Saturday, August 23, 2014
We're happy to have Amber Stockton with us today talking about her book, A Grand Design. Please answer one or both of her questions at the bottom of her post (with your email address) for your chance to win a copy. If you've not yet done so, please place your email address in the feedburner box to the right to receive email updates regarding book giveaways. To learn more about Amber and her book, read on!
A fun getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs…if only she can let go of her past.
Fifteen years ago, Alyssa Denham stopped taking her annual summer trip to Mackinac Island, refusing to tell anyone the reason she avoided the island she loved as a child. Now here she is, unexpectedly on the island for two weeks with her best friend, Libby, trying to keep her secret buried.
Alyssa’s grandmother, who lives on the island, has asked Alyssa and Libby to help piece together a friendship quilt she had started years earlier. Their quest takes them to the homes of some of her grandmother’s long-lost friends, giving Alyssa amazing insight into her grandmother’s life…and attracting the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman.
Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will she finally learn to trust and let God heal her fractured heart?
Amber Stockton’s ”A Grand Design”
Ever since childhood when I first saw the film, Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) and Christopher Reeve (Superman), I dreamed of visiting Mackinac Island (pronounced Mak-i-naw). If you want to step back in time and experience a little of life in the past, Mackinac Island won’t disappoint.
Once the writing bug bit me, I searched for a good story to set on Mackinac. It took two years after sending the story to my agent before I received a call telling me I’d just sold the book to Abingdon’s Quilts of Love line. This made me pause for a moment. Then, I replied, “That’s great, but there isn’t any quilt in that story.” She told me she’d added the quilt in order to submit it for consideration.
Grateful, but also perplexed, I now had to rework the entire premise and add in a quilt to be the unifying theme throughout the story. And I needed to do that in less than 6 months. Not an easy task for someone with absolutely zero quilting experience. The closest I’d ever come to a quilt was purchasing one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when I was in college. I don’t even know how to sew much more than buttons and a straight line. Add to that having two little ones (ages 3 and 5) underfoot all day, and the time to write becomes quite a challenge. But I’ve never let that stop me before!
A sale is a sale, right? And who was I to balk at having to rework my entire story? So, I set my mind to my task, consulted a friend who I knew quilted as a hobby, and wrote the book. After several months—and writing around a major home project of replacing our carpet with hardwood floors on one whole level—the story once called Adventure Island became A Grand Design and releases August 2014 from Abingdon.
Mackinac Island is vehicle-free, and transportation is limited to bicycles, horses, or walking. Utilizing your footwear allows you to take things slowly and investigate anything that piques your interest. The setting allowed me to bridge the gap between my previous historical novels and this contemporary one without losing the readership interest in all things historical. Though I haven’t walked away from writing historical, I am exploring other options to keep the writing steady. After all, an author is only as good as his/her next book.
Laying aside all this backstory, I had a fantastic time writing this book. Exploring the island, experiencing everything right along with my characters, and seeing the island through their eyes became an adventure in and of itself. Early reviews have come back stating this is my best story yet. But I'll let you decide. Thanks for stopping by today and taking this journey with me.
For more information, visit these sites: www.mackinacisland.org, www.mackinac.com, www.michigan.org/hot-spots/mackinac-island, and www.grandhotel.com.
Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning author and speaker who has partnered with Nerium International (stutas07.theneriumlook.com) in the anti-aging industry, helping others look younger and live better. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold fourteen books so far and is represented by agent Sandra Bishop. You can also find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberStockton) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/AmberStockton) as well as her web site (www.amberstockton.com)
For your chance to win Amber's book, answer either of these questions: 1) Where would you love to go if you could have your choice of any destination? 2) When was the last time you let a fear (either big or small) keep you from enjoying something life had to offer?
Monday, August 11, 2014
Speak No Evil published by HopeSpringsBooks/Chalfont House
Cover Blurb: Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain to go so deep.
At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.
Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.
Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction?
Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?
Here’s a link to the book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/on44xf4
1. How did this story come to you?
Taylor was the bully who annoyed everyone in Book 1, Hear No Evil. I received several comments from readers that he was very appropriate to the times, so I decided to make him the star of the Speak No Evil. Making him likeable was a challenge, but the climax came to me early one morning while I was jogging. It unfolded in my mind as if I were watching a movie. So I knew where I needed to go with him.
2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I give my agent, Terry Burns, credit for this. He always suggests that if we have any ideas for a series, we should include a brief paragraph describing each successive book when we submit proposals. I received a contract for the first book, and a few days later, my editor sent me contracts for the two extra books I’d proposed for the series. As a new author, I never expected that, but Terry’s wisdom proved valuable.
3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. When my kids were little, I’d buy gourmet chocolate chunk cookies and hide them in the freezer to enjoy when the kids were napping.
2. I own a picture of Alan Alda (of television’s MASH fame) personally autographed to me.
3. My name was supposed to be Mark Robert. My mother was so sure I’d be a boy that she didn’t bother picking a girl’s name…until after I was born.
4.What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
I’m working on See No Evil, the third book in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. See No Evil will feature Steven, the blind camper from the first two stories. It’s due out next May.
5. Parting comments?
Although the book is aimed at 10-15 yr. olds, I’m finding a lot of adults are enjoying the series because it brings back memories of their own summer camp experiences. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, I’d encourage you to try one of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp books. Since each one focuses on a different character, they don’t need to be read in order.
6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
Monday, July 7, 2014
Before I was first published, I wrote novels in several different genres. Well, I wrote the first three quarters of those novels at least. I never seemed to finish them. Then I started a romance. I love reading romance, so it’s not as if this was a new idea to me, but I’d had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to join the ranks of romance writers. But now I have and I’m firmly entrenched. I love it—and it’s so much less of a struggle than my other genre novels were. So, when I introduced a set of twin sisters in my novella Joint Venture, I didn’t think much about them. They were already engaged, so there was nothing left for me to write about.
But a little whisper in the far reaches of my mind began. “What if…,” it said. I couldn’t shake it no matter how I tried. So, grudgingly, I sketched out a plan and chatted with my editor. She loved the idea. Secretly I’d been hoping she’d say no and I’d be able to move on. Stuck, I started writing. That became Faith Departed.
Faith Departed is the beginning of a three-book series that follows sisters, June and July (pronounced Julie), as they and their husbands attempt to begin families. Hope Deferred, my July release, continues their story.
Though my husband and I went through thirteen years of infertility, it was never anything I wanted to write about. Frankly, it wasn’t even something I wanted to talk about. Or think about. I imagine I’m not all that unusual. Infertility is hard. It’s hard on the individual and it’s hard on marriages. And it’s hard to talk about, even with friends and family. So generally speaking, people don’t. Which leaves you, the person hurting, to deal with your hurt on your own.
It’s my prayer that as people read these books that they’ll get a little insight into how they can help friends who might be dealing with infertility. Or, if they’re going through it themselves, that they’ll realize they’re not alone.
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey
Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse?
June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage.
Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.
Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean.
Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
Read an excerpt at http://www.gailpallotta.com/id13.html
1) How did this story come to you?
As a young adult I knew someone who took drastic measures because she couldn’t live up to “the best” label. I’m not sure if the phenomenon to always be number one has crossed the path of others or not, but I later witnessed more sad events when someone who’d always been the winner wasn’t. After I married, became a Mom, and worked with children, I saw lots of hearts breaking over not finishing first in sports, classes or activities.
Expressions began rattling around in my head. “ Well, we don’t have to be number one for God to love us” and “God made each of us special with a gift or gifts to use for him.” One day I decided to put my thoughts about being number one in a book. I’d always enjoyed Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries, so I wrote one similar. When I thought of winning, sports came to mind. Steroid use, it seemed pointed to a drive to be number one. From that point I added a lot of research then the mystery and characters.
2) Tell us about your journey to getting this book published.
Wow! I could write another book about the New Revised Stopped Cold’s path to publication. I first took a draft of the book to a writers’ conference, where an editor told me it wasn’t right for her list, but it was worthwhile. I should edit, rewrite and not give up on it until it was published. I followed her advice and took it to another conference. There an author told me the book had value and suggested a publisher. I sent it, and they did whatever they do with submissions for a year then returned it with a rejection slip. I put it in a drawer.
Several years later I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ran out of material for my critique group, and pulled it out of the drawer. They seemed to like it, so I ran it by my one-on-one critique partner, who worked on it even more and encouraged me to submit it. I sent it to few Christian publishers and an agent. They all rejected it, so I put it back in the drawer. One day I noticed a new publisher looking for Christian writers. I submitted, and she took it. The book started selling online and in bookstores, and I got good feedback. I thought things were going well for Stopped Cold until my publisher shut her doors. I had lined up signings and committed to a festival, but I had no books. The drawer was no longer an option.
With lots of encouragement I sent Stopped Cold to three publishers, each of whom offered to take it. However, I needed print copies ASAP for my commitments. My critique partner encouraged me to ask if one of them would publish the e-books while I did print books. With the help of a lot of people Stopped Cold is out once again.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers. Hmm.
I’m an Elvis Presley fan.
I swim several miles in a week
I once chased a large iguana out of a yard and across a field to take its picture
4) What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
I’m organizing promotion for the New Revised Edition of Stopped Cold and finishing a fun novella for Fairwilde Reflections, a series of retold fairy tales my critique group is doing. Two are out, At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony and Red and the Wolf by June Foster. Coming soon, Mirror on the Fall by Mildred Colvin then mine, Mountain of Love and Danger, and finally Swept Away by Vanessa Riley.
5) Parting Comments.
Thanks for having me on your neat blog. I’d like to conclude with a few comments from some who’ve read Stopped Cold.
From the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll, where Stopped Cold finished fourth:
Very compelling with emotions and feelings that have been felt by everyone in their lives at one time or another. Everyone can relate to this book ! Great read for all, especially students and parents !
One of the best books recently published dealing with self-esteem, drugs and the drive to be #1 at any cost. A must-read for the young athlete and the family.
Stopped Cold is an extremely good book to help teens make right decisions in their life. It is also a very good mystery.
I thought it was great Book I think all young people should read it. Opened my eyes.
This is an exceptional work and tells the truth of today.
Excerpts from a couple of reviews:
“…follow Margaret’s journey to discover the depth of true character and faith not only in school and friends, but family.” Author and Book Reviewer Lisa Lickel.
“They…” (the characters) “..are as finely tuned as a lovely stringed instrument, each having a different song to play in the story.” Book Reviewer Barbara Shelton.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My web site - http://www.gailpallotta.com
My blog - http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore
Twitter - Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords
Monday, June 23, 2014
Moon over Maalaea Bay Cover blurb:
In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs to a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night. Were the abductors the trafficking ring Jennifer crippled or does an even a more sinister organization want her for other purposes.
With the clock ticking toward Jennifer's impending sale, Lee, accompanied by their fifteen-year-old foster daughter, Katie, and Jennifer's grandfather, begins his own search of the island. As the search by Lee and the authorities intensifies, he fears beautiful Katie might end up in the crosshairs of the traffickers.
Can Lee save both his bride and his future daughter? What if he has to make a choice? If Jennifer is sold, could she kill herself to avoid a life filled with degradation and horror? If she did, would God forgive her?
1) How did this story come to you?Since this is a series, the setting and subject matter came directly from the previous book. My hero and heroine are leaving on their Maui honeymoon. Because I write thrillers, something has to go wrong, so the bride disappears on her wedding night. But the spiritual theme didn’t come to me until I started writing and asking questions. Would I trust God, even after such a devastating loss? One of God’s names is Jehovah-Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts, our Protector. Could the abducted bride, destined to be sold to the highest international bidder, still trust Him as her Protector?
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.The path to publication for this story was the smoothest road I’ve traveled. My publisher was happy with books 1 & 2 of the series, and I knew what my editor wanted in terms of story and writing. So I researched and wrote up scene cards for about 2 weeks, then wrote and polished my submittal in about 4 more weeks. Six weeks from inception to submitting a contract-winning novel—that’s a record for me.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.First, by the time I was 12 I already had NFL wide-receiver speed in the 40, about 4.3 seconds, and was proud of it.Second, when I was 15, at a track meet on a cold day, I experienced a third-degree quadriceps strain, nearly tearing the muscle in two, and ending my dreams of a sprinting career. What I once was proud of, I became ashamed of. He gives and He takes away, but it took a while for me to say blessed is His name.Third, on a lighter note, when I was 6 my uncle climbed high into the neighborhood climbing tree and carved my initials plus those of a short, freckled-faced, red-headed, Irish girl, the only girl my age in the neighborhood. I vowed, when I was strong enough, I’d cut those initials out. At age 10, I finally could reach them, but they were now a permanent part of the tree. I had no clue that 10 years later I would marry that tall, slender, dark-auburn-haired, Irish girl.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?I’m polishing up an espionage novel, a high-action, romantic suspense story. Some agents are interested, so I’m working on proposals, and just beginning to plot my next story. The 4th and final book in my Pure Genius Series releases in November 2014.
5) Parting comments?If you like reads that are fast, furious, funny, yet a bit frightening, you might enjoy Moon over Maalaea Bay.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?Author web site (being rebuilt): http://hlwegley.comFacebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegleyAmazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Wegley/e/B00B1XMR56Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4460203.H_L_WegleyBlog – The Weather Scribe – a climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather:http://weatherscribe.blogspot.com/Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlwegley
Monday, June 16, 2014
Interview with Susan Page Davis
Title: The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection, from Barbour Publishing
My novel in this collection is The Castaway’s Bride.
Venture along historic American shorelines, enjoying five novels full of adventure, challenge, and romance. In Key West a couple collides over a child s welfare. In Washington, a captain s wife guards a secret. In Maine, a castaway returns from the dead. In Georgia, a woman dares to man a lighthouse alone. In Virginia, a wounded soldier recoups at a seaside cottage. Watch as God works through their challenges to bring them safely to a harbor of love. Authors in the collection are: Cathy Marie Hake, Lynn A. Coleman, Susan Page Davis, Mary Davis, and Page Winship Dooly.
How did this story come to you?
I first envisioned my novel (The Castaway’s Bride) as focusing more on the hero than the heroine. I wanted to tell his story, beginning at the point where he was marooned on a Pacific island. However, the editor preferred to start the story when he arrived home, and so that is where we open. I’ve always loved survival stories, and I may write another book someday about a castaway’s ordeal.
Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
My story in this collection was the second in a trilogy of historical novels set in Maine. The Prisoner’s Wife, set in 1720, came first, and The Lumberjack’s Lady, set in 1895, was the third. I actually submitted The Prisoner’s Wife by itself, and when asked to do two more Maine novels, I came up with the other two plots. The Castaway’s Bride was fun to write, but also required a lot of research in Portland. Maine had just come to statehood in 1820, and Portland was its first capital. I needed to double check everything, including what buildings were there then and which ones were under construction.
Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I grew up in an old stone farmhouse that had no running water until I was about eight years old. I have six children, and all were home-schooled. In junior high, I was my district’s spelling champion.
What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
I am writing a new western for Barbour Publishing. It’s called The Outlaw Takes a Bride, and will release in spring 2015. Meanwhile, I will have a couple of Christmas-themed novellas out this fall, and a couple more cozy mysteries for Guideposts Books. Shady Characters just released, and All That Glitters will appear in October.
I’m happy to be giving away a copy of The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection. Choose the beautiful paper-covered anthology, or an e-book of my individual novel, The Castaway’s Bride.
Where can fans find you on the internet?
Come see me on my Website: www.susanpagedavis.com or my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor
Sunday, June 8, 2014
In recent weeks my sons have spent their evenings watching the NBA Finals, energetically cheering on the San Antonio Spurs. Most game nights, their animated antics interrupted me as I attempted to prepare for the release of my debut novel, Of the Persecuted. But it was difficult to get irritated with my handsome, blond blessings. This held especially true when they jumped off the couch screaming "Tha-Reee!" every time the San Antonio Spurs hit a long shot.
My boys love basketball. They appreciate fundamentals. Dribbling. Pivoting. Passing. Well-executed shots. Not traveling. Not double-dribbling. Not two-handed shots. Not selfish shots. They admire players who’ve gone down in history as executors of such fundamentals—Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and my own personal favorite, John Stockton.
Their love for basketball, and for three-pointers led me to think about the best "Tha-Reee!" of all time—the Trinity. One God, three distinct persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Like time, God represents past, present, and future. One is not separate from the other. He is a Father to the fatherless. He is a Savior for the lost. He is a Guide in prayer and truth. God’s plan for us is the best well-executed shot of all time, guided by His fundamentals outlined in scripture.
To non-believers, the Trinity may be a difficult concept to grasp. It certainly was for me before the Lord saved me in my early twenties. But it makes perfect sense when you open your heart to the One True God. Believe me. Seek Him and you will seek no more.
So while the NBA Finals are in full swing, the best "Tha-Reee!" of all time dominates all of our seasons. And we are grateful.
Back Cover Blurb:
Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.
Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.
Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?
Order Of the Persecuted at:
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.