Monday, January 30, 2012

You're an author. Now you need readers. The best way to find people to read your book is to ask, but everyone wants a free book. The thing to look for is those people who have a plan in place on how they will help to sell your book to others. We call these people "influencers." 

1) The first hard and fast rule is to make sure the person who wants to be an influencer has something to offer in exchange for that free book (afterall, you have a limited supply of those freebies!). If the person is a good friend but they have no interest in doing more than patting you on the head and telling you what a good writer they are, they won't make a good influencer. 

2) Find someone who is willing to spread the word via a well-established blog. Offer to do a written or video interview for them.

3) An influencer should be willing to post reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, CBD, Shelfari, and maybe even offer some new places you've never considered before.

4) Local book clubs are a great source for finding influencers. Start with your local library for a list of book clubs in your area, then choose those groups whose interest most closely match your genre. Offer to speak at the club and/or do a Q&A.

5) If you're close friends with someone who has a natural network that relates to the theme or genre of your book, use that connection. For example, a historical romance set during the Civil War might be of interest to museum stores. This way you are tapping in to word-of-mouth sales on a subject already of interest to the potential buyer. Talk about ready-made fan base!

6) Social Media the title! Influencers who use social media to Tweet, FB, Linkedin, Pinterest (or whatever source they most use to help spread the word) will help boost the visibility of your title.

7) Influencers might even be willing to go to their local bookstores and encourage the manager to stock your title. defines the adjective "novel" as -

Of a new kind; different from anything seen or known before.

While novelty is not the only thing that causes a novel or other literary work to resonate with the reader and stand out in the ever-growing crowd of books, it still is something worth considering.

C.S. Lewis' writing certainly draws attention, if my college literature class dedicated entirely to the study of the works of C.S. Lewis is any indication. And he certainly shows quite a bit of novelty in The Screwtape Letters.

Here's the definition of the book from HarperCollins Publishers:

"In this humorous and perceptive exchange between two devils, C. S. Lewis delves into moral questions about good vs. evil, temptation, repentance, and grace. Through this wonderful tale, the reader emerges with a better understanding of what it means to live a faithful life."

What can writers learn from The Screwtape Letters about novelty?
  • Presentation: The third-person POV is pretty popular, as is narration shared in first-person. Generally, these are good avenues for telling a story through a novel - and I'll be the first to admit that I'm fond of writing in third-person! But if you really want to shake things up, perhaps a change in presentation/layout can help. If you haven't read The Screwtape Letters, I'm sure you can surmise from the title that the story is told through letters. While the viewpoint is quite biased, this offers a chance for the reader to really get into the mind of a character. (Another interesting example is Dracula by Bram Stoker - the story is told through journal entries, newspaper clippings, and recordings in order to give the feel of a factual account. So different - but it works!)
  • Perspective: While this is tied in a way to the previous point, it bears noting that The Screwtape Letters is told from the perspective of a demon. Talk about unique and unusual! If you want a new look at the story you're writing, perhaps you should try telling it (or parts of it) from a different character - maybe someone unexpected, like the villain or a shy, overlooked secondary character. Even if you decide to eliminate those scenes in the editing process, the exercise can help you create secondary characters with depth.
  • Pondering: Avoid the superficial! If you want your book to blend in, keep it sweet and non-lasting like candy. This isn't to say that romantic comedies and such aren't valuable and that they won't sell - but no matter what genre you write in, the book that shines is the one that causes the reader to really think and take away something from the story. What would I do in that character's situation? Or, What is this demon actually saying, and how does that apply to my life (avoiding temptation, etc.)? (Another good example of a book series that made me think recently is "The Hunger Games." Lots of different opinions, but books that flat-out challenge you to ponder the messages and implications certainly make you curious, don't they?)

Connecting the past to the present - Is there a classic that stands out as really "novel" to you? What can we learn from past "bestsellers" about keeping our work fresh and unique?

More about C.S. Lewis:

  • Follow C.S. Lewis (sort of) on Twitter!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

Regina - Southern Superstitions by B.J. Robinson

Congratulations, Regina! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by B.J. Robinson and her newest release, Southern Superstitions.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm happy to welcome B.J. Robinson to The Borrowed Book today.
B. J. writes inspirational romantic suspense from her home in Florida, where she lives with her husband and pets. Visit her here and sign to follow her blog for an opportunity to win free novels. She's a member of Christian Writers Guild, graduate of Long Ridge Writers, and friend of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).
Welcome, B.J. You've just had a book release. Please tell us the title and give a short blurb about the story.
The title is Southern Superstitions. Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman's husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstitions, pain, heartache, and faith in God. God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions. Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God's help, this powerful,moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother's mind in more ways than one if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there's more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Mrs. Myrtle,her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child?
I grew up in the South and have lived here all my life. The title of your book intrigues me. What made you write about the superstitions that abound in southern society?
I grew up in the South with a superstitious mother who reared me on Bible verses and superstitions. While there are the traditional ones you've probably heard like black cats being bad luck, opening an umbrella inside a house being bad luck, and walking under a ladder, Mom had a few that I've never heard before. I was surprised to learn that black cats are considered good luck in England, I think it was. A reader told me she was surprised they were considered bad luck here.
I read that this novel began as a short story before you rewrote it into a full length novel. How did that change come about?
It won first prize in college fiction-writing competition, and I thought what better way to begin a novel than with a prize-winning short story. So, I did. Also, I liked my characters and wanted to keep writing about them instead of ending it as a short story. I love generational family sagas, and I thought about writing one and perhaps later turning it into a series.
Youre heroine June sounds like many women I know. What has happened in her life to make her a woman of deep faith?
Her mother reared her on Bible verses, and she lost her father as a child. She discovered she still had a heavenly Father.
Your hero Andy disappears on a deer hunting trip. Describe what kind of person he is.
Andy is a hard worker, fun loving, adventurous, and madly in love with June. But, he loves the woods and deer hunting. Andy loves nature and falls for June he discovers she also loves it, and she's not afraid to tromp through the woods with him.
Strawberries seem to play a role in your story. How does strawberry season and a flood impact the story?
They earn their living as honest, hardworking strawberry farmers. The flood destroys a crop and ruins vehicles, farm equipment, and property.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on my first YA novel titled One Rainy Summer, and it releases October 15. Whispering Cypress has to go through edits and will release August 15. So, I'm writing one book while I'll edit another.
What words of hope would you like to leave with our readers who may be facing a crisis of faith in their lives right now?
Trust and have faith in God, not superstitions. Sometimes it's when things seem worse when your faith will deepen when you call on God for help, and He answers. If you need help, ask God. Pray. He answers prayer.
Very true words, B.J. Thanks for being a guest on The Borrowed Book today. We wish you well with Southern Superstitions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ready to laugh? Swoon? And then put on your thinking cap?

Then let me tell you about a new line of cozy mysteries for e-readers for only .99 each. Spyglass Lane Mysteries is a collection of Christian cozy mysteries—modern-day whodunnits with colorful characters and plenty of wholesome romance. The mysteries are authored by some of Christian publishing’s favorite and best selling authors.

New mysteries release every Thursday and there are 21 mysteries now available in this line for just .99. So what are you waiting for? Check out the books below and click the link to purchase for your e-reader.

If you would like to be notified each week of the latest book release click here to sign up for our email newsletter or here for our RSS feed.

A Suspicion of Strawberries (The Scents of Murder Series)
By Lynette Sowell
A facial gone wrong, or murder? Andromeda Clark must uncover the truth to save her handmade soap business.

The heartbreaker diva of Greenburg, Tennessee is dead. Andromeda Clark knows that her cherry facial scrub didn't accidentally kill Charla Rae Thacker from anaphylactic shock. But Andi's soap business is in trouble and tongues are a-waggin'. To save her business, she searches for the one who tampered with her product. And now Andi's long-time, long-haul trucker boyfriend Ben decides it's time to settle down and stay in Greenburg for good. How can a woman breathe?

Another Grave Matter

Another Grave Matter (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Volstead Manor has caught on fire, and the last of its murderous secrets flare hot enough to drive Bailey back to her sleuthing. A villain, who remains shrouded in darkness until the end, threatens to destroy Bailey, and once again, the mansion ignites with malevolent mischief. While she unearths a family secret from Prohibition that’s hidden deep within the cellar, she becomes entangled in a ticking-clock race to save her own life. Will the foul surprises never end at Volstead Manor, and will Bailey’s burning desire to marry Max go up in smoke?

Another Hour to Kill

Another Hour to Kill (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Where Bailey Walker lives, being neighborly takes on a whole new meaning. Bailey has survived the mysteries of Volstead Manor, but her latest threats are more ominous than ever. Did her neighbor B.J. die of natural causes? Or was he murdered? And why does the new neighbor, Vlad Tepes, always seem to be watching her? While searching for a lost treasure and planning a wedding the size of an amusement park, Bailey must discover what monster is still lurking in the neighborhood. Will she unravel the puzzle in time, or will Bailey merely provide the villain with Another Hour to Kill?

Another Stab at Life

Another Stab at Life (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Bailey Walker has just lost everything—her family, her job, and her home. She has nowhere to go except the dilapidated mansion she’s just inherited from her granny Minna. Unfortunately, Bailey discovers that the house has a history as shadowy as its hidden passages and finds the neighborhood overflowing with some rather quirky folks—as well as one particularly appealing bachelor. Bailey feels like she’s trapped inside the pages of a gothic novel but with a comedic twist. In order to honor her grandmother’s wishes and stay at Volstead Manor, Bailey must unravel a string of mysteries and secrets, which all seem determined to stay happily ever buried.

Band Room Bash

Band Room Bash (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
This murderer is playing for keeps. When Trish Cunningham and her oldest stepson, Tommy, find Georgia Winters, the English teacher at Four Oaks High School, dead in the band room, the suspect list is lengthy. The teacher had a number of enemies—including Tommy Cunningham. Once again, Trish pulls out her notebook to collect clues. Detective Eric Scott, suffering from unrequited love for Trish’s best friend, Abbie, pointedly asks Trish to butt out. But despite the detective’s warnings, she jumps in as usual and finds herself embroiled in a mystery that has its roots in thwarted love and revenge. The finale could be Trish’s swan song.

Candy Coated Secrets

Candy-Coated Secrets (A Summer Meadows Mystery)
By Cynthia Hickey
When a carnival train crashes in front of Summer Meadows’s house, she does what comes naturally – she acts without thinking and volunteers to lead an elephant to the fairground. The animal’s trainer follows close behind but disappears when they reach their destination. When Summer goes looking for the trainer, she finds something altogether different – a woman hanging dead in the shower of one of the trailers. A carnival slew of mishap and misadventure ensue when Summer and her fiancé, Ethan, set out to solve the murder.

Chocolate-Covered Crime

Chocolate-Covered Crime (Summer Meadows Mystery Series)
By Cynthia Hickey
Summer Meadows' chocolate candy business is booming. She's overwhelmed with her April Fool's Day wedding plans, and against her family's advice, hires her cousin to be her wedding planner. But then her cousin is found murdered and more mysteries keep occurring at family parties. Can Summer resist the urge to investigate when she and her dysfunctional relatives are dipped into a plot of unrequited love, internet scam, and jilted hearts? Could the murderer be related to her and have Summer targeted next? Will her fiancé' support her sleuthing antics, or is he another suspect with something to hide?

Died in the Wool

Died in the Wool (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Hone your investigative skills with Died in the Wool, a mystery filled with humor, suspense, and romance. Monah Trenary is battling for city funds for her beloved library. When a rival for the much-needed monies winds up dead, Monah is considered one of the prime suspects. When a second corpse weighs in, police detective Mike Brockman discovers that, according to the evidence, Monah and monkshood are a lethal combination. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?

Everybody Loved Roger Harden

Everybody Loved Roger Harden (Everybody’s Suspect in Georgia)
By Cecil Murphey
Psychologist Julie West and Reverend James Burton arrive late for dinner on Palm Island – but just in time to discover their host, millionaire Roger Harden, murdered. Ten possible suspects share closed quarters on the secluded island, all of them with deep secrets and sufficient motive to have wanted the wealthy benefactor dead. Can Julie and Burton ignore the mysterious attraction developing between them long enough to discover who among them didn't love Roger Harden enough to let him live?

Fudge Laced Felonies

Fudge-Laced Felonies (A Summer Meadows Mystery)
By Cynthia Hickey
While transplanting the rosebush her church’s handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody-gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer. As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.

George Washington Stepped Here

George Washington Stepped Here (The Karen Maxwell Mystery Series)
By K. D. Hays
For years after her divorce, Karen Maxwell handled administrative paperwork for her brother’s private investigation agency while he ran around town doing the “fun” part—the investigation. When his partner retires, he finally offers her a chance to take a case of her own. She soon finds out why. The assignment involves the theft of the local historical society’s most treasured artifact, and her brother figures everyone involved is a little crazy. While Karen poses as a volunteer at the site to catch the thief, she meets a host of dedicated historical re-enactors, one of whom happens to be tall, handsome and unmarried.

Gone With the Groom

Gone with the Groom (The Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Janice Hanna
The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson’s future son-in-law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi’s fiance to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Surely Annie can solve the riddle. But who could be behind this apparent kidnapping caper? Maybe the drug company Scott works for has hidden motives. Perhaps it’s the handiwork of Otis, Scott’s deceitful dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer, or the “political enemies” of Scott’s mother. Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom, or will she suffer “regrets only”?

Homicide At Blue Heron Lake

Homicide at Blue Heron Lake (The Mainely Mysteries Series)
By Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis
Emily Gray returns to the lakeside community of Baxter, Maine, expecting a peaceful week in her family's island cottage. Instead, she and her high school crush, Nate Holman, discover the body of Henry Derbin, an elderly island resident. Amid rekindling her old friendship with Nate and trying to make sense of the murder, Emily shares her faith with an old schoolmate. When a second body turns up, the cottagers on Grand Cat Island are frightened and baffled. Is this why Mr. Derbin forbade everyone from going on his land? Can Emily and Nate overcome past hindrances to their romance long enough to dig up clues that will help solve both murders?

Inn Plain Sight

Inn Plain Sight (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Come along as bride-to-be Casey Alexander works to solve the murder that hijacked her shower. She’ll find that the victim’s propensity for blackmail, gossip, and downright meanness has created a long list of suspects. Unfortunately, Casey’s fiancé is at the top of the list. Armed with her ever present Post-It Notes and the help of her best friend, Casey follows the clues to a killer hiding in plain sight.

Kitty Litter Killer

Kitty Litter Killer (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
Trish Cunningham is pussyfooting with a murderer. Amateur sleuth Trish has retired from her short-lived crime-solving foray. No more walking deliberately into danger. Now her short-term goal is to see her best friend, Abbie, marry fiancé, Eric Scott, in three weeks. But the brutal murder of Abbie’s ex-husband could ruin the nuptials, especially since Abbie was the last one seen with him—when they had a hostile argument at the local convenience store. With evidence pointing at Abbie and the possibility of jail looming in her best friend’s future, Trish comes out of her self-imposed sleuth retirement. And as the clock ticks down to the wedding date, Trish once again puts herself in reach of a murderer’s claws—this time to protect her best friend.

Murder in the Milk Case

Murder in the Milk Case (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
Will Trish Cunningham’s discovery sour her on milk forever? When mommy and wife Trish Cunningham finds the body of pharmacist Jim Bob Jenkins behind the two-percent milk, she know she’s having a bad day. Worse, she’s a suspect in the murder. Sleuthing to exonerate herself from criminal charges, she shakes up a murderer who has nothing to lose by killing anyone in the way—including Trish.

Nipped in the Bud

Nipped in the Bud (Garden Gate Mysteries)
By Susan Sleeman
Life in full bloom, landscape designer, Paige Turner, scores her first landscaping contract to spruce up the park, her radio talk show shoots to number one, and her retail shop is simply blossoming. Yes, her life is a bed of roses. Until she finds City Manager, Bud Picklemann served up on the blade of her favorite shovel mere hours after she’s threatened to have his head on a platter, then the thorns come out. And there is none thornier than the local police chief declaring Paige the one and only suspect and threatening to plow her under.

Paige teams up with dashing attorney, Adam Hayes to weed through the list of suspects, and clear her soiled reputation. A bigmouthed Parrot who often spouts Mr. T-isms, and a giant pickle mascot join in quirky Paige’s quest to once again cultivate control of her life.

The Wedding Caper (The Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series)

The Wedding Caper (The Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Janice Hanna
When a $25,000 night deposit mysteriously disappears from the Clark County Savings and Loan, Annie Peterson, has reason to be concerned and to assume the role of amateur sleuth. Her husband’s job at the bank makes him a potential suspect, but knowing him to be a godly man, she can’t imagine it. Then again, there is that matter of the weddings to factor in. Twin daughters Brandi and Candy have just received proposals and two weddings are pending. Sure, Warren occasionally jokes about robbing the bank to pay for the ceremonies, but Annie knows him better than that…doesn’t she?

Treasure at Blue Heron Lake

Treasure at Blue Heron Lake (The Mainely Mysteries Series)
By Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis
Emily Gray has accepted a job working for the Baxter Journal and plans a feature story on Lakeview Lodge. Owner Jeff Lewis tells her and Nate Holman a mysterious legend about a hidden treasure and murder. Now the hunting lodge is plagued by an intruder who thumps around in the night. Nate and Emily try to help their friend discover who is invading the resort. Things turn more sinister over the Christmas holidays, when one of Jeff’s employees is murdered, with Jeff as a suspect. Is the legend of an old lumber baron’s lost treasure behind the crimes? Jeff’s faith is shaky, and his family rejects him. Nate and Emily try to help him through the crisis. In the midst of the turmoil, Nate graduates from the Police Academy and proposes to Emily. Their life together begins with unmasking the murderer at Lakeview Lodge.

Where the Truth Lies

Where the Truth Lies (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Casey Alexander refuses to believe her aunt committed suicide. Convinced a murderer is hiding out in her aunt’s sleepy hometown, she’ll do anything to uncover the truth. But as her personal investigation produces mounting evidence, the danger to Casey grows. Now she’ll be forced to trust certain residents of Pine Mills for help, including local nursery owner, Luke Kerrigain…the man with whom she’s falling in love with…and who may be stalking her. Prompted by strange clues and a mysterious stranger, Casey does a little more digging. The secrets she unearths will turn lives upside down and threaten the peace in Pine Mills’ small community—especially when she discovers that the truth can sometimes be hidden in a lie.

Worth Its Weight in Old (Karen Maxwell Mystery Series)
By K.D. Hays
Paintings slashed... Furniture broken… Someone is wreaking havoc at the Blue Moon Art & Antiques Gallery. Fledgling private investigator Karen Maxwell goes undercover as a salesclerk to find out who’s behind the vandalism, and why. She learns little from friendly clerk Vicki and Eric, the shop’s surly, tight- lipped porter, would run over her with a hand truck before he’d answer any questions. The guilt may even lay with the shop owners themselves, despite the fact that they’re the ones who hired her.

Karen’s investigation seems to be going nowhere—just like her once-promising relationship with Brian, the handsome blacksmith who could sweep her off her feet in a minute… if he’d ever take a break from working with the church youth group. Frustration mounts as her dreams of romantic evenings turn into endless rehearsals for the church Christmas play. If Karen can’t crack the case soon, she may find herself busted back to plain, old office manager, her dreams of a career as a private investigator—and a life with Brian—as old and busted as the Blue Moon’s vandalized antiques.

Monday, January 23, 2012

In preparation for my new contract, I visited Antietam Battlefield last week, staying at the very clean, lovely guest home, the Mary Hill House. We enjoyed listening to the very knowledgeable Bob Murphy of RCM History Tours (Twitter @RCMHistoryTours). His prices are very reasonable and he accommodated our desire to walk some of the tour.

This, I believe, was a picture of the "Cornfield." Hard to say without the corn. :) One of the most intense spots of the entire battle.

 Mumma Farm
 Mumma Farm was the only farm burned up during the battle. The springhouse didn't burn and is pictured here:
 Roulette Farm
 Roulette Farm Pond and, in the distance, South Mountain (Battle of South Mountain)
 Bloody Lane, called Hog Trough Lane before the battle
 The tower at the end of Bloody Lane was not standing during the Civil War. Bob said people assume that it did. :)
 Look at that sky! This is coming up on Sherrick Farm and Burnside Bridge (Lower Bridge)
 Burnside Bridge from the Confederate side. With only 300-400 soldiers holding off over 2K because they held the higher ground.
 Antietam National Cemetery
 Grove House, Lee's Hdqrtrs in Sharpsburg during Confederate occupation
 Do you see the shell stuck in the side of this house? Every house in Sharpsburg was used to shelter the wounded.
 Lee moved the location of his Hdqrtrs to here, Oak Grove, where he pitched a tent. Meanwhile. . .
 McClellan's command was centered at Pry House. Not open for tour at the time of our trip. :(
 Pry House (sideview)
 This is what McClellan saw from his vantage point at Pry House. The picture is dark (sorry) but there are way more trees now than there were then.
 Uh, this wasn't part of the tour, but was part of the recovery. Nutter's Ice-Cream. 4 scoops for $2.95. I was sold!

About the Book:

"Someone is covering up multiple secrets…

Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known."

Amber's Review:

In Replication, Williamson takes a very controversial topic (human cloning) and uses it as the launching point for an engrossing story full of action, tender moments, and morals! It's just the book to entertain while still providing plenty of food for thought and discussion (a veritable banquet, really!).

What if you had lived your whole life underground, never knowing what mountains and trees and sky looked like? What if you had been lied to all your life about the truth of your existence? Or what if you discovered that your dad was involved in very unethical scientific research, and your house has suddenly become the hiding place for a runaway clone?

These "What if?" situations and more bring Abby and Martyr together on a bizarre but rewarding adventure. Danger awaits above the ground and under the ground. Throw in some teenage angst and some sweet romantic tension, and the stakes just got even higher!

While the portrayed incompetency of the law enforcement personnel and some minor editorial errors detract a bit from the story, the ultimate result is rather enchanting. Depending on the young adult, the story doesn't seem too scary for middle-school aged on up (although some situations are a bit intense). With the discussion questions in the back and the message about living out one's faith and purpose, Replication is a meaningful book.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

"Jill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. She writes
stories that combine danger, suspense, and adventure for
readers of all ages. Her first book released in April 2009 from
Marcher Lord Press. By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, Book
1) is a medieval fantasy. Jill has served alongside her youth
pastor husband for the past ten years and loves working with
teenagers, especially to encourage young writers. She gives
writing workshops at churches and schools. You can learn more
about Jill on her Web site at"

*You can buy the book now on in hardcover or e-book format!*

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

janimar - Amelia's Journey by Martha Rogers

Congratulations, renee! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Martha Rogers and her newest release, Amelia's Journey.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today I'd like to welcome Gina Conroy to The Borrowed Book. Gina used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she's leaning on the Lord to show her the way. She is the founder of Writer. . .Interrupted where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God's timing is perfect, even if she doesn't agree with it!:) She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in The Cherry Bloosom Capers Collection released from Barbour in January 2012. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn't writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome, Gina. We had one of your co-authors on The Borrowed Book last week, and she told us about her novella in Cherry Bloosom Capers. Tell us the title of your story and a little about it.

My novella, Buried Deception, combines my love of mystery and suspense with my fascination with archaeology. It's about a Mount Vernon archaeology Intern and widow Samantha Steele who wants to make a good impression at her orientation, but her babysitter gets sick and she's forced to take her rambunctious children to work. There she has a run-in with security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter who's haunted by his past. Through several mishaps, a forgery is discovered, and it's up to Samantha and Nick to set aside their stubbornness and rely on each other to catch the thief. . .or the results could be deadly.

I'm going to steal the words from award-winning author Vickie McDonough who said this about my novella, "Murder. Thefts of priceless artifacts. An ornery, little boy with a penchant for getting into trouble. Gina Conroy's fast-paced debut novella has it all and takes readers on an emotional ride. A charming romance winds up this satisfying who-dun-it.

It's a fun series of novellas where characters from previous stories have cameos in the others! So if you're someone who hates to say good-bye to a "friend", then you'll enjoy the reunions in Cherry Blossom Capers.

Archaeology is an interesting occupation for a character. Do you have a background in it, or did you have to do a lot of research to write about Samantha's job?

No, I don't have a background in archaeology. I became fascinated with it when I was homeschooling my children in ancient history. Archaeology was a necessary unit study to the discovery of the past. To research archaeology for this novella, I visited archaeology sites such as Jamestown, and spoke to archaeology professors at my local university as well as the head of the archaeology lab at Mount Vernon.

Wow, you did a lot of research. Your hero Nick Porter is a security guard. I know he and Samantha work together to catch the thief, but how do the two get together to hunt for the forged artifacts?

Nick Porter is patrolling the mansion when he comes upon Samantha and her son in a room they shouldn't be in without their tour guide. In the process of clearing the room, Samantha's son destroys a priceless artifact. . .or so they think. It turns out to be a forgery and soon they both have a stake in finding the forger.

In Buried Deception, you used Mount Vernon and other popular tourist attractions in the Washington area. Had you visited these places in the past?

We visited Mount Vernon several years ago while we were homeschooling, and I thought it'd be a great setting for a mystery. Though when I decided to write the novella I realized Mount Vernon had changed since we last visited. They now have the Museum and Education Center which I researched online and learned about through talking with people who work at Mount Vernon. Other locations in the story are the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History and Christ Church. While I visited the Smithsonian when I was a child, I didn't remember much and relied on online charts, floor plans, and brochures to help me with the accuracy of the story. One research tool I love to use is Google Earth because it allows me to situate my character on the street where my story takes place. Then I can see what my character would see and use in that story.

We started a new blog to highlight these locations for interested readers. We also pull fun and interesting facts from the novellas like Chef Tara's recipes, coffee shop owner Susan's thoughts on tea and coffee, classic movie reviews on Friday night, and every Monday I highlight Mount Vernon. I'll be adding some information on archaeology and where you can attend Cherry Blossom Festivals across the nation in 2012. I think it will be a great resource!

This is your debut fiction work. Tell us how you received the news the proposal had sold.

I was in a pet store buying a snake for a teenager. Yes, a snake! He'd been hounding me for months and finally convinced me it was a good pet. (Only gets fed once a week, and doesn't smell.) I finally agreed on a corn snake and when we were browsing the rodent section of the pet store, I got a cryptic Facebook message from one of my anthology partners to check my email. I didn't have internet access on my phone, so I had to wait until I got home to read the news for myself!

There were four authors' stories in this anthology. You must have spent a lot of time communicating with them. How did the four of you handle the collaborative process?

It went quite smoothly actually. We set up an anthology email group and kept in touch through emails. We discussed locations, characters, and logistics of the story, but really didn't have a hands on in each other's novellas until the editing process when we had to double check the role and voice of our characters in each other's stories. There were times I needed to know how a certain character would say something, or a specific quirk of that character so I could write it into my story to make it more enjoyable and believable for the reader. I think it worked out pretty well for us.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently working on a story in a totally different genre. It's a women's fiction story set in 1943 about the grittier side of Rosie the Riveter and having to raise three children as a single mom. It's based on my grandmother's story and is close to my heart. My agent and I are also talking about resurrecting another story I have that has a similar feel to Buried Deception and features an archaeologist and Egyptian artifact.

What challenge for the new year would you like to leave with our readers?

Dream new dreams, resurrect old dreams, continue the pursuit of current dreams. Dream, learn, grow! There's something life-giving when we follow our passions. My newest passion is ballroom dancing. What's yours?

Thanks for being a guest on The Borrowed Book today, Gina, and I shall expect to see you as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in the near future. It's been a pleasure to have you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What historical is complete without horses? Western or Regency, if you're writing a historical, you've got horse issues. Here is a great video, courtesy of, that I found while researching Love Finds You in Calico, California. The hero, Nathan Hawk, is a livery owner, so of course, he dealt with horses on a daily basis.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In preparation for conference season, let's remember a very important factor. Round table talk. It's like a tonic to those of us who are not extroverts by nature. Round table talk at conference meals is the best way to get to know an agent or editor that you hope to target. For one, the weight of carrying the conversation is distributed to all those present. Two, you get a feel for what others are offering the agent or editor, and three, their questions to the guest-of-honor will help you formulate your own and might even answer some you didn't know you had.

Still having a hard time? If you can't think of a way to begin conversation, remember that these editors and agents are as human as you. They want small talk too. Is the meal delicious? Have you especially enjoyed a class you've attended, or even made a new friend? These are great conversation starters. Your target will probably take a great breath of relief when they discover you are not going to ambush them with your great one-liners or shove another story idea in their faces.

If you're an absolute wreck of nerves, stay quiet and absorb the information around you. Don't feel pressured to say something if you don't have anything to share. Be relaxed and have a great time.

Just make sure you wipe your chin between bites.

S. Dionne Moore resides in Cumberland Valley with her husband of almost 23 years. An avid lover of history, it makes sense that she writes historical romance. Her latest book, Promise Brides, is set in various locations within Pennsylvania, including Johnstown, Greencastle/Mercersburg and Gettysburg, and includes the 2011 Carol Award Silver romance, Promise of Tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

At this point in my life, what better subject to post about than my subjects in school? In any case, I figure a list of my classes will at least give you an idea of where I might be going with my "Where the Past Meets the Present" posts. ;)

I think it's fitting that my last semester of college before I graduate with my Bachelor's degree includes a veritable smorgasbord of subjects -
  • American Military History I (We'll be studying the Revolutionary War through Reconstruction after the Civil War. I actually took a Civil War class last semester, but I love history! Perhaps some of the research might translate into a future novel...?)
  • Stats and Probability (Since I needed one more math or science class, I figured stats would be helpful should I ever pursue a career in the publishing industry.)
  • C.S. Lewis (Would ya'll be interested in seeing some WTPMTP - "Where the Past Meets the Present" - posts featuring Lewis' work? I'm thinking I'm going to love this class!)
  • Ruth and Esther (I love going to a school where we can take a whole class dedicated to certain books of the Bible! I'm excited to study the stories of Ruth and Esther in depth.)
  • Johannine Theology (This class focuses on the theology of the books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation. It sounds challenging, but also very rewarding!)
  • 17th-19th Century English Literature (I'm hoping I'll get some good material for my WTPMTP posts from this class, as well! We'll be reading Northanger Abbey, Gulliver's Travels, and much more throughout the semester.)
  • Birds and Botany of Western Oregon (It's my last semester at Corban University - so I've got to take a fun class, right? Not saying that my others classes won't be fun, but this one's a bit out of my English-major league, and it sounds great!)

OK, thanks for letting me share my class list with ya'll! (Not like you really had a choice, but I'll forego the evil laugh if you'll go along with it...) Now, here are my questions for you:

  • If you're still in school, do you have a favorite subject you've studied recently? If you're done with school, what was one of your favorite classes from high school or college?
  • Is there anything you'd specifically like to see me post about in the future regarding my classes and writing/research?

(Note: While I'm pretty sure I'm not going to change my class schedule at this point in the game, I thought I'd better note that my schedule is subject to change should any circumstances require it. Thanks again for indulging me today!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

renee - Daddy's Little Matchmakers by Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Congratulations, renee! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Kathleen Y'Barbo and her newest release, Daddy's Little Matchmakers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm welcoming Kathleen Y'Barbo to The Borrowed Book today. RITA and Carol Award nominee Kathleen is now the best-selling award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish to name a few. Her latest release is a contemporary Texas beach series for Love Inspired. The first book in the series, Daddy's Little Matchmakers is in stores now.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen has a daughter and three grown sons. She recently added her own hero in combat boots and is proud to be a military wife even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

Welcome, Kathleen. I've been hearing a lot about your new release Daddy's Little Matchmakers. Please give us a short blurb about the book.

Veterinarian Eric Wilson is confounded by the classified ad his three young daughters have placed. The handsome widower is not in the market for a bride! But when the story of his little matchmakers hits the papers, would-be brides start swamping his waiting room. Despite them all, Eric finds himself drawn to the temp worker at the classifieds office: adorable free spirit Amy Spencer. Amy's been running for a while, and it's time she planted roots. Together, can Amy and Eric realize that trusting in God's plan is the sweetest surrender of all?

Your hero Eric Wilson sounds like he has his hands full with three daughters and trying to get a vet business started. How does he cope with all that's going on in his life?

Yes, Eric definitely has his hands full, but he gets alone with God aboard his sailboat when he can. He's also a member of a widowers small group at his church, and through that group he learns how to cope with his new life in Vine Beach.

Then there's your heroine Amy Spencer. What kind of person is she?

She's the eternal optimist with a bit of wanderlust thrown in for good measure. Amy believes in love, and she's sure that someday the Lord will bless her with just the right man. Until then, she's determined to follow her heart and the road out of Vine Beach.

Vine Beach sounds like a nice seaside town to live in. How did you come up with the setting?

Vine Beach is an amalgamation of the small Texas beach towns I grew up around. Because I needed to make the location fit the story, I had to create my own city. However, a good part of the inspiration for the town of Vine Beach comes from Crystal Beach, Texas, where I spent many happy hours over the years. I recently returned to Crystal Beach and am thrilled to see how they're bouncing back from the horrific results of 2009's Hurricane Ike.

Will there be other books in this series? If so, what are their titles and when do they release?

Book 2 in the series, a Christmas themed story titled Her Holiday Hero, releases in November.

I know you are a multi-published author. Is this your first book with Love Inspired?

Yes, it is.

What are you working on now, and when will it release?

Right now I am working on edits for the next Love Inspired book. After that, I'll be turning my attention to the next historical in the queue.

What message for the new year would you like to leave with our readers?

I'm continually humbled at the response I get from readers. Thank you so very much!

And thank you, Kathleen, for being out guest on The Borrowed Book today. Kathleen's book Daddy's Little Matchmakers is available in bookstores and online now. If you want a delightful read, check it out.

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