Blog title
Hey! I've moved. You'll be directed to my new blog in 3...2...1...

Moving Day

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hello fantastic fans of Jillian Kent! The web management team is highjacking Jill's blog today to inform you of Jill's new blog address. We've recently transitioned her website to WordPress and invite you to visit her "new" online home. 

Visit to continue following her updates and receive her posts directly in your inbox by registering your email in her blog sidebar. Also, take a look at her newly launched Jill's Quill page!

See you there! 

Happy July 4th! And the winner is . . .

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The winner of my non-blog contest is JEANNIE CAMPBELL!

Jeannie came up with the name Jill's Quill, which I decided was the best choice for my upcoming journal. I hope to have fun with it and I hope you will too. The journal will probably make it's appearance in early August after Jones House Creative has time to design. Stay tuned for more information. I thank each of you who stopped by to participate and hope you will continue to hang out with me from time to time.

I also plan to get my next newsletter out soon so if you haven't signed up for it please do. I don't send them often, in fact this will only be the second one. Maybe it should be titled, Jill's Quill. :)



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This might be fatal but I'm going on a summer blogging hiatus that might become permanent. I plan to switch over to journal mode and add a page when the gang at Jones House Creative can help me out. And rather than just call it Jillian's Journal I'd like to open this up for my readers to help me out.

If you're interested in participating, I'm going to giveaway all three books of my Ravensmoore Chronicles and a $25.00 gift certificate from Amazon for the winner. All you need to do is be creative. What should I name my new journal page? I'll pick the one I like best and I plan to post the winner on the Fourth of July. So get creative, mark your calendars, and don't forget to leave your e-mail address in your comment. You can only enter one time and must be a resident of the U.S.A. The contest will end on July 1st Pacific Time.

So why am I going on a blogging hiatus? Because I want to spend more time doing other things like reading, writing novels, and enjoying this summer with my family.

It may not seem like a big deal but everything we writers add to our plates takes time away from getting the work done. Some writers are experts at this and I marvel at what they can accomplish and what they have to say. The need to blog to reach our audiences is changing and has been changing for some time now. If you missed this blog post over at Jody Hedlund's Blog and you're a writer I suggest you check it out: Do Agents and Editors Expect Novelists to Blog.

Each of us is gifted in different areas of our lives and as writers we need to stay in touch. However, there are all kinds of ways to do that. I will continue to blog once a month at Just The Write Charisma Blogspot and on the 29th of every month over at the Christian Fiction Historical Society. I think group blogs are the easiest so I hope you'll visit often.

I enjoy Twitter more than blogging every week and more than (dare I say, Facebook?) I like the idea of a journal. Short and sweet updates when I want to say something more than I can on Twitter, but much less than a typical blog post.

So this is my last official blog post for the summer here on my page with the exception of when I pick the winner of my future journal page on the Fourth of July. I appreciate all my followers and hope you'll sign up on my mailing list if you haven't already. I'd love to be able to reach you when exciting things are happening. This blog will remain available for all to read. Don't forget all the great blogs posted to the right of this page. There's much to explore. Have an awesome summer.

What's your favorite form of social media?

The Winner is . . .

Monday, May 27, 2013

Congratulations TiGi! Christi's hubby pulled the winner last night. Hope you enjoy the goodies.

The Not-So-Glamorous Story of How I Got My Book Deal

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Christi Corbett
Please welcome my awesome guest blogger, Christi Corbett. Christi and I have been through some interesting times together in the publishing world. She's got a lot of knowledge to impart regarding the rocky road to publication. I know you'll enjoy this post and her debut novel which I happily endorsed.
Christi is giving away a fun package of writing goodies (notebook, sticky notes, pens, and other fun supplies) to one lucky commenter, so be sure to answer the question at the end of this post to be entered to win. I'll pick a winner on Sunday evening after 9:00pm Pacific Time so be sure to leave a comment before then if you're interested in winning the goodies.

  Publishing is a tough business and not for quitters. While right now I’m happily reviewing cover concepts and thinking of how to best promote my debut novel, it took over THIRTEEN years to get to said happiness.    

Yes, it took me thirteen years to go from, “Hey, I’ve got a really great idea for a book!” to signing the publication contract from Astraea Press.
And there were plenty of times during those thirteen years when I considered quitting. Considered that maybe I didn’t have it in me to go the long haul. Considered that maybe the process was just too hard. Considered that maybe my story idea was stupid and no one would want to read about a family’s adventures and misfortunes on the 1843 Oregon Trail. Considered that maybe to get published I’d have to compromise my beliefs.
But, even though over those thirteen years there were plenty of days, months, and even years when I didn’t write at all, there was always a little voice deep inside me, rooting me on and saying “Don’t worry. Right now you’re dealing with a lot, but when things calm down you’ll get back to this story.”
So, I listened to that little voice while I was pregnant with our twins in what turned out to be a high-risk pregnancy that forced me into two months of complete bedrest. I listened to that voice when our twins were born one month premature. I listened for the next two years while I was buried in diapers, toys, drooling smiles, potty-training, and tears of exhaustion and joy. 
I listened to that little voice while packing, unpacking, and then packing up again through a total of four out of state moves (Washington to Minnesota, Minnesota to Montana, Montana to Washington, and then Washington to Oregon).
Then, once our twins were two years old, that same little voice helped me to eek out five minutes of writing time here, another five minutes of writing time there, until lo and behold, my twins were five-years-old and I’d finally finished my book.
And then I realized that my book was horrible.    

But that same little voice was still with me, now saying, “Ok, you’ve got a lot of work ahead, but you FINISHED and that’s something to be proud of. Now get to work on making it BETTER.”
So I did. I went to my very first writing conference and realized there were people just like me, striving to write until they got it right. I made some great writing friends at that first conference, and in a roundabout way, that was how I met Jillian.

Now, armed with my own little voice and a few writing friends with actual voices, all of whom were giving lots of encouragement, I ripped my book apart and revised it, from the first word to the last…SIX TIMES. 
Then I found a local writing group and two critique partners (lots of love here to Artemis Gray and Margo Kelly!) who showed me I had a lot more work to do. So I revised it again…TWO MORE TIMES. 

Then, I went to a conference in August of 2012. Conferences are expensive and I could only afford one of the three days, and getting that money took holding a yard sale. But, my husband and entire family are very supportive, so clutching my yard sale proceeds in one hand and my query letter in the other, off to the conference I went.
I met more amazing writers, got requests for partials from three of the three agents I met with, and then drove home with my dreams soaring—dreams that were quickly dashed when I got rejected by one of the agents and never heard back from the other two.
But still, that little voice inside just wouldn’t let me quit. I revised my query letter until it shone, showed it to everyone who would look at it, revised it TWENTY more times (no, I’m not kidding) and then one minute after I put my twins on the school bus for their first day of second grade I began querying in earnest.
A few months into it I had around forty rejections, but I also had six agents and three editors (Medallion Press, Tor/Forge, and a small press) reviewing requested partials/fulls, an R&R offer from an agent, and an offer pending from another small press.

Then, it happened.

 I was rejected by an agent who called my book lovely and sweet, raved about my writing and the storyline, but ended with the statement, “…let your characters engage in sex and describe the sex. As it stands, I’ll pass. Put the sex in and I’ll take another look.”
I assure you, I have thick skin when it comes to rejections. I’ve racked up my fair share since I began querying, and normally took them with a grain of salt (and chocolate—lots of chocolate), but this one really bothered me. I understood if a rejection was based upon my writing style, the likeability of my characters, or a flaw in the storyline—but to be rejected solely on the basis that I choose NOT to include sex? That one didn't go over well.
So much so that I finally decided it was time to query the one publisher I’d had my eye on for months. A publisher that cares not only for the authors, but for the kind of work they attach their name to. I'd discovered Astraea Press before I started querying in September and really liked the stance the owner, Stephanie Taylor, took against unnecessary sex.
During a 2011 interview, Six Questions for Stephanie Taylor, she made the following statement: “…Astraea offers a safe haven for good books where the focus is on the STORY and not the sex”.
I sent off a query to Stephanie at Astraea Press late one afternoon, and woke up the next morning to an offer! And it was my birthday too!
I immediately pulled my novel from consideration from all the others who were reviewing partials/fulls/had offers pending, because I believed so strongly in Astraea Press, and the niche they’ve carved out for themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
I am thrilled to announce my novel, Along the Way Home, will release June of 2013 in e-reader format and then in July of 2013 in print.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my “Not-So-Glamorous Story of How I Got My Book Deal”, and I hope it inspires you to never ever EVER give up on your dreams!

Speaking of dreams, here’s the back cover copy to my debut novel, Along the Way Home.
Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman, and though she manages the financials of her father’s mercantile her competence earns her ridicule, not respect, from Virginia’s elite society.

Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money and he’s eating dandelion greens for dinner. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation—he is in complete control.

Departure day finds Kate clinging to her possessions as Jake demands she abandon all he deems frivolous, including her deceased mother’s heirlooms. Jake stands firm, refusing to let the whims of a headstrong woman jeopardize the wages he so desperately needs—even a beautiful one with fiery green eyes and a temper to match.

Trail life is a battle of wills between them until tragedy strikes, leaving Jake with an honor-bound promise to protect her from harm and Kate with a monumental choice—go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?

Jillian, I thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today. And to her readers, thank you so much for reading about my journey to publication. If you’re interested, I post more tidbits about my writing journey in the following locations. I’d be honored to hear from you.

Facebook Author Page: You can find me under “Christi Corbett—Author”
Twitter: @ChristiCorbett
Pinterest:  (I have a page dedicated to my inspirations behind Along the Way Home, plus some fun Oregon Trail pages too.)

How about you? How do you keep writing/pursuing your dreams when it gets tough?


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Selah Awards Press Release
I'm so excited. The second book in my Ravensmoore Chronicle Series, Chameleon, has made it to the final round in this years Selah Award Contest. You can read more here.  There is a list of eleven categories with two or three finalists in each. Check it out and see if some of your favorites are there.

Also, this year at BRMCWC the awards night is going to be streamed live for all the world to see. That should be interesting. So stay tuned. You can find all the information at the above link.

Chameleon is the story of Lady Victoria Grayson, fondly referred to as Snoop by her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore. Lady Victoria journeys to London for the first time in her adult life after battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her home bound for years. She is embroiled in a hornet's nest of intrigue when her brother is called upon to treat a Member of Parliament after a brutal attack.

The Prince Regent has called Jonathon Denning, Lord Witt, from his home in the country to investigate Ravensmoore's activities. The Regent isn't so sure he wants one of his lords working a trade and expects to put an end to what he considers eccentric behavior. Jaded by his profession as a spy, Witt understands that some people are not what they pretend to be. When he meets Victoria his cynical nature is challenged along with his doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.


A delicious Regency house of mirrors, Jillian Kent's Chameleon is an enthralling mix of Sherlock Holmes meets Jane Austen . . .  — Julie Lessman, author of Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series

A fascinating story of intrigue and romance. Chameleon is the perfect novel for a rainy evening with a bottomless pot of English tea at one's side. —Serena Miller, author of Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio and The Measure of Katie Calloway

You can read more endorsements HERE. And you can read the first entire first chapter HERE along with the other books in the series. Enjoy.

Chameleon is dedicated to the brokenhearted, to anyone who has ever felt left out, and to those who hold secrets close to their hearts.



Monday, May 13, 2013

I wanted to thank Kathleen for sharing her thoughts with us about unsavory aspects through history and for introducing us to her novella, Bachelor Buttons.

Kathleen's winner via is Amy C. who will receive the novella and the Irish goodie basket. Congratulations to Amy. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment or read the post. I value your input and I know Kathy does too. Please spread the word about this very special novella.

Check in tomorrow for a special announcement.

When History Has Been Unsavory and Giveaway

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

 Please welcome my guest today, Kathleen L. Maher. She has kindly offered to give away a copy of this wonderful novella, plus a shamrock mug, tea and cookies. You can't beat that! And isn't that book cover beautiful!
Sometimes history is not very uplifting. If you’re like me, you long to escape the stresses of modern life, and that’s why you read historicals—to experience a kinder, gentler time. When past events prove as ruthless as the worst nightly news, what is an author of inspirational fiction to do?
My novella Bachelor Buttons deals with one such unsavory bit of history. As contributor to a collection of novellas and short stories set in 1863 commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, I chose to write about the New York City Draft Riots. The protests to Lincoln’s Conscription Act escalated into one of the worst racial hate crimes in American history. It casts blight, not just on American history, but on Irish immigrant history in particular.  So why did I choose to write about such a disturbing event? Should writers like me avoid the horror and dismay of the past altogether?
One reason I felt passionate about writing this story is summed up by George Santayana’s famous quote. "Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat its mistakes."  Fiction provides the perfect medium to gain a better understanding of history’s lessons. Context sheds light on the background, and offers a basis for comparison to current events. The Draft Riots were a tragic and frightening week of anarchy, violence, and mob rule. Many immigrants from the Emerald Isle, escaping famine and seeking a better life in America, settled in New York City and struggled to find work. Signs reading “No Irish need apply” greeted
Irish Giveaway Gift
them wherever they went. To make matters worse, the main competition for the unskilled labor jobs that were available came from freed slaves. Frustrated and without a political voice, many turned to vigilantism.
The draft lit the fuse of a powder keg. Tensions over job security ratcheted up a notch each time the Lincoln administration espoused abolitionist causes. The Emancipation Proclamation stirred up the deepest fears among recently immigrated Irish that a wave of freedmen would sweep Manhattan and take all the jobs for themselves. Sadly, this fear and hatred spawned deadly attacks on peaceful black citizens all over Manhattan for four days in July, 1863.
The Draft Riot was a terrible event, fraught with loss of life and property.  So again, why memorialize it in story? I believe that when darkness sinks to its nadir, that is when the light of Christ and His people shine the brightest. Every story I write weaves a theme of redemption, and so it is with Bachelor Buttons. The hero—an Irish immigrant teacher—becomes an unwitting champion, rescuing those in harm’s way even at risk of personal loss and danger. He represents the call on every Christian’s life, to be light in darkness, an overcoming force standing for truth and goodness when the world turns upside down.
Sometimes history is downright ugly. But the Author and Perfector of our faith, the One penning the story of His dealings with man, triumphs over the facts of man’s sin with His Truth. Good really does triumph over evil with God’s help, and we learn from the past through both good examples and bad. 

Question: What books have you read that handled dark historical events with a redemptive light?
Bachelor Buttons can be purchased HERE. 
You can visit Kathleen's Blogspot HERE.

Kathleen L. Maher’s novella Bachelor Buttons releases May 1 as part of a Civil War sesquicentennial collection by Helping Hands Press. She won the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest, and finaled in several others since 2009. Represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency, Kathleen blogs about New York State history.  She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children, two Newfoundland dogs and a tuxedo cat.

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Steve Chandler wrote a little book with a lot of great ideas. Actually, there are 100 great ideas in his book titled, 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself. Change Your Life Forever.Photobucket

If you've ever had difficulty getting motivated to do anything I suggest you go out to your local library or favorite bookstore and pick up a copy of this little gem that packs big ideas.

For instance, from pages 60-61 Steve recommends you Find Your Inner Einstein. I've never even imagined that I could have an inner Einstein. E=MC2. Do I have an inner Einstein? I don't think so.


But then I read Steve's pages. He says that Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Wait a minute! Wait just a minute. Maybe I do have an inner Einstien. I have imagination!

Steve goes on to tell us about a song for teenagers that Fred Knipe wrote so that teens could visualize themselves succeeding at what they wanted to do:
"That's you/in your wildest dreams/doing the wildest things/no one else can do. If you/just love and keep those dreams/the wildest dreams/you'll make yourself come true."

I LOVE THIS! It's motivating to me. Steve goes on to say,"But the greatest thing about active dreaming is not in the eventual reaching of the goal-- the greatest thing is what it does to the dreamer."

Are you making yourself come true? How? What are you doing? How do you stay motivated?



Encouragement for Writers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

iStock Photo
I sometimes search You Tube when I need a blast of encouragement, a writer-like therapy session, a kick in the pants. I can only write for so long, fighting doubts and demons before I turn to those who have more experience. We all have to find our own way to get back in the chair and do the work. Just do it. What is "it?" Writing the next book of course.

It's not a matter of what some call writer's block. I know what I want to write, I've been thinking about it for months. I don't do much outlining, being and organic writer. I know how the book starts, some of the middle, and the end. Now comes the hard part.

I'm headed to Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference next month to get some hands on work done in a brainstorming class with Lynette Eason. This will help me round out some ideas and dig deeper. I'm looking forward to the class and everything Ridgecrest has to offer. I have a certain number of words I want to get done before that time arrives. But I needed that proverbial shot in the arm this week and found some. So I'm sharing it with you now so you can get back on target if needed. Or maybe you're just thinking about writing and need to hear from others. This will help newbies and seasoned writers alike. So click on any of the links below to get a bit of encouragement, guidance, inspiration, kick-in the-pants, whatever you might need at this moment. You might want to save a favorite or go looking for your own. Build your own file of encouragement blasts and use as needed. Enjoy.

  1. Inspiring Writers
  2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
  3. Dennis Lehane
  4. Karen Kingsbury: Liberty University Convocation 2011
  5. Harlan Coben 
  6. J.K. Rowling: Harvard Commencement 2008 
  7. James Scott Bell 
  8. Beverly Lewis Interview
  9. Ted Dekker 
  10. Anne Perry 
  11. Diana Gabaldon 

What Have Your Pets Taught You?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yuma and Lucky

I'm one of those readers who does not like it one little bit when authors kill off animals in their stories. Life is tough enough without reading about the death of critters. Just the way I am.

In February, Jordan Dane over at the Kill Zone wrote a post I fell in love with titled, What My Cat Has Taught Me About Writing. Just love it! So today I want to brainstorm thoughts with you about what your furry friends have taught you.

Yuma and Lucky are two of the four cats living at our house. Yep, four! All were rescued. Makes it hard on the one little dog we have. But all the animals that have walked, scampered, galloped, hopped, ran, scurried, and flew into my life have left their special little instructions for living in my heart and mind. Here are a few of the many things that critters (living and dead) have taught me.

  1. Life is short so you better climb trees for the best view you can get and run wild in the field kicking up your heels just for the fun of it.
  2. It's good to have friends, so play nice, share your food, go for a walk, and if cranky take a nap.
  3. Entertainment can be cheap. Chase a ball or a pink mouse.
  4. Therapy is free! Lay on the couch and tell me all about your day.
  5. Before crawling out of bed stretch, yawn, blink, sniff the air for food, and if you don't smell anything cooking go back to sleep.
  6. Greet family with exuberance when they come home.
  7. Never hold a grudge.
  8. If you run fast enough, jump high enough, or just wait to pounce, you'll probably catch that thing your chasing.
  9. Trust your instincts.
  10. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.

 Okay. Your turn! I know there must be a lot of cat and dog lovers out there and probably multiple other critters in your lives. I never get tired of animal stories. So how many animals live with you? What have your animal friends taught you?

And the Winner is . . .

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pam K. is the winner of Carrie Fancett Pagels, Return to Shirley Plantation. Congratulations Pam! Carrie will be in touch.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented on the very important topic of Autism Awareness.

Have a great week!

Carrie Fancett Pagels and Autism Awareness Month: Our Journey Through Autism—A Glimpse

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hi! Jillian Kent here with Carrie Fancett Pagels who has graciously offered: A Kindle copy of her new release, Return to Shirley Planataion: A Civil War Romnace. Please leave a comment and a winner will be chosen next Sunday, April 14th. The contest will close at midnight Pacific time on Sunday and winner posted on the afternoon of the 15th. Carrie's got an interesting post that is important to many of us. Please welcome Carrie.

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? And that there are many Christian authors who have children on the Autism Spectrum? Believe it or not, my son’s issues in his journey of overcoming autism (an ongoing process and he is doing great, PTL!) actually started me on the road to writing again. Early in life God called me to write. Then I went off in my own direction and I became a psychologist.

When my son was 13 months old he was given a MMR shot (I didn’t even know what shot it was he was given that day that was “different” from the others because he had gotten all of his shots and I didn’t pay any attention to what exactly was given. ) He quickly developed horrible diarrhea that would not clear up. This was right before our vacation and during the trip he was completely different than he was normally—not wanting music for instance whereas he loved lullabies and music prior to that time. He also had been a happy interactive child but became fussy and inconsolable. I had to keep him separated and quiet to have him soothed. Needless to say that was nightmare vacation. His pediatrician thought he’d picked up a virus on the trip but he’d had the symptoms before we left.

He was nursing still so we determined it wasn’t from formula (later, however, we did discover his allergy/sensitivity to milk.) We took him to a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist who ran a bunch of tests, threw up his hands, and told us there was nothing he could do to stop Clark’s persistent diarrhea. So now we are two months out with a child who is now fussy, avoiding eye contact, and behaving differently than he ever had before and with a chronic issue with his tummy. His fine motor skills stopped developing. I took him to a naturepathic medicine doctor who diagnosed his issue as likely caused by his last vaccination. She gave him drops to take that had his diarrhea stopped within twenty-four hours! And recommended he not have any more. We had improvement with his tummy . Still some issues, particularly with fine motor. As a psychologist and someone who’d worked in a hospital with neonates for several years, I was a little skeptical and worried about missing any more vaccines but we waited. I was working, had a teenager, was coping with my own rheumatoid arthritis, which had worsened, and coming home to a child who was having some continuing problems.

At two years old, at a sick child appointment, I allowed them to give my son another vaccination. Bad move. After that shot, he spiraled down into screaming fits, had staring spells, ended up doing so many bizarre things I’d rather not include them here, but needless to say, I did, then, research what did he have given at 13 months and 24 months and it was MMR vaccination. I know there is conflicting research on this but I can only say from our experience what happened. I believe there are a combination of factors that make the MMR result in a child going into autism and one of these days we might know what the exact mix is. But what some professionals say is that a genetic predisposition combined with illness (kids are not supposed to get shots when they are sick) and specific vaccines can bring on the onset of autism symptoms.

How does that affect my writing? When Clark was at his worst and I wondered how I could cope, I told my daughter that we should write a fantasy story about the stuff he did and do a story where there was, ultimately, a good resolution. So when he’d nap, I’d sit and pound out a story about a time traveling autistic baby and toddler and ultimately young man. I hadn’t written that much since I’d dropped out of grad school to write a secular manuscript--that one is copyrighted but thank God was never published. It was very therapeutic to write a story that held a message of hope for myself, my son, and my daughter, who was also stressed by her brother’s change. She babysat him and he’d been a wonderful baby, cuddly and sweet. At 9 months old he’d roll a ball, giggle, and make great eye contact with his older friend. I have pictures from 12 months, when his grandparents and family friends were visiting, right before the shots that started the change. We had a happy interactive little guy. We’ve been on a long journey. But God is right beside us. And as part of my journey, I began writing again and joined ACFW . And I just published my debut fiction novella “Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance.”

Question: Do you have a friend who has a child with autism? If so, have you been able to do anything to help your friend, such as babysit and if so, how did that work out?

Scrivener Cork Board vs. Pinterest Secret Board

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hugh Jackman via Photobucket
Okay. I know I'm not comparing apples to apples here. Scrivener is a software program for writers. Pinterest is well, Pinterest, and useful social media. I love using pictures to create my heroes and heroines. A picture can be worth a thousand words and a picture can help me write a thousand words. Just take a look at this picture of Hugh Jackman. I bet a lot of us could build a thousand words around this picture. It was only recently that I discovered the Secret Boards at Pinterest thanks to a Monday night chat over at My Book Therapy. If you Google Pinterest Secret Boards you'll easily find what I'm talking about if you haven't already. This may be old news to you but if not you're about to have a lot of fun!

I'm very far behind in my ability to use Scrivener. I purchased it over a year ago and even signed up for Gwen Hernandez's online class, but do to life issues that always interfere at the most inopportune times I must revisit all the online work that Gwen did because I couldn't keep up with the class. Here is a place I found on YouTube related to building characters on Scrivener. And for those of you interested in taking Gwen's class here is the link to her site The Edited Life.  Here is the link for Literature and Latte where you can purchase Scrivener.

Maybe it's because I just recently discovered the secret boards that I'm so enamoured with them and when I'm in Scrivener I'm more focused on what I plan to write. Both are great ways of utilizing our creativity when building our story worlds. If you are like me you might want to use Pinterest to build your character pictures and places, etc. You'll have a whole picture outline before you know it and that might be the most fun for those of us who consider ourselves organic writers as opposed to outliners.  This could become the best cure for anyone who thinks they have writers block. Build your own visual outline on a secret board at Pinterest and then jump over to Scrivener to write your story.

Those are my thoughts. What about you? Do you use the secret boards or Scrivener or both? What's your experience?

And the winner is . . .

Monday, April 1, 2013

The winner of Anne Greene's novel is Catherine Castle.

Congratulations, Catherine!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Please welcome my guest blogger, Anne Greene, who will be visiting here through next Sunday. Anne will be giving away a copy of her new novel, Marriage By Arrangement. Please remember to leave your e-mail in this format: jill (at) jilliankent (dot) com. You can enter to win a copy of the book until midnight Pacific time on March 31st. Just tell us you're interested and if you have a question please ask. Anne loves to connect with others. The winner will be notified and posted on Monday, April 1st. Void where prohibited. Now please give Anne a warm welcome.

Anne Greene here. When I wrote my book, Masquerade Marriage, I discovered the secret to making each manuscript I write come alive to my readers. In the second book of my Scottish Marriage Series, Marriage By Arrangement, I honed that secret to a fine art.
I’m a great proponent of improving each manuscript I write. So, I’ve worked diligently to create a better book so readers will love, keep, and reread my books. My highest hope is for my readers to enter new worlds, meet fictional friends for life, and find a spiritual message to encourage and help them along through this life journey.
So I was excited when I discovered this secret.

During the writing of Masquerade Marriage, I thought I knew what being in deep point of view meant. I thought I wrote deep point of view. I knew I had to stay inside the character’s head. I lived inside the character’s skin. I showed nothing that the POV character couldn’t have seen. I showed only what the character saw, thought, and experienced in the moment.Yes, I did that. But that was not enough.While writing Marriage By Arrangement, I dove even further into deep point of view, dipping both feet into that other important realm in writing—show, don’t tell.

I discovered that in Very Deep POV, no thought or action is told. Everything is shown. So I couldn’t use words like wished, hoped, thought, felt, caused, watched, knew, wondered, realized, speculated, decided.
I couldn’t use wonderful verb phrases like happiness flashed through her, despair tugged at her, jealousy flattened her, love took her breath away.
I couldn’t write that she smiled with satisfaction, her skin prickled with fear, the explosion made her jump, the pollution caused her nose to itch, her heart beat fast with excitement.
No. Emotion by emotion, each has to be shown, not told. I’ll give just a few simple examples.

Which is better?

A - Happiness exploded inside her heart.   Or…
B – She couldn’t keep a grin, almost the size of Texas, from her face. If her sneakers trod on the polished gym floor, she didn’t know it. Life couldn’t get any better.

A - Despair ground into her heart.   Or…
B - She wilted at her desk, then dropped her forehead to her folded arms. There just wasn’t any point.

A - Hot jealousy burned a hole in her heart.   Or…
B - Her face burned all the way to her ears. She hid her head inside her Journalism book. If he could date someone else, maybe she needed to show him that she could too.

A - Fury hit him like a locomotive at full speed.   Or…
B - He slammed the door to her classroom behind him, tramped to where she sat, his shoes slapping the floor like bullets, and smacked a hand on her desk. This time, she wouldn’t get away with it.

All the As are telling. All the Bs are showing deep POV.
So, if you prefer the Bs to the As, never name the emotion. Let actions show the emotions. And add the thought inside the character’s head.

This type of Very Deep Point of View brings the book and characters to life. Do you already write Very Deep Point of View in your books? Do you enjoy reading Very Deep Point of View books. I’d love for you to comment.

Award winning author Anne Greene writes action-packed, historical fiction filled with heart-warming romance. You’ll fall in love with her wounded heroes and identify with her spunky heroines. Visit with her at

Okay everyone. Jill here again. This is a great topic to explore. Please feel free to jump in and comment or ask questions.

Winner of Moonlight Masquerade

Monday, March 25, 2013

The winner of Moonlight Masquerade is Ginger Solomon! 

Congratulations Ginger!

Ruth Axtell and Setting for a Story

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Please welcome Ruth Axtell, an exquisite storyteller. I always learn something new from Ruth. I think you'll find this post and her new book enjoyable. And speaking of her new book, Ruth has kindly offered to give away a copy of Moonlight Masquerade. Please leave your e-mail in a spam safe format, ie., jill (at) jilliankent (dot) com. The cut off date for entries will be at midnight on March 24th, PST. I'll post the winner sometime on Monday the 25th. I love a masquerade and look forward to reading this book. Now, here's, Ruth.

How do we find settings for our regencies?

So much depends on our historical research. As a plot develops, many tidbits of information are uncovered in the research. For example, in my current romance, Moonlight Masquerade, most of the action takes place in the posh Mayfair mansion of my heroine, Lady Céline Wexham. However, I needed to get her out of town, preferably to a country estate, where she could have more encounters with her hero, a man posing as her butler. But I wanted her in a less formal setting, where their chance meetings would allow her to see him more as a man and less as a butler.

Since Lady Wexham is spying for the French, I ended up reading quite a bit about the exiled French community in England at the time, known as the émigrés. The most important was the Comte de Provence, one of Louis XVI’s younger brothers. Louis, as we all remember from history, was beheaded during the French Revolution, along with his wife, Marie Antoinette. His younger brother, the Count of Provence, escaped from France and claimed for himself the right of succession.

The count, or Comte de Provence, aka Louis Stanislas Xavier, spent several years in exile in various European countries, until the British government took pity on him and gave him a small allowance and a place to live.
Hartwell House/Wikipedia
Between 1809 and 1814 the Count of Provence resided at Hartwell House, a beautiful estate in Buckinghampshire, England, not too far from London. However, the impoverished count and his vast retinue soon turned the elegant country house into a mini Versailles with various farming enterprises going on upon its lead roofs and bakeries and small crafts shops established in the outbuildings.

For my story purposes, this house and its vast grounds sounded like the ideal place for my hero and heroine to go unnoticed a bit. It was also the perfect locale for a masquerade ball…and an unexpected encounter between my hero and heroine, hence the title “moonlight masquerade.”

I hope you’ll enjoy traveling back to the regency era, when England was at war with France. It’s a time of intrigue, but more importantly, my story centers around two people who find themselves attracted to each other at an inconvenient time and place but who find it impossible to resist the pull.

Ruth knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote her first story—a spy thriller—at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she taught English in the Canary Islands then worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years, she juggled both writing and raising her three children.

In 1994, her second manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart competition. In 2002, her sixth manuscript took second place in the Laurie Contest of RWA's Smoky Mountain chapter. The final judge requested her full manuscript and this became her first published book, Winter Is Past, which was spotlighted in Christian Retailing magazine. Since then, Ruth has gone on to publish thirteen historical romances and one novella. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish and Afrikaans. Her second historical, Wild Rose, was chosen by Booklist as a "Top Ten Christian Fiction" selection in 2005.

Ruth lives on the coast of Maine where she enjoys gardening, walking, reading romances and gazing at the ocean plotting her next romance. You can read more about her at and

Great Blog Posts

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I've read some fascinating blog posts lately so I thought I'd share them with you this week.

  1. Field Report From the E-Book Revolution #3: The New Equilibrium

 I was all ready to lay down my binoculars high in my observation tower and note that a certain peace had settled upon the land of publishing. Battles fought a couple of years ago, full of fury and bile, seem largely to have quieted down to the level of a spirited discussion. Both sides, traditional and indie, had reached a tentative, though perhaps still wary, acceptance of each other's existence. And then came the Hydra's head.
James Scott Bell

     2.  Author Rights and Responsibilities

 I believe that as an author, you can expect certain rights when it comes to dealing with agents and publishers. I also believe that rights come with responsibilities.  Rachelle Gardner

      3.   10 Steps to Write and Publish Your Non-Fiction Book
             Four years ago I wrote and published my first non-fiction book on Career Change (recently rewritten and updated). I learned so much during the process that I started this site and since then it has been my mission to help people release the book inside.  Joanna Penn

     4.    Types of Serial Killers

              I'm honored to have licensed marriage and family therapist Jeannie Campbell at Redwood's today as we do a cross-blogging adventure. Jeannie does what I do only with matters of the mind so I hope you'll check out her blog (and become an enthusiastic follower) The Character Therapist. Jeannie also has a great book for writers called Breaking Character Stereotypes.   Jordyn Redwood

    5.    Medicine in Historical Novels

              Medicine and science meet on many levels, from the purely practical, through the adventurous, all the way to the stuff on the borders, and sometimes breaking them, into religion and morality.    Anne Perry               

Have you read a great post lately that you want to share and provide the link and name of the author?                                                                                                    

Christian Fiction Historical Society Winner!

Monday, March 11, 2013

 It's been wonderful having Debbie visit the blog this week. I think you now have a great idea of what will be offered at CFHS. I've also enjoyed seeing new visitors and followers. Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by. Now here's Debbie with a few parting thoughts and the winner of her awesome giveaway! Take it away, Debbie.

I had a fabulous time this week chatting with each of you. Thank you everyone who stopped by this week to say hello and encourage me with your kind words and enthusiasm. I hope each one of you who visits us at Christian Fiction Historical Society will enjoy the large variety of posts as much as we enjoy writing them. Each time you come by our desire is that you will take away some historical tidbit. We are looking forward to getting to know everyone who comes by and we hope you'll get to know a little more about. Don't forget that every day of March at CFHS we will be doing a different giveaway. And remember even if you don't win the daily your name goes into the hat for the Kindle and the $25 gift card!

Our winner of the basket and antique bracelet is LibertyLady, Janet E. Congratulations!
See you over at CFHS!

In His Love,
Debbie Lynne Costello

Christian Fiction Historical Society and Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It is so exciting for me to have Debbie Lynne Costello here on the blog all this week to tell you about the awesome new Christian Fiction Historical Society blog where I will probably be spending a lot of my future time. If you love history and/or write during historical time periods this is going to be a favorite. I promise! Debbie collects antiques so I have spread her wealth of pictures throughout this post. Enjoy! Here's Debbie!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jill. I am thrilled to be here!

You had asked me to tell you a little about our new Historical blog and why I started it. I’m one of those people who are always thinking about ways to reach readers. I’d been tossing around a third blog for a while. I have my personal blog (can you link personal blog to which is dedicated to authors. My second blog ( can you link second blog to is with Kathleen Maher, my crit partner, and it is dedicated just to giveaways. The idea behind it was that we would connect readers with blogs doing giveaways. We put links to book giveaways and readers can come by and easily find free books! But even with these two blogs I kept thinking we are writers we need to connect with our readers. I knew I couldn’t take on another full time blog and that was when the inspiration hit.

Authors have fans and followers. What if we took 31 authors and gave each of them one day a month to post. Readers could come to one blog and meet 31 different historical writers. So the frame work was in motion and I just had to tweak it a bit. I wanted a blog that would really reach out to readers of historical romance and allow the readers to get to know the authors they love. And that was my answer. I sent out a call to authors and gave a short summary of what the blog was all about. Within a few days I had all the slots filled.

CHRISTIAN FICTION HISTORICAL SOCIETY was born. The month of February we each took a day to introduce ourselves to our readers. CFHS blog will always leave the reader with some historical tidbit. Our authors will be posting anything from posts filled with all kinds of his historical information to posts about their hobbies, family, vacations, or who knows what. But no matter what we write on you will glean at least a nugget of history to take away with you. And we hope by posting about things we are interested in and about our lives that readers will get to know us better.

The other very cool thing about CFHS is that we cover all history. We have authors that write as far back as ancient times and as recent as WWII. And then of course we have everything in between which makes us different from most blogs. The authors of this blog are talented, dedicated writers who want to connect with the readers of their books. This gives them the opportunity to do so. If a reader would like to see a post on a certain subject they just need to ask and one of our 31 authors will be happy do a post on it. So in a nutshell that is what CHRISTIAN FICTION HISTORICAL SOCIETY is all about. I want to invite everyone to stop by everyday this month. Each day of March one of the blogs authors will be doing a giveaway on their day. Leave a comment to be entered. Your comment will also enter you in the grand prize of a Kindle and also a 2nd place prize of a $25 Amazon gift card. If you comment on all 31 March posts you will receive 31 entries on top of being entered in each daily giveaway. So stop by for a chance to win over 33 prizes!

With starting another historical blog you can guess that my love lies in history. I do love anything historical, but my true love is in Charleston, SC in the late 19th century with Savannah running a close second. I’ve finished 5 full length novels, 3 of which are set in Charleston, 1 in Savannah, and one in Europe. But I’ve plotted out over a dozen with the Charleston and Savannah settings. We don’t live far from Charleston and so I love to get down there whenever we can. The city has so much wonderful history and has truly retained much of what makes Charleston the intriguing city it has always been.


Of course to go along with my love of history is my love of antiques! If it’s old I probably will love it. I collect antique bibles and very old cookie jars. Half my house is antiques. I just bought an 1870 settee at an auction! The workmanship is just beautiful in older pieces. I also have a quilt that was made in the mid to late 1800’s. It was passed down to me from our pastor’s wife. It had been her grandmothers.

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by. 
I’m giving away a gift basket with a handmade bracelet made from 19th century silverware. Let me know what and when your favorite setting is or just leave me a comment to be entered. If you follow Jill’s blog and CFHS blog I’ll give you 2 more entries for a total of 3. 

And don’t forget to stop by daily at CFHS!

Debbie Lynne Costello is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She attended Heritage University, where she studied Journalism and worked in the editing department.

She has completed five full length novels set in the Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA area in the late 19th century and is now seeking homes for them.

She and her husband have four children, 2 dogs, a cat, a miniature donkey and an Arabian horse. They live in upstate South Carolina with their family. She spent thirteen years coaching cheerleading and trying to make a difference in young girls’ lives. Debbie Lynne has raised Shetland sheepdogs for seventeen years and occasionally shows them. In her spare time, she sews, paints, knits, camps (in a fifth wheel) and plays with the grandbaby.