Month: June 2014 (page 1 of 2)

How to: Get Your Book Mentioned on Jeopardy!

Do you ever watch the hit trivia show Jeopardy! and wish you knew more answers? I know I do. Well, we’re happy to report we have the answer to one question posed on the June 25 episode. Many Christian fiction lovers were pleased to see Chris Fabry’s award-winning novel June Bug mentioned in the Summer Reading category.

To read Chris’s humor-filled take on HOW to get your book referenced on a hit show, see below!

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For my fellow writers, here is a proven, easy, 16-step process for marketing your book on Jeopardy! Increase visibility with this simple, straightforward approach to creating buzz for your novel.

Step 1—Have your wife ask you to go to the store for paper towels and a few other things. In the Walmart parking lot, notice an old, beat-up RV and think, I wonder who’s in that thing. Keep reflecting on that as you wander into the store.

Step 2–Once you get inside, smile at the old guy who is greeting you; then glance to your left and see the missing children posters on the wall. Observe one composite photo, altered to show what a certain girl would look like at age ten.

Step 3–Notice a little boy wandering around in the store alone, and ask the question, I wonder where his parents are?

Step 4–Get home, put the paper towels away, wander to the bedroom where your wife and daughter are talking, sit on the bed, and say, “I think I just came up with a really good story.” Stephen King says not to tell that story to anyone, but go ahead. Tell them, “A young boy is riding around with his dad in an old RV. He walks into a Walmart one day and looks at the missing children pictures and sees himself.” Have your wife and daughter say, “You should write that.”

Step 5–Change the little boy to a little girl and pattern the whole story after Les Misérables, where Jean Valjean rescues Cosette from the Thénardier family.

Step 6–Chew on the story for months. Let it percolate. Figure out what happened early in the girl’s life to get her in that RV. Figure out the backstory of her father, the man who drives the beat-up RV.

Step 7–Name the father John Johnson and think that’s really cool.

Step 8–Go to a writers’ conference with the goal of getting something really good for your story about this little girl. You need a name for her—a nickname, something that would be the key to tie her to the land where she was born. Sit in a lecture given by Dave Lambert where he talks about the importance of place in novels, and doodle things from your childhood as he speaks. Write down the words June Bug because you remember tying a string to a june bug and trailing it like a kite. Look at the page again. Stare at it. Then, suddenly, realize you have her name. It’s right there in front of you. And begin to write the story.

Step 9–Have your kids get progressively sicker and sicker and discover the home of your dreams—the place where you thought you would live the rest of your life—is killing you. Vacate the house with only the clothes on your back. Lose just about everything but your cars. And keep writing.

Step 10–Use the pain of all you’re going through to inform the characters on the page. Have the little girl who lives in the RV experience the same feelings you do as you write and edit the book in a pull-along camper your neighbor lends you.

Step 11–Write the last word and weep.

Step 12–Send the book off to the publisher. Go through the editing process. Change some things, massage, tweak, and then let it go.

Step 13–Publish the book and get some good reviews. See sales that are okay but not fantastic. Wonder about your little girl.

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Step 14–Five years later, open your e-mail and get a message from a friend telling you she just saw your name on Jeopardy!

 Chris Fabry on Jeopardy!

Watch the video of Chris Fabry’s novel June Bug on Jeopardy!

Step 15–Wonder how Alex Trebek came across the five-year-old novel and try not to complain that he mispronounced your name.

Step 16–Sigh and hope people who haven’t read this joyful creation that came from such pain will find it and enjoy reading it half as much as you did writing it.

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Haven’t read June Bug yet? Don’t miss out on the upcoming e-book promotion of this title:

From July 8-12, purchase June Bug for only $1.99!

Visit Chris online . . .

on his blog

on Facebook

on Twitter

on his hit radio show

Thanks for checking out the blog today. Stop by next week for our June #shelfie of the month!

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Author Jolina Petersheim’s Caffeine Boost – Celebrating The Midwife Release with Starbucks Giveaway!

Today, we’re talking about motivation and let’s be honest . . . a caffeine boost never hurts. For author Jolina Petersheim, it’s especially helpful to have her favorite drink on hand when she’s racing toward a manuscript deadline. In celebration of the release of her sophomore novel, The Midwife, we here on the Crazy4Fiction team would love to enable your caffeine addiction and give you a taste of Jolina’s beautiful prose.

For a chance at a $25 Starbucks gift card, an authentic Amish wall hanging, and your choice of Jolina’s novels (either The Outcast or The Midwife), enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.

Outcast and Midwife covers

Visit Jolina online!

Never know what to choose for your caffeine fix? Let’s hear from Jolina on what’s always filling her cup.

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It’s not always easy to find a stimulating drink when you’re pregnant. Caffeine makes my wee babe bounce around inside of my belly like a Ping-Pong ball. However, you cannot go to Starbucks to tap away on your laptop for hours without getting some kind of beverage.

So, as I plugged away toward my June 15th deadline, I would always order a tall iced decaf mocha. Then the sugar made my wee babe bounce around my belly like a Ping-Pong ball.

I probably could’ve done without the sugar.

Last week, my doctor informed me that I need to cut back on sugar. I don’t eat many processed foods, so I sat there in the yellow room, racking my brain, trying to figure out where I’d gone wrong.

And then I thought of that delicious, chilled mocha latte that I slurped down while reading over the final version of my manuscript.

Bingo.

Therefore, though I am now going to be sipping a chilled mint tea every time I write at Starbucks, I want you all to enjoy a tall iced decaf mocha for me. Maybe send me a picture or two to hold me over until the baby’s born.

I’m telling you, come September 8th when she’s due, I’m going to be sending my husband to Starbucks from the hospital.

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Visit Jolina online . . .

on her blog

on Facebook

on Twitter

on the Southern Belle View Daily blog

And don’t forget to mark those calendar. This week, Thursday, June 26th 7:00pm-8:00pm (CST), Jolina will be holding a live author chat on Facebook for many fun prizes include 2 visa gift cards! Stop by and say hello.

A little more on The Midwife . . .

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Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.

Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again, this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy—and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

What about you, readers? What drink of choice kick-starts your creativity and helps you keep moving?

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Teaching Your Trade – Thoughts on Parenting from Author Rene Gutteridge PLUS Book Giveaway

To celebrate the first day of summer, tomorrow Saturday June 21st, we invited author Rene Gutteridge on the blog today to share with us a little about her thoughts on parenting and her latest novel, Just 18 Summers.

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GIVEAWAY: Enter through the widget below to win a copy of Just 18 Summers. It’s a great beach read for your summer pile.

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Sometimes the summer break seemed really long to me, especially once the kids passed the age where the McDonald’s PlayPlace was all they needed to make them happy. I’d watch some of my friends fly with their families off to Hawaii or Branson or Disney World or even Idaho, and I’d wonder how in the world I was going to entertain my children for weeks on end. Like many families, we had a strict budget to adhere to. We set aside money for fun events here and there, but for the rest of the time we had to do things that cost very little.

The children were a bit older—late elementary age—when I realized that in our modern society very few people teach their children their trade. My kids never thought “novel writing” was anything spectacular. To them it was just something Mom had to do while they had to entertain themselves for what I’m sure seemed like hours on end (usually just a couple of hours in the morning). But I realized that I had something to teach my children. Writing, whether for novels, essays, or college applications, would be important in their lives. So I decided it was time to teach them my trade. I was astonished by how little they knew of what I did and, even better, by how interested they were! On the days we did this, they got up early, anticipating each new lesson. I tried to make the lessons fun, but frankly I didn’t have to work that hard at the fun part. They were so eager to learn what Mom “did” that they didn’t really moan or groan that much. And I was delighted when I realized they were working on their own novels during their free time, when they could have been watching TV or playing video games.

I began thinking about what a useful tool this option is for all parents. Our kids have such vast employment opportunities in this country that we forget how wonderful it is to teach them what we do for a living or what we studied in college or even what we dreamed we might be someday.

Think about all the fun you could have teaching a child about real estate. Drive around your neighborhood and see if they can pick out “prime real estate,” and ask them to list the reasons why. Or give them the job of walking down your street and rating each house as to its “curb appeal.”

With each occupation or interest, we often assume that our kids either already know about it or wouldn’t care. But passing down our legacy, including how our hands make a living, is an important part of spending time with our children. And it is certainly a better idea than TV or video games. Did you deliver papers as a kid to make money? Teach them how to toss a paper while on a bike, rating them for how close they get to the door each time. Did you flip burgers to get through college? Have them come up with the perfect fast-food menu, then let them cook up dinner one night, with family members as customers. Are you a bank teller? Teach them about the money drawer and customer service.

It can be a lot of fun, and I think you’ll be surprised—no matter what you’re teaching them—how eager they’ll be to learn about what you do and, even more important, to learn about you. I was surprised by all the different questions my kids would ask me about my job, things that I took for granted they knew, like “How do you get paid to write a book?”

So, this summer, if you’ve exhausted all the free museum trips and run out of Groupons for entertainment options, take a week to tell them about your trade. The time will pass so quickly—and delightfully—you’ll wish summer would slow down a little bit more!

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 For more from Rene, visit her online . . .

on her website

on Facebook 

Stop by the blog next week to hear from Michelle Cox, co-author of Just 18 Summers, on her inspiration for the novel. Have a lovely weekend, all!

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Which Darling Sister are YOU? Quiz and Book Giveaway

Afternoon, readers! When I was a kid, one of the games I liked most was to make believe that I was one of my favorite book characters. Whether running around solving mysteries as Nancy Drew or wreaking havoc as beguiling Anne Shirley, there was something special about each of these heroines that spoke to me.

As a fun treat today, we have our own game of make-believe for you to take part in! Debut author Carre Armstrong Gardner’s novel All Right Here features the quirky, sometimes-chaotic, but always loving Darling family.

All Right Here

Aside from the Darling parents and older brother David, this family is made up of four sisters. Each sister experiences her own pitfalls and triumphs, as we all do in real life. Let’s meet the Darling girls:

IVY

Ivy has never met a stranger. Though she can be scatterbrained, disorganized, and occasionally overwhelmed by the daily grind, she has a special gift for drawing others out. Ivy is definitely someone you’d want in your corner.

LAURA

Laura is Ivy’s twin, but they’re very different. A woman of certainty and action, Laura is organized, capable, and intensely independent. But she can sometimes struggle to open up.

SEPHY

Seraphina—Sephy for short—is warm, kind, and loyal. She tends to see the best in everyone (except herself). Making people happy is always Sephy’s top priority.

AMY

Amy is the creative one of the family. Dancing to the beat of her own drum, she tends to view the world through an uncompromising lens, making it hard for her to understand why life can’t be as cut-and-dried for everyone else. Amy will do anything for her family.

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Which sister are YOU most like? Take the quiz —and let us know in the comments which Darling girl you’re most like—for a chance to win a copy of All Right Here!

Which Darling Sister are You

Giveaway details: One winner will be chosen at random from the comments. Giveaway available for US residents only. Giveaway open until Thursday, June 19.

A little more on All Right Here . . .

Ivy Darling can’t have children of her own, and her husband Nick’s resentment is forcing them apart. And while Ivy has the support and love of her large, close-knit family, Nick’s family has never welcomed her into the fold.

When the three children next door are abandoned by their mother, Ivy and Nick take them in for the night. One night becomes several, and suddenly Ivy and Nick find themselves foster parents to the only African-American kids in the town of Copper Cove, Maine. As Ivy grows more attached to the children, Nick refuses to accept their eclectic household as a permanent family. Just as Ivy begins to question whether or not she wants to save her emotionally barren marriage, Nick begins to discover how much Ivy and the children mean to him. But is his change of heart too little, too late?

All Right Here is available in stores and online now!

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