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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.