,Welcome and thank you for sharing your time with me. Those of you who signed up for my newsletter since last month, thank you for subscribing.
This month ...
In Guest Gab: An interview with Deborah Vogts, author of Seeds of Summer.
In Writing Wisdom: Dana Lynn Smith with links book marketing tips.
In What Am I Reading?: Announcement of the winner of last month's book and I have two other books you could win. I review Back on Murder by Mark Bertrand.
In Book Buzzings: Highlight of two recent novels, one by Gail Sattler and another by Max Elliot Anderson.
Check Inspirational Insights to read my thoughts on making someone's day better.
Share this newsletter with your friends and if you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please email me
You can take a look at earlier newsletters by clicking the Archive button on my website. Always remember: I value your presence here and the time you share with me.
|Quality Quote |
"What do we live for,
if not to make the world less difficult for each other?" -George Eliot
|Book Buzzings |
|Yours and Mine |
|If you'd like to share your five favorite books and their authors, please email them to me and I'll list them here. Use your first name and/or last name.|
This month I highlight The Narrow Path by Gail Sattler and also Lost Island Smugglers by Max Elliot Anderson. Below is information about these books.
Title: The Narrow Path
Author: Gail Sattler
Genre: Mennonite Romance
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date:May 2010
Available at Christianbook.com,
Amazon.com, cokesbury.com, barnes and noble
Miranda feels transported back to Little House On The Prairie, and
Ted's head spins when Miranda reads the Bible on her cell phone. Yet they must
find a way to make peace and meet their common goal to open Ted's Old Order
Mennonite church and community. Will they find love in the process?
Title: Lost Island Smugglers
Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Genre: Middle Grade - Readers 8-13 Action- Adventure Mystery
Publisher: Port Yonder Press - SharksFinn imprint
Release Date: August 2010
Sam, Tony, and Tyler took scuba lessons together. They decided to try their new skills in the ocean without permission. A gigantic storm blew up from out of nowhere, and they found themselves stranded on Lost Island. If they thought the worst had happened they were wrong.
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|Interview with Deborah Vogts|
Author of Seeds of Summer
This month I'm interviewing Deborah Vogts author of Seeds of Summer, Book Two in the Seasons of the Tallgrass Series. Deborah has given me a copy of her book and one of you readers will win it in this month's drawing.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My husband and I have three daughters and live in Southeast Kansas. As
a student at Emporia State University studying English and journalism, I
developed a love for the Flint Hills that has never faded. In writing this
series, I hope to share my passion for one of the last tallgrass prairie
regions in the world, showing that God's great beauty rests on the prairie and
in the hearts of those who live there.
What do you enjoying doing when you're not writing?
I like to take walks with our two golden
retrievers or dig in the dirt in my flower beds or garden. I also enjoy playing the piano, baking something, sewing or scrapbooking!
Can you tell us any fun thing about you that might surprise our readers?
I am weird in that I LIKE to mow. We have a
large yard, so it takes me about two hours on an industrial-sized mower, but I
enjoy this time to just think or sing.
LOL. Yes, I sometimes sing when I mow. It's also a good time for me to pray or
to plot out scenes in my current writing project.
did you get involved in writing?
I began writing my Great American Novel as a
junior in high school--Splendor of the Sun. That earned me an A++ in Senior
English. I studied English and journalism in college, but it wasn't until 2002
that I began taking serious steps to be published.
Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a
I used to write in my kitchen but in recent
years, I moved my office to our bedroom where I can shut the door on noise. I
have allotted 1/3 of this room to my office with a comfy chair as well as a
desk and shelves, file cabinet, etc. All I need for working. When I'm really
trying to get my word count in, I'll work on my NEO by Alphasmart, which has a
small screen and allows me to write without editing. Some days I'll take my Neo
and work outside under our awning.
When you wrote Seeds of Summer did you know the title before you wrote it or
after you finished it? Do you come up with titles for all your stories this
DEBORAH: My original titlefor Snow Melts in Spring
was Quarterback Cowboy, and for Seeds of Summer, The Rancher & The Preacher Man. My first agent wanted me to
come up with different titles so Deborah Raney and I brainstormed titles for
the series and came up with what I have today. Sometimes a title will come to
me after the book is written. I think every instance can be different.
Please tell us about Seeds of Summer.
DEBORAH: Seeds of Summer is contemporary
prairie romance and is the second book in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series.
A blurb for it is: A heart-warming
contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a former rodeo
queen abandons her dreams in order to care for her deceased father's ranch and
her two half-siblings, only to realize with the help of a young new pastor that
God can turn even the most dire circumstances into seeds of hope.
JO: What takeaway
value do you hope readers receive after reading your novel?
DEBORAH: I'd like readers to remember how important family relations are and that we can get through our difficulties if we remember to love and forgive each other. I also hope to give my readers a taste
of the Flint Hills and of how God's beauty rests on the prairie and in the
hearts of those who live there.
did you get the idea for Seeds of Summer?
DEBORAH: My husband
and I read lots of horse magazines at our house, so when he's finished with a
magazine, I'll go through for possible story ideas. I'll tear out pages of
articles, or even pictures for possible characters, and then I'll file those
papers in an idea file. When I'm ready to write a new story, that's the first
place I'll go, sifting through the articles and pictures.
So, for Seeds of Summer, many of
the pictures I'd filed away happened to be of past Miss Rodeo America queens.
From there, my imagination soared. I also knew that I wanted to include
one story about a female rancher. Because we have three daughters who are
spread out in age, I started wondering what it would be like if something
happened to my husband and me, and our oldest daughter was left to care for her
sisters. That's where the plot originated for Seeds of Summer.
JO: Did you need to do any research for
DEBORAH: I learned a lot about the Miss Rodeo America organization and was surprised how much these young ladies must know for the interview
portion of the pageant. Good grief! They are required to know EVERYTHING about
the sport of rodeo, about the horse industry, about the sponsors for the horse
industry...not only current information but from years past. I was also amazed at
the amount of expertise required to complete the horsemanship events. Riding
with confidence on an animal you've never rode before takes a LOT of skill and courage. And carrying those flags,
and shining those boots (and blackening the bottoms of those heels). I greatly
enjoyed viewing the various leather dresses--and imagining what Natalie would
wear. So fun!
JO: How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first
DEBORAH: In 2002 I
started taking serious steps to get published.I joined a local writer's group and ACFW
(American Christian Fiction Writers). I also joined a critique group, started
reading writing how-to's and attended writing conferences. I met my first agent
at the ACFW Nashville Conference in 2005. We hit it off at our meeting, and she
gave me some tips on making my book series "bigger." I did that and submitted
my idea to her and she took me on. We shopped my Seasons of the Tallgrass series for a year and had a few bites (one
of them Zondervan) but no sale. In the end, she released me, which was a real
heart breaker. However, we don't always see the big picture like God does, and
six months later I signed with agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary,
and we had an offer from Zondervan three months after that in May 2008.
JO: How do you find time to write?
DEBORAH: I've had to
learn to be disciplined with my writing time--and I'm still trying to learn how
to do better--and how to convince my family that my writing is a real job. I've
been fortunate that my books have been slated a year apart, but with everything
that goes into the writing process and then the marketing, the months go by so
JO: What are you
working on now?
DEBORAH: I'm currently
finishing up the third book in this series, Blades of Autumn, which
is the story about Clara, the owner of Clara's Café. (Available Summer 2011)
Blurb for Blades of Autumn: With a café to run
and three children to raise, Clara Lambert doesn't have time for men or
loneliness, despite what her heart might tell her. When two handsome cowboys
vie for her attention, one of the brothers proves to be her soul mate, but at
what cost? Will it tear the brothers' relationship apart or is blood really
thicker than water?
JO: What advice
would you give to writers just starting out?
DEBORAH: Write what is on your heart and don't be discouraged. Read LOTS of
books (especially those in your genre), join a writing group and/or a critique
group. Write, and continue learning the craft. Be open to criticism and helpful
advice. Never give up.
JO: Please tell our readers where they can get Seeds of Summer.
DEBORAH: At Amazon.com and CBD.com
JO: Where can our
readers find you?
DEBORAH: At my website or on
my Country at Heart blog
Deborah, thanks for spending time with my readers and for the copy of Seeds of Summer, which one of them will
receive from a drawing.
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|What Am I Reading? |
|Let me know what you've read that really impressed you, tell why in about 100 words and I'll include it here. Giving your name is optional.
It's easy to forward this newsletter to your friends: at the end of this email click "Forward Email."
Someone asked how I select winners in my drawings. I use a computer program that randomly selects the winners. No pulling names out of a hat!!
If you're a winner, the rules are simple: email me your mailing address by the 25th of the month in which you're a winner; if you don't, I'll draw another winner. You can win only once in a calendar year.
The winner of last month's copy of A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin is Megan (mdima...3@...).Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address by August 25 and I'll get the book to you.
If you didn't win this month, see below for news about two book giveaways.
This month on August 25th I'll draw a winner from all current subscribers for a copy of two books: Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts and also a copy of Back on Murder by Mark Bertrand, the book I review below.
I recently read Back on Murder by
Mark Bertrand, Bethany House, 2010,
382 pages. A Detective Roland March mystery. If you like mysteries with
multiple homicides, drug dealing, and dirty cops, you'll enjoy this book. It's
full of twists, turns, dead ends, misplaced suspicions, and hate/love connections
between the reader and some of the characters. An upbeat police procedural for
the Christian market.
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|Writing Wisdom |
|Book Marketing Tips for Authors|
by Dana Lynn Smith
find links and details for each of the items below on Savvy
Book Marketing Tips for Authors Posted:01 May
2010 by Dana Lynn Smith
When submitting books to review
journals, follow the submission instructions exactly.
For article and blog titles, make
the first 3 words important keywords or begin with "how to" followed by
Most libraries order books through
wholesalers like Baker & Taylor or Ingram.
Even if you're focusing on online marketing, you still
need a monthly marketing budget.
Make time every day to promote your book. Block out time on your schedule and
just do it!
Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For
more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana's blog at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com,
and get a copy of the Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you sign up
for her free newsletter at www.BookMarketingNewsletter.com.
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A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who
was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car.
His father said to him, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your
grades up, study your bible a little, and get your hair cut, then we will talk
A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could
discuss his use of the car.
His father said, "Son, I'm real proud of you. You have brought your
grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get a hair
The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know dad, I've been
thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah
had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair."
His father replied, "Yes son, and they walked everywhere they
|Making Someone's Day Better|
by Jo Huddleston
Consider this question: What have I
done lately for the single purpose of making another person's day better?
Like holding a door open for someone
whose arms are full of packages or children.
Like allowing another vehicle to
ease into backed-up traffic.
Like reading to somebody who can't;
or, better yet, maybe helping them learn how.
Like writing a letter or note to let
a person know they're remembered.
Even a phone call to a friend so
they'll know someone thought about them. Sometimes sharing a smile will help
brighten another's day.
Just how long would one of these
helpful acts take? A short time out of the day for being nice, doing something
Think what difference we could make
if we adopted this thought from Henry David Thoreau: "Be not simply good; be
good for something." Only a small portion of our life would be needed to show
consideration, compassion, and generosity. What would it hurt to try?
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2010 Jo Huddleston. All rights reserved.