Butterfly Palace Video!

Butterfly Palace newDear friends.
I’m so excited to share the preview video of my new novel, Butterfly Palace, with you! And the digital version of the book is only $4.99 right now. You all did such an amazing job of spreading the word and jumping on the special price for Rosemary Cottage that it hit the USA Today bestseller list. I would be so appreciative if you would share the video and special price with your friends and family–let’s see if we can launch Butterfly Palace to an even higher spot on the list!

 

Buy Butterfly Palace for only $4.99 from your favorite online merchant.

Amazon

Apple

Barnes and Noble

Christianbook.com

Butterfly Palace is really special to me because of its theme about inner beauty in the tough times. My friend and sister-of-my-heart Diann Hunt went to heaven 10 days ago, and her courage challenged me in so many ways. The book is dedicated to her. As Di walked through the valley of ovarian cancer, she grew even more beautiful. She’s been such an inspiration in my life. I want to be a butterfly like her!


NEW ROCK HARBOR BOOK

Lost and Found FeaturedIf you loved the Rock Harbor books, check out Lost and Found, the newest one set in Rock Harbor. Emily, the little girl lost in the woods with her brother Timmy in Without a Trace, has been having her own mystery adventures. She’s 14 now. Here’s a little bit about it:

An old photo brings a shocking revelation and it’s up to Emily and her best friend Olivia to solve the case!

Fourteen-year-old Emily O’Reilly and her best friend Olivia Webster have a knack for solving mysteries. Emily has been busily training her new puppy Sherlock to be a Search and Rescue dog so that the two can lead search-and-rescue missions someday. So when Emily stumbles across an old photo of Olivia’s adoption day—a fact that has never been revealed to Olivia—the two quickly decide to uncover the mysterious details surrounding Olivia’s birth parents.

But the two bite off more than they can chew as they dig into learning more about Olivia’s adoption without notifying her parents. And to make matters worse, Emily’s mother Marika, a convicted felon recently released on parole, will stop at nothing to contact her daughter—a fact that Emily is not happy about.

When her beloved stepmother Naomi disappears, Emily takes it upon herself to connect the dots and conduct her own snow-bound search-and-rescue mission with Sherlock. Will Emily ever find the secret behind Naomi’s disappearance? And will Olivia ever learn the truth about her adopted parents?



New Rock Harbor Books!

So many of you have told me how much you love the Rock Harbor novels. I think you’ll be excited to hear there are two more out this year. I co-wrote them with my friend Robin Caroll, and they feature Emily O’Reilly, the little girl lost in the woods in Without a Trace. Emily is 14 now. You’ll get a chance to catch up with your old friends Bree, Kade, Samson, and Charley. Let me know what you think!

 


Travel

It’s no secret that I love to visit the places I want to write about. So here are some recommendations on places to stay if you happen to be traveling to the same places!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Beach HouseWe’ve stayed a lot in Kauai, and this sweet gem is one of our favorites! It has two masters and a great location near my favorite snorkeling spot of Lawai Beach. Nice finishes and immaculate too. http://www.vrbo.com/57020

 

 

 

 

We stayed at this FABULOUS log home near Nashville to brainstorm Smitten by the Book. Totally loved this home! http://www.vrbo.com/303977. If you’re going to be visiting Nashville, you MUST stay here!

We stayed here on the Big Island. Beautiful view, gorgeous house with terrific amenities. http://www.vrbo.com/387501?cid=E_OWNERINQUIRY_DB_O_20111228_propertyurl_text_LPROP

This place on Kauai was breathtaking! Marble floors, great zoning with two bedrooms separated by the living space. It even had a pool–a rarity on Kauai! http://www.vrbo.com/379263?cid=E_OWNERINQUIRY_DB_O_20111028_propertyurl_text_LPROP

 

We just got back from a visit to Maui. I can’t say enough good things about this condo: perfect location away from the hustle and bustle just a bit, great view of the ocean (we saw whales every single day off our balcony!) terrific kitchen stocked with quality dishes, etc, and comfortable beds.

We went with another couple so the two master bedroom plan (one is in the loft) was perfect for us. We ate out on the balcony lanai every day. One terrific perk as far as I’m concerned was a Cuisinart coffee maker! It’s my fave and I always hate traveling because I know I won’t have good coffee. I had GREAT coffee here!

The owners were terrific to deal with, and will definitely be back to this little slice of paradise. 🙂 Here is the link

 

 

 


Secretly Smitten Video Contest Chat

We Smitten authors are going to be doing a really fun video chat Feb 5! You’ll be able to ask us questions, and we’ll answer them LIVE. To sign up for a reminder to join us, visit this webpage. http://litfusegroup.com/secretly-smitten-live-webcast-feb-5

If you’re on Facebook, you can go the Thomas Nelson Facebook page and sign up instead if you prefer. https://www.facebook.com/nelsonfiction/app_485447744827798

Come join us for fun prizes!


Silent Night, New Rock Harbor Novella!

I just finished a Rock Harbor Christmas novella titled Silent Night. It will be available digitally the end of November, and I’m super excited to hear what you think about it! Bree and Samson get entangled in a mystery involving the disappearance of one of Lauri’s friends. It was so fun to be immersed back in the Upper Peninsula! I was yearning for more Rock Harbor after bringing Bree and Samson into Tidewater Inn.

Be sure to let me know what you think!

 


Migraines

Migraines. They’ve been the bane of my life since my teens. In my twenties, they ramped up and in my thirties they became unbearable with two a week and each lasting three days. Then the triptan drugs  came on the market, and at least I had some relief. But the past ten years or so, the pain has been daily and has requried a dose of Zomig every day.

I’ve tried everything under the sun from supplements to accupressure. If I found any mention of a cure, I’ve tried it. I always felt that it was something my body was lacking that caused them. Why me and not other people? I’d see people who never had a headache in their life, and I so longed to live a normal life. Still, nothing I tried worked for long.

So when I saw a new “migraine cure” I was skeptical but intrigued in spite of myself. I read an article in Life Extension Magazine. You can read that article here. I bought the book, The Migraine Cure, and read it at least four times. Something inside just clicked when I read it and I sensed that this might be the answer for me.

I’m a can-do girl. I always think if someone else can do it, so can I. When I had fibromyalgia, I found a cure on Dr. Lowe’s website (he died of a fall a few years ago so the website is not up now) and took it to my doctor and managed to get healthy with Dr. Lowe’s insight. For more of his method, you might check out this author: http://recoveringwitht3.com/author-notes-rwt3.  I’m a big advocate of knowing your own body and taking charge of your health. So I took the article about migraine to my doctor and asked that he would prescribe the bio-identical hormones gels for me. Dr. James Bain is an awesome doctor and he has helped me follow every rabbit trail I’ve found about migraine including checking for a PFO (I’ve got one.) I was going to get involved in the PFO clinical trial until I found The Migraine Cure. Anyway, Doc sent me to a compounding pharmacy in Kokomo and I started trying it on my own, guessing at the dosages based on lab results I saw in the book. My migraines got worse instead of better. I stumbled along with the help of the pharmacist who was very helpful, but after nearly two months without improvement, I decided I needed help.

I talked to a patient of the doctor’s whose problems had been just as bad as mine. She was totally migraine free and felt fabulous. So I took the plunge. Within a week I was going 7-9 days between migraines. That’s PRICELESS! I’m just thrilled at the results so far. For more information, click the link below. And on down this page, I’m updating occasionally on my progress if you’d like to follow along.

I can’t reccomend this program enough! It’s changed my life. Now that I’ve researched the hormonal link, I now know it was a progesterone deficiency and hypothyroidism that made my ovary rupture at 14 and also caused by breast cysts and then the loss of the my last ovary at 23. After the hysterectomy, I had pratically no progesterone, and that caused the hormonal problems to get even worse. It also caused the thyroid resistance I’ve been dealing with. Like dominoes. LOL But now I’m on the mend!

Link : http://www.dzlogic.com/DZLOGIC/

May 25, 2007: Went to the Fountain Anti-Aging Clinic near Cleveland OH. Met with Dr. Rozakis, his wife Betty and my patient coordinator Susan Maloney who has been my life-line. The more I talked with them, the more convinced I became that this was the answer. Left there with my plan, a box of supplements and my precious bio-identical hormone gels.

May 26, 2007: Had a migraine this morning but wasn’t discouraged since I knew it would take some time. Took my proper doses of everything. Dr. Dzugan and Dr. Rozakis usually put patients on ProGreens but it has Chlorella in it and I can’t digest the stuff. It makes my throw up. So they prescribed another probiotic in a pill form.

May 28, 2007: Migraines still. Emailed Susan who has been holding my hand.

May 31, 2007: Migraines still. Got to thinking about how I’d tried the program on my own and had taken ProGreens with lemon juice. Looked it up and lemon juice contains more enzymes than anything else so it had probably helped me digest the chlorella. Started taking Progreens.

June 1, 2007: Began the doses for days 1-14.

June 2, 2007: Migraine free! I think it’s the higher doses of hormones. Informed Susan who told the doctors. They said they would adjust dosage before end of next month. Need to go through one full month on the initially prescribed dosages.

June 4, 2007: Still no migraines!

June 8, 2007: First migraine in a week!

June 10, 2007: Feeling great but have had some diarrhea and hair loss. Doctor adjusted dosage of magnesium and it abated. Also noticed some weight gain in areas where I’ve never gained weight: mostly abdomen (generally carry weight in butt and thighs.) Susan told me this is normal in beginning and it will stop and come off.

June 15, 2007: Face breaking out some. Doctors decreased testosterone to .1 ml. Noticing I have hair growing on my legs for the first time in years. Have so much energy and mood is terrific! Love this stuff. And my skin looks younger, with better color.

June 17, 2007: Oh no! A bladder infection (and migraine with it) but didn’t want to take antibiotic. Started taking Cranberry concentrate with d-mannose which KICKED IT IN THE BUTT! That stuff is fabulous.

June 20, 2007: Mild migraine, maybe a 2 but didn’t take Zomig for it. It lasted all day.

June 22, 2007: Bad migraine, about a 7 but I had to fly to Minneapolis yesterday and travel sometimes triggers them. Got new plan from the doctors who raised the doses of hormones and lowered my DHEA.

June 25, 2007: Starting new dose today. Still feeling great.

June 29, 2007: Migraine, about a 4 or 5. Hot flashes as well. Doc adjusted dose of DHEA and Tri-est. Went 7 days this round with NO migraine so that’s amazing. But I know this is just the beginning and I will soon be migraine free.

June 30, 2007: Feeling great.

July 12, 2007: Was traveling last week. Had a bad week with migraines 3 or 4 days in a row, but I realized I started not feeling as well when the doctor cut my testosterone dose. I also noticed changes like lack of normal hair growth again. Told the doctor and he increased it again and I immediately felt better. Now a four day stretch of no migraine and great energy again. Whoohoo!

July 13, 2007: The Fountain Anti-aging clinic also does things other than cure migraine–like help with high blood pressure, cholesterol and staving off Alzheimers. Dave signed up for the hormone balancing to see if his cholesterol will go down, and there is a lot of Alzheimers in his family. We got his plan yesterday. His blood work showed he was a little low in testosterone and a little high in progesterone as well as his pregnenolone being in the toilet. His thyroid was low too. He was ready to try it! I got him started on everything. I’m eager to see if his energy level comes up. STILL MIGRAINE FREE FOR ME!

July 24: The past ten days or so haven’t been as good. I’ve had some head pressure at night, around 9. And some hot flashes. Then yesterday I got a migraine in the morning, around a 5 or so pain level but it didn’t resolved until several doses of Zomig. I’m waiting to hear how the doctor will tweak my meds. He warned me this could take some time and I’m determined to figure out my perfect dosages!

July 31: I’m feeling much better since the doctor changed up the dose. I guess I just needed more estrogen. Good thing I have the doctors because I would have guessed I needed more progesterone! LOL

Aug 22: I’ve been in deadline dungeon and just emerged into the bright light of day. LOL I’m doing well, going 4-9 days between migraines. The doctor needs to see where I am in blood counts but I’ve not been able to get into the clinic for a test. I’ve got an appointment next week and he’ll know how to adjust me better. Dave is doing really well! He’s actually started losing a little weight without even trying. Oh, if only that were happening to me! LOLSept 17: Three weeks with no migraine! I almost can’t believe it. And I feel fabulous, great energy, good mood. Who wouldn’t be in a good mood with this kind of relief??

Oct 8: Nearly 7 weeks with no migraine severe enough for medication! I had a couple of minor headaches and the doctor upped my triest by adding triest sublingual drops. I feel really great and I’ve lost 13 pounds this month. I’ve been walking with three pound weights and that has helped. But at least I feel good enough for that much of a workout!

Oct 10: At 7 weeks with no migraine, I finally had one, but we’d been expecting it. When checking my lab results, we found my estrogen was still WAY low. It will take a bit to balance me with the addition of the sublingual triest.

Oct 12: A mild headache but nothing bad enough to take Zomig. The doctors adjusted my dosage again, adding more progesterone in the evening.

Oct 21: Feeling great again, no actual migraine since the one Oct 10.

Nov 13: Migraine, about a 5. I had a bladder infection and we’ve been monkeying with my testosterone again so I think that’s it. The doctor upped both Triest and Progesterone a bit so that should fix me right up. I still went weeks in between and I feel fabulous in other ways as well! The swelling in my legs and ankles is gone, the lymph nodes in my neck aren’t swollen anymore (they’ve been swollen for years!) and my mood is fabulous all the time. I love feeling so good. My brain is much clearer too–always a helpful thing for a writer!

Nov 30: I’ve been great the last three weeks until this week. It’s that end of the month drop in hormones that I take and we still haven’t quite found the right dose. But the doctor will adjust the dosage again and we’ll find the right one. I take the hormones on a cyclic basis as far as dosage. he tries to mimic the natural cycle. I think my body hasn’t had a natural cycle in so long, it doesn’t know what to think! LOL But I feel SO GOOD compared to the way I was before. Even if I have a migraine once a month or something, I’d be happy. I have more energy and a great sense of well-being. The really great thing was that when we went to Arizona over Thanksgiving, my legs and ankles didn’t swell at all! Great benefit! I’m also noticing I have fewer gray hairs. Even my daughter noticed.

Jan 20: You wonder where I’ve been and how I’m doing? I’ve been down for nearly two MONTHS with shingles! I always thought it was only older people who got shingles but I’ve found out anyone can get them. I’m on the mend now, but you know what’s really cool? Through the worst of the shingles, I didn’t have a migraine! I’m now trying to get off Lyrica, a NASTY med if ever there was one, and I’ve had some withdrawal headaches but I’ve just got to get through the next week and I’ll be fine. I feel fabulous still on the hormones.June 9, 2008: I’m still doing terrific, having only a very occaisonal headache that is a 1 or 2 and resolves with ibuprofen. What a change in my life!

July 25, 2008: Stlll feeling terrific and totally sold on the program’s other benefits as well. I Just got back from my eye doctor and the beginning cataract I’d had last year has regressed just like Dr. Rozakis said it would!

Oct 24, 2008: Still can’t believe the change in my life in a year. Heading to Hawaii shortly and won’t have to worry about constant migraines!

January 12, 2009 Went to the hairdresser today and she remarked about how much new hair I have growing in. Yet another great perk to bioidentical hormones! Feeling sooo good.

Feb 18, 2009: Still feeling fabulous! Will never stop this program

Oct 1, 2011: Still doing great. Can’t remember the last time I had to take Zomig.

March 2012: Still feeling terrific!


Smitten Retreat

Smitten RetreatThe sequel, Secretly Smitten, will be out in December, and I think you’ll like it even more than the first book. Check out the Smitten website: http://www.smittenvermont.com/

We authors (with the exception of Diann Hunt) met our team at a gorgeous home in Nashville to brainstorm the third book. Oh my goodness, we so loved that house! It was the perfect setting for getting into the Smitten mood, and it was a great time of bonding with all our friends at Thomas Nelson. The kitchen was to die for, and our terrific new marketing manager, Andrea Lyons, and her brother prepared a meal fit for queens. We felt pretty special. Our publisher Daisy Hutton (SO love that gal!) came over on Tuesday night with our wonderful publicist and good friend Katie Bond.

We are so blessed to get to work with Ami McConnell and Natalie Hanemann! There’s nothing like seeing each other sans makeup and dressed in sweats to know that we are sisters at heart! Ami and Natalie were strong enough to hike down the monster hill of a driveway and back up. I would have gone if I’d had anything to wear on my feet except sandals. Of course I would have. You know it. Okay, well maybe. That hill would make even Paula Radcliffe break out in hives.

The picture is Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter in front of our five-bedroom log house. And if you need a house in Nashville for a getaway, you must stay here! Here is the link to our Smitten home. http://www.vrbo.com/303977. The pictures do not do it justice! It’s massive inside with an entire suite in the basement with a separate kitchen and game room with pool table. Not that we had time to play pool–we were too busy giggling and having fun.

One thing to note: I loved the master shower so much Dave and I just ordered a similar one. The things we do for our writing!


On Writing

A Book for Beginning Writers:

I highly recommend James Scott Bell’s book, Plot and Structure. It’s the best book on writing I’ve ever read and takes it down to a nuts and bolts explanation of how to create a novel from scratch. Check it out at www.jamesscottbell.com

WRITING TIPS BY COLLEEN COBLE

Write what you read. This is a pet peeve of mine. I can’t begin to tell you how many manuscripts I’ve looked at for aspiring writers who are trying to write something they don’t like to read. It never works! There’s something about reading that helps you learn to write. You subconsciously pick up how to structure scenes and the tension and conflict necessary to write in your favorite genre. What works in suspense doesn’t work in chick lit.

Attend conferences. I think this is vital. You can network with other writers, meet editors to find out what they’re looking for, and learn from the masters of the trade. There are several good ones out there. My personal favorite is the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference every September. And you should consider joining the organization. It’s simply the best place to network and learn about the industry.

Learn POV. Ask yourself who has the most at stake in the scene? Once you figure that out, stay in that POV for the entire scene—no headhopping. I’m sure you’ve seen the rules broken, but the better writers don’t jump from head to head.

Always have a book you’re reading on craft. Some of my favorites are: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne, and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. Right now I’ve been reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. And of course I already mentioned James Bell!

Learn to say no. It’s easy to feel guilty when you’re asked to interrupt your writing time for worthy reasons, but it’s important to prioritize. The sky won’t fall if you miss your two hours of writing (or whatever schedule you set), but do it too many days, and that novel will never get written. When people find you’re home writing, they often don’t think anything of interrupting and asking you to do something for them. Learn to say you’re working.

When plotting your novel, make sure you start with enough conflict. That’s probably the number one flaw I see in manuscripts. When you first look at your conflict, twist it around and see if you can make it even worse. The very best conflict is when two people want the same thing and only one can have it.

Setting is very important. You want a definite sense of place. That comes with selective details that bring the setting to life. Try to actually visit your setting. I went to Kaua’i to research the Aloha serie, and there were wild chickens running everywhere. I never would have known about that important detail if I hadn’t gone to the island. In the Outer Banks I found out it’s very windy! Small details like that make a difference.

Finish that first book before you start sending it off. It’s easy to keep working on the first three chapters and have them polished. If an editor requests the full manuscript, there’s no time to polish the rest. Better to get it all done then see how you can move chapters around and make it better. You want the editor to see the best you can do.

Find a critique partner. I’m not a big fan of large group critiques, but if you can find two friends or acquaintances who see your vision and can read for you without imposing their own style, then you’re in luck. I’ve got three excellent critique partners who are all published writers: Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt. They all see the story in different ways and help me immensely. A good place to find a critique partner is by joining ACFW as I mentioned earlier.

Keep a lighted pen and notebook by the paper for middle of the night inspiration. I’m often struggling with a plot point, and God will drop the answer right into my head while I’m sleeping.

Email me at colleencolleencoble.com with any questions.


WRITING RESOURCES

» Do you write Christian fiction? Check out American Christian Romance Writers at www.acfw.com. The ACFW conference is wonderful too. http://www.acfw.com/conference/» Conferences are INVALUABLE! I highly recommend the ACFW conference above. And Mt Hermon in California is wonderful too. It’s always Palm Sunday weekend. http://www.mounthermon.org/writers/workshop.html

» Other Christian conferences can be found at: http://www.christianwritersinfo.net/conferences.htm

» I subscribed to Writer’s Digest for years as I learned to write. www.writersdigest.com

BOOKS ON WRITING

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni King and Dave Browne

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writers Market

Christian Writers’ Market Guide by Sally Stuart