Monday, November 22, 2010

Shawna Williams "In All Things"

We're happy to have Shawna Williams with us today talking about her new book, In All Things.To learn more about Shawna and her book, read on!

Your title: The title of my new book is In All Things. It's the sequel to No Other, my debut novel that was released in May.

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing is the book's publisher.

Cover blurb: Jakob and Meri's story continues...
     Meredith Louis's Hollywood career is at a point of transition. No longer under Majestic Studios' control, Meri is free to broaden her appeal as an actress and finally earn the recognition she desires.
     Meri and Jakob return to their hometown for the holidays where Meri hopes to reconcile with her parents after a decade of silence. But after a disastrous encounter, Meri is plunged into turmoil as old fears resurface in unexpected ways.
     Jakob, already dealing with unresolved family issues of his own, is further burdened by his inability to help his wife. Can he learn to step aside and trust God's plan.Will Meri recognize what she already has?
     In All Things is a story of faith and restoration, cemented in the belief, "...that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

1) How did this story come to you?
This story was inspired by the same dream that inspired No Other. Originally I had written both stories as one book, but a lot of changes were made since the original version – especially to In All Things. There is a nasty character in the story who represents who Meri could become, and in the original this person is who she actually did become. The published version is much better than the original.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
When I submitted No Other to Desert Breeze Publishing I mentioned that there was a sequel and DB was immediately interested. At that point all I had was the original version and an outline for turning the second part into a book of its own. I thought it wouldn't be difficult, but during the course of writing many new things crept in – things that deepened the story and broadened the theme. I also had grown to like Meri so much while rewriting No Other that I couldn't assign the fate from the original book to her. This book was a difficult write and I had a ton of freak out moments, but several months before its due date things started falling into place, and I love the way it turned out.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I'm boring, but I'll give this a try.
1) For my next birthday I want to go spelunking. Not cave exploring with a flashlight, but the whole underground with a light on my head kind of exploration.
2) I built the pantry in my kitchen, and I did a pretty darn good job.
3) I pick the marshmellows out of Lucky Charms, eat them, and feed the cereal part to my dog (in moderation).

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I'm trying to consider priorities. I've released three books in seven months, so I want to replenish a bit. Promotion is fun but also draining. I'm working on a possible spinoff story for a character in No Other and In All Things. I don't have a lot, just a rough synopsis and about 1,000 words in a first chapter, so I haven't pitched it to the publisher yet. I'd also like to try and get something ready to pitch at the ACFW conference. I have several story ideas and would love to have a completed manuscript by next September. I'm not sure which of these ideas will take priority. I'd love to have them both accomplished by next fall, but family has to come first.

5) Parting comments?
This is a message to aspiring writers that I've been saying a lot in my blog interviews during the promotion of In All Things, but I'll say it again. We've all heard that we should write what we know, and this is true, but I think it's equally important for an author to write who they are, from the heart. Readers can gauge the sincerity of a story – if it came from deep within. Don't be afraid to share yourself. It's the reason God called you to such a task.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://shawnakwilliams.com/
http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/shawnakwilliams
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1059888544#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245

Adam & Andrea Graham's "Tales of the Dim Knight"

We're happy to have Andrea Graham with us today talking about her book, Tales of a Dim Knight. To learn more about Andrea and her book, read on!

Publisher: Splashdown Books

Cover blurb: In Tales of the Dim Knight, mild-mannered janitor and superhero fanboy Dave Johnson gets all his wishes at once when an alien symbiot gives him supernatural powers. But what's he to do with them? Follow the zany adventures of the clueless custodian as he fights crime and corruption while trying to keep his family together and avoid being sued for copyright infringement.

1) How did this story come to you?
My co-author came up with the concept for this novel after reading Who Needs A Superhero? By H. Michael Brewer.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
We had shelved it as a novel, deciding against shopping it to a publisher, and opted instead to serialize it along side three other stories on our own website, Laser & Sword Magazine. A friend who happened to be a publisher read it, loved it, and asked to buy it.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Not sure if anything would. I tend to be a fairly open book. I’ll try, though. I was on the drama team in high school and did great despite suffering terrible stage fright. I like yellow and pink more than I do purple. I love lavender and lilac, but prefer bright, light colors to dark and drab. One more. Uh—I’m an ENFJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) with no sense of time. LOL.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on the fourth book of an unpublished low-tech sci fi series set in a alternate universe with a topsy turvy history as it wants to veer left when we veer right. Examples: historically matriarchal, the ark landed in the Rocky Mountains, Jesus was never born there (death came to them from our world, Pandora’s box style, so salvation does also), the Union of the Nations (i.e. the US) is an 1800 years old country rather than a young one, the dark-skinned race enslaved the light-skinned race, and the Union lost the civil war and the West. Due to the monarchy, sword and crossbow play, pet dinosaurs called dragons, etc., most who’ve offered an opinion regard it as fantasy.

Adam most recently has written a Sci Fi short story setting the parable of the unjust judge on a twenty-third century space station, casting the persistent widow as a gray-skinned hominoid alien with a frog-like tongue. I added the tongue in to distinguish her from Zolgron’s species in Tales of the Dim Knight. We help ourselves to each other’s work routinely. He also has ideas for two more books set in my universe as referenced above.

5) Parting comments?
 I hate goodbyes.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I mouthed off with Christian advice and book reviews at my blog, Ask Andrea, and put out my for editor-for-hire sign along with free writing tips at http://www.povbootcamp.com/. You can read about Tales of the Dim Knight at Splashdown Books or preview the first four chapters on your ebook reader of choice at Smashwords. Or check out Adam’s blog or http://www.adamsweb.us/.

Stephanie Burkhart's "A Christmas Collection"

Christmas in Bayeux Tour

I'd like to thank K. Dawn for having me on the blog and allowing me to visit today. Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. Little odd fact: I enjoy eating pizza European style – with a knife and a fork. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.

My short story, "Christmas in Bayeux," is included in A Christmas Collection, Stimulating by Victory Tales Press. I'd heard only good things about VTP and they were looking for stories for their Christmas anthologies. I sent Becky an email – can you have me? Becky said 'sure,' and I was on board to write a story. A note to visitors: "Christmas in Bayeux," is "sophisticated" in nature and does contain a love scene.
     Now I had to decide what type of story I wanted to write. I hadn't written a contemporary for quite some time. I'm a big fan of Mona Risk's international contemporaries so I said to myself, I'd like to write international contemporaries and with my experiences I felt confident enough to do so.
     Manchester, NH is the second largest French speaking city in the US and I took 3 years high school French. I love the language and in my studies, I grew to love the nation. France was the perfect setting for my story. I've been to Paris several times. I also visited Lembach, France in 1988 and that experience has been with me throughout the years. My experiences in Lembach made their way into the story.
     Lembach is a small town in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France just over the German/French border. I was dispatched along with a fellow soldier, Private East to pick up a squad of soldiers in Pirmasens, Germany. East and I took a detour and ended up in Lembach.
     Needless to say, we were an odd sight, walking around the town in our US Army military uniforms. The locals stared at us – hard. As we walked around the small town square an older man approached us. He spoke no English. I had my "French for Travelers" guide and my pronunciation was decent so I engaged him. He enthusiastically shook our hands. "Américains?" "Oui," I answered. He proceeded to thank East and I not only for our service, but also for the service of our grandfathers who liberated France from Germany.
     It was a moving experience that humbled both of us.
     It was lunchtime and East and I went to the local café for lunch. With my trusty "French for Travelers," I ordered our food – salad and sandwiches. We were quite the attraction in the café. Patrons stared at us. In fact, several of them approached us while we ate and thanked us. Before we left, the manager came to us. He told us our meal was free.
     East and I wouldn't have it. We had francs for the occasion. Between the manager's English and my French, I learned the residents of the town loved Americans. In World War II, we had indeed liberated them from Germany's occupation. We were still heroes to them – 40 years later.
     East and I were truly humbled by how the town embraced us. As we made our way back to our military van, we thanked God for this rare opportunity to visit France.
     This experience found it's way into my story. Enjoy the excerpt:

     She pushed two wooden double doors open and they walked into a wide open-spaced entrance hall. "Is this a museum?"
     "Oui. It houses our best known prize – the Bayeux Tapestry."
     "What is that?" His voice was laced in curiosity.
     "Dix Euros," said the clerk. He was in his mid-thirties and wore a blue uniform.
     Aiden put his hand over Noel's hand as she reached for her purse. "I'll get it."
     "Vous êtes Américain?"
     "Oui," said Aiden.
     The clerk held out his hand. Aiden slowly took it, surprised by the gesture. What was he doing?
     "Américains we like. World War II, yes? Merci – thank you," the clerk said in halting English.
     Aiden was stunned. Noel said this occurred, but he didn't think it would happen to him.
     "De Rein. Thank you, sir."
     "Non, Monsieur, merci. Keep your money."
     "Oh, I insist."
     "Oui, thank you, merci."
     Noel smiled at the clerk, thread her arm through Aiden's, and they walked into the museum. There were a few people milling about in the halls, but it wasn't as busy as he thought it would be. Maybe everyone was at the Christmas markets.
     He paused before they got far. "You said—"
     She gave him an easy smile. "You handled that well."
    
     BLURB: Aiden Seward is an Iraq war vet who has gone to the Beaches of Normandy to heal his wounded heart. Noel Rousseau was the girl he knew as an exchange student years ago. Can Noel help heal the ache in Aiden's heart?

Buy Links:
Amazon: (print) http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collection-Anthology-Stimulating/dp/1456304410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289273692&sr=8-1
Ebook, Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29148
Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425
Victory Tales Press: http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php
Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

Joshua Graham's "Beyond Justice"

We're happy to have Joshua Graham with us today talking about his book, Beyond Justice. To learn more about Joshua and his book, read on!

Publisher: Dawn Treader Press 2010

Cover blurb: THE DESCENT INTO HELL IS NOT ALWAYS VERTICAL…Sam Hudson, a reputable San Diego attorney, learns this when the authorities wrongfully convict him of the brutal rape and murder of his wife and daughter, and sends him to death row. There he awaits execution by lethal injection.
If he survives that long.
In prison, Sam fights for his life while his attorney works frantically on his appeal. It is then that he embraces the faith of his departed wife and begins to manifest supernatural abilities. Abilities which help him save lives– his own, those of his unlikely allies–and uncover the true killer’s identity, unlocking the door to his exoneration.
Now a free man, Sam’s newfound faith confronts him with the most insurmountable challenge yet. A challenge beyond vengeance, beyond rage, beyond anything Sam believes himself capable of: to forgive the very man who murdered his family, according to his faith. But this endeavor reveals darker secrets than either Sam or the killer could ever have imagined. Secrets that hurtle them into a fateful collision course.
BEYOND JUSTICE, a tale of loss, redemption, and the power of faith.

1) How did this story come to you?
After hearing a sermon on forgiveness illustrated by the story of Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer, I felt moved to explore the nature and extent of human and divine forgiveness. I challenged many of my own beliefs and values in this book.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
It took a great deal of persistence. You have to learn to discern good counsel from useless criticism, take the good and discard the rest. And you can’t take rejections personally. When I learned about how many bestselling authors had faced numerous rejections before getting published, it gave me a better perspective on the matter. Interestingly, the work only just begins after your book gets published. Next comes all the promotion to let people know your book exists!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a) I am a classically trained musician (cellist) with a bachelors and masters degree form Juilliard and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins.
b) Before becoming a full-time writer, I worked in the IT field for over a decade. My last position was Director of Operations at an IT firm.
c) One of the odd jobs I had as a college student was as a sales representative selling new cars in one of the largest Honda dealerships in the United States.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am currently completing a YA Fantasy (first in a series) which my six-year-old (at the time) son had asked me to write for him. Keep an eye on my website for the release of a collection of my short fiction in an anthology. I also have another suspense thriller DARKROOM, which I’m hoping to see released soon as well.

5) ) Parting comments?
Spend time with your loved ones every day. Treat each day as though it were your last on Earth. Because in the end, it’s the relationships and their love you carry with you into eternity.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.joshua-graham.com/
www.facebook.com/J0shuaGraham
www.twitter.com/J0shuaGraham
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003UTNSZM
Barnes & Noble Page: http://tinyurl.com/39yjd88

BEYOND JUSTICE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller and is available in trade paperback here.
It is also available for Barnes & Noble nook here and Kindle here.
You can also purchase it for the iPad, Kobo and SONY Reader at their respective stores, or at Smashwords.com