Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Leave a comment about why you'd like to read this book and enter your name for a drawing for a free book autographed by Sandra.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Interview with Brenda Coulter
1. Where did you get the idea for your story?My editor asked me to write Book 3 of the six-book, multi-author "Homecoming Heroes" series. She gave me the names and ages of the hero and heroine, their current occupations, and said she wanted a story about a jaded older man who finds himself charmed by a younger woman.
2. How did it become a part of the Homecoming Heroes series?(See above.)
3. What gave you the idea for the plot?I really couldn't say. I fiddled with and discarded several ideas before it started coming together. That's how it always works for me.
4. What inspired the title for you story?It was assigned by my editor. I have to say I had a problem with it at first, because "At His Command" suggests the hero is a military officer--and when the book opened, my hero had already left the army and become a civilian attorney. But then it occurred to me that "At His Command" could be a reference to the fact that by the end of the story, both the hero and heroine have decided to serve God fully. So that worked out great.
5. What was the most difficult thing about writing Jake and Maddie’s story?I really don't think in terms of "easy" parts and "hard" parts when I'm writing. It's all a wonderful challenge!
6. How much research did you have to do?Quite a bit. But it was all fascinating, especially what I learned about Apache helicopters.
7. What advice would you give to those desiring to write romance?Read romance every day. Pay special attention to how the author is whipping up your emotions and try to figure out what techniques she's using to accomplish that. Romance is all about emotion!
8. What was your favorite thing about writing At His Command?As always, I loved writing the "guy" scenes, especially the ones where you see Jake's befuddlement over his developing love for Maddie.
9. How long have you been writing? How many other books have you written? How many published? I began writing in December 2000. Not counting my work-in-progress, I have completed seven romance novels and sold four of them.
10. Any words of wisdom for new writers?Don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun!
Thanks Brenda, this is a great book and hope many go out and buy it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I had an agent tell me she loved my spunky, mature women characters. I decided to base a story around such a character and since Barbour was starting a new mystery line and I just happen to love mysteries, I gave it a shot. LaTisha’s height is based on one of my close friends, with Hardy’s based on her husband—they make quite the couple, just like Hardy and LaTisha.
2. What gave you the idea for the plot?
I love history. Old ghost towns and treasure hunts. . .pirates and cops and robbers. . .well, my imagination got so stirred up I decided to use a modern town whose businesses occupied old buildings. Then I spiked that with the town legend of the assayer stealing gold from Maple Gap citizens and getting shot for his deed.
3. Who chose the clever title?
Originally, LaTisha’s story was called Get Off My Bunions, but when it became a mystery, my editor and I decided Murder on the Ol’ Bunions would be a better fit.
4. What was the most difficult thing about writing this story?
Ugh, making sure all the clues tied in and that no thread of the plot had been dropped. Writing a mystery is TIGHT writing.
5. What was the most fun?
I love doing the scenes between Hardy and LaTisha. They are so much fun and so real to me. Hardy is LaTisha’s conscience when she gets carried away, and his softness plays well against her tough gal demeanor. Of course, LaTisha is really a teddy bear inside too.
6. What advice would you give to those desiring to write mystery?
Start with something else. Writing a mystery is much more difficult than writing a romance where there are only two main characters. Mysteries involve so many clues and red herrings, twists and turns. . .it’s pure craziness trying to keep everything straight.
7. What is your favorite thing about writing?
Doing the writing is my favorite part. I hate editing. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Once I’ve finished a story, I want to take a break from it. A LONG break, but I seldom get that opportunity since content edits and line edits are a reality of signing a contract.
8. Any words of wisdom for new writers?
Try your hand at writing in a completely different genre than you imagined. So many get stuck writing in one genre that they never stretch themselves. I wrote historicals for years. Murder on the Ol’ Bunions was my first try at a mystery. Can you believe that? If I hadn’t taken the plunge I would have never known I could do it.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Leave a comment and enter a drawing for this book.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
This week I'm offering a free copy of the novella, Sugar and Grits. It contains 4 stories by DiAnne Mills, Janice Thompson, Kathleen Y'Barbo and myself. The stories revolve around four women who are good friends in the finest of southern traditions. Set in Calista, Mississippi, you'll find laughter, tears, and fun in all the stories. DiAnne's story Mississippi Mud is also a finalist for BOTY for ACFW. So leave a comment and earn a chance to learn more about Berta, Dottie Jean, Sassy, and Sue Ellen.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The harder he tries to keep his promise to find her a husband and oversee her affairs, the more difficult it becomes, especially as he finds himself drawn to her in ways he hadn’t planned. Gustaf’s attempt to break through Raelene’s self-centered existence to her wounded heart makes a beautiful tale of perseverance in love and keeping one’s promise.
Be sure to look for Amber's second book in this series:
Quills & Promises
Publisher: Barbour/Heartsong Presents
Release date: July 2008 through Heartsong Presents
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Delaware Brides, book 2
Ordering link: www.ambermiller.com/books.html
Scroll on down for the interview with Amber "Tiff" Miller.
1. How long have you been writing?
My journey began many years ago. I wrote my first short story in 5th grade with several accolades from both my teacher and my fellow students. It was even entered into a ‘Young Writers of America’ contest and placed but didn’t get selected for publication. Ever since I learned to read at age 3-1/2, I’ve been telling stories, and I could often easily keep a captive audience. Writing seemed to be a natural progression from the verbal.
I wrote often, but it wasn’t until I was a Senior in high school that I got the ‘bug’ to write. My English teacher saw potential, and as an author herself, she encouraged me to pursue the talent further. However, I became more focused on finishing my education and getting my degree, so my writing took up residence on the back burner. It wasn’t until 1997 when I wrote my first fan fiction and received a lot of encouragement and feedback that I realized I might be able to make something of this ability.
2. How long have you been working toward publication?
In 2002, and after encouragement from Tracie Peterson (one of my favorite authors), I took the step professionally to begin a career by joining a national organization called ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), then known as ACRW (American Christian Romance Writers). I did everything I could to improve my skills and develop my craft. I bought writing books, studied a wide variety of fiction, conversed with other writers and authors, attended conferences, purchased audio recordings of workshops and presentations, and soaked up as much information as I could handle. Four years later, I sold my first book and took a rather scary step into the world of authorship.
3. How did your story come about?
The ‘what if’ moment came when I tried to develop the story line for the first book. Without a lot of background, I had to rely on the elements I had learned would make a good story. Some excellent advice given to me included the method of taking your character to a point that seems hopeless…and making it worse. So, I asked, “What if a heroine with no siblings also loses her parents, then finds herself as the sole owner of land in a new world where women have no voice, feeling as if God has forsaken her?”
And thus, Promises, Promises was born!
4. Can you tell us a little about this story?
It is the first in a 3-book series that will be repackaged in 2009 as “Delaware Brides.” These books are part of Heartsong Presents’ State Series, and I am covering the historical beginnings of the little, but significant state of Delaware during the Colonial period.
Here is a synopsis: Has God forsaken Raelene? Raelene Strattford knows God has promised never to leave or forsake her. But after the catastrophic deaths of her parents, she doesn’t believe it. What kind of God would take a girl’s family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? Gustaf Hanssen has admired Raelene from afar for a while, but his poor attempt at courting her in the past has made him unwelcome in her life. When Gustaf promises Raelene’s dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word, must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene’s affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene’s pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?
5. What other books have you written, whether published or not?
My second book, Quills & Promises, just released this month as well. Book 3 will come out in December, and I’m putting the finishing touches on my 4th book due tomorrow. That will release next year in April or May, I believe. I have 2 others in that series yet to write. I’ve also written 2 other full-length historicals and 2 contemporaries. But, I have yet to see them contracted. I’m working on them, though.
6. What is the hardest thing about writing a novel?
The synopsis! LOL! I am not a plotter by any stretch of the imagination. I start with a concept and 1 or 2 characters and let the story flow from there. Having to write out the details of what’s going to happen and explain the spiritual thread is sheer agony for me. I don’t set out with a theme in mind. It develops as the characters grow. Outside of that, writing a novel is an exciting adventure for me. I never know what’s going to happen or where my characters will take me. I’m just along for the ride. I guess if I had to pinpoint one thing, though, it would be coming to the end and having to say goodbye to my characters. That’s not easy at all.
7. How do you choose your characters’ names and their backgrounds?
I have two books that provide both the origin of the name and nationality as well as the Biblical meaning behind it. When I select my names, I usually run through a few in my mind, then I go to the books to look up their meanings. If I have to decide between more than one name for a character, it all comes down to the meaning. I select the one where the meaning matches the personality and the motivation of the character.
You should have seen the looks and heard the questions that occurred when I bought this book. It’s usually reserved for parents looking to name their babies. And I wasn’t married at the time. Of course, even when I explained the purpose I had in mind, the odd looks remained. People just don’t understand writers.
Anyway, as I researched the ancestry of the hero and heroine of Promises, Promises, I realized Gustaf was Swedish and Raelene had a Swedish mother. Gustaf means “God’s staff” and “blessed.” He became that staff for Raelene, something she could lean on when she couldn’t stand on her own. Raelene means “lovely” and “compassionate.” Although we see her at the start allowing her pain to make her bitter and unattractive, she possessed an inner loveliness and compassion that showed in her dealings with people once she let that part of her escape.
8. What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
The primary theme is that no matter how bleak the circumstances, God will never abandon or forsake you. Even when life throws all sorts of road blocks your way and it seems like you have nothing left, there will always be hope just down the road. You have to keep looking forward and maintain your faith.
A sub-theme of that is asking the question, where is God when I’m hurting? I hope this book shows readers that He’s right there all along.
9. Why are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers?
I would not be where I am in my writing career if it weren’t for ACFW. I thank Tracie Peterson all the time for introducing me to the group and encouraging me to join. The fellowship, training, instruction, networking and information you glean from ACFW is beyond compare. No other group that I’ve found equals it. And with its almost daily growth, I know we’re in store for some great things in the near future. Christian fiction is exploding on the market, and ACFW is right at the tip of missile.
10. Will you be at the conference in Minneapolis in September?
God-willing. I know I want to be more than anything. It will be my first opportunity to actually participate IN the book signing and not coordinate it. LOL! And to sign with 100 other ACFW authors and friends in the rotunda at the Mall of America? Who would want to pass that up? So, I’m still praying for the funds that will get both me and my husband, Stuart, there. We’ll see what God has in store.
11. What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Linda Windsor’s advice that, “Rejections are footprints in the sands of your career. If you’re not getting them, you’re not moving,” stands out foremost in my mind.
The other is, “You have to read in order to write. Immerse yourself in a wide variety of writing styles, find your own voice and stick to it. Then, write, write, write.” However, I don’t know who it was that said that. Somehow, I managed to save it without jotting down the originator.
12. Any other tidbits of information that would be of interest to our readers?
This book is the first in a 3-book series. The second released this month and the third will be out in December. All of them follow three generations of the same family through the Colonial period and early days of the United States. The first takes place during the Great Awakening and features an appearance by Jonathan Edwards. The second is during the French & Indian War and the third is during the Revolutionary. In the two sequels, you meet a subsequent daughter of the parents from the book before.
In addition, the family and the house referenced in these books is an actual house about 2 miles away from my parents’ house, where I used to live. It was established in 1740 and is still standing today. It’s in great shape and has been meticulously cared for and restored. I spent over a year researching the history of the area, the people, the events and the culture.
The only thing most people know today about Delaware is the city of Wilmington and knowing that the banks holding their credit cards are incorporated there. But there is so much more about that little state, including its significance in the establishment of this great country. I wanted to bring that out more through these books. I hope I’ve succeeded.
*** Thank you, Martha, for hosting me here on your blog today. I look forward to reading your review and appreciate the time you spent putting together these great questions. It’s an honor to have you along on this tour.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The ACFW conference is one of the best if not the best conference for fiction writers of all genres. You have good fun, good fellowship and good food. It is a time of renewing old friendships and making new.
One of the most difficult things for me this summer is to realize I won’t make the conference this year…the first one I’ve missed since joining ACFW way back in its beginning. I’m still praying for a miracle because I hate having to wait another year to see so many of the writing friends made over the years.
Here’s my list of things that make the conference the most fun ever and the best one you’ll ever attend.
1. Late night chats with old friends and new
2. Matching faces with names from the loop
3. Chocolate Party
4. Wonderful Awards Dinner
5. Meeting Editors and Agents in the hall, at mealtimes, by appointment
6. Learning so much about the craft of writing
7. Book signing…this year at the Mall of the Americas…wow…fantastic
8. Mingling with authors like Deb Raney, Brandilyn Collins, Colleen Coble, Gayle Roper, Kim Sawyer, Susan May Warren, and so many others.
Of course the list could go on and on. If this is your first conference, hop on over to the Forums on our website and you’ll find topics and friends willing to tell you everything you need to know.
Check out my blog from last year for the memories I have from all the other conferences. Here are more pictures taken last year. I will be there in spirit if not in body, and I’ll be praying for all of you everyday.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
When Marty gains custody, Andie is forced to leave the grandparents she loves to live with strangers who are her mother, two sisters, and a grandfather. This is the story of that new relationship and how it grows and evolves into a family. The Winslows own a drive-in theater, the Blue Moon, and Tuesday night is family night. By being involved at the drive-in concession stand on these and other nights, Andi begins to learn more about herself and the new family she has. Written from the viewpoints of both Marty and Andie, the reader will feel their pain, cry at the unfairness of life, laugh at their mishaps and rejoice in victory. A truly different kind of love story that will satisfy your heart.