How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Indie E-Con Links

Hey everyone! I have a super busy week this week, but I just wanted to pop in and give you the links to the two articles I wrote for the Indie e-Con:

Accurate Dialogue (for Historical Fiction day)

Handling Worldview Conflicts (for Contemporary day)

While you're there, make sure you check out the rest of the conference's informative articles. I'm amazed at how much knowledge and great advice the participating authors have about fiction genres!

Also, look at the Indie book awards! Even if you haven't read any of the titles and therefore are unable to vote, you might discover a great title for your future reading pleasure. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Indie E-Con Mystery Show and Tell

It's Mystery Day at the Indie e-Con, so I wanted to share about the indie-published mysteries I've read and enjoyed. Mysteries are one of my favorite genres, after all, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Although this book isn't technically indie-published, the author is an indie author who wrote a book for the Vintage Jane Austen series, Emily Ann Benedict. This is a clean, clever, and funny FBI mystery with a refreshing Christian message. Read my review on Goodreads.

This book is by one of my favorite authors, Sarah Holman. It's the first of a series (I've enjoyed them all!) that's exciting, clean, and character-driven, with great Christian depth. Read my review on Goodreads.

This mystery was so much fun! Written in the crisp, witty, and deliciously descriptive style of old British detective novels, Rachel Heffington's book was a wonderful experience. Read my review on Goodreads.

I've only read books 4, 5, and 6 of this fun and absorbing series, but I'm itching to read the others. Lisa B. Thomas is an author I proofread for with a real knack for spinning a mystery.

What are your favorite mysteries?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Indie E-Con Scavenger Hunt 2018 - Stop #4

Hi, everyone! I hope you're enjoying the Indie e-Con kickoff. Welcome to your next stop on the scavenger hunt. I have the immense pleasure of hosting Tammy Lash, and it's been wonderful getting to know her. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Hi, Kelsey! Thanks for hosting me on your blog today! Hey, everyone!

Kelsey and I met this week through Indie e-Con. I learned that this super-sweet gal lives in hot and sunny Texas. That’s waaaaaaay far away from the wilds of Michigan’s upper peninsula where I live. My family and I live just minutes away from chilly Lake Superior where SNOW and ICE CHUNKS are still glistening happily on the beaches. I think Kelsey would appreciate this last bit of snow. I don’t mind sharing! What do you say, Kelsey? Join me for snow cones?

The U.P. is a beautiful place to be. My family and I moved to our favorite vacation spot just eleven days ago--so life has been too hectic to enjoy the scenery that inspired my first novel, White Wolf and the Ash Princess. When renovations slow down on our new fixer-upper, I plan on resuming work on the two companion novels to White Wolf, a short story, and a children’s devotional. I love writing Hybrid History. Wait. What is it? Well, it’s a brand new genre--that I made up. I combine romance, adventure, inspiration, steampunk, fantasy (in the form of Native American legends), and I mix it up with historical elements. Want to see what it’s all about? Discover Hybrid History by reading White Wolf and the Ash Princess. It’s waiting for you in paperback or Kindle on Amazon--OR--you can contact me for a signed copy.

Get on Amazon!

You can follow me on the following social media sites. I’d love to see you! I can make you a snow cone, too...but for a limited time! Our snow pile next to our house is daily shrinking. ;P

Kelsey popping back in to give you some links to follow for the scavenger hunt. You can find my post on Katy Huth Jones's blog.  To find the all-important first stop on the scavenger hunt, go to Kandi J. Wyatt's website. And to find the complete list of participants, go here.

 Don't forget the fantastic giveaway prize package!
Ace Carroway 2-Book Set
3 random ebooks from Indie e-Con authors
Cover Design by Alea Harper
Bookshelf Necklace donated by Rachel Rossano
(Please note that the Ace Carroway Paperbacks and the Bookshelf necklace are US only.)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Indie E-Con Approaches!

Coming up May 21-26 is the 2018 Indie e-Con. The theme for this completely online writing conference is fiction genres. It features informative articles, videos, critiques, a writing contest, a scavenger hunt, and more, all presented by indie authors. I participated last year, had a blast, and am looking forward to this year’s event. Go to GiraffeCrafts for all the exciting info!

The Indie e-Con is also having awards for indie books published in 2017 and early 2018. I went ahead and entered my book Suit and Suitability, just for grins. It’s on sale until May 5 for 99 cents along with all the titles nominated for the awards, so check out this page to find a host of great deals! Voting takes place during the conference. 

I hope to see you at the conference! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Writer's Retreat

I sit here at my desk with my laptop, trying to speed up the rate at which I can process the wonderful weekend I just had. I need to blog about it, but it’s hard because then I have to admit that it’s over, when really I want it to live on. And perhaps it does, in memory and impact.

I helped organize a writer’s retreat for homeschool authors at a sweet little vacation house I’ve known for years. The owners, dear friends of mine, were thrilled to allow the ten of us young Christian writers to stay for the weekend and have all the writing fellowship we could cram into those not-quite 48 hours.

Surrounded by a beautiful property, complete with a valley vista, a peaceful river, and end-of-season bluebonnets, we had a marvelous time. We grew closer to one another as friends and encouraged each other to use our writing to glorify God. We had morning and evening devotions and discussions; lectures on different aspects of writing; opportunities to work uninterrupted on our WIPs (aka, write-ins) and to read aloud pieces of our stories; and games that word nerds love. 

Photo Credit: V. Kathie Ardnek

I’m so grateful that God brought each of the young women here. Published and unpublished, with amazing abilities and passion, each unique but sharing many traits and interests. I know the encouragement and refreshing I received will be a long-lasting fuel to my writing, as will the friendships I made and cultivated.

If you’ve never been on a writing retreat with others, I can’t recommend it highly enough! After arriving on Friday afternoon, we played an icebreaker game. Our first writing activity was a write-in. I’ve never participated in one before, and I was a little doubtful that I’d be able to concentrate with others writing in the same room. But I loved it! For an hour, the clickety-clack of typing and the presence of all these writers making progress on their stories spurred me to do the same. It’s beneficial peer pressure.

We finished in time to watch the golden sunset from the cliff over the valley. Then, late into the night, we played a hilarious game called Bring Your Own Book. Each player chooses a book (novels work best) and tries to find punchy quotes that match a particular prompt. Everyone takes turns being the judge for each prompt and selects the person he or she thinks has the best line. It’s become one of my favorite games.

We ended that night and began the next morning with writing-related devotions that I wrote, followed by discussion and singing hymns. We had talented singers in the group. Saturday was a day of sharing knowledge and ideas and reading aloud our projects. I talked about editing; Sarah spoke on knowing your audience and having the courage to reach them with God’s message; Claire answered our medical questions for accuracy in our fiction; Grace gave us a bunch of great tips on writing a series; and Deborah read a superb essay by Stephen Lawhead on being Christian fiction writers. 

The authors' published books. Photo Credit: V. Kathie Ardnek

It was enriching and fun to get a taste of everyone’s writing talent as we read aloud and discussed each other’s work. Also on Saturday, we walked down to the river in the valley, played Scattergories, and shared about books that have inspired us. Ending the night and beginning Sunday morning with devotionals and hymns was just what we needed to cap off a meaningful retreat. We went to a restaurant for a farewell breakfast and one by one said goodbye as each departed for home.

Yes, this retreat will have a lasting impact on me. Everyone was so passionate about their writing and using it for God’s glory. I was reminded of why I write. The nature around us infused peace and joy. But the fellowship and encouragement was the best part of all.