Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense


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Top 16 Contests for Christian Books

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Publishing Laine will highlight 16 different contests open to Christian books. We’ll be sharing details about the contests, how to enter, entry fees and special requirements or restrictions. Deadlines for many of these contests are coming quickly, so join us to see which ones suit your book the best.

I’ll be discussing this live with author Marie Wells Coutu tonight, 2/7/17, beginning at 7PM Central. Join in the chat to get in on the conversation! Here’s the Link!

Here’s is our radio program from January – a general discussion of publishing and following the Lord’s leading with author Shirley Crowder.

Publishing Laine – Episode 1 – 1/3/17 – Following in the publishing world

 


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It’s Contest Season

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Last month, I started talking publishing on my own radio show. What a fun time we’ve had so far! In January, author Shirley Crowder joined me and we chatted about her experiences.

You can listen to my introductory program at the Blog Talk Radio link!

And be sure to join us next Tuesday at 7PM Eastern for another episode of Publishing Laine. This time, we’ll be talking about Contest Season. This is the time to be entering your 2016 releases in contests. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Yes, contests really matter. Here’s the LINK for Tuesday evening’s show!

Do you have a question about contests or awards? Ask me here in a comment or email me at downpublishingway@gmail.com. If I use your question on the air, I’ll send you a free book. Last month David Humphries asked me a question on Facebook and got three recent releases as a thank you. (Well, it WAS my first show!)

And join us on Tuesday. (You can always call in with a question, too!) Who knows, you might hear about a contest that is perfect for your book!


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Need to Focus on ONE THING!

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This month, my company released a new book (Study Guide on Prayer! Find out more about it here!)

And I hosted my first radio show. (YES! I’m gonna be on the radio at 7PM Central the first Tuesday of every month. Listen here!)

And I’m setting up the final touches on a 10-week teenage Bible study – armor of God with some great hero movies!

And I’m making returns on more gifts than I’d like to admit! (My poor sizing guesses!)

And I’m tying up loose ends from the holidays – sending off prizes to award winners and gifts to folks I didn’t get to see, cleaning up the final touches inside the house.

And … and … and …

I gotta tell you, who has time to make New Year’s resolutions? I have trouble just getting dinner on the table! There are serious times when I’d like to do nothing but put up my feet and watch a football game. Even if the Cowboys aren’t playing! LOL!

Do you every feel like that? Overwhelmed with so many things to do and no prayer of making them all work out the way they are supposed to? That helpless feeling is why I choose a special word every year and keep it at the top of my consciousness every day. I start talking to God about the word and focus that He wants me to have starting in December – about the time I’m ready to pull my hair out! LOL!

By the first of January, or a short time following, He’s shown me where He wants me to put my energy.

Last year, my word was “INTENTIONAL.” I had a good feeling that I would be published traditionally in 2016 and wanted every action I took, especially on social media, to be helpful to my coming book and my writing career. And I was published, just not exactly as I’d expected. And it was all of the other blessings – becoming the head of a publishing company jumps to mind – that steered me toward my word for this year.

FOLLOW.

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Things look great right now – magical – unbelievable. But my position is still a job, still full of responsibilities. And though the Lord has blessed my company with a host of talented and encouraging authors, I have my part to complete. That’s why He’s placed me here.

I’ve said to friends, “I don’t know why God chose me; I don’t know what I’m doing.” I hate to actually admit that, but especially at the beginning, this was so true and still is in some respects. And yet, I know Who does know everything I need to bring this company and its authors to the place that the Lord has purposed. God put me here. And He continues to lead.

My job is to listen. My job is to be willing. My job is to step into His footprints without hesitation. My job is to follow the plan He has.

That’s my focus, unique for 2017 and the challenges that I face leading this new company. What is your focus this year? To what challenge has the Lord called you? To prayer? To teaching? To being quiet? To consistency? To stepping from your comfort zone? Where do you hear His call?


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Fiction Finders for January 2017

January 2017 New Releases

Oh, these sound outstanding! But don’t forget that if you need a Bible Study Guide for January, our newest release, STUDY GUIDE ON PRAYER by Shirley Crowder, is available at Amazon!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley by Valerie Comer, Mary Jane Hathaway, Elizabeth Maddrey, Danica Favorite, Lee Tobin McClain and Annalisa Daughety — Is love possible for a makeshift mom and a handsome widower? What about a bed and breakfast owner and the farmer next door? A curvy jilted bride and a mysterious, handsome chef? Then there’s the real estate consultant and the grandson of her elderly client; a high-powered lawyer and a woman farmer, and a formerly engaged couple. Can love make a difference in their lives? Exploring food, friends, and family in Arcadia Valley, each of these novellas kicks off a three-book series, intertwined with the works of the other authors. This collection is only the beginning of your adventure! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery — Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. As Mitch struggles to keep his business afloat, and Angela works to correct the mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends discover they have something unexpected in common–a young mom fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back from redemption and true love? (Contemporary Romance from New Hope Publishers)

Historical Mystery:

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering — Drew and Madeline Farthering visit the Yorkshire moor to catch a killer and solve a mystery that involves an old feud, a new rivalry and a huge, spectral hound that may or may not be a harbinger of death. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Historical Romance:

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander — A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to get an audition at the newly-formed Nashville Philharmonic. But the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. Women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, he says, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed. Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the new opera hall opens. But far more pressing, he must finish it for his dying father, who inspired his love of music. Then Tate’s ailment worsens. Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The American Heiress Brides Collection by Lisa Carter, Mary Eileen Davis, Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Lisa Karon Richardson, Lynette Sowell and Kimberley Woodhouse — Meet nine young women in America between 1880 and 1911 who have been blessed by fortunes made in gold, silver, industry, ranching, and banking. But when it comes to love, each woman struggles to find true love within a society where “first comes money, second comes marriage.” What kind of man can they trust with their greatest treasure—their hearts? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber — In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for with her beloved Noah Schwartz, and a new, very different future… But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves. Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share… (Historical Romance from Kensington)

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas by Erica Vetsch — Journey to Fort Bliss, Texas, where a battle of emotions versus ideals is about to be waged. When a high-steppin’ eastern fashion artist, Priscilla Hutchens, swoops down on the fort to gain custody of her twin niece and nephew she is met with resistance by their uncle, post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who thinks he knows what is best for them. Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Dead Run by Jodie Bailey — Kristin James’s morning run turns deadly when she’s attacked by a stranger who’s after something her deceased soldier brother stole overseas. Her neighbor Sergeant First Class Lucas Murphy steps in to help her and won’t let her brush the attack under the rug. He’ll do everything he can to keep Kristin alive, but he can’t tell her that he’s under orders to investigate her link to her brother’s misdeeds. Kristin has no idea what the bad guy is after and doesn’t want to believe that her brother wasn’t on the straight and narrow. But as evidence against him piles up, can they catch the criminals without becoming the next casualties? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley — It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in one week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker])

Undercover Protector by Elizabeth Goddard — Undercover at a tiger sanctuary, Special Agent Grayson Wilde is convinced the owner’s involved in a wildlife trafficking ring–until someone tries to kill her. Gemma’s determined to rebuild the tiger oasis she lost when her family died, but someone wants her out of the way, and she’s starting to wonder if her parents’ and uncle’s deaths were really accidental. Grayson says he’ll do anything to protect Gemma, but she can’t shake the feeling that her alluring new volunteer might not be all that he seems. With a vicious criminal closing in, though, she has to trust Grayson…because she won’t survive without him. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Buried Memories by Carol J. Post — A soldier hero suffering from PTSD and a young woman struggling to overcome a traumatic childhood fight for their lives and find healing together. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Still Life by Dani Pettrey — Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright–and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart. Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead–and the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot. Worse, her friend can’t be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Supernatural Thriller:

Fatal Accusation by Rachel Dylan — Attorney Olivia Murray hopes her life in Windy Ridge will get back to normal after a hard-fought trial. But she soon finds out that the forces of evil have not given up. An embezzling scandal rocks the community church to its core. The New Age groups are ready to declare victory when a high-profile prosecutor files criminal charges against the local pastor. However, Olivia is not willing to give up on the community she’s come to love. She takes on the defense pro bono knowing it could destroy her career, but it’s a case she is called to defend. The battle will be fierce, but she’s not fighting it alone. Her friend and fellow attorney Grant Baxter is by her side. Olivia must use all the tools in her arsenal to combat those who seek to destroy the believers in the community. If Olivia can’t prove the pastor’s innocence, more than her career is on the line. The entire community of Windy Ridge could fall to the forces of darkness. (Supernatural Thriller, Independently Published)


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Need Holiday Reads? Get Ready!

Wedding cakeSome wonderful things happen on Tuesday, December 13. First, Sweet Hubby and I celebrate our 30th anniversary! And he’s still so stinkin’ cute!

I could gush, but the truth is, he is my best friend, my hero, my conscience, and my partner in goofiness and serious issues like raising our 4 kids. He balances my artistic temperament while still encouraging my spirit. He’s my biggest fan and most important critic. He’s the first analyzer of every idea and holds the weightiest opinion.

Together we laugh, evaluate, study, discuss, and laugh some more. I can’t imagine life without him and wouldn’t want to try. He makes me a better person by simply being in my life, and I’m grateful for every year with this man.

The second wonderful thing that happens is TURQUOISE TUESDAY. (You’ve heard of BLACK FRIDAY?) As if 30 years wasn’t enough, the Write Integrity Press team is offering 11 of it’s best books for only 99¢. This is a one-day-only sale – which just happens to be on my anniversary. Extra blessings! Woohoo!

Take advantage on Tuesday – write it on your calendar in ink! All of these books will be at 99¢.  But only on Turquoise Tuesday! Learn more about each book at this Christmas Special page, or click the titles below for a buy link. (But don’t use it until Tuesday!)

6 DATES TO DISASTERANNABELLE’S RUTH • A RUBY CHRISTMASCOUNTER POINTDANCING LIKE BEESFOR SUCH A MOMENTIMPERFECT WINGSPRAYER: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUSTALKING WILLOW THE CHRISTMAS TREE TREASURE HUNTTOWDAH

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By the way, all of these books will go to ONE reader at the Write Integrity Press blog. Today’s the LAST DAY TO ENTER and the odds of winning are OUTSTANDING! Don’t miss your chance. Just zip over and leave a comment with your email address! Here’s the Write Integrity Press 12 Books of Christmas Link.

 


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12 Free Christmas Reads!

One of the Write Integrity Press readers will be given their 12 Books of Christmas – all for only leaving a comment on their blog! You can comment every day for extra entries! And the odds of winning are OUTSTANDING at this point! Add your comments and tell them Marji sent you!

Write Integrity Press 12 Books of Christmas Blog Link

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Guest Reviewer: 6 DATES TO DISASTER

disaster-front-5x8Guest Reviewer Lill Kohler shares her thoughts on the new YA release 6 DATES TO DISASTER by Cynthia T. Toney.

This was my first time to read a book by Cynthia T. Toney. The storyline of 6 DATES TO DISASTER shows teens that all is not lost even when things look bad. That the support and stress brought in by parents and other adults is all a part of life and can be influenced by our actions. Cynthia also stressed the importance of good friends. I liked how Cynthia showed that a change in a person’s actions may not mean the end of a friendship or relationship, and sometimes we find support from those we didn’t expect.

The main character, Wendy, makes decisions that take her down a path that pulls her away from the things she loves. All the while, she keeps her final goal in mind in order to make it through the trials resulting from her decision. Along the way, she discovers true friendships and renewed relationships. Wendy is a strong personality who faces the challenges of life without falling to pieces, yet she experiences all the emotions that go along with the stressful events. I must admit I found myself wishing she wouldn’t make the decisions she made, or think the way she did, but the story was a good way to show that anyone can make the wrong assumptions.

Before she gets to her sixth date, Wendy finds herself in a pickle. She’s a good girl with good in mind, and it was never her intention to get in such a quandary but still she found herself there. It’s a great example for anyone, including teens, that it can happen even with our best intentions. Communication was the key to solving the issues Wendy faced.

My only complaint might be that after the second date I lost track of how many dates Wendy had taken. I had to remind myself that the date count was somehow playing into the storyline. But as any author should, Cynthia tied up that loose end when the sixth date rolled around.
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I enjoyed the upbeat ending which gave the promise that there was more to come in Wendy’s life. I recommend this book for any teen and parent.

About the Reviewer:

Lill Kohler wears many hats…mother, grandmother, nurse, writer, blogger, housekeeper, and aspiring gardener. Each holds importance in her heart, but none as great as following the leading of God. She is published in Guidepost’s book Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware and OakTara’s Falling In Love With You. You can follow her posts on her blog sites: http://www.rocking-myworld.blogspot.com, http://www.AbueSpeaks.wordpress.com, lillkohler.wordpress.com.