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Author Interview Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Holiday Musings

Ash Keller–Fresh, FUNNY, and Wickedly Talented. A Must Read for Romantic Comedy!

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WHAT DO YOU WANT IN YOUR HORN OF PLENTY?

Life is ripe with choices, spilled out like a Horn of Plenty. Cornucopias if you’re putting on airs. And why not? Accents and attitudes are fun. Entertaining, absolutely, but often necessary.

Who hasn’t changed their tone for that critical interview? The BE-THERE party or that dreaded public speaking encounter? (Raise a hand for keeping it real!)

But kid-me loved drawing cornucopias at the kitchen table when the leaves began to fall. Why? I could select my favorite things–grapes with fanciful tendrils, bumpy gourds, and yummy artichokes–and stuff them inside. Favorite things, in whatever color I chose, could spill out or hide in the tip.

The more the better.

ASH AND HUSBAND JAMES KEEPING IT REAL–REALLY PLAYFUL AT HALLOWEEN!

There’s nothing like a jumbo box of Crayolas and a kid–of any age–eager to decide for herself. To choose her friends. Select her surroundings. And engage fully on the path chosen or change course with unflagging courage!

DON’T TELL ANYONE ASH IS REALLY A ZOMBIE LIBRARIAN!!!

That leads me to today’s guest. The delightful and ever demonstrative, Ash Keller. Chock full of talent, brimming with personality, wholly accessible, and a consummate professional in terms of career and the care she extends everyone in her circle. She’s almost too dang fun.

Dead serious.

Ash writes romantic comedy from experience, folks, and how sweet it is.

This SASSY SCRIBE is one to watch for antics, information, and FIERCE mother-love. The bear type that roots out injustice, slays snarling or suited beasts, and plucks that thorn from your paw with the gentlest touch. (Okay, I’m thinking bear costume. I know Ash has a weakness for those lovely ones. Wild, YOU BET, and bad to the bone. I dig bears, too!)

SUPER CUTE!

The pairing of big dreams with big trouble is familiar territory for Ash. Absolutely read THE CHRISTMAS SECRET, Ash’s hilarious and so-sweet romantic comedy, one of eight diverse voices in SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romantic Holiday Collection.

Brought to you by Readertainment.

If you like your heroes broody and your heroines skilled, self-aware, and determined not to let moods or men ruin time spent in FORCED PROXIMITY, get thee to Amazon. NOW! The .99 cent pre-order price is days away from ending.

Do you really want to deprive yourself? I hope not if you follow this blog or happen to stop by. Whatever your catnip–GO FOR IT. Life is short and the chief reason to make this go-round count.

So, forgetting the serious, what’s your favorite time of year, Ash, and why?

Everyone loves fall, right? Sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes, bonfires! And Halloween is my very favorite holiday. My husband and I always throw a Halloween party (except this year…Covid is a party pooper) and I have tons of fun choosing a theme every October.

CHOOSING!!! Great theme, Ash, anytime of year, but we’re racking it up for #teampumpkinspice! Here’s a how-to from one of my favorites. The Mom Life Balance!

Then again, there’s a reason spring green is my favorite color. There’s nothing better than watching the earth come back to life after a harsh winter. And it’s the best time of year to put my pink kayak in the water. 

FEELIN’ THE PINK!

But it’s hard to beat summer. Fireflies, camping, lake days…need I say more?

The only season I’m not a fan of is winter. I hate to be cold. But that’s why God gave us electric blankets, hot chocolate, and snuggly cats! (YES, YES, and–hmmm–heck, YES!)

LOVING THE ENEMY? YIKES.

This talented must-read author has another romantic comedy on Amazon that you’ll really like. If close proximity and fake relationships–putting on attitude?–tickle your funny bone, check out Not Happy Campers, included in THE FUNNY THING ABOUT LOVE. A collection of feel-good sweet, romance stories by Enchanted Quill Press. How enchanting!

What’s your favorite animal, Ash? Do you have ONE??? This choosing business is difficult sometimes.

MEET KIRBY!

I’m a crazy cat lady. It’s a good thing I’m married or I’d have enough cats to form a kitty baseball team. My husband says no more than two…so we have three.

Ha!

OMG. Crazy cat lady. Can you feel the fur, peeps? The love? There’s a reason Ash and I gravitated toward one another along with our SASSY SCRIBE sisters!

So, tell us more. I *KNOW* that can’t be all. Animal fans could use some assurance about sharing the cuddles with all God’s creatures. Empower us!

SMART CHICKS!

I also LOVE chickens and have a backyard flock. In exchange for eggs, I hand-feed them grapes. They spoil me so I spoil them. It’s only fair.

Oh, yes, bring on the feather babies. Hens are the BEST!! And with you giving them grapes, they will follow you to the ends of the earth. (Mine used to follow my shovel to get earthworms!)

What’s your biggest fantasy?

Paying off my student loans (and my husband’s!), buying an RV, and traveling to every national park. (In search of bears, I hope. Ash will keep us posted on her newsletter. Sign up for laughs and the continued assurance that what makes you smile is the way to go!)

WE KNOW THE ANSWER!

Okay. Final question. Do you feel the pressure??? Think Miss Universe and tell me, would you strive for world peace? Why or why not?

Of course. What kind of monster wouldn’t want world peace?

FULL MARKS, Ash. Direct, impassioned, and too true. That must be why you pursue precisely that in your Horn of Plenty. That is the colorful embrace of life, love, GOOD HUMOR, and those little things that bring true joy. Your example is the best and something I’m determined to promote. Why? There are so many readers, writers, women, and men who will benefit from the go-for-it spirit that surrounds you. ((HUGS)) And thank you.

It’s been a pleasure, Ash, as always. And as I always do, I ask you dear readers to communicate with Ash and myself and all the SASSY SCRIBES. We’re determined to brighten our individual corners and yours, too. So, drop us a line. Help us help you. It really can be a win/win for world peace and a lot of laughs along the way there.

Write ON!

STAY CONNECTED

 

 

 

 

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Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Cover Reveals Holiday Musings New Release

SNOW IN LOVE: And it’s not even Fall!

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Okay, people. BIG changes going on at my house. Depression? NO. That’s SO last season and thank God. Thank you all, too. Very much.

Okay. I’m drawing energy from our bathroom remodel, too. BILs totally rock.

I’m here with big news. Really big. Life altering for me and about dang time. (Feel free to chime in below and tell me all about it. A kick in the skirts from good friends, delivered with LOVE, is better than any prescription. But I digress.)

Prep yourself for SASSY SCRIBES. My tribe–a fabulous collection of honest, emotion-filled, unashamed ladies who know precisely what to do when faced with life’s dramas–have a debut collection.

SNOW IN LOVE. It’s a sweet gathering of DIVERSE holiday romances that reflect us, the woman in all of us and the myriad voices that make us each unique. All in on place. And ALL FOR ONLY .99 CENTS … provided you order now. But, seriously, what is there to loose? (Anxiety? Disinformation? A Grinchy spirit?)

CLICK HERE–you KNOW you want to!

8 DYNAMIC romances

8 FRESH voices

8 REASONS to celebrate the SEASON (Cuddling up with those touching tales–and touchable heroes–that stir our hearts is a needs-must whether snow is flying or sun is baking. Am I right?)

Sweet HEAT at an unbeatable price. Order now at Amazon! Brought to you by Readertainment Press!

More to the point, I’d like to ask your patronage and support for our little tribe. Growing and, God willing, growing STRONG not only for ourselves but all of us. SASSY SCRIBES will bring you SWEET HEAT all-the-way! Want to see somethng? SAY something. We’re listening.

Look for more promos to come. More ENERGY. Collections. And all the tropes you love and more, explored from different points of view. But always with love. Empowerment is for EVERYONE.

Write on and huge HUGS!

Ann

p.s. Do drop the pairings you’d like to see in the comments below. Our bathroom remodel has me thinking harried career woman and the oh-so-capable craftsman next door! Helllo!

#prerelease #romance #contemporaryromance #holidayromance #Thanksgiving #Christmas #Kwanzaa #NewYears #Holidays #cleanreads #cleanandwholesomeromance

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!

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CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS

Friends: There’s no LIVING without them!

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First, dear readers, thank you for being my friends. I love the follows, the posts, the connections being created by blogging on WordPress, engaging on Facebook and Twitter. Diving into Instagram and now LinkedIn is providing an even greater social circle. (Something I often lacked as a homeschooling mom whose husband’s career required our family pick up and move every two seconds. No kidding.)

I’ve recently discovered I love hearing from fans, too. Brittany, you know who you are!

No shameless plugs forthcoming, but publishing my novels has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. To the family, too, as mom is either occupied with her own busies and/or oozing satisfaction thanks to all the support of her growing FUN-base. That makes the whole house happier. Boo, too. (She’s allowing my newest arrival to share her desk space!)

My bestie, Patrice Lewis!
She does it all.

And my biggest fan and bestie, Patrice Lewis, reminded me yesterday what it means to have the support of friends, long term and through all manner of muck that doesn’t bear repeating. Suffice to say we’ve been pals since our babies were in diapers—some babies not even born yet. We’ve had plenty of book babies together, too. (There’s nothing like a critique session where your toddlers learn first-hand how to use words, tone of voice, and body language to manipulate their surroundings. Our collective 5 have absorbed every lesson. Precocious was the word. Our kiddos are all grown, and nearly all flown. But they’re armed!)

Long-stemmed smiles

But, Patrice Lewis, who I know you’ll get to know and love as I do, sent me the most beautiful bouquet yesterday. Two dozen long-stemmed smiles (multi-colored roses) with an assortment of chocolate candy chasers. (A dieter’s must-have when cheating becomes a virtue.) She sent the same to our new friend Cheryl Williford of Amish Inspirational novel fame. (Thank you ACFW Scribes!)

Cheryl Williford – generous, kind, and TALENTED

Cheryl’s latest novel, Their Convenient Amish Marriage is available for pre-order on Amazon. (Pinecraft here we come!) You don’t want to miss her tender treatment of life’s unexpected happenings that occur whether or not you’re living plain.

To get the skinny on why this shower of roses, you’ll have to visit Patrice Lewis. You’ll find the sweetest example of serendipity. Providence. And everything from Patrice’s ‘Simplicity Primer’ – a guide to making the life you want – to e-booklets on cheese making, canning, and dehorning cattle! She’s got it ALL!

Who knows? You may know Patrice from her longtime blog Rural Revolution – a revolution that has left her homesteading family well fed physically and spiritually. She’s also the force behind REAL AMERICA on WND.

Check it out.  And if you like sweet Amish romance, get ready for some Patrice Lewis titles in the near future. She’s a wonderful woman – a dedicated writer – and the very best of friends. I couldn’t live without her.

Write on!!