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It Didn’t Work!

Carole Brown:CaroleAug14 (14) cropped

Have you ever tried something that didn’t work? Whether work, a food recipe, a building project, a sport, or writing a book? That’s what happened to me, and it’s not an inspiring moment. My agent wanted me to try my hand at writing a romance novel for a certain publishing company. I finally agreed to give it a shot even though my genre is suspense and/or mystery (that should have been the first warning sign). It took me a few months to write all three, but finally they were done. My agent shopped them, but we found no homes for them (the second sign). Even I knew they were lacking something (the final sign), so I shelved them.

Enter the year 2015. An editor I had been working with asked if I had anything else I’d like to give a try at publishing– and my mind wandered to those three languishing books, collecting dust. My personality likes to use what I have and not waste. Although I am not
fanatic about that with certain things, my writing is one that I am.
Could I revive them? Better yet, could I rewrite them, give them new life? Hope bounced inside me. As I pondered and plotted, the idea blossomed, and I knew I could update them and add a mystery thread to give them some zest. Voila! It was the spark they’d lacked as romances. The proof came as people loved the first book, renamed Sabotaged Christmas (released November 2015), and are now waiting for Knight in Shining Apron, releasing this month. (Projected release date for the third book will be sometime in 2017, and it’s called Undiscovered Treasures.)

Sometimes adding another major thread is more difficult then it seems. You have to insert the clues, the red herons, the attitudes and scenes at just the right places. Even though this series– The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries– are lighthearted novels meant to warm the reader’s hearts, I still bring in serious issues– whether bitterness from betrayal, abuse from a past marriage, or stubbornness in wanting your own way.

No, they didn’t work the first time around. They flopped! But I’m so glad that editor encouraged me to see what I could do with them. Returning to the genre I do best made the difference. What satisfaction to re-create and bring to fruition stories that can entertain my readers, but more important, encourage them to keep reading.

Carole’s new book:Front Cover- Carole Brown

Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.

Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?

And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?

Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

A print or kindle copy of KISA to U.S. commenters will be our giveaway prize! Kindle only to outside U.S. So comment below to enter. PLEASE include you email so we can get in contact with you.

Check out Carole Brown:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Word Sharpeners: https://wordsharpeners.wordpress.com/

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

Michelle Griep: From Outsider to Courageous Overcomer

Michelle Griep HeadshotMichelle Griep

I grew up watching the cartoon Underdog. You know, the cute little beagle who donned a cape and righted the world’s wrongs? No one expects a puppy to save the day.

 As I grew older, I discovered books. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is my all-time favorite. Why? Jane is a heroine who knows and speaks her own mind despite her low position in society.

It’s because of Jane and Underdog that I wrote THE DOCTOR’S WOMAN.

 I know what you’re thinking. Seriously? A stupid cartoon and a made-up tortured heroine are your inspiration?

 Yep. And here’s why . . .

 The reason I watched so much TV and read so many books is because I was the nerdy girl. The outsider. The one who desperately wanted to hang with the in-crowd but my front teeth were too big and my family couldn’t afford the name-brand clothing. The present was too painful to live in, so I immersed myself in history, learning all I could about the land and the people who lived before me. That’s when I first came across the Dakota Sioux Uprising of 1862.

 Of course, time went on, and I did grow past that awkward stage. But I never outgrew my love of history. I’m an Anglophile at heart and began writing stories set in Regency England.

 But then opportunity knocked, rapping out an opportunity to set a story in nineteenth-century America. What better place than to set it where I’d lived my whole life? In the past. In Minnesota. As an underdog and low on society’s rungs.

And so was born THE DOCTOR’S WOMAN. I envisioned a strong female lead who would swoop in and save the day, but I also wanted to give equal time to a strong female Native American, because truly, that’s what the story is about—the horrific treatment of the friendly natives.

 By highlighting past wrongs, hopefully they won’t be repeated in the future. And that, my friends, is why I write historical fiction.

ABOUT THE STORY:Courageous Brides Cover 3

 EMMALINE LARSON is no stranger to loss. Living in a land as wild as the natives who roam it, she’s lost her father, her betrothed, and when DR. JAMES CLARK crashes into her world, she loses the last thing left to her — her heart.


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Michelle Griep
   THE CAPTIVE HEART…Would you marry a murderer?
   BRENTWOOD’S WARD…Sherlock Holmes meets Dickens in this Regency adventure.
   A HEART DECEIVED…Lies Were Born in a Garden–and Just May Be the Death of Miri Brayden

Enter to win a signed  paperback book of The Courageous Brides Collection by commenting below!

Author Linda Shenton Matchett: Love’s Harvest

linda-eLinda Shenton Matchett was a Human Resources professional in the Washington, DC area for twenty-five years before tossing in the towel and moving to NH to operate a Bed and Breakfast. That chapter of her life has closed, and she’s now the Dining Hall and Catering Manager for a boarding school. In her off hours, she serves as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII. She’s been a freelance writer for over twelve years, but also writes historical fiction. Linda was a semi-finalist in the 2013 and 2015 ACFW Genesis contest. She’s a member of ACFW and Sisters in Crime, and she joins me today to talk about her newest book.

How a great story was born:

I have always been intrigued with the Old Testament story of Ruth. Told with only eighty-five verses, there are missing elements. For several years, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a fictionalization of Ruth, but I wasn’t comfortable writing biblical era stories. Time passed, and the project stayed on the back burner. Last winter when I was asked to consider writing a novella, I knew this was the opportunity to tell Ruth’s story.Love's Harvest CoverWhile studying the book of Ruth in an effort to figure out how to approach the novella, I got to thinking about my childhood and my husband’s. Both of our dads worked for IBM, so our families moved often while we were growing up. I’ve always been outgoing and didn’t have much trouble fitting in at each new location. I usually made friends soon after we arrived. On the other hand, my husband is introverted. The many relocations he experienced were excruciating. Two similar situations-two very different reactions.

I decided to write Ruth’s character from my husband’s point of view – one in which the move was frightening. I modernized the story and chose the WWII era because it gave me the conflict I needed: a German woman relocating to a country that was an enemy of her homeland.

There were lots of questions I wanted to explore with Love’s Harvest. What went into Ruth’s decision to leave her homeland to move to a foreign country? She was widowed at a young age. How young? She was a Moabite. Why would she be willing to marry an Israelite? Why was she willing to give up her religion? She left her country behind to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, home. Did Ruth not have any family? If so, why leave them behind? Why was she willing to go with Naomi? Did she have trouble learning the language of her new country? Was she able to fit in? Did she have any regrets?

Then there is Naomi. Not only widowed, she lost both her children. No wonder she became bitter. Yet, she welcomed her daughter-in-law to tag along, and then helped her find a new husband. What about Boaz? He’s also a mystery. We know he was wealthy and a kind and generous man, but there is very little additional information.

The characters in Love’s Harvest deal with grief, loss, forgiveness, and faith. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” I tried to show that even though Naomi (Noreen) and Ruth (Rosa) suffered great tragedy, they were able to come out on the other side with hope and joy. In the end, God’s plans worked for their good. He can and will do the same for us.

Book Blurb: Love’s Harvest released on April 4, 2016.

Noreen Hirsch loses everything including her husband and two sons. Then her adopted country goes to war with her homeland. Has God abandoned her?

Rosa Hirsch barely adjusts to being a bride before she is widowed. She gives up her citizenship to accompany her mother-in-law to her home country. Can Rosa find acceptance among strangers who hate her belligerent nation?

Basil Quincey is rich beyond his wildest dreams, but loneliness stalks him. Can he find a woman who loves him and not his money?

Three people. One God who can raise hope from the ashes of despair.

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You can connect with Linda Shenton Matchett at: