3 Questions Wednesday with Hope Bolinger

Hope Bolinger HeadshotHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Hope Bolinger. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Hope: This is the hardest question you’re going to ask me. I think C.S. Lewis tops all others. I admire his ability to excel in multiple genres, and man, the man can’t write a bad book.

I completely agree…he can not write a bad book.  I have loved everything I have ever read of his.

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

pow-1601674_1280Hope: I love to write what-ifs. I like to take reality and twist it just slightly. What if time travel existed? What if super heroes also had to balance a school life along with their hero duties. Anything set in contemporary times where I can have fun blurring the lines of reality.

Oh how fun! I love when a book puts my imagination to work.   Now about one of your characters…

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Hope:  OK, let me narrow it from my books and another book.

From my book: I love my character Hannah. She just does what she wants, is incredibly quirky, blunt. I have a feeling we’d spend the day pulling pranks.

From another book: Who doesn’t love Anne of Green Gables? She has such a wild imagination, I know we’d have the afternoon full of memorizing poems, reenacting scenes of famous literature, and being dramatic.

Hannah sounds like a fun character to get to know! Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Hope Bolinger talks about favorite authors,  and a giveaway. #HopeBolinger #amwriting

Giveaway:  Make sure to leave a comment for the chance to win Hope’s latest book, Blaze.


Blaze

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If you can’t stand the heat, don’t walk into the fire.

Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.

To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town’s prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich “in crowd.”

From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the “popular and pretty” table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness—all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.


Hope Bolinger HeadshotHope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 300 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 2,700+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young’s blog, which receives 63,000+ monthly hits. She is excited for her modern-day Daniel “Blaze” to come out with IlluminateYA (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She enjoys all things theater, cats, and fire.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Ginny Cruz

ginnyGood morning! It is my pleasure to welcome award winning author Ginny Cruz to the Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Ginny.  Let’s get started!

Who is your favorite author?

Ginny: My favorite author is Jean Auel. I’ve read many authors and this is a hard question to answer; however, I think it’s Jean. When I discovered her, she had just completed Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book in her Earth’s Children series. It was agony waiting the years between each book, but well worth the wait.

I love finding a new favorite to add to my old favorites! 

If you could write about anyone or anything, fiction or nonfiction, who or what would you write about?

Ginny:  Ever since childhood, I’ve wanted to take a months-long cross-country trip and write about it. As a child, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books and dreamed of being Laura, riding in the covered wagon across the plains. As an adult, I read and reread, Peter Jenkins’ book, A Walk Across America. Maybe it’s just my wanderlust leading me to see what’s on the other side of the hill.

I love this idea!

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book who would it be? And what would you do during the day?

Ginny:  Again, I think I’d climb in the back of that covered wagon with Laura Ingalls and head west. We’d smell the grass lands and hear the mourning doves. Ma would cook up biscuits and bacon on the campfire and Pa would play his fiddle before bed. And, somewhere down the trail, we’d find a perfect place to build a cabin.

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Sounds like a wonderful day!  Ginny, we’re so glad you stopped by to visit. Come back soon…

Click to Tweet: Ginny Cruz talks about her books and writing today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt  #giveaway #childrensauthor #Southernfiction #Christian

Readers, Ginny is giving away one FREE autographed copy of  Mud Holes and Magnolias to one person who leaves a comment!


Mud Holes and Magnolias

unnamedMama’s family loved telling stories, especially on each other. As a child, I heard Mama and her family tell these old tales over and over. As a result, they’ve never left me. Over the years, as life dealt trials and difficulties, I’ve recalled these stories. And there, tucked away in the recesses of my memory, God showed me some lessons on faith. In this book, I’ve shared those lessons with you.


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Ginny Cruz is a pediatric physical therapist and award-winning Christian author. Born and raised in Mississippi to a family of preachers, teachers, and builders, she knows a good story, a moral lesson, and a solid foundation when she sees one. Whether teaching moms how to help their children or composing a devotion, her Southern roots show. Her latest book, Mud Holes and Magnolias: Lessons on Faith from Mama’s Stories pays tribute to her spiritual heritage. More about Ginny at www.ginnycruz.com

Dreams Deferred by June Foster

june-foster-LR-1Today we’d like to welcome multi-published author, June Foster, to the Inspired Prompt blog.

Glad you could join us, June! Tell us a little about yourself.

June:  I am a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. When God called me to write Christian romance, I asked Him, “Are you sure, Lord? You know how old I am.” But He confirmed my calling many times. I enjoy traveling in our RV with my husband and visiting kids and grandkids. When I’m not writing, I love to read my Bible, workout, and act like a tourist in the various destinations where we travel.

What do you love most about the writing process?

June:  Though I consider myself a plotter rather than a pantster, I love it when my characters tell me things about themselves I hadn’t imagined. I love the way ideas tend to flow at times and help fill my pages more creatively than what I’d first thought.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

June:  None. It surprises me every time I think about it. God knew I needed to be on the fast track to publication. I started writing in 2010, and I now have nineteen published novels as well as a devotional. That doesn’t count a few short stories that are also published.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

June:  Trust God more. Don’t take it personally when you receive rejections from publishers and agents. Don’t compare yourself with others.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

June: The answer relates to question 4. It is so easy to take rejections personally causing you to doubt your calling or your ability to write. The publishing market is fierce. It is next to impossible to become another Jerry Jenkins or Karen Kingsbury, and there are many, many talented authors out there. Just because you don’t get the contract you wanted, it’s easy to say I quit. Avoid the temptation to give up.

What does literary success look like to you?

June: Success of any kind is finishing what God asks of you in His strength. At the end of the day, if you can say I followed the Lord’s leading in accomplishing His purpose, then that’s success.

 

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Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

June: I have a contract for another book to be published around Christmas time. I plan to write a light hearted story about a veterinarian who works for his father’s chain of clinics that cater to pets of wealthy owners. He’s fed up and leaves the practice to take a job as a veterinarian tech in a clinic in the northern part of the state. My heroine, nicknamed Cookie, owns a bakery but is struggling financially. When she brings her beloved lab into the animal clinic, the vet is gone, but somehow the tech knows exactly what to do and saves her poor pooche who ate macadamia nuts.

Thanks, June, for stopping by and sharing with us today!


Dreams Deferred

Dreams DeferredFrances Matthew Hall is obedient to family tradition: all firstborn sons will serve as a priest. Now Matt officiates at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. But when on Easter Sunday, he notices a beautiful young woman who takes his breath away, he must fight against his attraction to her or leave the priesthood and alienate his entire family.

Mary Louise Graham is a middle school teacher and devout catholic. Yet no amount of service to the community can ease the heavy load of guilt she carries. God can never forgive her unspeakable mistake. But when Father Matt tells her about a forgiving God through His son Jesus Christ, she’s free. Only thing, the Godly priest now means more to her than he should.

Can two people find their way to each other amidst insurmountable obstacles? Dreams Deferred is inspired by the author’s great grandfather and great grandmother’s story.


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June Foster

June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her next contemporary romance or romantic suspense. June’s characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. To date June has seen publication of 19 novels and 1 devotional. Find June at junefoster.com.

 

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Katie Clark

Katie Clark Author PhotoHappy Wednesday! It’s my pleasure to welcome the author of Whispering Tower, Katie Clark, to the Inspired Prompt. Good morning, Katie.

Now Katie, here’s your first question:

Who is your favorite author? 

Katie:  My favorite author is probably Lisa T. Bergren. I look forward to her books, and I always love them. They’re a great blend of romance, action, and adventure!

These are my favorite type of books to take to the beach with me:) Next question,

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Katie:  I would love to be a travel writer—as in, travel around the world and get paid to write about my journeys. Wouldn’t that be a cool job?!

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Yes it would!!  #dreamjob  and on to question #3…..

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Katie:  Thinking about my new book, Whispering Tower, I wouldn’t mind hanging out with my main characters Skye and Philip—particularly while they’re stuck in the past. Of course, I’d only want to hang out with them there if I had the assurance I’d get to come back to the present!

That does sound like a fun day!   Thank you, Katie, for taking time to answer our three questions.

Click to Tweet: Multi-published author, Katie Clark is our 3 Questions Wednesday guest via @InspiredPrompt.

Katie is graciously offering a giveaway of a PDF of her newest book, Whispering Tower Make sure to leave a comment to be entered to win…


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Whispering Tower

Stuck in London for one of her mom’s work trips, Skye Humphries can’t help holding a grudge when she ends up roped into a summer tour group with Philip-who-crushed-her-heart. But when Skye and Philip find themselves barreling through time after unsuspectingly opening the veil between the past and present, they’re thrust into a world where Skye’s very life is in danger. If she’d known her choices were between summering with Philip or being sacrificed to the god of the skies, Skye might have changed her attitude. Now she must figure out what’s most important to her—getting even for the past or having a future.


 

Katie Clark Author PhotoKATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her romantic fantasy novel, The Rejected Princess, a supernatural survival series including Shadowed Eden and Whispering Tower, AVAILABLE NOW, and her dystopian Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, as well as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

Solitary Man by Eric Landfried

ERIC LANDFRIEDGood morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Eric Landfried to the Inspired Prompt.

Hi, Eric So glad you could join us. First question:

Tell us a little about yourself?

Eric:  I was born in Charleston, WV where I spent the first 23 years of my life. My parents split when I was just a baby, but I have younger siblings (3 sisters and a brother) from blended family situations. I don’t pay attention to adjectives like “step” or “half” when it comes to my siblings. They’re my siblings, and I love them.

Thanks to visiting my dad on the weekends, I was in church every Sunday and grew up learning the Bible. I also started going to a Christian school in the fourth grade. But while I professed Christ at 9 years old, I pulled away from my faith in my teens and early twenties and made a few bad decisions. Once I hit what I considered bottom, my best buddy Chris invited me to come live with him in New Hampshire and get back on my feet. It ended up being a great decision as God used the experience to draw me back to him and I rediscovered the faith I’d discarded. I’d been writing all along, and now my faith influenced the things that came out in my work.

New Hampshire has certainly had its ups and downs for me, but the one constant has been God, and He has been absolutely faithful through it all. I’m thankful for a God I can completely surrender to, and I’m thankful for the gracious blessings He grants me in this life. He just keeps giving, though I never could deserve it, and I’m now a published author.

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What do you love most about the writing process?

Eric:  I think the moment when I type the last word of the first draft is my favorite. I call my first drafts “brain vomit” because it’s basically getting the story out of my head and onto the page where I can sort through the mess and see what works and what doesn’t. After that is when I really do my best writing. But that emotional high in between the end of the first draft and the beginning of editing is easily my favorite moment as a writer. It also gets the nagging idea I turned into a story out of my head (only to be replaced by another nagging idea, of course).

 How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Eric:  I wrote a novel, a thriller about a private investigator, when I was 16 years old. It’s absolute garbage, so I’ll never publish it. I might consider revisiting the idea once I’m done with all the other ideas in front of me, though that will probably be a while.

I started working on Solitary Man’s sequel before it was released, because I figured there would be some readers wanting to know what happens next. Sure enough, every positive review ends with “can’t wait for the sequel!” I’m currently about 30,000 words into it, so I figure I’m about a third of the way through. Of course that’s my “brain vomit” first draft, so there’s still all the editing to do once it’s done. I guess God is using me to teach everyone patience. ☺

I also have a couple of mostly completed screenplays, but since Solitary Man is what helped me finally get my foot in the door, I’m focused on writing books right now, rather than movies. I’m sure I’ll try to do something with them in the future.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Eric:  “Get off your butt and write!” Procrastination has always been an issue for me, and it’s why I’m published now at the age of 44 rather than twenty years earlier. I suppose that in my mid-life crisis, instead of buying a Porsche, I published a book. Regardless, I’m just happy to be here, and happy to have written something that so many people are enjoying. But it does pain me a little bit that if I hadn’t been a lazy jerk earlier on, I could have had this experience a lot sooner.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Eric:  As I mentioned above, procrastination is a writer’s worst enemy. It’s a career killer. If you aspire to be published, push yourself and be disciplined. I get up early every  morning to give myself 90 minutes of uninterrupted writing time because it’s the only time of day I can get that (I still have a day job, a family, and a very busy church life). Setting word count goals isn’t a bad idea, but I’m cautious of that as it can also backfire and discourage you when you don’t hit the goal. Always remember, just a little progress is still progress, and that’s a good thing.

I’d also recommend a thick skin and an attitude of perseverance. Solitary Man was rejected around 20 times by various agents and publishers before Ambassador International finally offered me a contract. It would have been easy to give up and assume I was just a talentless hack, and there were moments when I was tempted to do just that. I’m certainly glad I pushed through those thoughts and finally achieved a lifelong dream.

What does literary success look like to you?

Eric:  While being on the New York Times bestseller list would be a great achievement, I’m a realist, so to me, success means being able to quit my day job (as a traveling technician for an arcade company) and write full time. Making a living doing this thing I love to do? Well, I would absolutely love that, and I hope and pray for that moment. I guess I should also pray for patience as I wait and see if God makes that a possibility.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Eric:  I already mentioned the sequel to Solitary Man I’m working on, and I’ll add that this is probably going to be the most ambitious project I’ve ever done. I’m doing lots of research, looking at satellite photos of real places and checking maps as I plot out Doyle’s continuing journey. I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty epic.

I’m also talking with my best friend Chris about collaborating on a picture book with me writing and him illustrating. He’s a tremendously talented and creative artist (check out his work on Instagram and we’ve been good friends for nearly 30 years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we come up with.

Thanks so much for joining us!

Click to tweet: Eric Landfried talks about the writing journey and his newly released book, Solitary Man #amreading


ERIC LANDFRIED

Eric Landfried

I was thirteen years old when I realized I was a writer. Once I had this realization, I grabbed a spiral notebook and began filling it with all the stories bumping around in my head. I was young and inexperienced, and therefore terrible, but the ideas kept coming and I kept improving as a writer. As a shy and withdrawn kid living in West Virginia, writing became the best outlet to express myself, and I exploited it as much as I could.

As an adult, I wrote less frequently, usually due to my procrastinating nature, but the ideas never went away. Many of them are still with me, waiting for me to introduce them to the world. And now, someone has looked at my writing and deemed it worthy of investing time, money and effort in order to share it with the masses.

I now live in New Hampshire with my wife Kristen and my son Nathan. I’m excited to begin a new chapter in my life that involves doing something I’ve always loved. There’s never been a moment that I felt like I wasn’t a writer, but the journey of a writer is often discouraging more than it is encouraging. This means I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with you. Thank you for your interest and support.

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Solitary Man

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Ten years after a brutal war, cannibals and humans fight over the pieces of a hardscrabble existence. Former Navy SEAL Doyle has been prowling the broken remnants of a devastated America for years. Alone in an armored bus loaded with weapons and supplies, he’s grateful for his solitude. Being alone makes it easier to survive, as others can become liabilities. But when a vicious cannibal attack leaves Doyle in need of fuel and repairs, he has no choice but to venture into the nearest settlement.

Jonathan has been pastoring a small church in that same settlement, and when he meets Doyle, he sees an opportunity to expand his ministry. Cannibals have kept everyone from traveling, but Doyle’s armored transport brings hope to Jonathan and his church. The two men strike a mutually beneficial bargain, but neither of them realizes this journey will change them both in ways they could never have imagined as Doyle’s unbelief collides with Jonathan’s faith.

As they look to establish churches in other settlements, they battle cannibals, militant atheists, and a mysterious super soldier with dark secrets. Solitary Man is a gritty, action-packed post-apocalyptic story with a solid, Biblical worldview.