Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thank You!

Thank you so much for participating in the Book-lover's Christmas Giveaway! You have been an awesome group of readers and writers, and I can say for both Courtney Phillips and myself, you've made our Christmas a very happy one by supporting our writing and our blogs.

Here are all the winners of all the prizes:

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Also, here's the winner of Susan J. Reinhardt's books, which she gave away on the Sweet South Blog earlier this week!
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Coming up next: I've got a great line-up for 2015: Christian historical romance author interviews, character interviews, historical facts, writer how-to articles and lots of surprises and giveaways, so tune in!

I wish I was more organized and scheduled every post for a certain day of the week, but alas, I haven't. If you'd like to have my posts sent to your inbox so you won't have to worry about checking for new posts, you can subscribe by putting your email in the field to the right that says "FOLLOW BY EMAIL." Thanks again!

God bless you in the coming year!

P.S. Here's a pic of my new 'writing gear'--a "Do Not Disturb" sign. (Don't laugh, it works! LOL) My brother did bust out laughing when he saw it, though. My face below looks like a socially challenged chipmunk, but it's supposed to communicate the idea, "A writer's gotta do what a writer gotta do." :D

Okay, so that's not really my new writing gear. My new writing gear is the new Acer Aspire E 15 laptop I'm using to write this post. My wonderful, wouldn't-trade-them-for-the-world, bestest-ever family surprised me with this new laptop for Christmas! But my favorite present was just spending time with them. :) I'm unable to fully comprehend all of God's blessings this Christmas season, including all of His wonderful gifts to me. But I'm so very thankful!

What's your favorite Christmas memory from this year? Not done celebrating? What fun plans do you have to stretch out the Christmas holiday celebrations?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Poem

star, at night, dark, stars, blue

A Christmas Poem
by Natalie Monk

Waiting, praying, pain and hating.
Soldiers, blood and fear.
A burst of light. No sleep tonight.
A baby's cry. A virgin's tear.
A lamb bleats in a shepherd's ear.

In warm, sharp hay, Deity lay,
Sweet promises fulfilling.
Cool desert breeze. A tiny sneeze.
Dust stirred by an angel's wing.
Carpenter laughs while mama sings.

Heralds praising, no more waiting.
"Jesus, he is called."
A King, a Prince, Deliverance.
Dark cross ahead, but joy gives pause.
This spotless Lamb atones for all.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book-lover's Christmas Giveaway Part 4--THE END!

For info on previous winners and other giveaways, see bottom of post.

This is it! Time has zoomed by, and this is the last week of our Book-lover's Christmas Giveaway! Man, we have had so much fun, haven't we? (If you're joining us for the first time, jump right in!)

This week, we're giving away a $25 Amazon e-card, and TWO 5-page writing critiques, one from Courtney and one from Yours Truly.

Concerning the critiques: We will not critique anything outside of the inspirational/Christian genre. I typically enjoy romantic suspense, and historical romance. Because I don't read much sci-fi (etc.), I probably wouldn't be the best one to critique that type of work. The critiques will be done in as constructive a manner as possible. We've learned so much from other writers that we'd like to share what we can with you. :)

The Booklover's Christmas Giveaway has been such a blessing to us and we hope to you as well! We can't say how grateful we are for your participation and support! We hope you are blessed abundantly this Christmas season!

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Natalie's Email Newsletter

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Courtney's E-mail Newsletter

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The random WINNER of Carrie Fancett Pagels' The Fruitcake Challenge from the review post earlier this week is Connie Almony! Congrats! Carrie or I will be in touch with you soon!

Random WINNERS in this giveaway:
Winner of  The Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection and The Hope for the Holidays Contemporary Collection (e-book)  is amyc!
Winner of the Smittien Series (paperbacks) is... (Check Rafflecopter below)

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Our question this week is this: What was your favorite childhood Christmas gift?
My favorite was probably a huge, 3 & 1/2' stuffed bear named Java...whom I later called Mr. Darcy. That was a special bear. I took him to youth camp as a teen and later made senior pictures with that loveable critter...Yes-way. And no, don't think I'm going to share that one on here, LOL.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Susan J. Reinhardt Interview & 3 Book Giveaway

Hi, Susan!!! It's such a pleasure to have you on the Sweet South Blog! 

1. Give us a couple of sentences describing what you write.

My writing takes issues and wraps them into a story. People may not relate to a theory or bare facts, but characters going through situations resonate with them.

2. How would you label the overall mood of your stories?

The Moses Conspiracy and The Scent of Fear could be classified as sobering, passionate, and yet there's always an element of hope. Through all their situations, my characters discover the faithfulness of God.

One reader described The Christmas Wish as, "heartwarming." Yet it also has strong tension/suspense.

3.  What is the theme of your story, and how did you come to it?

The major theme of my story is, "we're heading in a direction that could lead to this scenario."

I'm a Seat-of-the-Pants writer and don't plot my novels. The Moses Conspiracy was inspired by a trip my late husband and I took to Gettysburg at Christmas 2004. Standing in the town square, surrounded by old buildings and whizzing traffic, I "heard" the voices of the forefathers as fading echoes.

Eventually, that experience gave rise to various questions. Have we lost sight of our roots as a nation? What would America be like if we didn't have the freedoms we've taken for granted? What would that look like in the lives of ordinary people?

4.  A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

I just sent off the third book of The Moses Trilogy entitled, "Out of the Mist," to my publisher. My next book will be much different and based in the present.

5.  Describe your writing space.

I have a home office with the usual computer equipment, printer, and a large L-shaped desk. (This girl needs lots of space for all the projects she's handling.) Shelf space surrounds me with my favorite things: books.

While many folks have neat spaces, mine always seems to be a wreck. I'm fine until the I Love Lucy candy factory belt moves too fast. Then, I can't keep up with the accumulation of papers, notes, and research materials.

6.  Do you work another job besides writing? Is there a secret/technique you've found that helps balancing the writing and working life?

Yes, I work as a full-time Administrative Assistant. Keeping up with everything presents a constant challenge. Lists help, but it's prayer that preserves my sanity. Everyone's life has different variables that must be taken into account. Flexibility and being able to turn on a dime are essential tools.

At the moment, I'm working on this interview while someone is in the basement servicing my furnace. This morning, my Mom had a doctor appointment, and I got some reading done for a book review. I squeeze as much into my day as I can, while remembering to re-group and breathe.

7.  Do you blog?

Yes, I've been blogging almost seven years at Christian Writer/Reader Connection. There I share my writing journey, tips for writers, bits and pieces for readers, and valuable links I've discovered in my Internet travels. The address is:

8.  When you read to you prefer a paperback, e-book, or audio?

Print is my first choice, but I love the portability of my Kindle. It's hard to lug four or five books when traveling any distance. I haven't listened to any audio books, so I don't have an opinion on them.

photo credit: MissMessie via photopin cc
9.  Hot chocolate or cider?

Hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream! It's a rare treat since I'm lactose intolerant and pay for the indulgence afterward.

10.  Real or artificial tree?

We've had artificial trees since I was a kid because my mother would get asthma attacks from real ones. They're also less messy, and they can stay up much longer than a real tree.

11. What can readers do to spread the word about this book?

Facebook Author Page:
Twitter:  @susanjreinhardt
You can also find her on Goodreads, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobobooks reviews are also helpful.

Author Bio:  Susan J. Reinhardt's publication credits include numerous devotionals, short articles, and stories in anthologies. She switched gears to fiction in 2005 and is now represented by Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency and contracted with a small royalty press in Pennsylvania. Her novels include The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and The Christmas Wish. The fourth book in The Moses Trilogy will be released soon.

A Christian, widow, stepmom, daughter, and friend, she enjoys gardening, couponing, reading, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.


About The Scent of Fear:
 The Zimmermans enjoy the tenuous peace in the wake of their hair-raising year battling the New Patriots. Unexpected visitors once again throw them into turmoil.

Jim Kenneman, Director of National Security, masterminded the plan to break up a hate group ravaging the Christian community. Now, his enemies are out to eliminate him. Should he make a run for it or stick by his tried-and-true negotiating skills?

Monty Addison, a topnotch operative, carried out his assignment in Bird-in-Hand. A plot to destroy his boss sends him on a mission. Without agency sanction, it may cost him everything - his career, his family, and maybe his life.

Dr. Abby Weaver strives to save infants and toddlers in Holmes County, Ohio. When she meets two strangers, she can't get the tall, handsome one out of her mind. Will their paths intersect again or will dangerous times keep them apart?

Susan is giving away not one, not two, but all THREE of her books as e-copies!
Note: Book reviews encourage authors and readers. If you win, please consider posting a short review on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble.

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