Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giveaway for Martha Roger's Summer Dream

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Welcome Martha Rogers. She is giving away her new release SUMMER DREAM to one lucky winner! 
 
Martha’s book credits include the novella, Sugar and Grits and A River Walk Christmas, as well as the historical romance series, Winds Across the Prairie. She had also written seven Bible studies, contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Karen O’Conner, and Debbie White Smith. Martha has also written devotionals in several anthologies including recently released Blissfully Blended, Devotionals for Step-moms from Barbour. Martha is currently working on another series, Seasons of the Heart.  Book one, Summer Dream, will released in the summer of 2011.  Martha sings in the choir at her church and is a co-leader for a First Place 4 Health group. She loves to scrapbook when she has the time. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football and baseball games when one of them is playing.


Prayer, Perseverance, Patience
The road to having a full length novel published has been a long, difficult journey for me. The Lord has been good to me in opening the doors the past two years, but at times I had begun to wonder if He was ever going to answer my prayers. I prayed and had many prayer warriors who did the same. Deep in my heart I believed God would answer when the time was right, but several times I wondered if He’d checked the time because I certainly wasn’t growing any younger. Still I persevered and kept writing proposals for my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray to submit to various publishers.
Rejection after rejection came, but still I persevered. God would reward my efforts if I didn’t give up. I adopted Galatians 6:9 as my writing verse and truly believed it would happen for me.
Patience is not my long suit, but I learned that without patience, I’d be frustrated to the point of giving up. Then one day Tamela called and said an editor was interested and wanted to offer me a contract. It seems that the publisher had decided to launch a historical fiction line, and my manuscript happened to be on her desk at that time. They wanted a four book series so Winds Across the Prairie was born from that first manuscript.   This happened on my 73rd birthday.
My experience taught me that striving to improve and do my best with the talent He has given will bring results. The years of attending writing conferences, reading books to perfect my craft, finding critique partners, and being willing to listen to the advice of experienced writers paid off with that contract. It also proves that age has nothing to do with acceptance or rejection. If a story is good, the plot and characters believable, and it shows a serious effort by the writer to be professional, editors will take notice. 
Those who have multiple books circulating understand the importance of perfecting their craft and never cease to seek and learn more. Those who are still waiting for that first contract must practice patience, pray, study the craft, and persevere with their writing. If it is to be, it will be, but not until God determines the time.
 
The first book in the Seasons of the Heart series 
 As the daughter of a small-town minister in Connecticut, Rachel Winston fears that the only way she’ll ever find a husband is to visit her aunt in Boston for the social season. But when Nathan Reed arrives in town, she can’t help but wonder if he’s the one.
Although attracted to Rachel, Nathan has no desire to become involved with a Christian after experiences with his own family. What’s more, he realizes that even if he wanted to court her, he has chance of doing so until he resolves his anger with God and his family.
When Nathan is caught in a devastating blizzard and lies near death in the Winston home, Rachel and her mother give him a lesson in love and forgiveness that leads him back to his home in the South. Will he make peace with his family and return to Briar Ridge before Rachel chooses a path that takes her away from him?


CONGRATULATIONS Ann. You won Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough.
CONGRATULATIONS Angie. You won Died in the Wool by Janelle Mowerry.
 Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, June 6th.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Review for A VISION OF LUCY by Margaret Brownley

I just finished reading A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley and loved it! This is book three in the Rocky Creek Romance Series. I haven't read the other two, but after reading this book I think I will. Margaret did a wonderful job weaving a story that brought you laughs, sighs, and tears. She's a master at stirring your emotions as you get to know the characters of her book.

Lucy is an aspiring photographer. Her dream is to take pictures for a big newspaper. But trouble and mishaps seem to follow her where ever she goes. Think I Love Lucy. Sometimes Ms. Brownley has you laughing at Lucy's troubles while other times you're either gasping or sitting on the edge of your seat wondering how she's going to get out of this mess.

Then there is David. Tall, dark, and handsome. A man with a past that has brought him much pain. He's part Indian and part white man. He fits in neither worlds. He's come to face his past at Rocky Creek, but when he comes he runs into Lucy and she makes him want to be a part of a world that he isn't accepted in. When people disappear everyone is first to point the finger at him. He needs help and turns to the only person he can trust...Lucy.

This story has wonderful historical details. Learn about the women's fight to vote, the prejudice against races, and the problems and opinions of early photography. I highly recommend this book.

Back of the Book Blurb
 
Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, but with the help of God and the rugged, reclusive David Wolf, she’ll never face adversity alone.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hung on their walls.
                    
But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn’t count on her feelings stirring whenever she’s near him.
Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy’s life: David says the words Lucy has longed to hear since her mother died: that she is a compassionate, creative young woman that God made in His image. And in return Lucy helps David change his perspective on an event that wounded him long ago.

God’s arms are around this unlikely couple as they leave behind long-held assumptions and discover the true freedom of forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Giveaway for Janelle Mowery's


Welcome Janelle! It's great to have you back. Janelle is giving a way a copy of one of her books so be sure to leave a comment.
 
JANELLE MOWERY lives in Texas with her husband and two sons, though a portion of her heart still resides in her birth state of Minnesota. Janelle began writing inspirational stories in 2001 and has since written several historical novels as well as a mystery series. Her first published novel, 'Where the Truth Lies', released in 2008. This was followed in 2010 by 'The Christmas Chain', part of a Christmas anthology titled, 'A Woodland Christmas'. Her second novel, 'Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho', released October 2010 and received four stars from the Romantic Times review. Janelle's Colorado trilogy will release in 2011. The first of this series, 'When All My Dreams Come True', also received four stars from the Romantic Times review. 'Where the Heart Is', part of another Christmas anthology titled, 'Christmas at Barncastle Inn', will release in September 2011. When she isn't writing, her interests include reading, enjoying nature, and visiting historical sites. To learn more, visit her Web site at www.janellemowery.com.

 
Co-authoring Without Committing Murder

            I’ve been asked numerous times about the how-to’s and difficulties of writing with a co-author. I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain how it was done with this mystery series and also offer some advice to anyone considering co-authoring.
            My co-author and I met in ACFW’s online critique group, then met in person at one of their conferences and became good friends. We wrote in similar styles and decided to work together on a mystery series. We spent HOURS on the phone brainstorming the storyline, plot, and subplots. We then put together a detailed timeline itemizing everything that would take place from start to finish. For each story, we ended up with at least five pages of timeline. Once we decided who would write the hero and heroine point-of-view, we started banging out the story.
            There’s no working ahead when you co-author. We had to work from scene to scene. It’s like wallpapering a room. One wouldn’t start at one area while the other started across the room and hope the pieces would match up in the middle. When one would finish a scene, we’d send it to the other, spend time critiquing the work, then the second would start where the other left off. It actually became quite fun because though we knew what all would have to take place in the scene because of our detailed timeline, we’d never know how the other would use those details as we combined them with our own creativity. We often surprised each other with the direction we’d take to get where we were going within the scene. As we critiqued each other, our style/voice blended to the point where few people knew who wrote what.
            I realize I simplified our co-authoring technique, but if I were to give details, there wouldn’t be enough room. So I’m going to move on to the advice I’d give to those thinking about working with a co-author.
First, be sure to work with a good friend or someone you know well, one with whom you can be completely honest. There could be instances where you may not agree. You want a relationship strong enough to endure the times you may bump heads.
Second, be flexible with each other when it comes to creative differences. As an example, I was used to setting up a detailed outline/timeline before I started writing the story whereas my co-author liked to sit down and start writing and see where the story took her. In this case, because we were working together and because it was a mystery with several subplots, we decided a timeline was a good idea to keep us on track. But there are other ways to compromise. An example is how we wrote each scene. Certain things had to happen in each scene, but we allowed each other the creative freedom in how we moved through the scenes.
Third, communicate often. Check up on each other, make sure the other isn’t going through a tough time, whether with the story or in their personal life. It helps to talk things through in order to get through any rough spots. Which brings me to my final and most important piece of advice.
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER! Hold each other up in prayer on a daily basis. This act alone with get you both to ‘The End’.
There’s more I could suggest. If anyone has questions, I’d love to hear them and try to answer them to the best of my ability. There are other ways to co-author successfully but this is what my co-author and I found worked best for us. 

Thank you for this great advice, Janelle! It sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully one day I will have this same opportunity!




Monah Trenary is battling to gain some funding for her beloved library. When a rival for the monies ends up dead, all clues lead to Monah’s door. Can the librarian prove her innocence before the cops throw the book at her? Or is this a case of murder in the first degree?








CONGRATULATIONS Faye. You won To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer.
 Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, May 23th.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Giveaway for Vickie Mcdonough's FINALLY A BRIDE


Answer one of Vickie's questions to be entered in a drawing for Vickie's new release Finally a Bride. 

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of 23 books and novellas. Her books have won the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a multi-year finalist in ACFW’s BOTY/Carol Awards. She was voted Third Favorite Author in the Heartsong Presents Annual Readers Contest in 2009. Vickie is the author of the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series from Barbour Publishing. Watch for her new book this October. Long Trail Home from Moody Publishing. Also next year brings the release of another new series from Guidepost Books, Whispers on the Prairie, set in 1870s Kansas.

Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma. She is a wife of thirty-five years, mother of four grown sons and grandma to a feisty five-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books, visit her website: www.vickiemcdonough.com

 How’s Your Texas Trivia?

People have asked me why I write so many books set in Texas when I live and was raised in Oklahoma. I’ve thought hard about my response, and I think there are several aspects.
1.  It’s the state I’ve most visited. There are so many interesting things to see and do there.
2. My grandpa was a Texan, so it’s in my blood.
3. When I was young, I watched all the cowboy shows of the late 1960s with my dad, and fell in love with the era and ruggedness depicted in those shows.


  Finally A Bride, the last book in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides series released in April, but I’m hard at work on a new book, Long Trail Home. And yes, it’s set in Texas. In fact, I’m doing a 6-book series with two other authors, Susan Page Davis and Darlene Franklin called Texas Trails: A Morgan Family series. It’s a 50-year saga about the Morgan family and spans several generations and includes tidbits of Texas history. The first three books release this fall and the last three next spring.
 
 While doing research on this series, I stumbled across a website that has old Texas Almanacs online. I thought it might be interesting if I shared some of the info that I’ve been reading about. Most of the information I’m sharing today came from the 1865 and 1867 Almanacs. Here is a link if you want to check
out almanacs of different years.

Texas was an independent nation from 1836 – 1845, and as such, it is the only state that can fly its flag at the same height as the American flag.

The state name Texas, or Tejas, was the Spanish pronunciation of a Caddo Indian word meaning "friends" or "allies."

Texas entered the Union on Dec. 29, 1845 and was the 28th state to do so.
Just 15 years later and exactly 150 years ago, after seceding from the United States, Texas was admitted into the Confederate Union of State on May 7th, 1861. It wasn’t until March 30, 1870 that Texas officially was readmitted to the Union, following the period of Reconstruction.

 Texas is called the Lone Star State, not because of the Lone Ranger, but because of the design of the state flag: a broad vertical blue stripe at left centered by a single white star, and at right, horizontal bars of white (top) and red.


  In 1864, the governor earned a salary of $3000. Other government officials earned from $900 to $1800 per year.

If you owned a billiard table on nine- or ten-pin alley, you would have to pay a $100 tax annually.

There was a $50 annual tax assessment on a dentist, but only a $10 one for a doctor.

State bonds were backed by the state’s cotton crop.

The Customs House reported at the end of the September 30, 1866 fiscal year, over 120,000 bales of cotton, a value of over $20,000,000, had been exported while only of 3,973 head of cattle totaling just over $79,000 had.

A wash for roofs was made from lime, rock salt, water, and potash. After processing. It was applied to a roof with a paint brush and said to prevent moss from growing, stop small leaks, and render the roof incombustible from sparks that fell on it.

The domestic rate of postage for a letter weighing less than half an ounce was 3 cents.
  In the section titled: What Immigrants to Texas May Expect, item #2 states: If a man wishes to make stock-raising his business, he can have the pasturage of as many thousand acres as he pleases, without money and without price.


Other Interesting Texas Trivia:

The world's first rodeo was held in Pecos on July 4, 1883.

Sam Houston, arguably the most famous Texan, was actually born in Virginia. Houston served as governor of Tennessee before coming to Texas.

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

Though most people think of Texas as cattle country, more wool comes from there than any other state in the United States.

The worst natural disaster in United States history was caused by a hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. Over 8000 deaths were recorded.

Most people think of Texas as flat, but did you know it has numerous mountains a mile or more high, with Guadalupe Peak in West Texas at 8,751 feet being the tallest?

The last battle of the Civil War was fought on May 12-13, 1865 at Palmito ranch, Texas. It was a Confederate victory.

The University of Texas held its first class in 1883.
Since Oklahoma hasn’t even been a state that long, I find this fact interesting, and before you email me with complaints, yes, I know that’s not a picture of a Texas Longhorn player. But given the fact that I was born and raised in Oklahoma and a staunch fan of the Oklahoma Sooners football team, did you really expect one?
Go OU!

The 1850 census recorded 213,000 people in Texas. In 1900, there were three million people, and today, the population is more than 25 million.

El Paso is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas.

So, did you learn something? Researching a book can take a lot of time, but you can uncover some fascinating information. Do you know of any interesting Texas trivia that I didn’t mention?


CONGRATULATIONS Meredith. You won Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens!
 Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, May 23rd.