Category Archives: Debut

The Promise Of An Angel | Ruth Reid Marathon


Today I’m reviewing The Promise of an Angel, the first book in the Heaven on Earth series by the incomparable Ruth Reid.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Interrupting the ordered routine of the Mecosta County Amish settlement, an angelic visitor awakens Judith to a new faith.

All Judith Fischer ever wanted is to marry within her community and raise a family. She longs for the day when her parents will allow Levi Plank to officially court her.

But on the day Judith suspects Levi will ask her parent’s permission, her younger brother Samuel has an accident under her charge. Rushing to Samuel’s aid, Judith spies a strange man helping him; a man she later believes was an angel.

When she shares her conviction with her family and close friends, she is shocked to find that no one believes her, including Levi. In the days following the accident, the angel visits Judith with information that may guide her down the path of faith, should she choose to follow.

As her community slowly distances themselves, only one person is willing to stand up for her―the bishop’s son, Andrew Lapp. But can he convince the settlement to listen to her? With a show of faith that flies in the face of her conservative upbringing, can Judith hold strong to the promise that there are even greater things in store for those who believe in God’s miracles?

MY THOUGHTS:

The Promise of an Angel is amazing — stupendous — incredible! The story is so mesmerizing, I felt like I was there — seeing and hearing everything going on. Eventually, I began to feel like I was in the presence of an angel, too! The story is that powerful!

I began reading this story after everyone had gone to bed… I read late into the night, but eventually had to stop — in order to get a few hours of sleep. The next day at work I finished the book during my lunch break. By the time I was done, my emotions were so charged; I was shaking, with tears running down my cheeks! I quickly made a stop at the ladies’ room to wash my face before going back to my office.

Judith Fischer — I really like Judith! I especially like that she shares her experience with others, even though they don’t believe her — mostly because she’s known for making up stories — and she’s warned to stop talking about it. But really, if you had an encounter with an angel, could you keep quiet about it!

Of course she begins to wonder why her brother is paralyzed — the angel tells her to “have faith, Samuel’s steps are ordered by God.” Although she questions what this means, she believes God is telling her that Samuel will walk again, so she never really loses hope… or faith. Even after everyone tells her she’s crazy and she needs to accept God’s will, Judith still believes.

Ruth Reid is a FANTASTIC author!

I’ve been reading Amish fiction for years, but I never expected a story where a young Amish girl comes in contact with an angel. And the reaction from everyone in the community — except for Andrew Lapp — is the reason! I admit… I imagined it would be a bit “over the top” for a plain, humble community. But it was perfect!

This book really touched me. I can’t wait to get to book 2 — Brush of Angels Wings!

I will definitely recommend this series to everyone.

5-stars

The Promise of an Angel… a story of an extraordinary event!Tweet this!

 

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Ruth on her website… HERE

And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter Ruth’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Ruth Reid Marathon | Giveaway!

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Aynne Cynar – Author Spotlight

Thank you for joining me for this special Author Spotlight!

First, a bit about Aynne from her website.

image
I’m happy you’re here! Women love relationships.

The focus of my ministry is to the mature woman who has experienced deep changes within precious relationships. Change around us forces us to change within. Sometimes it is helpful to share the journey with others who understand and have made the transition into a new, successful role. As mature gals, we are on a path to redefine ourselves now that the parameters we used in our youth no longer apply.

Writing gives me a platform to speak to you!

Through devotions or fiction, the message remains the same. It’s not about us, is it? It’s about our wonderful Savior and how He works His plan in the world through us. Our trials are a cavern to walk through into His loving arms where we will always find grace and mercy to help in our time of need.

Retired from healthcare, I have the opportunity to reflect on all the women I cared for in their times of need. I’m currently a ladies Bible study leader. For over thirty years I’ve sat in front of a class and know there is much more to learn! One thing I know for sure—His Word is true and the foundation for what I hope to share with you as a reader.

 

Change around us forces us to change within – Aynne CynarCLICK TO TWEET!

 

And here is my interview with Aynne:

Have you always wanted to write? Do you use an outline for your stories?

Like most authors, yes! I remember writing on my mom’s black Underwood typewriter she kept in our basement. The stories were so scary to I used to run up the stairs when I’d get overwhelmed by the plot.

I like to use sticky notes in a lined notebook. I write out my ideas for a scene and move them around as the story unfolds. There’s a general outline in my head, but as the characters come alive and start misbehaving the plot has to change accordingly.

How does it feel being a published author? Have you encountered any surprises along the way to being published?

As a self-published author, the surprises center on meeting all the goals along the way. Encountering the contracted professionals, some in person and some only online, has been delightful and rewarding. I wish I had all the skills to design and format but I am so thankful to have found others who are adept. And, and editor is one of those things like teeth cleaning. You gotta do it.

Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor, agent, or friends?

Notebooks are my passion. I keep one (almost) everywhere. I am ashamed to say I have pulled out the small one I keep in my purse in the middle of church to jot down ideas.

How do you find time for everything…writing, family, church, friends, etc.

I ask the Lord every day to help me. That’s my most common condensed version of my prayer life: help me, Lord! My mom was ill for twelve years and I have no idea how I have done anything. I am a retired nurse and worked when she first got ill. Looking back, it’s only God’s grace and love that got me through. And the wonderful thing is He is so limitless and the future holds His same provisions. I’ve taught Sunday school for over thirty years. Planning is essential.

I live by the motto: if you fail to plan you plan to fail. But don’t think I always hit it spot on. Thankfully, we have a Lord who helps us start over. And over. And over…

Have you attended any writer retreats, conferences, and the like? Do you think they are necessary for your writing?

Writer’s conferences are wonderful places to network and learn the craft. I attended the Writing for the Soul conference (Jerry Jenkins) this past summer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. To have met Jerry and Cecil Murphy in person was a thrill! I found my print-on-demand company at that conference. My editor was a terrific find at the Kentucky Christian Writer’s Conference. Funny thing…neither of us ended up being able to go (my mom was hospitalized) but she offered her services to attendees. How fortunate for me.

How often do you travel? Where do you go? Who do you travel with? What is your favorite vacation spot?

Since I am still a caregiver for my ninety year old father, my trips are infrequent. He is able to travel more now that neither of us has to care for Mom, and we might hit the road! I have family in Michigan, New Orleans, and Myrtle Beach. If I go anywhere, it’s usually to see them. I love the ocean but don’t want to live there after seeing what my family in the Gulf has been through.

Actually, my home is my favorite vacation spot. Living at the base of the Cumberland Mountains allows me a glorious view of the handiwork of our creative Savior.

What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?

Self-editing is my job right now. Book two and three are completed manuscripts but not editor ready. I hope to finish the series out with a fourth: End with Faith. My protagonist comes full circle. The intended audience is the “older” Christian woman, a gal probably over fifty and up. I’ve worked with widows, divorcees, and never-married in my teaching ministry and most of their stories are showing up somewhere in Cotton Springs, Kentucky, the fictional town I made up for the Penchak family.

I’ve also written some devotionals and professional articles under my real name. I am hoping to keep the fiction under my pen name, Aynne Cynar. Aynne hopes to start a new series about another middle-aged woman and her journey, but not until she’s done with Kathy. My non-fiction writer would like to write a book about what happens after living a full, barren, childless-not-by-choice life after her caretaker days have ended.

Hey! Thanks so much for allowing me to chat with you, Donna.

 

Thank You, Aynne… and God bless you!

 

 

Here’s a look at what we have to look forward to from Aynne Cynar:

Endure with Hope  (Cotton Springs Series – book #2)

Kathy Penchak left the administrative nursing job at Franklin to participate in the care of her husband after an automobile accident.  His injuries required out-of-state specialty care and the two years traveling between home and the neurological rehabilitation facility come to an end when he’s transferred to a nursing home in their town for hospice care.

His pending death, Libby’s revelation of her pregnancy, and Papa and Sam’s disagreement on forgiveness for the theft of stolen money from the family business collides.

Then, after a patient dies in the emergency room where Kathy’s been working part-time, a disgruntled family member of the deceased emerges as a stalker. God continues to weave Kathy’s life with new surprises as several suitors seek to protect her.

When Papa’s plan for the money unfolds, Kathy and her family are safe and the young son of the stalker becomes a lifelong friend. The cats in Cotton Springs are happier and with the dismal days of loss and betrayal behind her, Kathy knows their trials have been endured with hope by the Lord’s provision and grace.

Don’t miss a look at Aynne Cynar’s NEXT book – Endure With Hope.Tweet this!

 

And THANK YOU for joining me for this AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews —  February will be dedicated to another of my favorite authors… RUTH REID!

 

Today is the final day to enter Aynne’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Aynne Cynar Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Erased With Grace | Aynne Cynar Marathon

 

 

Today I’m reviewing Erased With Grace, the first book in the Cotton Springs series by a talented new author — Aynne Cynar.

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

Kathy Penchak is nurse manager at the Franklin Hospice in Cotton Springs, Kentucky.

The cherished role of wife feels erased when she discovers her husband’s newest employee in the family automotive repair business is also his mistress. Her adult children are involved in their own lives and the loss of an old faithful golden retriever, Giggles, still stings.

The newest patient at the facility has lost parts of her memory but not her faith. She possesses a vibrant witness that blesses the staff with warmth, joy, and encouragement right down to a final gift from the “Magic Bucket”.

It’s tempting for Kathy to see God defined through circumstances. The new patient, Christian colleagues, and the WeKnow Sunday school class hold her to the precipice of faith.

Kathy discovers God is able to do beyond what we ask or think and may answer prayer in most unimaginable ways. She learns an empty nest and failed marriage can become a cavern to walk through and arrive into the loving arms of her Savior. Her relationships have changed but are Erased with Grace.

 

Don’t miss the new Cotton Springs series by Aynne Cynar!Tweet this!

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I am very excited to introduce Aynne Cynar on my book blog!

Erased With Grace is the heart-rending, stirring inspirational story of Kathy and Ron Penchak. So many things Kathy is going through really hit home with me — of course, Kathy is a fictional character, but I’m not — and life can really get to be a mess sometimes!

Aynne Cynar simply amazes me! I don’t know how she writes fiction that sounds so true. I find myself wishing I knew some of the characters, especially June and her “WeKnow” Sunday school class at church.

Honestly, I could sure use a support group of Godly ladies!

Then there’s the wonderful Anna Rose, one of the newest residents at the Franklin Hospice facility. Anna Rose seems to have a direct line with God; she’s got enough faith to move mountains, and she enjoys every moment of each day.

What a blessing it would be to have a friend like Anna Rose…

Believe me — this book will be a blessing to you, too.

This is the first book I have read by Aynne Cynar… but I assure you — it won’t be the last!

I love reading the Cotton Springs series!

 

Snuggle up with this heart-warming inspirational by Aynne Cynar!Tweet this!

 

You can read more about the book on Goodreads HERE 

You can find more about Aynne Cynar on her website… HERE
 
Disclosure: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

January 2015 Debut Author Marathon | Aynne Cynar

 

January Marathon - Aynne Cynar PNG

 

I am dedicating the entire month of JANUARY on my bookshelf blog to:

FIVE GIFTED DEBUT AUTHORS

Each week I will be featuring a new author!

These five authors are especially talented in their respective genres.

 

The featured author for week five is…

AYNNE CYNAR

 
My daughter attended a local ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer) meeting last October 2014. While chatting with others, she mentioned that her mother — that would be me — reviews books.

Aynne Cynar, who was also attending the meeting, gave my daughter a book for me to review… well, since it wasn’t going to be published until mid January, I put in on my TBR (to be read) bookcase, past the ones due in December — and didn’t really think of it again until recently.

I had promised the other authors that I would feature them in January 2015, so I worked diligently on their weeks. Then I ran across Aynne’s book. Now Aynne hadn’t asked me to feature her — just to review her book. But once I began reading Erased With Grace, I knew I had to include her in this special debut author month! I quickly contacted Aynne, worked out the details, and now Aynne is my 5th debut feature!
 

Don’t miss this heart-warming debut novel by Aynne CynarTweet this!

 

THIS is our FINAL debut author giveaway for January…

ONE WINNER will be selected to receive the FINAL giveaway book… autographed and sent to you from the author!

 

For a chance to win Aynne’s book, do the following:

1) follow this blog (if you don’t)

2) leave a comment for one of the featured authors

** Please put your first name in your comment (but do not add your email address)

  

Erased With Grace reminds us that we serve a supernatural God!Tweet this!

 
Now go enter! And tell all your friends about this contest!

Winning

Blessings!

 

Please remember that giveaways are limited to US residents only. Visit my giveaway rules page for a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway.

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Nadine Brandes – Author Spotlight

Thank you for joining me for this Author Spotlight!

First, a bit about Nadine.

My Bio

 
I learned to write my alphabet with a fountain pen. In Kindergarten. Maybe that’s what started my love for writing. It’s not every day a five-year-old learns the correct rules on dealing with ink splotches, how to hold her pen, or how to replace cartridges before she even understands 1+1=2.

I started journaling at age nine and thus began my habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. I never decided to become a writer. My brain simply classified it as a necessity to life, like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Not many people took my writing seriously, so I kept it to myself a very long time. I didn’t share my books with anyone who didn’t seem supportive or bound to love them. Through my Junior year of college, God urged me to pursue a vision behind my writing. The moment I started the pursuit, He provided the vision. My writing has never been the same since and the stories behind how I got where I am are nothing short of miraculous. Yet, even with vision, it took me a long time to grow bold enough to share it with others.

In 2010, I moved to Missouri for graduate school. One autumn evening, a young man approached me at a small game night get-together and said, “I saw you have a blog. I’ve been reading it and… you’re an awesome writer!”

I married him.

Since then, he’s encouraged me practically every day to, “Go write, Honey.” He promoted my writing with unveiled enthusiasm, so I prayed on a little more backbone and forced out author confidence. Surprisingly enough (or is it?), people ended up being a lot more supportive and encouraging than I’d previously imagined them to be. My writing became public and God blessed it.

We now live in a mountainous valley on the border of two states where winter overtakes nine months of the year. Through God’s provision, I am a stay-at-home author, currently working on book two of my dystopian series. The first book, A Time to Die, is contracted with Enclave Publishing, the leading publisher of speculative fiction. (If speculative fiction sounds like a different language to you, read my blog post for a definition.)
 
Readers can learn more about Nadine at www.nadinebrandes.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Google+ and Goodreads.
 
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?Tweet this!

 
 

And here is my interview with Nadine:

Have you always wanted to write? Do you use an outline for your stories?

Yes! I’ve always wanted to write, but I didn’t think about it as a profession until I got into college. For some reason, prior to that, I’d always seen it as a hobby.

I use a mental outline. For me, once something’s on paper, it feels too permanent and it’s tough to change. So I rarely write out a detailed outline. But, generally, I know where the story needs to go.

How does it feel being a published author? Have you encountered any surprises along the way to being published?

I love it! Writing is my dream and it’s such a blessing to watch my book impact the lives of others. I was really surprised, when I first stepped into the publishing world, at the author community there is. Once I stepped “inside” I met all sorts of authors and they really helped me tackle the process of becoming a published author. I didn’t expect that, but it was a surprise and blessing!

Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor, agent, or friends?

I have a whiteboard. That’s not the most fire-proof or accident-proof place to keep my story ideas, but I jot down the title or the “What if” question and whenever I look at it, I know exactly what story would come from that idea.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten idea from someone else.

How do you find time for everything…writing, family, church, friends, etc.

Confession: I’m still working on time management! [grin] Aside from the things listed above, I also do freelance editing for work. I treat writing and editing like a full-time job and work 9-5 every day, alternating editing and writing days. I’m still able to interact with family, friends, and my church on a fairly normal basis. Then again, my husband and I don’t have kids yet. So I’m sure things will change drastically when that day comes!

Have you attended any writer retreats, conferences, and the like? Do you think they are necessary for your writing?

YES! Big giant neon YES. My top piece of advice I give to aspiring authors is to attend a writing conference. The relationships and classes you take there will completely transform your writing!

How often do you travel? Where do you go? Who do you travel with? What is your favorite vacation spot?

I travel a lot! Hubby and I are fans of road trips, which is a good thing because we road trip to Missouri about three times a year to see his family (a 20-hour trip.) This year (2015), we have a lot of international trips coming up that are ministry related, so we’ll be going to Russia in only a couple weeks! My favorite vacation spot is probably anywhere international. I love discovering new cultures and countries.

What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?

I’m currently working on books 2 and 3 in my dystopian Out of Time series. Book two was just sent in to my publisher for editing while book three is still being written.

Thank you, Donna!
 

Thank You, Nadine… and God bless you!

 

And THANK YOU for joining me for this AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews —  February will be dedicated to another of my favorite authors!

 

 

One Year. One Chance. One dangerous idea. Can Parvin survive her last year?Tweet this!

Watch for book 2 in Nadine’s Out Of Time series!Tweet this!

 

Today is the final day to enter Nadine’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Nadine Brandes Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

A Time To Die | Nadine Brandes Marathon


Today I’m reviewing A Time to Die, the first book in the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes.
Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people.

But her Clock is running out.

MY THOUGHTS:
This is a new genre for me… very different… but an intriguing one, too.

So what would YOU do if you only had one year left to live?

Nadine Brandes has created some very distinct characters – with different goals. For Parvin, life will end by her eighteenth birthday, and she’s always felt like she was the unwanted twin… so she doesn’t push herself – not in school, or with her family, or in life.

The concept of knowing exactly how long you will live is exciting for some, frightening for others, yet a challenge for even others.
What would you do if you had one year left to live? What would you do with your life if you knew the number of days you had? God tells us in the Holy Bible that no one knows how many days they have…

But what if you did?

What would you do? Would you want to see the world, fall in love, have babies, live every moment to gain as much enjoyment as possible? Would you be inspired to do something fantastic?

Or would you lie around, doing nothing? What if all you had to look forward to reach the end of your number of days and then… nothing?

Would you even want to live the days you were given? Would you take chances, flaunt authority, and try death-defying feats, just because it wouldn’t matter if you died?

Or — if you had an AWESOME GOD to believe in — would you be inspired to live a joyful, extraordinary life?

This is the question this book asks… if you want to know what Parvin’s answer is… read the book!
 

A Time to Die… a story of the last days of someone’s life!Tweet this!

 

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Nadine on her website… HERE

 

Today is the final day to enter Nadine’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Nadine Brandes Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!
 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

January 2015 Debut Author Marathon | Nadine Brandes

 

January Marathon - Nadine Brandes PNG

 

I am dedicating the entire month of JANUARY on my bookshelf blog to:

FOUR GIFTED DEBUT AUTHORS

Each week I will be featuring a new author!

These four authors are especially talented in their respective genres.

 

The featured author for week four is…

NADINE BRANDES

 

Nadine started journaling at age nine and thus began her habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life, like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

 

Don’t miss this NEW distopian novel by Nadine BrandesTweet this!

 

This is our last debut author giveaway for January… on Sunday, January 25, 2015, ONE WINNER will be selected to receive the last featured author’s books… autographed and sent to you from the author!

 

For a chance to win Nadine’s book, do the following:

1) follow this blog (if you don’t)

2) “like” this post (if you can)

3) leave a comment for one of the featured authors

** Please put your first name in your comment (but don’t add your email address)

  

Now go enter! And tell all your friends about this contest!

Winning

Blessings!

 

Please remember that giveaways are limited to US residents only. Visit my giveaway rules page for a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway.

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Angela D. Meyer – Author Spotlight

Thank you for joining me for this very special Author Spotlight!

Angela’s debut novel, Where Hope Starts, was a finalist in the 2013 Grace awards. Her short story, More to the Story, was a genre winner for the 2014 Family Fiction short story contest. She is also a contributor to the devotional collection The Benefit Package. You can catch Angela on social media encouraging women in their faith journey and watch her video devotionals on her YouTube channel. Angela is active in her local Christian writers group, serving on their advisory board.

Now let’s hear from Angela

 

My Story

I don’t want to land on one part of my story and be just about that. We are all more than the moments. That being said, you will hear bits and pieces, stories of the hurts along the way. Not for the sake of complaining, only for the purpose of understanding, learning, and growing together.

My journey has taken me through the ups and downs in marriage, parenting, homeschooling, teaching, writing, marketing, being a child of God.

Loneliness a familiar companion. Since as long as I can remember I struggled to connect with others. Emotional to a fault and feeling like it was all my fault and I was somehow defective.

Raised in a legalistic household, I felt like I had to be perfect to be enough.

Learning to trust God through 2 miscarriages, messy family relationships and a marriage betrayed by the choices of my husband

I still struggle with how to meet life’s demands. I question whether choices about parenting, homeschooling, writing and marketing which consume so much of life have been the right ones.

Through it all, God has stayed by my side. He continues to pull out the dross inside of me as I learn to live better with the world around me. I can smell the fragrance of grace and hope. A new beginning through the pain and struggles.

My prayer is that together we can learn that when we hold onto Him, there is an end that is not an end. It is hope.

 

On the Lighter Side

I currently live in Nebraska with my husband of 23 years. We homeschool my daughter and recently graduated my son. I have taught childrens’ Bible classes for over 35 years. I am active in Wordsowers, the local Christian writers group, serving on their advisory board.

I love God, my family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday I want to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.

Our pets round out our family. Lucy is my daughter’s orange tabby. She has green eyes and will jump up in our lap in the blink of an eye. And if we are eating cheesy popcorn we have to guard it tightly.

Ranger is my son’s good natured dog. Breed? Let’s see… part golden retriever and German Shepherd — we were told when we took him in. We think he might have some Newfoundland as well.

 

Readers can learn more about Angela at http://www.angeladmeyer.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Goodreads.

 

What obstacles in your life have you overcome with God’s help?Tweet this!

Angela Meyer writes REAL stories about REAL people – even if they are fiction.Tweet this!

“When we hold onto Him, there is an end that is not an end. It is hope.” ~ Angela D. MeyerTweet this!

 

And here is my interview with Angela:

Have you always wanted to write?

I’ve always made up stories in my head, although I never had a big dream of being a published author. My writing began as simple journal writing – poems mostly. Then came the inspirational essays. Somewhere in here the idea began to grow that maybe I could be published. Next I dabbled in writing children’s stories and the biggest surprise of all was the novel. I never thought I could maintain a story for that many words!

  

Do you use an outline for your stories?

I use a loose outline-bullet points of what I want to happen along the way. To make sure the story is fully fleshed out. But my characters have a way of adding to that. I never really know exactly how it will unfold.

 

How does it feel being a published author? Have you encountered any surprises along the way to being published?

It’s kind of unreal, but I’m starting to get used to it. The biggest surprise is how much time the marketing takes. And exactly what it means to market and build a platform.

 

Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor, agent, or friends?

Ideas come to me at the most random times. At the very least I try and jot them down and stick in a file. Some ideas really stick with me and I’ll take the time to flesh it out a bit more and save it on the computer. Other times, I’ll need a short story for something and I’ll take a couple of hours to stir up ideas-browse through my files, ask myself what if questions or just stare off into space and let my mind wander.

 

How do you find time for everything… writing, family, church, friends, etc.

I don’t. It’s impossible to always get everything done and spend time with everyone I want to spend time with. When I choose one thing, I usually have to say no to someone or something else. It’s a constant learning process to know what to let go of.  It’s a good thing to learn.

I believe here in America especially, we get this idea in our head that it’s possible to have it all. Then we get stressed out trying to make that impossibility happen. Life is more easily enjoyed when a few things are let go of. It’s like de-cluttering your soul to make room for the really important stuff.

  

Have you attended any writer retreats, conferences and the like? Do you think they are necessary for your writing?

I have been to a few conferences and enjoyed them all. Beyond the learning, one of the most important benefits from attending a conference is connecting with other authors as well as agents and editors. I think every writer should go at some point. If the larger conferences are not a possibility, find something closer to home, smaller and less expensive. Maybe a one day workshop would be an alternative.

  

How often do you travel? Where do you go? Who do you travel with? What is your favorite vacation spot?

I don’t get to travel a lot. A part of me would enjoy doing so more, another part of me likes just being home. When I do travel, it is usually with family. Some of the vacation spots I’ve visited over the years include California, Pennsylvania, New England, South Dakota, and Colorado.

  

What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?

Book 2 in the Applewood Hill series,Where Healing Starts, is under contract and due out in 2016. After I finish my edits for that, I plan to get the 3rd book, Where Joy Starts, written before I start on my next series. I have a couple of ideas for that, and haven’t decided which one I will do.

As far as a different genre goes, I have a couple of files started for stories that are a different genre, a spy novel and a speculative fiction. I think I would like to try a mystery someday, too.

 

Thank You Angela and God bless you!

 

And THANK YOU for joining me for this very touching AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews — this month I have one more special debut author… and February will be dedicated to another of my favorite authors!

 

 

Do not miss Where Hope Starts by Angela D. Meyer!Tweet this!

Watch for book 2 in Angela’s Life at Applewood Hill series!Tweet this!

 

Today is the final day to enter Angela’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Angela Meyer Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!

 

© Donna J. Mynatt 2015

Short Stories | Angela D. Meyer Marathon

   Life at Applewood Hill…



I’m featuring Angela D. Meyer on my bookblog this month, along with several Debut Authors…


Angela
is doing something amazing… and wonderful… 

In the quarterly newsletters that she sends out, Angela often includes a short story about some of the characters from Where Hope Starts, the first book in the intriguing, wonderful Life At Applewood Hill series.

Please stay with me as I post a mini review for each short story…

…and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’d like to win an autographed copy of Where Hope Starts!

The winner will be chosen Tuesday morning.

 

 

        MY THOUGHTS:

Turnaround
Turnaround is the very first short story — chronologically — in the series.

 

Turnaround shares the earlier story of Karen’s parents… Charles and Annibel — but primarily focuses on Charles.

Charles is a very angry, frustrated and violent man. He sees the mistakes in others, but he can’t see his own faults and he refuses to even try.

When a still, small voice speaks to him, he ignores it – as he’s done many times in the past.

When another man makes an offhand comment, Charles finally sees himself as he really is… and listens to that still, small voice.

 

 

Have you heard that still small voice? Did you listen?CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Returning-Home

   

Returning Home is the second short story — chronologically — in the series.

 

Returning Home continues with the theme of the first short story. This story focuses on what happens after Annibel, Karen’s mother, leaves home — determined to make it on her own.

Annibel is also hearing the still, small voice…

She desperately wants to go home — especially to be with her children — but she just can’t.

When she finds warmth — and solace — in a nearby church, she learns how easy it is to forgive, once she accepts the truth that God had already forgiven her for her sins.

In just a few months, she receives a letter from home… with a plane ticket!

 

 

Can you go home again? Would you want to?CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 8.02.28 PM

The Gift
 is the third story — chronologically — in the series… and is truly a special “gift” — just for Christmas!

 

The Gift focuses on Karen and Barry, just after they buy the Applewood Hill Bed and Breakfast.

This year Karen is looking forward to a special Christmas with Barry… with no guests and the staff given time off to spend with their families, she and Barry will enjoy a quiet, just-the-two-of-them holiday.

… until lots of unexpected travelers show up.

Amidst the grumbling and complaining, Karen and Barry — and their guests — learn what Christmas is all about.

 

 

What makes your Christmas truly special?CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Angela D Meyer - When Dreams Come True - An Applewood Hill Short Story

 

When Dreams Come True is the fourth short story — chronologically — in the series.

 

When Dreams Come True focuses on the last unexpected guests in The Gift — Isabella and her three children.

In The Gift, the guests at the Applewood Hill Bed and Breakfast had done whatever they could to give Isabella and her children the best Christmas they had ever experienced!

Because of their generosity, Isabella and the children were able to return to her mother’s home in Florida. Another gift was an all expenses paid trip to Disney World!

 

 

 

 

Isabella finally learns that it’s always best to wait on GodCLICK TO TWEET!

 

Angela D Meyer - He Loves me Not - He Loves me - An Applewood Hill Short Story

 

He Loves Me Not is the fifth short story — chronologically — in the series.

 

He Loves Me Not focuses on James, the manager of the Applewood Hill Bed and Breakfast, and a couple of new guests.

While Barry and Karen are on vacation, a mysterious young couple shows up — without reservations — or money to pay!

James gives the young couple — Peter and Karie — one of the best room, free of charge.

When the girls’ father shows up, demanding she leave with him, threats are made and it seems as if there’s no hope.

What happens next shows everyone — especially Peter and Karie — that God is indeed watching out for them.

 

 

Have you ever witnessed a true miracle?CLICK TO TWEET!

 

“Our choices impact our family. But forgiveness makes a way for the effects of bad choices to be overcome.” ~ Angela D. Meyer

 

If you want to read more, check out Where Hope Starts, the first book in the Applewood Hill series.

… or join Karen on her blog — Life at Applewood Hill

… and you can read more reviews and more about these stories on Angela’s Website

God bless you!

 

© Donna J. Mynatt 2015

Where Hope Starts | Angela D. Meyer Marathon


Today I’m reviewing Where Hope Starts, the first book in the Life at Applewood Hill series by Angela D. Meyer.

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

In a city full of dreams… Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both.

She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.

Still in New York, Barry fights his own demons. He knows he messed up, but is powerless to stop his rage and addictions. A fistfight on the streets of the city lands him in jail and forces him to face the possibility of a future behind bars.

Karen knows holding onto her bitterness won’t repair her marriage. But how do you forgive someone when you don’t feel like it? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers the family secret that threatens to tear them all apart.

Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts.

MY THOUGHTS:

In a city full of dreams…

Wow! I stayed up past 1am to finish Where Hope Starts!

Karen Marino isn’t happy… first her husband Barry shows up at her job – drunk and angry, then her new boss fires her – without warning or cause. On top of that, her estranged father sends her a plane ticket with a note that simply says, “Come home.”

Karen heads home… where she discovers more problems – and more support from unexpected sources – than she could have anticipated. In the meantime, Barry goes from bad – to worse! When he lands in jail, an unlikely ally comes to his aid.

If I were introduced to Karen and Barry, I would not be too surprised – after all, I know them pretty well by now. Seriously, I wouldn’t be shocked to find them as real people – with real problems. That’s exactly the way they seem to me now. The story is just this real.

 

Angela Meyer knows how to create realistic characters – that’s for sure!Tweet this!

 
I’d love the chance to meet Karen, Elinor, and Megan – but there’s one in particular I’d rather never, ever meet!

And this inn – the Applewood Hill Bed and Breakfast – it sounds like a wonderful place to spend time… maybe a few weeks there and my stress level would bottom out. I adore wrap-around porches, so you’d find me on the porch swing whenever I had a few spare minutes, just swinging slowly, a slight breeze gently tickling my neck.

OK! I’m sure this time I’ve said way too much… so before I give away any more of the story, I’d better stop talking about what is happening.

I’m in awe of the amazing story Angela tells in Where Hope Starts – I sort of fought against it at first, probably because I could see where it was going, but it was SO MUCH BETTER than I could have imagined!

This was a story that needed to be told. And I was excited to hear that there are two more stories in this series… and I can’t wait to continue reading!
 

Hurry, Angela – I have NO patience and I want to read book two!

 

 

Where Hope Starts – a story that needed to be told!Tweet this!

Don’t miss “Karen’s” blog posts about Life at Applewood Hill!Tweet this!

 
You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Angela on her website… HERE

And you can click the links below to read reviews and/or buy the book…

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: The opinions I express are my own, but I received this book free from the author in appreciation for posting an honest review on my blog.
God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.