Monday, July 25, 2016

Kelsey Norman



Kelsey Norman
My debut novel, Unbroken Spirit, is set to release in just a matter of days. It feels surreal, and I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that my dream is coming true. It’s been a long time coming. There were many times that I felt like giving up. Rejection after rejection, and a failed contract with what I thought was a reputable publishing company made me almost throw in the towel. However, there’s a well-known quote that says “nothing worth having ever comes easy,” and becoming a published author is no exception to that rule. Thankfully, I got another chance with a wonderful publishing company, Mountain Brook Ink.
              A few years ago, I self-published two novellas. I wasn’t expecting to sell millions of copies or get rich off of them. I simply wanted to get my books out there and see what happened. I received positive responses, and of course an occasional negative one. But self-publishing didn’t make me feel like a real author, because anybody can self-publish no matter how horrid the writing. I was determined to one day get a novel traditionally published. Now it’s happening. And it’s scary and exciting all rolled into one.
               I look forward to hearing how my story touched readers and how the messages portrayed will be applied in their own lives. However, I’m frightened of the negative comments that will inevitably come. I’m not so naïve as to believe everybody who reads it will love it. My hope is that any bad reviews will be done so constructively and I’ll be able to learn from them. It will be hard to not take the criticism to heart, because this book is my baby. Literal sweat, tears, and almost blood went into creating it. My goal is to focus on the positive remarks. As with anything in life, you can’t get bogged down by the negative. It’s the encouraging comments and support that lift you up and keep you going, reminding you why you do what you do.
              So in the midst of all the excitement and craziness that is to come, I have to remind myself of why I write. I write because it’s in my blood. I can’t not write. I find joy in writing something as simple as an e-mail. Writing a novel puts me in my element and allows me to follow my calling. No matter one’s passion, it’s important to remember why you got into it in the first place. Especially so when you become discouraged and start to wonder if you can continue. Don’t let the negativity of others prevent you from doing what you love.


About the Author: Kelsey is a wife and mother from Kansas. Through her novels, she hopes to allow an escape from reality by getting her readers lost in a good book. Kelsey enjoys writing anything from romance to fantasy. When Kelsey isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing crafts, dancing, and reading.












Unbroken Spirit: Nina Anderson is lucky to be alive. After years of abuse at the hands
of her boyfriend, she’s finally free. Determined to get back on her feet, she’s left her past behind for a fresh start on her grandparents’ farm in Despair, Kansas. Even though, Jeremy, the man who’d abused her is in prison fifteen-hundred miles away, Nina is still haunted by dark memories.

Then a mysterious, unearthly man appears bringing her the respect she’s always wanted—and maybe even a chance at love. Liam has been sent to serve as Nina’s protector and to help her with an event that is to occur in the near future. The catch is, Liam doesn’t know what it is or when it will take place. Will he have the power to save her and restore Nina’s faith in God? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Bull Rider’s Bride (ebook) or a print copy of Heart of a Cowboy by Vickie McDonough

Please welcome my friend Vickie to my blog today. Vickie is giving away a copy of The Bull Rider’s Bride (ebook) or a print copy of Heart of a Cowboy to TWO lucky winners. So be sure to read on down on how to enter and don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if your a Feedburner follower for an extra entry


What’s not to love about three hunky cowboys? 

When I was a kid, I watched cowboy and western shows like Bonanza, Rawhide, and The Big Valley with my dad. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with horses, ranches, and cowboys. As a reader, my favorite books are set between 1850-1900 in western America. So I guess it made sense that when I became a writer that I would write about that time period. I never expected to write about any other time period, but sometimes God takes us in directions we don’t plan on going. While most of my novels are historical, I do have several contemporary stories. One of them, The Bull Rider’s Bride, released a few months ago. 

 Buy The Bull Rider's Bride here.

Here’s what The Bull Rider’s Bride is about:   Champion bull rider Dusty Starr is at the top of his game—until a bull throws him and stomps on his leg. He goes home to heal and watch after his grandma until he can rejoin the circuit. While there are no guarantees that bull riding is in his future, his past is alive and well in the form of Gramma's beautiful physical therapist—a woman he never expected to see again.   Physical therapist Lindsey Lang once loved Dusty, but then tragedy struck because of his younger brother's recklessness, and Dusty did something she never thought he'd do. He abandoned her, leaving her to mourn her brother’s death alone. Being assigned to Grandma Starr is hard enough, but with Dusty there, Lindsey's sure her heart won't survive.   Against all expectations, friendship renews, and Dusty dares to hope Lindsey will forgive him. She's the only girl he's ever loved, and he aims to get her back. But friendship is one thing. A second chance at love? That will take more gumption than riding a rank bull—and then some. 

Me again. Sometimes a writer will have a book that sticks with them for a long time, and for one reason or another, it doesn’t get picked up by a publisher. Gabriel’s Atonement, book 1 in my Land Rush Dreams series was one of those. After five years, it finally found a home, and this month, Sarah’s Surrender, book 3 in the series, was released. 

Buy Sarah's Surrender here.

When Sarah Worley rejects Luke McNeil’s marriage proposal to pursue property in the Oklahoma Territory land lottery in 1901, the ranch hand pulls up stakes and goes after her. But he’s the last person she wants to see. The land lottery gives Sarah the chance to realize her dream of independence and a home of her own. But with it comes challenges she never considered. When her dream becomes a nightmare, she must decide whether to stay on her land or give up and return to the life she left. Luke hopes that by winning a claim, he can give Sarah the home she’s always wanted. How can he prove his love and show the stubborn woman that he’s the right man for her? 

The last thing I want to tell you about is a collection of new historical novellas, which I have a story in. My novella, The Hand-Me-Down Husband was one I originally pitched for a collection one of my publishers was pulling together. I submitted two proposals, and my editor chose the other one. The Hand-Me-Down Husband found a home when another publisher pulled together a collection named Heart of a Cowboy.  
 
Buy Heart of a Cowboy here.

Ellen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When Ellen receives Lance’s letter requesting help, she rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch is no place for a motherless baby. But when she realizes the depth of Lance’s despair, she can’t leave him alone. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of. When local church members make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch, they are forced to marry. Ellen didn’t want a hand-me-down husband, but could their marriage be God’s will for them both?  

The three projects listed above represent about ten months of my life. I love creating towns and families, causing trouble for my characters, and then giving them a happily-ever-after. I suppose I’m a hopeless romantic. 

I thought I’d give y’all a chance to pick a writer’s brain. Do you have any questions about writing or maybe writing historical novels that you’d like to ask? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for an ebook copy of The Bull Rider’s Bride or a print copy of Heart of a Cowboy. I’ll be drawing two names. Good luck, and thanks for spending time with me today!

About Vickie:

Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is an award-winning author of more than 40 published books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July 2013. Song of the Prairie won the 2015 Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her latest series, Land Rush Dreams, focuses on the Oklahoma land runs. Vickie has recently stepped into independent publishing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Resurrection of Hope by Tamera Lynn Kraft ends 7/18



Please welcome Tamera to my blog today. Tamera is giving away a digital copy of her new book Resurrection of Hope. Be sure to read on down to find out how to enter.

Life in 1920
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

My novella, Resurrection of Hope, is set in the couple of years immediately following World War I, 1919-1920. America had survived its first world war and an influenza pandemic that killed more people than the war. Things were beginning to look up. This was a time of transition in America and didn’t fit into the time periods we normally think of. It wasn’t yet the flapper era although flappers had come on the scene, but the early 1900s era of the Gibson Girls, long skirts, and Dough Boys was a thing of the past. Here are some facts about normal life in 1920.

Modern Conveniences:

Although modern conveniences like electric lights, indoor plumbing, and running water were available in 1920, for the most part, only those living in the city took advantage of them. Although during the roaring 20’s, people moved from rural farms to suburbs and cities, in the beginning of the decade, half of the
population still lived out in the country on farms.

Most people in the city had electricity, telephones, streetlights, sewage systems, and running water. Throughout the decade, housewives were replacing their iceboxes for refrigerators and some even had washing machines, vacuum sweepers, sewing machines, electric mixers, toaster, and electric fans.






Automobiles:

In 1920, the Model T automobile manufactured by Ford Motor Company made cars affordable for the average family. The days of the horse and buggy were becoming a thing of the past although you would occasionally see one in rural areas. Public roadways were improved and paved to keep up with the times. Because of the automobiles, the mobility of America changed. One of the major changes was the creation of the suburbs. People could work in the city without actually living there.




Leisure Activities:

Movie theaters, radio, roller rinks, bowling, and watching race car driving and baseball games became fun activities every middle-class family could participate in. The invention of radio also made it so the average family could listen to music or radio shows from their own living room. Dance clubs opened where couples could dance the new dances to jazz songs although the more conservative families considered them immoral. There was also a dark side of entertainment with the speakeasies where illegal drinking and gambling went on, but most people in the 1920s didn’t participate in that.






Family Life:

Most families were traditional with the father who was the bread-winner and the
mother who stayed at home and took care of the family. Teenagers were non-existent. You were a child until you became an adult. Younger teens spent time playing as children. Older teens were expected to act like adults. Public schools were everywhere, and most students graduated from high school for the first time in history although few went to college. Dating was usually chaperoned, abstinence was expected, and young adults would normally marry by the time they were twenty-one.





Fashion:

The flapper era was starting to show up in the cities in 1920. Most women were conservative and wore their skirts below their knees which was scandalous five years earlier. The shift or chemise dress with the lowered waistline became popular in 1916 and continued throughout the 1920s. Most dresses were sleeveless, and women wore sweaters over them on cold days.

Many women were starting to cut their hair even in the rural areas. Older women and some farm wives still wore long skirts and kept their hair long pinned up in a bun. Cloche hats that fit tight around the face were becoming popular and went with the new short hair styles. Make-up lines such as Max Factor started opening, and women in the city wore make-up to look like the actresses on the silent movie screen.

The biggest change was ladies’ undergarments. Although the corsets didn’t disappear completely, one piece camisoles and slips became the desired undergarments. Because of shorter hemlines, silk hosiery was invented in 1920. It became the fashion for years after that. Bras didn’t come out until 1922, so most women either wore modified corsets or only wore a camisole.

To enter in the giveaway be sure to leave your email addy and tell us something you find interesting about the 1920's. If you are a feedburner follower be sure to let me know for an extra entry. 



About Tamera:

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 37 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Website: http://tameralynnkraft.net

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tamerakraft

Resurrection of Hope

By Tamera Lynn Kraft


She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.



Resurrection of Hope is available at these online stores:
Desert Breeze Publishing http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/resurrection-of-hope-epub/ 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Courageous Brides Collection signed by Jennifer Uhlarik ends July 11th



Please welcome Jennifer to my blog this week. I'm excited to have her here. Be sure to read on down to find out how to enter to win The Courageous Brides Collection by Jennifer.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

I am in my greatroom, sitting on my couch, morning news on the TV. I’m wearing a sports bra, capri-length workout pants, and a sweatshirt. My feet are bare, and I’ve got bed-head. (As soon as I’m done here, I’ll be popping in a workout video and sweating, thus the clothes).

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?

I can’t really say that this answer relates to one fact, but rather, to one research experience. I just completed my first Civil War era novella, and while I love that period in history, there were so many details that I didn’t know. Little things like whether a soldier would salute a superior officer EVERY TIME they crossed paths while in the field. Or whether a sergeant and a private could share a tent if they were siblings. So I found a Civil War historian, asked if he’d be willing to answer some questions for me, and sent a long list of things I needed to know. It was a fascinating experience to learn the little details that wouldn’t come up in a documentary or would be the proverbial needle in the haystack if reading a history book. And it showed me that people often are more than willing to help authors get the facts straight. It’ll be far easier to ask for help in subsequent projects!

What is something that very few people know about you?

Goodness, I don’t know. Nothing very interesting, I can assure you. Let’s see…I’m in my mid-40’s and still have my wisdom teeth. Or…I learned to write in calligraphy when I was in elementary school, and can still do so today. (No, I do not hire my calligraphy services out. People have asked, and the answer is no. LOL)

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

To hear my husband speak, it is my laptop computer, and admittedly, I’m on the thing at least 75% of my day. It would probably be one of the main things I’d rush into a burning building to save (after my family and my pets), so it certainly ranks up there pretty high.

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 have a deep love of the Old West, but the only way I would want to live in that time is if I had no concept of modern day and the conveniences we have now. I would choose that time period because of the great opportunities to be had back then. The country was expanding in great strides, with new states and territories opening up. There were fascinating advancements with steam power, leading to new forms of travel. There were exciting discoveries of gold and silver. Yes, there were plenty of dangers and hardships in that era, but it seemed like the country was on the upswing after the dark days of the Civil War, and a person could make a life for himself (or herself) with hard work and ingenuity.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?

Hmmm. Considering my life is pretty boring, I would title the story of my life, “Nothing Interesting Happens Here.” That’s why I write historical fiction—I can find the interesting historical facts and embellish them into a great tale.

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?

Just one? Oh, goodness. There have been many, but the first one to come to mind is Louis L’Amour’s novel, Reilly’s Luck. I first read that story in high school and it has lived on in my mind all these years.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?

The biggest—and hardest—secret I ever kept was that my father was planning a surprise party to celebrate my mother’s accomplishment of earning her doctorate degree in theology at the age of 70. My mom and I are best friends, and my dad actually asked me to plan the party. I knew I couldn’t plan the party AND keep it a surprise for six months. I share almost everything with her.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Hmm. This one is difficult to answer, because I tend to play things fairly safe. Absolutely nothing is coming to mind to fit the term “crazy.”

What do you do for fun?

Lately, I play games on my computer or tablet. I like puzzle games, word games, and bingo. (I told you my life is boring!) I also enjoy crafts, reading, and retail therapy.

GIVEAWAY: To enter to win a signed copy of The Courageous Brides Collection Answer one of these questions. What draws you to this book and makes you want to read it? Answer one of the questions yourself from the above questions I gave Jennifer. Or Why do you like westerns?  And don't forget to leave your email addy so we can contact you if you win! If your a feedburner follower let me know for an extra entry.

Book Blurb:

The Courageous Brides Collection: Compassionate Heroism Attracts Male Suitors to Nine Spirited Women

Ride into adventures alongside nine determined women of yesteryear whose acts of compassion and bravery attract male attention. Marcy helps displaced Indians. Emmy tends wounds at Fort Snelling. Ronnie stows away on a cattle drive. Daisy disguises herself as a Pony Express rider. Elinor becomes an abolitionist. Mae tames wild horses. Hannah gets help for accident victims. Lucy’s curiosity unnerves criminals. Kate nurses soldiers on the battlefield. Will real dangers douse the sparks of love?



The Oregon Trail Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Life on the Trail Into the Western Frontier

Nine romantic adventures take readers along for a ride on the Oregon Trail where daily challenges force travelers to evaluate the things that are most precious to them—including love. Enjoy the trip through a fascinating part of history through the eyes of remarkably strong characters who stop at famous landmarks along the way. Watch as their faith is strengthened and as love is born despite unique circumstances. Discover where the journey ends for each of nine couples.

 



The Convenient Bride Collection: Nine Romances Grow from Marriage Partnerships Formed
Out Of Necessity

Join nine brides of convenience on their adventures in a variety of times and settings gone by—from a ranch in California…to the rugged mountains of Colorado…to a steamship on the Mississippi…to the dangerous excitement of the Oregon Trail…into high society of New York City. No matter the time or place, the convenient brides proceed with what must be done, taking nuptials out of necessity. . .and never dreaming that God might take their feeble attempts to secure their futures and turn them into true love stories for His glory.





More about Jennifer.
Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children.
Links: