Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exciting News Along Joy's Journey

Dear Followers:
Joy Avery Melville

Imagine my excitement to see the announcement on both the American Christian Fiction Writer's Main Loop and the ACFW Novel Track Writing Loop on a hot July morning here in Michigan, naming me to the NOVEL TRACK WRITING LOOP as COORDINATOR.

Did you know that in 2010 ACFW PRESIDENT - Margaret Daley designed the Novel Track Writing and Novel Track Editing Loops?
Jeanne Marie Leach became the loops coordinator ~ She expanded what Margaret began and that's where I came in . . .I used both the NTW and NTE Loops and benefited by them so much, I looked forward to joining again with my next work.  

When Jeanne Marie Leach was preparing to step down from her position as administrator/moderator of the Novel Track Loops nearly a year ago, she contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in becoming the new Moderator. I prayed about it, but really was not equipped at that time to take it on, and my husband was concerned with the amount of commitments I had at that time.
This last May I was about to write my second book in my current trilogy and I decided to rejoin Novel Track Writing for the encouragement and accountability. Sadly there was no longer a coordinator at the helm and sweet friend, Kristen Stieffel was busy keeping the stats for both NTW and NTE Loops and making sure badges got sent out to the deserving recipients.

I prayed. . .prayed. . .prayed some more and contacted Linda Machett, the Members Benefit Coordinator with ACFW.

She took my name to the ACFW BOARD and as of, July 9, 2014, I was been appointed the new Novel Track Writing Coordinator with an able assistant -

Kristen Stieffel

  Kristen Stieffel, who'll continue to keep the stats and send out the badges. THANK YOU, KRISTEN!

 Please pray with me that I'll do the work for NTW that God has called me to do, that I'll further His kingdom with the contact I have with the writers who join NTW each month.
I've discussed the Loop with the former coordinator, Jeanne Marie Leach at length, have been assigned my password to the Administrative Site, and have decided to bring back the NTW MINI-LESSONS and there are some NEW ideas beginning to spark off in this overused brain of mine.

I'm excited. . . .scared spitless. . . .excited. . . .looking forward to what God has for me in this endeavor and those who join me from month to month. . .and oh. . .did I say how excited I am to be a part of the ACFW TEAM?

These loops offer accountability, encouragement, mini-lessons, some hefty challenges, and some new things coming as we go through the year.
For those HITTING and/or SURPASSING their GOAL10,000 or more words in a month, there is a badge - a very nice badge to place on your fb page, your blog or web site, just about any place you'd like to share what you've earned - and IT IS EARNED

AUGUST AWAITS in the wings and don't delay in joining up.  The INTRODUCTION TO NTW will be on the NTW LOOP August 1, 2014.

When your rough draft is complete. . .and you hit THE END. . . .you may enter the THE END contest through ACFW and the winner of the drawing will get a paid membership in ACFW for the next year.

Then you need to join NTE LOOP where Pamela James is prepared to welcome you and to spur you on to the goal of however many pages you may edit in one month. There are badges to be earned there as well.

Blessings await each writer who writes to glorify God! Come join us at the ACFW Novel Track Writing Loop - EXCITING TIMES ARE AHEAD.

Kristen, Pamela and Joy are looking forward to welcoming you at both Novel Track Writing and Novel Track Editing.

Thanks for stopping by Journeys To Joy  ~  Blessings on your week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Journeys To Joy Welcomes Lorena McCourtney with her Cate Kinkaid Files ~

If you've not read Lorena McCourtney's books, you're in for a surprise ~


Lorena McCourtney is a  Christian New York Times Multi-Series Author ~

Lorena, please tell my followers/your readers something about your writing they may not be aware of ~

 My last two mystery series involved older-age characters (The Ivy Malone Mysteries and The Andi McConnell Mysteries), and I was looking for a change of pace. So I came up with 22-year-old Cate Kinkaid, desperately trying to find a job during a time of steep economic downturn all over the country.
Yes, she agreed, she was desperately trying to find a job. But her name was Cate Kinkaid, and she wasn’t 22; she was 29.

Okay. Whatever.

Would she like to be a private investigator? I asked.

Not particularly, she grumbled, but she’d dip her toe into the world of private investigating if necessary, just until she could find a “real” job.

And how was her romantic life?

There was this incident called The Cappuccino Disaster with a man she thought she was going to marry, then a bunch of frogs who did not turn into princes. She hasn’t barred men from her life forever, but she’s very cautious now and isn’t interested in having some guy dumped on her.

Nothing like creating a character with a mind of her own.

But the author is in control, right? So I complicated Cate’s life with a murder on her very first case as a PI, a case that was supposed to be easy and uncomplicated, no mayhem or murder. She also encounters a deaf white cat with an attitude, a guy named Mitch Berenski (hunk or computer-nerd, she isn’t certain), and a killer. (Or is it killers?)

So all of that became the first book in the Cate Kinkaid Files, “Dying to Read.” Which, I’m pleased to say, made it onto a New York Times bestseller list.

Then came Book #2, “Dolled Up to Die.” The idea for this came from a doll my stepdaughter has, a boy doll so realistic looking that my first thought  when I saw him sitting in a chair in her house was, “Hey, who’s that? I’ve never seen him around here before.”

The most realistic looking of dolls, however, are a little short on human DNA, as Cate discovered when she got a frantic call about three shootings at a woman’s home. But another victim there definitely had plenty of human DNA.

This book involved research into how such realistic looking dolls are made, although most of the information didn’t actually make it into the book. (Research is often like that; you may use only a smidgen of what you actually learn.) I also needed to learn about psychic stuff, specifically about people who claim to be able to tell you about past lives you’ve supposedly lived.

And I needed to know more about motorcycles. My husband and I have had and enjoyed various motorcycles in the past, but I discovered a fact I hadn’t known before. Did you know those high-up handlebars are called ape-hangers? Somehow that makes me giggle every time I think about it.

There’s a wedding in this book too, and the book could have had a different title. “Three Dolls and a Wedding” might have been appropriate. But there’s that killer in there too.

Anyway, you can see how it all hangs together in that second book, ”Dolled Up to Die.”

Now, the latest (and final) book in this series is just-released Book #3, “Death Takes a Ride.”

This book involved research into some subjects new to me: Bicycle races. Antique cars and their restoration. A medical coma. Tattoos.

This series is set in the western Oregon city of Eugene. I’ve been through there many times, but in writing this series I realized there were a lot of specifics I didn’t know. So we made a special weekend trip up there from our home in southern Oregon so I could pick up more details. I also had a chance to meet my great editor at Revell, Lonnie Hull DuPont, who drove down to meet me there.

I also had fun in this book with an ex-trophy-wife, a big dog with a peculiar affinity for motorcycles and an ongoing hostility with Cate’s cat, Octavia. As well as Cate’s foray into the last place she ever expected to be, a biker’s bar. And the serious problem of Mitch’s hangup with her being a private investigator that threatens to end their entire relationship.

I hope you’ll enjoy the bang-up conclusion to the Cate Kinkaid series. And, for readers who keep asking me, yes, I am working on another Ivy Malone Mystery.

 For the fun of it ~ I'm going to post parts of the three back-of-the-book blurbs from the books above. See if you can match which one goes to which title.
Please leave your choices in a comment WITH your email addy ~
I'll be posting the answers next Monday night~
No cheating by going to look up the books either. LOL!

B~O~T~B Blurb #1
It's official. This case is above her pay grade-and Cate's in over her head.
Despite having been merely a bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting may  not have been as cut~and~dried as it appeared.

B~O~T~B Blurb #2
When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic phone call ~ she drives to the scene of the crime against her better judgement. After all, aren't triple homicides more up the police department's alley? New rule ~ Always find out if the victims have human DNA ~ these three do not.

B~O~T~B Blurb #3
All Cate Kinkaid has to do as an investigator is to find if a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

Be sure to leave a comment with your choices as to which book belongs to which Back~Of~The~Book Blurb and learn the answer next Monday evening. 

CORRECT ANSWERS and EMAIL ADDRESSES IN COMMENTS - WILL GET PUT IN DRAWING FOR NEXT MONDAY EVENING -  Lorena is offering an AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF DEATH TAKES A RIDE to the winner! I can't notify the winner without an email address!

Thanks for stopping by Journeys To Joy ~ Blessings on your week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Hesitant Heiress ~ Book one of the Everstone Chronicles ~ By Dawn Crandall


                             Book One of the Everstone Chronicles

                                                         By Dawn Crandall

I was offered a chance to read this book for review and received a pre-pubbed copy. 
I promised Dawn I would give an honest review, and I also promised not to reveal the ending - I will tell you this much - it's worth the time to read the entire thing to get there.

I'm not a fan of FIRST PERSON point of view stories - USUALLY - but in the last eight months I've had the privilege of critiquing one book written in First Person POV and now I've also had the opportunity to read Dawn's about-to-be-released ~ The Hesitant Heiress ~ also written in First Person POV. . .It didn't take me long to realize I wasn't even aware of the TYPE of POV - but was totally engrossed in the story. Characters are consistent, true to the time period, and individualistic. Each has their own voice and is easily recognizable. The settings were very clear and if I were able to travel to each of the homes and cities/coastal areas described so artfully in Dawn's book, I'd recognize them easily by the way she's painted them with words.
Thank you, Dawn, for an enjoyable read. . .a promise of another in the near future, and the opportunity to share this with my followers.

 Having read THE HESITANT HEIRESS, I'm excited to be able to invite you all back here in August AFTER The Hesitant Heiress debuts (release date is AUGUST 1, 2014) and I'll be doing a full feature for Dawn.
Be sure to join us here - DATES To Be Announced - be watching for that.

When The Hesitant Heiress is released do NOT take too long to get yourself a copy. You will NOT be disappointed.