Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Bringing Maggie Home


Bringing Maggie Home
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook, 2017


Summary

Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can't understand her mother's overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother's inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan-a cold case agent-cherishes her grandmother's lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel's painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that's been lost?

Learn more and purchase a copy.


My thoughts

Bringing Maggie Home is a creative masterpiece. Captivating, poignant, riveting, suspenseful, spiritual … I could keep going, but all the adjectives I might come up with barely scratch the surface of what you’ll find within these pages. There’s a complexity in this character-driven, multi-layered story. I don’t cry easily, but experienced several tearful moments while reading – joyful tears for the most part.

Maggie is actually a minor character, yet her presence is felt on every page as a 70-year-old secret casts its shadow over three generations of women. Flashbacks to 1943 and the ensuing years are skillfully woven throughout, providing insight and understanding. The relationship between Hazel and granddaughter Meghan is precious, but it’s the dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship of Hazel and Diane that drives the story emotionally.

Best of all is that readers will see Jesus in this story as Sawyer’s characters exhibit faith in action – not a perfect faith, but a realistic one that struggles as it grows. Romance is secondary, but I loved the chemistry and bond of friendship between Meghan and her cold-case partner, Sean. So many elements turned my emotions every which way – the heartbreak of loss, misunderstood motives, sharing of faith, redemptive scenes, and the joy of coming home. I found these words of Sean to Meghan such a moving reminder of all that Jesus is to us …

“While I’m here on earth, I have a constant companion so I’m never alone. When I’m not sure what to do, He’s my guide. When I’m weak, He strengthens me. When I’m frustrated, He calms me. I can’t imagine living without Him, and I can’t imagine eternity separated from Him.”

Bringing Maggie Home is an uplifting story that lives on in my heart. “Best of the best” for me.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/ksawyer

_________________________


Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Find out more about Kim at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Interview + GIVEAWAY: Lori Benton, Author of Many Sparrows


America’s Colonial years is my favorite setting and I am thrilled to have finally discovered the writing of Lori Benton. To say that I am a fan is an understatement. Her latest release, Many Sparrows, is a moving story that depicts the harrowing account of a young mother who will stop at nothing to find and reclaim her son after he is taken by a native tribe.

I am honored to welcome Lori to The Power of Words as she shares some of her thoughts about this story. My deep appreciation also goes to Audra Jennings at Litfuse for making this interview and giveaway possible.



Q: Have you always enjoyed studying history? What drew you to writing specifically about 18th-century America?

       I had no particular interest in history as a subject until around my sophomore year in high school, when I discovered the Sunfire Young Adult historical romance series (Jessica was my favorite) and Christy by Catherine Marshall. That’s all it took to engage my interest, although it wouldn’t be until I started writing historical fiction I began what I’d call studying history.
       What drew me to write about 18th-century America in particular was nothing more profound than a liking for men’s knee breeches. I’d seen the movie The Patriot (starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger) and for the first time, for some reason (Mel? Heath?), paid attention to what the guys were wearing. I’d been thinking of trying my hand at historical fiction and suddenly knew that if I did, I’d want my male characters wearing knee breeches. A quick Google search told me the fashion began disappearing around 1800, so I zeroed in on the late 1700s as I began hunting for a time and place to set a story. Little did I know I’d taken the first step on a journey that has lasted nearly two decades. I discovered a passion for 18th-century Colonial and early Federal American history I certainly didn’t see coming when I sat down to watch that movie.

Q: Without giving away too much of the story, can you share where the title Many Sparrows comes from?

       The title has several meanings. It’s taken from the verses in Matthew 10 quoted in the front matter of the book. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. The title Many Sparrows speaks to the theme of God’s vigilance in our lives and His constant care for us, as well as the fact we are linked to one another. There are many sparrows in His sight, not just one, and He’s concerned for them all.
       It’s also the name given to an important character in the story.

Q: What inspired the storyline for Many Sparrows? How much of the book is based on historical fact?

       Story ideas set on the 18th-century frontier are constantly spinning around in my head as I research whatever novel I’m presently writing — too many to write in one lifetime. The initial kernel/idea for Many Sparrows dates too far back to recall it specifically. For years I had a file going called “The Frontiersman” because I knew I wanted to write about one. From time to time other ideas began sticking to the bits in that file, and eventually I saw the beginnings of a story forming about a man who lived his life on both sides of that frontier. I wasn’t really sure yet why. Still on the backburner, I began thinking about what sort of woman I might add to my frontiersman’s story. Why would she be on the frontier? What might compel her to cross the line, and in what way might my frontiersman’s path get tangled up with hers? As I asked such questions, Clare Inglesby eventually formed. At the same time I started looking at what was happening on the frontier at various points before and after the Revolutionary War, seeking the exact year for the story’s setting.
       I landed on two incidents that occurred in 1774, one to use as the inciting incident from which the rest of the story flows, and the other much deeper into the story. The Yellow Creek Massacre formed the book’s opening scene. The murder of nearly the entire family of the Mingo warrior, Logan, on the banks of the Ohio happened April 30, 1774. It and his subsequent revenge is part of what escalated the brutal conflict between Native Americans and white settlers along the Ohio that year, culminating in Lord Dunmore’s War and the Battle of Point Pleasant in October. Numerous other incidents portrayed in Many Sparrows are drawn from the historical record, but Logan’s tragedy and Virginia Governor Dunmore’s campaign against the Shawnees are the most prominent.


Q: What do you hope readers learn about God’s timing and His plans for us while reading Many Sparrows?

       What I love about how God uses a story like Many Sparrows is He’s going to speak to readers in individual ways about things I could never plan or predict. Somehow He does that work in spite of the limitations of both me and my books. I’m so glad He does. He’s a big God, so much bigger than my puny understanding can grasp. His plans, His timing, His purpose for us all are broader, deeper and higher than we can imagine. How easy it is to fail to see beyond the end of our noses, to be so wrapped up in our own circumstances that we lose sight of how connected we are. None of us lives or dies unto ourselves. All our choices have consequences in the lives of those we’re linked to, and each of us is just as important to our Father in Heaven as the next. As we make choices we need to bear in mind how they will affect others. Will they build them up or stumble and tear them down? Can we trust God in those situations where the choice to do good for another’s benefit requires a sacrifice we aren’t sure we can make? Is He truly a good Father? Are we safe in His hands?
       Those thoughts were stirring in my heart as I wrote Many Sparrows, so I hope such themes resonate with readers and provoke conversation between them and the Lord.

Q: There are many things we never learn in history class, and it seems as if students are taught less about history today than ever. What are some lessons from history during this time period that would be beneficial for us to know, especially from a cultural standpoint?

       If I could change anything about the way history is taught in school (or was taught when I was coming up), it would be to add historical fiction to the curriculum. Facts, figures, dates — none of that translates to caring about what people in the past experienced or the choices they made that have shaped who we are as a nation. If you can see the past through their eyes — even fictional eyes — it comes alive in a way that actually makes an impact on our thinking (perhaps on our own choices).
       What I’ve learned in my study of those who lived in the 18th century is, like us, they were flawed human beings, whatever side of the frontier they happened to be born. Men and women on both sides of the 18th-century frontier made selfless choices, and they made cruel and grasping decisions. Brutality isn’t limited to one skin color or another, and neither is grace and love, forgiveness and friendship, or the capacity to have a heart changed and a life transformed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the only One who can with any finality disrupt the cycle of enmity that has been in play across the face of this earth since Cain turned his hand against Abel.

Q: It is well known that traveling west was a dangerous endeavor, and many lost their lives not only to the elements and illnesses, but to native tribes. What added dangers did a pregnant woman face?

       Childbirth was one of the riskiest things a woman in the 18th century could experience. Death in childbirth was common, even in the best of circumstances. Couple that hazard with heading into the wilderness perils you mentioned, and I’m amazed any woman, such as Clare Inglesby in Many Sparrows, survived at all.
       In truth, I know of at least one woman in a similar situation to Clare’s who did survive: Mary Draper Ingles. Mary was pregnant when she and her two young sons were taken captive by Shawnees from her frontier home during the 1750s. She went into labor during the long march to the Shawnees’ Ohio villages. She survived childbirth, the march, months of captivity, an epic escape and retracing a journey of hundreds of miles back to her Virginia home. The courage, strength and fortitude women in far less desperate straits than Mary had to possess to venture westward to settle the frontier is astonishing to consider. I’m thankful they did it and I don’t have to.

Q: What can we learn from the life-altering consequences of the characters in Many Sparrows?

       Father God knows best. His ways lead to wholeness, healing and joy. If we leave Him free to work out His plan for us and cease the fretting that only leads to fruitless meddling, things will go easier for us. We won’t walk through this life on a path of rose petals, but whatever situations He allows into our lives will work together for good, to deepen our faith, dependency on Him and intimacy of fellowship. We should keep our focus on what is eternal rather than on what will soon pass away. Oh, that I would keep such a focus!

Q: Can you give a little tease about your next work in progress?

       Tentatively titled The King’s Mercy, the story is set in an earlier time period than any I’ve written before: the first half of the 18th century. I’m returning to Colonial North Carolina as a setting, though the story begins in Scotland. I don’t have a publication date yet, but I’m guessing sometime in late 2018.

Learn more about Benton and her books at http://loribenton.blogspot.com. She is also active on Facebook (@AuthorLoriBenton), Twitter (@LLB26) and Instagram (@lorilbenton).



GIVEAWAY

To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment letting me know that you shared, and also anything you might have enjoyed in Lori’s interview. If you’ve read any of Lori’s books and have a favorite, please share that also.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, October 25. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Gathering the Threads


Gathering the Threads
By Cindy Woodsmall
Amish of Summer Grove #3
WaterBrook 2017


Summary

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Learn more, read an excerpt, and purchase a copy.


My thoughts

Gathering the Threads is an incredible story, a moving and thought-provoking conclusion to an equally incredible series. Characterization is rich, the plot engaging. The writing is powerful and impressive, as is the storyline. This is not your typical Amish story, but rather a relationship drama involving two families who find their lives and belief systems turned upside down. Each novel in this series flows into the next, but Gathering the Threads can be read as a standalone because sufficient background is provided early on.

Searching for identity and where to belong are key elements, as is legalism vs. grace. That Ariana and Skylar had been switched at birth wasn’t revealed until their 20th birthdays, and each family desires to know their biological child. Barriers to the outside world fall, and what was once separate now becomes blended. Ariana returns to her Amish family, surprised to realize that it no longer feels like home. While Ariana questions Amish spiritual traditions, the selfish Skylar tries to weaken Ariana’s position in the family.

Don’t be swayed from reading this just because you might not care for Amish fiction, because the whole series is so much more. Truth is relevant to everyone, for all time – and that is the concept presented in this story. Truth opens eyes and speaks to the heart, encouraging questions about human teaching and doctrines. Truth sets us free. Of all that Ariana was exposed to, her greatest joy was in discovering that God could speak to her heart through the Bible without the Ordnung’s legalism.

In the same way that the title is analogous to sewing, Gathering the Threads brings all the physical and spiritual threads together in one beautifully woven pattern. I doubt I’ll ever forget this story.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/gathering-threads-cindy-woodsmall

_________________________


Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline,” the “Wall Street Journal,” and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Find out more about Cindy at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.

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Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Returning Home




Returning Home
By Toni Shiloh
Freedom Lake #1
Indie, 2017


Summary

Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.

Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.

Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N | KOBO |  ITUNES


My thoughts

I enjoyed this story very much and am glad to have discovered the writing of Toni Shiloh. On the surface, Returning Home seems like a sweet contemporary romance, but there’s a lot of emotion, complexity, and spiritual depth to explore. Set in the picturesque lakeside community of Freedom Lake, this relationship-driven story has appealing leading characters in Jo and Evan, as well as strong secondary characters.

I loved that we’re not given “perfect” characters in Evan and Jo. Not only does Evan wrestle with his current disability, but much of the action reflects back to his high school days when he was a popular athlete and just plain cruel to his former friend Jo. Were I in Jo’s place, I would have had trouble forgiving the past also. And then there’s the strained relationships with her sister and mom. Lots of emotional tension drives this entertaining story.

Returning Home reminds me of how God places people in our lives and patiently works through them. Both Evan and Jo had drifted away from God, but were recipients of truth spoken in love from friends and family. Evan let fear lead him, something that many of us can relate to, and doubted that he would ever be more than a burden.

_________________________

God’s grace was more than he could fathom, but he wasn’t
going to let that prevent him from accepting it.
- Evan
_________________________

In a time when a lot of Christian fiction distances itself from overt spiritual themes, a strength of this story for me actually was its spiritual themes, for it beautifully conveys the intersection of faith and life – dealing with bitterness and regrets, letting go of the past, discovering a God that never leaves us alone. Returning Home is a heartwarming story of ordinary people in ordinary situations – a story of grace, forgiveness, and transformation. I enjoyed every moment spent with these characters and look forward to returning to Freedom Lake.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Singing Librarian Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


_________________________



Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

GOODREADS |  FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM
BOOKBUB | AMAZON |WEBSITE





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October 17 - Blossoms and Blessings | The Power of Words
October 18 - The Green Mockingbird 
October 19 - Joy of Reading | Red Headed Book Lady 
October 20 - Singing Librarian Books  | Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
October 21 - Faithfully Bookish

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): The Keeper of Her Heart



On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


The Keeper of her Heart
by Stacy Henrie
Inspirational Historical Romance
ebook, 271 pages
September 26th 2017 by Beyond the Page Publishing

If you like the novels of Deanne Gist and Lauraine Snelling, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie’s inspirational romance set against the backdrop of World War One!

Even at a young age, Ada Thorne knew that she would marry only for love, never money. So when she finds herself irrevocably drawn to Ned Henley, the lowly gamekeeper on a neighboring estate, she defies her parents and society by eloping with him to London to build a new life.

Without her family’s support, life in the city is far more difficult than the one of ease and privilege Ada has always known. She’ll find herself relentlessly tested in ways she never imagined—especially when Ned, answering the call of duty, enlists to serve his country in World War One.

Alone and near poverty with a child to raise, Ada’s resolve will be strained at every turn. And as she struggles to remain true to her convictions and live life on her own terms, Ada will embark on a journey of courage, faith, and love that will surpass even her own humble dreams . . .

Advanced Praise for the Book

“Stacy Henrie possesses superior storytelling skills, her historical accuracy and attention to detail are unsurpassed, and she knows how to create characters we can identify with and whom we really care for.” —Fresh Fiction



My Thoughts

It was through Stacy Henrie’s Love Inspired novels that I discovered how much I enjoyed her writing, but The Keeper of Her Heart has earned a special place in my heart. This well-written, poignant story is bittersweet and heartwarming at the same time. British settings are a favorite of mine, and historical detail of the World War I era is conveyed in a way that pulls you right into the story.

I admired so much about Ada – her desire to marry for love despite the personal cost, determination to adapt to a lifestyle completely foreign to all that she was used to, courage through unimaginable difficulties, and a sweet receptiveness to the gospel of Christ. Ned’s strong faith, tenderness, and protectiveness toward Ada made him an appealing character. Class structure plays a big part in this story, and the fact that the Thornes could turn their back on Ada and her child is unthinkable to me.

I especially enjoyed the way faith is conveyed in this story, how vital our belief system is to daily living. It’s good to be reminded that God will provide, grieves with us, and is with us through both good and bad circumstances – and that He is the true keeper of our hearts.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Keeper of Her Heart and look forward to more from Stacy Henrie.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Prism Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $40 Amazon e-gift card and an e-book copy of any of Stacy's books (winner's choice)
- Open internationally
- Ends October 25th

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Eight Reasons to Come to The Art of Writing and Christy Awards


Today I’m honored to join the Christy Award Blog Tour and introduce you to Amy Green, senior fiction publicist at Bethany House Publishers. Amy’s enthusiasm is contagious as she shares about two upcoming events in Nashville for readers and future writers …
____________________

Hello, reading and writing friends! I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist at Bethany House Publishers. But today I’m here to talk about something else, an event that I’m excited to be a part of: the Art of Writing Conference and the Christy Awards Gala.


If you enjoy reading inspirational fiction, have always wanted to meet authors, or dream of writing a book yourself, this is a not-to-be-missed event. Here are some reasons why you should be there, in no particular order…

One: Meet or Reunite with Author Friends

I’ve been eavesdropping in writer circles lately, and I’m already getting excited about the authors who have already signed up. Events like these are the place to go if you’re an aspiring writer with a dream or a reader who’s always wanted to meet Christian fiction authors in person, and you’ll be blown away at how friendly everyone is. It’s a warm, welcoming community that you’ll love being a part of.

Two: Celebrate Christian Fiction

This is a genre I love, full of people and stories I love, so I know gathering dozens of us in the same place will make for an evening filled with joy. Besides that, the program for the gala itself is going to be fantastic. Karen Kingsbury is giving the keynote address, and I heard rumors that YA author Andrew Peterson is going to be singing. Plus there will be dramatic readings, Chris Fabry is our MC, and of course the awards themselves are exciting to watch. All of it adds up to make a wonderful evening of cheering on authors who have put countless hours into creating great art.

Note: even if you’re “just a reader” and the conference workshops wouldn’t interest you, you’re invited to the gala dinner. If you’re in the Nashville area or are willing to make the trip, we’d love to have you (and you’d probably get a chance to track down a few autographs from the authors in attendance).

Three: Get Fancy

I love a red carpet event for an excuse to dress up, enjoy the atmosphere, and pretend I know how to eat a meal with more than one fork set out. There are always varying levels of dressiness at the Christy Awards—anywhere from Sunday-spiffy to glittery formal and everything in between, but generally people like to have a reason to wear something fancier than they usually would.

Four: Talk About Industry Issues with Key Decision-Makers

For this, I’m specifically talking about The Art of Writing event before the Christy gala. Take a look at the workshops for fiction authors that will be going on. It’s great to discuss these interesting questions and issues online, but I’ve found that often writers talk to other writers and publishers talk to other publishers. This is one place where people on both sides of the desk will be gathering to exchange ideas and start conversations. And it’s conversations like these that shape the future of where Christian fiction will go next. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Five: Network

Unlike a longer conference, there aren’t ways to sign up for formal appointments with agents and editors. However, it’s a great time to make connections with those people and with other writers in a more relaxed atmosphere. At a writing retreat I went on, one agent recently said that talking to writers in non-pitch settings helps her know if they’d be a good fit. With that in mind, there will be time set aside to network after the workshops, including with the author services and other partners who will be in attendance.

For connecting with other writers, be sure to bring a stack of business cards and find a way to stay in touch after the event is over—it’s great to form connections within the writing community that will later be helpful if you need to ask for or give critiques, marketing advice, and endorsements.

Six: Learn in a Cost-Effective Way

Multi-day conferences are awesome. They’re also really expensive. That’s why we specifically set the price for the workshops and the gala dinner together at $99. This day of workshops is a great way to make connections and download tons of information on the publishing industry in a short period of time. The session topics were taken directly from a list of what writers and publishers wanted to talk about, and they’re designed to be highly practical. As of right now, we won’t have the technology in place to record the sessions (sorry to all of you who can’t come!), so this is your one chance. You won’t want to miss them!

Seven: Explore Nashville

Because of Tamera Alexander’s books, I’ve had the Belmont and Belle Meade mansions on my to-visit list for a while now, and apparently the Parthenon is impressive too. Not to mention the state museum and the wide range of country music sights to see. Also, the barbecue is incredible! If you’re stopping in for the Christys, stay a day or two and look around Nashville. (Any excuse for a vacation, right?)

Eight: Meet Me!

Honestly, this one is more for me than for you. I’m not particularly cool or exciting, especially when I’m in a room full of Christian fiction authors. That said, I do enjoy meeting new people, particularly those who love books as much as I do.

We’d love to see you at the upcoming Art of Writing Conference and Christy Awards! You can find out more about the event below, or if you’re already convinced, you can register here.

About the Art of Writing Conference: The Art of Writing is designed to bring Christian creatives and publishing curators together for a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking.

The speakers represent a wide range of roles and areas of expertise. Andrew Peterson, young adult writer and founder of the Rabbit Room, will give advice on how to create and benefit from a vibrant creative community, while Wheaton College professor Theon Hill, Ph.D. will present a survey of the obstacles and opportunities of diversity in Christian fiction. Authors will receive encouragement for the ups and downs of the writing life from blogger Carrie Schmidt and author, agent, and ACFW public relations liaison Cynthia Ruchti. Finally, a panel of representatives from major ECPA publishers will share insider information on where the genre has been, where it’s going, and the exciting changes they see in today’s market for writers. Learn more about the speakers and sessions here.

About the Christy Awards: The Christy Award™ is designed to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview and showcase the diversity of genres. The award is named for Catherine Marshall’s enduring bestselling novel, Christy, published in 1967 and inspiring a continuing book series and a CBS television series starring Kellie Martin. The novel will be re-released in 2017 in a 50th anniversary legacy edition by Gilead Publishing in partnership with Kregel Publications.

Hosted by award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry, this year’s celebration gala dinner will feature New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury as well as musician and writer Andrew Peterson. You can view the finalist list here.

Tour Schedule

Monday, October 9: Top Ten Writing Industry Issues at Seekerville
Tuesday, October 10: Give Us Your Best Questions at By the Book
Wednesday, October 11: Interview with Dr. Theon Hill at Reading is My Superpower
Thursday, October 12: Celebrating the Christy Awards…With a Giveaway! at Bethany House Fiction
Friday, October 13: Quiz: Pick Your Gala Dress at Dani Pettrey’s blog
Saturday, October 14: Eight Reasons to Come to The Art of Writing at The Power of Words
Sunday, October 15: Interview with Carrie Schmidt at Bookworm Mama
Monday, October 16: Interview with Cynthia Ruchti at Just Commonly
Tuesday, October 17: Christy Nominee Bingo and Giveaway at Faithfully Bookish
Wednesday, October 18: The Unofficial Readers’ Choice Cover Awards at Singing Librarian Books