It's Christmas Time!

How time flies! It seems like just yesterday I was posting about it being fall and now it's winter.


I love Christmas. This is the time of year when I celebrate Jesus and his birth. The fact that God would send his son, Jesus to earth as a baby to save my soul from Hell is something to celebrate. Can you imagine living in Heaven and being sent to earth to save human souls? I can't imagine ever wanting to leave Heaven for a bunch of sinful people. But, that is exactly what Jesus did for us. Amazing!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!



Season's

Fall/Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool crisp air. The leaves changing color. Just about everything about this time of year makes me happy.

I love this picture. The colors are beautiful. I'm also crazy about water and my favorite place to visit is the woods. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Do you have a favorite season?

2014 ACFW Conference

It is that time of year again when I get excited because I will be attending the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference!!!

St. Louis, Mo


What is there to get excited about? Here are 5 very good reasons and not necessarily listed in their order of importance.

1. I get to reconnect with my writing friends that are attending.
2. I get to reconnect with my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, who is also one of my friends.
3. This year I will meet two, new to me, Love Inspired editors and reconnect with Melissa Endlich.
4. And this is a big one, I will get to listen to Lauraine Snelling as the keynote speaker and spend a little time thanking her for helping me in my writing career.
5. I will be attending classes to help me improve my writing. Very important to do.


So are you going? if so, what are you looking forward to doing?

2014 Carol Award Finalist

Congratulations Everyone!!
 
Debut Novel:
The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Natalie Hanemann
Jasmine by April McGowan, WhiteFire Publishing, editor Roseanna White
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, Natalie Hanneman, L.B. Norton
 
Contemporary:
The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer, David C. Cook, editor Tonya Osterhouse
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, Natalie Hanneman, L.B. Norton
The Dance by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering
 
Historical:
When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell, David C. Cook, editors Ingrid Beck, John Blase
Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Philpott, Julee Schwarzburg, Jodi Hughes
Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate by Diana Wallis Taylor, Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Lonnie Hull Dupont
 
Historical Romance:
Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr
A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Dave Long
The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky, Waterbrook Multnomah (Random House), editors Shannon Marchese, Karen Ball
 
MST:
Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Dave Lambert, Sue Brower, Ellen Tarver
Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins, B&H Publishing, editors Karen Ball, Julie Gwinn
Fear Has a Name by Creston Mapes, David C. Cook, editors L.B. Norton, Jack Campbell
 
Novella:
An Ever After Summer from A Bride for all Seasons by Debra Clopton, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Ami McConnell
Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr
A Christmas Prayer by Linda Wood Rondeau, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, editor Amberlynn Noelle
 
Romance: 
Silver Bells by Deborah Raney, Summerside Press (Guideposts), editor Rachel Meisel
Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Jessica Wong
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Sarah Long, Charlene Patterson
 
Romantic Suspense:
Trapped by Irene Hannon, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep
Vanished by Irene Hannon, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep
Jungle Fire by Dana Mentink, River North (Moody Publishers), editor Deb Keiser
 
Short Novel:
Seaside Blessings by Irene Hannon, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
The Doctor's Family Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
Mending the Doctor's Heart by Tina Radcliffe, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Rachel Burkot
 
Speculative:
A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Dave Long, Karen Schurrer
The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Dave Long, Karen Schurrer
The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Natalie Hanemann, Lisa Bergren
 
Young Adult:
A Simple Song by Melody Carlson, Revell – A Divison of Baker Publishing Group, editors Lonnie Hull Dupont, Wendy Wetzel
Captives by Jill Williamson, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Jacque Alberta, Jeff Gerke
Project Gemini by Jill Williamson, Marcher Lord Press, editor Jeff Gerke
 

 

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Amanda Dieckmann Olsen


 
I actually have two places where I write. I wish I had an office, but my house is small- less than 1200 square feet.

In the morning I write at the kitchen table. The kitchen is the only finished room in our house, so I like hanging out in there. I stare out the bay window at the birds or watch the dust dancing in the slanting light while I drink my coffee. Then, I start typing. I don’t always get a solid hour in before my kids start making demands, but I do what I can. I usually leave the laptop out so I can take advantage of every lull in the chaos. Between cooking, cleaning, and diaper changes, I get quite a bit done.

The other place I write is a big, red wingback chair. I inherited this chair from my Nana. It’s a lovely, cozy place full of happy memories. I work here mostly at night. I don’t need complete silence to write, so I can curl up in my chair while my husband watches the Mets lose. In the winter I cover up with a crocheted afghan and in the summer I am in front of the AC.

Being flexible about my writing environment helps me get more done. If I can’t write something out completely, I will at least get the idea down in my notes. That way I can flesh it out when my kids are in bed. I hardly ever lose a thread, and if I do, that usually means it wasn’t strong enough in the first place. I try to write wherever I am, whenever I can.

Wonderful YA series

The Nightshade Chronicles is a new favorite series.  Hillary Wagner does a great job in telling the story of the Nightshade City residents. I finished this series in a weekend. Couldn't put the books down. Highly recommend this young adult series to anyone who enjoys reading books about animals.




The Writer's Desk Welcomes Jean Kincaid


If you were blind, how would you describe your writing space? My office is light and airy with bookshelves on each side of the desk. There are potted plants at eye level as well as on the floor.

Is there anything unique about your space? My office sits right at the top of the stairs above an open foyer and I face the window that looks out over the airport office.

How long have you used this space? Eighteen years.

Any organizational or writing space tip, tool, method, hint or amazing revelation you’d like to share. I try (TRY) to keep my desk cleared so I have room for the tools I need when I get busy writing. I keep folders in a slotted tray and the folders have different WIP’s with idea’s and photos to help me stay focused.

If you were going on a trip, what two writing tools would you take from your desk besides your computer? My Nook and whichever folder needed working on.

What are your favorite writing books? Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Renni Browne

What do you love most about your space? The light and space.

What do you hate or dislike about your space? Still not in love with my chair.

What do you surround yourself with that isn’t writing related but that helps you to enjoy your writing space? Devotionals. Lots and lots of them.

What are you currently working on? A Historical Romance

 

Do you have a new release you’d like to tell us about? My latest release came out on January 1st. It’s titled Wedding at the Hacienda. It’s the 3rd book in the Rio Grande Romance series with Heartsong. It’s the story of the youngest Fuentes brother, the lifestyle of Hispanics and the love of a good woman.




Thank you so much for being a part of THE WRITER’S WORLD blog series. It was fun doing this interview with you.

J Thank you very much Rhonda for this opportunity. It’s so appreciated.

 

HIS CHOSEN BRIDE

Yesterday HIS CHOSEN BRIDE was hitting the store shelves!!! So  to entice you to buy it, I thought I'd share the first few pages with you... I hope you enjoy Levi and Millie's story.


http://amzn.to/NGNgMs

Chapter One

Millie Hamilton stood in the stagecoach doorway and looked out on the town before her. Dusty, rustic and sparse. Most certainly not like her beloved hometown of Cottonwood Springs, New Mexico, with its trees along Main Street and flower boxes in front of businesses. No, she was finally in Granite, Texas, six months past her original arrival date.

"Miss Millicent Summer?"

Millie knew without being told that the man in front of her was Levi Westland, the man who'd expected to marry her six month ago. She was to have been his mail-order bride. She recognized him from the photograph he'd sent her in his last letter, though the small picture hadn't done him justice. Surely he hadn't continued to meet the stage daily.

 "Yes?" Millie allowed him to take her gloved hand and assist her from the stage.

“I'm Levi Westland."
 
To say Levi Westland was handsome would have been an understatement. Piercing green eyes shone from his face like gleaming porcelain and two dimples appeared as if loving fingers had squeezed his cheeks. She was caught off guard by the sudden flutter in her heart. He was the most handsome man she'd ever met and that meant trouble for her.

Just click on the cover to buy the book and read more :) Thanks!!

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Belle Calhoune

Hello Everyone!
 
I have been using my current work space for about four years.  The desk is pretty unique because my husband and I purchased it at a vintage store in our area.  We saw it one afternoon and fell in love with it due to some of the unique markings on it that were hand painted.  We made an offer on the spot and took it home. 
 



My revelation about writing is fairly simple.  Just do it.  It doesn't have to be pretty the first time around. For the first draft it's really important to just get the words on the page.  Plant yourself in your chair, transport yourself to the world you've created and write write write.  You can always go back in and tweak things to make it as perfect as you want it to be.  But a blank page will get you nowhere in the writing business.

My favorite writing books are Debra Dixon's "Goal, Motivation and Conflict" and Romance-ology 101 by Julie Lessman.  Dixon's book is classic and it yields such a great result if you apply the principles to your work in progress.  It really helps to look at your work and examining the GMC.  Romance-ology 101 is a great book on creating romantic tension in inspirational romance.  I really enjoy this book and I have it on my Kindle where I can refer to it often.  Writing Inspirational romance is very specific and there are certain limitations in the genre and nuances we have to emphasize in order to maximize our romantic tension.

What I most love about my writing space is that there is a window right above my computer.  I don't have to guess about the weather.  There's nothing better than to have the sun shining outside or the snow falling in winter.  And this really helps if I'm writing an outdoor scene and I need some visual inspiration.

The two writing tools from my desk I would take with me on a trip would be one of my fancy notebooks and a special pen.  I am somewhat obsessed with notebooks and pens, the fancier the better.  People in my family buy them for me as presents, which delights me to no end.  I like to write on the fly.  If I'm waiting for the kids as they take a dance class or a horseback riding lesson, I'm jotting down notes for scenes.  And there is something about a fancy pen that makes me feel very empowered and special.  I just love them!

The thing that I like least about my space is that it tends to get a bit crowded at times.  I don't like that feeling, although it is my own doing.  I need to streamline the things in my work area so I don't get distracted or fidgety.  I also have a book case  next to my desk, which can be very tempting at times. 

On my desk I have some special stones that I love to surround myself with for inspiration.  The stones each have a word on them.  Faith.  Love.  Creativity.  Peace.  Cherish.  Just looking at these stones helps me focus and reminds me of everything I stand for and hope to create with my words.  I also have a candy dish, usually filled with York peppermint patties or mini Reeses cups.  I love candles also.  I love France and consider myself a Francophile after studying the language for ten years.  I have a beautiful Eiffel Tower on my desk adorned with an I Love You ornament my daughter Amber gave me.  Basically, I like to surround myself with beautiful things that center me.

I'm currently working on a continuation of the story I began in Reunited with the Sheriff.  In my debut Love Inspired book I introduced the heroine, Cassidy Blake, along with her three best friends.  Now, one by one, the best friends are getting their own stories.  And their happily ever afters.

My new release (a May  Love Inspired) is entitled "Forever Her Hero." It is very near and dear to my heart.  It centers around Sawyer Trask, a courageous Coast Guard hero, who returns to his hometown in Cape Cod after a year in Africa on a mission.  Two years earlier his cousin Billy died tragically, leaving his widow, Ava, to raise their twins alone.  Sawyer and Ava were childhood best friends whose close relationship was forever altered when Ava married Billy.  Sawyer has always loved Ava, yet never managed to tell her.  Although Sawyer's goal is to be a part of the twins' lives, he also is determined to come clean with Ava about the night Billy died, a revelation that could forever alter their relationship.


Thanks so much Rhonda!

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Tamera Lynn Kraft


My writing area is also our living room when company visits and my area where I talk to God, read my Bible and pray. We redecorated recently, and this is my favorite place to be at home.

 



 This area, pictured above, has my laptop computer desk, A straight comfortable chair, and my laptop and Ipad. On the End Table is my book nook with my Bible, prayer journal and current reading material. It also has a lamp, my phone, and a walnut chess board in case a friend stops for a game of chess On the bottom shelf, that patch of blue is my footies in case my feet get cold. Behind the door of the end table is a portable file box. In the drawer of the other end table is a memo pad and pen and my Ipod and charging cords. On the wall are the high school pictures of my son and daughter. My son’s picture didn’t show up because of glare. There’s also a picture of Jesus when He calmed the seas with a caption, “Peace, Be Still”. That picture always makes me feel better when things are chaotic.

 
Going counterclockwise around the room, next is my couch. It’s very comfortable if I decide to take a break and have a nap. Above the couch is my eye candy. I love good art. This is my original Klee that my husband bought at a mall after watching him paint it. It was before he became well known. I love the colors in this painting.

Next is my view when I look up from the computer. Outside the window, it’s snowing today. It’s very pretty. The flowers on the table in the corner are my attempt at floral design. The bottom shelf of the table has a real hour glass. I love early American. The swivel rocker is great to turn around and sit in while I take in the view. There’s quite a bit of red in my living room toned down with taupe flowered wall paper, cream carpet, and this green/taupe chair. I love the color red. It makes me happy.



To the right is my oak roll top desk with curio cabinets on either side. I love my desk because it’s early American and because I can hide what I’m working on when company comes. On top of the desk is our oil lamp for when the electricity goes off, some candles, and another attempt at flower arranging. Above the desk hangs a photo of the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. My husband took it when we were in the area for a kid’s crusade. It was so cool because I can say I walked across the Mississippi River. In the curio cabinets are mostly bells and Hummel's. I collect them both. My oldest Hummel's I inherited from my grandmother who also collected them. In the right curio cabinet, five shelves down, is my International Shepherd’s Cup Award dated 2007. I received it for lifelong achievement in the advancement of children’s ministry. It’s one of my most treasured possessions because of what it represents.

We’ve come full circle where you can see a glimpse into my kitchen and hallway. In the kitchen is my ceramic checkered floor and checkered wallpaper, my china cabinet, and my quaker parrot, Olive Oil.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That's it for my office, here is a book blurb of my latest book,  Soldier’s Heart:

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Soldier’s Heart can be purchased at these links:




 
 
Tamera Lynn Kraft always loved adventures. She writes Christian historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many adventures in American history. Strong elements of faith, romance, and suspense are in her historicals, but the main feature is that sense of adventure that's inherent in the history of the United States of America. She writes from a Christian worldview. Linda Glaz from Hartline Agency is her agent.

Tamera has been married for 35 years to the love of her life, Rick. They have two married adult children and two grandchildren. She was a children’s pastor for over 20 years.

She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. Her curriculum has been published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is honored to be the recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.