Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Review: The Wounded Warrior's Wife by Hannah Conway

Renee Blare | Christian Author Review
The Wounded Warrior's Wife


A moving story, The Wounded Warrior’s Wife depicts a war on two fronts.


The Book, The Wounded Warrior's Wife:

Battles Raging Within Are Those You Must Fight to Win

WHITLEIGH CROMWELL dreamt of a happily ever after with her newlywed soldier husband. COLLIER CROMWELL loved God, his wife, and his country, though military life exacted a demanding toll.

An unexpected deployment during the height of war sends Collier away for yet another year. Their lives tumble down a path marked with struggle, and fatalities. Burdened with unseen emotional wounds and crippled faith, Collier's homecoming only increases their trials.
The angry, defeated hermit at Whitleigh's side barely resembles the loving, faithful hero she married two years earlier. Concerned about possible career repercussions, admitting his need for help proves difficult for Collier and his behavior worsens.

Angry outbursts—and his cold, callous nature—isn't all that provokes Whitleigh to pack her bags. Collier seeks solace for his private suffering in the worst possible place leaving Whitleigh to walk away from shattered pieces of broken trust.
Will Collier seek the healing he desperately needs in time to save their marriage, or is it over? Are there wounds too deep, marriages too broken, and lives so far gone they fall beyond even God's ability to restore?
Publisher: Olivia Kimbrell Press, Published September, 2014
Available on AmazonOlivia Kimbrell Press

The Review of The Wounded Warrior's Wife:

“But keep loving him. He needs it.” Layla gave Whitleigh’s elbow a squeeze. “Remember love is an action word, not a feeling.”

As war becomes reality for an Army soldier, it envelopes his wife waiting at home. He pushes and she pulls, and they cope the only way they know how…and drift apart. When his deployment ends, they discover they are little more than strangers. Although he returns to her arms, another battle soon begins, and their love comes under enemy fire. Do they take the easy road—separation, divorce? Or the tough, but healing choice the Lord’s offered to all—forgiveness?

A moving story, The Wounded Warrior’s Wife depicts a war on two fronts. Hannah Conway writes with the grit and courage of a warrior. She depicts the life of a military family…not merely the footsteps…in a real and poignant way. I give this book five stars.

 The Author, Hannah Conway:
Hannah Conway
Hannah Conway
Hannah Conway, a Kentucky native, Army Wife of eleven years, Stay at Home Mother of two, and Speaker, is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy. She and her family reside in Clarksville, TN near Fort Campbell, KY where they are currently stationed.
She holds a BA from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in History and has spent many years in ministry working with both youth and women's ministry groups. In her time in ministry, she served two years as a Youth Director and one year as a Co-Coordinator of the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group.
You'll find Hannah volunteering for community service projects, jogging—slowly, neck deep in Pinterest crafts, and strolling through thrift stores. A good book, a piece of chocolate, Chai tea latte, and an outdoor setting take her captive on more occasions that she likes to admit. The most important thing about Hannah, is that she's a follower of Christ. It's her prayer that you will come to know how much God loves you through her writings.
Subscribe to Hannah's mailing list for updates, freebies and giveaways at www.hannahrconway.com.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Cheer on the Coffee Corner with Lena Nelson Dooley

Renee Blare |Christian Author
Christmas Coffee Corner
 photo credit: Steve took it via photopin cc

I'm thrilled to welcome multi-award winning author Lena Nelson Dooley to the Coffee Corner.

Renee: Hi there, Lena and welcome to the Coffee Corner. It’s great to see you. Help yourself to a cup and tell us a little about yourself. (By the way, I don't drink much coffee so if you don’t like it, don’t worry! LOL)
Lena: I had to give up coffee several years ago, but I might like a cup of hot chocolate.
Renee: Absolutely, I think I’ll mix two cups.
Don’t you love this time of year? I love Christmas and not because of the gifts awaiting us under the tree. After all, only one Gift truly matters in the end. What’s your favorite part of this holiday season?
Lena: Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. The most important part of Christmas is that we take time to thank Jesus for coming to earth. I know if I were in His place, it might be hard for me to leave all the wonder and glory of heaven to come to a cold, dark earth. So my family really takes the time to thank Him.
The next most important part of our Christmas is family. All of our immediate family, except our Army grandson, live in greater Fort Worth. We are in four different suburbs, but still close enough to see each other often. Our family likes to gather and enjoy each other.
This year will be extra special, because our Army grandson will also be here, after missing two years in a row.
Renee: Oh, that’s so awesome. I bet everyone’s excited to see him. I hope your Christmas as blessed as it can be! Since we’ve moved back to Wyoming, we’re closer to immediate family as well…except for my oldest brother and my sisters. I know what you mean about family. Ours is spread across the country and globe. Do you have any special plans for the holiday?
Lena: We often gather at our house to celebrate. We like to play games together. Last year, we got nerf dart guns and had a shootout. One of the granddaughters and James won the shootout. There was lots of laughter and fun.
Another tradition we started a number of years ago when the grandchildren were younger. After having turkey for Thanksgiving, I would freeze the leftover turkey and make sour cream enchiladas for Christmas. Now we don’t have enough leftover turkey, so I cook either another turkey or a couple of chickens to make the enchiladas.
Renee: Now, that sounds good. We have a tradition around food as well. It involves prime rib at Thanksgiving and Cornish hens for Christmas. I really don’t know how it started (other than my husband, James—yes, our husband’s name’s the same—doesn’t care for turkey). Beef and hen’s been our meals for over ten years now.
You’re one of the greatest authors I know. How did you find your way to the page?
Lena: Wow! Thanks, Renee. I’ve always written—journals, stories, things like that. I have even written programs for the women at church. In May of 1984, God used several events to tell me to become a professional writer. If your readers want to read the testimony of that time, they can go to my website, www.lenanelsondooley.com , and click on the About Me tab. It’s an interesting story.
Renee: I hope they’ll do that. If you could tell your (and my) readers one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Lena: I love the Lord more than anything else in the world. But I also would want to tell them that I have been blessed to be able to love my husband, James for more than 50 years. Our love story is so intertwined with our love for the Lord.
Renee: And what’s the driving force behind your work? What keeps you going?
Lena: I actually write for an audience of One. When He lets me know that what I’m writing pleases Him, I continue. Of course, I do love hearing from my readers. We interact a lot on social media. That’s much better than it was when I started writing. There was a gulf between me and the readers, and I loved it when one of the readers wrote me a letter.
Renee: Oh, Lena, you don’t know how I love to hear you say that. The Lord’s the driving force behind my words. Although I don’t have an agent, I’m blessed to have a publisher, but writing’s sometimes a discouraging endeavor…what do you say to those still waiting in the wings?
Lena: If you keep your eyes on Jesus, instead of your goal of being published, He will never let you down.
Early on in my writing career, rejections were hard to take. When I finally realized that if a publisher was the one the Lord wanted to publish a book, nothing could keep it from happening, I now look to Him. And rejections are part of every writer’s life.
Renee: Successful as you are, you remain a humble, gracious woman. Please tell us you have something in the works.
Lena: My next series is: Love’s Road Home. The novels are: A Heart’s Gift, A Heart’s Redemption, and A Heart’s Forever Home. The books are about people who have experienced several different kinds of lost love, and the stories lead them to the real thing.
Renee: On a more personal note, when it’s not the holiday season or you’re not shooting it out with nerf guns, what do you do to unwind…besides drink hot chocolate? ;)
Lena: I love spending time with family and friends. During baseball season, James and I follow the Texas Rangers. We watch every game we can.
Renee: Thanks for the great interview and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Say hi to your James for me!

THE COFFEE CORNER’S AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!
Renee Blare | Christian Author
McKenna's Daughters by Lena Nelson Dooley
The McKenna’s Daughter’s Series by Lena Nelson Dooley
(one winner receives a PDF Copy of all three books)
Comment Now for Your Chance to Win!
***Giveaway is completed***

About the Books:
McKenna’s Daughters Series is about identical triplets who were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Near the end of the trail, their mother dies giving birth to them, and they are separated. They don’t find out that they have sisters until near their 18th birthday. Each book is one sister’s story.

About the Author:
Renee Blare | Christian Author
Lena Nelson Dooley
Multi-award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has had more than 800,000 of her books sold.
In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blogtalk radio show.
She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She has been featured in articles in Christian Fiction Online MagazineACFW Journal, and Christian Retailing.
Lena has won numerous awards. All three of her McKenna’s Daughters novels have won awards, and Catherine’s Pursuit has received three. She lives in Texas with her husband of over 50 years. Their favorite activities involve time with their family members. Their daughters and sons-in-law have given them four grandchildren, and now they have two great grandsons, who delight them.
Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin, Google+, and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.
Find her online here:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

Renee Blare
Renee Blare

Welcome to Inspirational Moments!

This week, I'm participating in the Writing Process Global Blog Hop. I talk a bit about my writing. From what I'm working on to why I write what I do and, yes...my writing process. So keep reading and join the fun like a few friends of mine have!

1. What am I working on?

What am I not? LOL God has a way of giving you what you ask for…
First…let’s see…I’m a pharmacist by day. Our small town has the only available pharmacy for miles. Therefore, my job’s a treasure, not only for me but also those I serve.
Second…my writing. Yes, I write and I love it!

My first publication, Beast of Stratton’s due out in March. My editor and Prism Book Group’s great to work with, and I’m gearing up for the release as we speak. What a process!

Raging Waters
Raging Waters
I’m currently editing the first book in my series, the Snowy Range Chronicles which is due to be published later next year. I finished the rough draft of the second book last month. It will need some serious editing before I can send it off though.
In the wings? I’m really excited about a novella I’ll start writing in January. I’m calling it Racing Hearts. I’m hashing out character sketches and plot schemes now. I've already signed a contract with Prism Book Group for this one as well.

 2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Intensity

I love romance and suspense. But throw in some mystery and with all three, you may have the makings of one of my novels. Several people have described my writing as “cryptic.” I like that word. But I'll toss another one out there with it...intense. I'll let you find out how. ;)

 3. Why do I write what I do?

I’m a Christian, first. So if you read one of my books, please know that it’s a Christian book. What type? How about a real one?

Grand Teton
Grand Teton
What does man do when confronted with trials and tribulations…
the imperfect life? How does he/she cope? If at all? Because life can be ugly. I strive to show this concept in a realistic way.
Christians are real people with dreams and aspirations…and yes, faults. We laugh and cry…fight and spite. And when the wild side of mankind meets the Forgiven, whether it be a simple act of kindness or the mere words of a brother or sister in Christ…the impact can transform a person.

I don’t preach. That's not my job. So God's put it in my heart to show the world through the written word that He's alive. And here today. And His love's free for all to experience in their lives. Especially us imperfect ones.

4. How does my writing process work?

What a question!

The first step? Prayer. Lots of prayer. And then, believe it or not, most of my ideas usually materialize at night. I can’t explain it, but the Lord shows me what He wants me to write through my dreams. I wake up and jot down the major plot points and when I get up in the morning or at the earliest convenience, I discuss them with my husband…especially any Scriptural context or connotations. He’s the spiritual leader of our house. I seek his counsel before and during any project.

And then the work begins.

the Journey
And so it begins...
I start with my setting and my character sketches. (Yes, my setting's a character. It changes, grows, and has a personality of its own, especially in my series.) I pick out some names (subject to change at the beginning) and make a loose outline, if you can call it that. It’s more of a timeline. I have some major events in my head so I write them down. Believe it or not, that thing helps me stay on task.
Then I let go and start writing…it’s at this point I’m a SOTP (Seat-of-the-Pants) writer. I have no clue what’s going to happen from chapter to chapter except for those major events I wrote on the timeline. It makes for some serious editing and rewrites at the end of it all, but it’s a lot of fun. I love the editing process.

I’ve only had a problem one time. I looked at my WIP (Work-in-Progress) and said to myself, “This makes no sense!” Two chapters of work landed in the Recycle Bin. Really! That’s how bad it was. (I won’t rewrite a beginning again. Not until I'm finished with the rough draft.)

After I’m done (or close) with the rough draft, I submit my chapters to my critique group and when I have their feedback, I edit. And edit…and edit…And then rewrite. And edit…and edit…The cycle continues until I’m happy with the manuscript. This process may take a while (unless my editor needs the ms like…now!).

When the story seems to make sense (LOL), I put a synopsis together, and a proposal, maybe a blurb…and submit it to my editor.

That’s my writing process. Kind of tedious I know, but it’s mine.

Now discover these authors and their writing process as they continue the blog hop: Lynn Lovegreen, Delores Leisner, and Erin Unger.
Author Lynn Lovegreen
Lynn Lovegreen
Lynn Lovegreen’s Blog Hop – December 6, 2014
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught for twenty years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Delores Leisner
Delores Leisner
Delores Leisner’s Blog Hop – December 15, 2014
Writing, Speaking or as God’s delivery girl, Delores lives life passionately and humorously revealing dynamic hope and confidence found in the heritage of our personal God. She writes from Racine, WI. Is a CLASS graduate, and has published hundreds of stories, devotionals and articles as columnist, freelance writer, and teacher.  Delores is represented by Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency. Her writing benefits the Fullness of Life Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ – which provides treatment funding for children with life-threatening illness.
Contact her at website/blog Be The Miracle at http://deloresliesner.com or email delores7faith@yahoo.com.
Delores Christian Liesner
~ Putting Hands and Feet to our Faith ~
Writer – Reviewer – Columnist - Proofreading & Editing
Be The Miracle – http://deloresliesner.com
Represented by: LINDA GLAZ
Literary agent with Hartline Literary Agency


Erin Unger
Erin Unger
Erin Unger’s Blog Hop – December 14, 2014
Writing was the gift God handed me one day when I felt lost and purposeless. My story isn’t quite like that of other writers. Yes, I loved to write even when I was young, but it wasn’t until I turned 27 that I found my gift. And it didn’t come easy. How was I to become a writer? That was an ethereal idea. I realized it could happen with the hand of God directly involved. Now I’ve grown so much as a writer. The dream I hope to see become a reality is to write great stories that will not only give people a getaway for a few hours but will leave life lessons with them as they read.

All post pictures by: Renee Blare www.reneeblare.com
Author pictures courtesy of said authors