Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2019 CFRR Registration Ends Soon

CFRR 2019 Registration Ends December 15, 2018

Spread the word! Only 6 reader spaces remain! We are suspending the late registration fee for these final openings but signups will close 12/15/18. Be sure to complete both steps of the registration process HERE.

Attention Current Registrants

Make sure you have completed your CFRR Registration Form! We need forms from 70 participants to complete their individual registration. Check your email inbox for a copy of your responses.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Debby Giusti

Thanks for sending this great candid of you and your carriage tour guides in Charleston, Debby!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR? 

DG: Thanks for this interview, Beth. I’m excited about CFRR 2019 and know it will be fantastic, just like CFRR 2016 and CFRR 2017 were. I was able to take part in the first two retreats and send my thanks to the wonderful team who always works so hard to bring Christian authors and readers together. CFRR is an amazing event. Friendships are formed, and we all have fun. There’s lots of laughter with time for prayer as well. God is truly present! And He’s smiling! Probably laughing along with us.

Beth: We're so happy to have you back, Debby!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR? 

DG: Connecting with readers! The CFRR format ensures we all mix and mingle, play games, share stories, chat over lunch and at breaks and come away at the end of the day having made so many new friends. Each retreat leaves lasting memories that I continue to treasure.

Beth: Oh, I agree!

Are you a hugger?

DG: Yes! Yes! Yes! If you see me, expect hugs!

Beth: Yay! I love your hugs!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

DG: My secret talent? To become someone else. I have the ability to become anyone in the whole world…of course, that’s when I’m writing. In some amazing way, I morph into the characters I write, at least until the story is finished. For me, writing is a spiritual process and the story that starts as only a small spark of an idea blossoms into a full-length novel with compelling characters not because of me, but because of the Lord who is my inspiration.

Beth: Writing stories is an extremely special talent!

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

DG: My husband and I toured Ireland in September, which was on my bucket list. Last year, we visited the Holy Land and that trip was a dream come true. I’d like to return to both destinations and spend more time, especially in Israel. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, so to speak, was a powerful and prayerful experience. I conjure up the memories when reading scripture and my own recollections make the Bible even more meaningful.

Beth: You are a regular world-traveler, Debby! Good for you and your husband!

lovely beach photo by Debby
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

DG: May I include an aquatic mammal? As a child, I often dreamed of being a dolphin, probably because I love to swim. The beach has always been my Happy Place, and the thought of frolicking in the waves, like Flipper, still appeals to me.

Beth: Of course you may! Oh, dolphins are such charming creatures!

If you were a spy, what would your code name be?

DG: Willow! My maiden name was Willoughby, and growing up, friends called me Willow. They also called me Wibs, but in my opinion, Willow sounds more intriguing. 

Beth: I love it!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read? 

DG: Suspense, preferably romantic suspense. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and never get tired of murder and mayhem!

Beth: You do not strike me as a murder and mayhem type, Debby... guess it's always the quiet ones who surprise ya!

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

DG: I like quiet spots for reading, usually in bed before I go to sleep.

Beth: As a general rule, I always prefer quiet!

How do you organize your books? 

DG: I didn’t know they needed to be organized. 🙂 My books are in piles and stacks and in baskets and bookcases and on shelves and stuck in nooks and crannies around my house. Basically, books surround me and that makes me happy!

Beth: Mine told me they appreciate the time I spend arranging and rearranging them but perhaps yours are more social and free-spirited!

How often do you pleasure-read? 

DG: Daily, unless I’m on a tight deadline and working late into the night. In those instances, I fall into bed too tired to read.

Beth: Oh, isn't it sad when life gets in the way of reading?!

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

DG: I wrote six full manuscripts before Love Inspired Suspense bought and published by debut novel, Nowhere to Hide, released in 2007. Since then I’ve published a total of 23 books with Love Inspired and have two additional self-pubbed stories.

Beth: You have been a busy writer!

What genres do you write?

DG: I write Christian romantic suspense.

Beth: The more I read romantic suspense, the more I like it!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?

DG: I have an October release, Amish Christmas Secrets, the fourth and final story in my Amish Protectors series. In February, Amish Safe House will hit the bookstores. It’s the second book in the Amish Witness Protection continuity from Love Inspired Suspense! I recently submitted a new three-book proposal to my editor and am waiting to hear back from her.

Beth: Go, Debby! Multiple series simultaneously?!

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? which aspect is most natural for you?

DG: Filling the blank page is always the hardest part of the writing process, especially the opening of a new story. Once I introduce the hero and heroine, the writing moves more quickly. I write the first three chapters slowly, then reach for my AlphaSmart, a small word processor that runs on three AA batteries. The AlphaSmart has very few functions so I’m not tempted to edit as I write, thus I can type page after page into one of the eight files that I later download into my computer. The process allows me to write a fairly fast first draft. Later I rework and revise. That editing process is what I most enjoy…and that’s when the story and characters come to life.

Beth: Distractions are quite bothersome!

What are your must-have writing supplies? (pen/paper, post-its, coffee, snacks, smartphone, facebook, etc.)

DG: My AlphaSmart is a must and I take it everywhere when I’m working on a story. I also keep a kitchen timer close at hand and set it for thirty-minute writing bursts. When the timer dings, I stretch, drink water and then reset the timer for my next writing session. All during my writing time, I chew gum. Lots of gum! In addition, I always have a tall glass of ice water close at hand.

Beth: AlphaSmart sounds like a reliable side-kick!

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?

DG: I like to write alone, although when I’m stuck or having trouble concentrating, I’ll take my AlphaSmart to Starbuck’s. The chatter of the other coffee shop patrons provides a type of white noise that helps me focus for some reason. Of course, the coffee helps as well!

Thanks for a great interview, Beth! I’m eager to see everyone at CFRR 2019!

Beth: Hehehehe, coffee seems to be a popular writing accelerant! It's been a pleasure chatting with you, Debby! See you soon!

About the author...

Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Debby Giusti is a medical technologist who loves working with test tubes and petri dishes almost as much as she loves to write.  Growing up as an Army Brat, Debby met and married her husband--then a Captain in the Army--at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Together they traveled the world, raised three wonderful Army Brats of their own and eventually settled in Peachtree City, Georgia, where Debby spins tales of suspense that touch the heart and soul.

Debby has more than 900,000 books in print, and her stories have won numerous awards, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, Golden Quill, the Beacon, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Write Touch. Her twenty-fourth novel, Amish Christmas Secrets, released in October and is the last book in her Amish Protectors series. Amish Safe House, the second book in the new Amish Witness Protection Continuity series from Love Inspired Suspense, will be available in February 2019.

Say "hi" to Debby in the comments and let's chat in the comments about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her here and in her stories!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR autor Erica Vetsch

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

EV: 2019 will be my first one! I’ve participated vicariously through the social media posts of attendees in the past, but this time I will get to be there in person!!

Rachel: Yay! So excited to meet you in person!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about? 

EV: I am so eager to meet with readers. Often when I gather with writer-friends, it’s for professional development, workshops, and the like, but this time, the focus is on our readers instead of our craft. To get to connect with the people we write these stories for is going to be so great!

Rachel: Gathering with readers is truly a beautiful thing!

Are you a hugger? 

EV: Um, not so much. I won’t burst into tears or slug someone if they hug me, but hugging isn’t my go-to. ☺

Rachel: Duly noted. Hehe!

Just for fun...

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

EV: I am so torn on this one, because for most all of my life, I have wanted to visit New Zealand. When I was a young teen, I fell in love with the works of the New Zealand writer Essie Summers. Her love for her beautiful country drew me in. Also, I am a true rugby fanatic, and my team is the New Zealand All Blacks, so it would be so cool to visit and perhaps see a test match. However, I am also entering the world of Regency fiction, and I would love to visit England. As a museum ADDICT, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert, the Ashmolean, castles, manor houses, sigh.

Rachel: ALl of the above please? Haha!

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living? 

EV: I can’t imagine not writing books, but if I couldn’t do this anymore, I’d either fall back on a previous career as a history teacher, or I would press on into a new career as a museum docent. Anything with history at its core works for me! ☺

Rachel: YES! History! (But please don't stop writing!)

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be? 

EV: I would be a grizzly bear for so many reasons. 
  1. You’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. 
  2. You sleep all winter. 
  3. You can be crabby with your kids, but go all mama-bear on others when they are crabby with your kids. 
I was totally made to be a bear.

Rachel: Best.Answer.Ever!

About reading...

Describe your favorite reading spot.

EV: When it’s research/history books, I read on the sofa or at my desk with lots of post-its to flag pages and a notebook to jot things down. When it’s fiction, I read almost all my fiction on my kindle, late at night, in bed. 

Rachel: I love me some sticky notes. I use them when reading fiction to mark quotes and passages I want to come back to.

How do you organize your books? 

EV: I separate fiction from non-fiction. I have a HUGE research library of history books, and those are organized by topic. Civil War, pioneer/westward expansion, cowboy, medicine, women in history, Minnesota history, Gilded Age, Gangster/prohibition, military, Regency, and so much more. My fiction is organized by author, and then publication date. I am a collector, so if I like an author, I want to have all their books! I have several series that have pride of place on my bookshelves. All my Essie Summers books are in a beautiful row where I can see them from my desk. All 50+ of them! ☺

Rachel: YES!!!! This is how I organize mine as well. I also collect author's books...Even if I know I won't read them for a long time.

How often do you pleasure-read? 

EV: Every. Single. Day. I cannot bear to have a day where I don’t slip into a story-world for at least a few minutes. I have wide-ranging tastes, Christian, secular, mystery, romance, thriller, historical, classics, young adult. I re-read old favorites, try new authors, and have several favorite authors who are ‘auto-buy’ downloads to my kindle. I have been known to stay up WAY past my bedtime to read new releases by my favorite authors. 

Rachel: Yes, yes, yes! #ireadpastmybedtimetoo

About writing...

How many books have you written?

My 35th story released in September, 2018. I’ve written novels, novellas, category, contributed to a couple of writing ‘how-to’ books…I’ve been blessed!

What genres do you write? 

EV: I’ve always written historical romance. I’ve dabbled with the notion of a split-time or time-travel, but nothing too firm.

What are you working on now?

EV: I’m working on a Regency romance called The Accidental Earl about a soldier who is rewarded for his heroism with an earldom, an aristocratic bride, and a manor house that is falling down around him. He’s suffering from partial amnesia, and if he doesn’t recover his memory soon, he risks losing not just his sanity, but his new wife, and possibly his life.

What is your next release? 


EV: Coming in the spring of 2019 I have a novella in the Mail-Order Mishaps collection. My story is titled “The Galway Girl” about an Irish lass from Boston who escapes her lecherous employer by answering an advertisement in The Matrimonial News, but instead of heading to marry an Irish shopkeeper in Chicago, the newspaper mistakenly sends her to Lindsborg, Kansas and a Swedish farmer. 

Do you have any strange writing habits? 

EV: I don’t know if it is strange, but I do all my writing in coffee shops. I set up in a corner with my hot tea, ear-buds blasting Pandora instrumental music, and tuck into work. If I stay at home, I tend to piddle-dink around, find things to distract me, and generally fritter away the day. But if I’m going to pay $3 for a glass of tea, I had better have something productive to show for it! 

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?

EV: The part I struggle with the most is the marketing. How to talk about your books without gonging on and on and making people tired of hearing about them. And how to balance the marketing and writing time so you give ample attention to each.

Which aspect is most natural for you? 

EV: Getting lost in the story world. I have been a daydreamer/mental writer since forever. Mentally visualizing scenes and settings and stories is as natural to me as breathing…and I have to be careful. It’s so easy for me to check out of a conversation if something flashes in my mind. Concentrating on the real world is much harder for me than creating fictional ones. ☺

About the author...

Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online on Facebook where she spends way too much time!

Say "hi" to Erica in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

GIVEAWAY! Congratulations to The Christy Award™ 2018 Finalists!

What's your favorite genre to read? Do you prefer contemporary romance? Historical romance? Historical fiction, hold the romance? Suspense? Young Adult? Visionary? General Fiction?

The Christy Award™ celebrates all of the above, along with First Novel and Short Form. And YOU are invited to celebrate with the finalists at The Christy Award™ gala on November 7, 2018 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. 

But we're getting ahead of ourselves...

FIRST, if you haven't checked out all the finalists yet, you can do so HERE

photo by JustCommonly

Join The Christy Award™ finalists (and more of your fave authors) at two events honoring the power of story on November 7th, 2018! 

First up is The Art of Writing Conference – a focused conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators. Featuring StoryBrand CEO Donald Miller and award-winning authors Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, Jerry Jenkins, Sarah Arthur, and Joanne Bischof, as well as representatives from Bethany House, Gilead, Howard Books, and WaterBrook & Multnomah, it includes seminars on topics such as: Hard Issues, Happy Endings, and Hope; Mythbusters: Publishing Edition; and How to Write Books That Outlast You.

The Art of Writing Conference is for both published & aspiring authors and anyone involved in the Christian publishing world (agents, editors, promoters, designers, retailers, etc.). It will be held on November 7th from 1-5:30 at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Following the conference is The Christy Award™ Gala at 7:00pm, also at Lipscomb University. The Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2018 winners of The Christy Award™, and honor the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle.

Guess What?!?

You’re invited to both events for a package price of only $99!!

There's still a few hours left to enter this great giveaway -  JustRead Tours, ReadingIsMySuperPower and JustCommonly are giving away a total of TWO admission bundles to attend both The Art of Writing Conference & The Christy Award™ Gala. Click the graphic to enter.

Didn't win? You can still register HERE for only $99 total for both events! 


PLUS  - CFRR, in conjunction with The Christy Award™ team, is giving away the entire collection of The Christy Award™ 2018 finalist books! That's right - one winner will receive (1) print copy of each of the following titles:
  • The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner (Revell)
  • Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren (Revell)
  • True to You by Becky Wade (Bethany House)
  • Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli (Tyndale)
  • The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany House)
  • Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse (Revell)
  • Turtles in the Road by Rhonda Rhea & Kaley Rhea (Bold Vision Books)
  • A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow (Thomas Nelson)
  • Life After by Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook)
  • The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix (Thomas Nelson)
  • Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson (Tyndale)
  • Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews (WaterBrook)
  • Many Sparrows by Lori Benton (WaterBrook)
  • A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House)
  • The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz (Revell)
  • To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (Zondervan)
  • Coldwater by Samuel Parker (Revell) 
  • Rule of Law by Randy Singer (Tyndale) 
  • Guilt By Association by Heather Gilbert (Woodhaven Press)
  • Her Secret Daughter by Ruth Logan Herne (Love Inspired)
  • 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep (Barbour)
  • Awakened by Morgan Busse (Enclave)
  • The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker (Revell)
  • The Man He Never Was by James Rubart (Thomas Nelson)
  • The Delusion by Laura Gallier (Wander)
  • Last Summer at Eden by Christina Hergenrader (Concordia)
  • Unraveling by Sara Ella (Thomas Nelson)
One winner. 27 print books (technically there are 28 finalist books but one is repeated twice, go Jaime Jo Wright with two nominations for The House on Foster Hill!)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 20, 2018 and last through 11:59pm October 27, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 What about you? What's your favorite genre?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Jean C. Gordon

Thanks for sending this great candid of you at your church book sale, Jean!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

JG: I participated as an author in the speed chat and signing at the 2016 Retreat. I was under deadline when the 2017 Retreat was announced and signed up too late to get a spot. I’m really looking forward to 2019.

Beth: I sat behind you in 2016! We're looking forward to having you back in 2019!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

JG: My favorite aspect of CFRR is the fellowship—meeting and really talking with readers and other Christian authors.

Beth: YES!

Just for fun...

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't yet?

JG: I have so many. I’d like to visit every state in the US. I’ve been to or through 35. I’m missing Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana in the south and Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Alaska, and Hawaii in the west. But my one place is Prague, Czech Republic, where my paternal grandparents came from, preferably traveling there on a river cruise from Scotland, where my mother’s family came from.

Beth: Great travel goals! I adore the Pacific Northwest area of our country. A river cruise sounds fabulous!

What secret talents do you have?

JG: I once won a competition for who could balance a teaspoon balancing off the tip of their nose the longest. Also, this isn’t so secret among people who know me, but I can create a spreadsheet, with formulas, for almost any purpose.

Beth: Balance and spreadsheet skills?! You are a force to be reckoned with!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read? 

JG: Historical fiction—romance and nonromance—is my favorite genre.

Beth: Historical fiction is my first love.

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

JG: Definitely block out the world. I can and do read just about anywhere.

Beth: Me too! But you know, if a quiet retreat is available, sign me up!

How often do you pleasure-read?

JG: I read for pleasure every evening while “watching” television with my husband.

Beth: LOL! I "watched" a movie with my husband last night.

About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

JG: I’ve written and published 17 books and two novellas. I’ll have another book and a novella out between now and the retreat.

Beth: Go, Jean! 

What genres do you write?

JG: I write inspirational and sweet contemporary romance. I did write and have one historical romance published. Please don’t look for it. It’s neither Christian nor that well-written.

Beth: You've found your happy place in contemporary romance!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?

JG: I’m working on a sweet romance, No Time for Apologies, for The No Brides Club series from Sweet Promise Press and a new inspirational romance proposal for Harlequin Love Inspired. My next release will be a novella, “Christmas Pizza to the Rescue,” in Sweet Christmas Kisses 5. It officially released September 25, 2018.

Beth: Busy, busy, busy!

Why do you think writing Christian fiction is important?

JG: From a personal “selfish” viewpoint, it’s important to me because I believe writing Christian and sweet romance gives me a way to use my talents for God’s purposes.

Beth: Not at all selfish! Use that gift! 

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

JG: While not really writing habits, I find I get the best ideas and solutions to story problems in the bathtub and driving by myself in the car.

Beth: Ah, that makes sense! It's quiet enough to hear yourself think!

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?

JG: I’m just as comfortable with either, but a lot more productive working in solitude, which can be at my desk at home, in a cubical at the library, in the car waiting for our grandson to get out of swim practice, at a table at the bowling alley waiting for our son if I’m picking him up from bowling league, or any place else where I’m not surrounded by people I know. But, maybe because I write full-time at home now, get me in a room with other writer/friends, ostensibly to group write, and I’d much rather visit.

Beth: Yes! Work among a crowd by necessity, work alone to really get stuff done! 

About the author...

For Amazon Bestselling inspirational and sweet romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets her books.

They share a 175-year-old farmhouse just south of Albany, NY, with their daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a menagerie of pets. Their son lives nearby. While Jean creates stories, her family grows organic fruits and vegetables and tends the livestock de jour.

A founding member of the Capital Region Romance Writers (Albany, NY), Jean currently serves as membership chair. She’s also a member of the Romance Writers of America and its Faith, Hope and Love Chapter, the American Christian Fiction Writers, and Novelists, Inc.

Say "hi" to Jean in the comments and let's chat in the comments about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her here and in her stories!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Amber Lynn Perry

Thank you for providing such a great candid photo!
About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?
ALP: I haven’t yet, but I’m so excited to be part of it for 2019!
Rachel: I can't believe we live in the same region, but will be meeting you in D.C.!!! Haha!
What part of CFRR are you most excited about?
ALP: I’m just so excited to meet everyone! I feel as much a reader-fan as I do a writer. Can’t wait to meet and fan-girl with everyone else. 😉💜
Rachel: Oh there will be plenty freaking out and flailing about for sure! Are you a hugger?
ALP: I can be. 😉
Rachel: Ok good! Haha!
Just for fun...
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
ALP: I haven’t been to Italy and I would LOVE to go there. I studied Italian history and art extensively in college but I have never actually traveled there, can you believe it?!
Rachel: Oh I would LOVE to visit Italy too!!! If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
ALP: I loooove me some Australian and Irish accents. Can’t do either very well but I do a killer Spanish accent, though. LOL
Rachel: All of the above please! Hehe! If you were a spy, what would your code name be?
ALP: Miss Prism. <3
Rachel: Oooooooh I love that!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read?
ALP: Historical romance. Bar none.
Rachel: I second that! When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?
ALP: I can block out the world pretty well, but quiet is sooooo very nice.
Rachel: Getting lost in a book is so easy for me....especially with noise cancelling headphones on. HAHA! Describe your favorite reading spot.
ALP: Picture a big fluffy chair next to a window with a little table for my cinnamon roll, still hot from the oven. Rain is flicking the glass, and there’s a fire crackling in the fireplace. Pure. Heaven. That rarely happens for me though, since it never rains where I live. Cry for me. LOL
Rachel: I think we get more rain than you, but it hasn't rained all.summer. How often do you pleasure-read?
ALP: Not often enough.
Rachel: This makes me sad for you!

About writing...

How many books have you written?
ALP: Right now, 4 novels and 1 novella. By the time CFRR rolls around, I hope to have even more!
What genres do you write?
ALP: Historical Romance
What is your next release?
ALP: Currently working on my 5th novel in my Daughters of His Kingdom Series, titled: So Bright a Hope. Slated to release in Dec of this year!
Rachel: Eeeeep! The covers of all your books are STUNNING!!!! I can't wait to read this one! Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
ALP: LOL! No, but I ALWAYS write in my bed. I never write at a desk.
Rachel: Ok, that is strange.... What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? Which aspect is most natural for you?
ALP: Marketing is my nemesis. I get hives just thinking about it. As for what comes natural, I don’t know really. Probably just my love of creativity and imagining stuff. (So eloquent right? But really, a writer needs a good imagination so...HAHA!)
Rachel: I love this so much! Eeeeep marketing....SHUDDER... Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?
ALP: I prefer solitude fo sho. LOL But I actually do bring my laptop to places when I know I need to get my word count in, etc.
Rachel: I admire you! I've got to get out of the house every once in awhile to focus lol!

I LOVED chatting with you today Amber! Thanks for sharing!

About the author...
A Pacific Northwest native, Amber Lynn Perry lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She studied humanities at Portland State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree focused on art history. As a homeschooling mom, Amber spends much of her time teaching everything from Shakespeare to science.

When she isn’t crafting with her kids, making dinner or driving to dance classes, Amber is either reading or writing about her favorite time in American history. The Revolutionary era has captured her imagination from the time she was in middle school. Through her books, Amber hopes to not only give readers a glimpse into the past, but to instill in them a lasting love of liberty.

Say "hi" to Amber Lynn Perry in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Registration is Closing Soon!

Folks! Registration is closing in just a couple days! Make sure you claim your spot before they are all gone!

We are going to have such a blast at CFRR 2019! Such a great line up of authors. And not to mention all the lovely readers that will be attending. Get ready for some epic #freakingoutandflailingabout!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Bethany Turner

Thank you for providing us with such a fun candid photo Bethany!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

BT: I attended CFRR in 2017 as a reader, and I’m so excited to be taking part as an author in 2019!

Rachel: Yay! I am so excited to see you again!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR?

BT: I have to share my favorite CFRR memory—and the reason it’s my favorite. When I attended as a reader in 2017, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck was already slated for October release, but no one had heard of me. Of course. Why would they have? I really was just there to get to know people, and of course to be a fangirl like everyone else. (Plus, it was an excuse to visit my parents and sister, who live in the Cincinnati area!) But Becky Wade (Becky Wade, y’all!) used some of her time when we were divided into groups and chatting with the authors to turn the spotlight on me, and introduce me to some of her loyal readers. It was such a humble, selfless act…but it also wasn’t an act at all! It was just Becky being the kind, generous person she is, and it made a huge impact on me. As a new author in the Christian Fiction world, it was just such a lovely example of how important it is to shine the love of Jesus all the time.

Rachel: Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this! (And this makes me love Becky Wade even more now!)

Are you a hugger?

BT: Hugs, high fives, fist bumps, dance-offs, rap battles…I’m open to all of it!

Rachel: Consider this an official challenge for a dance-off then! Bahaha!!!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

BT: I don’t know if you’d call it a talent, really, but I have a ridiculous amount of pop culture trivia in my head. I’m someone you definitely want on your team at trivia night! (But really ONLY for the pop culture stuff. I’m useless when it comes to almost everything else.)

Rachel: You may be my new favorite person! So I can call you if I need help right? Haha!

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

BT: I really want to see one of my stories as a movie. While I’m dreaming of things I want to accomplish, I should also state that ideally a) Colin Firth, b) George Clooney, or c) Chris Pratt will be in the aforementioned movie. And if we get that far, I totally expect there to be a conversation which plays out roughly as follows:
Colin, George, or Chris: “Hey, are you in the movie?”
Bethany: “Nah…I’m just the author.”
CF, GC, or CP: “That’s perfect! The actress I’m supposed to dance with in this scene came down with the flu. Why don’t you step in? Also, I love everything you’ve ever written. You’re hilarious, and we should totally hang out in London/at my villa on Lake Como/at my farm in Washington.”
You know…something like that.

Rachel: AHHHH YES!!!! I vote Chris Pratt...and, not just cuz he is from my home state. Haha!

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

BT: Hopefully, I’d still be doing the other thing I already do for a living, working in church administration. Of course, if I didn’t like writing books, I may have never left my old job as a bank vice president. I would rather not think about that possibility!

Rachel: Ooooh! I didn't know this about you. Admin stuff makes my heart so happy. The organization, forms, lists, and lots of boxes (like in a spreadsheet) hehe!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read?

BT: I’m not very original, I suppose, but my favorite genre to read is also my favorite genre to write: romantic comedy. I always have been and, I imagine, always will be such a sucker for a good rom-com.

Rachel: I don't blame you. You write what you know right? Rom-Com is such a fun genre!

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

BT: I need quiet. I’m too easily distracted as it is, even in my own mind. Outside distractions completely undo me!

Rachel: I get that. However, I have trained myself to block out the world around me...thanks to my two rambunctious children.

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

BT: I’ve completed six books. So far, one of those has been traditionally published, but one will be out in 2019. I self-published three, pretty much just for fun, quite a few years ago.

Rachel: Oh how fun! (Another thing I didn't know about you.)

What genres do you write?

BT: Right now my emphasis is definitely romantic comedy, but I’ve written some straight contemporary romance as well.

Rachel: Good choice!!!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?

BT: We’re in the editing stage of my next rom-com for Revell, which will be released summer of 2019. Another will be released by Revell a year later, so I’ll be getting to work writing that one pretty soon!

Rachel: YAY! Oh this makes me so excited for you!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

BT: It’s less of a habit, more of a technique, I suppose, but music plays a huge role in my writing. When I first start writing a story, I start a playlist. That playlist gets developed as I get to know the characters, and I play the playlist every single time I work on that story. Before long, the music helps me save time. As soon as I hear those songs, my thoughts and emotions are where they need to be in order to write.

Rachel: Oh the power of music! I can't express in words how much I love this concept. I am totally stealing this for writing my blog posts.

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? And which aspect is most natural for you?

BT: I struggle with editing because I always think I’ve written the story pretty much as I want it, the first time. Having said that, I’m always proven wrong in that! My editor makes everything so much stronger in ways I never could have on my own. The aspect of the publishing process that is the most natural for me is actually marketing. I love trying new things and thinking of new approaches to getting the word out there.

Rachel: I love this little inside peek. It truly takes a team to publish a book.

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?

BT: Solitude. Always solitude! If I am among a crowd, I want to be visiting and talking and spending time with people. No writing will ever happen for me in a crowd. (What will happen: hugs, high fives, fist bumps, dance-offs, and the occasional rap battle.)

Rachel: Oh you extroverted types. Ain't no controlling you. Hahaha! But I love it. And it is good to recognize what does and does not work for you.

Thank you so much for joining me today Bethany! I can't wait to hug you in April!!!

About the author...

Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Say "hi" to Bethany in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!