October Newsletter – Ready for Edits and Christmas Novellas

Time always appeared as a predictable element. Seconds into minutes. Minutes into hours. Hours into days, on into a lifetime. He couldn’t stop it or slow it down, rewind it or influence its course. It was a simple fact: Life keeps moving and one must move with it.

~Across Oceans, Hope or High Water series Book 1

Latest News

img_1399.jpg

Happy Halloween to my readers and a very happy one it is!

After ten months of researching and drafts, it’s finally time to edit Broken Lines! Let me just say, I love editing. Absolutely love it. Writing for me is the hard part; give me a red pen any day. It’s a truly incredible experience to see a horrid first draft turn into a beautiful final product. If you’re a writer, go find the first draft of the first project you ever wrote and pick any part. Then read the same part in the final product. Now read your favorite part of your current work in progress. Believe me, your mind will be blown at how far you’ve come. And if you’re working on your first project now, don’t give up! Keep writing, keep learning, and focus on what drives your passion. Remember, every book you see on the best seller list was once an awful error-filled first draft. One day, you’ll be glad you stuck with it too.

If all goes according to plan, I aim to spend the next two months immersed in edits with plans to distribute a draft to beta readers in January. Estimated publication date is late March or early April.

Recommended Reads

Julie Christmas

If you’ve followed my page for a while, you know I’m a fan of Julie Lessman’s edgy inspirational novels. Last year, I reviewed her Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series (found here), but realized I hadn’t yet reviewed her Christmas novellas. I know it’s Halloween, but the Christmas season is right around the corner, so if you’re looking for a quick read with some steamy yet (mostly) clean inspirational romance with a holiday flare, I recommend giving one of the O’Conner Christmas novellas a try. While the series focuses on the four sisters from the original novels, you do not need to have read them prior. In fact, if you haven’t read any of Julie Lessman’s books yet, a novella could be an excellent place to start.

What I enjoyed most about these stories is that, while they are technically romances, each one centers around a relatable marital issue rather than a new romance. In A Whisper of Hope, the conflict stems from a desire for more children (or less), A Dream Fulfilled deals with outside friendships, The Best Gift of All centers around time devoted to children versus time devoted to one’s spouse, and A Gift Like No Other is about when the romantic spark fades and how to find it again. Even the best marriages have their troubles and sometimes any one of these topics can quickly leap from tiny concern to monumental issue. Often, like the characters discover, one may not even know exactly how they ended up there. While I enjoyed all four, I think The Best Gift of All was my favorite, and would recommend it to all married parents especially.

One note on A Gift Like No Other. While all of Julie’s novels contain romance steamier than typical inspirational novels, this novella’s subject matter lends itself to a higher level of written romantic passion.

For more information, visit julielessman.com

Upcoming Events

University City Library Local Author Event – February 25, 2020

PennedCon Writers Conference – September 17-19, 2020

PennedCon 2020

Do you know of an organization, book club, fair, coffee shop, book store, etc. that would be interested in hosting an author talk, book signing, or needs an event speaker? I’m working on my schedule for the upcoming year and would love to meet some new faces! If so, send me a note via the contact page.

Share the Book Love

Read it? Loved it? Tell others by writing a review!

Need a copy of either book in the Hope or High Water series? Click the photo below.

Website Books

The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2019

September Newsletter – PennedCon Review, The Broken Girls and The Dating Debate

His lack of explanation only left her as puzzled as she had been at Christmas, wondering what he was hiding. Left alone, the entire mess was sure to drive her to madness. The question sat just behind her teeth like a caged animal snarling to be set free, but for once that’s where she left it.

~ From Across Oceans (Hope or High Water Book 1)

Latest News

71035914_2528878007344267_380046529148223488_nThis month’s main event was PennedCon, 190 authors and around 1,000 readers coming together to raise money for charity. Thank you to everyone who came out for the conference, whether you purchased my books or not. This year you helped raise $13,366 for Action for Autism. More incredible, on the final day of the conference, an anonymous donor matched that amount for a total of $26,732, bringing the conference’s six year total to over $89,000! That’s simply amazing! We’re helping change children’s lives all through love of reading.

I also enjoy these types of events because, while I primarily read historical fiction, I believe there is much to be learned from those who read and write all sorts of genres. At PennedCon, there are authors in every category from paranormal to sci-fi, romance to steampunk, and even children’s books. Talking about books is one of my favorite things to do, and it was so much fun connecting with each of you. I received great feedback over the three day conference, and I’m excited to implement some new ideas over the coming months. Stay tuned!

As a side note, if you attended PennedCon, you might have noticed the banner behind my table. Well, there’s a story behind those photographs. Yes, they indicate that my novels are historical fiction, but they also happen to be relatives of mine. The boy on the left is my great-grandfather, the couple in the middle are my grandparents, and the woman on the right is my other grandmother. Even though my ancestors may be gone, they’re still an important part of my ongoing life story and inspire me every day. I enjoy sprinkling tidbits from my family tree throughout my novels, and love that I can share some of their history with you.

Retractable Banner

Recommended Reads

35533431._uy500_ss500_.jpgWith Halloween coming up next month, I decided to feature The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. Part murder mystery, part ghost story, this dual timeline novel follows journalist Fiona Sheridan in 2014 as she searches for answers to her sister’s murder over twenty years ago. Juxtaposed with her story is that of four friends in 1950 at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for troubled girls and also the location of Fiona’s sister’s murder. Although the convicted killer sits in jail for the crime, Fiona can’t shake the feeling that there is more to the story. As she digs deeper into the mystery, she discovers long buried secrets within the school and learns that she may not be the only one seeking justice.

I don’t read many ghost stories as I’m not one for scary novels, but this was recommended to me for the historical aspects, and I’m glad I gave it a chance. Simone St. James creates a paranormal mystery that honestly is more intriguing than frightening, although there were a few chapters where I would have rather not been reading at night. While I liked Fiona’s side of the story, in particular her interesting relationship with the sheriff’s son, I really enjoyed the chapters around the girls at the boarding school. Each has her own troubled personal background which we find out in small pieces rather than explaining everything at the beginning. I felt like I was participating in my own investigation, digging through past and present, physical and ethereal, slowly putting the pieces together until the big reveal at the end.

For more information, visit http://www.simonestjames.com/

611gW6XVJxL._SY445_QL70_.jpgI also jumped into my PennedCon purchases this past week. Wanting something fun, I chose Chris Cannon’s The Dating Debate, the first in her Dating Dilemmas series. In short, it’s about Nina, a teenage girl who doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day, loves books, and is searching for someone who is fluent in Harry-Potter-nerd-speak. And wouldn’t you know, the perfect guy just happens to live next door! Nina and West are cute and humorous together and have some equally entertaining sidekick friends (who are the leads in the next book). Although most of the novel is not mentally taxing, the author does address the issue of mental illness through West’s mother’s hoarding. The scenes where he discusses how her illness influences his life actually took me by surprise and were some of the most moving of the book.

Side note: Look for the included easter egg when Nina is shown reading a shape-shifting dragon novel. This is in direct reference to the author’s own Going Down in Flames fantasy series.

For more information, visit: http://www.chriscannonauthor.com/

Upcoming Events

Do you know of an organization, book club, fair, coffee shop, book store, etc. that would be interested in hosting an author talk, book signing, or needs an event speaker? I’m working on my schedule for the upcoming year and would love to meet some new faces! If so, send me a note via the contact page.

Share the Book Love

Read it? Loved it? Tell others by writing a review!

Need a copy of either book in the Hope or High Water series? Click the photo below.

Website Books

The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2019

August Newsletter – Prepping for PennedCon and A Man Called Smith

Fear and Love are so similar. We can do some indescribably regrettable things due to either.

~ From Twisted River (Hope or High Water Book 2)

IMG_0974It feels like this summer flew by, doesn’t it? Much of my time this month has been spent getting back into the swing of regular school days and the excitement of matron of honor duties for my friend’s upcoming wedding. For part of her bachelorette party, we painted wooden signs, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Latest News

The writing life is … well, the writing life. Exciting and frustrating in all the best ways.

You know that feeling when you have a solution to a problem, but for the life of you can’t get your brain to tell you what it is? That’s been me this month working on the final climactic outline for Broken Lines. I have about four different ways that the novel might go and none of my characters are telling me which one to use. Instead, an unrelated character shuffled in and suggested quite calmly, “Maybe you could let me speak once in awhile. Just a thought.” As a result, four new chapters were added and I discovered some brilliant research that will be perfect for Book #4. I still don’t have the initial problem resolved, but my character’s suggestion gave the story the unexpected boost it needed. Hopefully by next month’s newsletter, my other outlining questions will all be answered.

When not reprimanding my characters, I’ve been preparing for the upcoming book conference, PennedCon, on September 12-14, 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. I will be signing books with all those authors listed below, so if you’re looking for a lot of reading material in one place, grab a ticket and come join us! I designed some fun new free swag items, so swing by my table in the Colannade Ballroom to pick up a couple and say hi. If you haven’t read my books yet, grab them at a two-book paperback bundle discount, and ebook readers, I also have signed swag just for you.

Penned2019Authors

Last but not least, interested in attending for FREE? I have two more tickets that I’m looking to give away which include entry on Friday and Saturday plus the Red Coat PR party on Friday night. First person to comment or send me a note via the contact page wins!

Recommended Reads

Man Called SmithA Man Called Smith by Tanya E. Williams was my most anticipated read of the summer and left me with so many mixed emotions. The story begins with the aftermath of John Smith losing his beloved first wife, Violet, and quickly escalates through his time married to the heinous and conniving Bernice. Due to horrors witnessed in World War II, he has become a man bent on avoiding personal conflict, most often at the cost of his children’s happiness. As a result, his sixteen-year-old daughter, Calla, spends life planning for the day when she can escape and build a better life. But when that day finally arrives, it results in a question with no perfect answers and no turning back.

I can almost guarantee that at some point this book will leave you in an emotional puddle on the floor. At least it did to me. Throughout the story, you’re rooting for John, praying that he’ll pull his life together and save what’s left of their family. You’re rooting for Calla that she’ll finally find the love she’s always longed for and a place to call home. You’re rooting for the belief that, no matter how far gone life seems, we all have an opportunity to rise from the ashes. It is an experience as hopeful as it is heartbreaking, right up until the novel’s moving final chapters. Definitely Ms. Williams best work yet.

Although this novel is the third in a trilogy, it can be enjoyed as a standalone. If you haven’t yet, I would recommend reading the first two books as it will give you a full perspective on the Smith family and the choices they make. My reviews on the first two novels can be found here: Becoming Mrs. Smith and Stealing Mr. Smith.

For more information visit: tanyaewilliams.com

Upcoming Events

Do you know of an organization, book club, fair, coffee shop, book store, etc. that would be interested in hosting an author talk, book signing, or needs an event speaker? I’m working on my schedule for the upcoming year and would love to meet some new faces! If so, send me a note via the contact page.

Share the Book Love

Read it? Loved it? Tell others by writing a review!

Need a copy of either book in the Hope or High Water series? Click the photo below.Website Books

The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail in the box at the bottom of this website. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

 

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2019
PennedCon Marketing Materials Copyright © Red Coat PR. Used with permission.