Seriously Write: Encouragement for Writers by June Foster

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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

How can editing tough passages and receiving rejections from editors and agents be delightful?

June Foster

Author June Foster visits the Seriously Write blog today with a devotion aimed at providing the encouragement we need as we write for God’s glory.

What kind of encouragement do you need today to put out those words? Where are you in your writing journey?

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Finishing Strong With Caryl McAdoo

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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

We’re continuing the Finishing Strong posts this year with author Caryl McAdoo. Carol is a pretty prolific author, so I felt she would be a good one to explain her process. Welcome, Caryl!

Alpha & Omega

I’ve been writing books for collections and series of late, so like on those, the theme, parameters, and settings are provided. Example, for the Prairie Roses Collection, the stories would be of women going west in a covered wagon. Each author chose their exact year. Wagon trains were mostly from 1840 through the 1860s; I arbitrarily chose 1853 and titled it after its heroine REMI.

The first thing I do when I want to write a new story is choose a heroine and a hero, get a rough idea of them in my head, give them names, and decide where to “open the curtain.” To “hook” my readers right away, I always try to either use a decision that leads to a crisis or a crisis that leads to a decision—a bad decision makes for more drama. 😊

So, the Lord gifts me with the crisis and decision, then away I go. I never head straight into the backstory of my characters—not yet. Jumping right into the big middle of the action, I let the backstory come out in little sprinkles as my readers need to know—when it can come out naturally. Backstory is like salt—too much in one place ruins the food, or the book. I get all my secondary characters introduced during this first act.

All the characters need to be introduced in the first act. We need a nemesis—which doesn’t always have to be a person. It can be a war or the weather. The hero and/or heroine can have a sidekick and need a mentor. When everyone is introduced and the greatest obstacle between the hero and heroine established, that marks the end of the act one.

Then I start thinking of all the different ways to keep them from getting together. I call it ‘throwing rocks’ at them. This is act two and determines the length of the book. Depending on how many pages you want your story to wind up being, act two will be long or short; the more rocks thrown, the longer the book.

Plays, books, movies, days, even our very lives are in three acts. Everything has a beginning and a middle and an end. Once I’m approaching my desired word count, I start bringing my hero and heroine together. Of course, the final obstacle that must be overcome (for instance: believer/non-believer or knowing one’s own heart) brings the end. The climax comes with the epiphany, then with that hurdle behind me, I wrap up their happily-ever-after.  

Everyone’s heard about either being pantster or planner, but I say I write for discovery. God knows the story, and I’m comfortable with that. I must say in HEARTS STOLEN, book two in the Texas Romance Family Saga series, I threw so many rocks at poor Levi Baylor and Sassy Fogelsong, I had no idea how it could ever work out, then just like in our lives, but God . . . He had a wonderful ending!

Early on in my career, I’d get blocked up, and have to go back and take a story in a different direction, but since I figured out the characters won’t let me take them where they don’t want to go—their will—it just doesn’t really happen anymore. I start writing at Chapter One and write straight through to the end now, finishing big I always hope! The Star-ratings I get at Amazon from reviewers encourage me I do.

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Award-winning Author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory! And her best-selling novels are blessed with a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings! With forty-three-and-counting titles, she loves writing as well as singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and husband Ron share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County, in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

Author Pages:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo

Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com    

Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

(Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

Seriously Write: Branding 101: What is Your Brand? by Patty Smith Hall

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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

Over the next few months, I’ll be focusing on discovering and building your author brand.  …
We start by asking a question: who are you?

Patty Smith Hall

Join author Patty Smith Hall on the Seriously Write blog as she provides tips and information on how to build your author brand.

Have you pinpointed your author brand? How did you go about it?

Seriously Write: Surrendering Your Dream by Jennifer Uhlarik

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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

I’d worked my original dream with no success. Plan B was in shambles. My strivings had left me tired and wounded, so I shifted my focus to survival rather than writing.

Jennifer Uhlarik

On the Seriously Write blog today, author Jennifer Uhlarik talks about the key to finding “success” in your writing career.

Do you need to surrender your dream to find true success?

May 2019 ACFW New Fiction Releases

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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

May is a great month for adding to your to-be-read-during-the-summer list . Stack ’em up!

Contemporary Romance:

When Love Won’t Wait by Roger E. Bruner — Laugh at Pastor Dan’s impulsive efforts to get out of the ministry and marry a woman of his own choosing by going against his domineering widowed mother’s wishes. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman — After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sing a New Song by Candee Fick — 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. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Pigtails and a Tool Belt by Janetta Fudge-Messmer — The Christian Romance where circumstances seem impossible. But with God – all things are possible. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)




Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner — After four years of dating Will, Cadie questions his love for her and sends him packing. Their breakup only makes Will more determined to become the man Cadie wants him to be. With the help of his work buddies and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, he devises a “foolproof” plan. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Over the Waters by Deborah Raney — As “Dr. Botox” to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan was shocked by the decision of his son, Joshua, to focus his medical talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua’s death, Max searches for resolution in the very place his son called home. The selfless labor of Joshua’s coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken by American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a honeymoon on a tropical beach were crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie’s view of Joshua’s sacrifice challenges everything Max has lived for. Now Max wonders if he can ever return to his “Max-a-Million” lifestyle, or if the doors to his gilded cage have finally opened. (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)

Historical:

True Freedom by Carol Ashby — When a Roman slave rescues his master’s daughter from the kidnapping arranged by her own brother, will his sacrificial service earn the freedom and love he never dreamed possible, or will it only end in death? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)



Historical Romance:

The Daughter’s Predicament by Mary Eileen Davis — Can a patient love win her heart? As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle–always the unfavored daughter–becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Isabelle loves her sister, but with three suitors interested, will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Mail-Order Mishaps by Susan Page DavisLinda FordVickie McDonough, and Erica Vetsch — In The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. But has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life? In Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford, Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece in Montana as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her. In The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough, Texas mail-order bride Zola Bryant is a widowed newlywed. Worse, they were never truly wed because the officiant was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters? In The Galway Girlby Erica Vetsch, a mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid — Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways. Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love’s Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett — When the Third Reich implements mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution, is midewife Pia Hertz’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man? Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army, despite the reason–a battle that cost his arm. After he returns to Berlin, only to discover the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Shelter Bay by Pamela S. Meyers — Adventurous bicyclist Maureen Quinn and her best friend, Preston Stevens, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, find love and face life-altering events on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)


Mystery:

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove — When a DNA kit reveals blond, blue-eyed Jessica Warren is half Cherokee, she confronts her adoptive parents and learns her birth father is in prison…for murder! Now he wants her help in exonerating him. Can Jessica trust the handsome, young Tulsa district attorney to help, or does he have an agenda of his own? (Cozy Mystery from Write Integrity Press)

Bitter Pill by Richard L. Mabry, MD — Things were going along just fine until the miracle fouled them up. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)





Latter-day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott — Kirsten Young, a well-known and rebellious Utah heiress, is found murdered in Provo Canyon. The strange markings carved into her flesh and the note written in 19th century code seem to cast a shadow on ancient Mormon laws. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned to cover the story– and it quickly grows out of control. (Historical Mystery from Moody)


Romantic Suspense:

Running Target by Elizabeth Goddard — A routine patrol turns deadly when marine deputy Bree Carrington’s boat is sunk by men carrying illegal weapons. Fleeing a barrage of bullets, she’s suddenly rescued by DEA agent Quinn Strand—her ex-boyfriend. Quinn’s return threatens more than Bree’s heart…because he’s the one the men are really after. As criminals hunt her to get to him, can Quinn and Bree take down a drug ring? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Speculative:

The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart — Allison Moore’s dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt. As she scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal. But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light. Ignoring those words could cost her everything…but so could embracing them. (Speculative from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

In your opinion, which of these books has the most intriguing title?



More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Note: This list is compiled from those books registered by ACFW member authors on Fiction Finder and reprinted with permission of ACFW.

I have received no compensation for this post and have no material connection with any product(s) mentioned. Embedded links are strictly for the convenience of my readers.