One Way A Book Gets Written

For all the books I’ve written, the stories have come from my imagination. I’ve written the stories and later contracted them. I’ve had rejections for those stories and I’ve taken the tales and revised, edited and revised again.

But The Baron’s Blunder is the exception.

Every November since 2009 I’ve written a story during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve written some stories that I’ve felt inspired to write. I’ve written flash fiction, short stories, novellas and full length novels. I’ve written contemporary, historicals and romantic suspense. I’ve never submitted a story idea to an agent, editor or publisher that I haven’t already written – at least the rough draft.

I work as an Acquisitions Editor for Prism Book Group. It’s a smaller e-book publishing house. One of the benefits of being in a family of authors like Prism’s is that they become family. Authors supporting, praying, encouraging each other and cross-promoting books. Another up-side is that occasionally our Editor-in-Chief comes up with a crazy idea to do a novella series.

FragileBlessingsWe did a collection last fall of Christmas stories. All authors could participate. I’m an author and had a manuscript that I dusted off and sent in Fragile Blessings. That wasn’t the original title but I love it. A historical novella I’d written years ago that needed a lot of work, finally was read by others. It ended up as an e-book as well as in a collection of historical novellas called Love’s Christmas Past.

All that to say is my “boss” decided we should do a series of novellas based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Each story was to show some aspect of that chapter. Authors submitted their ideas and soon all the topics were taken. Authors stared writing and as an editor, I started to work on edits for a bevy of stories and I had the majority of them finished before November 2015.

I wrote another novel for National Novel Writing Month in November of 2015. I finished and in December I got back to work on edits for my authors. My boss sent me an email asking me if I could write a novella for the Love Is series about the topic: Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth.

THE Baron's BlunderWell, I’ll try. I thought about trying to add a novella in my Orchard Hill series but the story idea I had for the next book didn’t quite fit that subject. I looked at my Regency series. It has five books and I wondered if perhaps I could pull a minor character from the first novel and give him or her a romance. I remembered that my main man, Lord Marcus Remington in The Virtuous Viscount (a Regency romance coming soon I hope!), had a sister. The Honorable Henrietta Allendale arrives mid-story, throwing a stumbling block in Marcus’s romance with Miss Josephine Storm.  Henrietta is married to a man named Lord Percy. So for this novella I wrote their romance.

I had so much fun. I was afraid I couldn’t write on demand but obviously that was a lie. And I hope readers enjoy my Regency romp of a romantic suspense as I did writing it. The Baron’s Blunder is up for preorder and releases on Friday, August 26th, 2016.

Spatzle Speaks: Accidental Mystery at Camp Soaring Eagle (Book Review)

accidental mysteryDale McElhinney’s debut novel, Accidental Mystery at Camp Soaring Eagle is a mid-grade tale that I’m sure the kids in my house will love. At least mom thinks so.

Summer is fun at camp and Shaun and his friends are looking forward to the rivalry between cabins. What they didn’t expect was a variety of what first appear to be mis-adventures. Swimming, horse-back riding, canoeing, volleyball, capture-the-flag and stories by the campfire are what they expected. But strange things are happening and the boys are determined to discover what. Initially they suspect the dirty dealings of another group of campers but the adventures become deadly and could threaten the future of the camp. The boys learn lessons about faith and friendship as they try to save the camp and solve the mystery. It becomes a wild adventure for them all.

This book is mid-grade fiction. Geared for boys (and yes, girls) it will keep them riveted and prove that reading is fun. Too bad dogs aren’t allowed at camp though. I would have enjoyed being with them all (well, except for the water stuff, I don’t like getting wet). I look forward to more great stories from this author!

BONUS! There’s more activities relating to the book found at this web site: http://www.campsoaringeaglemysteries.com/

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

 

 

 

I give this book five bones. Because I’m a dog and that’s what I do.

Writer Wednesday: Andrea Boeshaar

AKB 2013_small picI met Andrea a few years ago at a writer’s conference. Later we began carpooling together to our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writer’s meetings. We had so much fun we became not only friends, but critique and accountability partners for our writing and pray for each other over all the ups and downs of life and writing. I’m glad you got meet her!

When did you decided that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ?
I started writing as a child. My earliest recollection of actually producing a work of fiction, was when I was in 4th grade. I wrote a story called “Little Miss Mouse.” Each day, on my way home from grade school, I used to stop at the library and write. I was quite proud of my lined notebook and penciled story. Little did I realize my mother kept it. I found it among her belongings after she died in 2012.

What’s your pet peeve?
Cleaning my house. Seems such a waste of time. It just gets messing/dirty again.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
Realizing that a proposal I had sent to an editor had many, many misspellings in it.

What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?

The slow pace at which I now write. It didn’t always used to be that way. In the 1990s, I could write four 50K word novels and one novella per year. Now it takes me a good four to six months per book!

ebook_seasonsoflove copyHow do you process rejections and/or negative reviews?
My first book was published in 1994 by Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing). Since then, I’ve written some 40 books, fiction and nonfiction. Therefore, the way I process rejection and negative views has morphed greatly over the years. While once I let such things ruin my day, now I don’t let it rent space in my head. Too many characters live there anyway. Writers cannot take rejection personally. It happens. It’s a part of being a writer and journeying toward publication. As for negative reviews…if a reader states something like, “The book was too boring. I set it down after two pages.” I consider the comment, but compare it to the other reviews posted. If all other reviews (except that one) are glowing, I discount it as merely one reader’s viewpoint. But if the majority of reviews are negative, I take them to heart AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE and try to figure out how I can make my next book better.

What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
I have helped at least a dozen authors get published and when I see their success, I rejoice. They are precious gems in the crown I will lay down at my Savior’s feet someday. I love to encourage other writers which is one of the reasons I partnered with Lynn Coleman, Tracie Peterson, and others to begin ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?
1) Don’t give up. 2) Work on being the best author you can be. 3) Rejoice with others when they share their good publishing news – even if you’re feeling envious you can’t share similar news. Amazingly, God will use that for His good – and I speak from personal experience.

As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
I want to be known for stories that are Christian-based faith in action. Stories that touch others’ lives, whether they’re Christians or unbelievers, in search of the Way, Truth, and Life. I’m already seeing a wee bit of my legacy in one of my sons who is writing a nonfiction book. And I see my legacy unfolding in one of my grandsons, who, each time he visits, has to sit at my desk and pretend he’s “writing a book.”

What is your current work in process?
I’ve actually got more than one WIP because, even though I might not actively be working on a book, it’s still percolating in my head.

ATSF cover_smallToo Deep for Words, book 2 in my Shenandoah Valley Saga (coming February or April 2017). After it’s finished, I plan to work on revisions for a super cute novel for Prism Book Group that I’ve tentatively Building a Dream. I can’t wait to dive into that project. After that, it’s on to a secret fiction project that I can’t yet discuss (but I can tease about…ha, ha…) I’ll follow that novel up with writing There Is a Season, book 3 in the Shenandoah Valley Saga.

Links to social media:

Website: www.andreaboeshaar.com

Facebook      Twitter       Pinterest

Blog: “Everything Writerly

 

Spatzle Speaks: Evidence Not Seen (Book Review)

This fabulous tell of mystery and family secrets by Carlene Havel is a great addition to the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group. Evidence Not Seen beautifully illustrates “love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Jeff Galloway grew up with his father in prison and his mom single-handedly raising him. A grown man and a successful attorney he comes to a crossroads when his girlfriend dumps him for greater fortunes in another town. A chance encounter brings Melanie Clark into his path and the soft-hearted social worker stretches his faith in fresh ways while helping come to grips with the past as his father is released from prison.

Did his father commit the crime? if he is as innocent his mother claims, why would he go to prison for it? Where was the proof? As he investigates he is forced to learn to let go of the past as he realizes the truth of all that happened 27 years ago and start afresh to learn the integrity of the father he’d long disdained.

This story looks at our own perceptions and beliefs and the associated emotions that can knock us off stride and away from truth–and love. Melanie becomes a force to help him realize the truth and let go of the past, and forgive. This beautifully told story deserves five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Through Raging Waters (Book Review)

RagingWaters copyRenee Blare has done it again with a fast paced romantic suspense that will be hard to put down. The last we left the Snowy Range Chronicles, in To Soar on Eagle Wings, Steve Mitchell had married Rachel Fitzgerald. Now a new adventure hits the area featuring Rachel’s best friend as her brother who his also Steve’s best friend. And life is going to get rough in Through Raging Waters.

Mother nature is doing her best to wash out the town of  Timber Springs and Ranger Steve Mitchell is going to do everything he  can to prevent that. Obstacles continue to rise and when his father-in-law suffers a heart attack in the middle of he storm he calls on his best friend, and son of the pastor, Paul Fitzgerald to assist. Unfortunately Paul is going to be need for even more than saving his dad’s life.

As the flood continues to escalate wiping out everything in its path and the storms keep coming, Steve calls on Paul and others to a rescue mission in the mountains. Paul hasn’t done any of that since a disaster traumatized him in his past but he steps up and his controlled life is slowly eroded in the process. He’s only just started to open his heart to love again with Melissa but is forced to set that aside to do the head into danger. Getting injured and relying on his annoying brother wasn’t part of his plan, but maybe that’s just what God needed to use to get through to his heart and faith locked away deep inside.

Melissa Hampton has been battling on several fronts: her mysterious beginnings being discovered in her mother’s keepsakes, her budding affection for the enigmatic pharmacist, brother to her best friend, Paul and the challenges of working for BJ Parker. When BJ is in danger she tries to find him only to realize the one who is really in trouble is Paul. She realizes she has more courage than she expected when forced into challenging circumstances to save the man she loves.

The best part of the story is that Paul has a dog. Yup. A great dog. They call it a therapy dog but hey, aren’t all dogs therapeutic? I think that’s what I am to my mom. So because it’s a non-stop action-packed novel filled with faith and love, I’ll give it five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

 

5 bones for blog

 

Writer Wednesday: Linda Yezak

Linda 2010Linda Yezak has become a friend made through social media who has been gracious in helping me with my own book promotions. It is with delight that I interview her for my blog and she’s offering to do a drawing for a copy of her latest novel, The Final Ride as well! Someday I’m going to enjoy meeting the resident of 777 Peppermint Place in person and it will be so much fun. Enjoy getting to know Linda and her journey as an author.

When did you decide that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when my husband and I moved from our hometown, I took it up again. I didn’t get serious about it until I actually typed “the end” on my first (awful) novel. I got so excited–and knew absolutely nothing about the business–that I sent the manuscript to a publisher without letting anyone who knows anything about writing read it. By the time I got their inevitable rejection letter, I was hooked on writing, and decided to take it far more seriously.

What’s your pet peeve?
Drivers who see me coming at them on the highway at 75 mph and pull out in front of me anyway. There’s gotta be a special kind of punishment for them.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
When I discovered Google Alert the hard way. Not once, but twice. The first time is a two-parter, when I critiqued William Brohaugh’s Write Tight. I included a comment that sometimes we have to rely on the reader’s common sense. The reader can probably figure things out without us having to be so particular about how we write them. He responded. Who knew he’d even find my measly post on a blog that is just one kazoo in a zillion-piece orchestra?

Then I responded to him, not expecting to hear from him again, and he responded to that.

But that was a good experience. The second was a huge faux pas on my part, and I still kick myself for it.
I’d landed an agent. I was so excited, I was cartwheeling. We just needed to make the deal official with a contract, but I was finally an agented author.

Problem was, at the time, I didn’t know much about hiring an agent. Mike Hyatt had a post about predator agents and he wrote a list of questions to ask. I wrote a post on my own blog, telling about my experience with getting this new agent and how I felt uncertain of myself because of what Mike had written. I said something along the lines of “I don’t even know this woman.”

Well, “this woman” found the post and got offended, not that I blame her. Bye-bye agent.
Since then, I’ve been far more careful.

What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?
Learning the business end of the business–promotions, marketing, the algorithms that make the system crank my books higher in visibility. I spent so much time polishing my craft, that I neglected all this. I hate discovering how many things I’ve done wrong. Sigh.

GiveTheLadyARide_2016 KindleHow do you process rejections and/or negative reviews?
I blow them off. People have their opinions. One lady wrote that she didn’t like the way my character in Give the Lady a Ride took the knee and bowed to God after his bull rides. She said it was too Tim Tebow-ish. Problem is, cowboys have been doing that since long before Tebow was known. Probably before he was born. Another wrote that my story bored her. She’s pretty much alone in the reviews on that one. Another couple of reviews on different books were spot-on, so I can’t complain about them.

More often than not, however, I get really good reviews, so the bad ones I get don’t bother me.

What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
Winning an honorable mention in the Saturday Evening Posts “Great Fiction” contest. I didn’t get anything for it other than to be published in their 2016 digital anthology of the 2015 winners. Still, it definitely lands in the plus column.

What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?
Take a moment to sit down and evaluate what all this business requires–aside from writing great books–and set goals. Then determine a game plan to meet those goals. This applies whether you want to go indie or the traditional route. Even though others may take care of some of the business details in traditional publishing, you should still have enough knowledge and savvy to know whether you’re getting treated fairly. Of course, if you’re indie, it’s all on your shoulders. The more you know, the more successful you’ll be.

Network with as many people as you can in this industry. I’ve been so fortunate in my years to be able to swap favors and reviews with book cover designers, editors, promo specialists, critique partners, beta readers.

Study the craft. Study and learn from other authors and write, write, write.

As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
I want my readers to understand that no matter how far they stray from their God, he is faithful and just to forgive. I see my audience not just as women of a certain age who like romantic comedy and such, but also a subset of those women who need to know it’s okay to come home, back to the fold. God isn’t a grudge-holder.

What is your current work in process?
My current WIP is Skydiving to Love, a novella I’m writing to add to a set of romance novellas some friends and I are doing together. We had a wonderful idea: Four friends, facing their thirtieth birthdays, dare each other to do the wildest thing on their bucket list. Each story is about what the author’s character chose from her list and how she goes about fulfilling it. It’s going to be fun. We just got our fourth writer recently, so we’re hoping for a fall publication.

cover proof

Leave a comment below and sign up for her newsletter, and she’ll draw a winner for a free copy of The Final Ride from those who sign up.

Links to social media:
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyezak/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LindaYezak
Goodreads: http://dld.bz/dSPmg
777 Peppermint Place: http://lindayezak.com
Newsletter: http://dld.bz/CoffeewithLinda
Amazon: http://dld.bz/LindaWYezakAmazon

Back cover copy for The Final Ride:
With her duties for her best friend’s wedding finally behind her, Patricia Talbert looks forward to discovering what “normal” will look like at her new home in Texas. She owns a ranch, is in love with its foreman, and is ready to assume her duties. Discovering what those duties entail isn’t an easy feat for a displaced socialite from Manhattan. But when her aunt Adele arrives on a mission to bring her back to New York, Patricia’s primary duty is to deflect the bumbling and bullish attempts–until one of Adele’s tricks takes her by surprise.

All of Talon Carlson’s dreams for the Circle Bar Ranch are coming true, along with another dream he never expected to be fulfilled–a chance to love again. Patricia is everything he ever wanted and more, but he made a promise to her not to ride bulls again, a promise he may have to break. His desire for a better end to his riding career is intensified by vicious rumors about why he quit. If he rides again, he will provide the ammunition Adele needs to make Patricia leave. If he doesn’t, he’ll prove the gossips right.

Patricia or Talon. Which one will take The Final Ride?

Spatzle Speaks: The Final Ride (Book Review)

cover proofLinda Yezak has finally released the follow-up to Give the Lady a Ride and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Mom was given an advanced copy to read and could not put The Final Ride down. After all, we all love cowboy stories, don’t we? My only complaint is there was no dog on that ranch. What’s up with that?

Patricia’s friend Marie is away on her honeymoon. Talon longs to marry Patricia but she’s hesitant because of the betrayal of her previous husband. He’d lied to her. She believes Talon would never do that but if he did, it could be a deal breaker for their relationship. Her aunt arrives to try to tempt her back to New York and life on the ranch gets chaotic. Romance and time alone with her beau become scarce.

Talon is faced with a dilemma. He’s a bull-rider but his last ride left him injured and recovery was hard. In the meantime he’s fallen in love with Patricia, the owner of the ranch he works for. Patricia is an “Uptown Girl” who’s finally adapted to ranch life. She loves him but has asked him to promise not to ride a bull again.

But if he does ride would he lose Patricia and his livelihood as well? Would he be sacrificing everything? And what if that’s exactly what God is calling him to do?

When the season gears up and the desire to ride is great, coupled with the taunting from a fellow rider, Talon sees red and struggles with the challenge to keep his word and ride again so that when he hangs up his bull-riding hat he’s done so at the top of his game. Not afraid like some would say he was.

The Final Ride is a sweet romance filled with conflict, fun secondary characters and a realistic struggle to negotiate love and the calling and gifts one is given. Mom couldn’t stop smiling when she had finished the book and said she wants a cowboy of her own. She’ll have to settle for me though since she’s allergic to horses!

I’m giving this book five bones even though it didn’t have a dog in it. Mom really liked it a lot. And I don’t do stars–I’m a dog.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

5 bones for blog