Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Your Word?

This Saturday I'm speaking at a women's retreat at Harvest Christian Fellowship in North Platte, NE. I'd love to have you join us!

But as I was sitting in church yesterday, I started thinking about what I would be talking about. The pastor and I were on the same page, since he was talking about the rocks of remembrance God has the Children of Israel take from the Jordan River when they crossed into Canaan.

One of the things I plan to do with the ladies is ask them to consider what God has done in their past. How has He moved? What does He want them to remember so they'll have the courage to go forward with Him into the future. I give each lady a stone and then have Sharpies up front so they can write on the rock. Then I put a slide up with dozens of possible words on it.

So that got me thinking. What are the words or events that God gives you as anchor points in your faith. The moments that let you know He's been with you with the past and will be there in the future, too?

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Husband Rocks!

I sent off a proposal last week for a series I really want to write. It's World War II. Europe. Art. Need I say more?

I had to revamp the proposal quite a bit before sending it off because the heroine needed to be an American. Quite a change from Italian, but I have completely fallen in love with the revised heroine and her issues. You know she has to have issues!

So I made her a photojournalist. I wanted her to have a unique reason for being in Europe and found some amazing women to base her on. So then I needed a camera that a reporter would have used during that time period. My amazing husband jumped on Google and had the perfect camera in two shakes.

But not only did he find a camera that would work great. He also bought one for me! I had no idea, until he handed it to me last night. His reasoning? A photo and description wouldn't be enough to let me know what the heroine was holding and using. I love this man.

And can I just say, he's right. Out of the gate, the thing that surprised me is how heavy the camera is. That's something I would have never guessed from looking at photos. It's small, but it won't fit in a small purse. But I can definitely imagine her developing the film in a helmet like some of the photojournalists did!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There You'll Find Me Review


This book was so good we're going to give your two perspectives. Today, my daughter is writing the review. Come back later for my review and a giveaway.

Here's my daughter's review:

AMAZING. It's very well-written. Jenny takes you to Ireland with the main character Finley Sinclair. Finley heads to Ireland for a foreign exchange program, but she's really there to find peace. Her dead brother spent his senior year in Ireland and she wants to recreate his experience and find his peace.

On the way, she ends up seated next to Beckett Rush, THE heart throb of vampire movies. She walks away, thinking she'll never see him again, only to find he's staying at the B&B her host family owns.

Finely is desperately trying to lose weight -- about the only thing in her world she thinks she can control. Between a foster grandma who is dying, a cross she can't find, and an audition that is bearing down on her, she needs something she can control. After reading this multi-layered book, I can't wait to read more of Jenny's YA titles. It's AMAZING.



If you've read Jenny's Save the Date, Finley is Alex Sinclair's little sister. There You'll Find Me is filled with such raw emotion and longing that I couldn't put it down. Don't let the YA categorization keep you from reading this book. Jenny takes these characters through issues that all of us can relate to: from the deep need to control our worlds to the search for a place it's safe to be the true me, she shines a light on our deepest needs. Then she masterfully demonstrates how Christ is the answer to all of our needs and longings. This story does not wrap up neatly, because life is that way. However, at the end you are left with a sense that Finley will be okay, that she will come out the other side a much stronger person...one that God can use.

And the best part? CBD has the book on sale for $6.99. Christmas shopping, folks!

I'm going to give a copy of this away over on my teen blog. Click here if you'd like to enter.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Booksignings: worth doing?

Booksignings are something authors love to do or hate to do. There seems to be very little middle ground. Saturday I had one at a new-to-me store, Open Door Bookstore in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Why would I drive two hours to sell a few books?

1. I want to support the local Christian bookstores. I didn't know this ahead of time, but Open Door is a beautiful free-standing store. It's the kind of store I would shop in and spend lots of money in if we had one locally. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the fiction section was HUGE! If a local store is going to ask me to sign, I will try to make it work. While I was there, I helped sell books and cards. Fun!

2. I sold books. And the people I met had never read my books. In fundraising, we call that donor acquisition. In publishing, I call that reader acquisition. Without readers, publishers aren't going to be interested in more of my books.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside Review

Baby It's Cold Outside takes readers back to the days shortly after World War II. A group of broken people is stranded during a snowstorm, forcing them to spend time together waiting out the storm. In classic Susan May Warren fashion, the author has created a group of characters with wounds that seem destined to keep them apart, but through this forced time together they must choose whether to keep their distance or allow the others into their lives. The lies and hurts seem impenetrable, but what will melt as the cold rages outside?

I loved this book and the way it shows that our past hurts don't have to hold our futures hostage.

Warm up to Chrismtas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.


One festive winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interview with Mary Neely


I am delighted today to have my good friend Mary Connealy, er...Mary Nealy, join us. You've probably seen my reviews of Mary's delightful cowboy romances. Now she has a serial killer suspense releasing. Hence the names. I had to know more and wanted to share her answers with you.

You’re other books have been historicals. What drew you to writing a contemporary suspense? I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. And I had twenty finished books on my computer when I received my first contract. Those books were mainly all romance but within that frame I wrote in all genres. And that included contemporary romantic suspense. I decided at some point in those ten years that if no one would publish my books, I’d just write to entertain myself, so I wrote whatever I wanted that sounded fun. I love writing the cowboys and hope to always get to do that, but changing genres, sweet, suspenseful, contemporary, police procedurals, cozy mysteries, really energizes me and I love doing it.

Serial Killers…not your typical fare. While all your books have intense conflict, why did you find that this was a story you couldn’t walk away from? I was reading about the gifts of the spirit and they were all really familiar. Knowledge, Wisdom, Prophecy, Faith, Healings, Miracles, Discerning of Spirits, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues.

Except I noticed ‘discerning of spirits’. And I wondered about that. I’d never heard of anyone who had that gift. I’d heard of all the others many times. So I started to think about that one rarely referenced gift and wondered what it would be like to have it. What if a person could go up to someone and sense an evil spirit? Out of that came my heroine in Ten Plagues, a lady cop with the gift of discerning spirits who is at a crime scene and senses an evil unlike any she’d ever known. I needed a truly ugly, demonic evil and the serial killer was born.

Research is different for historicals and contemporaries. What did you find especially challenging with this one? My main research for this book was Chicago. Trying to set a book in a big enough city to sustain the big police force, the homeless shelter, a true culture or street people because my serial killer is focusing on an inner city mission pastor. Well, to have an inner city mission pastor, you’ve got to have an inner city. So I needed a city big enough for that and fictionalizing a really big city seemed wrong somehow. So I picked Chicago and then I had to learn about it, at least enough to not make the story ring false. With historical, at this point, because I feel really familiar with the cowboy era, my main research is either the interests of my characters…in my most recent cowboy release my heroine is obsessed with fossils she’s found in a cavern. That took a lot of research. And beyond that I mainly research the plants and animals native to the specific setting. The rest      is pretty much John Wayne movies and Louis L’Amour books.

You are known for your great sense of humor in your writing. Does that show up in this book or did you have to cap it? So what are you saying? Just what are you saying? Just because there’s a demon possessed serial killer in my book it can’t be a lighthearted romantic comedy? Okay, maybe it’s a little more serious. There are comic moments in this book. Have you ever noticed in action adventure movies there are comic breaks? They need them because the intensity is too much to keep a viewer or reader in the book. It’s exhausting. So I have those moments.

Which character was the hardest to write? I seem to struggle with heroes more, mainly because I think it’s easy to slip into clich├ęs with heroes. Tall, dark and handsome. Courageous white nights. I struggled with Pastor Paul quite a bit because I needed him to go through a terrible time that would shake his call to serve at that inner city mission. So he’s hidden himself in a life of pure service. Yes, he’s called to it, but he’s got this burden of guilt because he blames himself for the deaths of his wife and daughter. Part of his growth during the book is learning that he can forgive himself and live a full life and still serve in that mission.

Of all the cities in the United States, why Chicago? I’m not sure really. I think because it’s Midwestern and so am I. I guess I felt more comfortable with the Midwestern mindset, the weather. You know what? I’ve got no idea why Chicago. I suppose it’s too late to change that now.

What did you learn about God as you wrote this book? I remember this verse about the spiritual gifts, along with a lot of proverbs, being really important to me when I was younger. I used to pray hard for the gift of wisdom. I hadn’t thought of that in a lot of years, those old prayers during my teens and my college years. It set me to wondering about wisdom again, wondering what it meant, whether I could claim to have it. (I doubt it!) And I’m praying for that again, wisdom.

Mary, that is so cool! I should join you in that prayer for wisdom! What fact did you learn that surprised you the most? Were you able to incorporate it into the book? These are getting hard. The fact I’m learning right now is, when I try really hard to think of great answers to these interview questions it kinda makes my head ache. I think my brain has atrophied and honestly, I’m dismayed to discover that.


You’re using a pseudonym…why? I am not using a pseudonym to try and hide my identity. That just gets too confusing. What I intend with the pen name is to WARN PEOPLE. I want readers to know, when they pick up this book, they are NOT getting romantic comedy with cowboys. I think a reader is never more unhappy with an author then when their expectations aren’t met. Never is this more true than when they pick up a romance novel and the book doesn’t have a happily ever after. So in that sense, I’m coming through because this is definitely a romance.

But it’s DIFFERENT! Be warned. I hope that if a fan of Mary Connealy picks up Mary Nealy they will not be dismayed, betrayed, waylaid and afraid. (Okay, now I’m a poet—and considering the subject of Ten Plagues, go ahead and BE AFRAID!!!)
Where can people find you on the internet?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love on the Line




This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
Love on the Line
 
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Deeanne Gist
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.


Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities.

After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere.  Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, three RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

Her latest releases, Beguiled, Maid To Match, and Love on the Line are now available.

Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-eight years and their border collie. They have four grown children. Click here to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.  

ABOUT THE BOOK


Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.


Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do.  But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love on the Line, go HERE.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Want to Write for Love Inspired Historical?



Today we're delighted to welcome Emily Rodmell, an editor at Harlequin. If you've ever dreamed of writing for Harlequin, then be sure to keep reading. She's got some great tips for you!

Good morning everyone. I’m Emily Rodmell, and I’m the associate editor for Harlequin’s 3 Love Inspired lines (Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical). I’m here today to talk to you about the great opportunity we have at Love Inspired Historical for new writers. LIH doubled its output from two to four books a month this year, and it’s opened up a whole lot of opportunity for new writers looking to get published. Since the expansion, we’ve published 9 new to LIH authors (many of them debut authors), and we currently have 10 more scheduled to publish by the end of 2012.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Along Wooded Paths Facebook Party


Welcome to the blog tour for book 2 in the Big Sky series from Tricia Goyer,Along Wooded Paths. Already beloved by critics, Along Wooded Paths picks up right where Beside Still Waters ends. Don't miss the continuing story of Marianna Sommer. Tricia will be hosting a Facebook Party and a Live Author Chat on 10/18! RSVP early and don't miss a minute of the fun. (Details below)
Do you live in Ohio or Pennsylvania? Come meet Tricia during her book tour - details here.
“A wonderful story about the Amish and the way they live their lives by the writings of the Bible. Readers will delight in this.” --RT Book Reviews
“A sweet, tender tale that’s sure to please readers. Amish fiction fans will be wanting more from Ms. Goyer!” --AmishHearts.com
“A captivating story . . . the reader can’t wait to turn the page." --Suzanne Woods Fisher, best-selling author, Lancaster County Series
Watch the video trailer:
About Tricia Goyer:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense andThriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books visitwww.triciagoyer.com
About the book:
All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.
As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.
Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.
More about the Facebook Party and Live Author Chat! 
Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She'll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.
Then during the second half of the party she'll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and announcing something BIG! CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A few events...come join me

The next few weeks look a little nutty on the Putman calendar. Consider this your personal invitation to come participate!

On Saturday, October 22nd, I'll be signing my books at Open Door Christian Bookstore in Terre Haute, Indiana. 3125 Third Place, Terre Haute, IN 47802 ·I'll be there from 1-2:30 and would love to have you join me if you're in the area.

From there, I'm traveling to Jewett, Illinois, where I'll be speaking at a women's retreat beginning at four. If you'd like more details on that, please leave a comment. The theme is developing a ruthless trust in God from seeing ourselves as He does to following where He leads.

Then on Saturday, November 5th, I'll be the main speaker at a Women's Retreat at my home church from days of yore in North Platte, Nebraska. Again, if you're in that area, I'd love to have you join us for a day of learning how to be the Princesses God has called and created us to be. I'll also speak on developing our dreams with Him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moments to Soak in...

Some days life stinks.

It just does. We've all had those. Sometimes it's a blink. Sometimes it's a week. Sometimes it's a season.

Other times, life has flashes of hope and days of joy.

And others, there are shadows of things to come.

I think that's where I'm sitting. I had a meeting on Monday that looks like a wide-open door to a dream. And no, it's not writing related. There is more to me than that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011





This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
A Wedding Invitation
 
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Alice Wisler
 
Alice has a great voice for first person, and this book continues to demonstrate that strength. If you enjoy a rich first person story that has depth and writing that pulls you in, then this is a great book for you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties.  Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers.  In her room, she created stories.  The desire to be a published famous author has never left her.  Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).


Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: The Queen


Steven James is my favorite thriller writer, and The Queen did not disappoint.

Patrick Bower is back--this time in Wisconsin where he is tracking the serial killer he first put away as a detective. Now a FBI geographic profiler, he thinks he's closed back in on the man. Before he can close that case he's sent to serve as the lead FBI agent on what looks like a domestic murder-suicide. But things go much deeper than the surface. Before long he is tangled in a web that tangles the past and present and the two cases.

Like his others, The Queen is richly layered. The plots mix and mingle. Tessa, his stepdaughter is back, dealing with ongoing issues from prior cases. Then there's Patrick's brother. His colleagues. Past cases colliding with current cases. All the twists pulled me through the pages. The short chapters make it easy to think just one more page, one more scene. And Patrick and Tessa are familiar characters I like to spend time with. There's a gut-level honesty and vulnerability in the way they act that makes them resonate.

While there are deaths, my husband and I noticed they are less graphic than past novels. These books aren't for the faint of heart though.

Can't wait for the next book!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Recordable Storybooks: Bedtime Prayers & Promises

My friend Tricia Goyer has told me about these recordable books from Dayspring. And then at ACFW she gave me one. Honestly, I was curious to see what they were like, because $29.95 seems steep for a storybook.

This particular storybook (and there are four total right now, you can find them all here.) has seven little devotionals. Each contains a couple paragraphs talking about some aspect of God's character. Then there's a Bible verse and a short prayer. This book has illustrations from the adorable Really Woolly card line.

What makes this series of books unique is that you can record the text in your voice so that when the page is turned you read it to the child. What a great way to connect a child with a distant grandparent. Or I'll use it the next time I have to travel to allow my younger kids to still hear my voice. I did that the low-tech way (a tape and tape recorder) when my oldest was two and I had to travel.

These books would make great baby shower gifts -- especially from close relatives or dear family friends. A great idea.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fun Children's Storybook with Wall Clings

A couple weeks ago I got a book from Kregel that I gave to my youngest daughter. At three, I wanted to see what she would do with this storybook about Noah's Ark. I was drawn to the colorful illustrations, but I wanted to see what she would do with it, especially since she'd just learned the story again in Sunday School.

The story is a well-done rendition of the much-loved story of Noah's Ark. The reading level is targeted at young elementary age with a story that flows well. I love the illustrations -- not quite cartoons, but colorful and simple.

She explored the book for awhile, but what really captured her attention were the wall clings. Before long her seven-year-old brother was helping her create scenes with them. They stuck the stickers, pulled them off, and stuck them again all over the upstairs. The wall clings have done a great job staying on the walls. However, they lose their stickiness quickly when put on other surfaces -- just ask me how I know. 

This would be a great birthday present for a 1 to 4 year-old or even a fun addition to a baby shower gift -- especially if you like to give books like yours truly.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Teaching friendship

Me and my longest running friend Joanna
Friendship is hard work.

Distance can get in the way.

A busy schedule.

Simple drifting apart.

I've been reminded of that this week as I've tried to help my oldest navigate a tricky situation. What a a challenge.

I've been trying to remember what it was like as a tween or early teen. I remember not having tons of friends as a tween. Remember I was a real oddity back in the day because I was homeschooled and there weren't many of us in Nebraska back then -- especially in those tween years.

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