Friday, February 12, 2016

Fabulous Feature- Heather Gilbert



Today we welcome author:
Heather Gilbert

A commenter will win a copy of
Heather's eBook:
Miranda Warning

Scroll down to see how.
*International readers invited to enter


Mary here. I'm so happy Heather is here today. She has such an encouraging story. One that reminds us of an important truth. I don't want to steal her thunder so without further ado...here is what Heather said when I asked her: how has God led you on your writing journey. This will surely inspire you: 

When God Points Where You Don't Want to Go


I began to pursue my writing dreams about eight years ago. I went about it the regular way—I wrote a book, landed an agent, waited to see if publishers wanted it...

Then it was rejected.

I got another agent. We submitted a book. It was rejected. Then I got another agent...I was beginning to see a pattern here, and it was a downright depressing one.

Believe me, I spent hours second-guessing myself—had I written the wrong things? I was so sure these were the stories God wanted me to tell.

I stayed up many a tear-drenched night, asking God why He hadn't made my dreams of publication come true. But God seemed to remain silent.

Finally, years into this process, I began to see glimmers of light. Hints at a direction I should take—and it wasn't the fast and smooth road to being a bestseller. It didn't look like the path most of my writer friends were taking.

But God began to make it shockingly clear: it was the right path for me. I could do it, even though I knew it meant taking on even more responsibility.

The route for me was independent (indie) publishing—otherwise known as self-publishing. But with indie publishing, I knew I would be responsible for everything—asking for endorsements, developing cover art, getting edits, formatting the book, uploading it to vendors...not to mention marketing the book, both before and after publication.

And yet God reassured me that yes, this was the way I needed to go. He surrounded me with friends and family who encouraged me in this choice. They believed I could do it, with God's help.

Fast forward to 2016, three years after publishing my first novel, God's Daughter. Nowadays I spend a lot of time thanking the Lord that He put me on this path. Now my Viking historical novel is available to Viking-era aficionados everywhere, and it has become an Amazon Norse bestseller. I have two Appalachian mysteries out and more books to come in that series. I wrote the Indie Publishing Handbook to encourage other authors who are contemplating the indie path. And I have many other projects in the works.

I can't describe those years spent waiting, wishing God would allow my book to be picked up by a traditional publisher. It was like being trapped, chained to my email, hoping for the word that someone else (besides my agents) believed in my books enough to publish them.

Now, I feel a freedom that people are reading my books—people they might not have reached otherwise. Is it still hard? Yes, there are many times the income doesn't seem to justify the amount of time I put into things. But I am confident that as long as God shows me the way, I'm going to walk in it.

Although it might be difficult to take those blind leaps of obedience—often involving sacrifice of some kind—we can truly believe that God will work all things out for good for those who love Him. It might not look exactly like what we pictured, but we can trust it will reach the greatest number of people for the greatest good if we are following His leading.


I hope these words have encouraged you today!

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HEATHER DAY GILBERT writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather is a graduate of Bob Jones University and is married to her college sweetheart. Having recently returned to her roots, she and her husband are raising their three children in the same home in which Heather grew up. Heather is represented by Rebeca Seitz and Jonathan Clements of SON Studios in FL.


Heather's Viking historical novel, God's Daughter, is an Amazon Norse bestseller. She is also the author of  Miranda Warning and Trial by Twelve, Books One and Two in the bestselling A Murder in the Mountains mystery series. She has also written the Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher.





Heather loves to connect with readers. 
You can find her at her:
  
Website | Facebook
Twitter | Email

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Child of the Appalachian Mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer...or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains' lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.


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Enter the contest to win a copy of 
Heather Gilbert's eBook:

Miranda Warning
International readers invited to enter!


Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

    AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email if you aren't already



Thank you, Heather, for joining us this weekend!



We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.


Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Never Turn Your Back



Photo Courtesy

A State of Oregon website says, "Never turn your back..."

What was the website talking about?

Sneaker waves. 

No these are not waves with tennis shoes on.

They also are not any type of wave fueled by a tide. A tide is predictable. Charts are posted on beaches and in towns along waterways warning when the tide will come in.

A sneaker wave, on the other hand, gives no warning. The water soars towards the beach climbing high and higher then slaps the sand or rocks with an unsuspecting force. Beach walkers are often caught unaware. Usually they can run to safety, but there have been cases where an individual had turned their back and didn't see the danger. 

Even worse is the sneaker wave's force. It pounds down and yanks the earth/rocks out from under a person standing in the way then drags the person underwater.

Take a moment to watch the video after you finish reading this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPypT9dOvSY

The danger is epic. It's easy to see now why the Oregon website says, "Never turn your back." 


Sneaker waves can sneak into our lives in other ways. Days start and finish. Everything goes pretty well with only a few glitches. We wake in the morning and follow a typical routine. Soon we forget the importance of .....God.

Why is it that only in times of tragedy, need, or want, we think of God? Our creator. The One who loves us more than anyone ever could. The one who provides, counsels, instructs, is the Great Physician and much more.

I confess the many times I have done this. So wrapped up in my own plans, ideas, wants, and desires. Not paying attention. Turning my back on the Almighty, not intentionally..but not intentionally thinking, dwelling, meditating, immersed in Him.

God I ask your forgiveness and ask your help: Keep my thoughts on you in all I say and do. Guard my steps to walk where you lead. Inspire me to want to show your glory. Be with those who read this. Draw them to you.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: Never-turn-your-back


Friday, February 5, 2016

Fabulous Feature-Meghan Carver-Waiting For God's Timing




Today we welcome author:
Meghan Carver

A commenter will win a copy of
Meghan's Book:
Under Duress

International Readers Invited to enter!


Scroll down to see how.




Mary here. I'm so happy Meghan is here today. Have you seen all the flutter on FB about this new book!! I'm especially happy because I was at that conference Meghan mentions in this post and I met her. She is so friendly!  You simply must read her response to my question, how has God led you on your writing journey. It'll warm your heart. Here is what she said: 

Waiting For God's Timing


I fell in love with writing in the sixth grade during an all-school essay-writing exercise. Perhaps, at first, I just loved the scratch of the pencil across the paper and the fact that the paper was stapled into a cute little Blue Book. (Who remembers those?) But I also loved being able to express myself in a thoughtful way. Then, a few days later, a teacher handed it back to me with an encouraging comment written in red, and I was hooked.

I continued to write poems, short stories, miniature books, all through school. I was also a voracious reader. So when it came time to choose a college major, English Literature seemed a natural fit. 

After college, I got a couple of freelance writing gigs, but jobs that required an English degree were few and far between in my area. So, what does an English Major do? Go back to school! I put my writing dreams on hold and entered law school. 

Mary here: Law school?? Wow!

Within a little more than a year after graduation, my husband and I had our first child. Within the next eleven years, we had five more children. Yes, six altogether!

My novel-writing dreams hadn't disappeared, but they certainly weren't a priority in the day-to-day of diapers, discipline, and the delightfulness of motherhood.

I may not have been writing, but I was reading as much as I could, all sorts of genres and plenty of children's books! Better yet, the Lord was using this time to grow my faith and increase my devotion to doing His will, no matter what.

By the time my youngest was born in 2011, I knew it was time to get serious again about writing. 

I began scribbling out my first novel, sometimes pecking one-handed on the laptop while I nursed my newborn. I also attended a local Christian writing conference. Over the next couple of years, I tried my hand at a few different genres, developing my voice and praying about where I fit in the publishing landscape. 

In 2013, I attended my first American Christian Fiction Writers conference. There, I met a Love Inspired Historical author who not only became a dear friend and a wonderful encourager but also clued me in to the possibility of submitting to the Love Inspired lines. The Lord had put her in my life, and when the search for stories for the Love Inspired Suspense line came, I knew it was an opportunity I'd been waiting for.

Although I've wondered what my life would have been if I had kept writing since college, I think the Lord knew I needed that time for my faith to grow so that when I did write it would be words that would glorify Him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Meghan's children at the State house

By sixth grade, Meghan Carver knew she wanted to write. After earning a degree in English from Millikin University, she detoured to law school, earning a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University. She then worked in immigration law and taught Comp 101 at the local college. Now, she homeschools her six children with her college professor husband. When she isn’t writing, homeschooling, or planning the family’s next travel adventure, she is active in her church, sews for her kidlets, and reads.



Meghan loves to connect with readers. 
You can find her at her:
  
Website | Facebook
Twitter | Pinterest
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UNDER DURESS

Criminals are trying to kidnap attorney Samantha Callahan’s adopted daughter, Lily—and she has no idea why. So when bullets start flying, Samantha and Lily speed off in her car…and crash right into help.
Ex-cop Reid Palmer is shocked when former law school classmate Samantha rear-ends his car and then climbs in with her daughter and begs him to drive. Now they are on the run, and Reid will do anything to protect them and figure out why kidnappers are after Lily. As they struggle to evade capture, Reid begins to realize that Samantha is more to him than just a woman in trouble. But with the enemies closing in and their motives finally revealed, will Reid be able to make sure justice is served?


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Enter the contest to win a copy of 

Meghan Carver's Book:

Under Duress
International readers invited to enter!
**eBook for International -- eBook or Paperback for US readers

Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

    AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email if you aren't already



Thank you, Meghan, for joining us this weekend!



We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.


Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!