Casting Call: At Love’s Bidding by Regina Jennings

Every author dreams of seeing their work portrayed on the big screen, or even the small screen. When the time comes I want to be as helpful as possible, so here are my suggestions for the cast of the blockbuster production of At Love’s Bidding.

Natalie Portman as Miranda Wimplegate
Miranda is a beautiful woman, but she prefers to stay behind the scenes. She is most comfortable surrounded by the majestic works of art in her Boston auction house. When she travels to the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with her ailing grandfather, she’s forced to speak for herself and deal with an impossible situation. 
Scott Eastwood as Wyatt Ballentine
Wyatt Ballentine is the manager of the local livestock auction in Pine Gap, Missouri. Feeling like an outsider in his own town, he works tirelessly to prove himself. His older brother Isaac takes delight in antagonizing him and when the auction is bought by some stuffy Bostonians, Wyatt fears that his dreams to run his own business are coming to an end.
And here’s another picture of Wyatt, because, Wy-not?
Sean Connery as Grandfather Wimplegate
Grandfather is a dignified gentleman who embodies kindness and intelligence, but Grandfather is losing his edge. Lately he’s made some unexplainable mistakes that have put Miranda and her parents in jeopardy. Sir Connery would be able to handle this role with grace and dignity.
Johnny Lee Miller as Isaac Ballentine 
Wyatt’s older brother is a poet at heart. Isaac makes a great first impression and uses his considerable charm to oppose baby brother at every turn. When the lovely Miss Wimplegate and her grandfather come to town, Isaac gleefully welcomes them knowing that they are the last people Wyatt will want around.
Elle Fanning as Betsy Huckabee
Betsy Huckabee is a twelve-year-old terror. Part angel, part wolverine, Betsy is everywhere, gets into everything and spies on everyone. Miranda can’t make a move without Betsy reporting it to Wyatt.
William Moseley as Josiah Huckabee
Betsy’s big brother Josiah has a reputation as a prankster. He’s finding it hard to stop fooling around and be responsible, but if he wants to catch Katie Ellen Watson’s eye, that’s just what he’s gotta do.
Matt Smith as Cousin Cornelius
Miranda’s Cousin Cornelius is a doctor. He’s a phrenologist to be more exact, and that means that he can read your character and intelligence by measuring the shape of your skull. Cornelius has done an examination of Miranda and assures her that she does not have the capacity for courage. If Wyatt ever meets him, he’ll want to put a few new lumps on the doctor’s noggin.
John Mortlock of Cambridge and Abington Hall as the Painting of Monsieur LeBlanc
This is the painting that starts it all. This is the painting that sends Miranda and Grandfather on an adventure, but Wyatt’s life will be forever changed as well. Although technically an inanimate object, Monsieur LeBlanc has a lot to say about his journey. He was one of my favorite characters to write.
What do you think of the casting? Is there someone else you’d rather see in a movie version of At Love’s Bidding?

To see more inspiration for the cast and the setting of At Love’s Bidding, visit my pinterest page:https://www.pinterest.com/reginaljennings/novel-at-loves-bidding/

White as Snow Man

By Cynthia Ruchti

Here in the northwoods, we were one day away from having a brown Christmas. A cold rain fell, hard enough to pound the roof of the church in which we were celebrating the first of three Christmas Eve services. The first was on the night before Christmas Eve.

We left the church with hearts full–the songs and truths of the Christmas story enveloping us in a palpable warmth.

With rain pelting the windshield on the twenty-minute ride home, we watched the outside temperature drop. Lights on the dash told us the temp had dropped two degrees within the space of two miles.

Then another two degrees a few miles down the road. The splats against the windshield looked different. Wider. Splotchy. My husband and I were there, watching, the moment the rain turned to snow. Maybe it was the wonder of the story of a Creator God who sent His Son to rescue us, but the conversion from rain to snow and the symbolism of snow’s biblical connection to our redemption–“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18)–but as the snow fell, it created a holy scene.

The snow stayed. By morning, it had covered all the bare branches, the brown lawns and empty fields. The world had turned white overnight. All its blemishes, covered.
Christmas lights glistened brighter against the stark white. The full moon on snow on Christmas night made it possible to see clearly at midnight. Nothing could lurk in the darkness. It lay exposed to the Light and visible against the white on which the moon shone.
Even though the days of celebration are over or nearly over, the concept of what Christmas represents cannot be packed away in the attic or stored on shelves in the garage of our lives.
When this snow melts–in a few days or a few months–the snowy brilliance of sins forgiven remains.
The Child came. Lived. Died for us. Conquered death. The White-as-Snow God/Man.
No breath we take will ever be the same.
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through award-winning novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction books and speaking events for women and writers. She and her husband live in the heart of snowy Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren. You can connect with her at cynthiaruchti.com or hemmedinhope.com or on Facebook at CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage.

10 Ways to Make Your Writing Career Explode in 2016

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Evaluating successes and challenges in 2015 for our writing careers means

taking an honest look at how we progressed. Reaching goals doesn’t happen overnight and never happens without thought and prayer. We all experienced victories and moments of defeat: moments when we laughed and times when we cried; days when we love our calling and nights when we wanted to quit. What’s important to each one of us is the learning process.

The following are 10 ways I am excited about my writing career in 2016. Perhaps you can find yourself grabbing a pen and paper to create your own list.

  1. Research one writer conference that turns my craft challenges into strengths. Register and attend!
  2. Write a more compelling story with incredible characters who live on

    in the minds and hearts of my readers unlike anything I’ve written in the past.

  3. Open my eyes to sales numbers. No matter what they are, they can grow. What can I do differently to ensure the numbers rise?
  4. Teach serious writers at a conference where I haven’t taught before.
  5. Evaluate my methods of marketing and promotion. Am I reaching current readers and drawing more into my fold? Am I adhering to my budget? Do I need to add or delete from my list of where I currently advertise?
  6. Provide interesting, worthwhile, and humorous information to my blog while remaining transparent.
  7. Create book proposals that stretch me as a writer and a lover of story.
  8. Delete the word “mediocre” and “midlist” from my personal dictionary.
  9. Speak to an audience that forces me to delve deep into myself in a way that helps others.
  10. Thank God for every victory and every challenge as a blessing. God doesn’t waste anything. Our paths have a purpose.

Now it’s your turn. Share with us one way your writing career will explode in 2016. If we all work as a team and encourage each other, how can we fail? 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.