Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Motivated to Write by Kathy Ide | Guest Post

When I attended my first writers’ conference, I had no idea what I was getting into! Most people think writing a book is easy … until they actually try to write for publication. It’s such a long process, filled with discouragements and distractions, setbacks and rejections. Sometimes it would be a lot easier to quit writing than to keep at it.

But if God has called you to write, you can’t quit. Writers’ write. It’s what we do. We can’t help it.

On days when I’m not feeling very motivated, I think about the long-range effects of the tasks God has called me to do. Whether I’m writing something myself, helping a client edit a manuscript, working with writers at a conference, or helping freelance editors develop their own businesses, I’m a small part of a big team of people that God put together to get what He wanted to be written into the hands of the people He knew would need to read it, at precisely the right moment.

What if Jesus’ followers hadn’t written the gospels? You know, Luke opened his book by saying that many others had already written narratives about Jesus’ life, and they were eyewitnesses. Surely Luke must have wondered whether he should bother writing yet another account of the same story. But, he said, “It seemed good to me.” And so he wrote. Luke knew he didn’t have a unique idea, something no one had ever thought of before. But if he hadn’t written his version of the story of Christ’s life, we would not have Luke 2, that beautifully written account of Jesus’ virgin birth.

The only other gospel account we have that even mentions Jesus' birth is Matthew. And he doesn't say anything about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and finding no room for them in the inn. Nothing about a manger. Or shepherds. Or heavenly hosts. Without Luke's writing, most of our favorite Christmas traditions wouldn't even exist. And Charlie Brown’s Christmas special would not be the same!

What if the apostle Paul had decided he was too busy traveling and preaching the good news to write? What if he’d let his “thorn in the flesh,” his failing eyesight, not to mention his imprisonment, keep him from sending letters to the churches? We wouldn’t have any of his powerful epistles from which we gain so much insight into how we are to live our lives as believers.

When I’m mired in discouragement over my writing, I think back to a moment when something I read really touched my heart or changed my life. What if the author of that book or article or short story had decided she was just too busy to write? Or gotten discouraged when she first started out? What if she’d let rejection letters, or the cost of a writers’ conference, or some critical comments from an editor crush her spirit so that she turned her back on God’s calling to write? If she had, then that moment when God touched my heart through that thing I read would never have happened.

Writers have the opportunity to make an impact for eternity. If we don’t write what God has called us to write, and pursue whatever publishing avenues God leads us to pursue, we’ll be denying readers the benefit of the wisdom God has shared with us in our life journeys.

God touches hearts and changes lives through the written word. And I love being part of the behind-the-scenes work that brings about that miracle. When I get to heaven, I’m really looking forward to meeting all the people God reached through the books and articles I helped create … and all the people who were affected by those people’s lives!


I have been writing for publication since 1989. I've written books, short stories, play and movie scripts, devotionals, and Sunday school curriculum. I'm the author of "Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors" (an updated and improved version of "Polishing the PUGS," which is now out of print). I have also written books on "Christian Drama Publishing" and "Typing without Pain."

I do editing and mentoring for aspiring, beginning, intermediate, and established authors. I speak at writers' conferences across the country.

I am the founder and director/coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com)and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kate Breslin & Jeanne M. Dickson | New Novel News

High as the Heavens 
by Kate Breslin

Published: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Bethany House/Baker Publishing
Purchase: High as the Heavens

In 1917, British nurse and war widow Evelyn Marche is trapped in German-occupied Brussels. She works at the hospital by day and as a waitress by night. But she also has a secret: She’s a spy for the resistance. When a British plane crashes in the park, Evelyn must act quickly to protect the injured soldier who has top-secret orders and a target on his back.

Get to know Kate...

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters? 
Actor James Norton and Actress Kaya Scodelario-Davis – dreamy couple!

Favorite season? 
Autumn, with sunny skies and crisp, cool air

Cats or dogs or both? 
Love both, but I’m a Catwoman!

Connect with Kate: http://katebreslin.com/

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Grounded Hearts
by Jeanne M. Dickson

Published: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Purchase: Grounded Hearts

A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.

In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

Get to know Jeanne...

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
Saoirse Ronan as my heroine, Nan. And Aidan Turner as my hero, Dutch.

Who is your favorite secondary character?
Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin.

If you were stranded on an island what are three things you couldn’t live without?
A five star resort. Sunscreen. Internet service.

Connect with Jeanne: http://www.jeannemdickson.com/

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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber | Re:View

Sofi is passionate and real, a beautiful yet broken heroine who shows us what it's like to fight for those you love.


What would you do if the most important person in your life was snatched away? Sofi Snow finds out in Mary Weber's thrilling new Sci-Fi novel, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow.

Coming on the heels of her powerful trilogy (Storm Siren, Siren's Fury, Siren's Song) I wasn't sure what to expect. I could tell that it was science fiction--something I was hugely excited about--and that was about it. I dove headfirst into Sofi's gaming and hacking world and promptly found myself lost in the thrill of what would happen.

Sofi, much like Nym from the Storm Siren trilogy is a strong yet broken character. That's probably one of my favorite things about her. She's passionate and real, a beautiful yet broken heroine who shows us what it's like to fight for those you love. Don't we all wish we could be like that? I find that it's too easy to read a book about someone (especially a female protagonist) who is strong or finds herself in impossible situations and thrust into leadership and then knows exactly what to do. I felt as if Sofi's environment and reactions were accurate to who she was as a character, successes and fumbles. She's not perfect and has made mistakes in the past, but that's part of who she is (and what I assume she'll need to heal from in the future).

On another note, I love how Mary weaves in themes that she is passionate about. Read her note at the beginning of the reviews on Goodreads to see what I mean. I know Mary and I know that she is genuine in her passion for the things she talks about in this note and I can see those themes brought to life in this book!

I also enjoyed the world building. Hovercrafts, transports, and tech. Ahhh, things that send shivers up my spine in delight of futuristic worlds. Enter: The Delonese. I loved the addition of this humanoid type race that happens to be light years ahead in regards to technology. And yet there's something off about them (per the story and plot, of course) and I like that intrigue.

By the end of this book I was gripping my kindle and wondering how it was all going to work out. I won't say cliffhanger...but I will say you're going to want the second book ASAP.

I recommend this to those who enjoy science fiction and YA books, but also to those who like a good story about a genuine heroine. If you enjoyed the Storm Siren trilogy you'll find this is different, but that's okay. It's still Mary's writing, just in a different setting 😉

My rating: 4*
Purchase: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

Book Description 
(from Amazon)
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel--Earth's charming young playboy--the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.
I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham | YA Book Release

All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham Published by Entangled Teen  

Release Day: June 6, 2017

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee. Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him. Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet. She just doesn’t know it yet.

About the Author:
Ashley Graham was born in Ontario, Canada, and has since lived in five countries. Before writing her first manuscript in 2015, she worked as a clerical assistant, quality assurance officer, chef, and stay-at-home mom/homeschool teacher. When she isn’t writing or reading every book she gets her hands on, Ashley enjoys online window shopping, Netflix binges, and spends way too much time thinking about space travel. ALL THE STARS LEFT BEHIND is her debut novel.

on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15983484.Ashley_Graham
Author on Twitter:
Author on Facebook:
Author Website:

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jen Turano {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Jen...

Jen Turano is a USA Today Bestselling author, known for her quirky characters and amusing story lines. Her novel, After a Fashion, was a Reviewer's Choice finalist with RT, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013, and Booklist has called her "One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre." When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Connect with Jen...

Website: http://jenturano.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/JenTurano

Get to know Jen...

What actor/actress would play you if your life was a movie?
Since my life isn’t nearly exciting enough to be made into a movie, I’d have to say the only actress who’d sign up to play me would have to be a very obscure actress – one who has no aspirations of making a name for herself on the big screen.

What are you reading right now?
A non-fiction book, “Silhouette in Diamonds – the Life of Mrs. Potter Palmer” by Ishebel Ross. It was written in the 1960’s and gives a fairly nice glimpse into Bertha Palmer’s life. I currently have one of my characters, Miss Temperance Flowerdew, taking an unexpected trip to Chicago, which is why I needed to read up on Bertha. I’m also thinking about doring a book with a heroine being banished to Chicago because of an unwillingness to marry a Duke, so I’m sure I’ll be reading more on that fascinating city throughout the year.

What’s one chore you hate doing?
Making the beds – mostly because it’s something that has to be done so often, as in every morning.

Let's take a look at your recent release, Behind the Scenes.

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn't guaranteed to "take." After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she's finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym "Miss Quill."

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it's simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she's determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she'll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . .

Also, did you know that her novella At Your Request is free!!! Get your copy here: At Your Request

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of this! 
{U.S. Addresses only please}

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Desiree Williams | Author Chat

I hope you've got a comfy chair and a tasty drink. I'm excited to welcome author Desiree Williams to the blog today for an author chat.

Desiree is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

Let's get real...

Two truths and a lie:
Ooh, I love this game! Can you guess the lie?

A) I lived in Alaska for three years.
B) I’m deathly allergic to seafood.
C) In high school, I was a Latino Dancer.

Share one pet peeve you have.
When someone smacks their lips while eating. Ugh! I can’t stand it. A relative of mine does this and I have to fight the urge to throat punch him during meals. (Just kidding! I’m not a violent person. But for real. I hate that sound.)

Cats or dogs or both?
Both. I love animals in general and, as long as they’re willing to snuggle with me, I’m down for some cuddles with a cute doggie or kitty.

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate lava cake. Oh my goodness, I love it. While writing Illusionary, I craved that gooey treat so bad that I wrote it into the book. I was on a strict diet at the time and couldn’t have any. Therefore I lived vicariously through my character.

What's one chore you hate doing?
Can all of them be an answer? I seriously loathe having to clean my house. Most of the time, I only clean when I’m procrastinating with my writing or my task lists. But if I had to pick a number one, dishes would be at the top.

Connect with Desiree:
www.desireewilliamsbooks.com Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Newsletter

by Desiree Williams

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.
Alice fell down a hole.
Wendy flew to Neverland.
Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

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*Note: B is the lie.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson | New Novel News

The Girl Who Could See 
by Kara Swanson

Published: June 1, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Purchase: The Girl Who Could See

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

Get to know Kara...

If you're main character celebrated Halloween, what would they dress up as?
Oooooh I like this!

Tristan: Legloas (Because he’s blonde, and probably would get a kick out of wearing a wig and having pointy ears. Plus, he has this thing about vibrant costumes and bigger-than-life heroes. J)

Fern: Black Widow (She has the red hair, and Tristan would have convinced her to wear the black leather suit ;) )

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
Hmmm…A young Karen Gillan probably for Fern. Although I have trouble picturing her without an irish/English accent :P

And for Tristan…Heath Ledger! When he was younger. Not 100% how I picture Tristan, but really close!

What’s one thing you must have/do in the morning?
Listen to music as I get ready. It sets my mood and helps me to wake up. Usually I listen to Christian Rap or Praise and Worship. (I know, practically opposites, but they both challenge me to get my butt into gear :P )

Connect: http://karaswanson.com/

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