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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome Ruth Axtell Morren and


RUTH AXTELL MORREN has published 12 romances with Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Books. Her 13th, a Love Inspired Historical, Hometown Cinderella will be out February 2012. She will have a single title regency out in March 2013 for Revell Books, and another Downeast Maine-set historical tentatively titled Her Good Name with Moody Books. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish, Czech and Afrikaans. She was a Golden Heart finalist in 1994. Her second published book, Wild Rose, was a Booklist “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). Ruth studied comparative literature at Smith College, and has lived in both Europe and the U.S. Shortly after college, she committed her life to Christ. Fourteen years later, she committed her writing to Him. Currently, Ruth lives in Maine with her three children and two cats.

by Ruth Axtell Morren
Published by Love Inspired Historical


I didn’t realize I had written a fairytale of my own until the editorial & marketing team at Love Inspired discovered it for me.

Small Town, Big Dreams

After years of traveling in Europe with her musician husband, all that widow Mara Hoffman wants is security for her son. A half-share in her father’s Maine farmhouse is the only refuge she has left, even if her resentful stepmother treats Mara as little more than a servant. But there is one bright spot: the unexpected kindness of neighbor Gideon Jakeman.

A widowed farmer with a teenage daughter, Gideon hardly pictures himself as anyone’s Prince Charming. Especially a woman of Mara’s refinement. Yet his quiet, rugged strength makes her feel as though she’s found her rightful place by his side, if they can find faith enough to forge their own happy ending.

Readers, buy your copy of HOMETOWN CINDERELLA today!


Finding—and Keeping—Your Voice

Stick around fiction writing any length of time and you are sure to hear about author’s “voice.” No one knows precisely how to define it, but we all know it when we hear it.

It’s what draws us to our favorite authors, whose books become keepers. It’s the distinct quality of that author’s writing that is hard to define but is clear as a clarion when reading his/her novels.

I’ve just discovered a new writer, Melanie Dickerson. She has two young adult fiction books out now with Zondervan Publishing. They are both retellings of fairytales. What an irresistible combination, right? The first, The Healer’s Apprentice is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, and the one I just finished reading, The Merchant’s Daughter, on Beauty and the Beast. One of the things I like about them is that she takes liberties with the original tales so they are quite original. She also weaves the Scriptures very adroitly through the medieval stories. But what I love most about her stories is her voice. They are most distinctly Melanie Dickerson stories. I could probably identify them if I didn’t have the author’s name on the cover.

Well, for a while there, I had thought I had lost my voice—or at least compromised it to a large extent by trying to fit a publishing house’s guidelines and styles. Then, when a manuscript was turned down, I decided (on faith) to continuing writing it with no invisible editor hovering over my shoulder. I would just write the story I believed the Lord had given me and worry about whether it “worked” or not afterwards when it came time to edit and revise. It was a very liberating and at the same time scary experience, since I hadn’t done this kind of writing without a safety net since my pre-published days. But just this month, I not only sold this story to a new publisher, but I finished the first draft, and ta-da!, read it over and am really pleased with how it turned out. As I said at the outset, I feel as if I’ve rediscovered my voice. We tend to write what we like to read, and I feel I’m back to the kind of stories I best like to read: lots of interplay and emotional conflict between the hero & heroine, but also lots of spiritual growth in them as the story progresses.

I told my daughter when I finished the manuscript, “This is why writers write. To reach this adrenalin high when one has done it—finished the book, a euphoria that will pass when I buckle down to revise and polish. But for the moment, what a feeling!

* * * * *

Thank you, Ruth, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: If you are a writer or love to write, do you feel you have discovered your voice in writing? When did you realize it? If you are a reader, have you ever loved a certain author's voice only to discover they change it with a new novel? How did you feel? Would you prefer an author maintain the same voice throughout books, or does it matter to you? Why or why not?

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 featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered. And if you don’t like to read teen science fiction, maybe there is a teen in your life who’d like the book.

The contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Hayden said...

I really don't know if I've discovered my "voice" yet...but hopefully I'll discover it soon! :)

I usually like an author because of their writing style -many times that matters to me more than the plot- so if a writer I really like "changes" their voice I'd probably really get annoyed (Thankfully, none of my favorite authors have done so so far.) I'm also a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson :)


Jo said...

What a interesting question and one that I have never given any thought to at all. I like certain styles of writing that authors have and sometimes when they change that style of writing, I haven't cared for their books. This book sounds really good and another new writer to me. Please enter me!


Cheryl said...

Excellent post. I think I actually have two voices--the one I use to blog and write articles, and the other for my children's books. They are different, but still very much me.

Wishing you the best. It sounds like you have many wonderful things planned for your readers.



Merry said...

I have found that I am drawn to certain writers but if they drastically change their style or genre, I am unsettled. Two authors, I am thinking of, went into chic lit that was so silly, I was totally turned off. I'm not saying I don't read authors who write in more than one genre because I do but I guess I hope they will continue to write with the quality and voice that first captured me.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I know that I have a strong non-fiction voice. I use it all the time in my magazine articles and non-fict books, so it's a natural go-to for me. But sometimes I see that voice pop up in my fiction. UGH! I hate when that happens - when I suddenly begin reporting a scene like I would for a newspaper article. It's something I have to watch closely as I write my romance adventures.

I enjoy it when a book starts with introductory information, such as the crucial meeting scene between heroine and hero, and then moves the story deeper and deeper into the minds of the characters until we are in their heads as they deal with the layers of storyline. I call it 'rich writing.'


Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks so much for your kind words about my books, Ruth!!! As you know, you are one of MY very favorite writers!!! Your romances are always so deep and I can always feel your characters' emotions so strongly! You do a fabulous job of making the most of emotional conflict and creating romantic moments for your heroes and heroines! I love it!

I have been gushing about Ruth Axtell's books since I read the first one a few years ago and then had to go to Amazon and buy all her backlist! So it was such an honor to hear that she liked my books! I was so afraid she wouldn't like them!

Yes, I am Ruth Axtell's number one fan!!! :-) And I am SO excited to read this new one, Ruth! I didn't even know about this one! Woohoo!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

The winner of this book is Lyndee. Congratulations. Sorry for not getting back here to announce it. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.