Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop and High Stakes WIP


I'm pleased to follow Cherie Burbach in a 
World Wide Blog Hop.

Cherie posted here last week: 

What am I working on?
I'm currently at work on a project that follows my 2010 award-winning novel, Meander Scar
The story takes place in that year, and I wish I had been taking better notes about what was going on then! Ann's sister, Rachel, has some huge surprises in store when she decides that now her daughter Maeve is grown and moved out, she can restart her life. Her chosen target, Scott, who works in IT, isn't the mild-mannered computer geek she thinks he is, and to top if off, she finds herself holding the fate of modern Europe in her hands when a former lover shows up out of the blue. Pretty high stakes.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm supposed to write genre romance, but I tend  to follow the rules haphazardly -- about the same way I cook. You might get that happily-ever-after ending. Or you might not.

Why do I write/create what I do?
I'll just say it - I love history, but I don't write it on principle because I am terribly picky about making sure the facts are right. Now that doesn't mean I won't bend them a bit, but they have to be correct. This way, I get to do all the nerdy research, use the facts in my work, but not have to worry about being so precise. That's why we call it fiction.

How does my writing/creating process work?
I'm mostly a plotter. I have to get some of the business out of the way, like character development, main plot lines, scene and setting, a sort of an outline or synopsis to work with first. That's a lot of "pre-writing." Then I'm free to write at will. I have my character, scene and setting windows open while I work in the document window. I can quick research a fact or a name that's escaped me on the Internet, and also write in a later chapter if a scene occurs to me out of order. I have a great writing partner to keep me motivated and some fantastic critiquers out there to make me mind the p's and q's.

And now I'm pleased to introduce Nicolette Pierce, who will post next week at
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091039.Nicolette_Pierce/blog

Friday, October 24, 2014

Land of My Dreams by Norma Gail

Land of My Dreams
Norma Gail

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, is set in Scotland and New Mexico and released in April 2014.



About the Book: 
Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancĂ© reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?

Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

Buy the Book:


Brief Interview with Norma Gail

Norma, what do you love the most about Land of My Dreams?
Land of My Dreams is my debut novel. It is the fulfillment of a life-long dream to see my name on a book. I love having told a story that ministers to the reader, because I know God gave it to me. I have had so many comments about the book touching people’s lives through situations they can relate to, and God’s purpose for the things He allows into our lives. When someone says that your fictional story taught them God is big enough to take our questions and doesn’t send pain and hardship because we messed up or don’t have enough faith, it takes your breath away. I love that people see themselves in the characters and get lost in the setting, laughing, crying, getting angry, and ending up feeling fulfilled. Reviews like that make all the hard work worthwhile.

What do you hope readers will tell other people about Land of My Dreams?
One reader recommended it to her sixteen year-old granddaughter to help her learn what to look for in a relationship. She recommended it to people who were planning to get married for the same reason. One reader said it is so much more than a love story; that it will speak to anyone who has suffered loss, pain, divorce or death. I hope readers tell their friends that it takes them through the full range of emotions, makes them read with a Scottish accent, hear the bagpipes, smell green chili roasting, and feel the raindrops on their faces. I love to hear things like that.

What two things did you learn from publishing your first book?
I learned so much it is difficult to condense into two things.

1) It is so much more difficult than you ever imagined. It is definitely not glamor and get rich quick. It’s hard work even after it is released. It requires taking tough criticism, and working with many different personalities. There are a lot of late nights editing and more social media than anyone should have to learn, but in the end, you have something you always dreamed of. It makes you a stronger person and teaches perseverance.

2) I learned that attending writer’s conferences is a necessity. It is important to take workshops to improve your skills. Meeting other writers, getting critiques and feedback on your writing, and meeting with your publisher are valuable opportunities. If you work hard enough and show a willingness to take direction, you can get a contract with a traditional publisher. It takes time.

  
About the Author:
Norma Gail is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader who established the first weekly women’s Bible studies in her church in 2003 and continues to lead a weekly small group. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. Norma lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.


Connect with Norma at:



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Medieval Romance The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia


Rachel James and her new book 
The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia



About the Book  (Inspirational Medieval Romance)
It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.

Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.

E-book $3.99
Buy on  Amazon

Here's an Excerpt
616 AD, The Kingdom of Elmetia
Teagen scrambled under the table as the first fire-drenched arrow shot through the sky. Within seconds, thatched rooftops blazed and smoke bellowed throughout the palace. Frantic screams replaced the joyful music playing moments before.
“Princess,” Teagen’s nurse hissed from behind a wooden bench. “Are ye injured?”
“Nay.” She cast a wary glance as the battle unfolded before her. “What’s happening? Is it Saxons?”
Her nurse stretched her arm over and stroked her hair. “Aye, princess. Seems to be. Now stay put here while I find yer brother.”
Teagen flinched. “Don’t leave me Dera, please—Niall will be with Papa, they’ll be safe.”
Dera’s face paled. “I hope not, lassie, for yer brother’s sake, I pray he’s not.”
What could she mean? Was Papa in trouble?
She jumped out from her hiding place. “Then I’ll come with ye—”
Dera pushed her down firmly. “Nay, ‘tis not safe. Whatever ye do, do not let them capture ye, understand?”
She nodded, dumbfounded as Dera disappeared.
Grabbing the bottom of her long silk dress, she covered her face in an attempt to subdue the nausea that welled within. She wouldn’t look. She couldn’t. Where was Papa? She needed him right now, to hold her, and keep her safe.
 “Teagen.”
A wave of relief washed over her. “Papa!” Teagen ran toward him, tears threatening her eyes.
“Shhh, lassie.” Her father scooped her up and headed for the kitchen just off the Great Hall. He opened a small stone cupboard and placed her inside.
“Stay in here, do ye understand? Do not come out until yer brother gets ye.”
“Please don’t leave me, Papa. Everyone keeps leaving me.” She tasted the salty tears that streamed her face.
Her father stroked her cheek. “Oh, lassie, I love ye so much. Ye know this, don’t ye?”
She nodded.
“Now be a brave girl and stay put.”
She gave her father a lingering hug and breathed in his comforting musky scent, her eyes averting his blood stained tunic. As he shut the cupboard door, the sound of the latch closing sent shivers through her body. The darkness did not mask the coldness of the damp stone walls, or the stale air which stifled her breathing. A sob lodged in her throat. I need to be brave for Papa.
Muffled sounds from outside grew louder—the clash of iron on iron, the collapse of buildings, and cries for help.
“King Ceretic is dead!”
Teagen stopped breathing. It could not be true.
“And what of the rest of the family?”
“Not yet found.”
“We do not leave until they are dead. Burn everything, and gather the survivors—we’ll take them to the slave market.”
She squeezed her eyes together, shutting out the fuzzy sensation that threatened to overtake her.Please, God. Nay. There surely must be some mistake.
Teagen could wait no longer. Despite her father’s strict instructions, she pushed open the door and fell on the kitchen floor. She gasped in a huge breath of air and scrambled to the doorway. Soldiers littered the outside, and in the centre, stood the Saxon King—Edwin the Tyrant. Her stomach lurched as she saw the remains of her father’s body.
Oh, Heavenly Father.
She collapsed to the ground. If her father was dead, it meant her brother Niall would likely be too. She studied the hem of her fine tunic and caressed the intricate beading Dera had sewn on the day before.
She stiffened. If they discovered her true identity as the king’s daughter, she too would be slain. She had to get out of these clothes. Her eyes rested on the dead bodies piled up outside the kitchen entrance and her heart broke as she spotted one of her friends lying on the ground. She kept low, reached out and pulled her friend further inside the kitchen.
“I’m sorry, Hilda,” she whispered to the girl, “but I’m going to need yer clothes. Ye won’t have use for them anymore.” She closed the girl’s eyelids, said a quick prayer, and removed the simple tunic and redressed her young friend in her own grand attire.
She ran out of the kitchen and toward the oak tree at the top of the hill, knowing she would be seen. She perched under a sloping branch and gazed out—her entire world ablaze. Soldiers rummaged through the dead bodies looking for valuables to keep for themselves. Teagen covered her ears as cries penetrated the night. Curling herself into a ball, she cradled her arms around her knees and rocked herself back and forth watching her kingdom fall. They were coming for her, it was simply a matter of time. To survive this night, her identity would have to be forgotten.






About the Author

Rachel James grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms. 


Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! Find her at www.rachelajames.com for more information. 

Connect with Rachel: 
Website   Facebook   Amazon Author   Twitter   Google+    Goodreads    Youtube

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Debut author Keely Brooke Keith and The Land Uncharted

Book review for The Land Uncharted
By Keely Brooke Keith


Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land.

As a young physician, Lydia Colburn is dedicated to serving her village in the Land. Day and night, she rushes by horseback to treat the ill and injured, establishing a heroic reputation as the village's new doctor.

Naval Aviator Connor Bradshaw is flying over the South Atlantic Ocean on a mission to secure any remaining sources of fresh water in a 2025 world torn apart by war. A malfunction activates his aircraft's ejection system, parachuting his unconscious body to the shore of a hidden land.
Lydia risks her safety to help the injured outsider despite the shock of his mysterious arrival and the disastrous implications his presence could have for her peaceful society, which has gone undetected for seven generations.

Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, but his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland. And while Lydia's attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated, it also pushes an unwanted admirer to stage a dangerous attempt to win her affection.

As Connor tries to keep the Land off the radar, he learns the biggest threat to Lydia lurks in her village. But when Lydia's greatest passion and darkest fear collide, will she look to the past or the future to find the strength to survive?

About the Author:
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving '80s kid. She grew up in a family who frequently relocated. By graduation, Keely lived in 8 states and attended 14 schools. Keely's many adventures include: being an exchange student, recording with a former Beatles producer, being chased through the New Mexico desert by a rattlesnake, jumping out of an airplane at 14,500 feet, and sleeping under the open sky in the Australian outback.
Keely is a bass guitarist and plays on worship teams and for solo artists. She is married to singer/songwriter John Martin Keith, and they frequently perform and tour together. When she isn't writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband and their daughter, Rachel.

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Edenbrooke Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0692267516
$11.69
Buy on Amazon

E-book version releases October 21 - today 
$3.99
Buy on Amazon

My review:
I never know what to expect when I pick up a new book by a new author. The Land Uncharted about knocked my socks off. So much so that I had to email the author to ask her about it, like, why she didn’t try the traditional publishing route. There were a few things I wish she’d had some different advice on, but truly, those who like to read or watch stories the likes of M. Night Shyamalan will love Keith’s eventual series.

That said, there are many things I’d like to explore, but that would give away the story. As with all good tales of introspection and growth, the love interests, Connor and Lydia, have some decisions to make, some threats to overcome, and some realizations to come to. Set in the near future, as mentioned on the back of the book, the reader is unaware of time as a mysterious uniformed man washes ashore on an island populated with people living as though time stood still one hundred and fifty years ago. Did he travel back in time, or had time simply stopped in this place?

The Land is not exactly the Paradise it may seem to outsiders, should any be allowed to enter. Connor learns that he must make the best of things, though that doesn’t mean allowing Lydia to be victimized. This strange society has a culture that makes it difficult to protect the innocent, or mete justice according to contemporary views. Right and wrong, good and evil don’t mix…at least not very well. Connor overcomes prejudice to earn a place in this society, but how long can it last?

Intended as the first book in a series, The Land Uncharted is sure to raise many more questions than it answers. While not completely left hanging, the reader will find this unique adventure satisfying, yet wanting more. I have to say the author’s method of resolving conflict was slightly flat, yet served the purpose. I will nevertheless be on the watch for the sequel.




Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog hop! Meet Matthew LaCraft, The Yankee Boy

Thanks for Brenda Hendricks, and her post at http://myquotesofencouragement.com/ last week about her tween novel Trouble at Camp Turnabout Creek

She asks me the following questions about our project, First Children of Farmington, and The Yankee Boy,Matthew LaCraft.



1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic? 
My character is named Matthew LaCraft. He is fictional, though based on a real historical figure.

2) When and where is the story set?
This children’s story is set about 1850 in Wisconsin, a small community near Boltonville, about 40 miles north of Milwaukee.

3) What should we know about him/her? 

Matthew is a young boy in about the third grade in school, and has to change schools, though not where he lives. His father is the superintendent of the district, and helped build a school closer to their house, instead of the nearly two miles into Boltonville. He’s not very happy about it.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 
One of the new students at Matthew’s new school is Green Leaf, a Potawatomi Boy. Some of the other parents are worried about Indians attending school and don’t want Green Leaf there. They take their children out of school, and try to make Matthew’s father tell Green Leaf he can’t come to school. Matthew is very upset about this.

5) What is the personal goal of the character? 
 Matthew wants the students and their parents to get to know Green Leaf and his family. He thinks that once they learn more about each other, they won’t be so suspicious and angry and afraid. But he’s just a young boy, so he is unsure how to make that happen.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
 This book is called Matthew LaCraft, the Yankee Boy, a First Children of Farmington book, because each of the children is an ethnic settler family. Yankees were people who migrated from the eastern US across to the West, and Matthew’s parents were from Canada and New York. You can read more about the book and the series on my website, www.lisalickel.com

7) When can we expect the book to be published? 

 
This book is already published, one of a series of six First Children of Farmington books, which are all about children facing challenges similar to those of contemporary times. Green Leaf, The Potawatomi Boy
Huldah Harts, The German Girl
John Klessig, The Saxon Boy
Ann Riley, the Irish Girl
Marie Brinker, the French Girl
 

To continue the blog hop, I nominate Holly Michaels and Gail Pallotta.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Equanimity: The Spirit Within by Samuel D. Bartoli

Equanimity: The Spirit Within 
by Samuel D. Bartoli




Memoir, Self-help
January 2014 
Buy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Book:

Equanimity: The Spirit Within is a story about a man’s search for meaning as he comes to terms with losing everything that he knew and valued.

After winning the 1992 Southern California Middleweight Golden Gloves Boxing Championship, Bartoli was ready to punch his way to professional stardom. However, his boxing career was cut short when he developed a form of Pugilistic Dementia, which caused him to have chronic headaches, slowed motor skills, slurred speech, shaky hands, and impaired vision.

Bartoli came to terms with losing the one thing he loved most in life. In his journey, he realizes that his self-worth is not measured by how many punches he can give or take or media headlines and public praise. He learns that real self-worth is defined by his relationship with God.

In Equanimity, Bartoli gives advice and scripture that readers can apply to coping with life, counting blessings, discovering potential, demystifying love, banishing worry, ending suffering, having faith, and handling mistakes.

Equanimity is a life-changing book that will help anyone solve problems, overcome fears, and develop a better relationship with God.

About the Author:


Samuel D. Bartoli is the author of Equanimity: The Spirit Within, published by Halo Publishing International in January 2014. He lives in Los Angeles, CA where he invests his free time coaching teens at a youth center.


 My review:

I had never heard of Pugilistic Dementia before, but it makes sense...in one of those sports that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. But that's not the point. People take pride in identifying themselves with something they can do well, no matter what it is. Samuel Bartoli is one of those people who can re-define himself after something he did well didn't work out anymore. And that's a lesson all of us can learn.

Bartoli's memoir is filled with observations, some heavy-duty study and definitions such as tackling the meaning of one of my favorite phrase, carpe diem--latin for seize the day--to sharing quotes from ancient leaders from all over the world, philosophers and even poets, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Attitude is important, so is humbleness, Bartoli says. This little book is filled with great reflections and a multitude of Scripture to back up the theme that a life with faith makes a person a real champion.

Recommended for anyone who enjoys seeing how pieces of life from antiquity to present times fit together, and who could use some encouragement.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Girls Night Out Mingle with the Authors Nov 20 in West Bend

That's right!
All kinds of give-aways...door prizes

Wine-tasting

cheese

flavored olive oil dips

romance books!

GIRLS NIGHT OUT!!! 

at 
All In Books 

910 S. Main Street West Bend
MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS 

Lisa Lickel and Nicolette Pierce

Thursday November 20th After Hours: 6:30 PM 

$15 a person Tickets available at All In Books 
or pay button below - no Paypal account needed

For only $15 you get over $125 in value. 

Price includes wine tasting, cheese and olive oil tasting, $50 gift card to nakedwines.com, book bag stuffed with swag and discounts, and your choice of one new book per author. 

That's two great books by two great authors! There will also be door prizes and a drawing! 

Grab your friends and buy your tickets soon. Only a limited number of tickets will be sold.