Friday, April 30, 2010

What I Read in the Last Two Weeks

Hello everyone! Being gone these last two weekends, I haven't had the chance to write down what I have read. Sooo,I am playing catch up today and would love to know what you have read towards our total. So far this year I have read: 67 books! Woo-hoo!

And they are:
The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough
Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren
It Had to Be You by Janice Thompson
Hearts on the Road by Diane Brandmeyer
The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry
Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren
Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave
The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall
This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson

What did you read?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review: The Cubicle Next Door

Reminiscent of the Weddings by Bella Series, THE CUBICLE NEXT DOOR, is every bit as hilarious. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt!

Jackie is a no nonsense kind of woman. She hasn’t gotten over 30 without knowing how to avoid relationships she wants no part of. But when the administration of her building divides her cubicle and puts Joe in the opposite office, nothing will ever be the same.

I am pretty picky when it comes to books with humor. Usually it is nailed or it just comes off as trying too hard. But this book was perfect!
Jackie is the perfect heroine. She is unique, funny and has a dry sense of humor that keeps the reader turning pages as fast as possible. The chemistry between Joe and Jackie was fabulous. Her pushing away and Joe determined to worm his way into her heart.

The only thing I didn’t like, was the issue of divorce and remarriage. I didn’t think that was an issue that needed to be addressed the way it was in the book and it affected how I liked the ending. Though the book was still fabulous, I would have liked it better if it hadn’t brought up a certain sticky situation.
If you like a rip- roaring comedy, a heroine who struggles, but shows humor in every moment and a to die for hero, this book is perfect for you! I loved it and wish it had never ended!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When the Well Runs Dry- What Then?

My class with author Susan May Warren and literary agent Chip MacGregor was a godsend in a lot of ways. Only 5 1/2 hours from my home, a Christian author, well respected in today's CBA market was going to be teaching. Not only that, but I would get to meet one of the top agents in the industry, these are the people who you hold in awe and feel honored to meet.

But once introductions were made, it was past the star struck glamor and down to business. I took ten pages of notes, but my burning questions remained unanswered. What was I doing wrong? True, I don't have all the methods for great fiction down in my writing, I would never profess to have them down, but as Susie and Chip talked, I saw what they were talking about in my own writing, I at least had the start of almost every method.

But what was I doing wrong? There was something missing, my well was dry, where was I to turn?

I sat in the class antzy and worried that maybe there was something wrong with me. Why wasn't the lessons I had been trying to learn clicking? Was I in the right place, was this where God wanted me?

I went back to my hotel room that night, emotionally drained. The class was good, but if I already knew how to do this and was just putting a name to it, why was I struggling so much?

Great peace comes from sinking to your knees before the Master Author and pouring out your soul. I just sat there and begged God that if this is where I am supposed to be that He would give me a mind to understand.

We had a full day learning and I took more notes, my mind never far from my prayer and my longing to know why my writing wasn't clicking.

In the last half hour Susie and Chip asked us if there was something we wanted to ask before we left. So I told them, poured out my drama and waited for a reply. The words that fell from Chip's lips released a boulder the size of house from my shoulders. A boulder I didn't know I had been carrying.

Write something else.

So simple, so easy, so completely freeing.  Move on, write something I want to work on, because the dead horse I was beating wasn't going to jump to life.

And then the words from my lips, "I want to write a contemporay." This was what I had been longing to try. Susie jumped right on it and encouraged me to do it, move forward and maybe just maybe those things I had been struggling with for so long would fall into place.

I was released.

God knew what He was doing even when I doubted while sitting in that class. That release was worth every penny I spent, even if I hadn't walked away with more knowledge then when I arrived.

The struggles I was facing like Mount Everest, suddenly became mere mole hills. The lessons I was trying to learn suddenly didn't seem so hard to put into practice and I was finally freed from my self imposed prison to write what I wanted to write.

Now, I have a sentence without a story, but one I hope will blossom into one. Let me know what you think, I would love to know!

You can learn alot about a person. While sitting in a public stall, staring at their shoes.

Avoiding the one eyed glare of a positive pregnancy test.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Streams of Mercy AND A Tender Reed

Teresa Slack has written for nearly as long as she can remember. From scribbling in a notebook during school to jotting notes while walking down the hall, she has always had a mind brimming with story ideas. Since the early days, Teresa has written five contemporary novels for the Christian market with several more to be launched. I am pleased to present an interview I had with Teresa recently. She has graciously agreed to give away a copy of TWO of her books, Streams of Mercy and A Tender Reed to one fortunate winner!

Teresa, thank you for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you taking the time to answer these few questions, letting us get to know you better.

1: How long did you write before you were published?
I can’t remember not writing. I entertained myself with stories while mowing the yard as a kid. Every Saturday the stories got longer and more in depth. If there was a pencil and paper handy, I wrote them down. I only wish I knew where those notebooks were today. I got my first contract in 2001 from Tsaba House, but it wasn’t until Summer, ’04 before I actually held a real book in my hands. That was the longest 2 years and 10 months of my life.

2: When you held that first book in your hands, what was your first thought?
“I did it. I did it. I did it.” Of course I knew Who was actually responsible for that gift. I still thank God every day for allowing me to do what I love while sharing my faith with others.

3: What do you find the hardest part about writing?
Fastening my rear to the chair and keeping it there. I work better under pressure. As a writer, you often have to create your own urgency or you waste a lot of time.

4: How do you coordinate time between writing and other responsibilities?
I try to adhere to a schedule. Afternoons are my alone time, so I strive to focus completely on writing during those hours between lunch and dinner. Sadly I’m better at thinking about it than actually putting the concept into practice.

5: What are you working on now?
Besides some short stories that are a lot of fun even if there isn’t much market for the medium, I’m working on a mystery that takes place during one of the most severe blizzards in modern history. The blizzard actually happened, so the research was a lot of fun. But the story of how an old man ended up at the bottom of a flight of stairs in a remote farmhouse the morning the blizzard hit is purely my creation.

6: Where can readers find out more about your books?
They can visit my website  or visit my blog Joy in the Journey at  The books are available nationwide at any library or bookstore in the country. If your library doesn’t carry them, ask and they’ll get them for you.

7: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?
Redemption is the most common theme that runs through my books. I didn’t make it a point when I began writing, but it seems to recur in each one. Regardless of where we are in our faith or on our life journey it is easy to get off track, even temporarily. I want my stories to have a message of hope. I want readers to know God is always there waiting should we get off track. He leaves us, flaws and all.

8: Why did you choose this profession?
Like a lot of writers, I think this profession chose me. It’s too demanding and brutal with little monetary gain for a person who actually wants to pay the light bill on a regular basis. Sometimes I envy people who go to work, put in their 8-12 hours, and then go home leaving work at the office. They don’t realize how easy they have it. Writers never have that luxury. Even when we aren’t working, we’re working. It’s exhausting. Voices wake us up in the night. Characters tap us on the shoulder and demand our attention. Much of the time those who love us the most pooh-pooh what we do and think of it as a hobby. But then again, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?
Keep reading. If not for readers of Christian fiction, publishers would stop publishing books and writers like me would have to get a real job. Aargh! But seriously, I am so thankful for the readers I’ve met, for the lovely emails I receive. If you enjoy an author’s book, don’t be shy. Take a moment and let them know. It means the world to us.

I am especially thankful to the Lord for lending me this gift. Scripture admonishes that we not hide our talent in the ground. I am so blessed to be writing for such a time as this. Inspirational fiction is the largest and fastest growing segment in publishing. Writing allows me to minister to the heart of readers through characters and situations the reader can relate to. What could be better.

Thanks, Casey for the opportunity to share with you and your readers.

Readers to enter to win two of Teresa's books, PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Follow Teresa's blog.
(to do this, simply copy and paste her address, visit your dashboard and click "add" under the list of blogs you follow and follow the instructions. : )

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- I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items of said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter!

Ends May 7th.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2 Winners!!

Hey everyone, I was gone these last two days and you will NEVER guess who I met and worked with... no, nope, not that one either.

SUSAN MAY WARREN!!! I spent a day and a half learning more about writing from best selling author Susan May Warren- in case you haven't read her fiction, PUT IT ON YOUR TO BE READ PILE. You haven't read fiction until you have read hers!! 

Also teaching was literay agent, Chip McGregor. They were both fantastic teachers and I have come away so ready to try my hand at another story. Here is a picture that Susie took with her camera of us. (I could have kicked myself- I forgot my camera!) Such a great lady!

And now I have two winners for Vanessa Miller's book, Yesterday's Promise...


They have already been emailed and have a week to get a hold of me.  See you next week everyone, hope your weekend has been great. : )

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Review: The Anonymous Bride

I love a good mail order bride story and THE ANONYMOUS BRIDE was such a fun one!

Marshall of Lookout, Texas, Luke Davis, isn’t looking to get married, not at least until three brides arrive, brides he never asked for!

The laughs were abundant as Luke finds himself placed in the middle of one town’s determination to see him married.

While the premise might sound farfetched, the novel wasn’t. Each step made perfect sense and the characters quickly became real. The tension between Luke and the woman he loves, was strong and magnetic. It’s fast paced and lively and I just love the friction between the three brides and the woman who really loves Luke.

The contest scenes were hilarious, but my favorite part was when the brides all showed up. I could see it unfold before my eyes; I wouldn’t want to be standing in Luke’s boots right then!

I loved the different threads woven through the book. From a disobedient child to a murdering, kidnapping outlaw. It kept me turning pages and I am so thrilled I was given the chance to read this book.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for a copy to influence.

Friday, April 23, 2010

No, Please Not the Egg!!

I simply had to share these. I am out of town at the moment- will be back on Sunday, so I will post what I read sometime then, but had to share these hilarious photos before hand. Don't laugh too hard!!

LOL! Someone had WAY too much time on their hands! :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Depravity of Today's Society

I am sure you remember I just had Jury Duty. This was a completely new experience for me, and it brought me face to face again with the depravity of our society.

The trial was for a rape. Yes, in our little town, a couple of teenagers made the gravest mistake of their lives. Whether this young man committed the crime or not, I will never know (as he plea bargained and I don’t know which way the judge ruled), but it was the still the gravest of errors. Sex outside of marriage, the sacred bond God intended for marriage only, they desecrated and turned it into a form of cheap entertainment.

The lawyers asked us if seeing some pretty graphic text messages would bother us, if we could still serve on the trial. And of course, being the out spoken person that I am, I told them what I thought.

We have nothing sacred in our society. Nothing is private, nothing belongs to one person and that one person alone. Travel with a bus load of teenagers for 4 days and you will know exactly what I mean. Anything and everything that enters their mind, every body part, every inappropriate thought is given voice and once those words are in the air, they cannot be retracted.

Morals are terribly hard to find in today’s young people and look at where it has gotten us? I should never have had to sit on a trial about an 18 year old young man raping his peer. Who knows, he could have possibly never committed that crime, but at this point, this is beside the point. There was obvious evidence/ thought to at least accuse this young man- but who’s evidence? It takes two to commit such an act. I know not about this situation, only what I have seen in other places, we are surrounded by this perversion of something so sacred.

The lawyer asked if the worry that a guilty verdict would ruin his life would drive us to free him. The only problem is, his life was ruined long before the sheriff slapped the handcuffs on his wrists. And not just his life, the girl’s life, their family’s lives and the courtroom full of jurors were all affected when they decided to commit this act outside the sacredness of God’s institution. His life was ruined long before this trial. Our sin has a horrendous ripple effect. Being the self centered humans we are, we never sit back and wonder how something, seeming so innocent, can affect so many people.

This was a harsh reality check. We have degraded so deeply in our society. Our total lack of propriety and modesty have brought us to this point. I can only pray that this is his reality check that God will be made known to him.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review: The Narrow Path

Though the cover may allude to being of the Amish genre, THE NARROW PATH was no such novel. An original story about the Mennonite community and a young woman who enters from the “outside.”

Miranda has been hired by a Mennonite community to create a Christmas play, but can she adapt to this new culture for a year and can she really fall in love with a young man, rooted in his ways?

I enjoyed this book. It was fresh and original from what I normally read in the Amish genre. There was humor and a love story that was completely unpredictable- at least for me. When it got down to the wire between Miranda and Ted, I wasn’t sure what way it was going to go. And the ending wasn’t rushed.

My favorite part of the book was when Ted and Miranda would meet for meals. There was humor there that made me chuckle and smile.

It is not your typical run of the mill story. I wasn’t sure if a story about planning a Christmas play could hold my attention, but it did and I enjoyed the chance to read this novel. It’s a fast read, but also one with uniqueness that captivated me.

I received my copy from the author to influence. I received no compensation for this review.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with author Shannon Vannatter on the Craft of Writing- Part 2

Welcome back to day 2 of my interview with up and coming author, Shannon Vannatter.

6: What are the most common mistakes beginning writers make?
They don’t spend enough time honing the craft and submit to editors and agents too soon.

7: What are two things you wished you had known before you started writing?
1. How hard it would be to get published. But if I had known, I may have never tried. 2. How stressful it is once you actually have deadlines. I’d hear published authors talk about it and think, I’d kill for a deadline. Now, I know what they meant, but it’s very worth it.

8: Why did you choose this profession?
 I had a story in my head for years, but didn’t realize what it was. Finally, once I realized it was a book, I didn’t have a computer and wasn’t a good enough typist to take on such a task. My father-in-law gave me his old computer about the same time it became increasingly difficult to find clean romances at the library. So, I set out to write a clean romance. But the more I wrote, the more God kept popping up in my characters’ lives. I didn’t know there was such a thing as inspirational fiction until I finished the book and asked the librarian how to get published. I checked out a Market Guide and learned there were Christian publishing houses. I’d shopped at Christian book stores for years, but always went straight to the music. And back then, late 1999, I think most of the books in Christian stores were nonfiction. Once I realized there were Christian houses, a whole new world opened up for me.

9: What advice/ encouragement do you have for the writers reading this today?
It’s hard, but don’t give up on your dream. Persistence and patience are half the battle. If you keep honing and learning, eventually a publisher will notice.

10: Any other helpful advice?
Join ACFW, a critique group, and attend their conferences. The conferences aren’t cheap, but so worth the money. I learned everything that gave me the edge to write publishable fiction through ACFW.

Thank you, Shannon, for taking the time to answer these questions. Writing is a tough profession and I know help of any kind is always appreciated!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Interview with author Shannon Vannatter on the Craft of Writing- Part 1

Shannon Taylor Vannatter received over 200 rejections before hitting publication, proving that anyone can do it, if they have the willingness to learn and the ability to write. Her writing has received several awards, including 2nd place in the RWA’s 2007 Touched by Love contest. Her first book, White Roses releases in May, 2010 and will be followed by White Doves and White Pearls in October, 2010 and January, 2011 respectively. I am pleased to present an interview I had with Shannon recently on the writing craft. Thank you for being with us today, Shannon!

1: How long did you work on your writing before you were published?
It took me nine years from the time I began writing until I got the first offer.

2 What are two mistakes you wish you had never made?
I wish I had joined a writer’s group and attended conferences sooner than I did. I shot myself in the foot by trying to go it alone for the first couple of years. I kept hearing about learning to write, but I thought, why waste time learning, when I can just write. It doesn’t work that way if you want to get published.

3: What resources did you find the most helpful for learning the craft?
Two local writers’ groups where I learned the basics, my critique group, American Christian Fiction Writers conferences, and craft books, where I got past the basics.

4: How does an author "find their voice"?
I’m not sure we find it, as much as it’s just something we naturally have. Each writer strings words together in a unique way. It comes from personality, background, and where we were raised. To me, that is voice.

5: How do you protect your writing time?
I write during the day, while my son is in school. I don’t take on any appointments, projects, or even go shopping during that time, unless I need a break. I’ve stopped doing a lot of things I used to do, like cleaning the church. I felt bad at first, but I view my writing as a full time job and make sure other people realize that too. During the summer, I write when my son isn’t home or at night after everyone is in bed. I try not to miss quality time with my family.

6: What are the most common mistakes beginning writers make?
Return tomorrow for Shannon's answer and the rest of the interview. Did any of this help you? Leave a comment and tell me about it! : )

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What I Read This Week and a Blog Award

I wouldn't normally do this on a Sunday, but I got behind this week, so here is what I read this week...

And they are...

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John
The Narrow Path by Gail Sattler
Waiting for Daybreak by Kathryn Cushman
Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

What did you read this week? I would love to add it to our total!

This week, I was given The Sunshine Award from Molly at Buuklvr81 Reviews and Abi at My Heart Belongs to Books. Thank you so much ladies! I love it and am honored you passed it on to me!!

This award is traditionally passed on to those blogger's that inspire others and show positivity and creativity, so, in that spirit, I picked my nominees from blogs that I visit regularly and are very informative and inspiring to me.

The rules for accepting the award are:

This is what I've done and the nominees should do the same if they choose to:

1) Put the logo within my blog or on my post

2) Pass the award onto 10 fellow bloggers

3) Link the nominees within my post

4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog

5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

Here are just a few blogs that I love to visit. The bloggers that you can tell love to blog and sharing what they know with others... so here are my ten (in no particular order). Be sure and check them out- they are all awesome!

1: Ashley @ After all....Tomorrow is another day
2: Carman @ A Sequence of Continuous Delights
3: Debra @ Debra's Reading Corner
4: Pepper @ Words Seasoned with Salt
5: Tina @ The Homestead Heart
6: Megan @ Winning Readings
7: Janna @ Cornhusker Academy
8: Renee @ Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
9:  Peg @ Go Ahead and Wear the Purple!
10: Charity @ Giveaway Lady

Thanks you guys for making my day brighter! Your blogs are some of the best!

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Book Review: Ransomed Dreams

One shot shattered more than just bodies, it decimated lives and realities, crushing innocent illusions.

The story behind this novel was intriguing, and it interested me. The prologue gripped me, the drama intense and the emotions high, planting many question in my mind. But the novel really didn’t interest me until I was about 150 pages into it. As the drama was kicked up a notch and the emotions flowing, the story kept me interested. Two plot lines on different paths, but managing to intersect and wasn’t confusing in the process. I liked the setting, Mexico, and it was refreshing not to wade through much of the language of that region, you got the flavor without the Spanish.

But I struggled to enjoy this novel to its full potential, and I have a hard time saying why. I think it was because much of the novel, I was being filled in, instead of experiencing what was going on. It felt more distanced and at times it was too much to want to wade through.

This novel wasn’t my favorite, but the story beneath the “telling” was unique and the ending satisfying.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for my copy to review.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

WINNERS! I Have Never Had So Many!!!

Thank you ALL for making this celebration so much fun!! And I am BLOWN away by the out pouring of support, my follower count is now up to 112!! I can not wait to see what the rest of this adventure has in store. : )

Now, I have winners, and a WHOLE LOT of winners!! All of you have already been emailed, so be watching if you're name is up here!!

First, the winner of Cara Putman's novel, A Promise Born is....

Abi!!! (abreading4fun....)

The winner of The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen is.... The BookWorm!!! (hawaiismn...)

The winner of Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman is....
Privies and Prims!!!!

And the winner of a Bug's Beads Bracelet is.... Debp!!! (twoofakind12...)

All of these winners have 48 hours to contact me with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen.  THANK YOU everyone, I am blessed by your support and love "knowing" you!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

100 Followers- It's Time to Celebrate- Day Three!!!

It's my final gift. :( But I am just SO thrilled that I was given this chance to thank you, my 104 followers!

Someone (sorry don't remember who!), but one of the comments left yesterday, congratulated me about gaining so much in such a short time. But it's not me and I want you all to know that. Yes, I am fulfilling a need (and having a blast doing it!), but it's the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has taken a love of mine and blown it to mind boggling perportions. Why do I ever doubt Him?? I have no idea why!

And now, here is the gift that I promised you about a week ago...
This is a brand new Bug's Bead bracelet! It is an extra large size- perfect for the regular adult size.

(Disclaimer: I did not make this bracelet. When I took the business over, I was given a few and this is one of them. I make the exact same kind, this one will just have an old tag from the previous owner.)

Now here is the catch:

This contest is ONLY for my blog followers OR subscribers! You can join now on either or both of them and be counted, but if you are not, you won't be entered. Sorry, this is just an apprecation gift for my followers/subscribers.

Okay ENOUGH of that!

Here is how you can gain extra entries:
~+1 Follow my Bug's Beads blog~
~+1 Subscribe to the same blog on that page~
~+2 post about this giveaway celebration anywhere on your blog~
~+ 10 purchase one of my jewerly pieces (my email is on my Bug's Beads blog)~

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this celebration such a success and SO MUCH FUN!!

This contest is only open in the U.S. (sorry- don't have money for overseas fees.) Void where prohibited. Winner will be drawn from an unbiased third party. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged goods during shipment of said prize.

Don't forget to check out the other gifts in the previous two posts!

Can't wait to pick a winner on Saturday!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

100 Followers- It's Time to Celebrate- Day Two!!!

Welcome back to day two of my thank you gifts to three of my amazing 103 followers! Be sure and check out the post directly below to enter to win The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen.

Now I wanted to take a moment and just let you all know how touched I am by the wonderful comments I have read. I love to blog. If you can't tell, I am a bit addicted, but what makes it all the more special and wonderful, is that you take the time from a busy day to read it and find enjoyment within my posts. So many of you have told me that you love to visit my blog and that warms my heart just through and through. That means more to me than anything else I can say. God is good, because none of this would be possible without Him!

And now... my second gift (a gently read copy) to one of my fortunate followers is....
Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

Now here is the catch:
This contest is for ONLY my blog followers OR subscribers! You can join now on either or both of them and be counted, but if you are not, you won't be entered. Sorry, this is just an apprecation gift for my followers/subscribers.

A way to get extra entries:
~+1 Follow my other blog: Operation Encourage an Author~
~+2 Visit the aforementioned blog and leave an encouraging comment for the featured author. Return here to tell me~
~+3 Join the FREE Sweet Christian Romance Network book club and befriend me. You will find my name under the member area- "Casey Herringshaw"- be sure and let me know afterwards!~

Again THANK YOU for making this blog such a success. I am humbled.

I can't wait to pick a winner this coming Saturday!

Contest is void where prohibited and only open to U.S. resident (sorry, these are all coming from me personally). Winners are drawn from a non-biased third party source, I am not responsible for any lost or damaged goods during shipping.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 Followers- It's Time to Celebrate!!!

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to each and everyone of my 101 followers!! This blog has been a dream of mine and I am blown away that it has taken off at such a dramatic level. I got back from my Jury Duty yesterday (btw, it was cancelled due to a plea bargain- yea!) and was SHOCKED to see I not only reached 100 followers, but surpassed it!

SO, to celebrate I have not one, not two, but THREE days of gifts to thank you. It gives me such pleasure to write for this blog and to see all your comments.

My day one gift is (a gently read copy) of:
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Now here is the catch:
This contest is for ONLY my blog followers OR subscribers! You can join now on either or both of them and be counted, but if you are not, you won't be entered. Sorry, this is just an apprecation gift for my followers/subscribers.

For extra entries:
~+2 Grab my blog button and put it on your site~
~ +1 Befriend me on Goodreads. You can find the direct link to my profile, HERE~
~+1 Read one of my book reviews and leave a comment, then return to this post to tell me~
~ +3 Post about this giveaway on your site (sidebar, etc.)~

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this blog a success! I am excited to do another gift tomorrow. : )

This giveaway will end on Saturday.

Contest is open only in the U.S. Void where prohibited. Winner will be drawn from a non-biased source, I am not responsible for damaged or misplaced goods of said prize.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: Yesterday's Promise

Can one woman fulfill her dream and still be granted the love of her heart?

I have never read a story where a woman wanted to be a preacher. I started the book a bit apprehensive. I am very conservative and wasn’t sure how the author would write the story and convince me, without making me feel I was going against my beliefs.

I was pleased. Melinda starts out a determined woman. A woman determined to serve the Lord as a minister for Him. Her main focus, the pulpit. What I enjoyed the most about this story was the growing that Melinda did. She started out proclaiming that she was doing God’s will, but it was really her agenda to prove her past love interest wrong.

The changes she made were real and convincing. To avoid spoilers I won’t say what they are, just that I was pleased when I finished the novel- even with a decision I wouldn’t have made- it was obviously right for Melinda. There is a great deal of gospel and faith in the novel, so it is definitely for the reader who will enjoy reading about a character’s deep faith journey- which I did.

There was a love story and a multitude of challenges that added depth to the story. All in all, I enjoyed the novel and was glad I had the chance to read it.

Thanks for the author for my copy to influence. I received no compensation for this review.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jury Duty....

Sigh. I have Jury Duty the next three days, in a trial, all day. Sooooo. Needless to say I will not be around much, but I will check in when I can and post the same.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. And if you think of it, will you please pray that I am fair and impartial and that I will have a clear mind? THANK YOU!

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Yesterday's Promise

For some authors, writing just springs naturally from a God given ability with words and a love to share the writing craft. Vanessa Miller is just such an author, having written since a young age. Her stories mainly tackle stories about people who are lost and in need of redemption. Her books resonate with readers as she has received several awards and been on numerous bestseller lists.

I am pleased to share an interview I had with Vanessa recently and she has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her latest release, Yesterday’s Promise

Vanessa, thank you so much for taking the time to visit today, letting us get to know you better!

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

I was a kid when I first began writing. But I didn’t know anything about submitting my work for publication at that time, so if we start with adulthood, I would have to say it took about ten – twelve years before I finally became a published author.

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

WOW! I was totally awestruck. I remember sitting on the stairs, just holding the book in my hands. My dream had finally been realized, and I had no words to express how wonderful that felt.

3: What are you working on now?

I’m working on the final edits to the sequel to Yesterday’s Promise. That book is titled, A Love for Tomorrow and it releases in September 2010.

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

Readers can visit my website:  I also have a fan page on Facebook so they can type in Vanessa Miller to find me.

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

In Yesterday’s Promise I hope my readers begin to understand that if God brought you to it, He can bring you through it. I also want them to find faith and hope in the way Melinda holds onto the ministry (dream) that God put in her heart.

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

The only thing that I can think that people might not know is that I have a two year old granddaughter and a one year old grandson. There, that’s two things. : )

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

I would just like to thank everyone who took the time to read my information on this blog. I hope you also get a chance to read Yesterday’s Promise. Many blessings to you…

Readers, I have TWO copies of this book to giveaway, so to enter to win Yesterday's Promise, PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!

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

And a NEW one:
~Follow My Other blog, Operation Encourage an Author.

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- I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Music to Encourage and Inspire on Your Sunday

I am new to the voice and music of Meredith Andrews, but I already love her music and hope to someday have one of her cds. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Winner of Scattered Petals!!

And the winner of Amanda Cabot's novel, Scattered Petals is....

Katie M.!!!!!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter! What an awesome turn out with even more comments then my last giveaway!

Okay, and here's the deal. I opened up Blogger today to see that Writing for Christ gained 4 more followers- wow and THANK YOU!! So, only 3 more until we can party and trust me I have several things planned!

I want to thank you all for the kind comments about my blog. I read so many nice things from people who enjoy reading it and that touches me deeply. I can't wait to show my appreciation. God is good!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What I Read This Week (I'm Over Half Way Done!!)

That's right! I only have 47 books now to read before the end of the year. I think I just might make it. ;-)  5 books this week and I have NO idea where that time came from. Oh well, I'll take it. :-)

And they are:
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allan
Third Times a Charm by Virginia Smith
The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean
A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

A quick reminder, today is the last day to enter to win Amanda Cabot's novel, Scattered Petals. Hurry up and enter!

Also, I only need 7 more followers before we party about this blog reaching 100 followers!! Help me spread the word! :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Have My Business Name

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to help me. But unfortunately, after I posted-- my family and I got together and how it usually works for me, once I write and ask for help from someone, the answer comes to me. I loved your suggestions, but at this point the name for my business will be:

Bug's Beads

If you would like to know the meaning behind such a strange name click HERE. I am starting a new blog for my business and will occasionally update with new design images, news from the world of Bug's Beads and have an ordering setup, in case you see something you like. ;-)

Now, I feel bad that I got your hopes up for the chance at a bracelet and then dropped this bomb shell, SO, help me get to 100 followers and I will give one of my new bracelets away on a random draw. So spread the word and help me get only 9 more followers!

Thanks again everyone! You all are great. :-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Help! I Need New Creative Imput!

Hello, dear blog readers!

I am in a pickle and need help to get out of it! I am starting a business making jewerly: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watches, that sort of thing. I am taking it over from a previous owner who is giving it to me and they called it "Booka Beads" (there is a story to that, but I won't got into that right now).

Long story short, I need a new name to make this business my own, but I can't think of anything! I need this name by Saturday, April 17th, when it officially becomes my business in the public's eyes.

The jewerly is farely simplistic and not gaudy. It sparkles when it hits the light, and adds a simple elegance to any outfit.

I want something simple, preferably with just two words, but I am not opposed to more. I like the idea of corresponding beginning letters, like "Ribbons and Roses"- that type of thing.

Okay and here it is, this is going to be HIGHLY subjective, but IF I pick one of your suggestions to be my business name, I will send you a free bracelet, again that is IF I pick your name.

Thanks so much you guys, I really appreciate it and can't wait to see what you come up with!

Waiting on Wednesdays- I CAN'T Wait!!

I seriously CAN NOT wait for this release. Coming out in July, 2010 from Summerside, Cara Putman's FIRST trade paper back is going to be hitting store shelves and I am going to be bouncing off the walls to get one! This is a GORGEOUS cover- don't you think??

Stars in the Night by Cara C. Putman
Book Description from CBD (pre-order HERE)
During World War II, attorney Audra Schaeffer travels with the Hollywood Victory Caravan---but she's more interested in finding her sister's killer than selling war bonds. Then two people are found dead on the train, including star Robert Garfield's ex-wife. Are the deaths related to her sister's? Could the murderer be the man Audra loves? 320 pages, softcover.

Wow, Cara is a fantastic author and I LOVE her WWII stories, I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Review: Plain Paradise

Two mothers bound together by the daughter they both love. Can Linda’s love for two different mothers bind them together?

I liked the story. One dying woman, who gave her daughter up for adoption, suddenly shows up on the doorstep of her Amish daughter’s home. Their lives are irreversibly changed. I loved the faith woven through the story. So often in today’s fiction it is glossed over, but PLAIN PARADISE was rich with faith and God’s love, but it was never overbearing. The ending didn’t feel stilted or rushed, but as it came to its conclusion I was pleased and confident the characters were well off without me.

But I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as PLAIN PURSUIT (book 2 in the Daughters of the Promise series). I thought that some actions were over dramatic and much of the novel, I felt I was being filled in, instead of experiencing. There is a great deal of looking back, right away in the book and it makes it difficult to really delve into the story, I prefer to discover little tidbits throughout the book.

But in all, it was a quick read and a fresh glimpse at the Amish and a nice change from the normal clich├ęd character.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my copy of this book to review.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: A Promise Born

Cara C. Putman has written professionally since 2005 when God’s call firmly took root. Since then joys of publication have fallen quickly on the heels of her hard work. Her first book, Canteen Dreams, was the 2008 winner of American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year. Her second book, Sandhill Dreams, was a Book of the Year finalist. Along with writing about the home front during World War 2, she has written two mysteries for Love Inspired Suspense. Today I am honored to share an interview I had with her. Cara has graciously offered to give away a copy of her book...A Promise Born to one fortunate winner!

Cara, thank you for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you taking the time to answer these few questions, letting us get to know you better.

Thanks so much for having me, Casey.

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

My story is a bit unique in that from the time I felt God give me the go-ahead to chase the dream of writing books to the time I had my first contract was about 15 months. Add another year to holding that first book in my hands and now five years later, I’m waiting for books ten and eleven to release this summer and fall. It’s more normal for it to take 7 to 9 years from first sitting down to write to landing that first contract. Publishing is all about perseverance and discipline.

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

That God was amazing. It was a beautiful book – from cover to story. And readers responded well to Canteen Dreams. But that first thought was definitely that God had blown me away.

3: What do you find the hardest part about writing?

The isolation. I’m an extrovert, so it is truly hard to spend so much time alone – just me and my computer. But, I’ve found ways to still connect with people and developed deep friendships with other writers and readers through ACFW, facebook, etc.

4: How do you coordinate time between writing and other responsibilities?

When I have a deadline, I am very disciplined. I will get the writing done. Sometimes that means I don’t get a lot of sleep, and my kids have a knack for getting sick and needing more of me during those peak times. But I’ve also learned to ask for help earlier in the process. To not wait until I am buried and it’s almost impossible to catch up. So when I’m under deadline, I’ll have a babysitter come at least one afternoon a week. The kids like the break from mom, and I can go through the other days knowing I have a pocket of time for uninterrupted writing.

5: What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on edits to Stars in the Night, my World War Two romantic suspense that releases in July, and dreaming up new ideas for future books.

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

It’s easy to learn more about them at  or at . I update my blog, which can be found at both sites as well as on my facebook page, at least three times a week.

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

That no matter what is going on in our lives, God will never leave us or forsake us. That we can have hope in the darkest night because He is there. And whether my novel is a historical romance or a romantic suspense, readers will find a variation on those themes.

8: Why did you chose this profession?

Because I love to research and create. And I knew this was one area where I could never learn all there is to know. There is no threat of boredom when there is no way to ever become the perfect writer. I can always push myself to be better.

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

Thanks so much for having me, Casey.

What an honor to share an interview with you, Cara! I wish you all the very best in your writing, it's some of the best! :-)

Readers to enter to win A Promise Born, PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!

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

And a NEW one:
~Follow Cara's blog.

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- I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter!

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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