CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!


Congratulations to Elise Jehan who won a copy of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection!

Friday, April 28, 2017

A New Blog Feature...featuring Reviewers!



Starting in May, I'll be hosting Reviewers and Book Bloggers on a regular basis! With the floodgates of fiction opened to indie, hybrid and traditional authors, reviewers are an incredibly and increasingly important part of the equation. Readers, Authors and Publishers depend on reviewers!

I'll be highlighting them in my newsletter as well.

If you're a reviewer but you don't have your own blog, this may offer you the nudge to take that next step!  If you'd like to visit and take part in an interview, please let me know!
THIS IS NOT ME.
CreativeCommons  CC BY 2.0 Neil Alejandro
Later this year, I'll be traveling to Cincinnati to the #CFRR, Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat to mingle with authors, reviewers and readers for a great one day event. I'll be 'reporting' and bringing back some swag.  For more information, follow me on Twitter and my Facebook page. If you'd like to know more about the Reviewer Promotion, contact me at debra (@) debraemarvin.com

THIS IS SO ME.

And, because Reviewers are our Friends, and I'm always eager to meet new ones (Reviewers and Friends!), I'm offering a giveaway of my recent release, Saguaro Sunset until May 17th.






More on The Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat 2017:

Christian Fiction Authors and Readers to meet at 2nd Annual One-Day Event
Intimate gathering of Readers and 40+ Authors will meet in Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, OH - February 8th 2017 (wire)

A one day gathering of Christian Fiction readers and over 40 authors will be meeting in Cincinnati, OH on August 12th from 9am-6pm EST. The event’s theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction” and will feature speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings.
An unprecedented event in the Christian Fiction genre, the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) offers an opportunity for readers to meet authors. The event will include food, games, giveaways and free books. Following a successful 2016 debut in Nashville, the 2017 CFRR takes place on August 12th in Cincinnati.

Keynote speakers at this year’s CFRR include authors Becky Wade, Cynthia Ruchti, Dani Pettrey, and Shelley Shepard Gray. Authors also due to appear and participate in panels and other activities are Ann H. Gabhart, Cara Luecht, Carrie Turansky, Catherine West, Cindy Thomson, Courtney Walsh, Dana R. Lynn, Dawn Crandall, Debby Giusti, Elaine Marie Cooper, Elaine Stock, Gabrielle Meyer, JC Morrows, Jocelyn Green, Karen Barnett, Katie Ganshert, Kristi Ann Hunter, Laura Frantz, Lynette Eason, Meghan M. Gorecki, Melissa Tagg, Melony Teague, Naomi Miller, Patricia Beal, Pepper Basham, Rachel Hauck, Rachel McMillan, Rebecca Waters, Ronie Kendig, Ruth Logan Herne, Serena Chase, Sondra Kraak, Stephenia H. McGee, Susan Anne Mason, Susan May Warren, Susie Finkbeiner, and Tracey Lyons. 

The CFRR event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Blue Ash/Sharonville, OH. The event will take place on August 12th, 9am-6pm EST. The event is open to registered attendees only. Registration will open online on February 15th at http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/p/fee.html for $97 until May 31st or until the venue capacity is reached. Late registration (if capacity allows) will be at a cost of $120 from June 1st until July 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Grammar Nazi



Maybe you’ve seen the merchandize that says, “I’m silently correctly your grammar.” (Here’s one place to start if you’d like to purchase any.) Or maybe you’re one of the types who already purchased some. Yes, I must confess. Grammar nazi is one of my vices. I’m a stickler for accuracy in anything I read. I recently heard about a man who sneaks around England at night correcting error’s errors on signs. It’s not something to which I aspire, but I understand his motivations.

Grammar. Punctuation. Spelling. Word usage. Years ago, I worked as a technical editor, and I still can’t turn off that side of me. Indeed, one thing I learned early in my writing career was to never read my work after publication, so I wouldn’t see the errors that made it into print. To this day, I silently wince when I see errors in books, on signs, in news stories, or on the projector screens at church (when I’m supposed to be concentrating on using the words of the song to praise God, and all I can think about is the punctuation error on the wall).

One of the songs that gets me every time is “Amazing Grace.”



When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we first begun.

Do you see the phrase that annoys me? A common word usage mistake many people make is to misuse fewer/less. Use fewer for things you can count: I have fewer M&Ms than you (so hand some over). Use less for things you can’t count: I put less butter on my toast this morning because I’ve decided I need to cut back. (That’s what happens when I eat too many M&Ms.)

So why would the writer say “We’ve no less days”? Days can be counted, so fewer is the grammatically correct word choice…except the topic is eternity, and in eternity, the days can’t be counted.

Is this a usage error to keep the phrase to four syllables? Or is it a brilliant use of the English language to make a point? I haven’t decided, but I must admit, it certainly focuses my mind on the meaning of the words every time.


(Oh, and if you find a typo in this post? Please don't tell me. Its all ready published, so there's nothing I can due.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Love in Store Love Notes

by Anita Mae Draper

Last summer I took a bold step with my fictional writing when I gave my heroine the gift of poetry as one of her traits, and then included short verses in my novella proposal for Love In Store. The theme for the novella collection was secret admirer, and my submission included a page with the verses that would be scattered throughout the story in the form of love notes.

I say it was a bold step to include the verses because poetry is not my strength. I write rhyming, metered verses as the mood hits me. For instance, I wrote a poem after visiting the Oregon Trail ruts in Guernsey, Wyoming because the experience touched me deeply. As I stood there imagining the pioneer scene, I could hear the cracks from the whips, the babies' cries, and the mix of emotion-filled voices. Driving away, the poem fell into place, and now when I read, You Were By My Side, I'm taken back to that memory of memories.

I'm adding other poetry to my website as my courage dictates so I can't tell you how I had the nerve to include it in my novella submission, but to me it fit. And I was blessed abundantly when Barbour Publishing chose to include my story as one of 9 novellas in The Secret Admirer Romance Collection.


On the right is the bookmark I created as a visual reference of the love notes in Love in Store since they are an integral part of the story. Each love note contains a verse with two lines of poetry which the heroine, Janet, hides among the items and shelves of hero Adam's store.

At one time I had thought to write all the notes based on verses from Song of Solomon, but . . . well, have you read that book of the Bible? Suffice to say I chose one reference to it and the rest are my own words.

My goal was to start with a casual reference, and then say something more -  emotionally and physically deeper - with each verse. Over time Janet allows her true feelings to play out on the floral paper until she bares everything to Adam . . . except her identify.

Adam's goal is to be left alone because he has problems that he doesn't want to share. When Janet's final love note is revealed, Adam responds with a short poem of his own, but you'll have to read the book to discover his answer, hence it's not included on the bookmark.

For those of you who can't read the tiny words on my bookmark, here's one of the pins on my Novella: Love in Store Pinterest board.



The bookmark and matching postcard (shown below) are being sent as a thank you gift to my newsletter subscribers who gave a postal address when they signed up or since then. If you're not on my mailing list and don't wish to receive my newsletter, but still want either the bookmark, postcard, or both, let me know through my website contact page.

The Secret Admirer Romance Collection will release May 1st and is available for pre-order at 46% off regular price through amazon.com (not .ca). If you'd like to take a chance on winning a copy, I have several blog appearances starting in about 10 days where I'll be giving away print copies. I also have some goodies lined up in a special Secret Admirer Prize Pack. Keep informed through my Contests & Giveaways page.

Using my poetry in a story isn't something I planned and prepared for, but I'm so very grateful that God gave me the gift, and then put the idea into my head to use it to enhance Love in Store. I'm especially honored that Barbour Publishing chose my story with its simple verses for this collection.

And do you know what else? I really like my story. I hope you do too.

Question: Do you write poetry, either verse or prose? What about haiku? Or . . . you tell me.

Giveaway: I haven't received my author copies yet, but since I advertised it on my website, I'm giving away a copy of The SECRET ADMIRER Romance Collection in conjunction with today's post. If you want a chance to win it, leave a comment before Sunday midnight April 23. I'll pick a winner on Monday morning and send the winner a print copy when I receive them.

P.S. The postcard looks dinky here but really is a regular postcard size.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anita Mae Draper writes her historical romances under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details. Her Christian faith is reflected in her stories of forgiveness and redemption as her characters struggle to find their way to that place we call home. Anita loves to correspond with her readers through any of the social media links found at www.anitamaedraper.com
Readers can enrich their reading experience by checking out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her published stories at www.pinterest.com/anitamaedraper.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Inspirational Historical Romance Giveaway!



Today's the last day to enter to win a Kindle Fire and 45+ Inspy Historical Romance titles, including My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho!

Click link to enter!


Look at all those amazing books!

If you don't win, it's available on pre-order sale on Amazon for a few more days.

Picture
Click photo for link!
Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...

A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
 
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?

When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .


***


Susanne Dietze is the author of a dozen inspy historical romances set in America and Britain. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Refreshing Surprise - Dear. Mr. Knightley

by Dina Sleiman

True confession time. For about the last two years, I’ve been so burnt out on writing and editing, that I’ve done very little pleasure reading. Finally, I see a glimpse of light on my reading horizon, and this week I discovered an amazing book that catapulted me on my way toward a renewed love of reading. But I almost missed out on it. Why? Because I had some preconceived notions against the conventions of the book.

 Lots of readers have them. “I don’t like first person,” “I hate present tense,” “I only want the hero and heroines point of view.” And the list goes on. For the most part, I’m pretty eclectic with my reading. I like the new and surprising. I get tired of a single genre and adore writing that’s experimental and takes risks, but I have my limits too, and one of those limits was that I don’t like novels written as letters.

When I saw that Dear Mr. Knightley and two other books by Katherine Reay were on sale as a collection for $2.99, my interest was immediately piqued, because I’ve wanted to give these books a try for a while. But as I read the sample on kindle and saw that it was written in letters, my enthusiasm waned. Nonetheless, I kept reading, and at some point it caught my interest enough to go ahead and purchase the books.

What ensued was not just a book, not just pleasure reading, but a powerful and moving literary experience. It haunted me as I read it; characters visited me in my dreams. The letters slowly pull you closer and closer into the world of a young woman seeking her Master’s in Journalism who grew up in an abusive home and then a series of foster homes. Not surprisingly, she has some serious wounds and attachment issues, yet the book isn’t dark. It’s delightful, full of literary allusions and insightful comments on human nature. As it progresses, the romance element blossoms skillfully as well, and the ending is surprising and wonderful, bringing the story full circle. I love a good surprise in a book, which is probably why I quickly become bored with category fiction.

I don’t want to say much more. Instead I want you to experience this wonderful book for yourself. Do you have preconceptions against any given convention in fiction? I propose that you just haven’t found the right book yet. I mean, who can imagine Divergent or Hunger Games without the immediacy of the first person present tense narrator? Different stories call for different conventions. Give a try to something new in your reading, and see what you might discover.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cozy Mystery Giveaway Plus a Kindle Fire!



I'm so excited to let you all know that Booksweeps is including my new release, Murder on the Moor in their current giveaway!

For a limited time, you can enter to win my book plus more than 55 fantastic Cozy Mystery novels from an amazing collection of authors, PLUS A KINDLE FIRE! 

Two winners will each receive the bundle of 55+ books. One of them will also win the Kindle Fire.

Enter the contest by clicking here: bit.ly/cozy-mystery

When you’re done, leave a comment to let me know you’ve entered!




PLEASE NOTE:  The 55+ books offered in this giveaway were not chosen or endorsed by me or by Bethany House Publishers. I believe there is a mixture of secular and inspirational books included. You can investigate the books being offered on the contest site through the above link. 

Entry is free. Contest ends on April 10, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Top ten things I learned watching a pregnant giraffe...

by Barbara Early

1. Giraffes have long blue tongues.

2. Giraffes, like five percent of humans, can stick their tongues up their nostrils.

3. There's always a compelling back story. I found this USA Today article about the family that started the animal park. It begins, "At the start, he dreamed of the giraffe."


4. Giraffes chew their cud (regurgitated food) like cows do.

5. Some of you tried number 2, didn't you--April Fools!

6. Giraffes form emotional bonds with each other and with their keepers. Their interaction was heartwarming at times.



7. As hard as I remember labor being, I can be thankful I didn't give birth to a 150 pound baby with hooves.

8. Unlimited cell data isn't truly unlimited. They slow you down after a certain threshold is reached.

9. Some might question the sanity of staring at the back end of a giraffe for hours on end, but think nothing of watching sweaty guys in shorts run back and forth dribbling a basketball.

10. After all the pain and restlessness April went through, I was ready to start a GoFundMe page for spaying and neutering giraffes.

But then...

<insert cute baby giraffe picture here>

Rats! Still waiting...