Friday, December 5, 2014

Win a Free Audio Version of The Ransom!

Can you believe it's December? Wow. December is always such a crazy month for me. I rarely get any writing done because of all the shopping and decorating, baking, wrapping, and now with my granddaughter to take care of.
Speaking of...  Isn't she adorable?

Now add to all of that craziness, I'll be taking care of my husband after eye surgery. He's off work the entire month and has to remain in one position. Yikes!

Anyway, I'm giving away TWO FREE Audio versions of The Ransom !!  That's a $21 value each!  All I require is that if you win, you will tell your friends how marvelous it was and leave a review of the Audio version on Amazon.  If you want to listen to a sample of the narrator, click to go to Amazon and press Play Sample underneath the book picture.   The narrator's name is Fiona Hardingham. She's a British actress who is positively fabulous!

If you want to listen to the entire first chapter, you can do so here.

Hey, what a great Christmas gift!! Over 12 hours of pure entertainment.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what your December is usually like and please include your email address. I will pick a winner next week!


Every Scene should have a purpose. If you've been writing awhile, you probably know this, but you'd be surprised how many books I read (by best-selling authors) that have multiple scenes where nothing is really happening and nothing is accomplished. There are book goals (Things you want to accomplish through the entire story. This could be themes, lessons, morals or just a satisfying conclusion)  And there are chapter goals and scene goals. Each scene should do one of the following:  Move the story along in the plot, introduce vital information or a new character, deepen character relationships, make things worse for the characters (introduce insurmountable problems), or address the overall theme or moral of the story.  The BEST Scenes combine more than one of these things.

Have a great weekend!



  1. Wow he has to stay in one position? Goodness! I agree yikes! Will be praying he has a quick and great recovery! It's funny because this month I am trying to get as much reading in as I can since our second child is suppose to be coming next month! Usually I would make homemade gifts, but this year decided to forgo that since I didn't do any planning/preparation like last year. Also thank you for the giveaway! I agree what a great Christmas gift! :) Hope you have a great weekend with your granddaughter! :D
    sylvesternator (AT) yahoo dot com

  2. Fri Dec 5th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off, I hope the surgery went well for your husband ! Remaining in 'one position', and for an entire month .... wow, that's an extremely tall order ! Hopefully the month will pass by quickly, with good healing results ! Glad the surgery is over.
    Excited about the audio version of The Ransom, and yes I would love to win the giveaway ! ((And although I live in Canada ... I do have a U.S. post office box if that is easier .... just saying.)
    My December .... hmmmmm. Well, if I "thought" my brain was in revved-up-mode for the other eleven months of the year .... not so compared to December ! Cannot stop all the thinking, pre-planning, pondering, etc, swirling around in my mind. Do not like what we (as a people) have created Christmas into becoming .... hustle and bustle, with barely taking time and thought to remember 'the reason for the season'.
    It's past time, once again, to think on my favourite Scripture verse: "Be still, and know, that I Am God." Psalm 46:10.
    Blessings and well wishes to your husband, MaryLu.
    Have a good wknd everyone.
    Take care, and God Bless, In Him, Brenda

  3.'s like I blink and suddenly we're already a week into it, and I have a lot of presents left to get, even though I usually start looking in August :). I would absolutely love to win a copy of the audiobook; I'm a huge audiobook fan because it helps me finish a lot of books even when I don't have the time to sit down and read. Thanks so much for going through all the work to produce one!
    genuinegagirl (At) gmail (dot) com

  4. My december is all about birthdays, decorating the house. Baking cookies, listening to christmas music and watching christmas movies.

  5. December used to be busy for us but the past year or two things have actually slowed down. Lots of carols. And I always read Dickens to the boys. :) you have my email already and I'd love to hear your book!

  6. Oh my goodness! Your hubby has to stay like that for an entire MONTH? Gracious! Praying for healing and God's strength to endure the time he has to stay in that one position. I hope he's figured out something he can do to occupy his time. My Decembers are somewhat busy with shopping and watching Christmas movies and such. But I always try to keep the true meaning of Christmas at the forefront of my mind. As the song goes, "What is Christmas without Christ?" Would love to hear the audio version of "The Ransom". Christmas Blessings to you, MaryLu!

  7. Oooops! Forgot my e-mail. ;)


  8. Our December is usually chaotic. Seems more so this year, since my daughter is now in school and clubs. We try to get the tree up after Thanksgiving. Once the decorating done, the kids pretend to wrap presents and give them to each other. Yes, we waste a LOT of wrapping paper, but it's all fun.
    Thank you, MaryLu! Enjoy your first Christmas with that precious baby girl.
    Campbellamyd At gmail dot com

  9. My December is different this year. I'm 7 months pregnant! It's full of nausea and exhaustion. But, still, it gives me time to sit and read, listen to Christmas music, and take things slower. (o:

  10. MaryLu, I was utterly mesmerized listening to Fiona read your book!! I practically know the first chapter by heart, but I could NOT stop listening until the very end--it was so wonderful. :-)

    I'm glad your husband's surgery was successful. Hmmm ... think he would listen to your audio book since he has to stay still? ;-)

    Your granddaughter is so delightful! What a treasure!!

    Don't put my name in the hat--I'll buy the audio version myself. My December has been very stressful and crazy with all kinds of unexpected issues. It would be very soothing to listen to your book at night when I can't sleep. What a special treat to give to my friends, too! :-)

    Big hug!

  11. SO sorry to hear about your husband's surgery, MaryLu - I'm praying for him a rapid, complete and comfortable recovery and a stress-free, peaceful time for both of you!!

    Yes, Andrea IS adorable - bet she loves all the Christmas decor!!

    Love the narrator's voice in the audio version of "The Ransom" and looking forward to hearing the entire novel!!

    My December should be less stressful now that I am retired and buy gifts during the year, however, no matter how much time there is to prepare - it seems there are always things that don't get done as there are always new situations to consume time. But - I've learned not to stress out during the Christmas season as I once did, accept my limitations and concentrate on the most important tasks, enjoy simple pleasures (such as a new Christmas novel, movie and/or music CD - in my recliner by the window, with blanket - hot tea and a snack, in front of my faux fireplace and watching the snow), count my blessings and concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas - Christ!!

    Love, hugs and prayers, MaryLu!!

    Shared post!!

  12. P.S. Forgot the e-mail: bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Usually our Christmas is pretty quiet. Our children all have jobs they have to work the day before & after and are hours away. This year will be a little busier. 2 families are coming to Grandma's house.. Going to be a wonderful Christmas. I'll put up the big tree this year!
    dkstevensne AT outlook DotCom

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Oh my email address is!

    December is so busy for me! I'm seven months pregnant but am going to be busy all the way up until Christmas!

    I'm finishing my second to last semester earning my Master of Arts in English Studies. I have three research papers, two finals, a final portfolio consisting of two revised creative short stories, a book review, a cover letter about our revisions, and a cover letter for submitting the stories for publication! In addition I have to read two 200 - page books for classes, take a quiz, and find a published journal article! That's just for classes!

    Then my husband wants to have his family over for Christmas so that will involve decorating, cleaning, and food prep. And I'm still planning to bake some treats for my husband and I! I also have two part time Jobs to help make ends meet that I still have to go to!

  16. I get a chance to put up decorations and see family that I don't see very often. I also get a few days off work and get a chance to catch up at home. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

  17. I'm entering this comment for The Dread Pirate Priss, who couldn't get her comment to post! She sent it to me yesterday and it was so interesting and clever I thought I'd share it with you. :-)

    Hello, I'm a landlocked freebooter, and I'm starting a new tradition this year... handmade Christmas presents. My allowance is limited and I won't know when my next fiduciary influx will be, so d.i.y. it is. And since I am a crafty pirate by nature, (wink,wink) I thought I would put my skills to good use and surprise my aunties with Naalbound hot pads. (break for etymology lesson) "Naalbinding" is Danish for "needle binding", and is not to be mistaken for knitting or crocheting. (Question: Why is a pirate interested in fiber crafts? Isn't that for Renaisssance fair-goers and Mennonite wives?) While this particular fiber craft has appeared in numerous cultures over the decades, (it's at least as old as the 4th century BC; because archeologists in Egypt found a pair of funky two-toed socks made by Coptic Christians that they believe to be that old) it was the Vikings; those brawny, bearded, Chris Hemsworth-y pirates of the Hinterlands, who lovingly adopted this fiber craft into their culture. They made socks, mittens, hats; even those smart looking woolen hoods under their helmets were made using needle binding; very effective against that cold North wind and the prospect of chafing. If you want a more contemporary example, watch the Disney film Frozen and take special notice of Anna's mittens. Yeah, I'm weird enough to notice things like that. (okay, research overload) I must confess, though, that my skills in this given area are infantile at best. Out of the one thousand twenty-four stitches there are to master, I've learned...maybe...two. Which is why aunties get pot holders; I don't trust myself to adeptly make anything bigger in a hurry.

    Is this what I usually do for Christmas? No. Normally, my Christmases are about me getting presents. And I've never given a handmade gift to anyone. Enough is enough! Within the last few years, I've turned over a new leaf and decided it's better to give than to receive.

    Anyway, audio entertainment is much appreciated when one has to sit still for long periods of time. Because I don't like to sit still for more than five seconds, listening to a gripping adventure/drama while I craft is ideal.

    Wait a minute! Isn't asking for a free audiobook totally contradicting my resolution?

    It's conceivable ; )

    Blessings for the New Year from the Dread Pirate Priss.

  18. faithhopecherrytea [at gmail.] com
    Dec? creating a new Advent 'wreath' expression, lighting each candle with anticipation and hope, taking time to still and listen with my <3 - decorating with small tabletop trees now that I'm in an apartment - and of course a welcoming wreath on the door. New this year will be having my 1st grandchild here as my son has moved back to our home city with his family in his phD work - excited for storytimes with wee babe ;) and dinner and family and friends. more involved in relationally lifegiving activities at this time of celebration of God's relationally lifegiving Gift !

    Thanks for the generosity, MaryLu! I've pinned it here You're welcome to pin your Giveaways here as well...