Category Archives: Contests

The Thrill of Discovery in Research

Today our featured guest is Marilyn Turk, author of historical fiction and lover of all things history. She is sharing her favorite topic–discovering the story and the characters.

Read on to the end, as Marilyn will be giving away a free copy of her book.

Marilyn says:

People often ask me about the creative process for the story I’ve written, particularly, how I came up with the idea for the story.

My answer is: I didn’t. As a Christian writer who seeks God’s will in my writing, I believe God leads to me find the story, to discover it. I live near the beach and sometimes, I see people with metal detectors scanning the sand to find buried treasure, or more accurately these days, someone’s jewelry that got lost. I feel like finding a story is discovering the treasure lying beneath.

Or I relate to an archaeologist who digs below the soil to find civilizations long since forgotten. How exciting it must be to find the remains of a home, then a village, of people who lived in the past.

As a historical writer, I’m the archaeologist looking for lost stories of people long ago. The more I find out about a historical period or setting, the more I know about the people who lived during that time. And as I discover what their lives were like, I discover their stories.

The research is the most fun because I’m fascinated by information and little known facts I’d never been aware of before. I’m so excited when I find some tidbit or gem that will produce interesting details in the lives of my characters.

In my research for The Gilded Curse, for example, finding out about the history of Jekyll Island and its exclusive “Millionaires Club” was intriguing, introducing me to a world of yesteryear where affluent people once roamed a small island off the coast of Georgia. Some of America’s wealthiest and most famous individuals – Pulitzer, Goodyear, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt, to name a few – escaped to the island during the cold New England winters to play. The “gilded” society during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s brought all the comforts of home with them as they maintained their social lifestyle on a smaller scale.

But the Great Depression and World Wars changed the wealth and the climate of the country, and the gilded generation disappeared, along with their wealth and prestige.

Then along came my character Alexandra Smithfield, the last heir of one of those families. When Lexie returned to the island ten years after her family had left when she was a child, she discovered that in many ways, the island had changed. And in other ways, it had stayed the same. The Gilded Curse is Lexie’s story about what she finds out and how it will affect her life.

I hope you enjoy finding out with her.

Here is a short description of the book:

In 1942, Lexie Smithfield becomes the only heir to her family’s dwindling fortune after her brother is killed at Pearl Harbor. A mysterious telegram beckons her back to Jekyll Island. Ten years before, the family quit coming to the exclusive Millionaire’s Club after tragic events convinced her mother the island was cursed. Club Superintendent Russell Thompson knows the truth, but he swore never to tell. Will he and Lexie discover the real danger before it’s too late? Check out the book on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/1pkiaNJ

To enter to win a free copy of the book, leave a comment along with your email address, and we’ll enter your name in a drawing.

Marilyn Turk has been published in Guideposts magazine, Guideposts books – A Joyful Heart and A Cup of Christmas Cheer, The Upper Room, Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Lighthouse Digest magazine. Her Coastal Lights Legacy series features stories set around lighthouses. Her book, Lighthouse Devotions was published in 2015. Her weekly lighthouse blog can be found at www.pathwayheart.com. She lives in Florida with husband Chuck and enjoys boating, fishing, tennis, and gardening when she’s not climbing lighthouses or playing with her grandsons.

Second Cups and Second Chances Contest

I am a guest author on Sarah Ruut’s blog.

Do you ever wish you could have a do-over? Sometimes I’d like to start the day over. Sometimes the week. Sometimes the month…lol Whether things seem to fall apart around us or we’ve made a series of bad choices, wouldn’t it be nice to go back and do things different? Today we have the privilege of meeting Donna Schlachter, who I think understands that feeling… She is the author of Second Chances and Second Cups. Before we begin, here’s a quick summary of her book. Learn more.

Donna

The Midwife’s Tale Part Five

The Midwife’s Tale Part Five

Joseph smiled, then raised the child over his head. He closed his eyes and looked toward heaven.

“Elohenu.”  Blessed are You, O Lord our God.

I smiled, eyes closed. He was praying the traditional Passover blessing over his child.

“Thank You for entrusting us with this gift from You, Yahweh. You have favored us with Your presence in the form of this child. We will raise him and train him to hear You. He is Emmanuel, and He will save His people.”

I was spellbound with this dedication of the child to God. I knelt before them, my heart full and my eyes overflowing with tears. I may not know much about the ways of God, but at that moment I knew I was in His presence as never before. And for perhaps the first time in my life, I was speechless.

I don’t know how long I knelt there, praising God in my heart. All I know for sure is that when I finally stirred, the sun was peeking over the eastern gate.

I rose stiffly, knees protesting the hours spent on the floor.  Mary and Joseph slept side by side on the hay, and the infant lay in a manger, wrapped in some old cloths Joseph had found tucked in a small box. When he’d first pulled out the lengths of rough cloth, I’d been appalled that he would be content to wrap his child in cloths used to rub down newborn lambs. I’d even offered to go to my house and bring back some proper baby clothes.

Joseph shook his head. “Scripture says Emmanuel will come like a lamb to save His people. It seems fitting He should be wrapped in lamb’s cloths.”

A child sent as a lamb? It didn’t make any sense to me.  Lambs were used as sacrifices and  Jews don’t sacrifice their children, so I knew he didn’t mean that.  “How can this child be like a lamb of God?”

“All I know is what God has told us. This child will save His people.”

Outside the stable, I heard the sound of footsteps. I walked toward the opening of the cave and peered out.

Several men dressed in shepherd’s garb paused outside the stable.  They looked into the dawn sky and then back to the stable.

The oldest one spoke. “Is this where the Christ child can be found?”

Christ child? I knew about the Christ child. The one promised who would set the Jews free, who would operate in the anointing of God.

“What do you know of this child?”

One of the shepherds stepped forward.  “An angel appeared to us while we were standing watch over our sheep.  He told us to come here to see the Christ.”  He gestured to his fellow shepherds.  “Then more angels sang the child’s praises.”

More angels.  This couldn’t be any ordinary baby.  I looked into the night sky.  A large star shone upon the stable.  “Is that how you came to be here?”

The youngest nodded.  “The angel told us to look for a bright star that would point us to the child, and that He would be wrapped up like a lamb.”

Lamb’s rags.  I pointed to the baby inside. “He is in there.”

I wandered out into the courtyard area, listening to the sounds of the city coming awake for another day. I felt sorry for the people. I was pretty sure they had missed a miracle.

Don’t get me wrong. As a midwife, I know every birth is a miracle.  As a Jew, I believe the scriptures that say we are created by God, formed by His hand, known from our mother’s womb.

No, the miracle I’m talking about is that God would come to his people in the form of a tiny child, a lamb, to set His people free.

I know a big part of me was set free that night.

I’m going to keep an eye on this Christ-child. I think He is destined to something bigger than His parents, these shepherds, even I can imagine.

And I want to be there when that happens.

Donna

No Accounting For Murder Contest

Leeann Betts is running a contest on her site through Monday, December 21. The prize is a $10 gift card and it’s a pretty easy contest to participate in.

Hop on over there by clicking here.

Donna

Contest Announcement

The contest has closed.  There were no entrants. No doubt due to the busy holidays.

Thank you.

Christmas Weekend Giveaway

We have just completed an informative series by guest author, Maggie Magoffin. History Thru The Ages has a copy of Maggie’s book to give away to a reader.

Here are the contest rules.

1. Find the black bolded, underlined words in each installment of Maggie Magoffin’s articles. Leave the date of the post and the underlined words in the comments section of any one of the posts or on this one. You can leave them on each day’s post or combine them as one entry in any comment section during this series including this one. You must find all five days of highlighted words.

2. The contest runs from now to midnight, Sunday, December 21, 2014. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced on this site on Monday, December 22, 2014.

Have fun,

Donna

Christmas Weekend Give Away

History Thru The Ages will be hosting a Christmas weekend giveaway to coincide with the series running this week on this blog, by author, Linda Abels.

Stay tuned, details will be announced tomorrow.

Donna

Don’t Worry

Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Thanksgiving Contest Last Day

Hello,

I am running a Thanksgiving contest this week. I hope you join in the fun.

Here are the rules.

Please share a short Thanksgiving recipe in the comments section. One recipe per entry, and you can enter as many times as you like. The prize is a gift card to Starbucks.

The contest runs Sunday, November 24, 2013 through Saturday, November 30, 2013.

Happy Cooking!

Donna

Thanksgiving Contest Day Six

Hello,

I am running a Thanksgiving contest this week. I hope you join in the fun.

Here are the rules.

Please share a short Thanksgiving recipe in the comments section. One recipe per entry, and you can enter as many times as you like. The prize is a gift card to Starbucks.

The contest runs Sunday, November 24, 2013 through Saturday, November 30, 2013.

Happy Cooking!

Donna