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Author Interview Author Recommendation

Short and Sweet with Christian Romance author, Teresa Ives Lilly… because Summer needs a Kick-start!

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Dear Readers,

Looks good until the wind begins to blow!

I hope you are reading. Reading and relaxing in this run-up to Summer. Calm is what I need, that and some sense of peace. (Always the case as you all know ;^) If you’re in-search-of, or would like to try writing yourself, meet my latest guest.

Take it from here, Teresa.

My name is Teresa Ives Lilly.  I’m so pleased to be part of this newsletter.

We’re pleased to have you. No kidding. With lock downs and strife all around, its even more critical to make connections and get to know what makes others tick. I prefer the truth beneath the stereotypes that too often are anything but. So, tell us, what moves you to write and what do you write?

 My original motivation was basically the sad moments in childhood. 

So writing was a refuge? I get it. I can also relate. Yes, I do write happy things, but the deeper emotions that need expression are what calls the loudest. Tell us more, Teresa. Pull of the metaphorical mask–and the one that may be keeping you oxygen deprived. (Lord knows, I border on panic attacks when forced to wear one.)

I wrote many poems, but when I got older and discovered Janette Oke…. I was ignited to become a Christian writer. 

Inspirational Fiction Pioneer

Life is like that. An unexpected transformation that often takes us where we think we’ll NEVER go. Good for you, Teresa, moving toward what speaks to your soul. What’s on the agenda today? What’s your process?

For books I write now, I just have to see a picture I like, think of a title, or meet someone with a great name. That gets me started.

What lights your sky?

Creatives are like that! And inspiration takes so many forms; a random thought, an archaic word, a wink from an unexpected ally. What moved you to write Carousel of Love? (One of four sweet historical tales featured inside Carousel Dreams available on Amazon!) More importantly, what would you like readers to take away from the experience of your words?

I was trying to think of a subject that I’d never read in a Christian Romance and happened onto the concept of Carousels.  Then as researching I discovered one in a town close to where I met my husband.  From there, it was all just the fun research about the times and the area.  I want readers to feel content with my stories, and hopeful they want to read more.

Contentment is in short supply even when things don’t come across as crazy on the news. Thanks for actively addressing this issue and spreading the love. What’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever? Readers and writers want to know.

I’m currently under contract with Barbour Books for a mystery set called Tea Shoppe Mysteries. I’m also working on a Keepers of the Light book called The Loggers Hope, and a Christmas series called Evergreen Cottage. 

Wow. Sounds like you’re full up on getting the message out. Look for the light, be inspired, hold out for hope. Thank you for sharing your words and wisdom. And, please, thank your award winning co-authors, Cynthia Hickey, Susanne Dietze, and Patty Smith Hall for pulling together to pen this much needed dip into history. Times change but human nature, not so much. It’s critical to remember or else history repeats itself.

Teresa Ives Lilly: a believer who shares… and obviously cares

TERESA IVES LILLY’s ninth grade teacher inspired her writing by allowing her to take a twelve-grade creative writing course during the summer. After that, it has been her passion and dream to write, however until her Salvation in 1986 when she discovered the genre of Christian Romance, Teresa did not even try writing. Since then, she has gone on to write over twenty-five novellas and novels including two published by Barbour Books. Teresa lives in San Antonio, Texas where she and her husband are close to their three grown children and one grandson. Teresa believes God let her be born “at such a time as this” to be able to write and share her stories of faith.

Follow Teresa at www.teresalilly.wordpress.com   

Join her newsletter and get a free book!

Click here for a sneak peek at the Carousel Dreams collection. But buy the book if you’re eager to read…

Carousel of Love by Teresa Ives Lilly
1910 – Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

For Tamara Brand, spending the summer at Expedition Park impersonating her wealthy debutante employee seemed like a dream come true until she meets Blake Conner; just a Carnie who runs the carousel. He seems to be the type of man she would like to get to know better if she weren’t pretending to be someone she isn’t. But, is Blake who he appears to be?

Who knows???

Thank you, dear readers, for being out there and providing us creatives a venue to share, soul search, and empower ourselves and others via the written word. Plumbing the depths of hearts and minds can be a scary thing, but please, do. And share. Comments, suggestions, and varying points of view are so welcome.

Write on!

Categories
Author Interview Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS

Sit down with multi-publshed Anne Greene–Boxed-Set Sister #4. The suspense is killing me!

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Anne Greene – confirmed panster!

So here we are, finally, getting cozy with the last of my Romancing the Billionaire Boxed-Set Sisters, Anne Greene. (That’s for the year 2019. I’m onboard for Winged Publications MISSletoe Mistakes, another boxed set, due out Christmas 2020. Stay tuned.) For now, it’s spotlight Anne.

***********************************

What moves you to write, Anne, and what do you write (fiction only? poetry? plays?)

I write Suspense and Mystery and Historical and Historical Romance. Since I was small, as long as I can remember, I’ve written plays and stories. I believe I was born to write. I write for the Lord. (Can’t beat that motivation, and there’s something about feeling that niggle from childhood.)

Pansters, pansters EVERYWHERE with nary a friend to plot. Sniff, sniff!

Are you a panster or a plotter? (Why am I stuck on this question?)

I am a complete panster!

Okay, Sis, it’s official. I’m the solo plotter of Romancing the Billionaire. Still the BEST LITTLE BOXED SET at .99 cents thru December! But tell us more. Inquiring plotters could use a head’s up.) I might start with an intriguing setting, an interesting character, and very occasionally a plot drops into my mind. (I knew it!) I might or might not have a climax in mind and never an ending. But that’s it.

I’m FEELING this!

Once my characters are born, I turn them loose and sit back and watch what they do. It’s like enjoying a movie. This keeps the story spontaneous and fresh. I’ve tried to plot and found that avenue boring. So, I write the way I’ve always written.

If you have a craft bag–what’s in it? And/or if you don’t do crafts, what leisure activity or hobby is sitting there waiting for you? (Or is Anne on top of it all?)

I love doing crafts, but only with a group. I sing in our magnificent two-hundred-person church choir and I paint with oils.

Do you find family to be a support, a distraction, or an integral element of your writer’s life?

Family. A mixed blessing, but a blessing none-the-less. Although I’m partial to kiddos liking your books!

Interesting question. My children love my books as do some of their children. But family is a large part of my life and they come before any book deadlines and as such they are somewhat a distraction. But a loved distraction.

My husband is a huge support. He does the final proof on all my books before I send them to my editor. (Good man. Smart, too!) He designs my website, takes my publicity pictures, and the sweet man frames the cover of each book my publishers have published. My office is lined with pictures of my book covers. (Okay, our next interview will definitely revolve around cloning. LoL!)

What to do when a small town turns BIG?

Do you prefer city or country living? And does this impact the settings of your stories?

I like a town of 150,000. Where I live in McKinney, Texas has grown from 35,000 when we moved here to 200,000 in fifteen years. My lovely town is now too crowded.

Those were the days!

Yes, I’ve written about McKinney in two of my books, Mystery at Dead Broke Ranch – when McKinney was 35,000 and Red is for Rookie, the lst book in my Holly Garden Detective series now that McKinney has grown and become a suburb of Dallas. 

What motivated you to write this latest novel? And what would you like readers to take away from the experience of your words?

Romancing The Billionaire, the title intrigued me when my publishers proposed this anthology. My book is Hatteras Island Mystery. Wedding photographer, Misty Gordon, photographs a man at a late December wedding. He disappears before she can discover his name. Next morning as she walks the beach, she discovers his body floating in the ocean. As Misty summons EMT, the man wakes but has no memory. After he disappears from the hospital, Misty discovers him aboard a million-dollar yacht. As she talks with him, two assassins try to kill them both.

Is this a murder for hire, a revenge killing, or a political assassination? Is the man with no memory a drug dealer, an FBI agent, or a billionaire?

Can Misty solve the mystery before they both end in the morgue? (I’m betting Misty can, but its how that’s hooked me. I love suspense!)

What’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever?

I’m working on a book now titled Trail of Tears. This novel follows the nephew of John Ross, chief of the Cherokees, and what happened to a 1/16 Native American as he traveled the Trail of Tears after having lost his plantation, slaves, and parents to the US Government. Trail of Tears is packed with action, adventure, surprises, and history. The reader will feel as if he had traveled the Trail herself.

What’s your favorite animal—do you have one??? I’m a real animal nut so I have to ask.

My little brown and white Shih Tzu sits at my feet every day as I write. I often insert her picture into my newsletter. I use many pictures in my newsletter so my readers can know me better. If you’d like to join my newsletter, (and catch a glimpse of your furry friend) visit me at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com and sign up.

Where do you find your heroes?

My dear husband doesn’t like me to call him a hero, but he is one. He served in the Army forty years and retired as a Colonel, Special Forces. I’m sure each of my novel heroes has some of my husband’s fine qualities.

What’s your view on character flaws for heroes/heroines?

I like character flaws. (Me, too!) None of us is perfect and revealing a character flaw, shows the character is human.

What’s your least favorite character type?

I don’t have a least favorite. I love to write villains and heroes. I sometime find my secondary character tries to take over the story, then I use him as hero of his own story. (Wrangling secondary characters can be tricky!)

Get’s MY attention. How about yours?

What would you like to tell readers about yourself? Channel Jeopardy and give me the answer and the question. LoL!

I’d love my readers to stay in touch with me via my newsletter. The letter arrives once a month and is contains pictures of new books, recipes, family photos, some of my oil paintings, and pictures of my workspace as well as my travels. I have giveaways and contests. And you will definitely get to know me better by reading my newsletter!

************************************************************************

Well, cool beans! That was fun. Thanks for stopping by, Sis. I appreciate the reveal of the woman behind the suspenseful, historical, romantic tales. And the opportunity to share your works and wit with my readers.


Anne’s books are available at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.
To contact Anne, visit her at www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor.

I’ll be Vegas bound on Monday. A main stop–THE MOB MUSEUM.

I’ll be chillin’ at the Speakeasy. Bet on it!

“The Mob Museum offers a bold and authentic view of organized crime from vintage Las Vegas to the back alleys of American cities and—increasingly—across the borders and networks of the entire world. Explore the real stories and actual events of Mob history through interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind Mob and law enforcement artifacts found inside our restored 1933 former courthouse and post office building located just minutes from Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.”

The perfect place to explore my resident Grinch’s Sicilian roots. And my own bootlegging backstory from Depression Days gone wild.

Read on, people. Enjoy this run up to Christmas. Family. Friends. And…

Write on!

#authorinterview #amreading #romancewriting #Christianfiction #suspensebooks #MOBMUSEUM #recommendedread #inspirational #family #writing #writingcraft #writingbooks

Categories
Author Interview Author Recommendation

Sit-down with Leanna Sain–Romantic Suspense author of HUSH. A work of love out now!

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We’re called to be the salt of
the earth!

I am SO on a roll. When it rains, it absolutely does pour. At least it seems that way, but hey, I’m not complaining. The opportunities to meet/work with new authors keep coming and I have to share. The women and the writing are too good to miss!!

Enter award-winning, multi-published Leanna Sain with a giving heart that understands too well the trial of loss. And the need to pay it forward.

What moves you to write, Leanna, and what do you write (Fiction only? Poetry? Plays?) I write romantic suspense because it’s what I like to read. I dabbled in poetry when I was younger, but now it’s suspense with a touch of romance is my go-to genre. I’m attempting a screen play of Hush, but haven’t gotten very far.

TEAM Pants wins again!

Are you a ‘pants-er’ or a ‘plotter’? And why? (What does method bring to your stories?) I’ve always been a “pant-ser.” I generally have a starting point in my mind and a loose ending point, with a few major points I want to hit along the way. I depend on my characters to step up and take the story where it needs to go. When I submitted Hush to my publisher, I thought it would be a stand-alone book. When they told me I needed to start working on a sequel and that they needed a 4-5 page synopsis of the story, I sort of panicked. I’d never done it that way before. My first try was a flop, but they liked the second version. I’m almost finished with the first draft. I think it was easier to get the bare bones of the story, but I’m finding it’s a little harder to flesh it out doing it this way.

Oh, Wolfgang, you inspirational genius!

What’s your favorite movie/music? Do you find inspiration in film/music for your writing? I love to listen to inspirational Christian music and some classical (Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak.) I have too many favorite movies to name one. I generally go for the rom-coms. I tend to watch DVDs of older TV series (Gilmore Girls, Lost, Friends, Frazier, NCIS…)

Tangles alone are a time sucker!

If you have a craft bag–what’s in it? And/or if you don’t do crafts, what leisure activity or hobby is sitting there waiting for you? (Or are you on top of it all?) I used to do all sorts of crafts: sewing, crocheting, cross-stitch, quilting, spinning wool, tried to learn knitting, but never really got good at it. But I don’t have time for any of that now. All my “spare” time is spent writing.

Do you find family to be a support, a distraction, or an integral element of your writer’s life? My husband is my greatest cheer-leader. He’s also a pretty good editor. (Handy!) He always reads my work and offers suggestions and asks questions about things he doesn’t think really works. I depend on him.

Choices, choices!

Do you prefer city or country living? Does this impact the settings of your stories? “A day in the country is worth a month in town.” This is a saying that I cross-stitched years ago. I have it framed on my wall as I type this. I’m not sure I could write like I do if I lived in town. It doesn’t impact the settings in my stories as much as it affects me. I’m a country girl, through and through. When I have to go to town, I’m counting the seconds until I can get back home to Miracle Hill Farm, the most beautiful place in the western NC mountains.

Tell us about HUSH! Give us the blurb!

She dreams a murder before it happens. A young woman is strangled while her killer sings the words from the lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby.”

Lacey Campbell’s life is full, but not idyllic. As head chef for a chic restaurant and primary caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t have time for the nightmare and at first she tries to deny it. But the next day, she discovers it’s a disturbing reality. When she dreams the second heinous murder she knows it’s time to tell the police.

Detective Ford Jamison is called back to the little coastal town to help with the case and soon notices an alarming trend: the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey. This doesn’t slow the killings and now Lacey is afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.

As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?

Now that’s one delicious setup, Leanna. I love it when nature coalesces to create conflict. But it’s not just the weather creating the storm in this suspense. What motivated you to write this novel? What would you like readers to take away from the experience of your words?

The idea of having a serial killer use the verses of the lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby” as the blueprint for his killings had already been whirling around in my brain, but I didn’t start writing it until my mother started into the final stages of Alzheimer’s. I was dealing with so many negative emotions from watching this disease kill her that I needed a way to funnel some of it out of me. Writing provided that funnel. I decided to make my main character’s mother have the same disease so she and I could walk this road together. It allowed me to include some of the things Mama said and did in the story. It helped me to have this small element of control when it felt like everything else was out of control. (I’m glad to hear you discovered a means of coping, Leanna. That’s no easy thing. I’m a big proponent of self-empowerment and self-care. We writers, women, and everyone do better for ourselves and our families when we acknowledge our own needs. And do what we can to stay on top of the myriad demands of this journey called life.)

50% of HUSH royalties are pledged to Alzheimer’s Research!

So many people are dealing with a loved one who has this terrible disease. Maybe reading Hush will help them to see how I handled it. I hope so. And since I’m giving half of the royalties I make on this book to Alzheimer’s research, maybe it will provide just what they need to find a cure soon so that others won’t have to go through what my family did. (The world needs more of this, Leanna. Thank you.)

What’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever? I’m working on the sequel to Hush now. The working title is Hoax. Also have thinking about the plot line for the third book of the series, tentatively titled, Harlequin.

What writer’s organizations if any have helped you achieve successes in your writing life? No official organizations. Just two different writer’s groups. I depend on them to give me honest feed-back.  (That last is critical in all aspects of life. I’m glad you’ve found your tribe!)

Thank you, Leanna, for sharing a little of your world with us. Your crafting experience sounds too familiar. As if we’re both a certain “type.” Maybe we writers are more alike than we think. Salt of the earth? Yeah, I’d go there.

Leanna Sain

Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina before moving back to the NC mountains. She calls Miracle Hill Farm home, but she lives mostly in her imagination. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leanna.sain

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Leannasbooks

Website and blog: http://leannasain.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1323792

Oh, and BUY “HUSH” for only $3.99 at ===> http://bit.ly/HUSHLEANNASAIN #FREE on #KindleUnlimited

Thanks, guys. I’ll be back soon with more must read authors and inspiring stories. Feel free to follow my humble blog. Comment whenever and however you’d like. I *LOVE* hearing from readers, writers, bloggers–PEOPLE! (I’m fast approaching empty-nest status, so I suspect my need for the latter will be on the rise. Oh, joy!)

Write on!

Categories
Author Interview Author Recommendation Cover Reveals

Romancing the Billionaire- Boxed Set Sisters. Meet Stephanie Guerrero!

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The Holiday Season is a time for family. But family can come in many forms. Friends, coworkers, those with whom we commiserate as we navigate self-check out at Walmart. The grocery clerks may not know my name, but they recognize and indulge my bumbling on sometimes a daily basis.

But I sure don’t want to bumble when it comes to introducing my boxed set sisters who contributed to Romancing the Billionaire. Still the BEST DEAL for clean, compelling Billionaire romance. (Call me bias. I’ll own it. But then confirmation is ONLY a click away===> http://bit.ly/ROMANCINGTHEBILLIONAIRE )

So here we go. Meet Stephanie Guerrero–talented, terrifically prolific, and finer than wine in delivering great, inspirational romance with royalty and billionaires to boot. You’ll find her latest, The Billionaire’s Unexpected Assistant inside the set. But let’s dig a little deeper and maybe you’ll get to love the woman behind the words!

There’s a lesson in every story!

What all do you to write, Stephanie, and why?  I currently write Christian fiction of many varieties: historical, romance, suspense. I have written a couple of Bible studies for an online Bible study group in the past, but I love fiction! Jesus often taught using stories or illustrations. I find that I learn a lot from Christian fiction. I can learn and relax at the same time! I LOVE to share the truths of the Gospel in a happily ever after setting!

Whatever works!

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser? And why?   (What does method bring to your stories?) I will say that for life reasons, I am a total pantser (as in fly by the seat of your… ) I wear many hats. I am the children’s minister at my church; I teach 7th grade. I write, I’m a pastor’s wife who mentors and leads women, and I write. Sometimes, I just get 20 min. to write. At my core, I am an organized person who gets bored easily, so sitting down to write when I have time is my mental outlet.  🙂 When I have time, I like to plan a bit more. However, I find that the books I write spontaneously keep my readers guessing! Do you know why? Because, when I write spontaneously, even I don’t know the direction the story will take. I’ve often surprised myself! 🙂

You got me at the moody font!

3. What’s your favorite movie/music? Do you find inspiration in film or music for your writing? Great question! I love Superhero or Hallmark movies! I love Christian pop or rock, Broadway musicals, or Disney soundtracks! My Shades of the Orient and Shades of Redemption novels both drew inspiration from music.

My lotus never grew like that!

The Shades of the Orient from a Steven Curtis Chapman song called “Bring It On”. Shades of Redemption drew inspiration from a Colton Dixon song entitled “Back to Life”. I will add that I drew a bit of inspiration as far as character personality types from “Iron Man” Think Christian brilliant Tony Stark and supportive Pepper Pots.  🙂

Now THAT’S a hobby!

4. Do you have a craft bag– what’s in it or what’s waiting for you to finish it? I LOVE crafts. I’ve been so busy with everything this year that I’m just trying to get back into hobbies. (I need something hands on to get out of my brain on occasion!) I currently am attempting to renovate my great-grandfather’s old desk, and have a bunch of stained glass supplies waiting for me to grab a moment!

Clean, sweet-smelling stacks of freshly folded laundry. The language of LOVE!

5. Do you find family to be a support, a distraction, or an integral part of your writer’s life? ALL of the ABOVE! My family, my husband and mom in particular, are extremely supportive in my writing! God told me when I first started on this journey that my family comes first. A couple of great, successful authors have mentored me and told me the same. You would know their names. During this last book, I was squeezed for time, the laundry and ministry items were backing up, and I was typing furiously. But… I stopped, got up, set the book aside, and proceeded to get a bunch of laundry done. One of my older kids came home, saw the laundry folded on his bed and came to give me a hug as I was furiously typing again. He leaned over and whispered, “Mom, I know your busy. I would have done the laundry for you.” I am blessed… (I changed the main hero’s name to a variation of that son’s name, and he doesn’t even know it yet.)

6. What’s your favorite time of year?I love the fall! Cozying up to my man, a warm fire with cocoa and a book are amazing! (We get that visual, Stephanie. Lucky you!)

Happy trails are what you make them!

7. What’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever? I’m looking forward to tinkering on my stained glass and desk project over the holidays. I’m excited to continue with a couple more billionaire books! This last year I wrote books encompassing tough historical moments, two novels that aside from name changes are basically autobiographies on my own romance, so writing “clean billionaire romance” has been a lot of fun! (although everything I write is “happy ever after!)

Stephanie Guerrero


Thank you so much for the opportunity to share! I love to hear from readers via: Facebook ~ Stephanie Guerrero (author), follow me on https://shadesoftheorient.wordpress.com/2019/11/15/fiction-fridays/or check out my Amazon Page at:Stephanie Guerrero

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Dreaming of a publishing contract? Here’s your chance!

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Hear, ye. Hear, ye. If you’re looking to publish your latest novel, read on. And feel free to spread the word. This summer is shaping up to be the best one ever.

TAKING FLIGHT ANNUAL CONTEST

Winged Publications presents its first annual contest–Taking Flight!! (Indie published okay to submit)
Any genre! Only clean or inspirational, please.
If fewer than five submitted in a category, your book will be placed in the next, closest genre.


Entry fee $45 for Taking Flight Writing Contest 2019

  • First prize winner receives a book contract
  • Second prize winner receives a critique of synopsis and first three chapters
  • Third prize is a critique of a synopsis
    *Book contract entails the publication of winning title under the standard contracts held by Winged Publications. Grand prize winner will be provided with details upon announcement.

Submissions will be received from June 1, 2019 until July 31, 2019. Finalists announced the end of August and winners announced mid-September. Judges will be multi-published authors.

Send your synopsis and first three chapters to wingedpublications@gmail.com putting Taking Flight Contest 2019 in the subject line. You will then be emailed the link to pay the submission fee. Your entry will not be valid until fee is paid. Indie published authors welcome to submit.


There will be a winner for every category of more than five entries.

Write on!

Categories
Author Interview Author Recommendation Writer's Tool Box Writing TIPS

Sit-down with Lana Higginbotham: Get to know the spirit behind the stories

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The awesome strength of nature is amazing to behold.

Hey guys. I hope everyone is enjoying the shift in seasons and that nasty weather is on the decline. (We had a corker lightning storm Saturday night. Full on cracking, white light flashing in the wee hours. Lovely. But I’m weird that way.)

Meanwhile, I’m back with another author interview. Why do I do them? Because learning keeps us fresh. And the best way to learn is to glean wisdom from those who have gone before. Those who are doing what we want to do — keep writing. (Reading, too!)

So who is Lana Higginbotham? And why WRITING?

Lana Lynne Higginbotham – well rounded, firmly grounded, and sharing the realities of God and family — the foundation for satisfying romance.

Firstly, I am Lana “Lynne” Higginbotham (Did you all catch that middle name? It’s important, but we’ll get there.) As a Speech-Language Pathologist and a writer/author, I wear two hats. My love of reading led me to writing early. During a terrible bout of scarlet fever at the age ten, my mother encouraged me to use her typewriter to decrease my boredom. It stirred stories, and I wrote, putting poems and stories in a drawer all the way through school. My high school Creative Writing teacher fanned the flames. I also participated in theater and started college in the theater department as a Communications major.

Earning degrees is excellent training for the long haul of continued publication!

However, an unexpected college course touched my heart and led to a change in my major from Communications to Speech Pathology. I married, became a mother, graduated with three degrees: Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Education with a Speech Pathology Major and a Special Education Minor, and a Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology.

I live with my husband in East Texas. We are empty nesters and proud grandparents. (I’ll bet your granddaughter is pretty proud, too!)

You write romance, but what’s your message, Lana?

We all need guidance at the crossroads!

I have always loved romance, but I believe the best ones must also involve God and family. My characters all face challenging circumstances. None of my heroes and heroines find each other on their own. I want my readers to look for God’s hand during the everyday moments, as well as during the trials, recognizing how He walks us all eternally home.

How does family/work/personal life play a role in your writing?

I treasure my family heritage. It is a legacy of faith and love. My readers can see how important family is to me. I gleaned inspiration for my post Civil War novels from the heritage of my great-grandfather who served as a 3rd lieutenant in the 4th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, but my fictional characters served in the 3rd Arkansas.

Supporting those who support us doesn’t end on the battlefield.

My advocacy for soldiers draws from this lineage and also from growing up during the Vietnam war. I wore an MIA bracelet until it fractured into two pieces. The soldier never returned home and is still listed as missing.

Due to my years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, I also support those who have developmental and physical disabilities. One of my characters has suffered a spinal cord injury.

So what spurred that first book? And do tell about what’s out there for us to buy!

When my daughter entered middle school, I found my pen stirring again. I had continued to write poetry and learned to oil paint throughout my life. And after unearthing the last story I had started in high school, I headed to the library to start the historical research needed for the late 1866 period of my novel. But the winding road of writing prevailed. (Isn’t that always the way? That nagging have-to that isn’t satisfied until the words come out.)

And now. . .

INTENSE!

These are my published historical fiction novels under my pen name, Lana Lynne:

Home Always Beckons: A New Sunrise (First Publication 2009; Second Edition 2018); Trails of Change: A New Sunset (First Publication 2010; Second Edition 2018); and Sunbeams at Twilight: A Life’s Echo (First Publication 2012-first printing 2012, second printing 2014, Second Edition 2018). A Compass of Stars in Her Eyes (First Publication 2018) is my newest historical fiction romance.

Whimsy’s world holds treasures. Are YOU ready?

My first contemporary Christian novella is Whimsy Michaels and Her Amazing Room (First publication 2018).

Other writing credits include: A creative nonfiction novel, written with a coauthor: Life Between the Letters: The Chuck and Mary Felder Story (First Publication 2014) by Lana Lynne Higginbotham and Mary K. Felder. Unfortunately, this title is now unavailable due to the closing of my previous publisher. (Amazon, however, seems to have found copies. Pricey, but that’s a matter of perspective.)

The memories and wisdom of the greatest generation must be preserved!

Mary is now in her nineties. She is pleased with the people the story reached. The signings and public appearances/talks we made together following the book’s release satisfied her. The book received all five star reviews while available.

Well worth the read if you want to write!

In the arena of non-fiction, I am delighted to be part of the new collaboration release: Make Your Mark: Writing Tips from the authors of Winged Publications (2018).

Take us through your writing your process.

The characters come to me first. It’s like their names are whispered in my ears. The story premise soon follows and then the research process starts. I love going down that rabbit hole and the many tunnels of libraries, historical societies, newspaper archives, vintage bookstores, and internet searches. The last—internet research—is my least favorite. I’d rather visit the places and research the history of the cities, states, and surrounding areas in person. You don’t know the air, the smells, or people until you do. I’ve written from an outline and also without one, letting the story unfold on its own. Both have merits, but each story is different.

Whimsy Michaels and Her Amazing Room is my only novella. This contemporary story took me by surprise. I could feel the Lord’s leading on every page.

What has your writing journey taught you about yourself? I am a patriotic American girl with deep roots. God, family, and Country are my core. (Amen!)

Realize your worth, ladies!

What would you like other women to know/learn?

Their value. I think this really shows in all of my heroines, but especially in the characters of Hallie in Sunbeams at Twilight and Mina in A Compass of Stars in Your Eyes.

What’s next on your horizon?

My current WIP is set in the late 1930s and 1940s. It is a fictional story based on some of a family member’s real childhood escapades.(The family member wishes to remain anonymous.) I love Mark Twain’s adventure stories. I hope to honor this story-style. Due to burning the candle at both ends, I’ve taken a short break to care for family and myself. So, finishing it has slowed a bit. My critique group members were enjoying it, but understood when I took a break.

Sometimes a slow-down is what’s needed to keep that smile bright!

My husband and I continue to work. I am a SLP at an outpatient pediatric clinic. He teaches high school speech/theater/radio and also acts in the professional Texas Shakespeare Festival during the summers. We love time with our granddaughter and our second grandchild is due in June.

What would you recommend to new writers/established writers?

Don’t try to write like everyone else. You do need the input from critique groups, writing groups, conferences, and editors to hone your craft, but keep your individual voice. No one else can write your story the way you do.

Where can reader’s best connect with you? Social media, etc.

I am on FB-personal page and an author’s page, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon Author page, and Pinterest. (Translated: Lana is EVERYWHERE ;^)

Check out my website: http://www.lanalynne.com for links to my social media pages and other information about my books.

************

So there you have it. Another sit-down to tuck away and review whenever the writing journey gets you down. Thank YOU, Lana. And thank you readers. Don’t forget Lana’s sweet spirit-fused romances that will fuel your creative muse when she needs a rest. (What’s summer without a great books?)

Write on!

Categories
New Release

She’s keeping her baby–FALLEN ANGEL: Diamond Dogs Book 1

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She’s #keepingherbaby. Join rape survivor Angel le Blanc on a terror fueled mission to stay alive. . . if only to protect her innocent child. #inspy #Christian #newrelease #mustread #romanticsuspense #prolife #amreading

This is only some of the ad copy I’m engaging to spread the word about my debut novel FALLEN ANGEL: Diamond Dogs Book 1 released by Winged Publications Forget Me Not Romances and available on Amazon Kindle. (Hard copy versions to follow. Believe me, I’ll let you know ;^)

NO, the whole world can’t get pregnant, it just feels that way. Kind of like getting published.

Am I excited? You bet. I’ve been writing novels–I can’t recall how many–ever since depression hit like a sledgehammer when I finally became pregnant with Melanie, my oldest daughter. The self-care guru. You’d think it would have been one of the happiest times of my life. And it was. But after a half decade of infertility–shots, surgeries, temperature taking and untold lovelies that worked better than any birth control–I found myself needing something else. Something meaty to absorb the obsessive compulsive. Something to focus on. Anything.

Kiddos need attention, but hyper vigilance often leads to helicopter parenting. An entirely different subject. (Melanie penned her first novel A Princess and the Mummy at age 4. A graphic novel ;^) This latest baby, FALLEN ANGEL, is taking the spotlight today. The first in a series of buckle-in books. Tales to sink readers deep into the experience of being a target and what it means to fight back. As a civilian or a security cleared member of an elite, compartmentalized black ops organization. (Roham Arshad, the CIA contribution to the Inter-Agency Diamond Dogs, finds the battle against self almost as hard as the most hardened terrorist. But that’s what happens when the lines between work and romance cross. Life is messy.)

But there’s more than stalking, explosions and the creeping unknown.

Your life WILL change.

FALLEN ANGEL covers the familiar. For who hasn’t experienced what it’s like to do the right thing–what conscience demands–only to have the world turn against you. Sometimes we even doubt ourselves.

Channel your inner mama bear and see where it leads!

And it’s not only Christians who experience the struggle. The fight to do what’s right, what you need to do for yourself other others is real. Goodness knows I’m familiar with that. And not only because I’ve plowed through the countless manuscripts that led to today. Squeee. I’m a published author!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for following. And . . .

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Return of the VORTEX: Make all your characters work for you!

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The Basics never change!

Who? What? Where? When? Why? And how? The writer’s life, more than most, orbits these six mysteries. Chief among them is who. Characters are the backbone of storytelling. Somebody must want something, fight for something, and need it badly enough— no whims— for readers to engage. The reader himself is a character, bringing his or her experiences to the story world to interact on the stage that we writer’s set. A stage peopled with a supporting cast.

Enter the POLAR VORTEX.

Today’s headline on Fox—RETURN OF THE VORTEX: ‘Brutal’ arctic surge to send temperatures plunging, bring ‘life threatening’ cold snap—is certainly an attention getter.

The Polar VORTEX looks like the Blob. Either that or Sherwin Williams paint ready to smother us all beneath its frigid snowy blueness–RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

The line makes the weather out to be a character of sorts. A force to be feared, battled, a significant something that will bring death if not properly engaged. That’s motivation. That’s the why that gets characters up and running and readers turning pages.

Drought is the villain in this non-fiction.

But weather can be a villain. It can be a silent, facilitating friend. It can take the place of a lover when a soft breeze fills the lonely void, soothing the burn of the sun with the gentlest caress. However you’d like to view it, the weather is something to which every reader can relate. And more often than not engage with when writers use this oft forgotten cast member to add drama, intrigue, and catharsis.

Award winning novelist and writing coach, K.M. Weiland is another firm believer that weather is a writer’s friend. Not boring description to be skipped.

So why not give weather the attention it deserves? Why not let the weather work for you. You can control it in your novel after all.

The following clip intended for children–a venue I love because these kind of videos break things way down–gives an examples of extreme weather and what it can do.

My list of potential extreme villains and/or facilitating friends includes the following:

  1. Flash flood
  2. Blizzard (A best friend if the hero/heroine end up snowed in together. With food of course! Otherwise it could turn into a horror story.)
  3. Heat wave (Cars do break down, people. Been there. Done that. I have no love loss for the Mojave or oasis gas stations that gouge women with heat stroking cats in transit.)
  4. Tornado (Two greeted the family and I when we caravanned to Florida back in ’03. One from the Atlantic, another from the Gulf. My first taste of southern hospitality.)
  5. Hurricane (My husband’s recollections of his time spent in Japan is absolutely book worthy.)
  6. Hail (Colorado lovelies–not.)
  7. The dreaded Derecho (Humid as hell with lightning striking like a mad dog.)
  8. Dystopian drought
  9. Gray days (The kind that grate on like a nagging in-law.)
  10. Brilliant blue skies (A great contrast to a psychological thriller or heaped up saccharine for a depressed protagonist. Blue skies don’t always translate to happy.)

You get the idea? I know you do. We’re writers. Creative people. It’s just nice sometimes to get permission to do what instinct insists upon. So what’s your weather go to. I’d love to add it to the list. Now stay warm–THE VORTEX COMMETH–and…

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Celebration Exodus: Move it on out, girl!

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OMG – maybe that was Bruce Willis manhandling boxes in my room?

It came. The new chair! And a desk actually intended for an adult. Squeee. Check out the Grinch doing what grinches do—at least in my house. Mattresses aren’t their only fetish.

Apparently, there’s something primal about schlepping two ton boxes and “building” desks. A 54″ Bayside cutie with 3 built in USB and 2 power ports satisfied appetites this time out.

Women don’t have six arms, but they often have bad backs.

Mine, too. The older I get the less inclined I am to prove squat. To include taking on mammoth tasks that make either my back or my wallet weep. Yes, I could have put the desk together, but my good-hearted Grinch is close at hand. And Costco is reasonable.

Pressed into service but smiling–and in a picture, too!

Father and son tackled the shift from teeny scribe station to a spine sensitive office setup. THANK YOU! It doesn’t matter that Nick was roped into service–posing for photos is such drudgery. But hey, rent must be paid. I paid mine back in the day ;^)

My contribution now is looking ahead. Clinging to outmoded ideas–and furniture–is not smart. Not when better options are there, ready and willing to make life easier for yours truly. You did catch that this new desk has built in USB and power ports? Out with the old. And no tears this time.

A desk with knee space and a chair with lumbar support. Could it be love??

But hey, turning around no longer involves fearing my chair may fall apart while minding fingers so they don’t get mashed. Again. That mesh seat? Breathable. Perfect for long hours spent doing what I do best. Writing. Creating roller coaster romantic suspense that takes me away. You can come, too, when FALLEN ANGEL, Book One in my DIAMOND DOGS series is released by Winged Publication: Forget Me Not Romances. Where stories really do take flight! (Dates will be blogged post haste as they come.)

There’s too much space!

Boo isn’t quite sure what to make of this new setup. She stands at the ready to be picked up whenever she feels the urge to spy on the birds below my window. But she’s a free agent when it comes to getting lap time and cuddles. Wisk. She hops right up since there’s plenty of room. Now to find a protective glass shield to defend against kitty claws. I want this desk to last, but finding a glass top is a challenge. Unless I’m willing to part with $209.00 which I am not. Can you say recycled glass?

Meanwhile, I’m digging into my next novel, CRAVING GRACE—Don’t we all?—Book 2 of DIAMOND DOGS.

2019 has me saying goodbye to a lot of things: delusions about doing it all myself, furniture best retired, and other bad habits—like penning myself into big 5 publishing. I’m so exciting about learning to fly with Winged Publications: Forget Me Not Romances. I hope you are, too.

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Christian Fiction: Personal Shopper

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No do-overs for wasted time!

Time is precious. Productive people make the most of it. Those with too much time often waste what they have, regretting it later when time has run out.

But whether you’re pressed or blessed with abundance, if you like a good inspy, you’ll LOVE this new service offered by Christian Book Heaven.

Monday thru Friday email alerts unite readers with Christion ebook deals. That often translates to lower prices. Although a reasonably priced book is often the best deal already, offering top quality entertainment as is.

I’d like more Forget Me Not Romances, please!

Genres tracked range from Amish, Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, Biblical Fiction, Children and Middle Grade. They also cover non-Fiction. Visit Christian Book Heaven for details, and sign up if you value your time . . . and money.

Writer’s may discover that hiring a personal shopper to advertise their work pays. Discounting or bundling books is a great way to tempt new readers. But even the most ardent book lover can’t feast on a deal they don’t KNOW is out there.

Time is precious, so let’s make the best use of it.

Write on!