Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pineapples in Peril!

Awesome cover!!! Cheryl's son designed
the Hawaiian Island Detective Club logo
Know a middle-grade or junior high student who loves action-adventure/detective stories?

You're in luck! My good friend and writing partner Cheryl Martin is launching the first book in her Hawaiian Island Detective Club Series, Pineapples in Peril, coming October 2.

Here's a little about the story:

Thirteen-year-old Leilani Akamai and her two best friends, Maile and Sam, have been the only official members of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club for years. Until this summer, they've only been solving pretend mysteries. But when vandalism starts taking place in the pineapple fields near their homes, they finally get their chance to solve a real crime. Unless, of course, Kimo, Leilani’s annoying ten-year-old brother ruins everything. . .

This is such a fun story! An adventure-mystery set in Hawaii where the kids have to solve the crime---what's NOT to love?! It's the kind of adventure I drooled about having when I was in middle school. Even as an adult, I couldn't wait for the next chapter!

Wailua River Banks, Kauai
(Emily here: this is what I picture when I'm reading about Leilani's
adventures in the story...see if you agree when you read it)

Pineapples in Peril is a refreshing, well-written, fast-paced mystery with subtle Christian themes, and I guarantee it will be a huge hit for kids in the 5th-8th grade.

I asked Cheryl questions so she could share more about herself and her story:

Are there more books coming?
Yes! The three books in this series are Pineapples in Peril (releasing October 2), Menehunes Missing (tentatively set to release February of 2013), and Ukuleles Undercover (releasing in the fall of 2013).

East shore of Oahu

Do you know at the beginning of the mystery who will be the culprit?
Not usually. I’m not a “plotter” but I do need to know what the mystery is and also something about where I’m going. The in-between can take many unusual turns before the real culprit is revealed.

Do your characters ever get into messes?
Oh my, do they! When they’re planning stakeouts and following people, Leilani and her friends have found themselves in some weird and sometimes scary situations.

Tell us about the relationship between Leilani and her brother, Kimo.
In book one, Pineapples in Peril, Leilani learns some wonderful things about her annoying younger brother. But then there’s reality—Kimo will always be her pain-in-the-pants younger brother! So, every book in the series has the wonderful moments involving family and siblings, along with the frustrating times. Kind of like real life, huh?

Which character is most like you, and why?
Probably Leilani. She is determined, yet in many ways has issues with her confidence. She also finds herself in trouble a lot, even though it always seems to be her brother’s fault. Yup, I have a younger brother!

Who or what inspires you?
I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!
Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.

Did you have some interesting experiences while living in Hawaii?
Yes, I did! I learned to surf, got scared by a pipefish while snorkeling (thought it was an eel!), nearly lost my suit while body surfing, ate every kind of island food I could—including poi, and took hula classes!

* * *
Want to know more about
the Hawaiian Island
Detective Club?
Do you want to ask Cheryl questions about Hawaii or about her new mysteries?

.....her web site: www.cheryllinnmartin.com.
.....her fun blog all about Hawaii: www.lifeinflip-flops.blogspot.com.
.....her author page at www.facebook.com/authorcheryllinnmartin.
 And don't forget to buy Pineapples in Peril when it releases October 2!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another perfect stocking stuffer!

White Rose Publishing has a sweet treat of a holiday lineup with several inspirational Christmas romance novellas specially priced at $1.00 during the month of December.

Today I invite you to take the plunge--the POLAR BEAR PLUNGE, that is!
POLAR BEAR PLUNGE is another great Christmas novella written by my friend and critique partner Linda Glaz. Here's a snippet of the storyline: 

Brice Taylor might not be on Aleni Callan's Christmas list, but she finds him under her tree anyway.

Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier when hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understood how God could bring him through being a captive in
Iraq, when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widow Aleni Callan, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Ty, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And while the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.

For the month of December, you can download Polar Bear Plunge to your kindle or computer for only $1.00! Don’t wait until January, because, although it will still be available, the price will go up! 


Pick up Polar Bear Plunge at:

ABOUT LINDA: In addition to being a writer, Linda Glaz works in a physical therapy clinic and is an agent for Hartline Literary Agency. She was an Air Force meteorologist during the Vietnam era, she taught karate, self-defense, and soccer for 25+ years. She also sings and directs in church and community theatre musicals. You can find Linda at her blog http://lindaglaz.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the season for romance!

I'm thrilled to announce that two of my good friends are releasing their debut books this month with White Rose Press! These are heart-warming Christmas novellas offered for the easy-on-the-wallet price of $1 through the month of December only.

For those of you in the mood for great Christmas romances, these make the perfect present for you or someone you love, and at $1 they're a steal!

First up is my good friend Camille Eide with her novella, SAVANNA'S GIFT. Tomorrow I'll tell you about Linda Glaz's story, POLAR BEAR PLUNGE. I hope you'll support both these authors! These novellas are perfect for the time of year, and they're ideal for someone looking for a fun, heart-warming read but who may not have a lot of time to invest in a lengthy story during this busy holiday season.

Camille Eide writes faith-inspiring love stories. Her debut novella, SAVANNA'S GIFT, is set at a rustic ski lodge in Oregon, where a young woman gets stranded during a snowstorm. It's a Christmas romance about rekindled love and second chances.

Here's a peek at the novella, SAVANNA'S GIFT:
When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that divided them get in the way?

Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson. Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?

If you want a sneak peek at Camille's wordsmithing, head over to White Rose Press, where you can also enjoy an excerpt: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/savanna-s-gift.

To learn more about Camille, check out her web site at http://www.camilleeide.com/.

It's easy.....The choices are here:

Savanna's Gift  is now available from
White Rose Publishing

Amazon (Kindle)

Christian Book Distributors http://ow.ly/7NOXJ

Holiday priced at $1.00 through Dec 24, 2011. (reg $2.99) 

And if my 5 star recommendation isn't convincing enough, here's what other writers are saying:

“Camille Eide’s fiction debut, Savanna’s Gift is an enchanted tale of lost love and second chances. With endearing characters and the smell of cinnamon-scented pinecones in the air, I was swept away in this heart-warming story. Lovely anytime. Perfect for Christmas.” ~Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings

"With her trademark zany style, Camille Eide weaves a meaningful, believable romance in Savanna's Gift. Against a beautiful backdrop of a snowy Oregon lodge, she grants her characters wonderful second chances and dreams fulfilled. This is the best novella I've ever read!" ~Christina Berry, Christy-nominated and Carol-award winning author of The Familiar Stranger

"Camille Eide’s seamless writing swept me into this sweet story from the opening page. Savanna’s Gift made me laugh, think, cheer for the characters, and give a sigh of pure satisfaction at the perfect ending. I highly recommend this debut novel from a gifted writer who I’m guessing we’ll see much more of in the future." ~Miralee Ferrell, author of Love Finds You in Sundance, WY—4 1/2 Stars Romantic Times

Monday, October 17, 2011

Passion Makes You Do Crazy Things

I hate public speaking.

Ten times out of ten, if I see it coming, I cross to the other side of the street and refuse to make eye contact. (Same goes for other sketchy characters like furniture dusting, laundry and meal planning.)

Now don’t get me wrong. When I’m one-on-one, I can out-speedtalk a telemarketer any day of the week. But put me in front of a group of people expecting me to say something profound, and invisible claws latch onto the back of my neck and send electric prickles of sheer panic shooting across my scalp, down my spine, and out my toenails.

In fact, I only have to imagine myself looking across the sea of faces and whatever scrap of intelligible thought I have vanishes. My heart pounds and my internal thermometer hits about 194 degrees. Celsius.

But I love writing. And I love talking to other people about writing. Ask my poor husband, who has to hear me talk about “book stuff” on a regular basis. But I can’t help it; I have a passion for story and its power to change the lives of those it touches.

And sometimes passion makes you do crazy things.

So when the English teacher at the local Christian school asked if I’d be willing to come and talk about writing with the high school seniors, my crazy story-loving side jumped up and down and squealed Yes, oh yes, I want to do this in the worst way while the rational side of my brain screamed No, you can’t do this! You know you can’t! You’re too young to die!!!

Before Rational Emily realized what was happening, Crazy Story-Loving Emily blurted, “What would I talk to the students about?”

“Whatever you want,” the teacher said.

And suddenly it was a done deal.

Crazy Emily clapped her hands and danced around saying, “Isn’t this awesome?! A captive audience! People who have to stay and listen to me talk about book stuff. This is going to be so much fun!”

Rational Emily went home and threw up.

* * *
The next day I sent a panicky email to a writing buddy and told her what I’d agreed to do.

Sally was supposed to say, “You did what?!”

Instead she said, “That’s great, Emily! The students will love you.”

“They will?”

“Of course.”

Her confidence was so complete and sincere it had me feeling self-assured in an instant. I could do this. I could entertain high-school students. I could talk about writing and make it interesting and fun. I could go toe-to-toe with Se┼ćor Public Speaking and watch that punk back right down.

“How do you know they’ll love me?” I asked Sally.

“Because you’re not their regular teacher. And you won’t assign homework.”

Oh. Right.

So I spent the next week stressing thinking about what to discuss with twelfth graders. I jotted notes and prayed and jotted some more and prayed a whole lot more, and only three times did I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

And I’m here to tell you I did it.

I went in there talked about how much I love writing. I talked about story world and the three-act structure of a plot. I showed how to create empathy for characters, and how to build goal, motivation, and conflict into a novel.

But mostly I talked about the Hero’s Journey—how story is really about a reluctant character who accepts a challenge and, despite the self-doubt and internal flaws, steps through a doorway and embarks on a journey. How that journey will bring him to the brink, challenge the core of who he is, force him to face his demons and in the end leave him changed for the better.

Because he did what he never dreamed possible.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mistletoe & Mischief wins!

Today I found out the second book in my series, Mistletoe & Mischief, won FIRST PLACE in Novel Rocket's Launch Pad contest (formerly Out of the Slush Pile). I had forgotten that I'd entered the contest so I was doubly excited to see that not only had I placed, I'd won! 

For various reasons (legal and otherwise) I can't usually post actual excerpts from my stories, so I have to admit I'm pretty excited that I have this special opportunity to give you all a chance to read and (hopefully) enjoy the first chapter of the novel.   

Here's the short blurb to get you in the mood:
         Erica Marks never dreamed helping a neglected cat would land her in jail . . .

        Now the soft-hearted cafe manager doesn't just want to pull of Maple Grove's first Christmas parade--she needs to. She's made a deal with the courts, and if she doesn't come through, the spirit of Christmas might not be the only thing in police custody.
        But keeping the handsome but aloof police chief from discovering her community service arrangement is the least of her problems. A troubled teen, a rash of vandalism, and continued feline antics threaten to rain on her parade. And as nuisance crimes escalate, Tyler and Erica get dangerously close to each other’s painful secrets. If the truth is exposed, it could cost their chance at love. And facing her fears will resurrect his worst nightmare...

For those of you who'd like to catch a sneak peek, here's the link to the first chapter. I'd love to hear what you think!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Emily in St. Louis

The Arch
It doesn't get much better than hanging with friends, except maybe the chance to hang with friends who share a passion for writing!

I was so blessed to be able to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers' conference in St. Louis last week, where I had a great time reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

Being surrounded by 650 Christian writers and industry professionals for several days on end was phenomenal. Not only did we have the opportunity to learn more about writing through workshops, spotlights with different publishing houses, and continuing education classes, we got to share in worship and fellowship times.

I arrived a day early so I'd have a day to brainstorm with my good friend and critique partner, Sally. We had a great time plotting our next books, and in between our brainstorming sessions, we took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. This is us at the Saturday gala, ACFW's annual awards banquet. 

My awesome roommie, Sally, putting up with my antics 
It was very exciting for me to have a chance to meet several of my critique partners for the first time. The picture below is of one of my critique groups, minus Karla, who couldn't attend this year but whose book O Canada!: Her Story is being released shortly. (It's a textbook for gradeschoolers combining a fun mix of Canadian history and biographies of famous Canadians. It can be preordered here: http://www.karlaakins.com/books. Yes, that was a shameless plug. If you have a child 4-8 years old, you should add this to their reading list!)
Going clockwise from me:
Jessica, author of a Love Inspired Historical releasing this spring
Camille, Genesis award winner & author of a Christmas novella coming this fall
Linda, agent at Hartline & author of a Christmas novella to be released late fall
Cheryl, who just contracted a three-book deal for a YA mystery series
 I'm blessed to be surrounded by such talented writers who constantly push, poke and prod at me to be better and who constantly offer encouragement. And as you may have noticed, they are all publishing their first books in the next few months (woohoo!), so expect more shameless plugs when the time draws nearer.... :)

Camille and I at the Gala Awards Banquet, where she
was named the Genesis winner of the Women's Fiction category! 
I had appointments with a few editors from different publishing houses and am thrilled to have received invitations to submit proposals for my project! I've been busy working with my agent to get these proposals out. Which is why it's taken me a week to get this post out. :)

My wonderful agent, Terry Burns and I at lunch

Camille, me, Karen (a Genesis finalist), and Carla Stewart, author of Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings

Me with Joyce Hart, owner of Hartline Literary Agency
A view of the Mississippi River from beneath the Arch

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Emily Goes to the Range

The hero of my second book is an ex-Army Ranger-turned-cop. There’s one scene where Tyler goes shooting with his friend Micah (the hero from book 1). It’s a turning point in the book, where Tyler finally confronts the reality of his feelings for Erica. The scene was dangerously close to bordering on mushy, so I figured I’d send the characters to the range where they could hash things out in a more male setting. Under hail of gunfire seemed pretty good.

Since I’ve only been shooting once, and that was about seven years ago, I figured it would be a good idea to check it out again. Actually, it was Jason’s idea. I think it was retribution for having to listen to the emotional heart-flutterings of my characters for the last several months. Off we went to throw some lead downrange, so I could place myself in the scene—remember the sights, smells, and . . .

Oh yeah, sounds.

It’s not easy to communicate with plugs in your ears as you’re blowing through boxes of ammunition.

“How are Tyler and Micah going to talk to each other?” I yelled to my husband. “This could be a problem!”

He shrugged. “They can holler.”

“These are men. It’s emotional stuff. They don’t talk about it, let alone holler it to each other over hail of gunfire.”

Yeah. I’ll be doing some tweaking on that chapter.

I started with a Browning Buckmark
(I'm told that's a .22 pistol. Fun and easy to shoot.)
Pretty good grouping for a newbie, I think.
Then I moved to a Glock .40 subcompact.
Much more kick. I'm not posting the target results from that one.