Dead Broke by Linda Fulkerson

Welcome to our very own Inksper Linda Fulkerson who has a new book out!!

Dawn, thanks so much for inviting me to be on Inkspiraional Message today to share about my new book!

Linda, you are the Inksper’s personal web guru as well as being an author. Which came first? Working on web design or writing?

For me, the writing came first. I wrote my first book in 2002. I had an agent who worked to sell it for nearly a year. Because it was a memoir, (The Prodigal Daughter: Hope for Runaway Christians and Those Who Await Their Return), and I was an unknown, he told me to get famous first and then work toward getting the book published.

I was naïve enough to ask him how one became famous. He suggested I start a speaking ministry and learn how to blog. Back in the early 2000s, blogging was in its infancy. I did some research and set up a blog. Within a few years, my author friends started asking me how to blog, because their agents and editors were telling them they needed to have a blog. That launched my blog coaching career and instructional blog (

Today, my business has expanded to include all aspects of author platform building and book marketing, including graphic design. I have both traditionally published and self-published clients, and I love it.

(Just in case our audience doesn’t know, Linda designed my new website, and I love it. Go to to take a look!)

Besides writing, reading, and helping other people with their blogs and websites, what kind of hobbies do you have?

I enjoy travel and photography. I love going places I haven’t yet been. So far, I’ve visited 47 states, so seeing those final three states is on my bucket list. Use the comments to guess which states I haven’t been to, and I’ll give you a surprise gift. (Those who know me well are disqualified because they probably know the answer – sorry!)

What was the most favorite place you’ve traveled and why?

The Black Hills in South Dakota. In addition to the natural beauty of the area, the place is rich in history. The people are friendly, and we enjoy getting a break from heat and humidity, so that’s a favorite vacation spot for us.

If you could have one ability that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to draw. Both of my brothers are artists. One has an art degree and has worked professionally in that field before. The art gene totally passed me by. But my daughter can draw. I’m a bit jealous.

What are you currently working on as far as writing?

dead-broke-front-coverI’ve started writing Book Two of the River Valley Mysteries series. Its title is DEAD WRONG. Plus, I’m working on a nonfiction book titled, Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Purpose: Life Lessons from the Book of Esther. And, I have another coloring book in the works – Coloring Books for Writers Volume III. I hope to publish all three of those by the end of 2016.

If you’re interested in any of those titles, be sure to join my notification list, and you’ll be the first to know when I’m releasing a new book. You can sign up here:

What inspired you to write your current novel, Dead Broke (River Valley Mystery Book 1)?

I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery, especially the classic hard-boiled detective stories. Raymond Chandler is one of my favorite authors.

But, I also like contemporary mysteries. I ran across the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich years ago and have read several of those books. They are fun with a snarky heroine set in a quirky community who gets in all sorts of trouble while she’s working to solve whatever case she’s working. But, those books include a lot of foul language and some sexual content. I looked for something similar in the Christian market. While there are a lot of good, clean mysteries out there, I couldn’t find one similar to Evanovich’s series. That’s what prompted me to start working on a mystery series.

Tell us a little about Dead Broke.


From the Back Cover: Sports photographer Andrea “Andy” Warren, whose faith has dipped to the dead-broke-back-cover-finalsame depths as her checkbook balance, receives a phone call that forces her return to the Arkansas hometown she renounced, where she hopes to avoid her meddling mother, her ex-fiancé, and the local sheriff.

Upon her arrival, she soon discovers a series of changes in the “never-changing” community. A handsome stranger has arrived, a festival is in the works, and a person she desperately needs is dead.

When her estranged brother is charged with the crime, he begs Andy to find the true killer.

Will Andy amateur sleuth skills be adequate to find the murderer? Or will she become the next victim?

And, here’s the first paragraph:

The only force with sufficient power to propel my feet forward is the inescapable awareness of my checkbook balance. The figure pounds inside my head like the beat of a bad disco song, and I find myself moving in step with its cadence. Constance, you owe me for this one. In reality, I owe her. But who wants to muddle a perfectly good mope-fest with the facts?

Here is one of the many 5-star reviews DEAD BROKE has received:

This mystery has a touch of romance, a cast of interesting characters, and a Southern town where your business is not your own. The author writes a page-turner with a knack for humor that kept me chuckling as a murder investigation takes place. The story kept my interest through the last page. Good characterizations and settings descriptions.

Purchase links:

Kindle edition ($3.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited)

Paperback edition ($11.99 plus shipping)

linda-fulkerson-300x300Linda Fulkerson has nearly two decades of experience in small business management and marketing. She is the former director of digital services for the largest media group in central Texas and served five years as division training manager during her 9-year stint in the United States Marine Corps.

Linda’s writing career began as a freelance magazine features writer. She later moved into the exciting realm newspapers and has held the positions of copy-editor, sports writer, online editor, and online advertising coordinator.

In 2013, Linda left her day-job and launched DLF Digital Services LLC. Her company provides a variety of services, including a book marketing graphics segment that creates cover designs and video book trailers. She is a sought-after marketing consultant for authors, speakers, and small business owners, and specializes in website development for authors and speakers.

Linda is the author of several nonfiction books, including two coloring books for writers. She recently published her first mystery novel, DEAD BROKE.

To learn more about Linda Fulkerson, visit her website


Saying Goodbye …

Saying goodbye is rarely easy, especially when the journey has been so hope-filled, and has introduced you to lifelong friends who will cheer for you, cry with you, pray for you. Still, saying goodbye is often for the best, so it with sadness and hope that, after seven years, I pen my final post for Inkspirational Messages.

I’m very sad to say so long to fellow bloggers and readers whom I’ve gotten to know over the years. How blessed I am to have made these amazing friends! Also, it’s difficult letting go of something that’s become part of life’s routine, but when posting becomes simply routine rather than being a passion, it’s time to let go and make room for those who still strive for excellence.

Letting go of the Inkspers also means that I will have more time to spend on writing stories, something that’s taken a back seat over the past couple of years and needs to get back up front into the drivers seat.

I’d love to stay in touch with everyone! You’ll still find me blogging over at Brenda Anderson Books, I’ll be in touch on Facebook, and I’ll certainly be visiting Inkspirational Messages every day to read the latest posts by the gifted writers remaining here.

Rather than a drawn-out goodbye, I’ll leave you with these words from Numbers 6:24-26 as sung by the Golden Valley Lutheran College concert choir back in 1983 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, which was our choral farewell to college.


New Release Celebration! + Giveaway

*** Book Giveaway ***
See contest info below

This past Tuesday witnessed the birth of another book baby: RISKING LOVE, book one in my Where the Heart Is series! Now this book–this series–is a bit of a departure for me. I usually don’t write romance, but that’s what the market was demanding four-plus years ago when I began penning it, so I grudgingly went with the market.

It was probably the toughest book I’ve ever written, and I honestly didn’t think it was very good. But to my utter surprise, my husband and daughter loved it (but they don’t count, right?) Then my beta readers loved it, my critique partners lauded it, and it was a Genesis finalist. I was left scratching my head thinking maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. But wasn’t fully convinced.

Now four years later, after promptings from those who’d read it, my romance novel has finally come to print, clothed in a fun and flirty cover that always makes me smile. And so far, the reviews are very positive. Still surprises me. I guess it pays to listen to your peers.

So, what is the romance about? Here’s RISKING LOVE‘s back cover blurb:

New ReleaseShe holds the key to his heart … and his home.
Can she risk falling in love with a man whose home she may have to take away?

Bank employee Lissa Morgan likes all the columns of her life to add up. From her job to romance, every major decision is planned out. But before she can go out on a date with Mr. Perfect, she attends a charity auction with her meddling mom who wins Lissa a date with thrill-seeker Caleb Johnson.

Caleb lived for adventure until heart disease stole his wife’s life. Then debt closed his business and now threatens to take his home. With a toddler to raise, he vows that his risk-taking days are over. But then he meets the cautious yet curious Lissa Morgan and decides it’s time to take one more risk—this time on love.

When Lissa learns the extent of Caleb’s debt, she wonders if she can collect on his heart if she forecloses on his home. And why is she falling for the wrong man—one who challenges her to leap from her orderly life and into his waiting arms?

So now you’re wondering, “Where can I run out and purchase this book?” Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to find it on store shelves–yet–but you can purchase it online at the links below:


Amazon | B&N


Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | 24Symbols

And check out this beautiful trailer created by John Martin Keith at Edenbrooke Productions. The music is written specifically for the book!

And finally, here’s the contest Info ~

Fill in the Rafflecopter form below for an opportunity to win an autographed copy of RISKING LOVE, plus a book filled with heart-healthy recipes, and a Go Red for Women lapel pin. Contest ends Monday, October 10, 2016 at midnight. Must be 18 to enter and live in the lower 48 US states. Enter contest here at Inkspirational Messages or at my blog: (You’ll also find a low-cal Berry Cheesecake Dessert recipe at my blog, so you might want to scoot over there anyway!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wholly Loved

Ten years ago I wrote a women’s study that challenged women to change the way they view their lives, and unlock the potential God has graced every woman with in life. I have tried to live that truth ever since, and have reached out to women around me with this message.

Now, I can say that journey has led me to a wider path. I’ve joined a group of other Christian women in the Omaha area who have that same vision for women. Led by Jennifer Slattery, we’re called Wholly Loved, and we will be holding coffees and conferences starting this December.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be part of such a uniquely-gifted group of women who independently have a heart for other women, and together have become a strong, purpose-filled voice calling out to women caught up in the storms of life. Our events will be filled with stories of our experiences and triumphs in Christ. But, be warned, odds are you’ll laugh and cry before Wholly Loved is done with you.


Inksper Wins Genesis Award

Saturday night, I sat glued to my computer screen watching the ACFW Awards Gala in Nashville, TN. Sure, I knew several of the finalists in both the Genesis and the Carol Award categories, but I there was one person’s name I couldn’t wait to hear called.

The Genesis Awards are for unpublished authors and the Carol Awards recognizes published authors. The gala starts with dinner, then gives away some special awards, and finally gets to the Genesis Awards.

After what seemed like forever, her category came. “And the nominees for the Genesis Speculative category are . . .”

I didn’t breathe, and I knew she wasn’t breathing either.

“And the winner is–Dawn Ford!”

I screamed. My daughter came running downstairs. I watched her take the stage and give her acceptance speech with such poise and grace.

Rom. 13:7 says to “give honor to those to whom honor is due,” and it’s certainly due Dawn. She has stuck with writing, and she’s prayed and sought God’s direction. She has worked hard at honing her craft, working and reworking stories, and sticking with the category of heart. We couldn’t be more proud.

It's hard to see everyone at once, but here's Dawn's flat posse.
It’s hard to see everyone at once, but here’s Dawn’s flat posse.

Her husband called me a little while after the gala concluded. He hadn’t be able to watch the whole thing because of work, but I was able send him this link. You can check it out, too, and see Dawn at the 36:40 on the counter.

Then, today in church, Dawn’s son was our song leader. He had to brag on his mom and lead a song of celebration in her honor.

And did I mention she took all her Inksper and writing buddies with her? She called us her Flat Posse, and she took us to meals and even to listen to the speakers. What a commitment to the learning of her peers!

Speaking of learning, another big surprise that occurred at ACFW was the announcement that Minnesota’s N.I.C.E. chapter was the Chapter of the Year. Our own Brenda Anderson is the president of Minnesota N.I.C.E. and this group was truly blessed by her leadership.

Lots of our Inksper friends took home awards, too, and we congratulate all of the finalists and winners in each category.


Summer News

Summer News

I’m taking a short break from my ‘I Dare You’ series to bring everyone my summer news. Many things have happened this year so far, and I’m bursting at the seams to share it all.

April 4th I received an email back from Splickety Publishing Group about a manuscript I had submitted to them last year. It’s my contemporary young adult novel about a girl dealing with alcoholic parents, and the fallout of the lies she tells to try to cover it up. Splickety’s acquiring editor fell in love with it (her words, not mine), and she offered to help me publish it in partnership with SPG. You can only imagine the elation I felt that 1.) someone loved my story, and 2.) they wanted to help me get it published. Since this novel was one I had planned on self-publishing anyway, this is a real coup to get a publishing company to help me navigate these indie waters. We are currently working on the edits for this story, and when something more newsworthy such as a publishing date, or front cover comes, Inkspirationalmessages will be among the first to know.

ACFW logoOn May 4th I received a call telling me I was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest for my fantasy submission. This isn’t the first time I’ve submitted, but the first time after a professional editor went through it first. I’d sent this in without any real intention of being a finalist, but God has a sense of humor. Maybe because I had given it fully over to Him this time, He blessed me. Later I received notice that my submission moved on to the finals rounds. The winner is going to be announced on August 27th at the ACFW gala in Nashville, TN. I quickly gathered the money needed and booked the conference, and later a flight, and hotel room. I’m beyond elated with this news, and a little queasy at the thought of having to have a speech ready, just in case. Talk about jitters!!

This past month I went to one of the most fulfilling conferences for Christian Sci Fi and Fantasy writers Davis Bunn RMever: Realm Makers. There I got to meet up with my Splickety editor, Sarah Grimm, and meet all of the SPG staff who came to the conference face to face. They are all amazing in so many ways. As are Becky and Scott Minor, who along with Ben Wolf, spearhead the conference. This year it was an honor to sit through a class with Davis Bunn, aka Thomas Locke. I almost envisioned gold coming out of his mouth as he spoke. Next year will be bigger and better. It’ll be held in Reno, NV and it boasts Ted Dekker as our feature speaker. This group is one of the most accepting and helpful I’ve ever met. It’s almost as if you assimilate when you sign up. (Dr. Who reference for those other nerds out there.)

And two days ago I received notice that one of my short stories has been accepted to a magazine. Because I don’t have anything signed yet, and I’m using a pen name, I can’t give you any details on that, save to say that my smile is breaking the sides of my face at this point. It feels like all of my hard work is finally coming together in fast succession. I don’t know what to do except praise God for giving me the stories of my heart that I can turn around and share with others.

It’s been an eventful year, and it promises to keep getting better. Normally I would knock on wood, or toss some salt behind my shoulder, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt this has all transpired due to God’s great and powerful favor. When people told me it would take ten years to get published, I used to scoff. It’s close to ten years for me now, and I’m not scoffing any longer.

So, how has your summer been?

Upcoming Release Announcement!

I’m excited to announce that my upcoming release, Risking Love, a Where the Heart Is romance, is now available for pre-order!* And don’t you love that cover?! My designer, George at Think Cap Design Studios, really captured the feeling of the story and the characters.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Bank employee Lissa Morgan likes all the columns of her life to add up. From her job to romance, every major decision is planned out. But before she can go out on a date with Mr. Perfect, she attends a charity auction with her meddling mom who wins Lissa a date with thrill-seeker Caleb Johnson.

Caleb lived for adventure until heart disease stole his wife’s life. Then debt closed his business and now threatens to take his home. With a toddler to raise, he vows that his risk-taking days are over. But then he meets the cautious yet curious Lissa Morgan and decides it’s time to take one more risk—this time on love.

When Lissa learns the extent of Caleb’s debt, she wonders if she can collect on his heart if she forecloses on his home. And why is she falling for the wrong man—one who challenges her to leap from her orderly life and into his waiting arms?

Risking LoveFor those of you who’ve read my Coming Home series, this is a bit of a departure from that. Where the coming home stories dealt with a lot of heavy, tough issues, and were more defined as family drama, this new series is definitely romance. But while the tone is lighter and a lot more humor is added, I still cover my share of tough topics.

*To pre-order the ebook, just go to Amazon: Your book will be delivered to your Kindle app on October 4, 2016, the official release date of Risking Love.

Congratulations, Dawn!!!

I’m so excited to share good news, today! The ACFW Genesis Awards just announced their finalists for 2016 and our own Dawn Ford is in the final three for Speculative Fiction!!!


Genesis AwardThe winners of each category will be announced on August 27, 2016 at the ACFW Conference Awards Gala in Nashville.

Congratulations to all the finalists! (See complete list of finalists >here<)