Tuesday, July 22, 2014

8 Thrillers for 99 cents!!

Okay, here is the news about a very special deal...THRILL RIDE, a set of eight, count 'em, eight full length thrillers for only 99 cents....that's what I said...under a buck, for this:

Murder, conspiracy, corruption, kidnapping, demons, fugitives and a world poised on Armageddon... Grab a seat and hold on tight! Because this 8-book thrill ride by some of the most popular names writing thrillers today doesn't let up till the very last page!

600 reviews with a solid 4.4 star average over the 8 individual novels. A nearly $30 value, available in this very special bundle for a limited time only. These are the titles:

Blind Justice  by James Scott Bell 
Sidetracked by Brandilyn Collins
Double Vision by Randy Ingermanson
The Blade by Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore
The Roswell Conspiracy by Boyd Morrison 
The Killing Rain by P.J. Parrish
Desecration by J. F. Penn
The Call by Kat Covelle

Here's why: we authors want to test the power of our readers. This would be a tremendous demonstration of the new reality in the book world: you, the readers, as the movers and shakers of the
marketplace. 

I'm told there are some big-name titles being released about now. Would it not be cool to see Thrill Ride ride past them...because of you?

So would you consider investing 99 cents on this? And help to spread the word to your own circle about this grand bargain?

I will let you know the results in my next letter to you, and you will have my deep gratitude! Here are the links:

AMAZON KINDLE

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK

KOBO

GOOGLE PLAY

iBOOKS

Happy reading!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Quilted by Christmas ~ Reviewed

Quilted by Christmas
by Jodie Bailey

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. After being abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vowed to never love again, and threw herself into her love for the outdoors, and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family had ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping grandma work on a final quilting project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that though others have left her behind, God never will?

In another of the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press, Quilted by Christmas is a unique and compelling story of abiding love. I enjoyed reading this book, I was drawn in by Taryn, adored the feisty Jemma, and found Justin a worthy hero. I can easily give Quilted by Christmas a high recommendation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fiction Talk ~ Description

Setting the scene can be tricky because you can overdo it or leave the reader with a question mark floating over their head. You want to give enough detail to make the scene come alive and help your reader "see" the character and where they are. But if too much detail is given, most readers begin to skim over it to get to the action. I know I do. I want it mixed in, giving me insight.


I try to intersperse those details within dialogue or internal monologue. Besides the details of description, you can also add information about the character. 

In the opening scene from Chapel Springs Revival, I want the reader to smell the lake mist and hear the loons, so I included them in the opening scene on the second page (I think that's where this will land):

A spring breeze played with the edge of her shirttails as she stepped up onto the boardwalk along Sandy Shores Drive. She paused and with her hand, shaded her eyes against the rising sun and welcomed the tremolos and wails of the loons floating up with the mist lifting off Chapel Lake. She searched the reeds along the shoreline for their distinctive black and white neckbands. Like Yankees, they'd soon migrate back to the north. She'd miss their plaintive cries. Time and time again, she'd tried to capture the emotion in her pottery, but so far she hadn't found a way to translate sound into form. 

In that short paragraph, we have time of day, weather, sound of loons, location (the South), and her occupation. 

Do you have a paragraph from a book you've read or written that shows description in a way that you get more than simply what the place looks like?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Little Fun

I've got a friend with 2 cats like this. 

Great advice!

Now here's a man who finally got it! 

 
That's how it looks to me

And those who do need to get a life 

Too cute for words 

This is NOT my dogs. They love a bath. 

Sometimes we find them standing in line for a bath.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meet Indie Author ~ Kimberli MaKay


Kimberli Buffaloe (writing as Kimberli McKay) combines her passion for the faith and the Carolinas in her stories, which she calls Lessons from the Landscape. Her debut novel, Learning to Live Again was released on Amazon in June, and her short stories have appeared on Christian Fiction Online Magazine. She is a member of Christian Writers Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers, where she has served as the Carolinas Area Coordinator and Genesis category coordinator. A pastor’s wife who enjoys photography, her photos have appeared on Carolina nature organization websites and Clash Entertainment's Verse of the Day, Kimberli and her husband live in North Carolina with their rescue dog, Gracie.

Tell my readers about your releasing book.

Learning to Live Again is the story of a young woman struggling to heal and forgive after a botched carjacking turns her into a widow and a recluse terrified of strangers. Years before, she’d put aside her faith to get married and now she feels spiritually as well as physically and emotionally alone. Part of moving on includes renewing her relationship with God, but she isn’t sure He wants her back. Matters get complicated when she falls for a former police officer trying to figure out where his own marriage stands after his wife takes an extended vacation from their marriage.

Ane here: I've read Learning to Live Again and absolutely loved it! It's well written and the characters will grab your heart.

What sparked this story?

The original plot was inspired by a debate I had with my husband, with me setting up the story as I would a chessboard and then attempting to move the characters toward checkmate. I was a newbie writer at the time with an agenda (which was blown to pieces by this story, but that’s another post) as bad at literary chess as I am with the actual game.

As my writing matured, I dug deeper into the characters’ lives and motivations. As I got to know Vicky, I realized her problem wasn’t the task of overcoming trauma or even falling in love with the man who makes her feel safe, one whose marriage may or may not soon end. Her problem is her lack of understanding regarding God’s grace as it relates to His righteousness. She’d failed to invest and grow in her faith after her conversion. Consequently, she doesn’t know how to apply God’s grace to herself or the person who devastated her life.

Did anything strange of funny happen while writing this book?

I laugh about it now, but at the time, it was creepy. The carjacking in the story occurs in the characters’ neighboring town of Spartanburg, SC, when Vicky’s husband makes a wrong turn one winter’s night after leaving a dinner party.

During the time I was editing the first draft, we were invited to a seminary-student gathering in Spartanburg one cold winter’s night. After we left, sure enough, we got lost on those unfamiliar highways. My husband hadn’t read the story yet, so he had no idea why I kept yelling at him to keep driving and under no circumstance should he stop.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Always. There was never a time when I didn’t have that expectation for my life or stories running through my head.

Where do you write, a coffee shop, attic nook, or a cave? Describe it, please.

While I secretly hope the Dairy Queen Grill and Chill in Greer, SC, will someday post a sign that says, “Kimberli Buffaloe (McKay) wrote several chapters of her bestselling novel here during lunch breaks,” I camp out on my cushy sofa with my feet propped on the coffee table. I’m an adult now. I can do that.

What was your first writing "instrument" (besides pen and paper)?

I wrote my first and hidden-for-all-eternity novel on a desktop computer and shortly after, I switched to a laptop. However, I still use pen and paper at times. A professor once said there’s a connection between the hand and the mind, and he encouraged us to study by writing down everything. I did and it worked, so I still resort to handwriting, especially when I’m working through a story problem.

Of all your characters, which was your favorite and why?

I was about to say Nick Chapman, the agnostic and former police officer who was shot in the faceoff with Vicky’s assailant, and who later forms a strong bond with Vicky. With his twang, intelligence, and peculiar way of expressing himself, he’s definitely my most unique character. But my favorite is Mark Borelli, a deputy in Georgetown Country, SC. He’s easy going, good humored, and he loves sports, the outdoors and a pretty little waitress who works at his favorite restaurant, despite the fact that she’s four years older and has a teenage son. He’s so taken with her, he’s willing to wait until she notices him. It shouldn’t take long; he once saved puppies. Who can resist that?

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Generally from ideas or items that spark my interest. My first novel was inspired by an incident in southern history mentioned in the writings of John L. Girardeau. Learning to Live Again and its sequel were inspired by a debate. Yet another novel was inspired by a beautiful home I spotted across a sparkling inlet.

What's next for you?

I’ve just begun revisions on Learning to Live Again’s sequel, River of Life, which involves the consequences of events in the original story along with Nick Chapman’s unusual bond with Vicky. I’m excited because the story takes readers to the edge of South Carolina’s old Dark Corner. I’m also working on a contemporary Romance novella set in Charleston that includes plenty of history.

Share a few of the techniques you learned that changed the way you write.

Years ago, a workshop instructor taught me to connect the character’s actions, thoughts, or emotions to details I’d used in the setting. For example, blooming dogwoods and azaleas represent Vicky’s desire for a fresh start in life and throughout the story. Her distance from the mountains serves as a metaphor for her journey. On a micro level, in one scene, a squirrel oblivious to a car barreling toward it represents her impending introduction with Nick Chapman.

Thanks to tough crit partners, I’ve also learned to write in a deeper POV, among other things omitting all references to he saw/she heard/he knew/she realized etc, and replacing narrative (implying an off-screen observer is relating the story) with internal monologue.

However, I reached a point where I realized I’m not a fan of deep, deep Third Person POV, so I allow a little distance. The story began to flow better when I did that, but I still struggle to balance including actions beats, which zooms the reader out far enough to observe the character, with internal monologue, which suddenly thrusts the reader back in a character’s head. It seems contradictory at times.

Now for the fun:

Tell us 3 things your readers might not know about you.

When I was four, a mail Jeep ran over me. Not hit—ran over. I spent eight weeks in the hospital and another six weeks in a body cast. The neighborhood kids used to haul me around in a little red wagon.

My husband proposed to me two weeks after we met. This August, we’ll celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.

I love to snorkel and have snorkeled in Kauai, Grand Cayman, and Cancun.

If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why?

I’m a multitasker, so it has to be an instrument that can play more than one note at a time. Between my husband’s military service and the ministry, I’ve moved around a lot, so it has to be portable. And since I occasionally need a knock on the head, I’ll say a xylophone.



Some women have to forgive their husbands for being unfaithful. Vicky Morgan has to forgive hers for dying.

A year after a botched carjacking turned her into a widow at the age of twenty-five, Vicky meets a former police officer with connections to the crime that wrecked lives and sent her into hiding. She not only learns the fate of the officer injured in the attack, she has support from the only person who can understand what she suffered and lost that fateful night.

Clay Waters faces an uncertain future after his wife takes an extended vacation from their marriage. Unwilling to risk leaving their son without a parent, he quits his job at the police department. A decision that leaves him feeling useless until he meets the petite recluse who barely survived a face-off with a murderer.

Vicky gives Clay the sense of purpose he wants, and he provides her with protection she needs as she gradually expands her world and renews a faith she once tossed aside for a man. But when friendship turns to love, will the faith teaching them to forgive now keep them apart?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Threads of Joy ~ Reviewed

by Sharlene MacLaren

JOY WESTFALL, a divorced woman who runs a tailoring business out of her little home and has a 4-year-old daughter knows first hand the bitterness of rejection. Her talent with a needle supersedes her tainted reputation, however, and she has no trouble finding clients. What she lacks is true friendship. Living next door to a little clapboard church on the edge of town, even the folks of the church pay her little mind when they come and go on Sunday mornings--unless she happens to be outside tending her flowerbeds in which case they quickly turn their children's heads away or shake their own at her in utter repulsion. Inside, their hymns of praise compete with the birds, but outside their hypocritical noses turn up at the sight of her. Not until LUCAS JENNINGS, the new preacher, begins to befriend her and her innocent daughter does she grasp what pardon feels like. The trouble is his congregation begins to accuse him of having sinful thoughts, one woman in particular going so far as to campaign to have him removed from the pulpit. When tragedy strikes, Lucas's messages of repentance resonate with his members, drawing an entire community together, changing the hardest hearts, and turning folks' minds toward what really matters in life--love, faith, and forgiveness.

Threads of Joy is a story of God's grace, but even more, readers will be reminded of His love for them. You'll be charmed by Joy and her little daughter, Annie. Don't be surprised when they walk off the pages and straight into my heart. I give Threads of Joy a high recommendation. A thoroughly delightful read.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cindy Thomson ~ A Love of History and Heritage Seeps into Her Historical Fiction

Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at www.cindyswriting.com.

Tell us about your releasing book.

Annie’s Stories is Book Two in the Ellis Island series, following Grace’s Pictures.

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

What sparked this story?

I knew I wanted to write about immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century, so I looked to see what was introduced at the time. When I discovered the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900, I imagined new immigrants of the time might have related to Dorothy Gale. They were in a strange place and had left everything familiar behind. I went from there to include more literature of the day. Because my character is Irish, and the Irish are known as tremendous storytellers, I knew Annie would have some treasured stories from home, a place she cannot return to.

What's the one book or writing project you haven't yet written but still hope to?

A baseball novel. It will have to have a historical element, and of course be about life, not just baseball. (I have started it, but just barely.)

If you had one entire day in which to do nothing but read, what book would you start with?

You mean besides the one I’m currently reading, Amelie by Cathy Gohlke? I have such a stack it’s always hard to know where to start. I am eager to get to Francine Rivers’s Bridge to Haven.

How many books you read in a month?

Not as many as I’d like. About 2-3, I think.

What was your first writing "instrument" (besides pen and paper)?

First, I guess was oral storytelling when I was just a kid. I told a story about aliens on the moon that gave my little friends bad dreams. But if you mean what did I use when I first started writing novels, it was a laptop my husband had that kept shutting down in the middle of my work and causing me to lose stuff. I kept calling him at work for help so he bought me a Mac so I wouldn’t call him anymore. J

What's your favorite writing "instrument or machine" you've ever owned?

I currently have a MacBook Air and a MacBook Mini and I love them so very much!

What's your favorite genre in which to read?

Hands down historical fiction, although I do read in different genres and non-fiction.

What's the one book you remember most clearly from your youth?

I remember a book that I have not been able to identify. It was about a boy who found a message scratched into a dresser drawer from a boy who lived during the days of the Mayflower. It really sparked my interest in history and historical fiction. Second would be Charlotte’s Web because my mother used to read it to me at bedtime.

What's next for you?

I hope more historical fiction, God-willing. I’m working on Book Three of my series, which is the story of an Italian immigrant who comes to live at Hawkins House. And that baseball novel! In addition I’m working on the stories that Annie Gallagher’s father wrote for her, which are mentioned in the novel Annie’s Stories but not given. Subscribers to my newsletter will receive them first for free. You can sign up on my site: www.cindyswriting.com

Thanks for having me!

Annie's Stories

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.