Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Annnnnnnnnnd the winner is????


You won Lori Benton's Fabulous Giveaway!!

Thank you to everyone who participated!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cathy West-Bridge of Faith, and a reminder.

Today on TFTR, I have a guest!

Her name is Cathy West, and we met 2 years ago in Indianapolis at ACFW 2013.

Here's a bit about Cathy...
Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at 

And people, TRUST ME!! She is going to rock and rumble contemporary fiction!!!

1) What started you on the writer's road?
I've always loved writing. It was the one thing at school I was actually good at. Well, that and art. And lunch. Once I was married and pregnant with our first, I was home and bored and started writing a story. For fun. My sister-in-law asked to read it, so, knowing how much of a reader she was, I reluctantly agreed. And she convinced me I was pretty good and should start pursuing publication. So that is how I got started. Funnily enough, 20 something years later, a version of that first story is now published under the title of Yesterday's Tomorrow. :) (

2)If you feel like reading for pleasure, which books do you return to?

It depends. I have a lot of author friends, so I'm always reading something by somebody I know, which is tons of fun - Katie Ganshert, Beth Vogt, Kristy Cambron, Susan Meissner (one day I'll be reading a Jennifer Major book), but when I read outside of CBA my favorite authors are Sarah Addison Allen, Jojo Moyes (if I want a good cry), Elizabeth Gilbert and Kate Atkinson, to name a few. I'm also a huge Anne Lamott fan and can read her books over and over again. I love the classics, and you might find me pulling out some Jane Austen or Charles Dickens when the mood strikes. For poetry I hit up Emily Dickinson, Yeats or Longfellow. Did I mention I was an English major? :) 

3)What is a famous piece of classic literature that you loathed?

Hmm. I can't say I've ever loathed any piece of literature, classic or otherwise … oh, wait … there's this one book … yeah I loathe that one but refuse to give it any space on your lovely blog … let's see. Maybe the Greek philosophers. Plato, Socrates. Boring as dust. Never did get into them. 
… Ducks as Zeus hurls down the thunderbolts … 

4)Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I'm not a big soda (or pop as the Canadians say) drinker. Unless we're putting rum in it. Can I say that? Well, I did. Okay if you're gonna make me choose, Coke. But diet. And only if we're out of water. Or rum. 

5)How often have you looked at your work and said "I am so sorry!" and then realized these are fake people?

I have no idea what you're talking about. Fake people? Who? Um, yeah. I'm very invested in my characters. I actually cry if they have to die. Except the baddies. Because they deserve it. But I'm confused. I don't think I write about baddies, do I? No. No, I don't. I do put my characters into terrible circumstances however. And most of the time it's their fault. And because they're always stubborn and slow to see the light (kind of like me, ahem), they get to wallow awhile. But … I'm a firm believer in sin. Haha, that sounds funny right? What I mean is this - if we don't expose the sin, i.e. talk about it, get real upclose and personal with it, how can we ever think we have the right to point people to the cross? Therefore by the grace of God go I. I've said it so many times, but it's true. And God has pulled me out of more pits than I care to remember, but honestly, when He does, when you experience that kind of grace and mercy? Wow. How can we not share that? 

And that's probably more than you wanted to know and a bag of chips. 
But thanks for having me on your blog, and thanks for being one of my 
besties. :) 

Aww, you're welcome! And thank you for visiting!

Yes, I know I said it already, but, trust me!!
Scoot over and buy the book!!

Remember, the chance to enter the draw for Lori Benton's gift basket ends Sunday night! Be SURE you leave your email on THAT post!! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

A visit with Lori Benton, a sneak peek at The Wood's Edge, and an EPIC give-away!

Hello Redheads! 

Without further ado, 
I present, my dear friend and Christy Award winner,

Lori's new book, The Wood's Edge comes out next week, and peeps, this one will make you fake sick, injured or just refuse to move until you finish it.
I know this, because I basically shut down my entire house to finish this.

Here's a sneak peek...

I asked Lori a few questions, and her answers will show you just how much research she does.

1) Why the Oneida? What set them apart in your mind?

Their own choices and history set them apart. Out of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, the Oneidas (along with some of the Tuscaroras), gave their support—at the cost of their homes, possessions, and many lives—to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The rest of the Six Nations, those members who didn’t manage to remain neutral, actively supported the British Crown. When I first stumbled upon this split in the Iroquois Confederacy during the Revolutionary War, I was intrigued to learn why it had happened. What factors led to it? How far back did this fracture go? Thus began my research into this fascinating and in so many ways tragic time in history.

2) How many research books do you have?

Too many to count! From my desk I can see three full sized book shelves crammed full, plus some hidden away in my desk cabinets, and a few more stacks and rows bookended on various tables. Pretty soon every available surface of my tiny house is going to be filled with books.

3) If you could pick anywhere to live for a year, where would it be? 

Somewhere on the east coast central to all the locations I want to travel to for research—by car, I’m not a fan of the rigmarole that is flying these days—but it would have to be in the mountains. I doubt I could bear being away from them that long. West Virginia would suit. So would a year. It would take that long to visit all the places I want to see.

4) Which book that you didn't write is one that you wish you had?

Not sure I’ve ever considered that before. After much deliberation I’m torn between two. Either The Summer of the Danes, by Ellis Peters, or To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found The Bishop’s Bird Stump at Last, by Connie Willis—and I would like to have the narrating skill of Steven Crossley, who reads the latter for Recorded Books and does a smashing job of it.

5) Which woman in American history would you like to be for a month, and why?

Another tough one, but I’d choose an Oneida woman, someone like Two Kettles Together, the wife of Honyery Doxtader (also Oneida), who went into battle with her husband and did many other daring feats. But not for that reason. I’d like to better understand the world view of an 18th century Oneida woman facing all the changes that Two Kettles Together faced, and the convictions she held, and the choices she made. She is, by the way, a minor character readers will meet next spring (2016) in A Flight of Arrows, the sequel to The Wood’s Edge.

And if that isn't enough to woo your reader hearts, 
check out this give-away!!!

Everything you see here, other than the basket, will be awarded to one commenter. 
(Sadly, due to shipping costs, this give-away is for US residents only. I mean, come on, there are bags of flour!!)

  Is that cool, or what??

Thank you, Lori, for the visit!

And peeps, you really MUST read The Wood's Edge!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I have a guest! Her name is Jill Kemerer!

This hottie is none other than my friend Jill Kemerer. 

Her new book, Small-Town Bachelor releases today with Love Inspired.

I asked her to tell us about what she wished she'd known when she started writing. Take it away Jill...

What I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing

By Jill Kemerer

I’ve been writing for over twenty years, but I didn’t get serious until my youngest headed to Kindergarten. I laugh about it now, but at the time I believed I would get a contract within a year. It seemed reasonable. What can I say? I was clueless.

Well, I did get requests for my books, but after two form rejections from editors, I knew I had to figure out what I was doing wrong. I studied writing craft books, devoured blogs geared toward writers and worked hard to improve my manuscripts.

One thing I wish I knew then?

I’ll never write a perfect first draft.

In fact, I’ll never even write a nearly perfect first draft!

Some people revise as they go and won’t continue writing until the current section is perfect. I am not that person. I try to get the draft down without overanalyzing it. At the beginning of each writing session, I quickly review the previous day’s work and tweak any obvious issues. After I’ve written the first three chapters, I go back and read them, reworking them if necessary. I do this again when I hit the midpoint. Then I don’t look back until I’m finished.

My first drafts don’t always feature enough sensory details. Parts are heavy on backstory. Other parts are packed with too much dialogue. Some scenes need more of a transition. You get the point! I always, always find plenty of things to fix when I start revising.

Another problem with my first draft? Repetition. These people smile, shrug and frown more than mimes! I have a weird habit of repeating one word in a book. It’s different each time. A few books ago, I used the word “perk” over and over. Why? Why?? I will never know.

But that’s the thing--a mediocre first draft isn’t a big deal. I can fix a draft. I revise in layers, using a series of questions and techniques to improve the story. When I’m confident the story is solid, I send it to my critique partners. They are a tremendous help to me. Wendy Paine Miller and Jessica R. Patch always find things that make no sense or could be improved! I’m grateful for them.

What do you wish you had known when you started writing?

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for hosting me today!


About Jill ~

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&M’s, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.  Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Small-Town Bachelor ~

A Place to Call Home
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind…

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on for links to purchase!