Christian fiction, Fun Friday

Fun Read Friday: CROWN Marketing

I’ve always loved to read and still enjoy it even if I don’t spend nearly as much time curled up with a good book as in years past. That’s about to change (at least to some extent), thanks to a new online group I’m part of.

It’s called CROWN Fiction Marketing, and it was established as a way to help spread the word about some great Christian fiction. All the ads and marketing plans in the world help get an author’s name out there, but research shows that old fashioned word of mouth still sells the most books. That’s why CROWN exists — to help Christian authors reach new people with their books.

So the Christian focus makes CROWN different, but so do the actual books. CROWN’s purpose is to promote God-honoring fiction set in the 1800s. Most of the authors who are part of CROWN write stories that take place in America, but some write about Regency Europe. The group includes some well-known authors and some pre-published novelists like me. One of the things I’m enjoying most is the opportunity to get to know these ladies through sharing ideas and celebrating together when new books are released.

The first book I’ll be promoting through CROWN is Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon by Miralee Ferrell. The Love Finds You books are named after real towns in the U.S. with interesting names and colorful histories – they’re a lot of fun. I just got a copy of Bridal Veil so will post a review once I’ve read it.

In the meantime, visit Miralee’s blog for your chance to win a book from the Love Finds You series. Just go to www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com  and leave a comment. You can ask a question of any of the 6 authors who are participating, and get a chance to win one of nine books from the series. Good luck, and happy reading!

Fun Friday, Historical research, Uncategorized

Time to Drain

Paper towels.

How many times a week — or even each day — do you snag one off the roll? I do it all the time and never gave it a second thought … until I found myself writing about it in my novel.

Here’s the scenario. My character is cooking breakfast and takes bacon out of the skillet. My automatic step is to put the bacon (or sausage) on paper towels to drain. But as soon as I wrote that, I wondered if that’s what my character would have done. After all, my story takes place in 1900 so there are a lot of differences between what people had then and what we have now.

Google to the rescue! Once I started researching I learned that paper towels as we know them weren’t invented and available in households until around 1907. I found the same information in several places, so felt like it must be on the right track.

My guess is that people would use some other type of cloth instead, but I had spent enough time tracking down paper towels and needed to get back to actual writing (that’s one of the hazards of loving to research – it can take you all sorts of places that might be fun but don’t add words to the story). End result: my character simply puts the bacon on a plate to drain.

That’s the beauty of writing a historical novel and delving into research to ensure your story is accurate – you just never know what interesting thing you might learn. Think about that the next time you tear off yet another paper towel to help with quick clean-up or drying.

Fun Friday, God sightings

What’s Outside Your Door?

My husband went outside one morning last week to crank up his truck for a few minutes before heading to work. He came back in shaking his head and smiling. Apparently, when he stepped outside a big doe was standing in our front yard.

Now it’s not like we live on umpteen acres by ourselves — we’re in the middle of a neighborhood. And we do see deer pass through occasionally or even wander out from the patch of woods behind our house, but we don’t expect to come face-to-face with them when we walk out the door.

We were snug in the house going through our early morning routines and had no idea the doe was right there.  If my husband had gone outside even a couple of minutes sooner or later, the deer might not have been there — and we would never had known she was.

It made me think about how many other things are going on around me that I don’t necessarily notice. A sunrise or sunset. A squirrel doing gymnastics through the trees. A flower pushing through the earth to bloom and grow.

A God who whispers to me every day and night but that I don’t always hear through the other noise and busyness.

I don’t want to be like that, do you? I don’t want to get so wrapped up in the everyday workings of life that I miss the magic of miracles. Like the old song says, “Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus — to reach out and touch Him — and show that we love Him. Open our ears, Lord — and help us to listen. Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.”

Yes, sweet Lord, open our eyes to see you — and whatever else happens to be outside our door.