Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING blog hop! This is a fantastic new way for readers to discover authors they may not find in their local bookstore. Welcome to my blog, especially those of you who have discovered it for the first time by following the blog hop.

I am the author of the romantic mystery novel Dream or Destiny and the contemporary romances, Fern’s Fancies and Stroke of Luck. I also have written several how-to ebooks. Click on the Books tab above to learn more.

I spend more time editing and formatting other authors’ books than I do writing my own. Authors who choose to publish independently can find lots of help here. If you’re an author who would like to know what is available, click on the Services tab above to learn some of what I do. Feel free to email me with questions, as my list of services isn’t complete. My assistant, Jan McClintock, is working on a new website for me. Come back soon to see it.

In this BIG BLOG HOP, I’ll answer ten questions about my current work in progress. You can learn a little more about my writing. Then check out the links below this post to my fellow authors at their blogs to find out more about their works in progress.

Thanks to Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson for inviting me to participate in the Blog Hop. Vickie and Loretta are sisters and writing partners. They have co-authored 40 novels and twice that many short stories, in the mystery and Western genres. I recently read The Curse of Senmut; you can read my review on Goodreads. One of the things I appreciate about their books is that in addition to enjoying a good story you won’t be embarrassed to give them to your grandmother or your teenaged daughter. Visit their website at Vickie Britton and  Loretta Jackson Website.

Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Like someone who is “between jobs,” I’m between books right now. I just finished Jack Stories: Favorite Memories of Jack Jordan Ammann Jr, a different kind of biography. After my husband died in September, so many people told me stories about Jack, who was a colorful, unforgettable character, that I wanted to preserve the memories. I compiled the book in four sections. The first section includes Jack’s favorite stories that he told—often!—about his own life. The second section is a collection of more than 50 stories from friends and family members. My memories—some of which originally appeared on my blog and some of which I wrote for the book—came next. The book ends with his obituary (which Jack’s brother said had obviously been written by someone used to writing long books) and the story of his final goodbye to me. The book just came out and we had a booksigning and a celebration of his life on the occasion of his 80th birthday. This certainly isn’t a book that will be a best-seller, but it is available on The stories are fun, entertaining, humorous, and heartwarming.

Now I intend to get back to the book I quit working on when I became a full-time caregiver for Jack after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, along a number of physical ailments. The working title is Act of Faith.

2: Where did the idea come from for the WIP?

I actually combined ideas from several sources. I’ve had a story I’ve wanted to write for 36 years. At that time, my sister was pregnant with her fourth child. Her third child was severely handicapped as a result of spina bifada. She was paralyzed from the waist down and was severely mentally retarded. The doctors didn’t know why Becky had those serious birth defects, and they were concerned that this next pregnancy (which occurred in spite of my sister being on birth control pills) would end up with the same problems. Several doctors encouraged my sister to have an abortion. She was under intense pressure—the doctors strongly pushed her to abort, and she knew caring for two severely handicapped children would be extremely difficult. However, because of her faith, she believed abortion was murder and would not agree. Thank God, the fourth baby was perfectly normal.

But after seeing how much the doctors pressed my sister to have an abortion, I wanted to write a story about a woman who defied medical advice and popular opinion to refuse an abortion because of her religious beliefs.

I decided to have my heroine become pregnant as a result of a violent rape. Rather than worrying about the possibility of a mentally and physically handicapped child as my sister did, the woman in my story would worry about seeing the face of her rapist in the face of her baby.

Then after Dream or Destiny was published, readers encouraged me to write a sequel that would feature one of the secondary characters from Dream or Destiny. I chose Bonita Hernandez as my heroine; she was trying to rebuild her life after her affair with a married man ended.

So my goal is to pull all these ideas into a great story in Act of Faith.

3: What genre does your book come under?

It will certainly be a contemporary romance. I’m still considering whether there is a mystery as well, as there was in Dream or Destiny. Once I get back into the manuscript and start writing seriously again, I won’t be surprised if the characters lead me in directions I can’t anticipate. That’s what happened with Dream or Destiny. There will be a Christian/inspirational aspect to the story as Bonita turns her life around.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

I know I’m a freak of nature, but I don’t watch movies and have no clue about Hollywood actors.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Bonita Hernandez was changing her life after an affair with a married man, but his revenge led to a whole new host of problems.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I’m not sure how I will publish Act of Faith. Dream or Destiny is published by a small independent publisher, GASLight Publishing. I have also self-published a novel and several how-to ebooks, as well as Jack Stories. I will probably submit to GASLight first since I think it would be a good idea to keep both titles in the series with the same publisher.

As anyone who reads by blog regularly knows by now, I’m a big fan of self-publishing and independent publishing. In fact as a freelance editor, I work with authors who are self-publishing to help them create a book they can be proud of.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft is far from finished, so I can’t begin to say.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not far enough along to feel confident about comparing the story with any other books. I expect my characters will lead me off the path I’m envisioning.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Seeing the stress my sister went through made me want to deal with the issue of a woman pressured to have an abortion who chooses life. That was the initial inspiration for the story.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think most of us like to read redemption stories. Bonita thinks she is a terrible person because she had been the mistress of a married man. She has to repent, accept God’s love and forgiveness, and forgive herself before she can be born again as a new woman.

Here is a list of the authors who will post their Q&A on their own blogs January 30. Be sure to bookmark them or check back next Wednesday and click through to their blogs and find out about their NEXT BIG THING!

Margaret Blincoe is a Christian devotional writer with a unique twist. All her devotions are based on one word written in an acrostic. She even wrote an acrostic for the title of her first book, Message in a Word: Message in a Word means exploring specific subject and getting enlightenment  in nutshell  as  written oracle revealed deity. The book has 52 devotions—one per week to give you time to study each one. As her editor, I’m delighted that she is almost ready to send me her next book, Message in a Word 2.

David Bowles is my client and the author of the Westward Sagas. Although fiction, the novels are based on real people and real historical events. The stories are true to history and everything that he writes about could have happened. However, he has added his imagination to create characters, dialogue, and scenes to make the stories exciting. The series follows the Mitchell Family as they move westward from Pennsylvania. Currently three books are available: Spring House, Adam’s Daughters, and Children of the Revolution.

Edith Eveon Brown and I worked togetherat Your Information Center, and I’m editing a novel for her that will be available soon. On her website, Edith has for sale a number of how-to ebooks on a range of subjects, including home maintenance, travel, starting and running a business, and religion. She is extremely knowledgeable about business start-ups and also offers writing and consulting services to businesses.

Dawn Colclasure is a blogger, book reviewer, and prolific writer. She has written poetry, advice for writers, children’s books, and books about haunted houses. Her latest book is On the Wings of Pink Angels, a book about breast cancer. Dawn is donating her royalties from this book to Courageous Kids.

Wanda Thomas Littles is a Christian poet and author. I worked with Wanda on her poetry book, Like a Thief in the Night. She has published three other books of poetry and the novel Preacha! Everything Wanda writes reflects her Christian faith.


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