Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Melanie Dobson | Wanderings (or “The Wonder of Research”)
Author Guest / September 13, 2019

Damp air settled between the marlstone walls, its chill creeping into my bones as our group wandered reverently through the ancient mines. We stopped to read the old inscriptions, listen to the stories, and remember all that happened in these tunnels along the southern tip of The Netherlands. During World War II, these passages were used to hide artwork from the Dutch masters and as an escape route for Allied pilots and those escaping the Nazi occupiers. What would it have been like to be a Jewish woman down here, I wondered, trying to navigate the thousands of tunnels as she fled from a Nazi officer intent on finding her? What if, in order to save her life, she had to leave behind the boy she loved? My mind began to follow my feet in the wandering. Each of my novels builds block-upon-block on the foundation of an experience like this one. In those tunnels last year, I could feel the wetness of the marlstone walls on my hands and the coldness in my lungs. I could breathe the moist air and fight the weight of darkness as the walls pressed in. In the wandering of my mind, the breadth…

DiAnn Mills | 10 Ways to Deepen the Craft of Writing
Author Guest / September 6, 2019

Writers search for ways to add professionalism to their writing. They explore technique, study the how-to guides, and invest in quality software that helps them create dynamic fiction and nonfiction. The following 10 guidelines are proven methods to deepen the craft of writing. Develop three sentences describing the writing project. As difficult as this may sound, the clarity and conciseness not only help the writer focus on the writing project but also serve as a great pitch to share with others. Incorporate the five senses. Today’s readers yearn for an adventure. If the project is fiction, the reader must experience the story. If the project is nonfiction, the reader needs to be rooted in the material. Instill proper grammar. Nothing is more frustrating or throws a reader out of the experience more than poor grammar and punctuation. With textbooks and websites available to teach and correct our errors, there isn’t an excuse. My go-to editing tool is prowritingaid.com. I also value the word frequency counter at http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp. Paste a document into the site and it lists the number of times every word is used. Network with other writers. Most creative types see life with a bit of quirkiness. The truth…

Janice Cantore | On Writing and Recharging
Author Guest / June 28, 2019

I love to write fiction, and because of my law enforcement background, I write mystery/suspense and deal with cops, crimes, and criminals. Sometimes, when researching for a novel, the articles and websites tell tragic stories, emotionally draining. The darkness can be overwhelming. My upcoming release, Cold Aim, deals with human trafficking. Talk about dark. Modern-day slavery is far more prevalent than people want to believe. And it’s not only the crimes. Lately, a lot has been going on in law enforcement that is tragic and sad. It seems like every day an officer is shot—on the whole, the world is just going crazy. I’m not complaining, because with my fiction I control the outcome, so nothing goes unpunished as far as my novels are concerned. Often, however, I do need a little recharging, a reminder that God is in control and evil never wins. A few months ago, I moved to paradise. At least it’s paradise to me. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, looking for a more temperate climate, something that would be easier on my back and my knees. So far, so good. Usually, the temp runs about eighty-five, but nice, gentle trade winds make it…

Jolina Petersheim | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match,” where we introduce readers to authors you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Jolina Petersheim! Writes: My father was raised Mennonite in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; my mother Brethren, and I grew up as a caretaker’s daughter on a sprawling Civil War–era farm/camp in western Tennessee. This combination allowed me to see the intricacies—and complications—of community, so I love placing my characters inside morally twisting novels and then watching how they find their way out. (My newest novel, How the Light Gets In, might be the most morally twisting to date.) About: I am happily married to a “strong, quiet type” mountain man and mother to our three fluffy-haired little girls, ages six, four, and one. We’ve lived in five different homes in ten years of marriage (one a solar-powered farmhouse in Wisconsin, where How the Light Gets In is set). My husband—who also has a Mennonite/Amish background—is busy building our sixth house in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. We strive to live with the same simplistic, family-oriented mindset as our ancestors, but due to our…