Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Johnnie Alexander | Author Chat

Grab your cup of coffee or tea (or hot chocolate for Johnnie), and maybe a cookie or two, and join me for a chat with...
Award-winning author Johnnie Alexander. She is a wannabe vagabond with a heart for making memories. Her CBA-bestselling novel, Where Treasure Hides, has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. She is cohost of Writers Chat, a weekly internet show, marketing chair for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, and past president of both the ACFW Memphis and ACFW Central Florida chapters.

Let's get real...

Would you rather live in a story world you’ve created for a year OR live three days in a story world someone else has created?
I would love to visit Middle Earth. Since it’s only three days, I guess I need to choose a specific place since I can’t exactly fly from one locale to another. Which shall it be? Rivendell? Lothlorien? The Shire? I’ll just close my eyes, tap the heels of my elf boots three times, and see where I end up. (Please not anywhere near Mordor.)

Two truths and a lie:
1. I won a prize on a TV game show.
2. I’ve taken my dog’s medicine.
3. I rear-ended three different cars in six months.

Name three places you’d like to travel to & why.
1. I want to travel around Europe on the train—and this fall I’m going to! My sister and I are getting passes so we can visit four or five countries. We’ll see if the reality is as awesome as the dream. (We’re also spending a week in Lisbon.)
2. New Zealand—that whole Middle Earth thing, you know! And while I’m there, maybe I’ll take a detour to Australia.
3. I’ve been to about half the continental United States. I’d like to road-trip around the rest of the country.

What’s one of your favorite books?
Les Miserables

Do you have a nickname? Care to share?
My grandkids call me Malize. The reason why is complicated and not that interesting, but it’s a combo of Mom and Leez.

Coffee or tea?
Neither! Give me cocoa instead please.

Cats or dogs or both?
Dogs have a slight edge over cats. I have two canine buddies. Rugby is my princely papillon who has treed more than one raccoon despite his small size. And Griff is my happy-go-lucky collie who gets the zoomies most evenings. Have you ever seen a fifty-pound collie toss a toy in the air then slide across the room to get it? Very entertaining! He’s also skilled at dripping water everywhere.

Which of your characters do you secretly have a crush on?
I thought it was AJ Sullivan, the hero of Where She Belongs. But I took the Misty Willow Hero Quiz (created by my talented marketing team at Revell) and got Gabe Kendall, the hero of What Hope Remembers.

You can take the quiz, too—be sure and let us know who you get!

Which Misty Willow Hero Is Your True Love


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Answer: 1 is the lie. My younger daughter, not me, was the one who appeared on a short-lived Nickelodeon game show. However, I did take her to the audition.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac | New Novel News

Then There Was You 
by Kara Isaac

Published: June 22, 2017
Publisher: Bellbird Press
Purchase: Then There Was You

Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He's determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

Get to know Kara...

Who is your favorite secondary character?
My favorite secondary character is Kat. She’s introduced in Close To You as Allie’s best friend, makes a cameo appearance in Can’t Help Falling, and is now in Then There Was You as Paige’s cousin. I’m really hoping to write her story one day!

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
To get my (three) children to go to sleep with a single glance and stay that way all nigh!

What's one chore you hate doing?
I hate ironing with a passion. So I um don’t. I can count the number of times I’ve ironed in the last ten years on one hand. Fortunately my husband doesn’t have a job that requires him to wear dress shirts but for the occasional wedding or big event he’s on his own!


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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Story Behind | UNITE 2017


Guess what my dear readers? I'm attending the CBA's UNITE 2017 International Convention next week! Don't know what it is? Check out more information HERE.

I'm really excited that this convention is only about an hour away from me. In the past I've seen information about it after the fact and sometimes I've even followed friends who have attended, but I was never able to go myself...until this year.

I'll be attending as a member of the media (very exciting😀) and I get to do what I love! Talk about books and passion with people!

My Focus for the Convention

At first glance I was thinking...what exactly can I gain from UNITE. Obviously, that was a little self-focused, but I wanted to make sure that attending would be a wise decision. As I've had more time to think about this I've realized a few things that I'd like to share. 

1) I LOVE learning about people's passions 
It's true. I gain so much joy from listening to others talk about things they are passionate about. Passion inspires. Passion creates. Passion changes. Because of that, the interviews that I have set up will focus on that: the PASSION behind the PRODUCT. I'll be asking questions regarding people's passions so that I can then turn around and share them here with you.

The books and products that will be on display (from large publishing houses to small) reflect acts of passion from those who have produced them. From the author who writes the book to the team that chooses to publish it to the marketing experts who help spread the word, all of those things are acts of passion.

2) The reason I have a platform is to USE it
No, I may not have a brick and mortar bookstore in which to sell products, but I do have this blog and my other social media outlets so that I can share things with you all. During the conference I'll be taking my camera with me (I'm sure no one is surprised by that) and I'll be documenting my interviewees and the convention itself. I'll also be sharing Instagram "stories" of those I meet with, their books, and a personal Emilie's-Eye-View of the convention. It'll be your chance to "see what I see".

To experience the convention with me I'd invite you to join me on Instagram at: www.instagram.com/createexploreread and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/eacreativephoto

*Are you attending? Let me know so we can meet up!

3) Everyone's story is UNIQUE
As a writer, I know the importance of story. I also know that one of the most powerful things we can do is share our stories and our passions with others. During my time at UNITE I want to make sure my interviews shine the light on "The Story Behind". That will be the series title for the posts that will stem from my time at this conference.

I invite you to join along on the journey whether that's live Tweeting or on Instagram later when you look through my stories. I want this convention to bridge the gap between authors, book sellers, and readers alike where our stories can influence others and where our passions can shine through.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Jeanne M. Dickson | Author Chat


You may recognize this lovely authors name from my Monday New Novel News post about her first and new release of her book Grounded Hearts. I am so excited to give you all a deeper look into the author of this lovely novel. So, grab your beverages and let's get to know author Jeanne M. Dickson!

Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. Her grandmother lived with them and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and the saints and ancestors long gone from this earth. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling.

Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer’s conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star.

Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.

Let's get real...

What’s one thing you would like to impart to your readers about your books and being an author?
We’re all human therefore we’re all sinners. But His forgiveness and amazing grace is offered freely upon our asking.

Share an embarrassing story. (Come on, we know you have one!)
During a ballet performance of Les Patineurs, my partner lifted me up and my costume went down. Truly a Lucille Ball moment but that pretty much sums up most of my ballet career.

If you were forced to do karaoke what song would you pick?
You’ll Be Back from Hamilton.

Two truths and a lie:
A)I lived in Ireland when I was a child.
B) I lived in France when I was a child.
C) I lived in Germany when I was a child.

Any weird habits you have when writing or plotting?
Dressing my Barbie dolls in new outfits to reflect my cast of characters, then placing them on my desk. Here is the cast of characters from my work in progress, Eire Ever After.


If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
Saoirse Ronan and Henry Cavill.

Name one song/artist you're embarrassed you like.
Death Of A Bachelor by Panic! At the Disco.

Which of your characters do you secretly have a crush on?
My pilot, Dutch. Of course.


Connect with Jeanne:
Website - http://www.jeannemdickson.com/
FB - https://www.facebook.com/Jeanne-M-Dickson-660226910801814/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/jmdickson1
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jeannedickson/

Grounded Hearts
by Jeanne M. Dickson

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

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

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

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

Don't forget to join in the giveaway from Monday's post (you can enter below):

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Answer: B was the lie.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock | Re:View

Fast-paced, complex, and powerful, If I'm Found shows readers the beauty of what can happen when we value others over ourselves. 

*** 

This thrilling second installment of the If I Run series by Terri Blackstock was just as exciting as the first book. Here we find Casey Cox faced with being on the run--again.

It seems as if everything is stacked against Casey. She's got a few advantages, one being that she's able to communicate with Dylan Roberts. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book because: romance. Okay, I know, I know...there's so much more to this book than romance, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for it! I loved how Terri brought their characters together.

I also love love love how there is a juxtaposition of plots going on here. You've got the overall plot of Casey being a fugitive but then you've got Casey's "new" life where she must act in order to do the right thing even if it jeopardizes her own safety. Terri is QUEEN of creating such intriguing plot lines that, while there is a ton going on and you think it could be too convoluted, you see how it all works out seamlessly in the end.

I also love how we see the strengths and weaknesses of Dylan and Casey. They aren't perfect. They have real struggles and they must choose to fight for what is right. It's refreshing and in no way off-putting at how real they both are. 
 
As I did for book one, I felt as if this book was stretched out in order to make it a trilogy. Don't get me wrong--it's a fantastic book! It's well written and gripping! But, during the wrap up, I found myself thinking that it could have come to a conclusion in just two books. I'm happy that there'll be a third because I think we can gather that God will use Casey again in way's she couldn't foresee in the lives of others. I also love the characters so I'm looking forward to see what happens. So really, it's not a negative as much as it's an observation. It's a shorter book but packed with action.

A definite recommend from me for those who like romantic suspense, suspense, and a action-packed plot. It's not heavy on the romance but just right (in my opinion). Besides, Terri deals with some tough topics in an honest but careful way. You'll find yourself rooting for Casey and Dylan by the end (if not from the very beginning).

My rating: 5*
Purchase: If I'm Found


Book Description
(from Amazon
Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.

As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.
_______________
I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Motivated to Write by Kathy Ide | Guest Post


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____

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

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

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kate Breslin & Jeanne M. Dickson | New Novel News

High as the Heavens 
by Kate Breslin

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

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

Get to know Kate...

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

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

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

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

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Grounded Hearts
by Jeanne M. Dickson

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

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

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

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

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

Get to know Jeanne...

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

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

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

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



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