Wednesday, September 1, 2010

K. Dawn Byrd's "Killing Time"



Mindy McLaurin, thinks it's the end of the world when she's incarcerated on trumped-up embezzlement charges. While in jail, she investigates the death of an inmate who allegedly died of an overdose. Mindy suspects foul play when her cellmate dies and she learns that both women had ingested the same drug. Mindy trusts no one, including Drew Stone, the handsome counselor she can’t stop thinking about. She faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from the other inmates. Upon release, someone is stalking her and framing her for the murder. Can she prove to Counselor Stone that she’s innocent of all charges before she loses him forever?



Purchase links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Time-ebook/dp/B003XYE8K8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1280791153&sr=1-1

Desert Breeze Publishing: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-103/k-dawn-byrd-killing/Detail.bok

Barnes & Noble: http://www.b&n.com/

Sony ebooks: http://ebookstore.sony.com/

Joyce Magnin's "Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise"


We're happy to have Joyce Magnin with us today talking about her book, Charlotte Figg Takes over Paradise. To learn more about Joyce and her book, read on!
1) How did this story come to you?
It’s part of a series of books I will be doing with Abingdon Press. It’s not exactly a sequel just more mayhem. The story deals with domestic abuse in a back door sort of way. It’s a subject I would like to raise awareness about—not just physical domestic violence, but emotional and verbal also. So I came up with Charlotte and set her on her way to find a path that would bring her to some difficult conclusions.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’m one of the fortunate authors. My first book, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow did well and my publisher wanted to do more Bright’s Pond books. Very sweet.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I love to play video games—RPGs.
I have never owned an umbrella.
I once won a year’s supply of chocolate for writing about my Dad.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just turned in the 3rd Bright’s Pond book ``Griselda Takes Flight and I’m writing the fourth—Blame It On The Mistletoe.
5) Parting comments?
Thank you Dawn for inviting me back to your fabulous blog. For you writers out there still waiting for the call—perseverance is key. And for the readers, thank you and keep reading. And eat your veggies, get some exercise.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
You can find Joyce at her blog http://www.joycemagnin,blogspot.com/ or website http://www.joycemagnin.com/ or on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mary Ellis' "Sarah's Christmas Miracle"


We're happy to have Mary Ellis with us today talking about her book, Sarah's Christmas Miracle. To learn more about Mary and her book, read on!

• How would you describe your book?
Sarah’s Christmas Miracle is a tale about an Amish woman on the cusp of changing her life. She’s courting a serious beau, and is at the age expected to join the church and get married. But Sarah loves her job at the B&B and isn’t sure she’s ready to settle down and raise children. Before she commits to anyone, she must find an older brother who left the Amish for the big city and never came back. What was so appealing that it was worth breaking his parents’ hearts?

• What message do you hope it conveys?
I hope it conveys a message of hope and love for the Christmas season. The story is also told through the eyes of Sarah’s mother, who’s already lost one child to the English world, and fears she might lose another. She must trust that the bonds of family love will be strong enough to keep her daughter from falling away from her faith.

• What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I set the urban scenes in the city where I went to college and met my (future) husband. We had
a ball “researching” a once familiar city, seeing things from a fresh perspective. It’s very uplifting to be a tourist in your own hometown.

• What did you dislike most about writing this book?
I was held to a strict word count and told not to go much higher. I would have enjoyed exploring emotional avenues from more characters’ perspectives.

• What inspired you to become a writer?
As a dedicated reader, I reached a time in my life where I couldn’t keep myself from sitting down and writing. Every writer arrives at a point when he or she must write.

• Tell us about your writing process.
Uh, oh…there is a process I’m supposed to follow? For the first ten years, I also maintained a day job. My writing had to fit in wherever I could squeeze an hour or two. It’s hard to remember who has blue eyes and who has brown, besides the various plot twists when you create in fits and starts. It’s somewhat easier now that I write fulltime, but publicity demands fill in for my former day job. I still haven’t developed much of a schedule…maybe next week.

• What are you working on now?
I’m working on a story about an Amish midwife who runs afoul of the law when a birth goes horribly wrong. It’s a tale of growth within a marriage, dealing with grief, and staying true to your convictions when the road becomes rocky. But it also includes a romance between two people no one would expect to fall in love. The title is Abigail’s New Hope and it will be released on March 1st, 2011.

• What books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy reading romantic suspense and family sagas.

• Where can readers buy your book?
Reader’s can find Sarah’s Christmas Miracle at http://www.christianbook.com/ or www.barnesandnoble.com or from my publisher http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/

• Where can readers find you online?
I hope readers will drop me a line at my blog: http://www.maryeellis.wordpress.com/

C.S. Lakin's "Someone to Blame"


We're happy to have C.S. Lakin with us today talking about her book, Someone to Blame. To learn more about C.S. and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I wanted to write another psychological mystery based on another of Agatha Christie’s famous murder mysteries. I had written one earlier called “Innocent Little Crimes” based on her book “And Then There Were None.” My next idea was to do a variation of “Murder on the Orient Express” but set it in a small town rather than on a train. I had been kicking around the idea for a couple of years and when I knew I’d be taking Jim Bell’s mentor track at Mount Hermon in the spring, I thought to write this book for the Christian market and use it in the workshop, which I did. I liked the idea of exploring the way a small town distrusts a newcomer, one especially abrasive. So by having Billy Thurber’s arrival in Breakers coincide with an outbreak of crimes, I explored how easy it is for people to blame someone they don’t know. I also wanted to explore a wider theme of blame, and so my story features a family new to Brekaers that is suffering form their own brand of blame regarding a horrible tragedy in their family. The two stories collide in upheaval and grace.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I did the usual pitching at conferences but couldn’t get anyone interested. So I submitted it in the Zondervan 2009 First Novel Contest at Mount Hermon and it won the contest. I feel extremely honored to have Zondervan enthusiastically supporting this book.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Well, who knows? I was a pathological liar when a child and used to steal bottles out of neighbors’ garages to get the 5 cent refunds to buy candy. But I was also a kleptomaniac and stole candy more often than bought it. I was a bit neglected and ignored by my mom, who was a single parent working full-time. I got into a lot of trouble as a kid. Now, I try to behave myself. I was raised Jewish, which usually means atheist celebrating a few random holidays. Thankfully, God chose to reveal himself to me, and I’m very grateful and am glad he forgives sin!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m finishing book four in my fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, for AMG, a collection of full-length fairy tales in the style of C. S. Lewis. I’m very excited about that series and the first book, The Wolf of Tebron, is getting some great buzz and reviews. I’m also plotting out my eleventh novel, my fifth commercial contemporary book, which is not so much a mystery as the modern-day story of Jacob and Joseph, detailing a dysfunctional family in need of grace. It’s another huge challenging, crazy, different project. I’m alsway pushing the envelope and writing harder and harder things. Don’t know why I torture myself like this!

5) Parting comments?
I write all kinds of things, but although I’ve been chastised and told to stick to one genre, my Boss seems to have other ideas for me. I always look to Him to tell me what to write and the ideas bubble up and spill over. I know what to work on by how excited a project gets me and how it grips me to where I can’t really focus on anything else. I usually am working on one project while writing another, and the last six or so novels have alternated between fantasy and contemporary drama, so I guess that seems to be the pattern I’m sticking with for now. Unless a publisher gives me some three-book deal and I have to do that for a while. I feel blessed to spend my time doing what I really love—writing and editing for other writers. If you need mentoring or help on a project, hire me!

6) Here are the websites for the new releases:
http://www.gatesofheavenseries.com/ and http://www.someonetoblame.com/

John Herrick's "From the Dead"


We're happy to have John Herrick with us today talking about his book, From the Dead. To learn more about John and his book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
On my way home from work, I turned on the radio and listened to the oldies station. Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” played—a song I never cared for. But this time, the song’s opening groove pulled me in and for the first time, I paid attention to the lyrics about a straight-laced preacher’s son. After the song ended, I thought, “Preacher’s kids often get stereotyped as near perfect. What if a preacher’s kid’s life hit rock bottom and, given his unique background, he had to climb out of a pit of his own making?” A few minutes later, random ideas for From The Dead started to pour forth. When I got home, I spent 30 minutes getting all the initial thoughts on paper. As the weeks passed, the concept grew. In your gut as a writer, a sense settles in: “Yes, this is my next book. I can marry myself to it for the next nine months.”

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’d written one prior novel—some would consider it a novella. It received great feedback but hadn’t found a home. Its short length added to the risk of taking on a new writer. An author friend of mine offered words of encouragement about that project and encouraged me to start the next novel, which would become From The Dead. Unknown to her, I’d had that sense in my gut that my next step was to write the second novel, but she provided that final, strategic nudge. Sometimes we don’t know our impact on others until down the road.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I spent 8 years in information technology, doing everything from writing computer code to project management. I had zero training in it and didn’t care for the field, but it ended up fostering the discipline and framework I needed to write a novel.
2. I devour books, but I’m a painfully slow reader! Slowing down is the only way I can remember any details.
3. I once drove the wrong way up an interstate ramp at 3 a.m. I was out of town, construction all around, and none of those orange signs were lit—the ones that tell you where to go! At 3 a.m., we didn’t see anyone enter or exit, so my buddy and I guessed on the correct ramp. Halfway up the ramp, we saw oncoming headlights. Comical in retrospect, but thankful I’m alive!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m in the preliminary stage for my next novel. I tend to let the ideas marinate in my gut for a while, and the vital scenes seem to rise to the surface. That method seems to work best for me.

5) Parting comments?
No matter your dream, never give up! I’m a classic example of someone who had to hold out for a couple of decades—but the breakthrough finally arrived. I try to document some of the things I learned along the way in my blog. Thanks for letting me stop by today!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
You can visit my website at www.johnherrick.net. Feel free to send me a message; I love to hear from readers! I also have a blog at http://www.johnherricknet.blogspot.com/.

Kenneth Weene's "Widow's Walk"


We're happy to have Kenneth Weene with us today talking about his book, Widow's Walk. To learn more about Kenneth and his book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I actually had occasion to work with a family in which a son had become quadriplegic as the result of an accident. It was my intervention that got him out of the house, to rehab, and eventually back into live. When I was thinking about that family, I realized it was really the mother’s story that I wanted to tell. From there, the story just took its shape.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
No real journey. I sent Widow’s Walk to three publishers. All Things That Matter Press decided that it was an important tale. They are very much a values oriented publisher and take books like Widow’s Walk seriously.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m a psychologist, I’m an ordained minister, and I am a New Englander: I don’t know if these will surprise, but they certainly will help readers to understand what and how I write.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Since Widow’s Walk I’ve had a second novel, Memoirs From the Asylum published (also by ATTMP). I have a conspiracy novel, Times To Try The Soul of Man, ready to go. Currently I’m working on a new novel that has not title, but it is primarily written in a poetic voice, which makes it very challenging and exciting for me as a writer.

5) Parting comments?
I don’t just write stories; it is very important that my books make people think. Widow’s Walk is about faith and spirit; it is also about responsibility and love. Memoirs From the Asylum is about freedom and fear and about existential choices.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is http://www.authorkenweene.com/ I also have trailers for my books. The trailer for Widow’s Walk is http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?p=wbgzb2yk

As with most books, the easiest way to purchase mine is at Amazon and look for my name, Kenneth Weene; or you can visit All Things That Matter Press.