Posts Tagged ‘New Week New Fact’






Comment on this post for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Each commenter will be entered, and the FAVORITE GUEST POST will win one as well.


 I’ve had 31 guest posts this year on NEW WEEK NEW FACE and it’s time for you, MY READERS, to vote on your favorite. So here, in no particular order—just kidding, in chronological order—are my guest posts this year.



9-Jan                David Alderman


16-Jan              Heather Blanton


23-Jan              Amy McNew


30-Jan              Lori Granniss


6-Feb               Merrillee Whren


13-Feb             Kevin Thompson


20-Feb             Joy DeKok


27-Feb             Jane Lebak


6-Mar               Eileen Hinkle Rife


13-Mar             Emilie Hendryx


20-Mar             David Stearman


27-Mar             Gene Whitehead


3-Apr               DiAnn Mills


10-Apr             Mark David Gerson


24-Apr             Rachel Dixon


1-May              Emilie Hendryx


8-May              Andi Tubbs


15-May            Carrie Schmidt


22-May            Kristen Heitzmann


12-Jun              Ralene Burke


26-Jun              Varina Denman


3-Jul                 Deb Gorman


10-Jul               Randall Dunn


17-Jul               Lynn Dean


24-Jul               David Rawlings


14-Aug            Jennifer Hallmark


21-Aug            Pepper Basham


28-Aug            moi


11-Sep             Andrea Merrill


25-Sep             Lynn Blackburn


9-Oct               Tamara Tilley


20-Nov            Linda Rodante


27-Nov            Carrie Turansky




I’ll tally the votes after the first of the year and post the results on Monday the 8th.



#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Who’s Your Favorite


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 Edwardian Fashions

One of the most interesting parts of my research for my last four English historical novels has been learning about Edwardian fashions. I fell in love with the beautiful gowns and elaborate hats worn by the women during that era!

Pinterest is a great source for Edwardian fashion photos, and I created boards for my own reference and to share with readers. Those photos were very helpful when I wanted to describe what the characters were wearing. I just clicked over to Pinterest and looked through those images until I found the right outfit. Here are some of the fashion trends during the Edwardian Era.

1900-1909 In England, women’s fashions continued to have the long elegant lines of the 1890s. Tall, stiff collars were popular, as were women’s broad hats and full ‘Gibson Girl’ hairstyles. A new, columnar silhouette was introduced by the designers of Paris late in the decade, and this signaled women would soon abandon the use of corsets, which had been an indispensable undergarment worn by women for many years.

1910-1919 During the early years of the 1910s the fashion silhouette became more fluid and soft than in the previous decade. Designs by Parisian designers came in a variety of shapes, but the most popular silhouette throughout the decade was the tunic over a long underskirt. Early in the period, waistlines were high, just below the bust, echoing the styles of the early 19th century. Full, hip length tunics were worn over narrow, draped skirts. When the Russian Ballet performed Scheherazade in Paris in 1910, exotic, Oriental designs with bold colors became the fashion rage.

By 1914, just prior to WW1, skirts were widest at the hips and very narrow at the ankle. These hobble skirts made long strides impossible. Waistlines were loose and softly defined. They gradually dropped to near the natural waist by mid-decade, and they remained that way through the war years. Tunics became longer and underskirts fuller and shorter. By 1916 women were wearing a calf-length dress over an ankle-length underskirt. Styles became simpler during the war years.

Large hats with feathers, flowers, and wide brims; and broad hats with face-shadowing brims were popular in the early years of the decade, gradually shrinking to smaller hats with flat brims. Bobbed or short hair was introduced in Paris fashions in 1909 and spread to avant-garde circles in England during the war.

My study of Edwardian fashions was also helpful when it was time to give input on the cover designs for my Edwardian novels. I was able to describe what the heroine might be wearing and how she would wear her hat and hair. The photographer and designer did a great job giving the covers the Edwardian look I had hoped for.

Learning about the fashions of the era helped me understand my characters and feel as though I was stepping into their world. I hope it will help the readers of my novels do the same!


Would you like to see more Edwardian Fashions? Come on over to my Pinterest boards and take a look. https://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/boards/



Do you think you’d like to dress as they did in Edwardian times?



Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of eighteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Her latest titles are Shine Like the Dawn and A Refuge at Highland Hall. Her next release will be Across the Blue on 2/20/18. When Carrie’s not writing she enjoys working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for family and friends. Carrie loves to connect with reading friends on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and through her website and blog.














#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Carrie Turanksy, Edwardian Fashion

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Wow. Robin asked me to write about sex trafficking because I blog and also frequently post about the subject on my fb site. I spent eight years with the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Our group was privileged to hear from victims of trafficking, and city, county, and state law enforcement as well as nationally from other groups like ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

I say wow because today someone famous actually made a real apology and took the blame for his “sexual misconduct.” I am talking here of Louis C.K. The sexual misconduct mentioned in this article is nowhere near the horror of what sex trafficking is. But it is a start of something that men need to see when they think of sex.


In short, sex trafficking is keeping someone against their will for the specific purpose of sexual use. The legal definition can sometimes lose the horrific and explicit meaning. Women, girls and boys are abused and sold for sex by family members, someone they know or abducted by someone they do not know.


It is estimated that worldwide sex trafficking brings in around $32 billion, and today most of that is going to cartels and organized crime. Drugs have been and still are the number one money maker when it comes to crime. However, sex trafficking is fast approaching that status. A girl or boy can be sold over and over again, after all, while once a drug is used, it’s gone.


During a sting by law enforcement just a week or so ago, an undercover officer was offered an eighteen month old to have sex with. Truthfully. Eighteen months old. What is wrong with us today? Crazy comes up short as an adjective.


A woman that I met through the anti-trafficking group in Clearwater was raped by her father starting at age four. He continued to sexually abuse her during the following years and then began to sell her to others. She was told she had to do whatever they wanted or he would beat her. She’d already had numerous beatings and didn’t want others. As she grew, her father demanded that she “earn” her keep by “servicing” other men. It wasn’t until she was sixteen and married a “boyfriend” from high school that she managed to get free. Only years later did she realize just what had been done to her.


Many girls brought up with abuse don’t recognize it as such. Even though they know intrinsically that it is wrong and hate it, they think that this is life. My friend’s healing came after she came to know Christ, then heard about sex trafficking and was able to identify that this was what had happened to her. She later received counseling. Today, she openly gives her testimony to private and political groups. She went from victim to survivor to one who helps survivors.


Other girls or boys are abducted and gang raped, beaten and drugged until they become compliant. You cannot understand the trauma or fear these children and young adults go through. Some are locked in closets for days with no food or bathroom, some are forced to watch the videos of their own rape, others have their families threatened with death. If someone tries to escape, they are often beaten so severely that they either die or wish they had.


Some young, “hot” guys will pretend to be kind, romantic and helpful to a girl they meet at the mall or pick up at a bus station or theater, but their sole aim is to get her off by herself, or get her to go someplace with him. Then he kidnaps her to add her to his “stable” of “ponies”—girls that he sells on a regular basis, sometimes up to thirty times a night.

Most likely, she will never see her friends or family again. The few that have escaped have exposed the horror of trafficking as we know it today.


Sex trafficking has all sorts of roots, but the desire for more and more deviant sex as portrayed in pornography has given the last couple of generations of men a desire for something their wives or significant others are not willing to do—so they seek out pimps who sell girls or boys (today’s new slavery) that are coerced into doing whatever the buyers (“johns”) wants.


We’ve taken sex out of the box that God designed for it, and in so doing have opened a box of serpents.


Pursued, a book dealing with the opioid epidemic sweeping our nation, is due out later this month. Christian romantic suspense.



Born and raised in Florida, Linda loves the salt water, the sun and the swamp lands. She rescues turtles and injured birds.

She lives with her husband in Tarpon Springs, FL and has two sons. Her mother was a missionary to Israel and Indonesia and had a great influence on her life. She has two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Linda has always loved reading–especially mysteries and romantic suspense novels. Years ago, she found authors Agatha Christie and Mary Stewart thrilling, as well as British mysteries and police procedurals. Today, she still reads voraciously while writing her own books. Christian romantic suspense is her favorite.

A number of years ago, Linda began speaking about human trafficking with the Tampa Bay area’s Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking Task Force (now called FREE). That and domestic violence still are subjects close to her heart. Her blog Writing for God, Fighting Human Trafficking can be found at https://lindarodante.wordpress.com/.









#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Linda Rodante, Sex Trafficking, Pandora’s Box

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“I don’t know about you, but being an avid reader myself, I love finding out more about the authors I read. There’s a connection that’s made between an author and his readers through the characters in his novels.”


“My goal in writing characters with issues isn’t to highlight their shortcomings, but to show how God understands our humanness and is waiting for the time when we realize we can no longer live life on our own.”




The Emergence of Self-Publishing, Print-On-Demand, and the Indie Author


I’m delighted Robin has given me the opportunity to jot down a little something regarding my writing journey. Though I have been writing Christian/Romance/Suspense since 2003, I still consider myself a novice and a newcomer to the writing community. I was first published in 2006, but in 2009, I took a step back. Disillusioned with the treatment I received from a Christian publishing house, I wondered if I would ever get another opportunity to publish the stories God laid on my heart. I’m excited to say, with the partnering of self-publishing and Print-On-Demand, the opportunities for Indie (Independent) authors is almost limitless, and free from the constraints of traditional publishing houses. Here is a summary of my journey.


My first published work, Full Disclosure, was released in 2006, followed by Abandoned Identity, and Criminal Obsession. When a small publishing house released these novels, my works came under the scrutiny of the cursed red pen. I knew that is what I could expect from a Christian publishing house, but still felt disappointed when very realistic issues were considered questionable and omitted from the final draft. After parting ways with that publishing house, due to personal reasons, I embarked on a ten-year journey that landed me on the path of self-publishing—and I couldn’t be more excited!


In 2014, with the advice I received from a multi-published, award-winning author, I began to navigate the world of self-publishing. I did so with equal parts self-doubt and excitement, but I’m so glad I did. With the release of Badge of Respect, One Saturday, and Just An Act, I have the privilege of seeing my completed manuscripts in print—something I’m not sure would have happened within the confines of the traditional Christian publishing house.


I am so excited to be a part of the new lifeblood that is flowing from the self-publishing market. As a Christian author who desires to pen realistic stories, I now have the ability to write what God has pressed on my heart without having to fit my stories into the somewhat sanitized mold of the conservative Christian publishing house. That is not to say that I want to write tawdry stories filled with sensationalism, but I do want to write stories that are realistic and relevant to the times in which we are living. The world is messy. And we as Christians are not immune to those messes. As humans, we fail, sometimes miserably. Not because we love God less, but because we are imperfect. We should not fool ourselves into thinking Christians don’t lie, swear, or fall into temptation—because they do. I applaud stories that accurately portray trials along with triumphs in the lives of Christian characters. In no way am I condoning sin or making excuses for it. However, I am also not so pious as to believe it doesn’t touch the lives of those who love God.


The books I choose to read need to fulfill the three “E”s. Enjoyment. Entertainment. Escapism. However, books that have heroes and heroines who are white knights and can do no wrong, aren’t what draw me in. Real people grappling with real issues is cathartic, and in a sense, therapeutic. To put on someone else’s skin and watch how they overcome tragedy, obstacles, or self-destructive choices, is encouraging. To portray the primary players in a novel free from reality minimizes the impact they make as characters. Great examples of books that are emerging from Christian authors willing to tackle difficult or unorthodox storylines are: Kept by Sally Bradley, Sway by Amy Matayo, Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann, and Tears of the Sea by MaryLu Tyndall. Today, many best-selling authors are not only working hand-in-hand with Christian publishing houses but are also stepping out on their own to publish stories they are passionate about. The self-publishing field no longer has the stigma it once carried. It is a new energy that is infusing the market of literature, be both print and e-books. Christian artists are writing intelligent stories for readers looking for something more than cookie-cutter storylines and unflawed characters.


As you can tell, I am passionate and excited about where publishing is headed. However, please don’t misinterpret my excitement for self-publishing as a way to discount the immeasurable number of talented authors and incredible stories being told within the traditional Christian market. If it wasn’t for the skill of these authors to transport and inspire, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with reading and writing. My personal library numbers well over a thousand books, from hundreds of talented authors. I will continue to support the Christian publishing market—even as my bookshelves become weary of the load. I am just pointing out the innovative market that is breathing new life into an established field, affording readers more choices than ever. Self-publishing is not replacing the standard avenue, it is simply adding to the depth of the publishing field.


Now . . . just to be clear . . . the stories I write are not scandalous or outrageous. My characters just happened to be people dealing with realistic issues. Characters who love God but struggle with His sovereignty during the most difficult of times, or characters who meet God in places they never imagined He could be found.


If you are curious about my books, click on the link below. It will take you to my website where you can read the first chapter of each of my books.




If you are interest still, comment on this post to be entered into a drawing for my current release, Just An Act. Robin will tally comments and select a winner by using Random.org. The drawing will run for one week.


Tamara Tilley has been writing romance/suspense novels since 2003. Along with her love for writing, she is an avid book reviewer for a number of distinguished publishing houses. Tamara has a Bible degree from Liberty University and lives and works at Hume Lake Christian Camps, with her husband of 37 years, Walter. If you would like to know more about Tamara, and her books, her are a few links where she can be found.






“I write what I enjoy reading. I like stories with action, suspense, romance, characters with faults and flaws, and though not always a cookie-cutter ending, a story that draws me in until the very last page.”



#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Tamara Tilley, Self-Publishing, Print on Demand, Indie Author

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I love writing conferences. Big ones, small ones. Near ones, far ones. I love attending them as a conferee and I love being on faculty.


But as much as I love them, conferences wear me out—usually by mid-afternoon of the first full day, if not earlier. (I once had something very close to a panic attack while in line for registration).


Over the years I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks—some self-care for the conference attending writer—that help me get the most out of each new experience.

  1. Recognize the need for self-care. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, arrogant, or anti-social. This is about survival. You’ve spent a lot of money and invested time and energy to attend this event and you owe it to yourself (and everyone who has sacrificed to help you be there) to make the most of it. You can’t do that if you’re walking around in a daze or avoiding conversations.


  1. Prepare for the conference BEFORE you leave home. You’ll feel more confident and less stressed if you’ve spent some time looking at the schedule and familiarizing yourself with the layout of the facility.

  1. Hydrate. Seriously. I mess this up every time. It isn’t until I realize my hands and feet are swelling and I feel parched that I remember how little water I’ve had. Conferences tend to be the kind of places where you consume a lot of caffeinated beverages and sodium laden foods. We underestimate how much we need to stay hydrated to be able to think clearly. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go!


  1. Give yourself permission to skip a session. I know you don’t want to miss anything, but just because you signed up for a class doesn’t mean you have to go. Sometimes what you need most is a nap. Or time in a prayer room. You might need to spend catching up with a friend. The conference experience is about more than how many classes you attend so don’t stress about it.


  1. Don’t fight your wiring, but don’t let it keep you from getting the most out of the conference. If you’re an extrovert and you loving being around so many like-minded writers, enjoy all the socializing. Just don’t forget to cement the things you’re learning in your mind. For some extroverts that might mean talking about what you just learned in a class with a fellow conferee. Or you could make a voice recording on your phone so you can get those thoughts out of your head so you won’t forget them. If you’re an introvert, take a break when you need to. Just don’t hide in your room so long that you fail to take advantage of the networking opportunities that exist between and after sessions.

  1. Get your rest. My conference motto tends to be “I’ll sleep when I get home” and I still do that if the conference is short in duration. But I have learned the hard way that if I’m attending a conference that’s longer than two nights, I need to be sure I get at least one early bedtime or skip breakfast so I can sleep in—or both. This may not apply to you if you’re under 40. 🙂


Are you a regular writing conference attendee? Do you have any tips you could add to the list? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


Grace and peace,



Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, Hidden Legacy, released in June 2017 and her new Dive Team Investigations series kicks off in March of 2018 with Beneath the Surface. You can follow her real life happily ever after at www.LynnHBlackburn.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.






#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Lynn Blackburn, Writer’s Conference, Prepare, Hydrate, Rest, Self Care

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What to Expect from a Writers’ Conference


Are you a writer who is serious about your writing journey? If so, let’s talk about writers’ conferences. With so many to choose from, it takes research, planning, and prayer to find the right fit for you. Many of you may be wondering if you need to attend a conference, especially with the cost, time, and effort involved.


Wherever you are in your decision making, here are a few things you can expect.



There is no greater place to connect with like-minded folks than a writers’ conference. They say writers are a peculiar bunch, but this is a venue where you can know for sure people “get” you. You will meet people from all across the country, from newbies to multi-published authors, to agents, editors, and publishers. Exchange business cards. Follow up with them after the conference and establish a relationship.


You never know when God will give you a kingdom connection, and you never know how it might come. He may surprise you with those He chooses to pour into your life and help you move forward. Sometimes our greatest blessing may come from the last possible place (or person) we expected.


Learning the Craft

Most conferences offer a wide variety of classes from social media to how to write a novel. You can learn everything from the basics of writing to marketing. Writing is a lifelong learning process, and this is the best way to sharpen your skills. Think of it as continuing education for writers. Always be open and teachable. Take notes, and brainstorm with other conferees. If the classes are recorded, be sure to purchase the MP3s or digital downloads. This way, you have the entire conference to listen to over and over.


Pitching Your Work

Whether you have a completed manuscript or simply an idea for a project, this venue will give you the opportunity to meet with agents, editors, and publishers. Attending a conference is the only way to have access to these industry professionals who will give you invaluable feedback. If they like what you have to offer, they may even ask you to send them a proposal or sample chapters.


Contests and Critiques

Many conferences will allow you to send in your work ahead of time to be critiqued. This is another great way to get feedback on your writing. If they offer contests, don’t hesitate to enter. It’s not important whether you win or lose; it will be good experience for you to submit your words.


Are conferences important to your writing career? Absolutely. The best advice I ever received as a newbie was to “join a critique group, attend writers’ conferences, and network, network, network.” I took that advice and have never regretted it for one moment.


Whatever you do, be ready. When you ask God to bless you and open doors of opportunity, He will. The best way to begin each day is to pray for divine appointments, divine connections, and divine favor.


Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It.







#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Andrea Merrell, What to Expect from a Writers’ Conference


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“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”



 “Break the rules. That’s my number one rule. I know the rules [of grammar] and I know how to break them.”


The launch for The Long Shadows of Summer was more stress inducing than writing it. Or than I realized. Now that she’s launched and out in the world, the stress has (ahem) lifted and I’m surging forward with The Tilting Leaves of Autumn.


Still, it’s good to take a break, and this week, New Week New Face is, well, on break. I’ll return next week with a post about writing conferences. Til then, happy reading. And happy writing.


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


I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.


I have three novels published, the unsavory heritage series. Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. I also have 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. I am currently working on The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Book Two in my new series, Seasons. It releases in November, following The Long Shadows of Summer, which releases in August. Books 3 and 4 in the series will be out in 2018.









 “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” – Erin Hanson



#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, On Break, Recovery Mode, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Happy Reading, Happy Writing

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