Monday, September 30, 2013

Giveaway! Peril by Jordyn Redwood!

Welcome back Jordyn Redwood! Since this is the third time for you to visit, I thought I would throw in some fun questions, maybe some that aren’t part of the norm in other interviews. :- )
If you could go anywhere on vacation where would it be?
JR: I’ve always had a fascination with Italy so I would LOVE to visit there. However, I would probably be thinking the whole time about how I could get into the Vatican archives and see exactly what is in there. I’m sure so many stories could be told from what they’re keeping locked up and hidden.

Do you have any pets?
JR: Yes. One rescue dog named Harley. He looks like a white lab.
Your favorite book that you have written?

JR: Proof will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first book but Peril (the last book in the Bloodline trilogy) is my favorite. I just felt myself growing as an author and it was the first medical concept I wanted to write about but had abandoned many years ago because many thought it wa
s too controversial for CBA. I’m very curious to know what readers think.

What is your favorite pastime?

JR: I love snuggling with my girls watching movies and cross-stitching. Those are the things that relax me.
Favorite book?
JR: Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. You knew it’d be Koontz, right?
Favorite movie?

JR: This is harder for me so I’ll name a couple. While You Were Sleeping. I could watch that over and over and generally do every Christmas. There’s an old movie called The Changeling that starred George C. Scott that was probably my first introduction to suspense films and I loved it—that tingling apprehension from watching a thriller.

What people have inspired you in your writing journey?

JR: So many but I’m a big fan of James Scott Bell’s writing career in the sense that he’s doing everything well. Writing multiple genres (zombie fiction, suspense, historical), multiple platforms (fiction, non-fiction, traditional and self-published) and has a great heart for teaching and is a true expert on the craft of righting. He also fully transitioned from a career that wasn’t writing related. I’d like to have a career like his someday.

What character in a novel you have read has stood out and seemed to stand the test of time?

JR: Wow, tough question. I’d have to pick two from mainstream fiction: Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta and James Patterson’s Alex Cross. I don’t love each of the books that highlight these characters but I have grown to love them and will probably continue to read them.

If you could meet one person from history who would it be and why?

JR: As a Christian, do you get in trouble if you don’t say Jesus? Of course, I would love to meet Him but that’s maybe an obvious answer so I’ll pick another and it stems from my interest in all things scary. I’d like to meet and interview Hitler—a truly evil, villainous man. I would have been interested in his youth. About the threads that wove together to make him the man he became.
Okay, last one and a fun one for our readers today: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing, what would it be? Why?

One thing? Comedian Tim Hawkins because at least I could die laughing.

Casey—thanks so much for having me! It’s always great being here with you and your readers.

Too fun, thanks for joining us for a third time!! It is a privilege.  : -)

Readers, enter to win Jordyn'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- I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on October 11th
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(@) 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Made to Last RELEASE Party!!

When Melissa Tagg announced that she was releasing a title with Bethany House, I might have squealed. 

I know exactly where I was when I read her blog post: sitting on a hotel bed in Guthrie, Oklahoma on my way to the 2012 ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas. My roommate didn't know who she was yet, but I said "just you wait. Melissa IS going to be someone in the Christian fiction world". 

Hey, Melissa when that comes true do I get a percentage of your royalties?? ;-)

Anyway. I'm thrilled, THRILLED to be able to call Melissa "friend" AND share this giveaway party with Rel at Relz Reviewz. We've got a BASH planned for you!! 

So enter! The 
giveaway runs from September 28th thru September 30th

And hey! The reason TODAY is the party?? It's MELISSA'S BIRTHDAY!!

And have we got the prizes!

You can comment on this blog or Rel's blog to enter the contest and we're giving away:

FOUR copies of Made to Last...Melissa's DEBUT novel!

FOUR $10 Amazon Gift Cards (to buy a copy of Melissa's novel)!

TWO Bug's Beads Bracelets (winner's choice!)

REMEMBER, the party only lasts through the weekend! 

Watch this post and Rel's for sneak peeks into Made to Last, deleted scenes and fun bet-you-didn't-know about Melissa's journey to writing and publishing this book. 


Fun Fact #1 about Made to Last...

Melissa: In my earliest versions of the story, I had plans for Miranda's actual for
Photo credit
mer fiance to play her pretend husband rather than the studio hiring someone to appear as her husband. But this other fun character kept nibbling at the back of my mind—someone funny (okay, crazy) who Miranda might have trouble keeping in line. 

The more I pondered it, the more I realized adding this third guy in the story could be hilarious. So, Blake/Blaze was born. I pushed the fiance’s appearance in the story back a ways and gave the role of the pretend husband to Blake (And he gets his own book next! Here to Stay comes out May 1, 2014.)

Fun Fact #2 about Made to Last...

Photo credit
I have no idea how to build a house. And I am so un-crafty it’s not even funny. I get really nervous about putting things together—like a new vacuum or a new desk. (Both of which I’ve done. Both of which I’ve, amazingly, survived…but not without moments of frustration!)

So the fact that I wrote a book about a homebuilding DIY guru…um, hilarious. To research, I watched a slew of HGTV shows (such a sacrifice, I know) and spent lots of time on the This Old House website. I called my dad several times when I had questions about this or that tool. And Google is one of my best friends. :-)

Want a peak at what the story USED to look like? Check out this deleted scene below...

The yell jerked Miranda from sleep, and she rolled from her bed. She hit the floor with an “oomph” and thud. Ouch. Quilt tangled around her legs, she yanked herself to her feet, kicking the blanket away and crossing the room in quick strides.
            Why the shouting? Who…? And had she seriously just fallen out of her bed? Bring on the bruises.
Another yell accompanied her race down the stairs.
“What is it?” she huffed as she reached the bottom, feet thoroughly iced as they slicked over the hardwood. “What’s wrong?”
And then she saw them: Knox standing barely inside the house, screen door still flapping behind him, panting, pointing. And Blaze, bare torso sticking up from the sofa, dark hair poking all directions, sleepy grin.
“I…he…” Knox threw up his hands. “I walk into the house, assuming you’re both sleeping upstairs and suddenly I hear this voice from the couch.” He rubbed both palms down his unshaven jaw, then stuffed them in the pockets of his jeans.
“All I said was, ‘Morning, dude,’” Blaze said through a yawn, stretching his arms. Sinewy muscles threaded down his arms and back and Miranda felt the warmth spread over her cheeks.
Oh, crap, she couldn’t flush. What wife reddened over the sight of her husband shirtless after five years of marriage?
But the shock still oozing from poor Knox’s face was a pretty good sign he probably hadn’t noticed her blushing bride moment. “Knox, you going to recover?”
But when he turned his eyes on her, the crimson crept over her all over again as she realized what he saw. Hair a mass of dark tangles, pink polka-dotted pajama pants and oversized t-shirt hanging askew. “Huh, I didn’t take you for a pink girl.”
She hugged her eyes to herself and in her periphery saw Blaze stand. “My wife can pull off any color.” The words rolled lazily from his tongue ahead of another yawn.
“Um…honey.” She stretched out the word. “We have a houseguest, remember.” Eyes to his chest and then away again.
He caught her drift. “Right. Shirt. Coming right up.” He reached behind and pulled a tee over his head.
“I think I’m breathing again,” Knox offered, closing the door behind him. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you all. I was just thirsty and thought maybe I’d start some coffee brewing and…” He glanced back and forth between them. “But what was I thinking? This isn’t my house and I should go. I’ll come back later when you’ve had a chance to…dress.”
Oh, the salty taste of awkwardness. Miranda tightened her arms. “No, come on in. Go ahead to the kitchen. I’ll change and be down in a minute.”
She padded back upstairs, stifling her groan until she reached her bedroom. Bad enough her head pounded from rolling off her bed. But to race down the stairs looking like – she stopped in front of her full-length mirror – this? She wiped the sleep from her eyes, threaded her fingers through hair that would’ve raised Einstein’s eyebrows.
And oh yeah, between now and her return, she’d have to come up with an excuse for why her dear husband had spent the night on the couch. He snores? I snore? No, wouldn’t do for Knox to print that. Blaze stayed up too late watching TV and never made it up to bed. But that didn’t explain the bedding.
She pulled a fleece sweatshirt from the back of her closet – summer was definitely gone for good – and slipped into her favorite Levis.
Probably Matthew Knox considered theirs the oddest marriage this side of the Atlantic. If so, he had it right – all except for the actual marriage part.
And yet…
Whatever he thought of her and Blaze, Knox had made a concentrated effort to reach out to her in the past two days, ever since she’d shared her worries about the show.
She wriggled a brush through her mass of dark curls.
He believes me. Even after helping her the other day had netted him a fall and a goose egg the size of her fist. He hadn’t been seriously hurt, but still, she regretted not insisting on shelving that box herself – especially after he had admitted his fear of ladders.
            She watched her lips spread in the mirror now. A cloud of red had spread over his cheeks as he offered the sheepish confession. And then again, when he’d pulled himself up after falling from the ladder.
And yet, he wanted to help her. Placed enough stock in her concerns about the show to offer his investigative services. He’d already followed through on the offer, asking for a list of every suspicious incident from the past few months and quizzing her on who might possibly want to see From the Ground Up brought down.
            Miranda descended the stairs a second time. Sunrise still caressed the morning, its pinks and oranges cascading through the lanky windows fronting the house. Blaze had folded his sheet and blankets on the couch.
            She found the men huddled over bowls of cereal in the kitchen. “Good morning,” she said, lilting into the room as if nobody had seen anybody shirtless, rumpled or frightened only minutes ago.
            The coffeepot chugged and moaned, the smell massaging her senses. She padded to the fridge and pulled the door open. Blinked. “Groceries! Someone…” She turned. “Blaze you got groceries?” Couldn’t have been Knox. True to his word, he’d shadowed her every move in the past 48 hours.
            Blaze’s spoon clanked against his bowl. “Pantry’s stocked, too. And I filled the far right cupboard with your favorite.”
            Her favorite? She flung open the cabinet. Pop-Tarts. Box after box of Pop-Tarts. He’d noticed? Observant man, her husband. Who knew? He’d pretty much made himself scarce these past few days.
            The eager-to-please smile in Blaze’s eyes warmed her. His consideration, too. “Thanks.” And then, “Sweetheart.” She tried to keep the surprise from her voice. Knox should believe Blaze did things like this all the time – like any doting husband would.
            Not that she’d know.
            And for some reason a lump formed in her throat. She swallowed, blinked away tears that had picked the strangest time to well. Seriously, Pop-Tarts should not make a person cry.

What's your vote? Agree it should have been cut? Or kept in the story? ;-)

Wish Melissa a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and be sure and enter the giveaway above!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Make that a FUN Author Interview! My Guest? Amy Matayo!!

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: Amy Matayo

Home State (complete with address so we can stalk you): Arkansas, where calling the Hogs is a nightly ritual.

Occupation: A wanna-be writer who also dabbles in nap-taking.

Height: 5’7”

Hair Color: Brown with blonde highlights that mysteriously turn gray every eight weeks or so.

Goin’ Deeper:

Celebrity crush: Adam Levine

#1 favorite pastime: Watching Adam Levine on The Voice. Plus eating Snickers bars.

Best book of your childhood: Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Go to comfort food: Dessert, doesn’t matter what kind

Worst job you ever had: In high school, shrink-wrapping boxed cards at DayS
Releases February 1, 2014!
Preorder here
pring Cards. Think conveyer belt. Think I Love Lucy, except with no place to stuff the boxes flying past me.

In Ten Words or Less:

Happiest moment of your life: When my first child was born, finally, after nearly 30 hours of labor (oops, that was thirteen words).

One thing on your bucket list: To travel to London, where Prince William will bump into me at the farmer’s market and invite me over for tea. After which Kate and I become best friends, inseparable except for the fact that I have to fly home to Arkansas, in which case I’m really hoping the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” turns out to be true.

Quirkiest aspect that annoys your spouse/friends: I’m lazy by nature and really hate to clean. Plus, I’m not good at conversations that involve shopping, decorating, and beauty products. Which basically means I’m no fun to have around.

Greatest dream: To become a published author. Woo!

Biggest fear: That I’ll be exposed as a girl who writes really bad books.

Don't you just LOVE Amy?? 
In person and on the internet, she has this insane ability to make me laugh.

Can I say I am REALLY EXCITED/EAGER/GIDDY for her novel??

Join the conversation below!   

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Apt Title ~ Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman ~ Review

Women’s fiction with a pinch of romance is my favorite genre to read. But I admit I’m a snob about it. *wink* It has to be well-written with a great balance between the romance and the deeper, women’s fiction issues. Not every book can pull this off, but I’d like to think that “Chasing Hope” did a pretty good job.
  Starting off, I would have almost put this novel in the “New Adult” category of fiction that is slowly but surely making an appearance on the book market, however, reading deeper into the book I wouldn’t go so far as to try and stuff it into one particular mold. Brandy is a difficult character to like from the start, but there is potential there. A promise of something much better to come, the reader just has to be willing to wait for it.
Sabrina on the other hand, fascinated me. I wanted to see the good come blooming from her, the drive and fire return to her eyes. I honestly wasn’t sure about her romance angle. Did she want to fall in love just for the sake of love? But I loved watching her mature and change across the page...and find her perfect ending.
It’s one of those stories that is purely inspiring even though it’s only a novel. I might have to read it again someday.

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

More about the novel...

A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances 

A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running--something that's become far too painful to think on. 

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Giveaway! Stranded by Dani Pettrey!

Welcome back to Writing for Christ Dani Pettrey, I am excited to have you here for a second time. J

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

I’ve released three novels and written a fourth. I’ve signed a new contract with my publisher. And, my favorite of all, I’ve had the amazing privilege of connecting with a lot of readers. It’s been so much fun!

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

Dee Henderson’s October release, Unspoken. I was fortunate enough to read it a little bit early and it is spectacular. 

Do you have favorite authors?

Absolutely! I love Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Sue Grafton, Jane Austen and Karen Witemeyer.

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

The most enjoyable part of writing is seeing the characters come to life as I write the first draft. It’s always an adventure. I also love connecting with readers. It’s such a joy sharing the love of story with them. I feel tremendously blessed to have such a supportive and encouraging group of readers. They are amazing!

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

The ideal place for writing (or anything for that matter J) is at the beach. I make it to the beach several times a year, but it’s typically on vacation with my family so I’m not writing. What I’ve found as my most productive spot for writing is on the couch in my sunroom office. I gather my supplies, my Lab Jack (who cuddles beside me) and a good cup of coffee. I curl up and enjoy the journey.

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?

Ah, that happens with every book during the last month before deadline. I think the most I ever wrote in a day was thirty-eight pages. It was crazy and hasn’t been duplicated since. If I write eight pages a day, I’m happy.

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

Thank you for having me. It’s always a joy being here. 

Readers, enter to win Dani'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- I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on October 4th
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(@) 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thank You for Showing Me Jesus

Two Fridays ago I laid my heart out on the page. I didn't want to attend ACFW. It was a gut-wrenching confession and one I wanted to rip off the face of the internet multiple times before it posted. And then once it was up, for all the world to see, I only felt more the hypocrite.

How could I confess that I didn't want to go when so many writers would take my place in an instant?

It seemed so selfish.

I showed up on the conference floor and it didn't really hit me until that first class with the agent panel: I had no idea why I was there. None. Why was I pursuing publication? Why was I sitting in a class when I had no desire to even pitch or share my story? I didn't know how to process the emotions.

I couldn't focus during my classes. My agent pitches (by the grace of God) actually went well, but I wasn't learning anything. I wasn't finding that one nugget in each class that would push me beyond my safe and comfortable novel creation.

Dear friends who know me well, sitting across from me, told me I wasn't myself. I wasn't truly present. And I wasn't. It was a farce. Front. FaƧade.

Until Saturday night.

I had no faƧade Saturday night. During the optional worship night, I still couldn't identify why I was there. God why am I at ACFW this year? WHY?

Until the mic was opened for prayer and my walls crumbled at the words of a worshipper led by Christ to speak from his heart. Until Beth Vogt laid her hands on my shoulders. And Cara Putman and Cheryl Wyatt wrapped their arms around me and bathed me in prayer.

And I sobbed.

Sobbed as these godly women laid their hands on me and prayed away the fear and depression and heaviness weighting my spirit.

God didn't meet me at ACFW. He was waiting for me there. I didn't know how to face the struggles on my own, and God knew that. He knew I needed to be surrounded by His women to raise me out of my own mire. Lies were exposed. The truth given freedom to once again shine.

I'm not completely there yet. I'm still reaching and searching and yearning. But now I have a better level
of understanding, a greater appreciation for walking through this valley in order to begin the climb to the top and whatever God might have waiting for me.

And all I can say is thank you. With a heart so completely overflowing for the people who took the time to bless me, even without their realizing, Thank You for showing me Jesus.

To Cheryl for rebuking the fear holding my writing back because of my age and maturity.

To Beth for following God's prompting and pulling me close that night in prayer and worship.

To Bonnie, who with a fierceness and passion, reminded me of who I am to God.

To Cara who surrounded me in prayer, the laying on of her hands and the strength of her prayers.

To Julie who made sure we sat and talked, for grabbing my hand in the hall as we passed and asking how I was.

To Krista, Pepper and Amy who listened to me bare my soul time and time again without fear or need to hold back any truth. For their encouragement and wisdom.

I never doubted God had a reason for taking me to ACFW this year. What I doubted was why. Why should I go when I didn't want to? Why should I when it didn't seem right with so little enthusiasm for so much?

God knew.

God knew.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For Fans of Jane Austen ~ Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta ~ Review

They say that the first page sells the book and the last page sells the next book. That is pretty much 100% truth to describe my response to “Born of Persuasion”.
I wasn’t completely sure about the novel within the first 100 pages. I loved that it was in first person and I was growing to know this character on an intimate level, but the description did start to weigh the story down, in my opinion. Once that first third of the book was crested, however, I couldn’t stop for the reading of it and the last two thirds of the book did truly sell me on reading the second release.
  Written very much in a Jane Austen style, what I especially appreciated about this title was realism of these characters. I often forgot it was a historical novel, not because there weren’t plenty of descriptions for their period, but because these characters came alive with struggles that even the modern girl can relate too.
At times over dramatic, the romance is ardent, the writing engaging and the story depth not even a little bit shallow. This will definitely be a sequential series and I’m curious to what will happen with Julia. She certainly doesn’t have a neat and tidy story life that is for sure.        

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

More about the title and author...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Born of Persuasion
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2013)
Jessica Dotta


Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.

She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Born of Persuasion, go HERE.

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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