Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fanastic Fall Reading - Meet Alicia!

I hope you guys are enjoying this as much as I am!!

Side note: I will draw all of the winners on Monday for the entire week. :)

Today's guest is my friend Alicia Willis - she's super sweet and been a faithful reader of Scribble Chicks, the blog I help write on for writers, for many years! We got to meet a little while ago and it was just so fun! We were all so excited when she got her first book published and now she's just released book number five!

Her official bio: Alicia A. Willis is a homeschool graduate and avid historian. From an early age, she has had the desire to write family-friendly, accurate books about the past. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys singing, being a church pianist, and teaching music. She and her family live in New Mexico.


And I'll let her take over from here!!



Erynn: Tell us a little about how you got started writing.

Alicia: I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had a pen in my hand! I think I’ve been writing ever since I learned how to scribble my name. However, it was when I was about twelve that I first knew that I wanted to become a published author. Eight years, countless rewrites, and many prayers later, my first title, To Birmingham Castle, was published.


You just had a new book release! What is it about?


Yes! From the Dark to the Dawn: A Tale of Ancient Rome is set in 61 A.D., opening with the Roman victory at Watling Street in ancient Britain. It’s a 120,000 word book, so a short synopsis isn’t easy! But here is my go at it:

    In the dark turbulence of ancient Rome, a rebellious Iceni captive meets his match in his Roman master. When Christianity enters the picture, the clash of race and rank is intensified as Philip seeks to win his master Marcus to the Lord and survive the terrors of persecution under Nero. A tale of faith, persecution, redemption, and romance.
 
You can find the whole synopsis on Goodreads or online retailers.


What is your favorite type of character to write about?

For a little background, I write Christian Historical-Fiction and my protagonists are almost always male. I really focus on relationship characters, whether it’s knights and squires, a wheelwright and apprentice, or a master and slave. So I would have to say that my favorite characters are the protagonists who develop a friendship inside of a mentoring or business relationship.



Favorite writing space? Favorite writing snack?

I love to write on my bed, propped up against the pillows and my teacup schnauzer, Licorice, at my side. Oooooh, and I love coffee as a writing companion too. (Well, technically, coffee is an any-time-of-the-day companion!) A favorite snack would have to be cinnamon-sugar-toast and Nutella with apples! (Of course those are healthy!)


If money was no object, where would you go for a vacation? Who would you bring? 

My dream is to tour Europe, beginning in London and ending in Rome. :) I would bring a fellow history buff or anyone who would put up with me gazing for three hours at the Mona Lisa, snapping a million photos of an old castle, and running my fingers along the dusty Grecian
ruins.


Thanks so much, Alicia!! 

Alicia has been so kind to giveaway an ebook of her newest release, From the Dark to the Dawn: A Tale of Ancient Rome!! (And out of USA friends, she is also willing to do an ebook!!) To enter, follow the directions on our handy Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay for fun weeks!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fantastic Fall Reading - Meet CJ!

Today I've got a friend who I'm excited for you all to meet - CJ Darlington! She's a fantastic writer, a horse lover and won the Christian Writer's Guild contest a few years back for a new author. She's that good.

Her official bio: C. J. got her big break in publishing when her first novel Thicker than Blood won the Christian Writers Guild 2008 Operation First Novel contest. She hasn't slowed down since and wrote and published her second and third contemporary novels Bound by Guilt and Ties that Bind. Her newest novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/dystopian/space adventure. In 2013 C. J. went indie and started her own publishing company, Mountainview Books, LLC, with her mom and sister. The goal of the press is to publish fresh fiction to inspire your faith. A homeschool graduate, C.J makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and a paint horse named Sky.

And onto the interview!! 

Erynn: Tell us a little about how you got started writing. 

CJ: I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was a little kid. I would sit at my dad’s old word processor and type out stories about my pets and animals. When I was twelve I started thinking about what it would be like to publish something I wrote. Had no idea how to do it, but the dream was sparked! When I was fifteen I began the story which fifteen years later would become my first published novel, Thicker than Blood. It was the love of story that first got me going, and it’s what always draws me back too.


You just had a new book release! What is it about?

Jupiter Winds is the story of Grey Alexander, a teenage girl, who in 2160 becomes the bait to catch her missing revolutionary parents she thinks are dead. But it’s much more than that too. This is a story about family. I’ve read a bunch of science fiction/dystopian style novels lately that often feature a strong heroine, but usually she’s completely alone and there’s always a romance subplot. I wanted to write something a little different. Grey is definitely strong and starts out alone, but she doesn’t stay that way. And she ends up on the planet Jupiter. LOL – yes, I know that scientifically there’s not suppose to be life there, but what if everything we knew about the planet was wrong?


What is your favorite type of character to write about? 

Flawed people. I love taking a character who’s had a tough past or faced terrible obstacles and showing their journey to redemption. In Jupiter Winds the spiritual journey is subtle, but it’s there. And there’s hope. That’s something else I love writing about—showing that no matter how far we go or travel (even to another planet!) God is still there waiting for us.


Favorite writing space? Favorite writing snack? 

I actually don’t really have a favorite writing space. I wrote much of Jupiter Winds at my dining room table or in my bedroom. Someday I would love to have an office of sorts (or a library!) where I could be surrounded by my books, but until that day I write wherever I can. I love snacking on Chili and Lime chips, but it has been so long since I’ve had them since they stopped making them in the brand I liked. A good, strong cup of tea is a must. Or a cappuccino! My sister is in love with her Keurig coffee maker, and I will pop one of those little cups in there sometimes too. I just had a caramel vanilla cup of coffee with some half and half.


If money were no object, where would you go for a vacation? Who would you bring? 

I’d love to see Alaska! I’m a sucker for beautiful mountains. Or I’d go back to my favorite state—Colorado. I’d bring my family, of course. If I could bring all of my dogs with me too, that would be awesome.

Thank you SO much CJ!!


CJ is giving away a copy of Jupiter Winds!! And - FUN news for my out of country friends - she is giving away an ebook (if you are in the USA, you can pick ebook or paperback). :) To enter this giveaway, follow the directions in our spiffy Rafflecopter below. ;) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Love this week!!


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Monday, August 18, 2014

Fantastic Fall Reading - Meet Bekah!

Hi friends!!

This is going to be SUCH a fun week!! I have four amazing authors that I know you'll love who all were so kind to come on here and talk about their books! And stayed tuned all week - I've got a very fun announcement on Friday!!

First up, it's my friend Bekah Hamrick Martin. She's hilarious and one of my absolute favorite people. She has about the cutest little girl in the world and a gigantic heart for girls. Her book, The Bare Naked Truth About Waiting, is a definite must read for high school girls.

Her official bio: Bekah Hamrick Martin was born in Savannah, Georgia, in an event which her brother keeps reminding her was completely unnecessary. She spent the better part of her high school years vacationing on the north end of her mattress due to an illness, where she developed a deep taste for chocolate and sarcasm. Today Bekah shares with teens about tough times, healing, and surviving their high school years—no matter where they spend them.


SO... I'll let her fill you in on the rest!


Erynn: How did you get started writing?

Bekah: I was 17 when I started writing death poetry. A few years later I turned it around to writing newspaper humor columns (talk about emotional whiplash).


Ha! Tell me what your heart or inspiration was behind The Bare Naked Truth:
As a writer, I get to tour and hang out with a lot of awesome teen girls. What I love about this is how these new friends open up to me and share what's going on inside their hearts. I was getting a lot of dating questions, and "When's the right time?" questions. Not being an expert on the topic, I decided to talk with over twenty different authors (Susie Shellenberger, Annie Downs, and even the infamous Erynn Mangum!) who each had their own experiences and advice. What developed was a humorous book with some serious takeaway from these ladies.


I love how creative the book is! Okay. Favorite writing space? Favorite snack?

Well hello. Beachfront. But the reality is I usually have to imagine that part. I pretty much sit in our boring beige apartment and pray the baby doesn't wake before I hit my word count.

Snacks... CHOCOLATE (peanut M & M's preferred). And lots of caffeine. This writer drinks a minimum of two cups a day.


This is why we are friends. Amen to everything you just said. So, if money were no object, where would you go for vacation? Who would you bring?

Seems simple, but definitely Cancun. I would bring my hot Swedish man, and no babies. Because when it comes to enjoying a vacation or working the whole time... I'M the baby in that equation.

Thanks, Erynn, for inviting me over!

Thank you so much for coming, Bekah!!


Bekah has super kindly offered to give away a copy of her book, The Bare Naked Truth! I KNOW you guys will love it (and super fun tidbit - part of mine and Jon's story is in her book!!). To enter, all you have to do is follow the directions on the lovely Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay for a fun week!!

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Parker is Five Months Old!

I just can't. It's not even possible.


And yet. Here's my boy. In all his five month glory.


We had a little mini photo session yesterday to commemorate this month. Big brother helped get the smiles, though, honestly, it's not hard at all to get smiles out of this kid.


Parker is SO. MUCH. FUN. He is silly, loud, obnoxious and goofy. He loves attention, loves to laugh, loves to wiggle and hates to feel like he's not right in the middle of what is going on.


Everything that he can get his hands on goes straight to his mouth. Everything. And this month, he started wiggling around the floor. He hasn't quite mastered rolling back to front yet, but he can sit for a few seconds on his own and roll from his tummy to his back easily. His preferred way to go through life is being held and heaven forbid you leave him on the floor in a room by himself for more than .037 seconds unless he's asleep in his crib. ;)


He loves to dance. LOVES it. He loves being outside, loves chewing on stuff, loves his blanket and loves his family. He laughs and kicks and grins and yells at the top of his lungs all. day. long. And spits up. The boy is a master spitter-upper. Which means we are fond of him taking a bath every day. ;)

He's still exclusively nursing, he's still being swaddled at night and naps (despite a day or two of trying to go swaddle-less) and he's back to waking up at least once at night to eat - mostly I think because he has become so distracted during the day that the nighttime is the only time he actually focuses on eating (probably because big brother isn't there to make all kinds of noise).


He's just the funniest, sweetest, loudest, cutest little five month old and we are just absolutely in love with him!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

And we're back

Yesterday was the first day we were home all day in I don't even remember when, so we lived it up. We stayed in our jammies the entire day (I can't remember the last time I did that either. I took a shower at 8 last night and just put a clean pair of jammies on), we played board games, we made up stories about penguins who hated the cold weather and we baked chocolate chip zucchini bread.

Paradise.

And I sent a good chunk of the day working on something EXTRA special that I cannot wait to tell you guys about very soon!! Mark your calendars for this next week, friends, because I've got a lineup of some fabulous books written by some fantastic ladies that you won't want to miss this fall and a special announcement next Friday!! :)

In the meantime, here's what we've been up to:


We went to California to visit Jon's family and had SO SO SO much fun. We miss our family so much!! About 80% of these pictures were taken from my beautiful sister-in-law, Vicky. :) Thanks Vick!!


Parker went on his first plane ride! Other than his baby pterodactyl yelling for about twenty minutes - not mad, just loud - he did great. ;)


We are here and we are excited!!


Parker met his other great-grandparents for the first time!! I SO wish I'd gotten a picture of the four great grandchildren and the four great grandparents but I was so busy I didn't even think about it. Next time. :)


In-N-Out with the cousins. LOVE.


We were spoiled completely rotten there and were treated to IKEA, Cheesecake Factory, this amazing ice cream shop, In-N-Out, an amazing barbecue my father-in-law made... holy cow. So sweet of them!!


Snuggles with Nonnie. :) 


We adore Allen and Vicky!!

 Grins with Uncle Tommy. :)


Us at Cheesecake.


Vicky is a professional photographer and captured these AMAZING shots... LOVE. These are getting framed in my house!!


We were boarding the flight to come home and Nathan walked up the stewardess and asked if he could look at the pilots and next thing I know, this happened. ;) Ha! They were letting him click buttons and push levers and alarms were sounding and it was just nice and terrifying. He sat down in his seat and declared he was going to be a pilot when he grew up.


Tired boys on the way home. We played our hearts out in Cali!


I walked in and found him like this after a nap - he's getting so big I can't even stand it.

We came home and Jon went right back to work at his school and we went right back to craziness. We are doing a little preschool at home this year with Nathan and he is LOVING it.


So fun!! I love seeing how excited he gets over this. :) We've been reading a lot and working on letters and numbers and drawing pictures. He told me he might be an artist instead because he loved coloring so much. Or a storyteller because he loved telling stories.


"Actually, I'm going to be an animal doctor, Mom."


Someone is on the move lately. I found him like this in his crib after a nap and then we had a progression across the living room where no one touched him and he just kept scooting around. SO not ready for this! Ha! I have no idea how to babyproof with a four-year-old in the house!!


We took the boys to their first real movie in the theaters this last weekend. Nathan had gone with me to see Rio in the dollar theater a long time ago, but this was his first time at the big theater. We saw Planes 2 and he LOVED it. Then he decided he was maybe going to be a firefighter instead. ;) And Parker did great - he watched about half the movie and then slept and ate through the other half.


I heart these boys.


Just a typical afternoon when Dad gets off work. ;) Thanks Gammy and Pops for the super realistic Spider-Man outfit. ;)


Park time with the beautiful Beechem girls! The O'Brien boys are fans.


Yesterday's fun. Anytime I sit down it's a free for all on my lap. Ha! Love Parker's concentration as they "cooked" the zucchini bread. "Actually, Mom, I might be a chef."


We were waiting in the car for Dad and I let them come up front with me which is a HUGE deal, apparently. ;) While we were there, we saw some people in scrubs and Nathan decided that he might actually be a "people doctor" instead.

Love these days.

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