Hello and Welcome
Welcome, readers. Today we’re circling our wagons around author Carlene Havel, recipient of the Readers’ Choice and EPIC Awards. Carlene writes stories of faith, hope, and love. How refreshing is that!
Who is Carlene from my perspective?
First, I‘m honored to participate in the same writers’ group as Carlene. More importantly, I know Carlene to be a woman of faith who exudes a sense of peace. She’s an individual you’ll want to know better. And you’ll want to read her inspirational novels.
*Now join our chat by making comments at the end of this piece. You’ll be included in a drawing for a free print or ebook copy of one of Carlene’s books.
*Congratulations to Debra Duncan, winner of the drawing for one of Carlene’s books! Tune in next week for another opportunity, ya’ll.
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Welcome, Carlene Havel
Tell us about yourself, Carlene. What was your pre-author life? Your books? Have any tidbits of wisdom you gleaned along the way? Take it away, Carlene …
Carlene Havel’s Pre-author Life
I grew up in a deeply religious home. Daddy preached and Mama handled music, Sunday school, vacation Bible school, and potluck dinners. We attended visitation on Tuesday, prayer meeting on Wednesday, and church services at least twice on Sunday.
When a revival took place, we listened to a full-length sermon every evening for two weeks straight, homework notwithstanding. I could honestly say, “I don’t drink, dance, cuss, nor chew; and I don’t go with the boys that do!”
On my Own
Thus prepared, I enrolled in a college away from home. Life became all about me and making up for lost time. I relegated God to my rear view mirror. Things turned nasty with my “anything goes” attitude.
That’s not to say my life was all gloom and doom. Not at all, but something significant was missing. Honestly, I didn’t want to figure out what it was. Severe adversity forced me to admit how empty I felt inside.
Carlene Havel’s Debut Experience
I majored in English yet had no plans to write the great American novel.
I tuned back in to the sermon. My pastor spoke of a woman who wanted to contribute to a mission. Having little money, she wrote a poem and gave it to the cause. A musician set the words to music. It became popular, and greatly benefitted the mission. (Tweet That!)
Oh. I couldn’t type fast enough to capture the romance novel pouring out of my mind. When it was finished, the first publisher I contacted offered me a contract.
A Word of Caution …
It was all so easy, until the publisher put the bite on me to fund “some of the publishing costs.” My advice? Never do this.
- First, RUN from anyone who wants you to pay for anything associated with publication.
- Then, block their phone calls
- Delete their emails, and
- Never ever sign a contract with them!
What Came Next for Carlene Havel
While writing the next book, I beat my head against the wall with this publisher. When they started offering erotica, I asked them to return the rights to my book. To my surprise, they agreed. I still don’t know which one of us was more relieved to sever our relationship.
I wrote another book. A magazine took a poem, and another printed a short article. But nothing happened with full-length novels. Many of the places where I pitched them didn’t bother to reply.
A Time of Discouragement and Renewal
Later–three chapters into book number three–I reached a point of total discouragement. Someone on an email group I was about to opt out of mentioned a new publisher was seeking submissions. Assuming I was wasting my time, I sent one manuscript to Inspired Romance Novels (now Prism Book Group). Prism has now published seven of my books.
Now I feel as if I’m doing what I was meant to do, creating stories of faith, hope, and love. (Tweet That!)
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When confession and sacrifice are done, it is as if the wrongdoing never occurred. Rahab, a resourceful beauty, struggles to survive in the pagan culture of ancient Jericho. As years of harsh labor begin to lift her and her family from poverty, a foreign army threatens the well-fortified city. Rahab is forced to make an immediate decision. Will she put her faith in the fabled walls of Jericho or the powerful God of the Hebrews? Either choice may cost her life. By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux
A heartwarming story about the resilience of true love, inspired by a biblical account of greatness, courage, and foretold prophecy… Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem. By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux
Colonel Rich Martino returns rhome from overseas to find everything has changed and nothing makes sense. His wife Rita has disappeared. His credit cards are invalid. A stranger is living in his house and he keeps running into people who are convinced he was killed in action months ago. Worst of all, his wealthy father has suffered a stroke. By Carlene Havel
Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists all well-intentioned advice. By Carlene Havel
Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out. Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife worries about paying the bills. One daughter dreams of a college education she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true. By Carlene Havel
Evidence not Seen
Although attorney Jeff Galloway’s career is in high gear, his personal life is a mess. Just before his father returns home from a 27-year stretch in prison, his girlfriend dumps him. When a chance encounter begins to blossom into new romance, soft-hearted Melanie Clark encourages Jeff to find a way to forgive his father’s long absence. By Carlene Havel
What kind of Christmas will her children have? The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless. Their desperate prayers are finally answered when Herbert Shoemaker finds work as a sharecropper. Alice makes the best of the hard times without complaint, though she dreams of giving her little family a special Christmas. By Carlene Havel
These and twelve more sweet, clean historical and contemporary short stories will keep you entertained, amused, and surprised. By two inspirational authors who typically write full-length fiction. (By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux)
For the true magic of Christmas cannot be found in a wrapped gift under the tree…Three touching stories of Christmas blessings to warm the heart. (By Carlene Havel, Claire Sanders, and Kimberly B. Jackson)
An anthology of three love stories (By Carlene Havel, Julie B. Cosgrove, and Gail Pallotta)
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Lord, we are in awe at Your kindness. You have stooped to call us into your vineyard–some into offices, others into classrooms, and still others to writing desks. We offer to You our work and our sacrifices of praise. ~ For Jesus’ sake.