Monday, June 29, 2015

Like A Love Song by Camille Eide | New Novel News

Like A Love Song 
by Camille Eide

Published April 30, 2015
Ashberry Lane Publishing
Purchase: Like A Love Song

When she finally surrenders her heart, will it be too late?

Susan Quinn, a social worker turned surrogate mom to foster teens, fights to save the group home she’s worked hard to build. But now, she faces a dwindling staff, foreclosure, and old heartaches that won't stay buried. Her only hope lies with the last person she’d ever turn to—a brawny handyman with a guitar, a questionable past, and a God he keeps calling Father.

Like a Love Song is a romantic drama about a fiercely loyal woman, some cast-off kids, and finding the courage to believe in a love that never fails.

Get to know Camille...

Which of your characters do you secretly have a crush on? 
Not a crush, but tied by mama-heartstrings: if Jasmine and Chaz, teens in Like a Love Song, were real kids, I’d adopt them in a heartbeat. Actually, I’d take them all!

What's one chore you hate doing? 
Cleaning toilets. ugh. And dusting. And folding laundry. Wait, did you say one?

What’s your favorite book? 
One of several favorites is still W. Dale Cramer’s Summer of Light. Wise & pants-wetting witty story about a frustrated stay-at-home dad.


Make sure you leave a comment to enter to win an eBook copy of Like A Love Song!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Loving When the Going Gets Rough

 My heart is burdened today by the fact that we toss out the word love without truly understanding it. We limit what it looks like, what it can do, and what it should do.

I feel like the definition of love has been changed. It now solely means that a person must accept anything and everything regardless of what they may personally believe or feel convicted about. I'm not going to debate the major issue here because I don't think this is the platform for it, but I do want to shed some light on the idea of love and tolerance and what that really means and looks like.

Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with (source).

What does it mean to tolerate something? I feel as if the definition is clear, but from what I've seen and observed there mere act of "tolerating" something you don't agree with is now not enough.

A slightly silly example:

If I'm out getting dessert with a group of close friends and I say that I tolerate ice cream but I love cookies, my friends will (rightly) infer that I will be getting cookies rather than ice cream. What crosses the line is when a friend steps up and says,"No, you must like ice cream." At that point we would have a conversation about how I don't want ice cream and prefer cookies as a dessert.

What really becomes the issue here is when that same friend cries out to the rest of our group of friends pointing their finger at me and saying, "Can you believe it? She doesn't like ice cream! How can she choose to not like ice cream? I say we kick her out of our group and tell everyone else about how unfair it is that she doesn't like ice cream."

That's ridiculous. And I know that it is an imperfect example, but there are elements of truth there. It is perfectly fine to disagree with someone about...well, anything. The issue becomes when your disagreement (or the fact that you hold to a certain belief system) becomes "hate" or your preference is no longer valid.

I want to express one thought that many have already brought to the table - I'll be white noise at this point - but it's the reality of what marriage is. I personally don't think marriage should ever have been the issue because it's a word. Right now, in lieu of the recent law passing, the definition of marriage is being rewritten.

I am someone who uses words for a living and I have to ask, can we do that? Better yet, can the government do that? Can they pick and choose what words they wish to redefine? If tomorrow I picked up a spoon and said, "This is no longer a spoon, it is a fork" you'd think I was crazy. You would also politely remind me that we already have forks and that I can't just go around making up my mind that something that is established should be changed.

What is marriage? It's a covenant between a man and a woman that is united by and under God. It is an example of Christ and the church.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
- Ephesians 5:22-33
Ok, so things have changed. What is the response then? The response is one of love - but true, Gospel-centered love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I understand the desire to fight, bicker, or argue over what is right and wrong. Some could see this post as that, but it's not. In fact, it's my call for us to respond in love even when we are not given the some consideration. It's tempting to want to fight or to point out the disparity between what some are demanding and what is right, just, and fair.

This is our time to show Christ and what true love looks like. It isn't accepting sin, but it's also not condemning (that is God's role). It isn't angry fighting, but it's also not refraining from engaging (all of this covered in a loving response). It's also not the loss of hope, but a call to prayer (there is always hope in every situation because God can--and will--enter in to every area).

Pray for our nation. Respond in love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Robin E. Mason {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Robin...

I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason began writing in 1995, and after a few (dozen) (thousand) hiccups and curve balls, other life projects, including four years of college, she began working on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Ms. Mason has written posts as a guest blogger, and has to her credit several dozen poems, several of which are in a recent anthology. “I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me! I mean, even my dollies and Barbies had backstory!”

Ms. Mason started writing as a self-prescribed therapy in 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity. Her characters face many of these same demons.

Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own. She currently lives alone, with her five cats.

I write Christian-worldview--in other words, there's no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.

How to connect with Robin...

Purchase: Tessa

Author Interview | Robin E. Mason

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started because the stories fell out of me. I used to have character conversations play out in my head – long before I knew I was a writer. *see bio!! What I began writing 20 years ago was my story, my very unpretty story. It was a form of therapy for a difficult time in my life. I discovered two things: I love writing and I’m pretty good. That difficult season was not brief and I did not pursue writing at the time. Although I’ve had a MYRIAD of story ideas [and most are written in a journal] I still didn’t do anything with it until 2008 when the first words of Tessa came to me as I was going for a walk. I made tentative progress, then started college, and was later diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis; all energy was put toward school. Upon graduation in 2013, I naturally assumed I’d begin a fantastic career in Interior Design; I did not; job offers did not flood my inbox. I turned my attention back to my writing, and finished Tessa by the end of January 2014.
...What had kept me writing is the constant confirmation from Holy Spirit that this is, in fact, what He has for me to do. That and my passion for writing, creating worlds, people, storylines – I love it all!! I can’t imagine not writing now.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Well, since I’ve the one published, she’s got to be my favorite. Then again, although I had no thought [pro or con] of writing a sequel, let alone a series, and the fact that there are two distinct places in Tessa that lend to the sequel, and then the third and final in the series, I might say the third story, Cissy, will have a favorite spot in my heart.

If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest: keeping my head above water!!! My first blog post last year [drowning, 041114] I talked about ALLLLLLLL the hats we Indies have to wear. A year + later, and I’m still trying to sift through what works best for me!!!
...The easiest: writing. I love it. I get seriously into the story as I go along. [ps, I’m an actress, also, and really really get into character!]

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...As I said, the opening to Tessa came to me and the rest pretty much flowed out. I was naïve about anything beyond telling the story, had no deadline or timeline, no thoughts of how to get published even. Clara Bess the second book in the series, opens with her discovery, at the age of 50, that her mother was, in fact, not her mother. She finds no adoption papers, however, and – after the shock wears off – sets to an investigation to find out about the woman’s name on her birth certificate. The why is because a few people asked if I was planning a sequel to Tessa, and when I looked, I saw the story unfold.

...The series, Unsavory Heritage, digs at the heritage these women share through generations – and what set it into motion to begin with.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...My main characters all have a bit of me in them, some of the struggles, mostly with identity, are some of the things I’ve dealt with. But Tessa’s husband, Howie, was loosely modeled after a friend of mine who passed away last year not long after Tessa was released for Kindle. He’s so laid back, has such an enigmatic and quirky smile, and so intelligent, and confident. If I have to pick a favorite, it’s Howie.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...We all have value. Who we are, in Christ, is where our purpose lies. Tessa is not written as Christian Fiction, although she does become a believer. I wrote without regard to genre, and there are a few PG-13 cuss words – then again, perhaps that’s part of the message. Even with careless words – or an unsavory heritage – we are His, and He can make all things new.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both? ...Combination. I’m totally a Pantzer, with the barest notion of the overall story arc. I sit down to write and the story tells me what’s going on. I can get inspiration from nearly anything – was reading about a gal who is a potter – now I’ve a story brewing with a character, blind no less, who is a potter! Hey, Beethoven was deaf! I can haz a blind potter!

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories? 
...All of the above! I’m an encourager, so I want that to carry over in my stories. I hope to inspire, trigger perhaps some stray thread of hope and faith. I want readers to feel what my characters feel, laughter, pain, despair. I think all good writing is a means of escape.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Write. And balance. There is SOOOOOOO much advice available now, no one writer can possibly do all the “tricks.” It’s trial and error to find what fits, what works for you as an individual. I’ve got a good groove going with my blog, writing reviews and interviews – but I enjoy that; you might not. I love doing my research, tidbits and details that make a story shine. Find your voice, set your routine, what works for you. Attend conferences. Join writer’s groups – there are some good groups online. Follow other writers – Facebook, blog / website, Twitter. Interact, learn, read. Oh, and read some more.


What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
...I go for walks. My health lately allows only little “walk-lets” but I try to get out 2 or 3 times each day – fresh air is great! Being outdoors is like a cathedral for me, the time communion with Holy Spirit. I love to draw and paint – don’t do much lately… I like to work in the yard when I have the opportunity. And I love spending time with my friends – something my flexible schedule allows more than when I was working a “regular” job. [ps, I’m on Disability for the RA, and my kids are grown so my time is pretty much what I feel like doing!]

...Also, I have five kitty babies: Shadow, Juniper, Jasper, Jake, and Penelope.

What is one thing you are looking forward to for the Summer?
...Getting Clara Bess finished and edited and published!! Also, I’m standing on the Word of God for healing! Looking forward to that any day!!!


Thanks so much for being on the blog Robin! It was great "meeting" you through my NaNoWriMo support group last year and I'm so happy the friendship has continued. And thank you so much for offering a signed copy of Tessa to one lucky U.S. reader AND entering them into a drawing for Clara Bess. Make sure you readers leave a comment for Robin so you can be entered to win a copy. I love how you say, "Who we are, in Christ, is where our purpose lies." Amen sister!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Conferences and Photography: Upcoming Dates and Locations

If you've spent much time on this blog you've probably heard me talk about my business as a photographer (check out my website for funzies: I think one of the *best* things is the fact that I get to combine my love for photography and writing when I attend writing conferences! I get to photograph all the activities and I get to hang out with writers when I take headshots. It's just so much fun!

I'm expanding from the ACFW Conference (September 17-20th) to include a local conference, the ACFW Virginia Writers Conference (July 25th) and the Speculative Fiction conference, Realm Makers (August 7-8th) this year. I'm so excited about this! {If you're attending any of these and are interested in a session, contact me!}

You may be I really need a professional headshot? Well, no need to wonder any longer. I've written on this in the past but soon I'll be posting a 3 part series titled: Headshots and Marketing Photos. I'll be exploring author photos, marketing photos, prices, and some tips and tricks for great photos.

So, if you're out there I need a new headshot? The answer is likely YES, but check back here and hopefully I'll be able to convince you of the necessity before you think I'm just saying that because I'm a photographer ;) Writers honor, I am not.

In the mean time, check out these posts for some reading about headshots: 

What are you saying with your headshot? (Part 1) 
A look at why you need a headshot and why it's a good investment to get a new one! 

What are you saying with your headshot? (Part 2) 
Some practical advice when getting your headshots taken.

What are you saying with your headshot? (Part 3)
Some hard and fast facts about headshots, copyrights and releases.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Book Winners

We have winners! These are always such fun posts!

First off for Battered Justice by Linda J. White our winner is...

Eva Rockman

Congratulations Eva - get in contact with me via the form to the left and we'll get your copy out to you!

And, for Get Real by Jamy Whitaker our winner is...

Caryl Kane

Congrats Caryl! I'll be in contact :)

Thank you everyone who participated. If you didn't win this time don't worry! Stop by Loree Lough's {Writer Wednesday} interview from this week. She's offering up 2 books so there will be 2 more winners! Can you tell I LOVE giving away books :D

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Loree Lough {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Loree...

Best-selling author Loree Lough has more than 5,000,000 4- and 5-star books in circulation, 7 book-to-movie options, and contracts for additional series slated to release by year-end 2018. Books 105 & 106 (Harlequin Heartwarming’s Sweet Mountain Rancher, #2 “Those Marshall Boys” series, and Guardians of the Heart, #2, “Secrets on Sterling Street” historical series from Whitaker) released this summer, and the third book in each series will hit store shelves early in 2016. Loree loves interacting with readers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email (and answers every letter, personally). Keep up with all the latest at

How to connect with Loree...

Website & Blog:   
Purchase: Once a Marine (contemporary), #1 “Those Marshall Boys” series
Currency of the Heart (historical), #1“Secrets on Sterling Street” series

Author Interview | Loree Lough

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

How did you start writing?
...I started out as a ‘beat reporter’ and ‘freelance writer,’ taking assignments from area newspapers and magazines. What I learned on the job has been immensely helpful in helping me work quickly and efficiently…lessons that have transferred very well into novel-writing.

What has kept you writing?
...More than any other factor, letters from my readers have inspired me to keep writing. In each letter, they spell out how my stories touch their lives…how they identify with the characters and/or situations featured in each novel.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Most authors probably agree that the book they’re writing at present is their favorite…and I’m no exception!

If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing?
...Waiting. We wait to hear back from experts we interview to ensure our stories ring with accuracy and truth. We wait to make the story as perfect as it can be. We wait to hear from agents and editors. And once contracted, we wait for editors to give us the ‘it’s at the printers’!’ signal. We wait for delivery of our author copies, and wait for the big release day. We wait to hear from reviewers and readers. And then we wait for our royalty checks. LOL

The easiest?
...Interacting with my readers!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your books

Once a Marine is the story of former Marine Zach Marshall, whose entire life has been dedicated to protecting and/or rescuing others, and Summer Lane, formerly gregarious voice-over actress who becomes a hermit after a violent attack. Zach now owns “Marshall Law,” a self-defense studio specializing in teaching women how to protect themselves. It isn’t easy, but Summer signs up for classes…and learns a whole lot more about herself than how to fend off an attacker!

Currency of the Heart is the story of Shaina Sterling who, after the shocking death of her husband, learns how deep in debt his lavish lifestyle has left her. To protect his reputation—and hers—she secretly sells valuable possessions, hoping her wealthy Denver friends never learn that she’s been living a lie. Successful rancher Sloan Remington has known her secret for a long time. Soon, a series of misfortunes make Shaina beholden to him—and threaten to expose a secret about his own past.

Why did you write them?
...I wrote these books to shed light on the impact our dark secrets can have on our lives—and on those who love us most.

Do you have favorite characters in these works? If so, why?
...All of my characters have flaws, things they need to come to grips with and overcome before they can change and grow and experience life and love on a whole new level. The heroes and heroines in Once a Marine and Currency of the Heart are no exception.

What is one take-away from your books that you hope readers identify with?
...My greatest hope and main, always, is that my stories will deliver an entertaining read. If they readers learn a little something about a particular time, place, or situation, that’s like ice cream on the pie!

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Ideas are, quite literally, everywhere. I find storylines while watching the news and reading the paper, while waiting in line at the grocery store, during vacations. Playing “what if?” and “what happens next?” is as exciting for me as it is—hopefully—for readers!

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories? 
...In every book, believe it or not, I hope to deliver all of those things to readers. If the nearly 100,000 letters in my files are any indicator, I’m making good on that promise.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Read, a lot. Attend writers conferences. Network with your peers. Study every how-to book you can get your hands on. And when you start getting feedback, learn from that, too. One of the most important things to learn is…never, ever quit. 


What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
...Believe it or not, researching the next novel is extremely relaxing! I also enjoy gardening, cooking and baking, and painting/sketching. But the thing I love most is spending time with my real-life hero and our daughters and grandorables!

Thinking of Fathers Day, is there something you’d like to share with the readers about fathers? 
...“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” My husband Larry has excelled in that…and in being a good father to our daughters.

What is one thing you are looking forward to for the Summer?
...I’m one of those people who loves all the seasons, each for its own special reasons!

...Thank you so much, Emilie, for inviting me to share your time and blog space with your followers! I hope to interact with all of you at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…and at upcoming workshops and book signings!

Thank YOU Loree, I'm so happy to have you on the blog! And thank you for your gracious giveaway! I'm so excited that two of my lucky readers will walk away with copies of your books. I love where you started your career (I myself freelance and it's a lot of fun, though a lot of work!). Both of your novels sound great and I can't wait to see who wins! Thanks again and I hope to see you back on the blog in the future.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jumping out of Your Comfort Zone by Jamy Whitaker | Guest Post

I'm excited to introduce you to my friend Jamy. We met at the ACFW Conference last year and she is just the sweetest! I know you'll be encouraged by her post today and don't forget to leave a comment because she has graciously offered up a giveaway copy of her book, Get Real: Stop Hiding Behind The Mask!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV)

The majority of us like to live within our comfort zone, because we feel safe and secure. However, if we are going to fulfill the purpose that God has for us, we are going to have to take that first step of faith. This is not easy. Many times we sit inside our safe, comfy box and think of all these reasons why we could not possibly step outside. I speak from experience; making excuses is exactly what I had been doing for quite sometime.

Over a year ago, I was sitting in a Bible study group trying to decide whether I was going to step out of my comfort zone and let those around me know where I felt the Lord was leading me. I will admit that this was difficult for me to do. It puts you in a very vulnerable place when you step out in faith and announce what direction you are going for the Lord. I knew by letting these women know, they would be watching me closer to see if I indeed followed through or simply retreated back to the security of my comfort zone. However, I knew the Lord was leading me in the direction of speaking and writing and I could not imagine turning my back on the purpose He has for my life.

For those who do not know me, this is so far outside of my comfort zone that I could no longer even see the box. Obviously, this is exactly where God wanted me, relying on His power and strength instead of my own. God has given me this passion to help others through my speaking and writing and He wanted me to jump out of the box and follow His path.

From Flickr by Denise P.S.
Therefore, I took that first step by telling those precious women what the Lord had placed on my heart and the direction I was headed. I asked for their prayers as I started this journey. I do not know where this road will take me, but I am certain I do not want to continue to sit on the sidelines. I made the choice to chase hard after the purpose God had given to me.

Since that first little step God has been redirecting me by closing and opening doors. Some opportunities were beyond anything I could have ever hoped for or imagined, but that is simply how God works. It all starts with that first step or leap of faith out of your comfort zone. The road will not be easy, but God has promised to walk with us every step of the way. Do not be satisfied with sitting and watching life pass you by. You need to get up and get going on your own journey.

Now, it is your turn. I challenge you this week to spend some time with God and see where He is leading you and then make a list of things you need to do to start your journey. Then, I want you to select one thing from the list and do it this week. No more excuses!


-->I am married to a wonderful man, Mitch. He is truly a blessing from God. He works as a project manager for Interior Fixtures. When he is not working, he can be found roaming our woods known by all as Whit-Akers. We have 5 wonderful children. Yes, that’s right 5. I cannot believe that God blessed us with so many children. They range in age from 7 to 17. They are the joy of our lives.
Join me as I work to stitch God's truths into everyday life.