Thursday, September 3, 2015

Caryl McAdoo {Writer Wednesday}

Oops! Okay, this should have posted yesterday but due to some unforeseen circumstances (and the fact that I was traveling all day) I couldn't get it up until now. Enjoy...

Get to know Caryl...

Christian, hybrid (Simon & Schuster & Indie) author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.
How to connect with Caryl....

(All First Chapters are offered here)
(Get FREE books for subscribing!)
(Join Caryl’s Street Team!)
Purchase: Daughters of the Heart

Author Interview | Caryl McAdoo

You and Writing

...I’m a Grami God’s blessed with fifteen grandsugars, marriage to my high school sweetheart (forty-seven years). Ron’s my best friend, and I really do love him more today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow. And there’s so many other blessings: precious friends, creativity, health, an agent, and Simon and Shuster’s Howard Books publishing my book. Sometimes I can hardly believe the Lord’s goodness toward me, and I know I’m not deserving, it’s just because He loves me so.

We moved from the DFW Metroplex—where we’d lived fifty-five years—to Clarksville, a county seat in far Northeast Texas. Our house sits way off the paved road back into the woods. I do love the small town, country life! We’re surrounded by trees, and I can look out over a pond in the back from the dining room or kitchen or utility room window. We’ve found a wonderful Church of God with a great youth group for the boys (we’re rearing grandsons) only about twenty-five minutes away, and toward Paris which is where my Walmart is.

Besides O’Pa and the boys, I live with five dogs, two outside and three inside, and a varying number of barn cats depending on the day. I love my horse, Bliss, though I don’t ride as much as I used to. I enjoy the Brown Bag Book Club once a month at the Red River County Public Library, my Luncheon Ladies group that also meets once a month and two writers groups, and hope to set up an ACFW Chapter soon.

After Howard published VOW UNBROKEN (book one in the historical series), I prayed and believe God led me to go Indie—independent—which makes me a hybrid author. I love being in control of my stories and titles and covers and marketing! Every part of the process is exhilarating, and the best part is being in charge of the scheduling! It doesn’t take me two years, yet all my Indie titles are earning just as many 5-star reviews (or more). Happy Grami, happy Grami :)

Your Writing

Tell us about your year, and what you’re currently working on.

...What I’m working on changes almost weekly keeping up with the motivation to reelease ten titles in 2015, maybe eleven. HOPE REBORN came in January and THE PREACHER’S FAITH in February, THEN THE DELUGE COMES, volume 2 in The Generations Biblical fiction series in March, April’s SING A NEW SONG, book 2 in contemporary Christian Red River Romance series, then SINS OF THE MOTHERS, bk 4 of the historical in May. I took June to catch up then released a new contemporary ONE AND DONE during the World Series Break since it has a Texas Rangers backdrop. J

In August came TOKEN OF THE COVENANT, volume 3 of the Biblical fictions, and now in September, I can almost sigh a big whew, so pleased to have DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART SING A NEW SONG, book five in my historical Texas Romance series. I’ve said, ‘if God wills’ since January, even before, and He’s been with me and leading me every step of the way!

October will bring ACQUIRING A WIFE, book 4 of contemporary Christian Red River Romances, and November’s offering is CHILDREN OF EBER, volume 4 of The Generations series. And of course, besides writing, there’s been editing, proofing, working with my very talented graphic designer on the historical, my highly gifted artist who paints an original piece for each of The Generations books, and all the marketing and promoting to keep up with… What a Year! What an awesome year! I’ll never forget 2015 and all that God has done!

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?

...I pray my story brings God glory. I’ve adopted that prayer as my mantra, so that is always the first thing I write my stories to do. Next I hope readers will be drawn closer to Him, discover a tip to trust Him more, and build their faith. Since I think I’ve learned a thing or seven in my sixty-five years, I also hope my characters offer them practical ways to live a better life in Him through obedience and scriptural principals. If I can just accomplish a fraction of what I hope, I’m expecting to hear, WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT

What about that marketing you mentioned? I heard authors have to do a lot of their own these days.

...Oh the joys of marketing. Yes, ma’am, it is true that in today’s world, an author isn’t through when she writes THE END on the last page of her story. Far from it. Publishers want to know that you’re willing to put in hours of social media time and blogging and scheduling and traveling to sell your books—the novels that they have so much time and money invested in. They want the author to invest in the success of their novel as well.

I’m so blessed again to have Howard Books behind VOW UNBROKEN, and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been in sales all my life either. Being connected with people, talking and sharing and visiting—I love it, every aspect of it. I love people. I love getting to know them. I can sell my novel because it is a well written, engaging, God-inspired story. I believe in it.

I have prayed over it from start to finish, through edits, and every step since. I fully believe that the words I write, Holy Spirit will use to touch readers and change lives because I trust that He will open and prepare hearts to receive the truths presented in my character’s lives. I can hardly wait to receive testimonies as to what God has done in lives through my stories.

Thanks so much for being on the blog Caryl! And everyone, leave a comment to enter to win this amazing book! Check back next week for the winner.


And speaking of WINNERS, we have one from last week with Linda J. White's giveaway for Battered Justice.

Congratulations to...

Patti Shene

Congrats Patti! I'll be emailing you soon :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Seek and Hide by Amanda G. Stevens | RE:View

I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda G. Stevens at a conference a few years ago and during that time I did some headshots for her. Then we ended up at the same terminal for a flight and got to talking. I just love this girl and was super excited when I saw on Facebook that she'd sold her series to David C. Cook! Now, a little late to the game, here I am reviewing that very book (the first in her Haven Seekers series). I cannot say enough good things about Amanda or her writing...but I'll try ;)

I was blown away by this book. From the very first page until the ending I was captured by Amanda's writing style and the unique perspective she's given her characters. Set in the not-so-distant (and not so far-fetched) future, Seek and Hide explores the reality of a world with government controlled church.

Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, is a fantastically complex and yet completely endearing character who is by far my favorite throughout the story. His motivations, emotions, and commitment to protect the ones he cares about propel him to set aside personal safety for the good of others.

Aubrey Weston just want's to protect her son, though that reality becomes more difficult than she would have expected. I appreciated Aubrey's growth throughout the book and the way that Amanda dealt with difficult faith issues that aren't localized to a fictional world but that stretch across to connect with readers in today's world.

Seek and Hide mixes complex yet relatable characters with riveting plot twists to provide a thrilling read that will force you to turn page after page until the very end.
I highly recommend this book to my readers! Amanda is a fantastic writer and the twists and turns of the plot will keep you guessing to the end. She combines thrilling suspense and characters with depths to explore that go beyond the pages. I also love how she deals with difficult truths and doesn't shy away from emotions and subjects that we deal with today. Five starts to Seek and on to book 2 Found and Lost ;)

Rating: 5*
Purchase: Seek and Hide

Book Description
(from Amanda's website)

Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.

Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.

When Aubrey and Marcus’s lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bat Crazy by Carole Brown | New Novel News

Bat Crazy 
by Carole Brown

August 25, 2015
Story and Logic Media Group
Purchase: Bat Crazy

Monster Bats with red eyes that attack humans? Denton doesn’t think so and Alex hopes not, but who are they to quibble with the local gossip?

Transmission problems and a blown tire land Denton and Alex Davies right in the middle of a dilapidated, unfriendly town that’s welcoming no strangers, least of all nosy ones with a bent toward solving mysteries.

But with support from the town detective--an admirer of the Davies--and their own tenacious personalities, Denton and Alex aren’t easily scared off. Not when warnings in the form of painted bats show up on the porch of their rented cabin, not when the mayor threatens to run them out of town and not even when Denton finds the bones . . .

An ancient story, a bit of a map, a lost jewel and even a bat clan serve to provide the Davies and their sidekick, Taffy, the dog, their hardest case so far.

Get to know Carole...

What are the names of your pets?

One dog: Taffy, who looks like a Jack Russell. Showed up at our place and no one ever claimed her. At about the same time one of our horses died and the other one was grieving. When my husband and son came home that day, Taffy sat close to Shyenne. Whatever Taffy said to Shyenne we’ll never know, but from that day forward, Shyenne was fine! 
Outdoor cats: Tipper (tiny, touchy/grouchy and found by son #1 in a school building being torn down when she was a kitten), Simon, Sandy
One horse: Shyenne

What are you reading right now?

Mary Ellis’s Midnight on the Mississippi (a mystery!)
Renee Blare’s To Soar on Eagle’s Wings
Norma Gail’s Land of My Dreams

If you were stranded on an island what are three things you couldn’t live without?

My husband
My grandsons
My computer! (Yeah, I know: probably no internet, but I could still write my novels on it! Oh, I’d have to have hubby rig up some kind of electricity gadget (whatever!). :)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Winners & Such | A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes

Welp, I'm back from vacation! It was a lovely trip (check out my Instagram for some pics if you'd like to see the Oregon Coast where we camped).

And, as promised, we have a WINNER from last weeks author interview with Nadine Brandes (check out her interview here if you missed it).

Drum roll...

Brittany Valentine 

Yea! Congrats Brittany :D

But, don't worry! There are still TWO chances to win things on my blog...crazy, right?

Leave a comment on this post to enter to win a copy of Battered Justice by Linda J. White.

Enter on the Rafflecopter giveaway and sign up for my new newsletter to enter this fun giveaway!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Linda J. White {Writer Wednedsay}

A little bit about Linda...

--> Linda J. White is a former journalist. She writes FBI thrillers from her home in rural Virginia. Her husband worked at the FBI Academy for over 27 years. She has three traditionally published novels out, including the HOLT Medallion-winning “Seeds of Evidence.” Her fourth novel, “Battered Justice,” is an Indie.
How to connect with Linda...

Purchase: Battered Justice

Author Interview  | Linda J. White

--> You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing? ...Twenty years ago, recovering from knee surgery, I had an idea for a story in the middle of the night: What if a confident, self-assured FBI agent had his life spin out of control when he son was kidnapped by the drug gang he’d been investigating? I told my husband about it the next day, and (bless him!) he said, “That’s a great story! You ought to write it.”

...Yeah, sure. Me? A mom at home?

....He was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy and began taking me over there and introducing me to agents. They were so helpful! A year later, I had a novel on my computer. It was amazing.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I have to say, “The Tiger’s Cage,” that first book, is still my favorite. Yes, I’ve learned a lot and I am a better writer now, but what can I say? It was my first baby!

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing about publishing is the inevitable disappointments. So much is out of a writer’s control. Waiting for contracts, then patiently accepting the rejects and downturns in the market, is tough.

...The easiest, for me, is writing—getting lost in a book I’m working on.

--> Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...“Battered Justice” takes two FBI agents from my first published book, “Bloody Point,” and extends their story. Jake, a non-custodial father of two, remains determined to be a great dad and a terrific agent. Those goals conflict, and when a case he and his partner, Cass, are investigating gives indication his ex-wife’s new husband, Senator Westfield, is corrupt, life really gets complicated.

...“Battered Justice” deals with both domestic abuse and injustice. I wanted to explore both issues. And I couldn’t get “Bloody Point’s” characters out of my head! However, my agent and I agreed no traditional publisher would take it, so I self-published “Battered Justice.”

Do you have a favorite character in this work?
...I love Jake’s masculine tension and his secret love for Cass.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you in due time.” From I Peter 5:6.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Hmmm… my sister gave be a sweatshirt with an applique that reads, “Watch out or I’ll put you in my novel!” I have to say I have drawn characteristics from people I know and combined them into unique characters. Just one character—Aunt Trudy—in “Bloody Point” is actually based on a real person. I got her permission to do so. Her story is amazing.

...I am close friends with a number of FBI agents, and many more have shared stories or their expertise with me over the years. One said to me, “You’ve gone over to the dark side! You’re thinking like an agent.” That was a compliment!

...The stories may come from the news (I was an editorial writer for thirteen years) or just from my head.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...My goal is to share my passion for Christ through “white-knuckle fiction.” I want to create books that keep readers up all night. And I want to depict characters struggling with the same spiritual questions we all do.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Persist. If God calls you to writing, then just keep writing. 


What is your favorite activity during the summer?  
...The beach! And a lot of my novels are set on or near the water.
What are you currently reading?
...“Ordinary,” by Tony Merida, and four books on dogs (research!).

Apparently August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day (who knew). What is your favorite dessert?
...I don’t do dessert much any more! 

Thanks so much for being on the blog again Linda! Readers, I've had the pleasure of meeting Linda a few times in person and she's the best. I'm so excited she's offering a copy of Battered Justice here. Remember, I'm on vacation so I won't be able to respond to your comments but NOT TO FEAR - I will read them all :)

As for last week's winner, the contest is closed as of today (August 26th) but I will announce the winner of Nadine's book on Saturday when I get back from the coast. This post was scheduled and I won't have any way to update it. Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From the Start by Melissa Tagg | RE:VIEW

I love picking up a book that takes me along for the ride. One that's comfortable, meaningful, exciting, and sweet. From The Start is that type of book.

I found I could really relate to Kate Walker and her desire to have her writing be filled with substance. Her quirks, and the quirks of her family, were endearing and she was easy to emotionally connect with.

Colton Greene is everything I like in a hero. Handsome, caring, talented, and a hard worker. The fact that he's got things to work through (and how he works through them) make him that much more intriguing.

Melissa weaves a beautiful story that highlights each characters growth in a natural and organic way. The romantic tension is fantastic and the setting, vibrant.

I highly recommend this to anyone who's a fan of Christian romance. Melissa has some awesome twists and turns in here that keep the story from being predictable. I also found myself tearing up a few times with the beautiful truths she incorporated.

Get this book - you won't be disappointed!

Rating: 5*
Purchase: From the Start
*Pick up the prequel novella Three Little Words for FREE

Book Description
(from Melissa's website)
Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but it just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Found My Heart In San Francisco

Yep, that's the golden gate bridge up there! I've been having a blast all over California (or at least it feels like all over). I spent some time with my family then headed down to Sacramento to visit my friends Adri and Ryan...yes, we're a goofy lot! {evidence below}

On Saturday we headed over to San Fran and enjoyed the amazing weather. I'm talking about mostly clear, low 70s, and some wind but my-oh-my what a view!

I did family photos for Adri & Ryan and then we explored the city. Cue adventure!

I ate lots of Ghirardelli ice cream, enjoyed the view from the top of Lombard Street, and even captured a few images from Treasure island. It was rather magical.

Now I'm back at my parents house in Northern California and we're about to head off to the Oregon Coast. I can't wait! But, I wanted to make sure to let you all know I'll be pretty MIA this week. That happens when your camping and without power ;-)

Please don't let that stop you from interacting here. I've got a great author already scheduled for this Wednesday and I'll be sure to come back and check on my comments this weekend.

And don't forget (while you're at it) to stop by my Newsletter Giveaway post. I'll be picking out my final prize this weekend *rubs hands together* I wonder what it will be :D

What are YOU up to this weekend?