Monday, May 30, 2016

Hearts Tightly Knit by Jodie Wolfe ends June 6

 Please welcome Jodie Wolfe to my blog. Jodie it is good to have you on The Sword and Spirit! Jodie is giving away a copy of her book Hearts Tightly Knit so be sure to read on down on how to enter.

Debbie, thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog. I'm truly blessed to be here. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my new release, Hearts Tightly Knit.

How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
My faith is interwoven into each of the stories I write. It's a part of me and who I am, so it naturally spills over into everything I write.

What does your writing space look like?
Right now my writing desk and computer are in a section of my dining room. My hubby and I are working on clearing out one of my kid's old bedrooms and converting it into an office for me. I'm eagerly looking forward to the day when I have my own space. J

Tell us about your new book.
Here's what it says on the back cover:

Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never
marry. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin's Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children's Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she's hardly tempted, despite his good looks.

Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman.

Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?
I love to laugh, so one of my favorite scenes takes place in the first chapter of the book when Luke is unsuccessfully trying to cook a meal for his ranch hands. Needless to say, it isn't a meal you'd like to eat. But you'll have to read my novella to find out more about it. J

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would love to go to New Zealand and Australia. The Lord of the Rings movies are some of my all-time favorites, and I'd love to see where they were filmed.

What's next for you?
More than likely I'll start working on Love in the Seams which is the sequel in my 'Twins & Needles' series. It's coming out in November, so I guess I'd better get busy on it. J

Where can readers connect with you?
Blogs I contribute to: Stitches Thru Time, Putting on the New and of course, Quid Pro Quills.

Answer this question to enter to win Hearts Tightly Knit: Where does Jodie want to travel to? Don't forget to leave your email address. (USA only)

About Jodie:
Jodie got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. She loves writing stories about feisty heroines and strong, godly heroes. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. Jodie is a columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine and has had devotions featured on Christian Devotions. She achieved semi-finalist status in the 2013 ACFW Genesis Contest and 3rd place in the 2015 Novel Beginnings at St. David’s Christian Writer’s Conference. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Choice of Warmed Mulled Kisses or April's Love ends June 1

Please welcome Lena Nelson Dooley to my blog this week. Lena is giving away a  winner's choice of either WARM MULLED KISSES or the April fool's book.  Read on down to find out how to enter.

Hey, Readers, last year was kind of a lost year for me, because I had lots of physical problems. Praise the Lord, I’m almost like new now.

And I praise the Lord that after that long time away, He has really brought projects to me. In October, I was the publisher of a novella collection written by members of my critique group. A Christmas novella, Warm Mulled Kisses. It’s only on Kindle, but it’s also only $.99 for ten novellas. If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download any of these for FREE:

Kindle for PC
Kindle for iPhone
Kindle for Andriod
Kindle for Blackberry
Kindle for tablets

Then you can read Kindle books.

In late March, we published another novella collection written by authors from my critique group. April Fool’s Love. This book is also $.99 for ten novella’s.

Both of these books have been very close to the top of Amazon’s bestseller lists.

I got the rights back to Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico. The publisher didn’t put it on sale very much, so it was too expensive for lots of people to buy. I did some minor editing, no more than 100 words, and it’s been republished through Hartline Literary Agency and Amazon, both Create Space for print and Kindle for ebooks.

The Kindle edition is $2.99 or Free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.
The print edition is $8.99 much more affordable than before.

Right now, I have another novel, one that hasn’t been published yet, with Beta readers. When it comes back from them it will be published through Hartline Literary Agency and Amazon, both Create Space for print and Kindle for ebooks.

A Heart’s Gift is the first 98,000 word novel I’ve written. We’ll let you know when it releases.

Answer one of the questions to be entered to win. If you've read any of Lena's books tell us which is your favorite and why? Which of Lena's books sounds like your kind of book and why? Or ask Lena a question. Don't forget to leave your email addy.

About Lena:
Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 850,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has been on both the CBA Bestseller list and several Amazon Bestseller lists. Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Her next series, McKenna’s Daughters: Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. The second, Mary’s Blessing, was a Selah Award finalist for Romance novel. Catherine’s Pursuit released in 2013. It was the winner of the NTRWA Carolyn Reader’s Choice contest, took second place in the CAN Golden Scroll Novel of the Year award, and won the Will Rogers Medallion bronze medallion. Her blog, A Christian Writer’s World, received the Readers Choice Blog of the Year Award from the Book Club Network.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Along Came a Writer blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hearts Heritage by Ramona Cecil ends May 27

Please welcome Ramona Cecil to my blog. Ramona and I are long time friends and I'm so pleased to have her on here today. Read on down to learn how to enter her giveaway this week.

Heart’s Heritage With Ramona K. Cecil plus a bonus story by Lisa Karon Richardson — with book giveaway

In one way or another, we are all products of the place we were born and raised; forever marked by the land from which we sprang. For me, that place is the southern part of Indiana. Growing up in rural Indiana, my roots run deep in the Hoosier soil. My parents, who both dabbled in creative writing, instilled in me a love of words and story. As a child, the works of Hoosier authors like Jean Stratton Porter and Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, stirred my own creative juices while binding me even tighter to the state of my birth. I’ve always loved history, especially Indiana history, and that is where I now set most of my historical romance novels for the Christian market.

As a Christian, I believe that God gives each of us talents and expects us to use those talents as a ministry for Him. In my case, I realized early on that my interest, i.e. talent, centered around creative writing. Over the past decade, with eight published and two more contracted novels and novellas for the Christian market, I’ve enjoyed blending my loves of writing, Indiana history, and sharing the gospel message.

Heart’s Heritage, originally released in January of 2013, re-released May 1, 2016 with a bonus story, The Magistrate’s Folly by Lisa Karon Richardson.

Heart’s Heritage and it’s fictional Deux Fleuves settlement was inspired by the real life Fort Vallonia,
the site of the first white settlement in my southern Indiana county of Jackson. With the War of 1812 and Shawnee war chief Tecumseh’s uprising percolating in the background, seventeen-year-old Annie Martin is left on the small plot of land in Indiana Territory bequeathed to her after the deaths of her father and her husband. Determined to stay on the land they cherished, Annie is resolved to not let anyone take away her inheritance. Until she meets Brock Martin and learns he has rights to half the land. When Brock Martin learns that he is joint heir to the land now occupied by his late uncle’s young widow, he is torn. While he would rather leave the land to Annie, he is in desperate need of the money the sale of the land would bring. A false murder charge forced him to flee the army, and the only way to clear his name is to hire a lawyer to defend his case, and selling the land may be the only way to get it. Can Annie and Brock find common ground before something more precious than land is ripped from them?

With this re-release, I’m honored to have Heart’s Heritage teamed with a bonus story by Lisa Karon Richardson

The Magistrate’s Folly by Lisa Karon Richardson: Innocent of charges yet forced into indentured servitude, Merry Lattimore is sent to colonial Virginia. Graham Sinclair—her first love until he disappeared from her life—was the magistrate over her case, and now he is haunted by her memory. Can he find her and set her free?  

Purchase book here.

About Ramona

RAMONA K. CECIL is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty nesters, she and her husband make their home in Indiana. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market. She enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication while encouraging aspiring writers. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.

Giveaway: To celebrate the release of Heart’s Heritage plus bonus story, The Magistrate’s Folly, a hard copy of the book will be given away to one lucky winner. Let us know what you think your God given talent is or ask Ramona a question to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Henry McLaughlin

Writing a Sequel…How Hard Can It Be?

After my first book, Journey to Riverbend, was released, readers contacted me wanting to know if there would be a book two. I assured them a sequel was in progress.

Now all I had to do was write it. How hard could it be? I had all the characters. I knew them and their histories better than some people in my own family. The end of book one gave me the seed of the plot for book two. So book two, Riverbend Justice, was conceived.

And then I hit the walls. Not grinding-to-a-complete-halt walls. But walls that had to be climbed, or ones I had to find the door to get through. A couple had to be torn down brick-by-brick.

Sure I had my characters. But I couldn’t just trot them out there. The last thing I wanted was a rehash of book one. I had to probe deeper into each one and discover new aspects. My hero, Michael Archer, revealed new depths of pain and guilt. Depths that had to be explored and resolved over the course of the story. Rachel Stone, my heroine, revealed more doubts and insecurities as she risked her desire for freedom and independence to have a deeper relationship with Michael.

And I had the seed for a plot. But as Michael and Rachel showed me more of themselves, the plot grew more complicated as we explored this new journey.

I had all these pieces. Now to outline the story. I spent six weeks crafting a detailed outline, scene-by-scene. Then I began to write. And it wasn’t easy. With the help of my first reader, my wife, and my critique partners, the story began to flow. My wife and critique partners pointed out where I settled for clich├ęs and stereotypes, where I tried to craft a story that wasn’t challenging my main characters, that wasn’t forcing them to deal with core issues.

At one point it started to flow. Michael and Rachel revealed more of themselves and their personalities became richer and their relationship with each other more complex. New characters appeared to propel my main characters deeper into the dangers of the story world and into their inner selves.

One day, I decided to check my progress against my original outline. I must admit, I had written for a couple weeks without referring to it, flowing with the characters, enjoying the journey. I discovered I was way off my carefully constructed outline. I put on the brakes and guided my story folks back to the original plan.

They went on strike. Wouldn’t move. Wouldn’t obey. They told me, “We’re telling a better story than your stodgy old outline and we’re not going back. You can come along if you want to see how it turns out.”

What choice did I have? So I rode with them to the end. And the story is better than my original plan.

And I learned a valuable lesson that now flows through all my writing—trust my characters.

Riverbend Justice is Book 2 in the Riverbend Saga series. 

In the 1870s American West, Michael Archer, wracked by guilt over having killed once again, embarks on a mission to clear the name of a man wrongly executed for murder.
When he is beaten and shot, and an innocent young girl is taken hostage, and his beloved Rachel Stone is wounded, he puts aside physical pain and his own fears to seek the killers.
Now that he has found the villains, he must survive a life or death struggle with powerful enemies to reveal the truth and save those he holds most dear.

Award winning author Henry McLaughlin lives in North Texas where he writes, teaches and coaches. He writes to take his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they fight to bring justice in a dark world.
Publishers Weekly tagged him as “one to watch.”

Where can readers find your books and more about you?