I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"A Christmas Chance" Book Review, Interview and GIVE AWAY!

A good writing friend of mine, Laura Hodges Poole, has just released her first self-published Christmas Novella, “A Christmas Chance.” (For those who don’t know, a Novella is a short novel.)

Her book is a quick, yet emotionally charged read. I found myself teary eyed more than once in this captivating story.

I instantly fell in love with the characters. I felt what they did and couldn’t wait to turn the page to know what happened next.

Perhaps I loved this story so much because the subject matter is one close to my heart…but I think it’s also because Laura is a great writer. 

“A Christmas Chance” is about infertility, adoption, aging parents, and God’s ability to answer our prayers in amazing ways (click to tweet). 

I highly recommend you purchase this book. It will bless your heart as it did mine. 

You can do so by clicking here

Now here’s a “novella” interview so you can get to know this amazing Christian lady better:

1.       Laura, you have a passion for protecting the lives of children.  Please share with us what inspired “A Christmas Chance.”   First of all, TC, thank you for sharing about my book today. The inspiration for the book came from the brokenness I see in the world around me. So many people go through the holiday season feeling depressed. Some of this comes from within, broken dreams, unfulfilled goals or desires, and loneliness for family. Some of this comes from never having a family of one’s own. The desire to have children is instilled in women by God, and like Hannah (Samuel’s mom) in the Bible, many women would do just about anything to become a mother. Their empty hearts become even bigger during Christmas when other families have children to celebrate with. On the other side are the children who lose parents or are in the foster care or adoption system, and often they don’t get a fair shake from the beginning of life. All of this inspired my writing “A Christmas Chance.”

2.       What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?   I hope readers will take away the message of Ephesians 3:20—that God is able to do more than we can imagine. Now, this doesn’t always match our answer to prayer. We tend to pray and offer the solution to God at the same time. If only you would do this…What I pray people will understand as they read this is that God does answer prayer in His perfect timing. Often the answer to prayer is dependent on our willingness to be flexible in our expectations and accept what God sees as the best solution. In doing so, we find that He does come through in immeasurable ways. 

3.       How can people get more involved in helping protect the lives of Children- whether it’s the unborn, the orphan, or the kid down the street?   First off, if you’re not the nurturing, hands-on type person, you can always find a charity to contribute to—World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, or your local homeless shelter. Remarkably, there are about 1.6 million homeless children in this country. Local shelters always need monetary assistance. Internationally, organizations exist that we can support who provide protection against human trafficking. Prayerfully consider becoming a foster parent or adopting a special needs or biracial child. These children are often overlooked in the adoption system. However, both fostering and adoption require tremendous commitment, one I wouldn’t consider without much prayer, to enter into these situations.

4.       You’re a great writer. Your work has been published in several places, and you’re also an Associate Editor for Christian Devotions ministry. Please tell us what motivated your decision to self publish.  And will we see more self-published books from you?    Thank you, TC. I really appreciate the compliment. The publishing market is tough, both Christian and secular. The top publishers are hesitant to take a chance on debut authors. While I still plan to pursue this path of traditional publication, and currently have manuscripts under consideration, after much prayer, I decided to step out on faith and publish this novella for Christmas. I’ve really felt God nudging me this year to get my work in publication. My next self-published work will be a devotional that will release in January 2015 entitled “While I’m Waiting,” which will delve into the trials we all walk through while waiting for God to answer prayer. Some of the devotions are anecdotal, sharing from my life experiences, and others are more the typical Bible study devotions. 

5.       You inspire me and have helped me with my writing in more ways than I can express. What words of advice do you have for others who are uncertain if they should self publish?     The biggest word of advice is to make sure you are ready. This means not publishing your first manuscript but take the time to become an experienced writer through smaller publications with articles or blogging. Join a critique group with writers of your genre, ones who will give you honest feedback. Once you’ve gained experience and polished your manuscript, hire a professional editor to edit your manuscript and a graphic artist to do your cover. If you feel you can’t afford an editor, consider hiring a proofreader and ask other writers to act as beta readers before you publish. A compelling, well-written story free of errors is a must! Millions of books are sold on Amazon each year, yet the average per author sold is about 200. If your product is not topnotch, you can forget attracting an audience or traditional publishers for your future work. 

6.       Lastly, please share all the ways people can connect with you online. Please check out my blog, “A Word of Enouragement” at http://laurahodgespoole.blogspot.com. You may also follow me on Twitter at Laura_Poole. I’m on Pinterest but haven’t yet mastered that, but please feel free to look for me there and Google Plus.

For a chance to win an ebook copy of "A Christmas Chance" simply leave a comment below. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday's post and be notified by email.  Also, if you would kindly spread the word about this heart warming book on your social media sites that would be much appreciated :)

What questions do you have for Laura?

FYI, come back here Monday to resume our discussion on Hindrances to Becoming Like Christ and find out who won the FREE copy of "A Christmas Chance".  

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