Friday, December 20, 2013

Guest Post - Roger Rheinheimer

Last week a friend of a friend was out to our place to help set up some new equipment for my woodworking shop. My new “friend” is from China, and as the day wore on, I noticed that he seemed to be getting tired. I remember thinking that was a little odd because he is obviously in very good shape, but didn’t think too much about it; it is that season after all. He was here most of the day, never complaining, and when he departed in the early evening, he seemed ok other than the tiredness.

A couple of days ago I left a message on my friend’s voice mail asking about my new friend, and didn’t hear back until yesterday. According to his reply text, my new friend from China was apparently having a stroke when he was here.

I was shocked, of course, and asked what I could do. It also reminded me how fleeting this thing we call life is, and how very easy it is to get caught up in things that in hindsight are pretty irrelevant. And then I thought about how scattered most families are these days, keeping in touch via Skype and email, if they keep in touch at all. And I wondered who was at my Chinese friend’s hospital bedside since his family was not here. Then I thought, if this had happened to an Amish man, he would have immediately ad constantly been surrounded with family and friends.

I suppose this is why I enjoy writing about the Amish way of life so much. I’ve been close enough to the Amish to see the inconsistencies in some of their lives, and add that to my stories for humor and character building. But if we allow them to be human, which we must, the Amish are completed dedicated to God and family, and I respect that immensely.

Early in my Amish writing career, one of my lifelong friends asked if I was concerned about being known as an “Amish author.” The answer was and is no; I am proud to write about the Amish.

We all need to be more Amish.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Guest Post - Janice Dick


            The word is pronounced john-ra or zhon-ra, and it simply means kind or variety. In our case, it refers to the kinds of stories we read and write.
            Here are some basic genres and examples of each: 
            * Mystery (Anne Perry’s William Monk or Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series)          
            * Thriller/Suspense (Brandilyn Collins)
            * Horror (Ted Dekker)
            * Sci-Fi (DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul)  
* Fantasy (J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings)
* Western (Louis L’Amour)
* Romance (Karen Kingsbury)
* Historical Fiction (Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles)
* Children (classics like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle)  
            * Young Adult (excellent theme books by Melody Carlson)
            * Short Fiction (Linda Hall’s The Weather Ladies)
             Each of these genres can be broken up into sub-genres, with new off-shoots developing daily. See the following link for more:
            What’s your genre? The key question is usually: what kinds of stories do you most like to read? I say usually, because I love reading mysteries, but I haven’t published one…yet. I also love reading historical fiction, and the more I read, the more I learn about how it’s done.
            Based on your favorite genres of fiction, which would you most like to write? Why? I like Historical Fiction because it reminds me that every historical figure I write about has actually lived and died, loved and hated, succeeded and failed. When I create fictional characters in my historicals, it is with the hope that they will become as real as their historical counterparts.
            Of course, there’s always genre help on the web. Here’s one site of many to check out:
            The conundrum with genre selection is whether to write from the heart or for sales stats. The answer depends on our goals. If our number one objective is to sell our story, then we must research and write what’s selling. We can still be creative when we write for the market, but we must make sure we’re okay with it.
            Personally, I need to write from the heart, whether it sells immediately or not. Pair that with the premise of Kevin Costner’s movie, Field of Dreams:  “Build it and he will come.” Write it, and the readers will come, so we hope and pray. We must make the choice.
            For the Christian writer, published or not, the choice of genre is important. If we plan to build a platform (the genre and style of writing that people think of when they recognize our names, also referred to as our brand), we will need to concentrate on writing in one genre until we are known by our readers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guest Post - Sandy Seiber

Visiting Washington, D.C. # 1 - Plants

I’m still slowly writing my next book. Two houses to clean out after the death of my 100-year-old mother-in-law and a graduate credit I’m working on has infringed on my time.

The college course through Learner’s Edge has been a blast. I had to spend eleven hours visiting sites in Washington, D.C. and write a journal including some educational ideas on how to use them. I met two wonderful ladies on the bus and am going back to Washington soon with one of them.

There are many planted walkways and special gardens near the Smithsonian Mall. If you love plants or are teaching about them, I suggest a trip to Washington. Check out the United States Botanical Garden website before you plan your trip and print out a map of the gardens.

Here is a shortened version of part of my trip and my corresponding activities.


Walking down Seventh Street from the National Archives Building near the Smithsonian Mall, I found heart-leafed aster. Love nest sundew, I spotted in the garden beside the conservatory among the other carnivorous plants. Downy pagoda-plant nestled beyond the bridge in the same garden. What beautiful names for plants!

----Learn some genera before you go and see if you can find one or two species of each genus.

---- Alphabetize your list to make them easier to find.

----Take a notebook and write down your favorites.

---- Take pictures of your favorites.

----Think about planning a garden of your own as you walk. You can tell if it will grow in your region by the information on the placard beside each plant.

----After your visit, match the pictures to the names in your notebook. Look up the names online if you can’t remember which is which.

----Draw a picture of your planned garden.

----Look up prices online and find out how much it would cost.

----Order your plants, fertilizer, and a pair of garden gloves next spring.

----Get to work!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Guest Post - David Stearman

God’s Original*

Psalm 33:25--He fashions their hearts individually.

I got to thinking about our individuality today. Snowflakes, leaves, human voices. It started when a friend of mine, an intelligent, multi-talented model whose image graces the covers of several of my books, texted me about passing her GED. She’d never been able to graduate from high school due to extenuating family challenges, though you’d never know this, since she’s so well-read, self-educated, and accomplished.

Our texts went like this:

Her: I passed my GED with flying colors!

Me: Of course you did. You’re smart.

Her: I am an overachiever with low self esteem. So I surprised myself! Lol

Me: You have no reason, on any level, for having low self esteem. You’re gifted and exceptional. But it’s often the people like that who have low self-esteem, simply because they’re different. Normal people don’t do special things.

Me: Dang. That was good. I should blog it.

Her: Thank you!

Her: Blog it!

So here I am, blogging it. ‘Cause face it; you’re abnormal, right? Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Of course you are, because you’re an original creation of God.

Snowflakes. Leaves. Human voices…

You were born with your own unique face, personality, and set of talents. Yet you feel inadequate when you compare your own unique characteristics with others’. “She’s taller than me, more petite; better at math, better at English, skinnier, more shapely,” whatever.

…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12)

It’s impossible to compare the quality of two original paintings created by the same artist. Though Monet painted both Water Lilies and Sunrise, they can never be measured against each other for superlatives. One’s not better than the other; they’re just different. Like you and me.

God, the master Artist, created each of us individually.

For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written; the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139: 13-16)

But God not only created us individually, He also created us as individuals. So you’re not normal, and neither am I. There is no normal, there’s only you, me, and all those other weirdos, each of us with his or her own special beauty, significance and purpose. So be yourself and be proud of it. You’re God’s original.

Today’s prayer: God, today I’m gonna be me. I won’t try to imitate anyone else, for you gave me my own, beautiful individuality. I’ll walk tall in it and be proud of who I am: a unique creation of God.

*The above post is an excerpt from David’s 90-day devotional “Encouragement Explosion--90 Days of Uplift,” available from Amazon here:, as well as from Barnes, Noble, KoboBooks, and other fine online retailers.     

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Post - Christine Lindsay

by Christine Lindsay
Is it possible that some of us writers are workaholics because we like it?

At the start of my fifties I began my long-desired writing and speaking career. While things were challenging, God gave me the strength to rise to that challenge, and I thoroughly enjoyed reaching those long-sought-after goals.


But fifteen years after the fact, I also discovered that it was hard to shoehorn leisure time into my schedule. When was the last time I relaxed, took a day off? Sometimes months would go by.


This past spring it dawned on me that my dear husband was suffering from loneliness due to my extremely busy schedule. The wrongness of this hit me between the eyes.

Around the same time I ran into two different sets of women. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, you might say.

The first group warmly reminisced about the wonderful holidays they had camping with their husbands over the years. The other group shared that quite recently their husbands had passed away, unexpectedly, suddenly, and all these dear husbands were around the age of sixty.

My husband was sixty.


On the way home from that speaking trip the question echoed in my mind. What am I waiting for? That week we purchased a brand new, little travel trailer. My husband didn’t take much convincing.

On our first trip in July we drove through the majestic Canadian Rockies, and at the summit of Roger’s Pass I noticed a large artillery gun. I asked my husband why on earth that was there, and he explained that avalanche control experts shot artillery shells into the snowcaps to trigger avalanches. They did this to control the snows from building too high and thick and thereby causing a fatal avalanche.


I mulled this over and compared that to the changes I was making in my life. My marriage had to come first, even at the expense of my writing and speaking ministry. So, like the avalanche control experts, I chose to cut back on my writing so I could spend more togetherness time with my husband.

My little Christmas novelette Heavenly Haven is the culmination of that thinking. I hope and pray that my characters, Jack and Shaina, will inspire you to keep your priorities in line as well.

Heavenly Haven by Christine Lindsay
Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them.
Heavenly Haven is available as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo.
About the author:
Christine Lindsay is an Irish-born writer, proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.
It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical series Twilight of the British Raj of which Book 1 Shadowed in Silk has won several awards, and Book 2 Captured by Moonlight. Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.
Also coming out February 2014 is Londonderry Dreaming, a romance novella set in Londonderry Northern Ireland, not far from Christine’s birthplace.
Her newest release a short Christmas story, Heavenly Haven, has just been released as an Ebook Oct. 15, 2013.
Christine makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Christine Lindsay would love to connect with you on her website, or drop by her blog for inspiration or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Guest Post - Sheila LaGrand

Making Peace with Christmas

Blog post by Sheila Seiler Lagrand, author at

In my strident youth I was a Christmas militant. I railed against the displays of candy canes and chocolate snowmen lurking about the bags of Halloween candy. I fumed as tinsel mingled with the harvest cornucopia in some kind of mall marketing miscegenation. I averted my eyes when neighbors’ Christmas lights brightened the street before we had celebrated Thanksgiving.

Not this year. Maybe it’s because I’m not as young as I used to be. Maybe it’s because the grandchild count has risen to nine—which means more gifts, more wrapping, more time to dream up selections that say I love you. Maybe it’s because I’m traveling across an ocean to spend Christmas with my daughter, her Navy-Chief husband, and their children on Guam. For all these reasons, I have overcome my Christmas-season-snobbery. Never again, Lord help me, will I judge the mom scooping up the latest Legos in October.

And never again will I jam all the gift-choosing, making, ordering, or buying into the precious few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a legalistic maneuver all along, I see now, not a decision born of grace and joy. And what is more important at Christmastime than grace and joy? As I consider it today, I can’t even remember why I thought it was such an achievement to exhaust myself by squeezing every bit of preparation into a few short weeks.

After all these hard-line years, it’s been deliciously daring to choose gifts in October, to be laying in stores of red-and-green tissue during the first crisp days of autumn. Once I committed to changing my approach, and my attitude, about the Christmas schedule, I reaped an unexpected bonus: The rejoicing heart, the sense of blessedness as I reflect on the priceless gift of our Savior, the real key elements to the Christmas season, they kicked in early, too. Instead of three or four weeks of an overflowing heart, I’ve enjoyed the jubilation since late October.

I understand better now the friend who sings carols in March, the heart-sister who displays a Christmas tree all year long. I’ve been cheating myself out of a heap of exultation. So if we cross paths at the beach next summer, please don’t be surprised if I greet you with a hearty “Merry Christmas!”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Guest Post - Kathy Bruins

Eradicate the Evil
by Kathy Bruins

Every time I hear of a teen missing, I pray they do not become a victim of a growing evil called human trafficking. While this term refers to both sex and labor trafficking, the commercial sex industry is growing so fast and could surpass the drug dealing industry. You see, while a drug can be used only once, a human being can be used over and over making a lot of money for pimps.

Today, I received notice that Attorney General Bill Shuette presented a 63-page report on human trafficking in Michigan, and stating what legislative laws need to be changed to protect the victims, especially children, from being treated as criminals rather than the victims they are. The “johns” are not getting penalized much from their actions, while they are driving up the demand for commercial sex. This is wrong. It's imperative to change these laws so that children will not be sold, kidnapped, or lured into a horror far beyond their imaginations.

This journey in discovering the issue of human trafficking began a couple of years ago when I was requested to write an article on it and its connection to Southwest Michigan. I never have heard anything about it before, so was unsure of what I would find. My eyes were open to a world that is secretive and deceptive. In my research and article writing of the topic, I have received numerous emails from survivors thanking me for shining the light on this darkness. I met with a few survivors and was heartbroken hearing their stories. These people are not from Third World countries (although this is a huge problem around the world as well), but they could be living across the street.

One organization that is taking on the fight for human rights for the victims is Women At Risk, International (W.A.R., Inc.) which is lead by Becky McDonald. I have learned so much from her and am always touched by how she talks about these women in her life that she loves like daughters. She travels the world to help women and children out who are in abusive situations. She understands the different cultures having been raised in a foreign country. She remembers a grade school friend who was forced to drink acid because she wouldn't marry the man her father chose for her. These atrocities happen every day. Instead of getting overwhelmed and thinking there's nothing you can do, I have good news, there is something everybody can do to fight human trafficking.

I have been involved in the awareness aspect for the last couple of years, but recently have been moved to do more. I am meeting with a survivor to write her story that will show God's goodness even in the darkest times. I will be taking a First Responder Training to learn how to spot what may be human trafficking and what to do about it.

Some simpler things that can be done are as follows:
  • Learn more about it. Awareness is key.
  • Pray for the victims.
  • Support victims by buying their jewelry, scarves, etc. from boutiques and parties that sell their merchandise.
  • Support legislation that will demolish human trafficking by writing your state and government officials. There are letters already formatted for your use on the website of Polaris Project.

One thing I ask of you: Do not shut your eyes and ears to this evil. I believe God is calling His people to become involved and do something … anything. God hears the cries of His children, and I believe He has said, “Enough!”

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guest Post - Big Jim Williams

When I was a kid going to Saturday matinees in California for 12 cents I loved watching western movies, whether it was Hoppy, Gene, Roy, or John Wayne heading the bad guys off at the pass. It wasn’t just the action I enjoyed but it was the fact that any conflict between the rustlers and the sheriff would end in about two hours with the good guys winning. I loved that. That is what I now often find missing in our society and in the movies, television, and in books. The good guys don’t always win and the bad guys often get the applause and seem to be loved and honored. Society seems upside down. Not right. The bank robbers, land grabbers and gunslingers may be more interesting to read about, especially when they’re caught, jailed or hanged, but I still want the good guys to win. That’s one of the many reasons I love writing westerns, because in my computer the good guys are right and eventually win. They bring a bit of sanity into the Old West where my wandering writing mind wants to live. And maybe, just maybe, I lived back there too as a mountain man, an Oregon Trail pioneer, a wrangler pushing cattle up the Chisholm Trail with Charlie Goodnight, or a man with a gun on his hip and a badge on his chest. There is right in this world, and I try to find justice, even though I may wander through mountains and deserts to get there in my tales. I’m a new hand in the High Noon Press bunkhouse. I’ve written Westerns for many magazines , including Western Horseman, The Livestock (Texas) Weekly, The Cardroom Poker News, Rope and Wire, Frontier Tales, Sniplits, and other publications. Now I’m looking forward to having my Western novel appear under the High Noon Press brand. I still have things to do to tuck all the characters, actions and thoughts into the pages, but the story will unfold with guns, action, cattle drives, wild women and men, and twists, turns, and people you’ll love and hate. But keep an eye on the good guys, because they just may win after all the dust and gun smoke settles.

I’m still sorry those 12-cent Saturday matinees are gone, because that era not only had cowboys and Indians, there was also 5 cent popcorn, a movie newsreel, cartoon, previews, the B western, and the main feature. To me the main feature was always the B western, with the modest but strong, tall, shoot-straight, “Ah, shucks, ma’am,” movie hero winning the day.

More about my cattle drive novel the next time.

--Western author Big Jim Williams

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Guest Post - Travis Perry

I'm an aspiring interstellar, I mean, "writer," who's produced a bit of military non-fiction, loves science fiction and fantasy short stories, especially those with a Christian twist, and has contributed to several collections of them, most notably Aquasynthesis (2011) and Avenir Eclectia (2012). I co-authored The Crystal Portal (2011) with Mike Lynch, having written the tale first and then getting help from Mike for serious editorial changes, including reordering the story from start to finish and a climactic scene originally written by Mr. Lynch. I get more and more fun out of editing (perish the thought), and am rather full of oddball speculations (though I'm trying hard to get empty, please see ).

Probably because of our past working together, Mike emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in writing a story for his series. I read "No Revolution is Too Big" and liked it, especially the character Stelfson, but I had no idea what I wanted to write to contribute to the series. Finally, after racking my brain for a while, the title of Mike's tale itself inspired my story, since I simply took the idea of a "big revolution" and turned it on its head for my tale, "No Revolution Too Small."

I also happen to be a father of six who is also an Army Reserve officer who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa, so you really would think I'd write more military stuff than I do, though a bit of my military knowledge is reflected in my portrayal of the Defense Controllers in "No Revolution Too Small"...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guest Post - Anne Baxter Campbell

Sermonette: Grace

Something my daughter-in-law, Tawnya McMorris, put on her Facebook timeline yesterday struck me. It's a quote from Paul David Tripp.

What does it look like when women extend grace to everyone they come in contact with? I can't even imagine, but that's what I want to be. Colossians 3:12-17 "No one gives grace more tenderly than the one who knows they desperately need it."

That's the kind of person I want to be.

I'd say it applies to men as well, wouldn't you?

So what exactly is grace, anyway? Someone a long time ago called it God's Riches At Christ's Expense--G R A C E.

Forgiveness--undeserved, sometimes even unasked. A smile for someone without one. A hug for tears. Food for the hungry. A home for an orphan, education for children, a clean well for a village. A friend to the sick. Freedom to the addicted. Grace.

God gave the best He had for us to gain the thing we need the most, whatever that is. Only God knows for sure what you need. It might not be what you want, but trust Him. He knows exactly what GRACE you need.

Blessings on you, my friends. May you have the best of weeks you've ever had.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guest Post - Mark Venturini

I’m sure most of us have that one special place in our lives. It may be a timeshare on the beach or on the ski slopes. Maybe it’s the farm or the hunting cabin, or that special inn tucked away in the mountains. Heck, it may even be Time Square on New Years Eve or just your own porch in the cool of the evening.

For many years, my family has been blessed to own a cottage along the Allegheny River, roughly 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh PA. I grew up there, as did my children. Now a new generation is enjoying cookouts with family and friends, long boat rides, and sleepovers, hotdogs and s'mores cooked over a fire.

For me, my special place extends out a bit further to include a special time. As I post this, summer is a memory in my little corner of the world and fall is winding down. Our cottage is closed up for the season, as are most of the other homes on the river. The boat is in winter storage. The boat dock is on dry land.

This is my special time in my special place.

Now there is quiet in my special place as leaves turn and float to the ground. The water is still as glass. The boats and skiers and wave runners are a memory. No music blares from nearby camps. Now I hear turkey and coyotes calling in the distance.

Life is too hectic. There are too many distractions. I need this special time in my special place. I need to bundle up against the cold and take long walks with just my dog and my thoughts and my Lord. I need to watch the sun set over tranquil waters. Sometimes this is the only place and time where the world makes any sense to me. How about you? Where's your special place? Care to share?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Guest Post - Adrienne Woods

Adrienne Woods tells us about her writing process:

It took me three years to write Firebolt of the Dragonian Series. I have about nine drafts of Firebolt.

The story of Elena and the dragons took me an entire week to see everything in my mind. It took me three more weeks to see the entire series. The first book, Firebolt, took me about a month to write. I couldn’t stop. Then I changed some scenes, so I rewrote it a second time to make sure that everything fit perfectly. I always rewrite, because I’ve read many novels where they just changed the mistakes and then you have two versions of plots that played out differently. No joke. I’ve seen it in some novels, good novels.

With the second draft I sent it, as is, to four beta readers. People I don’t know because they didn’t have a reason not to be blunt and tell me what they found wrong with it. This was purely to find out if the layout of the story and how everything was moving forward worked or not. I asked them to concentrate on boring scenes, scenes that felt a bit out of the story, like it didn’t belong, and scenes that didn’t sound realistic.

After they came back to me, I changed whatever they didn’t like, leaving me with draft number three. Then I met a writing group and all of them helped me with my grammar, sentence structure, writing mechanics, etc. I never knew any of those little points existed in writing until I met this group, leaving me with draft four.

Draft five came with a book I read about Self Copy Editing for Fictional Writers, written by King and Brown. They told me about the showing vs. telling, something I still struggle with, and again the mechanics when it comes to dialogue; sentences that aren’t necessary and other mistakes of that type. So I edited, took out, revised, and changed scenes that slowed down my story. I’ve got to add, that this book should be on every writer’s shelf.

Developing draft six, was when I sent it out to two new beta readers. They were also strangers, and this time I asked them to concentrate on everything.

Draft seven emerged from their thoughts and I took it back to my writing group, and that is where draft eight was born.

Draft nine came with my editor, Hillery, which changed my novel from about 89,000 to 94,000 words.

Her input came mostly through descriptions she felt lack of meat. (As I call it) That went to two beta readers, and two proof readers. The final product will be released on November 20th of 2013.

I’ve read this novel about eighty times, no lie. My opening chapter changed four times. Every time I read it, I found one or two mistakes. Don’t ever think you can do it without help. The reason why I had so many beta readers is because once you read the novel, and fix it’s mistakes, you are already too close to the manuscript. That is why I had two proof readers revise after my manuscript was edited by Hillery. There will always be a mistake here and there. I’ve seen it in bestselling novels, and to catch all the mistakes, you need a team of people not just one. So next time you’re writing a novel, keep in mind, not everyone out there wants to steal your work, some of them really want to help you.

Kind Wishes,
Adrienne Woods.

Firebolt Book 1 of The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Woods
Title: Firebolt
Series: The Dragonian Series Book One
Author: Adrienne Woods
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: GMTA  Publishing – Mythos Press
Date of Publication: 20th November 2013
ISBN: 13: 978-1491244654
Number of pages: 289
Word Count: 95 000
Cover Artist: Mary Park and Kitty Bullard
Book Description
Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena's heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena's going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales. Now it's time for Elena to believe in...herself.

Author Bio:
I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.
In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.
My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.
I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Watercress series. There are about ten novels in that one.
So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.
I hope you are going to embrace the Dragonian Series as much as I loved writing them.
Connect with Adrienne
Twitter: erichb3
Goodreads: Adrienne Woods
Google+: Adrienne Woods
Tour Dates
Firebolt Book 1 Dragonian Series by Adrienne Woods
Monday the 9th of December: From the Land of Empyrean  Spotlight and Guest Post with Mark
Tuesday the 10th of December: Deborah Jay Excerpt and Spotlight with Deborah
Wednesday the 11th of December: Fantasy Ultimate Spotlight and Guest post with Grace

 Friday the 13th December: Book Lovers Paradise  Spotlight with Donna

Monday the 16th December: Have You Heard Book Review  Spotlight and Guest post with Melanie
Wednesday the 18th December: Cherese Vines Charming Words   
Friday the 20th December: Paperback Hero Aaron   Spotlight and Guest post with Aaron
Monday 23rd December: Indie Author How To   Spotlight and guestpost with Kisha
Tuesday 24th  December: One Saga The  Spotlight and Interview with Matthew
 Thursday 27th December. Crossroad Reviews
Friday 28th December: Reading in Twilight  Spotlight with Julianna

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Guest Post - Amber Schamel

How Veggie Tales Inspired a Biblical Novella

It was a summer evening, I was in the kitchen making dinner while my little siblings (for some odd reason) were watching The Toy That Saved Christmas, a Veggie-Tales movie. My publisher had asked me to write a Christmas story and I was deep in thought wondering what I should write when I suddenly tuned in to what was playing on the screen.
Grandpa George was reading a scripture to Bob, Larry and Buzz-saw Louie. "And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in baby clothes and laid him in a manger."
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute, the passage didn't say baby clothes. In the King James it says swaddling clothes. That got me to thinking, what exactly are swaddling clothes? Are they just baby clothes? Or is there another meaning to them?
I looked up the passage in Luke chapter two and noted that it was mentioned not only once, but twice that Mary wrapped her first-born son in swaddling clothes. So I began my research.
I found out that swaddling clothes did not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph were poor or destitute. Swaddling clothes were used by people of all classes to wrap a newborn in hopes that it would help their limbs grow straight, as well as calm the babe. But if swaddling clothes were so common during that era, why was it specifically mentioned as a sign to the shepherds of who the Messiah would be? So I searched some more.
Another source said that in the eastern countries they would use a cloth to put between the yoke of an ox, and the ox's shoulders. When Mary and Joseph were in the barn, they had nothing else to use, so they used this ox's cloth that was translated as swaddling cloth to wrap the Messiah that would carry the yoke of our sin and bondage.
 Many hours and websites later, I emerged armed with a ton of information, four different theories, and a story forming inside my head. So, I guess you could say that my new book The Swaddling Clothes was inspired by a Veggie Tales movie.
The things that inspire people, or give them an idea is very interesting to me.

What are some odd things that have given you an idea or inspiration?

The Swaddling Clothes Synopsis:
Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.
Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling "intriguing...thought provoking... a fresh twist on an age old story."
"I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life."
"Heartwarming...truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God's wonderful power and His amazing love."

 Amber Schamel is a multi-published author of Christian Historical Fiction. Her passion for history and culture has led her to travel extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. Amber is actively involved in her church and enjoys volunteer work and music ministry.  Raised in a family of twelve children and homeschooled throughout her education, she currently resides in the beautiful state of Colorado where she also serves as bookkeeper and marketing director for their family businesses. Find Amber on her blog, or on all the main social media sites.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Guest Post - Debbie Brown

Author Debbie Brown shares a little of what she's learned about Blog Tour Etiquette:

If you are thinking of putting together a blog tour, then there are several points to consider. If you are going to be hosted on a blog, and not necessarily as part of a tour, then you should have a brief discussion with the one hosting you.
Here are some suggestions for a successful book blog tour

1) It is not necessary to post ALL info about the book/author, but a picture of the book should be a minimum, with a blurb, teaser or excerpt to inform blog readers about it. (Post the links to where an interested reader can find more info).

2) Reviews;
        -having the blog host read and review is important. If is not your genre, either respectfully decline or be objective. Keep in mind that we are here to promote the book/author.
        -posting the review before or after hosting the book will create curiosity and add visibility.
        -If you are hosting, you probably should have read the book BEFORE you blog about it.

3) Vary blogs;
        -By respecting a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 (blogs with higher number of followers vs newer blogs with fewer followers) not only gets the book out there but also helps the newer or lesser known blogs gain some visibility.

4) Book Genre compatibility with blog genre…
       -Ex: I write YA, so having my book on an erotica blog is far from a good match. And no, I am not exaggerating, this happens more than you can imagine.

5) Have the blog of the day post a link to the next blog on the tour to allow readers to follow the book through the whole tour.

6) BEFORE the blog tour starts, schedule a 15-30 min open chat or exchange where all participants can ask/answer questions, (even a feed on Goodreads or other, but so everyone can discuss ideas and be on the same page).

7) Be creative, check out other blogs that have hosted and remember to have fun. I was surprised when I saw this interview posted. I was the one to answer the questions, but the way she worded them on her blog was as though we were chatting. It was a nice change from the copy-and-paste I had expected. Take a look:

8) On the tour date, DO NOT post anything else but the book you are hosting, do not overshadow the post. It defeats the purpose of promoting someone if you can’t easily find them.

9) If you do not like the book, discuss with the moderator of the blog tour. You might like to withdraw and be part of another tour. You do not have to like the book, but the idea of giving bad publicity is not the purpose of the tour.

10) If the book is filled with mistakes or is an all-around ‘bad book’, (it happens) by having read it in advance, the moderator and author can be contacted, the book could be declined for the book tour. Just as the integrity of the author is to be respected, so is that of the blog site.

Media Kit for Amethyst eyes
Title: Amethyst Eyes
Author: Debbie Brown
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: 242 pages
Release Date: November 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1493513284
Imprint: Mythos Press

The biggest thing on 15-year-old Tommy's mind is convincing Mom to let him go to the drive-in, but when an accident claims his mother's life and puts him in the hospital, the arrival of his estranged, alien father brings more changes than he had bargained for. It doesn't take his father long to figure out that Tommy knows nothing about who or what he is. Without any explanation, Tommy finds himself onboard his father's spaceship where he is forced to trust a man he does not know in a world he knows even less about.
Adapting to his new life seems overwhelming, and his father's solution may prove to be Tommy's finest challenge yet...Jayden. A few months younger than Tommy, high strung and always in a mood, the doctor's daughter definitely didn't like being 'told' to help Tommy fit in. Jayden is not the most welcoming or patient of tutors, let alone a friend. As fate would have it, Tommy quickly learns that none of these things compare to the peril that comes from being born with amethyst eyes.
Links to purchase:
Barnes & Noble -

About the Author:
Over the years I have worked as a nurse, a school teacher, a martial arts instructor, baseball, figure-skating and gymnastics coach as well as an artist, selling my paintings in an art gallery. I have been part of an orchestra, flown planes and gone on wilderness hikes. I am an officer in the Canadian Forces, and though I have taught on different military bases, for now I work primarily with cadets. Writing full time is my next goal.
Here is where you can connect with Debbie
Amethyst Eyes Tour Dates:
 Tuesday the 3rd of December Fantasy Ultimate Spotlight and Guest post with Grace
Thursday the 5th December: From the Land of Empyrean Spotlight 

Tuesday the 10th December: Indie Author: How To  Spotlight and Guest post with Kisha
Wednesday the 11th December: Deborah Jay  Excerpt and Spotlight with Deborah
Thursday the 12th December: The One Saga Spotlight and Interview with Matthew
Friday the 13th December: Paperback Hero Aaron  Spotlight and Guest post with Aaron
Wednesday 18th December: The Dragonian Series Spotlight with Adrienne
Thursday 19th December: Donna Spotlight With Donna
Tuesday the 24th December: Crossroad Reviews Spotlight with Jessica
Thursday the 26st December: Have You Heard Book Review Spotlight and Guest post with Melanie

Tuesday the 31st December:  Adrienne Woods Review and Spotlight