SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS
SPEAKER: Linda is a member of AWSA, and is available to speak to your organization, at your conference, or as part of a workshop.
Contact her at lglazagain@aol.com

AGENT: Linda is a an agent with Hartline Literary Agency. She would love to represent that next great American novel! She will look at nonfiction, but she LOVES FICTION--historic, suspense, romance or all of the above. linda@hartlineliterary.com

AUTHOR: Linda writes romance in all categories, but what is her fave? Suspense, and not only suspense, but SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

THE RUSH FOR A BARGAIN

The day after Christmas, shoppers abound. They fly in their cars to the nearest department store offering the best bargains. Many of these same folks just received dozens of wonderful gifts from under their trees, but “there must be bargains out there, right?” So the chase begins.

“Oooh, a bathrobe. I didn’t get one. And it only has a small tear in the sleeve.”
“Look. A Keurig. Only some scratches on the reservoir. No biggie.”
“Man, a broken hammer. But what a deal!”

How often do we allow our work to have the same tears, scratches, and complete breaks? And we are also in a hurry. A hurry to send out a work that is nowhere near ready to be submitted.

“But it’s a bargain! I’ve worked it enough and rewritten it until it’s ‘okay.’ So I should send it out, right?”

When our work is rushed to the finish line, it shows. It’s that simple. We want so badly for someone to read it, enjoy it, and validate us that we rush it to be finished, and all we really end up with is a bargain. And it’s not even that, if truth be told. Instead, it’s an unfinished, unpolished, and eventually, unread work. No one will rush to buy it.

We all need to take our time writing, rewriting, proofing, and polishing before we submit. We want a work of art, not an old bathrobe with a torn sleeve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas wishes from my heart!




My prayer for you this Christmas is:
When you experience sorrow,you will learn the joy of the Lord
When you feel lonely,His arms will surround you
When you feel lost,His presence will guide you
When you feel overwhelmed by life,His Word will sustain you
May this be the best year of your life as God continues to be in control…
Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!













Monday, December 19, 2011

WISHING YOU ALL by Linda S. Glaz



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Another year has rolled along. Are you able to look back and say you're proud of what you did with 365 days? Did you follow your dream, make it a reality?

My dearest Christmas wish is for each and every one of you to have a dream, work toward it, and never quit until it is reality. Whether it's writing a novel, a short story, a magazine article, or a letter to a soldier overseas. What was your goal on 2011? What is your new one for 2012?

Blessings!

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 5, 2011


OFFICIALLY RELEASES TODAY! POLAR BEAR PLUNGE at White Rose Publishing and Amazon!

CONGRATS LAURA AND GREAT LAKES ROMANCES.
LAURA, shoot me your email at lglazagain@aol.com for Polar Bear Plunge, which officially releases today, and GLR, I'll be sending you Savanna's Gift.

Hope you both enjoy!

You can purchase Polar Bear Plunge here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CHRISTMAS BARGAINS AND FREEBIES!



“Humbug! There’s no such thing as a Christmas bargain! And a freebie?(whatever that is)Bahhh!”

“Oh, really, Mr. Scrooge. Well, I beg to differ. Camille Eide and I have put our heads together with White Rose Publishing and our books are available for one dollar apiece!”

“That’s not possible. Why, it takes more money than that to hire someone to set the type.”

“We’re in a new age, Mr. Scrooge. Polar Bear Plunge and Savanna’s Gift are both ebooks. And that helps keep the price down. I’m surprised you didn’t know about ebooks already. AND to make this Christmas excitement even better, I’m offering a copy of one book or the other to two lucky readers. Maybe someone who works for you. Someone who doesn’t even make a day’s wages after a full day’s work. Hmmm?”

“Bah, humbug!!!”

No need to worry, no Scrooges allowed around this blog. Just leave a comment and I’ll draw a name to win a copy of Polar Bear Plunge or Savanna’s Gift. You have today and tomorrow to leave a comment. Then, on Monday, I’ll announce the winners. Don’t be a humbug, leave a comment and your email addy and here’s hoping you win!

A very Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Scrooge!

Friday, December 2, 2011

SAVANNA'S GIFT by Camille Eide







When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that divided them get in the way?

Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson.

Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?

Okay, Camille, now we know something about Savanna’s Gift, tell us something about yourself:
I write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction. I live in Oregon with my husband and am mom to three brilliant college-age kids. I’m grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, I have a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. I’m also a church secretary, a bassist, and a passably devoted fan of classic rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen. w w w . c a m i l l e e i d e . c o m

When does Savanna’s Gift release?
Tomorrow! Dec. 3rd. Just in time for Christmas.

Where can we find it?
White Rose Publishing and Christianbooks.com where you can enjoy the Holiday Extravaganza by purchasing this book and many other holiday stories for one dollar during the month of December. After that, they go back to $2.99. So don’t wait, get them as stocking stuffers. I believe Amazon will also have them, but not sure they are participating in the holiday bargains.
Feel free to stop by my site and get a taste of who the real Camille Eide is.

Camille, thanks for stopping by. I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at the novella and I can tell you that if you like a sweet romance with plenty of kick, Savanna’s Gift should be at the top of your Christmas list.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ahem...nobody bothered to ask me!

Okay, Aleni Callan, tell us why you wanted your story, Polar Bear Plunge, told:
Well, it's important to move on in life. I had a habit of holding on to the past. My mother-in-law, Megan did her best to make me see that wasn't healthy, but it's hard to let go of your one and only true love.
How did you start your journey to move on?
(Aleni can't stop laughing) My goodness. You want to know EVERY little detail, don't you? Well, this arrogant man landed in the emergency room.
Arrogant, you mean Brice Taylor the war hero? Arrogant? I didn't get that impression after reading his book, The Human Shield.
Okay, I THOUGHT he was arrogant. He was just a poor schmuck who hit his head participating in the Polar Bear Plunge for charity. I guess it bothered me that he was taking chances with his life. My Eli took chances, but for a cause. He believed in what he was doing in the middle east, trying to help. Trying to make a difference. And then he was killed, leaving me with a small boy and a lot of questions without answers.
Sorry to hear that. Did Brice turn out to be a jerk?
He, well he turned out to be...now I can't tell you how this all turned out, can I? That would spoil the whole story.
Any special reason you wanted to tell it in the first place?
Yes, a friend of mine, another nurse, Brandy Hayes, thought it was a story worth telling. She kept pestering her mom, the author, to put it in black and white. Now, I'm glad it's been told. Thanks, Linda. Thanks, Brandy. I hope you all enjoy finding out just what kind of man Brice Taylor really is.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CYBER “PLUNGE” WEDNESDAY




Okay, and here’s the Wednesday deal!!!
POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
is to be released at White Rose on Dec. 5th, but Amazon has it up and selling right now for .99! YES! RIGHT NOW!
Why not take advantage and get those stocking stuffers for less than one dollar!
I’M SO EXCITED! CAN YOU TELL? If you want a real feel good read to cheer you this Christmas, go for the “plunge”.

Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier, when hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understood how God could bring him through being a captive in Iraq, when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widow, Aleni Callan, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Ty, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And while the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.

Just grab a cup of coffee sweetened with cream and sugar and a hand full of chocolate chip cookies, the ooey, gooey kind, and sit in front of the fireplace. As the logs break apart and crackle, you’ll be in the best mood to read Polar Bear Plunge. Just remember to have a box of tissues handy, you’ll need ‘em.


And if that .99 deal isn’t enough, check out Camille Eide’s novella, Savanna’s Gift, another in the White Rose Holiday Extravaganza.


Make it a reading day just for yourself after you’ve wrapped the last present!
GO FOR CYBER “PLUNGE” WEDNESDAY and grab these book bargains!


Enjoy this read from me to you. I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sitting down with author, Lynda Lee Schab













Lynda has been kind enough to spend an afternoon with us, discussing her writing, but especially, her debut novel, Mind Over Madi.




When and how did you get interested in writing?
I’ve always loved to read, which seems to be a precursor for all writers. I don’t remember exactly when I picked up a pen and started to write, but I remember writing a story in 6th grade called The Summer I Went to Honolulu (no, I’d never been there – and still haven’t!), complete with caricature drawings. I moved on to writing plays for my cousins and me to perform for our parents, then tried my hand at poetry. In high school, it was all about poetry – some of it was pretty good, but some was very, very bad. I still love to write poetry, but prefer to create funny, rhyming poems for retirement parties, milestone birthdays, bridal or baby showers, and other fun occasions.

What was the first thing you ever had published?
Besides a little blurb in a high school newsletter, my first professionally published works were greeting cards for Blue Mountain Arts.

Who has encouraged you most on your writing journey?
Definitely my mom. She has always believed in me and encouraged me in my gift. Professionally, one of my greatest cheerleaders has been Deb Porter, administrator for FaithWriters.com. From the moment I joined FaithWriters in 2004, Deb spoke blessings and positivity into my life and motivated me more than she’ll probably ever know. Another organization that has blessed me so much is ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Joining was the best thing I’ve done for my writing career. The members, many of them published authors, have served as mentors to me and some have become fabulous friends.

What is the writing process like for you?
Honestly, I don’t have a typical process. As this is my debut novel, I’m on a learning curve. While writing MIND OVER MADI, I basically wrote when I felt like it, with no set schedule. Now that I have contracts for the next two books in the series, which my editor wants to publish 6-9 months apart, I’m doing everything I can to learn how to organize my time effectively. But I do tend to work better on a deadline, so hopefully that will work out for me. We’ll see!

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?
Favorite: The creative process. Thinking a story through from beginning to end and then seeing my vision come to life through the characters and situations I create.
Least favorite: Definitely the self discipline it requires. Time management is something I’ve always struggled with. Making myself sit down and focus when I know the basement needs cleaning, laundry is piling up, my office needs to be organized, or I want to watch the episode of Survivor I missed the night before is my biggest challenge.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
That’s easy: Apply the Butt Glue and just write. Discipline has never been my biggest strength, but that book won’t get written unless I park my behind in the chair and start typing. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I have a million other things to do. One of my favorite quotes on writing is “You can fix bad, but you can’t fix blank.”

What is Mind over Madi about?
Madi McCall is a 38-year-old mom of three whose insecurities are destroying her marriage. When she suspects her husband Rich is cheating with the mother of one of his fourth grade students, she kicks him out of the house and he moves in with his bachelor brother. Madi is then forced to take a deeper look at herself and her insecurities. She does this with the help of a counselor, her best friend Sylvie, and a few cartons of Edy’s Dibs. At a 20-year get-together with former high school classmates, Madi runs into “the other woman” and things come to a head. It’s a lighthearted story about taking a true look at ourselves and accepting God’s grace when we think and do dumb things.

Which character is most like you, and why?
There is a lot of me in Madi. Insecurity is something I’ve always struggled with. As a child, I was very shy. As a teenager, I was insecure about everything, which resulted in a lot of rebelling and contributed to hundreds of my mom’s migraines, I’m sure. As an adult, early in my marriage I experienced some of the insecurities Madi deals with, regarding her husband and his faithfulness. That isn’t something I deal with anymore today, but I still have similar insecurities about what others think of me, as well as doubts about God’s love for me. Other ways I’m like Madi is that we share bad eating habits, a love for coffee, a tendency to waste hours of time playing computer games, and an insane fear of spiders.

What do you want readers to take away from reading Madi’s story?
An understanding of just how infinite God’s love is. That no matter what we’ve done, God will never stop pursuing our hearts or desiring a relationship with us. His mercies are new every morning and His grace covers our weaknesses, our mistakes, our ignorance.

Are you planning another book? If so, what is the story?
I am currently working on book #2 in the Madi series, titled, Madily in Love. Now that Madi and Rich are working things out, she attends a class at church to try to put the romance back into her marriage. But with her mother-in-law living with them, Madi’s new job, and issues with her kids, things don’t exactly go as planned. It’s a fun book that will look at finding peace –and romance - in the middle of chaos.

There will also be a book #3. I have the title and the premise, but I’ll save the details for later, when I have the plot worked out.

Who or what inspires you?
People in general inspire me. Whether it’s hearing a moving testimony or just witnessing someone’s positive outlook on life, I find inspiration to be a better person by various people I meet. A good message from my pastor, a pep talk from a friend, or a song I hear on the radio. Inspiration is everywhere. All that’s required is a heart to receive it.

What would be your dream job if you weren’t a writer?
I would probably being doing something in the field of mental health, whether as a counselor or in research or something. Why people do what they do fascinates me and I love learning about human behavior. I’m constantly analyzing people and my husband is always telling me I should have been a psychologist. He’s probably right. In writing, I think this helps me in character development. Or an ice cream tester. Now that would be a dream job.

What Bible verse is Mind over Madi based on?
Well, I have a couple of scriptures on which Mind over Madi is based. First, Isaiah 26:3 tells us that it’s only when our minds are stilled, we’ll have peace. “You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Another one I think is especially fitting with Madi’s insecurity and trust issues is: “… It (Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

Do you have a favorite personal Bible verse?
My favorite verse is Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” I recite this verse often! Because my mind is always so busy and distracted, I tend to stress out a lot. I need to keep reminding myself that God is God. He’s in control. And everything will be okay.

Take a moment to brag about your family:
I’ve been married to Rob for over twenty-three years. He works for a dairy company (yes, that means free ice cream sometimes!) and is an all-around great guy. We have two teenagers, who both inherited my creative gene. Zach is almost 18 and will be graduating from high school this year. He will be going into film – editing and directing – and he’s also a talented artist. My daughter Lyndsey is a freshman and plays the cymbals in the high school marching band drum line. She loves to read and is an excellent photographer.

How can readers connect with you?
My website address is http://www.lyndaschab.com/. I also have a blog with various writing and reading-related material at http://www.on-the-write-track.blogspot.com/. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.



Make sure this charming book, Mind Over Madi, finds its way into all your friends' Christmas stockings...Release date: November 15, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Big Thanks to Author Deb Harper


I have to shout out a big thanks to author, Deb Harper, of the Laramie on the Lam series for her blog about my upcoming book, Polar Bear Plunge. Swing by for some laughs and say hi to Deb: http://www.deborahdeetales.blogspot.com/

And if you have little ones, her books are a wondeful idea for Christmas. Five of the six installments are now available on Amazon for .99 cents each! Woohoo, and I've read them all. Wonderful books for kids.

All for now! I'm still on my tour, next stop? All aboard!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reality Show to the Death!

See Jonathan Wakefield's book below if you really want to be scared!
Suspense at it's finest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fatal Reality




Do you sit by the boob tube biting your nails, attached to a program that has folks eating bugs, diving into mud, and manipulating each other week after week in order to win a million dollars? Are you anxious for a more “real” reality show?
Then it’s time you read Fatal Reality by Jonathan Wakefield.

How would you feel if you tried out for and won a slot on a reality television show only to find out that the reality was whether or not you would live? In Fatal Reality Jonathan brings together an eclectic group of strong competitors who want more than a win, they want to continue to hide dark secrets.

For a whirl of suspense with a wonderful cast of characters, read Fatal Reality.

A bit about the author:
JONATHAN WAKEFIELD has always loved thrillers that pack an emotional and philosophical punch. Combining this with his intrigue of the cultural impact of the reality-show industry, Jonathan thought it would make a fascinating story to thrust a Christian into a reality show featuring a diverse cast of strong characters and forcing him to react as the show is taken hostage and turned into a battle for survival.

Jonathan, an IT professional, holds a degree in Biology from the University of Richmond. A Craftsman graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, he has trained under authors Jerry B. Jenkins, John Perrodin, James Scott Bell, Jeff Gerke, and Douglas Hirt. Jonathan’s short stories have appeared in The Rose & Thorn and The Messenger, and he has written articles for various magazines and journals, including New Man, Men of Integrity, Live, The Gem, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Fatal Reality—a finalist in the 2009 Operation First Novel contest—is his debut novel.
Jonathan lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two sons.
Look for his novel to release in November, 2011



Swing by and visit his site: http://www.jonathanwakefield.com/

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thyme for Love Pamela S. Meyers

For those of you who were intrigued by Pam's book, it is available at Amazon.
They have it posted incorrectly, but you can get it. So goooo get that book and enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

COZY CHAT WITH AUTHOR, PAMELA S. MEYERS






Cozy up with a cup of tea and some shortbread cookies!

What do a handsome Latino man, a cute, perky blond chef, a murder, and a non-profit organization that supports orphans in Latin and South America named Rescate all have in common?

Thyme for Love, of course.


A wonderful lighthearted romantic mystery that will draw you in and keep you reading to the end. April Love, yes, that’s her name—stop singing, and Marc Thorne rediscover each other after a rocky break up. But more than love is waiting for April and Marc; a body is discovered that sends both of them into detective mode. Around cherry upside-down cake and Chicken George, the two taste the horrors of murder and the yumminess of love. Or is the murderer closer to April than the flour on her nose?


Take a bite of your cookie and a swig of your tea and let’s learn something about author, Pamela S. Meyers:
Q: Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.
A: April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancĂ© Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What made you want to write this book?
A: I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.

Q: Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?
Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?
A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q. How do you get your story ideas?
A. There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.

Q. What is your daily writing routine?
A. My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining are into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.

Q. What advice do you have for new authors?
A. Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin and also we need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?
A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. Love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.

Look for Thyme for Love on November 14, 2011 and have an enjoyable read!












VETERANS' DAY!




Found this on Facebook and thought it said it all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What are you seeking?

FAME!
FORTUNE!
FUN!
What are you seeking when you sit down to write?
Do you write because you have to like you have to breathe? Because you long for
the day when a printed book arrives in the mail with your name on it?
(I know, that sounds awesome...)
There's no right or wrong, no good or bad, but what prompts you to sit
behind a computer, sometimes for hours and hours pounding away at the keys?
I've been told by a few wonderful folks it's to promote God's kingdom and
then I read a few of the stories. OUCH! They promoted everything but...
And that's okay, just say you're writing to write. Or to make money, or
to have people see your name in print. Whatever drives you.
A couple years ago when I was fairly new to inspirational novels, I reviewed
one by a "Christian" author. I hoped she might be slightly outside the box,
as I love edgy fiction, but edgy in my world, and edgy in hers...hmmm.
Big difference.
My world of edgy doesn't include enough "private" scenes to make a porn
star happy. YIKES! And it did. Needless to say, I didn't finish that particular
review.
What I'm trying perhaps not all that well to say is, just because something
has a particular label doesn't make it so.
Believe me, I learned the hard way, red face and all.
I'm rambling here a bit, so I'm gonna sign off, but think about it...why do
you write? And are you able to admit to yourself, to others, to your readers,
why you began in the first place? And why you keep going...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How Are You Promoting?

A lot of folks are getting ready to promote their new books.
Blog tours, Facebook, Twitter, books for review, book trailers.
As many as there are books, there are options to get out the word.
But what really works?
Would anyone like to chime in on how they best utilized their valuable
marketing dollars?

Friday, October 7, 2011

LET’S TALK SOME MORE CREEPY! I LOVE CREEPY!

I guess it’s pretty obvious from some of my last posts that I absolutely love evil characters. Good always abounds in inspirational fiction, but a truly evil character that the writer has to rein in enough to stay within boundaries can be quite a challenge. I love writing the creepy, particularly when you find your creeps “also” have redeeming qualities.

Think Sweeney Todd, folks. He was “evil” but why? What pushes a perfectly normal, sane individual to that brink?

Shouldn’t we ALL say there but the grace of God go I?
Here’s another little sample. Let me know what you think of this stalker!

“Don’t make another sound or I’ll kill you.” Tangling his fingers into the swirly softness of her hair, he reveled in the silkiness. His other hand held tight across her mouth and offered its own hint of danger.

Her round blue eyes darted back and forth.

“Look all you want. There’s no knight gonna show up to save you. Are you happy now, Princess? I used to be happy. A kid who believed his life would never change. Well, guess whose life is gonna change tonight?”

She twisted against his hands. He dug in harder and eyed his surroundings. No one in sight. Leaning in closer to her ear, he brushed the curls from her face with his lips. “Do you know what it’s like to have a parade of ‘uncles’ moving through your front door like cockroaches, Princess?”

His fingers muffled her response and her eyes blinked wildly.

“Makes it hard to believe God’s watching over you, doesn’t it? Maybe He’s forgetting you the same way He forgot about me.”

Choking down his excitement, he welcomed her spiraling fear. He yanked her around the neck and hauled her behind the dumpster, where a brown, furry something with bulging eyes scuttled over her feet and into the night. She snatched her legs under her as her breathing accelerated. He shoved her head against the side of the dumpster with a smack. Her eyes rolled back under fluttering lashes.
Kyle struggled with his clothing.

Rochelle stirred. “Help me, someone! Please, God!” Her expression begged him to stop.

After her plea to the God Who Didn’t Care, Kyle laughed in her face and fired off a string of obscenities worthy of his father’s associates.

In control again, he delivered the first blow. “That one’s for the old man.”
Her head slammed against the frozen ground with a satisfying thud. He hit again. “And that one for the old lady.”

“But this one.” He backhanded her across the lip. “This one’s for me.”

Tiny flakes stuck to her eyelashes as she lay, barely conscious, against the cold ground.He waited—she had to be fully awake.

He wanted her fully awake.

Without warning, she surprised him with a knee to the shin. His leg burned, and he clutched it with one hand as his lip curled back. “Watch it, Princess!” His fingers ripped into her hair. He tugged her face closer—his breath the only air moving. A thin line of blood trickled from the lid of her left eye, which had already swelled shut. Drops dyed the snow red. The blows to her head had taken most of the fight out. Drawing her face to within an inch of his, he inhaled deeply of her perfume and hesitated.

Remember what’s really important.

His tongue flicked out, snaking to the nape of her neck just below her right earlobe. Rewarded with a terrified moan, he nudged her cheek with his chin.

LEST YOU THINK I FORGOT, HERE IS WHERE THE KNIGHT RIDES IN. BUT IS HE ABLE TO SAVE THE DAY OR COST HER HER LIFE? MAYBE HE'S NOT A KNIGHT AFTER ALL, BUT THAT'S A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY...

While the stalker's creepy, what did we learn about him through dialogue and actions that tells us he had a heart at some point? Any thoughts?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Karla Akins writes:O Canada! Her Story from Bramley Books





Karla, tell us a bit about you. (Only those things you want us to know, hehehe)
I'm a pastor's wife, mom of 5, grandma of 5, full-time college student pursuing a degree in Special Education. I have degrees in theology, three dogs, ride my own motorcycle, and collect books and shoes.

Whatever prompted you to write a book about Canada?
I had written for this publisher before in compilations and they liked my writing style, so they asked me to do this project for them.

How did you research the interesting characters?
I love research! It's one of my favorite parts of writing. I try to use as many primary resources as I can and I buy a lot of out-of-print books from used book vendors. I also use reputable websites and interview people who either know something about the character or are in charge of a museum about that person or area. Then, I keep a binder for each character and also use evenote and LiveBinder.com to organize my research. Once I'm sure I have the flavor of the time period and enough details to make the story interesting, I begin to write.

Did you have a personal favorite?
Oh, that's tough. Each one of them is very special to me. I lived with them for so many months! I enjoyed writing from a dog's POV in the Vikings chapter, but I also enjoyed learning and writing about the Canadian school on wheels where kids went to school on train cars. But if I must choose just one, I think I'd have to pick the one on the Acadians. Their ties to the Louisiana Cajuns is fascinating.

What has been the response from Canadians?
So far I've gotten great reviews! One of the best compliments was from a mom who bought the book for her children and said, "I'm madly in love with this book!"

Would you ever consider another similar type book?
Oh absolutely. I love writing biographies and historical stories.

Where can the readers purchase O Canada?
At Bramley Books and once the print version is in stock they can get it on Amazon both in print or as an ebook for Kindle.

Can you give us a hint about what else you write?
My current work in progress is a historical suspense. I've also written a humorous novel that I'm rewriting. I have a homeschool column on Examiner.com and I am the Indiana correspondent for Mother Nature Network. I also have several blogs. My research blog is The History Scroll, and my daily live blog is That I Did Always Love. My writing blog is at Envision Publishing.

My website is http://www.KarlaAkins.com Sign up for my history newsletter!

Karla, thanks for dropping by. I’ve read O Canada, and it’s wonderful. I never knew all that about their folk heroes. You drew me right in and bopped me over the head with lots of interesting stories. Way to go!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Hard Job!

So many wonderful books have found their way into my mailbox since I began this agenting gig. Wonderful books! But I've learned for myself the lesson Terry Burns taught me. I good book, a really good book will show up quite often, but are they great books? Are they stellar?

It's so difficult to tell a good writer, keep trying. I just had to write just such a letter, and it broke my heart. The author was very good, but not quite there yet. I guess I shouldn't be whining; I have the best job in the world.

When just one of those books reaches in, grabs my heart, and makes me sit up, dying for a full read, then I'm content.

Just wish I didn't have to say no so often.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

With Hope on 911


Psalm 91:1
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

We need to look past the sadness and remember that in Christ
we have hope and safety...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Remembering the Muse in You

Days come and go when you sit down and dash off dozens of pages of brilliant writing. Then…there are days…

Your original heartfelt writing takes flight and you’re left with an empty screen.
Now, for some, this is absolutely paralyzing.
Writers’ block.

Trying to meet deadlines, attempting a new style, writing for someone else instead of for yourself. So many reasons to feel the block as surely as an epidural.

Anything in particular that stops you?
What do you do to remember the Muse in you?

Friday, September 2, 2011

TENTH ANNIVERSARY

God bless America

Tin, aluminum, or diamond?


It would be nice if that were the only question for a tenth anniversary, but this anniversary is deserving of more thought than what to buy.


Next weekend will be the anniversary of 911. We aren’t worthy of buying anything to commemorate such a day, let alone think of it frivolously. This was a day that unified a country in one morning in such a way as nothing had in over fifty years. Churches, cathedrals and synagogues were suddenly filled to overflowing. Our connection with Israel and our roots of faith, that much stronger. Our connection to each other stronger still.


So what happened?

We, Americans, have it so good that apathy sets in so “sneakily”, if you’ll pardon that word, but it’s exactly what happens. Our hearts turn to other things, and we forget. The church rolls, once again, dropped off as we grew accustomed to taking our shoes off at the airport and leaving large bottles of shampoo behind.


Well, I’m asking each one of you who reads this to pray on the 11th. Pray that God will again turn our hearts to Him, to our faith, to those around us who need help in any way. To remind ourselves that we are a family of God. America was founded on those principles and we should NEVER allow them to be snatched from us again: not with fear, not with hatred, and not with apathy.



God bless America and God bless each of you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Author, Editor, or Agent is Blessed to Judge…

Hopefully you count your blessings and take it very seriously when an organization asks you to be a judge for what? A writing contest? The thing you love most in the world? Woohoo!

And do you? Do you really take it seriously, or just go through the motions to be a good sport?

A writer takes a huge step when he or she places their work in your hands. They are, in essence, asking you to validate them as writers. Some are new to the task, some have been trying for years to break into the industry, and you hold their hopes before you.

Is it more important to you to encourage the writer or show them how much you think you know?

Don’t get me wrong. Holding a poor writer’s hand only goes so far. It’s difficult to keep saying, “Very interesting.” But there has to be something you can find that would encourage, uplift, or steer the writer in the right direction.

Ever had a judge return an entry like this?

Poorly written, no plot, no sense of reality. Your characters were cardboard. Dialogue stilted, and it looks like you wrote it with your feet. But good luck and I wish you the best.

REALLY!?!

How have you helped the author?

Perhaps:

I’d recommend a strong crit group to help you find typos and errors that can be easily fixed once they’re recognized. Go deeper into the characters’ POVs so that the reader can connect with them and what they are going through. Dialogue should move the story along and with a bit of help, I think you can make your male characters come across with a more masculine touch without losing their sensitivity. You have a great start here and I encourage you to take as many online classes as you can to improve your writing skills until next time you’ll wow us with this novel.

You’ve said the same thing without the caustic bite that could eat into a writer’s delicate spirit. Yes, we all have to be thick-skinned, but the thick skin should come gradually, not in one huge makeover.

The blessing is yours when you’ve been asked to judge. No matter your background or ability, always give it your best. You’ll walk away with much more than the authors. You’ll walk away knowing that you cared about another human being.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM ROMANCE!



Whew! Let’s hope my post lives up to all the hype.

Someone just asked me a question about romance, and since my last post was about edgy, I figured this would fit here just fine.

Here you go, here’s my fave contemporary romance EVER!

And I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s in the to do chute.

THAT BEING SAID, I saw the movie, which I’m told holds true to the book. SUZANNE’S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS, by James Patterson. Yes, Patterson, and no woman was raped, tortured, or anything as equally disturbing. Just a wonderful, albeit, a bit out of the box, romance.

Christina Applegate, Johnathon Schaech, and Kathleen Rose Perkins bring to life a sweet, touching, never to forget story of lost love and love found again.

So, for anyone out there who wants to know what I like in a romance, it’s the boy meets girl with a lot of problems to fend off. Not just a small situation that thwarts the romance for a time, but something so big, it sends heads reeling until the love can find a way to “make it all better.”

In Diaries, you have a romance that you feel is doomed right from the start. And yet, you are unable to stop watching(reading) because you just know it has to have a good ending. Then…

WHAM, it socks you in the gut and you wonder “Whuhappened?”

Only then do the characters warm your heart again before the next, “Huh? Where did that come from?”

If you see only one movie this year, rent the 2005 TV movie based on James Patterson’s book. You will not be sorry. Oh, yeah, and to make it that much sweeter, the story is about a publishing editor. How great is that? Just bring a huge box of tissues and be prepared to watch it right to the end.

Ahh, love sweet love!

Monday, August 29, 2011

EDGY FICTION or SIMPLY MORE SECULAR?

The words edgy fiction are being tossed about like a marble on a teeter totter. I was recently given a work to proofread and was told I would enjoy it because it was “edgy fiction”. I read it; it was a wonderful romance, albeit formulaic. So where was the edgy?

Ah hah! I finally figured out what the author and publisher thought was edgy.

A lot more sex filled the pages. Is that edgy or is that just plain old secular?

Don’t panic. There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. You won’t be given a test. But think about it. Are we in the inspy market simply leaning more toward secular when we call our work edgy or are we jumping on the secular wagon and riding off into the sunset, guns drawn, bustiers showing, and kisses as well as other body parts flying here and there.

Okay, a bit melodramatic, but you get my point.

What defines edgy for you?

For me, it’s an author willing to push the limits of his/her genre. Takes steps no one else has. For romance, it means stepping outside the traditional formula and bringing a wonderful romance that might or might not have a happy ending.

Love Story anyone? There’s hardly a woman who lived in the seventies who didn’t read/watch that romance. I can’t tell you all that I read back then, but I can tell you almost scene for scene what happened to Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw’s love. For the story’s time, IT WAS EDGY!

As an inspy writer, do you merely throw in a bit more sex, violence, or **shudder** a couple obscenities and call that edgy? Or do you dare delve into difficult topics that might bring thought-provoking interest to your work?

This is an issue very dear to my heart.

You will hear more on it.