Thursday, September 04, 2014

SNOWFLAKE TIARA - Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer - One Free Ebook

Bio: Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, coach, and author. Angela volunteers as the Christian Author Network's president. She's an editor, author, and speaker with Choose Now Publishing; a columnist for Leading Hearts; and an avid volunteer for the Jadyn Fred Foundation that helps Montana children. As Mrs. Montana International 2009, Angela loved promoting her state. As a Montana author, it's one of her favorite places to write about whether in an historical or contemporary setting. Books by Angela Breidenbach set in Montana include Snowflake Tiara, Eleven Pipers Piping (Sep. 30th, 2014), and A Healing Heart. Yes, quite a few more are coming… Don't miss A-Muse-ings coming this fall, feline comedy, by popular demand.
Angela’s speaking engagements represented by Choose Now Ministries: 217-215-0515

Welcome back, Angie. How did your story for the collection come about?
Originally we went to a publisher's spotlight at writing conference. After several video hangouts between the US and Canada, since we live across the border from one another, we settled on a generational story set in Helena, Montana. My character, Calista, is the great-great-great grandma to Valerie's character, Marisa. When we settled on that connection, the rest of the story started to come together in a lot of fun ways. But the research trip we did to Helena, MT together really cemented the whole thing. J
Okay, and we had a terrific time

What are you reading right now?
Right now I'm reading up on producing iTunes radio shows, lol. But I'm also reading a lot of other authors books as I edit for them professionally. So it hasn't left me much time for leisure reading.

What other books have you had published?
My first published book came out in 2011, Gems of Wisdom. Over the next two years I wrote a couple of cookbooks, published cards and devotionals, and recovered from a major car accident that causes shoulder surgery. Then in 2013, A Healing Heart released. I wrote devotionals and did a lot of journalism for another year, and then Snowflake Tiara. From here, the books are really starting to roll out, and it's getting quite exciting. I have another book releasing Sep. 30, Eleven Pipers Piping, and just signed a contract for Bridal Whispers coming out March of 2016. But in 2015, I have a Bible study series releasing called Charm Chats.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
I think the hardest part of being in a novella collection is needing to cooperate with someone else when you both have different ideas. When you're part of a team, it's not just your ideas that matter. So being willing to be flexible is important. I tend to press up against deadlines, fits right in with my night owl personality, while Valerie is an early bird. So learning different working styles, and accepting the person for it, is important. I'll always appreciate the experience.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
I learned a lot about the process of collaboration. I also solidified personal questions I had about my career and what I wanted to achieve with it in the future. I think we had some unusual hurdles with international boundaries, but we managed to overcome them using Google + Hangouts, email, and we discovered iPhone messages were also free. So the communication issues were one of the biggest original challenges. I think it's impossible to try and create a joint project without intensely close communication.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
It's different every time. Sometimes I look through baby names from that era. Sometimes I've heard a name I love and want to create a character it fits. Once an entire character, name included, came to me sitting at a streetlight. So far, it's never happened the same way twice.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
I hope I've inspired and empowered readers to think about their own values and how they'll make choices on legalism versus love. No one has to come to the same conclusion. Different circumstances require different choices. I just hope they'll consider the reasons behind the choices and choose the godly one when it's presented. And yes, I hope to inspire a heart of volunteerism. It's a beautiful lifestyle that shares God's love in tangible ways.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
I am. It's been a great networking opportunity for me.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
To just be myself and build relationships. My voice comes from who I am, what I do, my past experiences, my dreams, and my failures. Write what I know, and that doesn't mean a job. It means to write my heart into my books, fiction or non-fiction.

Now, Angie, please tell us about the collection stories.
The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach ~ 1889 (Helena, MT): Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But hiding an indentured orphan could unravel Calista’s reputation, and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, if her secret is revealed. Will love or law prevail?

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer ~ 2014 (Helena, MT): Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helena’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families?

Where can my readers find you on the Internet? I also have a newsletter if folks would like to find out when the next books come out or enjoy a little #Muse & Writer humor.
Twitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Thank you so much for having Valerie and me J


Welcome back,Valerie. How did your story for the collection come about?
When Angie and I first began talking about doing pageant-themed Christmas stories together, we agreed immediately that neither of us would compromise our personal brand for this collection. If we couldn't find a way to make them fully reflect our writing careers, then we wouldn't pursue the duology.

That said, once we started brainstorming via Google hangout (of which we've done many!), it didn't take long for my story to begin to take shape. I'm passionate about real food, farming, and gardening. These topics form the background of all my contemporary romances. So my character, Marisa, competes in the pageant to promote healthy food for families in need.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Runaway Heart, a contemporary romance novel by Theresa Slack.

What other books have you had published?
I've had one novella published in Rainbow's End (Barbour, 2012), and I indie-pubbed a fantasy novel, Majai's Fury, in July. The first two in my Farm Fresh Romance series were published by Choose Now Publishing. I got the rights back to those two books, Raspberries and Vinegar and Wild Mint Tea, when CNP closed their fiction line, and I republished them myself about a month ago. The third book in the series, Sweetened with Honey, will release in November, and I'm hard at work on the fourth, Dandelions for Dinner. I'm keeping busy!

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
Snowflake Tiara is the second time I've taken part in a collection. Both times, I think, the hardest part was coordinating schedules. I tend to like to get things done well in advance, but then needed to wait to read and critique the other/s before I could finalize my own, so I'd be sure to get the background correct.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Angela and I have been close friends for several years. Working with her on this project has been a real blessing to me as we've shared what was on our heart with each other. I'm not really a beauty pageant kind of girl, having been raised in a traditional Mennonite home. Angie, on the other hand, is Mrs. Montana 2009. I've learned so much from her about true, internal beauty the way God sees me, and that has been life changing for me.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I often search baby name sites for the most popular names the year my character was born. Sites that have the top 100-200 names are the most helpful, as I rarely want the most common name. Still, I usually find something that suggests a personality for the particular character I have in mind.

Until I have the right names for my main characters, I can't start writing. I also can't change names later very easily, as so much of their personalities and points of view are tied up in their names.

I keep a chart of all the names in a story and make sure to avoid multiple names that start with the same letter, that rhyme, or are too much the same length or rhythm. This is becoming a challenge for me in the Farm Fresh Romance stories, where I'm on the fourth book out of six!

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
First, I want a reader to close the story with a sigh of contentment. I want her to have loved every moment spent with Marisa, Jase, and the rest of the cast. I want her to have felt the cold wind and falling snow during the sledding party, tasted the Christmas cookies and cocoa, delighted in the children, smelled the pines while the Christmas trees were decorated… and experienced the romance.

Next, I hope Marisa's growth as a character will linger. The story's tagline is equally applicable to my novella and to Angie's: What if you were caught doing something good, but the man you loved didn't see it that way? Marisa and Jase had a history together … and a nasty breakup over that particular question. How can she prove to him what her motives were … and are? How can he prove he's sorry for his part in the fiasco that separated them?

And finally, I hope my readers will be challenged to consider their food choices through Marisa's example and lifestyle. Most believers, in my experience, don't give a lot of thought to the junction where food meets faith. This intersection lays the foundation for all my contemporary romance stories.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
Yes, I've been a member for 7-8 years now. I joined in the first place because of the Genesis contest for unpublished writers. Majai's Fury, the fantasy novel I self-published this summer, finaled in Genesis two different years.

I've stayed a member because of the friendships and wealth of information freely shared. Now that I've gone over to the indie side of publishing, I'm thankful for ACFW's recent moves to recognize the validity of the movement and provide support for authors who've chosen this path.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Don't be in a hurry to publish. When I started writing in 2002, this wasn't a huge temptation, other than I knew my earliest novels weren't worth bothering agents and editors with. Now that anyone can dash off a first draft (though it is never quite THAT easy, is it!) and upload it to Amazon without a second thought, I think it's vital advice. Slow down, learn the craft, join a critique group, polish your story, and write another one. If you don't find joy in the journey, you won't find it in the destination, either.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
My home base is at . Here you can explore the junction where food meets faith, read my blog, find my social media links, and sign up for my monthly newsletter. I'm also an active member at , where about 30 Christian authors of contemporary romance blog for our readers.
Thanks so much for inviting Angela and me to share Snowflake Tiara!

Thank you, Angie and Valerie. It's my pleasure to introduce your novella collection to my readers.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Snowflake Tiara - Kindle

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Melanie Backus said...

Snowflake Tiara sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for introducing Angela and Valerie and for a great interview.

Melanie Backus, TX

Deanna Stevens said...

Would love to feel the cold wind and falling snow during the sledding party, taste the Christmas cookies and cocoa, delight in the children, & just smell the pines while the Christmas trees are decorated… :) DKStevens from SE NEBR.

Angela Breidenbach said...

Thank you, Melanie. It's such an honor to be here with you.

Angela Breidenbach said...

Wow, Deanna, you've really captured the flavor of MT :) I hope you'll enjoy our book.

Valerie Comer said...

Thank you, Melanie and Deanna, for your interest in Snowflake Tiara! Two Montana winters in one book. What a deal! :)

Mary Preston said...

This sounds fantastic.

Great post.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Would love to win a copy of Snowflake Tiara. Thanks for the chance.

Cindy W. from Indiana

Ane Mulligan said...

Fun story from two wonderful ladies! It was cool to see you here.

Angela Breidenbach said...

Thanks, Mary :)

Angela Breidenbach said...

Good luck, Cindy :)

Angela Breidenbach said...

You too, Ane!

sm said...

I enjoy collections very much and like the different authors take on the stories. Love to win and read this one too. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

kam110476 said...

Snowflake Tiara sounds so cute! I can't wait to read all of it!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com