Monday, November 24, 2014

Giveaway! A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings!

Welcome back to Writing for Christ Regina Jennings, I am excited to have you here for a second time. :)

Thank you, Casey. I appreciate you inviting me. It’s always nice to get together with other writers!

What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

My writing has fallen into more of a routine. Before I was contracted I wrote when I had time. Now, it’s part of my schedule, for better or worse. Also, I know what to expect of the process. I can anticipate what’s coming next with edits and marketing requests.

A new development is that I’m involved in the launch of a small boutique press. Redbud Press is publishing mid-length romances with three coming out in March 2015. We’re really excited about the authors we’re working with.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

I’m just crazy about Stephanie Landsem’s Living Water Series. I was blessed to get to read an ARC of The Tomb and it absolutely blew me away. Stephanie writes Biblical fiction so the stories are always familiar and yet she manages to sneak in at least one honest-to-goodness surprise in every story. Reading her books always leads to a worship experience.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?

My favorite part of writing is getting to talk about the plot and characters with other avid readers. Sometimes this happens while I’m plotting, but even better is when the book releases and I get to introduce these characters I love to my friends.

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings? :)

Rarely. I love to write outside in my front yard beneath the sycamore trees, but it’s really hard to find that perfect time. In Oklahoma there aren’t many days that the weather cooperates, and even when it does, it’s hard to find the right time of day. Usually, it’s too bright to see the laptop, but when it starts to get dark the bugs hurl themselves against the glowing screen. Gross.

Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you 
surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?

I think my max has been 3000 words in a day. I should’ve clocked it so I could tell you how many hours it took, but I usually don’t get very long stretches of uninterrupted time, so it probably took most of the day. Not very impressive, huh?

Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels.

Thank you, Casey. You’re a wonderful hostess!

Readers, enter to win Regina's here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on December 12th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 21, 2014

There Is Nothing Wrong With You

We often measure success by who notices us, don’t we? It’s a dangerous trap to fall into, but we all do it. At least, I know I do.

We become caught up in measuring our worth against what other people notice or don’t notice about us.

Sister, can I be brutally honest with you? At the risk of being labeled shallow and immature, I’m baring my soul.

I do this cycle of self destruction thinking most often when it comes to guys.

When you’re a young, twenty-something female, eager to move forward with your life, desiring to find the man you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, wanting to settle down and start a family, it would seem that many of the guys you come into contact with become possible suitors. At least in your mind.

You consider who they are. How they act. Maybe what they do for a living. How they treat other people. The words coming out of their mouth. The godliness of their daily lives.

Maybe you start to think something along the lines of what I do: This is a person I’d like to know better.

Maybe you have that ring bought and on your finger already during this train of thought, but can I dial you back a bit? You’ll only experience heartache and frustration if you think in far more reaching terms than just let’s get to know each other.

But about half way through this realization that this is a person you’d like to know better, he isn’t reciprocating. Nope. To you, it’s almost like you don’t exist or maybe just don’t matter to him in the same way that you want to matter.

I can’t speak for what he’s thinking. Maybe he’s trying to work up the courage to talk to you just as much as you’re over thinking any form of interaction or connection with him.

I can only speak for my emotions in those situations and it’s really easy to spiral down the path of: what’s wrong with me?

Do I have a third alien nostril that only he can see?

There is nothing wrong with you.

Wait.

Stop.

Did you hear me? Let me say it again—repeating just as much for me as I am for you.

There is nothing wrong with you.

And there is nothing wrong with him.

Where the problem lies is not so often within the person, but within the emotions and attitudes towards those people.

Our worth as women and daughters of the King, is not found in whether the young man in our singles group notices us or not.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t want him too, but we can’t hang our security on what one particular guy or even a society of people think about us.

Girls, these aren’t just empty words I’m writing on my screen right now. I’m having to live them in real life color right now. I have to remember daily—sometimes hourly—that while I do long to find that “Mr. Right”—Jesus is always, first and foremost, the only One I should ever measure my worth against.

And that’s hard.

I’m not going to be the first to raise my hand and say it’s easy, because I’d be lying. And I don’t think this struggle is unique to just me either.

So let me say it again, Sister, and let these words sink deep within you: God has your future. Your future spouse. Your future career. Your future dreams. And there is nothing wrong with you.

Keep shining that light for Jesus. The world needs more of you.


And the right guy is going to fall in love and pursue that in you. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Giveaway! The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Brandy Vallance, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

Story is my favorite thing. In college, back when I was going for a history degree, my highest grades were in creative writing. As I look back, I can see God’s hand directing me on His perfect path. I love, love, love, writing fiction! I love going deep with emotions and finding our what makes my characters tick. Psychology and the intricacies thereof are quite fascinating! I’m so enamored by the Victorian time period. I have so much fun living in that world with my characters. And my favorite subject—love… Sigh. Who wouldn’t adore writing about that every day?


What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.


If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?


Chin up! Your God is the God of the impossible. J


5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out? Homemade.
Email or snailmail? Snailmail. But email for work.
Online shopping or Black Friday deals? Online shopping.
Books or movies? Both. ;-)
Note-taker or memorization? Note taker.
               

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

Wow. Tough question. I love The Covered Deep (of course) but my second novel, Within the Veil, just might be my favorite. When I finished it, I cried for three days! As I have just started my third book, check back with me in a few months. J


Places for readers to learn more about you?
Facebook (Personal Page & Author Page)
Twitter @BrandyVallance
Goodreads
Pinterest

Thank you for being with us today!


Thank you so much! 

Readers, enter to win Brandy's here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 28th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 14, 2014

You Are Not Alone

I’m sitting here on my bed. Denver has hit temperatures of negative zero wind chill and single digit degrees that have my cold toes curled under my thighs and my fingers dancing a frantic tap dance on my keyboard, doing everything they can to keep blood flowing.

Kari Jobe is on my internet radio.


I feel hollowed out tonight. Run ragged. Exhausted. Empty. Anxious. Cold—more than just physicaly. Alone. The tank is on empty and all I can continue to do is push the gas pedal to the floor and run on fumes.

You will go before me.

Kari’s voice is ringing through my computer speakers in ways that reaches into the hollowed out sections of my soul and gently reminds me that He will never leave me.

So why do I feel pushed to my max? Why do I feel as though every time I turn around there is one more project to do? One more deadline to meet? One more expectation to fulfill?

Well, the obvious is that I did this to myself. And I did. I looked at what I could do with the time I had been given, nodded my head and said, “yes, I believe I can manage this.”

Yeaaaahhhh…you can keep your snarky responses to yourself. Thanks. I appreciate that. Because trust me, I’m giving myself plenty.

The honest truth? We don’t get anywhere when we don’t take the time to stop. Breathe. Remember Whose we are and that we are not alone.

I don’t have the words for this post. I really don’t. I don’t have any wisdom or profound statements or promises that it will get all better. Because all I’m doing right now, is tucking in and barreling forward.

I have this sign hanging in my office: do what you can today and let that be enough.

Boy, I don’t give myself permission to live that very often. I hold myself to higher standards of perfection and ability to multi-task so much into my day. And yet here I sit. Overwhelmed. Unsure how I’m going to get it all done and still manage to sleep, exercise, build friendships and spend time with God.

Ah, but I think there is the rub, isn’t it? How did spending time with my Heavenly Father fall to the end of the list? See, I know this inherently. That when I push God to the bottom of the list, my priorities get all out of whack and I can’t keep up. I can’t manage.

And my tank hits empty. I’m not resilient. I’m not managing, I’m simply surviving. I’m coping. And barely at that. I’m jumbled in everything that has to be done, instead of focusing on the One who did it all for me already.

Sigh. I feel like such a failure when I type that on the screen.

God doesn’t find me a failure though. He finds me a beautiful treasure, a child of the King, a daughter of the One and Only.

Dear God, remind me that it’s not about the to-dos or to-dones. It’s not about what I accomplished or what I can say I did at the end of the day. It’s not even about the work that I did in Your name for Your kingdom. Because what good is that, if I do so many works and lose my soul? God, draw me closer to you. Pull me into You, God. Remind me, remind me Father that only in time spent with You, can I be truly effective and productive for Your Kingdom. Otherwise, I’m just an empty shell, barely managing—and not even that very well. Sink me to my knees, Jesus.


What are you doing right now that has you “just surviving”?   

Monday, November 10, 2014

Giveaway! Where Treetops Glisten by Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin and Tricia Goyer!

Cara Putman
Welcome to Writing for Christ, Sarah Sundin, Cara Putman and Tricia Goyer. It is great to have ALL THREE of you! What brought the three of you together to write this collection of stories?

Cara: It was my idea because I’d written in a couple novella collections for Barbour and wanted to do one that focused on WWII at Christmas. I was so DELIGHTED when Sarah and Tricia said yes, they’d do this with me.

Sarah: It was Cara’s idea to write a WWII Chris
Sarah Sundin
tmas novella collection. I’d always thought it would be fun to write a novella, so I jumped on the idea. And the opportunity to work with these creative and energetic women really appealed to me.

Tricia: Well, since I adore these two women—and their writing—it wasn't hard to say YES. Cara brought up the idea and after one phone conversation with both Cara and Sarah, we were off! Get three writers, who are passionate about the same time in history, together and it's easy to have 
something fun to write about!

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished?

Cara: This is a super tricky question to answer. I’d have to say a tie between Stars in the Night and Shadowed by Grace. Shadowed by Grace. Exploring Italy vicariously was fun, too. I hope to actually see all the places I wrote about one day.
Tricia Goyer
Both are full length novels set during WWII, but their as different as Hollywood and Italy. But I loved exploring the Monuments Men in

Sarah: That’s like picking my favorite child—they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and I love them all equally. Right now I’m in the middle of writing a new series, so I’m looking back fondly on my most recent series, especially the last book, In Perfect Time. It was the easiest book of the series to write because I knew all the characters well by then, and I couldn’t wait to tell their stories. Plus it had one of the most exciting storylines I’d written.

Tricia: This is one of the hardest questions ever! I have to say it might be Night Song because it's set in The Czech Republic (for Czechoslovakia). That's my favorite country outside of the United States, and it's a World War II novel. It's based on true stories from the veterans I love, and now my daughter is a missionary there. That book has a special place in my heart.

What is your chosen preference of genre to read and why?


Cara: I’m split between WWII and contemporary romantic suspense. I adore telling the WWII stories, but also enjoy a good page-turner laced with romance.

Sarah: Of course, I love historical fiction, but I also love women’s fiction, contemporary 
romance, the classics, and some suspense. Even occasionally some fantasy!

Tricia: My favorite genre to read is historical fiction. I love getting the chance to “live” in different times in history. I learn so much as I read. It's like having a time machine without having to leave my couch!

Places for readers to learn more about you?

Cara: Website: www.caraputman.com

Sarah:

Tricia:

Thank you for being with us today!


Cara: Thanks so much for hosting us, Casey. It’s always a delight to be on your blog!

Readers, enter to win Cara, Tricia and Sarah's here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 21st
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned About Friendship

Sometimes words need to be shaken up. How we see and view words need to be changed. And I can't think of anyone who should do it better for Writing for Christ than the absolutely lovely Rachelle Rea. A beautiful woman inside and out, I'm thrilled to invite her back to my site, talking about friendship. Take a few minutes. You'll be encouraged as much as I was in reading her words. 


If you asked someone the most important thing they've learned about friendship, what do you think most people would say? Probably be one.

That wouldn't be my answer. My answer would roam less along the lines of be one and more along the road of be you and be bold. For that is the road along which I have found all of my favorite friends.

Don't Change, Dear Heart... Be You

I once had a friend who told me her mother thought I was a bad influence because I was too giggly and starry-eyed (read: immature). I once had another friend who stopped talking to me without telling me why. Both friendships ended with me hurt and wondering if being me, random and INFJ and writer that I am, guaranteed future friendships would not last.

I'm glad to report that is false information, friend. Not everyone may like you, but there are more people like you than you think.

Take, for example, this starry-eyed, giggly girl right here. After those two failed friendships, Jesus tugged women into my life who talk Story and Changing the World and Chocolate with me. 
Everyone should have a friend to talk Chocolate with.

Take heart. Someday--soon, maybe--someone will come walking alongside you and smile and whisper, "You, too, eh?" Watch out. It'll happen.

Defy the Fear, Brave One...Be Bold

The most important thing I've learned about friendship is that, not only are there people out there who like writing and Once Upon a Time and books like I do, but those people are seeking friendships, too.
Hear me, heart, for I tell you true: it's not as hard to ask someone to the coffee shop as you might think. And the answer will be yes more often than you might hope.

As women, we need girlfriends. And I'm not just talking about you. I'm talking about the girl who sits in front of your row at church, the woman you bump into at the grocery store, the lady in your section of the bookstore.

I wish I had statistics on this, but just from my own life I can tell you rarely will anyone say, "I have all the friends I need, thank you very much. Go away." 

Introvert Alert: more people would like to spend time with you and do life with you than you might suspect. So swallow the fear and ask someone to coffee, to church, to dinner, to a bookstore outing.
Strike up a conversation about Downtown Abbey or Doctor Who or whatever you've been reading lately. Share your passion for scarves. Compliment their earrings (we do love that, don't we, women?).

Why can't we be friends?


Rachelle Rea writes novels by night (her debut series releases next year!). By day, she coaches others in the craft as a freelance editor. A homeschool and college grad, her favorite moments most often include friends, dogs, or chocolate. Or all of the above.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Giveaway! A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt!

Welcome back Beth Vogt! Since this is the third time for you to visit, I thought I would throw in some fun questions, maybe some that aren’t part of the norm in other interviews. :- )

If you could go anywhere on vacation where would it be?

Venice, Italy! I visited there once when my husband was in the air force and I would love to go again – just Rob and I. This time, I would make certain we indulged in a gondola ride.

Do you have any pets?

We are the keepers of our adult daughter, Amy’s, dachshund. Twister is our little old lady dog, and she spends most of the time snoozing on the couch unless you say, “Want to go for a walk?” Then she becomes a puppy again. Our youngest daughter has a mixed breed dog, Jo, which we adopted from a rescue group.

Your favorite book that you have written?

Oh … this question is unfair to ask writers. It’s the “which child is your favorite?” question. All of my books are favorites for different reasons. Somebody Like You is my favorite because of the issues I explored: twins, grief, estrangement.

What is your favorite pastime?


Spending time with family and friends.

Favorite book?

The first book I ever read – because it opened the door for all the other books I ever read.

Favorite movie?

The Kid, which stars Bruce Willis as an image consultant who has to deal with his 8-year-old self showing up in his life.

What people have inspired you in your writing journey?

Donita K. Paul invited me to join my first-ever fiction critique group – wow. I was so humbled by that.

Attending Susie May Warren’s first-ever Storycrafters Retreat taught me how much I needed to learn about writing fiction – and Susie has such a heart for teaching writers about story. She knows story like no one else. I am thrilled she is both a mentor and a friend.

Rachel Hauck … what can I say? We Skype. We IM. We FaceTime. She prays with me. Brainstorms with me. I. Love. Her.

What character in a novel you have read has stood out and seemed to stand the test of time? 

 Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. People are divided on whether they admire Scarlett or hate her – but she still gets a lot of attention after all these years. Scarlett’s a strong woman and she loves Tara, her home. She’s not going to be beaten by the war. But she’s also selfish and willing to hurt others to get what she wants. By the end of the novel, she’s changed, but she’s still an imperfect heroine, which makes her real.

If you could meet one person from history who would it be and why?

I love quotes and am often drawn to quotes by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. An aviator in her own right, Anne was also a writer, wife and mother. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with Anne, rather than being limited to quoting her.

Okay, last one and a fun one for our readers today: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing, what would it be? Why?

I would take my Praying in Color Box, with an endless supply of paper and pens. I’m not terribly artistic in a “draw me a picture” kind of way. But I love the Praying in Color method … where you can scribble your prayers using colored pens and pencils … I use words (No surprise!) and designs, shapes … and it’s a beautiful way to pray.


Too fun, thanks for joining us for a third time!! It is a privilege. :- )

Readers, enter to win Beth's here! (this is an ebook only contest)

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 14th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 


FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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