My Books

WORTH HER WEIGHT, my first women's fiction, available for pre-order NOW with a 10% discount at http://www.pen-l.com/WorthHerWeight.html
"How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God's healing and love in her life when she believes she's fat, unworthy, and unfixable?"
Coming soon: A GHOST FOR SHELLEY, Book 2 of my YA ghost series.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Welcome to Author Brandy Herr

On Weird Wednesday today, I welcome Brandy Herr, an author I met recently while visiting Granbury, Texas. This lovely, quaint town southwest of Fort Worth teems with history and ghost legends. (See my previous post on the ghost tour I took in Granbury on another visit).

The town was hosting an arts and crafts festival. My friend and I stopped by Brandy's booth, and I purchased her book. (Authors must support each other) Besides, the book tells of many strange happenings in Brandy's hometown.

I asked Brandy if I could interview her today, and she accepted. First something about Brandy for those who have not made her acquaintance.

Brandy Herr is the co-founder of the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour and the annual Granbury Paranormal Expo.  In February 2014, her book, "Haunted Granbury," was released by The History Press as part of their Haunted America series.  She is a member of Research and Investigation of the Paranormal and has participated in several ghost hunt investigations in the Granbury area.  Born in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, Brandy attended the Pennsylvania State University where she received her Bachelor's degree in public relations.  She currently lives in Granbury with her husband, their rescued dog, and two rescued cats.

Now, to my questions for Brandy:

  1. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghost experience? If so, tell us about it.


  1. I absolutely believe in ghosts.  Growing up, my family always had ghostly experiences occur to them, especially my grandmother.  She would see my granddaddy and other past relatives, she would get feelings about things that would turn out to be true, things like that.  I never started having experiences until I started getting older, which is unusual, since it's often more common for children to be susceptible to spirits.  I guess I just started noticing it more.  


The first real encounter I can think of was a few years back.  I was walking into a pizza restaurant while my mother waited in the car at the curb just a few feet away.  The restaurant was in a deserted strip mall, so no one was around.  The front wall was entirely made up of windows, and as I walked up to the door, I saw in the reflection behind me a woman about my age with her hair pulled back in a messy pony tail.  She was carrying a little girl with pig tails, around two years old, who was passed out asleep on her shoulder.  They were walking right behind me, obviously intending to enter the same restaurant I was.  So I reached the door, opened it, and stepped back to let them through first... only to find not a single person behind me.  I looked all around, but everything was empty.  For good measure, I went back to the car and asked my mother if she had seen the two walking behind me.  She said, "There is no one in this strip mall at all!"  

 
That was my first notable contact with a ghost.  Of course, since then I have had tons of experiences with my work on the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour and with my ghost hunt investigations as a member of the team Research and Investigation of the Paranormal.
 
  • What caused you to write your book, Haunted Granbury?
 
My mother and I started the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour in 2010.  We were working at a restaurant together located on Granbury's historic square.  We had numerous experiences with the ghost there, and people would come in asking to hear our stories.  One time, we were chatting with a couple of ladies, and they asked, "Does Granbury have a ghost tour here?"  That gave us the idea to start researching.  

 
Since we started doing the tour, I had toyed with the idea of making it into a book, but it kept fading to the back of my mind.  Then, I saw an ad from a publishing company saying they were looking for people to write books about local ghost stories.  Excitedly, I sent them an email, sure they were going to accept my idea.  Their response was, "Ehh... we don't think Granbury is a very good market for the book."  I wrote back and explained, "Granbury may be a small town, but it's a great tourist destination!  We are only about an hour from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and we have people coming from all over the country and joining us on our tour!"  The email replied, "Well, you can go ahead and write up a proposal and I will pitch it, but they are probably going to say no."  
 
 
 
So I got a bit discouraged.  Then, not even a month later, I got an email out of the blue from The History Press (a completely different publisher) saying, "Hello!  Would you like to write a book about the ghosts of Granbury?"  I said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I would!"  It turns out that a friend of the scout had joined us on a tour one evening, and she had suggested to her friend that she contact us.  I still had to draw up a formal proposal and get it approved, but luckily they said yes!  I am very happy with The History Press; they turned my book into a beautiful product and have been wonderful to work with, so it was quite the blessing that the first publisher turned me down!
 
 
  • Oh, I think all we authors understand about rejection, and you're right, sometimes it's a gift from God. Is this your first book? 
 
I have a children's book out, but am working on getting the rights back from the publisher, so I am not really pushing that one right now.
 
 
  •  I understand you run a tour for tourists in GranburyTexas. Tell us about it.
 
 
The Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour was started by my mother and me in April of 2010.  It's an hour-long walking tour around Granbury's historic downtown square.  We tell you the ghost stories, legends, and history of the different buildings.  Tours are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 and at 9:15, or we can do private tours as available.  Tickets are $10 per adult and $7 for children 12 and under.  So far we have been featured on FOX 4's "Lone Star Adventures" and on NBC 5.  You can visit http://www.granburytours.com/ for more information.
 
  •  How did you research the history of your area?
 
 
  • When my mother and I got the idea from those ladies at the restaurant to start our tour, we immediately started researching, first by going door to door along the square asking the employees and business owners about their experiences.  We were amazed at what we found!  A common question I get when I promote the tour or the book is, "What buildings on the square are haunted?"  I reply, "Pretty much all of them!"  I then did supplemental research by looking in old newspaper and magazine articles as well as historical books of the area.  That's where I got the historical background, along with some added ghost stories as well!
 
  •  Do you plan on writing another book? If not, what lies ahead for you?
I have other books in the works, though so far not another ghost book.  Once I get the rights back to the one children's book, I hope to get that re-published, and I have several more in the series already written.  I have another children's book series started, and I'm hoping to get that one published soon.  There is another idea bouncing around in my head for a narrative non-fiction book, I just need to buckle down and start researching it.  So I really hope to further my writing career while continuing to build up the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour.  I have also had numerous speaking engagements at various venues and conventions, so I'm hoping to increase my exposure in that manner as well.
 
  • Wow, another children's book writer that has a penchant for ghosts. I love it.
 
  •  What other career interests or hobbies do you enjoy?
As far as hobbies go, reading of course tops the list.  I also love anything nerdy; my husband and I collect old video game consoles and memorabilia, we love going to museums, and really just exploring anything we find unusual.  My other passion is animal rescue, and I am a huge supporter of the local rescues here in Granbury.  That's actually what the new children's book series is about.  For careers, I am quite happy doing what I am already doing.
 
  •  If your life was a song, what would be the song title
 
If you are looking for an existing song, my choice would be "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees.  For one thing, it's my absolute favorite song of all time (and favorite band!).  The title is perfect for me, though, since I come up with my best ideas during daydreams.  That's how I write most of my books, by laying in bed trying to fall asleep, and the words start coming.  Plus, I have always been encouraged to follow my dreams and pursue what I love.  I graduated with a public relations degree from Penn State.  The logical path I should have taken would be to get a job with a PR firm and hold down a steady paycheck with a 401k.  Who would have thought I would wind up running a ghost tour and writing books?  Life takes you on some random twists and turns, and the important thing is to believe in your daydreams to ultimately do what is right for you.
 
  •  Anything else you’d like to share?
 
Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your blog!  I really enjoyed answering your questions.

To find out more information about what I do, check out the following links:

Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour
Twitter: @GranburyGhosts

Haunted Granbury

Granbury Paranormal Expo (an annual event hosted by the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour)

Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (my ghost hunting team)
 
And now, about your book . . .
 
 
 
Established after the Civil War, the small town of Granbury has had time to stock its streets and historic buildings with ghastly tales and haunting stories. Legend has it that the notorious John Wilkes Booth escaped to Granbury after assassinating President Lincoln and that his spirit now haunts the Opera House, living out his dastardly crime day after day. On Houston Street, passersby may encounter the little faceless girl who met her maker after falling from a window watching a traveling circus. In Granbury’s old jailhouse, past inmates haunt their cells and leave messages for unwitting intruders. Author Brandy Herr delves into the devilish history of Granbury’s most haunted locations and delivers a healthy dose of a frightening and mysterious past.

 
Thank you for telling us about your experiences. I know some of you that frequent Writing with God's Hope blog don't believe in ghosts. Any comments?
 
 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Author Interview with Davalyn Spencer

A hearty Texas welcome today to Davalyn Spencer. I'm so excited about the opportunity to get better acquainted. Davalyn is releasing her debut novella, so obviously, I had questions for her.
 
  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve written since I was in the sixth grade. Not that anyone read what I wrote, thank the Lord! Six years later, I fell in love with a cowboy and we rode off into the sunrise together. Sometimes that morning glare has me squinting, but that’s okay.

2.     Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

I once heard a cowboy preacher say about his faith in God, “My ‘knower’ knows.” That pretty much sums up writing for me. My ‘knower’ knows that I’m supposed to write—even if no one else ever reads it. It’s something I have to do, and I love doing it.

3.     What gave you the idea for this book?

The Snowbound Bride started out as a contemporary Christmas story I was writing just for myself—sort of a therapy approach. You know—self-medicating with words. When my agent asked if I had anything that would fit a Barbour historical Christmas collection, I rewrote that story.

4.     How do you feel this book will encourage readers, or did you have
something in mind like this when you wrote it?

Things don’t work out as my heroine plans. (Now there’s a surprise.) But seriously, do plans ever work out the way we want? In The Snowbound Bride, circumstances land Era Taube in a situation that turns out to be much better than anything she could have come up with. God even uses her blunder and turns it into something good. I’m hoping the story will remind readers that the Lord does the same thing for us.

5.     How did you find your publisher?

My agent, Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency, connects me with my publishers.

6.     What are the pluses & minuses about doing a novella? Would you do it again?

Novellas leave no room for subplots and secondary-character development. However, they clip right along and I enjoy writing them. They are great for spinning off another book, and that’s what happened with The Snowbound Bride. A follow-up is releasing in June, The Columbine Bride, based on a secondary character in Snowbound.

7.       If you were a song, what would it be?

I’d want to be “Shout to the Lord.”

8.  Anything else you’d like to tell us.

Thanks for having me today. I count it an honor to talk about my favorite activity – writing stories that stir people’s hearts with faith and fresh hope.



 
 
Davalynn Spencer writes cowboy romance, a skill she’s honed since marrying a professional rodeo bullfighter and raising another. Her most recent title is “The Snowbound Bride,” one of twelve historical novellas in Barbour’s collection, The 12 Brides of Christmas. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency and makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with her handsome cowboy and their Queensland heeler, Blue. Connect with Davalynn on her website, Facebook page, Goodreads, and Twitter.






 
Tell us about The Snowbound Bride.

On the run from a heartless uncle, Arabella Taube hides in Nate Horne’s farm wagon just as a harsh winter storm sweeps into Colorado. Despite Ara’s mysterious background, Nate’s mother thinks she is the answer to a prayer and the hope for his future.

I love the story line. Sounds like a good book to settle in with on a wintry day.

Thank you so much for visiting the Writing with God's hope blog. I enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading the book. Anyone have any other comments or questions for Davalyn?

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Janet K. Brown: Blog Link Giveaway

Janet K. Brown: Blog Link Giveaway: Worth Her Weight is available now for pre-order at http://www.pen-l.com/WorthHerWeight.html    For all who pre-order, it can be purchased a...

Don't forget the blog link giveaway. 7 chances to win, now through 12/20.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Christmas Book Picks

Here's a few of my recommendations for Christmas presents this year:



For the middle grade kids on your list:














For teenagers 14-18















Do you have a girl who just graduated from high school? Choose a new adult.




Need a good adult fiction? Here's 4 different type books that I've read lately & liked.




For Pre-order only- but may be in time for Christmas




                                                                Need a gift book?

















Need a book for a child







Devotion Book
                                   
 
 
 

I could list a whole bunch more, ones by DiAnn Mills, Margaret Daley, Linda Broday, Killing Lincoln,  a great history book by Bill O'Reilly

Books make great gifts. Check out some of these I have listed, or search out your own.

What's your recommendation?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ghost Stories from Gettysburg

On this Weird Wednesday, how about two more ghost tales from children's author, Deb Hockenberry?
 
  Deb's stories of her mother's old homestead have thrilled and worried us for weeks. Today's tales will be no different. Take it away, Deb.
 
My mother used to live close to Gettysburg, PA. I talked to her every day on the phone, and she’d tell me about her previous night’s experiences. A few times, I experienced sightings myself.
 
Dress with mutton sleeves
 
 
One night, Mom saw two children looking and playing with the things on her bedroom dresser. A black arm (that’s all there was) came into the room and made the kids leave.
The arm, according to Mom, looked like an old fashioned dress sleeve...the mutton sleeves that women used to wear. The girl was dressed in a calico dress and the boy was in short pants.
 
 
 
The first time Mom saw the boy and girl she was woken by a noise and went out into the hall to investigate. She pinched herself to make sure she was awake. Mom saw the kids accompanied by a woman in a long dress. They were looking at all the family pictures hanging in the hallway. When the woman spotted Mom, all three simply vanished into thin air.
 
 
 
 
Oh, my, thank you, Deb, for reminding us today that weird things do happen--things we can't always explain.
 
 Find Deb Hockenberry at
KidzTales http://www.debhockenberry.com
Where Can We Have The Party? - Coming soon from 4RV Publishing 
 
Also coming soon from 4RV Publishing, my YA sequel, A Ghost for Shelley.
 
 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Blog Link Giveaway

Worth Her Weight is available now for pre-order at http://www.pen-l.com/WorthHerWeight.html   For all who pre-order, it can be purchased at a 10% discount before Christmas.

Several wonderful blogs are helping me get out the word this week about the pre-order discount. Here's a list of the blog links and what you'll find there. Scroll to the bottom of this list to find how you might win a copy of the new book.

Friday, Dec. 5  Ada Brownell's blog
On it, you'll find a devotion used in Divine Dining Weight Controllers class to help you with  a  healthy, God-driven lifestyle.
 
 
 
Saturday, Dec. 6 Patti Shene's Patti's Porch blog
I give my personal testimony of how I lost 95 lbs. For a comment on this blog, you might win a free copy of your choice of  Divine Dining or Worth Her Weight.



Wednesday, Dec. 10 Beverly Stowe McClure's blog
http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com/
Here you'll find an excerpt from the book, Worth Her Weight


Thursday, Dec. 11, Ane Mulligan's blog
http://www.anemulligan.com/
Here you'll read chapter one of Worth Her Weight.


Friday, Dec. 12 Melanie Robertson-King's blog
http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/
The main character of Worth Her Weight has to learn a whole new way of eating. She shares a dessert recipe with you.

Monday, Dec. 15 Cherie Brubach
http://workingwritersandbloggers.com/2014/12/15/interview-janet-k-brown/

Friday, Dec. 19 Lillian Duncan
http://lillian-duncan.com/2014/12/19/my-friday-friend-janet-k-brown/
Main character shares a New Years recipe.


HERE'S THE CHANCE TO WIN!!!
 
 
 
Anyone that leaves a comment below and tells me which of the above blogs that you read and tell me something about it will go in a drawing to win a copy of Worth Her Weight as soon as it releases.


Log in again tomorrow in case I add new blogs. Also you can comment and enter to win up to 7 times if you tell me something about another of the blogs above that you read.

Don't miss this chance. Be the first to get a new release.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elizabeth Maddrey Gives us Her Writing Tip of the Day

Have you ever dreamed of being a writer? Many try, but few survive. Dreams vanish because of trying to follow so many directions that often the writer finds it overwhelming and stops trying.

Elizabeth Maddrey, author and Virginia area coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers (#ACFW), visits the Writing with God's Hope blog today with a writing tip and news of her new release.


Writing Tip: Finding What Works For You

 

So many people dream of being a writer, it’s probable that you’ve run into a handful of them over the course of your life. And for those of us who decide to take that dream a bit farther and see if we can’t transform it into a reality, chances are the first thing we do is buy (or check out from the library) a stack of writing books that tell us how to be a writer. Delving into those books, you’re likely to be inundated with six different “right” and “only” ways to be a writer. And, if you’re like me, you’ll dutifully try them, one after the next. And none of them will fit very well.

 

And that’s the point where you will hopefully realize that, as with the majority of life (with the notable exception of hats) there’s no one-size-fits-all in writing. The mechanisms and methodologies that work for one person may not work for you. And that’s okay.

 

Maybe for you that’s not news. If that’s the case, you’re way ahead of me. It took me years (seriously – years!) to realize that I didn’t have to follow any particular prescription for writing. It wasn’t like a course of antibiotics that needed to be finished if it was going to work properly. It was okay to try something and switch to something else when I realized that whatever I was doing didn’t work for me. That realization, when I finally had it, was amazingly freeing. And that’s why I’m taking the time to share it here.

 

There are a lot of great things that can come from a long, detailed outline complete with timeline and twenty-page character outlines. You’ll know everything about your plot and your characters backward and forward and diagonally. But, if you’re me, by the time you’ve assembled a two-inch binder of paper planning a novel, you’ll be so sick of that plot and those people that you won’t be able to abide the thought of spending any more time with them.

 

For me, what works is to just sit down and write. But that doesn’t work for everyone, either. Some people can sit and stare at a blank Word document for hours on end and never come up with a word to type. They need that structure, the outline, the character profiles, the Pinterest page full of actor and model photos and outfits etc.

 

And then there are the people who split the difference. They do a little plotting and then write. Or they write a little then take a break and do some plotting. Or they have a wall full of post-it notes that have ideas written on them…the possibilities are endless.

 

So that’s my best piece of writing advice: find what works for you. Read the books. Try the various methods. Keep the parts that resonate and throw out the pieces that make you cringe. And then keep working and refining your process until you’re able to sit down and enjoy letting the words come through your fingers onto the page into the book that you’ve always wanted to write. And be aware (and excited about the idea!) that your process may change with time. Mine has – because I keep reading the books and trying new methods and refining my workflow. Being a writer is a fluid thing. And that’s one of the things I love about it.

 
Thank you, Elizabeth. That's wise advice.
 

Now, tell us about your new release Love Defined.
 

 
Dreams Change. Plans Fail.

 

July and Gareth have reached the end of their infertility treatment options.  With conflicting feelings on adoption, they struggle to discover common ground in their marriage.

 

Meanwhile, July's twin sister, June, and her husband, Toby, are navigating the uncertainties of adoption and the challenges of new parenthood.

 

How much stretching can their relationships endure before they snap?
 

Sounds very interesting and the cover is beautiful. Since your book released this week, give us the link where we can purchase it.
 
 
 
 
 
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey
Here's three other ways to find Elizabeth online. 
Twitter: @elizabethmaddre
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethMaddrey/posts
 
 Thank you for visiting Writing with God's Hope blog today. Good luck with the new book. I see you also have two other books available,
Faith Departed  and Hope Deferred. Those viewing this post might want to check those books out as well.
 
Is there any would-be writers out there struggling with following everyone's advice?