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Welcome Pam Hillman!

I’m so excited to have Pam Hillman as my guest today! Pam is a fellow Seeker whose talent for writing historical cowboy romance is amazing! We met as unpublished writers entering the same contests (along with all the other Seekers–please visit Seekerville to find out more) and taking turns at earning the top spots. Tyndale House Publishers recognized her incredible talent and scooped her up to be among the first authors of their Digital First program. The launching of Digital First was very successful and Im proud to say Pam’s debut novel, Stealing Jake, was one of the first 5 titles published, earning amazing reviews and awards.

Now it’s Claiming Mariah’s turn. . .



Molten Chocolate Lava Cake: An Author’s Best Friend!

 

I stopped by Audra’s blog ahead of time and read in the sidebar that she had the coffee pot on and the cookies cooling. And I noticed that she said, “Life is at its best when its slow and simple.”

 

I’m SO all over that!

 

I dream of slow and simple. I dream of homemade white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies and a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks…


So why is it that I have a schedule a mile long and enough lists to paper the dining room wall? Why is it that my tax returns are due, and every time I dump 50 emails out of my inbox, 100 more pour in to replace the ones I just filed? What happened to my carefully laid plans to be organized and ahead of the game months ago, but I’m still scrambling to play catch up?


What happened is me…combine my habit of over commitment and overachiever with a bad case of procrastination and you have a blood pressure cooker waiting to happen.

I figure since I’m blogging with Audra, I can just relax a bit and see where this goes. After all, she’s the one who gave me leave to take life slow and easy!

So, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think about cookies, and cakes, and chocolate. Ahhhh….I have a new revelation…

 

Baking is good for the heart, and baking anything chocolateis good for the soul!

 

Don’t believe me? Just hop over to Pinterest, search for chocolate and let your eyes feast on the amazing array of chocolate cakes, pies, brownies, and lava cake. Come to think of it, just skip searching for chocolate and go straight to the chocolate lava cakeinstead. I had chocolate lava cake a few weeks ago and obviously I have not forgotten it.

 

I do believe that Audra’s sage advice to bake cookies and slow down, and my little jaunt over to Pinterest solved all my problems, or at the very least made me completely forget them.

I’m headed to the kitchen to bake!

PS. Seriously, I just cooked two Molten Lava Cakes in the microwave. Goofed the first one up, but the second one looked perfect. I wouldn’t know. I had to eat the goofed up one, but my son vouched for the pretty one. Sorry I didn’t get pictures. We were too busy eating lava cake!

 

A multi-published author in short fiction and non-fiction, Pam Hillman continues to stretch her wings as a writer of inspirational fiction set in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Code of the West has always resonated with the internal fabric on which Pam was raised: that of hard work, honesty, and being a good neighbor to someone in need.

Born east of the Mississippi and a hundred years too late, Pam still boasts of wrangling calves, milking cows and putting up hay, first as a child growing up in Mississippi, and later with her own personal hero, Iran, on their family farm.

A voracious reader as a child, Pam especially enjoyed stories involving the great Westward expansion, and television shows such as Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Gunsmoke. The western writer, Louis L’Amour, kept Pam mesmerized with his tales of cowboys and Indians, outlaws, prim schoolteachers, hot dry deserts and boom towns.

Pam’s love of the old west and her personal knowledge of country life bring authenticity to her work and depth to her characters, something that has been recognized many times in the industry through writer’s awards.

Her work has placed in dozens of writer’s contests, including being a four-time finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest for unpublished novelists with Claiming Mariah, her second novel, winning the coveted Golden Heart. Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, is a 2013 Epic eBook Awards finalist. www.pamhillman.com

~

 

Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,

Claiming Mariah

 

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

 
 
Claiming Mariah Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/apnzl5n

            Claiming Mariah B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7

            Claiming Mariah CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7

            Claiming Mariah BAM link: http://tinyurl.com/a7fnwlv

Claiming Mariah Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j

Claiming Mariah 1st Chapter: http://tinyurl.com/ageh54r

 

To celebrate, Pam is giving away two eReaders

(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, or Nook Simple Touch)

Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.

 

Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’


Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.

 

And….that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.

 

(3 Pewter Bookmarks from Deirdre’s Handmade Jewelry PLUS 40% off coupon at Deirdre’s online store. Click link to register and for coupon code)

 

PREVIOUS STOPS ON TOUR:

February 28th: Tina Pinson and Johnny Donley

 

NEXT STOP ON TOUR:

March 4th: Ashley Clark

 

Posted in chocolate, Claiming Mariah, Kindle, nook, Pam Hillman, Tyndale House | 9 Comments

Book In A Month

 
Can you believe it’s Speedbo time again?
What is Speedbo, you ask?
Speedbo is Seekerville’s version of Book In A Month. Stop by Seekerville www.seekerville.net and check out the hype. AND stop by and sign up on the Seekerville blog to receive a certificate and badge to post on your blog. You’ll find all the info you need to participate in Speedbo and have a great time. Oh, and did I mention prizes…?
 
Don’t forget to stop by the Seekerville blog all through March for posts from Seekers and guests designed to help you on your novel writing journey.
 
See you there!!
 
 

Posted in Seekerville, Speedbo | 4 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers


“We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.” Colossians 1:11-12 NLT

Do you ever ask friends and family to pray for you? For your health, your prosperity, for wisdom in difficult situations? Do you ever think to ask them to also pray for your writing?

As authors, we are entrusted with the task of writing the stories placed on our hearts by the Lord. We’ve been chosen to spread His word through the art of storytelling. This may sound easy to those who have never attempted to write a book. What’s so difficult about writing a story?

I assure you, it’s plenty difficult. And, the responsibility of interpreting the message intended can be–at times–overwhelming. God assures us He will never leave us, nor will He give us more than we can handle. Still, piecing together the fragments of a fictional character’s life—the pain, insecurity, choices – can be a daunting task, even as we call to our Father for wisdom and direction. Do we really want to go on this journey alone?

Friends are there for one another. Ask your faithful friends and family to include you in their prayers so that you might be strengthened and granted endurance in your writing. May the Lord fill you with joy, blessing the creativity welling within you so that you will be articulate in your sharing of the salvation that comes only in faith in Jesus Christ.

Now THAT’S a story worth telling!

Blessings and have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, encouragement, inspiration | 2 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

Though the context of this verse refers to Paul asking God to take away the thorn in his side, I couldn’t help but apply it to my WIP and my life. Oh how so many try to be so strong, so smart, so “on top of our game.” Strength is viewed as superior and heaven forbid you reveal any hint of weakness.

But isn’t that exactly what we’re supposed to reveal in our characters? What is their deepest fear and how do we take and use that fear to create the black moment where life as they know is about to shatter? A fear so devastating it’s a wonder the character…and the book for that matter…will survive and find that happily ever after? Isn’t that the moment the character (and the author) turn to God and plead for His intervention?

HELP!

If it isn’t, it should be. We endeavor to breathe life into our books. What is life without the same faith you instill in your own worries, your own prayers? Do we trust God to lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil as we walk with Him every day? Why shouldn’t our characters call on the same Almighty presence?

The bottom line is they should. I must confess, when I try to outline the path of my stories, I try to figure out the resolution of each calamity. If I can’t, I tend to try some other obstacle I know Ican overcome. So therein lies a question for me: Where is MY faith? Am I willing to write a character into a corner I can’t get them out of, praying the Lord will? Most of the time, I don’t.  Forgive me Lord, for my faith is weak.

My challenge to myself is to overcome my propensity to go the easy route. The good Lord gifts me with ideas for books. I pray I turn to Him for guidance so that I always write the book the Lord placed on my heart.
 
Blessings and have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, conflict, inspiration | 4 Comments

Scrivener workshop

Have you signed up for Scrivener For Windows workshop, yet? No? Well, there’s still time!
 
If you’re like me, I downloaded the program and played with it, but never used it properly. I ended up more frustrated than pleased.
 
Gwen Hernandez is offering a 6 week workshop designed to help users reach the full potential of the Scrivener novel writing program. If you haven’t downloaded the program yet, go to Literature & Latte and download your 30 day free trial.
 
Come join the fun! I’m signed up.
 
Workshop beginning February 19, 2013 for 4 weeks plus an additional two weeks for questions and answers.
 
Scrivener: Outline. Edit. Storyboard. Write.
 
If you need additional aids, try the Scrivener For Dummies book. I have my copy earmarked from end to end : )
 
 
BTW, this IS NOT a paid endorsement. I’m simply all kinds of excited about learning how to use this excellent program properly. Nothing worse than having a gadget with 101 uses and not even knowing how to turn the thing on!!
Posted in Gwen Hernandez, Scrivener | 3 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

Ever feel like the world is just passing you by? Recognition is given to those who might have only striven a short while towards the same goal as you; choices for teams or projects are made that don’t include you; you are excluded from an event you’d been anticipating for months-maybe even years.

It’s so easy for us to forget that God is well aware of everything detail of our lives. Everything happens according to His plan. Envy is a sin that burns too readily in our hearts as our emotions war with God’s plans. We want recognition for that which we’ve worked hard for. We don’t readily understand how someone who has not put in the hours, paid the dues, worked their way up the ladder can reap the rewards we’ve striven so hard to attain.

As writers, maybe we’ve poured over a plot that just isn’t gelling together for us, yet our critique partner can pop viable GMC concepts off like 4th of July fireworks. Maybe we’ve entered contests only to receive feedback and scores that hold our entries back just short of making the finals again and again. Maybe you have 10 unpublished manuscripts looking for a home and someone in your local writing chapter announces at the meeting they sold their first book…the first book they’ve ever tried to write…and it’s taken them a whole year to do it.

Putting it in all too human terms: Life isn’t fair.

But God is. God has perfect timing for us.

God knows exactly what he’s doing. We need to trust in His Divine judgement. As another verse, Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind — “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — remember God doesn’t forget a thing. He knows our hopes and dreams. He loves us. Wait on Him.

Have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, inspiration | 2 Comments

Check Out Seekerville

Join me today in Seekerville where I’m hosting Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies and a master of the novel writing program, Scrivener. Gwen offers an informative post, plenty of pictures, a giveaway, and of course, FOOD!
 
 
Don’t miss out!
Posted in Gwen Hernandez, Scrivener, Seekerville | Comments Off on Check Out Seekerville

Check out the Seekerville happenings in February!
 
 
 
 
Posted in February, Seekerville happenings | 2 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 1 Timothy 4:13 NLT

Paul directed Timothy to read the Scriptures, encourage believers and teach them. Has the mission changed since that challenge and directive so many years ago? I don’t think so. The message Jesus directed his disciples to spread is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Read the Scriptures. Encourage one another. Teach the masses.

In this day of unsolicited phone calls, junk mail, incessant television commericals, we are being pestered on every side to try the new and different. Invitations to attend social events come at us from all sides.  The concept of multi-tasking has taken on a life of its own. The desire for peace and quiet can become overwhelming. How can we be a help rather than a hinderance?

Where friends and acquaintences may balk at an invitation to attend a church service or any other organized meeting, the suggestion of reading a novel at their leisure is something easily accepted with no strings attached or timetable assigned. Though some may scoff at fiction being a viable vehicle for spreading the Word, in truth, many have found a seed planted in their hearts through the innocent enjoyment of reading an Inspiration romance.

As writers, we read the Scriptures so the Message of Salvation runs as a vibrant thread true to the Word of God. We reach out to other writers and encourage their journey, knowing God has chosen us to travel the same path but with unique goals He has placed in our hearts. We teach by the examples we set in every Christian fiction novel we write.

We, alone, can not bring a soul to salvation. We but plant the seed through the call to write placed on our hearts, and leave the harvest to the Lord.

Blessings as you face the week ahead!

Posted in Bible verse, inspiration | 4 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouragd by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT

The context of this verse refers to King David building the Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. But really? Is it so different from what God instructs us to do everyday as His will? As with all facets of our lives, God calls each of us differently, but in respects to my writing, His command to do the work and not be discouraged by the size of the task for the Lord God, my God is with me, strikes a chord deep in my soul.

The road of our calling is difficult to traverse at times. For me, I work full-time outside the home and return in the evenings to responsibilities that include my home, family and commitments. And writing. Most days it’s difficult to juggle everything together.

But, reading verses such as this one, reminds me that God gave me the calling to write for Him. To bring the stories He gave me bumping around in my head to the page and share them. For God to share them with whomever He pleases. But he can’t share them unless I prove faithful and write them. He hasn’t assigned this calling and left me to try and figure out how to hold up my end of the deal. No. He’s there with me every step of the way.

He will see to it that all the work related ot the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.

God is there to lead me, to guide me, to inspire me.

All I have to do is the work.

Have a blessed week, my friends!

Posted in Bible verse, inspiration | Comments Off on Sunday Inspiration for Writers