Donna Schlachter newest novella and a Giveaway

MissAdventure Brides Cover(1)

Today I welcome back Donna Schlachter to talk about her newest release Detours of the Heart part of  The MissAdventure Brides Collection. Welcome Donna, let’s dive in. Tell us  a little bit about the collection.

The MissAdventure Brides from Barbour Publishing is a a novella collection that features seven young women who don’t let romance get in the way of their adventures—and vice versa.

How did you research for story?  I travel a lot, so when I visit a location, I take lots of pictures, visit museums, walk the streets, and try to get a feel for what story this place wants to tell. For The MissAdventure Brides, I also visited the Denver Public Library Archives for information on Fred Harvey and his endeavours to stop native jewelry counterfeiting, which I’d read about in another book. That became the main suspense plot in my romance. I also watched several movies and documentaries even remotely connected to the topic, the time period, and the place.

How interesting. I had no idea people were counterfeiting native jewelry back then. I’d only heard the history of the Harvey House Girls. Why did you choose this setting?

I love the era of the Harvey House Girls, and I love the area near Albuquerque, New Mexico where the Acoma (pronounced a’-coe-ma) people live, so when the opportunity came up to write an historical novella, that location jumped to mind.

Donna, I lived in New Mexico for a few years as a child. It’s a beautiful place. The white sands are spectacular.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?  Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse, and was many years before it became so popular. I constantly remind myself to pass everything through that verse. Some days I’m more successful than other days.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?  I have so many stories in my head, but I still get lazy and want to do other things. I keep going back to this question: am I making the best use of my time for the Lord?

About Detours of the Heart in The MissAdventure Brides Collection:

Millie Watkins, a tour guide for the Harvey House Detours in Albuquerque, enjoys pretending she is a star in the brand new silver screen industry. Peter Duncan, son of itinerant farmers, wants to settle down and have a family. He dates lots of girls, but Millie is his favorite. However, she sees a playboy, which is fine—she has no intentions of staying in Albuquerque. Will they discover that sometimes life offers a completely different detour, or will they go their own way and settle for second-best?

To win a free print copy (US Only, please) of missAdventure Brides Romance Collection, leave a comment, and we will randomly select one person to receive the book.

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About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 25 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Follow Donna at:

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Purchases her books:

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

  Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a copy  of The MissAdventure Brides Collection. I’m sure you’ll not only love Donna’s offering Detours of the Heart but the other six as well. I love these Barbour collections. They are historically accurate and so fun to read. Come on now, make a comment for a chance to win.

 

 

An interview with YA Author Hope Bolinger

Hope Bolinger Headshot

Hope Bolinger is younger than my children and makes me jealous to see all she’s accomplished in her young life. Now that I’ve confessed it, LOL, on with the interview. Welcome Hope, it’s so fun to have young blood on my blog. It reminds readers we can follow our writing dreams at any age. Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I started writing novels in high school. I buried myself in books and wrote just about everything I could.

Fourteen novels later, I found myself at Taylor University’s professional writing program, which offered a student scholarship to attend the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference. Having just completed Blaze (a modern-day Daniel) over the summer, I decided to pitch it to every editor I could fit a one on one for. Eddie, the editor at LPC, gave me some edits to fix the three-chapter sample but encouraged me to send it to the YA imprint of LPC.

It made it past Pub Board, but had a number of edits needed after they reviewed the full. After I went back and forth several times with the managing editor, it was polished and ready to go.

I remember getting the acceptance email in the college parking lot after my friends and I had seen a rather solemn viewing of Avengers: Infinity War. It was going to be published.

Tell us about Blaze

Blaze is being released in June. It essentially is the first three chapters of Daniel plopped into an American high school. It follows the story of Danny as he, and three of his closest friends, are transferred to their rival after his school mysteriously burns down.

Great story idea. How did you research to create your story?

This one was unique because it involved a lot of research into the time of the Babylonians, commentaries on Daniel, and just about everything in the 500-400 BC range. For this one, I spent a lot of time buried in books in the Old Testament to make sure I included as much symbolism and historical references as possible. Also, having written this from a male’s perspective, I made sure to have some male friends look over the manuscript to make sure Danny walked, talked, and sounded like a high school sophomore.

Yeah, guys gotta sound like guys. Why a retelling of the Book of Daniel?

I was sitting in an Old Testament class in which we blazed (buh dum tssh) through the Old Testament in a semester. On the day we covered the book of Daniel, my professor said something along the lines of, “Daniel and his friends would’ve been about 14 to 16 years old when the Babylonians took them into captivity.”

I sort of jolted in my seat, thinking, “Wait. Fifteen years old?”

Here are these four brave men who stood up to Kings, and they were just teens. Not to mention they were extremely involved in Babylonian culture and had to be adept at just about everything.

Then I thought, “What would that look like today? To get involved in a completely different culture but still stand up for what you believe in . . . as a teen?” Blaze was born.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

It’s hard to pinpoint a certain time when I didn’t write. I have copies of three-page stories I made in first grade buried somewhere in my room. But I didn’t actually take it on as a full-time calling until my AP Lit teacher in high school, in a passing remark, noted I wrote well. Granted, she gave me a B on that paper, but it stuck with me. In that moment, I thought, “Wow. I could actually do this.”

Taylor’s professional writing program helped solidify that. We had articles published our first semester (I got a little too into it and had 300 published by the time I graduated), and we walked through just about every aspect of the publishing industry. I’m forever indebted to the instructors there.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

It used to be Colossians 3:17. I loved the idea to do everything for Christ.

But lately the whole chapter of Psalm 103 has helped. Like Danny, I struggle with anxiety, but those verses have helped keep me calm and at peace, especially during some very dark spiritual episodes this past semester.

I usually ask this question to much older authors. 😊 But I’m curious  about your answer. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Learn to accept criticism. It took me a while to realize that writing takes a lot of work. I think I had this idea that I would just write a book, throw it through spell check, and viola! Off to the publisher it went!

. . . not quite. It takes an insane amount of time and dedication, and more often than not, the editor is always right.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

I always throw it back to my best friend James. I’ve known him for four years, and every time I want to quit, he refuses to let me. He reads just about everything I send him and is my biggest cheerleader.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Of course, YA. I think YA writers have way too much fun. I also love diving into the Classics. I love to know why a book stood the test of time.

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Here’s the back cover copy of Blaze

If you can’t stand the heat, don’t walk into the fire.

Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.

To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town’s prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich “in crowd.”

From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the “popular and pretty” table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness–all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.

 

Intriguing . I want it read. 

Who is Hope Bolinger?

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 300 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 2,700+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young’s blog, which receives 63,000+ monthly hits. She is excited for her modern-day Daniel “Blaze” to come out with IlluminateYA (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She enjoys all things theater, cats, and fire.

 

Contact Info:

Facebook: @therosewoman

Twitter: @hopebolinger

Instagram: @hopebolinger

Website: hopebolinger.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Bolinger/e/B00V0VWFKQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_1&qid=1550020518&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13700140.Hope_Bolinger

 

Candee Fick Shares about her new release Sing a New Song

SingaNewSong 500x750Today I welcome back Candee Fick to talk about her latest release and give us some background information. Take it away, Candee.

Sing a New Song is the third book in The Wardrobe series and features the pampered diva who was a secondary character in the first two books. When we first met her, Gloria Houghton was a poor-little-rich-girl who was used to being the center of attention. But when the spotlight shifted, she found herself scrambling to hold onto her position and her identity. In the second book of the series, she was challenged by the notion that some things are more important than the spotlight. Now, with a nagging knee injury and a lingering sense of dissatisfaction, she found a new stage where she could use her voice as her ticket to stardom. Except the pampered diva is about to meet her match.

You’ve got my attention. I remember how much I didn’t like her in Dance Over Me. What inspired you to write Gloria’s story?

While writing the first book in the series, I was fascinated by my antagonist and in a quest to make her more three-dimensional, I wondered what made her tick. And what it would take to make her change. The seeds for a new story took root in my imagination and I was then able to weave in pieces of her backstory through the first two books. I also knew that she would need to be brought low before she could be rebuilt on the right foundation, so I began brainstorming a succession of events to chip away at her self-reliance until she could only rely on God.

I like that you planned her introduction. How did you research for your book?

There’s a scene in the middle of the book where Gloria comes face-to-beak with a feisty rooster. And to be honest, that scene was inspired while doing chores for my parents. After facing off with their mean rooster, I decided that Gloria deserved an equal encounter because she would certainly be out of her element! However, for the singing scenes, I truly enjoyed the relative hardship of attending several shows in Branson Missouri, a place our family has vacationed for several years. I then created a fictional singing family inspired by several real examples in the area.

EXCERPT:

Nearing the backstage area, she scanned the map on her phone to locate the rehearsal room.

Almost there. Gloria glanced up just in time for her foot to slip out from under her on the wet floor. Her weak knee buckled, and the concrete floor came rushing toward her. Reaching for anything to break her fall, her fingers grazed the edge of a rolling bucket of mop water, tipping her phone into the liquid a moment before it—and the mop—toppled over. She landed hard on her right shoulder an instant before a flood of water soaked the upper half of her body.

Ouch. That would leave a bruise.

She blinked a couple of times, then lifted her head.

Nearby, a bearded man set down a yellow Caution sign before wiping black-streaked hands on his coveralls. A tool belt hung low around his waist.

Behind him, she caught a glimpse of the stage between the side curtains as the applause of the crowd faded into a burst of conversation with the show ending.

Gloria’s hands slid a little on the wet surface as she pushed herself upright. The new soreness in her shoulder competed with the familiar ache in her knee. She must have tweaked her old injury a bit on her way down.

The janitor approached, reaching out a hand as if to help her to her feet.

“No thanks. You’ve helped quite enough already.” She stabbed a manicured finger in the direction of the tardy sign. Even if she had been paying attention, there had been no warning about a wet floor.

She attempted to hasten his retreat with a glare. Except, the water dripping from her hair ruined the effect, and his frown turned into a bit of a smirk, as if she’d provided his entertainment for the day.

How fun. Can’t wait to read this. Thanks for stopping by, Candee.

 Here’s a bit about Candee and links to check out all her books and become a fan.

Candee Fick_Headshot

Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Candee’s Giveaway

The Rafflecopter direct link is: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b9a55db3360/?

This takes you to a generic page to enter the giveaway but doesn’t give the prize details. First prize is a complete set of the series (paperback for US or ebook only for other) plus $25 Amazon card. Second prize is copy of Sing a New Song (paper or ebook depending on country) plus $10 Amazon card.

Sounds like a great contest.

Candee Fick’s Links:

Website and Blog – CandeeFick.com

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candee-fick

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CandeeFick

BUY link for Sing a New Song (Kindle) – Book 3 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHYNTJC/

BUY Focus On Love (Kindle) – Book 2 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077TYHD4T/

BUY Dance Over Me (Kindle) – Book 1 – https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Over-Me-bright-lights-ebook/dp/B01JBFLO2M/

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