Showing posts with label #free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #free. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blog Hopping

Many sweet author friends have welcomed me to their blogs while I'm promoting my new women's fiction release, Worth Forgiving. (See below for what the book is about). Here's the lists and links from August 24 through Sept. 8

August 24: I'm the guest of Beverly Stowe McClure who interviewed Katie, the main character of Worth Forgiving  How interesting that she's compared to Scarlet O'Hara. What do you think?

August 28 Peggy Chambers blog -I listed the things I'm grateful for about a writing career. See if your list compares to mine.

August 29 Gail Kittleson - Gail interviews Author, Janet K. Brown

August 30 Blanche Day Manos - How did Worth Forgiving come to be?

Sept. 1 Julie Arduini - Hope comes from surrendering my food addiction to God. The Wharton Rock series focuses on God's power over addictions.

Sept. 2 - This is my regular monthly date to write a devotion on Putting on the New, a blogging ministry of several authors. It was begun by author, Cherie Brubach.

Sept. 3 - I post every Saturday on a Facebook devotion group called I Can Hear the Sound of Rain. I encourage you to join the group. The pictures and posts are fantastic, so uplifting.

Sept. 7 - Jodie Wolfe  This author had some interesting questions for Janet K. Brown.!blog/cqs9

Sept. 5, Labor Day!  Lena Nelson Dooley - Lena is known for her in-depth author interviews. This is no exception.

Check out all of these posts. Some feature giveaways. All offer some interesting tid-bits.

Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning.


The state of Texas releases from prison Katie Smith. Full of optimism, she sets out to get a job, rent her own place, and make a home for her eight-year-old daughter, but Katie gave away her daughter three years ago. She could use a friend, but her past choices threaten to doom her to continued failure.


Larry Pullman graduated from seminary with high marks, but the fact that he has no wife makes finding a preaching job almost impossible. It doesn’t help that running from God as a teenager gave him a past that he can’t undo. All he needs is an ex-con, drug addict messing up his life, but then why did God lead him to her? Or did He?


Isn’t it enough that Lacey Chandler gave her sister’s daughter a home? Does that mean she has to clean up Katie’s messes forever?


Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?

This is the last day to preorder Worth Forgiving at

If you preorder, you're entered into a drawing. 1 lucky person will receive their copy signed and free. Don't miss out on entering the drawing by ordering before midnight tonight.

Tomorrow (Sept. 1) you can order from that link or through Amazon, Nook, or any retail store that sells books.

Which is your favorite blog post of the ones listed above?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Devotion and a Birthday Giveaway

Monday, July 18, is my birthday, but I plan to give the gift, a $10 Amazon gift card. Scroll to the bottom to see how to win.

First, to celebrate my birthday week, here is today's devotion from my best-selling devotion book; Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

July 16


197. Watch the Stripes


“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8


     In my haste to be all things to all people, my life often veers too far to one side or the other. Highway departments paint a center stripe on narrow roads and several stripes on freeways. Without these, one car would swerve into another. Center stripes stop head-on collisions. The darker the night, the more we need stripes with reflective paint or pegs. Have you ever thought about who decided to paint stripes on highways? When did that become necessary?


     In the early 1900s, our roads consisted mostly of dirt or sand. Traffic meant horses or carriages. Interestingly enough, bicyclers first brought attention to the need for better roads in 1897. With the invention of the Model T, the US government realized a need for standardization of the road system. A simple idea like stripes on the highways eliminates collisions and gives guidance on your travels.


     God’s word and instruction in prayer is a Christian’s stripe on their pathway of life. We tend to get too far in one direction, compensate, and then go too far in the other. Twelve-step programs use the mantra, “First Things First” to remind us to take care of our recovery first, then all things will fall in place. God tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God.”


     Focus on God (the stripe). He will tell you when your compass is off base. Then, you can adjust and stay on the right road. Your spiritual recovery must always be your first focus.


Prayer: Help me keep first things first today.
I hope that devotion ministers to you today.

Now, for my chance to give one of you a birthday gift for MY birthday. God said it was more blessed to give than receive.

Leave me a happy birthday message along with your e-mail address. On the morning of July 25, I will draw from the names of all that left a comment before midnight July 24. If you left me an e-mail, I will send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Of course, I would love for you to use it for one of my books. (Just a hint) preorders on my new women's fiction due to release Sept 1 will be available the middle of August) Nevertheless, the gift certificate will be yours to use as you wish, with my thanks for the birthday wishes.

Click on post a comment. Log in with your Google account or even anonymous. When you write your comment, don't forget to leave your e-mail unless you know that I already have it.

God bless you today and thanks ahead of time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Be True To Yourself

      During spring break, we enjoyed time with our two grandsons. The oldest is a senior in high school and plans on beginning college in the fall. We pray for the many decisions he will need to make in the next few years.

My husband told our grandson. “When you go off to college, be true to yourself.”

Though our grandson is a Christian, he will attend a secular college. His values, even his worth, will be tested. Many of us fight these issues. The devil is the prince of this world.

In the early church, they struggled with feeling some were more important than others. We know this to be true because of what Paul wrote to his mentees.

 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.  How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”                                      1 Corinthians 12:14-21 NLT

Young people must find their part in the kingdom of God. When they launch out into this world for their first attempt to face adulthood, everything will be challenged. Our churches help us on Sunday, but most of us deal with non-Christians on our job, at our school, and in our neighborhoods.

My grandson isn't the only one who might need this reminder. At times, I need to be told, "be true to yourself." Perhaps, you do, also. We shouldn’t try to be something we’re not. God created us special. He planned our lives while we grew in our mother’s wombs.

I recently read a story about being the person God created us to be. I wanted to share it.


Don't forget to sign in to follow my blog before the end of St. Patrick's Day to win a free book!

Traveling together, a horse with a shiny coat and a fancy saddle trotted beside a mule with a heavy load and a matted coat.

“Oh, how I wish I could be as beautiful and graceful as you,” the mule told the horse. “I wish, too, that I was unburdened and carefree.”

A few days later, a great war broke out, and the horse went to battle, while the mule carried supplies. During a skirmish, the horse was wounded and lay dying. The mule plodded to the front carrying guns and medicine. His burden helped save the horse’s life. It was then that the mule realized that in being himself, he fulfilled his purpose and kept them both safe.

I minister to many who deal with low self esteem, often resulting in weight gain. I hope this story reminds you to walk as God directs. Follow your gifts. Be secure in who you are. Give thanks to the Lord, for making you uniquely you.


Today, I appreciate who I am and what I have.

Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Anniversary Giveaway

On the San Antonio River Walk, 2015
On Saint Patrick's Day, my husband, Charles and I celebrate 54 years of marriage, and you get the presents!

Anyone that puts their e-mail address in to follow Writing with God's Hope blog before midnight on March 17 wins a free pdf or kindle version of any one of my books.

Which book in the list of MY BOOKS do you wish to receive?
Just below the pages on the left, see the slot where you may leave your e-mail and hit submit to follow the blog.

 Then e-mail me at or leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or leave a comment on my Facebook page at to let me know which book you wish to receive and to what e-mail you want it delivered.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Introduction to Our Australian Anthology & A Giveaway

Three of my short stories appear in the recently-released Australian anthology, Let the Sea Roar. How exciting!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to receive this book for free.

The internet is a wonderful invention. Because of one woman in Australia reading my devotion book, Divine Dining, I "met" other Australian authors that were working on an anthology of short stories dealing with heartaches faced by women worldwide. They invited me to submit stories to be considered as part of the book.

Because of the perseverance of Madeleine Calcutt, this book became a reality. I asked her to tell us how this came to be. Take it away, my dear friend, Madeleine.

Rocks & gum tree of West Gippsland area near Madeleine's home
Having written some short stories several years ago that were just gathering dust on the shelf, I finally decided to do something with them. I contacted authors from various writing groups such as the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers Down Under and the Society of Women Writers of Victoria. I also put an advertisement in the Baptist Witness magazine and got an excellent response from each of these. I was inspired by the writers’ enthusiasm to contribute their stories to my project.

Australian banner on my sofa from my dear friend, Madeleine
      As the stories came in for me to read and edit, I was incredibly moved by them and impressed by the authors’ writing skills. They shared my vision, and we looked forward to the day when our anthology would be released, which was December 12th 2015. The book has emerged as a sensitively balanced mix of stories, some light hearted, some quite intense, full of pain followed by peace and joy. Make sure you have those tissues ready!

      With twenty-eight short stories by nine authors, Let the Sea Roar explores how women cope with turning points in their lives. It is a universal theme to which women readers will relate, covering issues such as homelessness; domestic violence; teenage pregnancy; family dysfunction; alcoholism; loneliness; divorce and the shattering of hopes and dreams. Many of these stories are loosely based on the authors’ experiences or those of people they know well. This added authenticity, but at times, there were awkward moments when I believed that realism should be sacrificed for literary perfection.

      With nine authors each having different viewpoints, there were some interesting confrontations. Sometimes compromise was the answer and this ended up improving the story instead of taking away from it. Six years it took, would you believe? We gave it a year to get ourselves published until one of our authors, Jenny O’Hagan, formed her own publishing company, ‘By the Light’, and published us, doing a magnificent job. It was an exciting time the day the anthology was officially released. I felt as if I were walking on air after all this time!

      Purchase Let the Sea Roar now at
Jeanette O Hagen, Madeleine Calcutt, and Glynis Dickens, 3 of our authors who met to celebrate the release of the book.
Back book cover shows all 9 of us
Giveaway opportunity
The first one to leave a comment will receive their own copy of Let the Sea Roar for free. All others who leave a comment will be entered into drawing for a chance to win a copy. Winners will have their choice of a copy on their kindle or, if they live in the USA, a print copy. Don't forget to leave your e-mail, so I can contact you if you win.
Deadline to leave a comment is midnight on Feb. 29.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Excerpt from Worth Her Weight Giveaway

It's a new year, and I have a new giveaway to offer my viewers to thank you for reading my posts in 2015. My first gift is two excerpts from my women's fiction and latest release. Scroll to the bottom to find out how to have a chance to win a free copy of this book, Worth Her Weight.

Here's one excerpt:

About twenty feet away, a hissing sound came from the house. Tiny hairs stood erect on Toby’s neck. Shivers crept down his spine. A cold sweat broke out on his forehead.

Lord, please.

A gust of wind cooled his damp brow.

Boom. The house exploded. Toby’s feet left the ground. The blast propelled him toward the tree line. A brittle mesquite tree stopped his backward progression, its thorns buried in his back.

With quick pants to stabilize his breathing, he pulled away from the painful tree, bent over, and breathed in the deep, life-giving breeze. A chemical smell burned his nostrils.


The tall black man, his face powdered with white, neared Toby’s position. “I’m here. You okay, Boss?” Willie’s voice sounded faraway like he was talking through cotton.

 Toby swatted the white powder from his jeans with his Stetson. “Yep, just can’t hear, and that smell makes me sneeze.” The dilapidated house was now a heap of smoldering wood and twisted metal. “Are you okay?”

“Just dandy.”

Toby reached to brush off Willie’s face. “Hey, man, you trying to paint your face so they can’t tell us apart?”

They broke into laughter. Spit flew. Tension evaporated. Fear departed.

“That’d never happen, Boss. Everyone knows I’m the handsome one.” Willie slowed down his chuckles and assessed the situation. “I’m getting tired of watching explosions.”

Here's another excerpt:


By six, Lacey arrived home, ready to flop. Her mother sat on a chair in the kitchen, her cane propped against her.

Lacey carried in the pizza boxes and set them on the table.

Rachel clapped her hands and climbed into a chair beside her grandma.

Without a word, Mom held out a letter to Lacey.

A cold shiver shook her—the same foreboding she had sensed in the morning. “What’s this?”

Her mother shrugged. “Came in today’s mail.”

Lacey opened it, her Mom watching as she read.

She threw the paper across the room. It bounced halfway back to her. “Well, if that doesn’t take the cake.” She paced, her heels clicking on the scratched and scarred kitchen tiles. The noise level grew louder when she snatched plates from the cabinet and dropped them to the table.

“Save the dishes.” Mom’s tone was dry, with no humor.

Something like a growl escaped Lacey’s lips. “Katie makes the messes. Lacey cleans them up. Isn’t that right, Mom?” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at her mother. “Did you know about this?” Her fingers began drumming on her opposite forearm. Her jaw got so tight, it hurt.

Her mother shook her head. She glanced at Rachel.

The anger was difficult for Lacey to swallow, but she tried. “Sweetie, go wash your hands before we eat.”

The child scooted a chair toward the sink.

Lacey halted her. “Go to the bathroom and use the stool there.” Her voice shook from her effort at control.

Rachel looked at the pizza with longing, but she obeyed.

The pepperoni and mozzarella aroma permeated the house. Nausea churned in Lacey’s stomach despite how good it smelled.

“Has Katie gone?” Mom asked with a soft tone.

In contrast, Lacey nearly yelled. “Of course, she has!”

The lines in Mom’s face seemed to deepen. Her skin paled. Lacey was sure the cane was the only thing that kept Mom from falling as she coped with the pain inflicted by her favorite daughter.

The fight had gone out of Lacey. Her knees wobbled. She eased into a chair and nodded. “She wants me to have custody of Rachel. She doesn’t even want her own daughter, Mom. What kind of woman walks away from her flesh and blood?”

Both women turned when a whimper came from the living room.

Heat rushed up Lacey’s neck. She jumped up and ran, wishing she could erase her careless words.

Rachel curled into a ball on the sofa, her right thumb inserted firmly in her mouth.

“Aunt Lacey’s sorry. I didn’t mean what I said.”

Rachel sucked harder, pulling it out momentarily to speak. “Is my mama coming to get me today?”

“No, sweetheart, not today. Maybe another day.” She patted her niece’s bare legs.

There was no sound except the sucking. Lacey sat on the floor patting and wondering what to say or do. A clap of thunder reminded her of the unsettled clouds. “I need to go close my car windows. I’ll be right back.”

She ran outside, started the car, and raised her driver’s side window. Just as she got back inside, the downpour began.

Mom still sat at the kitchen table, her head in her hands. She rose, grabbing her cane. Red puffy eyes alerted Lacey to her mother’s tears, something that seldom happened.

Compassion knocked at Lacey’s heart, but she locked it out, when she realized the tears were all for Katie.

Lacey sat on the floor beside Rachel. “You ready for some pizza?” Lacey wanted kids one day, but she wanted her own with a husband by her side. She couldn’t attract a man, but now she had a child.

Mom plopped into her recliner. “Do you think food will fix everything?”

“Works for me.” Lacey tried a teasing note. “Whenever things go wrong, food makes it better.” She huffed at Mom and grimaced. “Didn’t you know that?” Good thing she hadn’t planned on the cruise. She crunched up the pamphlet and threw it in the trash along with a few other dreams. She’d stay fat and lonely.

What was she going to do with a four-year-old?

Here's how to gain a chance to win a free Worth Her Weight, and help me at the same time.

Click on "Post a comment" below. Tell me if these excerpts made you
1. want to read the book
2. not want to read the book
3. or, doesn't sway you either way.

Also, tell me which excerpt you like the best.

Don't forget to leave your e-mail address, so that I might contact you if you're the winner. My hubby, and official drawer for contests, will draw a name from the ones who comment before midnight on Tuesday, January 12. That Wednesday, I will post the name of the winner. If you win, you may choose your copy from kindle copy, pdf copy, or print copy.

P. S. If you try to comment by using anonymous, google log-in, or any other option and can't get it to post, go to my Facebook page
and post that this is your comment about the excerpts of Worth Her Weight, and I will include that in the drawing.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Thank you, Patti Shene, for helping me announce two free days to get Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Don't miss this:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Biblical Fiction with Caryl McAdoo and a Giveaway

In April, I met a phenomenal Christian lady and author, Caryl McAdoo. She blessed me with her attitude and her songs. I bought one of her books and read her work for the first time. I asked her to be my guest today. Not only did she accept, but she offered to give a book away free. Scroll to the end to find out how to enter the contest.

P. S. Find my impartial book review after I introduce Writing With God's Hope blog followers to Caryl.

Hello, Janet! Thank you for having me at your blog! It was a blessing to meet you face to face at the North Texas Book Festival.

I longed to interview you so others could get to know you as I did, so here goes:

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

Oh no…l’ve had times when I couldn’t write as much as I liked. My husband and I took in four little grandsons, ages 6, 4, 3, and newborn after one year of an empty nest. The baby is twelve now, and the oldest graduated and off to college. But when we were fifty-two, corralling four little wild men turned out to be very time consuming. I pressed through living one day at a time. After we got them in school, I had more time—but it was never that I didn’t want to. I just had to put the boys first as they were obviously God’s plan for me and my dear husband.


What gave you the idea for this book?

Then the Deluge Comes is volume 2 of The Generations Biblical fiction series. I actually started it many years ago, and in a way it was taken from my very first full-length manuscript. I’d read books in that genre and really loved the way the well-known Biblical characters came to life. But I always strongly dislike it when authors or movie makers and storytellers—anyone—changes the living Word. As far as I’m concerned, it is written in stone. The Biblical part must remain it tact and not be altered one jot or tittle. The fiction is where I make them come alive and real to my readers. I do my best to put them there, in the Garden of Eden in A Little Lower Than The Angels, volume 1, and with Noah and his family in Then The Deluge Comes. Basically, to answer your question, I wanted to start at the beginning. The idea for the story was really not mine, but the Lord’s.   


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

One issue that I hope to bring out is that the Bible folks weren’t saints, just people like us. I hope to offer a bit of an untraditional perspective for each one, too, then in the ‘Search the Scriptures’ section in the back of each volume, let the reader know how I came to my conclusions. I challenge them to find anything in the new telling of the age old story that does not line up with the Word. I had one reviewer say I didn’t go far enough, that I didn’t put in how all the people mocked Noah and how he preached to the hordes of lost souls. But she did not read and ‘know’ that from reading  Scripture, she got it from a movie that did not line up with the Living Word of God. That’s one reason I so dislike any media that puts out Biblical fiction but strays from the Bible telling of God’s story!


How did you find your publisher?

I am blessed to say that I am my publisher. After Simon and Schuster released the first in my historical series, Vow Unbroken, and in taking eighteen months added to another six after its release (two years)—during which time I could not contractually sell another title—I was blessed to publish Indie (or independently). God provided the exquisite cover-art through an artist I met online, Judy Downs Levine in Arizona. She’s creating original paintings for each cover in the series. In this way, I have complete control over the title to have sales or give the books away as I wish (offer them free for a special time). I’ve donated many copies to church libraries all over the country. I love being a hybrid—traditionally and Indie published—author.


If you were a song, what would it be?

Oh, Janet, what a wonderful question! No one has ever asked me this. My name Caryl means ‘joyful song,’ and I adore music. Maybe more than any other creation God made for us to enjoy. I love that it carries me to His presence. What song would I be…? I love Michael W. Smith’s This Is the Air I Breathe with phrases like ‘I’m desperate for You’ and ‘I’m lost without You’, and Kari Jobe’s rendition of the Revelation Song takes me to His Throne Room when I sing with all creation ‘Praise to the King of Kings, You are my everything.’
    But the song I have to choose to be is Andrae Crouch’s To God be the Glory. It embodies what I try to make my whole life about: thanking Him for everything He’s done for me that I did not deserve, but He gave them to me only to show his love for me. As an author, I’ve adopted the life premise: Praying my story gives God glory!


As I said before, I love your attitude and your songs. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

First, be with Ron – eating, going to movies, traveling—even to Dallas and back—conversing. Past God, Ron McAdoo has been my everything for forty nine years, and God’s seen us as one forty-seven this month! On the twenty-second! But I love singing new songs the Lord gives me and painting or crafting. Just have so little time these days since I’m committed—God willing—to releasing ten titles this year, maybe eleven!

Oh, wow, congratulastion ahead of time, Caryl and Ron.

Series: The Generations series brings to life the famous men of God’s Word beginning with the first Adam an ending before the birth of the second.

Evil overtakes earth, but Noah walks in obedience and builds the ark. His story comes to life from a new perspective including glimpses into the Heavenly realm.

Excerpt : [The flesh of earth’s first man has just died after nine hundred thirty years of living. His soul and spirit descend now to Paradise.]
Downward, Adam floated. Eve’s arms wrapped tight around him and seemed so much stronger. He held her firmly. Winged men surrounded him slowing his decent, and his wife snuggled in closer, covering her scar in his side like she had so many times in the past. Blue sky, greenery, and flowers…just as he’d seen in the vision.
Then it all vanished, and he found himself back in Eden. The Great I Am Himself, bent down on one knee and scooped a handful of clay.
The Father’s heart swelled with love as he fashioned his man. Tears welled as Adam witnessed his own creation and knew Abba’s overwhelming, everlasting love. What a wonderful gift, being allowed to see such a marvel. Then the first time he successfully climbed onto Lion’s back and raced through the garden with his hands flung high into the air. He laughed aloud. What fun!
How he had missed his old friend, yet so many years passed without thinking of him in the valley. Hadn’t realized how lonely he was without his Lion and all the rest to run and romp with. And now, he’d see Him again and be able to thank Him for His great sacrifice, repent for his sin that had separated him from the best friend he’d ever known.

This is my unsolicited, unbiased review of the above book. What is Biblical fiction anyway?

I love reading the Bible. It's God's guidebook--the Word from God's mouth. This book is many things; poetry, history, memoir, letters, and law, but one thing it is not is fiction.

Because its pages fill with examples of real people, we're given knowledge of how others dealt with similar problems as we do. This scroll could not hold everyone's story in detail, so we only read brief excerpts or scenes of the lives of its heroes, heroines, or villains.

Have you ever wondered about the rest of the story, the part not told? What was it like to be a brother or sister growing up with Jesus? How did Bathsheba adjust to Solomon? Did she love him, hate, or resent him? What was it like to live in the early years after the creation of man when there was no one to marry except your brother or nephew?

That's where Biblical fiction comes in play. A wonderful author, like Caryl McAdoo, reads the Bible story and thinks "what if."

I read her book Then The Deluge Comes. This story traces humankind from the sixth generation through Enoch, Methuselah, and on to the time of Noah and the flood. The book is the sequel to her first one, A Little Lower Than the Angels. Not only does, McAdoo address the idea of marrying your sister, but about what happened to Cain after he killed his brother.

The characters are true-to-life with layers, complications, likes and dislikes as we do today. They coped with the trials and dangers of that time period. They quarreled and loved and hated just like us.

The book gave me new insights into the Old Testament time of Genesis and how then, as well as now, we choose individually whether we will follow God's laws or rebel. I liked the romance between Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and the women Lamech found at God's direction. I loved seeing through Shem's wife, Jemri's eyes the building of the huge boat.

Another interesting factor about this book envisions a parallel universe between mankind and the angels in heaven.

I loved reading Then The Deluge Comes and highly recommend it. Be sure to leave a comment below along with your contact information for a chance to win a free copy of Then The Deluge Comes or the first in the series A Little Lower Than The Angels, your choice if you're the winner.

Christian, Simon & Schuster, hybrid author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Where to find Caryl and her books: 

All Books   -

Then the Deluge Comes

Deluge Puzzle -

Website       -    

                                     (All First Chapters are offered here)

                                     (Get FREE books for subscribing!)

Reviewer?   -

                                     (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)

Facebook    -

Blog            -

GoodReads -

Google+       -

Twitter        -

Pinterest     -

Thank you so much for having me Janet, and giving me the opportunity to share THEN THE DELUGE COMES! May God bless you with all His love and favor!

And, thank you, Caryl, for being my guest. I'm honored.

Don't forget to write a comment below along with contact information for a chance to win one of Caryl's Biblical fiction books. I'll draw names on June 14. Don't delay.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Visit with Children's Author, Donna M. McDine

I'm so excited to have as my guest award-winning children's author, Donna M. McDine. I first "met" Donna online when I submitted to her my article about dreaming. She published it in her newsletter "Write What Inspires You." I subscribed to the newsletter and have been a fan of Donna's ever since.

Donna offered to write an article today about How a Book Comes to Be, so here it is. Be sure to scroll all the way down because Donna has a free offer for you.

One of the most popular questions children ask me when conducting author visits is “How do you come up with your ideas?” Today, I’m sharing just that…


The creation of a book starts at the basics, an idea…

·         Imagination

·         Playing Games

·         World History

·         Music

·         News Articles

·         Art

·         Playing Sports


The list is endless.


My ideas for my books come to me in different ways…

For example, my book Hockey Agony was created from my lifelong interest in sports and watching my children, nieces and nephews compete in one sport or another. I chose hockey because two of my nephews and a niece are passionate hockey players.



The Golden Pathway and Powder Monkey were created from a publishers call for submissions regarding the Underground Railroad and the Royal Navy Press Gangs.


View the book trailers for…




A Sandy Grave came to life from a newspaper article I read about a dead whale that washed ashore of a California beach. What fascinated me about this article was the police needed to guard the whale, until the local marine biology institute could arrive to determine what the whale died from. The reasoning for guarding the whale astounded me. Apparently, poachers would take the opportunity to steal the whale’s teeth to sell to artists to create scrimshaw on the teeth and then sell for a profit.

View the book trailer for A Sandy Grave



Once an idea comes to mind the research and outline begin…


It’s important to conduct research to stay accurate to the details of true life, especially when it concerns laws or facts.  Just because an author’s story may be fictional, accuracy is a must to make it entertaining and educational at the same time.

Create character profiles and conduct character interviews to learn how each character will respond to a certain situation.

Blending the facts with well-written characters and scenes using all the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) will have an enjoyable story leaping from the pages.


In the creative writing process it helps to know what you want your character to accomplish even before you write the story…


ü      Write a beginning that makes your reader want to keep reading.

ü      The middle of your story should happen in the right order.

ü      The end of your story should make sense.


Once you have your first draft written now it’s time to share it with a fellow writer to have a fresh set of eyes to read through your manuscript. Writers often become so invested in their words they don’t see what can be reworded or deleted to make a scene stronger.


Editing Process…


Don’t be afraid to edit and cut portions of your manuscript. The tighter your manuscript the quicker your story will flow.


The road to publication is a long one. Now the waiting truly begins…


ü      Once the acceptance contract is received, more edits from the publisher begins with their editing department.

ü      After the final edits the publisher determines the break of scenes for the page layout.

ü      For children’s books an illustrator is then assigned, and the creation of the illustrations begin.

ü      The book marketing process begins well before the release date with the publisher’s marketing department and author.

ü      It is a complete team effort to see the final creation of the book.


From acceptance to publication it can take anywhere from six months to two years to hold your published book in your hands. It’s a long time, but oh so worth the wait.


Soak up the World Through Books…


Embrace the written word and suggestions your teachers may have for your writing. Explore the world at your fingertips through the adventures of reading and writing. The joy of immersing yourself in a good book is one to share with everyone.


Special offer, opt-in for my FREE newsletter, Write What Inspires You! and receive two FREE e-books:


·         The Story Behind the Book

·         Marketing Tips by Donna McDine



Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. With four early reader children’s picture books to her credit, A Sandy Grave (January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) and a fifth book in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, New York State Reading Association and Family Reading Partnership.


Keep reading and writing,


Donna M. McDine

Award-winning children’s author


Janet, thank you for hosting me today. It has been a true pleasure and honor to be here.

Thank you, Donna, for being such a wonderful guest. I loved the book trailers, and your words should help a lot of would-be authors that might be viewing today.

I highly recommend subscribing to Donna's newsletter. It's chock full of helpful, inspiring articles. And what a generous free offer, so don't miss out on that.

Any questions or comments for Donna today?