Friday, August 29, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Krista Phillips




Today I welcome author: 
Krista Phillips


To win a copy
of 
A Side of Faith

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.





Krista and I have been friends and members of the Writers Alley Cats for over four years. Perks of this fantastic group of ten women writers is we hold retreats, email lots, meet at conferences, pray, cheer, help, and are as close to being real sisters as you can get. I love my good friend Krista and what a Christ-like example she is. She is also one of the funniest people I know. You'll see a lot of that in her post today. I asked Krista to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:




God said, "Do This!"

I became a writer because I committed mail fraud.

Seriously. (okay, I've since been told it isn't REALLY mail fraud since it was Fedex vs the USPS but mail fraud just has a better ring to it...)

Don't think God can use your wayward actions for good?

Think again, folks, think again.

In 2007, we purchased a house. About a month later we received a package at our door. Just a doorbell and leave, no signing. I picked up the package as the FedEx guy drove away, unable to flag him down to let him know it wasn't ours.

It was a nice looking package. Thick.

My hubby and I debated. With USPS, we just stick it back in the box and write, "return to sender" but how do you do that with a FedEx package?

But my eyes kept roaming to that package.

I told my hubby I thought it was a book manuscript. He told me I was nuts.

I decided to peek... just a tiny corner.

Oh crud. It WAS a book manuscript. I opened it the rest of the way... and indeed, it was the line-edits from a major Christian publisher.

My husband was astonished.  I was invigorated. I'd always wanted to write, but  I was a full-time working mother of 3. It just didn't seem possible.

I kid you not, it was like God was pointing his big finger full of pent-up lightning, saying, "Do. This."

The itch to write poured over me. After stalking the writer (who happened to be the person we had just purchased our house from...) on the Internet, I opened up an old manuscript.

But again, God pointed his finger at the big X and said, "NO, dummy. Write something new."

Okay, so maybe God didn't call me a dummy. But I'm sure He thought it.

Three months later, the Fedex package had been re-taped and returned, and I'd finished my FIRST novel.

Everyone has a dream of something they want to do that seems a little out-there. For some, it's to be an actor. For others, it's to sing on Broadway or at the Grand Ole Opry. Still others want to climb Mount Everest or go sky diving someday.

Me? I've always wanted to write a book.

Well, I did that, a few times over actually, but that birthed a new dream to actually publish them. And in June, 2011, I got the all I'd been dreaming about... a contract offer for my first novel! Sandwich, with a Side of Romance was published September, 2012.

This past year, I decided to branch out and publish a few books on my own. The first book, A Side of Faith, releases August, 2014. Two more will be released later this year and next year.

But I haven't left traditional publishing behind. My agent, Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary, and I are busy working on a few other projects. So excited about where God is leading!

And now, 7 years after that fateful day, I just released a novella called, A Side of Faith, which I think is super fitting, because a LOT of faith is what brought me to this point!





Krista Phillips is the author of Sandwich, with a Side of Romance and A Side of Faith. She is married to her wonderful husband of eleven years and is the proud mother of their four wonderful daughters in Tennessee. She is an advocate for congenital heart defect and organ donation awareness and blogs at www.kristaphillips.com.






You can connect with her on: 
Facebook author's page AuthorKristaPhillips
Facebook Krista Phillips 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Rachel Carter is on top of the world. A new job in a new town, friends, and a house to call her own. Men? Eh, someday. And when the time comes, she’ll go for a nice safe geek or something. She will NOT be repeating the mistakes of her youth. But then Cameron Foster comes knocking on her door, reminding her of the man she vows never to think of again. God wouldn’t send her a man who reminds her of everything she is trying to put behind her...would He?


CLICK HERE to get A Side of Faith


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CLICK HERE to get Sandwich with a Side of Romance

She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle. Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong. He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To enter the contest for  
Krista Phillip's eBook: "A Side of Faith"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.


Open for International and US for eBook winner
US winners can choose either an eBook or a paper copy 

Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Krista, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

Reader,
True confession - I had one of those out there dreams. I wanted to be a cowgirl. Closest I've come to that dream is to live in Montana and to go to several rodeos. I've eaten elk, yummy. Bear, a bit greasy. Buffalo, tasty. I had to work around my student's needs to not come to school during calving season. Yee Haw!!

How about you?



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Answer to Those Moments of Doubt


Photo Courtesy
A mother, father, and daughter sat in a restaurant. The daughter was about three years old. The little one needed to use the little girl's powder room. Her mother, of course stood and helped the little one to the floor and directed the little girl to walk ahead.

The girl took one step and stopped. Her fingers twirled together and she looked down. The body language clearly said she didn't know where to walk. 

The mother nudged her to take more steps. And although the little girl complied, she stopped often, twirling her fingers and looking down. 

The mother, who seemed like a giant in height compared to the girl, kept her eyes on the direction where they walked, and she didn't seem to glance down at the little girl. I don't think she realized the problem. Neither did she seem annoyed with the girl's frequent hesitation. Maybe mom thought her daughter was playing a game.

They continued walking the long length of the rectangular shaped restaurant with the little girl stepping tentatively and the mother pressing her forward.

When the little girl walked back to her table, she looked ahead. From the far distance (for her short stature) she saw someone familiar. "Daddy!" She suddenly knew where to go. Her concerned eyes turned to sparkly, knowing eyes. She skipped ahead and jabbered away to her mom.

Too often we feel the same uncertainty in our life steps. Even as adults.

But Jesus promises to: 
talk to us, 
hold our hand, 
guide us, 
urge us, 
welcomes us, 
never leave us,
assure us, 
protect us
strengthen us
and so much more.

How is your day going?  Do you need to take a minute and look up into the eyes of the Savior? He's there, listening. Waiting for you to talk to Him.  

This post has been brought to you by the one word- Security


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Music that Moves Us


Photo Courtesy

I had turned a radio station on while doing my work. Actually, I had the music cranked up pretty loud since I was by myself.

I am a classical music junkie. The symphony playing had featured the flutes, which I happen to play.

My mind and essence transported back to a day when I sat in my high school band. I can't tell you how many of us participated any more, but it was the concert band with members chosen from the 3000 students attending the school.

Sitting in my chair and sharing a music stand with the flute player next to me, gave us a unique vantage to the sound. I have never heard music in the same way as I did then. 

In the auditorium sound floats to the ceilings and swirls down to the audience, enveloping them with a blend of storytelling sounds. 

But on stage, the players are inside the sound. We feel the vibrations, the crystal sounds, the booms, the shrills, and growls. Air moves from us, even the drummers, into our instruments. Have you see the performers move as they play? Yes. He or she is feeling the music. Enraptured. Transported into the sound.

What a difference. I hope you have experienced music.

Then I thought about my time with God. There are times when the Bible is opened and words are read. They swirl into my mind and soul and touch me. I love those moments.

But better yet...are the times when I am more than the receiver. I am participating with God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I read the words and am spurred to read more. I look at resources, I dig deeper. I ask questions and keep asking. The Holy Spirit directs me to new passages, music, words from friends, scholars. I am so engaged in the activity that I don't hear the phone ring. These are the moments that enrapture me. Transported into the thought.

Reader, are there triggers that cause you to fully engage in something? What works for you? If you don't have an answer, please take the time to say howdie do. We love to chat here.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: Enraptured


Friday, August 22, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature- Dawn Crandall



Today I welcome author: 
Dawn Crandall

To win an eBook copy
of 
The Hesitant Heiress


Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.
International readers, too!




I have met Dawn through the ACFW loop. Her excitement for this new release is bubbling over and quite contagious. I can't wait to read this story. I asked Dawn to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

The Giver of All Good Things


When I was sixteen, I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. And then I discovered the movie Gone With The Wind… and then the book by Margaret Mitchell. I didn’t know I liked to read until then, but even more than that—I didn’t realize what an amazing thing it could be to write a book. So I told myself I would do just that. I would write a book. Someday.

Well, then I became a Christian and was at the same time diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder. I started taking medication to help (drastically) with my grades, basically became a whole new person to anyone who knew me… and quit thinking so much about books and writing one.

I attended Taylor University, graduated, worked at Barnes & Noble, met my husband at the church we attended, got married and moved to a new city. All the while I took the medication for my ADD because I felt that I associated better with people with it, and I pretty much needed it to work any job.

Then I decided to stop taking the medication in case I was to get pregnant. By this time, my husband had already found out about my desire to write a book and encouraged me from that very day to write it. Could someone with ADD focus enough to write a book? I’m seriously one of those people who have a very difficult time finishing any kind of hobby project. Most things just don’t mean enough to me to keep my attention long enough to complete. But I found that this book writing thing was much different. I found that because writing was my absolute favorite thing to do, I could sit at my laptop all day long and write up the scenes which were so vividly racing through my mind. 

Having ADD basically boils down to having a stream of ideas and hypothetical situations running through my mind at all times. My imagination is often on hyper-drive. Music and photographs often help me as prompts, and sometimes all I need is a word, and a whole scene comes together in my mind. It doesn’t really make sense to me how I’m able to capture 90K words into a Word document and take a reader on a complex emotional journey through the eyes of my heroine. It’s fun! And it’s complicated…. and I love it.

I was sixteen, and not even a Christian yet, when the desire to write a book struck my heart. I was thirty-two when I actually began writing The Hesitant Heiress in 2010. I don’t know why it had to take me so long to get around to it; why I never realized how drastically my creative thinking was hindered by taking the ADD medication. I don’t understand God’s will for my life sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Even while I couldn’t write because of the medication, and while I couldn’t get pregnant for some unknown reason… He was in control, and He was building everything up for a few big surprises.

Kristy Cambron, Sarah Ladd,
Dawn Crandall
In 2011, I joined ACFW and my husband sent me to the national conference. I had two agent appointments and a paid critique meeting. I was about to cancel my agent appointments when I went to my paid critique. I thought my book was dumb, that I was dumb for going to conference… I was completely out of my league… why was I there? I hadn’t even finished my manuscript. I was jumping the gun and had spent way too much money for no reason. But that wasn’t what author Andrea Boeshaar told me. She told me my first chapter was amazing, that the writing was better than a lot of books that were already published…. and she told me to go to my agent appointments.

God knew I needed that! Who wouldn’t love to hear such things? I went to my appointments and received two requests for partial proposals. I didn’t even know what a proposal was, but I found out and made one. I did include a chapter outline though, and I think that helped… because within the week I had a contract for representation from both agents in my email box. I chose Joyce Hart as my agent and went about finishing my novel. All of 2012 went by with my book on submission to a handful of publishers. The second manuscript The Bound Heart, November 2014 for my series became a semi-finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest. 2013 went by as well. I wanted to quit. 

I had a really hard time writing book three The Captive Imposter, February 2015 because my confidence was going down the drain. It must have been a fluke that two incredibly sought after agents had wanted to represent me upon first sight of my first three chapters. It must have been a fluke about the Genesis contest. Book one became a semi-finalist and book three became a finalist in the 2013 Genesis Contest. How much more “half-way there” could I take? 

Well…. about a month later, God taught me a great big lesson. It didn’t have anything to do with a book, writing, or seeing my name in print. It had to do with another dream I’d always had but had given up on. I found out I was pregnant, and suddenly I didn’t care so much about getting my long-sought-after book contract. I still wanted it, of course! But, it wasn’t the only thing I had to think about anymore.

When I signed my book contract with Whitaker House in December 2013, I was six months pregnant. And when my debut novel released this August, my son was 4 months old. It’s crazy how God had it all work out… because I was convinced that having my book-baby published was what I wanted more than anything. And was I wrong. There really is nothing compared to holding my baby boy in my arms and seeing him laugh and smile. Even if this isn’t the timeframe I would have chosen for myself, I trust God knows what He’s doing. He’s blessed me this year… yes, with what seems like a little too much to do… but I’ll take it!

To learn more about Dawn go to these sites:


The Hesitant Heiress
After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.  


You can read the first chapter of The Hesitant Heiress for free. Simply go to this link: First Chapter of The Hesitant Heiress

THE HESITANT HEIRESS BLOG TOUR
As part of her book launch, Dawn is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews, book reviews and giveaways. She’s giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour and one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on this blog. Many of the blogger’s posting in the blog tour are also giving away a digital copy of The Hesitant Heiress.

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS
a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE
(at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.


Future Books by Dawn Crandall




The Bound Heart will release in November, 2014



The Captive Impostor will release February, 2015







To enter the contest for  
Dawn Crandall's eBook: "The Hesitant Heiress"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.


Open for International and US for eBook winner! 

Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Dawn, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

Reader,
Sometimes we don't see God's plan. He truly is the giver of all good things. What has God blessed you with recently?