Monday, October 19, 2015
Please welcome Cynthia Hickey to my blog this week. She's giving away a copy of Anything for a Mystery, the first book in her Nosy Neighbor Series. Leave a comment and your email addy to enter. Also, let me know if you're a follower of my blog for an extra entry!
A lot of people have the misconception that writing is a glamorous job. My writing day starts out like this…
· I wake up at six a.m. (which is always a good thing), fix my coffee and check my emails and sales reports.
· I eat a bowl of oatmeal and work on clients’ needs.
· At approximately 7:30 a.m. I take a shower and get dressed.
· Around 8:00 a.m. I start writing. I always tell myself I won’t do anything else until I reach 2,000 words on my current work in progress. This NEVER works. Inevitably, I’ll get an email that needs addressing.
· When I finish my word count, sometime around noon, I have lunch. Most times, I work at my desk while eating, but occasionally…I’ll sneak in a taped episode of Castle or Criminal Minds or Property Brothers, then go back to work.
· On a normal day, my work day ends around four p.m. On a good day, it might end around 2:30 or 3:00
· I empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, ignore the rest of the house, and veg in front of the TV or run errands.
I am a busy woman and I wouldn’t have it any other way , but it is far from glamorous.
WHERE I WORK
This cute little place holds everything I need, and almost everything means something personal. I have a dry erase board to schedule my next writing project, keep tabs on other writing jobs, and to list what I need to do at home.
The bulletin board holds websites addresses I visit on a regular basis and holds my favorite quote. It’s by Erma Bombeck and says, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”
There is a silk rose given to me by a student of the elementary school I used to work at. It sits in a mug that says, “What deadline?” Next to that is a frog tape dispenser, which to me means, Fully Rely On God. (F.R.O.G.) Holding an assortment of fun pencils and ink pens is a ceramic mug brought to me from Mexico by a cafeteria worker at the same elementary school. I have a pink fuzzy bird holding a plaque that states, “Do not start with me–you will not win” and a fuzzy angel flamingo pen, because who doesn’t want one of those?
On the wall is a framed Life magazine focusing on “Gone With the Wind” and a Newsweek “Elvis” edition. These are the two categories I collect. I love anything Elvis or Gone With the Wind.
To the left of the desk is a glass tank that holds two Sulcata tortoise hatchlings. On the floor at my feet are two dogs. Behind me is a wall of books: fiction, non-fiction, research. This is my world and I love it.
Writing is not only my job, it is my passion. I love being an author. I love owning a small press. I went from five to twenty clients. Some are much more active than others, so it makes a nice balance. I take Sundays off. Thankfully, my children are grown. I am grateful to God more than I can say for giving me this opportunity.
Welcome to the new chapter in my life! I wouldn’t have it any other way!
My newest mystery for your enjoyment is Jogging is Bad For Your Health. Enjoy!
When Stormi's nephew asks her to help him stop the abuse to a friend of his, Stormi is more than willing to step in. What she finds is worse than anything she imagined. No amount of research prepared her for a group of men so evil, Stormi must dig deep inside herself and call on God to rescue the man she loves. Purchase Here
ABOUT CYNTHIA HICKEY
Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She had several historical romances release in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold half a million copies of her works. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazone blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com
Monday, October 12, 2015
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m in the living room and I’m wearing a t-shirt and Capri pants.
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
I can’t think of one thing in particular but my husband always knows if I ask him something off the wall or a random question that it has to do with my writing. The other day I was asking him what would make a car backfire. LOL
What is something that very few people know about you?
Umm that’s a tough one. Let’s see…I can only wink with my left eye.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I have a little photo album that I inherited from my grandpa that’s very special to me. He loved his family very much and pictures were one of his most treasured possessions. It’s just a little photo album with a few pictures from my wedding but it makes me feel close to him.
If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?
I think I’d have to say medieval times because I love reading stories in that time period and the clothing they wear.
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
The Crazy but Wonderful Life of a Stay-At-Home Mommy Writer
What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?
In high school, The Hatchet was the first book that I really got into. Survival stories fascinate me.
What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?
When I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I kept it from our families for about a month. On Thanksgiving we told everyone by having our oldest son wear a shirt that said “Big Brother.” It was very hard to keep the secret but seeing everyone’s reaction was worth it.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve always been a bit adventurous. When I first started dating my husband, we went on a four wheeling date with another couple. When it was my turn to drive, I went through this massive mud puddle and got us both stuck. By the time we got the four wheeler unstuck, we were all covered in mud.
For fun I enjoy camping with my family. One of our favorite camping trips was in the Colorado Mountains. Being surrounded by God’s creation inspires me.
Riley Family Legacy Novellas, Book 3
By Rachel Skatvold
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Release Date: October 8, 2015
While volunteering at a youth camp in the Ozark Mountains, Carmen Riley sponsors a challenging group of teenage girls. She longs to make a difference in their lives, but unsettling news from home rattles her confidence. When Carmen meets a charming young pastor, will his wise advice give her the courage she desperately needs?
After discovering that the camp is in danger of closing, Pastor Andrew vows to save it. With Carmen’s help, he rallies a group of sponsors to come up with a plan of action. However, the task could cost him much more than he bargains for.
In a race against time, a common goal unites them, but unforeseen circumstances threaten to tear them apart. Will their relationship and faith in God endure long enough to see Beauty Restored?
About the Author
Rachel Skatvold is an inspirational author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance, devotions, encouraging blogs. Rachel has just finished her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas and is now working on her first full length novel, Enduring the Flames. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons.
Places to follow Rachel
Monday, October 5, 2015
Please welcome Scott R Rezer to my blog this week. Scott is giving away a Kindle copy of his book Love Abideth Still: A Novel of the Civil War. Be sure to read on down and answer Scott's question to be entered in the giveaway. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to meet one of your ancestors? A great-grandmother, perhaps, or a distant uncle on your mother’s side twice removed. Perhaps, someone famous—or maybe someone… not so famous? We all have colorful characters hanging up there in our family tree, people we would dearly love to meet given the opportunity. For nearly forty years, my family and I have researched our genealogy, trying to add flesh and bone to the stories we all grew up hearing. It has yielded some startling and amazing results, sometimes things we never dreamed we would learn and some things perhaps best left undiscovered. We have learned almost everything we can about most individuals in our family tree, but we still yearn to discover so much more—things you simply cannot find in dusty old courthouse records or tattered Bibles. Genealogy is a fluid, ever-changing pursuit of the elusive, exciting one moment, disappointing and frustrating the next. The thrill of it is never knowing when another big discovery lies just around the corner.
Two years ago, I published Love Abideth Still, a novel about my 3rd great-grandparents, Taylor and Sarah Rezer, a story born from a magazine article I wrote a few years before to honor the memory of my great-grandfather and his service in the Civil War. Only after writing the article, did I decide to turn it into a full-length novel about him and his wife. At the time, we knew very little about them—names, dates, places—but something compelled me to tell their story. Knowing Taylor had served as a soldier in the Union Army during the war and died a paroled prisoner peaked my curiosity most of all. I wanted answers to so many questions. Why did Taylor enlist—not once, but twice? How had Taylor been captured? Why had he died? What was his life like as a soldier? How did Sarah cope with the tragic loss of her husband? I needed to know so much more, so I decided what better way to bring them to life once more than to write about them.
Plain and simple, the novel is a love story in the midst of war, one that begins tragically, but ends triumphantly. I was a little hesitant at first about this project as I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. After all, the emotional attachment of a novel based on one’s ancestors can render a story far more interesting to a writer than to a reader. Still, it seemed a simple enough story to write. I was wrong. Little did I know how much it would affect me before I finished. It not only broadened my appreciation of Taylor and Sarah’s lives, but the sacrifice made by all those who lived during the war—not just the sacrifice of the soldiers, but also those who remained behind back home. Writing is a reward all its own; writing about people who are your own flesh and blood is something altogether different. It is a reward far beyond description. The knowledge of having had great-great-great-grandparents such as Sarah and Taylor humbles me every day. It is a privilege to honor them in such a way.
Telling Taylor and Sarah’s story has recently encouraged me to begin writing about another Civil War ancestor who, until recently, was also little more than a name. The last few years, though, have yielded a wealth of exciting information that reveal a wonderful story I had to share. It is entitled Love Remembreth Not and follows the life of a young man, my second great-grandfather Henry Heimsoath, a Confederate soldier who entered into the Orphan House of antebellum Charleston at the age of six and became a veteran of a terrible war by the age of twenty-three. He lost everything he held dear—family, friends, his home—only to discover love in the most unlikely place and time. It seems a simple enough story to tell, but we will see. I cannot wait to see how it turns out.
In writing my Civil War series, I am keeping alive the memory of my ancestors—even if only in a fictionalized story of their lives. I am a firm believer that our past helps define who we are in the present. The memory of those who came before us influences our own lives. Families pass on more than just inherited genes. They leave legacies for us to share and to emulate. Whose story would you like to learn about and pass on?
A country torn by civil war…
A handful letters professing a husband’s love…
Five months after his death, the body of Sarah’s husband, a Union soldier, finally comes home for burial in Philadelphia. Taylor’s burial, though, rather than putting her unresolved grief to rest, begins a journey that will not just test her faith, but will plumb the depths of her devotion to her dead husband. Pushed to the edge of anger and despair, Sarah turns to the few letters sent to her by Taylor from the front lines in a desperate need to understand the guilt she feels over his death. From the bloody battlefields of Winchester and Bull Run to the quiet streets of Philadelphia, comes a story of war and forgiveness—of a love rekindled from beyond the grave.
About the Author: Scott R. Rezer was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1963. He met his wife while serving in the United States Air Force. They have two grown children and live in the Southwest. He is an indie published author of four historical fiction novels ranging from the Civil War to the Crusades to ancient history. The Historical Novel Society selected two of his novels (The Leper King and Shadow of the Mountain) this year as Editor’s Choices. He credits his grandmother, a local historian, for awakening in him a deep appreciation of both writing and all things historical. He is currently working on two other novels.