A Sale on a CBA Bestseller and a New Release

Shocking!
But true.

My publisher has put Mind of Her Own on Sale for the rest of September for 99 cents!

 

And A Time to Bake is Done!

It’s up on Amazon in print and ebook.

Alison Dahl works as a pharmaceutical rep for a struggling company. Not wanting to see if she’s next to be laid off, her entrepreneurial spirit kicks in. With a leap of faith, she quits her job and heads to the lake town she loves to open a cupcake shop.

Chad Hastings, a widowed dad known for his loyalty and dependability, has his hands full with a son and a few overzealous matchmaking friends.

When Chad is hired as the general contractor for the cupcake shop remodel, his friends see him and Alison as the perfect recipe for a sweet ending.

Chad’s secret could melt away any hope of a sweet ending.

Can she look beyond his past mistakes?

Can he look past her impulsive risk-taking?

Memorable characters, lighthearted humor, and wholesome spiritual messages bring CBA best-selling author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer’s powerful tale of forgiveness to life. Buy this sweet treat today.

From a Distance explores the Orphan Train

Writing  From a Distance for the Spinster on the Orphan Train collection took me down quite the research road.  Or rails if you wish.

While this book is more about Shanna Becket, an agent on the train, than the orphans, to write it I had to understand how the orphans were collected and dispersed out west. Most of my research didn’t end up in the book, but that’s the way it is with writing. Under every story, there is a hidden glacier of knowledge gleaned by the author.

Did you know there were no “Orphan Trains” instead, regular trains were used, sometimes a car would be filled with children? Most of the time there were small groups who were looked after by a few agents.

The agents took food along with the utensils they would need for the children. The also took along emergency bags that included wash cloths, soap,  blankets, and medicines, like Larkspur, in case vermin (lice) had snuck past the caretakers. Talk about a packing for a road trip!

The saddest part of the research book was reading about children separated from their siblings. In later years, some of them were able to reconnect but many were not. Their family history would be lost forever because they were too young to remember.  And then there were those who were given to families looking to supplement the farm labor. Those children were often housed with the livestock and when they turned 18 they ran away (if not sooner) or told to leave. They seldom shared in any family inheritance.

While these are sad stories of failures it is likely these children would not have survived the cold New York winters living on the streets.  Could it have been handled differently? Sure but back in the late 1800s this was new and those with kind hearts wanted to help the children. And many were treated like members of the families that took them in.

Shanna’s trip from New Your City to  Trenton, Illinois was close to 1,002 miles! She would have left on Monday and arrived at her destination on Wednesday evening.

While From a Distance is not a true story, but  I did discover there was an orphan adopted in Trenton who later moved to Marion, Illinois–or so the story goes. Sometimes history is not exact.

 

To save her life, a spinster runs from her brutal stepfather. But what she runs to might be more than she can handle.

Shanna Becket, abused for years by her stepfather, runs away from him. When she secures employment as a Children’s Society Agency agent, her travels bring her dangerously close to meeting him again.

Aidan Sollar, trying to please his wealthy father, oversees the building of a Chicago hotel in the hopes that his father won’t give it to his older brother.

They meet while traveling the country, but Shanna can’t trust any man. A sick orphan brings them together, and Shanna is forced to place her well-being in Aidan’s hands. But accepting the love she’s only observed from a distance is another story. And Aidan must choose between his family’s wealth or love.

Dreams Realized

Dreams Do Come True

 

Hosting a mini writer’s retreat can bring to the surface dreams of the past. This retreat was small–me and another writer/editor Jennifer Vander Klipp at my house. We were comparing when we knew we wanted to write and I remembered I had two of my first books hidden away.

creative, novel, to read, faith, for women, romance

Check out that amazing binding I used. Reading through them would give any editor a headache because there is so much repetition and the grammar-oh my!

If You Wish Upon a Star was about bumping into a movie star and having him over for dinner. I was dreaming big time.

Tragedy Strikes is equally painful in the unfolding of love and death.

I’m not sure why I saved these but I’m glad that I did. I can see how my younger self truly wanted to write books, not just short stories–evident because they’re more than two pages long and bound.

After these two came many more written pages, then typed on a Royal typewriter my mother found somewhere, but I no longer have the stories or the typewriter.

Along the way, I learned how to use punctuation, how to write dialogue, and pull readers into the story. I’m still learning something new as writing for publication often changes.

Looking back, I had a dream. I didn’t know then how it would be realized, that I would be blessed with contracts with traditional publishers, that I’d get to hold a book not bound with rickrack in my hand.

I have to thank you–my readers, for helping me achieve this dream.  You’ve been a big part of this journey. I write and you pick up the stories and leave reviews. Thank you!

If you have a little one writing please save their work for them so they too can look back and see how far they have come some day.

And if you’re considering writing a book check out these books.

Holidays Cooking and Gifting

It’s that time!

Holidays, cooking and gifting!

12 Brides Giveaway

Do you like cooking the Thanksgiving and Christmas meal?

Do friends and family have you over for dinner or parties?

Do you delight in gifting hostess with something different?

Might I suggest you enter the rafflecopter below?

The 12 Brides of Christmas makes an excellent hostess gift or gift yourself! Twelve short stories about Christmas brides in the 1800s. Go ahead and order a few to give away, the authors would be delighted–hey you’d be gifting us if you did!

Make sure you enter below for a chance to win the ultimate hostess gift or keep it for yourself! What can you win?

 

Christmas in the post-War United States

So while we’re still six weeks out from Christmas 2015, the authors of The 12 Brides of Christmas are sponsoring a raffle!

Over the next twelve days, we’ll give you an opportunity to win TWO books:

12 daysWhat better way to prepare for the Christmas celebration, than to have one book to read for fun and one to concoct treats for your family!

The two books are not connected except for the title, so you’ll be moving from 12 Brides on the American frontier to 12 Days of recipes to try yourself.

What can be better?
We’re giving away four sets of the two books through Rafflecopter.

You have 24 different opportunities to toss in your name for a chance to win.

The raffle runs from today, November 6 to Tuesday, November 17 at midnight–12 days away.

Just sign up through the form:

Each author newsletter you sign up for counts as one opportunity to win. (12 authors x one each newsletter = 12 opportunities)

Each of the 12 days, we’ll post a new Tweet. If you’re on Twitter, retweeting that tweet will give you another opportunity.

12 days x 12 tweets = 12 more opportunities to win the two books.

Winners will be announced here on Friday, November 20, on the 12 Brides Facebook page, and by email.

My first attempt at fancy, schmancy christmas ...

Winner should receive their two books well in time for . . . their own 12 days of Christmas!

Join us, starting here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Questions? Make a comment.
Here are descriptions of the two books.

The 12 Brides of Christmas:

Christmas is the time for love, and twelve historical women are on their way to the altar, whether they know it or not. In settings across the heartland of America, readers will experience heartfelt gifts, old-fashioned Christmas traditions, sweet romance, and inspiring faith from twelve acclaimed Christian authors.

The twelve stories center on festivities, nutcrackers, stars, trees, creches, gifts, gingerbread and fruitcakes; they also are festive, advent-related, snowbound, evergreen and my favorite, yuletide.

All set in the mid and western United States, they cover the country from Illinois to Mississippi to Arizona to Wyoming and everywhere in between in the 19th century.

For detailed descriptions of the individual stories, see the 12 Brides of Christmas webpage here.

The 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook:

Wonderfully unique, The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookbook: 2015 will delight taste buds and make your Christmas even merrier! Featuring tasty recipes organized into fun categories including:

Appetizers on a Platter; Beverages a-Blending; Breads a-Rising

Breakfast Dishes a-Baking; Candies a-Boiling; Cookies a-Cooling

Desserts a-Delighting; Kids a-Cooking; Main Dishes a-Mixing

Salads a-Crunching; Sides a Steaming and Soups a-Simmering

With easy entertaining tips and ideas, this sure-to-be-a-favorite cookbook is overflowing with fantastic recipe ideas for the entire holiday season and beyond!

Merry Christmas!

Tweetables

Raffle: 12 Days of Christmas; Brides and a Cookbook Click to Tweet

Christmas brides and cooking: what could be better? A raffle! Click to Tweet

Celebrate Christmas raffle: two books, romance and food! Click to Tweet

 

 

Books or TV?

Books or TV which is winning

Books and TV have been facing off since the first black and white set made it’s appearance.

The appeal of stories playing out in front of you in color, black and white, or 3D have the ability to pull you in creating an experience you don’t get with a book.

Or do you? Books themselves are 3D. The covers are full of color unless you are reading on a Kindle Paperwhite, then they are black and white.

Books have story lines that can run through several books just like the TV show you must catch every week.

Do you need those commercial breaks to make popcorn? No problem, books have chapters where you can stop and run to the kitchen or even *gasp* take the book with you and read while the popcorn pops.

Both have value if used correctly. There are great shows on TV if you can find them. Recently, we watched a documentary about how brick making impacted St. Louis in the 1800s. I like Elementry even though there is violence, the characters are intriguing and there is a mystery to be solved, watching for clues is a good mental exercise. And what about all those awesome HGTV shows? My husband would prefer I not watch that channel!

Still do I need to watch all of them? Probably not, that’s why I’m choosing to read more at night. I’ve become jaded when it comes to TV. I’m tired of  violence that doesn’t have a reason or the good guy doesn’t stand out as a grand example. I’m over TV shows that try to shock with nudity, language and gender issues.

That leaves little to watch. Blackish,  Last Man Standing , old movies and reruns of TV shows from earlier days. This summer we watched a lot of baseball, now hockey will fill the screen several times a week.

.

I asked friends of mine would they rather read or watch TV in the evening. All of them said they read, but often the TV is on in the background because family members are watching and they want to be with them. That happens at my house too. When commercials come on I stop reading and talk to my husband. 

Tell me in the comments are you a reader, watcher or both?

other news:

I’m over the moon with excitement that Mind of Her Own made the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) Bestseller List for November.

CBA November list

Why Writer’s Love Scrivener and other Tips

This week I learned about a new social media sight. BLAB, it’s internet tv for the not famous-yet.

There’s probably famous people too, but back to this BLAB. Bethany Jet hosted Johnnie Alexander, Pam Hillman and me on her weekly show. The three of us are Tyndale authors and have books currently on sale.  We discussed, Scrivener, Nanowrimo, writer’s block and so many other things.

We even talked about adult coloring books! I love to color! I’ve found it to be so relaxing and it does let my creative side engage. I’ve put links for color books at the bottom of the post. Those are two of many out there. I’m also including a link to my favorite Crayola Pencils-you don’t have to sharpen them!

Here are the books mentioned in this BLAB show:

3 Tyndale authors

Writing and Math

Writing and math shouldn’t go together!

For years I have explained to family and friend that I do not need math, I’m a writer words trump numbers. After many years of being unable to connect the two subjects I’ve learned how to cope in a world that requires me to know math things.

If I want to know a percentage off of a price I call my friend, or I pull out my handy dandy Dave Ramsey tip card. 

Math is so difficult for me that I can’t get the same answer on a calculator-ever!

Counting money? Forget it. I’ve made piles on the floor of ten ones only to end up with an extra or worse not as many as I thought

I’ve been happy to live with a lack of math knowledge until last night. As I tried to fall asleep, my brain decided it was time to work on my next novella Outlaw on the Pueblo Express (Barbour Publishing 2016). I was thinking about what my character would wear on the train. I could see her face pressed against the window and then turning and asking, “Where do you think we will be at lunch time?”

Math! Boom in my face!

1800s train

What???????????? TIME????????????

Pages of word problems flashed in front of me.

The ones I could never figure out the answer to.

The ones that made me cry in frustration.

The ones where I would shout to anyone who would listen, “Why should I care what time the train will arrive to pick up Bob if it stops at point B for 17 minutes?”

So here I am, faced with my math demon. I will now have to answer the question for my character, “What time will we arrive at point B?” .

I think it is time to phone a friend.

 1800s train

 

 

Logitech Wireless Keyboard

I have a logitech Wireless Keyboard and mouse but it died! So I made a video about getting a new one. Don’t you hate when the video freezes and you look like a demented person? 

Shocking video, I know! This is what an author looks like at the end of the day with no caffeine, allergies and lack of sleep! 

After much pretend typing on display keyboards I bought another logitech combination. I’m sad it doesn’t light up but I don’t think the lights would encourage me to write faster. They would most likely distract me especially since they are blue. The old Logitech Wireless keyboard and mouse lasted through writing 5 published books, countless emails and many hours of research. I’m hoping this one does as well.

www.dianabrandmeyer.com

So tell me, do you have all the letters on your keyboard?

Do you have trouble sharing your computer?

Are you willing to do a video about fun fact? 

*Thanks to Shelley Hitz for telling me next time to turn my phone sideways to record so I don’t end up with the black box.  Next time, if I’m brave enough to do this again I’ll do that. So much to learn!

 

 

Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager

It’s time to treat myself. Feeling a bit guilty but it is a work purchase.

Do you have a Kindle?

Do you have the Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager?

I’ve been reading reviews and trying to decide what would be best for me. I will admit I’m a bit of a ‘got to have the newest thing’ but I’ve also learned a lot about money in the past few years -thank you Dave Ramsey. So I’m leaning toward the less expesnive Paperwhite.

Please weigh in on what choice I should buy.


And today is the last day to pick up The Trouble with Ralph on kindle for free!

Learn Scrivener Fast

Learn Scrivener Fast and Get Back to Writing!

Scrivener is an amazing program used for writing books, articles, blog posts and more. It’s inexpensive and it’s filled with so many ways to use it that often I feel a bit lost.

Enter Learn Scrivener Fast!

Have you tried to use Scrivener and become frustrated?  Learn Scrivener Fast is what you need to learn how to use Scrivener. Joseph Michael, the creator of Learn Scrivener Fast, is easy to understand on the videos. I’d even say he’s erased the panic I’ve felt many times trying to figure out something like ‘How to Add Files and Folders to the Binder.’ Listening to Joseph is a pleasure. He explains what Scrivener can do with a calm voice–always good when you’re frazzled. 

What is it?

Learn Scrivener Fast is a video class on the different aspects of how to use scrivener. There are lessons for both Mac and Windows versions. Each video breaks down Scriveners brilliance into short learning classes about 5 minutes long. And if your internet connection is slow-no problem. There are detailed steps along with photos on how to do the thing you are trying to do. 

Learn Scrivener Fast

 

Why I love it

When I’m working on a project I don’t have a lot of time to flip through pages of a book or long video tutorials on how to do something. I may need to know one specific thing and Learn Scrivener Fast is set up in to be a time saver. In 5-10 minutes I can watch a video on the topic I need and put the information to work for me. Being able to pause the video and back it up until I understand how to work the steps is helpful. 

What I’ve learned

How to import my files from Word and how to get them back out of Scrivener and back into Word for my publisher.

How to use it to write blog posts.

How to use it to make ebooks

How to work Smarter

And so much more! I’m still learning.

If you write books, articles, blog posts or need a place to keep your ideas organized I recommend getting Learn Scrivener Fast before you waste any more time figuring something out on your own.

Click the link and Learn!

Click the link below and check it out. You can preview a video and see what you think. 

 

*This is an affiliate link but seriously I would not recommend this if I wasn’t using it.