Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Edition

   If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Note our new email address and please send your emails to
Monday: The winners of a copy of Missy Tippens's new novella release, Back to You, are JeanneT and Amy Anguish!

Tuesday: Audra Harders talked about Storyworld and eggs...if you're curious, pop back and check it out, LOL. Winners of a signed copy of the 2in1 collection feat. Rocky Mountain Hero: Connie, Nicki Chapelway, Sandy Smith.

Wednesday: Megan Besing posed the question "What Does Valentine's Day Mean To You?" The winner of The Mail-Order Brides Collection is Amy Anguish!

Thursday:  Ruthy (Ruth Logan Herne) cleaned a closet and found THREE COPIES of "Swept Away" her newest Guideposts mystery... so the lucky winners from her Thursday post "Ten Tips to Succeed at Writing Without Really Trying" are Crystal, Tammie Eddington Shaw (great name!) and Linda Matchett. Congratulations! 

Monday:  Jan Drexler will be Redeeming Darth Vader. Can this be done? Stop in and see!

Tuesday:  Author DiAnn Mills will be bringing a fantastic post on "Proactive Marketing and Promotion" geared for the busy writer. You don't want to miss her excellent example!

Wednesday:  Debby Giusti hosts Villager Walt Mussell. Walt will share his experience with Kindle Scout in a blog post titled, "The Opportunity of Kindle Scout." Stop by to learn more about the program that benefits writers and readers. Walt will be giving away four copies of his historical romance, The Samurai’s Heart.

Thursday:  Stop by and check out "The Newest In Writing Tools" with Cara Grandle. Cara is offering a craft book giveaway as she explores some great tools of the trade!

Friday: MYSTERY FRIDAY!!! Who knows what Friday the 23rd will bring? Whatever it brings, it will be fun, informative and certainly worth a drive-by... and maybe a sit-down lunch! Come by and see!

Don't Forget .. Pam Hillman's Claiming Mariah

is Available for 99cents during the month of February!

Click here to purchase Claiming Mariah from your favorite online Retailer!

This giveaway from BookSweeps ends soon! If you haven’t already entered, don’t miss your chance to win 35 inspirational contemporary romances, plus a brand new eReader AND a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering. Audra Harders, Candee Fick, Pepper Basham are just a few of the authors participating. 
Enjoy, and good luck!

Enter here:


Ruthy's beautiful story of three friends, keeping a twelve-year-old promise to come running as needed has soared to #1 on the Amazon Christian charts... and Amazon is offering the Kindle edition of this beautiful story at $2.00... TWO DOLLARS!!! Aye Caramba, that's a deal! Grab it while it's on sale, and if you love Mayberry-type small towns... if you love friendship that stands the test of time, even when slightly neglected, if you love a romance that shouldn't be possible... but is... and throw in a newborn baby, just for fun... and heart-grabbing town characters that draw you in... then this book is for you. Give it a try and tell us what you think. $2.00... Here's the link:  WISHING BRIDGE ON SALE AT AMAZON

Inside Look At A Launch Team from The Ambitious Author

Cohesion and Resonance from Helping Writers Become Authors, K.M. Weiland

Using Third Person vs First Person Novel Narratives from Writers In The Storm

Thanks for the link love!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Questions as a Starting Point

Photo Credit: ©Elaina Burdo    

Questions are always a good place to start a writing project, and to keep it going.

When I first started writing, my questions lined up with the five standard “W” questions (and one “H”). Who is the main character of the story? What is the conflict? Where does the story take place? When does it take place? Why is this story different? How am I going to structure the story? Many stories start with a simple “What if . . . ?” question. See if you can identify these stories:

What if a man was accidentally marooned on Mars?
What if a boy and girl from feuding families fell in love?
What if a girl fell down a rabbit hole and ended up in a strange world?
What if books were outlawed and firemen started fires rather than putting them out?
What if the captain of a whaler becomes obsessed with hunting down and killing one specific whale?

The first book I wrote after becoming a Christian was Redeeming Love, and it didn’t come from a question. It came from the life of a prophet, Hosea, and how God used him to show how deep God’s love for His people is. I had been writing steamy historical romances set in California between the 1840s and the 1880s. God’s love for each of us was so different from the love I had been writing about. His love is patient, passionate, persistent. He pursues us. I wanted readers who had followed my career to know what real love is. The book of Hosea laid out the entire story, but a question could have started it. What does real love look like?

I thought Redeeming Love would be the last novel I ever wrote, but questions kept coming up about what it means to walk by faith. And the best way I could think to answer them was by studying Scripture daily and writing a story with a cast of characters who play out all the possible answers—with one person clinging to the teachings of Jesus.

How do I share my faith when people don’t want to read the Bible or hear the name of Jesus? This question launched A Voice in the Wind. Hadassah, a Jewish-Christian girl with weak faith, finds herself the sole survivor of her family after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The cast of characters live out their ideas of hedonism, tradition, paganism, idol worship, and self-reliance. Hadassah is tested on every front, and her trust in God deepens. What I learned in the months of writing this story is God is always faithful and people notice those who follow Him. A life of faith brings persecution, but persecution builds strength of character. People watch how we live, and eventually ask why we live the way we do. And when that question comes, God gives us the words to speak.

Here are questions that started a few of my stories:
An Echo in the Darkness—How many times can you forgive someone who hates you and wants to destroy you?
The Atonement Child—Is there forgiveness and restoration for someone who has had an abortion?
The Scarlet Thread—What does sovereignty mean?
The Last Sin Eater—What is the difference between guilt and conviction?
And the Shofar Blew—What is a church? How do you build one?

My newest book, The Masterpiece, started with how early childhood trauma shapes the way a person thinks as they grow up. How can survivors be turned into victors? How does God use the worst things that happen in life to good purpose? Both Roman Velasco and Grace Moore are impacted by traumatic childhood experiences. How do they handle temptation? Each is a survivor, but what trials will it take to make them victors? The Masterpiece is a love story about two people with opposing points of view about life and eternity, and how God works behind the scenes so that they will be equally yoked.

Questions are a good starting place for Bible study. Right now, I have mentors on my mind. What does it take to be a good mentor? How many examples of mentors can I find in Scripture? What do these mentor-mentee relationships teach me? I’m beginning to see an older woman in my mind, one who has made many mistakes. She meets a young woman just starting adult life, and she’s falling into the same problems and making the same (bad) decisions that destroyed the older woman’s relationships. I imagine grown children for the older woman, children with major problems. I see her wishing she had lived life differently and hurting when she sees what’s happening in the younger woman’s life. Should she step up, step in, or mind her own business? How does a baby boomer relate to a millennial?

And so it happens. One question starts me thinking and presses me into God’s Word for answers. Can we redo life? Can the past be untangled? How would that look? The quest begins.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

Read the first chapter here.
More information here.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers has published numerous novels—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for inspirational fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Francine’s novels have been translated into over 30 different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries. She and her husband, Rick, enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.