Sunday, October 21, 2012

Now Available!

Christian Romance
$2.99 on Kindle

It was time for Hailey Rhodes to admit the truth: things were not going well. After losing her job as a teacher, she finds herself broke, unemployed, and tricked into accepting a date from a department store Santa Claus. When new opportunities and new love interests present themselves, will Hailey choose a career and a man she's always admired, or will she wait for the identity of her Secret Santa to be revealed?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Hop Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated!
There was such a great response with so many entries 
that I decided to give away 3 ebook choices instead of 2!

$10 Gift Card

Ebook of Choice
Rhonda Nash-Hall

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reading Clean Giveaway Hop

Enter for a chance to win!

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

 Two additional winners will each receive the choice of
(your choice of Kindle or Nook edition)

You MUST follow this blog to enter!
One bonus entry for 
my Facebook page HERE


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book 3 Now Available!

Christian Romantic Suspense
Point of Origin, Book 3:  Tru Exceptions Series
$1.99 on Kindle or Nook

“I should have killed you when I had the chance. You have no idea, do you? Life is just a crazy coincidence? That’s fine. I have a feeling even mercy has a limit.”

The terrorist’s words haunt Rachel Saunders. Are they the ramblings of a psychopath? Or is there someone else out there who is watching Rachel and deciding if she should live or die?

When Rachel stumbles across something she was never meant to see, she discovers all the random events from the past year have connections that are much closer to home than she ever imagined. Now she must elude terrorists intent on killing her and piece together the clues to identify her enemy before time runs out and many more people lose their lives.

When all the secrets and lies are revealed, will Rachel be able to handle seeing her world as she know it fall apart? Will she be able to forgive one last betrayal from the man she thought she loved? 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

How do authors choose names for their characters?  You want something that sounds good, yet fits the character's personality.  You want something that is unique, yet not absurd.  Maybe you even want something that has a good meaning.  But as hard as it is to name a character, naming a BABY is much more difficult.

I am expecting our third baby boy in a few short weeks, but my husband and I have yet to make up our minds on the name.  Okay, I'll be honest, the problem is really me.  I just can't seem to commit to a name!  With my first two boys, we didn't have a problem; it was almost as if we just knew what their names should be.  But this one is different.

When naming a character in a book, I have probably employed every method at some point.  Yes, I do look at baby name books, searching for a name that has a good sound and meaning.  I've even made lists, matching first names and last.  I like to choose names that are easy to relate to.  I'm personally not too fond of naming my characters bizarre, hard-to-pronounce names.  That aversion probably stems from reading my mom's old Harlequins as a teen.  My sister and I would start talking about the characters, then realize we were talking about the same heroine, yet pronouncing her name in two completely different ways!

My basic method boils down to this:  I name my characters names I like but would probably never name my child.  For instance, I really like the names Rachel and Hannah (two heroines from my books), but I wouldn't name my child either of those names basically because they are so popular.  They work wonderfully as names for characters though.  I wanted Rachel's character to be an easily relatable, ordinary Montana girl who, when thrust into a dangerous situation, manages to be surprisingly incredible.  I wanted Hannah's character to also be easy to relate to, but I also focused on the meaning.  Hannah means 'grace,' which has a lot of meaning when considering her story.  I also liked that it is a palindrome, the same forward and back, which again is significant considering her story deals with time travel.

I spend a lot less time on choosing the names of supporting characters, which has come back to haunt me on several occasions.  Typically, I start writing, and, when I arrive at the entrance of a supporting character, I just come up with a name on the spot.  They are usually names I don't really like and never intend to use as names for main characters.  Unfortunately, in at least two instances, those supporting characters have had much larger roles in the story than I originally intended when I named them.  For instance, in my book BAGGAGE CLAIM, Kelsey Johnson is introduced as a supporting character.  By Book 3 in the series, I have realized that Kelsey has her own story and is demanding to be the main character in somewhat of a spinoff for Book 4.  Now I'm stuck writing 'Kelsey' over and over for an entire book!

Though I obviously think about my characters' names way too much, choosing them is easy compared to deciding on a name for my son.  My first two sons have first names that are Biblical and have great meaning.  Their middle names are both family names.  For the third little boy, we (mainly my husband) wanted to keep the same pattern, and I was fine with that.  The problem is that my husband likes awful names, and I am very picky.  "No, honey, there is no way we're going to name our son Barnabas or Mahalalel."  (And no,  I am not joking.)  He likes names with great meaning.  I like names that aren't too popular, have a good sound, and won't get the kid beat up in school.

After looking through books of baby names, searching the Internet for popularity and other statistics, and generally agonizing about it, I have finally narrowed down our choices to two.  Unfortunately, I can't decide which one to go with.  My husband says he's fine with either one.  My family likes both.  I just can't commit and say, 'This is his name!'

I have been waffling back and forth for months now, and I am really no closer to a decision.  Like I said, I've researched the names on the web and even prayed that God would somehow tell me what this child's name is!  One day I'll prefer one name, the next day it's the other!  Some people have told me that maybe I'll just know when I actually see the baby.  I don't think that's going to happen.  Knowing me, I'll still drive myself crazy with indecision even after he's born!  And now my time is running out!

So here it is.  The possible names for our new little boy are Levi Brian or Micah Alton.  Levi means 'joined' and is the name of the priestly line in the Bible.  Micah means 'who is like God,' and is the name of a prophet in the Bible.  Brian is my husband's first name, and Alton is a family name from my side.

I want to get my baby's name right.  There is much more at stake here than just naming a character.  I don't want to name my baby one name, and then wish I'd named him the other.  In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare writes, 'What's in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'  But would it?  What would 'Levi' be like?  What about 'Micah'? 

P.S.  Opinions are welcome and greatly appreciated!  In other words, HELP!!!  ;- )

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sequel to Baggage Claim!

Christian Romantic Suspense
Mirage, Book 2:  Tru Exceptions Series
$1.99 on Kindle or Nook

The terrorist attack . . . Dawson Tate . . . What if nothing is as it appears to be?  When the unexpected happens, Rachel Saunders must unravel the web of secrets surrounding her boyfriend's work with Homeland Security and their relationship.  While confronted with new facts about Dawson's mysterious ex from Florida and the attention of DHS agent Garrett Matthews, Rachel must find a way to save the man she can no longer trust.  Will anything or anyone survive after the truth is revealed and the mirage fades?

Friday, March 23, 2012


When reading a book, I often wonder how the author got the idea for the story.  My new series is very unique.  There aren't many (or any?) time travel / romantic suspense novels in the Christian sector.  The plot itself is very complex and interwoven.  As a reader, pay attention to every detail, because it will matter in some way!  So, how did I develop such a story?  Though published later, YESTERDAY was the very first book I wrote.  It actually all began very simply, and I wanted to share a little of the story behind the story.
The Idea:
I wanted to do something special for my sister's birthday.  She loves to read, but tends to be very picky.  I'd always wanted to be an author, so I decided I would write her the first couple chapters of one of the many ideas I had for novels.  I mentioned my plan to my mom, but she thought I should just write a short story that my sister could read from beginning to end in one sitting.  But I didn't have any ideas for short stories.  And that drove me crazy. 

When I was driving home,  I was suddenly hit by a thought.  What if you were driving along and when you stopped you were in a different time from when you started?  No sensation that you had time travelled--just a drive that landed you at your destination, but in the wrong time.  And that was the kernel from which the plot began.
I originally wrote the first two chapters of YESTERDAY as a short story.  I ended it minus the cliffhanger, of course.  I let my other sister read it, and she really liked it.  But she said she wanted more.  She liked the characters and wanted the story to keep going.  She thought I should turn it into a book.  I was adamant.  This was a short story.  I had no idea how to turn it into a full novel.  And that drove me crazy.

As I thought about it, I began weaving a complex plot around that original short story.  Then I began writing it.  Many late nights later, I was talking to my mom and stated emphatically that, although I developed the short story into a novel, it was not going to be a series.  I had no idea how to turn it into a series.  And that drove me crazy. 
If I did want to turn it into a series, . . . how would I do it?

So, now I have very detailed plans for a series of six books, with the plot so interwoven that seemingly minor details from the first book have great significance in the later books.  YESTERDAY and THE LOCKET are the first two books in this series.  So, that's it:  six books, no more.  And no, THAT won't drive me crazy.  Well . . . maybe just a little.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And the Winners Are . . .


$10 Amazon Gift Card:
Kathryn Hubbard

Kindle copy of YESTERDAY:
Stephanie Ward

Thank you to all who entered!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Now Available!

Books 1 and 2 of the YESTERDAY SERIES now available on Kindle and Nook!

Now available for $1.99 on Kindle or Nook!

Her yesterday was five years ago, what will her tomorrow bring?

When HANNAH KRAEGER saves a family injured in a car accident, she had no idea she has changed events in the past.  Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago!

Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life.  With help from DR. SETH MCALLISTER, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before her strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life.

YESTERDAY is a thrilling love inspired suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.


Now available for $2.99 on Kindle or Nook!

Hannah suddenly finds that she has time travelled once again, but this time is different.  After helping save a woman's life, Hannah discovers that she has completely altered the timeline and thrown her very existence into jeopardy.

Facing life-threatening effects upon returning to her own time, Hannah is then given a death sentence:  if she time travels again, she will die.  Now, Hannah must solve the clues to her identity and find a way to save her own life before she is once again sent spiraling through time.

Will her mother's locket hold the key to both her past and her future?  Has she just found the love of her life only to lose him?  Could God have a plan for Hannah amidst the chaos?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card
One additional winner will receive a Kindle copy of my new book
(now available!)

To enter, please complete the form at the bottom of this post.  You must follow this blog to enter.  Also, you get 1 bonus entry if you friend Amanda Tru on Facebook!

Available for $1.99 on Kindle or Nook!

Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring?

When Hannah Kraeger saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago

Each trip Hannah takes changes the timeline and her own life. With help from Dr. Seth McAllister, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life.

Yesterday is a thrilling love-inspired suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.

YESTERDAY is Book One in the YESTERDAY series.  
Look for Book 2, THE LOCKET.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Writing a Great Beginning for 2012

A new year is like a blank page.  It's a time to write a new beginning.  Maybe set some goals so that by the end of the year, you are in a better place than where you started.  So how do you write a great beginning to a new year?  Let's think of it this way:  the year before you is a book you have yet to write.  In some ways, a book is all about the beginning.  Nobody will read a book through to the end if it has a crummy beginning.  Similarly, many resolutions or goals never make it past January.  So, how can you write a great beginning to the novel of 2012?

Start With the Action:
Many writers start their novels too early, making the reader wade through a bunch of boring until the action finally starts.  A great beginning for a book starts the moment something is different for the main character.  A reader really doesn't need a buildup to that moment.  Any necessary background information can be handled later.  But, to really grab a reader's interest, a writer needs to capture that pivotal moment at the start.  This really is a skill, and I'm a lot better now than I used to be.  Before, I could write an entire chapter, realize I'd started in the wrong place, and then have to use my friendly delete button.

Similarly, when writing the beginning of a new year, you need to start immediately with the action.  Make sure your goal is something that matters to you, and then, don't wait until tomorrow to begin the work.  Your pivotal moment is 2012.  You just have to decide how that moment is going to be different for you, then begin immediately to make it happen.  Unfortunately, life's delete button is not nearly so convenient.

Don't Get Caught in the Past:
Another reason you will lose your reader at the beginning of a book is by including too much boring background information.  Is it really that important to know the main character's full life story in the first chapter?  You must capture the reader's interest first, then, as you go on, you can fill in the necessary details.

To write a great beginning, you really must forget the past in a lot of ways.  Focus on your goal and what you need to do to achieve it.  Forget about how many other goals you've made and never accomplished.  Past failures can distract, discourage, and derail the plot of your life.  Yes, it is important to remember the lessons you've learned from the past.  But don't let the past be the focus or be the compass for your beginning.

Write With the End in Sight:
The two most important parts of a book are the Beginning and the End.  If a novel doesn't have a good beginning, I won't keep reading.  If it doesn't end well, the entire book is completely ruined for me.  I will usually remember a book through the filter of its ending and how it made me feel.  So, accordingly, it is very important to begin a book with the end in sight.  What is your goal?  Where are your characters and this action headed?  I don't like wasted words or scenes.  Every action and event should have a purpose to the plot and resulting conclusion.  I love a book when, after reading the ending, I can look back and understand and appreciate the choices the author made, even at the beginning, to prepare for the climax and that satisfying finale.

When beginning a new goal or venture, it is vitally important that you keep your eye on the prize.  What is it you want to accomplish?  The vision of you reaching that finale has to be so strong that it can carry you on days when you don't feel like trying anymore. You have to capture the dream of where you want to be next December and be willing to stubbornly replay that dream when you get discouraged. 

The page is blank; the pen in your hand.  How will you begin your 2012 Once Upon a Time?

Friday, January 6, 2012

And the Winners Are . . .


$10 Amazon Gift Card:

June M.
Lisa Richards/alterlisa

Thank you to all who entered!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...