Monday, August 26, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Sarah Sundin

Author Sarah Sundin is back to visit and celebrate her latest book with a giveaway. Be sure to check out the giveaway details below!

      Welcome back to Write Now, Sarah! It's great to see you again. Congratulations on your new book, On Distant Shores! With five wonderful books to your credit, is there anything you wish you had known before you started on your novel writing journey?    
Actually, no. God had me on a “need-to-know” basis, and that was best.  If I’d known how much work went into writing, researching, and editing a novel, I might not have started. And if I knew how being a published author is a truly full-time job (more than  full time, in fact), I might have hesitated in pursuing publication. But I love the whole writing process, and I have room in my life for full-time work at this point, so I’m glad I didn’t know!

There's a whole lot to writing and being published, that's for sure. I know you do extensive research for your books. How do you sift through the info and decide what to use in the story?

When I first have a story idea I want to work on, I do some baseline research to make sure the story works historically. During the plotting phase (I outline heavily before I start writing), I let the story guide the research and try to focus only on resources relevant to my plot. Then I also do spot research during the rough draft and edit for minor points. When I’m going through a research book or perusing a website, I try to keep my story in mind to avoid wasting too much time on rabbit trails. But often something I’m reading will inspire plot or character ideas—or completely new story ideas—so I don’t mind occasional rabbit trails. 

      Your focused efforts aren't wasted, they add so much to your stories. What do you like to read in your spare time? (If you have any spare time, that is.)

I always have one research book and one novel going at a time. I love to read novels—which is why I write them! I enjoy historicals, women’s fiction, the classics, and the occasional suspense story.

      What's on the horizon for you - I believe I've heard something about a new series?

Yes! I’m so excited. I recently signed another three-book contract with Revell for a series tentatively called Waves of Freedom, which follows three American naval officers based in Boston in the early years of World War II.

Congratulations! I look forward to reading them. Thanks again for joining us today!

Thank you, Karen, it's been a pleasure! :)

My Review

Lieutenant Georgiana Taylor is looking forward to the end of World War II, for she’ll be able to return to her boyfriend in the states and build the life she’s always dreamed of. Sergeant John Hutchinson is anxious to return to his fiancĂ©e in the US and get on with his life as well. Their positions, Georgie’s as a flight nurse and John’s as a pharmacist throws them together often. They find they enjoy common interests and build a careful friendship. Unexpected changes arise on the home front for them both which yields further challenges. What happens next? I’ll never tell, but if you enjoy historical fiction, you just might enjoy their story.

I appreciate that On Distant Shores, Book Two in the Wings of the Nightingale series, stands alone. Readers do not need to read the first book to understand what’s happening. It is another success “story” to Sarah Sundin’s credit. Her attention to historical detail is wonderful; it adds layers to the plot that you don’t often see. This, combined with realistic, likeable characters offers a great reading experience. I’m now looking forward to Book Three!

Find more info about Sarah and her books on her website or blog.

Visit her on Facebook or Twitter.

Purchase On Distant Shores here.

Giveaway Details:

  • You must be a Google Friend Connect follower and leave your email address with your comment. 
  • Gain bonus entries (+1 each) by posting this on Facebook, your blog, and/or Twitter. Please total your entries and include links with your comment.
  • Open to residents of the United States.
  • Deadline to enter is noon EST Friday, August 30, 2013. Winner will be chosen by, notified via email, and will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced Monday, September 2, 2013.

Do you have any questions for Sarah? What are you reading this week?

Happy reading and writing,


Note: I was given an influencer review copy of On Distant Shores by Revell in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Social Media - Love It or Hate It?

Merriam defines social media as "forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content (as videos)."

How do you feel about social media?

Love it? 

Hate it? 

Or, like me, some days like it better than others?

Which ones do you use? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Blogs? Goodreads?

It's a good way to meet and stay in touch with people. How many friends have you made through social media? I've met most of you through blogging, and connected with friends old and new on Facebook.

It's a marketing must - to establish a platform and spread the word about our books, writing, or services. Fans and friends (or friends who are fans!) are able to see what's offered and the latest happenings. 

It makes the world smaller and more personal. How many of us have friends from other parts of the country or world? It expands horizons that we'd not have otherwise.

Good things, all.

But there's a downside too. 

Raise your hand if you've gotten sucked into social media when you were supposed to be working on a project, editing, or making dinner. (Guilty.) 

This is the aspect I don't like, the temptation to get distracted and pressure to be or do something we are not. Sure, there are other things that distract us in life. But I think social media surrounds and affects us more than we realize, and it isn't always beneficial. Society expects us to be connected 24/7. This is not good when it takes us away from quality offline life.

The solution? A plan with balance and perspective, I think. Different for everyone, and worth assessing often. shares helpful tips in this article, 10 Social Media Time Management Tips.

Has social media ever overtaken your day? What do you do to maintain a good balance?

Have a great week,


P.S. If you haven't already, please free to connect with me through my new Facebook Author Page, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter with the buttons on the sidebar. I promise I won't tie you up 24/7. :)

Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, August 12, 2013

Super Summer 2013

How has your summer been so far? It's been crazy busy here, mostly due to my book's deadline. There's a sliver of a lull now before the book is released later this month, and in my usual "shoulda, coulda, woulda" fashion I've been thinking about what I've observed and learned in the process. Three things stand out.

1) Time Management  There's nothing like a deadline to highlight the weak areas. It wasn't pretty. The biggest trouble spot? The internet. My solution? Close and ignore it. It's amazing how productive one can be when Facebook and email are put in timeout.

2) Procrastination  This was the second biggest hurdle, and it originated from indecision and insecurity. The book contract came about quickly and had a short deadline. I'm not complaining here; it's a huge blessing! But I'm a planner and like a lot of lead time. Yet there was content that I wasn't sure how to handle, so putting it off was easier than figuring it out. I fell prey to doubt, too - looking at what the book was not instead of what it is. The solution? I forged ahead (after the above mentioned timeout) and prayed a lot. A LOT.

3) Faithful Friends are Golden  Thinking about the support from all of you, and looking over the blog tour list brings tears to my eyes. Seriously. Thank you!

And one more's official; I'm allowed to share the final cover. :) A huge thank you goes to my son David Lange, who designed it. If you happen to need a graphic designer/illustrator, check out his website here.

What have you observed or learned this summer? Do you have any special vacation or other plans for August?

Have a great week!

Happy writing,


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Monday, August 5, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday

Happy Monday! I've a handful of goodies to pass along. Hope you find a helpful tidbit or two. :)

Sweet and smart blogging friend Susan Sundwall always offers good info and advice on her blog, Susan Says. This post, entitled Quarterlies, is about a potential market many of us overlook.

Need help making your writing time easier? Mari Taylor's article, Tools for the Writer, from Writers On the Move could help. 

Does the writing life remind you of a trip to the theme park? Author J.J. Howard thinks so, and shares her thoughts in 7 Ways a Writing Career is Like a Theme Park at Chuck Sambuchino's blog

In the mood for a contest? The Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Short Story Competition offers a $2500 grand prize and a trip to their 2013 Conference in New York City. Earlybird deadline is September 16, 2013. For more details, click here.

Have you ever stuck your foot in your mouth in a blog comment or on Facebook? Tangled a typo on Twitter? If so, maybe this article by Kristen Lamb, The Three NEVERS of Social Media will help prevent further mishaps.

Have any good writing links to share? What plans do you have this week?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange