Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finalist in the National Best Books 2008 Awards

Well totally unexpectant on my end, but on Monday, I recieved a terrific email:


October 20, 2008

Dear Christine:


The epic results are in for the National Best Books 2008 Awards!
Your book has been honored as a "Finalist" in the "Fiction & Literature: Romance" category:

Hostage to the Heart by Chriss Hill

Finalist -- Fiction & Literature: Romance


Your title will be listed live on for an additional six (6) months (if your listing is pending, all books will be posted online by the end of October. You will be contacted via e-mail when your full-color listing is live.)

A complete list of winners and finalists in each category can be found at:

I was absolutely astounded. My book, one of fifteen entered into this particular category, was selected as a finalist.

And then the email gave me specific links/ newsletters/verbage to use to promote my book. Needless, to say, I feel very honored and the best thing is that I get additional promotion for this saga/romance type novel. "

I feel exhilerated and just wanted to pass on the news.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Acceptance and Rejections

These past few weeks have been exceptionally busy for me, with my daughter and our household hosting a German exchange student, Katrin. She came to Texas, landing first in Dallas/Ft. Worth and then drove on a student bus to our little town here in Central Texas. This fell on September 20th. We were terribly excited to meet her as my daughter Kayla had been penpals with her for two years. My daughter is the one with the dark hair while Katrin is blond.

The two became very fast friends and the time even went just as brisk. Before we knew it, the time came for her to get back on the bus to go to San Antonio, to tour for three days before departing back to Germany on Friday, October 17th. In hindsight, we got to do alot of things while she visited. We attended a couple of parties held for them at other host houses and we even had a chance to visit the State Fair in Dallas. That was fun, but costly! Whew! This was my first time there and probably will be my last!

We also got to know another German student who I swear has the same zany humor as Dane Cook. Ok, Leo doesn't exactly look like him, but he kept us in stitches whenever he popped over.

I hated to see both of them go, although they did state that they would come back to Texas on their own in two years. I do think they will, although I told them that I was not exactly rich, and not exactly poor, but humble in means. All considering, they may also revisit just because I seem to be "mama" to alot of my children's friends. We just bonded very well and I told them that I now considerered them my son and daughter for good.

I was blessed to have them come into our lives. I miss them now, even if they've only been away just a few days. It's our hope that Kayla and I will get to travel to Germany next summer, or atleast her. We'll see. First things first is to get our passports by January for sure! And then save money like mad to have a spending spree overseas!

In the midst of all this, I did get publicity for my book through They are advertising Hostage To Her Heart for three months and it's also a contender to win the category for romance, although there are atleast fourteen others who are competing as well. Hopefully, I can atleast get honorable mention, right? I would post the link, but it never works on this program. Just copy and paste this:

If I win, I'll get another six months free in advertising, if anyone notices out there!

So all of this was the plus side of acceptance, now for rejections.

I had sent out a query in hopes that someone would pick up my book, either the one published (Hostage to Her Heart) or the one I'm trying to publish, (When Fate and Faith Collide). It was a no go. I got this standard reply:

"I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Thank you so much for submitting your query to BookEnds. While your work sounds intriguing, I'm afraid I just don't think it's for me. I wish you the best of luck."

Ok, That wasn't all the rejection I got. I had tried to get my book reviewed from another source. A travel blogger from Sweden of all places, agreed to read it over. So I sent her a copy of the book back in mid August and waited three weeks before hearing that she had lost the file. So I resent it. Then I got this note:

"Hope all is well. I'm sorry to say that I will not be able to review your book after all. I have too much going on in my life right now to being able to concentrate on reading and reviewing any extensive work. I understand that you're disappointed to hear this since I said I could review your book.

with your novel and future books and once again, I'm sorry for not being able to do a review.

All the best,


So needless to say, all this rejection in my writing queries is really bringing me down! I feel like a failure! Luckily, I do have a writers group on Cafe Mom that I just love to particape in, so I decided to just give them a free read of my novel, for better or for worse. I mean, if I was given a free read, wouldn't I do it?

I have received one or two responses so far and the ones I did get like the book! I'm not done posting all of of my chapters. It is my intention that in mid-November to announce a contest. Fifty questions answered correctly about Hostage to Her Heart may win someone a gift. I have special ordered a cute hat to promote my book from Vista Print and I will get a Visa gift card and some goodies to put with it. Some lucky reader who finished the book read and get most of the questions correct will win it.

After all, these economic times are terribly hard on alot of people. Even poor want to be discovered novelists like me, but I thought the gesture would be nice to someone who gave me the time of day. We'll see how that pans out. If someone who doesn't subscribe to cafe mom wants to read it, you can go to this link (copy and paste on your browser):

I'll list the attached questions if you'd like a jump start. See how good you do! Send me your results to to be entered into the contest. I'll count you in if you say you read it on my blogger. OK? In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I do best, daydream and write. Hopefully one day, someone will appreciate my writing. After all of those free books I gave away, maybe one of them will give me a good plug somewhere. (Not counting you, Aimee! You're the best fan one could ever have! She even started a fan club for my book on Facebook! I'm so honored! I think you can go to the page here by copying and pasting to your browser:

How well do you know Hostage to Her Heart ?

Answer these questions correctly and you will be entered into a drawing to enter a $25 gift card from Visa, just in time for the holiday season. Drawing will be made December 1st, 2008. After the completion of reading the posted chapters, send a message to me with your reply. Thanks.

1. Tara and Ross were born in what city?
2. The name of the state facility where they lived?
3. Give the first names of Danny’s siblings and list their occupations.
4. What is the connection made/revealed between Danny and Ross?
5. What was the warning given to Tara by Danny and Grams about Michael?
6. What were the names of the two homes in England?
7. What was the inspiration for the style of home where Tara and Danny lived?
8. Name one idiosyncrasy that Grams possessed?
9. Who was Henry and what happened to him?
10. What happened to the nun in the first chapter? Do you think she was real or
an illusion sent to change people’s lives?
11. What did the nun do to get arrested?
12. What did the detective discover about the pills that Tara took?
13. Tara dreams of a man while in New York. Who was it and where was he going
when it finally occurs in reality?
14. Who were the barmaids in the village?
15. When Tara discovers their actions, she realizes that she is selfish, but how
else did she see herself when she smolders over what she will do?
16. What were the first names of her first born?
17. What names did she give for the others born later on and who were they named
18. What facial features did Ross possess?
19. What was Helen’s passion that she shares with Ross during his initial visit
to her home?
20. What secret did she reveal about herself to Danny during Christmas?
21. Why did Tara decide to marry Danny?
22. What city / country did Tara go by airplane to mend her relationship with
23. Sammy usually enjoyed several things? Name at least two.
24. In the beginning, Tara noticed that Danny had one bad habit. What was it and
how did he always seem?
25. Can you name the maids that took care of Tara and her household?
26. What advice did Mr. Merten give to Ross in the beginning?
27. Who was the village gossip?
28. Danny’s younger sister claimed that he liked speaking Shakespearean
sometimes. Can you recall something he said that makes you think it true?
29. Can you complete this sentence: Once, Tara forgot to fill her prescription
as she didn’t think it necessary and the other time she what?
30. What did Jamie do as an infant that caught Danny’s attention to think she
possessed musical ability?
31. When Susan and Ross discuss Danny in Paris, what similarity to human needs
did he link their musical collaboration?
32. When the children learn to call out Danny’s name, what did they say and how
did it sound?
33. After Tara went to reunite with Danny, what reason did Danny give for coming
home again permanently?
34. What was the name of the landlady in Spain?
35. Name any country or region that Danny sailed to during this book?
36. What sum of money did Danny leave behind for Tara for a possible shopping
37. Can you describe Danny’s special role within his occupation
38. In the spring of 1982, what war did Sammy write about in his letter home?
39. What talent did Danny figure out that the children possessed and what did he
do with this knowledge?
40. In London, much later in their lives, Tara has a dreadful premonition? What
was it?
41. What tribute did she give at the awards show?
42. What was the name of the commander and his wife that Danny admired?
43. Matchmaking is a circumstance in this book. Name any one pair and the
consequences of their relationship.
44. Who is referred to as Superman and why? By whom? What were the circumstances?
45. Michael meets another American and is instantly intrigued. What was her
46. What major decision in his life did she influence?
47. Christmas time is a holiday that’s mentioned over and over. Name one thing
that is remembered, or happens, or is wished to happen during this time.
48. What things did the children discover in the attic?
49. What idea did they spring on their parents?
50. What happened in front of the fireplace in the end? How does it make you

Bonus questions-

Name one moment in the book that really touched your heart or made you a bit emotional (upset, mad, skeptical, etc)?

What was your overall review of this book that you will allow me to share?