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Archive for October, 2015

BOOK REVIEW – POISON by JORDYN REDWOOD

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“The highly anticipated second installment of the Bloodline Trilogy explores the boundaries of faith and family and what happens when both are put to the test.” (taken from the back cover blurb.)

Keelyn Samuels thought the harrowing experience was behind her. Thought she could go on with her life, have a normal life, even. Until a man who called himself Lucent sits on the diner stool next to her. A man who knows too much about her. And about that day.

That day was the day her mother had died. The day her step-father had killed her mother. Only Keelyn and her half-sister, Raven, survived the hostage ordeal. Not only was their mother dead, but their siblings were too. Mentally ill, Keelyn’s stepfather, Raven’s father, was carrying out orders, orders from a hallucination he called Lucent.

 

Now, Keelyn and SWAT team member Lee Watson were engaged, anticipating their happy life together. But the evil that had stalked and tormented Keelyn’s stepfather has resurfaced, in the flesh, taking vengeance on all who were involved on that day.

 

As layer compounds upon layer, and twists turn and turn again, the story becomes more complex, the killer more mysterious. Every new clue and discovery leads to more layers of mystery. What is killing these victims who are dying at seeming random intervals? What poison is the killer using? Can Keelyn and Lee find Raven before she becomes a victim? Or is she the one poisoning the victims? Will Lucent get to Keelyn and Lee before they can get to him?

 

 

Ms. Redwood has once again spun an intricate tale, with threads crossing threads. Her characters are vivid and real, my heart pounding with theirs, as they find themselves in one dead-end trail after another. I puzzled as they did over clues that didn’t seem to add up. And when the truth is discovered, I breathed a sigh of relief as surely as they did.

 

Thoroughly engrossed in this story, I look forward to the third in this series.

 

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JORDYN REDWOOD is a nurse by day, novelist by night. She has specialized in critical care and emergency nursing for nearly two decades. As a self-professed medical nerd, she reads medical textbooks for fun. This led to the creation of Redwood’s Medical Edge– a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. Jordyn loves to weave medical mystery into her story lines and see how her characters navigate through the chaos she creates.

 

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#poison, #jordynredwood, #proof, #peril, #bloodlinetrilogy #ERnurse

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Welcome to the Cover Release Party for Robin E. Mason’s second women’s and family fiction story, Clara Bess, set to release 30 November 2015. Robin’s debut novel, Tessa, arrived in March 2014 and has been met with fantastic reviews.

 

A few notes of praise for Tessa:

 

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This is such an amazing read because there are so many twists to the plot. The characters are very well thought out and brought to life. I don’t want to give away too much information, but I would like to say, get ready. Robin E. Mason is a wonderful author and I look forward to reading more from her. If you are looking for a book that is open and shut, this is not it. If you are, however, looking for a book that will leave you on the edge of your seat asking how, when, why, and where, this book is for you! Grab a copy today! – Alisha Cagle, Author

 

Even the prologue is a twist! Be ready for a spell binding book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You simply can’t wait to turn the page (or click the next page). Plots within plots within plots. I simply don’t know how she could keep up with it all! – Dede Stockton, Author

 

You won’t be able to put it down. Indeed, a story that beautifully captures the brilliance of women and the mayhem of family. A must read. – Heather Burch

 

This story has twists and turns and heartaches and mystery and hope and love and anger and twists and turns and well… I loved how the story keeps you wondering: Who the heck? What in the world? And, Oh, dear! It is one of the least predictable books I have ever read. I enjoyed laughing and I enjoyed crying. I am not going to tell you anymore about the plot or the characters because you’ll simply have to read it yourself. – Leslie Hoyt

 

 

Back cover blurb for Clara Bess:

On the day of her 50th birthday, Clara Bess Caldwell was not basking in the joy of a blissful Christmas Day winding down. She was not at home with her family, enjoying eggnog or coffee by a fireplace, nor was she checking a goose roasting in the oven.

Clara Bess was at her mother’s house, going through her personal effects, something she had put off for several weeks. Her children, her husband, her siblings, had all urged her to wait another day. To not put herself through this ordeal on Christmas Day.

“But it was her birthday, too.” Clara Bess reminded them.

But Clara Bess wasn’t at all prepared for what she unearthed at the bottom of her mother’s keepsake box. Not in with legal papers, not in her own baby book, not in the safe even. Nor was she prepared for the discovery of her unsavory heritage.

Clara Bess read, with shock and no small degree of confusion, the line on her birth certificate where her mother’s name should be. It did not read Lily Isabella Mayes.

 

Clara Bess rode waves of confusion for several weeks, unsure what to make of the erroneous information. Afraid it could be true, she couldn’t bring herself to go to the courthouse, or the hospital, to have it corrected. Little things pinged in her memory things that pointed to the unbelievable possibility.

Clara Bess was adopted.

Where, then, were the adoption papers?

 

This book has many of the same things enjoyed in book one – historical details, deep emotions, adventure, humor.

So without further ado, we introduce Clara Bess – available 30 November 2015 on Amazon for Kindle, and CreateSpace.

So without further ado, HERE IS THE COVER, may I have a drum roll please:

 

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Launch events will be on 30 November, both online at https://www.facebook.com/events/727075850756986/

and live at Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar, 208 Trade Street, Greer, SC

https://www.facebook.com/events/902812829812752/

Hope to see you at one event or both!

 

Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of Clara Bess, which will be sent to the winners the first week of December!

 

What’s one thing you like about this cover? Or, if you read Tessa, what was one thing you enjoyed about Robin’s debut?

 

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“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years. Her characters face many of these same demons.

 

Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own. She currently lives alone, with her five cats.
Ms. Mason writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.

 

Clara Bess is the sequel to Tessa and the second book in the Unsavory Heritage Series, and will launch next month, with the third book in the series, Cissy, will be available in 2016. Ms. Mason also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers.

 

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

 

#clarabess, #coverreveal, #robinemasonauthor, #unsavoryheritageseries, #tessa, #cissy, #womensfiction, #secrets, #identity

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BOOK REVIEW – LINKED by RACHEL TRAUTMILLER

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A ten-year-old murder. Two FBI agents – old friends. And one of them the son of the murdered woman. Why has the crime resurfaced after a decade? With the wrong man convicted of the crime, the killer is running free. Biding time.

 

After his mother’s murder, Jordan Bening took off and disappeared. He knows it’s time to face his past, and make things right.

Jordan’s childhood friend, McKenna Moore hasn’t forgiven him for his disappearance. And she can’t forgive herself for her testimony at the trial; testimony that put her uncle in prison for the crime.

 

As mysterious clues mount, and Jordan and McKenna’s paths continue to criss-cross, their friendship begins to revive. And as they hunt for the truth, the killer is hunting for them.

 

Ms. Trautmiller tells a chilling story, building suspense with every page. With believable characters, emotions at full tilt and every which way – and denied – I felt their fear and terror as the killer teased and tormented, I felt the attraction between them, even as they fought against it. I chilled as the killer got closer and yet grew more elusive. And I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

 

 
**This book is part of a series. Reading the books in order will heighten your enjoyment of the characters within each story.**

 

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RACHEL TRAUTMILLER strives to write novels filled with murder, mayhem and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns. Side note: A nightlight may be required. Some bleary-eyed, early mornings have been known to occur.

When she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband and extremely cute toddler, a dog and one fat cat. She enjoys football, reading, finger painting with her daughter and discussing the NFL draft with her husband. Loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement and the military, spending time with friends and family. And interacting with her readers

 

www.facebook.com/rachel.trautmiller

www.racheltrautmiller.com

www.pinterest.com/rtrautmiller

www.twitter.com/@rtrautmiller

Join my mailing list for cool giveaways and character news:

http://eepurl.com/bzNfCf

 

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#linked, #thebeningfileseries, #disconnect, #aftermath

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BOOK REVIEW – A HEART DECEIVED by MICHELLE GRIEP

 

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Family secrets are swept under the rug, hushed. What goes on behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.

 

But Miri Brayden can no longer hide the secret in her house any more than she can escape the madness mounting in her guardian, her older brother Roland. As he descends further into his lunacy, his anger rises. And Miri is in danger.

 

But she can’t leave, it’s just not done. Not in the year 1795, no matter how she might wish her escape; it’s a man’s world.

 

A marriage would remove her from her brother’s care – and outbursts – but she is not at all interested in the match Roland has arranged for her. But if Miri could learn a trade, she could disentangle herself from Roland’s grip. And the unwelcome marriage proposal.

 

Then a vagabond turns up at the back door of the rectory and Miri takes it upon herself to minister to his needs – secretly. Starving and suffering a “severe cough, fever, and nausea,” Ethan Goodwin was a friend of Miri’s younger brother, Will. Ethan was also an “opium addict, philanderer, liar, cheater, and drunkard.”

 

Does Roland’s madness land him in the asylum? Will Miri end up there with him or in the poorhouse? What of Ethan? What of the crime he believes he committed? Or will they work their way through the web of lies and tangled deceit to the truth. And God’s love.

 

 

A Heart Deceived gripped me from the beginning, with twists and unexpected turns on every page. With her story set in the Georgian Era, Ms. Griep has created a well-woven gothic world, dark and ominous, Roland’s madness sinister even. Gritty and vivid, his outbursts are authentic and believable, Miri’s reactions – and helplessness – true to the era. I cringed with her as Roland lashed out, time and again. I longed for her escape as surely as did she. My heart thudded as Miri and Ethan’s attraction grew, my heart longing for the happy resolution as surely as theirs did.

As historical fiction is my favorite genre, I enjoyed Ms. Griep’s use of period accurate language, and detail.

 

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading all of Ms. Griep’s books.

 

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MICHELLE GRIEP is:

A Pen and Ink Fanatic

Dare I be so bold as to call myself an author? Being that I’m one of those freaks who attended poetry workshops instead of summer camp during my formative years, yes, I will. While other teens busied themselves throwing parties when their parents weren’t home, I was the nerd holed up in my room with pen and paper.

An Anti-Establishment Rabblerouser

I am one of those library-card wielding, mini-van driving, let’s-take-a-jaunt-to-the-grocery-store and call it a field trip kind of homeschoolers. But allow me this disclaimer: I don’t wear denim jumpers, and I farm out anything related to science or math. Bonus disclaimer: The last of my nestlings has flown the homeschooling nest, but I continue to tutor writing and history at a local high school homeschool co-op. You can read some of my views on homeschooling at:

A Princess

No, I’m not currently on medication for delusions of grandeur. I am a daughter of a King. Seriously. I take the Bible as inspired truth and that’s what it says (Romans 8:16, 17). If you’d like to find out more about this, click here.

A Boxer Lover

I’m not talking Fruit of the Loom vs. Hanes. I’m talking stubby-tailed, fuzzy muzzled, bundles of face-licking love. As the great philosopher Groucho Marx once said, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

An Anglophile

What’s the deal with me and Great Britain? Beats me. I’m as passionate about anything English as I am about chocolate and java. Oddly enough, I prefer Bronte over Austen, and if you’d like to debate the qualities of Typhoo versus PG Tips, feel free to e-mail me.

 

 

#aheartdeceived, #michellegriep, #brentwoodsward, #historicalromance, #undercurrent, #gallimore

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BOOK REVIEW – KEPT by SALLY BRADLEY                                  

 

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According to Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/keep,

Keep verb \ˈkēp\ 1. to continue in a specified state, condition, or position; 2. to cause (someone or something) to continue in a specified state, condition, or position

 

With the many connotations, to keep, or to be kept can be a good thing – or a bad thing. Merriam-Webster goes on to define keep:

preserve, maintain as: a – to watch over and defend, keep us from harm; b to take care of; c –  to continue to maintain, keep watch; d – to cause to remain in a given place, situation, or condition, keep him waiting; e – to have or maintain in an established position or relationship, keep a mistress…

 

Miska Tomlinson was a kept woman. And it wasn’t pretty. She had pretty things, but they came with a price.

Miska had no godly examples in her life, least of all how a godly man honors a woman. Her history had taught her that men use women; she played the game and played it well. But still, she couldn’t win.

But God had a plan for Miska. When a new neighbor shows her the love of Christ, it turns her world upside down. Untrusting, Miska returns to what she’s always known – that men are undependable. But as her world crashes down around her, who is the one who stands by her through it all? Who is her friend when everyone else has turned on her?

Is God’s love deep enough, patient enough to reach Miska? Is the man of God, determined enough – and dedicated to his faith in God – to continue to reach out to her? Can Miska ever truly grasp the love he wants to share with her, the love of God?

Or is it too late when she realizes her attraction to him? Has she ruined herself for this man? And for God?

 

 

Ms. Bradley builds tension after tension in this heart wrenching story. I found myself wanting to step into the pages and be a friend to Miska, to join in with her neighbors who shared the love of God. I cried with her when she stumbled back into old patterns, I rejoiced with her as she tentatively reached out to try new things. Real and genuine characters made the story authentic and believable. Poignant emotions the reader will relate to makes this story a page-turner, and I look forward to more by this author.

 

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SALLY BRADLEY has worked for two publishers, writing sales and marketing materials, sorting through the slush pile, and proofreading and editing fiction. She has a BA in English and a love for perfecting novels, whether it’s her work or the work of others.

A judge in fiction-writing contests, Sally is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian PEN, and the Christian Editor Network. In 2000, she left the working world to have her first child. She now runs Bradley Writing and Editing Services from her home outside Kansas City. A mother of three, Sally is married to a pastor who moonlights as a small-town cop. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, doing laundry, and rooting on her favorite Chicago sports team of the season.

You can find Sally at Sally Bradley, Writer on Facebook.

 

#kept, #sallybradley, #chicago, #scandal, #Godslove, #thepoweroffiction

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BOOK REVIEW – MIRANDA WARNING by HEATHER GILBERT

 

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“I chose the day I would die. My husband’s deep brown eyes glowed as he handed me the cocoa. “Maybe you’ll sleep better tonight, Rosey.”

I was tired of the charade between us. I never wanted to smile at his dinner parties again. Never wanted to beg him for the children he wouldn’t give me. I’d never again clean up his clothes, covered in moonshine vomit.  I gulped the foaming, lukewarm liquid, a smile on my face.  And that was the last time Paul Campbell would ever see me smile.” [excerpted from Miranda Warning.]

 

With a beginning like that, you know it’s going to be a gripping story. And Miranda Warning does not disappoint.

 

Tess Spencer is intrepid. And has an insatiable need to know. And a memory that recalls events and conversations like replay on the DVR; nothing gets past her. And, she has an independent streak that gets her in trouble.

 

When Tess’s elderly friend, Miranda, receives a threatening note, Tess knows she has to find out who sent it. Then Miranda tells her whose handwriting it is. Only problem is, the handwriting belongs to a woman who has been dead for forty years. Tess is more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the mysterious note.

 

But the more she digs, the more she unearths, more mystery and more pieces that don’t add up. And not only is her friend Miranda in danger, but Tess soon realizes, she is too.

 

Ms. Gilbert has woven such a tale of intrigue, with one loop overlapping another. Life is not simple and there are no easy answers; Ms. Gilbert’s story isn’t either. Her characters are complex and real, emotions raw and genuine, interactions believable and authentic. I could feel palpable tension as Tess’s husband grew more concerned with her snooping activity, felt the weight when he brought out his arsenal to protect his bride. I snickered at the banter between them, and amongst other characters. I felt the fear mounting as Tess grew closer and closer to the answer, and when it looked for sure she had gone too far.

 

This novel is written from a Christian worldview.

 

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HEATHER DAY GILBERT writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Her debut novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon Norse bestseller. Miranda Warning and Trial by Twelve are bestselling contemporary mysteries in her A Murder in the Mountains series. Her Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher shares focused advice on four key steps in the indie publication process. You can find Heather at her website, heatherdaygilbert.com. She is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

#mirandawarning, #heathergilbert, #trialbytwelve, #Godsdaughter, #indiepublishinghandbook

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I want to thank everyone who participated, viewed, and especially commented on the Cover Reveal Party post last week. The lovely Pepper Basham has announced the winners

on her Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/Pepper-D-Basham-104179697000/?hc_location=ufi

 

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Says Pepper, Thanks everyone for participating in the Cover Reveal for my second book, The Thorn Keeper. Below is a list of winners from the party. If you see your name, please email me at pepperbasham@yahoo.com. I hope to send out digital ARC copies during the week of Nov 16th in anticipation of the February release!! YAY!

COVER REVEAL WINNERS:
Karen Hadley
Kathleen Dinley
Terrill Rosado
Caryl Kane

Congratulations to the WINNERS!!!

#thethornkeeper, #coverrevealparty, #arcwinners, #pepperbasham

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Please give a big welcome to JORDYN REDWOOD.

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rem: Thank you, Jordyn for being on my blog this week.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

JORDYN: I’m a pediatric ER nurse by day—suspense author by night. I’m married with two beautiful daughters. I was born in Wyoming but raised in Colorado. I lived in Kansas for about thirteen years after graduating from nursing school but have been back living in Colorado since 2006.

rem: Colorado is beautiful country – I lived there for sixteen years and I miss it sometimes. How does your medical side balance with your writing life?

JORDYN: One is a gift to the other. Writing helps me process all the emotions that stem from nursing and my medical background has given me the knowledge to write medical thrillers. I put aside writing to do nursing and sometimes kick myself for doing that but as the saying goes . . . God wastes nothing and I think my two passions have blended nicely.

rem: What a blessing to recognize that balance, and what an excellent outlet for your emotions. Tell us three things about yourself.

JORDYN: I’m a tea addict. I have enough tea to survive the apocalypse—or so my husband says. I’m an avid cross stitcher and sometimes quilter. I’m mildly addicted to the game Friendly Fiends.

rem: I, too, am a tea addict, have said for years my blood type is A-tea-positive… What was / were your favorite book(s) as a child?

JORDYN: The earliest books I can remember reading and coveting were Shel Silversteins’s poetry books. In my high school years, my love for suspense started with Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. Honestly, I don’t think my mother realized what those books were about but it’s the first time I ever said, “I’m pigging out on this book. I don’t want it to end!”. That’s when I also fell in love with Dean Koontz.

rem: Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

JORDYN: I tend to not reread books. But the one book I have gifted over and over and will reread is Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado. I think it’s his best one.

rem: Max Lucado is great. What is your most treasured possession?

JORDYN: My most treasured possessions are the handmade things from the women in my family. Quilts. Afghans. When I got married, my grandmother typed all of her German recipes on an old fashioned typewriter and gave it to us as a wedding gift.

rem: What a wonderful gift! What is your greatest fear?

JORDYN: My children dying before me.

rem: I can understand that, a few people in my life and in my family have experienced that and I honestly can’t imagine anything more heart wrenching. What is your greatest regret?

JORDYN: I abandoned writing when I went to nursing school and didn’t pick it up again until my early thirties. I should have continued to write and develop my craft through my twenties.

rem: What is it they say about hindsight? I didn’t even start writing seriously until after I turned fifty… What is your favourite quotation and why?

JORDYN: I actually heard commentator Bill O’Reilly say once—“Things are never as bad or as good as they seem.” I find this true in a lot of ways and it helps me stay centered when I start to worry about things I can’t control.

rem: Wise words, perspective sometimes is everything. What do you most value in a friend?

JORDYN: I think I value loyalty the most. Those people that stand next to you when things are tough—when you can’t see through the current crisis to the other side.

rem: Not much of a friendship without loyalty. What do you do as a hobby?

JORDYN: I quilt and cross stitch.

rem: Love both of those, never tried either… Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?

JORDYN: Dogs. Maybe it’s because they’re such loyal creatures as well!

rem: Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

JORDYN: Peril is my favorite book that I’ve written. It deals with the issue of whether or not the phenomenon of cellular transfer of memory exists which is where people who get an organ transplant develop tastes or have memories from the person they got the organ from. If you want to see the Planned Parenthood issue dealt with in a Christian way—then I would have people read this book.

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rem: I’ve read Poison and Proof, (loved them both!) and will be reading Peril to include in my November Blog Blitz for the launch of my second novel. Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

 

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JORDYN: Suspense is my favorite genre to read but I also read a lot of nonfiction for research. My favorite authors are Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, and Linwood Barclay.

rem: What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

 

JORDYN: I wish I could say I had a writing routine. The way I approach my writing commitments is basically a form of triage. What is due first usually gets my focus. I actually think this isn’t a good way to manage my writing career. I’m trying to fix that—to not be so reactionary to my schedule. I have an awesome writing cave that my husband built for me.

 

rem: Never thought of applying “triage” to writing, but I do basically the same thing! And awesome sauce to your hubby for building your cave! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

 

JORDYN: I’ve always loved to write stories since I was a little girl. As soon as I could write sentences—I was writing stories. As I said, I gave up writing for a “real job” for over fifteen years. After my first daughter was born, I convinced my husband to get me a laptop so I could begin to write down all these crazy stories in my head. I became involved with a local writer’s group and began to go to local conferences to see if “people in the know” thought I had any talent. That was around 2003. About six years later published authors were telling me my writing was good enough to get an agent. That happened in 2009. My first publishing contract came in 2011. First novel published in 2012. It’s true when they say it takes six to ten years to learn the craft of writing.

 

rem: As I mentioned earlier, I started writing late in life, but have come to recognize God-appointed seasons; methinks what you’ve just described sounds like such seasons.

What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

JORDYN: Writing the first draft is a struggle for me. It’s such a mind game. One day—your words are brilliant. The next day—you want to toss your computer into a big metal grinder and destroy it. I’ve learned that all first drafts need work so just get the words on the page.

 

rem: Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

JORDYN: My favorite part of writing is actually research. I could research forever and never get tired of it. I love it because I love learning and taking what I’ve learned and turning it into stories.

 

rem: Meeee toooo!! I love the research, and have reams of trivia that never makes it to the story! (filed away for future use, of course!) What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

JORDYN: Getting reader e-mails is the best thing ever. Connecting with readers. Knowing that the words you’ve written have helped someone through their day or challenged their thinking on some level is addicting.
rem: Hearing from readers who love what you’ve (I’ve) written – nothing like it! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?
JORDYN: 1. Write what you want to write. Someone told me once that I should write magazine articles to develop a writing resume to increase my chances of getting a book published. I just didn’t see the value of that. If I want to write books—then that’s what I should practice doing. If I want to write magazine articles then I should do that. rem: I agree!

 

  1. Write a complete first draft and then let people critique it. For years, I was stuck on the first thirty-thousand words of my novel because I would write some, let people read it, and then I felt like I had to change what they didn’t like about it. This kept me from developing my own voice.

 

  1. Be open to writing opportunities that you consider outside your genre. My first published work was a chapter in a medical textbook that dealt with nursing care of an abusive head trauma patient. I was asked to write it by a physician I had worked with in the Pediatric ICU—after I left. I’d never mentioned to her that I wanted to be a writer. It was a total gift. A great learning opportunity because I wasn’t as emotionally connected with the writing as I am with my fiction stories. It was more like writing a research paper. The experience was invaluable.

rem: Good recommendations. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

JORDYN: My latest book is currently titled The Hangman’s Noose and is set to release July, 2016. It was my entry for Love Inspired’s Blurb to Book contest. Next, I’ll be going through edits of my first indie book and writing two or three book proposals. Becoming part of the Love Inspired family has been a true gift and I hope to do many more books with them.

rem: Congratulations on being part of Love Inspired! And congratulations on your new book! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

JORDYN: I think the central theme of my books is God’s sacrificial love for us and what that means. I hope, even though it is a scary tale you’re reading, that’s what you see at the end of the story.

rem: Some of what we read in the Bible are pretty scary – getting thrown in a lion’s den? And doesn’t God’s love make a way always! I like that about your books, by the way. Thanks for joining us today, Jordyn. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

#jordynredwood, #authorinterview, #ernurse, #proof, #poison, #peril, #thehangmansnoose

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party

We are having a Cover Release Party for Pepper D. Basham’s second historical romance, The Thorn Keeper, set to release in February 2016. Pepper’s debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrived in May 2015 and has been met with fantastic reviews.

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A few notes of praise for The Thorn Bearer:

“Tucked inside a wonderful romance, you will find more depth here than most books you’ll ever read.” – Charity Andrews

“Wonderfully story-telling, a realistic faith journey, memorable prose and a dry wit that I appreciate very much all make this book one I won’t soon forget.” Cathy West

“From the opening scene to the end, I was completely caught up in this amazing tale about forgiveness, second chances, and even blooming in the middle of pain.” Candace Joy

“This just-released debut is a special one. The historical pieces of the puzzle were there and added a great punch – and often surprise – to the story, but the real focus of The Thorn Bearer was about the people and their faith in God. Books like this make me so happy to be a reader and reviewer.” Savanna Kaiser

As we look forward to the second book’s release, here’s a little blurb to tempt you.

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?

Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.

When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.

This book has many of the same things enjoyed in book one – historical details, deep emotions, adventure, humor…and, of course, romance. (an extra dose of romance in this one)

So without further ado, we introduce The Thorn Keeper – available February 1, 2016 from Vinspire Publishing.

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And…don’t forget that Pepper’s first contemporary romance novel will be available in January 2016! A Twist of Faith is a modern retelling of My Fair Lady with an Appalachian twist.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a digital advanced review copy of The Thorn Keeper, which will be sent to the winners near the end of November!!

What’s one thing you like about this cover? Or, if you read The Thorn Bearer, what was one thing you enjoyed about Pepper’s debut?

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Pepper D. Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate. She writes a variety of genres, but enjoys sprinkling her native culture of Appalachia in them all. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats to wear, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency. The Thorn Bearer is Pepper’s debut novel and the first book in the Penned in Time series. You can learn more about her at www.pepperdbasham.com.

#pepperbasham, #coverrevealparty, #thethornbearer, #thethornkeeper, #blueridgemountaing, #appalachia #historicalfiction, #romance

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Please give a big welcome to CARLA GADE.

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rem: Thank you, Carla for being on my blog this week.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CARLA: I was raised in the historic New England town of Wrentham, Massachusetts where we celebrated its tri-centennial when I was in grade school (this fostered my love for history). For the past 13 years, I’ve lived in central Maine with my husband, near my two adult sons and 2 yr. old grandson.

rem: I love history! Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. Tell us three things about yourself.
CARLA: I’m creative, a deep thinker, and I adore classic movies.

rem: What was / were your favorite book(s) as a child?

CARLA: Harold and the Purple Crayon (I could always relate to his imagination), and the Tell Me Why children’s question and answer books (always inquisitive!).

rem: I can relate to both the imagination and inquisitiveness also. If you could chose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?
CARLA: Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. She’s so magnificent, ethereal, and wise.

rem: Great choice, good reasons. What is your most treasured possession?

CARLA: Next to my laptop or iphone, lol, my Bible. Yet, since I read that in a variety of forms now, I would say my family photo album from my childhood.

rem: What is your greatest fear?
CARLA: Bats

rem: Oh, I like bats – they eat mosquitoes! What is your greatest regret?
CARLA: I don’t do regrets. I find it best not to dwell on mistakes because when I submit them to the Lord I find that He redeems and redirects my life.

rem: What a wise and lovely attitude to have. I admire that. What is your favorite quotation and why?

CARLA: “A true imagination is beholding a truth of God,” by 19th century Scottish storyteller George MacDonald. It reminds me that any worthy and creative idea I have only comes from the mind of God. He is the true Author and Creator.

rem: We do think a lot alike. What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?
CARLA: I admire men who respect women and women who respect themselves, and vice versa.

rem: Respect cannot be overlooked, both for self and for others. What do you do as a hobby?
CARLA: I enjoy drawing house plans. One of them will be built in the spring by a relative. I also enjoy photography and genealogy.

rem: House plans? Well this one surprised me! I’m an Interior Designer, so yeah, I love drawing house plans!

Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
CARLA: Cats. I just lost my 15 year old calico kitty, Briar Rose, but we still have 3 year old orange tabby, Dasha.

rem: Sorry to hear about your sweet Briar Rose. I’m a cat person also. (some might say crazy cat lady) What would you do if you weren’t writing?
CARLA: I was formerly a webmaster and graphic designer and stopped when my writing responsibilities became my priority. So, I suppose I would still be busy with that.
rem: Tell us about your blog, Relatively Speaking. Who is your favorite ancestor you’ve discovered? The most interesting? The baddest? What prompted you to look up your ancestry?

CARLA: Relatively Speaking is my family history blog. It’s a place to share and record my adventures in genealogy. Mostly I post about my New England family heritage (a great deal of my ancestors were first settlers in 17th century Massachusetts) and my husband’s similar history. I also post what I can regarding our Scandinavian roots (I am half Swedish and my husband half Norwegian). I’ve been fascinated with my ancestors since childhood. My grandmother told me we were “Yankee” so I wanted to find out just what that meant. Basically, we are a European blend on that side: English, Welsh, and Scottish with some Mayflower connections and even several royal lines.

My 10x great-grandfather, John Howland, is one of my favorite ancestors. He actually fell off the Mayflower during the crossing and was rescued. Had he not been, I would have not been. 😉 Mary Towne Estey, my 10x great-grandmother, was executed as a witch in Salem, MA in 1692.
Tried alongside other ancestors, and condemned also by ancestors in the hysteria. Rev. Nicholas Noyes was the officiating clergy during the Salem Witch Trials. He later regretted and apologized for his involvement, though not before sending many to their grave. Such a tragedy. Great-great-grandchildren of Howland and Estey married some years later, thus my maternal line on my great-grandmother’s side. Imagine the stories they had to tell to their children!

rem: I, too, am fascinated by ancestry and genealogy.

Tell us a little about your writing journey. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CARLA: A life-long writer, I began writing fiction with a goal of publication about 15 years ago. I got my first publishing contract in 2010 and now have 8 books which have released. I don’t have much of a writing routine, except when I have a project such as a proposal or contract I’m working on. Then I’m basically “on.” I spend a great deal of time researching, planning, plotting, and characterizing. I write fairly methodically, intuitively, for hours on end, a chapter at a time. I send each chapter to my “first editor” (Mom), and as she is busy with her red pen, I continue writing. She returns her edits, we discuss, I make revisions, rinse, and repeat until “the end.” The only time I really “draft” is when I get a brainstorm and I either write in a notebook or on my laptop whatever the story is telling me and then I try to make sense of it later. I write in my nest, which is empty most of the time, except for on occasion when I have caregiving responsibilities.

 

rem: I love that you say “… write … whatever the story is telling me…” I’m totally a pantser and totally get what you mean by that. What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

CARLA: Over the past few years I have had to write through significant grief on several occasions. When you are numb inside it is hard to locate the muse. I always pray as I write for inspiration, but I never prayed so hard as when I have a writing commitment feeling like a dry well. God is faithful and as long as I plant myself down, he gets my fingers dancing again.

 

rem: He really is faithful. I’m amazed how much more productive I am when I take 20 or 30 minutes or more and sit with Him before I start writing. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

CARLA: Creating. I find the publisher’s line edits very tedious. It’s hard work to write a book well.

 

rem: You’ve got that right! I had a friend comment that exact thing recently, just watching me in my process. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
CARLA: I love being able to have the flexibility to work at home and other places. I also immensely enjoy the research involved for my projects.

rem: I love my research! And I’ve said for years, in half jest, that I can literally sit on a beach and read a book and call it work… wink wink What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
CARLA: The hardest thing may be conforming to the publisher’s specifications and editorial recommendations for “your” story. Once you sign the contract you really must let go of your precious creation and trust others with it. The easiest? I’d say enjoying interaction with readers.

rem: Ouch to letting go. I had a hard enough time letting go of my concept for my cover, remember, artist here. And I love interacting with readers, as well as other authors. What are your recommendations for a new writer?
CARLA: You must believe you are a writer! Network with experienced writers online and off. Learn the craft of writing well, but don’t get so bogged down with all the “rules” that it zaps your creativity – apply a principle at a time and build on it. Join a critique group (with higher skilled writers) and welcome the process of creative growth. Don’t be prideful and take things personally – your writing is a product, not a person. Do not disregard industry standards and recommendations for craft and professionalism.

rem: I joke that my first rule is to know the rules and then ignore them! LOL I think you’ve displaced that: new first rule, believe you are a writer. I love that. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
CARLA: Oftentimes from historical places and museums and antique books. I try to image “what if” or find a hidden nugget of a real historical person or event and build around it.
rem: And thus, historical fiction is alive and well. Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?
CARLA: I read mostly inspirational historical fiction. A few of my favorite authors are MaryLu Tyndall, Laura Frantz, Julie Klassen, Ruth Axtell, and many more.

rem: Tell us a little about your latest book?
CARLA: My new release, The American Dream Romance Collection, actually includes a previously published book, Colonial Courtships with my novella, “Carving a Future”, along with five other novellas (nine in all). I tell the story of a ship’s figurehead carver who is working as a journeyman and on his way to become a master carver. He is commissioned to carve the image of the story’s heroine, an indentured servant who works at his family’s inn in 18th century Connecticut.

 

101515 - carla gade - american dream

 

rem: Intriguing premise. And now, of course, I must read it! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
CARLA: My hero and heroine both have to labor in difficult circumstances. I hope my readers can be encouraged to work in service to Christ, above all, in whatever we do, and seek our reward from him, not others who may disappoint.

101515 - carla gade - book images

 

rem: That’s a powerful message in that answer you just gave. What is your current project?
CARLA: I’m working on a novel about Swedish immigrants, as my paternal grandparents were. In fact, one of my primary research resources in an antique tome about Swedes that belonged to them. I made the author of that book a character in my story.

rem: Where can we find you online?
CARLA:

Media Links:

Website – www.carlagade.com
Blog – https://familyhistory.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Carla-Olson-Gade/e/B007W4ZZOS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1402802534&sr=8-1

Facebook – http://tinyurl.com/facebookcogauthor
Twitter – @ carlagade
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/prov33
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/carlaolsongade

 

rem: Thanks for joining us today, Carla. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

#carlaolsongade, #authorinterview, #theamericandream, #colonialcourtship, #mistletoememories, #patternforromance, #theshadowcatchersdaughter

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