Friday, May 1, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Sandra Byrd-When I do What God Says, I Feel His Pleasure





Today we welcome author:
Sandra Byrd

One commenter will win a copy of Sandra's new release: 
Mist of Midnight





Mary here. I have hung around a lot of the same places Sandra has. I just realized I haven't shared her bubbly spirit yet. An added plus she has a new release this month. Well, I just had to get the ball rolling and invite her to share what God has done in her life. You're gonna love her story. Here is what she said:



When I do What God Says, I Feel His Pleasure

When I was a kid, I wanted three careers: to be a hair stylist, to be a waitress, and to be an author. After I mohawked my Barbie I knew I wasn’t cut out for the hairstylist career.

Mary: I think many of us are secretly raising our hands to confess we did similar things!

I was a waitress in a Jewish deli when I was a teenager, and then I worked for a caterer. Writing, however, was the real passion.  I went to college on a writing scholarship but then I got nervous - I mean, who actually gets published? No one! How will I pay back my student loans?

The odds seemed stacked against success, so I changed my major to business and got a degree in real estate/construction management. 

Mary: Whoa, that's a drastic change--but guarantees a way to pay back those loans.

Later, after I became a Christian,  I felt like the Lord was showing me: Don't look at the odds, keep your eyes on me, God, like Peter did when he was upon the water. God is not subject to odds.
 
We will achieve all the good works he has prepared for us, in advance, to do. There is nothing you are called to do that you cannot do, but also no way to open a door he has shut. Once we get a hold of that, it's easier to step away from fear.

Mary: Good words, Sandra.

A friend, who is a talented writer but as of yet still unpublished, recently told me that it was difficult being at a writer's conference. All the unpubbed authors were envious of those who were published. 

The thing is - your publication status has nothing to do with wrestling with the green monster - envy.  Once you're published, you'll be tempted to compare your sales to someone else's, your reviews to someone else's, what your publisher does for you to what they do for someone else.  Best if you can just refuse to compare yourself with other writers, knowing that the books you have been called to write were set apart just for you, and you just have to be faithful to that calling.

Mary: And this is true for any career, right readers?.

On a very basic level, it's been fun, as an author, to understand just what a phrase like "author of our faith" means, all that goes into authoring books - and faith!  It's interesting to take the concepts of a good book: start on the day everything changes, introduce the conflict, see it develop, see difficulties arise, see them overcome, see evil be addressed, and goodness prevail then bring it all back full circle, and watch how scripture, completely true, follows those principles.   


Eric Liddell said, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure," and I think for me, when I write, I feel God's pleasure, the oneness of partnering with Him.  It's how I know I'm doing what He created me to do.  I hope I can be faithful to the vision He's given me.

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Sandra's first typewriter!
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books.

Sandra's new series, Daughters of Hampshire, historically sound Gothic romances, launched in 2015 with Book One: Mist of Midnight. Her book, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, will publish October 1, 2015.

Check out her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for tweens and teens, including the best-selling, The One Year Be-Tween You and God, Devotions For Girls.

She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self-publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year via novelcoaching.com.

Here is how you can connect with Sandra:

www.sandrabyrd.com  You can find all of my books, reviews, and some fun blog posts here

www.novelcoaching.com  My second career passion is coaching novelists at all career stages; I've mentored new writers for 15 years.

Sandra'sTwitter Sometimes I tweet (not as often as I should, as a Byrd)
Sandra'sFacebook I'd love for us to be friends!
Sandra'sPinterest I have fun pinning new pictures
Sandra'sInstagram And taking some, too!
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CLICK HERE To see or buy
MIST OF MIDNIGHT
Midst of Midnight
In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

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To enter the contest for a copy of 
Sandra's new release:
Mist of Midnight:
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already

Sorry, US only

The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Sandra, for joining us this weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!


23 comments:

  1. Very brave to put in a Christmas picture. I love her writing.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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    1. LOL! I thought she was brave for putting in a throw back pic. I think we all have similar pics. This is the age when we see to get those very important gifts. Mine was a guitar. I taught myself how to play then used it in children's church.

      All this aside, don't you think her new book sounds incredible???

      Good chatting with you this morning, Virginia.

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  2. I never really stopped to think how difficult it must be for some unpublished authors to attend writers conference with so many published authors.

    The books sounds great-I just love books set in England! Thanks

    Janella

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    1. Janella,
      Only sometimes does it feel that way. I think it happens when our hopes are very high and others get the success we don't. When that happens to me, I head for the prayer room and get my thinking straightened out.

      I think you're gonna love this book by Sandra. I must admit I love the stories set in England, too.

      Thanks so much for joining our chat today!

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  3. It wasn't terribly brave to submit that picture - it was taken while I was young enough to look good first thing in the morning! : ) Thank you for reading and loving my books, Virginia. And J Grace, I hope you'll give Mist of Midnight a try. I love books set in England, too!

    Thanks for having me on, Mary. It's a pleasure!

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  4. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Isn't our faith all about trusting Him, not only what our eyes can see or our society proclaims? Yay!

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    1. So true, Angie. Although, I must admit there are times this is easier said than done. That's when I am so glad God has an open prayer policy, and gives us great friends.

      Good to see you today!!

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    2. Hey Angie - see my response to you under Caryl, below. :)

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  5. I've already read this book so please don't enter me into the contest. I just wanted to say that I loved it! A true Gothic romance! It's definitely one of my top reads of 2015 (I know authors want to know so yes, I've written a review =)). If I may ask, will the Daughters of Hampshire series focus on completely new characters or continue with Rebecca's story (or her children)?

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much for letting us know what you thought of the book!!! I see Sandra has answered your question below.

      I'm so glad you joined us today. I loved chatting with you.

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    2. Lis - see my response to you below, under Caryl. I was, apparently, having a tech malfunction!! :D

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  6. Great interview with Sandra. I can't wait to read MIST OF MIDNIGHT! :)

    I follow via email and facebook
    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thank you, Angie, and yes, it is! Fatih requires stepping forward.

      Lis - Hugs from afar for telling me you loved the book AND for writing a review! No, the books are all standalone, though all Gothic romance, and all taking place in Victorian England. Each will, of course, have a little bit different feel from the others. Book 2, Bride of Poseidon, takes place in 1851 and has a Maltese flavor to it. Book 3, Angels of Light, will be set in the late 1880s and takes place in London and Hampshire. I do hope you'll enjoy!!

      Caryl, thanks for putting Mist on your TBR list. I have a stack - so I know when anyone adds my books it's a huge honor!

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    2. Hey, Caryl!
      How yah doing?
      I know--I'm excited to get a copy as well. This is going to be a really good read.
      Good to see you today :)

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  7. "Mist of Midnight" looks and sounds like a great book! I read your French Twist books and thoroughly enjoyed them so I know this will be a winner in my book too (no pun intended, or maybe there was...I'll never tell ;-))
    I have a similar Christmas picture of when I was 12, I got a Mickey Mouse watch that I was so proud of because it was exactly what I wanted! It was my first watch...I must have had it for several years. It had a denim watchband, I remember that. It was a treasure to my young heart :-) And the messy hair just goes with the early Christmas morning present opening *grins*

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Mist of Midnight"! I am also a follower of this blog via email.
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hey Trixi!
      Who knew we'd have so much fun sharing about that special Christmas present and the photo of the moment :)
      I'm so glad you've had a chance to read some of Sandra's books. You are one of the experts we've had chatting with us today! This new book of hers looks to be another sure fire winner :)
      I'm so glad you came today!

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    2. Hi, Trixi! Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you loved the French Twist books, too. So funny about your watch - I remember and kept, my first Cinderella watch, too, with its pretty pink band. I might still have it. I should go look! :) Have a wonderful day!

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  8. This was a good post. Thanks mary for hosting Sandra. I would love a chance to win her book. Have tried before with no success. Thanks, Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. I'm honored that you keep trying, Maxie! Blessings on your weekend!

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    2. Hi, Maxie!
      I'm so happy to see you today and glad I had a chance to chat with you. I always look forward to your visits. Your name is definitely in the drawing. :)

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  9. It;s great to visit with you Mary Vee. Happy Birthday to your daughter. I hope she has a wonderful day ! This is at the top of my to be read list. The atmosphere and scenery is there. I am so excited at the though of reading this. Hopefully soon !
    Deanne Cnnamongirl
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for putting Mist of Midnight at the top of your list, Deanne! I appreciate it, and I hope you love it. The atmosphere and scenery were so fun to write; each time I drive through the mist in my own neighborhood, it brings me right back!

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    2. Oooo, I like your words, "atmosphere and scenery", Deanne. Those are realy key to drawing me into a story, too. They set up the characters and paint pictures in my mind. Good point.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes for my daughter. She called and told me she had fun with some friends. That's the way it should be for a college kid.:)

      I'm so glad you stopped by to chat with us today!

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Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts mean so much.