Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sown in Love



Sown in Love

(Garden Grown Romance 0.5)













































Monday, April 29, 2019

Behind the Scenes of Sing a New Song: Researching Branson by Candee Fick



In Sing a New Song, Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If she can’t be the star, who is she?

Finding the town for Gloria’s new stage was relatively easy since my family has vacationed in Branson every year for the past decade and driven past countless billboards advertising the endless variety of shows playing on theater row. However, since there are more theaters and shows than days in a month, narrowing down the inspiration for my fictional theater took more consideration.

And then a traffic jam along the main drag led to the perfect location. With bumper-to-bumper traffic of theater-goers creeping along, my impatient husband swerved off the road into the parking lot of a theater we had passed a few days before. This particular business had a theater and adjacent tourist trap gift shop along the main road, but the shared parking lot stretched down the hill to a hotel that was accessed from a different street. All carried the same family name and a billboard announced the main act was recently back from appearing on a television talent show.

Bingo! Suddenly, I knew it was possible for a family act to occupy a theater and also run several adjacent businesses. That proximity would make plotting a novel easier since my characters could bump into each other multiple times a day.

On the same trip, we found ourselves gifted with two free tickets to a show of our choice. As I studied the options, I came across a flyer for a group of singing siblings—the Haygoods—and booked seats for the show. All in the name of research, of course! The inside of the theater, concession stand, and multiple acts sharing a stage during the week all made their way into my story.

A bit of research into other singing families in town (i.e. the Duttons and the Hughes in addition to the Haygoods) made it entirely plausible for multiple generations to take the stage together along with spouses…and for formerly singing siblings to have slipped away to other careers for a season. My fictional Sherwood family is a conglomeration of all of those possibilities.

Once I had my backdrop of characters and the theater setting in place, it was a simple matter of sprinkling in a few other Branson area landmarks including Table Rock Lake, the rollercoasters at Silver Dollar City, the rolling hills, that bumper-to-bumper traffic, and the hot and humid summer weather.

Bringing the setting to life in Sing a New Song took a bit of research, but I truly enjoyed every minute of it!


Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.


Social media and buying links

CandeeFick.com
https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
https://twitter.com/CandeeFick
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candee-fick

Kindle for Sing a New Song: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHYNTJC/
Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645260550/

BLURB:
The pampered diva is about to meet her match.

Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?

Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated--and irritated--by the newest addition to the staff.

After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.

If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick.





Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mercy by Heidi Dru Kortman



Text: Psalm 73:1-4.

“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong.

Text: Psalm 73:21-25.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant, I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?

Asaph is completely certain of God’s character—he must be good to his chosen people. His plans, their future, depend on it. He must also be good to the pure in heart. If he were not, it would deny his character in a different way. God would not be who he is.

But what happens when we are not “pure in heart”? There are very likely to be times in our lives when those who see us count us, like Asaph, among God’s people, but deep in ourselves, we are not so sure. “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.”

I vividly remember a blustery day during junior high. Cold rain flowed down the classroom windows in sheets. One of the other students said to me, “Heidi, look out the window.” My classmates had noticed the rain was freezing. I spared it less attention, and replied, “Oh, it’s just raining. I’m glad, because it’s sleet that gives me trouble.”

For anyone with a handicap, the rest is predictable. When school dismissed, I was among the last students to leave the building and board the bus. I took two or three steps away from the building, and fell flat. As I struggled to regain my feet, the bus windows filled with laughing faces.

That I remember this incident at all is proof of another passage. “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” Envy and bitterness are weedy growths that keep us from developing and displaying the fruits of the Spirit. They make us less useful to God.

What happens then? Does God look for someone else to implement his plans? No, he shows us mercy. “Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your council, and afterward, you will take me into glory.”

In the years since the freezing rain incident, I have matured enough to realize that probably not all the laughter was mocking. Some of my schoolmates may have been embarrassed for me, and they were not yet mature enough to dare to come back out and help me. I would like to believe that if any of them found me on my knees in a parking lot today, they would be quick to help.

Living in this imperfect world, we tire of our circumstances and yearn for heaven. What will the best part of heaven be? We look forward to remade perfect spiritual bodies, and we know there will be no more tears, but the best part of heaven will be God’s constant ,presence. There will be no circumstances to distract us from him. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.”




Heidi Dru Kortman DTM
God's gifts and call are irrevocable.

Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.








Saturday, April 27, 2019

Justice Delivered



Justice Delivered


Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Spotlight: The Quilting Circle


The Quilting Circle

(Wells Landing Quilting Circle #1-3)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Interview with Candee Fick

Today we welcome  Candee Fick to my blog. Candee has written this wonderful contemporary set in  Branson, Missouri!  I'm currently reading this story!  Thanks for stopping by, Candee. Tell us about the book:

Sing a New Song is the third book in The Wardrobe series and features the pampered diva from the first two titles (Dance Over Me and Focus On Love). Still seeking the spotlight, Gloria Houghton found a new stage in Branson, Missouri…except she’s about to meet her match and might be replaced by a manipulative rival. When all is said and done, if she can’t be the star, who is she? If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter of the series.

How did your interest in writing originate?

My love of all things fiction originated from a very early age as an avid bookworm. I devoured stories of all kinds and often found myself rewriting endings or continuing the adventures with my favorite characters in my imagination. Soon stories invaded my dreams and I knew it was only a matter of time before I started writing them down so I could share them with others.

What does your writing process look like?

I tend to let potential ideas percolate on the backburner of my mind for awhile until the time is right for that story to be told. Once I’m ready to start, I’m a framework plotter who needs to have my basic character arc in place as well as a list of benchmark scenes thought out in advance. I put all these pieces into Scrivener, crack my knuckles, and start to romp through a fast draft as I tell myself the rest of the story and get surprised when the characters start talking back or taking the story deeper or in different directions. Once the essence of the story is captured, I go back to clean it up and layer in the theme before sending it on to my critique partner for feedback.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Hmm. In the story, Gloria is described as a Carrie Underwood lookalike and so I’ve got that image stuck in my mind. However, based on the amount of singing required to adapt this book for the screen, the professional singer would be a perfect fit. As for Nick, I can easily see and hear a younger Hugh Jackman playing that role.

Who was your favorite character in Sing a New Song?

Nick Sherwood became a quick favorite. He’s humble (and handsome) with a mixture of family loyalty, honest hard work, a deep faith, and a sense of humor. Of course, he’s got his own hang-ups and wounds to deal with, but I like to think that his character reflects the love of God enough to attract Gloria to faith. Oh, and the man can sing! Music stirs my soul so I have to admit that I fell in love with Nick’s character.

I love Nick!  He is so sweet!  What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’ve got three different projects clamoring for immediate attention at the moment, and all three probably need to wait a few months since our family might be moving this summer. However, before the year is done, there will be a Christmas novella featuring one of the secondary characters from this book. I’m also planning to revise and release the first book in a new contemporary series set around a small town diner. And I’m researching the Regency era for the next historical for my castle series. So many ideas, so little time!

Share your bio:

Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Social media and buying links

CandeeFick.com
https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
https://twitter.com/CandeeFick
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candee-fick

Kindle for Sing a New Song: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHYNTJC/
Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645260550/

BLURB:
The pampered diva is about to meet her match.

Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?

Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated--and irritated--by the newest addition to the staff.

After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.

If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick.




Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Worst Detective Ever Mystery Series, Books 4-6 (The Worst Detective Ever Bundle Book 2)


The Worst Detective Ever Mystery Series, Books 4-6 (The Worst Detective Ever Bundle Book 2) 

Kindle Edition

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Worst Detective Ever Mystery Series, Books 1-3 (The Worst Detective Ever Bundle Book 1)

The Worst Detective Ever Mystery Series, Books 1-3 (The Worst Detective Ever Bundle Book 1) 

Kindle Edition

Be Strong and Courageous by Laura V. Hilton

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the...