It rained all weekend so I spent the time finishing the edits on Grace’s Dream. Now to move on to something new.
It rained all weekend so I spent the time finishing the edits on Grace’s Dream. Now to move on to something new.
It rained all weekend so I spent the time finishing the edits on Grace’s Dreams. Now to start a new project.
Just received the galleys for the first editing of Grace’s Dream. Hope to get it finished this week. Of course this is not going to be easy. I’m closing on my new condo on Friday and I have a lot of packing to do.
Grace’s Dream is slated to come out in December.
Seven heartwarming stories by seasoned Western Historical writers.
Here are samples to give you an idea of the content.
LORRIE FARRELLY—THE LONGEST WAY HOME
Lily Harmon’s heart was captured when she adopted little Maddie Cullinan, an orphan whose father was presumed killed in battle. But former Union Army Major Luke Cullinan is very much alive, and he’s determined to reclaim his cherished daughter in Lorrie Farrelly’s “The Longest Way Home.”
LINDA CARROLL-BRADD—FORGED BY FIRE
Ivey Treadwell, cook at her family’s boarding house, wants to accomplish something big. For now, she satisfies herself with improving on the traditional recipes for the boarders by adding herbs and spices she gathers. An incident with a broken pan causes her to see Berg Spengler, the town’s blacksmith, in a new light. Stigmatized for his huge size and blamed for his brother’s injury, Berg has discovered being alone is safer for his heart. But when he sees interest spark in Ivey’s eyes, he decides to take a chance and approach her. The pair discovers an attraction that heats up each time they are alone together. Will Ivey convince Berg his wandering days are over and home is here with her in Comfort?
AGNES ALEXANDER—SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE
Dr. Miles Kerry and his nurse, Cora Hilliard, have both given up on finding love again. But when Cora is asked to move out of the boarding house where she and her ten-year-old son Koby live, they have nowhere to go. Miles insists they move into the spare rooms in his house—an arrangement with no complications. But when Cora falls ill with a raging fever, she must rely on Miles as she never has before. Will Koby get the father he wants so badly? Will Miles and Cora get their Second Chance at Love?
BEVERLY WELLS—BRIGHTER TOMORROWS
Five years ago, Callie Lynch fell in love, only to have her dreams shattered when she realized she’d been played the fool and used like a puppet. Bitter and shamed, trusting no man and determined to stand alone, she leaves Virginia to find new roots in Wyoming. Three years ago, Marshal Chase Matlock lost the love of his life during a bank robbery and was left riddled with guilt for failing to protect her. For three years, he’s tracked the scum of the earth—and this time, by God, he’ll get his man.
ANGELA RAINES—NEVER HAD A CHANCE
Thomas Heath’s sister, Clara, abandoned him to the cruelties of the people who were raising them. As a young man, he finally finds her—but she is on her way to getting married. Tom leaves in search of something to give him the stability he yearns for…but what?
Maria Berñal, pampered and coddled by her wealthy father, is on the verge of becoming a woman as her eighteenth birthday approaches. When a stranger shows up at their door and is wounded as he tries to protect her, she finds him more than a passing attraction—she’s falling in love.
But Tom is the victim of a deadly trick, and can’t remember who he is or why he’s at the Berñal home. Will he regain his memory in time to prevent a second attack?
JULIA DANIELS—FOR THE LOVE OF GRACE
Poppy Stanton tracks down her mentally handicapped sister, Gracie, who has run off to become a mail-order bride. In the family way, Grace refuses to leave the dusty Wyoming town of Hope Springs, though she is married to an abusive husband. Bachelor Reed Ridgeley and his mother live nearby, and invite Poppy to stay at their spacious ranch while she sorts out what to do about Gracie. Can Poppy convince her sister to come back home to Chicago with her before Reed can show her what a new future could look like for them in Hope Springs?
MEG MIMS—WINNER TAKES ALL
Cora Peterson is dead set on winning the Fourth of July Barrel Auction with her Mile High Apple Pie. She expects her rival might best her once again, but what she doesn’t expect is a bid for love from the handsome newcomer to Cady Corners…
Get your copy today and enjoy the celebration
Today I welcome my friend and award winning author, Lynn Chandler Willis to my blog. Ms. Chandler Willis has worked in the corporate world, the television news industry and the newspaper business. She is the author of WINK OF AN EYE (Minotaur, 2014), winner of the St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best 1st P.I. Novel competition. Another of her novels, THE RISING (Pelican Book Group, 2013) was the Grace Award winner for Excellence in Faith-based fiction. She’s also the author of the best-selling true crime book, UNHOLY COVENANT which was based on a murder that took place in North Carolina (Addicus Books, 2000).
Thank you for joining us today, Lynn. Now let me ask you a few questions that I’m sure readers will be interested in.
Tell us about yourself. Did you have another career before becoming a writer? If so, how and why did you come to writing? I knew after reading Treasure Island in the 7th grade that I wanted to be a writer. The idea of having the ability to transport a reader to an entirely different world was mesmerizing to me. Although the longing to write was always there, I played it safe and did the “real job” thing while my kids were young and needed a roof over their head and food to eat. I worked in the television industry and the corporate world, then ended up owning and publishing a small town newspaper. Although the newspaper gave me the opportunity to “write” it wasn’t the kind of writing I longed to do, which was fiction. People frown on newspapers making stuff up! After 13 years, I closed the newspaper and finally started actually submitting some of my work and found there was an interest in it. Today, I’m the “granny nanny” to eight of my nine grandchildren and writing full time between diaper changes and wiping noses.
What does your family think of your writing? The grandkids are super excited and are constantly asking what I’m working on, when will I finish it, can they see the cover…they’ve very encouraging. I have to grin sometimes when one of them will take one of my books to school because they’re teacher wanted to see it.
Tell us about Wink of an Eye. It is somewhat different from your other books. How did you come up with the setting, the characters and the idea? Was it based on real incidents? Short blurb: Twelve-year old Tatum McCallen hires reluctant PI Gypsy Moran to prove his father didn’t kill himself. Gypsy, on the run from his own set of problems, soon finds himself in the middle of a case involving eight missing girls, a cowardly sheriff, and undocumented workers. Aided by a sexy reporter, Gypsy begins unraveling secrets buried deep in his tiny hometown of Wink, Texas. Secrets so deep, exposing them threatens the only woman he’s ever loved, and the very life of Tatum.
I had the character of “Gypsy Moran” in my mind for several years in various locals, professions, and plots but it wasn’t until I saw the movie “No Country for Old Men” that it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I absolutely fell in love with the setting—the dirt, the cactus, the blistering heat—that dominates west Texas. I knew I wanted the story set in a small town so I started researching small towns in west Texas and discovered Wink, population 981, give or take.
What is your next writing project? NoBody’s Baby, a mystery/suspense, is being shopped by my agent. It’s about a small town newspaper owner who becomes the caregiver to her friend’s toddler when she discovers the child’s mother brutally murdered. The novel explores the thin line between suspect, witness, and reporter. With that one finished and being submitted, I’m currently working on Wink and a Nod, book two in the Gypsy Moran mystery series. He’s such a fun character to write and he’s developed quite a fan club!
What is your writing day like? Hectic! I’m the full-time (7:30am until 6:00pm, Monday through Friday) babysitter for eight of my nine grandchildren. Their ages are: 11, 9, 8, 6, two 4 year-olds, and twin three year-olds. I keep my WIP (work in progress) open at all times on my laptop and grab a paragraph when I can. I used to be a pantster, but now work off of an outline. It’s much easier to grab that paragraph if you know where you’re going with the story.
What advice would you give others who want to write a novel? Just write it. Write it from the heart. Write it because there’s a compulsive need to get it down on paper or in the computer. Worry later about point of view, setting the scene, description, pace, transitions, word count—all that stuff that you’ll obsess over later when you have some experience under your belt. Once you’ve got something on paper, start studying the craft. Next time you sit down to write, all those elements you never gave a second thought to before—point of view, description, pace, etc…—will suddenly make sense.
Other Books by Lynn Chandler Willis
Where are your books available? From the publishers, most major bookstores, Walmart, Amazon and other on-line retailers.
How can the readers get in touch with you?
My email address is: email@example.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001K7W7DU
Today I welcome my friend and fellow Wings and Whiskey Creek author, Joel Jurrens. Though most of his work is of the serious nature, his blog shows a different side of him. The side that will make the most serious person smile if not laugh out loud. Thank you for letting me repost your Blog, Joel.
Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for twenty-six years until his retirement in 2013. He has had short stories published in several magazines and has published three novels. Joel uses his background in law enforcement to bring a sense of authenticity to his stories. He has been writing since high school when he wrote a Christmas play for his church and hand published short story collections for his friends. Although his books deal with serious subjects, he seldom can resist seeing the humor even in the direst situations, and it often shows in his writing. He has been blogging since 2012.
WRITING A REVIEW
Recently there has been a scandal in the writing world. An author was exposed for paying a company to post almost five thousand glowing reviews of his book on Amazon. The reason he did it is because it works. He sold over a million copies of his book. Since then it has been revealed that numerous authors have paid companies to post fake reviews for them. I would never do that. I have ethics, integrity, pride and about a buck sixty-three in my pocket—I’m not sure that much would get me even a one-star review.
I don’t think readers are aware how much good a review can do or even a mediocre review. People don’t want to be the first one to dip their toe in the water when it comes to a new author. They don’t mind being duped into doing something stupid, like buying a bad book, as long as they know there are a lot of other people who were also duped—it’s how they are able to sell so much bottled water.
When I have a book come out, I have a few friends who automatically read it and post reviews on Amazon. I get a few people who write reviews who I don’t know at all. I appreciate all of them. Occasionally I’ll meet someone at a book signing or on the street who will say, “I read your book.” Then there’s that pause that lasts at least three hours when I wait for them to throw up or say, “I really liked it.” If they liked it, I’ll ask them if they could write a review to put on Amazon. Normally they look at me like I just asked them to give themselves an appendectomy, without anesthetic, blindfolded while wearing leather mittens without thumbs.
I know writing a review is tough for the average person. Writing a few sentences and then posting it where everyone can see it, takes some courage. (Now try writing seventy thousand or so words, putting them in book form and making people pay to read it, and you can began to see what it’s like being a writer.) But if you like a book—anyone’s book, not just mine (but especially mine)—write a review. You will be doing the author a HUGE favor. If you think a book stinks, write a review. You will be doing some reader a HUGE favor.
I have a book, In The Lake, coming out next month. I would like anyone who reads it and likes it to write a review. Even if you don’t like it, a review would be nice. (The guy who bought the reviews mixed a sprinkling of bad reviews in so they would seem more realistic.) For those of you who don’t know what to write, I am putting a sample review below. You don’t need to copy it word for word, but I think you’ll get the idea.
In The Lake is absolutely the best book ever written since the beginning of time. I believe it should win the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, the Daytona 500 and the Kentucky Derby. Not only is it a great murder mystery with dead AND live people, but it has fishing in it—how can you not like a book that has fishing in it? I also believe the book has magical powers. I was hardly through the first chapter when the hair started to grow back on my head, and I’ve been bald since I was eleven. By midway through the book, I had lost eighty-three pounds and that persistent boil problem had gone away. So now, because of the book, I’m thin, good-looking and there’s flowing blond hair growing on my head, back and little Chihuahua Poopsy. I also heard—don’t quote me, because it’s not official—that they are going to stick a check for seventy-three bazillion dollars between the pages of one of the paperback books. (Let’s just keep that our little secret.) So read the book because it’s yummy good.
Other Books by Joel Jurrens
Get in touch with Joel Jurrens or purchase any of his books here:
Winner of the signed copy!
BLURB When Hannah Hamilton is born with a shriveled foot, her sick mother knows she’ll never live to raise the child. Upon her mother’s death two years later, Hannah’s two older sisters care for her until their father finally admits that the child will never walk. Hannah is sent to live a lonely life with her widowed Aunt Verbena Wedington in Savannah. Though Hannah’s sisters attempt to visit her, they are thwarted by their Aunt Verbena, who manages to take control of every aspect of Hannah’s life.
Jarrett MacMichael, an Arizona detective, is hired to go to Savannah and check on Hannah’s welfare. Jarrett is surprised to find the object of his mission is a beautiful young woman who is being controlled by her devious aunt. During his investigation, not only does he discover Hannah’s evil Aunt Verbena has a sinister plan for her charge, but Jarrett realizes he’s the only one who can stop her before it’s too late.
By the time Jarrett frees Hannah, she has fallen head-over-heels in love with him–but she understands she can’t hope for a life with the handsome detective.
Practical man that he is, Jarrett knows life would be hard if he tied himself to a woman who can’t walk…but how can he live without her? There’s only one thing to do. Will he be able to grant HANNAH’S WISHES?
“How about your brother?”
“Everett is happily married to a woman he met when he went to England on business. Her daddy is a lord, or a count…or some type of royalty. They live in England and have a little princess of their own.” He wondered how Everett would feel if he knew he’d graduated him from the detective business, married him off, and elevated him to royalty in England
Verbena’s eyes lit up. “Really? Royalty?” He nodded, and she went on. “Have you visited them?”
Hannah looked interested, but there was something in her eyes that made him wonder if she knew he was telling a tall tale. He gathered that this young lady was no fool. He answered Verbena’s question with, “I’m so busy with my own enterprises that I’ve only had time to visit them once. They have promised to come visit me in the next couple of years. Everett wants to show his wife and daughter his country.”
“I think that’s wonderful.”
There was a knock on the parlor door, and Minerva poked her head in. “Supper is ready, Miz Wedington.”
“Send Tobias to get Hannah.”
“Yes, ma’am.” She scurried away.
Jarrett couldn’t help wondering why the man was to come get Hannah. The fact was, he’d been looking forward to offering her his arm so he could escort her to supper. Jarrett’s question was answered in a matter of a moment. Tobias returned pushing a wheelchair. Jarrett was stunned as the butler pushed it up to the settee and reached down to lift Hannah into it.
So that was her problem. She couldn’t walk. He never would have guessed.
Verbena stood. “Shall we go into supper, Mr. MacMichael?”
“Of course.” He stood, and since he had no alternative, he offered her his arm. They went out of the parlor leaving Tobias to push Hannah’s chair behind them.
Hannah wondered about Mr. Jarrett MacMichael. Yes, he was as handsome as she thought he’d be now that she’d seen his face. In fact, he was the kind of man she often dreamed about and wished she could meet. Yes, he told a good story about his life, but something didn’t ring true to her. Was he trying to impress Aunt Verbena? If so, why? What could her aunt do for him? And why hadn’t he mentioned her sister? She’d kept quiet just like her Aunt Verbena had told her to, but she didn’t intend to let him get through the meal and leave this house without answering a question or two about Drina.
Leave a comment and have a chance of winning an autographed print copy of Hannah’s Wishes.
My guest on my blog today is my writing friend, Sandy Bruney.
Sandy has agreed to answer some questions about herself and her writing career, and especially to tell us about her most recent book, “A Question of Boundaries.” It is a fascinating book and I know, just as I do, you will admire her imagination for coming up with the setting for this wonderful historical suspense.
First, please tell us about yourself. Did you have another career before becoming a writer? If so, how and why did you come to writing?
I was encouraged to write from a young age, but never did much with it after college, being busy with work and raising three boys. I was an art teacher, then when we moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania and I couldn’t find a teaching job, I worked in a bank. I was very bored and started writing again and when I finally quit I took a job as a stringer for a local newspaper, which led to a part-time reporting job, then full time reporter, and finally city editor. Enter a shake-up in administration and I quit and took at job as administrative assistant at the chamber of commerce. While there I juggled the job with treatment for breast cancer, which led to my first book, a non-fiction account of my journey. From then on, I have been writing steadily, mostly women’s fiction.
What does your family think of your writing?
Mostly they think I’m a little strange. The reaction ranges from enthusiastic fans to “Gee, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.” My husband is supportive and that’s what matters to me.
Tell us about A Question of Boundaries. It is somewhat different from your other books. How did you come up with the setting, the characters and the idea? Was it based on real incidents?
It is both different from and the same as my contemporaries. All have strong heroines who may be misguided but find their way with the help of their friends. I first came up with the character of Caroline and meant to put her in a historical setting, but then I thought “but what if it were a different history than the one we studied in school” and then “what if she encounters friends who have paranormal abilities” and so it went. I had a great time writing it. As for real incidents, no. It’s pure fantasy.
What is your writing day like?
I try to get the “chores” out of the way first. I write two blogs, put together a monthly newsletter, and am secretary to several organization which means writing up several sets of minutes each month. I also spend some time on social media which is a must for authors. Then I write. But I’m thinking I should really sit down and write the day’s quota first and then do the rest – except when I’m writing I keep thinking about deadlines for the other stuff. A conundrum.
What advice would you give others who want to write a novel?
Do it! Seriously, if it is in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it, the only solution is to get it written. If you don’t have a master’s in English (which I don’t) you should take workshops available on line or through your local writers’ club. Keep perfecting your craft. Join a critique group if you can and don’t be thin-skinned about criticism. They are trying to help. Go to writers’ conferences and learn from successful authors. Don’t submit until you have had your manuscript professionally edited and had feedback from several beta readers. Learn how to write a query letter and synopsis. And don’t be discouraged.
Where can readers find your books?
Print and eBooks at:
“A Question of Boundaries” is an e-book only and is also available at:
How can the readers get in touch with you?
Thank you for being the first guest on my blog, Sandy. It was a delight having you and I know my readers will enjoy “A Question of Boundaries” as much as I did.
Thank you for the opportunity, Agnes. I enjoyed answering the questions.
This is the link to the trailer of “A Questions of Boundaries”
MY NEWEST WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE
A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
COMING SOON: THE STATE MURDER SERIES
MURER IN NORTH CAROLINA
MURDER IN SOUTN CAROLINA
MURDER IN GEROGIA
A – Aspire to reach your full potential:
Nobody is going to make you try to reach your goals. Only you can do that, so decide what you want and go for it.
B – Believe in yourself and in your God.
Belief will get you a long way. Without belief in yourself and your God, you are setting yourself up to fail.
C – Create the habit of living in a positive frame of mind.
Nobody wants to be around a negative person for very long. If you stay around one long enough you become negative yourself. Never say “I can’t.”
D – Dare to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.
If you’re near retirement and you want to play pro football, it’ll never happen. But there’s no reason you can’t write about pro football or become a devoted fan of one of the teams. No matter your age, you can take part in anything in one way or another.
E – Eagerly greet each new day.
Every day is a gift. Be thankful for it and plan to live it to the fullest.
F – Forgive yourself for your mistakes and forgive others theirs.
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Learn from it, forgive yourself and go on.
G – Gather all the facts you can before you make a decision or begin a new project.
Often mistakes are made because one jumps into a situation before gathering the facts about it. If you want to write a book about the Civil War, read about it. Don’t place a battle in California. You wouldn’t buy a dress without looking at the size. Gather your facts before jumping in.
H – Help someone every day.
You don’t always have to do great things to help people or spend a lot of money. Sometimes help comes in a kind word or a simple whispered prayer or even a smile.
I – Indulge in daydreams for a few minutes every day.
Explore your imagination and let yourself pretend you’re whatever you want to be. If a writer is your desire, see yourself on the best seller list. If a singer, see yourself on stage. Whatever your desire is see yourself doing it.
J – Judge no one.
You never know a person’s background or their life story. You have no right to judge them.
K – Kill negative thoughts as soon as they enter your head.
Great thinkers have said that if your mind is always in a negative state, you will never be able to achieve any of your goals. Don’t let your thoughts keep you from going for what you want.
L – Live each day as if it’s your last.
Life is fickle. You might have an accident, fall in the bathtub, have a heart attack or any other million things could end your life. Don’t worry about these things, but be determined to live each day the best way you possibly can.
M – Meditate on the things you really want for the rest of your life.
Think about what you want often. There is a saying that goes; If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? You can change that to say, If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you get it?
N – Notice the beauty of nature that is all around you.
Don’t get so wrapped up in things that you fail to see the rainbow and other wonders of our beautiful world.
O – Open your heart and mind to new ideas.
Boring people only know what they have experienced, but you can learn so much and your life will be enriched by learning from other peoples’ experiences and ideas.
P – Pray for yourself as well as others every day.
As my grandmother used to say, “A little prayer never hurt anyone.” She was right. If you’re a praying person it only takes a second to say, a two or three word prayer for yourself and others.
Q – Question things you don’t understand.
Humans learn from asking questions, but some are afraid or too timid to do so. There are no stupid questions. If you don’t know something, ask somebody who does know.
R – Relax and calm yourself because worry never helped anything.
It’s hard to do anything when you’re tense and nervous. Remember, you might be writing the great American novel, but you’re not rewriting the Bible or Shakespeare. Relax and you’ll find you’ll do a better job.
S – Share what you have with others and if possible, do it in secret.
We all have more than we need. Notice I said need, not want. We have food to eat and a roof over our heads and are able to pay our bills. But there are some who are not so fortunate. You never know when a small gift can change someone’s life. Do it because you want to, not because you want the glory of having given to a more needy person.
T – Thank God for the blessing of being alive.
Your life is important and it’s a miracle you’re even here. Think of all the little eggs and that sperm that fertilized them. What were the changes of that one egg and one sperm that was you would ever happen without a miracle coming into play?
U – Underestimate no one, especially yourself.
We are capable of being and doing more than we ever dreamed we could. Use your talents (which we all have in one way or another) and see what happens. Don’t be afraid and don’t give up.
V – Value the things that are most important to you.
We all have things that are important to us. I care for a lot of things from my depression glass dish collection to my grandmother’s clock, but we all have our top priorities. My top things happen to be, my God, my family, and my writing – in that order. Make your own list.
W – Welcome each new challenge.
If everything came easy, life would be so routine that nobody would enjoy it. Finding and tackling new challenges keeps life interesting and helps us grow as a person.
X – X-Rate nothing in your life. Keep things on a higher level.
I’m not a preacher and I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do with their personal life, but for me, I don’t like porno on TV, in books, or on the computer. I’m not trying to censor anything because I have some cursing, sex and have touched on taboo subjects in my books, but I will never write erotica because that’s not me. If you feel differently, that’s your prerogative.
Y – Yesterday is gone. Be thankful for it, but don’t live there.
Memories are wonderful and are a great source of material for a writer, but to me some of the saddest people in the world spend so much time thinking about the past that they completely miss the present.
Z – Zero in on your goals, work hard and don’t give up. They will happen.
Know what your goals are and keep them in the forefront of your thoughts, but don’t obsess about them so much that you don’t think of your real life. Don’t cheat your family and/or your friends by only thinking of your goals. And to go back to what my grandmother used to say, “A little prayer never hurt anybody.” And that includes you and your goals.