Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Blogging 101

BLOG HOPPING OVER CHRISTMAS...OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO BLOG...

Thanks to Brenda Taylor and Margaret Daly for inviting me on this blog tour. My week is December 23-29. Check out Brenda's blog  at: http://www.houseofpassage.org/bethabara-journal/ -

See more at: http://www.margaretdaley.com/2013/12/

Be sure to check out Margaret Daley's blog information too. Lots to see; Lots of giveaways listed there. Watch for Margaret's Special on December 30th. http://cyberlaunchparty.blogspot.com/2013/12/celebrating-claire-fullertons-debut.html


Debut author for you to look into also. You'll want to celebrate with Claire Fullerton! Her new book A PORTAL IN TIME is an exciting read! http://cyberlaunchparty.blogspot.com/2013/12/celebrating-claire-fullertons-debut.html 

Speaking again of Brenda B Taylor, check out her books: HEAVEN MUST WAIT, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, and HEALING in HIS WINGS. You can find out more at:  http://www.houseofpassage.org  and beth@houseofpassage.org

I am looking forward to doing a giveaway of my newest release SECOND TIME PROMISE. (A Christmas Story)
Drop me a note over the holidays. I love giving away presents.

Some of you have not met me. Here is a little about my newest book and me and a small glimpse of my writing world.  Some of the questions that have recently been asked me are the following:

1.    What are you working on right now?

My work in progress is the fourth book in my Decisions series for Desert Breeze Publishing. I began this series with Book One - Say Goodbye to Yesterday, Book Two  - That Impossible Dream, Book Three - Second Time Promise. Book Four (my WIP) is Not Quite an Angel  

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre? 

As I am continuing to work with various members of the same family - The Virginia Jordans. (I have been pleased by the encouragement I have received from my readers who look forward to finding out what happens to the younger sister, or the twin brother, or a cousin in the Jordan family.) It shows me they are engaged in the family saga. 

What's different for this fourth book (also historical-inspirational romance) is the setting change. (in Not Quite an Angel, we have moved over to the West Coast in 1906 where before we were back in the late 1800s back east in Virginia, New York, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This story will take my main characters to England.) It's a traveling crowd. J

I write character-driven stories, but I also like to include a good amount of suspense and unusual conflict situations -- events that happened during the particular time period. For example, The War Between the States, during a train wreck that truly occurred at that time, during a tornado that actually happened, and the one I'm in now is still a surprise. (I suppose knowing it's in 1906 and in San Francisco, might offer a hint to those familiar with this time period.)

3.  Why do you write what you do?   

 
I love historical romance. I love the culture of the past, the research the writer needs, the dress, the mannerisms, and the sense of innocence even though that innocence was not real. I especially like digging deep to bring out what's so often hidden to the world about what many went through during the Victorian and Elizabethan Eras. They weren’t near as innocent as given to believe.

Some readers have at first wondered at the believability of the stories. Research reveals amazing information. J

4. How does your writing process work?

 
I start early in the morning and write off and on throughout the day with a continuous cup of coffee until about 5:30 or 6:00 at night. My editor will testify that I tend to write slowly. I wander backward on a regular basis to make changes, and to tighten up my prose and tweak the characters as I move from one chapter to the next. I love that about writing. It's your story so you can make changes whenever you feel like it before you get to wherever it is you are going. I am also a seat-of-the-pants writer for the most part. My plots develop gradually, though I know how the story will end before I arrive there.

You may want to include a blurb and excerpt from the book you are promoting.

At present I hope to share with you a little about Book Three (Second Time Promise) which was released in E-Book in October and will release in print next month.

My back page blurb just to entice you a little:

Raised by an unstable and controlling guardian, an over-protective brother, and a boat-captain grandfather, Collette Moreau's upbringing has hardly been conventional. Seeking a more refined future, she sets her hopes on marriage to an English Baron's nephew -- a choice any woman would make.

When the wedding gets postponed, Collette decides to visit an ailing uncle and learns he's not only been keeping family secrets, he disapproves of her fiancé. Uncle Henry engages the services of the passionate Christian Jordan -- suspected womanizer. His plan is to induce Collette away from her betrothed toward Mr. Jordan, or, if necessary, toward Christian's pious and meddling brother, the community parson.

Should Collette comply with such a preposterous whim of some distant kin? What sensible woman would agree to be wooed by a possible Romeo or religious zealot when she's about to wed Baron Kirkland Dewey's distinguished nephew?

Here is an excerpt:

"Didn't expect you'd be entertaining a man so early, did you?" he perused her.

Collette flushed. How would he know what I'm thinking? She limped toward the door, trying to appear at ease, but stopped at the arch before entering the hall. She glanced back. "Well, I must be going. Goodbye…" she started but didn't finish.

He lowered his gaze. "Please don't think you must leave, Collette, unless you wish to go and tend your unfortunate injury." He gazed briefly over at the display table. "Though I'm sure anyone would be pleased nothing happened to your vase, for this would have also been unfortunate. Naturally, you did your best to save the poor thing. At the same time, I do feel sorry for your poor table's leg." He chuckled. "If there's anything I can do…"

She rolled her eyes.

"Apparently not."

She started out toward the hallway. "I must be going.'

Christian meandered toward her. "But you were admiring the view, and here I've disturbed you. Don't think you must leave on account of me."

Collette waved her hand. "This is the first day of 1900, sir. I merely wanted to welcome in the New Year. Now that I'm finished…I'll be on my way."

He chuckled again, drawing attention to his white teeth and deep dimpled cheeks. "As I was about to do." He drew in a bit too close.

Edging away, she glanced warily at the stairs. Oh, to get back to my chamber right now.

"Who knows what this year shall bring us, eh, Collette?"

"Yes, who knows?" She swallowed. Swinging back, she looked directly into his sparkling eyes, the heat rising from her neck and onto her cheeks.

Christian twisted his mustache. "Hot?"
 
She scowled at him. "Of course not." She cleared her throat. "I really must be..."
 
"Take our departure tomorrow, my dear Collette," he interrupted. "I can't think of a more interesting way to bring in all kinds of surprises, don't you agree?"

 

Come see me at my Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/ShirleyKigerConnollyAuthor 

And at Twitter:


All my books and those of the authors listed above can be found anyplace on line, to include, Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, and mine, through my publishers at Desert Breeze Publishing, and Vinspire Publishing.

As I mentioned above, I will be doing a Christmas giveaway of one of my books (Flame from Within, Say Goodbye to Yesterday, That Impossible Dream) in print or ebook, or one of my newest release, Second Time Promise (in ebook) for a who leaves a comment.

 
 



 

Friday, December 20, 2013

HE'S THE REASON FOR THE SEASON...

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO WE ARE
HE CAME, HE LOVES, HE GIVES
 
 
The Christmas season helps us to remember how awesome God is…how much He loves us no matter who we are...no matter what we've done.  God sent us his Son to live that perfect life, to die for our sins, and to rise again to give us hope for eternal life.  God sent us a Christmas gift we need to take hold of.
We learn a lot about God's gift for us  as we look at some of the Women of the Bible.  I thought it would be good to re-introduce you to some of the women who played a part in the birth of Jesus Christ.  Some were kind enough to join me here at A PEN FOR YOUR THOUGHTS.

Let’s talk to the ladies…

SDC: Please, everyone, take a moment to tell us about yourselves. 
 
Tamar: My name is TAMAR. Who am I?....What did I do?...Why did I do it?
I have been deceitful. I fooled my father-in-law and played a part in causing him to sin. You see, I played the harlot, though it wasn't my nature before. But if you take the time to read about me, you will come to understand why.
 
And because God loved me just as I was, He allowed me to be included in the line of Christ.  I am thankful for that privilege.

SDC: Thank you for sharing that with us Tamar. Will you tell us a little about yourself, Rahab?
 

Rahab: My name is RAHAB. I am pretty famous to many of you. They called me a HARLOT. My reputation has been extremely questionable. But because I was helpful to God's people, even as I was,  God loved me enough to placed ME in the line of Christ too.  He saw my faith and He honored me for it! I hope you'll take the time to look up my story.
 
SDC: We will definitely do that. It sounds like great writing material. How about you, Ruth. We would love to hear what you have to say.
Ruth: Yes, my name is RUTH. Everyone around knew I wasn’t a Jew.  I was a Moabite -- one of those Gentiles.  To the people back in Bible times, I was a foreigner.  I didn’t come from the right place to be considered for the line of Jesus.
 
But you must take the time to read about my life, and especially to read about the wonderful man who claimed me for himself (Boaz). Even though I came from another place not considered appropriate to be in the line of Jesus, God still chose me.  Why?  Because it doesn’t matter to Him where I came from.  He sent His Son to be the Saviour of all the world not just part of the world.

No matter where you come from
No matter your past which simply does not matter 
God still wants to claim you and I for his own.
 
SDC: You have an awesome story. I could read about you over and over. Let us hear from you, Bathsheba.
 
Bathsheba: Yes, hello. My name is Bathsheba.  I am quite Queenly as the wife of David, and I know I am beautiful.  But I did something I shouldn’t have. I wasn't always David's wife.  I hurt my husband, and in doing so, I played a part in his death while he was at war. In my weakness I didn’t know how to say NO to the King.  Because of this I fell into sin. 

And yet! Would you be believe it? God still chose me to be in the line of His son Jesus Christ.   

No matter what you look like or how weak you might be
Even if you have made decisions in your life that you are sorry about now
God still wants YOU to be part of His kingdom
by accepting His wonderful gift of Christmas Jesus Christ.

SDC: Thank you, Bathsheba. I know it isn't easy to speak to our lives of sin.
We'd like to hear from you too, Elizabeth.
 
Elizabeth: How do you do? My name is ELIZABETH. I’m one of those relations (someone’s in-law, another’s cousin). I didn’t really do anything special as far as I'm concerned.  There was a time, though, when my husband lost his voice for a while. (This might be nice for many of you who are wives, perhaps).

Anyway, my husband lost his voice because he didn’t believe something that was told him by an angel,  therefore it was decided that he should not speak.  (Often difficult for a man, doubtless to say)
 
Anyway, back to me. Early in my pregnancy, my baby leaped inside me when  my cousin Mary came to visit. No wonder, too. My cousin Mary  was carrying the Savior of the world.  Think about it!  The moment Mary came around my own coming baby actually leaped in my womb. Woah!  (We named him John by the way.) I felt it an extreme honor to take notice of the little life inside me and how real he was.

And since God chose me to carry the forerunner to the savior of the world, that was a great honor in itself.

Though I hadn't thought myself special, God thought otherwise. Though I wasn't sure just what my purpose was, God knew otherwise. God has a purpose for all our lives, whether big or small.  Isn't it awesome that He will find a way to use all of us in some way for His glory. 
 
SDC: Thank you, Elizabeth. Your story really blesses us. Now, shall we hear from you, Anna?

Anna: Yes, I would love to. My name is ANNA. My husband died when I was barely seven years his bride. I decided then to give myself to the temple.  I didn’t want to be considered a castaway which often happened to young widows like me in Bible times.  I did not want to end up out of circulation or put on the shelf. Many of you can understand this. We don't want to be shelved and of no use to anyone.

When I gave myself to the temple, God gave me a promise early. He told me I would get to see the Messiah before I died. What greater blessing could anyone have than that? I ask you.

SDC: What an honor. Yes, maybe you sometimes feel as if you have been  been cast aside by someone.  But God never forgets his own. He will not forget you or me as we remain faithful to Him. He will never let you or me down. That's why he sent His perfect gift for us to take hold of. Once again I ask. Have you done so yet?

Mary: Before you sign off, let me tell you a little about me. I am MARY. I was young and innocent when all this happened; just minding my own business. Then this carpenter Joseph took notice of me and asked me to be his bride. I blush as I think of it now. And of course I said yes. 
 

It was after this that the surprise came. While we waited to enter in to the bridal suite (You had to wait a long time in those days.) I remained a good girl. I remained innocent.
 
Then I got pregnant anyway, and if an angel hadn’t come to explain what was going on inside me, I would have had a lot of explaining to do...about something I knew nothing about. 
 
You see, GOD MY SAVIOR chose me to carry his SON. It was an absolute miracle. 

I could only rejoice; I could only magnify Him. 
I couldn't quit believing what an honor and a privilege that had been given me! He that is mighty did a great thing.  
Holy is His name.
 
SDC: Your testimony to us, Mary, is a blessing beyond measure.
 
Thank you, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Elizabeth, Anna, and Mary. It's been an pleasure to have you all here with us at A Pen for Your Thoughts.

Now that we've heard from these precious women,
what can we reflect on this Christmas Season of 2013?
 
  • According to Tamar, the past does not matter.
  • According to Rahab, our reputations may be questionable but God looks beyond that.
  • According to Ruth, God’s not looking at our heredities.
  • According to Bathsheba, He knows we often feel weak.
  • According to Elizabeth, He knows we often aren’t sure about our purpose, but He has a purpose for us.
  • According to Anna, He is well aware of the choices we make before we make them.
  • According to Mary, He can bring about amazing and awesome miracles regardless of who we are.

What you and I as Women of the Lord need to remember is that the gift of Christmas is there for us to accept and keep and cherish. God loves us and has chosen us. 
 
Have you decided what you are going to do with the gift of His Son this year?  My prayer is that you will receive Him if you haven't yet, and that you all have a glorious Christmas keeping Jesus Christ at the center of your season.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Overcoming the issues of the day with HIM - Come visit with June Foster

 
Author June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. June's book, Ryan's Father, will be available from WhiteFire Publishing in the New Year. For All Eternity, Red and the Wolf, and Misty Hollow, are set to be published in the near future. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.

Let's talk to June for a few minutes.

SKC:       What book or project would you like to tell us about today, June?
 
JC    My novel, Ryan's Father, will be out in January with WhiteFire Publishing. The print copy will be available in April. This book is very dear to my heart. I've broached a sensitive subject in this contemporary romance but felt it was one God would have me write. My hero, a young school teacher, is a devout Christian. For years he's questioned why he never had the attraction toward woman that other guys talk about. As he begins work on an annex to his church for needy children and teens, he discovers a secret he thought he'd buried. He feels an attraction for his male partner in the project. I need to say that I wrote Ryan's story from a Christian, Biblical worldview yet at the same time tried to keep my character's thoughts and feelings realistic for someone experiencing same sex attraction. To set the record straight, the reading is appropriate for late teens to adults.
 
SKC:       What inspired you to come up with writing in your genre?  

JC:    All my books are contemporary, inspirational romance. I think I chose this genre because within the romance between two people, I spotlight more than just romance. My characters struggle with everyday problems yet find victory through the Lord and His word. I pray that readers can identify with the issues and find help in their own lives.
 
SKC:       What do you think it takes to write a good book?

JC:   I believe first, there needs to be a good story with a pertinent message—one the author believes in. One the writer is passionate about. Then the writer needs to become skilled in using the tools of writing to  pen a compelling tale.
 
SKC:   What is your process of writing a novel, briefly—from conception to revision?
 
JCFirst, I have an idea in my mind. Then I begin by doing research. I become familiar with the place where the novel is set, any particular quirks or characteristics of my hero and heroine, the lifestyles of people about whom I'm writing, etc. Since I'm definitely not a "seat of the pants" writer, I create a chapter by chapter synopsis and ask one of my amazing critique partners to look it over and see what changes I need to make. Then I do a first draft, writing the entire book. But that's just the beginning. Later, I edit my own chapters probably 3-4 times adding in needed internal dialogue and character actions, then send it out chapter by chapter to my critique groups. After their critiques, I make the suggested changes. And a lot of the time, I hire a freelance editor to take it from there. It's a long process but I love telling the stories the Lord puts on my heart.
 
SKC:  What was the difference to you with writing a trilogy and writing a standalone novel?
 
JC:   No real difference. My writing techniques were the same. But I loved writing my Bellewood trilogy for Desert Breeze because the setting and the characters remained the same. In each novel, I added a new hero or heroine, depending on the story. One of the advantages was I already "knew" most of the characters as I continued their story.

SKC:   Please give us some hints about your trilogy and also which one you would like to add as a giveaway.
 
Give Us This Day -
Jess Colton battles a food addiction, and Holly Harrison will never escape from her mistake. Can their romance survive their rocky pasts? 
As We Forgive -
Controlled by his past, Pastor Tim Garrett must overcome anger or lose his job and the woman he loves. 
Deliver Us -
The college man who coaxed Jillian Coleman upstairs that night is no more than a blur in her memory, but the consequences would haunt her forever. Ten years later, Riley Mathis can't tell Jillian he's the father of the child she aborted. The truth would destroy them.

A signed copy of Give Us This Day or As We Forgive is going to made available to one of the guests who leaves a comment for June. 
 
A few purchase sites for the trilogy books will be listed. Take time to check them out.


 








Give Us This Day



As We Forgive
Deliver Us

 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bellewood-book-three-june-foster/1114971517?ean=2940016427324


VISIT JUNE AT HER WEBSITE
https://www.facebook.com/authorjunefoster


LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS.
ADD YOUR NAME AND EMAIL TO WIN A BOOK
 

 

Monday, December 9, 2013

No Matter the Circumstances...

Join me in a talk with Author Lynette Endicott.
When a high school writing assignment resulted in publication of an article in a youth magazine, at age 14, Lynette Endicott was hooked. Writing has always been part of her life; journaling, grants for work, or newsletters for non-profits where she worked have kept th
at alive.
She has been part of the Disability Rights movement since 1979, and continues to consult with organizations that serve people with disabilities.
Lynette grew up in Illinois, met her husband in Western Nebraska (they’ve been married since 1974), lived 25 years in Kansas where their daughter was born, and has been in Fresno, California since 2000. She has a son-in-law (who lives with her daughter nearby), and with the kids has rescued two dogs, three cats and a bird.
During the fun collaboration with Tami Dee, Lynette and Tami learned that they each owned a calico cat and a cockatiel — and both appear in the Time After Time Saga. Paula’s cat, Slainte’, appears in Animal Instinct and both a cat and a bird appear in Survival Instinct.
Shirley: Tell us about your heroine. Without sharing any spoilers, give our readers a hint about what makes her tick; why it's important to write a book about her; if she is strong or weak or otherwise, and how she might handle conflict.
Lynette: Eliza O'Malley is a teenager when her father returns from Wyoming territory to take her and her brother Allen away from Ireland and their mother to the wild West of America. She is based on my husband's great-grandmother. When my mother-in-law and I were conducting family genealogy research we found newspaper stories and other history which, combined with the stories she's heard first hand and her own recollections, helped us get to know the strong, successful woman that Eliza became.
 
Even though some of the story is fantasy (there is a time traveling enemy after all) the foundation of the story is the real life of our family's Eliza.
Shirley: Tell us what is most interesting thing about you
Lynette: My 6 year-old dog and I volunteer as a Therapy Dog team. Ollie is a Tail Waggin' Tutor and children read out loud to him to improve their reading.
Shirley: When you aren't using your creative juices to write, what do you do for fun?
Lynette: I have a large flower garden and a vegetable garden. This year we have a winter garden, and are still enjoying fresh salads. Fresno isn't as mild as southern California but we enjoy a much milder Winter than we've had anywhere else we've lived.
Shirley: As a writer, what do you put off doing?
Lynette: Oh, my. I put off sitting down to do the first draft of the story. I write the draft fairly quickly -- often in a week -- but it takes my full concentration to keep the story rolling. I enjoy letting the story rattle around in my mind with lots of optional directions and scenes -- and once I sit down to write they have to be more structured.
Shirley: What sort of message are you sending in your stories if any?
Lynette: No matter the circumstances we can prevail -- through love.
Shirley: What is your favorite type of book to read? What is your least favorite type of book to read?
Lynette:  I love reading almost anything. From historical to modern romance, from fantasy to science fiction to mystery to history to nature. I read it all.
Shirley: Please share a short blurb of the book you have out now that you hope to share with one of our readers and let us know where we can find you and your books.
Lynette: The third book in the Time After Time Saga, by Lynette Endicott and Tami Dee.
 
When Eliza O'Malley leaves Ireland for America her mother hopes and prays she will escape the heartache that was inherited with the Heartmark.
It was not to be. As she keeps house for her father and brothers, and holds the family together through Wyoming winter and a terrible tragedy, she is being watched by a neighbor who will do anything in her power to keep Eliza from her true love.
Shirley: Thank you for sharing with us at A Pen for Your Thoughts.
Please drop Lynette a note, and we will put you on the list for a free copy of her book. 
The name of our winner will be drawn at random from our entries. 
To visit with Lynette and read more about her books: 
Amazon Author page (for paperbacks of the Starting Over Series) http://www.amazon.com/Lynette-Endicott/e/B008E8P1AO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1384806342&sr=8-1
And from Desert Breeze Publsihing

Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Suspense is Up Your Alley



We are pleased to share author Marcy Dyer with you for the next few days.
 
Marcy G. Dyer is a Registered Nurse and suspense author. Like so many other writers, she began writing at a very young age, but never took herself seriously as a "real" writer until about ten years ago when she began taking courses and learning the craft of writing.
She currently has two novels from the Desert Winds Series available: Down & Out and Out for Blood.
In addition to writing, Marcy is a freelance editor. She does editing for individuals, Desert Breeze Publishing, and Prism Book Group.

Marcy is an alumnus of the Christian Writer's Guild and long-time member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She hosts a small critique group for ACFW and is involved in two other critique groups. For anyone seriously interested in becoming an author, she recommends a strong, diverse critique group to help authors hone crafts.

In addition to maintaining her website, http://www.marcydyer.com, Marcy hosts a blog to help those with autoimmune diseases. While many autoimmune diseases aren't visible, they still cause chronic pain and disability. If you would like more information, please visit http://ragimp.blogspot.com
As followers of Jesus Christ, Marcy and her family are active members of Crossroads Fellowship in Odessa, Texas. Sermons are carried live via the web at our online campus - http://crossroadsodessa.tv/ at the following times on Sundays - 9:30 & 11:00 and 5:00 & 7:00 central time.
 
Out for Blood
 
Dialysis nurse, Danielle Battershawn's life is turned upside down when her identical twin is murdered. As she strives to deal with yet another death, the killer sets his sights on eliminating her. Can handsome security consultant, Tyler Covington, keep her alive?
Excerpt

Under the cloak of darkness, the man donned latex gloves. He picked the lock on the back door to Janine's house and tiptoed over the threshold. The soft fragrance of her perfume permeated the air. Such a shame. Inquisitive mongrel. They could've shared an exciting time together, but she had to play buttinski and stick her beak into his business, cutting short their love affair. Anger threatened to engulf him, but he shook it off and turned his attention to his search.

In the living room, he pulled books off the shelves, thumbed through them, and overturned the bookcases. He slashed furniture cushions and dug through the foam, then ripped up the corners of the carpeting. As small as the drive was, the witch could've hidden it anywhere. He pulled her antique glassware off the fireplace and broke them open. Empty.

After he pulled pictures off the walls and slashed open the backs, he moved on to the air vents. He unscrewed each one, stuck his hand inside the duct, and felt around.

Cursing, the man moved from room to room, dumping out contents of cabinets, drawers, the dresser, and desk. He turned over the furniture and checked the backsides and underneath.

In the bathroom, he checked under the cabinets and behind the mirror. Where did the conniving broad hide the flash drive? He slashed her bed to ribbons, dug through the stuffing, and pulled out handfuls of the cotton batting, but found nothing.

He slammed his fist through the drywall. "Stupid witch." He composed himself and explored the entire house once again.

Slipping out the front door, he removed his latex gloves and stuffed them in his pocket. As he wove through the sprawling subdivision, he hummed the tune to "Death's Head."

Knowing Janine, she gave it to her sister for preservation. He would search Dani's house and, after he had the drive, he'd dispose of her. Doing away with both of the meddlesome twins would solve two problems for him. He allowed himself a smile at the thought of carousing with Dani before he got rid of her.
 
****
 
Our thanks to Marcy Dyer for coming to visit here at A Pen for Your Thoughts and taking the time to share with us a little about her newest book. 
We hope over the holidays you will check it out yourself.
 
To read more about Marcy and her books drop by to see her at:
 
 
 

 


 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sadie and Sophie: Two Lovely Works in Progress...


 
Authors Sadie and Sophie Cuff  (Can you find them?) were born in coastal Maine -- privileged to be raised in a large extended natural and Spiritual family. Much of their childhood was spent in the island churches of Five Islands and Georgetown. The rural church remains a major force in their lives today.
 
As siblings Sadie and Sophie bring the strength of a living sisterhood to their writing, with forty years of combined writing experience and 116 years of life experiences (you do the math). They also run a small farm in Unorganized Territory (which explains so much!) and bring Jane-of-all-trades know-how to their novels, writing squarely to the heart of real women who aren't twenty-something, who don't wear a size two, and who prefer boots and flannel to high heels and the LBD.

 
Now, we shall see what these fine authors
really look like.  Naturally, I cheated.
I stole their picture
from their publisher's website.
(smile)
 

SDC: Tell us about the book you are working on now, and what you would like to share with us today.
S and S: We’re currently at work on a novel devotion called
A Woman Like Me. It’s a little different from our usual projects because it's fiction fusion. It's sort of like a-year-in-the-life type story, except it’s set up as a weekly fiction serial (every Tuesday), a devotion/journal entry by the lead character (every Wednesday) followed by short daily devotions for the remainder of the week.

Unfortunately, no publisher was taken with the idea (YET!), but we wanted to try it anyway. On January 1, 2013 we put it up on the internet as a WordPress blog and add to it every day. It’s been fun, but it’s BIG!

A WOMAN LIKE ME is the story of Susanna Jacobs, a woman who finds a Bible shoved in the bottom of a box of yard sale booty. She reads the name Joanne Hancock written in the flyleaf, and feels convicted to find the mystery woman. But when Susanna finds the unhappy Joanne and tries to repair her broken family, Susanna’s life, family, and faith get derailed in the process. It’s a good laugh-and-cry read. And we like to think it reflects every woman’s heart. We hope you’ll check it out at www.awomanlikemeblog.com

SDC: What would you say your theme scripture is for your books? One that explains your vision and makes it plain to the readers why you write?
S and S: There are so many verses we love, that inspire and motivate us every day. Right now the one that really speaks to us is: Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (NKJV).
God blesses us with so much, we want to share the grace and love He gives us and glorify Him in the process, but, as the verse says, it’s a lifelong pursuit, and a wonderful challenge.
SDC: How do you thread faith, love, and hope along with the reality of life work together in your stories?
 
S and S. We love our life and see the reality of Christ working in and around us in all things. Writing is a big part of our lives, but we also run a small farm and have worked a wide variety of outside jobs. This creates a natural flow between fiction and real life and, hopefully, we get it right in both venues. We write what we know, so most of our characters struggle with some tough life issues and don’t always find out all the answers, but they almost always find a closer relationship with God and a deeper faith in the process.
SDC: How long did you have to wait before getting published the first time?
 
S and S: Actually, the first book we wrote was a juvenile novel and got picked up within a year. Unfortunately, the publisher went out of the book business after a short while and the book was remaindered. After that, we had a DRY spell for about 20 years, but we did a lot of freelance writing for newspapers, magazines, and Christian publications, which helped us hone our craft. God knew we needed the extra practice! It’s all been good, and now we’re enjoying some more diverse opportunities. God has opened some new doors for us and our books.
SDC: Right now as I ask these question, I have a candle lit at the corner of my desk. Just the scent gets my creative juices flowing, but I have a difficult time sitting in this lonely office for too long at a time before I have to go say hello to my husband. Does a room or special place or thing play any part in your story writing and how?
S and S: We share a small office crammed with everything, including a dog and two cats. Why they congregate under our chairs is a mystery, but our office space is never dull or lonely. We sit back to back as we work. Sophie listens to music. Sadie listens to the voices in her head (Scary!). When things get dull, we eat sunflower seeds or get up and do a little exercise routine in the living room. BUT, reading about your scented candle has inspired us to light one, too.
SDC: How does your family and the ministry with your church correspond with your time to write and do research for writing?
S and S: It can be challenging! One day we thought we'd have all day free in the office, but God had other plans. A neighbor stopped by to visit and stayed a couple of hours. Before he left, two more dropped in, then another. We figured we still had the afternoon, but the phone rang and as soon as we hung up, it would ring again. That was a turning point for us. We realized our time is really God's time. So whether we're doing doctor visits, or visiting shut-ins, we know He'll provide the time we need to get things done, if we don't neglect those he brings into our day, because in the end, it's really all about Him and what we accomplish for Him.
SDC: What advice would you give to a new writer?
S and S: Write. Write. Write. And after you write, don’t take the criticism to heart because writing is a subjective medium and there’ll always be criticism. Use what’s constructive and make your story better, but never let what anyone else says crush your spirit and stop you from letting the words flow. Awhile back someone had some rather harsh things to say about one of our books, but she ended with some good advice. She said, “I just read back my comments and they sound really mean, but just remember this is MOO –My Opinion Only.”
It may take awhile to find your place and your audience, but it’s out there. Don’t give up.
SDC: What is the best lesson you have learned from other writers?
S and S: We all have a different voice and don't need to write like anyone else. As long as your writing is clean and clear, believe in it. Keep on honing your craft, but by all means, keep on writing! We had several good reviews for one of our books, and one person who apparently hated it. That one lousy review haunted us for days until we realized we can't make everyone love our writing, but if the majority like it, then we must be doing something write (LOL). So we keep on keeping on...
SDC: What is your weakest point as a writer and how do you deal with it
S and S: Our weakest point is starting off a story too slow. We get better after the first chapter or two, but we need to grab the reader from the first line. Lately, we’ve tried writing the first part of the book, then, when the story and characters get flowing, we go back and rewrite the initial scenes or take them out and start differently. It’s very much a work in progress.
SDC Where can readers best find your books?
SDC Would you like to do a giveaway?
S and S: We'd LOVE to give away a pdf of one of our books. How about making it the winner's choice? We have two series: Contemporary romantic suspense that takes place in the mountains of Maine. Civil War romantic fiction involving members of the New England Wainwright family.
 
Thank you to Sadie and Sophie for spending time with us. For those  who drop in, tell us what you enjoy reading most. Are you a romantic suspense enthusiast or does your heart render back to the historic wonders of yesteryear?  Drop us a line. We'll add your name to our basket where we'll be drawing that book winner's name at random.