Introducing Jennifer A. David and A Give-a-way

Today I welcome Jennifer Cvalbar AKA Jennifer A. Davids.  She is a fellow-author with the Smitten Imprint for LPC historical romance writers. I am delighted she is visiting. This is my first author with a pen name. Welcome Jennifer. I’m curious to learn a little about your writing journey. Jennifer A Davids_photo

A ninth-grade creative writing assignment. That’s how it all started. I wasn’t expecting the story I turned in to be anything special. Honestly, I was just hoping for a good grade. So when my teacher stood in front of the class and said my story had gotten an A++ I couldn’t believe it. Especially since I had stayed up late the night before I turned it in finishing it. I’ve been putting words to paper ever since. Fast forward to February 2010 when my writing journey took a new turn and I was offered my very first contract with Heartsong Presents, the then book club imprint of Barbour Books. I published three books with them before the imprint was sold to Harlequin. You can find all of them in one book titled Brides of Ohio.

Since that last Heartsong book, a busy season of life happened. My two children went from being fifteen and eleven to being twenty and sixteen. But I did write another book, my first stab something longer than a Heartsong. It was quite a challenge but I’m so excited that A Perfect Weakness will be released by Smitten, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, on July 25, 2018.

Jennifer A Davids_Brides of Ohio _cover

 

Interesting.  How did A Perfect Weakness evolve?

The inspiration for A Perfect Weakness came from one of my Heartsong books. At the time, Heartsong Presents was still in business through Harlequin and I wanted to write another book for them. One of my secondary characters in Wounded Heart had great hero potential and I often wondered what he did after the events in that book ended. So I decided to find out. But as I started working out the story it grew and grew and became way too long to be a Heartsong length novel. So I erased any connection the story had to Wounded Heart and made it a full-length novel—well, almost. I may have left a small ‘Easter egg’ for a reader of Brides of Ohio to find. A very small one. I’ll have to see who catches it. J

Makes me want to read Brides of Ohio in preparation for this books release. Let’s talk about you. Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

“Sketch out the whole plot before you start to write.” I used to get so excited about an idea that I would start writing and then just stop when I got to a point where I had no idea what happened next. All the enthusiasm would leach away and there I would sit with just a beginning that headed nowhere. So I do a rough outline/draft of the whole book in Scrivener now. But I don’t act as if every plot point is written in stone. I let it move around and I’ll change something or go a different direction if need be. But it does give me enough of an idea of where the story is going so that I don’t abandon it.

 

Great advice. Do you have a favorite genre you love to read for fun?

OK that’s like asking which kid is my favorite. I write historical romance and while I do read a lot of that genre I don’t always read there for fun. It depends so much on my mood. If I want to read fantasy, I’ll default to The Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series. If I want a classic, Jane Eyre or The Count of Monte Cristo. I also enjoy reading Erik Larson who writes wonderful historical non-fiction.

Thanks for much for sharing. Now if any of you are curious about the Brides of Ohio series make a comment to be placed in a drawing for an e-book copy. I’ll draw a name on Friday and contact the winner. If you are new to my blog, please leave an email address written with the word at and dot in place of the symbols. I’ll forward your address to Jennifer.

More about Jennifer

Jennifer A. Davids is a self-professed book nerd. The shelves of her office are overflowing with books and there are stacks of them by her bedside. When she’s not reading, she’s dreaming up a new story to tell her readers. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband, two children, and two cats.

Connect wiht Jennifer A. Davids on Social Media

www.facebook.com/jenniferadavids/

www.instagram.com/jennifera.davids/

www.twitter.com/JenniferADavids

Web Page

www.jenniferadavids.com

Blog

www.jenniferadavids.wordpress.com/

Order Links for Brides of Ohio

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y8xp3zwh

Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y9uxobn6

Christianbook.com: https://tinyurl.com/ydgw2s57

If you’ve enjoyed this interview and would like to hear about other authors and various writerly information please subscribe to Jubilee Writer before you leave this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Grace Award Winner Sandra Ardoin

Today I welcome Sandra Ardoin recent Grace Award winner for her book  A Reluctant Melody.  Congratulations, Sandy. Sandra Ardoin_Headshot

Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

Thanks so much for letting me share a bit about myself and my writing with your readers, Cindy!

I began writing in 1986. (Yes, all the way back then.) I started out with greeting cards and poster quotes—even had the fun of seeing a poster with my quote in a MOVIE! After a while, I wrote short stories for children’s denominational publications, then for adults. While being a SAHM, I only worked part-time until about 2008-09. That’s when I felt God opened that door to writing novels. From then on, it’s been my full-time job.

What is your latest published project?

My second book, A Reluctant Melody, came out last year. It’s the story of a secondary character from my first book, The Yuletide Angel. In A Reluctant Melody, Kit Barnes is a man saved from his wild lifestyle by grace. Now, he wants to open a mission for drunkards in a home owned by Joanna Stewart. Joanna, a woman whose affections he once stole from his brother, has yet to find that grace and must choose between protecting herself from a second betrayal by Kit and protecting her best friend from an abusive spouse. It’s a romantic story of secrets, second chances, and redemption.reluctant melody

How do you research for your book?

My research is mostly done online. There are some things I must know are possible before I begin the story—places, time frames, the best area to set the book, etc. However, many of the tiny details are researched as I go. It’s not an ideal way to do it, and I’m trying to get to a point where I can make a note and write on, intending to check the facts later.

A Reluctant Melody takes place in a fictional town, but is set in the North Carolina area in which I live, so setting wasn’t hard to write. And Google Books is my friend. I find so much information in the books of the era. I’ll even use them to check proper word usage. Chronicling America is a gold mine of information through the pages of the newspapers of the time. For instance, in my (as-yet-unpublished) novella about the Nome gold rush, I found quite a bit of detail through issues of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, including the ship my heroine would have taken from Seattle to Nome.

What inspired you to write your book?

I love reading a book and picking out a secondary character whose story I would like to read. This happens even in my own stories. I always find characters I think will make great heroes and/or heroines for another book. That’s how Kit came to be the hero of A Reluctant Melody.

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

I wouldn’t say I realized it was a calling. I consider it more a ministry. God has allowed me to do something I truly enjoy that helps this highly shy introvert to speak of the gospel. Writing was something I’d wanted to do for a long time and never had the courage to tackle. When I was still single, I took a writing class and thought I’d use it as a second income (hear me laughing!). I was hooked.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

I have several. Jeremiah 29:11 is a biggie for me with my writing, but Isaiah 55:8-9 are amazing for keeping my perspective as to who God is and who I am. Then, there are numerous verses in Colossians—one of my favorite books—such as Colossians 1:17 – “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Isn’t that encouraging?

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

“You got it all wrong, kid.” I’d tell myself that writing is harder than it appears. Finding a publisher is even harder. And NEVER EVER do it for the money. 😊

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

Other than writer friends who are incredibly encouraging, I’d have to say readers who leave reviews are my best support system. I don’t expect everyone to like my stories, but I’ve been blessed by good reviews so far. Even ones that are critical in some way are helpful, as long as they contain information I can use to make my next books better.

Available on Amazon

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

At this time, I write historical romance and it’s my go-to for reading. However, I thoroughly enjoy romantic suspense or mystery. I will read straight romance, but anything that has mystery and danger is tops on my reading list. I don’t even want to know what that says about me.

Where is your favorite place to write?

When my daughter moved out to be on her own, I took over her bedroom—something I’m not sure she’s gotten over yet. I painted, added my desk and other furniture, decorated with fun writerly things and antique knick-knacks, then shut the door on the real world.

How can people follow you and your work?

If anyone wants more info about my writing and what’s coming up, I’d be thrilled for you to sign up for my Love and Faith in Fiction newsletter and receive a FREE short story when you do. My emails go out quarterly, unless an exciting offer pops up that I think you should know about.

BIO:

Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, and antique store prowler. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Join her email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story.

 

A Reluctant Melody – 2016 Grace Award Winner

Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the one person he hurt the most.

A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life.

When a blackmailer threatens to reveal her long-held secret, she must choose between trusting Kit or seeing her best friend trapped in an abusive marriage.

Will Joanna risk another betrayal? Or will she find a way through the pain of the past to love and trust again?

Links to purchase:

A Reluctant Melody

Readers, please share what comment of Sandy’s resonated with you?

There are more in depth interviews coming up and if you aren’t a subscriber you’ll want to sign up to meet some more awesome authors and learn their stories.

Two Kinds of Fire at Christian Writer’s Conferences

Today I’m sharing another conference story. A male conference attendee. Male writer’s do attend conferences but they are in the minority. I hope you find Timothy Fountain’s story as inspiring as I did.

TimothyFountain_Headshot

Marlene Bagnull’s Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference (GPCWC) is inseparable from the publication of my first book, Raising a Child With Autism.

I attended the conference twice and liken the experiences to two kinds of fire: inspiring (Acts 2:3) and refining (Psalm 12:6).

The inspiring fire came via GPCWC’s guiding mission, “Write His (God’s) answer” (Habakkuk 2:2).  The conference encourages and challenges writers to identify their particular proclamation of Christ and the genre of writing by which to convey it.  All of the writers who lead workshops reinforce this approach.

As the parent of a child with autism, I was in touch with family caregivers’ need for Christ’s comfort, encouragement and hope.  This was the inspiration for my book.

Prayer and worship are organic to the conference, and it wraps up with a service in which the participants write down a commitment of what they are being led to write.  In this way I came away from the conference with more than an idea; I gained an inspired offering to God.

A second trip to the conference brought refining fire, burning away stuff that had more to do with my ego than with God’s purpose for the book.  There were stylistic critiques, of course, but larger than these were two refinements of my vision for the book as a whole.

First, because the conference afforded opportunities to talk with other Christian writers, I was able to express my worry that I couldn’t write the book because I was still in the middle of care giving.  “Maybe I should wait until my son is grown up and placed in residential care, so I can write from completed experience.”

The more seasoned writer’s response burned away that misconception.  “No, no, no,” was her reply, “you’re not writing as ‘the expert.’  You’re writing as a witness to the Lord who is helping you in the middle of this.”

The second refining blaze came when I met Eddie Jones and others from my eventual publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC).  The writing samples I provided them were in memoir form, a factually bland and emotionally overwrought telling of my experiences.  Eddie and his team challenged me to write something more creative, to seek a central metaphor on which to hang the message.

This sent me huffing off to rewrite. The result was sample chapters using amateur gardening misadventures with my wife as symbols of caring for our son with special needs.  I sent these in to LPC and was stunned to open my email one morning to find their offer to publish my book.

The coaching, connections and spiritual component at the conferences were the difference between another ego soaked memoir sitting in a rejection pile and a published book of reflections offering Christ’s care to family caregivers.

More about Timothy Fountain

Timothy Fountain grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California despite having no football skills. After a stint running a jackhammer and then three years in the Army, he abandoned thoughts of a legal career, attended a seminary in New York City, and devoted almost thirty years to Christian preaching. He and his wife, Melissa, and their two sons, one a lad with autism, moved to South Dakota in 2004. Tim continues a life of trial and error as a husband, dad, family care giver, preacher and writer.

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Timothy-Fountain/e/B01N1LVF17

Book link https://smile.amazon.com/Raising-Child-Autism-Timothy-Fountain/dp/1938499387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477353199&sr=8-1&keywords=raising+a+child+with+autism

Book Cover(1)

Blog  https://caregivingstinks.wordpress.com/

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/tfountain1

Twitter @NPASDK

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/fountain0179

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3408348-tim-fountain