Friday, October 24, 2014

Confessions of a Book Crier

Photo Credit: 123RF photos

Confessions of a Book Crier

by Amber Schamel

I'm not one of those gals that cries a lot. In fact, I tend to cry more often out of frustration than sadness. But I will confess, there have been a couple of books that made me cry. It's a tough thing to do, but it has happened. 

I think the first book that ever made me cry was Beulah by Augusta Jane Evans. It was an old book I picked up at an antique store. As it turns out, it was originally published in 1865. Like many books of its period, Beulah was a story about a plain, hard working, devoted orphan girl. In one of the beginning scenes, Beulah's sister Lillian is adopted by a prominent family, but they don't want Beulah. Lilly is torn from her sister's arms, screaming and begging them not to separate her from her sister. a heartbroken Beulah lets her go, knowing it is for her sister's ultimate benefit, though they may never see each other again. The scene is written in such a way that we feel both sister's anguish, and are already deeply attached to the characters even though this scene occurs in the second chapter. Having three younger sisters myself, this picture tugged at my heartstrings and I confess...I cried like a little girl. 

Whew. There. I said it. First confession out of the way. As an author though, I have another confession to make. Sometimes books make me cry...when I'm writing them. debut novella, The Healer's Touch, is a story about a woman who is banished from her home because of leprosy. Her husband threatens to kill her, and she is separated from her son for over ten years. Life in the leper colony is heartbreaking. When news comes of a man who may be able to heal her, Aaliyah is forced to make a choice: risk her life by going into the city to find the healer, or live out the rest of her miserable existence and die a leper. As I wrote her story, there were a couple of times that I felt her anguish so deep, that it actually made me cry. Rumor is, it had the same effect on some of my readers. 

When writing the sequel to The Healer's Touch, (which just released on Oct 16th!) I found myself in tears for a different reason. This time, it was feeling the character's joy that choked me up. (I can't tell you more than that, or it might spoil it for you.) :D

Okay, so now that I've confessed to being a book crier, it's your turn. What books have made you cry?

If you're an author, have you cried when writing your books?

Amber Schamel, Bringing HIStory to LifeBest selling author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and is now the author of over half a dozen books. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites.  Amber is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

Her new release The Messiah's Sign is on sale for only $.99 for a limited time!

I'm celebrating my new release with the Name-A-Character Giveaway! Enter to for a chance to pick the name of a main character in Amber's upcoming book The Christmas Pardon. Terms and conditions apply. 
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young lawyer battles with the U.S. Supreme court. In what seemed to be a Christmas miracle, he had secured a pardon for his friend from Lincoln himself. The army executed the boy anyway. On the fifteenth anniversary of his death, will the lawyer finally clear his friends name and bring justice to his memory?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Cliche Christmas

I know it's too early for Christmas. I hate seeing red and green in the stores before Halloween. But this year, I must make an exception for a truly delightful Christmas novella, just released this month. The timing is actually perfect for those of you who are waiting for the Hallmark Channel to change their programming over to the sappy, tear-jerking, perfect Christmas movie marathon that is November and December.  

You see, the main character in this book is Georgia Cole, and she is the Hollywood Christmas Queen. She writes the awesome sappy movies everyone loves to watch, but she’s never experienced a magical Christmas moment in her life. This year she’s tricked into going home for Christmas and she runs right into the man she never wanted to see again.

Beyond the snowy Christmas setting, the foibles of a budding romance, and the quirky grandmother, I absolutely love the dialogue. Georgia banters with Weston and the sparks fly. I even laughed out loud a few times. Georgia’s voice is hysterically funny and easily relatable. I read the book months ago, and I still love the characters because they were so crisply drawn.

This story really does paint a picture-perfect town. But Nicole Deese populates it with real people dealing with real problems, from the girl who falls into the snow, soaking her jeans, to the little girl battling cancer, to the senior citizens trying to organize a holiday bazaar.

Deese is a true talent. She writes clean romance that satisfies, but leaves you hoping she has another seventy-two books available right now. I hope you’ll give her a try . . . but I’m warning you. She has not written seventy-two books. Yet. She does have at least three more for sale…

Nicole Deese is a lover of fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found fantasizing about “reading escapes,” which look a lot like kid-free, laundry-free, and cooking-free vacations.
Her debut novel, an Inspirational Contemporary Romance, All for Anna, has hit multiple milestones since its release in January 2013, including a 4.7 star rating on Amazon and more than 120,000 downloads on Kindle. She has since completed the Letting Go series and is over-the-moon excited about her new release, A Cliché Christmas, published by Waterfall Press, an Amazon Publishing imprint. A Cliché Christmas is available at Walmart stores nationwide and on
Nicole Deese is represented by Jessica Kirkland of The Blythe Daniel Agency, and lives in Frisco, Texas, with her husband, Tim, and her two rowdy boys, Preston and Lincoln.

Do you watch the sappy Christmas movies? (and I say that fully admitting that I am addicted!) Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn Camping

Are you enjoying this Autumn weather? 
Have you tried camping during cooler weather?
On the road . . .

Over the weekend we headed down to the Stone Mountain Park. This weekend was peak weekend for much of the eastern area. Gorgeous reds, yellows, oranges and browns highlighted the rugged mountains of West Vriginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. It was like basking in a vivid rainbow forest of color.

Tent set up
Gramps and grandson checking out their "necessary equipment"

Once we arrived at our destination, we began setting up camp. There were around nine different families from the elderly in their eighties to our grandson who is two. Grandson Jonathan and Gramps pulled out our tent and soon had it erected.

Once the sun set, a fire was built in the pit and we took turns roasting hotdogs. Lots of chatter, and speculations ran high whether the bear spotted earlier would reappear. (They're a roving animal.)

Gramps, grandson, and I "hit the hay" early. We'd made provisions for the cool weather with warm sleeping bags, a proper heater, and bathroom facilities close at hand. Grandson Jonathan was excited and woke up twice during the night to zip down a tent window to stare at the fire and stars. He was hoping (not knowing what he hoped for!) to spot a bear! The only one we saw was in the park office, and it was plenty impressive. :)

After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, and crispy pancakes--all cooked over an open flame, most of us headed to the mountains, some to the water fall and others on a longer hike up the mountain. Because of our two-year-old, we elected for the shorter route.
Headed to the falls, walking over some beautiful stone slabs!

The top of the falls

A nice couple took this picture for us. 
What a stone chimney is doing out in the woods near the top of a mountain, is beyond me.
Didn't have time to run down the answer, but enjoyed it just the same. 

Did we have fun? You bet.
Just prepare ahead of time: food, water, warm clothes. 
Take along the proper equipment and know how to use it.
Use your head and don't take chances.
If you do all that, and more, you'll be like us:
wanting to go back again. And again. 

About the author:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?