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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Blogger H.L. Wegley and Hide and Seek


H. L. WEGLEY served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He is a Meteorologist who worked as a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics at Pacific Northwest Laboratories. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 46 years enjoy small-group ministry, their seven grandchildren, and where he pursues his love of writing.

by H. L. Wegley
Published by HarbourLight Books


He expected security breaches, but the conspiracy she uncovers sends them running for their lives.

A computer security breach within a US defense contractor’s firewalls leads investigators, Lee Brandt and beautiful, brilliant Jennifer Akihara, onto the cyber-turf of terrorists, where they are detected and targeted for elimination. Lee leads them on a desperate flight for survival into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Will Jennifer’s pursuit of truth about the conspiracy, and the deepest issues of life, lead her into the clutches of terrorists, into the arms of Lee Brandt, or into the arms of the God she deems untrustworthy?

Readers, buy your copy of Hide and Seek today!


Researching the Setting of a Novel: The Good, the Bad, and the Boring

Bet you thought the title would end with the word “ugly.” Well, it didn’t because there is seldom anything ugly about researching the setting of a novel. Plot is another story (no pun intended).

Let’s dispense with the boring part of setting research first. Have you ever tried to scale distances from Google maps, trying to see how far it is from point A to point B? Yes, boring.

This past year I wrote 4 manuscripts in 6 months and took another 6 weeks to complete the research, which included researching the settings. This author has learned that some readers get a little bent out of shape when I mess up the description of their favorite vacation spot. My solution was to visit each location, take some video, a lot of pictures, collect a few maps -- Google maps can’t do everything -- and learn about the local culture from the restaurants, stores, and people. Boring you say? Not if the locations are the outer Olympic Peninsula, Lake Chelan in Washington State, and Maui. I’ll bet you’re beginning to see the good.

I selected these settings because they played well with my plots, and because I thought I knew all of them pretty well. But I soon found that when I’m describing a chase scene where my heroine is running down an Olympic Park trail, or when she sprints a beach trail in Maui, ending up in the lobby of a resort hotel, I needed to walk those settings, take photos, and take notes. I needed to see it, feel it, hear it, smell it, and get it right.

Fortunately, the IRS allows legitimate, documented travel to be claimed as a business expense. Now before you all start planning to become novelists and write about some exotic location, keep in mind that the travel must be needed to write your story and that you have to log your time. Only that fraction of the trip actually spent writing/researching can be claimed. If you researched and wrote a fourth of the time, you claim a fourth of your expenses. If you drive to the destination, your allowance in 2012 was 55.5 cents per mile.

The “good” is that there are what you might call fringe benefits to writing, but with the cost of travel these days, you had better be taking an enjoyable vacation at the same time you travel for research, otherwise, you’ll be taking a big hit in the pocketbook, all on a gamble that your book will be contracted and that it will sell. The “bad” is that if you don’t document things properly, your life turns into a horror story, an IRS audit. But I’ve never heard of an author being audited if they properly documented their travel expenses.

We’ve talked about the good, the bad, and the boring. But there is another aspect to traveling for setting research. It’s the beautiful. If you want to see the beauty, take a look at the banner on my facebook profile: Yes, I shot that picture on my Maui trip, and it is beautiful.

Reader Question:  Hide and Seek, the 1st book in the Pure Genius Series, is set in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle. The 3rd book in this series, Moon over Maalaea Bay, is set entirely in Maui. Both books are thrillers with romance, having the same main characters. Other things being equal, how much influence does the setting have when you are selecting a book to read? Would the setting of Maui win out over the Pacific Northwest?

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Thank you, Harry, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free eBook 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.

This week, the drawing is open to anyone worldwide.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Blogger Tanya Eavenson and Unconditional


TANYA EAVENSON and her husband have been involved in ministry for fifteen years teaching youth and adults, and doing counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.

by Tanya Eavenson
Published by Astraea Press


He will fight for her at any cost...

Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.

When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.

She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?

Readers, buy your copy of Unconditional today!


The Most Unlikely Writer

My husband and I have been involved in ministry for fifteen years teaching youth and adults, and doing counseling. Until three years ago, I thought this was my call—to support, to pray, and to help my husband in the ministry with God’s strength and using my talents. And it is, and will always be, as a pastor’s wife. However, God called me to a ministry of my own—to write.

When my husband left for Israel three years ago, it was the first trip he’d gone over seas since our three children were born and, honestly, I didn’t know what to do with myself. During that time, with God’s leading, I wrote a story entitled Live by Faith, Not by Sight. Though it may never see an editor’s desk, that story is dear to my heart, more than any others because of what it represents. To follow the Lord, not by what I can see, or knowing I wasn’t a writer, but living and believing in God to do as He said, so He can accomplish His will in my life.

Here is the verse God has taught me through this writing experience and I’m learning to live out daily.

“We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

See, I’m the most unlikely writer. I remember saying with ready fingers pressed on the keyboard, “Are you sure, God? I never wanted to write. Never cared to write.” But there I was, typing away at the keys. And though I was writing, I’m not sure when I became a writer really, but it took longer than most. In 2011 I entered Unconditional in the ACFW Genesis Contest and my novel semi-finaled. At that time I still didn’t believe I was really a writer but I keep plugging away, learning the craft. It wasn’t even when I signed my first contract. It happened when my husband told me he was proud of me and that I trusted God and never looked back. That’s when I became a writer and an author at the same time.

Sometimes people ask me why I wrote Unconditional, a story about marriage. I tell them I felt the Lord had placed it on my heart. Statistics show Christian and non-Christian marriages are failing at the same rate. I believe in marriage there needs to be an unconditional love as God shows and displays in our lives. At times, we may feel like our spouse is our enemy, but God tells us to love our enemies, so what is that saying for our marriages today? We need to show a love that isn’t possible from us alone, but a love that comes from God who ordained marriage to last.

I wholeheartedly believe that if we fight for our marriages and follow after Christ, He will be the One to grow in us an unconditional love for our spouses.

I grew up in a family were divorce is common, like most people today, with the idea once you “fall” out of love, and you can’t get along anymore, it’s time to get a divorce. It was almost engraved in me witnessing everyone in my family get divorced one time or many times. I, too, almost went down that route with divorce papers in hand. I told myself many things at the time, but the truth. I was focused on our failures, not the hope that with God, all things are possible. The question was, were we willing to save our marriage at all costs? Would we fight for each other, whether we felt like it or not?

The story opens in a situation some married couples might find themselves in, losing a child, being in a loveless marriage, experiencing hurt by feelings of abandonment, adultery. Faced with the choice to fight for the marriage at any cost or give up. In my story, as in real life, there is a choice.

The other thing I hope my readers take away from this story is Christ’s love for us. Christ gave up His life, so we may turn from our sin and have a relationship with Him. That no matter what we go through, Christ is there, never leaving or forsaking us. There is no greater love than that of Christ.

If you get the opportunity to read Unconditional, or if you just want to talk, I would love to hear from you. Contact me on my website at:

I want to thank Tiffany for welcoming me to her blog, but also to you for stopping by. While you’re here, I want to give away an ebook copy of Unconditional to one winner who leaves a comment. Please make sure you leave your email address so we may contact you if you win. Good Luck!

Reader Question:  Have you ever wanted to be a writer? If so, what would you like to write about?

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Thank you, Tanya, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free eBook 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.

This week, the drawing is open to anyone worldwide.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Guest Blogger Tina Pinson and To Carry Her Cross


TINA PINSON resides in Mesa, Arizona with her husband of thirty plus years, Danny. They are blessed to have three sons, and six grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way.

Tina started her writing in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. Her WWII story Trail of the Sandpiper won third place in the Genesis in 2003. In the Manor of the Ghost and Touched By Mercy and When Shadows Fall (Book 1 in the Shadows Series) are available through Desert Breeze Publishers.

To Catch a Shadow, the next installment of the Shadow Series about the civil war and the Oregon Trail, will be available June 2013. To Carry her Cross released January 2013 and Then There was Grace, a September 9/11 type story, will be available Sept. 2013 and Christmas in Shades of Gray, an offbeat Dickens type tale, releases December 2013.

Web site

by Tina Pinson
Published by Desert Breeze Publishing


Matthew has braved the war and near death with one thought in mind… Rebekah. He won her hand in marriage, and now he has a few short months to make her see how much he loves her. How much he needs her. Given the wall she's put up between them, he prays he'll have enough time.

After fleeing the war, Rebekah is determined to go west to Oregon, only to be turned down when she tries to join the train. Matthew's proposal of marriage, in name only to help her west, becomes the miracle she needs. Loving him as she does, she dreads the idea of letting him go once they reach Oregon, but how can she ask him to stay with her, to love her? How could he love her once he's found out her secret? She must guard her heart and his.

Readers, buy your copy of To Carry Her Cross today!


Write Where He Wants Me

As a writer, I've been known to ask some pretty strange questions, write some unusual story lines, have some quirks, and drive people half-insane with my pentagon-type briefings about my stories, characters and information, by useful and useless, I've learned doing research.

Concerning my research, I've taken road trips for research, and interviewed morticians, lawyers, other writers and people in general. Given some of the topics I've delved into, I'm quite surprised the Homeland Security hasn't come for me yet. I'm a people watcher and some who know I'm a writer are afraid they'll become a serial killer in my next novel.

I'm a writer!

As a writer, I've also heard strange questions, received some unusual looks and have to sit through long thesis type dissertations from someone who found out I was a writer and needed to let me know about the story they've been carrying around for years, meaning to write. If they'd only sit down and do so, they'd have a best seller on their hands. Maybe I could help them.


I've also been told by some well meaning people, who after hearing I'm a Christian Fiction Writer, tell me I should be using my talent to glorify God more. If I'd only find myself a minister, a missionary or someone who is truly a man or woman of God and write their Real Life story instead of some fiction piece, I would truly be serving the Lord. And then, I'd give away everything I made to further the cause of Christ.

While I think those types of stories are important and can be used to reach the masses for the Lord, I don't they all do. I also don't believe those are stories I've been called to write either.

One wonders how people who say that would feel if someone mentioned that being a doctor or a banker or a mother, or a singer or whatever is not really using your gift for the Lord? You have to camp out at the church and wait for the real men and women of God to show up so you can serve them and let others know about them.

While everyone is not called to be a writer, be it fiction or nonfiction, we aren't all called to musicians, or poets or singers or lawyers… you get the gist. We are told to do what we do to the Glory of the Lord. And bloom where we are planned. We all have something we are called to do. Now, trust me, I don't always get right, and might complain over some of the paths I find myself on. But I know it's still the right one.

I feel I'm Write Where I Want to Be. Or more to the point, I'm right where I feel God wants me to be.

Fiction writers may seem a touch odd. And yes, we have been known to take day trips down the imagination freeway. But I pray about my stories. I cry and laugh over my stories. I am amazed by where this awesome imagination God has given me takes me sometimes. And hope and pray my stories touch someone's life, changes them, and helps them see God. Even mine.

I may never have a best seller. I may never make enough to retire on my writing alone, but having a love for words and stories as I do, and feeling that God blessed me and wants me to use this for his glory, I would go insane if I couldn't write. And quite honestly, I'd feel guilty for not using my gift for the Lord.

It is my hope that whatever God has given you to do, you will use it to the best of your ability to plant seeds to his glory.

I'll leave you with a couple of questions:

Reader Question: When you don't use the gift and talents God has given you how does that make you feel? OR How has Christian fiction touched your life?

Blessings on your journey. Remember wherever it takes you, you don't walk alone when you walk with Christ.

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Thank you, Tina, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free eBook copy of Shadowed Dreams. And to celebrate the release of To Carry Her Cross, Tina is also giving away a cross pendant and earring set. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the drawing is open to anyone worldwide, but the cross is for USA residents only. If you aren't a US resident, you will receive a gift card for one of Tina's books.

Friday, February 01, 2013

February 2013 New Releases in Christian Fiction

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Angelguard by Ian Acheson — In a war that transcends time … A new offensive is launched … Hidden dark forces are advancing … Heaven’s warriors respond … One man finds himself at the center of the conflict … Can he stop the unthinkable occurring? (Supernatural Thriller from Monarch – Lion Hudson).

Heart of a Rancher by Renee Andrews — After having his heart broken in the past by a city girl, John Cutter isn’t quick to fall for the new city girl in town, but when he does, he falls hard…and then he learns her secret. (Romance from Love Inspired).

A Home for Lydia by Vannetta Chapman — A Home for Lydia centers again on the Plain community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges to their community from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House).

The Reluctant Earl by C.J. Chase — Alone in a gentleman’s bedchamber, rummaging through his clothing – governess Leah Vance risks social ruin. Only by selling political information can she pay for her sister’s care. And the letter she found in Julian DeChambelle’s coat could be valuable-if the ex-sea captain himself had not just walked in. As a navy officer, Julian knew his purpose. As a new earl, he’s plagued by trivialities and marriage-obsessed females. Miss Vance’s independence is intriguing-and useful. In return for relaying false information, he will pay her handsomely. But trusting her, even caring for her? That would be pure folly. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Detection Mission by Margaret Daley — K-9 officer, Lee Calloway, finds a woman running for her life, scared, injured, and no idea who she is. Lee vows to protect her until her memory returns, but someone is desperate to make sure that doesn’t happen. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Catherine’s Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley — The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family. (Historical Romance from Realms – Charisma Media).

Love Comes to Paradise by Mary Ellis — Nora King follows her heart to a turbulent new land, only to discover one cannot escape the past…or true love if God wills it to be. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House).

A New Home for Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger — Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town where changes–and newcomers–are greeted with suspicion, Lily must adjust to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, an annoying boy who teases her relentlessly. Still, there are exciting new developments, including an attic full of adventure and a new baby brother. But why, Lily wonders, can’t God bring her just one sister? (Middle-Grade/Chapter book from Revell).

Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach — Will his love be enough to find her again within the wilds of the Maryland frontier? Book 3 in the Daughters of the Potomac series. (Historical Romance from Abingdon).

Groom by Arrangement by Rhonda Gibson — The wrong groom could be the perfect match. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Torn Loyalties by Vicki Hinze — Madison McKay doesn’t trust anyone. When Madison is framed for a security breach at a top secret military facility, she’s forced to put her life in ex-military special investigator Grant Deaver’s hands. But after she discovers that he’s been deceiving her, everything will be torn apart unless Grant can convince her to trust him with her life…and her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Love’s Journey Home by Kelly Irvin — Love’s Journey Home is the story of how the families of Bliss Creek’s Amish community learn to be still and listen for the Lord’s direction and then act on faith that His plan will lead them to a long awaited new life. (Romance from Harvest House).

Shattered by Dani Pettrey — Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKenna family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. Piper McKenna is trying to convince him her brother is innocent of murder. The two head deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry–and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House).

The Magistrate’s Folly by Lisa Karon Richardson — The magistrate didn’t know if his greatest folly was condemning her, or trying to rescue her. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing).

When the Heart Heals by Ann Shorey — A young woman tries to put the past behind her and find her place in a new town and a changing world. (Historical Romance from Revell).

Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith — Can love heal the rift between two souls? (Historical/Biblical from Revell).
Hide and Seek by H.L. Wegley — He expected security breaches, but the conspiracy she uncovers sends them running for their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Harbourlight Books).

Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle — When a multinational corporation with unlimited funds hires on a private military company with unbridled power, how far might they be willing to go with the planet’s ultimate “conflict mineral” up for grabs? Especially in a Congolese rainforest where governmental accountability is only too cheaply for sale. (Thriller/Suspense from Tyndale).

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate — Big city career lady Mallory must decide fast whether to move to an isolated Texas Ranch with a man she recently started dating, well, two males actually, Daniel’s son Nick is part of the package deal. (General Contemporary from Bethany House).

Flora’s Wish by Kathleen Y’Barbo — If you like your historical romance Southern with a dash of steam punk, don’t miss the first novel in the Lives of Will Tucker series: A revenge-bound Pinkerton agent with a pocketful of inventions cannot seem to stop “Fatal Flora” Brimm from reaching the altar with prospective groom number five, but the arrest warrant Agent Lucas McMinn carries in his pocket for Flora and her fiancĂ© just might. (Historical Romance from Harvest House).