Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Melissa Henderson

Good morning! Today, I have the privilege of introducing you to author Melissa Henderson. Melissa and her husband, Alan, live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. She enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering. Last year, she published her first book! Congratulations, Melissa!

Personal

Good morning, Melissa. Tell us a little about yourself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband Alan and I moved to South Carolina from Virginia in 2017, to be near son, daughter-in-love

and first grand baby. My favorite activities are volunteering in church and community, writing and reading, and of course, sharing time with family.

In 2005, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and anti-cancer medicines, I am now almost a 14 years cancer survivor.

My first children’s book, “Licky the Lizard” was published in 2018. I continue to write inspirational Christian fiction, non-fiction and children’s stories. I blog at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

Wow, Melissa, what a testimony! You are blessed, my friend. I’m thankful you’re healthy and here with us! Congratulations on your storybook baby.

Professional

Let’s talk about your professional life. Why do write in your chosen genre?

From the time I could read, my parents showed me their love of reading and writing. Following their lead for the love of words gave me the opportunity to explore my creativity. I have always written my thoughts in journals and enjoy looking back and recalling special times. There has constantly been a need. A calling to write. I pray that my words will bring others closer to God in some way.

Share something you wish the reader knew about your book.

In “Licky the Lizard”, I would like the reader to know the basis of the story is my own personal experience with lizards. Since moving to coastal SC, I have learned more about lizards and alligators than I could ever imagine.

In your opinion, what is the hardest part of the writing process?

One of the hardest parts of the writing process for me is to slow my thoughts down long enough to get them on the computer or paper. When I am excited about a story, words jump out of my mind quicker than I can type.

I can relate to that problem! How about some fun questions? First draft: Pencil or keyboard?

Keyboard most times, pencil sometimes

Plotter or pantser?

Originally a pantser, but now turning into a plotter

Tea or coffee

Definitely tea

Favorite thing to do when not writing.

Play with grandson (17 months old and full of joy)

Inspirational

This year’s theme is sharing hope. In Hebrews, the writer tells us to encourage each other while it is called today. Would you please take a moment to share a brief testimony to encourage our readers?

As a young person, my Daddy took me to church. I remember standing beside him listening to his deep voice sing the beautiful hymns. Throughout my life, God has given me many experiences to allow me to grow closer to Him. From the sound of my Daddy’s voice singing God’s praises, to heartache while losing loved ones, to the cancer diagnosis, to struggling with depression and anxiety, God has been my constant. He has placed people in my life to show me the love and mercy of forgiveness. Each moment and each encounter is building my faith stronger and stronger. If I pause and consider His works, I know He has a plan for me.

Again, Melissa, what a beautiful testimony. Thank you for your encouraging words, my friend. I agree with you, God has a plan for everyone.

Click to Tweet: One of the hardest parts of the writing process for me is to slow my thoughts down. #interview #amwriting @GailJohnson87

About the Book

licky-cover

Licky the Lizard is one nice lizard, and just like you and me, he’s one of God’s own creations. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that we’re really all the same—because He created everything in our world. We feel afraid because of our differences.

About the Author

Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in coastal South Carolina. She was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age by her parents. Melissa continues to write Christian stories and also, enjoys writing her blog.

Connect with Melissa here:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Sandra Ardoin

Good morning, dear reader. Welcome to Women of Faith and Fiction Tuesday. This morning we’re talking with author Sandra Ardoin. I am thankful to call her friend. She’s as beautiful on the inside as her lovely books. If you haven’t read her books, you’re missing out on a treat. And who wants to miss out on a treat? Not me! So let’s not waste another minute…

Personal

Good morning, Sandra, tell us a little about yourself.

Sandra Ardoin_Headshot

I’m a married mother, now an empty-nester. I was born a Hoosier, then became a Texan before finding my way to the Tar Heel state of North Carolina. When I’m not watching NASCAR and entertaining my family with enthusiastic cheering during NFL games (Keep Pounding, Panthers!), I spend my spare time reading fiction, listening to country music, and digging rocks out of my garden.

 

Sandra, you are a busy woman! I love working in my garden. It’s therapeutic. Now, let’s talk about you as a writer. Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?

Professional

I set A Love Most Worthy in Nome, Alaska during the gold rush of 1900 and submitted the idea to meet a publisher’s request for a mail-order bride novella. In the story, Hallie searches for something that, for her, has been more elusive than gold—a loving family. What she finds are the gale-force winds of distrust and insecurity that threaten to destroy her dream of becoming a cherished wife and mother.

The choice of the setting came because I wanted something different from the typical “western” mail-order bride story. I researched the Klondike Gold Rush, but there were issues I felt were better met by the Nome location.

Although the novella idea wasn’t chosen by the publisher, I finished the story and am preparing to take my first dive into the indie publishing waters with it. The timeframe of the release is tentatively set for February 2019. Stay tuned. 😉

My current, unfinished story is historical romance and set it in a small, fictional North Texas town because that area was my stomping grounds for twenty-three years. And the Lone Star state makes a great location for a story set in the 1880s, don’t you think?

Congratulations on the indie adventure! I can’t wait to read them both. Tell me, what is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

Reading, of course. 😊 As stated in answering the first question, I like to garden. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time for it as I used to, which is evident in the condition of my garden areas. But I love plants and get excited when spring rolls around and perennials start popping out of the ground and plants flower.

I get spring fever too. Can’t stay away from the plants. 🙂 Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

Well, the “must have” is coffee. My writing runs on coffee. As far as a true writing quirk, I need silence and privacy. I’m too insecure to let someone peer over my shoulder at what I’ve written, and I’m not one to play music in the background. I’d find myself paying more attention to the music (probably singing along) than writing. I need a closed office and quiet.

I understand that! Last question. This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

Inspirational

For me, it’s in your “First Things First,” Gail. I need routine and organization in anything, or I flounder, so I make it a priority to spend time in my Bible and with a devotion first thing in the morning. If I allow myself to get tied up in other things, I put it off. So, to answer your first question, I think setting a routine is a must if you’re struggling to find the time. Also, praying “continuously” is scriptural. It’s wise to talk to God off and on during the day. Think about how relationships widen when you don’t talk to a friend in a while. Which leads to the second question…

There was a time when I moved away from God. During those years, my life was not the way either of us wanted it, but He didn’t give up on me. Life is much better, much easier, when we remain close to Him—under the shadow of those protective wings—than to move away.

You are so right, Sandy. Love those thoughts. Thank you so much for joining us, encouraging us, and sharing with us.

Click to Tweet: “Well, the “must have” is coffee. My writing runs on coffee.” ~ @SandraArdoin with @GailJohnson87 #WomenofFaithandFiction #author

BIO:

Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. She’s the author of the heartwarming novella, The Yuletide Angel and the award-winning novel, A Reluctant Melody. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com.

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Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Linda Yezak

Good morning, readers. Welcome to another interview with Women of Faith and Fiction. This morning I am talking with the lovely Linda Yezak. Linda is an author and editor. You can find her offering writing advice and bits of humor on her blog. Now, let’s get started.

Linda YezakPersonal

Good morning, Linda. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m getting old. Strands of gray are filtering in with my red hair, my right hip occasionally refuses to bear my weight, and I’ve learned the truth about looking around to see what else I can do while crouched on the floor. Sixty may be the new forty, but sometimes it is every bit my sixth decade. Good news is that I’m more comfortable in my wrinkling skin, my forgetful mind tends to hold more wisdom and patience, and my failing eyes behind these trifocals tend to overlook a lot more than they used to. It’s all good.

Linda, I love the way you express truth with a dash of humor. Next question…

 

coffee-2306471_1920Professional

Linda, I made sure to include coffee in this picture. I know how much you love it. 🙂

Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?

Ride to the Altar is the third and final novel in the Circle Bar Ranch series. When I first started the series, my mother had just sold her family’s ranch near Stephenville, Texas. It’s a beautiful ranch, horseshoed by massive hills, with plenty of natural grass and ponds, so it was painful to watch the deed shift hands. The Circle Bar Ranch ranch is based on my too-short time in the area.

The ranch sounds lovely. It’s always sad when deeds shift hands. Now, what’s your favorite thing to do when not writing?

I love to fish. Doesn’t mean I get to do it often, but it’s my favorite thing to do when I’m not writing. But even then, I’m writing. Doesn’t much matter what I’m doing. I’m writing.

I totally understand that statement. Whenever I relax, my characters show up and begin talking. 🙂 Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

I can’t remember who said it, but some famous somebody said to leave a sentence unfinished at the end of your writing session, so at the beginning of the next session, you can be off to a running start. I’ve adopted this technique. It works.

I love that. Not sure if it would work for me as a writer but as a musician…definitely. Final questions…

 

stones-451329_1920Inspirational

This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

I’m not capable of staying up late, so I get up early to spend time with Him—used to be 5:00, but now it’s more like 4. I love studying His word and learning from Him, so I try not to miss. When I have my full time, I flip through the hymnal I keep beside my chair and sing to Him. Then I engage in whatever study I’m working on. Afterward, I read the day’s devotional, then I meditate on what I’ve learned, pray for those who enter my mind, share my plans and concerns with Him.

Spending time with Him is fortifying. It starts my day on the right note. It feeds my yearning to be with Him, to be more like Him. It reminds me to see Him in everything, seek Him in everything, acknowledge Him in everything.

Create the habit of devoting time to Him. Carve out time in your day. It’s just like your writing. If you really want to do it, you’ll figure out how. There aren’t any valid excuses. Get up early. Go to bed late. Skip a TV show. Lock the bathroom door. If you don’t have hours, dedicate minutes to Him.

Stick to your set time the best you can given your circumstances, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or if things don’t work out. Sometimes, all you need to do is to thank Him for being there with you. Acknowledge Him so you don’t lose your connection with Him during a busy day. The more often you do that, the more likely your day will go smoothly and your emotions will remain in check.

I love that advice! I agree that acknowledging Him daily strengthens the bond. Linda, thank you for joining us today on WFF. It has been a pleasure talking with you.

Readers, Linda’s book (paperback) is up for pre-order. Cl

Click to Tweet: I love to fish. Doesn’t mean I get to do it often, but it’s my favorite thing to do when I’m not writing. #Interview with @LindaYezak #WFF


Ride to the Altar

Ride to the AltarCattle are dying on the Circle Bar, putting the Texas ranch in financial jeopardy. Newly engaged Patricia Talbert and Talon Carlson must root out the cause before they can concentrate on wedding plans.

But that mystery isn’t their only obstacle. To placate her father, Patricia must return to her hometown of Manhattan to make amends with her mother, the interfering, dominating woman she has hardly spoken to in a year. Her father decides it is time for them to declare a truce, but considering the depth of anger she holds against her mother, how can she?

While she is away, Talon discovers that the attacks on the ranch are connected to the murder of his first fiancée over eight years ago. Memories plague him and emotions confound him as he scrambles to discover who is trying to destroy him and the ranch. By the time Patricia returns from New York, the strikes against the Circle Bar have become more aggressive, to the point of injury for one of the ranch hands.

Before they can move forward together, each have to resolve the past. Their Ride to the Altar has twists and turns neither ever considered. Will they be able to start their new life with a clean slate?

Amazon Link

Barnes and Nobel Link


Linda YezakLinda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, PB, in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee—with a caramel creamer. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn’t begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing.

Website: http://lindawyezak.com

Newsletter: http://dld.bz/CoffeewithLinda

Facebook: Author Page

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyezak/

Twitter: @LindaYezak

Amazon Page: http://dld.bz/LWYAmazonPage

Goodreads: Linda W Yezak