Girls Write Out
Friday, May 03, 2013

Since we're writing about  the subject of books and writing this week, I'm going to start by announcing that I will enter your name in a drawing for a free autographed Hannah Alexander novel (sorry, only within the contiguous United States) if you will tell me what some of your favorite things are about your favorite novels. Do you love humor? Describe what kind of humor you like and what turns you off. For instance, do you like slapstick or sarcasm? Or both? Or neither?

Do you like a little romance in your novels, or a lot? Do you prefer suspense with your romance, or romance with your suspense? What about historical novels? Do you like feisty heroines, or stories in which the hero rescues the heroine? Your answer will determine which novel I will send you--of course, if you already have most of my novels, we'll figure out which one you don't have and work from there.

I'm considering a slightly different direction in my writing career, and would appreciate some input. I know I love to write with some gentle humor, but if I try too hard it falls flat. I like to read novels with intelligent heroes and heroines who are strong and know what they want, even if that causes them some trouble. I'm hard to please when it comes to humor, but I do need humor in the novels I read. Life's already too serious, so I want something to lighten the darkness at some points in the story.

As I've done before, I will consider drawing more than one name from the basket if I have enough entries. I will announce the winner/winners next Friday. I hope to hear from you!

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:44 PM  
  Comments (62)
 
 
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62 Comments:
At 3:20 PM, Blogger jel said...

could ya put a little of all in a suspense, :)

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, JEL, I believe so.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Anna Angela Sangalang said...

I agree with you that life's already too serious. That's why I like romance and comedy in my reading (and watching, you got me). But I grew up on Nancy Drew books so a little mystery mixed in is great. I pray for the best in the slightly different direction you're taking!

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Anna. Mel and I recently got addicted to watching Eureka because of the humor. I need some freedom to write interesting characters with a little more depth. I'll have to see if that works.

 
At 10:43 PM, Blogger Library Lady said...

I love suspense novels with just a touch of romance.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I look forward to entering you, Library Lady!

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger ~sharyn said...

Yes, life is too serious, which is why I prefer romance with a good sense of humor. And I like the kind of humor that morphs organically out of the situation and/or characters.

Romance and humor are the first things I look for. Other than that, it can be historical or contemporary, suspense or not.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger karenk said...

I love words...the beauty of the writing...be it suspense, romance, contemporary, historical. oh...and the story line has to grab me, too.

thanks for the chance to read one of your novels, Hannah Alexander :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger ohiohomeschool said...

I love humor and real people who have problems,but are hopeful. Their humor is part of their hope.
Thanks for the chance to win,
Becky

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, ladies. I'm getting the feedback I need. Your names will be placed in the drawing.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
I love humor in a book. The kind that makes me literally laugh out loud. It can be through sarcasm, funny dialogue, or a character's odd quirks.

I like a lot of romance in my stories. But not the cheesy, unrealistic kind where you want to shake the heroine for being too dreamy.

I also love a good historical romance. I enjoy the history lesson along with storyline.

I enjoy suspense, too. I guess what it boils down to is I LOVE BOOKS!

I love any well written story. :)

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Cindy W. said...

First off, I love humor in life, so when I come across a novel that has a little bit of humor in it I love it. If it flows naturally in the story all the better. However, I don't like it when the humor seems forced.

Suspense? Oh my yes. I love being able to read a book in which I can become part of the story by trying to figure out who did the dastardly deed. If the Hero or Heroine find romance during the course of the book all the better.

Romance? Most definitely. To escape into a romance novel is pure bliss. I do love a good historical romance, probably more than a contemporary romance. I'm not sure why...maybe because I'm older and feel more connected to the past? :) I do like my Heroines to be strong and self reliant but yet weak in an area that the Hero can provide support. Does that make sense?

If an author combines all three, well, that would be pure magic for me.

Have a wonderful blessed day.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Cindy Regnier said...

I don't care so much for suspense - I'd rather have light-hearted enjoyable reading than page-turner edge of the seat books. My absolute favorite is sweet sappy historical romance. Always romance. With happy-ever-after. Truth is though, you'll never please everyone with one person's opinion. I think you do GREAT with whatever you write and I will remain a faithful reader even if you change it up some. That's what keeps life interesting and challenging. Thanks for asking and thanks for writing Hannah!

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I write romance and contemporary and suspense and historical, LOL. I'm dreaming of writing longer women's fiction that will probably be contemporary with romance and a touch of suspense (though I like to read a well-written historical) We'll just have to see what happens.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Amber said...

I usually choose to read books that are lighthearted. I want something that allows me to escape the heavy feelings of life and relax and smile for a bit. I tend to pick out contemporary romances with humor. I don't like humor that is too obvious and expected. I'd rather read a romance with suspense thrown in than a full on suspense with a touch of romance. I like realistic stories. I applaud you for trying something new! Can't wait to see what you come up with!!

amberdawnwhitlock[at]gmail[dot]com

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Amber. That's what I'm going for--more character-driven stories with suspense thrown in if I wish. Of course, I don't know if I could write a book without romance in it, so that stays.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Sheri said...

Well. . . it really depends upon the mood I'm in what book I choose to read. I love suspense with some romance. I love a happy ending. I love historical fiction with details, a strong heroine and a strong plot. I also love contemporary fiction with humor and romance.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, yes, Sheri, a happy ending is mandatory for me.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Kristine J said...

Lately I've most appreciated novels with characters that are flawed to the point I can identify with them. Romance is good, suspense is good, but the character is most compelling to me.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Kristine J said...

Lately I've most appreciated novels with characters that are flawed to the point I can identify with them. Romance is good, suspense is good, but the character is most compelling to me.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Kristine, that's another thing I love--good characterization. If I don't care about the characters, I don't finish the story. Thanks for your comment!

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Veronica Sternberg said...

I love humor, especially sarcasm and dry or witty humor in all kinds of stories. I love some suspense with my romance and feisty heroines. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yay, Veronica! I love all those, too. In fact, the series I'm working on now (not contracted yet) has serious themes with enough humor and wit and sarcasm--depending on the character--that I'm just loving the work for the first time in years. But I still have a romantic suspense, which doesn't allow for much humor, that I'm contracted for that needs to be finished before I can dig more deeply into the novel series of my heart. Now to find someone who will love the stories I'm loving so.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Sandie said...

I like a little humor in stories but I am thick and it must be obviously humorous, but grow naturally out of the story. Sort of like Three Men and a Baby where the men are just doing ridiculous things with the baby. LOL Or a humorous turn of a phrase, bit of sarcasm. Things like that. In the Doctor Who I watched last night, a character was giving instructions and his name was Thomas Thomas. Tom Tom. I cracked up!

My stories must have romance. It doesn't have to be the primary focus, but I like seeing the male and female lead heading towards a relationship.

Gotta love a whodunit! Not too terribly complex, definitely not political or world affairs type thing as that takes too much brain power. Just a simple jealous rage or murder in the midst of a robbery or something simple like that.

I prefer contemporary or prairie days personally.

Probably more than you wanted to know. LOL

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Sandie, that's exactly what I wanted to know. I'm slow on the uptake with humor, too, so though I don't like slapstick, even that can work when done well.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Susan P said...

I read books to escape into another world. :) I love romance, historical, suspense and humor in it all. I like sarcastic, natural humor. I like it where the hero rescues the female even if she's capable of doing it. I don't think it makes her look weak. Hope that helps some!

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Susan, it does help. Adding your name to the drawing. All you girls have helped, and every name, (except mine) are in the drawing.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Chris Jager - Baker Book House-fiction buyer said...

This is maybe a little longer answer than what you thought you would get, but here it goes.

I will read and love almost any type of genre in fiction as long as the characters are three dimensional. There needs to be something about them that appeals to me in the way that makes me think I could meet them on the streets. I just finished reading a book about a young lady who was abused by her husband. The author did such a good job of betraying her emotions when she was waiting for her husband to get home that I felt myself getting tense also. This is something that makes a good book. It takes you right into the story with the character.

Romance is not a genre I run to right away because usually the characters are so wrapped up in getting or losing the guy/girl that there is nothing else on going on in the world. People like that in the “real” world are shallow, self-centered and annoying.

Mystery/Thriller/Adventure is usually my favorite because it forces characters to have more depth otherwise the mystery falls flat. They usually have to have something else about them that make them tick.

I have read some really good romances and some really bad mystery, but that is true about any genre and it usually goes back to the characters. They have to be someone I would like to have cup of coffee with or can’t wait to see them brought to justice.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Humor is always good, but again does it fit the story. Some of the best humor I have read is just a natural part of the story.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Chris. Three-dimensional characters are definitely a must for me. I do like a romance in what i read, but I don't want the whole book to focus on that romance, and I've never been able to write that way because it bores me--I can't think of enough to write if I focus just on the romance. But with women's fiction, I feel free to expand on those characters until they're alive and breathing for me. That's what it's all about. I appreciate your comments, and will add your name to the list!

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Jackie Smith said...

I don't think I can add much to the great comments here! Also, I think you are on the right track in your new thinking, Hannah! Can't wait to read your newest ones coming out!

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Mike Parnell said...

I'm like so many of the others ... I like humor, mystery, romance, suspense! I just love to read! The main thing is that the book is clean and has a Christian message. Since I share all my books with my 92-yr-old mother-in-law who LOVES suspense, I'd love to win a suspense/mystery book. Thank you for offering us a chance to win! Blessings!! Susan

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger smurch said...

I love historical fiction with a lot of romance and suspense and oh, some humor. Gentle humor!!! And I would LOVE to win one of your books. I have one already, but of course it isn't autographed!!!

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Susan and Jackie. Your names are entered for the drawing. And I've decided to draw more than one name, so more chances to win!

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger ShannonStone said...

I really like sarcastic humor in my books, and I prefer a little romance with my suspense/mystery. Sometimes I'm taken with a book that is more life/relational, but I like to have a little mystery even then. I really dig stories that deal with life issues because I appreciate being able to learn while reading for fun and relaxation. Books are a great escape and I usually try to read all of an author's books if I think the first one is any good. I think to date, I've read all of yours.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Shannon and smurch! I appreciate your input, and will place your names in the drawing!

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Well, I love it all, really. I go through seasons where I like suspense, romance, historical, and sometimes all wrapped in one! I try to put a little humour in my own books as well. Laughter makes the world go around! But other times, I love to sit with a good crying book, a missionary tale, a historical text. Then there's always a cereal box. ;-)

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Vivian Helton said...

I love a good historical novel with strong heroes and heroines. A little humor certainly doesn't hurt!

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger Kd Brown said...

I like historical stories with well developed characters and a little romance.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Valri said...

I think everyone needs a little humor these days! We have enough tension and stress in every day life! But I love romance and suspense! That's my favorite! You can still have humor though! It breaks up the suspense a little :) I love to have my heroines find their "inner strength" that they never knew they had! Give me a Kindergarten teacher caught in a suspenseful situation where she has to rescue someone just as a jaded "lawman" comes to HER rescue!!! That's what I'm talking about!!!!

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger HistoryLover said...

I love historical romance and romantic suspense :)

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, yeah, cereal boxes...shampoo bottles. I read them all.
Okay, Valri, how did you know my present heroine is a kindergarten teacher? But she packs heat, unless my editor makes me get rid of it.
Thanks, ladies. You're entered in the drawing...I'm thinking maybe I'll draw five names now. Maybe more. I have so many copies of my own books, and I certainly don't need them.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Valri said...

Too funny about the Kindergarten teacher! I had no idea you were writing about one of those right now! I just thought that up myself! My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher so that kind of thing was on my mind! I love your books and read them whenever I can :)

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Jan Hall said...

I love to read books that capture my attention and immerse me in the story. I love Christian fiction because I am learning how I could act or react in a given situation in a good way. Not just rules. I love suspense. I would like to see more books about married couples and families. I like books about overcoming illness or tragedy. I would like to see a book about how someone could make the best of living with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis or Muscular dystrophy or something like that. I would like books that would help me to cope with life.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Valri, my kindergarten teacher wants to be a romance novelist.

Jan, thank you for your input. I've never included my own physical struggles into the lives of main characters. That's a good idea--and I've certainly done the research.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Wilma said...

I read a variety of romance novels, including Christan ones.

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Wilma, I really miss some of the chick lit with sassy heroines who never back down. Kris B was always great with those.

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger bonton said...

In fiction - I only read Christian novels & enjoy a little of each of the following: humor, suspense, unexpected twists & turns. I enjoy both contemporary & historical & love books that teach a lesson through imperfect characters - I like lots of detail that makes me feel as if I were there with the characters.

bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Bonnie. I appreciate your insights. Your name will be in the drawing.

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Nellie Dee said...

Humor is good, but I love a good suspense thriller. Too often, however, the good ones are secular and include swearing and/or sex. I prefer to read books without swearing or sex.
I enjoy action that keeps my attention. I get bogged down with flowery descriptions and will try to skip over if there's too much detail about say the wallpaper.
I have read mysteries, westerns, historical novels and romances but lately have preferred autobiographies and thrillers whether fiction or real life.
I love characters that overcome great difficulties or weaknesses.
Too many romance novels are cheesy and shallow. I prefer the depth and quality of books like Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Nellie Dee said...

P.S. I don't believe that I have ever read one of your books. I will have to check them out.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Nellie, I loved Redeeming Love! All depth, heart tugging, and beautiful. It's one that can make you cry. Francine Rivers is a dynamite writer. Thank you for your input. Your name will definitely be in the drawing.

 
At 7:44 PM, Blogger A. Kay Daniel said...

I love suspense with touches of romance and humor, but if the author also teaches me something new, the book is an all-around winner. Help me learn about coffee drinking customs in Ethiopia or how to tell if a fire was started by an arsonist or how leis are handcrafted in Hawaii... it doesn't matter what little tidbit of new information is included; just please include it!

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yes, I've learned much about many things through fiction. That's why I try to write my stories based in some kind of truth, whether it concerns historical facts or medical or spiritual wisdom.

 
At 4:02 AM, Blogger Ronya said...

I'm leaving a comment after the drawing...because I didn't notice it before...not to get in on the free book, but rather because this is a great question!! I really love Christian fiction. I love suspense, contemporary and historical. I struggle to read first person narrative, but have found a few authors that I can get past that with. I enjoy suspense, but not too much - I'm very jumpy in suspenseful movies. I don't want to have to put my book down because I'm afraid of what's going to happen next - haha! I love historical because I learn about history. I didn't enjoy history in school, but when written in with some characters I can get to know and love, I enjoy while learning (this is why I think the American Girl dolls and stories are so amazing - I think there should be American Boys too!). I agree on wanting some humor. I think there's a place for books that make you think and leave you concerned and/or wanting to make a difference in the world. But most often reading is a release from the world around me and I want to enjoy it and laugh out loud. Really, when it all boils down, what I like the most is being able to connect with the characters...to love them and see them as friends or people I know. I want to laugh with them and cry with them. I love the reality of the emotions...and how through the way the characters live their lives I am encouraged in my own walk with God. I love series where the same characters are around book after book. :) Well, I think that's a bit scattered in my thinking, but it is 1:00 am and I should be in bed...not fiddling on the computer. I always look forward to your books...I can't wait to see what God has in store for you next. :)

 
At 5:26 AM, Blogger Amber said...

I forgot to mention this in my other post, but I love books about friends. Melody Carlson has a series called The Four Lindas about childhood friends who reunite in their 50's at a high school reunion. They all end up moving back to town and become great friends again. This series has a bit of married life, single life, mothering, caring for aging parents, and finding work you're passionate about. I love following a group of friends through romances, celebrations, hardships, and fun times!

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Amen, Ronya, preach it! Agreed. And Amber, you also nailed it. The characters matter. If our characters are people we can care about, and if we can laugh a little, love a lot and escape pressures of our day, then I think that book's a winner. Thanks for taking part.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Valri said...

Such great comments, Hannah! Boy, lots of good ideas for books, huh? I can't wait to hear who the winner is for your contest!

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Valri, I've given an email addy for anyone who has entered to send me their snail-mail (which will be destroyed as soon as I send a book) and I will send a book to everyone who has commented, if they live in the contiguous US, due to expenses. I've got plenty of extra books, so might as well share some of the love. If someone feels led, I've also asked if they would leave a review of the book online at their favorite site.
You girls are awesome!

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Valri said...

I didn't see that info, Hannah! Can I participate?

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yep, Valri, you're approved!

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger A. Kay Daniel said...

I don't see the email addy to which we're supposed to send our snail mail address, Hannah. Would you please post it again?

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Email me your snail mail addresses to askhannah@hannahalexander.com

Hope this reaches everyone!

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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