Be sure to look around the store. They have tons of bargain-priced used books. If you’re a bibliophile, you’re sure to find some treasures you can’t pass up!
Be sure to look around the store. They have tons of bargain-priced used books. If you’re a bibliophile, you’re sure to find some treasures you can’t pass up!
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 Amazon.com. 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.
When I first started writing Dream or Destiny, I had no idea domestic violence would play a part in the story. I knew very little about domestic violence, and I always had doubts when authors told me their characters took over the story from the writer. However, that is exactly what happened to me with Dream or Destiny.
When I started writing about David, the hero, he let me know he and his sister had been abused as children, and his sister had been abused as an adult. I tried to ignore him, but he wouldn’t let me. Finally I started doing online research about domestic violence. The statistics were shocking, but what impacted me the most were first-person accounts of abuse. I became passionate about raising awareness and saving women and children from violence at the hands of those who claim to love them.
I am pleased and humbled at what readers who are knowledgeable about abuse say about Dream or Destiny. The book has received a number of excellent reviews, but one of my favorites is from The Bluestocking Guide. Bluestocking is an advocate for victims of domestic violence, and she writes not only a great review of the book but also an excellent article on domestic violence.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can learn more about domestic violence by reading my series for Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2009. Please don’t be as oblivious to the problem as I was forty years ago. I was teaching a Sunday School class of third graders. I carried a cup of coffee into the classroom and sat it on the table beside me. One of my students came up to speak to me and knocked over the coffee, spilling it on my dress. I felt stupid for being so careless as to bring hot coffee into a room full of rambunctious kids, but I was surprised and puzzled at the boy’s response. He backed away from me, holding his hands up in front of him, saying over and over again, “I’m sorry. It was an accident.” I told him it was my fault for setting the coffee on the table and assured him I wasn’t burned.
Only years later when I became more aware of domestic violence did I realize that this child was most likely a victim of child abuse. He apologized over and over again to try to keep me from becoming angry, and he backed away and held his hands in front of him to protect himself—expecting me to strike out at him. I will always regret that I didn’t recognize the signs of abuse and do something to help him. I often wonder what happened to the boy. His father was in the military, and the family moved not long after the coffee incident.
Please learn the signs and what you can do to help. If you notice signs of abuse in a woman or a child, take action. You can save someone from severe physical and emotional trauma—and you might even save his or her life!
My novel, Dream or Destiny, is a nominee for a Global eBook Award in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Mystery category (updated 7/1/11: the large category has been broken into two smaller ones) and the Best eBook Cover category. This is the first year of the awards, sponsored by publishing guru Dan Poynter, so books published in previous years are eligible.
Winners will be chosen by judges that include book bloggers, reading group members, librarians, and subject matter experts. The judges are encouraged to consider the ratings and comments received on the book’s page on the award site. Anyone can rate books on a scale of 1 to 5 and also leave comments or testimonials about books that impressed them.
If you read—and enjoyed!—Dream or Destiny, I’d be delighted if you voted your rating or left a comment about the book. If you haven’t read it, why not? 🙂 You can find out whether it appeals to you or not by reading a free excerpt.
Several of my clients’ books are also nominees. I invite you to rate or comment on any that you read and liked.
Updated 7/1/11: More clients’ books nominated:
Others may be added later, as entries are open until June 30, 2011, for ebooks published anytime up until the deadline.
Authors wishing to apply can learn more on the Global eBook Awards website.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year, I posted a series on domestic violence, beginning with Supporting Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I encourage you to read the entire series, and I hope you become as passionate as I am about stopping domestic violence.
A question that I consider one of the highest compliments I’ve received on my romantic mystery novel Dream or Destiny came from Bluestocking at The Bluestocking Guide in a podcast interview. She asked if I had ever had personal experience with domestic violence. As an advocate for victims of domestic violence, she found my characterizations of David, a victim of child abuse, to be so realistic she thought I must have seen domestic violence firsthand.
Thankfully, I have never had any experience, but I am thrilled that my characters revealed themselves to me in such a way that their experiences were realistic. People who aren’t writers often think it’s strange when writers say the characters took over the story, but that often happens. When I started writing Dream or Destiny, I had no idea that domestic violence would be an important element. However, when I started creating the character David, he told me he had been abused. I did a lot of online research about abuse. The personal accounts of abuse survivors horrified me with the violence and pain but inspired me with their courage and resilience. What I learned touched me deeply and motivated me to advocate for victims and for an end to violence.
Learn more about domestic violence and the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Domestic Violence Awareness Project. Find information and links to posts of participating bloggers at Bloggers Unite for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you are as passionate about ending domestic violence as I am, share your voice to help raise awareness during the month of October.
I’m featured in an interview at Apex Reviews’ Above the Fold. Hope you click over and read it!
Apex Reviews also recently reviewed Dream or Destiny.
Dream Or Destiny
Reviewed By Josee Morgan
Official Apex Reviews Rating: 5 stars
Marilee Anderson wakes one morning from a horrendous dream, one about a murder so horrific and terrifying, she could swear it was real…to her dismay, not only does she soon discover that it was – she also learns that she’s been named a suspect in the crime. So, she teams up with the victim’s brother – who finds himself similarly accused in his sister’s death – and the two of them launch their own investigation in order to solve the mystery of the gruesome homicide…if they’re not careful, though, their fevered quest to clear their names may ultimately cost them their lives…
Taut and fast-paced, Dream Or Destiny is an entertaining thriller. In it, author Lillie Ammann merges vivid characters with a twisting, tortuous storyline in fostering a page-turning mystery sure to keep readers rapt until the shocking conclusion. Furthermore, Ammann throws in just enough red herring to preserve the suspense of her tale, repeatedly tricking readers into believing that they’ve solved the mystery long before the sinister truth is finally revealed. Such a feat is not an easy one to pull off, but the engrossing appeal of Dream Or Destiny is living proof that Ammann is more than up to the task.
Surprisingly engaging, Dream Or Destiny is a highly satisfying read.
One of my favorite weeks of the year is here. During Read an E-Book Week, many publishers and authors offer free e-books to introduce readers to e-books in general and to their stories in particular. Of course, I’m already a big fan of e-books—and a big fan of free. So this week, I’ll be stocking up on great reading material for my Kindle.
I’m giving away several e-books, both fiction and nonfiction. You can download the books from my Smashwords page—simply place your order and enter discount code RFREE at checkout to receive a 100% discount. (Note: not all titles will be available at the beginning of the week but all will be added very soon. If you see a title on the list of books I’m offering that you don’t see at Smashwords, just return in a day or two and you will be able to download it.)
And don’t forget that Read an E-Book Week runs March 7-13, 2010.
After I had a stroke several years ago, I couldn’t read for several months. Having been an avid reader all my life, I was devastated until I discovered audio books. Although I didn’t expect to enjoy hearing a book as much as I enjoyed reading a book, I did.
Now, I’m very excited about a new audio publishing company—Always Keepers Press, founded by author Donna Wright. The company opens today with the launch of its first book, Between a Clutch and a Hard Place by Gayle Trent.
I enjoyed this book when I read it several years ago, and I know the audio version will be just as great.
Gayle will be here next Saturday, February 27th for an interview. On Wednesday, March 3rd, I’ll interview Donna about starting her new publishing company.
One more exciting bit of news: Always Keepers Press will release my mystery novel Dream or Destiny in audio in April!
I’m thrilled that Dream or Destiny will be available in audio, and I’m thrilled to be part of this great new publishing company.
When Bluestocking interviewed me on her podcast during my blog book tour, she raised an interesting question. She asked how I would respond to someone who blames domestic violence on Christianity. She explained this issue came up in a law school class on domestic violence, and she had been surprised at how many people said Christianity caused domestic violence.
People who are hostile to Christianity will use any excuse to blame Christian faith and practice for anything and everything. Unfortunately, there are people who claim to be Christians who give ammunition to the critics. In Dream or Destiny, David’s father claimed he had the moral right as the head of the Christian family to discipline his wife and children using violence. David turned against religion until he left home and came in contact with true believers and realized that his father’s words and actions were the opposite of the teachings of Christ. The abuser’s excuse was just that—an excuse, not a justification.
St. Paul’s words in Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5 are often misinterpreted to mean that the husband should completely control the wife.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. ~ Colossians 3:18, NIV
However, the rest of the passage is frequently ignored by those hostile to Christian faith and by those using the Bible as an excuse for abuse.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. ~ Colossians 3:19-21, NIV
The word submit does not mean subject yourself to abuse. Submit means to yield to the authority of someone else or to defer to another’s judgement. In any organization—a business, a club, a government, a family—the buck has to stop somewhere. Someone has to make decisions.
The owner of a business will probably surround himself with talented people he trusts. He will solicit and consider their advice. He will probably authorize them to make many decisions independently. However, the business owner retains the authority to make the final decision on major issues. He has the responsibility of the success of the company, but he values his employees and heeds their opinions.
In the same way, a Christian husband will discuss decisions with his wife. If they don’t agree, she can try to persuade him to her way of thinking. A good husband will listen to his wife and give serious consideration to her ideas. However, if they continue to disagree and a decision has to be made, the husband’s vote is the tie-breaker.
A Christian husband who is sincerely striving to follow God’s will shows respect for his wife and prays about his decisions. He will never abuse his wife or children. Rather, he will do everything in his power to love, nurture, and protect them.
Unfortunately, many churches fail to recognize domestic violence in their congregations. The book Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence describes the experiences of a woman who was abused by her pastor husband. Although I’m not in complete agreement with some of the theology author Jocelyn E Andersen espouses, I think it is important for Christians to be aware that domestic violence can happen within the church. An abused woman needs spiritual help, of course, but she also needs help to get out of a dangerous, life-threatening situation.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am trying to do my part to raise awareness of this serious problem everywhere it exists, including the church.
I am donating $5 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for every copy of Dream or Destiny sold during the month of October.
I will also give every purchaser a free e-book of Fern’s Fancies as a thank-you for supporting my efforts to raise money to fight domestic violence.
You can order Dream or Destiny from the publisher, Amazon.com, or directly from me. If you order directly from me, I will make the donation and send your e-book from the information on the order. If you order from the publisher or Amazon.com, please complete the form below so I can send you the e-book and make the donation.
Note: request form removed 11/1/09 as promotion is over.