Monday, July 29, 2013

A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee ends August 5th


Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. Author of Mind of Her Own, A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.

Please welcome Diana Brandmeyer! Answer the question: When do you feel alone? Or what do you do when that happens? And you'll be entered to win her new release A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee.

Friendship Feeds Life
It was the longest week of my life.
Two of my friends whom I talk to almost every day left town, one to an area with no cell reception, the other to visit her grandbabies. That meant no face-to-face, or rather phone-to-phone conversation until they returned—7 DAYS later.
Thinking it would be smart to have projects lined up so I wouldn’t miss them as much, I made a list, a long one. By the end of the first day, most of those projects were done. The next day I called my mom, then my mother-in-law. I tried my grown kids, but they were working.  I have an empty nest so that left my husband, the non-communicator, to talk to at night.  I’d blast him with 10,000 words and get a grunt in response.
I was lonely. My voice unused. I missed my friends. They lifted me up when sad, calmed me down when a little crazed and helped me figure out sale prices when things were 30% off. We talk about books, how to make our lives run smoother and we pray for each other. They are my lifelines.
Heaven in A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee knew what it this loneliness felt like. She’d moved far from her best friend. No more running over to visit, no sleepovers and no strolls to the mercantile. She had to write letters and wait for the responses.
Knowing that she would be moving again as soon as her father returned kept her from forming new relationships. Heaven was in the waiting stage of friendship. She unknowingly was protecting her heart.
I did have a friend to talk to and so did Heaven. Jesus. We need to be reminded that Jesus is always present and He delights in listening to us. He has called us friends! John 15: 14-15
My friends did return. We laughed and caught up on our weeks apart. It was nice to know that Jesus was with them too during the week and with us as we shared.
The week alone gave me a chance to renew my friendship with Jesus
When do you feel alone? What do you do when that happens?

A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee
Heaven’s Stolen His Heart
 After witnessing the ravages of the Civil War, Travis Logan vowed to give up doctoring. But when fellow steamboat passenger Caleb Wharton collapses at his feet, Travis knows he must lend his aid. As the old man lies dying, he makes Travis promise to take care of his land and find Heaven. Travis can’t help but wonder what Heaven has to do with a real place, so he heads to Caleb’s farm to fulfill his promise.
Weeks of facing marauders and caring for her father’s home have finally taken their toll on Heaven Wharton. When an unknown young man charges the house, Heaven attempts to fire a warning shot but ends up shooting the man instead. Shocked, she and her sister, Angel, drag a semi-conscious Travis into the house and nurse him back to health.
 As Travis and Heaven both struggle to control their destinies, will they learn that only a heart that follows God can ever find peace on earth?

After the Civil War, Travis Logan vowed to give up doctoring. But when fellow steamboat passenger Caleb Wharton collapses at his feet, Travis lends his aid. As the old man lies dying, he makes Travis promise to take care of his land and find Heaven. Travis can’t help but wonder what Heaven has to do with a real place.
When an unknown young man charges the house, Heaven Wharton attempts to fire a warning shot but ends up shooting the man. Shocked, she and her sister, Angel, drag a semi-conscious Travis into the house and nurse him back to health.
 As Travis and Heaven both struggle to control their destinies, will they learn that only a heart that follows God can ever find peace on earth?

Connect with Diana at:


DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

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, August 5th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whispers on the Prairie by Vickie McDonough ends 7/29


Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of 27 books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series and Long Trail Home and End of the Trail in the Texas Trails series. Long Trail Home won the Inspirational category of the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Awards. Whispers on the Prairie, the first book in the Pioneer Promises series has just released.  

Please welcome a dear friend my partner ;o) on Christian Fiction Historical Society, Vickie McDonough. Vickie is graciously giving away her wonderful new release so be sure to leave a comment to be entered. Tell us if the final cover is your favorite. And if it isn't tell us which one is and why.
The Making of a Book Cover

By Vickie McDonough

Everyone loves a great book cover, but an odd cover can make us pause and wonder what the author was thinking when he/she requested it. But the truth of the matter is that most authors have little input on cover designs, which is generally decided by the sales, marketing, and/or art departments. The amount of input an author has usually depends on the publishing house they write for and how well-known the author’s name is.

Most publishers will have the author fill out an art sheet which includes descriptions of the main characters, the setting, theme or faith element, a special feature that is key to the story, such as the covered wagon that appears on my covers below. The publisher also sometimes want to know the key plot points and will request photos that represent your characters and/or settings.

I asked Becky, who works in the art department of Whitaker House how they go about choosing a book cover design, and here’s what she said:

    “I get the book title and the art sheet, and after looking over character descriptions and a blurb about the story line, I hit up stock photo sites to see if I can find images that fit the descriptions or decide if I will need to get models in to do a photo shoot. While looking through countless photos I am thinking of designs and how I want the book to look, taking into account if it is a stand alone book or part of a series. If it is a series, how am I going to keep the books the same so they will look like they belong together. At some point during my photo search I will either find a picture that I will work around or I will come up with an idea that I want to do and then must find just the right picture to make it all come
together. Follow all this searching is some Photoshop magic, and a cover is born.
    “That is how my technical process is done, as for the creative
process, that is much harder to explain. I have heard authors describing
how their characters do not behave for them and rebel against where the
author wants them to go in the story progression. I can relate to that
with what I do as well. At times I can sit down and a cover just flows
from me, and at other times I fight with one all day long and try to get
the image in my head out onto paper.
    “I also do a lot of research, as well, looking at books in the same genre to
see what others are doing--if there are growing trends or fading trends. I
love walking through book stores to see all the covers and what catches my
eye vs. what makes me think "why did you do that?!"
    “After I create 1-2 covers, along with the other designers here doing the same, the covers are all taken into a cover committee meeting and a winner is
chosen. From that point, it is given to the author to see if any tweaks
are needed, until a final is agreed upon.”

I appreciate Becky sharing her expertise with us and giving us a peak into the cover design process. I thought you might also enjoy seeing the development of the cover design for my new release, Whispers on the Prairie.
The Making of a Book Cover

By Vickie McDonough

Everyone loves a great book cover, but an odd cover can make us pause and wonder what the author was thinking when he/she requested it. But the truth of the matter is that most authors have little input on cover designs, which is generally decided by the sales, marketing, and/or art departments. The amount of input an author has usually depends on the publishing house they write for and how well-known the author’s name is.

Most publishers will have the author fill out an art sheet which includes descriptions of the main characters, the setting, theme or faith element, a special feature that is key to the story, such as the covered wagon that appears on my covers below. The publisher also sometimes want to know the key plot points and will request photos that represent your characters and/or settings.

I asked Becky, who works in the art department of Whitaker House how they go about choosing a book cover design, and here’s what she said:

    “I get the book title and the art sheet, and after looking over character descriptions and a blurb about the story line, I hit up stock photo sites to see if I can find images that fit the descriptions or decide if I will need to get models in to do a photo shoot. While looking through countless photos I am thinking of designs and how I want the book to look, taking into account if it is a stand alone book or part of a series. If it is a series, how am I going to keep the books the same so they will look like they belong together. At some point during my photo search I will either find a picture that I will work around or I will come up with an idea that I want to do and then must find just the right picture to make it all come
together. Follow all this searching is some Photoshop magic, and a cover is born.
    “That is how my technical process is done, as for the creative
process, that is much harder to explain. I have heard authors describing
how their characters do not behave for them and rebel against where the
author wants them to go in the story progression. I can relate to that
with what I do as well. At times I can sit down and a cover just flows
from me, and at other times I fight with one all day long and try to get
the image in my head out onto paper.
    “I also do a lot of research, as well, looking at books in the same genre to
see what others are doing--if there are growing trends or fading trends. I
love walking through book stores to see all the covers and what catches my
eye vs. what makes me think "why did you do that?!"
    “After I create 1-2 covers, along with the other designers here doing the same, the covers are all taken into a cover committee meeting and a winner is
chosen. From that point, it is given to the author to see if any tweaks
are needed, until a final is agreed upon.”

I appreciate Becky sharing her expertise with us and giving us a peak into the cover design process. I thought you might also enjoy seeing the development of the cover design for my new release, Whispers on the Prairie.

Version 1: This is the first cover that my publishing house, Whitaker House, presented me. Overall, I really liked the design. The color combination was different, I loved the title fonts and the curlicues around my name. The wagon looked good too. The thing that I didn’t feel fit my historical story was the heroine. Her hairstyle and dress looked too contemporary, especially the sleeveless blouse.


 







Version 2: The second cover was better. The long sleeves more accurately portrayed the 1800s time period, but the heroine’s hairstyle still didn’t, and her reading a book really has nothing to do with the storyline, so I gulped and asked for a different heroine.



 
 Version 3: Whispers on the Prairie was purchased last fall as an already completed book. My publisher wanted to release it in time for the International Christian Retailers Show in late June. Since there wasn’t time to hire a model and do photo shoots, they used stock photos. They kindly allowed me to search the photo sites they use, and I found a picture of the blond woman smelling a flower. This worked perfectly for my storyline since flowers are something both my hero and heroine love. The dress was a good match for the time period, even though it was white, and the hairstyle also looked historical.


Version 4: I could have easily lived with cover #3, but there was one more change I requested—that the back of the wagon be pink. In Whispers on the Prairie, Ethan, my hero, helps city folk get outfitted to travel the Santa Fe Trail. Instead of taking his advice and picking the sturdy wagon Ethan advises, my heroine suggests a red faded wagon to her uncle because it’s bigger and will hold more. The “pink” wagon is a symbol to my hero of the heroine’s stubbornness and a bone of contention between them. I wanted the colored wagon reflected on the cover, because it was an important issue, and I though it might intrigue buyers. I didn’t quite end up with a pink wagon, but close enough. I want the thank the folks at Whitaker House for working with me to create a lovely cover for Whispers on the Prairie.
So, what do you think? Do you like the final cover best or one of the others? Be honest. You won’t hurt my feelings, because they’re all nice.

 Contact Vickie: Website: www.vickiemcdonough.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VickieMcDonough Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickiemcdonough Visit her website to sign up for her mailing list and keep up on all of Vickie’s book news.

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

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, July 29th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.