Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rejuvenate and Write!

Once each year a small group of writers and authors come together for a day of retreat and rejuvenation. Of course, I am one of those authors who impatiently awaits this day.

This year's Writing to Inspire mini-conference consisted of just 3 writing sessions led by authors, Roseanna M. White, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and myself (Rachel D. Muller) with author Rita Gerlach as our facilitator. To our delight, this year's conference grew in number, selling out all seats. We knew God was planning to do great things by this one-day writer's retreat. 

And great things did come! Roseanna taught the rules of writing and when it's okay to break them. Everyone has questions when it comes to grammatical writing and dialogue. When we should intrude as author and when to let our story speak for itself. In her session, she cleared up many of those inconsistencies between English 101 and authorship. 

With a Ph.D. in Psychology, Carrie Fancett Pagels taught the art of interviewing our characters as a psychologist. What's happening in our character's lives? What can we learn by looking at them? By listening to them? And distinguishing when we make an assumption about them. Two great sessions, led by two great authors!

Lastly, my session dealt with the issue of Independent Publishing. With so many writers exploring the possibility of indie publishing I felt it was necessary to answer many of the questions these newbies have. I explained the reasons behind authors turning indie and the circumstances that bring them to it. We also looked at the publishing process from the indie's point of view and all the factors that come into play with independent publishing. In addition to my session, I've written a comprehensive companion guide to accompany my workshop lesson. It's called THE WRITER'S 411: A Guide to Independent Publishing. The booklet is only available through me or through my speaking sessions.

To sum up our one-day writing retreat, I believe that much prayer made the success of this day. All agreed this was the best workshop to date and the growing number of attendees seems to confirm that. I also think the addition of a free boxed lunch whetted the appetite and made the day less hassle for attendees to worry about lunches and how to keep them cold. 

Now that W2I 2017 has passed I know preparations for 2018 are underway. With the success of this year, I think we have a better understanding of what to expect for the next.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review Friday: Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck



I love how the aroma of fresh book releases leads me to another great read!
At the beginning of the year I made a point to keep a list of the top 10 books of the year. So far that list has grown, but this month a new leader has topped off that list. 
I picked up Rachel Hauck's Once Upon A Prince because of author's fantastic reviews--word of mouth so-to-speak. I'm not a big reader on modern romances but my mind is always open to something new. And from what I heard, this book was "something new". 
I loved it.
Plain and simple, I could NOT put this book down. I wasn't satisfied until I knew what path the hero and heroine chose to take. Rachel Hauck had all the elements, ingredients, and personalities to create a beautifully written and woven story of secret identities, damsel in distress, and two worlds colliding together in a match that was sure to crash and burn.
If one were to ask me which book to pick up right now I'd have to say, Once Upon A Prince...

Back Cover Blurb:

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?


Have you read this book? What did you think?

What books have you read recently that come in at number one on your reading list?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review Friday: Stars in the Night

The mind of a reader can never be stretched too far. With each book picked from the shelf a whole new world is unlocked as the front cover is lifted, opened by hands eager to explore its contents.
 
There are many exotic places to embrace, elements of time to capture, and new people for me to meet-all sitting on my book case and waiting for me to arrive. I'm always sorry I cannot spend more time in novels, but I know they will be there when the time comes.
 
...and the time has come for me to introduce you to another novel by another wonderful author:
 
 
 
 

 Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her but instead must identify her body. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister. Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?
 
Mystery. Love. Tension. Who wouldn't love a good suspense novel? Cara Putman does an excellent job of adding real life people to an unusual situation, adding mystery in a who-dun-it atmosphere, and sharing her faith in Christ while making the reader believe he/she is placed in the time period of Victory Caravans and stunning silver screen actors!
I felt as if I were picturing the likes of Lana Turner, Cary Grant, Heddy Lamar, Burt Lancaster, and Betty Davis as I read through the pages of Stars in the Night.
If you love suspense, romance, and glittery personalities you'll love this novel by Cara Putman!
 
 
You can visit Cara's page at www.caraputman.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review Friday: Blue Skies Tomorrow

I'm continuing my January book reviews with Sarah Sundin's third novel release, Blue Skies Tomorrow, her final installment of the Wings of Glory series.
 
 
Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?




Filled with tender romance, witty dialogue, and suspense this book has it all! It's a great read for the weekend and its characters will warm your heart despite the plummeting temperatures outside.
I enjoyed this gripping, World War II romance and would gladly read it again.

Look for Blue Skies Tomorrow online or in your local bookstore!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 
      - Rachel                         
 
 
 
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Author Interview: One on One with Sarah Sundin


Have you ever been completely and totally sucked into a book from the very first page?
That's what happened to me when I read my  first Sarah Sundin book.
Today, it is my great privilege to post a one on one interview with this wonderful World War II writer from My Front Porch! We'll be covering topics from the beginning of her writing career to what's coming in the 2013 year! I hope you will recieve a blessing from today's post.






Rachel: Sarah, you are a fairly new author with your first novel debuting in 2010. You are also an on-call hospital pharmacist—what prompted you to begin writing novels?

Sarah: A dream. Of the sleeping kind. One morning in 2000, I woke from a dream with such vivid characters that I had to write their story. I argued with God for a few days… “Pharmacist,” I said. “Not a writer. Tested out of college English, and was glad to do so.” God just smiled. So I wrote that book, and very badly. But I was hooked. I wrote another book very badly, then started attending a writers group and writers conferences and learned how to write novels. The third novel I completed became my debut, A Distant Melody.

Rachel: In your first series, Wings of Glory, readers follow three brothers who are all pilots in the United States Army Air Force. Book 1, A Distant Melody, begins with Walter Novak serving with the US Eighth Air Force particularly—why did you choose to follow the Eighth Air Force into England?

Sarah: I knew Walt was a pilot, but no more than that. Then my husband and I watched a History Channel special about the Eighth Air Force. The stories were so gripping and harrowing! And it was England, beautiful England! And it involved B-17s! My great-uncle flew a B-17 both in the Pacific and with the Eighth Air Force. The decision was made.


Rachel: Revell recently released your fourth novel, With Every Letter, which is also the first book in your next series, Wings of the Nightingale. In this story you introduce the reader to brand new characters with a variety of personalities and take us into detail about flight nursing. What was the inspiration for this story?

Sarah: The heroine of my second novel, A Memory Between Us, is a nurse in World War II. While researching the Army Nurse Corps, I read about the flight nurses, and they intrigued me. My heroine ended up becoming a flight nurse in the second half of the book, but I felt I’d barely touched on what these brave women did. I had a vague series idea floating around about three mismatched women who become solid friends, with romances for each of them. So I made them flight nurses.

Rachel: Your novels have the tender romance between the hero and heroine, but you also delve into the mechanics of how WWII bombers and military strategies function. This may draw in readers of the male gender. Do you find you have a male following also?

Sarah: I’ve been pleased by how many men enjoy the Wings of Glory series. The emails I receive from men always start the same way: “I never read romance, but I picked up your book because of the B-17 on the cover. I’m surprised, but I actually liked it!”

Rachel: All of your novels have discussion questions at the end of the book. Being a Christian Fiction writer what message are you trying to relay to your readers?

Sarah: I never start a novel with a message in mind, but the message develops from the characters and the situations they face. Overall my goal is to help readers remove whatever barriers are in their lives (pride, fear, shame, disobedience, distrust, discontentment, etc.), so they can do His will.

Rachel: What can we expect from you next?

Sarah: The second book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, On Distant Shores, comes out in August 2013. I’m currently writing the third book in the series, which will release in August 2014.

Thank you, Sarah, for joining me on From My Front Porch. I’m ecstatic you were able to join me for today's interview and share your love for WWII with us. I have one more question before you go: What is your favorite WWII military aircraft?

Sarah: Do you even have to ask? The B-17 Flying Fortress. Not just a beautiful airplane, but a rugged one that could take a lot of damage and bring her crew safely home. I’m also growing fond of the C-47 cargo plane that plays a supporting role in the Wings of the Nightingale. Another rugged plane, sturdy and dependable, and kind of cute too. While the B-17 is the glamour girl, the C-47 is the friendly girl next door.

Thank you for having me today! I’ve enjoyed visiting.
And I thank all our readers for joining in the fun!
For information on how you can learn more about Sarah's books, upcoming events, and blog  please click on the link below.

Bio:
Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series from Revell, and also the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review Friday: Sarah Sundin, A Distant Melody

1 Corinthians 13:4 "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up."

Sarah Sundin's debut novel, A Distant Melody, is a must read!! I cannot stress it enough. Both men and women will be drawn into this beautifully written story page after page.



Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love.

Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

I urge you to pick up this book and curl up on the couch with this historical. I read it in two days...I could not put it down. A book well worth the purchase!
Check out Sarah Sundin's website and view all four of her novels, inlcuding her newest release- "With Every Letter"- plus her upcoming novel in 2013!

If you can, stop by her blog and say "Hello" and don't forget to visit on Monday for an interview with Sarah on her books, inspiration, and what's coming up in 2013!



Have you read A Distant Melody? Do you plan to read it? Let me know!!


Did You Know?

In 1945 the digital computer, ENIAC, was completed. It stood a towering 2 stories and weighed 30 ton!

Friday, November 2, 2012


“Book Review Friday”

 

It’s November. It’s cold. It’s time to curl up on the sofa with another good book.

Today’s book recommendation is another beautifully written story set during World War II time period. When I began this book I could not put it down. I fell in love with the characters and the sweet story that protruded from its pages.

Author, Cara Putman tells the beautiful tale of two individuals on two life journeys whose paths cross in her first book in the Cornhusker Dreams series, Canteen Dreams…

 
 

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Audrey Stone wants to help in the war effort. But what's a young schoolteacher from Nebraska to do? When her community starts a canteen at the train station, Audrey finds her place. She spends nearly every spare moment there, offering food and kindness to the soldiers passing through. Despite her busyness, Audrey does allow some time to get to know a handsome rancher. Willard Johnson worries about his brother who joined the navy to get off the ranch and see the world. When Willard's worst fear is confirmed, he feels he must avenge by enlisting himself. But will his budding relationship with Audrey weather the storms of war? Or will one of the many soldiers at the canteen steal her away from him?


Show Le
 
I’m sure you will find this story warm and cozy, and your heart will ache for these two characters. If you love Audrey and Willard’s story, you will want to purchase the next two books in the series, Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams. Or you can buy all three! Look for “Cornhusker Dreams”.

Cara has written 15 books with plans of releasing more! She not only writes historicals, but Suspense, Romantic Suspense and more. Check out her website to learn about this amazing author at www.caraputman.com and leave a comment on her blog!

Have a great weekend!!