Monday, July 28, 2014

Giveaway! Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Jody Hedlund, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

Like many writers, I’ve been writing since my childhood days. I always loved telling stories. When I was in junior high, I entered my first writing contest for a Biblical fiction story. And when I won, I realized God had indeed gifted me. I think that was when I became more serious about wanting to be a writer when I grew up.

However, as I began my college years, I quickly realized that creative writing wasn’t a career track that would help pay the bills. For a time, God moved me into social work. I went on to get my masters and was thankful for the experiences and opportunities I had during those years of helping underprivileged people.

While I was working all those years, I was still writing and submitting manuscripts. I took a seven year break after my twins were born. Then when my youngest was a baby, I finally started writing again. The first book I wrote after my hiatus was The Preacher's Bride.


What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?


Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorites as a child because it played a role in developing my creativity as a writer. (Followed closely by A Little Princess and Little Women because they also featured strong, creative girls.)

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

I wish I hadn't worried so much about my future. This is a really tough one. Because I think it's natural for us to be excited and nervous when we send a manuscript out there whether to an agent or publisher.
But in hindsight, I realize all my fretting didn't make the process move faster or make things turn out better. It didn't change WHAT happened. But it did make me more tense. I'm still learning to work hard at the things I can control (like continually striving to improve my writing), and to let go of the things I can't (like how quickly I achieve success).

5 preference questions:

Homemade or take-out? Homemade (especially when someone else is making it!)

Email or snailmail? Email (I can type much faster than I can write by hand and time is always of the essence!)

Online shopping or Black Friday deals? Online shopping (I leave Black Friday shopping to my hubby who can't pass up a good deal)

Books or movies? Definitely books (I also prefer to read the book before watching the movie)

Note-taker or memorization? Note-taker (I'm always taking notes in books that I read for research; my margins are full)
               
Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

When I'm writing the first draft of a book, I fall madly in love with each book and the characters so that each book ends up holding a special place in my heart. I think they're all SO wonderful–until I beginning editing and then I loathe them. Once I finish editing them for the last time, I never read them again.

Nevertheless, if I had to pick one, right now I'd probably pick Captured by Love. I really like Pierre my fun-loving, laid-back hero. I had a lot of fun writing his character. I also enjoyed writing in the era of the War of 1812 which is a time period not often used for historical fiction.


Places for readers to learn more about you?

I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Or you're welcome to email me at: jodyhedlund@jodyhedlund.com


Thank you for being with us today! 

Readers, enter to win Jody's book here!

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 August 8th
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, July 25, 2014

DREAMING OF: My Future Family

I used to have this fantasy. My dad would always look at me with a jaundice eye, and maybe he is right, but still, it was my fantasy. I had this mental picture of myself, handsome hubby and seven (yes, count ‘em, seven—always have been a fan of the Waltons) small tow-headed children trailing behind us. Five of which would be boys.

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Some of my closest friends, who know me well, and even those of you visiting for the first time and don’t know me from Eve, are groaning and saying, “Girl, really? What ARE you thinking?”

Well, it sounds ideal!

Yes, I’m laughing. And now the thought of five boys, two girls and the thought of that busy household has me shaking in my boots. But then again, if God were to fulfill a dream like that, He will need to give me a good dose of the patience I can’t claim as a virtue. ;-)

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. The desire has only been fed more when my coworker had a baby, I joined pinterest and started attending church where cute families with even more adorable kiddos filled the pews. *Not exactly in that order.

But, well, since there is no diamond ring encircling my fourth finger on my left hand, the potential for having a cute child of my own isn’t in the cards—yet. Someday, I hope it will be. And someday I hope the dream of kids will expand to the possibility of international adoption. God’s timing. God’s way. He knows the desires of my heart.

Does God put such a deep-seated desire in our hearts for no reason? Why do we have these soul-aching cravings for something we don’t have and doesn’t seem there is much potential for fulfilling these dreams out there?

Because God has got bigger plans for you. God’s got bigger plans for me. That’s the thing about living life. 
We can dream. We can plan. We can act. And most of all, we walk in God’s footsteps.

Recently I suffered a disappointment. One that hurt at a dream I have been cherishing for years. But it wasn’t God’s right place. It wasn’t the right time.

Those are easy words to right, sure, but not often the easiest to live out.

Yes, I want a family. More than words can say. But I’m not there yet. Okay, so where does that leave me?

That leaves me with time that God has entrusted to me.

What am I doing with that time? Am I investing in things that will grow me towards these dreams or am I just traipsing through life waiting for something to happen? Don’t waste your time. Invest it.

God is asking me—you—to be faithful. What has my One Word for 2014 taught me so far? We’re over half way through the year and I’m learning it’s not always about getting what we want or having a dream fulfilled (though that has happened too). It’s about looking down the road, seeing that dream and then aiming toward it.

Walking in faith and trust and investing now in what those dreams are going to mean for my future.


How are you investing your time in your future dreams? 

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A series of posts centered around my "one word" for 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Giveaway! Abandoned Memories by MaryLu Tyndall!

Welcome to Writing for Christ MaryLu Tyndall it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

I actually don’t think I ever decided! As far back as I can remember, I’ve always lived in a secret story world in my mind. Believe me, it was a far better place, more adventurous, romantic, and fun than the real world I grew up in. Some of those many stories I wrote down, others are still rattling around in my head. I’m just grateful that someone decided that a few of them would be worth putting in print!

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers.  I rarely keep a book after I’ve read it, but this one sits proudly on my shelf. The heroine’s faith and perseverance under such dire circumstances prompted me to take a deeper look at my own faith walk.  Read it, you’ll love it!

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?


Don’t worry about the small stuff: the endless rules, publisher requirements, reader expectations, reviews, contracts, sales, marketing, and a host of other things that can completely stifle creativity.  Just write what you love, what makes your skin tingle, what you’re passionate about. And most of all, keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the world.

5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out? Homemade
Email or snailmail?  Email
Online shopping or Black Friday deals? Online shopping!!
Books or movies? Both!
Note-taker or memorization? Notes rule. :- )
               

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

The Ransom, released just last March. I felt like I finally came into my own with this novel. As I was writing it, I felt like a kid remembering how fun it was to play in the sand again. I had lost that feeling after writing so many books.  Besides, it’s just a fun story with great characters. I truly love it.

Places for readers to learn more about you?


Thank you for being with us today!

Thanks so much for having me!!

Readers, enter to win MaryLu's book here!

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 August 1st
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, July 18, 2014

I Don't Want To Be Your Friend

I don't want to be your friend.

Keep reading. I do plan to explain myself. 

I have realized something recently. I want to be friends--best friends--with my future spouse. There is not one question in my mind that this is something I want above many, many other things. 

But so often I hear this one simple phrase: "let's just be friends". And I have to admit, it makes my skin tingle, my pulse throb and my vision go blurry. 

Keep reading. Don't get upset with me yet, I plan to continue explaining myself. 


Guys and girls can't truly be just friends. I do believe in special and certain circumstances that yes, guys and girls can be friends. I'm friends with several different guys, but we aren't friends like I am with several special and dear girlfriends. I don't IM them funny thoughts or serious questions. I don't text them throughout the day or specifically seek out time to chat with just them. 

There is a difference. There needs to be a difference. That guy? He's someone else's husband. He's not my husband. As a Christian sister, it's my job to protect myself and him in how we interact. How we communicate. Because he's not mine. 

And that's okay. 

So I don't want to be "just" friends. 

In a culture where we struggle to embrace commitment is it no wonder when a guy and girl are paired up, that our first defense to protect our hearts is to say, "let's just be friends"?

What if it doesn't work out? What if something happens and this person doesn't turn out to be "the one"?

Well, then God is protecting both you and him. 

But honesty is not our first level of communication in our society. Instead we stumble and stutter. I don't lay this blame at any one particular door. But I do blame it on the path we have stumbled off. Our culture is so saturated in "hooking up". Dating. That we have forgotten the way it should be and we are slowly trying to muddle our way back to that place...many times unsuccessfully. 

What if we were honest with ourselves? With each other? What if instead of thinking--or saying--"let's just be friends", we sat down, met the other in the eye, and said "I think there is something here. What would you think about getting to know each other better?" 

What if we said that; took this "relationship" seriously, and started walking in Godly wisdom and discernment, the path of direction and open communication?

So often, guys and girls don't know what the other is thinking. "Does he like me?" "Does she think I'm worth her time?" It's the mantra of our dating-minded society and miscommunication is the #1 reason for nearly all breakups.  

What would happen if we communicated openly and honestly? If we allowed our hearts to be a little bit more exposed? And got to know the opposite sex through the lens of "could I marry this person?" If we were cautious. Bathed every interaction and connection in prayer. And were intentional about we got to know the other person.

These are just thoughts. By no means absolutes. But things I think about frequently. Have happened to me. And now I'm considering the future. The people around me. And our society in general. 

Talking points: do you agree or disagree that guys and girls can be "just" friends? 

Do you have a problem with today's model of young people meeting and "hooking" up?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For the Foodie In Us All ~ A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge ~ Review

A delight to a foodie’s heart and soul. A sweet sigh for the romantic reader. A depth of writing for the admirer of good women’s fiction. This book has a taste of it all to make it a worthwhile read.

I am a foodie. Yes, I am. However, in being a foodie, I’m more of a snob about where my milk and chicken comes from. Juliette, however, is a foodie on a whole other level and even for the mac&cheese reader, I do believe they will be salivating by the time they’ve finished book. And maybe tempted to try a recipe or two.

Juliette is one of those characters I would love to sit down with over tea and cookies and get to know her. She had depths I don’t feel were fully reached in this book—which is actually a good thing in this case since there is a #2 coming soon. The romance is simple and sweet, yet complex. Something hard to pull off without leaving the reader unsatisfied. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like the ending. I loved it. It was perfect, while leaving me hungry for more. Like a good meal should.

I thought it was well balanced between characterization and action, though at times it did feel as though the plot plodded a bit. But those moments were few and the book overall a quick read.

An easy four stars with an eagerness for the second release, hopefully in the near future. I’ll be looking forward to returning to Juliette’s kitchen.


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

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More about the novel...

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love 
 
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life
negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?
 
After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story. 
 
Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?



Monday, July 14, 2014

Giveaway! The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Welcome to Writing for Christ Kristy Cambron, it is great to have you here!

Hi Casey – Wow, am I glad to be here! These first interviews as an official author have been a long time coming. :-)

So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

This question doesn’t have a straightforward answer. I’ve always loved story, that’s true. In fact, when I was a kid, I wanted to be a Disney animator. I used to go to the library and sit on the floor in the art section, surrounded by art history books. I think this dream really started then, but I had no idea what to do with it. Fast-forward to college and the moment I stepped into my first Art History classroom and I was hooked on tying stories to what I loved.

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

Without question – the Bible. But if I had to pick a book outside of The Word, it would have to be Night by Elie Wiesel. It’s a short but very heavy read, a non-fiction piece of true art written from the point of view of the author’s teenage self, and how he survived the horrors of Auschwitz. I admit that the first time I read it, I sobbed my way through to the back cover. Now, I read it at least once a year – not because it’s easy, but because it makes me consider the human condition. Who am I as a mother, a woman, a follower of Christ… and who would I be had I not met Him? It always makes me think how God grieves what we do to each other.

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?


I actually wouldn’t change anything about my journey. I had some amazing highs (contest wins, contract offers) and some really tough lows (contest crash-and-burns, publishing rejections) along the way. And even though the rejections and those truly humbling moments managed to sting in the moment, I’m glad I experienced every one of them. They helped me to stay close to Christ along the journey, to remember why I write and to continually pray for the readers I hoped to have some day. They also kept me in a place of learning the craft of writing, which I am extremely grateful for. I would however, love to go back to 2011 and tell that younger version of me one thing: “You are not going to believe what God’s about to do in your life!” I never would have guessed that I’d be published by my dream publisher, and get the chance to have readers reach out and tell me they were blessed by the words I wrote. It’s the greatest kind of satisfaction an author can imagine, I’d wager!

5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out? I think I love a good old-fashioned potluck where everyone brings their grandma’s best recipe, baked to perfection and just waiting for my plate and tummy to come along and enjoy it! (P.S. Please bring Italian and dessert. You do that, and were are friends for life.)

Email or snailmail? Snailmail. I have a pen pal – we write letters back and forth a few times per month. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to open the mailbox and find something other than a bill or advertisement for a change.  

Online shopping or Black Friday deals? I’m not a great strategy shopper like many of those who venture out on Black Friday, so I always look for deals online. I know what brands I like and what will fit. I do most things on the go – including shopping. It works!

Books or movies? Both! Books first. Classic, 1930s-40s movies second. J

Note-taker or memorization? At last year’s ACFW Conference, I attended an amazing session presented by author James L. Rubart and Allen Arnold, former publisher for Thomas Nelson. It was so impactful that I took 17 pages of notes! I found them the other day and went right back to the awesome take-aways from that workshop because I’d taken notes like a mad woman. The truths I found there are still lifting me up.

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

Before we received a contract, I’d written nine novel-length manuscripts. I suppose I’m biased though, because The Butterfly and the Violin will always be special to me. It’s not just because it’s my debut novel (thought that’s a big part of it). I think it’s more because my entire family was wrapped up in this first book. An hour after our publishing contract came through, I received a call that my Dad may have leukemia. The larger part of the book was edited at our local cancer center while he was undergoing chemo. The remainder was edited in the weeks after he passed away. So when I say it’s special – that’s an understatement. It’s the book I’d always hoped to write and it’s the first and only one my Dad got to be a part of. It’s why I dedicated the book to him and why I will always praise God for giving us the journey together just in time.


Places for readers to learn more about you?

Any aspiring authors out there? If so, I’d love to hear from you. I’m another author who was walked the path to publication and am happy to encourage you along the way.
You can connect with Kristy at:
Twitter: @kcambronauthor – Facebook: Kristy L. Cambron – GoodReads: Kristy Cambron


Readers, enter to win Kristy's book here!

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 25th
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, July 11, 2014

Get Cured of the Hopeless Romantics!

Being a hopeless romantic is unnecessary right? I mean, it’s difficult to always be viewing the world through a pair of rosy glasses. To sigh over all the sweet and enduring moments during a book or movie. Or sob into your soaked hankie at weddings, either because the bride is so beautiful (and she always is) or because we’re convinced a married life is
Photo Credit
never for this romantic. We are also prone to be very dramatic. (I am, of course, the exception. ;-)

So how do you retrain your hopeless romantic self?

#1: stop watching romantic chick flicks. Just stop now. Turn off the Hallmark channel, pack up the Jane Austen movies and fill your DVR with plenty of cooking episodes, murder mysteries or 20/20-Dateline type shows.

#2: Biographies are your new go-to reading material. Either that or science fiction. You’ll probably still get the whole happily ever after factor, without muddling through all the mushy, gushy, kissing romance type stuff.

#3: Stay off Facebook. With all those people announcing their engagements, marriages and relationships, it really isn’t wise to be saturated in their happiness, dreaming for the day you can update your status in the same direction.

#4: For pity’s sake stop Googling wedding pictures! (and no hopeless romantic has ever done this, I’m sure) Sighing over strangers is really quite…well…strange, no matter how much you think the pictures speak for love and happiness.

#5: Beware of Pinterest. Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should follow all those wedding and cute couple boards. It will really only continue to feed this hopeless romantic notion we are trying to squash here.

Enough with the fun and games.

(I hope you laughed a time or two during this ridiculous list!)

Hopeless romantics really can’t change. We are who we are and we see the world with a wonderful rosy glow that makes everything a little bit more lovely. We take pleasure in the cute couples with their little pig tailed darlings and dream of the day, that it’s us with the ring on our finger, the handsome man at our side and our children playing around us.  

It’s easy to dream these things and wander down the path of Hopeless Romance. We shouldn’t try to stop enjoying this part of who we are. But we also can’t fall into the rut of constant hopeless romance. When our dreams consume our every waking moment (speaking to yours truly right now) then we miss out on the life we’re living now.

We miss connecting with God.

We miss connecting with friends.

We miss seeing new places. Enjoying the gifts of spring, summer, fall, winter, life.

We miss the joy of children and families that are not ours that we can send home with their own parents. ;-)

Dreams are amazing. It’s my “one word” for 2014. I love to dream. It’s hanging on a metal tag under my rearview mirror in my car. But we should be jealous of these dreams. Pray over them. Give them back to God and not let them warp or forget where and what we’re enjoying now.

It seems to be the constant prayer of this hopeless romantic. :- )


Do you have a hard time dividing real life from your hopeless romantic tendencies? 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Fine Story ~ Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis ~ Review

What lengths would you go to find your daughter if she was brutally kidnapped from you as an infant? I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, the panic that would come from such an event.

“Child of Mine” has a fantastic premise and one I was curious to delve into. You think you have the book figured out about until about ¾ of the way through, but keep reading—it has a fantastic twist at the end. Though at times I was wondering when I was going to stop being redirected from what I thought was my ultimate destination.

The book was about one hundred pages too long. I felt there were moments when the tension could have been seized and was left to dangle without a purpose. I will admit at this point of the book, much as I wanted to take my time to enjoy, I did skim.

Besides the one hundred too many pages, Natalie is a doll. Laura is the complex Amish nanny that I truly didn’t figure out until closer to the end of the book. And secondary characters play well against the story’s backdrop. I appreciated that the romance between Jack and Kelly felt natural without the usual “drama” surrounding the breakup and getting back together of the typical contemporary romance. (smile)

All in all the plot is attractive. The writing good. The pacing a bit slow, but still a good story. Solid three stars.

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

                                                                                 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
More about the book...

Bestselling Author Duo Delivers Heart-Stirring Drama 


Jack Livingston has been raising his nine-year-old adopted niece, Natalie, since the accident that took her parents' lives. While he travels for work, Natalie is lovingly cared for by Laura, an Amish nanny who loves her as her own. 

Kelly Maines is nearing the end of her rope. Her baby was kidnapped, the apparent victim of a black market adoption ring, and for eight years, Kelly has tirelessly pursued every lead to its bitter end. Now, there's one last lead from a private investigator: Just a few miles away lives a girl who matches the profile. Could this, at long last, be her beloved child? 

Desperately, Kelly initiates a "chance" meeting with Jack Livingston. It goes really well. So well, in fact, that Jack asks her out. One date leads to another, and before she can come clean with her original motives, Kelly realizes Jack is falling for her--and she for him. 

Now how can she tell Jack why she's really here? And having gotten to know Natalie, what if she isn't her long-lost daughter, after all? This was all supposed to be so simple.
 
But nothing in Natalie's world is simple...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Giveaway! A Match of Wits by Jen Turano!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Jen Turano, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

Thank you so much for having me, Casey!  And, as for what prompted me to begin writing, well, it all started with a horrible book about birds that my son and I were reading together back when he was in elementary school.  It was a series, you see, and not a very good one, and by the time we finished book number six (I have yet to own up to the fact there are more books in this series to my son) I was not liking these birds.  When my son made mention that he enjoyed the stories I’d made up for him as a little guy while he sat in his jogger stroller as I ran – I had to entertain him so that he’d actually sit, we decided to write our own story.  It was a hoot, and although nothing came of that story, it was the beginning of a fabulous journey for me.


What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

Oh, that’s a tough one.  I tend to shy away from books that are emotional, they just stay with me far too long, so I’m going to say that all the Nancy Drew books had a great impact on me.  As soon as I discovered them, I couldn’t read them fast enough, and they were instrumental in turning me into a voracious reader.



If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

That publishing is a very daunting business and that rejections are going to come fast and furious, but they’re just part of the business.  Books that don’t sell shouldn’t be considered failures, simply stepping stones, and the more you write, the more likely it is you’ll improve and hopefully, someday, attract the attention of a publisher. 


5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out?
I’m a horrible cook, so take out is one of my favorite things :- )

Email or snailmail?
Email – because besides being a horrible cook, my handwriting leaves much to be desired.
Online shopping or Black Friday deals?

Books or movies?
Books – although I do enjoy going to the movies.

Note-taker or memorization?

Note-taker – even though I’m notorious for losing those notes in a variety of notebooks.
               

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

A Match of Wits – coming out in July.  Miss Agatha Watson has been with me through three previous novels and a novella, so I’m pretty attached to her.


Places for readers to learn more about you?

Readers may learn more about me on my web – www.jenturano.com – but I do more interaction with readers on my author Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor

Thank you for being with us today!


Thank you for having me!  It’s been fun.

Readers, enter to win Lynne's book here!

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 18th
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, July 4, 2014

Ten Ways to Totally Fit Reading Into Your Day

1): Take that can’t-put-it-down-title to the office. I mean, you’re given so many ten minutes breaks in a day, right? And how many of us actually cash in those sweet moments? I say ignore the patrons and the phone and your work and just pull out that book and sneak a few pages. I’m sure your boss will understand. After all, it will contribute to your overall mental health.

Photo Credit
2): Buy take out. Who needs a home cooked meal and table time talk anyway? When the heroine is dangling out the side of the building (thank you very much, Jordyn Redwood!) do you really expect dinner to hit the table at 6:30 sharp? I say pizza is a great idea.

3): Your kids (or siblings) need to learn responsibility don’t they? They need to learn how to fold the towels and put the dishes away just like you had to pay your dues. That hero won’t kiss the heroine on his own after all.

4): When you live in the city those stop lights can drag on forever. Can I get an amen? Keep your latest novel acquisition in your consul next the CDs and coffee cup. You can always rely on the other drivers to notify you when the light changes.

5): Conversation is waaaay overrated. Your husband/kids/family can take notes and pass them over the pages if they really want to reach you, but really, unless someone is dying there isn’t need to interrupt novel progress.

6): I’m sure your blog followers and Facebook friends and Twitter tweeps will understand if your posts are slightly more silent. Then again, you could always give them the play by play of the book, because everyone loves a good spoiler alert!

7): Those books on your shelf won’t read themselves! This is the perfect and doesn’t-prompt-an-argument, response to anyone who says that you read too much. Really, anyone who would dare make such a comment should be stricken from your friend list immediately.

8): The latest arrival of the next release from your favorite bestselling author is reason enough to put all 7 excuses above into play. After all, you never know when their next title might be your new fan-favorite.
9): You don’t want your TBR stack to fall over do you?? That would ruin the spines, not to mention bending some pages and that is tantamount to book murder!

10): When someone asks what your book budget is and how can you afford that on the salary you are on? just remind them that they could have your awesome life of being a professional book discover-er. Because you never know when you’ll be invited to share your favorite titles and you’ll want as thorough a list as possible to present.


What book did you finish this year that you’d add to your MUST RECOMMEND list? I’d love to swap favorites. You never know, I (or you) might find your new can’t-live-without-it novel. :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Special Interview with Best-Selling Author Lauraine Snelling!!

I was given the extreme pleasure recently of interviewing best-selling author Lauraine Snelling. Having read her books while growing up, it was an honor to interview her here on my blog. So while this is my typical giveaway interview, today it's a bonus opportunity to get to know this beloved, household name author!


Welcome to Writing for Christ Lauraine Snelling, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

I have always been a storyteller, I must have inherited it from my Dad, and so writing the stories down was a natural progression. I have had my nose in a book from the time I learned to read, and before that with a love of being read to. “Read to me,” was a common plea, says my mother. So you combine those two and I started telling stories on paper. The earliest one I have was from fourth or fifth grade, but my determination to someday write horse books for girls started in High School. Writing for real publication began in 1980 when I attended a writers’ conference at Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR. The culmination or the beginning of the dream or a highlight along the path. According to Jack London it takes six months and a lifetime to write a book. The lifetime part is so true.

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?


The Bible would of course be at the top. But of my books? Probably An Untamed Land since that started the Red River Series which has been a major event/influence/change/impact since now so much of life revolves around the spin offs from that series.

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

What a question! The easy answer would be to say write every day, and write consistently. That sounds so easy. But as all writers know, life keeps getting in the way— especially for those of us with such a broad range of interests. But this writer had to grow into consistency and discipline—both never ending learned skills. I am a people person and so people have always come before the writing, be it family or friends or???  So the joke (which is not a joke) is the BIC principle, “Butt in Chair.” Perhaps including a padlock at times. Do overs would be best if I could take all I now know with me as I start the do over.

5 preference questions:

Homemade or take-out?
I much prefer home made but am sure grateful for take out when the
pressure is on.  Love finding good meals in places like Costco, a caterer here in town who does individual meals, or my freezer.

Email or snailmail?
Email. Although I love to send out cards and try to do written letters at least once a year, one personal, one business. Ah, how to do it all!

Online shopping or Black Friday deals?
Doing more online shopping. I do not like pushy crowds so stay away from Black Friday like a nest of rattlers.

Books or movies?
Reading is always at the top of my list, but I love movies. Glad I do not have to do an either/or.

Note-taker or memorization?
Note-taker more and more. I cannot trust my memory, especially on daily details.  I am a list maker and sometimes I can even find my list. Getting better at that too. I AM getting better organized.


Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

This is like asking me to decide which is my favorite child. My cop out answer: the one I am working right now. My mind is freewheeling through my list of books I have written.

So there you have it. Happy reading.

Places for readers to learn more about you?


My website: laurainesnelling.com
                  
Facebook: Two sites, Lauraine Snelling
                   Lauraine Snelling official

Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads






Enter the GIVE:JOY Sweepstakes from author Lauraine Snelling!

*~Info about Lauriane's Giveaway!~*

In bestselling author Lauraine Snelling's new novel, Heaven Sent Rain, Dinah Taylor has an orderly life, and that is just how she likes it. A balanced bank account, a perfectly furnished luxury apartment, a satisfying career as a scientist and CEO of her own company, and an uncomplicated personal life. Then her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when she finds a seven-year-old boy and his scruffy dog sitting alone outside her office building.

To celebrate the release of this heart-warming novel, FaithWords and author Lauraine Snelling are pleased to present the GIVE:JOY Sweepstakes. This sweepstakes features three spectacular prizes, each closely connected to the story, but each prize also comes with a twist: you “Enter to Give”, rather than “Enter to Win”! 

This is your chance to do something beautiful and make a difference for a friend, family member, shelter, church, or charity.

 Timeframe & Notifications:


This giveaway starts July 1, 2014 and ends July 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST). Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday July 22, 2014, and announced at laurainesnelling.com.

GRAND PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Grand Prize
HELP & HOPE SUPPORT GIFT

In Heaven Sent Rain, Dinah meets an extraordinary little boy named Jonah, and his dog, Mutt. Jonah faces a life of struggle, hunger, and poverty, but his courage in these challenges inspires Dinah to step outside her well-ordered world and do something wonderful for him. Through her choice, Dinah discovers joy is found not in getting more for herself, but in giving to make someone else’s life better. Our Grand Prize winner will have the same opportunity for joy, with their choice of :
• A $250 VISA gift card for a friend in need, or
• A $250 donation to the faith-based charity, church, or shelter of their choice

SECOND PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Second Prize
BLESSINGS & BLOOMS SURPRISE BOUQUETS

A mysterious thing happens to Dinah several times in the story: flowers! Beautiful encouragement bouquets—with no sender's name—appear on her office desk during difficult times when she feels she can’t go on. In honor of Dinah's secret flower sender (you'll have to read the story to find out his or her identity) we're offering our Second Prize winner the chance to become a secret flower sender themselves, and brighten the day of a sick friend, a new mom, a military spouse, a weary co-worker, or some other deserving person in their life, with:
• A 3-month gift subscription to ProFlowers Bouquet of the Month Club

THIRD PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Third Prize
VALIANT VET ENCOURAGEMENT GIFT

Like Jonah's dog, Mutt, the animals in our lives are priceless sources of help, comfort, and unconditional love. No one understands this better than our story's hero, veterinarian Garret Miller. Throughout the book, “Dr. G” works tirelessly to save and heal people's furry friends, including Mutt, and an injured service dog named Valiant.

And Like Dr. G, many real-life veterinarians and animal shelter workers make all the difference in the lives of our animals, often giving services beyond what's billed. Our Third Prize winner will have a chance to do something extra special for their favorite vet or animal shelter, with:
• A $100 veterinary/shelter donation to be used toward treatment of an animal whose owner cannot afford to pay for veterinary care, or
• A $100 Starbucks card sent to the veterinary/shelter staff as a special encouragement gift

How to Enter: 
Go to http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/giveaways.html and complete the entry box, anytime between July 1 and July 21. 

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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