Lookee here!!

Week of April 26 011Look at what arrived in the mail on Wednesday! That’s right, it’s the proof copy for Amazing Grace. Unfortunately, there were a few problems. Here’s one of them. Compare these two pictures. One is from my computer and the other is from the book. Continue reading

Questions

SP Blog Post Graphic

I have recently been asked questions about how I published my books and if I have any advice on that. This has led me to a decision. I am going to write a blog series on the self-publication process. This series will include:

  • Resources I have used and recommend
  • Resources I have used and do not recommend
  • Marketing ideas
  • How to become an independently published author
  • My publishing journey
  • And probably more

Before I can really do this, I need your help. Do you have any specific questions you would like to have answered about the self-publication process? If so, either comment with your question(s) or email me at faith.blum.author@gmail.com and I will add your questions to my ever growing list.

Thank you and I look forward to sharing with my journey with you.

Stories and opportunities

Stories by Students

A dear friend of mine teaches at a local Christian school. This year, she has a Christian Literature class and got permission to read my book, A Mighty Fortress with her class. Then she had the idea to have the author come in as a guest to talk to the class. As we brainstormed some activities and/or writing projects her students could do, I came up with the idea that each of the students could write a short back story of one of the characters in A Mighty Fortress. Apparently, the students loved the ideas. Continue reading

Of thank yous, websites, writing, and sales

First, I would like to say a big

Thank you!

 to everybody who voted for the cover for Amazing Grace. This thank you is a little delayed, but I really did appreciate all the votes. It helped me a LOT! And the cover is now finished!

AG

I’ve been pretty busy writing, editing, redoing part of my website and helping set up a sale for the Christmas season with others in one of the Facebook writing groups I am in. Oh, yeah, and also spending time with my family. This blog post is meant to be an update on all of it. Some might interest you and some might not. I hope it all does, though. Continue reading

Author Interview: Shanna Hatfield

Shanna-Hatfield-Nov-Blog-TourWelcome to my blog, Shanna! I can’t wait to get to know you better. Before we get started, can you describe who you are in three sentences or less?

Shanna Hatfield 5x7A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, I write sweet romantic fiction with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, I’m completely smitten with my husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

What is one unique thing about you that only those closest to you might know?

I have a tendency to hum when I’m intently focused on something.

From what I have seen of your books, it looks like you write historical fiction and contemporary fiction. Which do you prefer to write?

It’s hard to choose a favorite because I love them both! History has always fascinated me and I enjoy doing research, so that might tip the scales in the favor of historical fiction.

What do you most like about writing historical fiction? What do you least like? What about contemporary fiction?

When I write historical fiction I get to immerse myself in a time that no longer exists. The elaborate fashions and over-the-top décor of the Victorian era make my heart pitter-patter with joy. What I like least about writing historical fiction is making sure all the details are accurate. I try to triple-check any historical details (even words and phrases). Contemporary fiction is fun for me to write because it involves less research and I can use any word or phrase and not have to check if it is period appropriate.

What is your next writing project and when is it due to be published?

Christmas-CalamityThe third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series comes out Thursday, Nov. 13! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here:   http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994

Also, I’m hosting a release party for the book on Facebook that day with a group of great guest authors and fun prizes, so make sure to stop by. The party runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PT), but entries for the contests will be held open to accommodate all the time zones. Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Five fun questions:

Coffee, tea, or water? Water most of the time, although I do enjoy a sweetened cup of mint tea.

Movies or books? Books!

Cats or dogs? We have two outdoor cats that adopted us, but I generally prefer dogs.

What is your favorite genre of music? Country music, although I listen to a variety of different styles and have a thing for Big Band music.

Do you have a favorite book that you have written? That is a hard one. I think my favorite historical fiction is probably my new book, Crumpets and Cowpies, coming out in January. My favorite contemporary fiction is a tie between Learnin’ the Ropes and The Cowboy’s Summer Love.

Book Blurb for The Christmas Bargain:

christmas-bargain-coverLuke Granger is about to get more than he bargained for…
As owner and manager of the Hardman bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. When he calls in a long overdue loan, Luke finds himself reluctantly accepting a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt.

 

Book Excerpt The Christmas Bargain:

“Aren’t you observant, Mrs. Granger?”

“I try.” She hid her smile behind the mug of chocolate.

“I happen to know a thing or two about you.” He shot her a sideways glance.

“Do tell, kind sir.” Filly batted her eyelashes at him. If Luke didn’t know better, he would think she was being downright flirtatious.

“I have observed, dear woman, that you put others before yourself, you are a dedicated and caring friend and that you have a keen mind with a quick wit. You are clever, smart, and not afraid of hard work. You are very talented with domestic skills and are inspiring as a cook. Your chocolate pudding could make grown men weep.”

Filly offered him a perturbed glare. “So, Mr. Granger, I have missed my calling as a school teacher or perhaps a cook at the restaurant. If my chocolate pudding makes grown men weep, what will my peach pie do to the male population? Bring them to their knees? Make them beg for mercy?”

Luke laughed aloud, causing Filly to grin.

“Filly, my girl, you are something else.” Luke reached across the table and captured her hand in his. “You might not think I notice you, wife of mine, but I know you…”

About the Blog Tour

I (Shanna) am on a blog tour this week with the Cowboys and Christmas tour to kick off a promotion I’m doing with the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. Now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate ten percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. I learned about this great organization when I was researching the first book in the Rodeo Romance series, The Christmas Cowboy.

Enter to Win Prizes!

Prize Basket

 As part of the blog tour, I’m giving away some exciting prizes. To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.

http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Follow Shanna online:

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Hi, I’m August Howitz

Hi, I’m August Howitz. Nice to meet you. You probably know me as Faith, but see, I took this personality test with characters from a series of books I like to read and the person I got was August Howitz from Grace Pennington’s Firmament series. She writes mostly Science Fiction (or as one blogger called it, Space Opera and please don’t ask me what that is, I probably don’t know anymore than you do), but she also wrote an awesome Western Mystery novel. But I’m getting sidetracked.

As I was saying, when I took Grace’s personality test, I got the character I thought I would: August Howitz. Thus the reason I’m going with that name for right now. I also happen to know that he is my friend Aubrey‘s favorite character, so that must mean something right?. 😉

 Here’s the description of August:

You aren’t a bold or outgoing person, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have inner strength. Though you tend to be timid, self-conscious, and insecure, when put to the test you show more courage than people give you credit for. You are sensitive and crave approval from those you love, but you tend to keep your feelings to yourself.

Does that fit me? Who did you get? I want to know who you people are, so make sure you take the test and then come back here and let me know who you are.

The Countdown

Grace is doing a countdown to her book publication and I’m smack dab in the middle. So make sure you check out the first two blogs and then the last two over the next couple of days.

8th – Joel A. Parisi
19th – Aubrey Hansen
20th – Faith Blum
21th – Elisabeth G. Foley
22th – Jonathan Garner

The Book

Machiavellian frontOn their way back to Earth from the newly discovered world of Kainus Ge, the Surveyor rescues the personnel of a malfunctioning science station. Young medical assistant Andi quickly befriends the newcomers, particularly the charming captain, but things get complicated when the scientists offer the impossible–a way to improve the barren planet and the lives of all its inhabitants.

There’s only one problem: their solution requires the Surveyor to enter the one area of the galaxy which is off-limits to travel.

As the Captain struggles with his decisions, Andi and her father become suspicious of the “accidents” that keep happening on the ship. Could it be coincidence, or is someone trying to sabotage their mission? Can they uncover the truth in time to stop the Captain from wrecking his career and losing his ship forever?

The Book Review

Five stars
Recommended Ages: 10 and up

Characters: 1/1
As with Radialloy and In His Image, Grace does a wonderful job with her characters. There have been very few times when I felt that her characters were two dimensional or unrealistic. In Machiavellian, she doesn’t disappoint. Fans of Andi Lloyd will be happy to know that Andi is the same growing young woman she was in the first two books. And the best part, in my opinion, is that she goes through even more struggles to show that she isn’t perfect. I really appreciate Grace making her characters have good and bad qualities.

Dialogue: 1/1
Again, like the characters, the dialogue in Grace’s book has always been well done. It is engaging, realistic, humorous, and fits each character.

Plot/storyline: 1/1
I can’t wait to finally be able to talk about this book freely (Note: I beta-read the book in June). The plot is amazingly complex, yet simple once you read the end. Each of Grace’s books have had a mystery element to them and this one is no different.

Over-all writing quality: 1/1
I have honestly been jealous of Grace’s writing abilities ever since I read her first book, especially “Never”. Her writing is always very well done and I wish I had even a tenth of her talent.

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1
I read this book in something like two days and it only took me that long because I read it on my computer and had to eat, do chores, and other things. I had to find out what was going on and what they were all going to decide.

Overall: 5/5
I would recommend this book to anybody over the age of 10. Some kids under 10 might be okay with it, but there are elements that they would not understand and would probably need some explanations. If you haven’t read the first two, you might not understand some of the references to the other books, but those are few and far between and shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of the book.

If you haven’t bought this book, go to the Amazon page (on October 23rd) and buy it. I can almost guarantee you will like it.

Character Interview: Lirth

I realize I already posted something today, but I also had this blog post scheduled as part of a blog tour, so you get a treat: two blog posts in one day.

BlogTourButtonToday, we have a special guest. Our guest is Lirth, from Rachel Rossano’s book, The King of Anavrea. I haven’t read it yet, but I look forward to reading it. It sounds fascinating.

Introducing the book

WEB-Rossano-KingOfAnavrea-FINALA reluctant king, a blind queen, and a marriage that sparked a rebellion…

Ireic Theodoric, King of Anavrea, constantly battles with his council over who will run the country. When the council insists on a treaty with Sardmara, he agrees. However, the treaty quickly becomes an arranged marriage. Ireic offers up himself for the sake of Anavrea. But after he signs, no princess appears.

Lirth Parnan, only daughter of the king of Sardmara, survives alone in a cold, damp tower room. Baron Tor kidnapped her in an attempt to control her father. No one came to claim her. She suspects her father considers her flawed beyond use in his political games. After five years of waiting, her hope of rescue wanes with her health.

After Ireic fights his way into Lirth’s tower, he realizes the depths of her father’s deception. Instead of being an answer to his problems, Lirth creates new ones. The council will not accept her as queen, but Ireic has sworn an oath that he will marry her. His choice could cost him his throne, perhaps his life.

Introducing our special guest

And now for the interview with Lirth.

Me: How old were you when you went blind?

Lirth: I lost my sight when I was seven. While out riding with my brothers, I was thrown from my horse. For three days, I remained unconscious with a fever. When I finally woke, I could see nothing.

Me: What do you do in the tower?

L: Pace, think, sing, talk to myself and the Kurios, sleep, listen to the men guarding me, listen to the sounds outside my window, whatever I can think of to keep me from losing my mind to boredom.

Me: Do you have any hobbies?

L: Before I was kidnapped, I indulged in many past times like music, listening to books read out loud, stitching, walking in the gardens, riding out with my brothers (when they visited), and rambling the countryside with my dogs.

Me: If you could do one thing with your life, what would it be?

L: I would seek to glorify my Savior, the Kurios. Whether it is as a Queen or a pauper, my purpose is to glorify Him.

Me: If you could change one thing about you, what would you change?

L: My sight. It causes such hardship to those I love. My husband almost lost his kingdom because of it. My ability to serve as Queen is limited by it. Above all else, I wish I could see my husband. Having never known him or even seen a painting of him before I lost my sight, I am forced to depend on other’s descriptions, my memory of colors, and the “seeing” ability of my fingers.

Me: What is your favorite song?

L: Although my author says it couldn’t have possibly been around during my time, my favorite hymn is Speak Lord in the Stillness.

Me: Do you have a favorite food?

L:I love fresh fruit and vegetables. After years of cold and rotting food, anything fresh is a great treat. I also really appreciate warm and well-seasoned dishes. I missed those during my captivity.

Thanks for stopping by, Lirth!

Introducing the author

SquareProfile2A200Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virture set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

Rachel Rossano loves to interact with readers.

Blog ~ http://rachel-rossano.blogspot.com/

Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/RachelRossano

Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/RachelRossanoRambles

YouTube ~ http://www.youtube.com/anavrea

GoodReads ~ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1430209.Rachel_Rossano

Introducing the other bloggers

To read more visit Emily’s blog tomorrow and Melody’s blog on Sunday.

Be Thou My Vision Blog tour

Be Thou My Vision Blog TourI am excited to announce that there will be a blog tour for Be Thou My Vision starting on October 20th and ending October 31st. The blog tour is being organized by the lovely Dawnita Fogleman and the blog tour schedule and opening post will be announced on her blog on October 20th. Make sure you head over there on Monday and find out more about the fun we are going to have. And don’t forget that Be Thou My Vision is available for preorder and only on sale until October 26th!

BTMV tagline promoBut, that’s not the best part! The best part is that on November 1st, we are going to have a big Facebook party complete with prizes and fun giveaways. So far, we have at least 10 books of various genres, age groups, and authors to giveaway. Including, Lord willing, a paperback set of A Mighty Fortress and Be Thou My Vision as the Grand Prize!

Help!

I have a dilemma. I have three book cover ideas to choose from for Amazing Grace, but I can’t decide which one I like better or looks more consistent with the first two. That’s where you come in. I posted something on Facebook and Google +, but there is an almost two-way tie. That’s where you come in.

First, the blurb:

Caleb hurried to the post office. He had to get in and out before his sister finished at the general store. “Any mail for the Stuarts?” He asked the post master.

The post master took a lazy look at him over the top of his eyeglasses and gave a heaving sigh. “Yep. Somethin’ from Ohio and somethin’ from Montana.”

Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written something to Montana. None of my business. He folded and stashed the Ohio letter in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.

As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles.

Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.

Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?

Continue reading