Friday, October 6, 2017

New Release from Susan Foy


Susan started writing novels in her mid-thirties at the encouragement of her twin sister, who said, "Write something for me, and I'll read it." She has completed five novels and has currently published three of them. The first two are contemporary Christian fiction and the other three are historical fiction, all with serious themes but with a dash of romance.

Ellen's Endeavors

 




Life with the Huguenots

My fifth novel, Ellen's Endeavors, was just released last Saturday. In many ways, this book was the most labor-intensive of all of them. It occurred not just in a historical setting, like its prequel Johanna's Journey, but with a specific group of people that many Americans know little about - including myself before I started researching them!

 The Huguenots were French Protestants in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, followers of Jean Calvin (aka John Calvin). Although theologically they resembled the Puritans in England, they differed from the Puritans in the fact that they lived in an overwhelmingly Catholic country and had relatively little political power. As a result, they suffered severe persecution at different points in their history, to the point where there were nearly eradicated in France. Many Huguenots fled the country during these persecutions, ending up in Switzerland, England, Holland, and America.


Ellen's story takes place in America, when Ellen escapes her broken heart by traveling with her friend to a small town in New York settled by Huguenots. (This town, although fictional, was based on New Rochelle, NY.) Although the characters have left France, several flashback scenes describe their trials and persecutions in their home country, which become relevant as the story progresses. To research this time period, I traveled to New Paltz and New Rochelle, both towns settled by the Huguenots in America, and also read several books, one about the first-hand experiences of a French galley slave!

I also needed to research various medical procedures, since Ellen as an aspiring midwife helps to deliver a baby and also amputate a leg. I read a whole book about smallpox in order to describe a case in the story.

Writing Ellen's Endeavors was a lot of work, but also fun and educational as well. I hope that my readers will learn something about history while reading a great story!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Appreciating the “Greatest Generation"



The Greatest Generation
By Author Linda Ellen


As I was writing my first novel for publication, I wanted an angle or trademark to set mine apart. Since my first story took place in Louisville where I reside, I decided to make my future stories take place in the ‘Ville as well.


Once I finished my first series, which was centered on my own parents’ love story (Once in a While is book 1 of that series—the Cherished Memories series), I looked around for a theme on which to build a new series of books. One thing that kept coming to mind was one of our local landmarks, Fort Knox, so I started tossing around ideas for how I could use the famous army base prominently in a story.  The answer, of course—since I wanted to keep it historical—was a WWII tale.  From there, it took off. 


Fort Knox is literally a household word, and “Locked up tighter than Fort Knox” is a common saying.  The name embodies the stuff of legends, and it has always fascinated me—especially, of course, the famous “Gold Vault”. If you’re one of the millions who have seen the 1964 James Bond spy film Goldfinger—parts of which were filmed at Fort Knox—you probably think that’s what the interior of the vault is like... don’t feel bad, for years, I did too, lol.   The reality, however, is far different, because Hollywood was told, “Absolutely not,” when asked if they could film inside.  It is one of the most secret and guarded places on the planet—a Presidential order is required to even gain access. 




By the way—the correct title for that auspicious building within the grounds of the renowned army base is the United States Bullion Depository, and it’s located, literally, at the juncture of Gold Vault Road and Bullion Boulevard—how cool is that??
A few tidbits I uncovered...
 
Did you know that in 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, forbidding the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates by American citizens, and forced them to sell these to the Federal Reserve?  That sounds barbaric, but to clarify, armed treasury agents did not confiscate it, and not all gold was subject to the law. Gold coins of small denomination were exempt, as was gold used in manufacturing, dentistry and jewelry production—and each person in a household could retain up to five troy ounces of gold bullion coins.  The order was issued, basically, to help shore up the country’s sagging economy. Citizens all over had been stockpiling gold since the Crash, the result of which was an alarmingly dwindled reserve in the banks. Things had gotten so bad that the survival of our great democracy was at risk.


As a result of the order, however, it wasn’t long before the federal government needed a large gold depository in which to store it all. So, in 1936, the U.S. Treasury Department began construction of a massive fortified structure at Fort Knox, which was 1,000 miles inland and would be well protected. The first gold shipments began in January of 1937. The transfer took six months and used 500 rail cars!  By the end of 1937, the vault contained $12 billion of gold, consisting of old bullion, new bars made from melted gold coins, and some intact coins, as well.  (And by the way—that is $430 billion in today’s money). Then, during WWII, the depository held the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, key documents from Western history, original copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, three volumes of the Gutenberg Bible, reserves from European countries, and a portion of the Hungarian crown jewels, to prevent them from falling into Soviet hands.  The repository also held one of four copies of the Magna Carta, which had been on display at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Would you be surprised to learn that during the war and even into the Cold War—until the invention of different types of synthetic painkillers—a supply of processed morphine and opium was kept in the depository as a hedge against the US being isolated from sources of raw opium?  Who would have thought a “gold vault” protected items such as those?

There are many more interesting tidbits about the vault included in my story, such as minefields, alarms, electric fences, and layers of artillery. No one person knows the complete combinations required to unlock the vault. The fortress includes a separate emergency power plant and water system. The vault’s main door weighs 20 tons, is blast-proof, and there is an escape tunnel from the lower level to be used by anyone who might accidentally become locked in—I wonder if that’s ever happened... J

For more exciting tidbits, check out this Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bullion_Depository


My Soldiers of Swing Series 

In order to write my Soldiers of Swing series, I had to really dig in and learn not only facts about the base, but its early history as well.  Taking a trip out there (30 minutes from my home) and touring the Patton Museum was the highlight of my research.  The gold vault is not the only fascinating aspect to this huge (109,000-acre) military post.  Many of the facts I discovered about the infamous Fort Knox are included in my story, Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant.

Ahh, but our beloved Kentucky/Indiana area has so many more intriguing places.  Like the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, located in Charlestown, which I feature prominently in the second book of the series, Her Blue-Eyed Corporal.  That 10,000-acre, now-defunct facility with 1,700 buildings and 30 miles of fencing was a story unto itself! The details of its record-setting speedy construction and production are nothing short of mind-boggling.  It was the world’s largest smokeless powder/rocket propellant plant, owned by the federal government, but operated by the E.I. DuPont Company. In my research, I found accounts of visits by a real spy for Hitler, as well as attempts at sabotage, which I embellished in my novel. ;)  

And then I needed one more location, so I chose our wonderful Bowman Field as one of the army bases featured in book #3, Her Blue-Eyed Lieutenant.  Some of the things I discovered in my research for this book will make your mouth drop open with shock or laughter. J

Louisville and its surrounding environs are rife with history, mystery, and even scandal that will no doubt provide me with fodder for stories for years to come.  I’m thinking about researching what Louisville was like during WWI or the Civil War, or even before that, like when it first became a city, and use that in a future series. The possibilities are endless.

Let the adventure begin!

 
Linda Ellen, Author
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda
Pinterest with boards for each book: https://www.pinterest.com/linda4him59/

Linda Ellen is the author of the Cherished Memories Series (based on her own parents’ 1930’s romance) and the Soldiers of Swing Series (WWII soldiers stationed state-side who fall in love with local girls).  She writes 20th Century (30’s & 40’s) Historical Romance rich with history, love, heartache, and plenty of period music and style.  Her stories are clean with no profanity or graphic sex. She’s an active member of the Facebook groups Clean Indie Reads, The Rumor Mill, Second World War Club, Christian Indie Authors, and Kentuckiana Authors.  Linda resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband of 36 years. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Audio Review

Audio Book Review Barbara Goss

We will have different reviews as often as time allows thanks for dropping by. 

Drawn from Darkness: Hearts of Hays, Book 4 Barbara Goss 

Summary   
Hays, Kansas, 1897. Nellie, a devout Christian, meets Nicholas, a devout womanizer, and sparks fly when their two worlds collide. Nicholas, the rich son of a hotel's owner, can't control his attraction to Nellie, one of the hotel maids. Nicholas pursues, and Nellie retreats. Her own pristine reputation is endangered as a result of Nicholas' undisciplined actions. Nicholas finally pretends to join her world by requesting Bible lessons from her. This ruse may change his life forever. Yet danger surrounds them in the form of a jealous stepbrother. 

 
Review 

What brought you to the decision to listen to this book? The cover. It drew me in. The male model on the cover is one of my favorite models so I just had to read it, well listen to it.

What did you love best about Drawn from Darkness?
My husband and I share the same account and this is one of my Reads. I liked that it was historical and clean and the cover drew me into the story. I like a happy ending and the mystery inside the novel, kept me wanting to hear what happened next.

Which scene was your favorite?
These are hard to do without giving away the story so stop reading if you don't want a spoiler. I liked the way he got saved and come to know the Lord by reading with her and studying the Bible.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
God's divine healing, Romance and love the way He intended

Any additional comments?
This is my first book by Barbara Goss, but I'm going to listen to some more soon. I love clean novels but those that are filled with Romance are my favorite. This was a great listen and I'm so happy that there are authors out there that put clean works out for us to listen too. Thanks Mrs. Goss 


Today's review comes from 
Samantha Fury
Website 
Facebook Group
Contact Us
Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Audiobook Lovers (new Facebook group)

New Facebook Group  Helps Educate, Network, Promote Your Craft







 

The rise in popularity of Facebook Groups and Pages

Over the past few years, Facebook has grown to be much more than a fun place to post your cute pet pics. Facebook Groups - community meeting grounds for people who share common hobbies and interests, and Facebook Pages - individual "fan" sites for people, businesses, bands, etc. have, in many cases, replaced special interest blogs simply by their one-stop convenience. You’re on FB; your friends are on FB - why not put all your interests in one place so that you don’t leave Facebook? You get the picture. Love it or hate it - Facebook HAS value… if you know where to find it.



Welcome to Audiobook Lovers - Listeners, Authors, Narrators

A new FB group, which seems as if it was constructed specifically for independent authors, is Audiobook Lovers. Audiobook Lovers was started by author, Barbara Goss in late April of 2017, and, in just three short weeks, has grown to 230 members. The group's description says it best,
Welcome to the place where listeners of audiobooks meet the narrators and authors. Feel

free to post any Audiobook deals and promotions. Tell your Audiobook friends about us so we can grow. All genres except erotic welcome. Please ask questions, and don't forget to introduce yourself! :)

That smiley at the end sets the tone for the whole group. It's rare that I find a FB group that is so welcoming and friendly. While many FB groups greet new members with strict rules that exclude any kind of self-promotion, Audiobook Lovers actually ENCOURAGES promotions and asks that you tell the group about yourself, your business, hobbies. You’ll even get a welcome message that asks you to introduce yourself and tell a little about what you do. Again, refreshing and nice to see in an age where social media doesn’t always seem all that social.  


What does all this mean to you as an author?

First off, the fact that the site encourages promotions from your very first posting should be reason enough to jump on over to the Group and join.  No need to warm up to the group, shmooze with the moderators - just say howdy and write a post about a book you want to promote. How many conversations have you had with fellow authors about "Where can we promote our books for free?" Audiobook Lovers combines listeners - your main audience, other authors, AND... audiobook narrators. 


Audiobooks - The next big thing

As an author, you probably fit into one of two camps: 
You're either thinking about turning your books into audiobooks or already have. Truth is, sales of audiobooks rose 47% from November 2015 to November 2016, and there's no sign of the industry slowing. The good news? - it's so much easier to get your books into audio form than you may think. Audiobook Lovers has dozens of well-established audiobook narrators who are just waiting to help answer your questions. In fact - I'm one of them! :)



Audiobook Lovers - Welcome Home

The next time you're on Facebook... oh, it's open in another browser tab right now? Head on over to Audiobook Lovers and join in on the fun. Introduce yourself, kick off your shoes, and stay for a spell. Oh... and don't forget to promote your books there! Trust me - it's perfectly okay.







About Tom Jordan

My name is Tom Jordan and I'm a voice actor, audiobook narrator, and writer living in Orange County, California. I'm currently narrating Barbara Goss's wonderful Shadow Series of historical Christian romance novels. The first audiobook from that series, Shadow of Shame will be on Audible.com in June. You can hear a sample of me narrating that book here. Feel free to contact me directly for voiceover work, audiobook narration - www.TomVoiceover.com.  

Images thanks to Pixaby Images


Monday, October 10, 2016

Rake in the Savings & Kindle Giveaway

Kindle Giveaway and E book Sale 
Brought to you by CIAN and the CIA Christian Women's Writers Club
 
Don't have a Kindle?  Then enter to win a shiny new Kindle from the good folks at CIAN and CWW. Entering is simple. You'll find the link to contest below.  We've got some great books on sale and if you want to learn more about these groups you can do that also at the CIAN website link below.





Click here to find the Rafflecopter to enter to win the Kindle and to see the great books we have on sale!!!




 

Thursday, May 19, 2016


We'd like to thank the Writing Truth blog for sharing their review
with us you can find Writing Truth here
Writing truth in many different genres from novels,
 to poetry, to book reviews. . .



Landlords and Tenants and their Circumstances


EVICTED by Matthew Desmond   
I was drawn to Evicted by my own circumstances. I had made friends with a poor family living about an hour away. We hosted their daughter’s 18th birthday party and invited her to live with us while she attended school. When they were losing their 9780553447439home through financial ignorance (they thought they could pay ahead and then stop paying for a while), I offered to sell them a property which I was preparing to rent—to sell it to them on land contract because they had bad credit: no bank accounts, no credit cards. In the back of my mind I carried the idea that everyone should be given the opportunity to own their own home. After all, isn’t that the American dream? What this family lacked in financial stability, they had in friendship. There was nothing they would not do to help me, going out of the way to find a part for one of my appliances, offering to mow my lawn, not asking for anything at all in return. I believed that I could give them the means to improve their lives financially, to learn how to make regular payments, to gain an asset, and ultimately to qualify for a bank loan.

My assumptions were that someone acquiring ownership in a home would improve the home. I also assumed that a friend would make regular monthly payments and would follow through on everything they promised to do. Both of these assumptions proved false. After about 5 months, the payments stopped. I gave them more time—a few months and then confronted them. They told me about a work injury and hung their heads in shame. I gave them even more time and told them that I would not throw them out because of an unforeseen injury. Now, 20 missed payments later and a trashed house, I must do something, but how can I throw out a mother and three minor children? Even though I no longer trust the mother (who is now divorcing the father), what about the children who have not only lost the stability of a two-parent household but now might lose their friends, their teachers, their coaches, and their school? What might an eviction cost them? It sickened me to think of evicting these children whose birthdays I had celebrated, baseball performances I had cheered, and who had cut and colored my hair. Their mother cleaned my vacation rental in the area and their father performed carpentry and other work for me. I had an entanglement that is far more complex than the ordinary landlord/tenant relationship.

The stress of my decision convinced me to read and review the book Evicted. Maybe it would give me a different perspective. Maybe it would help me understand people who seem so irresponsible and uncaring. Maybe it would help me find other options.

The book was not as I expected from a major publisher. Cheap paper and large print do not create a pleasant reading experience. I only hope that the copy I have is not the final version. However as bad as the paper felt, I quickly forgot it when I encountered the real people within the book, landlords trying to make a living and provide for Milwaukee’s poor and tenants who take measures that seem reasonable only to themselves. This is an ethnography, a book relating a culture through the eyes of the people within it.

EVICTED follows the stores of 2 landlords and several tenants in a poor section of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One landlord, a former elementary school teacher buys distressed properties and with her husband fixes them well enough to rent to the poorest of the poor. She and her husband work full time on their properties and bring in about $10,000/month. When a tenant fell behind, she said, “I guess I got to stop feeling sorry for these people because nobody is feeling sorry for me. Last time I checked, the [county treasurer, loan officer, electric company] still wanted their money.” My feelings exactly. Doesn’t my tenant realize that I have bills to pay? The other landlord profiled in EVICTED owned a trailer park and had hired a manager and office helper to rent the trailers, handle repairs, and collect rents. This is not part of my experience and as I read about the drug dealers renting in the trailer park, it was as though I was peering into an alternate reality. I simply could not relate to someone whose only interest was achieving the highest return on his property with no concern for the quality of his tenants or his properties, or what extreme measures were taken to collect rent. Still, it was an education to see the lengths to which he went to get cash in hand from a defaulting tenant. The author rented from him and could not even get this landlord to supply him with hot water. That’s my definition of a slumlord.

All of the tenants were low income, but shared little else in common. Most of them were desperate to provide for their children. Some of the tenants were on drugs; others would not touch drugs, and still others were recreational marijuana users. These were people who could not plan for the future, who simply spent each day trying to survive. Those who made paying rent a priority often had little left to live on, and found themselves scrimping on food, medications, and clothing.

And the landlords? One had the time (and money) for week-long island vacations, but found herself scrimping the last week of the month—a week before the rents would roll in. Some landlords would not rent to people of color, people with children, or people who had even a single eviction on their record. Evicted shows us the landlord using self-help means to collect rent: knocking on doors the day welfare checks arrive, showing up at odd hours with hands out, asking for money, going to court and working out a settlement . . . or not, and then the sheriff and moving company walk in, empty the house of all items down to the ice cube trays, leaving a pile at the curb, or in storage where the tenants’ treasured belongings remain in rented storage space until redeemed, or more likely, until rent goes unpaid and the things are sold or discarded.

Landlords get tired—tired of handling evictions, tired of fixing broken plumbing and appliances. Tired of physically knocking on doors to collect rent. Tired of tenants who make empty promises to pay in full when their income tax refund comes in, or from money borrowed from a tapped out relative, or when they receive their welfare check. These promises are recycled in various forms at various times by various tenants trying to stay in their homes. Landlords hear them at the eviction hearing where the tenants try one last time to convince the landlords to give them more time.

The tenants are tired, too, and overwhelmed. Instead of fixing a constantly clogged kitchen sink, they just ignore it, throwing old clothes on the floor to soak up the overflow. They close the kitchen door and do dishes in the bathroom, until that sink clogs. The heat fails and they turn on stove burners. The toilet fails and they go in a bucket and empty it into the trash. The refrigerator fails and they live on McDonalds. When children’s services comes calling, they purchase cheap half-working appliances just to keep their children. Why do they do this? To avoid any contact with the landlord to whom they owe money. And no, this is not the heart of Appalachia, this is Milwaukee, Wisconsin a major metropolitan area.

In Milwaukee, as in every American city, we see families forced to endure sub-standard housing, living in shelters, searching for the elusive “home.” This book isn’t even about home ownership, but about the ability to have a safe and stable housing situation. Ownership is too far away from many people to be even a glimmer in their minds, but a safe and stable living situation is their desired goal. They scramble to find rent by begging, borrowing, and stealing, selling drugs, and even their own bodies. The author allows us to peer into their world and see “solutions” that are not working and the desperate search for housing.

I had never considered the author’s idea, statistically supported, that neighborhoods have a life of their own which can be fragile. We in the “burbs” enfold ourselves in subdivisions where houses and yards look similar and we have our “standards.” But inner city neighborhoods are formed from people who have a common interest. When people remain in a neighborhood and get to know their neighbors, they can band together for the safety of their homes and children. One man in the book was struggling to raise his two teenage sons in a stable environment. He was a double amputee but was unable to obtain Social Security disability payments. He survived on welfare payments, with next to nothing left over after his rent payment. Despite his circumstances, his place was where the neighborhood teenagers would come to hang out in safety, play cards, and talk about growing up. He was a stabilizing influence on his block. When people are shunted in and out of a neighborhood through eviction (or foreclosure) the neighborhoods become unstable and unsafe. Drug users and sellers move in, gangs are formed, and crimes increase. Stable neighborhoods, where people can move in and out freely and are not evicted or otherwise forced out of their homes, are safer and make the entire community safer. The author believes that decent housing should be a basic right afforded to all people for the common good.

The current system is broken. That’s clear. No one can survive in northern winters and no one should have to survive without a safe place to lay their heads. Landlords cannot give away rental property. They should and must make money from their investments. And tenants are not all the same. Some will treat property well and even improve its value. Others will allow their children to run wild, tattooing hardwood doors and trim with ball point pens, tearing doors from their hinges, smashing holes in the drywall. Discouraged tenants live in squalor and disgruntled landlords give up performing more than make-do repairs and just go after the money.

The solution offered by the author, vouchers or rent subsidies, does not currently work because landlords can and do raise the rent above what is customary in the locale simply because the voucher authority sets high rent caps. In many cases, access to vouchers are limited—many poor cannot get them and the program sets standards for the housing which might exceed a landlord’s improvement budget, especially in older homes. The author’s solution would require universal vouchers for every family below a certain income level, less onerous requirements for landlords to accept the vouchers, and a demand that all landlords accept vouchers. But who will fund this? It’s been successful in England and the Netherlands, but those are small countries. Is some legislator in the United States willing to try? Or could there be a better solution?

Something must be done. I’m almost persuaded to leave the rental market due to the stress of broken relationships and a trashed property that I put so much time, energy, and money into making beautiful and up to code. On the other hand, my erstwhile friend and her three children need a safe place to stay. Maybe the electric companies have the right solution. The poor can pay drastically lower utility bills through a program that gives them an incentive to make regular on-time payments. For each payment (at about 10% of income), the remainder of what they would owe each month is forgiven and they have a percentage of their payment applied to past debt. But how many of the poor keep up the utility payments? The utility company has an out. They can turn off their service. Landlords’ only recourse is to convince a defaulting tenant to move or to evict them. And there is no evidence that the utilities have success with their program. If someone will not pay rent for more than a few months, perhaps they will also stop paying for their utilities. Maybe we landlords can come up with something better for tenants who fall behind. I don’t know what that may be, but private solutions are often better than ones provided by the state. Just look at public housing.

This book was provided to me free for an unbiased review. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Want to read more? For current information on the US rental market: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/americas-rental-housing

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Interview: B.J. Robinson

  
We hope that you enjoy this Interview: B.J. Robinson and we'd like to thank Pamela Cable King for sharing her interview with us. 


Azalea NPI am delighted to have Author B.J. Robinson here on the blog today for an interview, B.J. is the author of several novels including her latest civil war era romance – Azalea Plantation.
1.) When did you decide to become a writer? In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
I wrote a story in the third grade about my pet dog, and it was published in the local newspaper. After that, I wrote poems and played at writing songs. In college, my first essay was published in another local newspaper, and I won first prize in fiction-writing competition. My short story was published in the university’s literary magazine. That influenced me to write more and confirmed for me that I could.
2.) Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from?
Life. Family. Friends. News. Music. Nature. Scripture. Experience. Vacations. Travel. Reading other books. Why do you write what you do? I enjoy writing romantic suspense because it combines romance and mystery. I read every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on as a young girl and loved mysteries. I also enjoy writing historical romance because it combines romance and history, and I love the antebellum era.
3.) Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
I never outline. I like writing by the seat of my pants and seeing where an idea takes me, but I do have a vague plot in my head when I begin. I might write a couple of paragraphs about my characters and setting and their main conflict and go from there. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I am experiencing with using a storyboard though I have not used one before. I’m trying the process on my WIP. Though writers never arrive and are always evolving, I have broadened into research with my historical romance novels, and I use more details. I enjoy books with multiple viewpoints because I find them more interesting and deeper, and those are the ones I like to write. When I look back at my older writing, I can see how far I’ve come.
4.) What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?
I don’t find the creative process of writing hard in itself because I love to write, but there are times just getting started is hard. I don’t mean starting the first chapter, but just sitting down and starting. There are times I can find a million other things I need to do instead of write. I have to make myself get started and once I do, the writing usually flows.
If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?
I couldn’t write a book and leave God out of it. Yes, I’m a Christian. I believe Christians face the greatest challenge of hooking a reader in the beginning because so many won’t give a Christian book a chance unless they’re other Christians. The world is turned off to our books and many will not buy them because they’re a Christian book, so they don’t even give your book or your writing a chance. Readers may not read enough of a novel to give it a fair chance or may shut the book and not read it at all. If you would, please tell us what was the hardest thing about writing your last book? The hardest thing was making the timing work with the plot and that can be the tricky part of writing historical fiction. I can sit and just write a contemporary or a romantic suspense novel and spin one out, but it takes longer to write historical ones. How long does it typically take you to finish your books? It depends on the type of book. If I am writing contemporary or romantic suspense, and I make myself focus and write every single day, I can complete one of about 50,000 words in a month. If I’m writing a historical novel, I have to research and make the timing and plot work so it takes longer, but I can write one in a couple of months taking my time. If I push myself, I can write one in about six weeks, but I don’t usually do that.
5.) Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
One is not being able to submit a manuscript without an agent since my writing has improved. Years ago, you could, but back then my writing wasn’t what it is now, and publishers no longer accept manuscripts without an agent. Two, getting an agent can be as hard as finding a publisher. I no longer worry about that since Amazon opened the doors, and I self publish. I did have four novels published by a small publisher before I went into self-publishing, and I learned so much from that experience and from editing them again after an editor had sent back my changes. I also learned from being in a critique group. Three, marketing and advertising are the hardest parts, and I could write more if I didn’t have to spend so much time on those areas, but when you self-publish, you have to do it all. Even authors published with publishers have to.
6.) On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
I love being able to just cast out all worries, sit down, and let the words flow as they may, using a spiral notebook and blue medium-point pen. That’s when I am really creative. I don’t seem to be as creative sitting in front of the computer and keying in words. So, I might take to the notebook a bit in the middle of a novel to spice it up. That is when I really have fun writing, when I can just sit down and write.
7.) What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
Pamela King Cable, you’re one of my favorite authors because of your southern writing. I loved Southern Fried Women. Televenge was awesome, and I can’t wait for The Sanctum. Readers are in for a real treat with it. I love the way you take a person back and make them feel like they’re in that time and place, and I love southern writing. Chris Fabry’s writing attracted me with his novel Dogwood. I’ve enjoyed Eva Marie Everson’s work because she also writes southern fiction. Naomi Musch writes books using nature, and she’s a wonderful writer. Stephenia H. McGee writes historical romances I’ve enjoyed. There are really too many to name them all, and I have an iPad full of great books I haven’t even had the time to get to. I keep buying them because I’m a reader as well as a writer, and I usually take some time off between books and read. I am reading The Sanctum as soon as I can get it on my iPad. I’ve read Rita Geralch’s After the Rain, and really enjoyed it. I’ve read Sid Frost’s series about a mobile library and loved them. One of the most recent ones I’ve read and really enjoyed because of the writing style was The Badge and the Bible by Terry Burns. I’ve been busy writing my own series and have been reading Christian nonfiction lately and reading research. I am not in the middle of a novel at this time, but I am waiting for Stephenia H. McGee’s new historical and The Sanctum to come out so I can read them.
8.) If you would like and have the time, write a paragraph or two about anything you wish.
It was just an eight-dollar Bible, but it was so much more valuable, for it led me back to Jesus. I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John with a thirst and couldn’t get enough. Through tears, I felt God’s Comforter, the Holy Ghost, like a hand on my right shoulder, and I knew I’d never be alone again. (Nonfiction)
Lexie stood at the balcony railing with Mary in her arms watching a trail of smoke curl into the cloudless blue sky. Her heart thudded. She wanted to scream, but the sound didn’t come. The explosion shook the ground so hard windows rattled in the southern mansion. (From the beginning of Plantation Restored, Book 3 in the Azalea Plantation Series, which will release early summer or sooner.)

About B.J.:

B. J. Robinson loves reading and penning Civil War era historical romance as well as various other genres to provide choice for readers. She’s an Amazon best-selling author and has written over twenty books. Blessed with five children, thirteen grandchildren, and pets, her three dogs and one cat are part of the family. Visit her on Amazon, her Facebook for Historical Romance, her Facebook for Inspirational and Romantic Suspense, Twitter and her Blog