Everyone’s Story welcomes for the first time, inspirational author Brandy Heineman. Brandy writes dual timeline stories, something I really enjoy! In fact, it was the cover of her debut novel, Whispers in the Branches (which is on my huge TBR pile) that first attracted me to our publisher, Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. I had the pleasure of meeting Brandy at last year’s Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (where I’ll be attending again this August!!) and I have to tell you–Brandy is not only a delightful woman but is funny, energetic, and always greets you with a warm smile (and I know this from running into her as well at ACFW Nashville last year). Check out Brandy’s BookGiveaway and see what she speaks up about. Brandy and I are looking forward to chatting with you.
Brandy is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter the choice for a print or eBook edition of Whispers in the Branches, with print only available to US winners. The winner will be announced here on Friday, March 3rd between 5-6 PM EST.
** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.
Blurb for Whispers in the Branches:
Tending a void in her heart that demands to be filled, Abby Wells uproots her life in Ohio to move into the ancestral home in Georgia. Now that her mom is gone, it’s her best chance to connect with the last of her family, and she can’t deny the pull of the supposedly haunted house. The seductive comfort of believing that ghosts could be real drives her search, but Aunt Ruby’s plans for Abby don’t include revealing secrets kept for seventy years. Oh, there’s dirty laundry she’d like to air—just not her own.
Indulging in the attentions of the house’s handsome caretaker helps numb her pain, but Abby’s ex-boyfriend won’t let go of the past. He hounds her about his new found religion in hopes of reconciling, but why reach for him or the God who couldn’t or wouldn’t spare her mom? In the stillness of the old house, the spirit world feels so close she can almost touch it.
But she doesn’t know yet that there’s more than one way to be haunted.
Revised Conference Plans by Brandy Heineman
Nashville-bound! Last year I was nothing but thrilled when the pieces came together for me to attend a national writers’ conference, even though my first couple of conferences were terrifying as they were exhilarating. There were moments when this introvert stood frozen with no idea how to connect with hundreds of writers, but this time felt different. This time, I knew what to expect, and I was more excited than nervous. I got right to planning how to make my time count.
Since I was surprised to be going at all, every detail that clicked into place felt like a gift. Nashville is an easy trip from my home in Atlanta, and I found a roommate and riding buddy without even trying. The outstanding mix of craft, business, and spiritual sessions made it hard (in the best way possible) to complete my registration, and I nailed down specific writing and marketing goals with relative ease. I knew, or thought I knew, what I was headed to Nashville to accomplish. So why did I feel that something was missing?
If you compared my conference agenda to my goals, then maybe you spotted it the same way I did. I needed one more conference goal—a mission-minded one—and I didn’t need to think long on what it should be. In fact, it was obvious.
I wasn’t a newcomer anymore. I had lots of Atlanta friends making the trip. This year, I wasn’t going to be that shy girl in the corner, trying to find someone to talk to, and if I wasn’t going to be that person, then I needed to be looking for her. That may seem like a small thing, to just walk up and say hello, but I’ve been alone in a crowded room many times. It didn’t seem small to me. As it turns out, connecting with hundreds of writers is terribly difficult. One-on-one is much more my style.
In practice, however, it’s not actually that easy to tell the difference between the introvert feeling lost in the crowd and the extrovert who is resting her feet. Nonetheless, even that wasn’t as tricky as the moment in the second floor lobby of the hotel when I saw not one but two women sitting off by themselves.
Huge glass windowpanes enclosed the lobby, and benches lined the walls, giving weary travelers and frazzled conferees no shortage of places to sit. The two women both occupied solitary spaces in the middle of the two benches that met in the corner, and I couldn’t talk to them both. I had to decide, to choose one over the other. It may sound over-dramatic, but in the moment it felt like this was my mission, and I didn’t want to mess it up.
Then the woman on the right looked up. We made eye contact. Problem solved!
Our conversation launched a friendship, which goes to show you—who can say what matters in a moment of waffling in the middle of a hotel lobby? Or where unexplored truth waits to be plumbed? Proverbs 16:24 has been on my mind lately—“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” It’s a lovely verse, a sweet sentiment, but maybe an easy one to gloss right over without much thought. After all, pleasant words are nice, but are they important? Eternally significant, even?
If we take “sweet to the soul” at face value, then it seems so. I’m certainly vulnerable to favoring the things that feel weighty and urgent over friendship, laughter, connection, even knowing these things sweeten our lives and occasionally save them.
I wanted to make my time at the conference count. At this moment, those writing and marketing goals I carried in with me haven’t yet budded, but my mission yielded immediate and lasting fruit in the form of a new friend. Looking back, I love how the Lord used the event to show me that a conversation of pleasant words doesn’t have to seem like an eternal significant thing to be one.
Brandy’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Like #ChristFic dual timeline novels? Visit with Brandy Heineman @brandyhei. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)
Author Brandy Heineman @brandyhei speaks up: Revised Writing Conference Plans (Tweet This)
Author Brandy Heineman @brandyhei: Setting conference goals but achieving better than planned! (Tweet This)
Brandy Heineman writes dual timeline novels from a Christian worldview. Her passion for genealogy occasional inspires hare-brained schemes like a five-county research trip in a rented Mustang, but she usually sticks to sharing vignettes and research tidbits on her blog. Her debut novel, Whispers in the Branches, was a 2014 ACFW Genesis finalist and released the following year from Elk Lake Publishing. She currently serves as the Vice President of the ACFW North Georgia chapter, and she is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.
Brandy and her husband, Michael, reside in the metro Atlanta area with their two demanding yet hilarious kitties.
Places to connect with Brandy:
Brandy and I look forward to your comments.
Please visit with me on the Seriously Write blog
on Wednesday, March 1st (click here)
I’m honored that my novel Always With You
is up for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.
Please consider voting at this link.