Monday, September 29, 2014

Full Circle and 2 copies of Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes ends October 6th

Please welcome Laurie Alice Eakes to my blog this week. Laurie Alice is giving away 2 ecopies of her new novella, Moonlight Promise, so be sure to read through her post to find out how to be entered. Don't forget to let me know if you are a feedburner follower to double your chances of winning!

Full Circle

Right off the top, I’m telling you all that I am giving away two copies of “Moonlight Promise”. Since this is an eBook novella, the contest is not limited to US residents only. Read to the end to find out how.

This month, I am celebrating the release of my latest novella “Moonlight Promise” being released as a solo eBook. In April, “Moonlight Promise” was released in paperback and eBook by Baker/Revell under the title Sincerely Yours, along with novellas by three other authors. That makes this my first book to release as an eBook all on its own—sort of.

Why sort of? Because fifteen years ago, having the summer off from grad school, I finished a novel I had been doodling around with for a while. A friend of mine, knowing the contents of this novel, suggested I do something interesting with this manuscript—she suggested I send it to an eBook publisher who was looking for exactly the type of story I’d written.

So I did.

Within a few days of sending the electronic version of the book to the editor, I got the response that they would like to publish it. Excitement.

Not really. Within hours of learning what should have been happy news, I was told that no one who had written a book worth publishing published with electronic publishers. EBooks were substandard and the authors of them not as talented as those who had written traditionally published books.

Ignoring these naysayers, I went ahead and contracted with this publisher. My reviews were rather good. My sales were not. Readers were expensive and few people had adopted the model. And no one in writing circles accepted epublished authors as legitimate. So I pulled the book and finished up my graduate work, thesis, etc.

And then I got to serious writing work. I plunged into learning the market, the craft, how to fix all the earlier errors I’d made. I got an agent and, in two years, got a traditional contract and then twenty more. I won some awards and was nominated for others. I was a legitimate author who, by the time it happened, longed for one of my books to come out in eBook form.

In 2011, my first traditionally published book released in eBook format along with the paperback version. As of now, I think about 30-40% of my sales of Lady in the Mist are eBook sales. As of now, all my books are available on Kindle and most on the Nook.

A decade and a half after I was told that anything published electronically wasn’t worth being read, I celebrate the opportunity for readers to buy one of my novellas untethered from its collection.

If you want to win a copy of “Moonlight Promise”, tell me why you read this post. If you did it just to have a chance to win a copy, go ahead and say so. Follow me on Twitter @LaurieAEakes or Facebook under Laurie Alice Eakes, and send me a tweet or FB message and tell me you read the post, and you get an extra chance. Not on FB or Twitter? Just tell me one thing you learned in this post for an extra chance.

About “Moonlight Promise”

In Moonlight Promise, Laurie Alice Eakes takes readers up the Hudson River on a steamboat bound for the new Eerie Canal as a highborn English lady flees false accusations and runs smack into love. 

About Laurie Alice Eakes:

“Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author, with a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University contributing to her career path. Now she has nearly two dozen books in print.

After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and her husband are newly minted church leaders. Although they haven’t been blessed with children—yet--they have sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another, the only two times she genuinely enjoys housekeeping.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels PLUS Danny Gokey's CD/MP3 ends 9/29

Please welcome Carrie Fancett Pagels to my blog! Carrie is a talented author. Her last novella, The Fruitcake Challenge is a wonderful Christmas story and so much fun to read. Carrie is giving away a choice of The Fruitcake Challenge PLUS Danny Gokey's CD/MP3. Be sure to answer her question for a chance to win and don't forget to let me know if you are a feedburner follower to double chances of winning!

Feeling It: Inspiration for Characters

Music has a lot to do with setting the emotional tone for my stories. I’ve always been a music lover, and almost went into music for college before changing to psychology (I was a psychologist for 25 years.) Usually what happens with me in my writing is that I already have the story and I have it plotted out and get to business. But I have my ears open for inspirational music (this was something recommended by My Book Therapy authors Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren that resonated with me.) Sometimes, for instance with a story about Pontiac’s Rebellion, I specifically looked for a Scottish fiddle song that my hero could relate to. I also used that same tune for another character. Both men were widowers and the song was a mournful lament (Neil Gow’s Lament for His Second Wife.) The song on YouTube for Archer’s Fiddle school was my favorite version.

For my current release, The Fruitcake Challenge, I was driving along listening to K-Love radio, which I adore, and I heard this amazing song, “Hope in Front of Me.” I am not a television watcher. I follow Joyce Meyer faithfully, some HGTV, Downton Abbey, and a few shows on Hallmark. So I had no clue who Danny Gokey was or that he was on American Idol. But I did know this—when I listened to his song, I began to cry because I totally understood how my character, Josephine “Jo” Christy, felt stuck in that lumber camp and not seeing any way out yet trying, on her own, to find a way onto a new life! So now I was feeling her emotion. And emotion is what we want on the pages. So as I wrote the final scenes, I was especially in touch with the turmoil Jo was feeling. I was Jo, as I wrote, and as God began to work, that “hope in front of me” became real.

In 2013, when I was writing my story “Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas” for Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer I listened to a lot of music from the 1940’s, in particular a lot of Bing Crosby, who I really enjoyed listening to as a child. So I’d be out on my deck, where I write, in the 80 degree heat of May pounding out my story as Bing was crooning, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”

Sometimes a song is very unexpected as an inspiration. We happened to have a music awards show on the television in 2013 and these young contemporary music singers belted out this amazing tune that I immediately knew was my hero, Matthew Scott’s, and my heroine, Angelina Rose’s, song! A very popular song, “I Will Wait for You” by Mumford and Sons. It really had that old timey Civil War era feeling, with the banjos and the harmonizing vocals! Plus that was exactly was Matthew and Angelina were both doing—he was waiting for her and she was waiting to free her nephew and niece from slavery. Sometimes I listened to the song as Angelina and other times I listened as Matthew, dependent upon whose scene I was working on!

Besides music, I’ll do other things, like have certain scents going or nearby, e.g., lilacs for Mackinac Island, that also inspire me. But no, I did not bake any fruitcakes while writing The Fruitcake Challenge! I’ll save that for this Christmas.

Question: Does it surprise you that music can inspire or evoke the emotions of a character?

GIVEAWAY: Ebook copy of The Fruitcake Challenge and your choice of Danny

Gokey’s CD or MP3 collection.

More about Carrie:
Carrie Fancett Pagels Ph.D. is an award-winning, best-selling, and multi-published Christian historical romance author. Carrie was a psychologist for twenty-five years. Married for twenty-seven years with two children. Carrie resides in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoys reading, traveling and researching. She’s a finalist for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence.
Blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills
Facebook Author Page
Facebook Personal Page

Links to purchase:
The Fruitcake Challenge (2014) on Amazon

A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Guidepost Books (2013)
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (Helping Hands Press, 2013) on Amazon in ebook
On Barnes and Noble in ebook

God’s Provision in Tough Times Lighthouse of the Carolinas (2013) on Amazon

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do you have a Dream PLUS A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

Please welcome Melissa Jagears to my blog today. Melissa is giving away a copy of her new release A Bride in Store. To be entered in the giveaway share a dream that you want to pursue or one you’ve already attained. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry. 

What are your dreams?

In A Bride in Store, my characters have big dreams. Do you have big dreams? Are they just in the realm of “one day” or are you pursuing them?

Years ago, I was reading a book, that I’ll admit was a lot of sales gimmick, but one of the best things to come out of it was that the author encouraged me to really think of what I wanted to do with my life. At my funeral, what do I want people to know that I accomplished?

Are there things I’m doing, like watching gobs of television, that if I could look down at myself at my funeral, I’d be upset that I’d wasted my life doing that instead of trying to obtain my dream?

So I had to think through what was REALLY worth pursuing to me.

So why don’t you do this with me, what do you really want out of life?

What concrete goals would be worth your time to accomplish before you die? To be the best bass fisherman? To get a publishing contract from a big publisher? To design a specialized computer program? To become the senior manager of your company? To run your own decorating business? To obtain a doctorate? To win Fear Factor? (Is that still on? I haven’t had a tv in so long, but insert whatever the new reality show is!)

What about less concrete goals? To serve the poor? To have a good relationship with God? To be a great mother? To win so many people to Christ? To inform yourself through extensive reading? To repair your broken marriage?

So once you narrow down the most essential to you—all of the above are good, but what are the dreams you’d be sad that you didn’t accomplish?—write them down. I had three.

So next, we need to get ourselves from “dream” to “plan.” So we’ll be writing the following for each goal: what are the stakes (what will happen if you don’t accomplish the goal), what will you have to give up to obtain it, what would have to be true for it to come to fruition, what’s the very next step you have to take from where you are to get a step closer, give yourself a deadline for that next step.

So if my hypothetical goal is to repair my broken marriage, my written down goal could look like this:

Goal: Fix marriage problems

Stakes: If we split, it will be hard on the children, we’ll be out of God’s desire for us to be together until death, I’ll have to work outside the home and turn over childcare to others, etc.

Give up: To fix my marriage, I’ll have to give up my superior attitude, I’ll have to give up my bad spending habits that causes him grief, I’ll have to decrease my activities outside of the home to be home more, etc.

What would have to be true to obtain goal: I’ll have to be humble enough to not blame everything on him, I’ll have to love him unconditionally even though he’s likely not going to be on board right away with changing the attitude ruts we’ve both been in, etc.

What’s the next concrete thing for me to do: The next time we get in an argument, if it’s not life or death, I will not fight him for my choice, and I will call around for counselors.

Deadline: The very next fight we have I will force myself to concede if it’s not something that will truly hurt me, and by Monday, I will have scheduled us an appointment.

I’d encourage you to go through the exercise; it was very eye opening for me at least. I still refer back to my paper and when I succeed with my next step, I make another. I might not obtain the goal, but I can see myself getting closer—and that’s satisfying.

And if you’d like to see if my character Eliza got her store or Will got his doctoring degree, share a dream that you want to pursue or one you’ve already attained in the comments to enter the giveaway!

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams--or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rancher Under Fire by Vickie McDonough ends 9/8

Please welcome Vickie McDonough back to my blog. Vickie has a new release out, Rancher Under Fire. Vickie is giving away a copy of her book. To be entered in the giveaway answer Vickie's question at the end of her post. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower.

Writing “the end” on a three-book series is always a bit bittersweet. I’ve lived with the characters for over two years and have gotten know them almost as well as my own children. But each trilogy must come to an end, and such is the case with my Pioneer Promises series.

Some authors plot out a whole book before writing a page, while others are seat-of-the-pants authors, writing it as they think up the story. I fall somewhere in between. I like to have the skeleton of the story prepared in advance, but I flesh it out as I write. When I wrote Ethan Harper’s story, Whispers on the Prairie, the first book in the series, I had no idea who his brothers would end up marrying in their books. I didn’t know that Sophie, the heroine of Call of the Prairie would have asthma or that Janie, heroine of Song of the Prairie would let go of her long-held dream to save her cousins newborn son.

I really can’t explain how story ideas come. Sometimes it’s from brainstorming with other writers, other times an idea might pop into my head when I’m in the shower or preparing supper, and others come from praying for God to give me just the right idea. For me, writing is a ministry. I believe Christian fiction can touch the heart of readers, and it has the potential to changes lives. I also believe that God inspires authors to pen a story that someone in the world needs to read.

I’ve waved good-bye to the Harper family and am already finished with the first book in a new series set in Oklahoma called Land Rush Dreams. The first book is titled Gabriel’s Atonement and is the story of a gambler who kills a man in self-defense. Riddled with guilt, he tracks down the dead man’s wife and son, who are living in poverty, and tries to help them, but the stubborn woman refuses his help. But Gabe is just as stubborn. He soon learns that only Christ can take away his guilt and give a jaded gambler a new life and chance at love. You can pre-buy the book on Amazon:

So here’s a question for you. Have you read a Christian fiction novel that had a strong impact on your life? What was the title of the book? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Song of the Prairie, book three in my Pioneer Promises series


Jackson Durant would go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. He knows the puzzling incidents on his homestead are no accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she’d fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson’s daughter is kidnapped, she’ll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself.

Rancher Under Fire releases tomorrow (Sept 2nd), but you can pre-order it now:

I’m giving away a copy of Rancher Under Fire to one lucky commenter. If the winner lives some place other than the U.S. or Canada, I’ll email you a pdf. copy.


Vickie is a wife of thirty-eight years, mother of four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and grandma to a feisty seven-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website and sign-up for her newsletter:
Readers can visit my website to learn about me and my other books: