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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The final results are in!

The winner of the drawing for Havah which, as everyone who entered the contest correctly answered, was written by Tosca Lee, is ...

Sarah!

Congratulations, Sarah!  I will be sending you an email shortly and you have one week to respond. 

If I don't hear from Sarah by September 6th, another drawing will be held and a new winner announced.  Thanks to all who participated in the contest.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Of the entries that were submitted, all but one scored 100% correct on the matching quiz and one person missed only one question.  Sure wish I could get those results on tests with my students at school!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Havah contest ends in two days ...

The contest to win a copy of Havah will end on August 31st.  Be sure to find the post in the blog archives which tells about the contest and submit your entry before it is too late.  You still have an excellent chance to be the lucky winner!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review

Fatal Loyalty by Sue Duffy


Sue Duffy has written a book laced with tension, excitement, and subterfuge.  Andie Ryborg is in danger because her father is running for governor of the state of Florida on a very strong anti-drug campaign and the drug lords are out to make certain that he is not elected.  Consequently, Andie's life has been threatened and she has been forced into hiding.  In spite of the fact that Andie has been assigned protection, she still senses that someone is watching her.  Her home is invaded and her privacy becomes non-existent.  For every move that Andie's father makes to ensure her safety, the members of the drug gang are right there to foil his efforts.

This is a very well written, generally fast-paced, and excitement-filled book.  There were, however, several sections in the book where it really seemed to drag and I found my attention wandering.  After a few pages, I would manage to get back into the story but there were times that I was sorely tempted to skip some pages.  I persevered and did not do that for fear that I would miss some important element in the story.  I later realized that I could easily have skimmed over some of those parts without losing a thing.   

There were some parts of the story that I felt were weak.   For example, the book kept emphasizing that Andie and other  characters should trust no one; yet when a character showed up on the scene with no one to vouch for her credibility, in no time at all Andie, her father, and her father's staff were trusting this person completely and implicitly.  It just seemed a bit too quick and easy for my acceptance factor, but other reviewers have not had a problem with this issue. 

 In spite of these minor flaws, I would still recommend this book for those who enjoy reading about drug abuse, dirty politicians, and God's omnipotence and mercy.   The message of redemption and forgiveness is strong and well-done and it is for this reason that I feel this book is a worthwhile read.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Giveaway Scout

Now you can check here to see about giveaways that are going on at other blogs - check the sidebar on this page to find other exciting chances to win.

Here's what the folks at Giveaway Scout say: 

•We automatically scan thousands of blogs to bring you the latest blog giveaways, sweepstakes, and contests.
•Never miss out on a giveaway!
•Our lists update every hour.

Check back here often to see the latest additions and get in on the current giveaways!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

The year is 1884.  The nation is in the midst of a severe depression, jobs are scarce and young Emily McCarthy is being forced to leave Aldersgate Home for Girls, the only home she has ever known.  The wealthy widower, Bartholomew Axel, has advertised for a wife in the Chicago Daily Tribune and the board of directors of Aldersgate has accepted his offer on Emily's behalf.   Young Emily, at the age of 18, with no other prospects in sight, reluctantly agrees to accept the marriage proposal and sets off for the Montana Territory.   
Meanwhile, Luke Sullivan, a handsome young cowboy, who has a personal score to settle with the rich land-owner, Bart Axel, decides to intercept a shipment headed for Axel, unaware that the shipment includes the beautiful Emily, en route to her wedding.   Thus the stage is set for an exciting, sometimes humorous, ofttimes dangerous adventure which includes all the elements of a good Western - cattle rustling, Indian battles, and  gunfights.   Although events that occurred early in his childhood had convinced Luke that God doesn't listen or even hear his prayers,  throughout the pages of this book Luke learns how wrong he was as the writer skillfully brings him to a place of spiritual renewal and a new life.

The Vigilante's Bride is not the kind of book that is normally found on my reading table.  I tend to gravitate more toward contemporary fiction and usually avoid books that take place before 1950.  However, when I first heard about this book, I was intrigued by the sound of it and decided to give it a try.  I was not sorry.  Yvonne Harris has written a truly engaging account that seems more like fact than fiction.  She quickly transports us to a time in our history when the difference between life and death was often measured by who had the fastest reflexes.  The book is historically accurate and the landscape descriptions are so spectacular that it is easy to form a vivid picture of the era.  The characters are not just some two dimensional figures, but are realistic and extremely true-to-life in their dialogue and actions.  The plot is well developed and the pace does not lag but continually builds to the very satisfying finale.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Vigilante's Bride and look forward to more books in this genre by Yvonne Harris.  

About the author:

Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante’s Bride, which is her debut historical romance novel.


A copy of this book  was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for review purposes.  I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review.  All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I't's Not Too Late ... Enter the Contest and Win a Book!

As most of you know, the ACFW annual conference is just a few short weeks away.  There is an ongoing contest/giveaway on this blog which remains open until August 31st.  This contest, for those of you who didn't see it on the earlier post, involves correctly identifying and matching book titles with their authors.  Since all of the authors included in the contest are ACFW members, this is a good opportunity for you to test your knowledge before you get to conference so you can show everyone how savvy you are.  


What we have here is a list of authors in one column and another column with a list of books written by these authors. Hint: All authors are members of ACFW. This list is not inclusive and if your favorite author's name does not appear, that is no reflection upon their ability or my opinion of their writing. Reality says that I have to limit the number of questions and I just randomly picked those who are shown. The only qualifier that I used in selecting was that they had to have had more than one book published or that would have been all too easy. Your job is to match the author with the book that he/she wrote. Ready? Here we go:

1. Brandilyn Collins
2. DiAnn Mills
3. Randy Ingermanson
4. Robin Lee Hatcher
5. Tracie Peterson
6. Deborah Raney
7. Margaret Daley
8. Kathi Macias
9. Harry Kraus
10. Janice Thompson
11. Colleen Coble
12. Lynette Eason

A. Leaving November
B. Controlling Interests
C. Duty to Die
D. Vanished
E. Abomination
F. Exposure
G. A Silent Fury
H. Perfect
I. Double Vision
J. The Forgiving Hour
K. Obsession
L. Footsteps

The name of the book that I am giving away is Havah. And now, for the bonus question ... who is the author of this book?

For those of you who submitted your comment on the earlier post, don't worry - those entries are still valid and, if eligible, will continue to be entered in the drawing.  You MUST be a follower of this blog in order to be eligible to win this book!  Therefore, there will be no extra chances for being a follower. 

This is not simply a "please enter my name" giveaway; comments that don't at least attempt to complete the quiz will be excluded.  Please make an effort to see how many of the authors you can match with their book titles. 

Entries that have all of the authors and books matched correctly, including the bonus question, will be entered for an extra chance to win.  Cheating by looking at their web sites is permissible.  Shhhh ... please don't ever tell any of the students at my school that I said it was OK to cheat! 

Remember to leave your email address - I cannot contact you if you don't leave an address and, if the winning entry does not include an email address, another winner will be chosen. To protect against spam, leave your address in the following format: soandso[at]here[dot]com.  Sorry, but entries from the United States only will be eligible for this giveaway.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

K. Dawn Byrd ... Author Interview

For the very first author interview on this blog, please join me in welcoming K. Dawn Byrd, whose second book from Desert Breeze Publishers has just been released.  Her latest book is Killing Time and is categorized as inspirational suspense.  Here is the blurb:
Mindy McLaurin thinks it's the end of the world when she's incarcerated on trumped-up embezzlement charges. While in jail, she investigates the death of an inmate who allegedly died of an overdose. Mindy suspects foul play when her cellmate dies and she learns that both women had ingested the same drug. Mindy trusts no one, including Drew Stone, the handsome counselor she can’t stop thinking about. She faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from the other inmates. Upon release, someone is stalking her and framing her for the murder. Can she prove to Counselor Stone that she’s innocent of all charges before she loses him forever?

Welcome to Write About Now!   K. Dawn has provided a brief introduction for those of us who are just meeting her for the first time.

 K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense.  She released two books from Desert Breeze Publishing in 2010, Queen of Hearts, in April, and Killing Time, in August.  She's also a proud member of ACFW and attributes the fact that she is published to joining the organization. 

Each week on her blog,  K. Dawn interviews anywhere from three to six authors  who give away signed copies of their books .  You can register to win at  K. Dawn Byrd, Author.

When not writing, K. Dawn enjoys walking with her dogs and her husband of fifteen years beside a beautiful lake near her home.  As she walks, she plots the next story that is just waiting to be told.

Only four months between the release dates of Queen of Hearts and Killing Time – that’s impressive!  Were you working on both books at the same time?   If so, was it difficult to keep your characters and stories apart?

I wrote Killing Time a few years ago.  It's the first book I wrote.  It's been through probably a dozen edits because I'd buy another book on craft, read it, learn something new, and tear it apart again. Queen of Hearts was my National Novel Writing Month project.  I wrote it in November of last year.  I don't work on two stories at once because I find it's hard for my mind to switch gears.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I absolutely love everything about plotting and the pre-writing process.  I enjoy filling out character worksheets and getting to know my characters and also skimming through magazines looking for photographs of how I picture my characters in my head.  It's fun working on their "goals, motivations, and conflicts" and digging deep to see what makes them tick.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

My least favorite part of the writing process is the editing.  I'm so excited when I finish a book and so ready to move on to the next one!

I can’t help but notice the vast difference in the setting between Queen of Hearts and Killing Time.  Is it hard to switch from one time period to another?


It wasn't hard at all to switch from the WWII era to modern-day, maybe because I've always been a WWII buff and was very familiar with the era.  It's almost like home.

Which was easier for you to write - historical or contemporary?

The historical was the easiest to write, most likely because the contemporary was my first book.  I personally believe the first book is the hardest to write because the mind doesn't yet know how to think like a writer.

What was your favorite subject(s) in school?

English was my favorite subject in school because I've always loved to read.  I never imagined when I was penning poems back in middle school that one day I'd be a published author.

Do you tend to eat more or less when on a deadline?  In other words, are you a nervous eater?  What would be your first choice of comfort food?


When I'm buried in work, I don't think much about food.  You can't tell it by looking at me though! If I know I'll be writing for hours upon end, I eat before I get started so I won't have to stop if the muse is flowing.

What inspires you?

I recently subscribed to Writer's Digest Magazine and have found that it inspires me.  If I don't feel like writing, I'll crack open the cover and, before I know it, the longing to write is so strong that I'm pecking away at the keys.

If not writing, what would you rather be doing?

As I stated earlier, I love plotting.  I also enjoy research, especially historical research.

If you could choose when you were born, what era would you prefer to live in and why?

I'd prefer to live in the WWII era.  I know that times were hard, but Americans banded together on the home front to fight the war on our own soil by rationing, participating in scrap drives, volunteering at the Red Cross, etc.  I'm afraid we'll never see that sense of camaraderie in this country again.

Where would be your favorite place to live?

On the East coat.  I absolutely love the ocean.


Thanks so much for joining us today.  I am certainly looking forward to reading Killing Time.   Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for the interview. My email address is kdawnbyrd@yahoo.com.  Readers can find my blog at http://www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com/.

To view the video trailer of Killing Time, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ncljBid61g
To purchase the ebook, go to Desert Breeze Publishing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady (Book Review)



Tomorrow We Die, the second book by Shawn Grady, is the story of the young paramedic, Jonathan Trestle.  Jonathan is merely biding his time as a paramedic while he waits to begin medical school on a full scholarship.  It seems that his well-laid plan is in serious trouble when patients begin mysteriously dying for inexplicable reasons.  Thus begins the story of Jonathan's quest for truth.  He is not content to accept the loss of his patients and sets off to discover the reason for the untimely deaths.  In the process, he gets much more than he bargained for and that is what makes this tale so appealing.  Add in a scandal, a long-standing grudge, and a bit of romance and you have a story that will keep your eyes riveted on the pages until the final word. 


Tomorrow We Die is another winner for Mr. Grady.  It may be a work of fiction but the realistic action and the attention to detail make the reader feel as if they have been vaulted into reality.  His characters are life-like and the plots are intricate, convoluted, and very believable.  If you are a reader like me who enjoys books about the medical profession, you will love Shawn Grady.  His personal knowledge of the profession combines with his gift for story-telling to make him an author who can't write fast enough to please his fans.

After reading both this book and his first novel, Through the Fire, author Shawn Grady has joined the ranks of my favorite writers.  His name has become one I will be watching for and he is a writer whose future books will rise to the very top of my must-read stack. 

This book was published by Bethany House and can be purchased through them, at your favorite local book store, or online stores such as AmazonChristian Book Distributors, or Barnes and Noble.

A copy of this book for review purposes was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers.  I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review.  All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New Contest and Giveaway

I recently won a book from a wonderful Christian writer.  Somehow the publisher sent me an extra copy in error.  After consulting with the author, I have decided to share the wealth by making this book available as a giveaway for all of you lovely followers.  You MUST be a follower in order to be eligible to win this book!  Therefore, there will be no extra chances for being a follower. 

I cannot give a review of the book because I haven't yet had the opportunity to read it.  I will say, however, that I have been reading glowing and positive comments about it.

But ....

It isn't going to be that easy.  I need to get into "back-to-school" mode really soon.  Therefore, I have made up a multiple choice quiz for you to take so that I can get used to grading papers again.  Are you game?

What we have here is a list of authors in one column and  another column with a list of books written by these authors.  Hint:  All authors are members of ACFW.  This list is not inclusive and if your favorite author's name does not appear, that is no reflection upon their ability or my opinion of their writing.  Reality says that I have to limit the number of questions and I just randomly picked those who are shown.  The only qualifier that I used in selecting was that they had to have had more than one book published or that would have been all too easy.  Your job is to match the author with the book that he/she wrote.  Ready?  Here we go:

1.  Brandilyn Collins                        
2.  DiAnn Mills                             
3.  Randy Ingermanson                         
4.  Robin Lee Hatcher                      
5.  Tracie Peterson                                        
6.  Deborah Raney                             
7.  Margaret Daley                            
8.  Kathi Macias                                 
9.  Harry Kraus                                   
10. Janice Thompson                    
11. Colleen Coble                             
12. Lynette Eason

A.  Leaving November
B.  Controlling Interests
C.  Duty to Die
D.  Vanished
E.  Abomination
F.  Exposure
G.  A Silent Fury
H.  Perfect
I.  Double Vision
J.  The Forgiving Hour
K.  Obsession
L.  Footsteps

The name of the book that I am giving away is Havah.  And now, for the bonus question ... who is the author of this book?

This is not simply a "please enter my name" giveaway.  Please make an effort to see how many of the authors you can match with their book titles.  Entries that have all of the authors and books matched correctly, including the bonus question, will be entered for an extra chance to win.  Cheating by looking at their web sites is permissible.  Shhhh ... please don't ever tell any of the students at my school that I said it was OK to cheat!   Remember to leave your email address - I cannot contact you if you don't leave an address and, if the winning entry does not include an email address, another winner will be chosen.  To protect against spam, leave your address in the following format:  soandso[at]here[dot]com. 

Have fun!
                             

Monday, August 2, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS .............

Drum roll, please ....
We have a winner for The Victor!  But first, before I make the announcement...  

Patience please - after all, isn't that what any good writer does?  They string the reader along in order to build the suspense before bringing the story crashing to its grand finale.  I am just practicing for later on this evening  when I bring out my pages of copious notes and begin working on my best seller.  Ha - I wish!

Anyhow, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I want to thank you and welcome each and every one of my followers!  The response was far greater and much quicker than I had anticipated it would be.  It is my hope you will not be disappointed and I promise that I will do my utmost to keep this blog entertaining, enlightening, and enjoyable.  There will be more giveaways coming right up so, even if you weren't the lucky winner for this particular book, stick around - you may be the winner of the next one.

Since this is my first giveaway, this was very difficult for me.  I wanted everyone to win so that I could express my appreciation to each of my new friends who signed up to follow Write About Now.  However, just as it was in The Victor, in the end there can be only one.

And now, without further ado, the winner of Marlayne's wonderful novel is .......

Charity!

I have sent Charity an email and she has one week to respond.  If I have not heard from her by August 9th, another name will be chosen.