Tag Archives: Novel

Double Jeopardy – The Story Behind the Story – with Giveaway

By Donna Schlachter

The story behind the storyThe story behind the story is often told in the form of back cover copy on the book, but I think it goes way beyond that. Sure, that bit on the back tells us a little about the main characters, the overall plot, and perhaps some about the decisions the main characters must make, because always—let me repeat this—always the choices they are faced with conflict with each other. At first glance, it seems they cannot have everything.

So let’s delve a little deeper into the story behind the story.

Rebecca Campbell was born in New York City, the only child of wealthy socialite Matilda Applewhite Campbell and Robert Campbell. Her mother is everything Rebecca—Becky to her friends—wants to be. Beautiful. Poised. Confident. Instead, she seems doomed to inherit all her traits from her father, who she adores. Reckless. Impulsive. A daredevil.

Becky’s father is gone more than he’s home. When a year passes with no word from him, she sets out, on her own, for his last known location—Silver Valley, Colorado. On her arrival, she learns he has been murdered. Determined to make his mine a success—his last letter promised that as soon as he struck it rich, he’d send for her and her mother—and to find his killer, she settles in at the mine.

But somebody doesn’t want her to succeed. And after a series of accidents and near-misses, she admits she’s in over her head. And the only person she can trust is Zeke—or can she?

The hero is Ezekial Graumann. Most everybody calls him Zeke. Zeke and his family own a fairly large piece of land in southwestern Colorado near the town of Silver Valley. Zeke has two married brothers, as well as two unmarried sisters. In good years, with enough rain, their land can support the three families if they are diligent and careful with their stock. However, the last few years have seen droughts and not enough snowfall, and the grazing is poor. Zeke wants to build his own house, maybe get married and have his own family, but the land won’t support another household.

Unless he can buy water rights from a spread upstream. But he doesn’t have the money to do that. So he looks around town for some weekly work to earn enough to buy the water rights and receive his share of the family land.

And along comes Miss Rebecca Campbell. She is feisty, stubborn, and doesn’t know anything about mining. Yet her determination to find her father’s killer and her resolve to make his mine successful gnaws at Zeke’s heart. And soon he finds himself imagining what it would be like to have her at his side as his wife. Except she’s obviously not ranching material, either.

But when accidents happen at the mine that threaten her safety, he must acknowledge that his feelings for her are more than mere curiosity. Now he must choose between saving his ranch or saving this woman who has stolen his heart.

So what keeps them from getting what they want? The villain, of course. Suffice it to say, it is a man. This man is one of the longest-term residents of Silver Valley, a man of impeccable reputation. On the outside, he looks wealthy. Wears nice clothes. Speaks well. Sounds well-traveled and educated.

But on the inside, he’s dark, greedy, and lazy. Well, lazy only in the sense he wants to get rich quick. He actually spends a lot of energy trying to cheat and steal his way into wealth. If only he’d use his superpowers for good.

I will randomly draw one name from all who leave a comment for a free ebook of Double Jeopardy. Drawing to take place on 1/8/20.

Don’t forget to stop by our Launch Event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/2220456174726867/

Double Jeopardy is available at https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/ Amazon.com, and fine booksellers in your area.

MOB--Donna Schlachter
About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

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What Can Be Online University: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

MEANT FOR HER: NOT A Story INTENDED To Write!

The story behind the storyBy Joy Avery Melville

The premise of the novel is based on Genesis 50:20.

My chosen genre to write was Historical Romance, and I had written one and started another when I attended the ACFW September 2011 Conference in St. Louis, MO.

Sorry – got a bit ahead of myself there. I actually got a nudge from the Lord in August 2011. Standing in my kitchen, handwashing some dishes, I overheard a local TV newscast. I didn’t stop what I was doing, but I did ask my husband to turn the television up some.

A young woman had been abducted, and they could find no trace of her. Taken from her home, her family pleaded with the public for help in finding her.

My heart was wrenched as all kinds of ‘what-ifs’ went through my mind. In fact, that news story would not leave my mind or heart, and I felt led to pray earnestly for her and the family.

I went to that writer’s conference, pitched the first Historical Romance I’d written to agents and publishing acquisition editors. Two rejected it outright, saying it wasn’t historical enough, but one agent, went through the one-sheet (or sales-sheet as some refer to it) and told me what she especially liked. She suggested I come home and make a contemporary story out of it.

I did, but in doing so, much of the conflict and tension no longer were strong enough, due to the fact technology had advanced well beyond the story.

In the meantime, I heard more about the missing woman. She had a fiancé they were looking at as a person of interest, and other things that had come to the surface, but no sight of her. I kept praying for them all.

God nudged me… a bit at a time… reminding me of those “what-ifs”, and I thought He was just telling me to keep praying. WRONG!

His nudges got stronger toward putting her story to the page. I argued… I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT… He won!

Change in genre writing was a MUST. He asked me to write about a young woman who’d been abducted, and to use each of those “What-ifs” I’d been mulling after each time I prayed for her and her loved ones.

What if she were still alive… it’d been weeks… what if she were found alive, but close to death… what if she had been a victim of rape and/or beatings… what if she became pregnant with a rapists’ child… and what if her fiancé abandoned her at her weakest moments?

We found out later, the woman in the newscast had, indeed, been found, but she hadn’t survived the elements where she’d been left.

Meant For Her, though based on that first news story I heard in August, has a decided turn from the actual events, but with each sentence, paragraph, chapter I wrote, the sense I was writing in obedience got stronger and stronger.

God gave me ideas I knew I’d never have come up with, and He brought all the right people to me when I needed to do research on several of the topics addressed in the novel.

The actual writing of the 100,000+ word novel took me six weeks. In the writing, God moved me to bring in subplots I was totally unprepared for. In doing so, He gave me two more books.

Considering I hadn’t intended to write Contemporary… certainly hadn’t intended to write Women’s Fiction… I find the choice of title for the entire series ironic, to say the least, and it didn’t occur to me until the writing of this post just how ironic.

 

Had it all truly been ~ MEANT FOR HER?Meant For Her (Intended For Her Book 1) by [Melville, Joy Avery]

Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm, owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi essentially goes into seclusion.

Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm, where his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her.

Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy?

KINDLE PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y8RJFJ1

PAPERBACK PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/Meant-Her-Intended-Avery-Melville/dp/1691723665

 

Joy Avery Melville Headshot~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence.

The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of nearly 46 years and their one-yr-old Yorkie pup, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

CONNECT WITH JOY:

Email       joyjournaling@gmail.com

Twitter    https://twitter.com/Journeystojoy 

Website  https://www.joyaverymelville.com

Blog        https://www.journeystojoy.net

Facebook Author Page http://facebook.com/jamauthor

Facebook Personal Page http://facebook.com/joy.averymelville

Amazon:         https://www.amazon.com/author/joyaverymelville

Goodreads:     https://www.goodreads.com/joyjournalinggmailcom

Bookbub:      https://www.bookbub.com/profile/joy-avery-melville

The Cowboys Cover Reveal

Hey, y’all! It’s time for another cover reveal. The Cowboys Collection is coming from Smitten Historical Romance on August 15, 2019.

And…before I bore you to tears–here it is!

The Cowboy Collection

I’m so excited about this collection. Here’s a bit about each story:

Healing Hearts by Cindy Ervin Huff
Lonnie Holt’s external scars remind him of his failures, his internal scars torment him. Genny Collins seeks safety at the ranch once owned by Lonnie’s uncle. When Lonnie and his brother arrive, sparks fly and distrust abounds. While Lonnie and Genny fight the love growing between them, his past haunts him, and her past pays them a visit.

Becoming Brave by Jennifer Uhlarik
When Coy Whitaker stumbles upon a grisly scene littered with bodies, he wants nothing more than to get his boss’s cattle out of Indian Territory. But when a bloodstained Aimee Kaplan draws down on him, his plans—and his heart—screech to a halt.

Trail’s End by Sandra Merville Hart
Wade Chadwick has no money until his boss’s cattle sell, so he takes a kitchen job at Âbby’s Home Cooking. The beautiful and prickly owner adds spice to his workday. Abby Cox hires the down-and-out cowboy even though the word cowboy leaves a bad taste in her mouth. Just as she’s ready to trust Wade with her heart, money starts to disappear … and so does her brother.

Loving a Harvey Girl by Linda Yezak
Eva Knowles can’t imagine why the local preacher doesn’t like Harvey Girls—women who work serving tables instead of finding a husband and falling in love. But if Eva can get the handsome and wayward cowboy Cal Stephens to join her in church, maybe the reverend will accept the girls. Or maybe she’ll forfeit her job for a husband, heart, and home!

What I find amazing is that all four authors in this collection were Selah Award finalists at this year’s Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. (Each with other stories–we won’t be able to enter this collection’s stories in contests until next year). What a line-up of authors. I’m proud to call these talented people my friends!

Hope you’ll be watching for this collection!

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Giveaway 1Who wants more free books??? This month, I’m giving away an autographed-by-me copy of The Mail Order Brides Collection and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection, as well as a package of biscotti and sampling of tea. Here’s a bit about the collections I’m including:

Mail-Order Brides Collection

Dreams for marriage hinge on mail-order promises
Nine advertisements for brides lead to inconvenient complications in romance. Traveling west alone on a promise of marriage, each woman has her reasons to accept a husband sight unseen. Some are fleeing poverty or abuse while others simply seek hope for a brighter future.

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
The Outlaw’s Inconvenient Bride by Noelle Marchand
Train Ride to Heartbreak by Donna Schlachter
Mail-Order Proxy by Sherri Shackelford
To Heal Thy Heart by Michelle Shocklee
Miss-Delivered Mail by Ann Shorey
A Fairy-Tale Bride by Liz Tolsma
The Brigand and the Bride by Jennifer Uhlarik
The Mail-Order Mistake by Kathleen Y’Barbo

But what the brides find at the end of their journeys doesn’t go according to plan–missing grooms, mistaken identities, nefarious traps, undisclosed secrets, and so much more await them. How can each bride possibly find a safe place to call home and a husband she can love?

The Secret Admirer Romance Collection

Declaring one’s love can be hard—even risky—especially when faced with some of life’s greatest challenges. Separated by class, time, distance, and more, some loves must remain secret until the time is right. Instead, notes of affection, acts of kindness, gifts of admiration, and lots of prayer are circulated. From New England mansions to homestead hovels, love is quietly being nourished and waiting for the right time to be revealed. But when love can finally be boldly expressed, will it be received by love in return?

The Cost of a Heart by Amanda Barratt
The Advocate by Lorraine Beatty
Too Many Secrets by Molly Noble Bull
Love in Store by Anita Mae Draper
The Last Letter by CJ Dunham
The Outcast’s Redemption by Jennifer Uhlarik
Beside Still Waters by Becca Whitham
The Princess of Polecat Creek by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Love from Afar by Penny Zeller

TO ENTER THE DRAWING

Sand Creek SerenadeRead the first chapter of Sand Creek Serenade and send your answers the following questions to Jennifer by clicking the “Email Jennifer” button on this website (. In order to be sure no one gives the answers away, please DO NOT leave your response in the comments to this post or on Facebook/Twitter. Be sure to email them instead.

  1. What two medical problems did Dr. Sadie Hoppner address for her patients in this chapter?
  2. What are the names of her two patients?
  3. What event occurred that cause Sadie and Five Kills to meet?
  4. What names does Five Kills give to Sadie and her brother, Ben?
  5. What item catches Five Kills’ attention and causes him to want to return to Fort Lyon at a later time?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I will draw the winner from those who followed instructions and sent five correct answers to my email. The drawing will take place on February 14th. And, of course, if you enjoyed the first chapter of Sand Creek Serenade, consider pre-ordering your copy now!

(I will only ship within the continental United States. If you’re outside the USA, I’m very sorry.)

Influencers Needed

SCS--Influencers NeededWho wants a FREE e-book copy of Sand Creek Serenade? I’m looking for people who are willing to read the novel and help me get the word out.

Cover Blurb:

Dr. Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to adversity. She’s fought to be taken seriously since childhood when her father began training her in the healing arts. Finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon, where she’s come to practice medicine under her brother’s watchful eye.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the peace treaty recently negotiated between his people and the Army. But a chance encounter with the female doctor ignites memories of his upbringing among the whites. Too intrigued to stay away, tension erupts with the soldiers, and Five Kills is injured.

As he recuperates under the tender care of the pretty healer, an unlikely bond forms. However, their fledgling love is put to the test when each realizes that a much greater danger awaits—a danger they are wholly unable to stop and one which neither may survive.

What does an influencer do?

An influencer should be willing to do some or all of the following:

  • Leave honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, personal blogs, or social media sites
  • Post pictures of yourself reading the book on social media sites
  • Post “Bookstagram”-style pictures of the book with pretty backgrounds and props  on social media sites
  • Tell your family, friends, book clubs, etc. about the story
  • Call your local public or church library to request they carry copies of Sand Creek Serenade
  • Call your local booksellers to request they carry copies of Sand Creek Serenade

 

If you’d like to be an influencer for this novel, please leave me a message with the ways you’ll help get the word out, and I’ll send you the link to download the e-book copy.

The Best News Ever?

Okay, so maybe that headline is a touch of click-bait, but the news certainly IS exciting, and it ranks pretty darn high on my list, even if it is not the BEST news ever! I found out a couple nights ago that my upcoming novel, Sand Creek Serenade, is going to be reviewed by Publishers Weekly! 

Sand Creek SerenadeFor those who don’t know, Publishers Weekly is a magazine that goes out to bookstores, libraries, and other bookish places, to help them find stories they might like to carry. Never in my lifetime did I expect to see one of my titles in this publication, so I’m just a wee bit THRILLED!

I’m being honest when I say that I’ve been terrified of what the response might be to this story–for a number of reasons. For one, I’m used to being in novella collections, where the overall success of the whole book isn’t on any one author’s shoulders, but rather, we all write the best story we can, we all help market and promote it, and so we all reap the benefits of each others’ work. This time, it is my name alone on the cover. That’s fantastic, and I’m excited about it, but it also means I will sink or swim alone. It’s new territory for me, and the “new” can often be frightening.

This story was also scary in that it was about a well-documented historical event, the Sand Creek Massacre. While many average readers may not know about this terrible piece of American history, there is enough information out there that many readers will know about it. I have always shied away from writing about such events because, no matter how hard an author tries, he or she will never get every shred of the history correct. I guess there is enough “perfectionist” in me that I haven’t wanted to get any of the facts wrong. But the moment this story came to me, I knew it had to be told, so I’ve had to fight past my fears of writing about such a well-documented event.

The last reason why this has been a scary story for me is that most times, the faith elements in my stories are fairly light. The characters pray, perhaps quote a Scripture from which they draw strength, or perhaps someone hears a sermon with just the right point to speak to their current issue. Through most of this book, that’s just what the faith element was. But toward the end, there is one scene where the spiritual arc takes a bit of a deep dive–far deeper than any other story I’ve written to date. I absolutely love what happens, and I hope readers will as well. But it has always felt like a risky scene, and as a fairly conservative person, the risk scares me. 

All that said, I am taking some great encouragement from the fact that Publishers Weekly has chosen to review my story, and most of all, trusting that God is going to allow this book to reach those readers He meant it for. If He will do that, I have nothing to fear!