Thursday, September 03, 2015

She's a Southern Author ~ Jo Huddleston

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains Series and her Caney Creek Series are sweet Southern historical romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. You can connect with Jo on her website, her Facebook author page, Goodreads, and The Book Club Network.

SFF: Leave a comment for Jo, and be entered in a drawing for the Kindle version of Trust Me.

If you could be an animal, what would you be? Why?
I’d be an eagle. I’ve always been fascinated with flight—birds, airplanes, space launches. If I were an eagle, no other of my breed would pick on me because I’d be bigger than them. I would enjoy the eagle’s view as I would glide across the vast sky.

What can your readers expect from you next?
My next book will be Book 3 in the West Virginia Mountains Series. No title yet. The story will continue with the same characters, plus a new one or two. Look for Book 3 to release during spring 2016.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Please tell your friends and family about the book and how much you loved it. Posting a short review of the book on Amazon is much appreciated! Also, spread the word on your social media outlets like Facebook and include this link to the book:

West Virginia, 1960
A mine owner. An elegant lady.
Seductive voices that scoff at trust.
Loreen Fletcher has suffered heartbreak. She resolves never to trust a man again. She has earned a respected position with no help from anyone, especially not from a man. At thirty-six, Loreen knows loving brings inevitable misery, and she won’t pick at that scab again.

Claude Capshaw’s life has taken another detour. Things that drove him no longer motivate him. Nothing fulfills him anymore—except that elegant lady at West Virginia University. Why won’t Loreen trust him when he tells her he’ll never betray her?

Any parting comments?
Ane, I’ve enjoyed visiting with your readers. Thanks for having me!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

New Christian Fiction Releases

September 2015 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance: 
Moments of Truth by Sandra D. Bricker -- Divorced blogger Regan Sloane's new book club meetings quickly morph into evenings with her friends trying out recipes and decompressing by sharing their most private thoughts, fears and ponderings. With the first writing tip she'd ever received - Write what you know! - skipping around her brain, the fodder those gatherings provide is just too delicious to resist, and Regan gravitates toward them and their various romantic challenges for blog content. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) 
The Birdhouse by Laura V. Hilton -- Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game-which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. When Greta's father is injured in a farming accident, Josh steps in to help. Greta admires one of his birdhouses, and he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta prove her innocence, get beyond her family's distrust and return home? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House) 
The Bishop's Son (The Amish of Bee County) by Kelly Irvin -- Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father's store, but she can't make sense of his intentions. Jesse may be the bishop's son, but his faith has been wavering of late. Is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide? Then there's Will, Jesse's cousin, who has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires? Leila knows Will is the "safe" choice, but when her heart speaks, it's Jesse's name she hears. Could leaving everything she knows-even her own faith-be a part of God's plan? (Contemporary Romance from Zondervan) 
A Tide Worth Turning by Beth Wiseman -- Successful real estate agent Addison Burke is forced to find a caregiver for her estranged mother following a stroke. She hires an agency to fill the position, and to her surprise, they send a man for the job. Logan has to make enough money caring for Lee Ann Burke to flee the country before his world comes crashing down around him. But when Lee Ann's beautiful daughter, Addison, begins to awaken feelings in him that he thought died long ago, he begins to question whether or not fleeing from the past is worth leaving Addison forever. And why is Lee Ann selling everything she owns on EBay and Craig's List? (Contemporary Romance Novella, Independently Published) 

Contemporary Women's Fiction: 
When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- It wasn't easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own-have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again-but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne's apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing? (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House]) 
The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate -- Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina's Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney's estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney's only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything? (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Tyndale House) 
A Texas Christmas by Ramona K. Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Marie Hake and by Kathleen Y'Barbo, -- Spend Christmas in the Old West with six unconventional women who take on Texas-sized challenges-and unexpected romance. Bridget falls for a man opposed to her teaching Indian orphans. Polly is trying to hold her family together when her childhood love returns to town. Rugged rancher Charlsey is inexplicably attracted to a tenderfoot accountant. Vivian shuns marriage until meeting a nomadic photographer. Lacey's cooking draws a quiet blacksmith out of his shell. Tracker Bessie Mae helps a ranger hunt down a villain. (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Barbour Publishing) 

General Fiction:
Hungry for Home by Brenda S. Anderson -- After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger…who turns out to be a hungry, homeless teen. The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled. The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts. And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home. (General Fiction, Independently Published)

Historical General Fiction:
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke -- In this time-split story, Hannah Sterling (1972) seeks to uncover the secrets of her estranged mother's past (WWII), only to learn that she has a grandfather still living in Germany, hiding tragic wartime secrets that stretch across the generations. (Historical General Fiction from Tyndale House) 

Historical Romance:
12 Brides of Summer, Novella Collection #4 by Diana Brandmeyer, Vickie McDonough, and Davalynn Spencer -- The Columbine Bride: Lucy Powell is determined to get her neglected homestead up and running again after a winter filling in as the school marm in town. But can she keep neighboring rancher, Buck Reiter from helping her when he seems just as determined to work his way into the lives of her children as well as her heart? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter -- Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in un-mailed letters to her brother's old school friend, a duke. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother's new valet. When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men--one she's never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing) 
The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White -- When Brook Eden's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, she leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to visit her supposed family. The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save her from the same fate as her mother. When matters of his future dukedom force Justin far from Brook, the distance between them reveals their friendship has grown into something much more. But their loyalties are very different. And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession--and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:
The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry -- In World War II, fighter pilot Roger Greene wants only three things in life: fast planes to fly, a chance to serve his country, and to find the perfect girl to love. All three ambitions screech to a halt--seemingly forever--when his P-47 is shot down over Nazi Germany. Captured, Roger becomes a guinea pig in a hush-hush Nazi experiment. The war may end, but the Methuselah Project will continue. Escape is constantly on Roger's mind, but is escape possible? (Romantic Suspense from Kregel Publications) 
Beyond the Cherokee Trail by Lisa Carter -- When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on-literally-into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago. Though at odds, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press) 
Expert Witness by Rachel Dylan -- Minutes after testifying in a murder trial, sketch artist Sydney Berry is almost killed in a drive-by shooting. United States Marshal Max Preston saves her life then whisks her away to safety. She's his first protected witness, and he'll do everything in his power to keep her safe. But Sydney doesn't want to hide from danger. She is determined to finish her testimony and put a killer away. With potential suspects coming from all corners, Sydney will have to trust Max with her deepest secrets-and her life. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin]) 

Young Adult:
A Reluctant Assassin by JC Morrows -- Her mission is simple - get close to the Prince, and kill him. . . Kayden entered the palace under a lie, one designed to get her close to the Prince. On the outside, she may look like a princess but beneath the mask, a killer lays in wait - for the perfect moment. Dvarius is not ready to take the crown, nor is he ready for a wife. But due to his father's unexpected death and an archaic law - he must find a bride before he is allowed to take his rightful place on the throne. (Young Adult, Independently Published)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

All You Need To Know About Dialect

Prepare yourself to be amazed. All you could ever need about dialect! And when you're done, subscribe to Mental Floss. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

No Muse? Write Anyway

by +AneMulligan  @AneMulligan    

There have been many time when I can't find my muse. She's gone elsewhere to play - probably chasing butterflies or something.

But here's what I've learned. Are you ready for it?

W R I T E   A N Y W A Y

Yep. That's it. That's it???

Yes. Here's what I've found. Muses can't resist getting into the midst of your creating. It's impossible. 

Like yesterday. She wasn't around and I'd been floundering a bit. But I began the scene anyway. It wasn't too long before she jumped in. She hates it when I write drivel. And what did she do? She threw in a character from three books back! I though I was done with Queen Trixie. But noooo. The ole muse brought her back/

And boy, did she add some zip to the scene. LOL 

Friday, August 28, 2015

How Long Will it Take You to Read a Book?

Used with permission from Writer Off the Leash (one of my favorite blogs)

So many books, so little time is my motto. No, really. I have it printed on my checks, even. Yeah, that dates me. Whatever.

But here's my problem -- and I suspect I'm not the only reading freak out there with the same conundrum -- I have a stack of books I want to read but only "X" amount of time. Will I be able to read them all? And if not, then which ones could I read the fastest so I can read the most possible titles?

And no, this isn't a quirky math question.

All this to say . . . have I found a site for you (and me). How Long to Read is a book search engine which helps you find out how long it will take you to read a given book. Yes, you. It actually tailors it to your reading speed. Here's how it works . . .

1. Search for a book title. I searched for Brentwood's Ward. Hey, don't judge me.

2. When you click on the title, it brings up the statistics for that book. In this case, the average reader would take about 41/2 hours to read Brentwood's Ward.

3. But wait! Who's average? Certainly not me. So on the right side of the page, they put up a paragraph from the book. You click start when you start reading and click it again when you're finished.

I tried it. Here's what it popped up for me:

You read 77 words in 17 seconds and your average speed is 272 words per minutes. You will take 5 hours and 1 minutes to complete this book.

And that's it. That easy. If you want to know how long the next book will take you to read before you read it, give this site a whirl.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cupcake addict Beth Wiseman Reveals Favorites

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series—Seek Me With All Your Heart—was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.

Tell us about your releasing book. 
A Tide Worth Turning is a fun beach read for any season. Short, sweet, and with a hint of mystery. There is also a strong spiritual arc reflective of the amazing way God leads people to others in His effort to bring us closer to Him.    

Where do you get your ideas for your books? What sparked this story?
I often say that I’ll die before I get all the stories out of my head. I hope that’s not for a long time, lol, but I am never short of ideas or stories. They come to me while driving, in my dreams, in the middle of having a conversation with someone…and the list goes on. But the idea for this story percolated for a while, and it wasn’t until it all came together that I realized it stemmed from something that happened to my son’s friend. To say more would be a spoiler!

Did anything strange or funny happen while writing this book?
Characters show up, introduce themselves, tell me they want to be in the story, but don’t tell me why. Is that strange?  

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I was writing stories to my grandparents when I was very young. I talk a whole lot these days, but when I was a child, I was rather shy. But I always thought I had plenty to say, I reckon, because I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Where do you write, a coffee shop, attic nook, or a cave? Describe it, please: 
I either write in my recliner or on my bed. I tend to start out in my recliner, but the serious deadline writing gets done on my bed so I can spread out my notes.  I have a lovely office, but I refuse to write in it unless it’s clean. And it’s not!  And I’ve been fortunate to have friends who will take me away somewhere so I have no distractions.  

Of all your characters, which was your favorite and why?
My favorite all-time characters are Jonas and Irma Rose from my Daughters of the Promise series. They showed up and introduced themselves while I was writing the first book in that series—Plain Perfect. I love writing about older people, especially those who have been married for a really long time.  They’re wise, funny, tender, and entertaining. I received more emails about Jonas and Irma Rose than any other characters. Many readers wanted to know how they met, so I recently wrote their love story set in 1957. That novella is part of a collection of Amish stories that will release in December called An Amish Year.

Share a few of the techniques you learned that changed the way you write. 
For me, I have to keep pushing forward until the end. If I go back and try to revise or edit, it slows me down. And I never outline. I tried once, and it was a terrible experience.   

Now for the fun. Tell us 3 things your readers might not know about you. 
  • I am a cupcake addict, but I only eat the tops off—icing mandatory.   
  • I whistle the theme song for The Flintstones when I’m by myself.  
  • I am planning to do the 480-mile pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago in 2017.

If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why? 
I would be a Bb clarinet, like the one in my office. Which reminds me…I haven’t played for my potbellied pigs in a while.  

Addison Burke is a successful real estate agent who specializes in high-end closings and who enjoys an elite lifestyle not often afforded someone her age (27). But following a stroke and a recent fall, Addison is forced to hire a caregiver for her estranged mother, Lee Ann; a job Addison chooses not to take on, despite her financial freedom to do so.

She hires an agency to fill the position, and to her surprise, they send a man for the job. Logan has somehow managed to keep his act together despite a past that is slowly catching up with him. If he can make enough money over the next couple of months by tending to Lee Ann Burke, he should be able to flee the country before his world comes crashing down around him. But when Lee Ann’s beautiful daughter, Addison, begins to awaken feelings in him that he thought died long ago, he begins to question whether or not fleeing from the past is worth leaving Addison forever. 

Will Addison let down her guard for love and renew her relationship with her mother? Can Logan face his past, come out unscathed, and act on his feelings for Addison? And why is Lee Ann selling everything she owns on Ebay and Craig’s List?

Here are a few things you can do at my website: You can sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive insider scoop; you can sign up for announcements about book specials and freebies; you can read the first chapter of ALL my books for FREE.  A Tide Worth Turning releases Sept. 12,and is available for pre-order

Thank you, Ane for allowing me to be a guest on your blog.