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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Welcome Martha Rogers and Summer Dream

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. IF there is a book giveaway, your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.


MARTHA ROGERS' book credits include the novella, Sugar and Grits and A River Walk Christmas, as well as the historical romance series, Winds Across the Prairie. She had also written seven Bible studies, contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Karen O’Conner, and Debbie White Smith. Martha has also written devotionals in several anthologies including recently released Blissfully Blended, Devotionals for Step-moms from Barbour. Martha is currently working on another series, Seasons of the Heart. Book one, Summer Dream, will released in the summer of 2011. Martha sings in the choir at her church and is a co-leader for a First Place 4 Health group. She loves to scrapbook when she has the time. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football and baseball games when one of them is playing.

by Martha Rogers
Published by Realms


The first book in the Seasons of the Heart series is set in Connecticut in 1888, the year of what historians call “The White Hurricane.” The story reveals the power of God’s love to change lives and heal hearts. Summer Dream tells of a young couple’s love for each other and the obstacles that stand in their path of happiness. Until Nathan Reed resolves his anger with God and his family, he has no hopes of courting Rachel Winston, the minister’s daughter.

As the daughter of a small-town minister in Connecticut, Rachel Winston believes the only way she’ll ever have a husband is to visit her aunt in Boston for the social season until Nathan Reed arrives in town. Although attracted to Rachel, Nathan avoids her because he has no desire to become involved with a Christian after experiences with his own family. When a devastating blizzard paralyzes New England, Nathan is caught in it and lies near death in the Winston home. Through the ministrations and tender care of Rachel and her mother, Nathan learns a lesson in love and forgiveness that leads him back to his home in the South. Before he can declare his love for Rachel, he must make amends with his own family. Will he return to Connecticut before Rachel leaves her home to head west as a missionary in Oklahoma Territory?

Readers, buy your copy of Summer Dream (Seasons of the Heart, Book 1) today!


Personality and Writing Style

I’ve read a lot of discussion about organization and writing. For those of us who are SOTP (seat of the pants) writers, writing an outline or any of the other myriad organizational strategies boggles our minds. However as I have progressed, I’ve found that a little bit of both is necessary to get a story done in time to meet a deadline.

New things crop into a story, new characters step in and wish to be recognized, and events occur and come as a complete surprise to “pantster” writers. That still happens even when I do loosely plan my chapters. Usually my chapter outlines are one to two sentences as to what I want to happen in that chapter. What actually happens in the chapter comes as I write the characters and the scenes.

Randy Ingermanson has a “Snowflake” organizational strategy for organizing stories and plots that many love and use, but I could never get my head wrapped around it. The reason being that it took too long to actually begin writing the story. Even when I tried to do charts and graphs, my imagination would kick in and things happened that had no place in the outline.

I’ve heard this happens to even the most organized writer. Characters will began to them and want something entirely different than what has been plotted.

Whether we organize or just dig in and write, we all have some idea of where our story is going and what we want to accomplish in the end. If we don’t know our destination, we will have difficulty along the journey. Sometimes we can get so bogged down with the details that we lose sight of the story and where it’s headed.

Writing a synopsis and chapter events helps with the organization, but it’s the surprises along the way that make writing the book fun. Do extremely organized writers experience surprises as they write? Some with whom I have spoken so, but a few others grimace in horror. It all has to go as they planned or they panic.

Does our personality have something to do with how we organize or don’t organize our writing? Does having a laid-back sanquine personality lead to being a “panster” writer and panic as deadlines near? Is the choleric personality the one who must organize down to the last detail and be completely in charge of the story? Does the melancholy worry about every detail and word to be perfect as he/she writes? Is the phlegmatic writer more calm and relaxed and able to get things done on time?

Think about your own personality and how it affects your writing. Does your personality reflect how you approach writing and how you organize? Do they have anything in common?

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Thank you, Martha, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Does your personality reflect how you approach writing and how you organize? Do they have anything in common?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome Karen Witemeyer and To Win Her Heart

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.


KAREN WITEMEYER writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. Her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, is a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three kids.

by Karen Witemeyer
Published by Bethany House


A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

Readers, buy your copy of To Win Her Heart today!


Introverted Marketing

In today's publishing climate, it is expected for authors to participate in the marketing of their books. But for those of us who fall heavily on the introverted end of the I-E continuum, the prospect of marketing our books feels a lot like stepping onto the gallows where a hooded executioner with marketing plan in hand waits to throw the lever that will release the trap door and send us plunging to our doom.

OK, that might be a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. Introverts and marketing don't mix well. So how do we deal with the reality that we need to be marketing our books?

The way I've chosen to go about it is to listen to conventional wisdom then tweak it to fit my personality.
  • Book Signings
I can put on my extroverted mask for short periods of time to conduct book signings or speaking events, but I wear down quickly, so I don't participate in these events with great frequency. However, I try to capitalize on the ones I do attend by inviting everyone I can and offering lots of freebies and chocolate to entice people to my table when my less than scintillating conversation fails to do so.
  • Blogging
I don't blog. There, I admitted it. Even though marketing experts are constantly saying that writers should have a blog, I've chosen another path—the path of the guest blogger. I am lousy at chit chat, whether it be in person or online, so the idea of finding something to say to the world on a regular basis is horrifying. I'd never get my next book written because I'd be stressing over what to write in my blog. So instead of hosting my own blog, I arrange blog tours with some lovely hostesses who allow me to make a guest appearance on their blog when I have a new release to promote. This scenario preserves my sanity and keeps my name in the blogosphere at release time.
  • Social Media
Similar to the blogging issue, social media is a scary world for me. I do have a Facebook page and love to interact with readers there, but I'm not one of those clever authors who can come up with fun gems to post every day. I post maybe twice a month. However, I still use it for relationship building because every time someone sends me a message or posts on my wall or tags me in a photo, I immediately respond with a personal comment. Twitter is beyond my range, though, so don't look for me there.
  • Website
This is where I splurge. I pay to have my site professionally designed and maintained and update it regularly. I try to remember the golden rule of marketing—give stuff away for free. I give away free content like an epilogue for my debut novel and character vignettes that delve into the hobbies and backgrounds of the characters from my novels. I give away a free download of a biblical fiction piece and Bible study based on the life of Rahab for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I also enter everyone on my newsletter list for the drawings I host each month for free books by other Christian historical fiction authors. I invite readers to dialog with me through e-mail and respond immediately to their messages. This is my favorite marketing venue. It has the comfort of welcoming someone into your home instead of the anxiety of mingling at a party where you can't seem to find a familiar face.

My latest marketing attempt is a new fan fiction contest. I'm inviting any interested readers or writers to pen an epilogue for two of my secondary characters in my latest release, To Win Her Heart. The contest runs through June 30th, and the winner will receive a $40 Amazon gift card, the epilogue published on my website, and an autographed copy of any one of my three books. I'd love to have you enter. You can find the guidelines here:

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Thank you, Karen, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Are you an introvert or extrovert? How do you feel about marketing? What ideas do you have to help a poor introverted author like me make the most of her marketing time?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Monday, May 02, 2011

May New Releases in Christian Fiction

All this information and more in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad -- General Fiction from Revell. She wants to change the world. He wants to change her mind.

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason -- A Thriller/Suspense from Revell. Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case.

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. Gabe Lasley finds Shannon Dysart stranded in a mountaintop cave and saves her. She is on a quest to prove her father’s research isn’t the work of a madman, that he really did find a treasure in the wild west.

Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig -- A Mystery from Barbour. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?

Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini -- A Romance from B & H Publishing. When confronted with her most painful, past decisions, will Suz Mitchell second guess herself? Or will she learn to let God restore all that once seemed lost?

Journey's End by Dora Hiers -- A Romance from White Rose. When Chelsea Hammond is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey Colten with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future?

Montana Marriages Trilogy by Mary Connealy -- Romance from Barbour. The complete Montana Marriages series all under one cover. One volume encases three acclaimed novels by Mary Connealy.

Over The Edge by Brandilyn Collins -- Thriller/Suspense from B & H Publishing. Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore -- A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Time promises to heal all wounds, but will Ellie and Theo allow God to work His timing in their lives and bring a new promise of love?

Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens -- A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Two people in their September years are blessed with a second chance at happiness, but unexpected arrivals of a long-estranged son and a long-forgotten former admirer threaten to unravel the cords that bind two hearts.

Secrets of the Heart; Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One by Jillian Kent -- A Romance from Rhelms. When Lady Madeline Whittington rescues a runaway from a nearby lunatic asylum her life will be forever changed.

The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus -- A Romance from Barbour. Two artists are drawn together by matchmaking matriarchs.

The Unexpected Bride by Debra Ullrick -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Haydon Bowen has no intention of marrying. Unfortunately, his brother has other plans. Even when beautiful, cultured Rainelle Devonwood learns she's a mistakenly ordered bride, she won't let Haydon drive her away.

Threat of Exposure by Lynette Eason -- A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired. In book 5 of the Texas Ranger Justice series, DEA Brock Martin and Texas Ranger Gisella Hernandez must work together to decipher codes, uncover clues and protect themselves from a killer who doesn't want his secrets known.

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer -- A Romance from Bethany House. A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Undercurrent by Michelle Griep -- A Science Fiction/Time Travel from Risen Books. People go missing every day--many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for...where do they go?

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley -- A Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah. When an isolated home-schooling widow makes a stealthy bid to escape a cultic group, an outspoken professor encourages her to stand up to her abuser but brings his own set of complications.

Wyoming Weddings by Vickie McDonough, Susan Page Davis, and Diana Brandmeyer -- Romance from Barbour. Three modern Wyoming women face mountains on the road to love.