Why Do People Join Cults?

June 15, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Have you, or any of your loved ones, been involved in a cult? If so, what happened? Did he/she/they get out of the cult? Or, are they still involved in it?

Since I was raised Jehovah’s Witness, I find the subject of cults interesting. This is a good video that tells why people join cults.

I’ve often thought about doing a series about someone/some folks in a cult. I’d tell how each person got out of the organization. Not sure if I’ll ever write this series, but, it’s in the back of my mind.

So, have you ever known anybody who was involved in a cult? Please share details.

The Writing Desk

June 14, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Have you ever been estranged from your parent(s)? So estranged that you barely spoke to one another for years?

This book focuses on two women, Tenley’s story takes place during modern times. Birdie’s story is a historical.

Tenley is floored, literally, when she receives a marriage proposal right before she receives a prestigious writing award. Suffering from writers’ block, she struggles with making decisions – should she go to Paris with her boyfriend or travel to Florida to care for her estranged mom. Isn’t it too late to try and fix their broken familial relationship?

Birdie wants to publish her romance novel. But, her parents aren’t aware of her writing aspirations. They want her to marry a well-to-do man that they’ve chosen. I almost felt as if Birdie had been born 100 years too early – she seemed like a modern woman.

Both Birdie’s and Tenley’s stories are related in a unique and appealing way. This was a light, enjoyable summer read.

So, have you ever been estranged from your parent(s) – so estranged that you barely spoke to one another for years? What did you do about it? Did you reconcile?

 

 

Barbour Publishing – Agreement For Underground Railroad Novella Collection

June 8, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Do you like to read historical romance novels?

Well, it’s been a long time, but, I’ve finally received a contract for a commercially published novel. The Underground Railroad Brides Collection (tentative title) will feature my novella The Bakery Bride. The tentative release date is June 2018.

I’ve been focusing on my indie published books for the last few years. Before that, I was seeking commercial publication for about four years (last commercial contract I received was probably in 2008 or 2009). Like most authors, I found the indie/self-pubbed market to be lucrative only after releasing several books. I love releasing my own works myself as e-books. However when approached about doing this project, I agreed to submit something. Reason why? I’ve been itching to see one of my books in a bookstore (or places like Walmart, Target, etc.). Seeing this novella collection on the shelf will cure that itch.

I’ll still be releasing my own works since I love doing that! I’m unclear as to if I’ll continue to seek other commercial/traditional contracts though.

Doing this book is a leap of faith for me. This will be my first historical novel. Prior to this, all of my works have been contemporary.

So do you like to read historical novels? If so, do you have a favorite time period?

What Happened to Harlequin Romance?

June 7, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Do you read Harlequin romance novels?

I thought this article was interesting. Granted it’s three years old, but, we’ve been talking about this subject in writers’ circles over the last five years, give or take. I only had one book out with Harlequin, and am open to submitting to them again, time permitting. I like having my book on a store shelf (including Walmart, Kmart, grocery stores, etc.). But, indie books have really been taking off!

Authors are publishing their own works and are actually making good money doing that. From my experience, and from speaking to other authors, most of the money from indie-published e-books comes from Amazon (mostly their Kindle Unlimited program).

So, do you read Harlequin romance novels? If so, which lines do you read? Do you purchase them in the store or as an e-book?

Saturday Matinee – The Shack

June 3, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Have you read the novel, The Shack? Have you seen the movie? Which do you prefer?

I reviewed The Shack, the novel, years ago!

I enjoyed the movie MUCH MORE than the book. Seriously. I think I enjoyed the movie more because I believe it gave some background information about Mack, the main character. I don’t recall there being any information about Mack’s childhood and his dysfunctional relationship with his father in the book?

***Spoiler alert!

 

 

When Mack goes on a camping trip with his family, sans his wife, his little girl (Missy), goes missing. Turns out she’s been murdered. Mack’s wife refers to God as Papa, and Missy uses the same term of endearment for God. The murder happens in a secluded Shack and when Mack receives a mysterious note in his mailbox, telling him to come to the Shack to meet Papa (God), he thinks it’s a joke.

The movie is about Mack meeting Papa, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the Shack. He has conversations with each of them, working through his grief. I believe the movie makers added the part of Wisdom. I don’t recall Wisdom in the novel, but, I could be mistaken since I read it so long ago.

I really enjoyed this movie. It shows how hard it’d be to work through grief when losing a child. I know if I were to lose my child, I’d struggle with forgiveness. I’d have been a lot like Mack in the movie (and the book).

Oh, another thing they did in the movie, which they did not do in the book, Mack gets accidentally hit by a semi-truck. The movie indicates in the beginning that he escaped the on-coming truck, then goes to the Shack to meet Papa. But, at the end, after he leaves Papa and the rest of the Holy Trinity, the movie backtracks and he’s then hit by the truck.

When he awakens in the hospital, he tells his friend that he’d gone to the Shack. The friend says it’s impossible – the accident occurred shortly after he left his home to go to the Shack. Apparently, Mack had been in a coma all weekend. The movie indicated the Shack visit occurred in his mind in dreamlike state – kind of like Dorothy waking up at the end of The Wizard of Oz.

So, have you ever read the book The Shack? If so, how do you think it compares to the movie?

Podcast – The Business of Writing

May 28, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

I was recently interviewed on a radio station in Washington DC. Come take a look at the podcast! I talk about The Business of Writing. If you want to get your book published then you might want to watch. I focus on romance writing since that’s what I write and I’m most familiar with it.

44 Cranberry Point

May 24, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever felt threatened by an anonymous note?

Bob and Peggy Beldon run the Thyme and Tide bed and breakfast in Cedar Cove. Things have been weird since a man died in their home. Turns out the dead man has unique connections to a couple of folks in Cedar Cove – which makes a cozy-type mystery to be played out in this novel.

Roy receives mysterious postcards. He had no idea who could be sending him these cryptic messages.

Grace is still upset about her unwanted breakup with Cliff. Can she win him back? She’s sorry about the online love affair she’s had with Will, her best friend, Olivia’s brother.

Meanwhile, Olivia still tries to get her husband, Jack, to slow down. He’s a workaholic and they should be spending more time together. She also attempts to get him to improve his eating habits.

This book reminded me of a movie script or a TV show instead of a novel. There were lots of characters. I suppose that’s why they made a TV show from this series of novels.

So, have you ever felt threatened by an anonymous note? If so, what did the note say? Did you ever find out who sent it to you?

Loving Luke – a squeaky clean, sweet romance novella! Only 99 cents – also on Kindle Unlimited!

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Happy Mother’s Day!

How will you be spending your wonderful day? Dinner? Movies? Spending time with family? Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy and pamper yourself! As mothers, we deserve to be pampered!

 

 

Like A Brother

May 10, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Like A Brother by Maurice M. Gray, Jr.

Have you ever loaned money to a family member? Did they pay you back?

Jeremiah (Jay) is always there to support his family. His support is so strong that his family takes advantage of his kindness – putting his life at a major disadvantage. His dating life is also somewhat complicated since he has a crush on Jenisse, a woman to whom he’s been connected for years. He wants to move forward with his life and date others, but, something is holding him back.

This book shows how complicated familial relationships can be. It’s hard to make the family dynamic work, especially when folks have a lot of issues from which to overcome. God has the answers to our problems and it’s important for folks to own up to their insecurities and issues. Overall, this was a good, insightful read.

This is a unique romance novel told totally from the male point-of-view, which was refreshing. It tells of the struggles that a good, intelligent man can face while trying to date. I think it’s hard for some women to realize that there are good men out there, good men that are struggling to find a good woman. So, when women complain about not being able to find a good man, then they should read this book, see how it is from the other side (the man’s point of view).

So, have you ever loaned money to a family member? If so, did they ever pay you back?

 

A Husband For Holly

May 3, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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A Husband For Holly by Marion Ueckermann

Have you ever hired an interior decorator? Was it expensive? Were you pleased with the results?

When Holly is hired to decorate the office of the new parish priest, she gives the project her best effort, using her talents to make the office look wonderful. However, Christopher (the new Scottish priest) has much on his mind. He’s still reeling over his broken heart, plus, he has a wandering father who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Holly is not interested in romance right now. Her decorating business takes up most of her time. But, for some reason, she can’t ignore the deep attraction she has for handsome Christopher.

I enjoyed this light, wonderful holiday story. This story also shows how hard it is to deal with an ailing parent.

So, have you ever hired an interior decorator? Was it expensive? Were you pleased with the results?