Book Review: Picking Daisy by Valerie Howard

Title: Picking Daisy
Written By: Valerie Howard
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Recommended Ages: 13 & up

Introduction:

For a while now, I’ve been interested in the whole foster care/adoption types of things. But I didn’t know a lot about it. My parents did foster care for babies when I was young, so we never had to deal with the “problems” of the older kids. This book was very eye opening, but at the same time entertaining. Continue reading

Book Review: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt by Kate Willis

Title: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt
Written By: Kate Willis
Genre: Christian Children’s book
Recommended Ages: Any

Introduction:

I needed something quick to read before bed and remembered this one on my kindle. I decided to try it out and I’m so glad I did. Continue reading

Book Review: Season of Joy

Title: Season of Joy
Written By: Alexa Verde
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Recommended Ages: 15 & up

Introduction:

Joy loves to travel. She loves the adventure, writing up articles, and the exotic places she gets to visit. But is she just running away from things? She can’t keep a steady relationship. She doesn’t think men really like her because she isn’t super thin. And she lost her one true love shortly after high school when he married someone else. Continue reading

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

I need your assistance

*Walks onto the internet stage with fear, trepidation, and a little bit of hope.  Stopping at the podium, I clear my throat and open my mouth*

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After watching this video and getting a rather hard nudge or two from a friend (you know who you are 😉 ), I spent a couple of weeks praying about an idea that the above mentioned friend suggested to me.  After much prayer and some discussion with my family, I have decided to do it.  But, I need some help and that is where you come in and why I am writing this blog post.

First, a little more about the project. Continue reading

Character Interview: Caleb Stuart

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Today we start with three characters who are either in or at least mentioned in Be Thou My Vision but are also main characters in Amazing Grace.  Today’s character, Caleb Stuart, is Anna’s sister and will be one of the main characters in Amazing Grace along with his father, Iain, and Maggie and Rachel MacDougall (who you will meet next week).  And now, onto the interview.  As always, if you have more questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.  And be sure to read to the end as there is an excerpt from Be Thou My Vision as a small introduction to Caleb.

Caleb Stuart
Main Character in Amazing Grace
Hair: Brown hair with hints of red, short, straight
Eyes: brown
Height: 6’ 3”
Complexion: tanned, weather beaten, smattering of freckles
Features: average
Age: 32
Single

Caleb has been a farmer all his life. He was 11 when his mother died. He has always been introspective and quiet. It is rare for him to voice an opinion, good or bad, about anything. Though he has never voiced it, he has always dreamed of saving a “damsel in distress”. Even thought he has dreamed of that, he has never really had a desire to marry. He is indifferent to God and isn’t very open to pursuing a relationship with Him in the near future.

 

Why does he want to rescue a “damsel in distress”?

Good question.

Caleb has always been caring and compassionate. He wants to help in any way he can. As a boy, his mother read him fairy tales and when he played by himself, he pretended to be a prince saving the damsel in distress and riding off into the sunset. As he grew older, his dream has never gone away. It is a way to keep his mother’s memory alive. Continue reading

Someone Always Loved You: A Guest Post

 

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“Someone Always Loved You” Review and Reflection

Guest blog written by Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is an award winning author and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of articles as well as full novels including “Someone Always Loved You.” She looks forward to the release of “Wrong Place, Right Time” from The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House in December and “Accept this Dandelion” from Prism Books in February. She has 12 years of experience in radio broadcasting and a brief amount in TV news. Brooke and her husband Sean married in 2002 and have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Before I was a writer I spent 12 years in the radio industry. I enjoyed radio, but just because I passed my days producing spots and talking on the air didn’t mean that I wasn’t a writer at heart. In fact, the very first novel I wrote was during that time.

“Someone Always Loved You” is the novel of my heart. I really couldn’t tell you where it came from, but what I do know is that though I have written many things since, it is still the story that I feel closest to and I think that will always be the case.

I write “Someone Always Loved You” during breaks from work because at the time, I didn’t even have a computer at home that functioned very well. And I wrote it because I couldn’t NOT write it. The prologue for the book came to me one night and it bugged me and picked at me until I wrote it down. Once I had the prologue out, I felt like I owed it to the story to finish it, though I didn’t know how it would finish until the day I wrote the last line.

“Someone Always Loved You” is about an ambulance driver named Jay Barlett who hits a pedestrian his very first day on the job. The victim of the crash, Jordan James, is thrown into a coma. Jay keeps a near constant vigil at her side as he struggles with his faith and guilt. Jordan, while in the coma, weaves in and out of consciousness including memories of the past, hopes for the future, and eavesdropping on present conversations. As the story moves forward, Jay and Jordan’s lives intertwine in both the past and the present and a story of love over time unfolds, though not the one you might expect. “Someone Always Loved You” is an intricate drama that has a lot of elements involved including love, suspense, faith, adoption and much more. When you read this novel, your mind will churn and your soul will feel alive.

I wrote “Someone Always Loved You” for me, but once it was complete, I wanted to share what it had become. I searched for an agent and publisher with no luck and because of the disappointment, I gave up on writing. Years later looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have given up so quickly. I have now found writing success and I know that being a writer at heart is only a small portion of the battle. Finding the right publisher is like finding a needle in a haystack. And you’ll never find it if you give up looking. I gave up looking all those years ago.

But once my writing fervor was renewed more recently, I self-published “Someone Always Loved You” so that my family could enjoy it and so I could have copies to give to friends and other people I felt led to share it with. I even put it out as a digital book on kindle and priced it at .99. What has amazed me is that somehow, people have actually found the book. Several months ago I started receiving royalty payments from Amazon for it and though I only get a few cents from each sale, the reports told me that around 100 copies were selling…each month!

My hope for “Someone Always Loved You” is that people who read it enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. The book came to me during a time when I needed something in my life and it fulfilled that need. If someone reading it feels the same way, even just one person, then it has served its purpose.

Here’s what readers have said about “Someone Always Loved You”:

“I loved this book and the way everyone was connected. I cried with reading the last couple chapters. It is a great read for anyone.” -Radiann King

“I so enjoyed how the author wove all of their lives together. Great characters, beautiful story, and a lovely ending!” –Alicia Yale

“This book portrayed so many messages of Christian values. The book shows emotions taken too far can complicate so many lives.” -JV Woodbutcher

“Would absolutely recommend this book. The author did a great job of bringing each character’s separate experience together in the end. A great story about love in a not-so-perfect world.” -Angelina
To read “Someone Always Loved You”, you can check out the kindle version or get it in paperback.
For more information about Brooke Williams, visit her author website and blog at or find her on facebook.

Character Interview: James Jenkins

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I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who bought and/or shared my Kindle Countdown promotion.  I sold a total of 16 books!  I was very please with the results.  So thank you very much!  The winner of the little contest I held was Valerie Howard.  She shared the promotion at least six times.  Valerie, be watching your inbox as I will be sending you a small token of my appreciation in the next couple of days.

And now onto the interview with John’s little brother, James.  As with the other interviews, feel free to ask any questions about James.

James Jenkins
Tertiary Main Character in Be Thou My Vision a Christian Western
Hair: Chestnut, short, wavy
Eyes: blue
Height: 4’ 6”
Complexion: fair, freckled
Features: button nose, average
Age: 7

James has been mute from birth.  He can hear and communicates with sign language.  He is a shy, introverted boy who gets hurt easily by what people say.  He loves his father and brother and always wants to help out with whatever he can. Continue reading

Guest Post by Valerie Howard

Today, I have the honor of introducing Valerie Howard today as a guest blogger.  I had the honor to proofread her book “Our God Saves” earlier this year.  If you still need a present for that book lover of yours, this book would be a wonderful addition to their bookshelf.  “Our God Saves” is a book of uplifting testimonies from people of all different backgrounds.

"Our God Saves" Compiled by Valerie Howard

“Our God Saves” Compiled by Valerie Howard

 

Bio:
Valerie Howard is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom from Southern Maine.  She has a 1-year-old son and two insane beagles who keep her very busy when she’s not writing!  Valerie has been writing stories since she was in second grade when she wrote “The Mystery of the Missing Crayon”.  Her public school teacher even let the class act out the story and record in on a cassette tape.  Valerie is the author of two fiction books for women, one Christmas play, nine unusual children’s books, and now, a compilation book of over 30 personal salvation testimonies.  Valerie enjoys scrapbooking and interior design. Continue reading

Introducing My First Blog Tour

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It is hard to believe that two weeks have passed since I became a published author.  Where does the time go?  Since November 19, I have sold 4 paperbacks off of Amazon, 4 Kindle editions off of Amazon, 25+ signed copies, and given away 511 free Kindle editions during my 2-day free promotion.  And now today, I am doing something new: I am starting my very first blog tour.

What is a blog tour?

A blog tour is when someone (say, an author) asks people if they would be willing to post something on a specific day for the blog tour.  In my case, there will be reviews, guest posts (with excerpts), and interviews.  Each day, I will add a link to the new blog of the day, so make sure you come back everyday and catch all the fun.

Schedule

December 3: Review and Interview on Mary Beth Magee’s blog

December 4: Interview on J. Grace Pennington’s blog

December 5: “What must I do to be saved?”

December 6: Guest Post on Writing Historical Fiction for Aubrey Hansen’s blog

December 7: Excerpt on Molly Evangeline’s blog

December 8: Interview on Jesse Rice’s blog

December 9: Interview on Michelle Lynn Brown’s blog

December 10: Back to my blog with a surprise post

December 11: Review from Carolyn Park-Williams

December 12: Review or guest post on the Holy Worlds blog

December 13: The wrap-up

Excerpt

And since I want to share an excerpt, I’ll also post an excerpt in here.  Enjoy!

Out of habit, Joshua looked up and down the street as he stepped out of the Sheriff’s office.  Nothing but dust and a few people walking to and from the stores.  He turned to his right and strode to the telegraph office.

After sending the telegram to Cheyenne, he walked down to the livery where he stabled his horse, Poseidon, during the day.

“Hey, there, boy.”  Joshua brushed his hand down the gelding’s flanks.  “How would you like to take a ride out to the ranch?”  He laughed when Poseidon snorted and moved his head up and down.  “Okay, we’ll get going.  But first I need to get you saddled.  I’m not riding bareback.”

After saddling his horse, Joshua mounted and directed the horse toward home.  As he rode, he studied the scenery and prayed.  “God, I know this idea came from You.  No one else could have given it to me.  Thank You for giving me the idea.  I pray that it will work and that she will be willing and able to come out here.  God, You know how much Jed needs to accept Your free gift.  He is drowning in his anger.  Show him Your love.”

Joshua rode in silence until he reached the Double B ranch.  He considered visiting his family, but he needed to get back to town.  The time would be better spent with God anyway.  With his job as sheriff plus helping out at the ranch as needed, Joshua had little time to spend just praying and listening.

Joshua pulled on the reins to direct Poseidon back toward town.  Poseidon was reluctant to go away from the ranch, but he was obedient to his master.

“Humans could learn a lot from horses, Poseidon.  It takes a lot to break the wildness out of you, but once you are broken, you are forever obedient to your master, as long as they don’t mistreat you.”  He looked around at the rolling hills.  “God, help me be completely broken by You and always obey without question.”