An Interview with Candee Fick

Today Candee Fick, fellow-LPC author is with me today. I enjoyed her debut novel Dance Over Me and today, along with getting to know her, she’ll share  her newest release Focus on Love.

Candee Fick_Headshot

Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

The seeds for my writing journey began at age four when I first learned how to read and unlocked the power of imaginative stories. As an avid reader, I found a happy escape inside the pages of a book and often found myself inventing alternate endings or adventures for my favorite characters. However, there came a time when I found the latest book unsatisfying and soon began dreaming new stories of my own.

Of course, once I deliberately began to write for publication rather than personal entertainment, I quickly discovered how much I had to learn! While fiction was my passion, my first published works came through non-fiction articles and books. However, once I mastered bits of the fiction craft, I haven’t looked back. Multiple attempts at the ACFW Genesis contest eventually led to a victory and finally my first fiction contract.

What is your latest published project?

My latest project, Focus On Love, was released on February 13th of this year, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It tells the story of a photographer-turned-actress who meets a freelancer who has put his career on hold. When he shows her what true love is all about, her life may never be the same. While perfectly okay as a standalone the picks up right where Dance Over Me left off (and I’m thrilled to say I’ve just officially signed a contract for the third book of the series.)

Focus on Love cover from LPC

How do you research for your book?

With contemporary settings, most of my research revolves around the professions of my characters. For example, Liz is an actress at a dinner theater and they are about to present White Christmas followed in a few months by Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  I needed to know how many people would be in the cast for each, character names, songs in the stage version, and so on. Since Liz and Ryan are both photographers, I needed to research specific types of camera lenses, wedding photography, and then created a fictional magazine publishing empire to hire Ryan.

What inspired you to write your book?

This particular book came to life while writing a previous story about Liz’s roommate Dani. While weaving bits of her character into the narrative, I found myself wondering more about what made her tick. Why did she hold God at arm’s length? If she was so good at photography, why was she an actress instead? And finally, what would it take to change her mind? Once I got to know Liz, her story just had to be written.

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

At first, my desire to create fictional worlds for readers was purely for the entertainment value. I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. But then I found spiritual truths about God creeping into the storylines as my characters struggled with the obstacles they faced. Suddenly, I wanted to show authentic Christians wrestling with the tough issues against the backdrop of God’s unfailing love. That’s when writing became more of a calling.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

I’ve got several favorite verses that have carried me through difficult times in the past. But the most recent actually inspired The Wardrobe series: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) For me, this verse paints a comprehensive picture of God’s unfailing love. Dani discovered that God never left her and in fact rejoices or dances over her. Liz’s fears are quieted with God’s love. And soon Gloria will learn that God sings and then begins to sing a new song herself.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

It’s a long journey so don’t lose heart. But it’s a journey full of personal discovery and some of the most amazingly supportive people you’ll ever meet along the way. Just keep writing…and reading…and learning. And never lose the joy that made you want to write in the first place. If you don’t love your story and characters, no one else will.

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

My husband tries to be supportive, but bless his heart, he only reads the Bible and the sports page. For me, my local writers’ group has become that vital foundation. At every monthly meeting, we start off by sharing what’s new in our writing worlds. My goal has been to always have something to say that shows my progress. That accountability and group of cheerleaders keeps me coming back to the keyboard on the rough days.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I read it all as long as it’s clean and the favorite of the week depends on my mood. Sometimes I need a little adventure with a YA dystopian tale or romantic suspense or mystery. Other times, my real life is a tad too chaotic by itself and I crave the escape into a simpler historical or fairy tale retelling. Romance and romantic plot threads are always high on my list but the setting and genre can vary widely.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I recently co-sponsored two trips to a castle to teach middle schoolers about writing fiction. While most of the day was consumed with teaching and mentoring and chaperoning…I still got up early and headed to the library to write every morning. My imagination could simply dance across the page and I wish I could always write there!

However, in real life, I write either at the desk in my office before the family wakes up…or at Starbucks while my daughter is at work nearby. Both seem “literary” to me but are also places where my muse knows to show up and help me get words on the page.

More about the author:

Candee Fick is a multi-published 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 with her day job, writing, 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.

Focus on Love teaser:

Get free first chapters: http://eepurl.com/1OSfH

Check out her other books:

Find all of her books: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/

Visit her:

http://www.CandeeFick.com

BLURB for Focus On Love:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016411/r

Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father’s photography business to pursue musical theater, but a career on the stage remains second to a career behind the camera. The possibility of a one-show contract means she’s a few weeks from unemployment forcing her home, and her dreams of pursuing professional photography reemerge. With photography and theater opportunities unfolding before her, Liz faces her biggest challenge yet—listening to her heart.

Meanwhile, sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his career on hold to help his sister’s family, but the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away so he can begin building a family of his own. With professional opportunities and personal obligations pulling at him, Ryan faces his toughest challenge—balancing family, relationships, and work.

If given the choice, what dreams would develop for Liz and Ryan? And will they learn to trust each other enough to focus on love?

 

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Coming Soon Immortal Descent By Carolyn Walker

I love sharing with my readers  the stories behind the authors who are either debuting their first novel or  they’re experienced pros. Throughout 2018 I plan to interview several authors so we can all be inspired. Today’s inspiration is Author Carolyn Walker. Thanks for stopping by. We’ll start by asking you to share your writing journey.Carolyn Walker

 

Writing has always been a key part of my life. From the moment I learned how to hold a crayon and scribble lines (that later became words), I felt at home. I wrote my first short story around age 6 and by 12, I won my first state-wide young writer’s award. In my teens, I published several poems, prose and short stories—one which won a literary magazine summer contest. In my early 20’s I first considered writing a novel, and began penning the premise for what would later inspire my debut novel Immortal Descent. After shelving the idea, starting a family, going to school to study Literature, and launching a career as a copywriter and professional editor, creative writing took a back seat. But my love for storytelling never died. So in 2015, I picked it back up again and haven’t put it down since. Within a year, I’d finished my debut novel and just months later, I landed a publishing deal. Now I’m actively writing book two of an amazing series and I cannot wait to share my tales with my beloved readers! Immortal Descent, comes out Spring 2018! (Book two in the Immortal Series is underway and looking great!)

How do you research for your books?

I read A LOT! I have spent long hours reading and checking out books from my local library on various topics for my novel. It is a supernatural thriller with many historical elements, mythological references, and psychological themes. I dual majored in Psychology, alongside English in college, so that helped me with having better insight into the complex psyches of my characters. Additional research has included collecting libraries of information from sources online and even hounding the night librarian to view the “rare historical” volumes section of the library to check out age old documents pertaining to past civilizations, biblical lore, art history, and more. Many scenes in my book take place in other countries—some of which I had never been to, so I interviewed friends and colleagues who could provide me with real world knowledge of the settings, areas, and lifestyles. One of my friends grew up in Switzerland where a portion of the book takes place and her help really served to make that entire scene come to life! The research process was nearly as enjoyable as the writing process.

I loved the idea of interviewing friends who’ve visited placed you mention in your novel. Sometimes their descriptions have a much more real feel than those in books. So, tell us Carolyn, what  inspired you to write your book?

My fascination with the unknown, and history’s mysteries was one of my greatest motivators to write Immortal Descent.  The idea originally came to me years ago, as a short story premise about a glimpse into the life of an immortal being, witnessed by an ordinary man. Beyond that, I had no idea where the story would go, but one thing lingered in my mind—the unanswered questions of immortality.  I’d read plenty of stories about immortality, and there were plenty of books that discussed its mysterious place in history and religion. Even so, I found that few truly addressed the origin of it and why. That’s when I thought this would make a great story, so I began researching deeper into it. Add to that my love for science fiction, fantasy and it wasn’t long before I sought to write a fiction that would perhaps explain the unexplained. This was how the world of Immortal Descent was born.

Explain the unexplained. What a fascinating idea.

Beyond you draw to writing as a child when did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world

It was that moment when I felt that first swell of giddy anticipation in my chest, followed by the realization I could reach others and bring them joy through my work…that was the moment I knew I was meant to be an artist of words.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Don’t doubt yourself. There were times when I didn’t know where I was going with my story or even thought I couldn’t finish it. Writing a book is a great feat and I’d shelved the idea for many years to get on with other areas of my life. I also did it because I didn’t know if I had it in me. Eventually I came around and regained confirmation in myself, but a lot of time was lost during those years. If I could go back, I never would have let myself believe that. I would have kept keeping on realized that perseverance is what allows us to grow strong and achieve—it’s what brings results. Don’t doubt yourself and you are far less likely to give up.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I enjoy a good psychological thriller. I love stories that may have a hint of supernatural elements or pull from lore or history.

Where is your favorite place to write?

In my home office, where my imagination becomes the atmosphere!

carolyn m walker_cover reveal coming soon

Immortal Descent is a supernatural thriller about one man’s journey into a dark world of buried mythology, secret societies, and the true origin of immortality. Ethan West hopes for a fresh start in college, after a lifetime of pain and loss. But instead he gets a curse—a rebirth that closely resembles a death sentence. Now wielding a mysterious new ability, Ethan is hunted by a ruthless faction of ancient creatures known as Lorns.

On the run, Ethan quickly learns he possesses a gift that is more powerful than anything the world has seen in over a thousand years. Unfortunately, a power this great always comes with an unspeakable price… Based on the ancient lore of the Nephilim, the principles of order & chaos, and history’s mysteries, Immortal Descent goes where few tales have gone before.

What if one man’s beginning meant everyone else’s end?

Excerpt: “Ethan didn’t realize he was screaming until he felt Rue shaking him. His eyes flew open and he stared up at her face and into those bright silver eyes. For the briefest instant, all his fear melted away when he looked up at her. He remembered the shadowed eyes of the woman from the alleyway. These eyes were so different. Never had he seen eyes as hers before, so intense—so bright, so capturing. He held her gaze, almost afraid to look away. If he looked away, what would he see?”

Praise for Immortal Descent:

Readers have called Immortal Descent “amazing storytelling” and “completely original” and have said it’s a read that is “absolutely impossible to put down!”

About the Author:

Carolyn M. Walker grew up surrounded by books and has a particular soft spot for fantasy stories and psychological thrillers. With a Bachelors degree in both English Literature and Psychology from Florida State University, Carolyn loves exploring the many sides of the human psyche and building worlds that address some of life’s greatest “what-if” questions. In addition to being a creative writer, Carolyn is also a certified Copywriter, Copy Editor, and Marketing Consultant.

Carolyn, thanks for joining me today.  I wish you much success with Immortal Descent.

I’m adding Carolyn’s links for my readers to follow her:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/carolynmwalkerwrites/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MissWriteWise

Author Website:

https://carolynmwalker.wordpress.com/

Goodreads Author Profile

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17271041.Carolyn_M_Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand Author Carol Roberts Talks about her Writing Journey and Debut Fantasy Novel

 Carol RobertsToday I welcome Carol Roberts who makes her home in New Zealand. Her debut fantasy Atlantis is available now. Carol, I love to ask fellow-authors to share their writing journey. Please tell my readers about yours.

When I left school, I was interested in psychology, and I would have studied that, had I not decided to travel first. As was, I left my birth place of Vienna at the age of 18 and travelled through South America and Asia, indulging my interest in culture and tradition.

I met my husband-to-be in India, a photographer from New Zealand, and we ventured into places that were so distant and remote, that I can still remember the feeling of eternal timelessness that took ahold of me in such locations. I was completely fascinated; what were those people’s stories, what did they preserve in terms of their mythology? I took a lot of notes about places and people, and by the time I settled in New Zealand, I had a firm plan of compiling a non-fiction book about stories and myths from all around the world.

While working through the material that we had collected, I realized that I was more interested in understanding the meaning of those stories, rather than compiling them into a non-fiction book. I was especially interested in stories of creation, and if our collective psyche can possibly reach back to a point of evolution through these stories.

Extensive travel is something we all dream about. How wonderful for you. Now tell us about your debut novel and the inspiration behind it.

It’s a fiction book, called ‘Atlantis’; genre is mythical fantasy/mystery.

After I had spent endless hours interpreting mythical symbolism, I felt that a lot of stories try to portray the origins of our human condition. And that’s what I wanted to write about; a challenge that passes on from one generation to the next, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the consequence of choices made.

I started writing ‘Atlantis’ with a poem. The poem held th

Atlantis Carol Roberts

e clues of a mystery, and became the map. It’s too long to quote, but it held the essence of what I was about to write, and I kept on interpreting it as I went.

 

Here is the back- cover blurb

Here is the blurb:  When Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman’s life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present, and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control.

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

Now I’d like to take my questions in a different direction.

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

My husband in all matters writing and helping me to ‘man up’ and stand by my work. My publisher, Stephanie, for picking up ‘Atlantis’ and giving me confidence.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Romance, hands down. There is nothing like a good romance.

How interesting, I write romance yet enjoy a lot of fantasy on TV, movies and novels.

So, tell us your favorite place to write?

Where-ever I find that piece of paper and pen when I have an urgency to write. This could be virtually anywhere, lol.

We can all relate to that. Thanks so much for visiting with us today.

Here’s a little about Carol Roberts.

Carol Roberts is a free lance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man.  ‘Atlantis’ is her first full length novel.

Blog/Newsletter: https://www.smore.com/app/pages/preview/jb2ug,

Twitter: @authorRobertsC

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0777J2MC8/

Check out Carol’s creative Christmas giveaway. Everyone is a winner

For all those who purchase Atlantis before December 31st, I will say THANK YOU by sending you a free copy of my second novel Tower of Babel. Go to this link after you purchase Atlantis and sign up to receive Tower of Babelhttps://www.smore.com/app/pages/preview/fpnxr

 

A Visit with Author Lindsey P. Brackett

BrackettLWEB(1)Today I welcome Lindsey Brackett to talk about her debut novel Still Waters. The setting is the same as a favorite mystery writer of mine. So, I had to have her as a guest. Love the story. Made me want to visit Edisto Beach. Welcome Lindsey. Tell us about your novel.

My debut is Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness. The novel released in September with LPC Books and is enjoying great reviews—including 4 Stars from the Romantic Times! It’s the story of Cora Anne Halloway who has just graduated from college. Cora Anne had a plan that didn’t involve her grandmother’s ramshackle beach cottage or Tennessee Watson, the local builder dedicated to the preservation of Edisto Island—and her heart. But as tends to happen, life has sent her back to the one place she doesn’t want to be, even though it’s the one place where she may find her peace

What inspired you to write your book?

This novel really started with a place—Edisto Beach, where my family spent most summers of my childhood. When I first decided maybe I could actually do this, write a book, all I knew was I wanted a story set on Edisto. From there I began to build characters and to discover what brings them back or makes them stay away. As I grew as a writer, and began to understand how little I knew about novel structure, the plot changed many times, but ultimately it has always been a story of homecoming, relying on the power of family that ties us to a place.

StillWaters 500x750 (1)

 

There is a sprinkling of a faith message throughout Still Waters. Do you have a favorite verse that resonated with you as you began this project?

My prompt for Still Waters was 2 Corinthians 4:18. I just love that “focus on the unseen… for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.” I really need to stick it on my laptop for all those times social media wears me down.

Love that verse. Now tell me who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

My husband is my rock. He’s always encouraging about anything I’m doing. Specific to writing, I have a small group of friends who have banded together to push and uplift one another. I know I can send them chapters or scenes and they’ll read and offer me feedback. I also know they’ll answer if I call in tears on a random Tuesday because things just aren’t going my way.

Every writer is always told to read extensively in the genre they write in. What genre do you read for fun?

I LOVE to read. Southern literary fiction is my favorite and To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book. Right now I’m reading a lot of Joshilyn Jackson, Karen White, Charles Martin, Kristy Woodson Harvey, and Julie Cantrell. I’m a sucker for a good romance, too, and I like Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, or Pepper Basham for the best kissing scenes on paper.

Where is your favorite place to write?

On my back porch with a glass of sweet tea (or a cup of coffee right now). I also tend to get up before the rest of the house, and I tuck myself into an old wingback chair of my grandmother’s, put my feet on the ottoman and write before I do anything else. With four kids, my days can get hectic, so it’s a relief to know writing happens when I’m at my freshest—and most open.

 

Share with us the quirkiest thing you’ve done to promote your book?
This year I’ve been tapped (pun totally intended) to participate in my local community’s biggest fundraiser: Dancing with the Stars for Hope which benefits our domestic violence shelter and the Rotary Club. This event pairs well-known community figures with “professionals” and we have a dance competition. People vote for their favorite teams (only $1 a vote) and there are lots of opportunities to win great raffle prizes. I’m paired with my friend, Jeremy, the high school theater director. We’re both theater nerds, so we’ve done several shows together and while we haven’t made a concrete decision about our routine yet, no doubt it will be epically theatrical. Right now, through November 30, our fundraising promotion is a donation of the proceeds from my book sales. So, there’s no better time to buy, support a local author and a great cause! Voting and prizes are not limited to North Georgia—anyone can go online and support us or enter to win raffles over on my Facebook page, Lindsey P. Brackett.

Want to help support our team_For every copy of Lindsey's book sold November 15-November 30, a portion will be donated to our team's fundraising efforts forDancing with the Stars.(1)

I love it and know you’ve given my readers a new way to look at marketing.

What a great way to discover a new author and support a worthy cause. Purchase Still Waters and do both.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Lindsey. You are an inspiration.

Dancing with the Stars Link: http://www.dancingwiththestarsforhope.com/vote-for-teams.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindseyPBrackett/

Bio:

Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications. In both 2015 and 2017, she placed in the top ten for Southern Writers Magazine Best Short Fiction. Previously, Lindsey served as Editor of Web Content for the Splickety Publishing Group, and currently she is a general editor with Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. In addition, she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.

Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is her debut novel. A story about the power of family and forgiveness, it’s been called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing.” A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home—full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee—at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children.

Connect with her at www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she Just Writes Life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Instagram @lindseypbrackett, or on Twitter @lindsbrac.

 

 

 

 

 

Shellie Arnold discusses Abide With Me

close-up-for-webToday I am welcoming back Shellie Arnold. I wanted to touch base with her after the release of her third novel in The Barn Church series. I loved The Spindle Chair, adored Sticks and Stones, and got my hubby hooked on them, too. Abide With Me does not disappoint, a powerful story. Shellie, thanks for stopping by.

Hey Cindy! Thanks for having me back.

For my readers who have never read any of your books (shame on them) can you give us an overview of The Barn Church series.

I write about the perfect storms in marriage—what happens when your weaknesses hit mine head-on, and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. The Barn Church series follows several couples who attend the same church, Rowe City Gospel Church in Rowe City, Alabama (a fictitious church in a fictitious place). The church is literally a huge, converted barn. Very welcoming. Very rustic. Each book is about a different couple within the church, so each story stands alone. It’s a series, but a reader wouldn’t have to read them in order to enjoy the stories.

Now let’s focus on your new release Abide With Me. Here’s the back-cover.

Abide With Me cover

After ten years of marriage to the only man she’s ever loved, why is Angelina so unhappy? As a wealthy yet lonely wife, Angelina Rousseau pours all her emotions into her paintings. Desperate for affection and attention, she finds herself willing to do almost anything to feel loved. Her husband Nick is determined to provide everything Angie could want, including finally giving her what she’s asked for most—time with him. When what seems to be the perfect real estate investment turns sour, he’s arrested for fraud, but soon learns being accused of multiple felonies is the least of his worries.

Once again, Nick’s choices negatively affect Angelina. This time she’s forced to part with cherished possessions to finance his defense and protect her future. When Angelina’s carefully built walls begin to crumble, both husband and wife must examine their emotionally bankrupt marriage. Yet even if they discover what went wrong between them, Nick could still spend the rest of his life in prison.

Could “having it all” cost Nick and Angie more than they ever imagined?

How is this book different than the other two?

Great question. Let’s see…The Spindle Chair looks at how wounds from our past can directly affect a marriage, especially if that wound is tied to a trauma. I believe when God spotlights a wound or pain in us, it’s because He wants to heal it. Hopefully I showed healing is indeed possible in The Spindle Chair.

In Sticks and Stones I really wanted to show how enduring a crisis can take its toll on a marriage. Coping mechanisms often reveal bad habits, things we learned wrong before marriage, things we didn’t learn at all. I wanted to show a couple confronted with the fallout from handling a crisis, then rebuild with healthy habits.

I admit, Abide With Me is a bit different than the first two. It contains the message I wish I could share with every married couple, and hopefully the work speaks for itself. I wanted to show how every choice we make, every time we choose to listen (or not) and follow (or not) God’s promptings, we’re either sowing or refusing to sow into our marriage. I wanted to show how a couple can drift apart over time, why that happens, and the key to coming back together.

How is it the same?

It’s the same in that I show both points of view, address what can be a fundamental problem in marriage, and show my characters stumbling through changing their spiritual and marital lives.

What do you hope readers gain from reading Angelica and Nick’s story?

As with all my stories, I have three main goals: 1) that readers see God is always at work, always reaching for them, always offering growth and an opportunity to draw closer to Him and each other, 2) that readers will consider their own spiritual and marital lives, and 3) that readers will receive hope and believe no matter how difficult or strained their marriage is, if both of husband and wife listen to God, He can redeem, restore, and heal anything.

Your novel’s characters feel so life-like, so real. How closely do they mimic life experience? Either yours or someone you know. Or is this a big stretch of the imagination.

Thanks for that! Honestly, some part of all my characters is me, and all the struggles in my stories are struggles I’ve had or still have. I write from experience and try to share what I’ve learned the hard way. I know how difficult change can be, how daunting growth can be. I know what it’s like to be afraid of God seeing my sin and weaknesses—dark places are something I’m well-acquainted with. I’ve also been the recipient of His mercy and grace and kindness and gifts I don’t deserve. I want to show all of that in my stories.

I know you recently moved and that you are a home school veteran. How do you find time to write and keep up with your busy life?

Yes, this time last year we were in the process of buying a home and moving. A stressful, but exciting event.

My family comes first. Always. Finding time to write has been a tremendous challenge for many years. For decades I felt overwhelmed from home schooling and trying to write. Bottom line, there are no easy answers when managing family, and a calling or job of any kind. My youngest is now a senior in high school, so my home school responsibilities are much less than they were in previous years. Right now I’m learning how to proactively manage my time—a new feeling and experience for me.

What is the one thing you have learned about yourself as you’ve traveled this writing journey?

Honestly, I am constantly learning how much I need God for all the broken places inside I’d not noticed before. Almost daily I realize there’s no end to God’s love and mercy, to the provision provided by Christ’s death on the cross. That love, mercy, grace, patience, provision—all the things God has for us—really is endless. I can’t really wrap my brain around that, the idea God is always more, always has more, but it’s always true. When I need more—which is both again and always—He is more.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope my readers grab a copy of  Abide With Me. (Readers, check below for a chance to win a free e-book version.)

More About Shellie Arnold:

Shellie Arnold is a writer and speaker on marriage and family. She truly believes—despite baggage, neglect, or mistakes—if a husband and wife listen to God, they can live happily even after. Her passion is sharing how God is helping her do exactly that. She maintains a blog at www.shelliearnold.com and is the founder of YOUR MARRIAGE resources. Shellie is a mother of three and has home schooled for over twenty years. She lives in Ohio with her husband of thirty-one years.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shellie.arnold.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShellieArnold1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ShellieLArnold/

Shellie is giving away an e-book version of Abide With Me. This book is easily a stand alone if you’ve never read the other two books in the Barn Church Series. Click the comment button at the top of this post and let me know you want to be placed in the drawing. If you re-post this blog on your social media and mention it in the comments I’ll give you an additional entry. Friday I’ll announce the winner.

 

 

 

 

 

Author SM Ford Shares Her Writing Journey

Multi-published author Sue Ford writing under the name of SM Ford is my special guest today. I’ve made some new friends over at Clean Reads, the publisher I’ve contracted with for my contemporary romance New Duet. It’s been a delight getting to know Sue through this interview. I love reading romantic suspense and Alone looks very interesting. First, I’d like her to share some background.

SMFord

Sue tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I started writing in high school, but never took it seriously until after I was married and had children. I had never met a writer, so somehow, they weren’t real people to me. They were elevated special people and I was neither. But as an adult I took a correspondence course on writing and loved it. I wrote several novels that didn’t go anywhere. Started writing magazine pieces and learned a lot. My first sales were to magazines. In fact, I’ve sold over 160 pieces. The bug to write books didn’t leave me and I eventually sold book manuscripts, too. Of course, I have a number of manuscripts that never sold and many, many rejections. I write for children under my maiden name, Susan Uhlig, and for adults as SM Ford.

What is your latest published project?

ALONE (Clean Reads, 2016) – an inspirational romantic suspense.

Description

Ready for adventure in the snowy Colorado mountains, Cecelia Gage is thrilled to be employed as the live-in housekeeper for her favorite bestselling author. The twenty-five-year-old doesn’t count on Mark Andrews being so prickly, nor becoming part of the small-town gossip centering on the celebrity. Neither does she expect to become involved in Andrews family drama and a relationship with Simon Lindley, Mark’s oh so good-looking best friend. And certainly, Cecelia has no idea she’ll be mixed up in a murder investigation because of this job.

Will Cecelia’s faith in God get her through all the trouble that lies ahead?

cover of Alone by SM Ford

How do you research for your book?

Some research is hands-on experience, other is reading books, articles, interviews, and/or talking to people.

What inspired you to write this book?

I got to thinking how hard it must be for celebrities to meet people who treated them like a normal person. I combined that idea with my teen love of romantic suspense books. I liked smart female heroines in dangerous situations, imperfect heroes, and tension and suspense. Later, inspirational fiction books really attracted me too, so I decided to share my faith as well in this book.

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

When I couldn’t stop writing. 😉 Every time I got discouraged about rejections, lack of “big” success, and thought I should quit writing, the question always came back, but “what else would you do?” I couldn’t think of anything else. I got hooked on the actual process of writing, editing, polishing. Seeing my name in print is great. Knowing my words are being read is even better. And I still have stories to tell. Writing is my passion.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Psalm 46:10a “Be still and know that I am God.” It’s a reminder I need a lot.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

I think I would encourage myself to consider a different college where I could focus on literature and writing instead of computer science.

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

My husband and all the various critique groups and writer friends.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

This is such a hard question. I’m an eclectic reader. I read children’s literature from picture books to young adult. I read adult Christian contemporary and historical fiction, secular contemporary and historical novels, plus fantasy, and science fiction. It depends on my mood. It’s very rare for me not to have a book or two going.

Where is your favorite place to write?

In a coffee shop with other writers.

More About SM Ford:

SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too.

When she was 13 she got hooked on Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense books, although she has been a reader if she can remember. Inspirational authors she enjoys include: Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Dee Henderson, Jan Karon, and many more.

SM Ford is a Pacific Northwest gal, but has also lived in the Midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can’t figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.

She loves assisting other writers on their journeys and is a writing teacher, speaker, mentor, and blogger about writing.

Check her out on Social Media

Author Website: http://smfordbooks.com

Twitter: @smfordwriter http://twitter.com/smfordwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SMFordBooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30831648-alone

Blog RSS feed: http://www.smfordbooks.com/1/feed

BUY LINKS for ALONE

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Alone-SM-Ford-ebook/dp/B01HR7O0Y0/

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alone-sm-ford/1124041307

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alone/id1129622915?mt=11

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/alone-74

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/650072

Thanks for visiting here at Jubilee Writer, Sue. Be blessed as you continue to write all God has called you to write.

Readers, if you’re new to my blog and would like to learn writing tips and discover more new authors to add to your TBR pile don’t forget to subscribe to receive this in your email.

Romance, Research and Fun Factoids

Sandra Merville Hart is my special guest today. She writes Civil War Romance. I love historical romance. I’ve read a Stranger on My Land the first book in her Civil War series. I’m very interested in her newest release A Rebel in My House. Sandra tells us about it.SandraMervilleHart_Headshot2(1)

A Rebel in My House is set during the turbulent Battle of Gettysburg. The townspeople lived through a nightmare that extended months beyond the battle. This novel gives a glimpse of that suffering through the eyes of a Gettysburg seamstress. A Confederate soldier caught behind enemy lines after retreat needs her help. Sheltering him ushers in more difficulties than she ever imagined. Lines become blurred as her feelings for him grow. Loyalties threaten to divide them as Confederates seize the town.

Both have made promises to family members.

Some promises are impossible to keep.

How do you research for your book?

I read articles online to learn some initial facts. Then I check out nonfiction books from the library and take copious notes. I try to travel to novel settings. Visiting local museums and walking the historic streets piques my imagination. I learn the history and, along the way, the story is born.

What inspired you to write this book?

When it was time to write my next Civil War romance, I knew there was story waiting for me in Gettysburg. My husband traveled there with me. We spent long hours in the battlefields and attended several ranger tours.We took a private ranger tour with a Battlefield Guide who tailored the tour around my questions about Tennessee regiments. A hazy idea formed.

We visited museums in town and learned of the horrific nightmare the women and children endured. Then I knew I had to write their story as well as the experience of the Tennessee regiments.

Share a few Civil War factoids about Gettysburg most people are not aware of.

The Confederate Army gathered both runaway slaves and free citizens when they crossed into Pennsylvania in June of 1863. Many African Americans had fled by the time Confederate General Jubal Early entered Gettysburg on Friday, June 26, 1863, a few days ahead of the famous battle that began on July 1st.

After the battle, Confederates left behind 7,000 comrades too severely wounded to retreat.

The first Confederate soldier killed at Gettysburg was Henry Raison of the 7th Tennessee Infantry. The hero, Jesse Mitchell, in A Rebel in My House is from that regiment.

The Battle of Gettysburg ranks first among our bloodiest Civil War battles with over 40,000 casualties.

Now, I’d like to ask a few questions about you that my readers might find interesting.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8 (NIV)

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Start writing now. Don’t let someone else determine whether or not you follow your dream. Take writing classes. Attend writers’ conferences. Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing. Pray that God guides your steps.

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

My husband is amazingly supportive. If I tell him I need to go to Gettysburg for a research trip, he checks his work calendar to plan a week he can take off with me. I take photographs; he logs where the picture is taken. He helps me figure out directions and mileage between historical towns. When I’m baffled by some historical object in a museum, he helps me figure out how it might have been used. He is amazing.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I love to read romantic suspense, cozy mystery, contemporary romance, but my favorite genre to read for pleasure is historical romance.

About Sandra Merville Hart:

Sandra Merville Hart, Assistant Editor for DevoKids.com, loves to find unusual or little-known facts in her historical research to use in her stories. Her debut Civil War romance, A Stranger On My Land, was an IRCA Finalist 2015. Her second Civil War romance novel, A Rebel in My House, is set during the Battle of Gettysburg. It released on July 15, 2017. Visit Sandra on her blog at https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

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A Rebel in My House Book Blurb: Click to order.

When the cannons roar beside Sarah Hubbard’s home outside of Gettysburg, she despairs of escaping the war that’s come to Pennsylvania. A wounded Confederate soldier on her doorstep leaves her with a heart-wrenching decision.

Separated from his unit and with a bullet in his back, Jesse Mitchell needs help. He seeks refuge at a house beside Willoughby Run. His future lies in the hands of a woman whose sympathies lay with the North.

Jesse has promised his sister-in-law he’d bring his brother home from the war. Sarah has promised her sister that she’d stay clear of the enemy. Can the two keep their promises amid a war bent on tearing their country apart?

If you’d like to find out more about Sandra visit any of the links below.

Sandra’s Blog, Historical Nibbles:  https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.m.hart.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sandra_M_Hart

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sandramhart7/

Sandra’s Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445068.Sandra_Merville_Hart

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100329215443000389705/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Merville-Hart/e/B00OBSJ3PU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j3JI-wECyY&feature=youtu.be

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