Year of Jubilee!

 

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Scars from Jubilee’s past keep her in constant fear of her new husband. Can she learn to trust again?

Hi everyone! My friend and critique partner, Peggy Trotter launches her debut novel today! It’s a historical Christian romance that I greatly enjoyed reading.I hope you enjoy this chance to learn more about Peggy, and her book!

Let’s get started with the interview!

This is such an interesting story. Where did you get the idea for it?

Wow.  This is such a hard question.  A form of this story has been in my head for years, but I finally wrote it down about six years ago. It started with an idea of a woman trying to make it on her own before modern conveniences.

How much of yourself is in Jubilee and your other characters?

Jubilee has fears, both real and imagined.  I think I overthink things too much, much like Jubilee, and allow fear to creep in where it doesn’t belong.

What’s your favorite part of creating your story and characters?

I love the sparring scenes between the hero and heroine. Right where it twists from witty or angry words to a realization of attraction. That silent realization that there is something deeper. The part that warms your belly. That’s my favorite part.

What was the first story you remember writing?

Well, I wrote one about, “A Puppy’s Surprize” in grade school! LOL Yes, misspell and all. But I suppose you are talking about adult years. My first serious book is called Three Gifts of the Heart.  I’ll be re-editing that someday for publication. It’s also a historical.

How do you feel about being a published author?

Blessed.  I don’t know what other word to use. Being published is something I’ve dreamed of since being a young girl. Now, knowing the difficulty of publishing first hand, I know it wasn’t anything I did. God lined out the steps in perfect order. There’s just an extreme sense of accomplished fullness inside me. Much like a person’s first ride on a huge Ferris wheel.

Do you have a main theme or goal for your stories?

Always my stories start with someone who is beaten down with life. Who sees no answer or option. That’s where I pull in God’s healing and guidance. Once the characters start to realize they need to go God’s way, the pathway starts straightening out. It often happens before a person recognizes it, and it’s only after they’ve scaled the mountain of hopelessness that they look back agape with thanksgiving to God. At least that’s the way it seems to happen in my life. God leaves me with my mouth hanging open all the time when I trail back and see his orchestration of removing the difficulties in my life. Amazing. I want people to always feel there’s hope, no matter what.

Do you write with or without an outline?

Yowza!  Confession time! So without. So, so! LOL As a matter of fact, I have to do the synopsis after the product is finished. Not my fav.

What’s the biggest misconception you had about being a writer?

The hermit life.  I thought I would sit at my computer and punch, punch, punch! LOL Even the movies make it look that way.  It is NOT! So much editing, networking, advertising, event planning, conferences, contests, etc. Lately, I spent very little time actually, “writing.”

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

Nope.  And I adore music!!!  But I like it fast and fun.  So I use it instead to motivate me to clean!! J No, I prefer a total empty, quiet house.

What do you want your readers to take away from your stories?

Hope. Faith. Jesus. Pretty much explains it all. Entertainment, as well. Life is so busy, demanding, and hard. I hope it takes them away a bit, but gives them so much more. Hope. Faith. Jesus.

What are you working on now?

Editing one, writing two. Working on social networks always. Helping other writers. Trying to keep up! LOL Can’t complain!  I love the rush! Praise, God, it proves I’m alive!

You certainly are alive! And it’s a pleasure to have you on my blog! Thanks, Peggy!

Here’s an excerpt from Year of Jubilee:

Come in.” Jubilee had to utter it twice to be heard then caught her breath as Rafe’s huge form filled the doorway.

Mornin’,” He removed his hat and hung it on the peg near the window.

The table was a simple trestle with two bench seats on either side. Rafe chose the one against the wall in front of the only glass pane. Jubilee fidgeted nervously by the stove.

Okay if I sit here?” He gestured.

She nodded and shrugged one shoulder. The man owned the place yet asked her where to sit. She snatched up a fork, a knife, and a clean cloth napkin to lay them on the table close to the lone plate.

He sat and stared at her. “Is this my plate or yours?”

She cleared her throat. “Yours.”

He glanced around the table before spreading his search to the kitchen area. “Where’s yours?”

I…thought I’d eat later. This way I can get you anything you need and such…” She gnawed her lip and looked away from him, but not before she caught the half-smile that crossed Rafe’s face.

So you’re just gonna stand and fetch while I eat?”

Jubilee made the mistake of letting her gaze wander back to his. There he sat with that quirky grin, eyebrows lifted, humor lighting his eyes.

 

Makes you want to keep reading, doesn’t it? Peggy’s a wonderful storyteller! Here’s a short bio about her:

Peggy Trotter has been writing something for over 30 years. The empty-nest syndrome set her to groping for a new direction, and wow, did God answer! Year of Jubilee, a Christian Historical Romance set in southern Indiana, will debut in April of 2015 through Prism Book Group. A second, a Contemporary Romance entitled, Reviving Jules, will follow in 2015 as well. She loves to reveal God’s miracles through the world’s underdogs and mix in a little love and happy endings. 

 She finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest in 2013 in the inspirational Category, and is a 2014 ACFW Genesis Finalist in the Novella Category. Seldom does she stand still, but when she does, it’s to praise her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Creator of all gifts and Bestower of all blessings!

Here are Peggy’s social links and the purchase links for her book:

 

peggytrotter.com
diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/PeggyTrotterAuthor
https://twitter.com/peggy_trotter
https://www.pinterest.com/pegtrotter/.

To purchase Year of Jubilee:

On Amazon:

Year of Jubilee

Barnes and Noble:

Year of Jubilee

Smashwords:

Year of Jubilee

Prism Book Group:

Year of Jubilee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renee Blare’s book The Beast of Stratton releases today!

Renee Headshot2 (300x240) (1)BeastofStratton_eBook  (200x300)

 

Leave a comment after the interview for a chance to win a free copy!


Hi Renee! Bet this is quite a day for you. Congratulations on a milestone. Release Day for The Beast of Stratton. Here’s a little about the book. We’ll have an excerpt later!

He appears the beast but she sees his heart.

Architect Aimee Hart, determined to locate her father, infiltrates Miles Stratton’s engineering firm as a secretary. Her presence wrenches the shaggy, wounded man from his penthouse, and the quest begins.

He’s been betrayed by his best friend. Miles would rather hide than help, especially his daughter. But it isnt over. Someone’s trying to destroy Stratton Industrial. A war veteran, he knows how to defend his own, the Beast of Stratton can do it again.


Let’s get to the interview and find out more about you.

Describe how you feel about seeing your book published.

I guess I’m still in shock. I think when I hold the book in my hands, it will become real. I’ve seen the e-book on Amazon and the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) on my Kindle, but it’s still a dream for me. LOL God’s so good and He’s made all this possible. Right now, all I can do is praise His name and wait for reality to set in.

I hear you! What got you started on writing fiction novels?

The truth? My husband. I’ve written poetry since I was a teenager, but a novel? I’d never even thought about it! One day, I bought a Christian romance off Amazon…or so I’d thought…and wasn’t very happy. James—that’s my husband’s name—took the brunt of my frustration for almost an hour. I ranted about everything from the sex scenes to the profanity (and I hadn’t even made through half of the book before it landed in the cybernetic trash bin!) He nodded and grunted. The usual male response to a wifely tantrum, I guess. He looked up from his prone position in his recliner (he was watching football), and said the words that changed my life, “If you don’t like it, do something about it. Write your own.” So I did. That was almost five years ago.

A big thanks to James for getting you started! What’s your favorite genre to read and to write?

What a question! Well, let’s see…I love to read almost anything. I’m pretty eclectic. Science fiction, mystery, romance, you name it. The only thing I don’t have in my library? Horror (shudder), and you won’t find me with very many children’s novels. That’s not saying I haven’t read them. I used to when my son was young. I just don’t anymore. 😉 My favorite? I love a good suspense and Scottish romance. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a tall highlander.

Although I like to read everything from historical to sci-fi, including dystopian, I write Contemporary Romantic Suspense sometimes with a touch of mystery.

What do you want to convey through your stories?

All of my stories contain a spiritual message….a simple one. Life’s real and it’s hard, but we aren’t alone.

With trial comes baggage…and every person clings to something. Sooner or later, we must face it. We can choose to face it alone or with the Almighty at our side. Either way, He’s waiting for us to ask for Him. However, the choice to hope and trust? That begins with us—yes, even the Christian.

Very true. Did you find it easy or difficult to let other people read your work when you first began writing?

I needed people to read my work. I’d never written a book in my life. Reading wasn’t writing… at least, as far as I was concerned. I wanted advice, feedback, HELP! I approached writing the way I did pharmacy school. Fail, learn, fail, learn…the best part of this learning process was that when I screwed up, no one could get hurt!

I handled the rejections and cruel comments like I always do, shrugged them off and kept going. Wondering what I’m talking about? My skin’s thick. I’m a pharmacist, remember? Need to learn how to take some crap, work in a pharmacy for a day.

My daughter-in-law would heartily agree. She was a pharmacy assistant for a while. Lots of paperwork and grumpy folks to deal with. .Rough work! 

What does the process of writing do for you personally?

Writing has brought me closer to the Lord in so many ways, Nancy. The spiritual messages in my books aren’t just for the readers. They’re for me too. Hope, faith, love, trust…God is speaking to me while I’m writing these stories. The struggles my characters are facing and overcoming lift me high into the heavens. It’s a wonderful experience.

I agree completely! Do your characters ever surprise you?

Oh yes. I’m not a plotter in the sense of the word. I have a rough idea as to where the story is going at the beginning but the twists and turns of the book are a complete surprise to me. The characters and their changes throughout the story sometimes hit me upside the head. I have to praise God for those moments because they are purely His doing.

It’s fun, isn’t it? What work of fiction would you say affected you the most? And what was the effect?

You may not have heard of this one…but then again…I read this book a long time ago. I wouldn’t proclaim it for a rendition of Scripture. It’s not. The author wrote this book to portray a vision he claims he had from the Lord. It changed the way I thought of the spiritual realm. It was Rick Joyner’s The Final Quest.

I’ll have to read that one. Sound interesting. What are you working on now?

I’m finishing a novella for Prism Book Group called Racing Hearts. It’s very dear to my heart. I’m almost done with it and I’ll be shooting it off to my editor soon. When I’m done with that, I’ll start editing the second book in the Snowy Range Chronicles. The first book, To Soar on Eagles’ Wings is due to be released in July.

Busy lady! What are your plans for future writing?

As soon as I finish editing the second book in my series, I start researching the third! I’m really excited about this one. I may need to plan a trip to Montana or Idaho for the research project though. We’ll see. I’d also like to write a Christmas story. I attempted it during NaNoWriMo this last year, but alas, other things reared their heads. We’ll see…we’ll see!

I know you’ll do well with whatever is in store. Congratulations again on your release day! Now here’s an excerpt from The Beast of Stratton:

He’d vanished. 

She’d called his friends, the family. She’d even tried her stepmother who’d hung up on her. Well, okay, maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea. 

A red rose rolled across her father’s tattered note, caught in the breeze from the open window. Sliding the pane down, she picked up the flower. The words on the page blurred as she buried her nose in the soft petals. 

Instead of saying goodbye to his wife in his last letter, he’d simply left explicit instructions not to follow him. Aimee snorted. Like the woman would care. He’d sent it with the rose and an antique necklace. She held the thick chain aloft and peered at the golden key spinning in the light. The jewelry had probably cost a fortune. 

And her stepmother was nowhere to be found. Scratch that. According to her, she wanted to be left alone. It didn’t make a difference to Aimee what the letter said and to whom, she’d follow. A small smile worked its way to her lips as she fastened the necklace around her neck. 

The zipper stuck on the edge of the suitcase and she gave it a hard jerk. Dragging the bulging bag off the bed, it hit the floor with a thunk. She slid her arms into her jacket and looped her purse over the handle. She dropped the rose, and it landed beside her plane ticket next to her wallet. Before latching her fingers around her bag, she tucked the key under her shirt out of sight. “Stratton Industrial, here I come.”

Here’s the purchase link for this exciting story:

Available for purchase: Amazon

(http://www.amazon.com/Beast-Stratton-Renee-Blare-ebook/dp/B00SCD8DQU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423424667&sr=8-1&keywords=beast+of+stratton)

Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy! Now here’s a little bit about Renee:

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to Laramie and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you to check out her website, blog, and social media.

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr: The Journey

Amazon Author Page

Blog: Renee’s Inspirational Moments

Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction

Winter of my Discontent?

I thought last winter was rough! My husband John had leg ulcers and awful pain, our furnace needed repairs, our plumbing needed repairs, our van got totaled, and we had no car all winter. Then spring came, John’s legs healed, he started a healthy diet and vitamins and mineral supplements, lost 100 plus pounds, and his diabetes and high blood pressure were gone by last fall. Things were looking up, and I could finally hope my husband would stick around for us to get elderly together.

Then January of this year. Our pipes froze, and we both got the flu. John still hadn’t stopped smoking altogether, and even though he was sick, he smoked. Then, in the middle of January, his lungs went south fast, and he spent a long day with bouts of coughing and shortness of breath. Finally it got so bad, he said to call the ambulance. The battery on our car had given up from the extreme cold, so this was our only option. He was rushed to one hospital, and transferred to another because he had not only a collapsed lung, but had suffered a heart attack. He was on a respirator and sedated for four days, while I was home, too sick to do anything but pray and call the ICU nurses for updates.

I can’t begin to tell you how much God’s spirit kept me glued together. I look back and marvel at that. He really does carry you in those desperate times. John recovered so fast, he came home eight days after he was admitted, after being about as close to death as you can get. I got shingles from the stress, but because I’ve been taking my vitamins and minerals every day, and leaning sideways on God for the last month, I’m recovering well. And so is John. It’s quite clear to me that its time for us to move to Ithaca. I’ve loved living out on a dirt road in the boondocks, but it’s too hard for us to try and keep an older home in repair. Too stressful, especially for John. As a writer, I can do that anywhere, and John will be happier in town where he can talk to people. He’s the social one. I’m kind of a recluse, and it suited me to live out here. But I think we need to have a less difficult winter next year, so changes need to be made. I’ve been the one dragging my heels over leaving this place, but I can see it’s time for a change.

So, is this the winter of my discontent? Nope. The winter of my acceptance, and my hope of future contentment for John and I. I’ll turn 60 next month. Guess it’s a good milestone for making a change! Funny. In my head, I’m still in my thirties, except for having more wisdom and experience. Hope that doesn’t change!!

Well, back to edits! My next book comes out May 6th!!! Stay tuned! And have a good winter everyone!

Sisterhood of the World Blog, here I come!!

Well, my friend, critique and blog partner, Renee Blare, has nominated me to take part in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers!swblogo

Thanks, Renee, for thinking of me! This looks like fun!

First, before I get started, here are the rules…

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you.
4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

1. How is your blog different today versus the day it began?

Although I still don’t post enough, I know a little more about how to interact with others in this way. I just wish I was computer-savvy enough to make it look better.

2. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

Fly like a bird!

3. Who or what would be your ultimate post?

When I think of ultimate, it makes me think of God’s kingdom. I want to be part of that!

4. In 2015, what are your plans?

Writing, of course! Seeing more of my books published, and taking care of my health, so I can do more and help others more.

5. Do you have a favorite day of the year?

Thanksgiving. I usually get to see all our sons and grandchildren. What could be better?

6. Why and how did you start blogging?

I started because when I got my first book contract, I found out it was good for authors to have an online presence. So here I am!

7. What do you like about blogging?

It’s so open-ended. It can be about anything.

8. What have you discovered through blogging?

That even though I’m an introvert, it doesn’t really bother me anymore to know people are reading my inner thoughts. At first it kind of embarrassed me, but I’ve gotten over it!

9. Who or what is the one thing that means the most to you?

My relationship with God and His Son. Every other relationship is enriched and enlarged through that one.

10.What do you want the readers of your blog to know about you?

That my relationship with God and His Son has held me in a state of awe, and I learn more every day. These are precious gifts that everyone can have.

  1. Okay, now I nominate: Peggy Trotter, Kim McMahill, Jacqui Hopper, Sharon McGregor, Rachel James, Carole Brown, Laura V. Hilton, Mary Ball, Brooke Williams, Amber Schamel

Here are my ten questions for the ladies I nominated:

  • What did you learn this week?
  • .What always makes you laugh?
  • If you were only allowed to own one movie to watch, what would it be?
  • What was the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What’s your earliest childhood memory?
  • When do you remember first being aware of God, or wondering about Him?
  • Which quality do you find most necessary in a mate? Kindness, Humor, Consistency, Strength, or a Quick Mind?
  • What would you like to be remembered as?
  • What human quality do you dislike the most?
  • What gives you hope when times are rough?

My Poor Neglected Blog!

I’ve had so many moments of inspiration and I’ve thought,“Oooh, I need to write a short blog on that.” And the moment passes because there are so many tasks and other thoughts milling around nearby, waiting for a chance to interrupt and state their importance. Shouldn’t I be more in charge of my own thought processes? I used to pride myself on my ability to focus, but now I see that part of that was my militantly reclusive habit of writing during eighty percent of my free time. 

Since my debut novel came out (The Right Ingredients, by the way!) I’ve fallen into a whirlpool of social media and promoting. And because of this, my thoughts have become more scattered. So many options for advertising, so many clamoring voices once I opened those doors. Yikes! Promoting more means selling more, which could someday mean  the ability to be able to do more than make ends meet every month, and always look the other way at needed house repairs, or car repairs. Not renovations or improvements, mind you, but repairs! So I slog on with the tweets, posts, website visits, book giveaways etc.

Then I realized that the most important thing is to write good stories, pray they’ll be well received, and limit the marketing to a small daily space of time. There’s only so much I can do, and I started writing to speak out the stories in my head. That’s what matters. I’m beginning to calm down and realize this. And, oh, when I sit down to write, the focus returns. The world calms down and centers in on the world of my characters. With God’s help, I’ll find a balance inside me, and focus on story-telling. 

That’s my discourse for today! Back to the keyboard!

Coming up for Air!

Goodness. All this promotion stuff is dizzying to someone who has little technical aptitude. I think I’m learning, but there are so many websites to look over and try to figure out which ones to spend time on. To be honest, I’d much rather be writing.

My debut novel is getting some lovely reviews. Only one negative one in the bunch. All the rest are pretty enthusiastic. It seems odd to know that the words I wrote in my little room, poised over the keyboard are now not only in an actual printed book, but also being read by people I don’t know on various electronic reading devices. I guess maybe even on phones? I don’t know because I don’t have a smart phone. Just a clueless, land-line one!

Some day I’ll enter the wild world of phones that can basically replace many of my brain functions. My brother not only has every new techno-gadget, but actually understands how to use them. No wonder I always loved to read stories from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. That’s about my speed.

Well, just wanted to check in and say hello. I needed to lift my head up from the world of book promotion, then get back to what makes it possible. Writing!! Stay tuned. And maybe visit my page for my book: https://boltonnancy.com/the-right-ingredients/

Couldn’t resist one extra plug!

So, I’m actually a writer. Amazing.

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A year ago, I was reading a very kind rejection of my now debut novel. How could I have known then that a year later, I’d have a debut book out now and another due out in the spring, with a publisher who is enthusiastic about my stories? I’m still pinching myself. But I can’t deny the fact that I put a tremendous amount of hard work into learning how to write better, and more effectively There’s a lot to be said for perseverance and determination to improve.

But with that, I received uncounted boosts of encouragement, advice, criticism and help from other writers. If you are a writer, join a writing critique group. On the advice of an agent who encouraged me even though she never took me on as a client, I joined a Christian critique group at ACFW. There are scores of wonderful writers there, in large and small groups. They are all a part of me becoming a published author. I could never thank them enough for their patient, continued advice and feedback.

With that wind in my sails, I brought dogged determination into the arena with my imagination and my love of words, and have begun a journey that I know will need continued effort for me to continue to improve, and say the things I want to say. For now, I can stand back a moment, survey this amazing terrain and say, Wow. I’m actually a writer!

I’ll post a link where you can see some of the reviews. If you read my book and like it, please post a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, or Allromance ebooks. Thanks!

Review link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_17?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=nancy%20shew%20bolton&sprefix=Nancy+Shew+Bolton%2Caps%2C228

Other links:

Barnes and Noble: To buy on Barnes and Noble

Smashwords: To Buy on Smashwords

Goodreads: On Goodreads

Prism Book Group: Prism Book Group