Scavenger Hunt is over

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. The Hunt is now officially over and the winners have been declared on Robin Lee Hatcher’s site. Congratulations to Erin, who won the Kindle Fire and Heather and Lynne who won 33 books by the authors. It was a lot of fun and I hope all of you who participated, enjoyed it as well. 

As for me and my house, I did my own draw as well and will be contacting the winner and announcing that here as soon as she or he gets hold of me.

Thanks again for participating.Autumn Scavenger Hunt 2014_450

SCAVENGER HUNT STOP #30

Follow the clues for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX or 30+ novels.

Welcome to the Autumn 2014 Scavenger Hunt. You have arrived at Stop 30. The hunt begins at noon (Mountain Time Zone) on October 17, 2014. You may have arrived here before the start which could mean all of the sites aren’t ready yet. Once the official start has begun you should go to Stop #1  (www.robinleehatcher.com) and then work your way through the sites, gathering clues and entering bonus giveaway, until you reach the final stop which will also be on the site of Robin Lee Hatcher.

The hunt ends on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at one minute before midnight (Mountain). That means you have all of the weekend to finish it, so take your time. Enjoy reading the exclusive content the authors have prepared for you. You will connect a CLUE IN RED at each stop. Write them down as you go. At the end of the hunt, you will enter the clues into a Rafflecopter form. (The answer will make sense, even if you aren’t familiar with the quote.)

The hunt is open to international entries. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HDX. Two runners-up will receive a new release from each of the participating authors.

In case you find a broken link:

Robin Lee Hatcher has prepared a ‘cheat sheet’ with direct links to each author’s post in case a site goes down or a link gets broken. We hope there will be no such issues, but just in case, please make note of the URL for the Participating Authors and Stops page so you can check back and be able to complete the hunt.

I’m happy to be hosting Donita K. Paul. Donita retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist  of the DragonKeeper Chronicles and Chronicles of Chiril. Her current work-in-progress is the third book in the Realm Walkers trilogy. She has co-authored two picture books with her daughter, and has just released an early reader, The House on Troll Hill, about a gnome real estate agent trying to sell a smelly house in the enchanted forest.

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh and whenever Donita is at a conference or a gathering of fellow writers, she makes everyone around her laugh as well. Welcome Donita.

Thanks Carolyne.dkp2

As Christians, it’s easy to “talk the talk” without “walking the walk.” We can say we’re Christians, but if we truly are children of God, we need to act like it. To act like it, we need to learn and remember the principles God has given us through His Word to live out in our faith. In this case, our memories are essential to guide our future actions. If we forget the principles we’ve learned, then we’ll be left unable to function–or doomed to repeat the same mistakes–as if we’d never learned from them in the first place.

TwoRenegadeRealmsCoverIn Two Renegade Realms, several characters have faulty memories, and one character was raised on false information. Each character’s journey is punctuated by a different set of causes and effects based on what lessons they’ve learned and how well they’ve managed to ingrain those lessons into their lives. While some have been led to question things they’ve held dear for so long, others are squinting through the foggy confusion that results from watered-down or forgotten faith.

Cantor and Bixby’s foundations have been shaken in One Realm Beyond. The goal they’ve both worked toward for so long has revealed itself to be overgrown in the thorny nettles of corruption. Now it is up to them to track down Chomountain, the right hand of Primen, who may be the only person able to help them confront the Realm Walkers Guild. But what are they supposed to do when they discover the great wizard no longer exists? Cantor and Bixby’s priorities are challenged as they seek a way to defeat an invading army and block the Guild’s pursuit of powers.

 Purchase at Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble

The Scavenger Hunt Skinny

Thanks so much for stopping by my site and participating in the new Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Before you move on to Stop #31 which is Donita Pauls, to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this Stop #30 clue: others to be

Also, please note: Many of the authors use Rafflecopter for their giveaways. Rafflecopter requires JavaScript to work. If you can’t see the form, please turn JavaScript on in your browser in order to enter. Rafflecopter sometimes doesn’t work on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device and can’t see the entry form, then you’ll need to find a computer.

Before you go……. enter to win copy of my yet-to-be-released book, the first in a new series, as well as some home-made cards – unique cards you’ll never find in any store…..ever…..

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How is this done you might ask? Simple as going to the sidebar and signing up for my newsletter.

 Now, onto Stop # 31, Donita Paul’s site and enjoy the rest of the hunt!

 

Controlling Carolyne

I like to be in control. I like having things planned out.

There are times I embrace control in my writing. I like to be in charge of every aspect and every element of my characters and my story, making sure everything is in place before I start writing. Charts filled with descriptions of characters, conflict elements, hooks and wounds, needs and wants litter my desk and are stabbed with push pins into the corkboard on the wall. 

I need to know where my story is headed because I’m the kind of person who can start out talking about dolls, interrupt myself as I segue into the reason I like them, back up and explain that I didn’t have may dolls and slowly end up discussing the necessity of supporting small businesses. Trust me, there is a link. So, knowing this about myself has created a need to maintain tight command of my story and where it’s going.

But lately I’ve been feeling a bit of burnout from this endless charting and question answering and structuring and plotting and knowing exactly where the story is going. All this control has raised some memories of one of the more traumatic (for me) events in my life.

When I was three years old, I almost drowned. I remember this quite vividly. I was watching my mother panicking as I, out of her reach, was falling under the water for the third time. I was watching her with some curiosity, wondering why she was waving her arms and yelling. I looked down and could see a deep, black hole opening up under my feet. Next thing I knew I was hanging upside down above the dock, water spewing out of me. Saved by a father with quick steps and long arms.

Needless to say this created some residual trauma for me. I was petrified of water. My poor parents tried to help me to overcome this fear and sent me to swimming lessons. I remember clinging, like a leech, to the side of the swimming pool, a tight ball of fear and spasming muscles, trying to master my environment. Every time I went out into the water, and the instructor tried to make me lay on my back, I seized up, pulled myself in and sank. She tried to explain to me that the harder I fought this, the worse it got. I would try to paddle fiercely, and sink. 

I didn’t make the connection between letting go and floating until three years later. I was in our local swimming pool and was getting tired of just chasing my friends around the pool while they easily swam away from me. I wanted to swim, but I was afraid to try.

Then I thought, I’m here anyway. Why not have fun with this? Play around with being in the water? I wasn’t as afraid of water as I had been. I was older, I knew I wouldn’t drown if water washed over my face.

So I laid back in the water, spread my arms out and let me feet float up and for a few, interesting seconds, I was floating. Of course, as soon as I realized that, I felt like I had lost control, I panicked, pulled in and sank. But I got up, water in my nose but none the worse for the experience.

I tried again and I realized I just had to relax, let the worst thing happen, go under water, get my feet under me and try again. I discovered that having the water washing over me wasn’t going to kill me, but in order to prevent that, I needed to relax. Let go. Each time I floated a little longer, each time I managed to keep the panic just a bit further away and each time I felt just a little freer. Soon I learned to swim and then I discovered the balance between control and letting go.

As a writer, I need to milk this analogy!

I have found my writing can suffer from the same tension; the same pulling inward to protect myself. The same desperate attempt to be in charge. I stare at the computer screen and nothing makes any sense. I grab a chart, fill it in, google various articles on how to make things work. Look for a mechanical way to get the story going. I can feel my shoulders tighten and curl up, my hands knot, my teeth clench and my eyes narrow. My heart goes up as I try to corral the words, the characters, the story, forcing the back into the confines of the charts I so faithfully filled out.

Then, slowly, my swimming lessons come back to me.

Let go. Relax. Play around with it. Let everyone else swim off, but just relax and have fun. The shoulders go down, the head rests more lightly on the shoulders and sometimes, yeah, the water washes over me, but I get up and try again. Maybe something different this time.

I know that writing is a balance between discipline and creativity. I always have been and always will be an outliner. I know my weaknesses and my impulse to ‘rabbit trail’.

But I have also discovered that maintaining too strict a rein on my creativity can be debilitating. Sometimes I just need to let go, spread my arms and float. And when the water washes over me, I know what I need to do to regain control. 

I just need to find a more relaxing way to do it, that’s all.

Cover reveal

Refuge Ranch. Sounds like a good place, doesn’t it? Sounds like a place a person might find peace.

Refuge Ranch is where the heroines and hero of my next series all come from and, one by one, return to. It’s a place of healing and comfort. The first book in the Refuge Ranch series is coming out in January. I’ll be revealing the latest cover in my next newsletter, so sign up if you want to get a sneak peek!Refuge Ranch Logo_edited-1