Friday, June 28, 2013

Make That a FUN Author Interview! My Guest? Rachel Hauck!!

Sometimes we just gotta let loose. Have a little fun.  Thus I had this crazy idea…and I’m pretty excited about it. Hope you love it and if you have suggestions for questions, leave them in the comments! :- )

The Basics:
Name: Rachel Hauck
Home State (completely with address so we can stalk you): Florida!
Occupation: Full time novelist
Height: 5’7
Hair Color: Only my hairdresser knows

Goin’ Deeper:

Celebrity crush: Well, I don’t have one really. I liked Donny Osmond as a pre teen/young teen. But I really like worship leader Jeremy Riddle. I met him, er, he met me rather, at a worship concert in March. I was a bit gaga. My husband had to assure Jeremy I was sane.

Available now!
Order here
#1 favorite pastime: Reading or good TV shows. Watching college football.

Best book of your childhood: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Series

Go to comfort food: junk food!

Worst job you ever had: Sales rep for a jewelry distributor covering north Florida and south Georgia. OY! Awful.

In Ten Words or Less:

Happiest moment of your life: Only one? There are so many. Getting married. Winning my first award.

One thing on your bucket list: Give away a million dollars.

Available now!
Order here


Quirkiest aspect that annoys your spouse/friends: I am annoying? My husband says he can’t think of anything but I will say he’s a neat-o and I’m a paper stacker. But I keep my stuff out of his way, so we don’t clash over our different organization methods. LOL.

I had a friend who called me nosey once because I was asking so many questions about a scenario another friend was describing! It’s the writer in me.

Greatest dream: Giving away a million dollars. At one time!

Biggest fear: I don’t really give into fear. It’s a waste of time and it’s not holy. But, I am often very concerned for the spiritual direction of our nation. 

Don't you just love Rachel Hauck??

 She's your every-woman's writer and her books pretty much line up with that. 

I dropped the ball...I don't have a guest yet for next month, but I'm working on it. We'll have one. And it will be awesome. I just don't know who he/she is yet. So it's a surprise. And I hope you'll visit to find out who it might be.

Don't forget to say "hi" in the comments! :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Allegorical ~ Gone South by Meg Moseley ~ Review

I think I would almost title this book as an allegory…it is one of those few books that comes pretty close to falling into that category.

            After finishing “Gone South” last night, I closed that last page and thought how much like Christ Tish represented in the life of Mel. Selflessly giving where the opposite was definitely the more socially acceptable response, she showed Christ in the most perfect of ways. She’s truly a character to set an example by. But she certainly didn’t come without her own share of struggles.

            Mel was definitely the most interesting character to me. A young woman with so many hurts deep down inside and a stereotype that has been branded on her like a scarlet letter. She’s one of those troubled characters that you can’t help but ache for.
            
The novel is emotionally complex which drives the main plot and has one of my favorite kinds of romance: the non-traditional love story. The romance doesn’t drive the plot. The characters really almost don’t drive the plot. The theme of grace definitely does. “Gone South” isn’t a romance or even an overtly Christian novel, but a love story about Christ’s love for us, forgiveness and above all else, grace.

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



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
More about the novel...

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?



Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.


Would you consider rating my review? This helps me out a great deal and I appreciate the help! :-)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Giveaway! Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt!


Welcome back to Writing for Christ Beth Vogt, I am excited to have you here for a second time. :- )

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

I retired the title of “debut novelist” and submitted my third novel, Somebody Like You, to my publisher. One of the most fun things in my writing life is celebrating the successes of my writing friends as they accomplish everything from finishing their first manuscripts to attending their first conference to signing with agents or publishers – and there’s been a lot of that too.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

Oh … that is such a tough, tough question. While I was on deadline I had to ignore my To Be Read pile – although I did succumb and read Rachel Hauck’s Once Upon a Prince. (Loved it!) I also read an advanced copy of The Artist’s Daughter by Alexandra Kuykendall, a former MOPS International colleague – and a talented writer. I love her insights on how a father (or the lack of one) influences a woman’s life. I just finished Susan May Warren’s Take a Chance on Me (gave it a 5-star Amazon review!) and now I’m looking at novels by Jody Hedlund, Cynthia Ruchti, Joanne Bischof, and Becky Wade – just to name a few.

Do you have favorite authors?

Of course I do! Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck are my mentors – and true master storytellers. Cynthia Ruchti has such a wonderful way of crafting words. Deb Raney is a favorite author – and a grace-filled woman. And I love Sandie Bricker’s humor.

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

I love the surprises. When I’m writing a scene and all of sudden my character says or does something I hadn’t planned on and it takes the story in a fun new way, or ramps up the tension – that’s wonderful! Connecting with readers? Bring it on!! I’ve talked to readers on the phone. Emailed them. Instant messaged with them. Flown to Kansas and met with a book club. Skyped with another one. Love it all.

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

The most ideal atmosphere is one free of interruptions. Does it ever happen? No, never.

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?

I am all about fast-drafting. Last February I fast-drafted a manuscript and wrote over 40k words in four weeks – not counting the weekends. So, that’s an average of 8k words a day.

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


Thank you, Casey. It is a delight to spend time with you and your blog readers.

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

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 July 5th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, June 21, 2013

God's Word Will NOT Come Back Void

My life has been a theme lately. And what do you do with themes? You share them on your blog. 

Or at least I do. 


Some of you might be like this guy:


Don't worry. If you're the inspiration for this pin, I won't say anything and you will remain in your nameless anonymity. ;-)

It was the topic of conversation #2 with Beth Vogt in the Denver airport during my four hour layover two weeks ago. 

It spilled over into our discussions amongst my Alley Cats our retreat weekend when we stayed up one night until 3 in the morning. 

It has cropped up in my recent emails with a friend.

God's word does NOT come back void

I don't know about you, but I don't have many opportunities to share my faith. Am I doing something wrong? God, should I be more vocal for You? Should I be standing on a street corner preaching John 3:16? Because "just" living my life doesn't feel like enough.

I've been given the chance in the last few months to be quite vocal in my faith. Patients and coworkers alike, I've had the opportunity to give glory to my God. What a euphoric high! What a moment! I can actually speak where I've always just lived. 

I've been able to open up my mouth and share what I feel so strongly in my life. 

But lately...that message I am so convicted about, hasn't been well received. It's been scoffed and turned away. But wait? What just happened? What changed that now I can't speak? I was just getting used to this! 

Is there a time to speak? Absolutely!

Is there a time to be silent? Absolutely.

God has been tapping me on the shoulder, dipping His chin and motioning me to step back. Not step away, just...step back

*sputter* *cough* *whine* Why?

The soil has been prepared. The seeds have been planted. The ground is watered. The weeds pulled. The sun shining. The rains pouring. The plants growing. And finally, the crop harvested. 

The thing is, we don't know what step on that path we are. Even the man in the Bible who was healing in Jesus' name, but wasn't one of His direct disciples played a role in God's plan for each of our lives. 

It took me a long time to be willing to accept that simply smiling at a stranger might be all the ministry I can give. And why should I argue with where God puts me at the time He puts me there even if all I do is live my life? 

And I'd rather be known for my quiet, unassuming faith that shines bright for Christ, then the street-caller on the corner of Main. We all have a calling. We all have a place and a time. The question lies in: how will you embrace that time? 

So I take courage, comfort and above all else, excitement in knowing: nothing I do, nothing I say in Christ EVER comes back void. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In LOVE! ~ Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade ~ Review

God created us for romance. Pure, honest, wonderful God-breathed romance. And thus it makes perfect sense that I would love “Undeniably Yours”. Yep, I’m in love and I have no shame admitting it.


            Meg and Bo make a *cute* couple. I think they are about the cutest book couple I have ever read. I mean seriously. Cowboy meets millionaire heiress that could care less about being Texas’s most eligible bachelorette and wants more to get out of this rich lifestyle and back to her humble apartment. I could so easily identify with Meg, she’s a simple girl put in surroundings that immediately challenge and raise all kinds of insecurities.
           
Bo is pretty close to a perfect hero. I love an observant hero and Bo knew how to treat a lady. His mama taught him right! Sure, I like the flawed or bad-boy book hero, but every once in a while, it’s nice to see a break in the mold and have a genuinely good guy. The adoration almost oozed…in a good way. *wink*
            
The romance is satisfying. The writing top notch. The characters so incredibly loveable. The plot tempting me back again and again. The dialogue smooth and subplots seamless. I loved it. So much to enjoy and sigh over and just plain love watching unfold. Very much worth the investment of time!
            
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publishers for my copy to influence/review.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
More about the novel...

When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested i

n art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Giveaway! Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter!


Welcome to Writing for Christ Denise Hunter, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?

I play the drums. :- ) It’s a great stress reliever.


Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

I’m in love with love, so romance is my genre. I write (and enjoy reading) romances that delve a little deeper, edging close to women’s fiction.

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

When I first started writing, I thought either you have the talent to write a good book or you don’t. I didn’t realize writing is a craft that develops with time and practice. A little God-given talent doesn’t hurt though. :- )

5 things you love?

Hmmmm. Traveling, sweets, reading, music, and family time. Not necessarily in that order.

What novel have you recently read that has stood out to you that both teens and adults will find enjoyment in?

“Just Between You and Me” by Jenny B. Jones

Places for readers to learn more about you?


Thank you for being with us today! 

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

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 June 28th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 


Friday, June 14, 2013

Echoes Within the Heart ~ by Savanna Kaiser

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

 I have loved meeting new friends through blogging. But why does the
fun have to stop with just me getting to know them?? So each month
I'll bring a special guest that I have come to know
Today...I welcome Rachelle Rea to my blog.


___________________________________________________________________________

When Casey asked me if I'd be interested in writing a guest post for her blog, I was surprised, humbled, and excited all at the same time. Once again, God had surprised me with the sweetly unexpected.

Let's be honest, I am no published author. Besides a handful of freelance articles attached with my name, the stories embedded in my heart remain hidden there – at least for now. Why, I can barely eek out the phrase, “I'm an aspiring author” without feeling the urge to look both ways as if waiting for someone to contradict me. My heart wants to believe it so badly, but I'm afraid of it at the same time.

Have you ever felt this way?

If you happen to be like a me, quietly following other writers' work while still yet doubting your own, I'd like to share a piece of my own journey with you and a lesson the Lord has been teaching me as a true rookie in the field.

Let me start by saying that I am a real homebody at heart. While there's nothing specifically wrong with that, sometimes a certain hindering hesitancy can come with the territory. I hid behind that wall for a long time. Intimidated by the critical eye of others, I was happy to stay seated in my comfort zone. When I first put my pen to paper and wrote words that wouldn't stop echoing within my heart, I thought I'd found a way of escape – I could express what was dear to me without exposing myself. Yeah, right.

Does the fear of others' judgment or opinions ever misguide you?

Maybe that's why – at least in my case – the passage of Scripture in Ephesians 6:11 has so frequently grabbed my attention. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” It is only by putting on this armour of light that my fears – and yours – can be conquered and destroyed. By putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Romans 12:14 says, can we live a life saturated with Heavenly grace and strength. His mercy alone can erase all my fears, weaknesses, and insecurities.

Whenever distractions and excuses in life threaten to steal my focus away, He's graciously opened fresh windows of opportunity, like Casey's sweet offer, to remind me I'm supposed to keep writing. With His sovereign plan forever in place, those pesky insecurities of mine don't stand a chance.

In a recent study, I read a quote from Beth Moore that pierced my heart. When the call of Christ sears a hole through your self-protectiveness, you go wherever He leads whether or not you feel like you fit.” I could almost hear the last nail being driven through my coffin of pretenses and fear. Writing was not about hiding one's true self, but giving it away, wholeheartedly, in a cause so far beyond one's self that our individual weaknesses no longer matter.

Charles Spurgeon writes in his Morning & Evening devotional, May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of anticipated joy and blessedness. May God the Holy Spirit cut the cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount! We sit too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that, unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would, perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it snapped.”

That was me. I was afraid of living outside my safety net. How my heart was lifted when the Lord finally showed me my calling had nothing really to do with me. My role was to echo Him, the first and greatest Author, by living after His example in my life.

Charles Spurgeon summarizes my thoughts up in this way. Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord's feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by His love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to Him that if He will put His ear to me, He will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own lovewhich have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at His feet for ever.”

Wherever you are in your own writing journey, may you never forget that the Lord directs your path. We must leave all our fears at His feet.

For me, that means I can't keep denying what He has placed in my heart to do. I have to write. What exactly, I still don't know. But He knows. And that's all that matters.

Remember, He is the Author. We're the echo.

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

Connect further with Savanna Kaiser on her blog where she regularly contributes and on her Facebook page. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Novel Preview and Contest Info! Trouble in Store by Carol Cox


Carol Cox  is a talented new historical author with Bethany House publishers. 

Did you read her first book?  I have a feeling this one would be just as fun and unique, plus the cover has got a sassy heroine on the cover that looks as though she might be in more than just a spot of trouble. ;-) 

To celebrate the release of her novel, Carol is holding a smashing contest!

So while I lay out the party things, check out what her latest novel is all about...

More about the novel...

Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona
mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.

The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

*~*CONTEST INFO!*~*

Wouldn't you love to win one of these prizes? Simply too pretty for words!




The only thing you need to do is click on the picture just below and it will take you directly to where you can enter!

AND be watching my blog on July 8th when I interview Carol herself and we will be giving away Trouble in Store


CLICK TO ENTER:
Mercantile Mystery Sweepstakes from Author Carol Cox

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spiritually Supernatural ~ An Open Heart by Harry Kraus ~ Review

Go into the heart of Africa and travel into the mind of a tormented hero who just wants to do good in this latest novel, “An Open Heart.”
          
  Much emotionally is taking place within this novel. Everything from medical trauma to physical harm to mystery and intrigue to corruptness. This book runs the gamut of human emotions.
          
  Conflict is always present upon the page. It doesn’t necessarily make the hair on your arms curl, but it moves the reader on the conviction that something has to go right for our main character. The spiritual elements are powerful and can in no way be overlooked. They drive the story and give it a supernatural overtone that you don’t see written really well very often in the CBA.
          
  Jace is a tormented character. I wasn’t sure at times how much I liked him, but I think that in being so tormented, you come to see the man he wants to become and yet is fighting to reconcile with. His relationship with his wife-or lack thereof-is difficult at times to watch unfold, because I so wanted them to talk and figure it out!

            I thought the ending came a bit abruptly for the length of the book. It felt as though…that was it and I personally wanted a stronger sense of closure. Emotionally powerful with a faith message that is as deep as it is wide, a good new addition to the field of medical fiction.

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

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

More about the novel and author...
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Open Heart
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
by
Harry Kraus


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him ...

They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.

It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

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

Monday, June 10, 2013

Giveaway! Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell!

 Welcome back to Writing for Christ Miralee Ferrell, I am excited to have you here for a second time. : -)
What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

So much!! First, (this isn’t writing related but I HAVE to share) I became a grandmother since we last spoke. A lovely little granddaughter (Kate Isabelle) was born two months ago on April 7th. I’m in love! OK, now on to the writing. I signed with a new (to me) publisher, David C Cook, for a three book historical romance series (also something new…I’ve always wanted to write series) AND recently also signed another contract with them for (another first) a four-book middle-grades set of horse novels (Equestrian Dreams) for girls. I’m so excited about both of these series!! Blowing on Dandelions, the first in the historical romance (Love Blossoms in Oregon) series released June 1. The first of the girls’ horse novels will release March, 2015. The 2nd and 3rd in the historical series will release prior to that, in 2014, so I’ll be somewhat busy for the next couple of years.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

It’s a book that actually released in 2012 called Lost Melody, a contemporary novel by Virginia Smith and Lori Copeland. It held me captive the entire read, waiting to discover the secret hinted at throughout the book and leaving me with an immense sense of satisfaction when it ended. Another 2012 release was The Wedding Kiss by Hannah Alexander. LOVED it, a historical romance (one of my fav), that was so realistic and satisfying; I had a hard time putting it down to get any work done.

Do you have favorite authors?

Way too many to mention, and I’d hate to hurt any close friend’s feelings that I love who are currently writing, so I’ll only mention some of my favorites who are now deceased. One that influenced my Western romance voice is Zane Grey. I grew up throughout my teens reading and loving his books, and have read everyone he wrote and own most of them, many in first edition. A couple of others who I read as a young adult and continue to read are Gene Stratton Porter (Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, etc.) and Harold Bell Wright (When a Man’s a Man, That Printer of Udell’s, The Mine with the Iron Door, and more).

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

I have several things I truly enjoy. Starting a new story when the idea is fresh and the words are flowing. Researching a new location and traveling there to get a feel for the area and the history (great fun!). And hearing from readers who have been touched by something I’ve written. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing something I wrote has been used by the Lord to minister to someone who’s hurting or discouraged. I always reply to readers’ emails, and love connecting on Facebook, as I find that to be the most user friendly place to truly connect. Besides, it’s fun to get a peek into their lives as well as them getting so see a bit into mine. :- )

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

Total silence. I am not a person who can write with the TV or radio on…not even with instrumental music playing. Thankfully, my office is upstairs as far from the TV room as possible, and both room have doors that remain closed if my husband is watching TV and I’m working. Sometimes I stay up late after he’s in bed, as that tends to be my most creative time period, and I know the phone won’t ring, he won’t need me, and no one will show up at my door. I love peace and quiet!

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?

Probably when writing my debut novel, but I had no idea what word count was or how to tell what I’d written, I was so new and inexperienced. I wrote the entire book (95K) first draft somewhere between 5 and 7 weeks, so I know I had days that were at least 6k per day. Since then I’d have to say my highest has been 5,000+. I think close to 6,000 one day, but I average 2,000 a day (when I’m able to write, as it doesn’t happen every day) but it’s not unusual to hit 3,000-4,000 on a good day.

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


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

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 June 21st
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Heart is Taken

Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net
I might not wear his ring.

But he already holds my heart.

I might not have ever held his hand.

But he's already won my heart.

I might not know the shape of his face, the curve of his smile or the depth of his voice.

But I'm his.

He has stolen my heart.

And I don't even know if I've met him.

A recent set of circumstances had me pondering this thought: my heart is taken and I don't even know you yet.

I have a little ring. It's simple and sweet, but once in a while I wear it on my left hand. Today I was asked if someone had stolen my heart.

Yes, someone has stolen my heart. Do I know who that earthly someone is? Not today. I have hopes and thoughts and dreams...but do I know?

No.

But my heart has always been taken.

Held in purity, guarded in modesty, secreted as one would a priceless treasure, I have been unwilling to simply give my heart away. To give away such a gift? Would be parallel to giving my body away. The more the heart is handed over, the less I have to share with the one who I have truly waited for.

Who holds my heart? The only One who matters. Each day, prayerfully walking in faith that He continues to complete the good work He has started in me. And someday, the right someone will come alongside, take my hand and my heart and we'll continue on together...continuing to pursue and chase hard after the only One who should every hold all of our hearts.

When will I know that it's time to share my heart?

I've never been there, so I really don't know. Do I believe I'll know when it happens? Absolutely. Because I pray that my heart and his are so in tune with God, we simply continue to walk in the footsteps before us...together.

Until then...my heart is guarded. Protected. Secure. Trusting in a faith that only God gives.

My heart is taken. Do I know who holds it? No, but he already has my heart. And until the day I meet him and feel God's whispered smile...I'll continue to hold it close.

Coming with body and soul...heart and love complete. Whole. Cherished.

Don't give your heart away. Walk close with God and He'll guide. So long as you're willing to follow, He will only continue to restore, heal and make whole.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon ~ Review

I wasn’t sure how to put my finger on the pulse of this book. It’s not a romance. But it’s not strictly women’s fiction. It covers more than three characters and a depth of issues. Does it fit into one genre and readership? Hmm, probably not. I’d label it contemporary for fans of Karen Kingsbury.
            
Much moves through this story to propel the motion forward. Characters are largely likeable and deal with some pretty significant struggles. I felt in many cases, how these struggles were handled was done with finesse and strength of writing. The ending made me smile. Because of some of the subject matter and our characters’ past choices, I wasn’t sure if the story would truly resolve in a way I appreciated, but it did.
            
I read the novel over a couple days while traveling and didn’t feel as though I truly became invested in the characters as a whole. I think the main reason being is I felt pulled in too many different directions and emotions. My loyalty for one character over another was not equally divided or united.  
            
I think it’s a sweet love story, a family saga and an emotional history upon the page, but I don’t think I would mark it among my favorites.
          
  This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my ARC to review.

          
  **Available June 2013 from Revell, a division of Baker publishers**

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More about the novel...

Karen and Val are family-yet they’re anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility
for her aging mother ever since her gorgeous sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had darker reasons for leaving town-as well as a secret to keep-and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with their past mistakes, their relationship with each other, and their issues with a mother who is far from ideal. When a physical therapist raising his daughter alone and a handsome but hurting musician enter the picture, the summer takes on a whole new dimension. As their lives intersect and entwine, can each learn how to forgive, how to let go, and how to move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, fan favorite Irene Hannon offers her readers an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex family relationships, transgressions revealed and forgiven, and the complicated process of finding love.

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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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