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?


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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?
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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!
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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!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Carole Towriss

Thanks for sending this great candid of you on the beach, Carole!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

CT: This will be my first year.

Beth: Yay! So exciting!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

CT: Meeting readers who love biblical fiction.

Beth: I'm sure you'll find a few. 😉

Are you a hugger?

CT: Sure!

Beth: Great!

Just for fun...

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


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CT: I’d love to go to Greece. My next four books are set in ancient Greece.

Beth: Oh! The history and beauty! I'd love to visit Greece as well!

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

CT: Scottish.

Beth: That is on my top ten list for sure!


About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read? 

CT: Biblical fiction. I fell in love with it when I read The Robe as a young teenager.

Beth: I discovered biblical fiction as a young adult and it's one of my favorites (although I tend to be quite picky about what I like and don't like)!

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?
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CT: I seek quiet. Not easy in my house!

Beth: Oh, I hear ya there!

How often do you pleasure read?

CT: Not as often as I'd like.

Beth: Amen to that!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?

CT: It keeps your mind in a Christian worldview. We are so bombarded all day, every day, with anti-God messages, it’s a great way to reset your thinking.

Beth: You are what you read!

About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

CT: I have written nine and published seven.

Beth: That's wonderful! 

What genres do you write?

CT: Mostly biblical fiction. I have written some contemporary romance novellas, mostly as a break from the research-intensive historicals.

Beth: I love to mix up my reading, sounds like variety is a good plan for writing, too!
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What are you working on now? What is your next release?

CT: I have a biblical novella releasing in September. It’s part of “The Psalm Series” with two other authors. I plan to release another full-length historical in early winter.

Beth: That is exciting news!

Why do you think writing Christian fiction is important?

CT: People learn facts better when they are presented as a story. Christian fiction is a great way to impart the Truth, to those who already know Him and those who are still seeking.

Beth: I completely agree! I've learned much more about history through fiction than I ever did in an academic setting.

What are your must-have writing supplies?

CT: A computer with internet access. I end up researching as I write, so I need the internet.

Beth: I need the internet, too!

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

CT: I can work anywhere as long as people leave me alone! I’ve gone several times to a crowded fast-food restaurant nearby. It’s busy, but no one tries to talk to me.

Beth: Oh, I know that feeling of being interrupted all too well! 

About the author...

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day.



Say "hi" to Carole 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!