungful of air and a more than one happy sigh.

            I wish I never had to close the cover of this book. It’s too good to only read once, this book will have to be savored over and over again.

            Jody, you have a wonderful gift!

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Free Books!!!

I don't often post these books that are free on Kindle, because Renee Ann does such an awesome job of keeping her list up to date, but with the arrival of my new Kindle AND with several of my very favorite books available for free right now, I had to let you know.

These books are just too good to pass up. They won't be available for free forever, so DON'T wait! 'Kay?




















Download and enjoy! And remember, you don't have to have a Kindle to be able to read these books.

Happy reading on your Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris ~ Review


I’m afraid I can’t give a glowing review on every book I read and while there were enjoyable places in “A River to Cross”, I found a great deal of this story unbelievable.  More than once during the book I thought a scene was not appropriate to the time period.  And while I won’t enter into specifics as it would just be degrading, I will say I didn’t believe many of the events between  the hero and heroine would actually happen. I thought several historical facts were also inaccurate. It seemed too “modern”.

            The romance really rocketed to a fast start which I thought was a bit too fast. It didn’t seem plausible that the hero would see the heroine for the first time in a picture and immediately have heart flutters. However this is a short book with a short word count, so that very possibly, could have been the intent of the author.

            Several action scenes were well laid out, including the opening kidnapping scene. While I did enjoy the debut book, “The Vigilante’s Bride”, I didn’t find this book as entertaining to read. I was pulled too many times from the storyworld with what I considered implausibility.

            Now, with that said, I believe that if you enjoyed the first novel by this author, you will enjoy this second. This is simply the opinion of one reader.

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

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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