It is always good for me to review my year, and oops! It looks like I didn’t do many author interviews or giveaways this year. Is this something you would like to see more of? Let me know in the comments. Otherwise, check out the three categories below: Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and 2020 New Releases.
Happy New Year everyone!
Book Reviews – By Title (Omitting The and A)
It’s always exciting to see how many books I reviewed this year, though there are far more that I have read and just not written a review on, but I’m hoping to add those to my emergency stockpile for you to enjoy later. 😉 For now, you can revisit all the books I reviewed this year and see which ones you missed that interest you.
With the closures of so many libraries and bookstores, it has become harder and harder to just browse new titles. Hopefully, this review of 2020 Releases will give you that opportunity to find new reads for 2021.
So I’m highjacking my normal schedule and doing the last Tuesday of the month today because the news of signing a contract couldn’t wait. Here is the video if you want to watch the news as I nervously announced it on Facebook Live, or below is the transcript, minus my many ums, but still full of run-on sentences. Until I had to listen to myself to type up the transcript, I didn’t realize how much I say “and,” “so,” or “just” when talking. So forgive my inarticulate speaking. I do much better teaching than I do speaking. LOL
THANK YOU so much for supporting me and encouraging me through this journey. Not much will change for my blog posts, they will still primarily be book reviews of Historical Romance/Fiction. 🙂 If you want to join my newsletter crew, you can sign up to the right, or you can visit www.bitly.com/ccaudillwrites.
So I guess I am going live now. Hi, it’s a little nerve-wracking to be online in front of everybody but I am so excited to come before you on Facebook Live as best I can to share some amazing news of God’s grace and mercy and His blessing in my writing journey. But a wise friend told me to kill a few seconds to give people to click the Facebook Live link to kind of catch up, and I don’t want anyone to miss out on this news. I am going to try and follow comments but I’m not sure if I can. This is my first Facebook Live.
The most important thing that I want you to get from this announcement today is that God sees you, He knows your heart, and loves you anyways, and He enjoys showing you that love in ways you never expected or dreamed.
So I always have written but I never really dreamed of publication. It was something I thought was “Yeah, that would be cool one day,” but that wasn’t something I sought. God really pushed me into pursuing publication about five years ago, and as much as I would love to spend time telling you God’s grace and mercy and how He’s worked through me in that, that’s not what this announcement is about.
God is the fulfiller of promises and the giver of dreams. So it is with great joy, and awe, and gratefulness that I announce that God has seen fit to bless me with a three-book contract with Kregel Publications for my Secret Service Historical Romance Series.
This was such big news that I had to do it live as best I could. I wish you could be here and have a cup of tea, some chocolate, and really get to celebrate it with me, but I had to share. This writing journey has just been filled with so many twists and turns, ups and downs, and guys you are the ones who have been there supporting me and encouraging me, and I just want to say thank you. This writing journey would not have been what it is without you. I just want to say thank you so so much.
It’s my humble prayer that you will be blessed by these stories as I have been. This is a long publication process. So the first book won’t actually come out until early 2022, even though my first manuscript is due October 15th of this year. But between now and then, there is going to be title reveals, cover reveals, call for launch team members, contests, and just any way I can get interactive with you, get to know you, and get you excited about this story as much as I am.
My newsletter subscribers are the first people to find anything out so there are quite a few of you out there that already knew this news. But if you want to join my newsletter and be in the loop and see all those things first hand, I will pop that link down in my comments here in a little bit.
But you probably want to know a little bit about the series. So I’m a huge fan of stories that have danger, history, love, hope, and that’s exactly like the type of story that I write. The series that I’ve been contracted to publish is about the Secret Service during the 1880’s. It focuses on three particular Secret Service operatives, and this was the era before they protected the president.
The Secret Service has an amazing history that is just so fascinating, and I won’t go into all the details and bore you, I promise I won’t. I could spend hours on it, but during the time of my story, they were focused on hunting down counterfeiters and arresting them. I read some amazing first-hand accounts by those operatives from that time period. I can’t wait to share some of those stories that have been inspired by that. And especially the women that I threw into their lives. Because I’m cruel and I’m evil, and I like it.
Life isn’t easy and I certainly don’t make it easy for my characters, and I just hope through their experiences and through the story that you read that you will have some excitement and entertainment, but that you also see how God will work through our lives in the good times and the bad times, and the really really bad times. God is always there and His hope is always there, and so that’s the underlying theme of the Secret Service series.
But before I sign off, I do want to share with you the Bible verses that have been the guide for my writing journey. And it comes from 1 Peter 4:10 -11 and it says: “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength that God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
It is only through God’s grace and mercy that I’ve been given this opportunity. I pray that this gift He’s given me will be something that glorifies Him today, tomorrow, and forever, and that through this writing, that you will know exactly how much He loves you.
So, thank you so much for your continued support on this writing journey. I’ll throw up the newsletter link here in the comments if you’d like to keep in the loop that way. Again, thank you so much, guys. You’ll never know exactly how much your support means to me. God bless, have a great weekend, and thank you, thank you, thank you.
I don’t know about you, but I have an obsession with books. The movers we hired can attest to that as they moved over 60 boxes of books to our new house several years ago. If we had to move again, I’d say that number has increased by at least 20. Being a simple book-enthusiast was never an option for me. It is a God-given passion, and I am addicted to the thrill of danger, love, and struggles of the story. In other words, I’m a bookaholic.
For your entertainment, here are ten confessions I have about being a Bookaholic.
It’s confession time:
I used to be a single book at a time gal. Now I’m up to three or four at a time. One audiobook, one e-book, and two print (usually one nonfiction and one fiction). I do still tend to finish one before the other, but not always.
I own an unseemly number of bookish t-shirts.
With rare exception, I read only Christian Fiction, and usually, it is a historical romance.
I have over 1000 print books in my house. Their physical presence is calming and grounds me.
All of my books are organized and cataloged in a literal library system. I even have a barcode scanner. The old-school kind, not my phone–although I’m considering an upgrade. 😉
I own more Christian Historical Fiction than my public library and lend books out to friends to justify my growing collection.
Library Used Book Sales are my kryptonite. Our county has several a year, and I always come home with treasures and a request for another bookshelf.
I have duplicates of my favorite books, which I gladly shove at my friends and make them read…even if I know reading “isn’t their thing.” I mean, what’s wrong with them? They just haven’t found the right book, and I am glad to help remedy that problem.
My family has created a game called “Hide Mom’s Book.” It used to be only when they discovered I was nearing the end of a book, but now it’s whenever they see a book come in the mail.
My husband once hid North and South from me and forgot where he hid it. For over a year, I searched, but it took until we moved to find it.
I hide from my family to read books. Sometimes in the car, but most often in the laundry room or my bathroom. Gross? Yes, but a girl has to finish her books.
I carry books with me everywhere. In fact, every single purse I own has died because the weight has separated the handles from the actual bag. Yes, I know, e-books. But there is nothing like a print book in your hand.
More than once, I have pre-ordered the same book multiple times by accident. Yeah, Amazon supposedly has a little thing at the top telling you when you purchased the book previously, but who has time to read that when you are giddily hitting the purchase button?
More than once, I have become injured while reading a book. Grease splatters from cooking get me. Pans have dropped on my feet. Books smash me in the face as I read in bed. Worst is missing steps I didn’t see while reading and walking. You’d think I’d learn my lesson about multitasking, but I haven’t.
I haven’t read every book I own, but I keep buying more. That’s the real sign of a bookaholic, right?
I know I can’t be the only one. Be honest. We can have our own Bookaholics Anonymous Meeting right now. Share your bookaholic confessions in the comments. I’d love to hear I’m not alone.
Our family vacation this summer was always planned to be a lakehouse retreat to the Land Between the Lakes Area on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky with a side research trip planned for a day at Fort Donelson.
Then COVID hit. Our vacations are pretty much socially distanced all the time anyway, so all that changed was the ability to visit historical museums. WHICH IS HUGE!!! After spending intense months researching books, I was ready to visit the actual location of one of my stories, speak with the park rangers, examine the artifacts in the museum, and buy some of the resources which can only be found on location. With the exception of touring the outside grounds, everything else was closed to me.
It was a disappointment, but I am very grateful that I still was able to spend several hours walking around, imagining my characters, taking pictures, recording details from the placards, and even recording some videos for research and future promotions. It was over 90 degrees with outrageous humidity, but this author was willing to endure hours of it to get all the details needed to create a realistic story.
Below are a few of my favorite historical tidbits and pictures taken from my phone. When going to write this post, I realized my new computer does not have an SD Card slot so my real camera pictures will have to wait until I find an adapter. 🙂
A Soldier’s Winter Home
While we often think of soldiers as living in tents, more permanent establishments like Forts or long-term camps built little cabins for soldiers to huddle close in and combat against the winter. The cabin below is an example of one such cabin. The door was locked but pulling away from the hinges, so I stuck my hand in with my phone to get an inside look. You can see the hay strewn on the floor and a small fireplace used to heat the space. The chink in the walls really displayed how much wind could pass through a building. Any light you see in the walls is coming from the outside. It had to be better than a tent, but that wind still must have been biting.
An Important, Often Overlooked Battle
Forts Henry and Donelson were important locations for the Union and Confederate armies. Whoever controlled those, controlled the rivers and the railroads west of the Appalachian Mountains. The above is a panoramic view of Confederate States of America’s River Batteries. The Battle of Fort Donelson was both a land and river battle. From this position, the United States of America sent a gunboat flotilla led by Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote. The vessels which floated down this now peaceful river consisted of both timberclad and ironclad vessels. The timberclads were commercial river steamers converted to gunboats. My picture shows a hot, humid summer day, but the Battle of Fort Donelson was fought during frigid and wet conditions February 11 – 16, 1862.
Video Tour of a Scene I Plan
I can’t stand my own voice, but you can tell how really excited I was to be here. This was at the end of my tour, so my brain was a little wonky, but the ACTUAL date of the scene would be 1862 NOT 1863. 🙂 For those who don’t want to watch the video, this was a former Confederate camp taken over by Union soldiers. By February 15, the Confederate soldiers were wanting to retreat to Nashville but this encampment of Union soldiers stood in the way. So in the wee hours of the morning they attacked the Union camp. Union soldiers were hopping out of their tents pulling up their pants in order to fight. No one was ready, and it is a scene of chaos I look forward to writing.
Well that is all I’m going to share for now. With all the pictures and videos I have, I could write many more posts, but I think I’d rather focus on writing the actual story. 😉 Have a great week, y’all, and I hope you enjoyed what you read.
I’m considering doing an every-other-month book club via my website and Facebook author page. Is this something you would be interested in?
I’ve always wanted to be part of a book club, but I’ve never had the joy of having local readers with similar tastes. I thought it would be great to get together with others who like reading Christian Historical Romance (like you!) and have our own online book club. I’m still trying to sort the idea out, but before I put too much effort into it, I wanted to have your feedback.
My current thought is to vote on a Christian Historical Romance novel, pick a day where we come together via Zoom (or just posts online) to discuss the book, play a game or two, and participate in a giveaway. I’d send discussion questions ahead of time because if you are like me, you need time to think and process. It would be an event you sign up for ahead of time and wouldn’t necessarily have to participate every time.
If I did it, I think the schedule would be January, March, May, July, September, and early November (to avoid holiday hassles).
The first one would be pretty short notice for this July, but the book options I’m thinking are:
So my blog posts are going to be out of order this month, but I wanted this post to be available to my newsletter subscribers…and I sent it out a few hours ago. 😉
I’ve returned to researching for my Civil War story, and this time I am researching Childhood Grieving.
One of the backdrops to my story is the fresh loss of a parent to the two children my heroine cares for. This is not something I take lightly or just threw in to add more complications to the story. 1 in 20 kids experiences the death of a loved one or friend by the time they are 16. As a caregiver myself, my heart breaks for these situations, and I wanted to explore the messy complications of grief, faith, and real life. However, I didn’t want to be inaccurate in my portrayal of their grief, even if the story is never seen from the perspective of the children.
Therefore, I dove into some serious research and discovered many helpful resources. I want to share those resources with you in hopes that they may be a comfort or help to you as well. Whether you are a caregiver, a friend, or the one who has lost someone, there is a resource for you below.
My favorite resource is the NAGC Hero Toolkit. Regardless of who you are, we all have family or friends who have lost a loved one. This toolkit gives practical ways to reach into your own life or into the lives of others and be “a hero” through the grief process. I REALLY REALLY recommend checking it out.
NAGC Hero Toolkit – This Superhero Toolkit, developed for children, teens and their support network, provides activities and conversations designed to empower each of us to become everyday superheroes.
National Alliance for Grieving Children – The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them.
New York Life Bereavement Resources – Helping families in times of grief is at the heart of our company’s mission, and our research has shown that families who lose a loved one wish they had more resources and support available to them. In an effort to address this gap, we have developed this dedicated online grief resource which offers articles, expert tips, personal stories and local resources for families, educators and community members
The Shared Grief Project – The Shared Grief Project envisions a world where no child grieves alone. To achieve this, we share the stories of individuals who have experienced a major loss at an early age and have gone on to live healthy, happy and successful lives. (I really recommend you check this one out.)
The Dougy Center – The Dougy Center provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences. We provide support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief.
Centering – non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and resources for the bereaved. Centering was founded in 1977 by Joy and Dr. Marvin Johnson. Centering started with nine little coloring books for hospitalized children and two workshop offerings for nurses and families. In response to the need for support by families and caregivers while facing their grief experience we developed many new resources. Today we have over 500 grief resources for children and adults. Centering continues to provide educational resources and bookstore for caregivers and families.
If you have any additional resources, I’d love for you to share them below! And if I can pray for you, my inbox is always open.