Tag Archives: Goodbye Magnolia

about the dates



Back in my wedding photography days, dates were super important. Just about everything I did revolved around the date of a couple’s wedding and those dates still stick in my head sometimes. I often booked weddings more than a year in advance and committed to that special date above all else. My schedule – my life, really – was all about those dates.

So when I was writing Goodbye, Magnolia, it was a no-brainer that the chapters would follow along with Maggie’s wedding photography schedule. And I stuck with the dates for the non-wedding chapters as well to keep things consistent. What was going on in Maggie’s life on this date? Oh, right … meetings. What happened to her on this date? Oh yeah, this was the day Simon showed up and blindsided her with his “brilliant” business proposal. And really, that’s sort of how I looked at my life at that time, too. Based on my work schedule. Based on the dates. Meetings and engagement sessions and weddings and tons and tons of photo editing.

Going with the dates rather than Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. may not be the norm, but it felt like the right choice. For the other two Cornerstone books, I actually used the dates as chapters during the writing process, too, so I could keep the timeline straight in my mind. But Hello, Forever wasn’t focused on Maggie’s wedding photography and in Until Then, Michelle isn’t a photographer, so it didn’t really make sense for those books.

Goodbye, Magnolia got spruced up a little recently with new fonts in the chapter titles (shown above). I’m loving the new look.

Hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes.
Happy reading!

Merry Christmas!

christmas2016
As I sat down to write this to you, I took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. That’s how I feel about 2016. It’s been a year of change for our family. In so many ways. There were happy moments and sad ones, too. Busy times and times of rest. Cherished traditions and new experiences. Endings and beginnings. New job. Drivers ed. Middle school drama. It’s been interesting and tough at times, but we’ve seen God work through it all.

This year really stretched me as far as my writing goes, too. I released two books – one in May, the other in November. I’ve been a one-book-a-year girl until now, so writing, editing, formatting, releasing, and marketing two books required me to push myself more than I ever have before. I came out of all that a little stressed but happy to have two more books in my series, stories that I absolutely loved writing and felt God wanted me to tell.

Until Then, the second book in my Cornerstone series, is Michelle’s story of finding love after a rough upbringing while also searching for God’s purpose for her life, and Hello, Forever is a novella that takes place just after the events of Goodbye, Magnolia and gives more of Maggie & Simon’s love story. You can start reading the series for FREE with the first book, Goodbye, Magnolia today.

I hope 2016 has treated you well. I don’t know where you’re at this Christmas, how you’re feeling, if you’re surrounded by loved ones or on your own, but just know that you are thought about and prayed for. From my heart, I wish you so much happiness and peace this holiday.

Thank you for being a part of my writing journey.
Merry Christmas!

Now what?

So now that Until Then has been released out into the world, what’s next for this writer? Well, a couple months back when I was in dire need of a break from editing, I started writing a little novella and finished the first draft.

Someone on my Launch Team asked me the other day what the difference between a novel and novella is? It all comes down to word count. A novella has anywhere from 20,000 – 50,000 words, while a novel is 50,000+. My novels tend to be around 70,000 – 90,000 words.

This new novella I’m writing will fit between Goodbye, Magnolia and Until Then. The story will follow Maggie and Simon after the big Mackinac Island wedding and on for the first two months of their relationship. Yes, if you read Goodbye, Magnolia, you already know what happens with them, but it’s fun to see how they got there. Until Then actually fills some things in as well.

This novella, which I’ve entitled Hello, Forever, will take us into Simon’s world a little more, but it will still be from Maggie’s perspective as she meets his family and learns more about his life in California. It was so fun to write and it makes me completely adore Simon. I mean, I always loved him – he’s so charmingly cocky, but this one makes me want to hug him at times.

Here is the cover and the tentative synopsis for the book:

image
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Maggie James spent years all-consumed by her wedding
photography business, hiding out from love after a
painful breakup. When fellow photographer and consummate
rogue Simon Walker came into her life, she held him
at arms length to protect her fragile heart from being
broken again. But after discovering how he selflessly
helped her business in a very big way and admitting her
mistaken assumptions about him, she is finally ready to
open her heart again.

From small town Michigan to the sunny shores of Malibu,
California, Maggie and Simon must navigate their budding
relationship, survive family drama, and come face to face
with the past to see if their faith and ever growing love
are enough to get them to forever.
 
 
 
 
I don’t have a firm date set to release this one yet. It’s in the rough first draft form right now. If you want to be among the first to know, sign up for my e-newsletter HERE.

Hello, Forever has been added on Goodreads. If you want to add it to your “to read” shelf, head on OVER HERE.

UNTIL THEN is HERE!


It’s HERE!
Today is the official release day for Until Then. I am so ecstatic right now (and a little nervous) at the thought of everyone finally getting to read this book I’ve been working on for so long. I hope you will enjoy Michelle’s story from a struggling young girl to a woman finding God’s purpose for her life. :)

untilthenbooksSM
Until Then
is available on Amazon in:
PAPERBACK or Kindle EBOOK format.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

READ BOTH CORNERSTONE BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!
Goodbye, Magnolia is FREE and Until Then is just $2.99. Prices good for May 24-25th ONLY!

REVIEWS
A few early reviews of the book:

“I’ve been a Krista Noorman fan for a while now and if there’s one thing I can count on Noorman for, it’s creating characters you can relate to. She did it again with Until Then. One of the areas that shined the most to me was the genuine remorse over sin that Krista was able to bring to life on the pages. Our heroine, Michelle, hasn’t lived the life of a saint and we see the destroying power of sin very clearly in this novel. I was greatly impressed with the deep regret Michelle showed throughout the novel at various moments … It’s a beautiful story of redemption and a great lesson on sexual purity.”
••• A.M. Heath, Author of the Ancient Words Series

“Wow, wow, wow and wow! … So much goodness in this book … I read Goodbye, Magnolia and had my mind made up about Michelle. Then this book comes along and completely changes my view of her! I loved going back to college and seeing how Michelle, Maggie, and Simon all came together. This book is about hurt, loneliness, sin, betrayal, and God’s unconditional love He has for each and every one of us.”
••• Karen W, Ting’s Mom Books

“This is a story that isn’t afraid to tackle the hard issues head on rather than gloss over them. It makes for a great ending that leaves you satisfied rather than feeling like this would never happen in real life. … Krista Noorman deals with the realities of life in a way that has you simultaneously shaking your head at humanity and at the same time identifying in various ways with the characters. I really appreciated that she made me think about things more deeply and yet kept me thoroughly engaged in the story. I couldn’t put it down!”
••• Krista H, Book Reviewer at Welcome to Married Life

“Once I finished Until Then, I wanted to go back and re-read Goodbye, Magnolia! It magnified things from the first book. … I really enjoyed the story and the concepts of redemption and forgiveness that it illustrated.”
••• Shecki B, Book Reviewer at Greatly Blessed

And don’t forget, if you enjoy the book, stop back by Amazon and leave a brief review of your own so future readers will be encouraged to pick up the book as well. Thank you!

A GIVEAWAY
In celebration of the book release, I’m giving away a $15 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is running thru May 27th. Enter today. No purchase necessary.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

getting to know Michelle

girlinwindow
I was raised in a Christian home. I lived with both of my parents and my brothers. We went to church every Sunday and most Wednesdays, and I asked Jesus into my heart at a young age. I never questioned whether my parents loved me. I was taught right from wrong. I knew getting drunk and doing drugs and having sex before marriage were against our Christian beliefs. So, when I decided to write Michelle’s story, I couldn’t really relate to her. At all. I’ve had friends like her, who did not believe the way I did, who partied and had sex with their boyfriends. But I was never like that. I never drank or smoked or even had a boyfriend in high school. I was pretty much like Emma (Maggie and Michelle’s college roommate in my books) – young, innocent, and totally naive.

But as I wrote Michelle’s story, I tried to put myself in her shoes as much as I could. What must it have been like for her to live without her dad around, with her mom constantly working just to make ends meet? How lonely and unloved must she have felt to throw herself at guys the way she did? And what was it like for her to suddenly be thrust into this new world at this Christian college surrounded by all these “good kids”?

I tried to get into her head as much as I could, and I really hope and pray that I did Michelle’s story justice, that I showed her growth from a struggling young girl to a woman discovering God’s purpose for her life. That was my goal. And I have to say, I really love Michelle’s story. Things weren’t easy for her, and it’s not always pleasant to read about the things she does, but I really grew to love her character over the past year since I wrote the first draft. Through editing this book, I got to discover her story and get to know her heart. It was a pretty special experience for me.

A note about Until Then: I feel I should mention that on the pages of this book, there are some scenes that are a little more mature, but I never describe “the deed” itself – I always cut away – and it is in no way glorified. I hope that these scenes will help to show where she’s at when we meet her at the beginning of the book as opposed to how she’s changed later in the book. If I had to give the book a rating, it would be PG-13 for some sensuality.


Until Then is the second book in my Cornerstone series of Contemporary Christian Romance novels. The Kindle eBook is available for pre-order NOW. The official release date is May 24th — ONE MORE WEEK!

on jealousy and comparison

psalm73verse
I wish I could remember the moment that I came across this verse. I think I was looking up verses about jealousy when working on Until Then and this one popped up. I do remember thinking this verse is perfect for Michelle’s story. And then I actually read the entire Psalm that surrounded that verse and I got that feeling – the one when you know God showed you something he wanted you to see. This particular Psalm is written by a priest, Asaph, and the story he tells HERE is so relevant to what Michelle goes through in the book.

Jealousy.

It can cloud your judgment and make you do stupid things. Jealousy overwhelms with feelings of comparison, inferiority, anger, depression. It can mess you up, get into your head, and ruin your life if you let it. Jealousy messes with Michelle in the book. Big time!

I just saw this on Jasmine Star’s instagram the other day: If comparison is the thief of joy, then envy is the thief of contentment.

Absolutely agree!

Comparison can totally squelch your confidence. If you’re feeling a little unsure of yourself, comparing yourself to others is the quickest way to make you feel like you aren’t good at something, like they are doing everything better, and what you once believed was your purpose is no longer worth your time. Those are all LIES!

And envy over what others have – their success, their position, their popularity, their wealth – will quickly take away that happiness you had over something good happening in your life. It will make you feel like you aren’t doing enough, aren’t working hard enough, like you’re a failure. You’ll be left with anxiety over what you don’t have, rather than calm and peace over the things that God has blessed you with so far.

I have been guilty of both of these things. It’s hard not to compare myself to other authors, to envy the success they have with their books, the many followers they have on social media. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read a glowing review of another author’s book and thought surely my books are horrible in comparison, even though I haven’t even read their book and, many times, they are books in totally different genres. But still, my mind goes to those places because of my own insecurities, rather than trusting God to put my book in the hands of those who are meant to read it, those who will enjoy my writing and become my lifelong readers and friends.

Here is what I’m working on remembering every day:

Everyone sees life differently, so even if someone else is already doing what you want to do and seems to be doing it well, don’t let that stop you! Use your special and unique talents given to you by God for His glory. Tell your stories, make art, write songs, teach children, do whatever God has called you to do. Because nobody can bring your life experiences to the job, except you. Nobody can do it the way you can, because you’re you, you’re unique. God made you for a purpose. So live purposefully. ;)

Until Then is the second book in my Cornerstone series and is available for KINDLE PRE-ORDER NOW!

Simon and Michelle | first words


I came across this picture the other day when looking for pics of guys grinning for my little “Show Me Your Grin” contest. ;) It immediately made me think of Simon and Michelle from my books. They have such a close friendship — best friends forever. And I love them and their instant connection.

I adore the actors pictured here (from the movie “Love, Rosie”). Sam Claflin is one of my favorites, though I think he’s a little shorter than what I imagine Simon to be. And Lily Collins is beautiful, but she is super short to be Michelle (like 5’5″ when Michelle is 5’10”). But I love this picture, and it makes me happy when I think of Michelle and Simon as real people, not just characters in my books.

So, I thought I would share the first words Michelle and Simon ever said to each other with you today. A little setup for the scene: It’s move-in day at college, and Michelle has gone to the gym to check things out. There is a group of guys there playing 3-on-3. She stops just inside the door to watch. And …

     One of the guys immediately turned her head. He was tall and handsome, with nut brown hair and an athletic physique. But he was a terrible shot, hitting the backboard way too high at least half a dozen times. He suddenly lobbed the ball at the basket and completely missed, sending it bouncing in Michelle’s direction.
     She retrieved the ball and dribbled it in place, glancing his way.
     He jogged over to her, and she tossed him the ball.
     “Thanks,” he said with a grin. “Do you play?”
     Michelle flipped her long, dark ponytail over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow in reply. “The real question is … do you?”

Hehehe. So cute, right?

If you’ve already read Goodbye, Magnolia, then you know how things turn out with them, and you’ll get to see it all unfold in Until Then, which comes out on May 24th.

show me your grin | selfie contest

So … last weekend, my hubby and I got into a disagreement about what a grin looks like. When you’re reading along in a book and it says “she grinned at him”, what do you picture? What does a grin look like to you? I thought it would be fun to do a little selfie contest to see what you all think a grin looks like and have a giveaway at the end of the week.

SHOW ME YOUR GRIN!
To enter:
• Take a selfie of you grinning
• Share it in the comments of my Facebook post HERE

On Friday, I will share the whole story and draw a name. One person will win a signed paperback copy of any one of my books. (US residents only. Sorry!)


Thanks for your help! :)

Black Friday Sales

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thought I’d check in and share a few sales I’ve got going on this weekend.

Goodbye, Magnolia eBook is FREE from Black Friday thru Sunday.
That’s right. FREE! So make sure you click over to Amazon on FRIDAY to get your copy.

PAPERBACK SALE
Both of my books are on sale this weekend in paperback form.

Use COUPON CODE:
U5CQM2F4
to get $1.99 OFF each book.
You can order multiple copies and the code will take that amount off each copy as well.

Goodbye, Magnolia • $11.00 (originally $12.99)
The Truth About Drew • $8.00 (originally $9.99)

* Note: The above coupon code only works when you purchase paperbacks through my Amazon Createspace Storefront, so make sure you follow the links to each book from this post, then enter the code there. The code will not work on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or anywhere else my paperbacks are sold. Thanks. :)

Happy shopping & Happy reading!

hello, monday

Happy Labor Day! The unofficial last weekend of summer before school starts around here. It’s actually been a quiet few days here for us as I’ve been sick since last week with the virus my kids recently had, so we stayed close to home, watched lots of reruns of Parks & Rec, quietly celebrated Zach’s 15th birthday together, and missed a family reunion. :(

It’s not exactly the end of summer I had in mind, but sometimes you have to rest when you don’t want to, slow down when you don’t feel like you have the time, and stay home when you’d rather go out. This sickness has had me in a bit of a fog, too, which I can’t stand. I started feeling a little “off” the last week of August, which I now know was the beginnings of this virus.

Here’s a little recap of the last couple weeks of our summer break.

On the 26th (our 20th anniversary), I took Zach to the high school to get his schedule, get his photos taken, and find his locker. We walked down my old hallway, where I showed him my locker from my four years there. :) That was fun for me. I walked straight to it, like my mind and body just remembered the path I had walked all those days and weeks and months so many years ago.

Jake and I went to Olive Garden for lunch to celebrate 20 years of marriage. Love me some chicken parmigiana. After lunch, we browsed around Kohl’s, where I got some new running shoes and a pineapple corer. Random, yes? But I’ve been wanting to pick one up. We stopped by Barnes & Noble next. It’s been a while since we did that. I used to go there all the time when the kids were younger and I needed a break. I would browse, get coffee, sit and write in my journal. Every once in a while, I would buy a book just because I liked the cover and the blurb on the back. Now that I have published books of my own, I appreciate books even more. So much work to get them to their place on those shelves in Barnes & Noble. Maybe one day one of mine will find its way there, too.

That week, Goodbye, Magnolia was on sale for 99¢ and by Friday morning, I discovered that it had moved up the best seller charts to #9 in Christian Contemporary Romance in both the Books and eBooks lists. Such a blessing. And I was excited to see it right next to The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay, whose books I adore. Magnolia hung out there in the Top 100 all weekend. It was a lot of fun!

We spent the weekend with Jake’s Mom and our nieces, but I just didn’t feel like myself and ended up not being very energetic. The kids spent a lot of time outside, except when it rained, and Chloe and Scarlett baked brownies with MiMaw to celebrate Zach’s birthday.


We celebrated Zach’s birthday at my parents’ house this past Friday with a movie night (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2) and Jets Pizza. It’s hard to believe my little baby boy is 15 years old already. Soon he will be driving and I don’t even want to think about graduation and going off to college, but it’s inching closer with each passing day.

This week was also about Chloe’s middle school open house. She got her schedule, her school pictures taken, her locker found and opened (several times) and decorated. She ran into a bunch of her friends and had to take pictures with them, of course. The halls were a flurry of activity, and it gave me that excited and nervous feeling I used to get when it was almost time for a new year of school to begin. I’m excited for the year ahead for both the kids. I hope they will learn lots of new things and have great 7th and 10th grade years.

Chloe had an eye exam this week, too, and got new glasses. So cute. She also got contacts for the first time. She’s very excited about them and is getting much better at putting them in and taking them out of her eyes. It took her like 30-45 minutes to do it the first time she tried. She was so frustrated and in tears, but she had to do it before they would let her take the contacts home. Once she did it a couple times, it was no big deal.

As this new school year begins tomorrow, so does my writing schedule. It’s full steam ahead on edits and rewrites for the new book. And I plan to blog more, so stay tuned for that.

AJAXed with AWP