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The Inside Scoop with Mindy Obenhaus plus Giveaway!

Falling For The Hometown Hero

Today Mindy Obenhaus is graciously answering questions about her writing life. I’m blessed to call her my friend. Mindy writes for Love Inspired, and her new book, Falling for the Hometown Hero, is available in stores and online. It’s a terrific book. Don’t be jealous that I got to read it already! Mindy is giving away one paperback copy of Falling for the Hometown Hero. The easy entry form is below, and the contest runs until June 5, 2016 at 9pm! I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH MINDY OBENHAUS

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

Actually, I never imagined I’d be a writer. It wasn’t even blip on my radar. Then, as my kids got older and I had more time to read, something happened. Like a switch flipping in my brain. I doubted it at first, but figured the only way I would know if I could write was to actually do it. So I did and it quickly became my passion.

2. What is unique about your process?

Hmm… I’m not sure there’s anything unique, although my husband is amazed that I’m able to keep so many people and stories straight in my head.

3. What inspired your book?

The story changed a lot from its inception, but my original spark was when my daughter served in the U.S. Navy. I thought it would be cool to have a heroine who was former military.

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

Never stop learning. One never gets so good at writing that they stop learning the craft.

 

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Mindy, that’s wild that you never had the urge to write, and yet you’re such an amazing writer! You do keep a lot of imaginary people in your head straight. Haha! I’m impressed your daughter wanted to join the Navy. I’m afraid of a twenty minute boot camp video. Your advice is terrific. I’m always learning! Thank you so much for being my guest today!

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Falling for the Hometown Hero

The Soldier’s Second Chance
After returning home wounded from an IED attack, former soldier Kaleb Palmer is hailed as a hero. But survivor’s guilt makes him feel like a fraud. He hopes setting up a business in Ouray, Colorado, will give him a purpose and help him forget. But his new office manager has her own plans. Grace McAllen brings light and hope wherever she goes, and she’s getting Kaleb to open up. As she helps him make Mountain View Jeep Tours a success, Kaleb realizes a happy ending is in reach, if he can convince Grace to stay in town—and his life—forever.

Interested in buying Falling for the Hometown Hero? Purchase from Amazon!

 

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Enter to win a paperback copy of Falling for the Hometown Hero!

US residents 18 and older. See official rules in entry form.

 

 

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Mindy Obenhaus

About Mindy ~

It took Mindy Obenhaus forty years to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up. But once God called her to write, she never looked back. She’s passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. Mindy is a two-time finalist for American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Find more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.

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Have you ever gotten the urge to do something you never considered? Did you go for it? I’d love to hear your story!

Have a wonderful day!

The Inside Scoop with Sarah Sundin and a Giveaway!

Anchor In The Storm

Today Sarah Sundin is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Sarah writes Christian WWII romance novels for Revell, and her new book, Anchor in the Storm, is available in stores and online. Sarah has graciously agreed to give away one copy of Anchor in the Storm! The easy entry options are below! Contest is open until Sunday, May 15 9pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below.
Let’s get to it!

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH SARAH SUNDIN

 

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

I’m odd for a writer—in many ways. I didn’t always want to be a writer. Although I loved reading, I was drawn to science and became a pharmacist. Then in 2000, I woke up from a dream that was so compelling. I knew it was a novel, and I had no choice but to write it down. Since then, the story ideas have flowed. I often say it’s as if God flipped on the writing switch in my brain! I hope He never turns it off. I’m completely addicted.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

It’s probably my scientific background, but I have a long pre-writing process. I fill out thorough character charts (my favorite part!) and plot charts before I start writing. Some writers find an outline stifles their creativity, but it unleashes mine. By the time I start my rough draft, I know my characters and story so well that the story flies! I don’t get writer’s block, and editing is a fairly quick process.

 

3. What inspired your book?

My husband is also a pharmacist. A few years ago, he became the pharmacy manager at a local drugstore in the thick of the current narcotic abuse epidemic. He began cracking down on suspicious and illegal prescriptions—and he’s even called the police for a few forgeries! Well, my little novelist’s brain began churning. What if he angered the wrong people in the drug world? A little twist, and I had Anchor in the Storm, where a female pharmacist begins noticing suspicious prescriptions—and uncovers a drug ring. And of course, I set it in World War II.

 

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

In 2001, I was blessed to attend a writers’ conference where Lauraine Snelling was teaching the fiction track. She introduced me to the hero’s journey (Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey), and it revolutionized my writing. Understanding solid story structure allowed me to tackle plotting, which I always struggle with.

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Sarah, I’m so impressed you remembered the dream and actually wrote a book about it! I tend to forget my dreams within minutes of waking up. I’ve heard of Christopher Vogler’s book, but I’ve never read it. I’m adding it to my study list–thank you! Congratulations on your new book, too. The plot sounds amazing, and the cover is so gorgeous!!

 

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Anchor in the Storm

 

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy—even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Interested in purchasing Anchor in the storm?  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook.com 

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Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm (May 2016). Her novel Through Waters Deep was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. http://www.sarahsundin.com

Giveaway open to US residents 18 years and older. See entry form for complete rules.

 

 

Have you ever had a dream so vivid you thought it could be a book?

Have a terrific day!

 

The Inside Scoop with Connilyn Cossette!

Counted With The Stars

Today Connilyn Cossette is graciously answering questions about her writing life. Connilyn’s new book, Counted with the Stars, is available in stores and online. I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH CONNILYN COSSETTE

 

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

When I was thirteen years old I read Gone with the Wind. I read the entire book, in one day, when I was home sick from school. I still remember the sun coming up and the birds welcoming the dawn as I turned that last page. Gone with the Wind awakened my curiosity for history, as well as a passion for historical fiction. In fact, I was so inspired that when I found out Margaret Mitchell had died before writing the sequel, I pulled notebook paper out of my Trapper-Keeper (which dates me), uncapped a green pen, and started writing it for her. I can still see that first scene in my mind—Scarlett sitting on the porch at Tara with her head in Mammy’s lap, bemoaning the loss of Rhett. Although it took many more years and quite a few detours before I realized my dream of becoming an author, I consider that first page (which I dearly wish I still had) the beginning of my writing career.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

When I first started writing a few years ago, I had absolutely no clue how to write a book. So I wrote the story as it came to me—no outline, no pre-plotting, just pure “seat-of-the-pants” writing. My process has transformed a bit over time. I now develop a general outline that I organize in Scrivener before adding scenes and details—I am still a bit of a “pantser” but more in layers. I tend to edit as I go, because I am a perfectionist, but then go back and layer in sensory details, body language and metaphors etc. I also use a process called mind-mapping, where I take a blank piece of paper, write an idea or a character in the center and then just brainstorm scenes or backstory or whatever comes to mind. It’s been an invaluable tool that allows my creative-brain to take over without being chained to structure. I also read the entire book out loud to myself during the editing process, to check for language cadence and catch those things that my eye doesn’t catch when skimming through. By the time I have finished a book, I have read it out loud to myself at least twice.

 

3. What inspired your book?

Counted with the Stars was inspired by a study I was doing on my own into Exodus and the roots of my faith. I ran across the verse in Exodus 12:38 that said “a mixed multitude went up with them.” I thought to myself—who were these people that went with the Hebrews on the Exodus? I wondered whether some of them might be Egyptian and what would have inspired them to follow an invisible God into the wilderness when all they had ever known were the gods of Egypt? Kiya’s story began as a product of my own curiosity about the motivations by those we would call “Gentiles” who journeyed with the Hebrews.

 

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

One of my favorite techniques that I learned from a class by Tosca Lee at the ACFW conference is to write with my eyes closed. This way I can “see” the scene playing out in my head and really delve into my story-world. At times it makes for some interesting spelling and a bit of translation when I am finished, but it is such a great way to ensure the sensory details are vibrant.

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Connilyn, I loved Trapper-Keepers! And Gone with the Wind is a lo-o-ong book to read in one day. I’m impressed! I wish you still had that sheet, too. I always read my books out loud, too. I’m amazed at what I catch. Mind-mapping is a great idea! And I’ve never tried writing with my eyes closed. I’m intrigued… Thank you so much for being my guest!

 

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Counted with the Stars

A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

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About Connilyn:

 

Connilyn Cossette

 

When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kiddos (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on scraps of paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Texas where she loves the people but misses mountains, tall trees and barefoot-soft green grass. Connilyn was the winner of the 2013 My Book Therapy Frasier Contest and an ACFW 2013 Genesis Semi-Finalist. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars : Out from Egypt Series, released this week. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Interested in the book? Buy it HERE!

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Have you ever read a book and wanted to continue the story yourself?

 

Reminder: Thursday, April 7, 2016 twelve Love Inspired authors are hosting a virtual party! We’d love for  you to join us! It’s from 8pm-10pm Eastern time, and we’re each giving away one copy of our books! (Giveaways are US only 18+) Here’s the Event link: http://www.facebook.com/events/1129066513784555/ Just click “Going” to RSVP!

Have a terrific day!

The Inside Scoop with Linda Rodante

Amber Alert

Today Linda Rodante is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Linda’s new book, Amber Alert, is available now. I have all the links and book info below!
Let’s get to it!

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA RODANTE

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

I started reading Nancy Drew Mysteries when I was twelve—loved them and decided I might have to write! I began writing soon after and continued through high school, college, and marriage. After I accepted the Lord at twenty-seven, I realized nothing in my writing reflected God, so I threw everything away. I decided if God ever wanted me to write again, He would let me know. Thirty years later, the desire to praise Him with a Christmas short-story was all I needed. After I wrote that, I continued; but this time, I wanted to write stories that would reflect His love and goodness.

2. What is unique about your process?

Often, I write while youtube praise and worship videos play in the background. I switch back and forth—praising God with the videos and then writing again.

3. What inspired your book?

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, and I wanted to show God’s love for us by writing a love story within that framework. Of course, it had to have a mystery, too. Amber Alert is that book, and it’s Book One of the Dangerous Series.

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

Don’t give up. I know people have heard that before, but keep on writing, keep on reading writing books, keep going to critique groups and conferences (if you can). Just keep on.

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Linda, I loved reading Nancy Drew (when I could get my hands on them) novels too! I also loved the Bobbsey Twins, and pretty much every book that I opened. Your series sounds so intriguing–Dangerous Series! Mm-mm! I’m with you on the advice. Read. Write. Learn. Repeat. 🙂 Thanks so much for being my guest!

 

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Amber Alert

 

Sharee Jones just wants a partner with whom she can serve the Lord. She didn’t plan on getting involved with a man who resents God, didn’t plan on the mutilated dolls or the threatening notes interfering with her Christmas program—and with the child who’s to play baby Jesus. She thought God’s hand was in it, but how can it be, when everything she hoped and prayed for is crashing down?

John Jergenson thought taking the maintenance job at his cousin’s church meant leaving his guilt-ridden past behind. But he hadn’t counted on Sharee and her program, hadn’t counted on her laugh or the warmth in her hazel eyes. And he certainly hadn’t counted on her wanting to know the truth about his past life. He wants to leave, but Sharee could be in danger; and if he runs again, will he ever forgive himself?
Purchase AMBER ALERT (linked)!

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Linda Rodante

About Linda ~

Born and raised in Florida, Linda loves the salt water, the sun and the swamp lands. She and her husband live in Tarpon Springs, FL. She has two sons. Her mother was a missionary to Israel and Indonesia, and her younger son has followed in those footsteps. He and his family are missionaries in Botswana, Africa. Her other son is a PA at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC.

After becoming a Christian, Linda lead prayer and women’s groups at her church, worked with Concerned Women for America, and was a Center Director for the Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County. Since, 2008, she has been a speaker with the Tampa Bay area’s Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking Task Force (now called FREE). Her blog Writing for God, Fighting Human Trafficking can be found at http://lindarodante.wordpress.com/.
Her author’s blog is at http://lindarodante.com/ Her books have won finalist and semifinalist awards with the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis and First Impressions Contests.

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What books influenced you as a child?

 

Have a terrific day!

The Inside Scoop with Davalynn Spencer!

The Cowboy's Bride

Today Davalynn Spencer is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Davalynn’s novella, “The Wrangler’s Woman” is included in Barbour’s The Cowboy’s Bride collection available in stores and online. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it!

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH DAVALYNN SPENCER

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

I knew I not just wanted, but had to be a writer in the sixth grade when I was compelled to put everything into words: how I felt, how something looked, sounded, tasted—you get the idea.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

I doubt that my process is unique, but I tend to work off of flash videos that shoot through my brain in the form of a story. Sometimes, it’s an opening scene to a book; sometimes it’s the final scene. Ideas come during the most unexpected moments, such as when I’m sitting in the parking lot of the local diner/gas station watching a woman in her car talking on her cell phone. Wham—a story idea. That’s when I have to rush home and get it all down on paper before I forget it.

 

3. What inspired your book?

When the call-out came from Barbour Publishing for novellas to be included in their Cowboy’s Bride collection, I knew I had to be part of that deal. After all, I married a cowboy. I could do this! Research takes an historical author to some pretty fun places, and I had recently learned about a nearby crossroads area called Texas Creek, named after the creek that flows into the Arkansas River at that point. However, in 1881, it was known as Ford Junction. Bingo. The setting for my cowboy novella.

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

The best writing I ever received is to not quit. Don’t give up. Get discouraged? Okay, maybe for a day or two. But after that, cowboy-up and start the next story, or rewrite the one you’re working on. Just. Don’t. Stop. Writing.

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Davalynn, sixth grade!! That is amazing! I love that you knew so early. And I also enjoyed hearing about your “flash video” process. It’s so fun learning how authors work with ideas. By the way, I’m a big fan of cowboys. 🙂 Thanks so much for being my guest today!

 

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The Cowboy's Bride

 

One of nine novellas in The Cowboy’s Bride, “The Wrangler’s Woman” tells the story of widowed rancher Josiah Hanacker who hires spinster Corra Jameson as a lady-trainer for his young daughter, Jess. He fears losing Jess to his wife’s sister if the girl doesn’t meet her aunt’s ladylike expectations. Turns out, Corra has everything Josiah needs for his daughter. He just never figured she’d have what he needed for himself.

Interested in purchasing The Cowboy’s Bride Collection? Click here for Amazon!

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Davalynn Spencer

About Davalynn ~

Multi-published author Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. She is the 2015 recipient of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Inspirational Fiction, second place winner in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a 2014 finalist for the Holt Medallion and Selah Awards. As a former rodeo-market and newspaper reporter, she has won several journalistic awards and has over 100 articles, interviews, and devotionals published in national periodicals. She teaches Creative Writing at Pueblo Community College and pens a popular slice-of-life column for a mid-size daily newspaper. Davalynn makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue and two mouse detectors, Annie and Oakley. Connect with her online at her website, www.davalynnspencer.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

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What fun place have you visited? (I’m a sucker for Mackinaw Island up in Michigan!)

Have a great day!

The Inside Scoop with Belle Calhoune and a Giveaway!

Today Belle Calhoune is  graciously answering questions about her writing life and giving away a paperback copy of her new book, Alaskan Reunion! Belle writes for Harlequin Love Inspired, and Alaskan Reunion is available in stores and online. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

The Inside Scoop with Belle Calhoune

 

Belle Calhoune

 

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

I grew up in Massachusetts across the street from a Public Library, so from the time I was very little, books were deeply embedded in my heart. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of being a writer. I knew deep down in my soul that it was my destiny. It’s funny but it seems as if I always knew. I honestly can’t remember a time that I didn’t dream about it. When you constantly have stories running through your head, there aren’t many paths you can follow other than writing. As a kid I was really inspired by books such as Where the Wild Things Are, Ramona the Pest, Phyllis Whitney books, and of course, once I was a teen, Harlequin romances.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

Hmm. I’m not sure if it’s unique but I’m a big brainstormer. I love to take colored pens and markers and create a huge storyboard. Since I’m working
on a series for Love Inspired called “Alaskan Grooms” it’s really fun for me to chart the characters and their back story and relationships. I’m also an author who loves creating names for my characters. So I have a baby book that I delve into from time to time that lists wonderful, creative names. I also go to my author Facebook page and get help from time to time from my readers. They’re the best! They’ve helped me out a time or two. I also love to read aloud my words. It really helps me by hearing how they sound out loud. At times I can really get into it. If something doesn’t sound right, I go back in and fix it.

 

3. What inspired your book?

To be honest, I don’t really like secret baby stories. It always seems so wrong to have a parent miss out on those precious weeks and months of their child’s life. Because of this, I decided to write a secret baby story to challenge myself. As a writer I think it’s fun to challenge ourselves to do the very thing that scares us or takes us to a point of almost being uncomfortable. That’s where true growth as a writer comes from. Once I decided to write that trope, I wanted to create a story about hurt people who made decisions based on that hurt. And I love the theme of forgiveness. It always seems to pop up in my books. I think there is such power and grace in granting forgiveness. I always try and remind myself of that in my personal life.

 

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

Finish the book! So many people want to write a book and they end up working really hard but not making the goal of finishing it. An unfinished book cannot be sold to a publisher, especially when you’re just starting out and an editor-publisher needs a completed work in order to make a contract offer. Trust me, they want to see that authors can finish. As hard as the task may be, writers need to finish their novel. It helps create credibility in the industry, and as authors it gives us a sense of accomplishment to know that we completed the project.

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Alaskan Reunion

A Baby Between Them

After her father’s betrayal turned her hometown against her, Paige Reynolds fled Love, Alaska. Now she’s returned to mend the damage her dad’s actions caused. But repairing her broken heart is a different story. She must face Cameron Prescott, the man she left behind—and reveal he’s the father of her infant daughter. As Cameron falls in love with his baby girl, he can’t bury the growing feelings for her mother. In a time of turmoil, they turned on one another. But older and wiser, can Cameron and Paige learn that forgiveness may lead to their happily-ever-after?

 

Click Here to Purchase Alaskan Reunion!

 

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About Belle ~

Belle Calhoune grew up in a small town in Massachusetts as one of five children. Growing up across the street from a public library was a huge influence on her life and fueled her love of romance novels. Belle is the author of six Harlequin Love Inspired novels with a 7th, Christmas-themed book coming out in 2016. She has Indie published the popular Inspirational romance series, Seven Brides, Seven Brothers. Her new Indie Series, the Secrets of Savannah is a spin-off of her debut series. A best-selling Amazon author and winner of the Angeline Bishop award for Multicultural Romance, Belle loves writing romance and crafting happily ever afters. When she’s not wrangling her two high maintenance dogs or spending time with her family, Belle enjoys travel and exploring new places.
Facebook: Author Belle Calhoune

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Belle is giving away one paperback copy of Alaskan Reunion! Easy entry options are below.

Contest giveaway open to US Residents 18 years and older. Winner will be chosen via GiveawayTools.com on February 28, 2016 at 9pm. Winner will be notified via email. See entry form for complete rules.

 

 

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Did you borrow books from the library as a child? I did all the time!

Have a terrific Day!

The Inside Scoop with Julie Jarnigin: Writer Wednesday

The Wedding Barn

Today  Julie Jarnigin is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Julie’s new sweet contemporary romance, The Wedding Barn, is available now. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH JULIE JARNIGIN

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

I did speech and drama in high school and really enjoyed writing original speeches. That led me to believe I wanted to write non-fiction. When my writing professor my sophomore year of college assigned us to write a short story, I wasn’t looking forward to it. My story was a mess. I accidentally changed the name of the main characters mid-story! The poor woman. She probably read a lot of terrible writing that day. But when I got my assignment back, she’d written, “Hang onto this story” at the top of the page. That was the first time I’d ever even considered fiction. After that, I fell in love with writing novels, and I haven’t looked back.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

Almost ten books into this writing journey, I think every process has been a little different. I’m always trying something new. I’ve done intensive plotting. I’ve done complete seat-of-the-pants writing. I’ve written a rough draft in two weeks. I’ve written a rough draft in two years. And honestly, I still don’t feel like I’ve found the “best” way…because writing is hard! It’s a challenge. Maybe that’s what keeps me interested.

 

3. What inspired your book?

Weddings on Pinterest inspired this book. My heroine, Paige, was a wedding planner in Dallas who ends up living and working on a ranch. My wedding was nice, but it was 15 years ago—pre-Pinterest! This book gave me a fun opportunity to dream up all kinds of fun weddings.

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

Writers write! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in blogging, social media, conferences, writing groups, etc. and not leave any time for actual writing. And I would say that making time for reading is equally important. There’s something about consistently reading great novels that gives writers an eye for good story and writing that captures readers.

***

Julie, I’m nodding to everything you said! I feel sorry for the people who read my first attempts at fiction, too! And I’m always trying new things. Some books come easily while others do not. Pinterest relaxes me. The engagement photos get me every time. Thanks so much for being my guest!

***

 

The Wedding Barn

 

Paige Morgan’s career is in shambles. What kind of wedding planner gets left at the altar? So when a job planning parties on a ranch in rural Texas comes her way, she jumps at it. So what if the cowboy who runs the place isn’t happy she’s there?

Rancher Nick Reid risked his heart once… and lost. Who needs love? He’s got a great life on the family ranch—so long as Paige Morgan and her city ideas don’t ruin it all. If only his family didn’t need her help to save their livelihood. And if only he wasn’t so darned drawn to the woman. But no sooner does Nick start to believe in love again, than a socialite shows up looking for Paige. Asking her to plan an elaborate wedding. Back in the city.

Both Paige and Nick need a second chance at love. But what will it cost them to take it?

 

Interested in purchasing The Wedding Barn? Retailers are linked below!

Amazon      |      Barnes & Noble      |      iBooks      |      Kobo

 

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Julie Jarnigin

About Julie ~

Julie Jarnagin is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Sign up for her newsletter (linked) to be the first to learn about new releases and free books. www.JulieJarnagin.com.

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Do you swoon over wedding pictures? Sometimes I’m tempted to buy a bridal magazine because the layouts are so pretty!

 

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

The Inside Scoop with Mary Alford: Writer Wednesday

Today Mary Alford is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Mary writes for Love Inspired Suspense, and her new book, Rocky Mountain Pursuit, is available in stores and online. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH MARY ALFORD

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

 

For me, becoming a writer kind of evolved from being an avid reader. I can’t remember exactly when I first started reading, but when I did, I realized I couldn’t put a book down. The stories drew me in and transported me to wonderful places. I was a true bookworm.

Early on, I discovered Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Mysteries and loved them. Then a few years later, I was introduced to Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and I was hooked on the romantic suspense genre. I loved the mystery and the drama along with the love stories these two iconic women blended into their books. I couldn’t wait to get to the last page to see how the book turned out.

That’s when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first book when I was a tween, (it’s tucked away in a drawer somewhere never to see the light of day).

But for me, the dream of becoming a published author came much later. Although I continued to create stories in my head, it wasn’t until 2012 when I entered the So You Think You Can Write contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and sold Forgotten Past. It still seems surreal. It was a dream come true for me.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

 

I’ve always been a seat of my pants writer, although I’m trying to be more organized.

My writing process goes something like this. I’ll see or read about something that sparks my imagination and gives me an idea for a book. From there, I let the story play out in my head for a bit and then I sit down with my laptop to put words on the page. I don’t care how well planned out you have the book, staring at a blank page for the first time can be intimidating. And it never fails, the story I had in my mind doesn’t quite come to life exactly as planned, but that’s okay. I figure my characters have their own idea of how they want their story to end.

 

3. What inspired your book?

 

I love spy stories. I think if I had chosen another career path in life it would have been a spy. I love the danger and intrigue, the life and death decisions spies are forced to make. Then there’s the romance… Living life on the edge has a way of clearing away the clutter in life. It shows you what’s really important.

Rocky Mountain Pursuit is about a former spy who is forced to live under an alias because some very bad people are trying to kill him. When Reyna Peterson, the widow of his former comrade comes to him for help, Jase Bradford doesn’t hesitate to assist, even though it means risking his life and blowing his cover. Jase is a true man of valor.

 

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

 

The hardest to do at times. Keep writing and don’t give up. If you are really a writer, then you can’t help but write. Every author I know was rejected before they became published. Some many times. If you give up, you’ll never know what might have been.

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Mary, I’m nodding at how fabulous authors hooked you on a genre. For me it was Jodi Thomas and Stephanie Laurens, both historical romance authors. I still love reading historical romance, but I don’t write it! I think it’s really cool you’d be a spy if you weren’t a writer. Something tells me you practice on your downtime. Am I right? *wink, wink* Thank you so much for being my guest!

 

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The Inside Scoop with Mary Alford

 

IDENTITY: CONFIDENTIAL

Everyone believes agent Jase Bradford is dead—everyone but Reyna Peterson. Only he can protect her now that someone wants the information her CIA husband died to secure. As the one member of their spy team not killed, Jase must remain in the shadows. Yet when Reyna leads the enemy right to his mountain refuge and blows his cover, Jase risks his life for hers. As his best friend’s beautiful widow scales the walls around his heart, whether out of loyalty or love, he makes it his duty to secure her safety. But when their pursuers trap them in the snowy Colorado mountains, will it become his final mission?

Interested in purchasing Rocky Mountain Pursuit?

Buy from Harlequin!

Buy from Amazon!

 

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Mary Alford

About MARY  ~

Mary Alford was inspired to become a writer after reading romantic suspense greats Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith came naturally for Mary. In 2012 Mary entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. Writing for Love Inspired Suspense has been a dream come true for Mary. Visit Mary’s website!

 

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So…would you make a great spy? Why or why not?

(I’d be a terrible spy. I’m no good at lying, and my eyes give EVERYTHING away!!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

 

The Inside Scoop with Carla Laureano

Today Carla Laureano is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Carla writes contemporary inspirational romance novels, and her new novella, Jilted, is available now–for free!! Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH CARLA LAUREANO

 

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

 

I’m not sure I could pinpoint the exact moment. I’ve always been a reader (and a very early one at that) so I think it was a natural extension of my interest in stories to start writing my own. The first short story I can really remember writing was when I was six or seven, and I simply never stopped—though I’ll admit I’ve gone through various genres over the years.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

 

I think every writer’s process is different, but I suppose what’s unique about mine is that every book demands a slightly different process. Some of my books, I’ve sat down and written from start to finish in a few weeks. Others have been subjected to fits and starts, where I got 25% into the book and decided to start over from scratch. Some of them get plotted ahead of time, and others are written completely by the seat of my pants. I think the only consistent factor across all of them is that I enter the writing phase with a full biographical background and character sketch for each character. Once I know how the character will react to any situation, it’s much easier to make sure their actions and reactions feel authentic.

 

3. What inspired your book?

 

Jilted came from a random idea I’d jotted down in Evernote over a year ago, originally intending it to be the first book in a category length series. When I came back to it, I decided it wasn’t a topic that I wanted to explore over the course of fifty or sixty thousand words, but it would make a perfect novella. As far as the tropical setting, when I began to write, Colorado had been subjected to a cold and gloomy stretch of weather—I must have been mentally ready for a sunny vacation, virtual or otherwise!

 

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

Believe it or not, it was to study something other than creative writing! In college, my favorite professor and faculty advisor, knowing I wanted to be a professional writer, recommended that I study English literature instead of creative writing. He suggested that I develop my own voice first, while learning the principles of storytelling and characterization from great writers past and present. Then I could go back and learn to be an effective self-editor. I think it was good advice, because when I look back on my college writings, my voice is recognizably the same, even though I’ve much improved in my craft. Learning to look at my own work with a critical eye as an editor rather than a writer is probably the greatest skill I’ve acquired.

 

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Carla, I’m fascinated that you have such different writing processes with each book. I’m guessing it makes writing an adventure! It’s taken me years to develop my critical self-editing eye, so I agree with you about it being a great skill. Now I’m curious…who are your favorite English Literature authors? Thanks so much for being my guest today!

 

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Jilted

 

About Jilted

 

Three days. Two jaded hearts. One unexpected love.

Bethany Hall is hiding out on a remote private island off the coast of Belize, creating romantic meals for the rich and the privileged. But when her client Derek Moretti’s bride jilts him at the altar, he’s left with a bitter view on love, a $30,000 a week bungalow, and for the first time in his life, nowhere else to be.

After Derek overhears his beautiful personal chef talking about how he dodged a bullet when his bridezilla left him, he begins to think that maybe she’s right. He convinces Bethany to act as his personal tour guide for the remainder of his trip, but neither expect that their purely platonic arrangement could shake their preconceptions about love.

Could Derek have been in the right place at the right time…just with the wrong woman?

 

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Carla Laureano

 

About Carla

 

Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.

Connect with her: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Subscribe to Carla’s newsletter and download Jilted for free! Click HERE for more details.

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The cover of Jilted makes me want to fly to Aruba and spend the week at the beach! If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?

Have a fabulous day!

 

 

Writer’s Life: Mary Ellis

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Mary Ellis. I met Mary several years ago at a book signing in Toledo, Ohio. She and Jody Hedlund signed their latest releases, and it was so delightful to spend time with both of them! Mary is so warm and kind. I wish everyone could meet her. I’ve enjoyed watching her career–she is a very prolific and terrific (hey, that rhymes!) author. Her new mystery series, Secrets of the South, kicks off with Midnight on the Mississippi. More details to follow!

Let’s get to it.

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

When characters take the initiative and change the direction or tone of the story. I love characters that become larger than life for me. It makes the daily word count so much easier.

 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Stepping back a little and not working such long days. Due to commitments, I had geared up to be uber-productive for the past several years. Now I need to slow myself down and let life return to a more normal pace. My husband insists on this, and I’m more than ready.

 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

I work in my yard or take long walks with my dog. It does both of us good! I talk to Miss Chloe about my characters, while she wags her tail in support or sympathy. But the time we get back, I’m ready to tackle my story again and Miss Chloe? She’s ready for yet another nap.

 

4. What are you working on now?

I’m putting the finishing touches on book 2 of the Secrets of the South Mysteries. Set in Memphis, What Happened on Beale Street is about the death of a talented blues musician and a pair of old friends who come to town to solve his murder. It will release in February.

 

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Wow, Mary, your new series looks amazing! I love what you said about letting the characters take over. That’s a great feeling. I’m glad you’re ready to slow down a bit, but I have to say I’m so impressed with how productive you’ve been. You have so many published novels!! Congratulations, and thanks for being my guest!

 

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Midnight on the Mississippi

 

 

What lies beneath the black water of the bayou?

Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day.

 

Interested in buying Midnight on the Mississippi? Click here!

 

 

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Mary Ellis

 

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. The second set in Memphis, What Happened on Beale Street, will release in Feb. 2016. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or Facebook.

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Have you spent time down south? Do you live there? What about it appeals the most to you?

(For me, it’s warm weather. I get tired of winter!!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

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