Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Hope Fiction Winner is ...

We're excited to announce the winner of the One Hope fiction contest. (The jury is still out on the nonfiction entries, so winners will be announced next week.)

Congratulations to

Sharyn Kopf

Her winning manuscript, Spinstered, will be published this fall.

Three Colorado Springs friends find themselves over 40 without a wedding or even the hint of a proposal. Can they each handle the struggles of being a single woman who has, in their opinion, passed her prime? Or will they crumble under the grief of broken hearts and lost dreams?

When a younger friend starts dating one of the few available men their age, they come face-to-face with their disappointment. As they question God’s plan for their lives and, specifically, for their singleness, each has to deal with her own particular regrets while embracing her hopes for the future.

More about Sharyn:

Sharyn Kopf knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she wrote her first poem at the age of five. She still considers it one of her best work.

After earning a bachelor’s in communications at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, she spent several years working as a newspaper reporter, almost a decade serving as an award-winning radio writer/producer for Focus on the Family, and even took a job for six months penning a television show for an Ohio-based mega-church. Then, for two and a half years, she was the senior writer for the marketing department at Cedarville University (OH).

Most recently, Sharyn has made her living as a freelance writer and editor. Her work has included co-authoring/editing Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury: One Woman’s Journey from Death to Life (published by BookJolt, 2012), writing and directing plays for an annual Cedarville University event, writing and editing numerous web articles, and editing a 400-page manuscript, which was published by Kregel in 2012. A short story she wrote that first introduced her to Spinstered character Catie Delaney will be included in the Western Ohio Writers Association’s 2013 inaugural anthology.

In her spare time, Sharyn plays the piano, makes the best fudge ever, rages against unnecessary uses of the Oxford comma, and watches too much HGTV. She lives in Jamestown, OH, but hopes to move to Bellefontaine soon to be closer to her family, especially her amazing nieces and nephew.

We look forward to sharing more of Sharyn's work with you in the coming months!

Today, Feb 28, is the deadline for the EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT for our 2013 Contests. Learn all the details on this post. And check back next week when we announce the winner of the nonfiction contest.

PS. Today's the last day Heart Bouquets will be 99 cents! Snag it today before the price goes up!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Peggy Cunningham

We wrap up our Special Valentine's with a new-to-us author. Pix-N-Pens will be releasing Peggy Cunningham's children's book series Really Rare Rabbits, with the first book coming out next month.

(Heart Bouquets is still only 99 cents!)

I'll let Peggy share her favorites in her own words:

Peggy's Favorite Romantic meal:

When we were on home staff for a few years in FL, we would go to Steak n Ale on Valentine's Day for their afternoon Prime Rib Special. When we travel to and from the States on our furloughs we tried to always visit that restaurant in Fl, and it is always a romantic afternoon for us and such special memories.

Two individual romantic foods:

Caramel Cashew Sundae

In our hometown, there was an ice cream shoppe we went to everyday after school. It fits in the story because Chuck was always there too, and  always managed to sit with my friends and me—even other boyfriends I had allowed him to sit with us. We always ate Caramel Cashew Sundaes. Such sweet memories!

McDonalds' small hamburger, fries and root beer

This goes back to our first year of marriage in 1966. Chuck was in the Air Force, we survived on an airman's meager salary. McDonalds was new and we could afford the 19 cent hamburger meal. It is still our favorite restaurant in the States. When we arrive at the Miami Airport from Bolivia, the first thing we do is head to McDonalds for that little hamburger.

Peggy's Favorite romantic song:

You Light Up My Life by Debbie Boone

This has been our special song for many years. Our daughter began singing it too when she was three years old. She would sing it over and over everyday–– making it even more special to us.

About Peggy:

Peggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck have served as missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry, teaching practical skills to underprivileged children in rural areas of Bolivia while reaching them for Christ. They also work with national churches, equipping them to take the gospel to their own people. Peggy is also a writer and contributes to several Christian publications regularly. She’s also been published in several anthologies and recently signed a contract with Pix-N-Pens Publishing for a three-book children’s series. The first book of the series will be released in March, 2013.
Visit Peggy's website.

If you missed all the fun last week, check out these links:
Marji Laine - Special Valentine, Top 5 Romantic Couples, PINK Party (Marji had a PINK party all last week, with lots of special guests and fun, so check them all out!)
Peggy Cunningham - Top 5 Romantic Movies
Stephanie Craig - Top 5 Romantic Songs

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Traci Tyne Hilton

Today's Special Valentine is Traci Tyne Hilton.

(Heart Bouquets is still on sale for 99 cents!)

Traci's story in Heart Bouquets, Cupid's Cappucino, is rather humorous. I can't decide if it's romance or dysfunction! Let me know what you think!

Traci's Favorite Romantic Meal:

Crepes from the food cart downtown

That's so unusual, I could resist hunting down some fun resources.

Did you know Betty Crocker offers a recipe for "Food Truck Crepes"? Check it out.

To get the full Food Truck experience, try these videos:

Flip Happy Crepes

Portland Food Trucks

And then, in my search, I ran across The Paris Creperie, in Boston, which offers Food Truck - la Tour Eiffel. Their website cautions that they're in Hawaii on vacation, but I found their crepe menu for your pleasure.

Traci's Favorite Love Song: Time after Time, Cindy Lauper.

About Traci:

Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery Series, and one of the authors in the The Tangle Saga series of science fiction novellas. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, a finalist for Speculative Fiction in the same contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. Traci serves as the Vice President of the Portland chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association.

Traci earned a degree in History from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, their two daughters, and their dog, Dr. Watson.

More of Traci's work can be found on her website.

If you missed all the fun last week, check out these links:
Marji Laine - Special Valentine, Top 5 Romantic Couples, PINK Party (Marji had a PINK party all last week, with lots of special guests and fun, so check them all out!)
Peggy Cunningham - Top 5 Romantic Movies
Stephanie Craig - Top 5 Romantic Songs
Traci Tyne Hilton - Top 5 Romantic Gifts on a Budget

And come back tomorrow when we feature our last special Valentine, Peggy Cunningham.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Stephanie Craig

Love and romance are year-round so we continue to recognize the authors of Heart Bouquets. Stephanie Craig is our Special Valentine today.

(Heart Bouquets is still on sale for only 99 cents!)

Stephanie's Favorite Romantic Meal:  Chicken Cordon Bleu. Stephanie says, "It was the main dish at our wedding, just like the couple in my book.  Whenever I eat it I think of our wedding day."

Tyler Florence has a great traditional Cordon Bleu recipe and as a bonus, I'm including a Cordon Bleu Casserole of my own below. (Yes, I'm a foodie!)






Cordon Bleu Casserole

by Tracy Ruckman
(Originally published on SheKnows)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 slices deli ham
3 slices Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups small button mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons sherry or red wine (broth may be substituted)
1 cup chicken-flavored stuffing cubes (like Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and coat a large casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Place chicken in the bottom dish. Top with ham and cheese. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook onions, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add soup and sherry and stir well. Remove from heat and pour over chicken. Top with bread cubes.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.
Stephanie's Favorite Love Song: "As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating" by Jenny & Tyler

About Stephanie:
Stephanie is a freelance writer from Michigan.  She is a wife and a mother of two young boys.  She has written articles on many subjects ranging from Christian living to pediatric cancer.  Currently she is the Flint Christian Fiction Examiner and shares her love of Christian books and the NOOK on her blog Christian Booksfor your NOOK.  When she’s not writing you can find her reading, crocheting, scrapbooking, or enjoying time with her family.  Stephanie loves romance and wonders why most stories stop when the character gets married.  She believes that is where true love and fun begins. 
If you missed all the fun last week, check out these links:
Marji Laine - Special Valentine, Top 5 Romantic Couples, PINK Party (Marji had a PINK party all last week, with lots of special guests and fun, so check them all out!)
Peggy Cunningham - Top 5 Romantic Movies
Stephanie Craig - Top 5 Romantic Songs
Come back tomorrow for another Special Valentine!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Lynda Lee Schab

We continue to celebrate the release of Heart Bouquets, and today's Special Valentine is author Lynda Lee Schab.

(Today's the last day Heart Bouquets will be FREE, so get it while you can!)

Being such a foodie myself, Lynda said something I'd never considered before when we asked her favorite romantic meal. "I guess I've never thought of a meal as being romantic. It's more about the atmosphere for me."

But then she said, "For some reason, nothing whispers romance more than fondue - cheese, marinade, and, of course, chocolate!" So awesome. So we found a great site that teaches all about fondue, and provides plenty of recipes.

Today's also Marji Laine's last day of the PINK PARTY - what a great week she's had with lots of fun things going on. 

Heart Bouquets author Peggy Cunningham shares her Top 5 Romantic Movies today, too. If you missed posts earlier this week, you'll find Top 5 Romantic Destinations from Jennifer Fromke, Top 5 Romantic Comedies from Lynda Schab, Top 5 Romantic Gifts on a Budget from Traci Tyne Hilton, and Top 5 Romantic Couples from Marji Laine.

Be sure to come back Monday - we're still introducing you to our Special Valentines - the authors of Heart Bouquets

If you missed the other Special Valentines, check them out here: Marji Laine, Jennifer Fromke

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Jennifer Fromke

Happy Valentine's Day!

We continue to celebrate the release of our new collection of romantic short stories, Heart Bouquets. It's FREE today and tomorrow on Kindle, so if you haven't snagged a copy yet, be sure to do so!

Each weekday through next Wednesday, we're featuring one of the authors of Heart Bouquets. Today's Special Valentine is award-winning, best-selling author Jennifer Fromke. Jennifer's debut novel, A Familiar Shore, was named as one of The Book Club Network's Books of the Year, and she's also one of the authors of The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt.

We asked Jennifer two of her favorite romantic things:

Her favorite romantic food:

Chocolate Shake ("hubby makes them for me.")

No recipe can compete with that, so we're not even going to try.

Here's her favorite love song:

(Disclaimer: I chose the videos, the authors did not. They just provided titles, and I picked the videos I thought might be the most enjoyable for your viewing pleasure.)

Over on Jennifer's blog today, you'll find her list of the Top 5 Romantic Destinations! And on another Heart Bouquets author's blog, Traci Tyne Hilton, you'll find her Top 5 Romantic Gifts for College Sweethearts.
Marji Laine still has her Pink Party going on too, so drop by and check it out. (If you missed yesterday's post, be sure to check out her Top 5 Romantic Couples, and Lynda Lee Schab's Top 5 Romantic Movies!)

More about Jennifer:

Though raised in the Midwest, Jennifer Fromke writes from North Carolina where she lives with her three teenagers and husband of over 20 years. In addition to her debut novel, A Familiar Shore, Jennifer co-authored a best-selling Christmas novella and published three short stories. Her favorite pastime is laughing with her family and her aim is to ensure the candy dish never runs dry.
And don't forget, Heart Bouquets is FREE Feb 13-15! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Today's Special Valentine: Marji Laine

This week, we're doing something fun to celebrate the release of our latest book, Heart Bouquets, a collection of six romantic short stories. Each weekday through next Wednesday, we'll feature one of the authors as our Special Valentine of the Day.

(As an added bonus, Heart Bouquets will be FREE this week only, Wednesday to Friday, so grab your copy NOW!)

Today, our Special Valentine is author Marji Laine. She's one of our bestselling authors in The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt that released in December.

All this week over on Marji's blog, she's having a "Pink Party" and I have it on good authority, she's not NORMALLY a pink person, but romance is in the air, so you'll have to check out all the fun things going on there. Today, she's sharing a list of Top 5 Romantic Couples.

We asked the authors to answer two questions, and this week we'll share the answers in a variety of ways.

Marji's favorite romantic meal:

Roasted Cornish Hen, fresh strawberries, and spinach artichoke dip. We dug up some recipes, and have linked a couple of them for you, if you want to make some of these foods for your own romantic meal. There were so many good recipes, it was hard to choose, but I chose ones I might try myself. Hope they'll meet Marji's approval! (On the Cornish hen recipe - this one had me at SAGE. The other ones scared me off with rosemary - I'm not a fan.)

Marji's favorite love song:

Be sure to check out the blog of another Heart Bouquets author - Lynda Schab is sharing her Top 5 Romantic Comedies today!

Tomorrow, we'll feature another author, so we hope to see you here.

More about Marji Laine:

Marji is a home-schooling mom of four with the oldest at UT Dallas. When she can't indulge in her passion for story-telling, she's transporting teenage volleyball players, teaching writing classes at a local co-op, and directing the children’s music program at her church. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a worship team, sings in her church choir, coordinates high school classes for a large home-school group, scrap-books, crochets, and designs Love Story books for newlyweds. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.