Author Interview with Lauren Brandenburg & Book Giveaway!

Hey y’all! Today we’re getting to know fellow author, speaker, and educator, Lauren Brandenburg! 


Lauren will be giving a copy of her latest release “Orlo the Created”. Be sure to enter to win below!

Welcome Lauren!

Lauren is a speaker and advocate for home education, as well as author of the middle-grade series The Books of the Gardener and creative writing curriculum, The Engaged Writer. Her novels are recognized as a “Top Safe Read” and “Top Read Aloud” for young readers in the homeschool community. She is active in ACFW and Masterpiece Ministries. Lauren and her husband, Jamie, live in Nashville, Tennessee with their two children.

Tell us about your latest novel, writing project etc and any personal inspiration behind it.

Oh, how I would love to give you all the details! But as it is currently being shopped, I think it wise to hold off a bit. I will say that it is an adult contemporary and probably my most favorite piece I have ever written. There are glimpses of my own story in the midst of massive financial loss, sprinkled with some larger than life characters, a lovely town, and a flea market . . . and macaroons. Yes, macaroons are very important!

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

Happy to share! I am currently cleaning up my fifth children’s novel—Orlo: The Burdened, outlining the sixth in the series—Orlo: The Chosen, and brainstorming the follow-up to my adult contemporary (it’s my happy place).

What is your favorite scripture and why?

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

When I am afraid or worried, the Father reminds me to think on what is true—it has helped me through many dark moments. Recently, the idea of dwelling on things that are lovely has consumed me in such a fun, calming way. I have found peace in thinking on the lovely, finding the joy in simplicity, and looking beyond that which is not glorifying to our Father. Think lovely thoughts!

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them? (ie I can’t stand to fold socks. Torture!)

Folding! I am 100% guilty of leaving clothes in the dryer and running it multiple times until I finally feel like folding them. I’ve also been known to stuff said clean dry clothes in a laundry basket then three days later-ish have to put them back in the dryer for fluffing and wrinkle releasing. Oh, and the words “Have you checked in the dryer?” have come out of my mouth on multiple occasions as my kiddos search for martial arts uniforms, socks, undies, etc. (The dryer just now buzzed as I am typing this! LOL It’s a first round dry, but since there are wet items in the washer, into the basket the dry clothes will go!)

Are you a veteran or do you have someone in your family that served in the Military? Tell us a little bit about your service or their service; it’s our way of honoring you/them. 
I’ve always told people that I grew up I a military family even though my dad was unable to directly serve. My brother currently serves in the Navy, my grandfather served in the Army during WWII, my uncle is a retired Army Ranger, and my other uncle serves in the National Guard. As a young child my dad contracted hystoplasmosis  (my entire childhood I was forbidden to pick up a feather or play in our attic because of it). The illness left my dad’s lungs so scarred that on an x-ray it appeared that he once had tuberculosis. Because of the scarring, my dad was not permitted to actively serve our country in the armed forces. However, he raised me to honor our leaders, respect our military, and respect our country’s flag—I’d say he served his country well.

If you could switch genres in your writing, in which genre would you choose to write your next novel? 
https://goo.gl/j0F25R
(Click image to purchase)
I thought that I would always write for children. I had accepted it as my identity and envisioned many book signings chatting with young fans. Not once did I see myself writing for adults, but then . . . But then I shared a wild idea with my agent. She encouraged me to get it on paper and test-drive it before several publishing houses. Along the way, I think I found myself. I had many real conversations with the Father about who I was trying to be and the design he actually had in mind. So a genre switch . . . how about Children’s Speculative to Adult Humorous Duel Timeline! I’ll finish my children’s series, but I have a feeling I will land somewhere else.

Let’s play a game of favorites! Feel free to elaborate.

Favorite Dessert: Chocolate. Oh wait, I should be more specific . . . Chocolate Cake (unless it is winter and then a cozy cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate will do the trick). But if it is my birthday, Red Velvet Cake (It’s really chocolate cake dyed red with a unique cream cheese icing, so it counts as chocolate, right?)

Favorite Restaurant: Banana Leaf Modern Thai in Cincinnati! (BEST CURRY EVER!)

Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army) : Navy (Shout out to my baby brother!)

Favorite Genre of Music:Alternative (Is that still a genre?) My daughter and I are on a Twenty-One Pilots kick right now! Rumors that make it okay to listen to this band: One of them was homeschooled. One was a youth pastor. Their music has Christian overtones.

Favorite Subject in School: English (I have no fun comments on this, just English.)
Connect with Lauren:

Email – Lauren@TBOTG.com

Amazon (Orlo: The Created) – https://goo.gl/j0F25R
 We’ve had such a great time getting to know Lauren! Enter to win a copy of “Orlo the Created” below!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just Start: Giveaway & Writing Advice from Guest Blogger, and Author Cyn Taylor

Today we welcome guest blogger and author, Cyn Taylor! She’s got some great writing advice to share, AND she’s giving away a copy of  Book 1 in the Smoky Mountain Mist series, “Blue Mountain Sky”!! Enter to win below!

JUST START
Many folks live by the mantra that life is all about the journey. As a writer, I disagree. The journey to becoming a published author is fraught with perils. Who wants to live like that?
Your book begins with joy and elation; much like bringing a first child into the world. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration — but it’s my analogy, and I’m sticking to it.)
Soon we come to the middle of our tale. Let’s correlate this period of writing with the teen years of the child you birthed earlier. Joy and elation gives way to gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. This may be why there are so many bald authors.
We make it through the meat of our story. Whew! Now let’s wrap this up. However, finding the perfect ending can be as elusive as that candy bar that keeps sliding just out of reach under the seat of your car. Sure, you’re the one that hid it there due to a complete inability to share. However, you didn’t know at the time how far into the clutches of darkness a car floorboard could go.
Finally, the perfect words fly from your brain, down your arms and to your fingertips as you tap the computer keyboard as fast as the Flash can dart. The beginning is tempting, the middle moves the story along and the ending, well, IMPAC Dublin Award here we come.
Have a nice cup of tea and take a moment to catch your breath, because now the real work begins; finding a publisher that agrees with your assessment of the book. Once that happens (yes, sometimes fairy tales do come true) it’s on to the world of marketing. Let’s leave that experience for another day.
I wrote my first novel more than twenty-five years ago. I rewrote that book ten years ago. Then revised said book a couple of years ago. It wasn’t that I wanted to keep changing the story. I just wanted to be published.
Having first written the book as Romantic Fiction, I submitted it to Harlequin. Their response was along the lines of “We have numerous books at this point. We’ll get back to you.” They didn’t. Hence, the next rewrite.
Inspirational Romance was hitting the market big time. I moved my characters into a Christian setting, added suspense and a bit of humor. I got to know my characters better and felt an attachment to them. I submitted to various Christian publishers. Responses varied from “Not what we’re looking for at this time” to “We would love to help you self-publish.” BLAH!
When I took a job as a photojournalist for a community paper, I began looking at my book through the eyes of a reporter. Hence the next revision. That one was a mistake.
Click Here to Purchase
Click Image to Purchase

My characters needed more depth. I tried reading Christian Romantic Fiction and found myself falling asleep. While this was good for my health, it did nothing towards helping me become a better writer.

A friend suggested I read Stephen King’s book On Writing.” I always found his stories terrifying and was never a fan. Now when I’m asked what helped me most in improving my writing I recommend this book. King is entertaining and the master at turning a phrase.
As I worked on redeveloping my first book, I had the idea of making it into a series set in the Great Smoky Mountains, my area. Before I had rewritten book one I was well on my way through books two and three. I had found my niche. I finished book one. Again. I started searching for a publisher. Again.
During this search, I received an assignment to interview a local author. I was impressed with her book so I bought it and saw her publisher listed.
I submitted my first book Blue Mountain Sky”to Mantle Rock Publishing in October of 2015. Editor Kathy Cretsinger liked it enough to send a contract. The book released July 2016. Book two in this series “Red Morning Glory” released January 2017. Book three “Dawn’s Gray Light” should be available later this year or early 2018. The genre is Faith-based Contemporary Romantic Suspense.
Click Here to Purchase
Click Image to Purchase

So here we are at the end of this particular story. That of a published author. How do we wrap this up? Let’s not. As a believer, I know that our stories are never ending. We all play a small part in the greater story woven by God.

If you have words stuck in your head, get them out. Put them on paper. Record them. Share them. Open yourself up to change. Don’t be afraid to self-promote. You may write the next great American novel. You’ll never know if you don’t start.
Happy writing!
Cyn Taylor
Weaving fiction, speaking Truth

ABOUT CYN:

Cyn Taylor lives and plays in Knoxville Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. She and husband Brent live on his family farm at the peak of Thunder Ridge along with a feral cat and other woodland creatures who come round to visit. They have two adult children and seven grandchildren. 
As a former freelance photo journalist, Cyn has written faith, community and feature articles.  
Cyn gets some of the best inspiration for her books when she accompanies Brent on fly fishing excursions to the Smokies. He fishes. She writes. Life is good.

CONNECT WITH CYN: 
Email:  cyntaylor2016@gmail.com
Web: cyntaylor2016.wix.com/blog
Instagram: Cyn Taylor author

ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF CYN’S BOOK 1: BLUE MOUNTAIN SKY

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Historical Fiction: Researching Your Novel Successfully by Sara R. Turnquist

Hello, this is Sara R. Turnquist. I fight dragons off when they scare my daughter, I mop up milk

messes when my little boy spills his cup, and I dry many, many tears throughout the day. To top it all of, I write Historical Fiction. I know Hannah has a passion for history, so she can relate to my own heartbeat after this genre. Today, I want to delve into some of the pieces that make Historical Fiction unique among other genres.
RESEARCH. Writing may be a bear, but writing historical fiction is a whole different animal. Not that it’s more difficult, just different. All writing requires research. But, as you can imagine, the research for historical fiction is on another level. Not only do you have to dig into the settings, for example, you have to find out what it was like during the time period you are writing in. That can be tricky. Is that information even available? Thanks to the internet, there is more information at your fingertips, but there are many, many rabbit trails awaiting you. And a lot of false information out there. Contrary to popular belief, not everything on the internet is true 🙂. So, you are researching setting, weather/seasons, along with facts and events. But, again, you must be careful what resources you use. Wikipedia is a great place to start, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on that information. Look at their references at the bottom of the page and utilize those sources. They are likely better places to get the ball rolling on your research.
Author Sara R. Turnquist

REMEMBER IT’S STILL ABOUT YOUR STORY. Now that you’ve got your research under your belt, how do you weave it into your story? The historical information should support your story, not the other way around. Your story is the reason people are reading your book. If they wanted to learn about the Ptolemaic Period in Egypt, for example, they would probably seek out a textbook. But they are more interested in your characters and the challenges they are facing, their plight. The twists and turns that you, the author, have waiting for them. So, stay true to your story. Let the research guide you and inspire you, yes, but not to the point where it becomes overbearing in your story. Again, weavethe details into your story. You want to be as historically accurate as you can be, but do not lose sight of that spark, the initial nugget, the gem that started you on this journey – your original idea.

IT’S ABOUT REAL LIFE. The other thing about Historical Fiction that I find is unique (and I might be overstepping here) is that these happenings that you discover along the way are real. These things occurred. Real people suffered and died. For me, it pulls at my heartstrings and can make it challenging to write sometimes. Because I want to respect those who endured such hardships and be responsible with the information. One of my works in progress is about the Trail of Tears, for example. What a struggle it has been to write about the atrocities the Cherokee faced! But their story needs to be told. For so many reasons.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Generals-Wife-Sara-Turnquist-ebook/dp/B01A9FDT9E/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=sasde06-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=DGJQFSEETVP4VISP&creativeASIN=B01A9FDT9E
I truly could go on and on. My novel that just came out, “The General’s Wife” takes place during a

period in history that holds particular fascination for me – the Ptolemaic Period in ancient Egypt. That is the backdrop and the support for the story of a young woman torn from her home and her first love, an arranged marriage, a journey of self-discovery, and this woman’s strength of spirit against those who would despise and resist her very presence among them.


Was there a lot of research? You bet. Was it a dance between information and story? Yes. Were there times it was harder to write? Well, in a sense, yes. Not the same as for the Trail of Tears novel. Capturing the combat aspects of “The General’s Wife” was challenging because I don’t have the military experience that Hannah does 🙂. Yet, as any other writer, I strove to hone my craft through the process. That is what it’s all about.
                                 ~   ~   ~
The Fun Continues as We Chat a Bit More with Sara!

As a parent, I know it can be hard to find and make that time to write. So how do you do it? Do you have a favorite time of the day to write? 
Sara:  I schedule my writing time around my kiddos. When they are in “quiet time” (thank you, Jesus!) or when they’re at preschool/school.
Also as a parent…well, sometimes the messes to clean up and organize are endless! Are there things you put off doing because you dread them? (ie I can’t stand to fold socks. Supreme Torture!) 
Sara:Ugh! The dishes!
As a fellow writer, I think we can both agree that storylines of different genres kind of float around in our heads. If were to switch writing genres, which one would you choose to write your next novel? 
Sara: Maybe Science Fiction?
Before we go, let’s play a game of Sara’s Favorites!

Favorite Dessert: pie
Favorite Restaurant: Liberty Park Grille
Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army, lol ) : Marines
Favorite Genre of Music: Christian
Favorite Subject in School: Drama
Sara, thanks for being a guest with us today and for providing EXCELLENT information on researching material that can be applied to many genres. THANK YOU! 🙂 
Readers, enter to win an e-copy of Sara’s latest novel, 
“The General’s Wife” below:  

CONNECT WITH SARA:

http://saraturnquist.com/

Twitter:  @sarat1701

New Release Novel Spotlight: The General’s Wife by Sara R. Turnquist


 The General’s Wife
 by Sara R. Turnquist 
New Book Release & Excerpt!!!!!

Ismene, a beautiful, somewhat naïve, young noblewoman, is torn from her childhood home in Greece and her first love. Bound by honor and duty, she marries Pharaoh’s chief military commander, Alistair. Though determined to remain true to the man she left behind, her new husband stirs feelings in her she cannot ignore.

Attempting to accept this brazen new culture, it isn’t long before she discovers that the locals don’t like her. The Alexandrian mob starts making anonymous threats. This faceless group will stop at nothing to achieve its goal of driving out the unwelcome Greeks. In the midst of these heightening attacks, the general must leave for battle. Ismene fears that she is on her own.

Evidence of a spy within her own household arises. It soon becomes apparent that one of these Egyptian rebels wants her dead. The safety of Ismene, and possibly the entire ruling class of Egypt, hangs in the balance.
 
Sara has been a guest on my blog before, and I am delighted to have her return, especially with a new book release to share with us! Sara will join us again next week as well!  

So, Sara! Welcome! Let’s get started! The General’s wife is Historical Fiction?
     Yes, but there is definitely a romance in the book that drives the story.

Care to share the more historically significant events behind your story? I’m all about some history.
      Well, my favorite thing that I uncovered was that Ptolemy II was a great supporter of the Library of Alexandria. In fact, he was on a mission to see the collection within grown to something like 500,000 scrolls. Not only that, it was during his reign that the Septuagint was written. This was the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek.

What was your inspiration for The General’s Wife?

    I’m going to share a little secret with you…I hated history as a high school/college student. But I excelled at it. The only thing I ever enjoyed about history was Egyptian history. I devoured everything my teachers/professors shared about ancient Egypt. And I clearly remember the first time I heard about this period (the Ptolemaic period). I was amazed – Greeks ruling Egypt as Pharaohs!?!? And so I happily delved into any and all resources I could come across. Be they museum, book, discovery channel movie…you name it.
I love history, historical fiction, and I know a lot of readers do as well…especially such an interesting time frame. You’ve done your research! Lots going on back then!!! And being an Army wife, you know I LOVE the military element to your story!

Thank you for being with us today and sharing your latest release, and we can’t wait to hear from you again next week! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara is originally from Clarksville, TN where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys writing and spending time with her family traveling. Sara is the author of The Lady Bornekova and a member of the ACFW.
CONNECT WITH SARA

PURCHASE 
Readers can pick up a copy of The General’s Wife through any of the following venues:

Enjoy and excerpt from The General’s Wife: 
A frown was etched into Alistair’s features. The sight before him caused his whole body to tense up. It was a sight that had greeted his staff early that morning. Neterka had been the only one brave enough to bring him out there to see it.
“Get it off,” he said, each word enunciated and pushed out of his mouth with force. There were plenty of servants gathered around, but he spoke to no one in particular.
On the inner wall of their great garden two symbols, two words, were splayed across the wall in what could only be blood. The thick, red, viscous liquid had dried as it ran, in stripes reaching to the ground.
A din of whispered conversation among the servants could be heard, but only just. No one wanted to speak out for fear of enraging the general further. Many of the servants were unable to read Greek and had no idea what important message was scarred into their master’s most prized sanctuary. As if the vandalism alone wasn’t enough to evoke a great anger in him, the message itself had pushed him closer to the edge of violence. They had never seen their kind master in such a state.
“What is everybody…” Ismene’s voice interrupted their musings. No one, not even Alistair, had even noticed that she had arrived at the grand estate, least of all made it all the way out to the gardens. Her voice, which started light and happy, trailed off as she noticed the source of everyone’s fixation.
There were many audible gasps as the servants, like Alistair, turned and saw Ismene’s paled face, her mouth moving as if trying to form words, though none came forth.
Alistair rushed over to her, “Ismene, don’t look…it’s…” he said, trying to turn her away, to go back in direction she had just come.
It was only then that he realized—the message—it was for her. Ismene and Alonah came to the gardens each day to check on her tiger lilies. This wall faced the entrance into the gardens closest to her bedchambers, the entrance she came through every day. How did anyone outside of his house and Pharaoh’s know that? His heart sank. There was a leak in one of these houses.
Ismene stood her ground, refusing to let Alistair turn her away. She was shaking.
“Who…what…I don’t understand,” she managed after several seconds. As she glanced up at him, he could see tears in her dark eyes as she repeated the terrible words that were written there. “Go home?”
His heart ached for her.
“Who wants me to go home?” she asked, voice breaking, clearly injured by the implications.
He pulled her into his firm embrace.
She began to cry.
“Shh, shh.” He soothed her, rubbing her shoulders. “It’s all right. It doesn’t mean anything.”
He knew it wasn’t all right. She was in a foreign land, a place she was still having great difficulty adjusting to—a place where she was surrounded by people she didn’t know and who were so different from her. She was still adapting to these new people, a new culture, a new way of doing things, a new government…a new way of life. This must have been her worst fear confirmed. Not only did she not know these people, not only were they foreign in many ways, they did not want her here.
He kissed the top of her head. “Don’t give it any thought, Ismene. Remember last night. Remember how the people cheered for you. They loved you!”
Her crying stilled for a moment.
“This is the work of one person who is dissatisfied with me and is doing this to get back at me. This is not about you. I promise,” he lied. He was quite certain this was at least the truth in part. But he feared that it may be the work of the Alexandrian mob and it may well be aimed at her.
Ismene allowed him to comfort her a little longer, but before he was ready to let go, she started to pull away. With reluctance, he released his hold on her. He then tugged on her arm more firmly until she was facing the direction she had just come, her back to the wall and the horrible message.
“Alonah, please take the Lady Ismene to her bedchambers. I’ll have some refreshments brought for her.” He made sure that there was no room for argument in his voice.
Alonah took Ismene’s arm and led her back inside, away from the small crowd and the offensive markings.
Alistair watched them go. Once they were inside and a safe distance away, he spun back toward the small crowd of servants.
“Get. It. Off.” His voice sharp and his words heated; the words penetrated the air, thick with apprehension, before he stormed off.

 ~~~

Angels Among Us: A Christmas Short Story Collection

http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Among-Inspirational-Celebrate-Christmas-ebook/dp/B018AMMTAI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1449721049&sr=8-2&keywords=hannah+conway 
Indeed, God’s Angels are among us! 

What a joy it was to join together with Kim and Darlene, two fantastic authors, to bring these fictitious stories to life! Truly an honor to join forces with these talented ladies.

I’ve never written a Christmas themed story, nor ever considered doing so until the offer came…and then my mind went berserk with ideas, scenarios etc.  Of course I wanted it to have a military-ish theme…that’s kinda part of my writer thing. So, after several brainstorming sessions, and hair-pulling (exaggerating a bit), it came together.

My tale, Brighter than a Bronze Star, follows Zander, a warrior angel embarked on a mission far from his comfort zone and in close proximity to the mortal world. Lives are at stake, dark forces swarm around, and Zander must not fail even when God’s orders are unclear, and difficult to obey.

Along the way, you’ll meet Judah, an Army medic questioning his life path, and Claire, a young editor addicted to work to keep past hurts from catching up to her.

Will Zander succeed in his mission, or will the enemy prevail? Will Judah find his path or continue to wonder aimlessly? Will Claire discover the strength she needs to let go and move forward, or remain captive to her hurt?

This Christmas, angels are among us in the most unique way! Enjoy these three short stories for .99 on Amazon, or FREE on Kobo.

Merry Christmas, Dear Reader!

Other books from Hannah Conway:

http://www.hannahrconway.com/p/books.html
http://www.hannahrconway.com/p/books.html

The Lady BorneKova: Meet the Author & Amazon Gift Card Giveway!

http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Bornekova-Sara-R-Turnquist-ebook/dp/B010RNKE7S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438914073&sr=8-1&keywords=the+lady+bornekovaHello Dear Readers! Today we have Author Sara R. Turnquist here with us! She’s giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card, my friends! Enter to win below. Share with your friends and family for more entry points! And now, enjoy getting to know Sara! She’s a fabulous person & talented author!

 
Welcome Sara! Please tell us about your latest novel, and any personal inspiration behind it.

The Lady Bornekova is set in the Czech Republic on the cusp of the Hussite Wars. Which were a religious civil war of sorts for the Czech (Bohemian) peoples. My novel follows the journey of one young lady, Karin Bornekova, and what happens to her throughout the events leading up to the start of the Hussite Wars. My personal inspiration? For several summers just after I graduated college, I went over to the Czech Republic on short term mission trips to teach English to college students. I absolutely fell in love with the culture, the country, the people. I was very inspired. Each year, our team leader would find something unique for us to do to kick off our time in the Czech Republic. One year we went to visit this massive chateau outside of Hradec Kralove. Touring the chateau and the grounds was the inspiration for this story.

 
http://saraturnquist.com/That’s so interesting! And it all sounds so beautiful! I know you’ve finished this novel, but do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I have just finished working on a novel set during the Trail of Tears. It’s been a really difficult novel to write. The Native Americans suffered so much between the removals and the actual journey along the trail. I am finding it a daunting task to undertake to do justice to the historical events and honor the people who endured these events. But there is a story to tell and I’m determined to tell it.

I admire that determination and appreciate the passion you show for historical events. Writing can be a daunting task at times. Is there a favorite time of the day you like to write to help with the writing process? What about a favorite place?

I write whenever I can. I have three small kids ages 6 and under, so it’s really whenever I can! Sometimes that’s naptime, sometimes that’s at night…whenever. A favorite place? I have a little makeshift desk and comfy chair in the bedroom that I write at most of the time. But I have to share the scene with my husband when it’s finished. I just need the sounding board and instant feedback.

We’re in agreement there. There’s something about reading what you’ve written aloud that helps ALOT. Now, you’re a follower of Christ. Many of our readers are as well. Could you share with us your favorite scripture and why?

For I have not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7; I just love that this verse speaks to where I struggle so much with mommy fears and Sara fears and silly fears…and a little craziness. Honestly. But God doesn’t want me to be fearful, He hasn’t given me a spirit of fearfulness, but a spirit that is powerful and is full of love. And I just love that He even speaks to my other insecurities here and tells me that He gives me a sound mind! Love. It.

I love that too! I’ve dealt with the same thing! Thank you for sharing. Now onward we go! I’m an Army Wife, and all Military Wives have to be flexible. Plans change at the drop of a hat. So, pretend you’re a Military Wife. Ok. Ready?! Your spouse came down on orders to relocate and you’ve got 30 days to move. What are the first three things you do to prepare? GO!

I assume you mean the first three things after I freak out, right? First things first, a list. I always, always, always need my lists. Next I’d prioritize my list (boring, right? But true, so true). Then I’d arrange a family meeting with a full blown typed out Itinerary and “To Do” lists for everyone. Yeah…I’m that person.

LOVE the response! I giggled out loud! 🙂 I FOR REAL carried a clipboard around with me during each move we’ve made! You’ve given great advice! Let’s see what other nuggets of wisdom you have to offer. I’m a Stay-at-Home-Momma of two. It gets a bit crazy around my house especially when I have edits to get to! Could you share some advice for all those parents out there raising their babies?

It’s really okay if you can’t “do it all”. There’s nothing wrong with calling in reinforcements or getting help. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or lacking in you. It means you’re human like the rest of us. That whole 80s/90s “women can do it all/have it all” garbage is just that – garbage. No one can do it all, at least not well. Something will suffer. That’s what we have back-up for. Whether that’s hubby, or family, or friends, or babysitters, or a mother’s helper…use the resources God is giving you.

That’s even BETTER advice! Thank you for sharing with us, Sara! Before we move on to excerpts, and the giveaway info (squeal!!!!), is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? I know they’d love a personal note.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Sara, and thank you to all who stopped by! Remember to enter the $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway below!!

~ BOOK EXCERPT (Oh I love these little snippets!!) ~
Karin sighed as she leaned on Pavel’s strong shoulder in blissful sleep. They had not been underway for long, but the movement of the carriage had rocked her to sleep in no time. Pavel’s nerves worked double-time, having her so close to him. But he dare not move away, lest he wake her. So, he sat still, enjoying the same kind of closeness he had earlier that evening. The contact, while they danced, had been exciting. This was peaceful but, due to his nervousness, elating all the same. As she rested, he listened to the rhythmic clip-clop of the carriage. Just then, Pavel was startled by a crunching sound, followed by a loud crack! The carriage pitched to the side. He grabbed Karin and held her tight to his body. Karin awoke with a start, eyes wide.
“Don’t move!” he commanded, wrapping his arms tighter around her as the carriage landed hard, jolting them both. It continued to roll, slamming them into the side, threatening to throw them out of the carriage window into an even more dangerous position. Pavel kept his body stiff and held on to Karin. He could barely breathe. It was his body that had slammed into the wall and cushioned Karin’s hit. The car had not stopped moving, and it threatened to roll onto the roof, teetering precariously between the roof and side. How much longer could he hold onto her? How much longer could they endure?
~ ABOUT THE LADY BORNEKOVA ~
http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Bornekova-Sara-R-Turnquist-ebook/dp/B010RNKE7S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438914073&sr=8-1&keywords=the+lady+bornekova
The red-headed Karin is strong-willed and determined, something she inherited from her father. She tries to keep her true nature a secret to avoid being deemed a traitor by those loyal to the king. Karin and her father butt heads over her duty to her family and the Czech Crown. She is then sequestered to the Royal Viscount’s hunting lodge.
Not aware of everything that is happening, she becomes the target of an individual with murderous intent. Her heart soon becomes entangled though her father intends to wed her to another. The turmoil inside Karin deepens and reflects the turmoil of her homeland, on the brink of the Hussite Wars.

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

http://saraturnquist.com/Sara resides with her family in Middle TN and though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara’s great love of the written word has always drawn her to write. An avid reader, she has been, for many years, what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic for short stints in the summer over several years. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The LadyBornekovaset in the Czech town of Hradec Kralove.

~ STAY CONNECTED WITH SARA ~

Email: sara.turnquist.st@gmail.com

Facebook: Sara R. Turnquist
Twitter: @sarat1701

 
~ GIVEAWAY ~
 

Author Spotlight & Novel Giveaway with Molly Jebber!

Welcome Dear Readers! Today we have Author Molly Jebber with us! She’s giving away a print copy of  her novel, A Change of Heart! Enter to win below! Share with your friends and family for more entry points!

Meet Molly!
Molly Jebber is the author of CHANGE OF HEART, an Amish historical romance. Fascinated by the Amish history, culture, Molly perused her passion to write.  Her love or writing led to a book deal with Kensington Publishing as well as three more titles debuting in 2015/2016. Publisher’s Weekly magazine announced and listed this book number three in their best ten romance review list for 2015. Molly loves God, her family and friends. She likes swimming, reading, golf, and spending time with her husband, Ed, daughter, Misty and friends.


Molly, please tell us about your latest novel, writing project etc and any personal inspiration behind it.
Becca Carrington, my heroine, is thrown into a world unknown to her. She encounters danger and difficult people. I wanted to show how her Amish upbringing and faith in God remain throughout her new life when faced with conflict and drama.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
“Change of Heart” is the first in a three-book keepsake pocket quilt theme series. The second book is finished and will be released in February, 2016. My Christmas story, “An Unexpected Christmas Blessing” is part of an anthology along with Amy Lillard and Kelly Long. The overall title for this book is “The Christmas Sleigh”. Each of us wrote Amish themed stories. This book will be released October 30, 2015. All of these books are available in stores and online wherever books are sold.

For all the folks out there read, could you share with us your favorite scripture and why?
Philippians 4:19 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” KJV – This verse reminds me with God anything is possible, and that He’s always there for me.

Before we give away more info on Change of Heart, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? I know they’d love a personal note.
Readers, without you, there would be no reason for me to write. The greatest thrill for me is to hear that you are enjoying my stories. That my stories provide a “little getaway” for you and makes you happy.
Thank you for being with us today, Molly, and thank you Dear Readers for stopping by! Remember to enter to win a copy of Change of Heart below.

Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

Ohio, 1899.  Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith’s strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

 With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

Connect with Molly:

Email:     mollyjebber@yahoo.com
Twitter:      @mollymjebber
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Author Spotlight with Darlene Wells & Novel Giveway!!

Welcome Dear Readers! Today we have Author Darlene Wells with us! I have come to really enjoy getting to know her, and I know you will as well. She’s giving away a signed copy of the first two books in her Days of Grace Trilogy, Redeeming Luke, and Finding Olivia. Enter to win below! Share with your friends and family for more entry points!

Meet Darlene!

Darlene lives in the San Francisco North Bay, in California, with her husband of nearly 27 years, her two college age sons, and her only daughter, a 15 year old Shih Tzu named, Lucy. She has been an ACFW member since 2004 and currently writes for Indie Publishing Group, Wings of Hope. Darlene has authored two solo novels, and two novellas, all of which can be found on Amazon.com

 

The Book Blurb Sizzle for Finding Olivia!!

Convinced that Hollywood holds the key to her future joy and contentment, Olivia Hawkins refuses to pay heed to the voices that warn her of the inherent dangers.
Nathan Grant, an ordained minister has seen Hollywood ruin more lives than he cares to count, especially the one for which he carries a burden of guilt. He won’t stand by and watch it happen again.
Excitement, rejection, and terrifying betrayal daunt Olivia’s journey and threaten her relationship with God. Caught in a struggle between worldly fame and fame in the eyes of the One who created her, she must decide which is of greater worth: stardom or true peace?
 

 
Darlene, thank you for being here with us today! Can you give us a little inspiration behind this novel?
My latest novel is titled, Finding Olivia. It is the second novel in my Days of Grace trilogy, the first being Redeeming Luke.  The inspiration was to take a character from the first book, and take her on her own journey of finding herself in Christ. The main character, Olivia, had a prevalent presence in Redeeming Luke, and I felt her story had just begun.  Writing her story was truly a roller coaster!
Ha! I totally get that whole writing a roller coaster story! So…it’s just us talking here…well…and others peeping in, but care to share on any current projects you’re working on?
The project I’m working on now is titled, Loving Tilly. It’s the third book in the Days of Grace trilogy, which takes us right back to the setting of the first book in the series. I knew readers wanted to see more of those characters, so this way, they can while also meeting a new character in Tilly.
Thanks so much for cluing us in! Looking forward to dive into that book!
Switching gears and getting a little personal. I’d love if you’d share your favorite scripture with us.
2 Corinthians 12:9. Because God gave it to me during a difficult time of fighting clinical depression, showing me that Paul had a thorn in his flesh as well, but that God’s grace IS sufficient, and that His power truly is made perfect in our weakness.
Thanks Darlene, and thank you for answering so personally. You’re right, His power is made perfect in our weakness. I’ve had several times in my life when I’ve felt completely weak.
Now, let’s have a little fun! I’m an Army Wife, and all Military Wives have to be flexible. Plans change at the drop of a hat. So, pretend you’re a Military Wife. Ok. Ready?! Your spouse came down on orders to relocate and you’ve got 30 days to move. What are the first three things you do to prepare? GO!
I panic and call Hannah Conway!
Ha! I totally just laughed out loud!! But seriously now, are you a veteran or do you have someone in your family that served in the Military? We’d love to hear!
My dad was in the Air Force, my father-in-law was as well. My “bonus son” is currently serving in the Navy. A cousin of mine was also in the Navy and taught SEALS to dive. An uncle was in Vietnam and was shot down in a helicopter, which affected him for the rest of his life. He was never the same. I could go on, but suffice it to say, my family is extremely patriotic and takes service to our country very seriously.  I am so proud of our military!
We’re so grateful for your family’s service. I too am so proud of our military men and women!
Ok, this question is for me and all the Stay-at-Home-Mommas out there. It gets a bit crazy around my house especially when I have edits to get to! Could you share some advice for all those parents out there raising their babies?
ENJOY IT!  I remember when my kids were little and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I couldn’t WAIT for them to grow up and be a little more independent.  And now, one is getting ready to move out of the house, and the other will be soon. I wish I had slowed down and taken time to enjoy them while they were little.
Time flies, right? Our time is fading on this post too…so real quick…what are three books every reader should read?
I have two: To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice.
FANTASTIC READS!!! I gotta agree with ya! Ok, we are about outa time…anything you wanna say to your readers?  I know they’d love a personal note.
I would love to say thank you. I have dreamed of being a writer since I was a little girl. Teachers told me I should consider being a writer. And I’ve been working at it for 10 years.  This is a dream come true, and the glory for that goes to God, but what makes an author an author, is READERS!
Darlene, it’s been such a pleasure having you on as our guest! Readers, thank you so much for stopping by! Remember to enter to win two of Darlene’s novels below!

Contact Darlene:

Website:    www.darlenewells.com
Email:         Gracewriter43@yahoo.com
Facebook:  Darlene Wells Christian Fiction Author
Twitter:      @DarleneWells_
Pinterest:    Darlene Wells Author

 a Rafflecopter giveaway//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

A Secret to Keep: Book Review, Extras, & Giveaway!

Keeping secrets is a horrible way to live. Sloane Davis should know.
She’s kept her son a secret from his father for almost a year.
Now, her worst nightmare is coming true. Her ex is re-entering her professional life in the midst of the biggest project of her career. She’s about to come face to face with the only man she’s ever loved – her son’s father.
 
Gates McCall is a brash man. He hasn’t always been this way, but when Sloane walked out on him, something inside him broke. When his company’s newest acquisition brings the two of them together once more, little does he know seeing her will bring back a flood of memories, feelings, and an unexpected surprise.
Purchace your copy here: 

 Barnes&Noble Pre-Order Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-secret-to-keep-railyn-stone/1121917126?ean=2940151590198

 
Railyn Stone hails from the Tar Heel State and is a romantic at heart. She believes you can find romance in the simplest aspects of life and enjoys letting her imagination run wild. Trying new restaurants, listening to music, playing golf and writing over the top stories about ordinary people are the hobbies she cherishes most.
Links for social media
Twitter: @railynwrites
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/railynst

Railyn definitely reels the reader in with a hook of a title and plot line. I jumped at the opportunity to review this novel through Loving The Book. I love the friends of the main characters in this novel, and their down to earth appeal and advice to Sloane and Gates, who both desperately need some wisdom in their lives. I also appreciate the interracial couple…with so much hate in the world, I LOVE a story that shows unity among individuals no matter the skin color or background.

I do say, as a Jesus follower, I wish there were spiritual elements, though, Railyn does not profess to be a Christian Author. Her characters, Sloane and Gates, were intimately involved before marriage, which, God can totally redeem all situations, circumstances etc, if she’d allow. Both main characters have internal struggles that are very real, and I applaud Railyn for being so honest with her characters thoughts/feelings. That whole “I do what I don’t wanna do” thing discussed in the Bible is definitely going on in this book, but without a God factor.  The pacing was a bit too slow, however, I really did want to know how the book ended, so Railyn kept me hanging in there! 🙂

 I give this book 3 stars.

 

Top 10 Movies I love:

1) Pretty Woman
2) The Color Purple
3) Pirates of the Caribbean (All of them)
4) Fast & Furious (All of them)
5) The Wedding Date
6) What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
7) Goodfellas
8) Gone in 60 Seconds
9) Purple Rain
10) The Usual Suspects

Character Casting
Sloane Davis – Tamera Mowry Housley
Gates McCall – Matt Bomer
I have a Pinterest board that shows all of the people I would cast for the entire book. 🙂

Excerpt
Hey, come back to the here and now. Sloane come on, we have to focus. Are you going to be able to do this?” Liyah snapped her fingers in front of Sloane to get her attention. “Sloane? Sloane?”
          Oh, Liyah, I’m sorry. What were you saying?” Just as Liyah was about to answer her, she quieted and Sloane followed her gaze toward the door where her unbelievably handsome ex-fiancé stood.
          “Santo cielo.” Liyah breathed and stood straighter, adjusting her jacket.
          He’s just a man in a suit,” Sloane said, trying to convince herself more than Liyah that he wasjust a man in a suit. She busied herself by stacking and reorganizing an already organized stack of papers. She could feel one single bead of sweat slowly meander its way down her back. But Gates’ magnetic pull soon had her staring at his deep-set hazel orbs. She tried to look away, but there was something about this man who was able to suck her in like cake flour through a sieve.
          He is so not just a man in a suit.” Liyah swallowed hard, shaking her head at Sloane’s dismissal of him. “I’m beginning to understand why you’re so nervous about this. Wow. You know, I didn’t realize how much Brayden looks like him.”
          Shh, keep your voice down.” Sloane tried to move, to blink, to do anything, but her body betrayed her wishes and she could only stare as Gates mingled through the room before he stopped near the two of them. She felt the individual hairs on her neck called to attention as his deep voice rumbled over her.
          Liyah, hello. It’s been a while. Sloane.” Finally regaining her faculties Sloane pulled herself up to her full height of 5 feet 6 inches and smiled. The unmistakable maleness of him filled her senses as she looked into those familiar eyes. Prickly chills scampered up her spine as she stood face to face with the father of her baby boy.
          Hi, Gates.” Liyah interjected, trying to break the obvious awkwardness.
          Gates, it’s good to see you again.” Sloane stammered while inwardly cowering under his intense gaze.
          Is it really?” Smirking, Gates continued past her to meet and shake hands with a few of the representatives from the various companies with bids on the table.
           Okay, so that went well.” Both ladies turned to watch him weave through the crowd of people as he headed towards the front of the room before Liyah turned to Sloane. “You up for this?”
          I don’t have much choice, do I? I guess he really does hate me.” Sloane swallowed the big lump of nerves in her throat and tried to pull herself together for what she knew was going to be the fight of her life. She and Liyah took their seats as the meeting got underway and she was never so glad to sit down. Her legs felt weak and her stomach was queasy. If it weren’t for the fact she hadn’t been with anyone since Gates, she would have sworn she was experiencing morning sickness all over again.
          Maybe not so much hate, as maybe severe dislike.”
 


Follow our tour on our Official Tour event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1573480089573240/

June 7
June 8
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 12
Facebook addicted to Reading
June 13
June 14
June 15
June 16
June 17
June 18
June 19
June 20

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Kirstys-Book-Reviews/740671655951314

Author Spotlight with New York Times Best Selling Author, Tosca Lee: Interview & Giveaway!!

Welcome Dear Readers!! Today we have New York Times Best Selling Author, Tosca Lee, with us! Tosca will be giving away an eBook copy of her novel, Havah: The Story of Eve! Leave a comment below to enter to win!  Read on for another special gift from Tosca to you!!

Meet Tosca:
www.toscalee.com

Tosca Lee is the multi award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist of Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, and The Books of Mortals series (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign) with New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker. She is best known for her exploration of maligned characters, lyrical prose and meticulous research.

Thank you for being here today with us, Tosca. I’m a HUGE fan, and I know you have A LOT of readers here today that feel the same. We’ve read all your works, and now we’re curious…do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’ve just finished a contemporary thriller. (Yay!) It’s a small break from the biblical historical genre, and I really needed this. It was a super fun ride filled with action and suspense and romance, too. I hope you enjoy it!

I can’t wait to get my hands on it!! And congratulations on finishing this novel. I know how difficult it can be to etch/carve/pray out time to write in order to meet those deadlines.  Is there a favorite time of the day you prefer to write  to get the job done?
You know, I tend to do anything serious in the evening. Usually after 9pm. These days I work until dawn, and now that it’s spring, the birds are out to sing me to sleep (or keep me awake…)

Ha! I have a love-hate relationship with the birds outside my window too! Now, is there a specific place where you like to write? I have to kind of lock myself away.
My office is the place I write—there is only one seat in that space, and it’s behind my claw-foot desk. For some reason, I always seem to work at night.

All writers reading this, take note: a claw-foot desk, and night writing. I’m on it!


Moving on! I’m gonna get a little nosey here.  but I wanna know if there are there things you put off doing because you dread them? (ie I can’t stand to fold socks. Torture!)

I am a master procrastinator. I put off writing until I either can’t stand it any more or I better get a move on if I want to make my deadline. It’s a form of perfectionism that stems from fear. And in the end, the fear never goes away—I just start slogging through to the end.

I appreciate your transparency and your bravery to face fear by “slogging through to the end.” Fear is something that we can all struggle with, and it’s encouraging to know we don’t have to succumb. 

Switching gears  a bit now. I’m a Military wife, and love to have my guests put themselves in the military life roll. Let’s play!
Many Military families move several times over the course of their career relocating to duty stations all over the country and the world. While moving can be difficult, it’s also pretty exciting to meet new people and see new places. Sometimes we’re able to choose our duty station. If you had a choice, where would you like to be stationed and why?
Korea. 🙂 I have a ton of family (half of it) in Seoul. And I need me some good Korean food.

My hubby spent a year in South Korea!! I got to spend close to a month over there and LOVED it! Seoul was amazing! And you’re right, the food is crazy tasty!

I also like to honor the Service men and women in my guest’s family. Do you have family that have or are serving in the Military?
Some of my extended American family have served in the Air Force—uncles, a cousin. All the men on my Korean side of the family have served in the Korean military (it’s compulsory). My uncle is a former Korean Secretary of Defense, but the coolest part of his career, for me, was when he was a two star general because I got to ride around with him in his Jeep. ;D

That is totally awesome! Please thank both sides of your family for their service!

I’m not only a Military wife, but like a large portion of my friends and readers, I’m a stay at home momma.  It gets a bit crazy around my house, especially when I have edits to get to! Could you share some advice for all those parents out there raising their babies juggling insane schedules?

Oh boy. I’m a brand new step-mother to be of four—one young lady (19) and three young men (14 and 11 year old twins). (My fiancé is a single father.) So I’m the one who needs the advice—namely, ways to make vegetables appealing. Right now I’m just trying not to get wiped out by kid germs. (I managed to catch Whooping Cough last January.) One of the most amazing privileges of coming into this role is listening to them talk about the things that are important to them (i.e. football and Minecraft).
First off, Tosca, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of parenthood! Readers, let’s shower Tosca with some advice in the comment section! My advice: pray. Pray for your kids to like veggies. Pray you don’t get sick. And pray with them…even about Minecraft, football, or in my case, Elsa, Anna, and Pokémon.
Tosca, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to be our guest today. We’ve had a great time, and have room for one more response.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? I know they’d love a personal note.
I love you guys. I truly have the most wonderful readers in the world. I think of you as I sit down to work, as I go about the business side of writing, and am grateful every day. One of my greatest joys is when I get to meet readers at signings, talks or events and hug them.

Again, thank you for being here with us today! Tosca has a special gift for everyone here
today! See below for the details! Remember to leave a comment to enter to win Havah: The Story of Eve!


http://www.amazon.com/Ismeni-eShort-Prelude-Legend-Sheba-ebook/dp/B00MS0FZAU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429481376&sr=8-1&keywords=ismeni

Ismeni, the free eBook prequel to The Legend of Sheba is available for free on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and in all eBook formats.

No eReader? Get the FREE app for your computer, phone or tablet: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd 

http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Sheba-Rise-Queen/dp/1451684045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429481557&sr=8-1&keywords=queen+of+sheba

 
REMEMBER TO COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED TO WIN HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE

Stay Connected With Tosca: