Category Archives: My books

“Contemporary Realism” – CF’s new genre?

I was excited to happen upon this article today, seeing as I have felt compelled to address “hot-topic” issues in my fiction. Since I began my first book in 2013, I’ve written about gay marriage, school shootings, divorce among Christians — mostly issues that we didn’t have to face twenty, thirty years ago. (Click on My Books above to read in more detail.)

Now it seems more authors are brave enough to explore this uncharted territory. And someone even came up with a name for it – Contemporary Realism.

Gotta love it!

Read the article here. 

What does an author do during a dry spell?

I was honored to be featured on “The Readers Blog” yesterday. If you’re an aspiring author but have hit a dry spell in your writing, perhaps some of these tips I offer may help.

Click here to read the article on my friend KyLee’s site.  

And here’s the article in its entirety:

Hello there, I’m an indie author from the great Pacific Northwest, and I write under the pen name of Dawn V. Cahill. I began my self-publishing journey on Kindle Direct, then branched out to Smashwords. I’m here to share a little of my journey and some words to encourage you on yours!

First, let me tell you a little about my books. My “brand” is Hot Topic Fiction. As my website describes it, the characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about. “Hot Topic Fiction” isn’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers–because there aren’t any–HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in an upside-down world.

A few summers ago at a writers’ conference, I met an agent who showed interest in my debut novel, Sapphire Secrets, and asked me to send the entire manuscript. Excited, I did so, and concluded that, although not a guarantee that she would take me on as a client, it meant my writing was good enough to draw attention from a publishing professional. A few weeks later, I received her response. She did enjoy my story, but unfortunately the edgy factor made her decline. But by then, I’d gotten enough positive feedback, lifted enough “what-now” prayers to the Lord, that I felt it was time to go ahead and indie publish. I had heard of too many wannabe published authors who had been waiting for years for either a book deal from a trad publisher, or even an agent to pitch for them. I’m the kind of person who goes after what I want, and I didn’t want to wait untold months to get my story out there. So the DIY option turned out to be the perfect solution for someone like me.

Some new authors find that after their debut hits the market, burnout can strike. After all, writing is hard work, and takes a lot out of you. What if you become weary of it all? I would say, a mini-sabbatical might be just what you need to infuse new life into your writing. Put away your manuscript for, say, a week, along with your writing books and your writer loops, and just read some good Christian books. This will give your mind a rest from the strain of putting words on paper…er, screen. There’s nothing like a mental break that can revive a weary writer. As long as you stick with the time-frame you’ve promised yourself.

When I need inspiration, or I’m “stuck”, a hike up my favorite mountain trail almost always gets those brain juices aflowin’. I’ve had some of my best “epiphany” moments on a mountain trail. Now, not everyone has access to a mountain trail. But do you have a happy place, or a favorite outdoor spot, that calms and soothes you? A place where you feel close to the Lord? Meditate on His presence, and wait for His reviving touch!

“What about those lazy days when I’d rather do anything else but write?” you may be asking. Here’s where an accountability partner can give you that push you need. I encourage you to make some goals and share them with that person. Another place to find accountability is through ACFW’s Novel Track. When I make a monthly goal and make it known to my fellow loopers, I write a lot more than I would have without them. Accountability is key!

For you perfectionists out there… A long time ago, I resigned myself to the reality that I’ll never achieve perfection. Instead, I downgraded to “excellentist,” which is, unlike perfection, attainable. The more we keep learning, the closer we get to excellence. Fortunately, the resource reservoir for writers is full to bursting! Nearly to the point of information overload, in fact. Before I finished my first novel, I took an online fiction-writing course from a well-known Christian author. If you have the monetary resources to do so, it’s a smart move. If not, I highly recommend one or two novel-writing books which contain exercises to hone your skills. Also, join a writers group—local or national—if you haven’t already, and get plugged into a critique group. I can’t tell you how valuable other authors’ feedback is. They spot things we can’t see ourselves. For me, entering writing contests generated additional feedback. Before I published my first book, I entered about five contests for unpublished authors, and it seemed that in each one I received better scores and more favorable comments than the last one. It was encouraging to track how much I’d improved! If not for professional coaching, I doubt my debut novel, Sapphire Secrets, would have received the glowing reviews that it did!

If you want to know more about me and my books, come visit my website at www.dawnvcahill.com/mybooks. Thank you for sharing my journey today.

~Dawn

 

 

Huge Giveaway and a Chance to Win an eReader!

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 26 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of inspirational fiction novels to two lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;D

You can win my novel Moonstone Secrets, plus books from authors like Jocelyn Green and David Litwack.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: http://bit.ly/inspy-nov2017

Good luck, and enjoy!

New reviews!

moonstonesecrets-frontcover

Books I and II in my Seattle Trilogy have a new review posted on Daysong Reflections. Read them both here and here.

Exciting contest announcement

Booksweeps contest2

Hi folks,

Guess who’s participating in this promo? Me! Enter to win 25+ Christian/inspirational mysteries & thrillers, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet!

This giveaway ends tomorrow, so make sure you hurry and enter! Good luck!

GO HERE TO ENTER >

bit.ly/2u9Z7ep

Launch date is here!

moonstonesecrets-frontcoverHey everyone, today book 2 in my Seattle Trilogy, Moonstone Secrets, is available for pre-ordering. Come visit Victoria, BC, with DeeDee and her twin Livy for the low low price of only 99 cents! Learn more here.

Dawn V. Cahill - Hot Topic Christian Fiction

moonstonesecrets-frontcoverFor those of you keeping tabs on Moonstone Secrets’ progress, it’s in the semi-final editing stage. IWhich means, sometime near end of March it will hit the market. Help me spread the word!

As the Christmas season sparkles around her, DeeDee McCreary eagerly anticipates visiting magical Victoria, BC, with her boyfriend, Nick, and meeting his family. But the trip proves disastrous. First, Nick finds his bank account cleaned out. Then he disappears. Frantic, she determines to uncover what happened. When she discovers something far worse than she anticipated, she questions everything she believes to be true about him.

With the man she loves in jail for an unspeakable crime, DeeDee knows the truth lies somewhere in Nick and his ex-wife’s past. But if she pursues their secrets, will she put herself in danger, too?

Learn more here.

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Launch date draws near

moonstonesecrets-frontcoverFor those of you keeping tabs on Moonstone Secrets’ progress, it’s in the semi-final editing stage. IWhich means, sometime near end of March it will hit the market. Help me spread the word!

As the Christmas season sparkles around her, DeeDee McCreary eagerly anticipates visiting magical Victoria, BC, with her boyfriend, Nick, and meeting his family. But the trip proves disastrous. First, Nick finds his bank account cleaned out. Then he disappears. Frantic, she determines to uncover what happened. When she discovers something far worse than she anticipated, she questions everything she believes to be true about him.

With the man she loves in jail for an unspeakable crime, DeeDee knows the truth lies somewhere in Nick and his ex-wife’s past. But if she pursues their secrets, will she put herself in danger, too?

Learn more here.

Introducing Moonstone Secrets – sequel to Sapphire Secrets

Dear readers,

You asked, and I’ve delivered! The sequel to Sapphire Secrets is almost ready to go to press! I will be sending it to my editor this week for final edits, and soon I should have a new cover to reveal! I expect another month will elapse by the time the book is all laid out and ready for publication.

Curious as to what it’s about? Read all about it here. But I can give you a hint. It’s a murder mystery; and a spooky, deserted log cabin, much like this one, figures prominently.

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Stay tuned for further updates.

~DVC~

 

Sapphire Secrets: A Christian contemporary novel (Seattle Trilogy Book 1) by Dawn V. Cahill

A very nice review of Sapphire Secrets by Dixiegran!

dixiegran

Sapphire Secrets, by Dawn V. Cahill, is a most interesting and intriguing read. Mixing mystery and romance with Christian faith and beliefs.   It starts out with identical  twin daughters of an older famous rock star, Livy and Deedee, who have opened a dance studio for children. The girls were raised in a New Age culture and know nothing about God or the teachings of the bible. Livy can’t remember the death of her mother, although her twin does. She seems to have blocked this from her mind. This haunts her and she can find no peace from the WHY can’t she remember.  Did something else happen that causes her to draw a blank concerning her mother’s death?  Through the dance studio she meets a christian man, Scott who helps her discover the bible and it’s teachings.  All of this is so foreign to her. Scott is fighting his own…

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Why I wrote Paint the Storm

PainttheStorm-Final2

In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm was released on October 10. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality?

That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.

When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.

You may be wondering why I would tackle such a controversial topic. In essence, I saw an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction that dealt with issues unique to our time, and came up with the concept of Hot Topic Fiction (HTF). My stories aren’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers—because there aren’t any—my books tell of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, upside-down morality, and hostility to Judeo-Christian values. The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.

Yet very few Christian fiction books contain gay characters, even though fiction is a great medium for imparting life lessons. I don’t claim to have all the answers. My goal was not to push an agenda. I simply wanted to tell the story of one Christian mom, and how she chose to live out Christ’s law of love without abandoning her convictions.

Download here.

I hope that more Christian authors will be courageous enough to tackle this and related issues in the future. After all, this is the world in which we live. And we Christians need to be prepared to deal with it.

same-sex coupleHere’s the blurb: 

GOLDEN STATE TRILOGY, BOOK I: Set amidst the spectacular scenery of California’s Marin Peninsula, Paint the Storm tells a timely story that resonates in today’s culture. It’s a saga of God’s power to heal relationships and answer prayers in the unlikeliest of ways. It’s a tale of loss, danger, and ultimately love.

When her daughter Linzee announces her engagement to her partner Nena, artist and single mother Meg struggles to understand how God wants her to respond. Should she follow the culture around her by embracing and celebrating Linzee’s same-sex relationship? And what does Christ think of a local church notorious for its hateful anti-gay messages? While she wrestles with these questions, she turns to a Christian support group where she learns what it means to love like Christ did. An intriguing new man makes life interesting, but while she is getting to know him, another man from her past suddenly shows up, further complicating matters.

Meanwhile, a cyber bully is targeting Linzee. His hateful messages turn threatening. Meg and Linzee rekindle their bond as together they determine to uncover the stalker’s identity. When the clues point toward Meg’s own family, she is paralyzed with fear. The violence escalates–until the day Linzee turns up missing.  In her search for Linzee, Meg joins up with the unlikeliest of allies – and begins to see God’s hand at work. It’s only when she turns to her support-group friends for comfort and prayer that she finally understands God’s faithfulness through the deepest of trials.

Join Meg on her adventure toward love, healing, and a heart-warming conclusion.

Source: Why I wrote Paint the Storm