Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Blessing of Reader Input by Cheryl Wyatt

Good morning! :-)

I'm working on a new book that I'm targeting toward Love Inspired for my Eagle Point Emergency series. The very cool thing about this book is that the opening scene (which includes a runaway lawn mower) was inspired by a discussion I had with readers on my Facebook author page here.

I also put feelers out for other things like season for the setting and secondary characters for the story. Those decisions went so much smoother with reader input! :-) I hope you'll join us sometime. We have a blast plotting fun and mayhem for my characters over there.

When I ran into research and plot snags (lawn mower and grill-related), I went to my reader page and you came through for me!

Plotting alone is not nearly as much fun as plotting with readers. I've found that books plotted with reader input mean so much more to me (and to readers) than books for which I haven't sought input.

Amid plotting that future book, I received the cover for my 4th Eagle Point Emergency book from Love Inspired and was absolutely THRILLED to learn that the awesome team chose to put a navy blue truck on my cover...something readers suggested.

It was SO fun to see that community-inspired element turn up on my cover! I'm excited because I think it honors readers and shows appreciation for their efforts in taking time to connect with us.

Here's a peek:

The Hero's Sweetheart will release from Love Inspired in February of 2016 & can be pre-ordered now from your favorite bookseller. The Hero's Sweetheart on Amazon

I also have a winter themed story releasing as part of an anthology from HarperCollins Christian Publishing on November 3rd (that's NEXT WEEK! YEEEEE!). Do you like the sepia cover?

A Season to Wed on Amazon

Readers, never underestimate the power YOUR words have in encouraging the authors you love to read. Your words and your readership, along with God's grace and guidance is what keeps us going.

What we do, we do for you. It makes my heart glad to know that many of the story elements that make it into the final form of my books are ideas inspired by the very friends whose readership enables me to continue writing. I am thankful for the ability to mention helpers in the dedication and acknowledgment pages of books.

From the bottom of my (our) heart(s)...THANK YOU!


*Do you enjoy offering input on books? If so, how so? 
*What would you like to see more of in our books?
*Does it mean a lot to you when authors ask for input? 
*What's your favorite way to connect with authors?

Thanks SO much for visiting today. Being able to connect with you and get to know you is an honor!
I have lots of fun stuff and new projects releasing soon. Sign up for my newsletter to learn more.


Cheryl Wyatt

Monday, October 26, 2015

What A Writer Knows or Not

Pamela Tracy here… and I'm an author.

I'm thinking you're thinking, "Dah!"

Well, this morning, this writer was doing  helping her ten-year-old with his language arts homework and figuring out the meaning of seven vocabulary words.

1. plot
2. climax
3. rising action
4. falling action
5. conflict
6. resolution
7. exposition

Really, I thought I knew!

I almost volunteered to speak to her class.

Then, helping my son, I had to match the meaning to the words and it took me 10 minutes when I thought it should take 1 second.

So, here are the definitions.  See how you do?

___ information and description given at the beginning of the story, including setting or time period
___ events that make up a story; occur in a sequence
___ wraps up or concludes the story OR can be seen as a cliffhanger
___ events that wrap up the story
___ the inciting events that lead up to the climax; build from the conflict
___ the problem that moves the story forward
___ highest point of tension or interest in the story.

Go ahead, post your answers.  I'll give the correct answers later tonight.

Pamela has a book out in December

She also has a November Thanksgiving short story  that will be featured at eHarlequin November 7th.
Grateful for a lot of things!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Home for Christmas... and a wee gift card giveaway

Home for Christmas… what thoughts does that inspire for you? Lee Tobin McClain here, thinking about the upcoming holiday season and what it means to be at home for Christmas.

I’m a little jealous of people who actually go home for Christmas. It has been many years since I’ve had one particular home place to go for the holidays, but I imagine an old-fashioned house, like the one pictured on the cover of my Sacred Bond series' prequel novella:

A homey Christmas story for 99 cents!
My own personal Christmas theme is more like “away for Christmas.” For years, my family travelled to Florida at Christmastime to visit my mother (I know, cry me a river here—that was so rough!). After she passed on and my husband left, my daughter and I started heading for Ohio to visit my sister’s family during holidays. Since her husband is a pastor, he has to be “home for Christmas,” which means that my daughter and I are always away. It also means that the “home” we go to, my sister’s, has changed with some regularity, since Methodist pastors move around a lot.

Even though I don’t have the traditional “home” for Christmas, I recognize that I’m  really lucky to have family to be with. Being surrounded by people you care about is what makes any holiday special, much more than the physical place where you’re celebrating.

This year, my prequel novella, A Christmas Bond, is part of a Christmas anthology called “Home for Christmas.” It's all about a ragtag group of boys, a lonely veteran, an even lonelier single career woman, and
Or get SEVEN novellas for 99 cents!
her wise grandma. Nobody is really home for Christmas and nobody’s really content, except Grandma. So when the baby Jesus is stolen from Grandma's yard nativity, everyone has to work together to find the culprit, and love, a lot closer to home than they ever expected.

So sure, you can buy the novella alone for 99 cents by clicking on the link above. But why would you when you can get it, plus six other wonderful Christmas stories, for the same price?

Thanks for reading! What does going home for Christmas mean to you? Comment for the chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card that will help you get started with some of the amazing Christmas sets that are available already this year. And stop by my website to sign up for my newsletter, grab a free Sacred Bond story, and find out about new releases and giveaways. I'd love to stay in touch!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Heading for the Finish Line by Leann Harris

I'm working on the last book of my Rodeo Heroes Books, The Cowboy Meets His Match. That book will be out in June of 2016, which is Sawyer's book. These cowboys have been with me for at least 3 years, and I'll miss them, but there are other cowboys who want to add their stories to the town of Peaster which I've created east of Fort Worth.
I'm also finishing the third book in my Legacy of Lies series which are Indie books. I've been a slower than I wanted, but cancer intervened. The Lord and my family and friends have walked with me. I'm excited that my series are finishing and more ideas are flowing. It will be sad to leave old friends, but I'm grateful to make new ones.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My foray into facebook and more...

Good morning, Jenna Mindel here.  As I've often said, I'm not gifted with technical know-how, but recently I did two things I'd put off for a long time.   I bought a new desktop tower and installed it, by myself, I might add - I know, no big deal right? But for someone with my lack of computer skills.... Anyway, it went fine.  Even though it's Windows 8.1,  I'm okay with it. :)   

The second one is that I finally joined facebook.  I will admit that it's a fun place to keep up with folks I don't get the chance to see in person, but I also find it to be a black hole where time ceases to exist.  All of sudden, I've been in there milling around for forty minutes!  Yikes.

My next big upgrade is a better cell phone.  I jumped in the lake, forgetting that I had my old flip phone in my back pocket.  Fortunately, I still had my super old one.  Ancient, by today's standards. They don't even make the charger cord anymore. LOL.   I shudder to think what it will take to learn a new one.

So, in this age of techie social media, what do you like about all this connectivity and what don't you like?  Any tips on a good phone?

Have a great day and a blessed one!


Thursday, October 1, 2015


The last week in August I was plugging along as usual--doing the edits on the last book in my Keepers of the Promise Amish series while writing the new Amish romantic suspense, planning a book event, trying to keep up with the schedule I'd imposed on myself. Then, within a matter of days, what seemed to be a simple flu-like virus attacked my husband and turned rapidly into a full-scale assault. Before we could grasp what had happened, he was in intensive care, fighting for his life as one system after another failed.

Needless to say, my writing schedule didn't receive even a passing thought during those days. All my strength and energy were required to face nothing more than the next step in front of me. Thanks to skilled doctors and nurses and the powerful prayers not only of family and friends but of people we've never even met, he finally turned the corner. Two weeks in the medical center was succeeded by another two weeks in the rehab hospital. Finally, praise God, he came home, and after a few days of adjusting to the "new normal," we began to feel as if we could breathe again.

When the time came to go back to work, I approached the computer with a great deal of anxiety. The story that had once seemed so clear in my mind had vanished entirely. Things that once seemed crucial to me no longer had meaning. And I honestly didn't know if I was capable of writing again.

Strangely enough, once I actually put fingers to the keyboard, I found it all came back again. Without the involvement of my conscious mind, somehow my writer's brain had stored what I needed. The story began to flow again.

All of this is said not because my story is especially unique. I met many people during those days and nights in the intensive care waiting room who had more tragic stories and worse outcomes than mine. I'm saying it as a reminder that in a time of crisis, all of the unimportant things fall away, and we see clearly those things that are, and should be, paramount in our lives. Family. Faith. Love. We were the recipients of so many simple acts of kindness during those days--words and acts that may have meant very little to the people who gave them but meant the world to us. I hope I never forget. I hope I never put other things, no matter how worthy, before the need to serve God through loving all those He sends my way.

In Love,