Monday, August 27, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Becca Whitham



About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?
BW: I haven’t been to CFRR yet.

Rachel: Oh the adventures that await you!
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What part of CFRR are you most excited about? Are you a hugger?
BW: I’m going to answer both of these together because, yes, I’m a hugger and it’s the thing I’m most looking forward to. Many of the CFRR authors and coordinators are my blog-land buddies. I’ve never met them in person. I can’t wait to pull them into a great big hug to show them just how much I love and adore them.

Rachel: I CAN'T WAIT FOR HUGS!!!!

Just for fun...
If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
BW: I would be Weather Woman. I’d take the torrential rain flooding one part of the world and divert it to areas suffering drought. Or I’d blow a particularly fierce hurricane back out to sea or a tornado away from densely populated areas. As for my costume, it would be either teal or burgundy (because those are really good colors on me) and—most importantly—it would cinch, tighten, and lift until I was shaped like Scarlett Johansson.

Rachel: Oooooh! I love this!
What secret talents do you have?
BW: If I told you, they’d no longer be secret.

Rachel: Sneaky, sneaky.
Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
BW: Israel. Hubby and I have been planning it for years but, until he’s out of the army, I doubt we’ll go. We want to spend a month there…maybe longer. We also want to visit the Dominican Republic to meet our Compassion child. Of course, I still want to get to Italy. And Germany. And I would love to visit Sweden and the Netherlands. Oh…and Prince Edward Island, Canada. And let’s not forget Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine because then I’ll have been to all fifty states. You see the problem?

Rachel: Indeed I do....And I must say that I feel the same way.
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash
BW: France. My daughter and I went to Paris several years ago. The language is so beautiful. Even their word for “toilet” is lovely. Latrine. How very elegant.

Rachel: I do love French.
If you were a spy, what would your code name be?
BW: Agent 355 in honor of the woman who was part of the Culper Ring during the Revolutionary War.

Rachel: YES! This is perfect. Did you see the post Roseanna White shared 2 weeks ago here? Create your own spy name! Inspired by the Cupler Ring. Mine is Mildred Bell.

About reading...

How do you organize your books?
BW: My husband is in the army, so we move often. I’m constantly given a chance to organize (and reorganize and re-re-organize) my bookshelf. Currently, my books are divided by shelf in the following categories: non-fiction research books; books about how to write books; books I’ve read organized by author; more books I’ve read shoved to the back with books I haven’t read in front of them; more books I haven’t read piled on the floor of my office, and even more books I’ve either just finished reading, am in the process of reading, or plan to read next piled beside my bed. And there are a few books here and there in other parts of the house because…well…because I’m not a great housekeeper, and they tend to stay wherever I was last reading them.

Rachel: Organizing books is soothing for me. Everytime we have moved, the books are what I look forward to unpacking the most.
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How often do you pleasure-read?
BW: I try to read for an hour a day, usually before bed. Sometimes that backfires on me and I end up reading late into the night…or the next morning.

Rachel: Been there...Done that...
Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?
BW: Because it has the ability to reach inside and imprint your soul so that, once you close the book, you are different for having lived through the character’s journey. Some of the best theology I’ve ever heard has come to me through fiction.

Rachel: This is a beautiful description. And I agree 100%!

About writing...
How many books have you written?
BW: Are you counting the ones I’ve started, the ones I’ve only written inside my own head, or ones I’ve actually sat down and typed out? Oh—who am I kidding?—I wouldn’t be able to count the number in any category. Published? Now that’s easier. I currently have eleven listed on my author page. I have two more coming in 2019, although they will most likely release after CFRR.  

Rachel: That is exciting news. And you can never have too many story ideas.
What genres do you write? What are you working on now? What is your next release?
Novella - Amazon
BW: Published writing I’ve limited myself to Historical Romantic Suspense, but I have several ideas for Contemporary Suspense. Once I’m more established, I’ll consider publishing in both genres. I’m currently working on the third novel in a three-book series that Gina Welborn and I have co-authored. We ended Book One with a pretty big cliffhanger, most of which we solve in Book Two, so now it’s time to wrap up the last remaining romance and mystery. Book Two in this series releases in October 2018 with the promotional e-book only novella releasing three months prior in July. We haven’t yet been given publication dates for the final novel and promotional novella releasing in 2019.

Rachel: I have recently started reading Romantic Suspense and I LOVE IT!!!
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
BW: I don’t write in the shower, but some of my best ideas come when I’m shampooing my hair. I’ll act out dialogue between characters or work through a knotty motivational problem. If I’m suffering from writer’s block, sometimes I’ll take a second shower to allow the steam to open up my brain cells.

Rachel: Steamy showers are truly inspiring aren't they? Hehe!
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What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?
BW: Before I was published, I could concentrate on writing. Now my days are divided amongst writing the current book, promoting the book I wrote two years ago, editing the book I wrote last year, putting out proposals for the books I hope to write in the future, and building relationships with readers through newsletters, social media, and personal appearances. Now do you see why I’m such a lousy housekeeper?   

Rachel: Totally in the same boat.
Which aspect is most natural for you?
BW: Brainstorming. Hands down. I can chase rabbits down holes for hours on end! I have a natural ability to see disparate pieces of plot and organize them into a linear progression that builds conflict and/or suspense.

Rachel: Imagination is a beautiful thing. I love opening the doors to the mind.
Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?
BW: I usually work in solitude, but when the deadlines are pressing and I’ve been locked inside my house for five days straight, sometimes I’ll shake things up by going to a public place.

Rachel: Getting out of the house, away from the kids and housework, definitely help me to concentrate!

Thank you so much for joining us today Becca!

About the author...
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) Award-winning author, paper crafter, and Army wife, Becca currently resides in Virginia with her husband of over thirty years and a twelve-foot long craft cabinet she thinks should count as a dependent. So far, neither the army nor the IRS is convinced. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories combining faith and fiction that touch the heart. You can find her online at www.beccawhitham.com





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

Monday, August 20, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Lindsey P. Brackett

Lindsey and her book baby! Awww! 

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

LB: CFRR 2019 will be my first year! I am so excited. I followed the buzz in 2017 and my friend, Kimberly Duffy, sent me pictures all day long of herself with her favorites, along with texts saying, “You have to come to this next year!” I attend several conferences each year, often as faculty, but the excitement surrounding CFRR tells me this will be a whole new experience.

I’m ready, got my roommate (the delightful Kristi Ann Hunter) and we’re looking at planning a little family time in DC for beforehand since that’s the kids’ spring break. As an aside, we love DC and travel there often with my husband’s job, so if anyone wants some tips on working the city with kids, let me know.

Beth: We so happy to have you and how wonderful that y'all can incorporate some family time!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

LB: I can’t wait to meet readers. There’s really nothing I love more than talking books, and even though I’ll be coming as an author, I’m pretty sure I’ll be a fan-girl. I’m looking forward to introducing my debut to some new hands, but I’m also excited to be part of the industry talk and to discover—what are readers wanting? How can we better serve them with the stories our hearts and fingers want to tell?

Beth: That's great! You'll be able to do it all!

Are you a hugger?

LB: I’m a Southern girl, so of course.

Beth: Me too!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

LB: People tell me I’m a great connector. I have a wide circle of interests and colleagues, so I’m pretty good at helping people network. At conferences, I’ll often spend mealtimes steering new writers toward agents, editors, or classes I think will benefit them most—because we all know conferences can be overwhelming. But at home, in the everyday, I love being a resource to people for books, podcasts, recipes, babysitters…

Beth: That is an excellent talent to have! What a blessing to everyone around you!

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

LB: I’d take back my middle school classroom, but I’d probably be the teacher constantly in trouble for reading too many novels aloud. No apologies though. I firmly believe good literature is the foundation our students need to become communicators as adults.

Beth: I agree! We need more fiction in our lives, regardless of our age!


About reading...

How often do you pleasure read? 

LB: I read every day. It’s like breathing for me. Plus, it’s my job. Good writers are good readers.

Beth: A day in which I don't get to read is a sad day indeed!

How many books do you average per month?

LB: 3-5 is always the goal. Don’t rely on my Goodreads to be up to date, though. I’m terrible about tracking my reading, though I promise myself constantly I’ll get better.

But I’m always reading something non-fiction, something new that I’ve been looking forward to, and lately something my kids have asked me to read with them. So my nightstand is a constant jumble of YA, contemporary romance/women’s fic, southern literature, memoir, and creativity endeavors.

Beth: Variety is the spice of life!

About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

LB: My current release, Still Waters, is my debut and the first book I ever wrote. (I know. Sometimes on white nights, I wish it was in a drawer, but then it wins an award or gets a great review and I just feel really, really blessed.)

I’ve got two other novels finished. One is coming up and one is being worked. 

Beth: Yay, Lindsey! 

What genres do you write?

LB: Apparently I don’t fit neatly into a genre. Still Waters is classified women’s fic, southern inspirational, and romance. I wrote a novel I thought was southern gothic, but apparently, it’s YA. My next book is probably more romance, but it’s really non-traditional.

I felt bad about not fitting a genre until a writer mentor of mine told me it’s because I studied theater and learned to assume many personas. Basically, I write what I enjoy reading and what I know. Which means you get a voice strong with my love of the South (especially family and food) with characters trying to make sense of things that just sometimes, make no sense.

Beth: I love this! Genres are overrated anyway.

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

LB: My next release (June 2019) is currently titled Like a River Flows. A stand-alone follow-up to Still Waters, this is a story about marriage—how we come together, how we might fall apart, and how we can find our way back to the thing that is meant to be. A lot of people are hoping it will continue Cora Anne and Tennessee’s romance from Still Waters, and while readers will get some swoony moments, this book isn’t only their story.

But in the meantime, readers can sign up for newsletter at www.lindseypbrackett.com and in the fall, you’ll receive a free download of my novella, Magnolia Mistletoe. This sweet Christmas romance fills in the gaps between the two novels and brings back Hannah and Ben, two of my favorite characters from Still Waters.

Beth: I cannot wait to read them!

Why do you think writing Christian fiction is important?

LB: Well, I told you I don’t fit neatly into a genre 😊 I think what’s more important than the label “Christian fiction” is that we, as Christians who are also writers, produce quality stories that reflect our worldview. All writers are under the influence of our own personal beliefs and experiences.

When we translate those into stories, we are setting hard to grasp ideas into realities (or alternate realities for my spec friends) where we offer a unique view of the world—one where (and this is my definition of Christian fiction)—there is always hope.

Beth: Well said! I can't wait to hug your neck for that answer!

What are your must-have writing supplies?

LB: Peanut M&Ms. Something to sip. In the mornings, it’s coffee or chai, but in the afternoons, I love my sweet tea. I also keep aqua notes in the shower because I think really well with soap in my hair. Find them on Amazon. And I love the notes app on my phone because if I’m out and about and struck with an idea, I just record it there.

You probably figured out I’m a pantser, so having lots of index cards and paper around tends to just make me more scattered. 

Thanks for having me. I am so honored to be among this group of talented writers!

Beth: I love M&Ms! We're so happy you dropped by for a chat!

About the author...


Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett “just writes life” in the midst of motherhood. Her debut novel, Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness, released in 2017. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters also received 4-stars from Romantic Times.

Lover of all things literary and Southern, Lindsey’s favorite days are spent on the back porch, sweet tea in hand, writing stories, reading books, and mentoring authors. A Georgia native, she makes her home—full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee—at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children.



Say "hi" to Lindsey 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, August 13, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Roseanna M. White


Thank you for providing a candid photo of yourself all dressed up in Edwardian attire!

Hi readers! Today's guest is very important to me...Because she is my boss! LOL! It just so happened that it was my turn when we got to Roseanna's interview. I love working as Roseanna's (virtual) assistant. I have learned so much and have been so blessed by her. I can't wait for you all to meet her at CFRR 2019! - Rachel

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

RMW: 2019 will be my first year, and I’m so looking forward to attending the conference!

Rachel: I am so.SO.SOOOOO glad you are going to there this year! (I'm not biased at all of course!)

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

RMW: I love nothing more than chatting with other book lovers, so to have time dedicated to just that—pure bliss!

Rachel: Truer words have never been spoken!


Are you a hugger?

RMW: LOL. Yes and no. I have no problem with it at conferences, when it’s simply a greeting, but this is something I had to work on as a kid. I was not a hugger by nature. I am one by nurture. 😉

Rachel: Well...You'd better prepare yourself for a tackle hug from me at least hehe!



Just for fun...

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

RMW: My family has a whole list! Currently sitting on the top of the dream locations is Patagonia. So beautiful!

Rachel: Oh my goodness! Wouldn't that be an adventure?

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

RMW: Shelving books, of course. I’ve long thought I’d love to be a librarian—because a career that does not involve books just doesn’t bear thinking about.

Rachel: Agreed! Books.Are.Life!

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

RMW: Evelyn Pitt. I actually came up with a spy name generator in conjunction with my Culper Ring Series, based on how George Washington devised the same “Samuel Culper” for his intelligence man, and that’s what mine turned out to be. (You can discover yours here!)

Rachel: Oh! How fun!!! My spy name is Mildred Bell! I love it!!!


About reading...

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

RMW: Ideally, I prefer quiet. But there’s no such thing in my house, so luckily I long ago learned how to block out the world. 😉

Rachel: YES! Same here...

How do you organize your books?

RMW: Fiction is organized alphabetically by author. Non-fiction is first broken down into categories and then the same. Though books still on my TBR pile tend to just sit in a stack on a shelf until I get to them…

Rachel: Finally! Someone who organizes alphabetically by author! 💜 Soul sister!

How often do you pleasure-read?

RMW: Not as often as I’d like. I homeschool my kids so spend 1-2 hours a day reading aloud to them. Between that, writing, and editing, I spend so much time staring at words during the day that I don’t always have the brain-and-eye power to do more of it in the evenings, so I’ll knit or watch TV with my husband instead. I usually manage 1-2 books for fun every month—which is pathetic compared to what I used to read, but if you factor in all those books for school and work, then it looks more impressive, LOL.

Rachel: Schoolwork has definitely disrupted my reading habits. But so worth it!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?

RMW: The same reason Paul’s letters to the churches were important—because believers need encouragement. They need to see ways to live out their faith. They need to ask hard questions and examine possible answers, and fiction allows us to do that. It helps us to see into the hearts of characters and so take a deeper look at our own. As one of my characters said, “Fiction is truth…in a pretty wrapping.” And Christian fiction isn’t just truth, but Truth. We all pray non-believers will read it too, but I know that my primary ministry is encouraging the flock. I’ve yet to hear from a reader who came to faith because of my words—but I regularly hear from readers whose faith was renewed or deepened, and I believe that’s what God has called me to do with my writing.

Rachel: All of this...YES! And I know what book that was! It was the book that made me create the 5.5 star rating...With that quote as the description. (Psst it's A Name Unknown if you were wondering.)

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

RMW: I currently have 22 either published or contracted (7 of those aren’t out yet), another dozen or so that are finished but unpublished, and something ridiculous like 75 that are begun but not finished. Ideas have never been a problem for me, LOL.

Rachel: Not a bad problem to have I suppose, but trying to decide WHAT story gets written next...???

What genres do you write?

RMW: All my published books are historicals, mostly historical romance (and the ones that aren’t strictly romance still have strong love stories). I do have some contemporaries in that “unpublished” folder that I hope to sneak out into the world someday too, but my heart has always been for history!

Rachel: There is something special and sweet about historical books.

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

RMW: I just finished the last round of edits on An Hour Unspent, the final book in the Shadows Over England Series, which will release in September. I just finished the first draft of The Number of Love, which is the first book in my next series, The Codebreakers, which will release next year. And I’m about to dive into my second book for the Guideposts series, Secrets of Wayfarers Inn, which I’m writing with 7 other authors. It’s a busy year!

Rachel: Which is why you hired me! I can't WAIT for y'all to meet Barclay...Properly! Oh my goodness!!!! 😍

What are your must-have writing supplies?

RMW: In the morning, I need my coffee—it’s part of my ritual, though I only drink half-caf. But otherwise, all I need is my laptop. Well, and chocolate doesn’t hurt, LOL.

Rachel: Chocolate never hurts. And all.the.coffee!!!

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

RMW: Solitude! I crave quiet like nothing else. This is why my ideal writing weekend involves nothing but a cushy chair, my computer, and endless hours to spend right there with my fingers on my keyboard.

Rachel: Sounds like pure bliss to me!

Thank you so much for joining us today Roseanna!


About the author...


Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.



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

Monday, August 6, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Kristin Noel Fischer

Thanks for the great candid, Kristin! Y'all are so sweet! 

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

KF: This will be my first year to attend the retreat, and I can hardly wait!

Beth: YAY! We're so happy you're joining us!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

KF: I’m most excited about meeting other writers and readers of Christian Fiction.

Beth: Yes! All the wonderful bookish people!

Are you a hugger?

KF: Yes.

Beth: Great!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

KF: I can stand on my head, something I learned how to do when I turned 40. I can also change the toilet paper roll in the bathroom.

Beth: I admire your mad skills, Kristin! The toilet paper changing is a rare gift indeed, seems there's only about one person who is able to successfully complete that task within a household. Hehehe!

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

KF: Cinque Terre in Italy. I put together a puzzle over Christmas of Cinque Terre, and I can’t stop thinking about going there.

Beth: I don't blame you! This place looks incredible!!!

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

KF: I’d love to have one of my books turned into a movie.

Beth: That would be wonderful but we all know the book is always better! ;) 

About reading...

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

KF: These days I do most of my reading through audiobooks while exercising, cooking, cleaning, driving etc. When I do sit and read an actual book, I love lounging in my reading nook that looks out on the tops of several Texas Live Oak trees. Sitting there makes me feel like I’m reading in a tree house.

Beth: Oh, that sounds so lovely! I'd love to have a reading nook!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?

KF: Christian Fiction is important because it gives hope and healing to a world in desperate need of those things. I honestly don’t know how people “do life” without God. I’ve definitely never heard anyone say, “Wow, I was finally able to overcome my addiction to meth once I became an atheist.”

God is powerful, and reading Christian Fiction allows us to see that again and again.

Beth: Amen!

About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

KF: I’ve published 4 books, two standalones and two in my Rose Island series.  

Beth: Wonderful! 

What genres do you write?

KF: Uplifting Women’s Fiction and Inspirational Romance. I like books that show real people overcoming serious issues through faith, family, love, friendship, and laughter.

Beth: Authentic characters are the best characters!

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


KF: I’m currently working on the third book in my Rose Island series called Bianca’s Joy.

Beth: Bianca is such a pretty name!

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

KF: Although I have a home office, I do my best writing in my windowless, messy closet. I started writing there one summer when all six kids were home. At first, they couldn’t find me and figured I’d gone to the grocery store. Deep sigh. That was such a productive summer.

I also like writing in my car. Whenever I get stuck, I’ll write at Sonic until I figure out what I need to do. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve found Sonic is the perfect cure for writer’s block. 

Beth: Hahahaha! Oh, I can definitely relate to getting more done when the kids can't find you! Sonic has delicious milkshakes, no explanation needed!

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

KF: The writing process most natural to me is creating characters. I adore “my people,” and they feel real to me. The part I struggle with the most is what to do when those characters take over and refuse to follow my directions. Needless to say, I write a lot of drafts to get the story right.

Beth: Fictional friends can be so finicky!

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

KF: I write best in solitude. I’m outgoing and friendly, but I’m a major introvert. Actually, I’m a little nervous about attending the retreat, but my plan is to make friends with an extrovert and get them talking about themselves. Do you think that will work?

Beth: YES! As a matter of fact, I can point a few your way! I was super nervous when I first attended but our mutual love of God and books pave the way!

About the author...

Kristin Noel Fischer writes stories that combine Uplifting Fiction with Inspirational Romance. Her books focus on overcoming tragedy through faith, family, friendship, love, and laughter. Readers enjoy her realistic characters and message of hope.

If you’re looking for a gritty but compelling read without gratuitous love scenes or foul language, you’ve come to the right place. If you prefer a more edgy read, Kristin hopes you’ll give her books a chance and tell her what you think.

Kristin is a Golden Heart Finalist, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist as well as a Golden Quill finalist for Best Inspirational Romance. She lives in Texas where she enjoys biking, gardening, reading, and spending time with her husband and six kids.



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