Friday, September 5, 2014

CFBA Introduces Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes

After our daughter's wedding on August 23rd, I came home to find a book in my mailbox. I turned to the first page and didn't put it down until I'd finished it. Gina Holmes has written a fast paced story in Driftwood Tides. I didn't feel as though I was reading a book. I felt like I was in the middle of some really dysfunctional lives. Excellent storytelling.
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Driftwood Tides
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2014)
by
Gina Holmes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore. When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Driftwood Tides, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: THE FIRST DAY OF YOUR LIFE

Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.




Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Charles Dederich, a reformed alcoholic and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), was said to have coined that phrase. I like it. I say it to myself a lot. I like the idea of being able to start anew whenever I feel the need. That’s fairly often these days.
Our son was married last October 5th. We traveled to Florida for a destination wedding.

On August 23rd daughter walked down the aisle on her daddy’s arm and pledged life and love to her groom. And so began the first day of the rest of her life as a wife.

We’re In-laws now. God help us be a good and considerate mother in law and father in law!
Hubby and I are sharing so many new experiences in our old age:
1)      Retirement.  We actually live together day in and day out. Because of his work in the construction industry, we’ve not lived together much. That’s taking some getting used to—probably for both of us but especially for me.
 
2)      Renovation. This has been a hellacious experience that neither of us want to repeat. It began March 3rd and it’s still happening. Need I say more?
 
3)      Church: Because I was raised Baptist, we’ve spent the first half of our marriage attending the Baptist church, but when we moved to Oklahoma, we gravitated toward Assembly of God and found a wonderful church with beautiful people. Back in Lake Charles, we chose to keep going to an AG church. It's been unusual and interesting. We should never forget that The Bible is the true word of God--no pastor, preacher, evangelist, priest or spiritual advisor. 'Nuff said.
Through all these experiences, I see the importance of starting over if the need arises. I see the importance of keeping the faith, and a positive attitude. I see the importance of truth, patience, love and loyalty, encouragement and friendships. New experiences come daily and affect our lives in one way or another. That means they affect our writing too. They stimulate new ideas to write about, or they stymie us so that we can’t write. I think it's our choice.
I have several unfinished and roughly finished manuscripts that nag at me constantly. I’ve felt like giving up out of frustration—just because I haven’t had the time or focus, and no comfortable workspace. I’m not good at grabbing time—writing a paragraph today, a page tomorrow. I like working in long, flowing hours. Right or wrong, I need to see progress in my word count.
Today, I woke up thinking, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life” and another thought popped into my head: What if it was the last day? The thought surprised me.
I want to write. I’ve always wanted to write and publish but I’ve always stood in my own way.
Today I set two specific goals. We have our annual Bayou Writers Conference on November 8th so I will have a completed novel to pitch to the agent on that day.  I just like one or two more chapters and a few scenes to add. Dedication and focus can get it done.
My second goal is to get back to blogging. I’ve missed it. I used to blog daily but today I pledge two or three posts a week.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Want to rededicate yourself to something dear? How do you want to start over? Any goals you need to stalk? Share with us.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Oklahoma Authors, Love and A Cursed Doll

Many of you know that hubby and I lived in Oklahoma for about eighteen months. I think Oklahoma must be one of the most interesting states in our country. It oozes creativity and authors. I loved it.

While there, I had the opportunity to participate in a series of novellas with the recurring theme of a cursed Scrimshaw doll. The curse began in the late seventeenth century when a father feared his daughter’s betrothed would betray her. A gypsy attempted to hex the girl with this spell: All those who betray you will suffer. Only true love can break the curse. Unfortunately, the curse went into the doll the daughter held, and has been passed on for centuries.

All our stories are written in various genres and all stand alone. They were published by The Wild Rose Press as individual releases, but we’re excited that they have been released in two boxed sets.

If you ever have an opportunity to write a series with a group of writers, go for it. It's a learning experience but loads of fun. We hope you enjoy our Scrimshaw Doll series!

Volume 1: Cursed includes:
Pirate’s Proposal – Diana Layne
The English Lily – Kae Elle Wheeler
Trail of Hope – Heidi Vanlandingham
Fading Rose – Tamrie Foxtail
The Last Daughter – Jessica Ferguson

 





Volume 2: Burdened includes:

The Color of Betrayal – Kathy L. Wheeler
Thicker Than Water – Alicia Dean
Skinbound – Anna Kittrell
Tessa’s Treasures – Callie Hutton
The Bone Bride – Tamrie Foxtail

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

IWSG: Rejection and Encouragement


Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.

I submitted a mini-mystery about three months ago to Woman's World magazine, and received the rejection a week or so ago. I felt so certain it might find a home with them. We never know, do we? But I think it's good to feel positive about our work. It makes it a little harder when the rejection comes but still ... maybe next time. Hope some of you are getting acceptances instead of rejections.

I can't think of a better way to encourage you than to share Cindi Myers' newsletter with you.

Every year Cindi attends the annual Romance Writers of America conference and comes home to share market info with her readers. As usual, she allows us to pass the info on to our blog readers too. I think that's incredibly generous of her so invite you to check out/subscribe to her blog HERE

This week Cindi is spotlighting St. Martin's Press.  Read on:

********************************
The Spotlight on St. Martin’s Press was presented by Publisher Jennifer Enderlin, Associate Publisher Ann Marie Talberg, Associate Editor Rose Hilyard, Executive Editor Monique Patterson and Associate Editor Eileen Rothschild. St. Martin’s publishes all formats and all kinds of fiction. They produce three to four romances a month in hardcover, trade paperback or mass market formats. In addition to the editorial staff, they have an 11 person marketing team. All the St. Martin’s romance editors will accept queries from unagented authors.

Jennifer Enderlin began by talking about “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Publishers”:
1. They know their authors are a resource. They want the author’s feedback on covers, marketing, etc.
2. They are not slaves to trends. Once you identify a trend, it’s over.
3. They do not give up quickly.
4. They know they are working with an author. It is not a case of ‘us vs. them’ but ‘we.’
5. They understand we live in a global world, and take a global approach to marketing and publishing.
6. They listen to editorial passion. If an editor is passionate about a project, they will take a chance.
7. They have fun. They are readers and book lovers who are excited about their work.

Ann Marie Talberg is a former bookseller and romance buyer for Waldenbooks. She oversees the Heroes and Heartbreakers website and St. Martin’s ebook original program and welcomes romance submissions of both novels and novellas for the ebook program, and short stories for the website. Find out more details about Heroes and Heartbreakers here.

Monique Patterson is interested in all kinds of romance, except sweet and inspirational. She’d also like to see some high concept commercial women’s fiction, and she’s open to contemporary fantasy with strong romantic elements. She also edits some literary fiction. She loves paranormal romance and is still buying it. She prefers a snail mail submission of a query, synopsis and first three chapters of the book.

Ellen Rothschild is actively building her list of authors. She loves Alpha heroes, redemption stories and “quirky, sassy, interesting heroines.” She’d love to see a contemporary trilogy about brothers. She’s open to all sub-genres of romance except historical romance. She prefers an email query.

Rose Hilyard is open to submittions of all kinds of romance, including sweet romance, Young Adult, New Adult, women’s fiction, and erotic romance. Her favorite books are either really sexy or really sweet. She loves historical romance, and she’d love to see more Christmas books in all sub-genres. She accepts both email and snail mail queries.

The editors did not give out their email addresses at the workshop, however, the standard form for email there seems to be firstname.lastname@stmartins.com.
********************************
Tor.com, the online short story magazine for science fiction stories, is closed to submissions until October 1. The magazine is separate from Tor Books, the publisher, which remains open to both agented and unagented submissions.
********************************
Eldritch Press is seeking steampunk horror stories for an upcoming anthology, Lost Worlds. Stories may be up to 17,500 words and should focus on post-prophetic or end-times scenarios in which the world has been reconstructed with mechanized curiosities and steam power. Payment is 6 cents a word and the deadline for submissions is December 30, 2014. Find all the details here.

Thank you Cindi Myers. Readers, for more about Cindi and her books, check out her websites here and here. And good luck with your submissions!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

IWSG - Encouraging Quotes

Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.

I thought I'd share some encouraging quotes today. Maybe these ten will give you something to think about.  If you find one that speaks to you, share how and why.


1) No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.~ Anonymous

2) You can do anything, but not everything. ~Anonymous

3) Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. ~Dale Carnegie


4) Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. ~Robert Kiyosaki

5) Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. ~Jim Rohn


6) It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~Anonymous


7) If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous

8) Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~John Wooden

9) To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~Anonymous

10) Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ~Maya Angelou

I'm afraid numbers 4 and 9 really say a lot about me. Way too often, I give in to my fear and let it control me. I need to get a tattoo that reads lose the fear! Unfortunately, I FEAR needles!

Do you have a favorite quote that says a lot about you? Share!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Last Daughter - A GREATER DETROIT RWA 2014 BBA FINALIST!

The Greater Detroit RWA 2014 Booksellers Best Award announced the finalist for their annual contest, and guess what! The Last Daughter is one of them! If you remember, in my previous post, I wondered if I would ever write again so this is just the shot of encouragement I need to MAKE time. Sometimes it seems like too much of a challenge between the wedding planning, retired hubby, church work, renovation and decorating. Surely I don't have a touch of laziness! Surely not!

I'm not really familiar with this contest. Every month or so, we RWA members get our trade magazine that lists contests and conferences and I decided to enter The Last Daughter in the novella category. I chose this contest because of the judges. They're booksellers. That makes being a finalist even more special to me. I had to print out several copies of The Last Daughter and have them bound for the judges. It was time consuming and at times I wondered if I was wasting a tree, but now ... I'm so glad I took the time. I'm flattered and honored, excited and  super-pumped, even though I've got some wonderful competition in the other five contestants.
 
Winners will be announced at the RWA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
  
In no particular order, the following is a list of finalists. Those listed with an asterisk are also nominated for Best First Book.  When I see contest winners, I'm always curious about the publishers and editors so if you'd like to know who they are, go to the Greater Detroit RWA 2014 Booksellers Best Award link.
 
Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!
TRADITIONAL
Last Chance Proposal Barbara DeLeo
The Courage to Say Yes Barbara Wallace
The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family Michelle Douglas
First Comes Baby Michelle Douglas
A Marriage Made in Italy Rebecca Winteres
Crashing into Tess Lilly Christine

SHORT HISTORICAL
The Witch Finder Blythe Gifford
Before the Larkspur Blooms  Caroline Fyffe
Lachlan's Bride Kathleen Harrington
Surrender to the Earl Gayle Callen
At the Highlander's Mercy Terri Brisbin

SINGLE TITLE
Mystic Cowboy Sarah M. Anderson
The Time Between Karen White
Home to Whisky Creek Brenda Novak
Lost Melody Dolores W. Maroney
The Pieces We Keep Kristina McMorris

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
The Rancher She Loved Ann Roth
*Doctor, Soldier, Daddy  Caro Carson
Conceal, Protect Carol Ericson
To Tame a Cowboy Jules Bennett
His Southern Temptation Robin Covington

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Kidnapped Cowboy  Lindsey Brookes
Out of his League Cathryn Parry
A Kiss to Die for Gail Barrett
The Cowboy's Christmas Baby Carolyn Brown
Seduced by his Target Gail Barrett

PARANORMAL
Midnight's Kiss  Donna Grant
Omega Susannah Sandlin
Allegiance Sworn  Kylie Griffin
Fire of the Dragon Lori Dillon
Tempt Me Tamara Hogan
The Reunited Shiloh Walker

INSPIRATIONAL
Vanished by  Irene Hannon
Cozy Christmas by Valerie Hansen
Shenandoah Nights by  Lisa Belcastro
Wedding On the Rocks by Rose Ross Zediker
Healing the Forest Ranger by Leigh Bale

LONG HISTORICAL
*For the Love of A Soldier  Victoria Morgan
The Hunter  Monica McCarty
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke  Samantha Grace
Love's Price Cheryl Holt
What a Duke Desires Sabrina Jeffries

YOUNG ADULT
Camp Boyfriend J.K. Rock
*Running On Empty  Colette Ballard
Briar Rose Jana Oliver
Dirty Little Secret Jennifer Echols
*Playing Tyler  TL Costa

EROTIC
On her Masters Service Lexi Blake
Unforgettable Alison Kent
Avoiding Mr. Right  C.J. Ellison
* Masque   Lexi Post
Too Fast  Alexia Haynes

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Trapped  Irene Hannon
Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead Lena Diaz
Til' Death Sharon Sala
Hard Target Kay Thomas
Pieces of You- A Snowy Creek Novel Loreth Anne White

NOVELLA
Christmas At Copper Mountain Jane Porter
Outside the Lines Kimberly Kincaid
The Last Daughter Jessica Ferguson
One True Love  Lori Wilde
Take Me, Cowboy Jane Porter
A Cowboy for Christmas Katheirne Garbera

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group

It's IWSG Day! IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can follow other IWSG members here  and on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG.
Our purpose is to share and encourage.

These days I wonder if I'll ever write again. Retirement, renovation, weddings... set backs! Renovation is complete but now we have to put the house back in order. A challenge. Not as fun as it should be.

And while I'm contemplating where the new sofa will go, or what color rug to purchase to complement the new wood floors, time marches on, technology changes, marketing and social media become more and more important and complicated ... and I'm behind on keeping up with it all.

I know it's true that if we quit writing, we forget how to write. I've been there/done that before. The old saying if you don't use it you lose it is true. This is what writer's block is made of: fear. Fear that life is rushing by and I'm not accomplishing anything. I just pile ideas in my cell phone and hope someday my life gets back to normal.

Then I ask myself: what's normal? Haven't I been hearing a lot about the "new normal." Surely this isn't MY new normal! If so, I don't like it! I don't want it!

I'm keeping the quote by S.K. Gipson at the forefront of my mind: "Success may be measured in determination, but only those who persevere ever see success."

Persevere.

P. E. R. S. E. V. E. R. E.

Let's make a pact to persevere.