Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 2016 CLASH!

Clash of the Titles

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hurry abd vote for your Fave!

Poll closes Tuesday night!

Scroll through these FOUR new releases and cast your vote for the one you'd pick up first to read.
I know it's hard!

Fight for Liberty by Theresa Linden

Prompted by the inner voice that has guided her for years, Liberty is compelled to bring the freedom she now possesses to others suppressed by the all-controlling government. While unsure of how to carry out this mission, she is willing to risk all to accomplish it.


An Elegant Facade by Krisit Ann Hunter

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season; with money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. As their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.


Defying Shadows by Ashley Townsend

Sarah travels back to the twelfth century and discovers that a ghost from her past has returned to Serimone, intent on changing the future. Time is quickly running out to stop him, and her life is put on the line as she must decide between returning to the safety of her world, and entrusting her future with a hero of the past as they attempt to save history.

One Thursday Morning by T.K. Chapin

Running not only for her own life, but that of her unborn baby, Serenah moves across the country to a little town outside of Spokane Washington called Newport. It's here she'll begin to build a new life and go by a different name in the hopes of staying hidden from her abusive husband John. 


If you have trouble viewing the entire survey, August 2016 Clash Surveyclick here to load a dedicated page to the survey

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Writing Helps to Heal Author Justine Johnston Hemmestad

by Justine Johnston Hemmestad

In 1990 my car was broadsided by a speeding city bus as I turned out of a parking lot - I was in a coma and had sustained a severe brain injury. I was paralyzed when I woke up from my coma, though I worked hard to walk again within a few months, and to relearn how to perform the basic functions of life.

I began to write when I was carrying my first child Megan, less than two years after my accident, as tool or a way to cope with feeling so alone in my disability and misunderstood. Writing, throughout the darkest part of my recovery—when everyone looked down on me and I had no one to talk to or relate with me—helped me to get my thoughts in focus, to learn new things, and to remember what was important to me. I felt bullied, my thoughts and perception were skewed, and I felt emotionally alone, isolated by my personal lacking (my speech was slurred; my reactions were slow, etc.).

But writing was my Savior. When I was so afraid and so filled with guilt for being disabled, writing offered me a safe and comforting place to go, where I could cry and feel loved. Writing was my confidante and gave me hope when the world was crushing me. Writing even helped me find out who I was, since everything about "me" seemed to have melted away with my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Writing helped me find my words to speak again. Writing was my purpose, and writing was my healing.
My novella, Truth be Told, is essentially the story of my recovery wrapped up in fictional characters in a different time and place. Everything is symbolic in my novella because symbolism itself taught me how to travel deep inside my thoughts and search until I found the answers. Symbolism aided my memory by the weight of its meaning.

The old man in my novella is symbolic of God, prayer, love of my children, and the inner truth I found when I dug deep, the challenges that stretched my mind and that I knew I had to face when I wanted to give up on life completely.

The Lady is the aspect of my recovery in which I felt lost, even to myself—I didn’t know who I was—but in prayer and meditation I learned to focus my mind, calm my thoughts (which were drowning in the guilt I felt for being disabled) and listen to God’s answer…what defines me?

The knight is the aspect of my recovery that was assaulted by PTSD. Not only was I recovering, but I was recovering amidst a torrent of fear, pain, and false persecution. He represents the survivor’s guilt I had for living as brain-injured, and the part of myself that felt I deserved the lies that people told about me simply because it was easy to lie about me. I illuminated my purpose— the purpose that any recovering person needs to be able to climb out of the darkness—symbolically as Jesus. When people lied about me, writing defended me and made the truth immortal. My purpose, as writing, was the well within me; writing saved me and gave me direction in life (even when I no longer had any sense of direction due to my TBI). There were people who tried to point me in the wrong direction, but my prayer, and written prayer, was always brimming with truth.

My purpose in writing raised me out of the darkness and set me on a new path. As my characters in Truth be Told founded one of the first Universities in Europe, my purpose led me to enter into college, to study tirelessly, and to set goals and reach them. For a person with a TBI, these things stretched my mind to the breaking point. And yet my savior, writing, was always there, so much that my purpose and my goals became intertwined. Every class I’ve had brought me new challenges; every professor’s pushing has helped me more than they were ever aware.

My husband and I now have seven children and I'm still writing, for both have truly been essential to my recovery. I've also earned a BLS through The University of Iowa and am now working toward a Master's Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University. I’m grateful to have written a book that I felt so strongly, all along, could be of help to survivors, for them to recognize themselves in the characters and to know that they're not alone. I would have recognized myself in this story and it would have given me hope. My mission now is to give other survivors hope.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Author Annette O'Hare Shares Her Inspiration ♦ Giveaway, too!

Authors get stories from so many different places and experiences. It's always interesting to discover where the inspiration comes from. Today, we'll hear from debut author, Annette O'Hare. Her historical romance, Northern Light has already garnered some terrific reviews!
From the first sentence to the book’s stunning conclusion, Annette O’Hare’s brilliant first novel Northern Light captured my heart. O’Hare’s storytelling is flawless and her grasp of Texas history is spot on. This tenth generation Texan heartily approves! Do yourself a favor and savor this meeting of North and South on the Bolivar peninsula. I promise it will be the best book you’ll read in a very long time! —Kathleen Y'Barbo, best-selling author of over 40 titles

My Inspiration For Writing Northern Light

By: Annette O’Hare

Annette O'Hare
There’s a wonderful phrase known to authors that says, write what you know. This simple idiom by Twain, or was it Faulkner, no…I think it might have been Thurber, no it was definitely Twain who said it. Whoever it was knew what they were talking about and that’s why I wrote Northern Light. The setting for my debut novel is the lighthouse on the Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas coast; a place near and dear to my heart. A place I know very well.

When I was a child growing up in Houston, Texas in the 1970’s, my family visited Bolivar every summer for fishing, swimming, and shell hunting. My father would drive our family of five to Galveston, and then onto a short ferry ride connecting Galveston Island with the Bolivar Peninsula.

The ferry ride was a favorite part of the vacation. We made playful bets concerning which ferry we would ride. Would it be the Cone Johnson, the E.H. Thornton Jr., the R.S. Sterling, or the Gibb Gilchrist? We knew each boat by name. My two older brothers and I would save back French fries and pinches of bread from our fast food meals. After the boat was loaded and the captain gave the safety speech, we would bolt for the back of the boat to feed the seagulls and dolphins.

I always knew the exact place the ferry would dock at the peninsula because Daddy told me to look for the landmark. It was hard to find at first, but the closer the ferry came to Bolivar, the bigger it became. By the time the boat landed, the Bolivar Point Lighthouse was as big as a skyscraper in this little girl’s eyes. off the boat we drove past the iron lighthouse. Her light extinguished, she no longer lit the way for ships coming in or going out of Galveston Bay. Daddy always pointed out the two, abandoned keeper’s houses beside the lighthouse. He showed how one of the house’s nameplates read Boyt and the other, Maxwell. I didn’t understand the significance then, but later I realized the connection. Daddy’s aunt, my great aunt, was married to a Boyt, and she and her sister, my grandmother, were born with the surname Maxwell.

You’re probably wondering if my daddy’s family were the lighthouse keepers. No, the truth is that Mr. Boyt, my great-uncle, bought the lighthouse and property at an auction and it has been owned by that family ever since.

The original Bolivar Point Lighthouse dates back prior to the Civil War. In fact, it was during that war that the Confederates completely dismantled the lighthouse. Some accounts say it was so the Union wouldn’t use the light to

their advantage. Others say the Confederate army used the iron for weapons and artillery. Nevertheless, the lighthouse was rebuilt shortly after the war. The great conical tower has seen over 150 years of United States history and it still stands tall on the Bolivar Peninsula to this day.


Visit Annette at

About Northern Light

Civil War has robbed Margaret Logan of all she holds dear, including her beloved New Orleans home and her fiancĂ©. When her family moves to the desolate Bolivar Peninsula to manage a lighthouse that is no longer there, all her hopes for a normal future are dashed. Her world is rocked once again when a wounded Yankee soldier washes ashore needing her help. Despite her contempt for the North, Margaret falls in love with Thomas Murphy. As their love blooms, Margaret’s sister is overcome with neurosis, and her mind slowly slips away. Bitterness, psychosis and depression yield a decision fueled by contempt. Will one fatal choice cause Margaret to lose the man she loves and condemn Thomas to death?

Purchase Northern Light in e-book or paperback

♦ ♦ ♦

*** Annette is offering to give away one free copy of Northern Light to one reader of this blog post. To Enter, just leave your name and contact information in the comment section below. Winner will be drawn through on Friday, August 12 . So don't waste any time entering! And Good Luck. ***

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Special Guest Article from Author June Foster

Hi, Whispers readers, it is my pleasure to bring you this great writing article from one of my fellow authors at Helping Hands Press.

I hope you will enjoy the article, and, please, if you have any questions for June, make use of the comment section below.

We're also giving you an opportunity to read June's release, "Misty Hollow" - below her BIO - with buying links for either the Kindle Edition, or Paperback version. 
Do check them out.

Getting to Know Your Characters Through Asking Questions

by June Foster

Characterization is one of the most vital aspects of crafting a story. Even if our plot is riveting, fast moving, and keeps readers on the edge of their seats, if they don't care about the characters, the story will flop. Readers will leave the book feeling dry and often confused.

Readers need a character they can care about. In Karen Kingsbury's A Moment of Weakness, I cried when Jade Conner lost all hope and married a man she never loved. I knew her like I know my own family members, thanks to Ms. Kingsbury's character development. It was a book I couldn't put down.

Now to be honest. I struggle with trying to write each character the same. If I allowed myself, my heroes would all be like my ideal man, and I'd pattern the heroine after myself. Heaven forbid! My readers would certainly not keep turning pages if that were the case.

So, I find ways to get to know my characters—inside and out. An effective strategy is asking questions. I devise a question sheet, leaving room for answers then get started.
Hope these help.

1. What does your character want more than anything else in the world?
2. What is his/her goal?
3. Whom does he/she dream about, yearn for, hate?
4. What virtues characterize this person?
5. What is your character’s greatest fear?
6. What one thing does your character hope no one will ever find out about him/her?
7. In one word, what motivates your character?
8. How would your character describe him/herself? (Self-concept determines destiny.)
9. What makes him/her laugh?
10. What is your character’s personality temperament?
11. What is their deepest unfulfilled desire of their heart?
12. What is he/she most proud of accomplishing?
13. What is he/she least proud of having done or being a part of?
14. What are their warts?
15. What are their phobias?
16. If they had only one day to live, how would they spend that day?
17. What kind of obstacles will most challenge them?
18. What will it take for this character to get to where they need to be with God?
19. What is the pivotal issue of faith that will draw them to a closer relationship with God?

You'll be surprised what you'll learn about your characters. They may even tell you a secret or two about themselves.

June Foster's bio
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are available at as well. Misty Hollow is published by Helping Hands Press. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Visit June at

In Misty Hollow, a rural community of the Appalachian Mountains, the citizens forge a simple living from the land, cattle, and crops. Many are farmers with minimal education, but a strong sense of pride and respect for their neighbors and God. Joel Greenfield, the youngest son of his illiterate parents, dreams of transforming his father's rustic farm into a thriving dairy business. He learns the mayor of Misty Hollow covets the Greenfield farm because of a generations-old feud between the families. When Joel vows to God he won't fail, there's no turning back. He can't disappoint God again. Molly Cambridge moves into her uncle and aunt's garage apartment in Misty Hollow and has a heart to fight illiteracy for local women who are in subjugation to the male-dominated society. Molly uses her vocation as a third grade teacher to ensure the children under her tutelage have an opportunity for a better life. After a storm blows Joel into Molly's life, she can't deny the chemistry between them.

Purchase links:
Kindle Edition: 
Paperback Version:

Thanks, June, for being my guest today. I love this list of . . . I guess, you might call a character interview. God bles you in your writing endeavors for Him, and to His glory.