3 Questions Wednesday with Marji Laine

Happy Wednesday! It’s my pleasure to welcome author and publisher, Marji Laine, to Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Marji. Can you describe yourself in 3 words?

 Marji: Young-at-heart – an elementary spirit in a nearing senior body. Computerific – I can usually make it do what I want, if it’s working at all. Laughing – if I can’t laugh at myself, I’m missing out on some fun!

Sounds like you’d be a fun person to hang out with. 🙂 Next question…

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Marji: I feel like I got that last summer when my kids sent hubby and me on an Alaskan cruise. But for research, I would want to visit castles in Europe. I’d be torn between the beauty of Germany or my personal ancestry in Scotland, but I think I’d lean toward the Scottish highlands. And I’d be ready to dabble a bit in some historical romances!

Castle visiting would be so cool. Last question: 

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Marji: Canon in D. Starts out so simple and gets more and more complicated (and full and beautiful) as the song goes on. Yeah, that’s pretty much been my life!

So pretty. Marji, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us here at Inspired Prompt.

Readers, Marji is offering an e-copy  of her book, Ain’t Misbehaving to one commenter.

Click to tweet: Author and publisher Marji Laine is our guest today on 3 Questions Wednesday @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway


Ain’t Misbehaving

Annalee Chambers: Poised, wealthy, socially elite.
Convict.

Annalee Chambers floated through life in a pampered, crystal bubble until she smashed it with a single word. Dealing with the repercussions of that word might break her, ruin her family, and land her in jail.

True, Annalee’s crime amounted to very little, but not in terms of community service hours. Her probation officer encouraged her with a promise of an easy job in an air-conditioned downtown environment. She didn’t expect her role to be little better than a janitor at an after-school daycare in the worst area of town. Through laughter and a few tears, Annalee finds out that some lessons are learned the hard way, and some seep into the soul unnoticed.

Carlton Whelen hides behind the nickname of CJ so people won’t treat him like the wealthy son of the Whelen Foundation director. Working at the foundation’s after-school program delights him and annoys his business-oriented father. When a gorgeous prima donna is assigned to his team, he not only cringes at her mistakes but also has to avoid the attraction that builds from the first time he sees her.

AIN’T MISBEHAVING encourages acceptance:
•Of things that can’t be changed.
•Of people who are different.
•Of lessons learned.
•Of oneself.

What can a bunch of downtown kids teach a Texas princess?


Marji Laine is a“graduated” homeschooling mom of four who is grateful to her twins for not forcing her into the empty nest season just yet. She now spends more time in her role as executive editor for Write Integrity Press than she does crafting her own stories, but she loves both jobs.

When she’s not wearing the publishing hat, she directs a children’s choir, teaches 10th grade girls Sunday school, and sings in the adult choir at her church. She also leads a high school and college weekly Bible study and has a monthly radio talk show.

She and her husband of 30 years live in a suburb on the north side of Dallas with their twins and their own version of Hank the cow dog, a rescue mutt that rides herd on the entire household. Marji prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, Alaska to the Caribbean, entrees to dessert, and white roses to most any other flower. Her favorites include “Live PD,” the Hallmark channel, Hand and Foot Canasta, NASCAR, and worship music.

You can learn more about Marji and her books at her author pages on Amazon.com and WriteIntegrity.com and her website, MarjiLaine.com

3 Questions Wednesday with Kelly Irvin

KellyIrvin_NewPhoto_0820172Happy Wednesday! It’s my pleasure to welcome author Kelly Irvin to Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Kelly. Can you describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative. Faithful. Introverted.

Perfect words to describe a writer. Next question…

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

This is a timely topic! I’m getting ready to write a proposal for a new Amish romance series for my publisher. The location is the oldest and most remote Amish community in Montana. It’s a difficult trip for me because of physical disabilities. I’d love to be able to spend a week in that region, seeing the mountains, visiting the nearby state park and lake, and interviewing some of the personnel involved in fighting the wildfires. It’s difficult to write a series if you’re not familiar with the setting. You get a lot from the Internet, but it’s not the same as seeing it with your own eyes. You absorb so many more details.  It’s a remote location in far northwest Montana so I’m sure the travel will be expensive. Those are challenges writers have to consider when selecting locations for their series. It would be fun and beautiful, though!

Your description makes me want to pack my bags. 🙂 But first…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Eeks. This is hard!  “Standing Outside the Fire,” performed by Garth Brooks.

Ah… a choice to play it safe or give it all you got. Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us here at Inspired Prompt.

Readers, Kelly is offering a hard copy of her book (United States only) to one commenter.

Click to tweet: Kelly Irvin is our guest today on 3 Questions Wednesday @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway

 


BeneathTheSummerSun_CVR (002)Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry. Can she overcome a painful secret and open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.

Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.

Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?

In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.


KellyIrvin_NewPhoto_0820172Two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed Amish of Bee County, Bliss Creek Amish, and New Hope Amish series. Her newest release is Beneath the Summer Sun, the second novel in the four-book series Every Amish Season from Zondervan Publishing. Her work has also appeared in four Amish anthologies, An Amish Market, An Amish Summer, An Amish Christmas Love, and An Amish Christmas. Kelly is a retired newspaper reporter and public relations professional who lives with her husband in Texas. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two ornery cats.

More Winners to Start Off the New Year

2018 has arrived! Here, at the new Inspired Prompt Blog, we still have winners, a total of six this month…

Bethany Morehead offered a $25 Amazon gift card to one blessed commentor. Its been won by Robin E. Mason. Congrats!

Liz Galvano has been picked to win a copy of Gail Johnson’s memoirTreasures of Hope, Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past.  Congratulations!

Readers, Terri Wangard is giving a choice between a print first-edition copy of her debut Friends & Enemies (US addresses), or a Kindle copy of Wheresoever They May Be to Lynn Watson

Sherri Stone is gifting  Leland&Becky with a Kindle copy of The Confession of Tobias Tucker.

Rory Lemond has won a copy of Carole Brown’s latest novel, A Flute in the Willows.

Ginger Solomon is giving away an e-copy of One Choice to Sonnetta Jones . Woo hoo!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

And continue to leave comments while you wait to see if you might be our next winner!

 

 

Writing Romance

February is the month of love and romance. So what better topic could we offer this month besides romance writing? Stay tuned to learn about everything romance…

By Fay Lamb

Not so long ago, if anyone would have asked me if I wrote romance, I’d have say, “Uh-no” in that haughty way that tells someone they consider themselves above all that.

Today, I tell you proudly that I do write romance. The truth is, I was writing it way back then, too. I just didn’t realize it. Romance really does make the world turn. I’m sure if I tried I might come up with one movie or book that is absolutely void of romance, whether it be a simple attraction, a hint of romance, or the story is all about falling in love, but romance, even if it doesn’t play out, is what makes a story memorable.

Yet, writing romance isn’t always as simple as it seems. I’m one of those authors that balk at formula, but I have to tell you, formula works—especially if you’re targeting a publisher that lives or dies by that formula. Actually, the Hallmark channel is enough proof that publishers will thrive on formula romance.

So what is the formula? It’s a simple recipe: Boy meets girl, preferably by the first scene or at least by the end of the first chapter, and certainly no later than the first scene of the second chapter. Boy and girl must share an attraction that will grow into love, but there must be an overriding conflict that keeps them from taking the plunge. In my novel, Charisse, the heroine was always attracted to her hero, even in high school. She just didn’t think he cared for her. They drift apart, and many years later, after they reconnect, the big dope, who did care about her in high school, has done something unforgivable—at least as far as the heroine is concerned. Still, circumstances cause her to work for him. Her cold shoulder toward him due to her anger and also another woman who blatantly desires him, are both roadblocks to their finding happily ever after.

Formula does seem monotonous, though, so there are elements to a story that can make it rise above the others. One thing is character. My friend, June Foster, writes romance where the characters aren’t the golden-haired beauty queens or the blond Adonis of every woman’s dreams. Nope, her delightful stories include a woman who lost a leg, a man who is obese and closing in on being a diabetic. She writes about women who are compelled to buy things and men who struggle with unbecoming issues, and those stories work. Don’t underestimate the idea of a flawed human being as a hero or heroine. Readers like the underdog.

Another angle to take could be humor. In my very formulaic romance, Libby, the poor woman is traumatized by a perceived lack of self-worth while those around her see her shine brightly. Her hero is a man who believes that his past might cause him to hurt her. In the background are two of the worst matchmakers imaginable, and everything they do to keep the hero and heroine together turns into tragic hilarity.

Finally, a little mystery or two might add to the formula. No, I’m not saying get out of the romance genre and write a romantic suspense or a cozy mystery. Simply layer in a question that begs to be answered. Currently, I’m watching an Australian show where they bill the hero as having an “undetermined number of ex-wives.” Every mention of an ex-wife makes the viewer want to know more. This type of question can tantalize readers as well.

Find something unique for each romance, and weave it into the story. Turn monotony into a story with flair, and shout to the world, “I am a writer of romance!”

 Writing Prompt: Look at the photo above. Describe who is giving this gift and who is receiving. Develop a strong character in your description.

Click to tweet: Romance really does make the world turn. But how do you write a love story? Read on. #romance #ValentinesDay


Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include, Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking Willow, Better than RevengeEverybody’s Brokenand Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse,Libby, and Hope. Delilah, is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

3 Questions Wednesday with Ginger Solomon

Good morning, dear reader. Today we welcome author Ginger Solomon to Inspired Prompt. Ginger is offering one commenter an e-copy of One Choice. Stay tuned to find out more.

Ginger 6 - brightened

Good morning, Ginger. Can you describe yourself in three words?

Organized. Average. Friendly.

A great combination.  Next question…

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

eilean-donan-castle-665549_1920Scotland. I’ve had a fascination with Scotland for many years. I’d love to travel all around the country, checking out the castles. I love castles. I love the Scottish accent. I do not love haggis. At least I don’t think I would love it as I’ve never tried it and have no intention of doing so. 😊

Ha! I’m with you on loving the land and the accents, but I don’t think I would enjoy anything that contains a sheep’s lung. For your last question…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

I’m not good with song names, but two come to mind. It was a toss-up, really. I just couldn’t decide between Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Amazing Grace. LOL

I like that, Ginger. If we’re saved by His amazing grace, we can lay aside worry and be happy. J

Readers: Leave a comment to enter the drawing for One Choice. Keep reading for information about the book!

Click to Tweet: “Organized. Average. Friendly.” 3QW with Ginger Solomon https://wp.me/p2YFil-3pK @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway


One Choice finalCahri Michaels is American by birth, but Belikarian by choice. Being selected to participate in the Bridal March forces her to give up the independent life she’s created for herself. She’s not ready to be anyone’s wife, much less to a man she doesn’t know.

Prince Josiah Vallis despises the centuries-old tradition—the Bridal March—that is forcing him to choose a wife from fifty women. Why does it matter that he’s twenty-five and still single?

When Cahri and Josiah meet, passion ignites. Will it spark a godly love that can see them through or will they be burned, never to be the same?


Ginger 6 - brightenedGinger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, books are on her mind. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com.

Author Links:

Website

Inspy Romance Blog

Facebook Author Page

Twitter @GingerS219

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page