Monday, March 30, 2015

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION!

By Ada Brownell

Resurrection! The dead are living again. Well, they appeared dead for at least three months. Our dogwood tree that became a skeleton last fall is stirring, attempting to blossom. Our huge bony Linden tree is pregnant with life.

The tulip bulbs that I buried in Missouri’s rocky soil last fall might as well have had a tombstone. Nothing moved in that corner of our yard since last November except dried dead leaves from our tree, snowflakes, raindrops, sleet and wind. But recently power stirred below the ground and a new body arose. Doesn’t look anything like the bulb I planted. Silky gorgeous green leaves glisten as they wait for the color that will burst soon. Life!

We passed a cemetery this morning and I thought of a daughter buried far away in San Jose, Calif. I know Carolyn’s spirit is with the Lord, but any day there will be a stirring of life below the ground and the headstone with her name. Her body will be changed and arise. Here’s how scripture describes it:


“In  a moment, in the twinkling of an eye .,. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed...and this mortal shall put on immortality; then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53).

Resurrection!

On April 5, we’ll celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, who gave His life for our sins. What a joy-filled day and humankind sings and rejoices because Jesus did something about the death sentence of every man and rose triumphant over the grave!. That’s redemption, if we accept Him as our Savior.

Interesting that Easter is so close to April Fools’ Day this year, April 1. The Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

As usual, I’ve been working on books. My newest one is Faith, Facts and Propaganda. Everything about who we are, why we are here, and how we got here is settled by faith.
This book supplies evidence for faith—and reveals forgeries designed to destroy belief in God such as the Piltdown man, missing links that DNA proved aren’t links, and a newer theory than Darwin’s, punctuated equilibrium.
The secular world attempts to destroy faith in God with propaganda (spinning the truth) and brainwashing.

Yet, the argument will never be settled. No one can prove whether or not God exists. We can look at the evidence, but faith is necessary for salvation and faith is required to receive the ultimate truth
.
I think you’ll find this book interesting. The introductory price is .99.

To celebrate Easter and the release of that book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal is free from Maundy Thursday (April 9) through Easter.

You’ll enjoy my other books, too. Encourage yourself! One reader said of The Lady Fugitive, “I read it in two days. It made me laugh. I couldn’t wait until the end. It was so much fun.”


Copyright © 2011 Ada B. Brownell








Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pleasures of Research, Often Unexpected


By

Donn Taylor

            Among the joys of fiction writing is the research one does to ensure accuracy. Some research reaches the reader through settings that seem realistic and through absence of anachronisms and other errors. But for any researcher, much of the pleasure comes from things that may not make their way into the completed manuscript, from discovery of some odd truth one would never have suspected beforehand. Sometimes such a discovery leads to an entirely new project.
            This happened to journalist Ronald Downing during the 1950s. His London newspaper had him researching the yeti, the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. His research led him to an obscure Polish refugee who was said to have a seen the yeti. The interviews revealed a story more remarkable than the yeti and resulted in an equally remarkable book.
            When the Soviets invaded Poland in 1939, they arrested a young Polish lieutenant named Slavomir Rawicz. They sent him to a Siberian labor camp 200 miles southwest of Yakutsk. He and six other prisoners escaped and walked—yes, walked—south past Lake Baikal, through the Gobi Desert and China, through Tibet into Nepal, and eventually into English hands. Several died along the way. And in the Himalayas the survivors did see creatures resembling the fabled yeti.
            Thus Ronald Downing's project became an entirely different one. He told Slavomir Ravicz’ story in a book titled The Long Walk (The Lyons Press, 1956, 1997). It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read.
            My own research adventures have been less dramatic but also filled with unexpected discoveries. In researching my novel, Deadly Additive, I was surprised to learn that during the 1980s, then-communist Nicaragua’s airline was largely owned by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and that Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas were tutored by the Abu Nidal terrorist organization.
 Deadly Additive, I was surprised to learn that during the 1980s, then-communist Nicaragua’s airline was largely owned by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and that Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas were tutored by the Abu Nidal terrorist organization.
            Researching for Lightning on a Quiet Night, I read about the post-WW II Communist guerrilla
war in Greece. The Greek name for guerrillas was mosquitoes. The preferred spray to kill mosquitoes then was named Flit. The US general advising the Greek military was James van Fleet. So the Greeks made the pun "van Fleet for mosquitoes." Sadly, that verbal gem didn't find its way into the novel. But I still savor it privately.
            There is also satisfaction in preventing embarrassing errors. One novelist had his protagonist drive immediately west of Houston, Texas, into "the desert." Apparently, five hundred miles of prairie and Texas Hill Country had disappeared from the earth. A glance at any atlas would have prevented that error.
            Research does provide deep pleasure, but superficial research contains a danger voiced long ago by the poet Alexander Pope:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

            In our researches, either for writing or for pleasure, let us all drink deeply and avoid the embarrassment caused by shallow draughts.


 Summary for Lightning on a Quiet Night:

In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder. Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, MS, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will these discoveries lead? To repentance? Or to denial and continuation in vanity?

MEET DONN TAYLOR

              Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. He has published four novels and a book of poetry, and he is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

His books:
Lightning on a Quiet Night
Deadly Additive
Rhapsody in Red
The Lazarus File
Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MYSTERIES OF LIFE

Mysteries of Life

           By Ada Brownell

Ada Brownell’s book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal is available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
Springfield, MO Christian Publisher's Outlet
The Greatest Gift and Scripture Supply in Pueblo, CO


In the morning, take a good look at your egg before you fry it. The mystery of life lies before you. If the egg was fertilized, before you broke it there was enough information there to boggle your mind.
God put DNA into the clear and golden slime of a chicken egg that blueprints the breed,  the ability to eat and digest food, the machinery to make more chickens, what color the feathers will be, how big the chicken will grow, the cluck and the crow, and beady little eyes that see—all sorts of wonderful things, just as he put amazing things in the eggs that became you and me.
Life. What a mysterious gift.
We see life everywhere, but we have difficulty grasping what it is. Scientists appear to have found ways to define death; they have more trouble with life.
The abortion rights and pro-life groups are at loggerheads over when life begins—whether it’s when the egg is fertilized with the sperm, when the egg attaches to the uterine wall, at a certain trimester, or at birth.
I interviewed the director of an agency that dispenses morning-after pills who said a woman isn’t pregnant until the fertilized egg attaches to the womb. The morning-after pill causes the woman’s uterus to shed its lining, preventing a fertilized egg from attaching and living.
 Other developments surround life. Human pregnancy was reported from artificial insemination in 1799. In 1952, frogs were cloned from tadpole cells. In 1970, mice embryos were cloned, then other cloned animals soon followed. Sheep embryos were cloned in 1979 and cattle in 1980. An adult sheep, Dolly, was cloned in 1997.
Cloning is the process of making an identical copy of something asexually with DNA fragments, cells, or organisms. In 1993, George Washington University researchers cloned human embryos, but there are no documented cases of a living human produced through cloning.
Test-tube babies, though, are somewhat common today. The first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 in Britain. A frozen embryo from test-tube fertilization produced a girl named Zoe in Australia in 1984. In 1986, surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead, who agreed to have an embryo implanted in her uterus so that another couple could have a child, refused to relinquish the baby girl and sparked a landmark court case.
In vitro fertilization sometimes helps infertile couples have children if they can afford the expensive procedure, and often the births are multiple.
 All this work with living cells, yet humankind has not been able to adequately explain life or create it. We always have to start with something living, such as sperm and eggs, a seed, tissue, or a cell.
According to Pasteur’s law of biogenesis, if ‘life comes from life,’ then life’s information must come from its parent’s information.
“Biologists have long sought the laws that govern life, but it is only now that we see the molecular detail that these laws have appeared. What we discover is not a naturalistic phenomenon, but intelligent design,” says Alex Williams of Creation Ministries International in his article, “How Life Works.”
            The Bible says, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

According to the Stanford School of Regenerative Medicine, the human body is estimated to have about one hundred trillion cells, a living community, with each individual cell having an assigned place to occupy and a specific role to play. Eventually something happens, even with all those living cells, that causes a person to die. Without life, every cell in the body dies and decays.
Death came because of sin (Genesis 3), but God promised a Redeemer. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
That’s why I wrote the book, Swallowed by LIFE. “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:3–5 NLT).
Jesus said, “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26).
Do you believe?
Ada Brownell’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

 




          

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Senior Love Story, Taboo No More




By Nike Chillemi



At one time, the thought of a senior citizen widower and a senior widow falling in love was taboo and scandalous. Seniors who had lost a spouse through death or divorce were supposed to visit their children, babysit their grandchildren, perhaps get a pet and be content with that.

Well today's 80 is the new 70 and 60, the new 50. Today's seniors are often active members of senior citizen centers where they socialize and participate in a wide variety of activities. They take classes such as CPR, knitting, sketching and drawing, and cake decorating. They participate in activities such as ping-pong, yoga, swimming, and movie night. They take trips in a group to the local library, museum, and theatre.

 Seniors travel within the United States and around the globe with others of their age through Elder Hostel. There are a host of opportunities to become attracted to a member of the opposite sex, fall in love, and get married in their golden years. If they can't find someone at their senior center or in their senior travel group, then there are senior dating groups and services springing up online to assist in that.

I've always wanted to see more senior love stories in fiction, specifically, in Christian fiction. I'm an advocate of fiction that reflects life. When I look around in today's world, I see vital, active seniors going out and enjoying life. So, in fiction, I want to see seniors getting out of ye olde wicker rocking chair and dancing the light fantastic. Perhaps that's why I wrote a senior love story into my detective novel, HARMFUL INTENT.


My senior characters Hoot Dagney and Bertha, are secondary characters and one of the main comic interests in what has been termed a zany, seat-of-the-pants detective story. Bertha is a widow and though Hoot's backstory is not delved into, at the opening of the story he is a bachelor. I strove to write two characters who would tickle the readers' funny bones and warm their heart's, while they have the utmost respect for the two characters' strong Christian beliefs. I can't tell you the number of readers who have said they were charmed and delighted by Bertha and Hoot's love story.

That said, I encourage writer's to create interesting and vital senior characters, who live full lives, and that would include romance in their lives. That could be married romance, but would certainly not exclude two single seniors falling head-over-heels in love, as Bertha and Hoot did in HARMFUL INTENT.

Author Bio


Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories.
 Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press finaled in the Grace Awards 2014.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.
Amazon Author Page




Friday, March 20, 2015

Somebody Loves You

By Donna Stone

Originally posted at donnastone.me

You Are Beloved

It was getting close to bedtime and I prayed with my teen daughter. I asked God to bless her and thanked Him for her. Then I stopped talking and gave the presence of the Holy Spirit room.
When the word came it was fresh even though the words on my lips were as constant and familiar to her as breath.
I cupped her face with both my hands, looking her in the eye. I held her there for a heartbeat before I spoke.

You are His Beloved.

There are things we know to be true with our whole being, but over time we lose clarity. Like the view through a recently cleaned pane of glass on a sunny blue sky day, all of a sudden, we are made newly aware of what we knew to be there all the time. There are words, and then there are Words. Truth comes in a rush and we are once again amazed.

You are His Beloved.

All day, every day, feedback and half-truths tell us what we should be. It is a constant assault. This is not a thing only the young among us struggle against. Knowing we are less-than, we recognize our lack. Faced with this reality, we strive to escape our faulty standing, and forget the larger truth of who we are. Who He says we are.

You are worth everything He paid for you.
The messed up, less than, never to be perfect mess that you are. Even now, when you have failed, failed,failed. Even then, before you knew Him, you were worth everything He paid for you. You still are. Now and then, forever.

You are His Beloved.

My arm around her, I began to sing.
I am His and He is mine
A forever love outlasting time
Jesus loves me He’s my destiny
Jesus loves me He is my destiny

I stopped and asked her, “Do you remember this song?”

It was her baptism song. The song I wrote after she made her profession of faith. Then we sang the song together, she and I. Because it is my song, too.

And the song of all who choose to sing.

©Donna Stone 2014

Donna Stone currently is deep into edits of her first novella for young adults, a story to encourage young ladies to accept themselves and their families. Another YA, an adoption message of hope from tragic circumstance, is nearing completion. A third book, a contemporary women's still in the draft stage, travels a decades long love story marred by life and Alzheimer's.

Donna's work has appeared in various anthologies and publications. These days her writing time is primarily spent on novel length fiction rather than freelance or article writing. There are days when moments of seclusion to write bad poetry is required. The remaining hours of each and every day are given over to Donna's beautiful, inspiring, messy family.

She blogs at http://www.donnastone.me


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meet outstanding author Stephanie Landsem: Illuminating history--$100 Amazon giveaway

  1st Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

3rd Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

10 more winners will receive an olive wood pocket

cross from the Holy Land



Enter the Giveaway below, then scroll down for a list of upcoming blogs, interviews, recipes, and drawings to win copies of The Tomb, A Novel of Martha.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The link for the Blog tour is: http://www.stephanielandsem.com/2015/03/blog-tour-giveaway/



Interview with outstanding Christian historical author Stephanie Landsem


 Has writing biblical fiction made a Bible student out of you, or were you one before?
Although I’ve always loved the Bible, I wouldn’t have called myself a Bible scholar. There is so much depth in the Bible, so many layers of meaning, that people far wiser than me could study it for a lifetime and never know it all. Still, I’ve found over the past few years of researching the historical events and settings of the New Testament, I’ve been able to look at stories I’ve heard hundreds of times with new understanding. I hope to bring a little of that to my readers.

What has it meant to you spiritually to bring biblical characters to life?
For me, it’s made me even more aware of how Jesus is seeking an intimate friendship with each one of us. I love to think of how he interacted with people of the New Testament, always with love, mercy, and compassion. I feel like my own personal encounter with Jesus is more real, more concrete and meaningful, than it’s ever been.

How do you fill in the unknown details?
I use both history and imagination. For example, there aren’t any cookbooks from 2,000 years ago. But I do know what food was available. And I can imagine that there were women like me—and Martha—who loved to cook beautiful and delicious dishes. So I used my imagination and did some recipe testing until I felt I had a good idea of what Martha may have cooked for her family and for Jesus.

How has your extensive research into biblical history made an impact on you?
When I read or listen to the Gospels now, I have a much clearer image in my mind of what is happening. I can see it. Especially as we approach Easter, the crucifixion and resurrection are much more real to me.

How about your travels? Where did you go and what did you do?

I’m lucky that I’ve been able to travel a great deal, and I hope to go many more places. I’ve been on 4 continents and visited over 25 countries. My favorite thing to do is wander in a new city. I love to soak up the culture, meet people who live there, and of course try all food!


Why did you decide on biblical fiction when just a few years ago most publishers weren’t interested in it?
To tell the truth, I had no idea that publishers weren’t interested in biblical fiction when I started. The Living Water series began with a question after hearing the John’s Gospel account of the woman at the well. Who was this woman that Jesus stopped to speak to on a lonely road in Samaria? I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I wondered not only why Jesus had spoken to her and what her story was, but what had happened to her after her encounter with Jesus. These wonderings turned into the story of The Well, the first book in the Living Water Series, and then went on with The Thief and The Tomb, A Novel of Martha.

Do your stories usually include romance?
I love a little romance in a story, so I always include it in my writing. Women of biblical times had a harsher life that we do and their ideas of marriage were significantly different. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t hoping for love in addition to the security that marriage offered.

What prepared you for this genre of writing?
I’d say that the only preparation I had was a love of history, a lifetime spent reading historical fiction, and a desire to bring my readers into the Bible with me.

What is your next project, and where is your writing ministry going in the future?
In between book clubs, conferences, and promoting The Tomb, I’ll be researching an idea for a new novel. Although I still love biblical fiction, I’d like to explore some new historical periods. I’m currently playing with an idea of the prodigal son—this time a daughter—set in depression-era Hollywood.


Thank you, Stephanie, for being our guest.

Here's the back cover copy for The Tomb:
Back cover copy:

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.”

In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love. 

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nine New Titles in 2015? Caryl McAdoo Talks Success



NINE NEW TITLES in 2015

By Caryl McAdoo

Well, first I should say I counted wrong. It’s really ten. While I waited for my first novel Vow Unbroken from a major house Simon and Schuster—seventeen months from contract to debut, March 2014—I wrote more books, five completed and three half finished, that I could not contractually sell until September 2014. I was so green when I signed that contract in 2012, didn’t even have an author’s Facebook page or know how to create one.

 My editor asked me to wait at least thirty days after Vow Unbroken to re-release an old title, renamed and a chapter added, so I Indie-pubbed Lady Luck’s a Loser 
 in April 2014. After much prayer, my husband and I decided to Indie publish again and released Book Two of the historical Texas Romance (hTR) series Hearts Stolen. It debuted September 5, 2014. Going back to a Biblical fiction story first written in 1994, I rewrote and released A Little Lower Than the Angels, The Generations (BfTG) series, in November 2014. Four new books in 2014.

This is my list to release in 2015: January, Hope Reborn, book three (hTR); February, The Preacher’s Faith, book one of new contemporary Red River Romance (cRRR); March, Then the Deluge Comes, volume two BfTG; April, Sing a New Song, book two cRRR; May, Sins of the Mothers, book four hTR; July, Token of the Covenant volume three BfTG; August, Acquiring a Wife, book three CRRR; September, Daughters of the Heart, book five hTR; October, Undecided, book four cRRR; and November, Promises of Blessings, volume four BfTG.


Through May, the stories are complete, some edited, some already proofed. I’m writing now on Token, Daughters, and Acquiring. I maintain a monthly newsletter The Caryler (click here to sign up! http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/ ) and decided to offer a free ebook every quarter as my thank-you to subscribers—that’s responsible for the contemporary Red River
Romances, two were already written.

I’m doing all my own formatting and plan to take over my covers, having the fabulous, God-gifted Kirk DouPonce to fall back on. He did Vow, Hearts, and Hope’s awesome covers. I keep a notebook to be organized and stay on tract. What has to be done on which title by what date from start writing, finished, edit, proof (God gave me a gift in my proofer),
send out to my eVALUaters—my amazing group who receive my stories before their debut, so they’re ready to review and help me spread the word sharing, tweeting, and telling their friends. (click here to sign up http://carylmcadoo.com/christian-evaluaters/ ) I also ask or accept guest blog appearances at every opportunity.
   
This journey has just begun! Hope Reborn’s debuted, Jan 9, The Preacher’s Faith in February, and Then the Deluge Comes this month. Guess you’ll have to ask have me back in November to see how it all went. As a hybrid author (traditionally and indie published), I’m very excited to see what God will do.         

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Giveaway of Lillian Duncan's novel, Birthright. Is evil real?

BIRTHRIGHT

By Lillian Duncan

Is evil real? Does it prowl around like a lion searching for its next victim?

Sam Langstrom knows the answer to those questions. He’s known since he was a child. Evil is not only real, but his birthright.

But can a man change his destiny?

With God’s help, Sam believes he’s put the ghosts of his childhood behind him. Now a preacher with a wife and a child of his own, life is good. Right up until that moment when his house explodes in front of his eyes—with his new-born baby inside.

The ghosts are back.

He has one chance to save his child, but to do so means to turn his back on God. Will he accept his birthright—bow down to the evil? Will he give the lion its final victory—his soul?

Find answers in Lillian Duncan's latest book. Get a chance to win an e-copy by commenting on this blog. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net



ADA BROWNELL'S INTERVIEW WITH NOVELIST LILLIAN DUNCAN


1.      Did you start your writing career with the brand, “Stories of faith mingled with murder and mayhem?

Not at all. When I started writing, I didn’t even know what branding was!

2.      When did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was 40. I’d always wanted to write but never even tried. I guess I was waiting for someone to knock on my door and ask me to write a book. Guess what? It didn’t happen. If you want to be a writer, you have to just start writing and the rest will follow.

3.      How do you start your books? What is the first thing you do?

I sit down and put my fingers on the keyboard. But seriously each book is a little different from the others. Sometimes, I have a complete story in mind, other times I have a character or a situation. As far as research goes, I don’t usually do it as I’m writing when the need comes up.

4.      Who is your favorite character from your novels?

It’s got to be Maven from my Deadly Communications series. Like me, she’s a short speech pathologist. Unlike me, she’s fearless.

5.      Is it difficult to merge faith with murder and mayhem?
Sometimes it can be. I tend to write on the edgier side. But as I go through each draft, I keep my readers in mind and tone it down.

6.      I notice you write for devotions.us. Does your brain sometimes rebel when you switch from a murder mystery to a devotion?

Not at all. In fact, writing devotions gives me a break from all that murder and mayhem.

7.      Do you listen from and get ideas from all the murder and mayhem on the local news?

Sometimes. In fact, one of the books I’ve written (not published yet) came from a Dr. Phil show.

8.      Have you included your parrots in one of your stories? How about your other pets?

My parrot Rocky was in Serenity Springs, Ohio. Unfortunately, I haven’t written a sequel so we haven’t seen him since. As much as I love animals I don’t usually have my characters having a pet. Mostly because, I know they are going to be in danger, and I don’t want the pets in trouble with them.

9.      What is your greatest recommendation to other writers?

Don’t be in a rush to get published. Give yourself time to grow in the art and craft of writing. Give yourself time to find out who you are as a writer. Give yourself time to trust yourself as a writer.

10.  What is your next book?

My latest book should either be out by now or will be very soon. It’s BIRTHRIGHT. And it’s a complete departure from my usual suspense. It’s a supernatural horror story that starts before the Civil War and ends in contemporary times.


BIO:

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com



Thursday, March 12, 2015

DOES GOD CALL WRITERS SO HE CAN WORK ON THEIR HUMILITY?


BY ANNSLEE URBAN

Being an author of fiction has been one of the most wonderful and at times, frustrating pursuits in my life. On any given day my emotions may swing between joy and discouraged and back again. After hours of tweaking a chapter I sometimes sit back, tap my lip and think, “I can’t believe I wrote that!” only to find myself moments later scratching my head and wondering how the next chapter’s dialogue came to sound like tongue-tied chipmunks.

Humility and cringe-worthy moments have been common pieces of my writing puzzle. But it’s the satisfaction after editing and re-editing a book that keeps me moving forward. The final version, the one that the editor accepts and loves.

I have four published novels and I can honestly say writing is tough. Storylines often sway in unexpected directions and new character personality traits pop up when I least
expect. Heroines and heroes may turn into a villains and vice-versa. A plot can thicken or end up going nowhere. Like planting a seedling, a story sprouts, grows and produces a creation that is far more complex than where it started. Often very different than what I expected.

And, of course, even the most crafted, fascinating stories may receive a rejection from a publisher, editor, or agent, a disheartening, yet growing experience that most published authors have endured. Tough skin, open mindedness to critiques, and willingness to edit accordingly is essential in a writer’s journey. Also, it is critical that an author write to the expectations of the genre they are targeting. READ what you write. Trying to find your own niche can be difficult, especially as a new author.

Like most writers, my stories are crafted out of passion, determination, and love. I learned that I must see the plot through my characters’ eyes. Feel their emotions, frustration and pain. Bring out their insecurities and show their faith. And mostly bring them to the brink of despair before rescuing them. I want the reader to sense how we live, feel, and experience: chaos, absurdity, humility, sadness, beauty, love… And if I bring tears to my own eyes as I read through my stories, I’ve done my job.

Life is about fiction, from folks rewriting their own memories to daydreaming about their hopes and dreams. Fiction gives a writer a chance to rewrite mistakes and sorrows or find forever love. Threads of truth blend within my fiction stories. Although frustrating at times, the passion to write burns within a fiction writer’s soul. And like food for my soul, I can’t imagine how I could not write.
BROKEN SILENCE
By Annslee Urban

SHE'S HIDING A DEADLY SECRET… 
…and someone wants to make sure Amber Talbot never reveals it. When she becomes the target of a car bomb and a home invasion, she gets the message loud and clear. If she tells anyone her secret, she will die. The person charged with protecting her is police detective Patrick Wiley—the fiancĂ© she walked away from but never forgot. The same man she never wanted to tell about the attack that left her for dead. Back then Patrick couldn't save her. Now he must. Because the attacker has returned to finish what he started. Except this time he's got them both in his sights.


BIO:
Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance and happy endings. Her writing journey began when the youngest of her five children started school. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she served on the board of Carolina Christian Writers, has worked as a freelance writer and registered nurse. She enjoys Bible studies, cooking, traveling and grandbabies! She lives in North Carolina with her husband and family. You can contact her at annsleeurban@gmail.comannsleeurban.comannsleeurban.blogspot.com or on facebook.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

UNCOVERING THE UNTHINKABLE

COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF LOVE COMES CALLING, WHICH WILL BE RELEASED MARCH 20


By Deborah Piccurelli


    1.  Does “Uncovering the Unthinkable” of your brand occur naturally in the way you write a story, or do you take the advice of a number of writers who say, “Let the worst thing possible happen to your character, and then make it worse?”

   I do take that advice about making things worse, but “Uncovering the Unthinkable” comes from the subjects I choose to write about, and what I weave an entertaining story around.

2.    2. Where does “the unthinkable” rise from in your book? Evil, complications or a great imagination, or something that happened to you?

 Definitely evil, but evil in the real things that are going on in this world. Much of what I write about are things we don’t know about, or maybe heard of, but shy away from knowing more about.

3.      How is “the unthinkable” vital to suspense?

If it’s unthinkable, it is something we are not naturally familiar with. Something that goes against everything we, as a society, have striven to keep from going on. Things that go against the grain of what we know is right.

4.      That brings us to your new novella, Love Comes Calling. Tell us about your release party. Have you had these before? Are they well attended? Does a person need an invitation?

I did not host a release party for my two previous books. I do hope this first one will absolutely be well attended. I will post the event on Facebook, and friends will receive notifications and invitations. And since I’ve never held one before, I’m not sure, but it’s possible the event will reach others, too. If any of your subscribers wish to attend this event, they can friend me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/deborah.piccurelli. I will also be tweeting about the release party, so they can follow me on Twitter @DebPiccurelli.

5.      By your book summary, was the unthinkable in this book the basis of your story idea? What triggered the idea?

This book was actually written years ago, before I came up with my brand. On the other hand, an “unthinkable” did naturally develop, which certainly is the basis of the story. What triggered the idea was asking myself the question, “What if a character did something really awful to another character, who they didn’t know personally at the time, and, after making a change in their life, wanted to make things right with that person?” The next question then becomes, “What is that really awful thing they did to that person?”

6.      When does complication cross a line where too much of the unthinkable happens? I’m reading more and more of these kinds of books.

I’m not sure if this is the answer you’re looking for, but for me, it would be if there’s so much of it that the reader becomes numb to it, and it loses its impact within the story.

7.      Your book, Hush Little Baby, exposes the unthinkable in abortion clinics. Was research for that book difficult?

In some ways, yes. To have to learn the details of what goes on, and read about the attitudes of real people who work, or have worked in those clinics would make my heart drop to my stomach. Much of that is depicted in the book.

8.      How long have you donated 10 percent of proceeds to a pro-life organization?

Hush, Little Baby was released in December, 2011. I began donating when I started to receive royalties from its sales. It’s still in print, so I’ll be donating as long as it sells.

9.      In your book, In the Midst of Deceit, the main character is a modern-day Job. How did you avoid becoming depressed yourself while writing the book?

I guess knowing the outcome of the story helped with that. Ha!


10.  Have you ever cried with a character? Tell us about it if you did.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I haven’t. Not that I don’t feel those emotions. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to convey them on the pages of my books. My emotional mechanism works quite differently than most other people. In real life situations, I can hold it together about ninety-five percent of the time; but give me an episode of the Brady Bunch or a Nicholas Sparks movie, and I’m reduced to a blubbering lump of feelings. LOL!

11.  Where does victory, reconciliation, or happiness come from in your books?

First and foremost, victory, reconciliation and happiness for the characters in my books stems from their relationship with the Lord. But there are also natural aspects that develop through the story that contribute to those outcomes. It’s a balance, just as it is in our own lives.

12.  What’s your work in progress?

I had been working on a book until the Lord impressed upon me to lay that aside and work on a futuristic TV drama He has assigned to me. Afterward, I’ll go back to that book, which definitely fits my brand of “Uncovering the Unthinkable.”

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Ada. It’s been fun!


 LOVE COMES CALLING

BACK COVER BLURB

 Available for preorder now!



The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.

Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.

But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?

Author bio:

After years of reading books and watching movies with an element of romance, Deborah M. Piccurelli’s desire to write romance novels came naturally. She is active in her church and is an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. As one of the winners in a contest by The Christian Authors Show, details of Deborah’s writing journey can be found in the 2013-2014 edition of the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.   
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