Congratulations to Niki Turner on the release of her first novella, Sadie's Gift!!! Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meet Eddie!

This is Eddie.  Formally, I suppose, this is Edwina. She's the little tuxedo kitten I've been wanting for a very long time. She was supposed to be a boy because I wanted to name her Crazy Eddie after Ed "Crazy Eddie" Belfour, the Stanley-Cup-winning goalie from my favorite hockey team, the Dallas Stars.  But sometimes, despite your own plans, you end up with what you really should have.

Back up a couple of years.  At that point I had Elliot, Emily, Eloise and Elizabeth.  In March of 2012, after a two-year fight, I lost Emily to cancer. Then, in October of that year, I lost Elliot. The vet suspected cancer then, too, but never was 100% sure.  After he passed away, I adopted a little ginger bad boy called Petie. 

Now Petie is and was a total kook, into everything and crazy as a bedbug, but SO cute and very sweet and he makes me laugh every day.  I thought, with Eloise and Elizabeth and Petie, we'd be set for a while.  Sadly, in July of this year, I also lost Eloise to cancer.  I thought then that, when the time was right, I would finally get my Crazy Eddie.  I wasn't sure when it would be, just that I would know him when I saw him.

Almost exactly a month ago, I went to Petsmart to get cat litter, and I stopped by the adoption center. There was a precious little tuxie just begging to be held.  It was a girl, so I figured she was not for me, but then I took a chance and held her for a while.  I knew then that, even being a girl, I had found my Eddie. 

She is truly the most amazingly calm cat I have ever met. She's not afraid of anything (though the vacuum cleaner makes her wary), she has fit into the house just amazingly well (Petie, after first being certain I had ruined his life by bringing her home, now plays with her non-stop), and is just the sweetest, most affectionate baby.  She talked continuously for about the first three days, but I guess she had told me everything about herself by then, because she doesn't talk so much now.  She does purr a lot.

Of course, no pet can replace another, but I am constantly amazed at how the ones I have seem to be a perfect fit for me when I need them.  As always, God provides, and I am profoundly thankful.

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, as well as Letters in the Attic, The Key in the Attic, The Diary in the Attic and The Legacy in the Attic, contemporary mysteries. Her new series of Drew Farthering Mysteries debuted in the Summer of 2013 with Rules of Murder, followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado in 2014 from Bethany House. Another Drew Farthering Mystery, Dressed for Death, is due out in Spring of 2016. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Creating an author's media kit

Something came up this week: A blogger/reviewer requested a media (or press) kit to accompany a blog post and left me feeling a bit unprepared. Why? Because I don't have one!

Promotion and marketing is a challenge for many of us, and the more prepared and equipped we can be to manage the process the better.

What is a media kit?
At the newspaper, a media kit included a spec sheet (with the size of our paper, publication frequency, circulation details, and more number specifics), a copy of the most recent paper and other special publications, and a rate card with our advertising rates. My fellow prologue chapter members added the following wisdom from their own experiences in advertising and publishing: A press release, an author bio and photo, social media links, and an "interview." Additional research indicates we should also include the ISBN and cover photos of our books, testimonials or reviews, and samples of our writing.

All of this indicates we should invest ourselves in a comprehensive package, complete with bookmarks and fliers and business cards, whether we create that package ourselves or hire someone to do it. That package should represent our personal "brand."

Back in the day, a publishing house or an agent or a publicist might have done all that for us, but now we have the opportunity to do it for ourselves!

That said, I have a hard time discerning literary themes in books (even my own), much less figuring out my personal identifying theme. One of the reasons I've never gotten a tattoo is because I can't figure out what word or symbol I want on my body for the rest of my life.

Which leads us to another discussion... What's your brand? *SIGH* I still haven't come up with a brand for my writing, and I've been working on it for years. Literally, years.

Do you have a slogan? A logo? A style? How did you come up with it? Does it make you feel trapped, or secure?

(Here are some resources about creating press/media kits:


Niki TurnerACFW Colorado Coordinator
From Western Slope ACFW Prologue Chapter: Creating an author's media kit

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sadie's Gift - Book Recommendation

a book review by Debra E. Marvin

Niki Turner’s recently released novella SADIE'S GIFT (99cent E book – here’s a link!) immediately brings the reader into a cold, snowy 1921 Colorado City and the bustle of last-minute Christmas shopping. One minute, heroine Sadie Hubbard is pawning a beloved family heirloom to give sick children a happy holiday and the next minute she’s watching an out-of-control Model T skidding to avoid her.

And here we meet Nathan Wells.

It’s not really a ‘cute meet’ as far as romances go, and indeed, our blue-eyed hero is anything but charming. But Nathan has just lost his brother to the horror of tuberculosis, and he’s angry.  The new damage to that brother’s much-cherished car isn’t exactly Christmas cheer.

Though the story deals with loss , I promise you’ll find it a sweet, uplifting read, easily enjoyed in a few hours’ time. The setting details pulled me in and the characters kept me there. Sadie can’t see what a strong, determined woman she is. Each day, she watches children face the uncertainties of life in a Preventorium, and rather than let it lessen her faith, it drives it. Her selflessness softens our irritable hero’s heart and helps him out of the isolation of his grief. And he's going to need that to help save Christmas.

A rich cast of secondary characters made Sadie’s Heart feel like a favorite Christmas movie that you’d watch again and again!

This is the first of the Christmas Traditions series that I’ve read and I look forward to catching more of them over the next few weeks.  If you missed it, here is a link to the Sadie's Gift Release Party (More on the story and the author)

I'm giving away a copy of Sadie's Gift for Kindle! If you'd like to be in the drawing, please say so in your comment and leave your email address safely like this yournameOrWhatever (at) . (yes, I'm such a big spender!)

Congratulations, Niki Turner! A sweet start with more stories to come!

Niki Turner        Niki's Blog: In Truer Ink

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Til Death Do Us Part

By Lisa Karon Richardson
One of the most rewarding payoffs for romance readers is to read about the hero and heroine’s wedding. And since this week is all weddings all the time what better time to highlight some of the best weddings in fiction.

1.     Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe-LM Montgomery built the romantic tension between those two for four entire books. The wedding scene in The House of Dreams isn’t terribly long, but it is incredibly sweet and just perfect.

2.     Irene Adler and Godfrey Norton-Who you say? Irene Adler was “the” woman, according to Sherlock Holmes. He is following Irene on behalf of the king of Bohemia when she sneaks into a church. In full disguise, Sherlock follows her only to be pressed into service as a witness at her marriage to a lawyer, named Godfrey. Love the irony, and through Caroline Nelson Douglas’s novels I got to see exactly what Irene saw in Godfrey.

3.     Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester-The wedding that wasn’t. I know it’s a trope now to have someone prevent the wedding at the last second, but think how shocking it was when the story first came out. You can’t stop turning pages after that for sure. How were they ever going to get together?

What about you? What books had your favorite weddings? What did you like about them? Weddings in books seem to be harder to come by than weddings in movies, so do you have a favorite movie wedding?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sadie's Gift Release Party


SADIE'S GIFT is available as one of the short and sweet 
stories in the Christmas Traditions Series. 

99cents!  buy Now Ebook

Niki's first release has given us a chance to celebrate and throw a virtual party that's a little bit Christmas and a little bit dress-up party.  Think Colorado Springs, 1921 and a chilly Christmas Eve!  Pick something warm to wear, though you won't even have to go out in the cold! Just imagine blue skies, freshly falling snow and a coat your grandmother or great-grandmother would have worn.

Keeping it casual, ladies. "This old thing?"
Our heroine Sadie Hubbard is a nurse at a Preventorium where children faced the possibility they'd contracted or would contract Tuberculosis. Niki introduced us to this world in her Inkwell post about Preventoriums, Sanitariums and Tuberculosis.

Hero Nathan Wells has lost a brother to this terrible disease and is on his way back home. Guess what? He doesn't make it out of the city before fate and Father Christmas (and Father God) do a little number on his heart.

1920s Colorado Springs
It might be worth going out in the snow just to wear these boots!

I have photos of my grandmother looking somewhat similar. hmmm. I think I'll borrow this outfit!
We're staying with simple homey comfort foods, so come in out of the cold and join us as we celebrate SADIE'S GIFT! Two other Inkies,Gina Welborn and Jennifer AlLee  (as well as other friends) have novellas in the Christmas Traditions series, so I'm already picking my cookie recipes for our cookie exchange. 

Not sure how this gentleman, Ryan Paevey, found himself serving hot chocolate, but he assures us it's the real deal, creamy whole milk, cocoa powder and sugar.   YUM!  I seem to be spilling my cocoa. Sorry.

This is the real deal pudding too. More chocolate! Stove top made with scalded milk, separated eggs... nothing like it! Go ahead and try it. Granny will let you lick the spoon!

Please join us in congratulating Niki and while you're at it, will you consider donating some toys to children in hospitals in your area?

For more on Niki Turner, visit her personal blog IN TRUER INK, and her Pinterest Page for Sadie's Gift.