Thursday, August 28, 2008

Inspirational Author, Emily Brevard

I thought I would just let the readers and the White Roses here know that I have Inspirational author, Emily Brevard, on my Website/blog this week. She shared a bit about herself and her journey while writing her book, Coming Home, as well as, left us an excerpt. Please come on by.


Monday, August 25, 2008

What Does Tennis Have to Do with Books?

...Besides the fact that I love both, you might say not a lot, but I see several connections. First of all, I do have to say that tennis is my favourite sport. No, I can't, nor any sport. I'm sport-actically challenged. But I do love spectating. And, there are four times out of the year where for two weeks each time, I try to be in front of a televison. Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open (Which starts today, so no phone calls, please! LOL). Yes, it's even true that my website is decked out in Wimbledon colours [wanna see, check it out at]. What can I say?

Still, I digress. This post is supposed to be about books, right? So, what does tennis have to do with books? Well, when it comes to writing books, the process is a lot like tennis. Let's take a look.

First: There's a lot of behind-the-scenes craft development that goes on that the reader/spectator doesn't see. When I watch Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal play, tennis looks easy. As if anyone could go out and run around a court for three or four hours with only a few minutes break sprinkled in here and there. When I read a great book--one where I get totally lost in the story and weep and laugh with the characters--that author has made crafting an alternate reality seem simple.

Second: There's no coaching in tennis--not while the players are on the court, anyway. And, there's really no coaching in writing, either. Yes, we may have our critique partners who give us advice. Yes, we may have our editors who guide us to creating a wonderful story. Just as tennis players when they are training, have coaches to help them hone their craft. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, Tennis is mano-a-mano. One guy against one guy (or girl, as the case may be.) When we're writing, it's just us. The author. No one can win a tennis match except the individual. No one can write our story except us.

Third: Failure makes us stronger. In tennis, when a player loses a match, he takes that experience and learns from it. He either discovers a weakness in his own game that he needs to fix, or he discovers a weakness in another player which can be applied to a later match. When an author submits a story to a publisher and receives a rejection, we can take that information--if it's more than a form rejection--to help us hone our skills. If we discover something about the publisher--perhaps they aren't looking for our particular plot at the moment--we can use that to help us submit "smarter" next time.

From a reader's perspective, I want to enter the author's created world and be WOW'd--taken to the precipice of a myriad of emotions, and a great book can do that. And, you know what? A great tennis match can do that to me, too. When two players are so evenly matched and playing their best, when you never know who's going to win the next point, or when it's 6-4,6-3,4-6,3-6, and it's 9-8 in a fifth set where there's no tiebreak, and both players are fighting just to win two games in a row--That's exciting. It's like "watching" a hero and heroine battle the conflicts within and without to get to that happily ever after you know is coming somewhere, but might not happen until one of them is completely crushed. That's excitement!

Tennis and Books...what more could anyone want? Well, I couldn't live without music, either...but that's another story. Praise God for all these wonderful entertainments in life.

Speaking of latest story, Forever from Paris is getting some rave reviews [which I'm totally jazzed about, btw], so if you're looking for something short to read, please check it out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Accepting Charity Released

"Accepting Charity," number six in the Orchard Hill Romance series, is now available through The Wild Rose Press and is already gathering great reviews.

At Manic Readers "Accepting Charity" is a Featured Read. The reviewer, Valerie, wrote "It is a stand-alone book that manages to make you laugh and cry. The characters are so heartwarming that you want to revisit Orchard Hills again and again, but they escape being too nice with witty dialog and droll humor. No scorching love scenes, this is just a very sweet book. I adored this book and now I’m off to read the others."

At Between the Lines Carol A. Spradling wrote in her review "The main story with Charity will pull at your heartstrings. The girl is endearing and brings the two main characters into the story with ease. Ms Russell has a good flow to her writing that is comfortable and not jarring. The characters were clearly drawn and engaging. As for the antagonist, I don’t know if this was intentional but every time this character came on the page, I expected her to have a curious interest in puppies, especially spotted ones. Woof! She was deliciously bad. I absolutely loved the way Ms Russell tied everything together. The ending was more than satisfying."

To find out more about the Orchard Hill series, please visit my website or my Orchard Hills Highlights blog.

Thanks for reading!
Kara Lynn Russell

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meeting Mr. Right...

As a romance writer, I’m always interested in how people meet. I must admit as a girl I dreamed of meeting my Mr. Right at a dance. I envisioned him sweeping me onto to the dance floor, wrapping me in his arms and gazing into each others eyes. Sound familiar… a little like Cinderella, maybe a LOT like Cinderella.

Meeting my Mr. Right went nothing like that in real life. I lived in a very small town where there was a very small trucking company. He started working there. I noticed him, He noticed me. A mutual acquaintance introduced us.

Not quite the kismet meetings found in some romance stories. Maybe because of my personal experience when I write I like to keep the first meeting realistic, interested with a hint of attraction. As my story unfolds the attraction grows into real feelings of love.

That is why inspirational romances draw me as a reader and writer, attraction turns to genuine caring and the caring deepens into the kind of love that God intended for His children.

Of course, all couples have to meet before they begin their journey together…would you care to share your story with me by leaving a comment?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Meet our new little future reader....

We have a new little reader in our midst!

I'm pleased and beyond honored to announce the birth of my daughter, Audrey Elise St. Amant!!

She was born July 14th at 2:09 p.m. and weighed 7 lbs, 2 ounces and was 17 and 1/2 inches long. Just perfect!
Life is certainly very different now but sooooo much better. I can't imagine life without her or even remember what it was like =)
Just had to share the good news!

Here are some pics!

Monday, August 4, 2008

My First Experience with Romance.

When I say my first experience with romance, I’m referring to my exposure to the genre as a reader, of course. I’ve head tales from romance authors of the first romantic tales they began reading as girls—some of them quite scandalous too. ;) My experience was much tamer and sweeter as the first romance author I read was Grace Livingston Hill when I was in the fifth grade.

For those of you unfamiliar with this author, Grace was a Christian romance novelist of another age (called the Mother of Inspirational Romance). Her first book was published way back in 1877 and she continued writing books until her death in 1947—more than a hundred titles. She was incredibly popular in her lifetime and her books continue to be good sellers to this day. Within her romantic stories were plainly defined Christian messages, a clear cut delineation between good and evil, and an ending that brought resolution to problems both physical and/or spiritual.

She is an author I look up to and who still inspires me in my writing today. In fact, it was after reading one of her books back in 2003 that I decided to write my own for the first time. Three years later my first book was published. Authors are busy people. We get wrapped up in our writing and promotion. We attempt to make time for our families and try to accomplish some housework. It is very easy to loose track of what we really are doing.

As inspirational authors more than any other genre, we really have a responsibility to our readers. I never realized that until my first Inspirational, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Your Wedding, released. I received so many emails from readers on how much this book touched them. Then they would give examples from the story on how this situation was similar to something they experienced or that character was just like them or their daughter. Some of their stories were incredibly emotional. I was moved by the response and even educated. I wasn’t just writing for me, I was writing for them and the impact I would make.

At the end of last year, I wrote another Inspirational story, Relationship Rescue. It’s just a short story but one with great emotional drive and a dollop of humor. It’s very hard for me to write without some form of humor. This story came from an idea of—what if a couple broke off their engagement because one still hadn’t figured out what love was all about. He still had some growing up to do both spiritually and emotionally. And what if friends of theirs saw the unhappiness of this broken up couple and decided to get them back together…well, at least talking again? What would happen then?? That is the premise behind this story. It releases this September from The Wild Rose Press. I’m happy to have another Inspirational story to add to my collection. I write in several genres because I just love them all, but Inspirational is close to my heart and no matter where I go or what I do I will remain an Inspirational reader and writer. I really must thank Grace Livingston Hill for that. She instilled the love of romance and even more the Christian romance into my heart and that is something which will stay with me to the end.


Don't forget to check out my newest release, NovelTea Next Door (Romantic Suspense), just released from The Wild Rose Press. Visit my Website to read an excerpt.