The Inside Scoop with Barbara M. Britton

Today Barbara M. Britton is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Barbara writes for Pelican Book Group, and her new book, Providence: Hannah’s Journey, is available now. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH BARBARA M. BRITTON

 

1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I didn’t. I took creative writing classes in high school, but I don’t remember any teacher mentioning writing as a career choice. Three decades later, after writing curriculum for elementary school chapel, I had the prompting to write. I asked the Lord to “hit me with some creativity” to write my curriculum and I just kept writing. It has taken me nine years to birth a book into the world as I had a lot to learn about the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

I’m so old school. I write on a notepad and then hunt-and-peck my way on the computer to craft a manuscript. I also like to draw maps of the cities and areas where my books are set and tape them to a wall in my office. I tape perfume advertisements above my computer when I see a model that resembles one of my characters. My office walls are an eclectic smattering of pictures.

 

3. What inspired your book?

I taught chapel lessons about young people in the Bible who did brave things, and one of those brave characters was the servant girl in the story of Naaman in II Kings 5. I started thinking about how she got captured and I wondered if she ever received her freedom. Alas, Hannah’s story was born.

 

4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I received the best writing advice from the very first publishing course I attended. I was told to join a professional writing organization and get involved. Also, I was advised to go to writing conferences. I don’t know what I would do without the friends I have made in my writing groups. They are my biggest supporters, brainstormers, and marketing team. I am a member of RWA, WisRWA, SCBWI and ACFW.

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Barbara, I love that you asked the Lord to hit you with creativity! He certainly answered! And you write on pen and paper–I’m very impressed. My hand cramps easily, so the laptop is my best friend. Your book sounds amazing. I enjoy Biblical fiction. Congratulations!!

 

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Providence: Hannah's Journey

Providence: Hannah’s Journey ~

As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her.

Determined to restore her family’s honor, Hannah escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to heal her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders.

Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. Meanwhile Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers.

Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself. But survival means coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal and enemy commander.

Purchase Providence: Hannah’s Journey: Pelican Group * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

 

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About Barbara ~

Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicks off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

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Have you read any Biblical fiction? What is your favorite book?

Have a terrific day!

 

{Friday Five} Books & TV

Fall is always fun for entertainment. There are new shows on TV, a few books I couldn’t fit into my summer schedule, and summer blockbusters coming out on DVD. With the weather getting wet and cooler, I don’t mind settling inside for entertainment.

 

 

 

Friday Five: Books & TV

October 2016 Edition

1. This Is Us is a new drama on NBC, Tuesdays 9pm EST. I’m really enjoying this one. It revolves around adult triplets who all have interesting personal issues, and the series employs a flashback thread that is very well-done. All the storylines work together. The writing is excellent, and the acting is too. I’m not a big fan of Kevin at this point because his self-absorption annoys me, but I have a feeling I’ll like him more as he matures.

2. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. This women’s fiction came out in the summer. I ordered it through our library, and due to numerous holds, I was finally able to check it out. As with all of Ms. Moriarty’s books, it explores tricky relationships involving three women, their families and each other. It has a suspense thread and jumps back and forth between one eventful day and its aftermath two months later. I really enjoyed the realness of the characters and the tension throughout.

3. Ink Master is a reality show on Spike TV, Tuesdays 10pm EST. For years my husband and I have watched this reality show where tattoo artists fight to be named Ink Master. I can’t explain my fascination with it since I have an aversion to needles and tattoos! But it’s interesting to see the art the contestants come up with. This season features strong female artists, too. I’m rooting for Kelly and Ryan.

4. Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson. See Wednesday’s post, “{giveaway} Where Two Hearts Meet,” for the full feature. The giveaway is still open and will be until Sunday, October 23 at 9pm EST. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the easy entry options! (US only, 18+)

5. Michigan FootballMy husband and I watch games every Saturday. We bite our nails, jump up at each touchdown and wonder if this will be the year we beat Ohio State. Please let it be the year… 🙂

So that’s my Friday Five! What are you watching and reading right now?

Enter the giveaway below:

 

 

Have a lovely weekend!

{giveaway} Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

The second book in Liz Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series is here!! Where Two Hearts Meet features Caden Holt and Adam Jacobs. If you read the first book in this series, The Red Door Inn, you’ll remember Caden as the baker of delicious cinnamon rolls. She’s now working for the Red Door Inn as a chef, and a mysterious guest arrives. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say this–the romance progresses like a batch of the cinnamon rolls Caden whips up, rising, baking, and filling the room with a sweet aroma! I LOVED this book! I loved it so much, I’m giving away a paperback copy to one winner! Easy entry options are below (US residents, 18+)!

WHERE TWO HEARTS MEET

Where Two Hearts Meet
In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen–and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He’s also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he’s falling in love with the island’s red shores and Caden’s sweets.

When Caden discovers Adam isn’t who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he’s writing could do more than ruin the inn’s chances for survival–it might also break her heart.

***

Purchase Where Two Hearts Meet HERE!

Enter to win a copy!

 

Want to know more about Liz Johnson  and her books? Visit her website, Liz Johnson Books!!

I would love to visit PEI! Where would you love to visit?

Have a wonderful day!!

 

 

{friday five} Spread Joy

{friday Five} Spread Joy

My blood pressure is low. Always has been. My family jokes that I don’t even qualify as living! But, boy, every time I go on Facebook lately, my blood pressure rises. I don’t know about you, but I have enough things in my life to raise my blood pressure–I don’t need Facebook to add to it!

Yesterday I decided to fill my feed with happy things. I want to spread joy. We all have so many problems, and Facebook is a way for us to come together, feel connected, and support each other. I want to support you. I hope my Facebook feed as well as my blog is a comfortable spot for you to stop by and hang out, like a comfy couch with a warm, soft blanket. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea and I’ll share virtual cupcakes!

 

Cupcakes in Frankenmuth

 

So here’s my Spread Joy Friday Five!

1. Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” I could meditate on this verse all day long. Maybe I should!

2. Zoo animals. Feeling very burned out, I headed to the Toledo Zoo on Wednesday. The wolves were playing. Polar bear was napping. Hippo was smiling. Yes, the hippo smiled at me! Here are some photos.
Polar Bear

Wolf at Toledo Zoo

Smiling Hippo at Toledo Zoo

3. Late autumn roses. Oh, so beautiful!! I’m sad they’ll be gone soon.
Rose

4. The Pioneer Woman’s Sour Cream Noodle Bake. My family loves this dish. It’s delicious and really simple to put together! The recipe is linked if you’d like to try it!

5. “Back to Manhattan” by Norah Jones. Melancholy, soothing and a little heartbreaking. It fits this time of year with the falling leaves and cooler nights. Maybe an odd choice to spread joy, but listening to it does something good to my soul.

 

Well, that’s my Friday Five. I’m looking forward to this weekend!

What brings you joy this week?

There is still time to enter the giveaway of Alison Stone’s Pointe and Shoot! Here’s the entry form with easy options!!

 

 

The Inside Scoop with Alison Stone and a Giveaway!

The Inside Scoop With Alison Stone And A Giveaway!

Today Alison Stone is graciously answering questions about her writing life. Alison writes for Waterfall Press and Love Inspired Suspense, and her new book, Pointe and Shoot, is available in stores and online. Alison is graciously giving away one paperback copy. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH ALISON STONE

1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer

I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until after my first child was born. I kept seeing those ads in women’s magazines about writing children’s books. Remember those? I’m talking twenty years ago. Anyway, I signed up to take an online creative writing class. From there, my love of writing grew. I switched my focus from attempting to write for children to eventually getting published in novel-length fiction with both Harlequin and Waterfall Press.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

I’m not sure my process is unique. As a former engineer, I want more than anything to be able to plot out the entire book and then sit down and write it. But, that never seems to be the case. I have a general idea, a few plot points, and then I start to write. I get some of my best ideas while writing. So, even though I can’t seem to plot everything out beforehand, my process seems to work. I also do a lot of rewriting. That’s okay, too. By the time I have a rough draft, I finally know the entire story and I really enjoy the editing process at this stage.

 

3. What inspired your book?

Pointe and Shoot is what we writers like to call “the book of my heart.” I broke into fiction writing romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. I enjoy writing for Harlequin, but I knew Pointe and Shoot wouldn’t work for this line. It’s what I like to call my “Dance Moms” meets “Blue Bloods” book. (You know, the cop show with Tom Selleck?) Anyway, both my daughters were competitive dancers at the time. (One still is!) If anyone knows what it’s like to take their children to any activity five or six days a week, you also start to live and breathe the activity – whether it’s hockey, gymnastics, dance or whatever. The idea of setting a murder mystery in the dance world wouldn’t leave me. My dance-mom friends even helped me brainstorm titles long before the book was written. Finally, when Amazon Publishing announced they were looking for proposals for their new Christian imprint, I knew this was my chance to submit my dance book idea.

 

4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Despite not working in the corporate world for eighteen-years, I am still an engineer at heart. This means I want everything to have a clear-cut answer. You know, 2 + 2 = 4. However, writing doesn’t work that way and it was difficult for me to adjust. I am a perfectionist at heart (but hardly perfect.) The best advice I’ve ever received is that “you can fix a crappy draft, but you can’t fix a blank page.” (I’m paraphrasing here because the advice I received was much more colorful.) Like I mentioned above, some of my best ideas come during the process of writing, so I’ve learned to get out of my own way and allow myself to “just write.”

 

***

Oh, Alison, I could relate to ALL of your answers! Yes, I do remember those commercials for writing children’s books. I’m impressed you signed up for an online course, unlike me who decided I could write one of those romance novels I so enjoyed reading (those early attempts were burn-worthy). And Dance Moms meets Blue Bloods! Perfect!! I’ve been a sports mom for many years, and yes, you can’t help but get immersed in the world. Thanks so much for being my guest!

***

Pointe and Shoot

 

Pointe and Shoot ~

Jayne Murphy has always put family first. That’s why she abandoned her dream of joining the police force to run her ailing mother’s dance studio.
When one of the studio’s most talented instructors dies in a car crash, Jayne isn’t convinced it was just an accident. Relentlessly pursuing her hunch, she teams up with Officer Danny Nolan, the best friend and partner of her brother Patrick, who died in the line of duty. Haunted by Patrick’s death, Danny has begun to question whether he should still be a cop at all.
As Jayne digs deeper, suspects emerge, including the victim’s clingy ex-boyfriend and a jealous foe from the cutthroat dance world. Her evolving insights into the case rekindle Jayne’s passion for police work. Danny, too, feels a renewed sense of purpose…and a definite attraction to his unofficial partner, which seems to be mutual. Now, if Jayne can only keep herself out of harm’s way, she and Danny both might get a second chance—with their careers and each other.

Purchase Pointe and Shoot HERE!

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Giveaway time! Alison is giving away one paperback copy of Pointe and Shoot! Entry form is below.

 

 

(US Residents 18 and older. Giveaway starts 10/12/2016 at 6:00am EST and ends Sunday, 10/16/2016 at 9pm EST. See entry form for complete rules.)

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Alison Stone

 

About Alison ~
With a degree from Georgia Tech, Alison Stone was an engineer in several industries before trading her corporate career for motherhood shortly after the birth of her second child. She became a novelist in a roundabout way, first trying her hand at writing children’s books and articles for local publications before eventually discovering her love of romantic suspense.
Stone lives with her husband of twenty-plus years and their four children in western New York, where the summers are gorgeous and the winters are perfect for curling up with a good book—or writing one.

***

Have you watched Dance Moms or Blue Bloods? Which do you prefer, reality television or scripted?

Have a wonderful day!

Glass City Author Event, Television Interview and Pizza!

This week has been really cool. I got new author pictures taken, my friend Constance Phillips and I were interviewed on a local television program, I’m gearing up for a HUGE book event this weekend AND I’m ordering pizza tonight! I know, I’m pinching myself, too! Pizza is my favorite! Haha!

Back to the other good stuff…

Jill Kemerer TV

I took this right before the television interview!

 

As soon as my fabulous photographer sends me the new author pictures, I’ll share them with you. The television interview was yesterday on WTOL 11 Your Day. Constance Phillips and I chatted with Amanda Fay about our books, our local romance writers group (www.MVRAI.com), and the book event. You can catch it by clicking on the link below!

“Local Writers Take Part in Glass City Author Event”

On to the book event…the HUGE book event…this Saturday!!

The Glass City Author Event is held at the Seagate Center in downtown Toledo, Ohio, from 9am-5pm on October 8, 2016.

There will be over 100 authors signing books! Tickets are required to enter. Here’s the link to buy them, EventBrite, and you can buy tickets at the door, but they are MUCH more expensive. If you’re planning on attending, Constance Phillips and I have adjoining tables (113 and 114) near the entrance, and we’d love to meet you, so stop by!

And then there’s the pizza. Mm…I can’t wait.

What are your weekend plans? Do they involve pizza?

Have a great weekend!!

Articles I Loved This Week – Writer Wednesday

In between my DIY mani-pedi failure and attempting to make decorations for a book event this weekend, I read quite a few blogs this week. We won’t discuss the mani-pedi thing, and I’ll post pictures of the decor and event next week. But in the meantime, I’m sharing links to those fab blogs!

 

Lately I’ve been stretched REAL thin, so Nicole Locke’s post, “Tuesday Talk Time: Time Out, Time In,” was a breath of fresh air. I love her point that when we’re overworked we tend to take a time out, but too much of this and our families suffer. We can find ways to connect with our loved ones AND relax.

For anyone afraid of taking a leap with your career (entering that first contest, finding a critique partner, querying an agent, pitching to an editor, trying a new genre, etc…), this post by Alison Stone on Seekerville, was fabulous! “Things I Learned When I Took a Leap of Faith.”

I always enjoy Laurie Tomlinson’s blog, and she’s sharing her October plans in “October Update.” Check out her super-cute word count tracking method for an upcoming novella!

What’s getting you excited this week? Share with me!

Have a terrific day!!