CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Jenny LM who won Susanne Dietze's My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho Prize pack!



Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy 6th Blog-o-versary To Us!



It's been 6 years since Gina Welborn realized a dream of bringing a group of female inspirational writers together for the purpose of friendship and support by way of the Inkwell Inspirations blog. Read Gina's inaugural blogpost where she introduced us to the world.

A mere couple of weeks later in September 2009, several of us met for the first time at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in Denver, Colorado. The conference is now our annual destination for get-togethers - a time for tears and laughter as we share our rejections, accomplishments, and bloopers - a physical embodiment of Gina's dream.

Inktropolis has never been stagnant. As time passed, opportunities arose, and priorities changed. Some initial members moved on, and others took their place. And some of us have been there from the start.

ACFW Dallas 2012: (L to R) Lisa Richardson, Jennifer AlLee, Gina Welborn, Anita Mae Draper, and Dina Sleiman (in front)

Just because some Inkies can't make it to conference, doesn't mean they are forgotten.

ACFW Indianapolis 2013: The whole Inkwell Inspirations crew in flesh and spirit after Friday night's Genre Dinner. (Standing L to R) Jennifer AlLee holding photo of Dina Sleiman, Barb Early, Lisa Karon Richardson holding photo of Niki Turner, Anita Mae Draper, Gina Welborn, Susan Johnson holding photo of DeAnna Dodson. (Sitting L to R) Susanne Dietze, Debra E Marvin holding photo of C.J. Chase

Whether it's news of an award nomination or result, or the offer of a contract, we've prayed for each other and offered tears of comfort and congratulations regardless of the results.

And speaking of contracts, we have news to share. Three years ago, eight Inkies decided to create a novella series we called, Austen in Austin, where we took 8 Jane Austen heroines and transplanted them in late 19th century Texas. This past June, WhiteFire Publishing contracted all eight of our novellas and Inky joy flowed.

Thanks WhiteFire Publishing! And thank you to Roseanna White for designing our fabulous book covers and promotional aids.




Volume 1 contains novellas by Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Debra E. Marvin, and Gina Welborn, and releases January 2016!

But best of all, the paperback version of Volume One is available for pre-order on Amazon right now!

Volume Two will follow along in September 2016 with novellas by Suzie Johnson, Lisa Karon Richardson, Dina Sleiman, and Niki Turner. And coming soon are the complete volumes, as well as individual novellas in ebook format.

As for the Inkies as a group, publication of the Austen in Austin series means every Inky has now reached publication status! Yay!!!

We want you to share our success! Leave a comment on this blogpost before midnight tomorrow Sept 1st, 2015, and we'll draw one name for each $25 Amazon gift card.




Yes, that's 2 winners!


The Inkies will be giving away Austen in Austen Volume One postcards while at the ACFW conference in Dallas, TX this September. If you see us there, just ask and it's yours.




Don't forget to leave a comment with a way of contacting you and we'll put your name in the draw for one of the $25 Amazon gift cards.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Skiing Suitor Book Launch Party!!

With fall on our proverbial doorsteps it's time to turn our attention to all things down-filled and cozy. And I have the perfect way to do that. Today we're celebrating the release of our own Niki Turner's The Skiing Suitor! 

For Ruby St. John, skiing is both a passion and a practicality. Doctor Warren Kelly disapproves of Ruby’s unconventional ways, but needs her help with his busy new office. Ruby likes the handsome new physician, but he’s a little too staid for her tastes, even if she’s impressed with his medical talents and inspired by his faith. When Ruby has to come to Warren’s rescue, will he change his mind about her skiing ways?

Set in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Niki's story is a bracing breath of fresh air. Of course, for the residents of Steamboat winter means a bit more than a few flurries and a cuddly sweater.

  • In the 1920s, average snowfall in Steamboat was around 14 feet per year
  • Skiing in all its forms have been part of the Steamboat lifestyle since its inception, but until 1913 it was primarily for practical purposes only
  • Rumor has it that local sportswoman Marjorie Perry invited Norwegian ski jumper Carl Howelson to Steamboat in 1913
  • To this day, the annual Winter Carnival and Howelson Hill Ski Area are still actively operating

I don't know about you, but that makes me want to cuddle up with some hot chocolate and a slice of apple pie. How about a warming bowl of soup? Our hero, Warren, has a can of “oxtail soup” in the story. Apparently, Campbell’s Soup really did produce oxtail soup. Oxtail was one of the 5 original varieties, which also included tomato, vegetable, consomm√©, and chicken. All of which are on our buffet today. No offense to Warren, but I think I'm going to stick with chicken noodle.
This story will give readers some very pleasant chills and could even make a sultry summer day a bit more bearable. Besides all the wintery wonderful atmosphere there is a tingly romance and a powerful take away message about prejudices and first impressions that is sure to warm the heart as much as a bowl of oxtail soup.

 Best of all Niki's doing a giveaway! If you're interested, please place a comment with your e-mail address, (separated by spaces to foil address bots).

Even if you don't win you can get the story here.

Or for some more cool tidbits that helped inspire the story you can go to Niki's Pinterest page here.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Warren is modeled on Gregory Peck. Seriously! What's not to love!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Kent State University Museum

by C.J. Chase

Last month, Debra Marvin wrote a piece for Inkwell titled Too Busy Researching to Write. But, but, but…research is the fun part. In fact, it was what led to my interest in historical fiction/historical romance in the first place. Reading allows a person to travel to far away places and times. Chances of my traveling to the nineteenth century in the next month? Zero. Chances of my traveling to England in the next month? I suppose technically it isn’t zero, but it might as well be. However, the chances of my mind traveling to nineteenth century England in a novel in the next month? Oh, that’s almost a sure thing.

I recently thought I should like to do some research on historical clothing, so I researched fashion museums. (Yep, I had to research my research.) The articles I found (such as this one) mostly listed museums in Paris and Milan and London and New York – you know, other places, with a zero percent chance of my visiting them on the next family vacation. But this CNN article about top fashion museums had a surprising addition: Kent State University Museum.

Kent State is in northeastern Ohio, and as I was headed to northwestern Pennsylvania this summer to visit the in-laws, I told the family we were going to make a detour one day. The museum is very reasonably priced: $5 for an adult admission. While there are a few pieces from the eighteenth century, most of the clothing dates from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and I’d say 80-90% of the displays (in the area where I focused, anyway) are women’s gowns. Many of the exhibits are arranged in such a way that you can see all sides of the dresses. And a cool feature is that most of the garments are not behind glass, so you can really see the fabrics without the glare and distortion of glass. (You still can’t touch though.)

I had brought my camera in the hopes of taking pictures. And then I discovered that photography requires advance approval. Oops! But my husband gamely asked the student at the admissions desk. Since the only pieces on display during our visit belong to Kent State, she told me I could take non-flash pictures. 

You can see this late-19th century gown from all angles.


The special exhibit running right now, “Inside Out: Revealing Clothes Hidden Secrets,” shows the insides of historical clothing. I hadn’t planned on a seamstress heroine, but I just might have to consider that for a future book. And I finally got an answer to an eternal debate on the Regency-era research (oh, look, that word again!) loop I belong to: yes, some men’s breeches of that time period did indeed have pockets.

I’d have happily stayed longer, but as the mother of an eight-year-old boy, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time. The museum is primarily targeted to people in the fashion industry, but I’d recommend it to historical authors who need a little inspiration. Just be certain to check about the photograph situation before you go.

If you can't get to northeast Ohio, check out the hundreds of photographs from the Kent State collection on the museum's Facebook page.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Historic Restoration - The Sharon Temple

by Anita Mae Draper


Probably the most fascinating museum I visited during my recent trip to Ontario was the Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum located in East Gwillimbury Township, in the Village of Sharon. Created by the Children of Peace, a Quaker break-away group who were led by former American, David Willson, the Sharon Temple exemplified the pioneering spirit, ethics, faith, and ingenuity of the people who settled Upper Canada (now known as Ontario).


Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum, Sharon, Ontario, Canada

Part 1 - Before

Since it was hard to show everything about the Sharon Temple in one post, I used my day (Aug 5th), on the Heroes, Heroines and History blog to cover Part 1 in this series, Hope in Upper Canada, The Sharon Temple which includes a glass lantern slide, a stereoview, and historic drawings, etc to show how David Willson handed plans for his vision of the temple to master carpenter Ebenezer Doan, another loyalist who had fled to Upper Canada at the beginning of the 19th century.

Part 2 - After

Today's Inkwell post will show how the temple and buildings look today after restoration. But before I present a series of photographs, I'll let you see this brief video of the temple interior as I walked through the east-facing door shown above. https://youtu.be/Btgk8zE3wTk




So based on the video it looks like a high-ceiling room with pillars, right? But it's so much more, since David Willson designed it based on both the Old and New Testaments, as fully explained in part 1.

For instance, the staircase that's right in the front of the video camera is called the Jacob's Ladder and it's main purpose was to provide a method of getting the musicians and choir members up to the loft, called the Musicians Gallery. But instead of just any staircase, David Willson designed a narrow curving ladder based on his interpretation of Genesis 28:12 where it is written of Jacob: "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."


Jacob's Ladder leading to the Musicians Gallery

And lest you think the musicians and singers came down backwards, I have to say that I've heard it was quite the event to see them march in the door, around the room, and up the stairs, and then march back down facing the door when the service was over. Honestly, I would have had trouble going up those steps never mind coming down - facing any direction.

Along the left side of the temple in the video is the oldest barrel organ in Canada, built in 1820 by Richard Coates as the first of 3 commissioned by the Children of Peace. This 2-barrel organ will be discussed further along with the other temple organs in Part 3 of this series.


Two-Barrel Organ built by Richard Coates in 1820 for the Children of Peace
and now Canada's oldest barrel organ of this size.

Beside the organ is a wooden carrier that I assumed was to carry the Ark - the temple's altar which was fashioned after the biblical Ark. I later found out that the carrier is actually the method of carrying coffins in and out during funeral processions.


Wooden carrier used to transport coffins during funerals

The Ark sits in the centre of the temple, surrounded by pillars. Each of the 12 outer pillars has a plaque with an apostle's name, and each of the inner pillars has a plaque with either Hope, Love, Peace, or Charity written on it.

The Sharon Temple Ark surrounded by the 12 posts of the Apostles,
and 4  posts of  Faith, Hope, Love, and Charity, 

Looking up immediately above the ark, you can see up past the railing of the musicians' gallery, and higher to the uppermost ceiling.

From the Ark, looking up at the top of the 3 storied Sharon Temple 

The day I explored the Sharon Temple, it was set up for a wedding, hence the white hydrangeas lining the aisle from the west door to the altar. Don't you think there's something serene about the bride and groom signing their marriage certificate while sitting at the lace-covered table in front of the almost 200-year old ark?


The Sharon Temple interior in readiness for a wedding, June 2015

Like the temple itself, the altar is square signifying the Children of Peace's need of "dealing square with all people". Four doors open into the altar, corresponding to the 4 doors of the temple. Inside, the Bible always lies open to the Ten Commandments.

One note of interest concerning the ark is that sometime during the restoration process, the workers discovered a false floor under which was hidden thousands of David Willson's papers including his music and writings, a priceless treasure which is now preserved in the Archives of Ontario.



The Sharon Temple Ark with the Bible open to the Ten Commandments

As can be seen in the above photos, the chairs are reproductions of the original hand-hewn ones as shown in the image with the barrel organ. Unfortunately, many ended up in the hands of antique dealers after being sold to Winn’s Theatre of Aurora in 1915 before the museum society bought the temple and began restoration. A program is now in place to locate the original temple and meeting house chairs and return them to the temple. If you're interested in a description of what they look like, check out the Sharon Temple Museum Society website which includes a downloadable Temple Chair Form.


A Sharon Temple reproduction chair

Join me for Part 3 on the Heroes, Heroines and History blog on Sept 5th for a historic look at David Willson's music, the temple organs, the renowned temple band, and a view of the gallery where the musicians sent out their music to reverberate in the wonderful acoustics of the Sharon Temple.

While I was on the Sharon Temple Museum site, I noticed one of their ways of raising money was the 'Adopt an Artifact' page. I haven't seen this anywhere else and thought it quite interesting. There is a list of artifacts and the cost to adopt them for one year. Of course, the bigger and more important the artifact, the higher the cost to adopt it.

Have you ever heard of this way to raise funds? If you have, care to share who else does it?

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



Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their four kids. Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, published in A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Volume 4, Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Present, Guideposts Books, October 2014, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Anita is represented by Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Management. You can find Anita Mae at www.anitamaedraper.com

Monday, August 17, 2015

What Your e-Laugh Says About You


by Susanne Dietze

Ever wonder how hip you are? How with-it? If you have teenagers, like I do, you are probably schooled on a regular schedule on how young you no longer are.

But like me, you try to stay in touch with cultural shifts. You're not a dinosaur.

Well, Facebook put it to the test for me recently when they analyzed the ways users "e-laugh"--you know, show amusement in virtual settings like Facebook comments.



How do you e-laugh? Let's take a one-question Quiz:

When you respond to something funny, either in a text or on Facebook, how do you respond? Choose one that most reflects you:
  1. Type out a full response to indicate you are amused ("you're hilarious!")
  2. Type "LOL"
  3. Type "haha"
  4. Type "hehe"
  5. Use an emoji of a laughing face
(Cue Jeopardy theme.)

Ready with your answer?

I was. I didn't take this quiz, mind you, or any variant of it. I saw the results and thought, Huh. Because I chose "LOL" and/or emojis. (The kids text "haha" and I admit, I read it as flat sounding, sarcastic. I do not hear someone rolling on the floor laughing out loud.)

Ok, here's what Facebook found.

Half of all users type "haha" in their responses. Emojis (which means "picture word" in Japanese) are the second most popular way to e-laugh, coming in at 35%.

And LOL? Well, apparently, only 5% of those studied used it. And those who use it...are over 30.

(Well, yes. I am. I am sure this does not come as a shock to you.)

The Cool Kids (ie young adults) use "ha" or "he" in various combinations, sometimes repetitively. Hahahahahaha, they say when they read this blog post. As in hahahaha our parents would be soooo lost without us XP

(XP being, of course, a good response as an e-laugh.)
Face With Stuck-Out Tongue And Tightly-Closed Eyes

Women use emojis more than men, which makes perfect sense in my experience. My husband does not enjoy scrolling through little pictures of cute animals, and he'd rather type out his feelings than express them with a little yellow circle face. (Teen boys, however, do use emojis in my personal experience. Maybe having a mortgage lessens a male's interest in emojis.)
Hamburger
Yes, I DO understand this emoji, thank you very much.
So to stay young, on Facebook at least, I need to scrap "LOL" and move onto emojis. But what emojis? Sure, I use them. I send this one to my Hubs a lot:

Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes

But other emojis? The non-yellow face variety? I feel ancient admitting this, but I can't figure some of them out.

I mean, what is this one? Someone teenaged in my house who will remain nameless received this emoji in response to something funny she said, rather than a haha or hehe
1f481-information-desk-person-apple-new-2015-final

Naturally, like all out-of-it people, I asked "What does that mean?" The kids said "it's a positive thing" and "you just have to intuit emojis" blah blah, which means I headed to Google. And I'm still confused.

Apparently it's called Information Desk Person. It can be used to communicate:
  • You're sassy.
  • You're sarcastic.
  • You are carrying an invisible tray. (Not really. But using my intuition, I'd say that is precisely what the girl is doing.)

Let's go with You're Sassy.
1f64e-person-with-pouting-face-apple-new-2015-final
This is a Pouting Face Person. I do not get it. She doesn't look unhappy. She looks...well, never mind. Nobody asked me. The point is, I need to keep up. So fine, she's pouting.

Why does this matter? Well, authors are supposed to keep up a bit with social media. We tweet. We Facebook. And I suppose it doesn't matter that much, but I'm nevertheless going to say goodbye to the Ol' Faithful of LOL and embrace something new.
Face With Tears Of Joy
Because if you can't laugh at yourself....
Although by the time you read this, I'm sure the "laugh so hard I'm crying" emoji face will be way, way extinct. 

But what the Cool Kids don't know?

It's also called the "LOL" Emoji.

***

Susanne Dietze likes to LOL. She also writes historical romance, with no emojis used at all. You can visit her website at www.susannedietze.com.

Emoji pics from www.emojipedia.org

Friday, August 14, 2015

Know Fear


by Dina Sleiman


One of our teens sporting his "Know Fear" shirt
This summer I went on a short term mission trip with my church to a poor, rural part of West Virginia. While there, we were all challenged (including the middle school kids) to have an hour long quiet time, and it ended up being a big hit. Part of the reason it worked out so well was that we were given a devotional guide (which was actually more like an in depth Bible study) titled “Know Fear.” And we followed our quiet time with small group discussion about what the Lord was showing us.

Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The mission organization was new to our church, and I was concerned that the “Know Fear” topic might be something judgmental and religious, trying to slap us upside the head with the fear of God. Instead, it was a very balanced and deep-probing analysis of fear: both the good and bad sides of the subject.

First we learned that fear is an important window into the soul. We shouldn’t just ignore, deny, or repress our fears, because our fears tell us a lot about what is really going on inside of us. Fear reveals certain needs and cravings that we have. And at the bottom of those needs and cravings are idolatry that we probably never even suspected. One fear in my heart that God revealed to me was certainly a new one. I had a fear of discomfort and pain, which I think comes from some of the middle-aged health challenges I’ve been facing for the last few years. Certainly not any exciting or impressive sin, and yet something that could pull me away from God’s best plans for my life it I let it.

Over the next two days we really took an in depth look at the fear of man and the fear of the unknown. Two areas that hold many Christians back from God’s best for their lives. And at the end of the day, both sinful responses that we need to overcome. I didn’t personally relate a lot to the fear of man, but it revealed a different fear. I long to be free and unique, and so I fear any sort of outward control on my life. Even on this trip, I had opportunities to challenge myself and face that fear.

It wasn’t until I got home that I finally got to read the author, Lauren Wright’s, perspective on the fear of God. And it was perfect. When we are not in right relationship with God, we have every reason to fear Him. But as we grow in relationship, that fear morphs into reverence, devotion, trust, and eventually pure worship.


This probably wasn’t a subject I would have ever thought to study on my own, but I feel like now I “Know Fear” much better than I ever have before, and I’m thankful for the revelations God gave me on this subject.


What fears have you struggled with? What fears have you overcome?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Oh look! A squirrel!—Living in the Age of Distraction

By Niki Turner

   The advent of streaming news and social media has bombarded us with massive amounts of information, and lots of opportunities for distraction.

   Writers are virtuosos of distraction. I spent 20 minutes one afternoon this week doing battle with a legion of houseflies instead of working on my current manuscript. 

   Magicians (and thieves) understand the art of distraction. They call it sleight of hand, prestidigitation, or legerdemain. Pickpockets combine sleight of hand techniques and another amazingly effective distraction tool—compassion—to steal from their marks.


   If you can focus someone’s attention on that which is odd, strange, cute, weird, distressing, traumatic, etc., they’ll be distracted, and they'll become an easy target. So while we’re gaping at dead lions and abused dogs, sobbing over questionably edited secret videos, being shocked by the latest Jenner/Kardashian news or what Mr. Trump tweeted, or giggling over cute kitten antics, we’re being distracted. But to what end? 

   Sheep are herded past our house a couple times a year. The sheepdogs, usually border collies or Australian Shepherd sheepdogs, use these same techniques as magicians and thieves to move the sheep. (Keep in mind that Jesus referred to US as sheep…)

   Sheep tend to wander. Into the ditch, into people’s yards, up the nearby hill… Without sheepdogs, sheep are wanderers. The dogs come along behind them to keep them moving toward their next pasture at a steady pace. How do the dogs do it? They nip at the sheep’s legs, or bark in their faces, or do something to get their attention and get them moving in the direction the dog wants them to go.


    Now, think of the dog as the modern media conglomerate (news, social media, even those annoying email chain letters). When the sheep start to slow down and nibble on the grass, or check out a nearby stream, or relax in a ditch, the “dog” releases something that “bites” to get the sheep moving. Their goal, to keep the sheep a little tired and hungry, and a little bit frantic, always running toward the next thing.

   The funny thing about sheep is that if one starts running, all the ones nearby will run, too. They might run in a completely different direction, but they’ll run in response to the same stimulus. Is this sounding at all like your Facebook and/or Twitter feed?

   So, what’s our response? First, we need to learn to look to the Shepherd (and stop looking at the dog), for our direction. We need to make sure our focus is on our Shepherd, on His thoughts and opinions, on His grace and His mercy, on the real scope of His purpose and power. Somehow I don’t think we’re seeing it on our computer and TV screens.

   Second, we need to stop jumping at every little thing that catches our eye. As we continue through the Age of Distraction (it’s like the Age of Aquarius, only the hippies are the normal ones…) things are only going to get more appalling, more dramatic, and more freakish. May we all have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, no matter how loud the other voices are around us. 

Niki Turner
www.nikiturner.net
Sadie's Gift (2014) - Available onAmazon and Nook and as part of the Christmas Traditions Collection. 
Santiago Sol (2015) - Releases in October, Pelican Book Ventures
The Skiing Suitor (2015) - Releases in September, Forget-Me-Not Romance


Friday, August 7, 2015

Q&A with Author Sandra D. Bricker


Welcome to a Q and A session with one of my long-time favorite authors, Sandra Bricker. If you've not yet picked up one of her books, I  hope this will inspire you. ~~ Suzie 


Q: YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE SOMETHING NEW AND EXCITING GOING ON. TELL US ABOUT YOUR WRITER LIFE THESE DAYS.

A: Thanks! It’s good timing because I actually have a lot to talk about. This month, in particular. I was fortunate enough to sell a series close to my heart last year to Abingdon Press, so I’ve been able to spend a great deal of time with a new cast of characters that I’ve come to love. The Jessie Stanton novels started with On a Ring and a Prayer this past spring. I had no idea how readers would receive it because it was my first novel after transitioning from “Laugh-Out-Loud” romantic comedy to “Live-Out-Loud” romantic fiction.

Q: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, EXACTLY?

A: Well, I was branded early on in my fiction career as someone who wrote fun, entertaining books that were kind of quick, fluffy reads. I’m not complaining, of course, because I loved those books and characters. So did my readers. But I started feeling like I had something more to say. After all, my own personal life has been pretty dramatic … so I pitched a story with a thread of drama to it.

Q: TELL US ABOUT IT.

A: Each of the three books revolves around Jessie Stanton. Jessie grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, and spent most of her adolescence dreaming of escape. When she does, she lands in Malibu, California, and finds everything she always thought she wanted.

Q: THAT’S A FAMILIAR STORY FOR YOU, ISN’T IT?

A: Extremely. I was a Cincinnati kid who also lived in Slidell, and eventually ran away to L.A. For Jessie’s story, we meet her after 12 years of marriage, living in 4,000 square feet of dream house with a BMW in the garage, jewels in the safe, and a dreamy Neil Lane rock on her finger. Jessie couldn’t really ask for more. Until one fateful afternoon anyway when everything crumbles to nothing. That’s when Jessie sets out on her three-book odyssey.

Q: SO THE FIRST BOOK CAME OUT IN THE SPRING. WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT TWO?

A: Book 2 is called Be My Valentino, and it comes out in about … (checking watch) … a few days! In the first book Jessie sold her Neil Lane ring, packed up all her designer labels, and opened a store called Adornments where customers can rent out her slightly used duds. She also became entwined with the mega-cute surfer dude who was the only private investigator she could afford. Well, by the time Valentino opens, Adornments has become the place to be for D-List stylists and wannabe celebs who can’t afford their own designer labels. Jessie’s relationship with Danny takes a dramatic turn, but Jessie really struggles with the concept of putting her faith (and heart) into another relationship after what she’s been through already.

Q: AND BOOK 3? TELL READERS ABOUT THAT ONE.

A: Book 3 will come out next spring. It’s called From Bags to Riches, and it brings Jessie’s renegade husband back onto the landscape. He brings confusion, deception, and charm to the table. Jessie and Danny have to make some decisions and untangle some knots in order to see if they can even think about their happy ending.

Q: WE CAN ALREADY SEE THE MORE DRAMATIC TURNS YOU MENTIONED. WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WORKING ON?

A: Maybe two of my most exciting projects are coming up in the near future. At the end of September, the novel I consider “the book of my heart” will be released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Moments of Truth is about five very unique women, each of them with their own relationship challenges. They started out as a monthly book club and evolved into a weekly get-together over food, wine and girl talk … with the book talk eventually falling by the wayside. I’ve always been a big beliver in Girl Power, so this was a really fun book for me to write because of that … but also because it reaches beyond my traditional spot in the CBA market. Out of the five women in Moments of Truth, only one comes from the Christian perspective. I did that on purpose. Perhaps because I came to the Lord later in life, I’m keenly aware of how someone’s Biblical values can color outside the lines and touch almost every life around them. I was able to use one of my characters to demonstrate that.

Q: YOU HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOUR READERS RELATED TO MOMENTS OF TRUTH, DON’T YOU?

A: I do! I’m a longtime believer in the magic that happens when women join forces. Because of that, I have a special website set up for the book, and I’m inviting readers to submit stories and pictures of themselves with their BFFs. Each month, I’ll choose one to be featured on the site in honor of Girl Power!

Q: YOU SAID THAT WAS ONE OF TWO MORE PROJECTS YOU’RE WORKING ON. WHAT’S THE OTHER?

A: The second is a labor of love for my readers. I’m taking the characters from my Another Emma Rae Creation series and writing something that picks up with Emma and Jackson still living in Paris after their wedding. What will be different about Always the Baker: The Love Story Continues is that it will be released in ebook form only and in three separate novella-length sections. This will give readers the opportunity to vote after the first and second parts on which direction the plot will go, and I’ll write it just for them. They’ve always been so profoundly invested in Emma’s story that I thought they might really have fun with something like this.

Q: WHY RELEASE IN EBOOK FORMAT ONLY?

A: Well, because I need that format to allow readers to vote in between releases. After all three parts have been released, I’ll probably go back and publish the whole thing in both ebook and print, but for now I’m just looking at the first one coming out in November and giving readers a chance to have a hand in Emma’s future.

Q: AS ALWAYS, THERE’S A LOT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND SHARING YOUR NEWS WITH OUR READERS.

A: I’m so happy to do it. Thank you for having me!

READERS CAN CONNECT WITH AUTHOR SANDRA D. BRICKER ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER (@SandieBricker), AND VIA HER WEBSITE.

BIO: SANDRA D. BRICKER was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years where she attended school to learn screenwriting and eventually taught the craft for several semesters. When she put Hollywood in the rearview mirror and headed across the country to take care of her mom until she passed away, she traded her scripts for books, and a best-selling, award-winning author of LIVE-OUT-LOUD fiction for the inspirational market was born. Sandie is best known for her Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Poldark 2015

Did you watch this series on PBS? I don’t have television service (mostly because I’m too busy to watch much), so I got this series from Netflix. Rather amazingly, it was available when the show aired here on television, so I pretty much finished at the same time the series ended last Sunday night.

Here’s what PBS says:

Almost 40 years ago Captain Ross Poldark galloped across the TV screens of millions  of PBS viewers, vexing villains and winning female hearts in one of MASTERPIECE’s earliest hit series, Poldark. Now the gallant captain rides again, allowing a new generation to delight in the exploits of an unconventional romantic hero.

Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) stars as Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War to discover that his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is about to marry his first cousin. Also starring is Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes to Pemberley) as the fiery servant Demelza, a strong-willed miner’s daughter who runs away from home and finds refuge in Poldark’s enlightened household.

In a special appearance, Robin Ellis, who starred as Ross Poldark in MASTERPIECE’s original adaptation, plays Reverend Halse, the village’s sin-obsessed parson.

Poldark is based on a beloved series of novels by Winston Graham. The first, Ross Poldark, was published in 1945; the last, Bella Poldark, appeared in 2002, the year before Graham’s death. All twelve are subtitled A Novel of Cornwall and trace the fortunes of a landed, mine-owning family in windswept Cornwall.


What did I think?

Loved it. When I found out a year or more ago that this was coming up, I decided to watch the original series from the 1970s (starring Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark). It was good, but I didn’t find the actors and actresses nearly as compelling as the ones in the new series. I did enjoy the portrayals of Jud and his wife more in the old series though. They were more fun.

But come on . . . see for yourself.
Robin Ellies - Poldark 1975

Aidan Turner - Poldark 2015
Which Poldark would you choose?

For me, Aidan Turner is the perfect Ross Poldark, a good man in dire circumstances trying to help the local people and infuriating the powers that be along with his own family as he does it. The series is beautifully filmed and acted and ended on a killer cliffhanger. I can’t wait for it to return next year!

Have you seen the new Poldark? Have you seen the original version? What did you think? Which did you like better?