Monday, July 30, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Misty M. Beller


About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...
In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

MMB: This will be my first year participating in person and I’m so excited! I’ve wanted to participate each of the past years, but I seemed to always miss the cutoff. This year I marked the date and time on my calendar to make sure I was one of the first to sign-up! 😊

Rachel: Yay! I am so glad you did!!!
Reader Registration Closes September 30th! Sign up HERE!
Photo from Pixabay

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

MMB: Wow, that’s a tough question! Meeting readers has to be the part I’m most excited about, but talking books with both readers and authors would be a close second.

Rachel: Being in a room full of bookish people truly is a special sight to behold!

Are you a hugger?

MMB: I was born and raised in South Carolina, so of course I am, darlin’!

Rachel: Oh good! I just love hugs!!!!


Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

MMB: Not sure these are secret, but I play the piano, and I have a decent sense of direction. I couldn’t think what else to put here so I asked my 6-year-old daughter what I was really good at. Her answer? “You’re good at feeding Laney.” (Laney is our 2-year-old.) There you have it folks, my secret talent. 😊

Rachel: Bahaha! I just asked my 4-year-old that same question...He said, "Working."

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

MMB: Italy! And England! And Scotland! Did you say only one?

Rachel: I wouldn't even be able to narrow it down to 3! So good job!

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

MMB: That’s a tough question because I LOVE writing. If I had to choose another job outside the home…After high school, I became a substitute teacher, and I loved working with kids. It was a little stressful for this introvert, but the kids were so worth it!

Rachel: Aww, that sounds like a good alternative. (But I am personally glad you ARE a writer.)



About reading...
Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash
What's your favorite genre to read?

MMB: I love both Christian Historical Romance and Christian Contemporary Romance.

Rachel: Kindred spirits!

How often do you pleasure-read?

MMB: Always! I would go crazy if I didn’t always have a for-fun book going. I’ve become addicted to audiobooks, so I can listen while I get things done. Now, if a book isn’t available on audiobook, I don’t usually get to read it!

Rachel: I LOVE audiobooks! Being a SAHM, audiobooks help me get through the housework.

How many books do you average per month?

MMB: I did a count of the last couple months and it looks like I average about 7-8 books per month.

Rachel: That's impressive! My dream is to one day read as much as Carrie does.



About writing...
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
How many books have you written?

MMB: Almost done with my 16th book now.

Rachel: Sweet 16! How fun!

Published?

MMB: My 14th book, This Wilderness Journey, just released on April 24th!

Rachel: Woohoo! Congratulations!!!

What genres do you write?

MMB: I’m a Christian Historical Romance gal! More specifically, I write romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Rachel: This just makes my heart so happy!

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What are you working on now?

MMB: I’m finishing the third full-length book in my Heart of the Mountains series, This Courageous Journey. This is the story of Noelle (Simeon Grant’s sister from book 1) and her journey to visit her brother in the Canadian mountain territory. I’ve loved this story, and I think readers will too!

Rachel: Oh! I love the sound of it!

What is your next release?

MMB: I’m so excited to have a novella included in the Timeless Love Collection with six other amazing authors. All proceeds of the collection will be donated to the Livestrong Organization to support those affected by cancer. My novella in the collection is This Freedom Journey (part of the Heart of the Mountains series), which tells Mary and Adrien’s story (Emma and Joseph’s aunt and uncle).

Rachel: I'm so glad I got a copy of the full collection! Readers, you can find Misty's Novella HERE. Timeless Love is no longer available as the collection, but you can find the novellas individually.

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

MMB: The actual writing is always the hardest! I LOVE to write. I get grumpy when things arise that keep me from writing. But writing a 70,000 word story that’s actually interesting is not for the faint of heart! There are always points in my story where I think, “I’m not sure I can finish this book.”

Rachel: It's a marathon not a sprint. Right?

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

MMB: Definitely in solitude! If I’m in a crowd of people I don’t know (like an airport or a hotel lobby), I can eventually block out the people around. I really struggle with writing with my family around, though! 😊

Rachel: I hear ya there. I like to work at our local coffee shop. I put in my era buds and get in the zone. At home...the kids...or the husband...always needs something. Or I get distracted by cleaning up.


About the author...


Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. 



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

Monday, July 23, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Lisa Carter

Thanks for the great candid, Lisa! What a lovely view! 

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

LC: 1st year

Beth: I'm biased but I think you're going to love it!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

LC: I love to interact with readers. Looking forward also to panels.

Beth: The fellowship is so sweet and oh, the panels are never dull!

Are you a hugger?

LC: Yes.

Beth: Yay for hugs!

Just for fun...

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

LC: China

Beth: That's a big one! It would be hard to choose exactly where to visit!

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

LC: Travel the world

Beth: You dream big! I'd love to travel the country and part of Canada, I'm not nearly as ambitious. 

If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

LC: British

Beth: So posh!

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

LC: Sweet Tea

Beth: My CB radio handle is Sugar Biscuit (true story)!


About reading...

What is your favorite genre to read?

LC: Romantic Suspense.

Beth: Great genre and one of my favorites as well!

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

LC: Once blocked out a hurricane while reading.

Beth: THAT is impressive!
Lisa's reading spot

Describe your favorite reading spot.

LC: I inherited this chair when my father died two years from Alzheimer’s. He was under my care the last 3 years of his life. The chair is a family heirloom from the 1920s. I recovered it in my favorite palette of blue.

Beth: My mother owns a chair similar to this that has been passed down. I love the fabric you've chosen and this looks like a wonderful reading spot!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?

LC: We live in a broken world. Christian fiction reminds us of the hope we have for the ultimate Happily-Ever-After.

Beth: Yes, I agree!

About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

LC: As of April 2018, I am writing my 21st. 

Beth: That's fabulous! 

What genres do you write?

LC: Romantic suspense & contemporary romance. 

Beth: I love romance!

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

LC: Working now on romantic suspense novel set in Blue Ridge Mts of NC. I have a contemporary release on May 1, 2018. And a new romantic suspense novel set on the Outer Banks of NC releasing June 12, 2018.

Beth: The Blue Ridge are getting a lot of attention lately and I love it! 

Instant stories... just add water?!
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

LC: I come up with my best plotting ideas in the shower. You can chart my books literally by our water bill. My husband, for fun, created a pic of this. 

Beth: I hope your water rates are economical!

Why do you think writing Christian Fiction is so important?

LC: The only hope the world has is in Jesus Christ. As writers, we have the privilege to point people to that Hope and encourage the saints in faithful perseverance.

Beth: Amen!

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

LC: I prefer solitude so that nothing shakes me out of the storyworld that I’m creating.

Beth: Distractions are the worst!

About the author...

Lisa Carter is the bestselling author of multiple romantic suspense novels, historical novellas and a contemporary Coast Guard series. The Stronghold won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times Top Pick.

Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with her family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.



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

Monday, July 16, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Sandra Ardoin


Thank you, Sandra, for providing a candid shot of yourself.

Today we welcome Author Sandra Ardoin to the blog! Grab a snack and pull up a comfy chair for today's chat!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?
SA: This will be my first opportunity to attend a reader retreat, but what could be better than discussing fiction with others who get as lost in a story as I do? The author panels should be fun too. I expect to leave having learned from more experienced authors and with connections to other avid readers like me.

Rachel: There really is no better way to describe it! 

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?
SA: I’ll be the one walking around with my jaw hanging at seeing and meeting oodles of people who love fiction so much they’ll take the time and expense to come to such an event. And I’ll have the chance to play fangirl when I meet some of my favorite authors.

Rachel: It's the best! Jen Turano left me speechless when I got to first meet her!

Are you a hugger?

SA: If a person is an enthusiastic hugger, I’ll participate, but I’m not big on hugging and am not particularly demonstrative. Go figure for one whose genre is romance, right?

Rachel: Well...there are loads of huggers at CFRR, so prepare yourself hehe!


Just for fun...



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

SA: That’s easy…Australia, especially Sydney. Several years ago, I wrote a novella set there and got hooked on the research. The only drawback is the plane ride. I’m not a frequent or avid flier.

Rachel: Long airplane rides are the pits...I have flown to South Africa 3 times..My recommendation...Books...and a neck pillow! Australia would be worth it!


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

SA: A zebra? I add the question mark because if you’d asked for any ol’ animal, I would have said a horse. Maybe a miniature horse—too small to be ridden yet treated like a family pet.

Rachel: Hahaha! I have seen miniature horses at the zoo...in the petting zoo area!!!


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

SA: I think I’d work for a garden shop. Shh… Don’t tell the ones I visit, but I’m the one who picks off the dead foliage so the plants look more appealing and will find good homes.

Rachel: LOL...My house is known as plant hospice. Green thumbs, I have not!


If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

SA: My romantic side says French, but my practical side says a Scottish brogue—not so heavy as to be incomprehensible, but enough to roll the “r”s.

Rachel: Oooooh! Either of these would be awesome!





About reading...



What's your favorite genre to read?

SA: I read various genres, but mostly historical and romantic suspense. Any story with mystery/danger/adventure goes to the top of my must-read list.

Rachel: Yes! I am getting more into the suspense reads and am loving them!


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

SA: I need quiet to sink into the story and feel as if I’m there with the characters and a part of their lives. If the TV is on or someone wants to talk to me, it takes me out of the story world, and I get cranky. No one wants to see me cranky, so I retreat to my bedroom and read—alone and thoroughly happy with my imaginary friends.

Rachel: This sounds like a grand plan to me!

How do you organize your books?
SA: I alphabetize books in the bookcase by author last name. The TBR books on my nightstand are stacked by order of receipt. Many of them I check out from the church library or are influencer copies, so I need to read them in a timely order. I haven’t figured out how to organize books on my Kindle. Any suggestions?

Rachel: I like it. I have my kindle books sorted by author. I tend to be OCD with my bookshelf...everything needs to be alphabetized lol!


How often do you pleasure-read?

SA: I slink off to my bedroom almost every night and read for about an hour before bedtime. A novel generally goes wherever I go. I’ve been known to read while brushing my teeth or waiting for the light to change at an intersection. It’s why I prefer print books. They can be opened on a moment’s notice.



About writing...



How many books have you written?

SA: Written? If that includes the ones I keep hidden in a secret place, never to be found when I die, I’d say a dozen. So far, two have been traditionally published—A Reluctant Melody and The Yuletide Angel.

Rachel: I think all authors have those stories hehe! 


What genres do you write?

SA: I write historical romance, though I’ve dabbled with contemporary stories. My favorite time period is the second half of the nineteenth century. While I’m not so naΓ―ve as to believe people sinned any less than we do today, we do perceive that time as a simpler lifestyle with clear standards of right and wrong manners and behavior. At the same time, there was so much growth and invention going on. I enjoy creating strong women who take on unusual roles.

Rachel: YES! This is one of my favorite eras! 


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

SA: I recently finished a contemporary romance and am working on other ideas while the Lord and I discuss what is next for me from a publishing standpoint. That might be seeking another traditional contract or indie publishing a novella I’ve written. I’d like to do both.

Rachel: YAY! Sounds exciting! 




Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
SA: Hmm… I’ve never stood on my head to write, but if it works, I’ll give it a go. I do find the shower to be a tremendous place for working out problems I’m having with my story. Otherwise, I’m in my office and at my desk five days a week, typing sentences between sips of coffee.

Rachel: Coffee is a MUST!!!!

What are your must-have writing supplies?
SA: My morning coffee is a definite “must have.” Have I said that already? I also need my laptop (of course), a calendar (two, actually), and a door on my office.

Rachel: Haha! Coffee and a door....yes please! 


About the author...
Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. She’s the author of the heartwarming novella, The Yuletide Angeland the award-winning novel, A Reluctant Melody. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.comSubscribe to receive updates and specials. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoodreadsPinterest, and BookBub.




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