Celebrating Over Coffee With…..Sandy Mauck

***Anita Heath, you are the winner of our coffee chat giveaway! We hope you enjoy the book!***

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On this beautiful sunny morning in Southern California, I am having coffee with the wonderful Sandy Mauck. Sandy’s More Than She Dreamt is one of my favorite books that I have read this year! Come, pull up a chair, let me pour you a cup of coffee and let’s get to know more about Sandy Mauck!

 

Will you tell us about your books?

MoreThanSheDreamtFrontFinalMy first fiction novel is More Than She Dreamt. I love the era of 1900-1910 and it takes place right in the middle. It can be technically called a sweet romance but with many strong scriptural life messages woven within. I have found this is my best way to communicate the Christian walk. Many of the reviews I have been getting are making me smile, as they are catching the message in the heart of the story. And they seem to be loving my characters.  I have tried to bring hope for the beaten down along with the beauty of a new life. Humor is a part of who I am and that will be a part of every book I write. There is also some action because of evil enemies, which I found to be really fun to write.

My very first book was a small non-fiction book that I wrote for ministry to single moms. I had been a single mom for seven long years with four children. It is called Psalms for Single Moms. It was published for free on-line twenty years ago, long before e-books. I am working on a revised edition with the use of my favorite calligrapher, Mindy Sato’s beautiful work for my poetry within the book.  It will be a free book on my site when it is ready.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I love answering that question because I had to really come to terms with it in my writing life. I sat in plotting classes trying to make myself a plotter. I thought I was hopeless and went home a bit discouraged. Then I read Steven James’ book, Story Trumps Structure and wanted to run through the hills like Fraulein Maria! Haha! Now I happily let my characters run the show. Not that they didn’t already. They are so much happier that way and I think they like me better, too, and that’s a good thing.

 

Will you tell us about your journey with Christ?

First of all I will say I cannot even imagine making a life’s journey without Him. I was 18 when I became born again and I have never turned back, despite every obstacle and crisis and I have had many. He has brought me through a nightmare first marriage, cancer, loss, seven years as a single mom with little income, and so on. But He got me through and I know I would not be alive if it wasn’t for His love and keeping power. He is first in my life and I give Him every morning before I start my day. My heart is to encourage others to look to Him and walk the walk He has called them to walk.

 

What are your hobbies?
DarkenedWelcomingcommcRight now that almost sounds funny. A writer has little time for hobbies and some of my favorites have been set aside. I love to crochet and have
done many projects through the years.

I am also a professional artist having once had my own gallery. But I have been on hold for a long season mostly due to writing. I plan to connect my artwork with my writing, in the future.  If I can keep up with all my ideas!

 

Can you tell us about your current work in progress?

The next in the series of the Rose Arbor Brides, is coming along.  It is More Than She Imagined. It takes some of the characters from More Than She Dreamt and weaves a new romance set at the time of the great San Francisco quake of 1906. My heroine, Audrey is whimsical and quirky with two suitors, a big discovery and the quake that sends her lovely art tour into a wild ride.

I am also working on a warm-hearted Thanksgiving story, which may be a novella. Hopefully out by Thanksgiving, it pulls together a small charming but lonely handful of people into a surprising holiday dinner. And of course there is romance. Always.

 

0035ASM_5299Sandy Mauck writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior. Slip into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and travel back to the first years after the turn of the century.

Enjoy faithful Christian characters who have come through a spiritual wilderness into a place of hope. Stories of charming romance sprinkled with humor and topped with redemption. And be sure not to put the cup too close to the edge of the table because there are enemies lurking about.

Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her Bible doctrine writer husband in the west they love. They have five children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting (a different kind of yarn) and is also a professional artist.

Visit with Sandy at her website at www.sandyfayemauck.com

To celebrate our coffee chat, Sandy is giving away a paperback copy of her book More Than She Dreamt. To enter, comment below answering the question, “What is your favorite hobby?”
This giveaway is open through 11:59 pm PDT on Monday, August 22nd.
To purchase your copy of More Than She Dreamt, click here.
Thank you for visiting with us!

Celebrating Over Coffee With……Naomi Miller!

*****Caryl McAdoo, you are the winner of the Celebrating Over Coffee with Naomi Miller! Enjoy your book!****

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This morning I am so excited to be having coffee with Naomi Miller today. I just finished her book the Blueberry Cupcake Mystery and boy, was it good! I have my Coconut Mocha coffee and Naomi has her Green Mountain Breakfast Blend with hazelnut creamer. Pull up a seat , let me pour you a cup and let’s chat with Naomi Miller.

Will you tell us about your books?

Blueberry Cupcake MysterySure! I’m writing a series of Amish cozy mysteries . . . sweet, simple, fun, faith-filled stories with friends, community and a little bit of mystery thrown in for excitement. Last year, while working on another project, I felt God leading me to write a series of stories that show family, friends and faith in a positive light.  The Sweet Shop mysteries are stories that leave you feeling happy and relaxed – stories to remember when problems crop up in your life.

Katie is the main character, and returns in book two to jump into the middle of another mystery! The first book focuses on Independence Day; book two will focus on the Christmas traditions and how the community celebrates; book three will focus on Memorial Day and book four will focus on Thanksgiving.

Want to know a secret? This is something not even my street team knows… the first few books in the series will take place before, during, or just after a holiday! Holidays are special times for family and friends, so I want to focus on holidays for a while.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Why do they inspire you?

I have many, many favorite authors, but for this question, I’m going to list several authors who have inspired me from my teen years, because they’re the authors who inspired me to write!

I treasure the Grace Livingston Hill books! I am always amazed at how, even though the technology in her books is dated, the problems and solutions are the same we face today. God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if her character used a typewriter and I use a computer – we have the same problems, and Jesus is still the answer. Her books never fail to inspire and uplift me.

Although not a Christian author – and the name is a pseudonym – Carolyn Keene is the name associated with the Nancy Drew mystery series. My sister began buying these books for me when I was ten years old, and they taught readers to be honest, reliable, trustworthy, faithful, caring and brave.

About the time I graduated from high school, I discovered Janette Oke, whose stories showed the bravery (in the midst of hardships) of those who traveled long distances to start new lives in new territories. I followed Marty and Clark and their family, Josh and his family, Elizabeth and Wynn and their Northwest adventures. These books all spoke of faith, family, and community.

Why did you decide to become a writer?

Christmas Cookie Mystery Front Cover BI don’t know if anyone decides to become a writer; those of us with stories to share – must write. The problem comes in knowing how to write a story people will enjoy reading . . . enough information and dialogue to pull the reader into the story. Too much or too little, and the reader will lose interest.

When the stories in my head refused to be ignored any longer, I took classes in writing and editing, joined Facebook and Twitter, and forced myself to make time for writing, editing, and all the extras that goes along with it. Once that first draft was done, I knew I was in it for life – for better or worse. Some readers love my books, some detest them, but this is what I’m meant to do.

Do you travel for research for your books?

Yes, I do travel, although not as much as I would like to. I have been to several Amish communities and met some wonderful families, who went out of their way to talk to me, show me around their homes and take me for buggy rides.

Do you like to cook? Would you share with us a favorite recipe?

I love to cook, especially homemade breads. I enjoy the variety of adding a little of this, a little of that, and sharing the results with friends and family. My family’s favorite meal is something I do a couple of times every month on Saturday or Sunday . . . homemade biscuits and gravy, sausage, potatoes, sliced tomatoes and scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese.

My own recipe for homemade gravy isn’t easy to share – because I don’t measure anything. First, I pour a can of evaporated milk into a large, glass bowl and add the same amount of water to the milk. After frying a pound of sausage, I add ¼-½ cup of plain flour to the grease, stirring until it’s mixed together. At this time, I add salt and black pepper to taste. Once the flour mixture begins to brown, I slowly begin adding the liquid (milk and water). As the gravy thickens, I continue adding the liquid until the gravy is the consistency (thickness) that my family prefers. I pour it back into the glass bowl and it’s ready to spread over a homemade biscuit!

What is your favorite verse? Why does it encourage or comfort you?

I have many, many favorite verses . . . John 3:16-17 reassures me that salvation is for everyone!  John 14:1-3 encourages me to hold on during hard times. Right now I’m working on memorizing Psalm 91:

(1) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

These two verses are especially comforting. I don’t worry about anyone or anything getting past God to get to me; only what He allows will reach me, because I dwell under his shadow.  If He is my fortress, what is there to be afraid of?

Naomi Miller mixes up a batch of intrigue, sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, & English characters, adding a pinch of mystery – and a dash of romance!

Naomi’s day is spent focusing on her writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences with writing. When she’s not working diligently to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series, Naomi tries to make time for attending workshops and writers conferences. One of her favorites is the four-day event that the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization holds annually.

Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.

Naomi, thank you for joining me today.  It has been so much fun getting to know you and you have been such an encouragement! 

In honor of our coffee time chat, Naomi is giving away one of her books in the winners choice of formats. To enter, comment below with your favorite verse! 

Celebrating over coffee with….MaryLu Tyndall

****Bonnie Roof, You are our winner!***

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Good morning MaryLu! I am so excited to have coffee with you this hot and sunny Friday morning! I am even more excited to be talking about your upcoming book She Walks in Power. Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE the cover! Will you tell us more about the book and why you decided to write it?

Knights, Castles, and the Spirit of Power

CoverEbookWhat little girl didn’t grow up completely enthralled with stories about medieval knights and castles and dreams of being the fair maiden rescued from the dragon? I know it doesn’t sound very women’s-lib, but I was one of those girls who longed for the knight in shining armor to come to my rescue. I couldn’t get enough of medieval books and movies. So, when I grew up and became an author, I knew I had to write a medieval romance. However, year after year, my publisher told me that medieval stories weren’t selling and nobody would want to read one. Really?  Yet it seemed every time I surveyed my readers, medievals were at the top of everyone’s reading wish list.

Fast forward ten years and against all odds, I’m finally writing that medieval series on my own. Yes, there are swoon-worthy knights, a castle, and even a damsel in distress. Though, I must admit said damsel is not as defenseless as Sir Knight assumes. She is not only an expert with bow and arrow, but she has the gift of spiritual discernment and can see angels and demons and other such things that exist in the spirit realm around us. With that gift and her allegiance to follow the Son of God, this damsel is not one to cross. In fact, she is quite powerful. Hence the title of the book She Walks in Power.

Why am I writing a book containing the spiritual gift of discernment? It may interest you to know that the people in medieval times were very spiritual. To see a demon or an angel was not as unusual as it is today. Why? I believe it was because they had more faith than we do.  They not only believed in God, but also in the devil and demons. However, because most of them were ignorant of spiritual matters and relied solely on a corrupt church to interpret Scripture for them, they had no idea how to do spiritual warfare.

Fast forward 700 years and we find much of the same. In fact I would say much worse. Many Christians today don’t even believe in the devil and demons, and many of those who do have no idea what to do when they enter the battle. Why? Once again, I must point to the church. Though, thanks to the martyrdom of many over the centuries, we now have access to God’s Holy Word, many of us still rely on our pastors and Bible teachers to instruct us on spiritual matters. Yet unfortunately most of them don’t discuss these issues from the pulpit for fear of frightening people and losing church members. So we find ourselves right back where we started.

That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this series. I want to reveal through my characters how some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate and how to engage in battle with our enemy who is the hater of our souls. And along the way I guarantee you’ll love the adventure, the mystery and intrigue, and of course, the romance.

She Walks in Power releases in early September 2016, so be sure and look for it, or better yet, sign up on my Website to receive my blog updates or my newsletter, or “Like” me on Facebook.

Website:  http://www.marylutyndall.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marylu.tyndall.author/

Here’s a little more about the story

Alexia D’Clere didn’t ask to be Protector of the Spear, but after her dying mother gave her the tiny metal object and made her promise to keep it safe, she had no choice. Orphaned at age 9, she began to take over the running of her parent’s castle with the help of a trusted steward. Yet, when a plot to murder her was revealed, a friar whisked her away to live hidden in the forest. There, she learned to shoot expertly with bow and arrow and hone her skills to see into the spirit realm.

Now, at 18, she continues to keep the spear protected, provide meat for the starving village, while secretly caring for her ill sister who still lives in the castle.  With Alexia’s powers of spiritual discernment and her skill as an archer, she is no match for those who come for the spear. That is until she meets Ronar LePeine, one of the King’s elite guard.

Ronar desires nothing more than to do his duty to God and King and pay penance for his past sins. Yet a forest sprite with red, flaming hair blocks his every move, all the while enchanting him like no other.  Something evil lurks at Castle Luxley, and both Ronar and Alexia are soon thrust into the middle of a spiritual battle which will not only test their very beliefs, but put them both in mortal danger.

maryluMaryLu Tyndall is an award-winning author who dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. With more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award winner, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandchildren and several stray cats on the California coast.

In honor of our coffee visit this morning, MaryLu is giving away a copy of her book, Charity’s Cross! To enter, comment below answering the following question: MaryLu dreamt of knights and castles when she was growing up. What were you fascinated with as a child?

This giveaway will end on Monday, July 18 at 11:59 pm PDT.

Thank you for visiting with us today.  

Hold Me Close Celebration Tour Giveaway Winner

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Celebrate Lit and Marguerite Martin Gray, author of Hold Me Close, are excited to announce the winner of the Hold Me Close Celebration Tour giveaway!

If you missed any of the blog stops, be sure to visit the Hold Me Close Celebration Tour page.

Grand Prize Themed Basket of Paperback copy of Hold Me Close, Paperback copy of The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson, $10 Starbucks Gift Card: Michael Bratek

1st place prize of $10 Amazon Gift Card: Caitlin McCutcheon

Marguerite will be contacting you soon to send out your wonderful prizes! Thank you to everyone who entered to win!

Want more chance to win? Be sure to follow our current tours and enter to win!

Hear all about the exciting happenings at Celebrate Lit by following us on:

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Celebrating Over Coffee With….Debbie Lynne Costello

****Congratulations to Debbie Clatterbuck who has won our celebrating over coffee with Debbie Lynne! Enjoy!****

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On this warm, sunny Friday morning in Southern California, I am talking with Debbie Lynne Costello to learn more about her and her writing.  Debbie and I have our coffee cups – come pull up a chair, let me pour you a cup and join our conversation!

Do you have pets? Can you tell us about them?

Debbie hourseDo I have pets! And you may be sorry you asked if I will tell you about them! Photo time! LOL! I have 3 Shetland Sheepdogs aka shelties. My male is a fluke of nature and weighs 8 pounds! But don’t let his size fool you. I also have a 95 pound German Shepherd who is my baby. She’s IS a big baby! My 8 pound sheltie will put my 95 pound German Shepherd to the floor by jumping up and grabbing her jowls and shaking. I’m always getting after Aiden for picking on his big sister. ;o) I also have a very old cat. We have 3 Tennessee Walking Horses and 2 Arabian horses one of which is a pure Egyptian, and then we have the pasture watch dog which is a miniature donkey who rules the roost.

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What is your current work in progress? Can you tell us about it?

I’m working on the sequel to Sword of Forgiveness. I want to share that Sword of Forgiveness is going on AUDIO within the next few weeks! It’s very exciting. Back to my work in progress. The title is Sword of Trust. The hero you meet in Sword of Forgiveness and the heroine is from Scotland. And as the title suggests it deals with trusting our Lord.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is trail riding but I’m not sure that’s a hobby. And I used to say writing was my favorite hobby but that has gone beyond hobby and is more of a profession now. So hmmmm fav hobby? Well I love to do crafts, sew, smock, and crochet. I don’t know if I have one favorite over another. Just whatever catches my eye and I have to make!

Who inspires you? Who is your hero?

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My grandmother inspires me. Though she passed away 3 years ago, she was an amazing woman. She prayed her whole family into the family of God! Her faith and spirit was amazing! She was such an ambitious woman and never looked her age. When she was 90 she looked 70. She always came to help no matter what we were doing. If we were canning she was right there slaving over the stove at 90 years old. My sister (RaQuel) tells a story about grandma coming to help her work in her yard. RaQuel said that she kept having to come in the house and cool down and my grandmother just stayed out there working! She was such a giving and loving woman who was always helping people. She had a huge heart and every time I am in the kitchen canning I think of her.  My hubby is my hero. He’s a good man who believes in treating a woman like a woman. He’s a real gentleman and a man of his word. He makes me proud to call him my husband. Even as he battled cancer this past year, he never lost sight of those things.

Can you tell us about your family? Feel free to brag about them a bit 🙂 

I have 4 wonderful children, a beautiful daughter-in-love, and soon to be son-in-love and two grandchildren. My children make me proud. My daughter is a PA and my oldest son is an Air Traffic Controller. His wife is a nurse. My middle son is in college as a pre-med student and my youngest is now in Pharmacy college. No, none of my children took after me. They are all very scientific minded. Exactly what I am not! That was my worst subject in school! But my husband is very much that way. This past year was a huge trial for us and my family really came together and were a huge support. My sister and mother each took 2 of our dogs and kept them while we were gone getting treatment and they both have their own pets! Family is one of the biggest blessings God gives us and I am very blessed to be given such a precious family.

debbie author picDebbie Lynne Costello is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Sword of Forgiveness, a medieval romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina where she has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s Director. When not spending time with her husband, four children and grandchildren she hangs out with her Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

To celebrate us meeting for coffee, Debbie Lynne is giving away one of her books (winner’s choice). Enter by answering the following question below in the comments: Who inspires you? Be sure to include your email in a safe format so we can notify you if you are chosen as the winner.

This giveaway ends on Monday, July 4th at 11:59pm PST.

Thank you for joining us!

More Than She Dreamt Celebration tour Giveaway Winner

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Celebrate Lit and Sandy Faye Mauck, author of More Than She Dreamt, are excited to announce the winner of the More Than She Dreamt Celebration Tour giveaway!

If you missed any of the blog stops, be sure to visit the More Than She Dreamt Celebration Tour page.

Dianne Casey you have won a charming keepsake box that includes:
1 autographed copy of More Than She Dreamt
1 package of embossed rose cards
1 pack of Rose Arbor Brides playing card pack
1 container peppermint bark tea
and a special signed gift of Sandy’s Flower Garden gift book A Floral Festival

Sandy will be contacting you soon to send out your wonderful prizes! Thank you to everyone who entered to win!

Want more chance to win? Be sure to follow our current tours and enter to win!

Hear all about the exciting happenings at Celebrate Lit by following us on:

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The Whispering to Horses Celebration Tour Giveaway Winner

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Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nye, author of Whispering to Horses, are excited to announce the winner of The Whispering to Horses Celebration Tour giveaway!

If you missed any of the blog stops, be sure to visit the Whispering to Horses Celebration Tour page.

The winner of the Complete Set of the Amish Horse Series is Caitlin McCutcheon

 

Thomas will be contacting you soon to send out your wonderful prizes! Thank you to everyone who entered to win!

Want more chance to win? Be sure to follow our current tours and enter to win!

Hear all about the exciting happenings at Celebrate Lit by following us on:

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The Amish Firefighter Celebration Tour Winners

The amish firefighter giveaway

Celebrate Lit, Whitaker House Publishers and Laura V. Hilton, author of The Amish Firefighter, are excited to announce the winner of The Amish Firefighter Celebration Tour giveaway!

If you missed any of the blog stops, be sure to visit The Amish Firefighter Celebration Tour page.

The winners are:

Grand prize of a Laura V. Hilton WH basket that includes all of her Whitaker House books, a Kindle Fire all nestled in a cute basket: Mary Taylor.

1st place prize of a set of any three Laura V. Hilton Books with Whitaker House coloring book, colored pencils, and promotional bag: Jennifer Hibdon.

2nd place prize of Choice of any single Laura Hilton book, Whitaker House coloring book, colored pencils and promotional bag: Dianne Casey.

 

Whitaker House will be contacting all of you soon to send out your wonderful prizes! Thank you to everyone who entered to win!

Want more chance to win? Be sure to follow our current tours and enter to win!

Hear all about the exciting happenings at Celebrate Lit by following us on:

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Celebrating Over Coffee With……Carol E. Keen

***Sue Stinnett, you are the winner of our Coffee With Carol E. Keen! Please be sure to email celebratelit(at)gmail(dot)com***

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It is a beautiful Friday morning here in Southern California. I have my coffee in my hand and chatting with Author Carol E. Keen. Pull up a chair, let me pour you a cup, and join the chat!

What inspired you to start writing?

Evil Forebodings Cover Carol E. Keen

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I have written since I was old enough to write. At the age of two I was making up verbal stories and simply wouldn’t stop. My family tells slightly embarrassing tales of my monoplozing visitors with my non-stop sagas, which were very repetitious at that age. The older I got, the more I wrote. By high school I was jumping at the change to write research papers. In college I took every English class I could, and went on to minor in English. Soon after college I was being published in an international magazine. Seeing my articles and photos in print was amazing. I went onto publish an ebook on CD, because this was before we had the current ebook formats.

July 13, 2015 I self published my first book. I’m still going “Wow! This is so amazing!”

How have you grown spiritually through your writing?

Oh, that is a harder one. I pray whenever I write, but that isn’t really new for me. I want to be sure I connect with people when they read my work. I want Him (Christ) to show through even if the book isn’t “preachy” or “pushy”.

I can say that I have so many ideas, that I do pray about which one comes next. I was working on some other books about two months back. Then something happened that lit a fire under me in another direction. I’m writing in that other direction as fast as I can, and then I will go back to the other books in progress. I don’t want to miss that “still small voice” of direction when Father says to me, “Psssstttt! Carol, write this one next!”

Does that count as growing spiritually while writing? Oh, and I also think of some huge issues I want to tackle later on. I’m already thinking and praying about how I can do that.

The books in your beauty series are written after fairytales, what inspired you to choose to write after fairytales?

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After some major hurts, huge set-backs that left me feeling like I would never publish or write again, a contest occurred. It was being hosted by a Christian author that I admire. The challenge was to retell Cinderella in a new way, and pay a small fee to enter. I was unable to walk away from that tug that I needed to enter. (I know that pull when I feel it!)

 I locked myself up during the day in a place that was available to me at that time. In one week I had my manuscript completed, within the 20,000 or less words required. I entered, and waited. Five winners were going to be chosen and put in one book. That wait felt like forever! When the winners were chosen, I wasn’t one of them.

My story didn’t make it into their collection. I was a little sad, but not devastated. I went right back to my manuscript, added the rest of the story I wanted before that wouldn’t fit, and my first fiction book was published.

Beauty For Ashes was given such a warm welcome that I quickly started the next book in the series based on reader’s requests.  It didn’t hurt that I have always felt that too much was missing from the traditional Cinderella story. I was able to put that, along with a message that is important to me into my rendition.

Factoid – Beauty For Ashes is probably the most difficult thing I have ever written that wasn’t a final exam! It was no easy task to rewrite a classic. Little did I know that new versions of fairytales were about to be something that is an “in” thing right now.

The second book, Monstrous Beauty is based on Beauty and the Beast, which is a favorite of mine. I have more books coming up as soon as possible in The Beauty Series.

MonsterousBeauty

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Where do you like to write?
Anywhere I can! I had a huge blessing this past Christmas. I have a Macbook now. It is so light weight and easy to use, that I write just about anywhere. The living room, the den, bedroom, my husband’s office room to name a few. If I have a burning idea, and I’m not at home, I write using the note features in my phone, or my email program in my phone.

Where would I most like to write? 
Let’s say if I had the resources, I would love to join this one group writing in a castle. I wouldn’t mind one bit writing in a cabin in the woods in Tennessee for example either. I just need food nearby for when I remember to eat, and lots of coffee and I’m good to go.

Do you listen to music while you write? What songs are on  your play list?
Now that is two totally different things. LOL! I can listen to music, if it is classical or jazz, something I’m not prone to stop and sing with. I can’t play my favorite songs all the time, unless it is on a break, because I will be singing the words even in my head, and then I wind up typing them into my sentences. It looks really funny when that happens. I can, however, have my family watching a TV series and I can write and listen to the show at the same time. The exceptions are if it is a show or movie that I am really into, or that takes a good bit of concentration to follow.

Music is a HUGE part of my life, it’s actually in my blood. Songs on my play list – Here you will find songs and groups that are a bit dated, at least I am told that.

Groups:
The Violet Burning. The Choir. Skillet. Red. Reliant K. Petra. Alice Cooper. The Waiting, some of Demon Hunter’s songs to name just a few. Those are all in the Christian music genre. (Please don’t choke over Alice, I first heard him on my Christian radio station many years ago. He is a Christian and I love the message in many of his songs!) I also know more Praise and Worship and hymns than I can count.

Right now you got me thinking, so I have a specific song playing. Song of the Harlot by The Violet Burning, from their album Strength. It’s a worship song about repentance and being honest with how we have actually been more times than we might care to admit, but His endless grace and forgiveness is right there, rescuing me again. Frankly this entire album is one that got me through difficult times more than once. As I Am is another very good song from that album.

Carol E. Keen Author photoCarol E. Keen currently resides in Alabama with her husband and family. She spends her time writing, reading, working on photography, and working with her much loved critters. She started creating stories to share with others at the age of two years old. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She is overjoyed to be publishing her fiction to share with you now. Carol currently has more books in the “works”. Please feel free to follow her for updates.On a personal note: Carol really enjoys coffee and a good book.

To celebrate our coffee time, Carol is giving away one of her books! Comment below sharing your favorite song to enter. Be sure to include your email in a safe format so we can contact you if you win.

This giveaway will end June 27th at 11:59 pm PST.

Celebrating Over Coffee With…..Melissa Wardwell

****Abby Breuklander you are the winner of our Celebrating over coffee with Melissa Wardwell! Congratulations! Please email celebratelit(at)gmail(dot)com with your information!

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This lovely Friday morning, I have my coffee in hand and am excited to be sitting with Author Melissa Wardwell to get to know more about her. Let me pour you a cup as you join us for our chat!

What inspires you to write?

I am a people watcher and there have been a few time that I have witnessed something that is simply inspiring. A person, an event, even a lesson – all have the potential to become a story. For my first novel, it was something I learned while going through a rough spot in my marriage. For my second novel, it was all the girlfriends I have that are single mothers.  The book I am finishing up now was inspired by the simple act of two trips a week to take my kids to dance classes. There is potential for a story in everything, a writer sees it and brings it to light.

 

How has writing changed you? Has it effected your spiritual journey?

 

Melissa wardwell book 1

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Wow! Where do I begin?

I am very insecure. Let me tell you, that is the wrong struggle to have if you are putting something so near and dear to your heart out for the public to see and read. I have had to learn to distinguish criticism from constructive advice as well as which to apply to my work. When I God revealed to me that this was a path that I needed to take, I told Him that there wasn’t a word that I wanted put on the paper that wasn’t ordained by Him. That I wanted His light to shine through. That I didn’t want credit, I just wanted to minister to the broken – Christian and non-Christian. So the first time I received a negative review or sales were low, God reminded me about what my heart’s desire was and that if I would just be obedient and do the work, He will get the stories into the hands of those who need to read it. So I have had to learn to put my full trust in Him. I had to learn to make Him my source, not my abilities.

I am not one who likes to be the center of attention. I am perfectly content in my little corner of the world. I have had to learn to be out in the world without being so stand-offish. I have to be open with people but not give too much of myself away.

I have had to learn to balance my family life with writing…..I don’t think I have it yet. I am a stay at home mother of three and I home school them. This school year has proved to be rather difficult to find balance and it was a struggle to find time to sit and write. Eventually the family banded together and gave me the space I needed to finish my next novel. I have never been a planner, you just tell me where I need to be and I will do my best to get there. There have been times that I have had to say no to get togethers with my parents because I had the story playing in my head and I needed to get it on to paper (computer screen rather) or my head would explode and I would forget it.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your current project?

FB_IMG_1462306761666 (1)My current project is called “Dance and Be Glad”. It is the second book in the Promises from Above Series. It is about a widowed dance instructor and mother who has become so content with going to work and coming home to her little ram shackled house and her nine-year-old daughter. She has suffered too much pain in her life to be willing to put herself out there and let people into her life. It is also about a very handsome doctor (think Paul Walker) whose life is turned upside down after the death of his beloved brother and sister-in-law. He must change everything he has known to adapt to his new life.

You will see more of the characters from the first book in the series “What God Brings Together” and many moments that will make you smile laugh and even cry.

 

When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?

Melissa wardwell book christmas

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Read!!!!

I read the books I want to read, not the books needed to be read for reviews. I then blog my full reviews of these books. I just finished a book I won in a FB author party. I think I just fell in love with a pirate- lol.

I also make up for the time I take to write and go on short trips around the state with the family. It is our time to reconnect. Having two teen boys and a tween daughter, we need connection time desperately. The boys and I will play Mario Cart 8 at least three times a week and my daughter and I go shopping whenever we can. If finances allow it, the hubby and I go on a date. If we can’t’ afford a night out, we’ll sit by the campfire or take the dog for a walk. Whatever it takes to show my family that they are still important. (You’ll find some of my moments with my children in my books.)J

I am an ancestry hound as well, so I am always looking for new information in mine or my husband’s family lines. I have found some very interesting characters in the trees.

 

Melissa warswell book 2

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If you could live in any time period, which would it be and why?

There is no perfect time to live in, all have their ups and downs. I would have no problem living around the 1930’s and 1940’s though. I know our world was in a war, but there still seemed to be a sense of patriotism. I also love the clothes, movies and music. My mother raised me on the old black and whites as well as the big band music. It was a time that even though money was tight you still curled your hair a bit, put on a dress, and your heels and go to the store. Women were classy and men were gentlemen.

 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Have you ever longed to go somewhere and experience their culture so deeply that you have an emotional response to music from that area or see images of the land? That is how I get with my top to destinations…..Scotland and Israel.

I long to go to Scotland because it is the land of many of my ancestors (explains my short temper and round figure – lol). I want to see the lands of my clans and eat the food. Sit in a pub and listen to their stories. I want to stand at the foot of Castle MacKay in Tounge (yes, that is the name) and take in the scenery. I hear bagpipes and bawl like a little baby.

Israel has always been another destination I have longed to see, but for more of a spiritual journey than not. (Though I am beginning to wonder as I do more ancestral research if I have some Jewish blood running through my veins.) To walk where Jesus walked and to see the sights that were so crucial in his ministry would just be amazing.  I was offered to opportunity to go in 2018 and I am praying God would see fit to make that happen. It isn’t cheap.

To celebrate our coffee time this morning, Melissa is giving away a choice of one of her book. To enter, comment below on where you would love to travel to and why.

This giveaway will end on Monday June 20th at 11:59 pm PST.

FB_IMG_1464131734988 (1)Melissa Wardwell is an independently published author of Christian romance.
I wear many hats from one day to the next. I am a devoted wife, basketball and dance mother, teacher, taxi service, friend, caregiver, daughter, sister, and now, published author. Seeing all that is enough to make my head spin. But more importantly, I am the Daughter of the Most High King.

I was raised in and still reside in a little farm town in Mid- Michigan called Corunna. It’s quiet and simple, just the way I like it. If I can’t live out in the country among the corn fields and trees then living in this small town works for me.  My husband and I have been together since high school and have 3 children, all of whom we homeschool. It has been quite the journey, but I couldn’t ask for a better life.

I decided to give writing a try because I needed something to occupy my down time, but after reading my first draft of my first book, What God Brings Together, I then understood that God had a much bigger plan.  God does not give His children a desire just so that it can go to waste. I never anticipated the journey God would put me on through writing, but I am excited to see what He has in mind for the future.

I have always felt a call to reach out to women and mothers, to encourage them in their lives. So naturally, all my stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.

My greatest hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. Lord, knows we have earned it.