Author Archive: melaniedsnitker

Formatting Issues

I have not had issues with Blogger in the past, but today I have been having some major formatting issues. I’m hoping that, by posting this, it will clear it up off of Faith Blum’s blog post and maybe I won’t have similar issues again. I’m sorry for the inconvenience!

Faith Blum "Be Thou My Vision" Blog Tour



Description of Be Thou My Vision (Hymns of the West Book 2)
The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door. As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore. I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys. With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me.

Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life. She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother. One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment. After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.


Then she meets two motherless boys. Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life? Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?


You can pre-order Be Thou My Vision by Faith Blum now through October 25th for only $0.99! 


About Faith Blum

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, moderating on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.


You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter



Interviewing Faith 

Q1: Where are you from?
I come from the lovely state of Wisconsin where the leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees and the snow has already fallen this year (only once and barely a dusting, but there was some snow on the ground). 

Q2: Tell us your latest news?
Besides publishing my second book? Let’s see, I’ll be 24 at the end of October. Other than that, not a whole lot is happening that is new.

Follow the Blog Tour
Please continue to follow the blog tour to get to know Faith as well as her works. The tour started yesterday at Prairie Dust Trail. You can head over there to see the complete schedule of future stops over the course of the next ten days. 


Facebook Launch Party 
Faith Blum is having a Facebook Launch Party that will take place November 1, 2014 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  You won’t want to miss it. There’s going to be a lot of fun and door prizes! So head over to the Facebook event page now and let her know that you plan to attend!


Don’t Forget
Check out the first book in Faith Blum’s Hymns of the West series. A Mighty Fortress is available both on Kindle and in paperback.

Fall Weather – Fall Recipes!

I just have to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying the cooler weather we’ve been experiencing lately. The highs are supposed to be in the 76-82’F range for highs and I’m most certainly not going to complain! Of course, now the reality of how close Halloween is getting has set in – and that only means that November and the rest of the holidays are hot on its heels. 
Even though it’s not cold here yet, I’m already looking forward to making soups this fall and winter. I love making big batches of soup either on the stove or in the crock pot. This last year, I’ve been learning how to can. My goal is to make big batches of soup, eat them for that meal, and can the rest. That way we can just open up a jar and have homemade soup whenever we’re in the mood. 
This time of year also makes me think of a couple of recipes that I make – at most – once a year around this time. The first is a dessert – pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing. The other is dinner in a pumpkin.
I thought I would share both recipes with all of you 🙂 
Pumpkin Bars
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Preheat the oven to 350’F
  • Beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until light and fluffy. 
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix
  • Spread the batter in an ungreased 15″ by 10″ pan
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing with a toothpick to see if it’s done. 
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (3 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Cream the cheese and butter.
  • Stir in the vanilla and sugar a little at a time.
  • Beat until smooth.
I do recommend keeping this dessert in the fridge because of the frosting.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups of hot, cooked rice
  • Preheat the oven to 375’F
  • Cut the top of the pumpkin around the stem, keep the top, and discard the insides. 
  • Brown the beef, add veggies, and cook until tender. 
  • Stir in the other ingredients and spoon into the pumpkin. 
  • Replace the top. 
  • Lightly grease the center of the baking pan or use aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the pumpkin. 
  • Bake 1 hour until the pumpkin in tender. 
You can serve this right out of the pumpkin, or scoop it all into a bowl. You can decide how much pumpkin to include in it by how much you scoop off the sides. This makes a LOT of food!

Calming the Storm – Autographed Paperback Copies Available

Hi Everyone! I have some paperback copies of Calming the Storm available. If you’re interested in an autographed copy, please e-mail me at melaniedsnitker@gmail.com. I’m happy to personalize each one. You let me know who you want me to sign it to and/or if you have a specific message you would like me to add. 🙂
Cost: 
$7.99 + Shipping & Handling
Shipping is $3.00 within the USA. If you live outside the USA, please let me know and I’ll find out how much shipping will be. 🙂 If you’re local to me, there is no shipping charge, of course. 🙂
Payments: I accept payments through PayPal only at this time.
Can I just say, seeing this stack of books on my desk, makes me smile? 🙂 🙂 
Thank you all!

Do I Really Bake?

Yes, I do! I enjoy baking a lot. I regularly make cookies and breads from scratch. 
I’ve had several comments from readers about a part in Calming the Storm where Rachel is making an apple crisp. People have told me that it sounds like I bake in real life. One reader even suggested that I include a recipe in my books. I thought this was a really neat idea, and I have decided to do just that.
I did go back and add Rachel’s Apple Crisp recipe to the Kindle version of Calming the Storm. But I wanted to post that recipe for those of you who already have copies of the book, just in case you want to try it out for yourselves.
I make this apple crisp regularly and it is so yummy! You can also follow this recipe and substitute peaches, pears, and berries.  If you use any canned fruit, drain it, pour it in, and directly stir the cinnamon into that rather than add any water. That extra juice will compensate and you don’t want the dessert to get too soggy!
I originally got this recipe from my sweet mom, who received the recipe from her mom. Without them, we would not have apple crisp at our home and I’m pretty sure it would be missed terribly!


Calming the Storm
Rachel’s Apple Crisp Recipe     

4 cups sliced apples

¼ cup water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup sugar

¾ cup flour

1/3 cup soft butter

Preheat the oven to 350ºF·          

Spread the sliced apples in the bottom of an ungreased 8” x 8” pan 

Combine the water and cinnamon in a bowl and then sprinkle that over the apples
 

Work sugar, flour, and soft butter together until it is crumbly
 

Spread the mixture over the apples evenly
 

Sprinkle more cinnamon on top of the mixture according to your preference
 

 Bake uncovered for approximately 40 minutes
 

This is delicious right out of the oven, with ice cream, and even cold from the fridge

Clean Indie Reads Blog Hop

I live in West Texas so we aren’t seeing falling leaves or changing colors, but the weather has gotten cooler. Lately, the temperatures have been between 85 and 90, which compared to this summer, seems wonderful. I’m especially enjoying the early mornings, when the air has a chill to it. 

Falling Leaves, Falling Prices

To celebrate the fall season, the amazing Clean Indie Reads group has a sale going on. If you haven’t checked the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale out, you need to! I’m planning on going shopping later today – it’s taken me this long to narrow down what I’m going to purchase because there truly are so many wonderful books available. 
Blog Hopping
I’m so excited to not only be a part of the sale, but to participate in this Blog Hop as well. I hope those of you who have been following the blog hop are having fun! I know I’ve enjoyed learning more about my fellow authors. Please make sure you check out all of the blogs participating as many are doing a giveaway and the deadlines aren’t until the sale is over!

October 5:
Linda Covella
Mary Ellen Bramwell
Tina Webb
Logan Crowe

October 6:
Tara Fairfield
Barbara A. Martin
Shanna Hatfield

October 7:
Sally Sue Fleischmann Ember
Zelda Benjamin

October 8:
Kelley Crandall
Jennifer Pitkin
Mari Barnes
Chrystal Lynn Miles Gauthier

October 9
October 10

Felicia Rogers
Ruth O’Neil
Debbie Brown

October 11
Faith Blum
Kristin Wallace
Elizabeth Kaiser

Blog Hop Question
Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or the choice of books you read? 
This is a question that all of the bloggers participating in the blog hop have been asked. For myself, I do find that I am more inclined to write a book that takes place in colder months during the summer, and vice versa. In fact, these last two months I’ve worked on Finding Peace, where the story plays out during the month of January. I found myself enjoying the idea of colder weather and snow during the hot summer we’ve had here in West Texas. I have a feeling that the opposite may be true when I’m shivering this winter, double socks on my feet, and a mug of hot chocolate sitting on my desk. LOL 
I don’t know that the changing seasons really affect what books I read, save for one exception: I tend to only read Christmas or holiday novels during November and December. Otherwise, I choose novels based on the mood I’m in at the time. 
Reviews
I just wanted to say that, when you read a book, authors love it if you have a moment to leave a review. Reviews are a great way to provide some honest feedback and help future readers choose a book. I know I truly appreciate them, and other authors do as well.
Thank You!
I am so glad that you took time today to come by my blog. I would love to hear from you! What is your favorite thing about fall? Does it affect what books you enjoy reading?
Information About My Novel

Calming the StormMy book, Calming the Storm, is on sale for $0.99 through October 11th. If you enjoy Christian romance, I hope you’ll give it a try. The story itself was on my heart for several years before I wrote the book. The song, “Sometimes He Calms the Storm,” performed by Scott Krippayne on his album, “Wild Imagination,” inspired the book. This song has been a huge help at difficult times in my life. The words in the chorus remind me that, no matter what I’m going through, God is there with me. Even when God doesn’t calm the storm that I’m struggling through, He’s here holding me as I weather it. I am so incredibly thankful for His love, peace and guidance. 
In Calming the Storm, Rachel had a rough childhood and continues to feel like she has no control over her life. She has always felt that she was at the mercy of life’s storms. When her sister – the only immediate family she has – is killed in a car accident, Rachel finds herself caring for her young niece. Struggling to find a job and a permanent place to live, Rachel is at risk of losing custody of her niece. 
Brandon teaches a class that Rachel attends, but when she has to drop out of college to take care of her niece, he becomes concerned. Learning about the difficult situation she’s in, he does the only thing he can think of to help: He suggests a marriage of convenience. With that agreement, she would have a stable living situation, a new job through his parents, and health insurance. All things that would hopefully lead to Rachel being able to adopt her niece and give her the kind of childhood she never had herself.
Brandon reaches out to Rachel as he tries to break through the walls that she’s built up over the years. With love and patience, he hopes to help Rachel realize that, even when she experiences storms in her life, she isn’t alone. 
Calming the Storm is available on Kindle as well as paperback through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CreateSpace.
Coming in November
My next book, Finding Peace, is the first in my Love’s Compass series. The book itself is done and I’m currently in the editing process. I’m so excited about this title and I can’t wait for my readers to get to know these new characters.
Kentucky “Tuck” Chandler is a police officer in the small town of Kitner, Texas. When Laurie Blake walks in on a robbery at her photography studio, Tuck is assigned the case. 
What seems to be a simple break-in soon becomes a string of incidents. They appear to have no connection, but with each new case, more people are in danger.
Can Tuck find the answers he needs to keep Laurie safe and bring peace back to the residents of Kitner? 

Taking a Deep Breath

I am so excited  now that Finding Peace is off to my alpha readers. I absolutely love writing, but for some reason, I find the endings to be particularly challenging for me. It took me about two months to write Finding Peace – and it took almost two weeks to write the last chapter. In fact, in order to write that final part of the story, I went through and read the book twice. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because that means I’ve gone through and edited it twice by the time I write that ending.
Now that it’s finished, I’ll be writing the description, which I’ll be posting on here soon. I also hope to post a few quotes, or even the first few pages, of the book as well.
Meanwhile, I’m starting to outline the next in the series!

It Has Begun!


Falling Leaves means Falling Prices at the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale! 
Are you looking to stock up on a bunch of books to read over the winter? Are you thinking about sending some books to friends and family for Christmas? Check out these amazing sales! There are a lot of books available for free, $0.99, $1.99 and up. Don’t miss out! 
This sale will be going from October 5th through October 11th. 
Click here for a list of the books on sale. 

My novel, Calming the Storm, will be available for $0.99 during this sale as well. I know that I will be going through that list above and picking up some books to read. 
Click here for blog hop information.
We are also having a blog hop to go along with this sale. I will be participating in this fun event as well. Watch for my post on October 9th! Meanwhile, please do go check out the authors who are participating each day. You’ll learn more about them, their work, and some authors are offering small giveaways each day as well.
Do you like to browse on Amazon? Click here for lists related to our sale.
A member of the CIR team put together these lists on Amazon featuring all of the books we have on sale. Browse by genre to find that perfect book you’re looking for!
And remember, all of these titles are flinch-free and guilt-free!

Cover Reveal: Finding Peace

I am so excited to share the cover of my new book! “Finding Peace” is the first title in the Love’s Compass series. The book will be available in both Kindle and paperback sometime in November.
More information will be posted over the next month, including the description and release date. 
Thank you all for your support!

Clean Indie Reads – Fall Sale Coming Soon!

I am so excited to announce that Clean Indie Reads is hosting a Fall Clean Book Sale. This is a massive sale with eBooks that range from free to $4.99. My novel, Calming the Storm, will be included in this sale and will be available for $0.99. 
The sale will take place October 5th – 11th. 
You will not want to miss it! 

Fall Clean Book Sale