Going to ACFW this year?
Join us for the 2nd Annual Voices Pizza Party!
(We had so much fun last year, we just had to do it again!) Pizza, Fellowship, Chocolate, Fun, some goodies...and this year...
JIM RUBART from Barefoot Marketing will be here to give us a glimpse at how to put together a GREAT marketing package!
All the details here!
From Here to There, A Story Crafter's Retreat!
How do you take your ideas and turn them into a story? How do you know if it's commercial? Where do you start?
This retreat, set just outside of Minneapolis during the beautiful fall season is designed for a writer who knows they have a story to write...but needs help putting it together into a plot. Come with your idea, leave with a game plan.
We'll teach you story structure, and then go step by step in the character creation and plotting process, explaining how to determine each step, and then coach you as you apply it to your story. We'll brainstorm ideas with you, and you'll receive a workbook that will act as a map when you get home. Finally, we'll share a few secrets that will propel your book from average to award-winning.
For beginners to advanced writers who just want a guide along the way, the From Here to There Storycrafters Retreat will jumpstart your novel further on the road to publication.
Go to Retreat Website
I love Christmas. I can't help it - I love everything from the holiday shows, to the never-ending songs to the cookie baking contest our family has on Christmas Eve. I love the kids toddling forth in their jammies with joy on Christmas morning. I love Christmas dinner - turkey and all the trimmings. I long ago surrendered Thanksgiving to my in-laws....so Christmas is my victory dance, where I embrace mom-hood and everything about it.
However, last Christmas, I realized that too soon it would all end. It happened the day my oldest son, age 17, appeared in our annual Christmas show as Daddy Warbucks. Shaved head and all, he looked about six foot four in his tuxedo, all grown up, and I burst into tears. I had one year left of our Christmas festivities. Then, I knew, we'd begin negotiations. What if they wanted to spend Christmas... in Vail or something? With his chums? What if my daughter elected to visit...a boyfriend in some remote town in Nebraska...at Christmas? I saw my memories slipping away...
I also love football. I longed to have my sons in the game, to bundle up in the stands with a stadium blanket and a thermos of hot cocoa. Alas, the football gene bypassed my oldest...and my youngest son. Thankfully, it landed on my middle child...and he embraced football with the passion I'd hoped for. He made his high school varsity team in eighth grade. (proud mother moment here). I never miss a game. I might be a little fanatical.
That Christmas, when I realized it would all end, our family took sick...and for eight days over Christmas, I made soup and handed out Vicks...and conjured up a book, The Great Christmas Bowl, about the crazy things mothers do, the looming threat (and joy) of empty nests and the universal desire to create memories for our children. I live in a small town, so of course, I had to write about the crazy, wonderful small town Minnesota life. (Go Big Lake Trouts!) Yes, it's a mother book. (But did I mention it also has FOOTBALL in it?) It's also a book about reclaiming romance after the kids are grown, and discovering that all your years of investing in your children do bear fruit.
I am overjoyed at this story; this holiday tale of my heart. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that it brings to you some of the flavor and magic of your childhood...and perhaps the delightful memories of Christmases with your family.
The Great Christmas Bowl!
Four Star Review in Romantic Times September 2009 issue:
Warren's tender holiday novella invokes both laughter and some sweet tears. The vivid portrayal of family connections and football fervor will bring the Christmas spirit to everyone.
About the Book:
Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son's team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot-the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea. When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can't come home for Christmas. As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?
From the Back Cover:
Christmas is a magical season.
Except for this year.
Marianne Wallace loves the holidays. From dressing the tree to her traditional Christmas dinner, it's all about creating memories for her family. But when her children begin to leave home-and their traditions-behind, she has one last chance to create a holiday they'll never forget.
Unfortunately, she's soon in over her head, and one impulsive decision leads to a string of events that will change the way her family-even her small Minnesota town-sees the Christmas season.
Heartwarming and hilarious, The Great Christmas Bowl is a story about family, traditions, and rediscovering the real magic of Christmas.
And don't forget the cool CONTEST we're running this fall! It's a recipe exchange!! Send us your favorite Christmas recipe and a cool story - we'll publish it on the blog, and sign you up to get a preview copy of my new book (a world war 2 epic!)
The Great Recipe Exchange! I love getting recipes from friends, and sharing the delicious cookies, soups, breads and other fun fixings that go with celebrating the Christmas season. More than that, we all have crazy stories about favorite Christmases - serious, touching, funny...whatever.
Will you share your story and recipe with me and the readers of the Great Christmas Bowl? We will post your story and recipe on the FRONT PAGE of the blog, and send you a link when it goes up so you can tell all your friends. Then, at our Great Christmas Bowl party (December 5th, 10am, online! Details TBA) we'll make the entire cookbook available for download!
For every recipe/story you submit (up to 3), you will be entered in a drawing to receive one of SMW's collections (Noble Legacy, Team Hope, Heirs of Anton, Deep Haven Series, Josey series, or THE ADVANCED COPY of Sons of Thunder - Susie's brand new epic World War 2 novel, due out in January 2010!)
Be a part of the Great Christmas Bowl recipe exchange!
Go - run, get your recipe, then come back here and click on the link below to share your Christmas memories!
RECIPE EXCHANGE - SUBMIT NOW!
Finding Stefanie WON THE RITA!!!
I couldn't believe it when sweet Rachel Hauck, my writing buddy and proxy at the awards ceremony called me and told me (she was sobbing with happiness...so sweet!) that FINDING STEFANIE had WON!!!!
I was in disbelief until I got the statue... So Cool.
Overheard on the SMW Book Vine
Reader Mail: from Betsy
Just finished reading the first PJ Sugar book. I loved it! And apparently, as you can see by the pics attached, so did my 13 month old Little Miss. hehehe She loves flipping through the pages!!!!
Wow Betsy - that's so cute! You must be thrilled to have such an early reader! *g*
Pick up your own copy of Nothing But Trouble here or anywhere else books are sold.