Monday, December 26, 2011

April Gardner's "Warring Spirits"

Title: Warring Spirits
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing

Cover blurb: In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome.

Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle. But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.

1) How did this story come to you?
When I finished Wounded Spirits, the first book in the Creek Country Saga, I started out writing Warring Spirits with a different story and with different main characters. But there was something about it that just didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t highlight a little known historical event, which is what I want my writing to be known for. So I went back to my research books and dug around until I stumbled upon Negro Fort and the devastation that happened there. By the end of that day, the Lord had given me the plot for Warring Spirits.

2) What kind of research is involved in writing historical novels?
Massive amounts!! I have an entire book shelf full of research books. I’ve been researching ancient Creek Country (part of present-day Alabama and Georgia) for the last decade and there’s still so much to discover.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m dyslexic and because it was so difficult, hated reading until I was about 12.
If I didn’t have a computer, I wouldn’t write. My handwriting and spelling is that bad.
I can solve a rubix cube. Takes me ten minutes, but I can do it!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
At this exact moment? Nothing. With two books having released in November, I’m focusing on marketing, but come January, I’m going to pick back up with a novel I’m co-writing with writer Michelle Massaro. Can’t wait to jump back into it!

5) Parting comments?
It’s always a pleasure to be featured here. Thank you for the opportunity to chat about my novels!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Readers can learn more about my books on my website and blog. I love to interact on Facebook!
http://www.aprilgardner.com/
http://www.aprilwgardner.com/

Staci Stallings' "If You Believed in Love"


A Brother's Struggle, A Sister's Hope
An Interview with Janet Elliott, Jonathon Danforth's Twin Sister

So you want to know more about my brother, Jonathon Danforth, huh? (Janet sits back and thinks moment then sits forward.) Okay. I'll tell you about him.

For one thing he's a lot smarter than he gives himself credit for. He always has been. He could get into and out of more trouble when he was younger than any kid I knew. And he was always into something. Not bad things necessarily--like drugs or something--just stuff.

Like the time he was running that gambling ring in the third grade. He aced more kids out of dimes and quarters than most kids could ever dream of doing. Of course, Mom made him give them all back when she found out about it. But that was just Jon, you know? He was always looking for the angle, making deals, and trying to one-up somebody.

Okay, so it got him in some fights in school. He spent most of junior year in the principal's office. In fact, they very nearly kicked him out of school more than once. Not that he was a bad kid exactly. He just couldn't sit still, couldn't just be. He always had to be pushing the envelope, always testing the water, always trying to see how far he could go before someone pulled him back.

I think that's why the last year has bothered me so much. Yes, I know all about people grieving and needing time. But Jon like checked out of life, you know? I mean, he wouldn't even leave that stupid apartment for Christmas last year. "Nah, Janet," he said when I called him and begged him to come over. "I think I'll just stay here. I'm not really in the mood for tinsel and stockings."

He had me worried sick if you really want to know the truth. I mean, okay, I'm not his mom, but I am his big sister, and I know that living on pizza and beer in a dark pigsty of an apartment is just not healthy.

That's why I talked him into taking that class--the one over at the community college. Of course, English was never really Jon's style, but it was either that or Chemistry, and I didn't want to hear he'd blown the whole place up.

(She laughs and then sits back again, lost in thought.)

I just worry about him so much. (Pulling forward, her eyes are filled with tears that never fall.) It killed him... what happened. It did. It was like one minute he was one guy--my baby brother, into everything, wheeling and dealing with the world, and the next second he was this guy I didn't even recognize anymore. It scared me, you know. It really did. (One tear slips from her eye and slides down as she wipes it away and sniffs.) We're all we've got in the world now. With Mom and Dad both gone, it's just us.

I didn't want to lose him too. (Her smile is tight and sad.) Plus, he really is a great guy when you get to know him. He has such a big heart for people and for things he really cares about. I guess I just hope he finds something to care about again, you know. (She lets her gaze fall to the table.) I just want him to be happy... or at least not completely miserable.

(With a laugh, she jerks her hair back and smiles.) Sorry. I guess I get a little carried away when I talk about him. I mean, he's my baby brother, right? (She tries to smile again, this one is in apology.) I hope I haven't bored you to tears with all of this. (She shrugs slightly.) I just want what's best for him, you know? And I hope and pray he can find whatever that is, whatever the next chapter of his life is. (She nods.) Yeah, that's what I want the most... for Jon to be happy.

If You Believed in Love, by Staci Stallings, featuring the story of Janet's brother, Jonathon Danforth now available via Kindle & Nook at: http://stacistallings.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/if-you-believed-in-love-2/

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lisa Lickel's "Lavender Dreams"


Title: Lavender Dreams, an anthology
Publisher: MuseItUp

Cover blurb: Ten short stories in this anthology to entertain you. More importantly, the authors and cover artist have generously donated these stories and their royalties to help raise funds for cancer research each year.

Back Cover: MuseItUp Authors dedicate this book to all who have been affected in one way or the other by cancer. All royalties from the sales of this book will be donated each year to a cancer research organization, or hospice in order to further combat and find a cure.

The book is divided into three sections: non-fiction, fiction based on true stories, and fictional stories—ten stories generously donated by the authors to help raise funds for cancer.

This book is dedicated to the memory of one of our dear editors who passed away 2011 from cancer, Karen McGrath.

You will always be remembered.

1) How did this story come to you?
My short fiction, “Testing,” is a revised scene from an as-yet published novel. The story features a scene from an imagined drug trial.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
MuseItUp picked up my cozy mystery series, Buried Treasure. When I saw the news about Karen, and how the other authors felt about her, I wanted to get involved as well, and offered my short story. My mom is a breast-cancer survivor and some of my friends are battling cancer. I am glad to donate the proceeds to support cancer research.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I edit a Christian spec/sci-fi/monsters magazine; I am a vacuum-cleaning freak; I can butcher deer.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Muse is re-releasing The Gold Standard, featuring a picture of the crazy cat, Carranza, on the cover. The second book in the series, The Map Quilt, comes out next April.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you for featuring this book. Cancer has affected most of us in some way or another and this is one way we can help fight this disease.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My web site has all my links: http://www.lisalickel.com/

Angela Ruth's "Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho"


Title: Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho
Publisher: Summerside Press, an imprint of Guidepost

Cover blurb: Actress Emily Van Arsdale has finally returned to her home state—with an entire film crew in tow! With stunning scenery and a reputation for hosting celebrities, Sun Valley is the perfect setting for Emily’s newest romantic comedy. Tracen Lake is happy to work as a stunt consultant for the movie but not as thrilled to deal with a bunch of high-maintenance Hollywood types. Tracen is surprised, however, to discover in Emily a down-to-earth Idaho girl who does all her own stunts and loves the outdoors. As filming wraps up and Emily heads off to her next gig, will she be able to leave Sun Valley—and Tracen—behind?

1) How did this story come to you?
The story actually started out as Love Finds You in Sweet Home, Oregon—an area with a lot of water and known for outdoor adventures. This inspired Tracen’s background and the whole theme of “home sweet home” versus “home is where the heart is.” When the publisher asked me to move the location to Sun Valley (they already had quite a few stories set in Oregon), the swanky culture fit Emily’s celebrity status perfectly.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Man, I wish publishing books was always as easy as this one turned out to be. Before selling the Sun Valley story, I had written three complete novels that couldn’t find a home. All Summerside requested for their new romance line was a proposal including three chapters. I banged it out in a day. When my agent called with the good news, I was sure it would be for one of my other books that I’d slaved years over. But I’m so glad I sold this story, because I absolutely loved getting to know the characters.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. My husband left me in the middle of the writing/publication process, and I haven’t finished reading a romance novel since.
2. I moved in with some neighbors who supported me through the divorce, and I dedicated the book to them for showing me what love was again.
3. God brought Prince Charming into my life, and being married to him is so much better than any romance novel. For our wedding, my publisher let us design a mock “Love Finds You” book cover with our own photo on it to put on display (left)

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am currently writing a prayer book (similar to Stormie Omartian’s series) for abandoned wives. God romanced me in such a sweet way after my divorce that I want to share that fulfillment with all unloved wives.

5) Parting comments?
Publishing my first book was an amazing experience, and it’s eye-opening to learn how different readers perceive it. Be forewarned that this story is considered larger than life and includes romance scenes that will awaken your senses. But I’m proud to claim that even those who had complaints admit to finishing the whole book in one day!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’ve just recently started a blog primarily for women forced to move on after their husband moves out. I’d love to have readers visit, but I’d especially love it if they passed on the blog site to anyone they know struggling with infidelity and/or divorce: www.angelaruthstrong.blogspot.com.

RL Copple's "Infinite Realities"

Title: Reality's Dawn
Publisher: Splashdown Books


Cover blurb: Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, reality invaded the world. When the presence of reality emerges from under the façade of perception, lives are changed. Forever. A mystical ring binds Sisko to bless others with miracles and avoid using its power for himself, which would lead to a curse. With his friends Josh the wizard and Seth the leader of a gang of thieves, Sisko explores the emerging reality through his travels and adventures.

Journey with Sisko as reality's presence confronts and changes the greedy, the killers, the trapped, the demonic, and Sisko himself.

...Reality has dawned, and no one will be the same.

1) How did this story come to you?
I participated in a group "duel" in a critique group I was part of back in 2006. Out of that came the short story, "Steamy Realities." I had an idea after that for most stories coinciding with faith, hope, and love. The publisher of the magazine liked them and wanted to publish them in a novella, which was published in November 2007 as Infinite Realities. I added one more story to that collection to make five total that had a larger story arc. It received good reviews, but everyone complained about how short it was, they wanted more. Which is the best kind of complaint to get. So in the fall of 2010, I finally got around to writing more stories to fill in the holes and flesh out the characters better, adding on ten new stories to make a total of fifteen. That resulted in the novel-sized collection titled Reality's Dawn. So far, everyone who has read it has had good things to say about it. It has a fairy tale feel, but in an unconventional way.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The first sale was to a magazine, which is now defunct, called "The Sword Review." Bill Snodgrass was the managing editor, and also ran the parent company, Double-Edged Publishing. He took an interest in what I had done with the series and wanted to publish them as a novella. So I never had any formal submission process with him. I was just picked up. Infinite Realities was published in November 2007.

As mentioned above, I wrote ten more stories to fill out the story arc of the book in the fall of 2010. However, Double-Edged Publishing had, for all practical purposes, gone out of business, so I needed a new publisher. I also had a third book in the series yet to be published. DEP had published the second book in the trilogy, Transforming Realities, in March 2009.

I had become acquainted with Grace, who headed up Splashdown Books. She had previously reviewed Infinite Realities and gave it a five-star review, so I had an idea she might like the "new and improved" version just as well. So I sent her the manuscript for it and the third book in the series that was yet to be published. It all happened relatively quickly, in that by the beginning of February of 2011, she had decided to take all three of my books, publishing the new and improved first book as Reality's Dawn in March 2011, the sequel Transforming Realities as Reality's Ascent in May 2011, and in the near future, the third book will arrive, titled Reality's Glory.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I know the basics of Byzantine Chant and chant regularly at church. I tried to jump my car over a small ditch once, but a tree jumped in the way. My brother and I made up a whole slew of superheroes and villains and mailed them to marvel back in the early 70s; we never heard back, but I always wondered if my Magnet Man was the inspiration for Magnito.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The final book in the Realty Chronicles trilogy, Reality's Glory is scheduled to be published in the summer of 2012. I also have two books written in a new at-least-five-book series in the same world, more of a dragon story. Editing both of those.

I recently self-published the first of a two-part series on August, a space opera story called "Mind Game." I'm currently editing its sequel, Hero Game, with plans to publish it next year sometime.

I am doing an episode space opera serial called Underground, that I plan on self-publishing once it is finished and final edits done on it.

I recently published a non-fiction ebook on "How to Make an Ebook: Using Free Software." Currently at sale on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and other online retail outlets.

5) Parting comments?
One of the reasons I write speculative fiction is its ability to enable people to see the mundane in a new light, a fresh perspective they've not considered before. It's one thing to preach. It's another to experience it in your heart. Sermons and non-fiction titles are good and needful, don't get me wrong. But many people will read those and come away only mentally enriched for the moment, but not affected by them for life. Fiction has a way of putting those truths, that theology, into life and the reader gets to experience the results.

My goal is to get the reader to see something from an angle they've yet to consider, experience truth in a way they've been unable to see with their mind previously, and hopefully open up new vistas of truth in their own life. That often takes demonstrating truth rather than preaching it directly. And because of that, I think too many dismiss fiction, especially speculative fiction, and pure escapism entertainment. It does have to be entertaining to work, but just because it is entertaining, doesn't necessarily mean it is worthless.

I think if more Christians though of it as an experiential retreat instead of escapism, it would enable a higher quality of writing and affect more lives as a result.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.rlcopple.com/
http://www.blog.rlcopple.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rlcopple
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rlcopple

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chad Young talks about the faith of a young lady...

This week we're not having a book giveaway, but please take a moment to read Chad Young's interview.

“The Faith of a Young Lady” by Chad Young

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’” (Luke 1:29-33)

One of the reasons I love the gospel of Luke is that it gives so much background surrounding the birth of Jesus. Put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a moment. You’re a young lady, set to be married to a young guy named Joseph. You’re minding your own business one day, probably daydreaming about your wedding, when an angel of the Lord appears to you. At this point, you didn’t even know for sure that angels existed, but this angel tells you that God will place a child inside of you, a virgin. For me personally, I think I would either pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming or start laughing and tell the so-called “angel” to leave me alone and stop playing a prank on me. I don’t think for a second I would have had enough faith to believe what the angel said was true. But listen how Mary immediately responded:

“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

My prayer today is that the Lord would give me faith like Mary. With strong faith like hers, my struggles with sin, and pride would fade away. My love for Christ the King would grow more intimate. The will of God would seem more important than my own selfish ambition.

My prayer to Jesus: “Lord, I praise you that you are the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. You are the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. You created all things for your pleasure and purpose, including me. You even died on the cross for me so I could be adopted into the family of God. Yet so often I turn away and try to live life on my own terms, seeking worldly desires instead of the desires of the King. I surrender my life to you today. Make me the person you want me to be, and help me to fall more deeply in love with you. I ask you to give me faith like Mary had on the day she found out she would give birth to you. Increase my faith so that I may help to make you famous on earth. Amen.”

About the Author:
Chad Young is the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World, available at Amazon. As Campus Crusade for Christ’s director for the South Carolina Lowcountry with a scope of 25 college campuses and 70,000 students, Chad resides in Charleston, SC, with his wife Elizabeth and their four young children: Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn and Josilynn. He holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a graduate degree from Georgia Tech; Chad worked in the paper industry for 6 years before going into full-time ministry. He has served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ for 9 years and has also written a discipleship training manual. He has a passion for helping students learn what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Margaret Daley's "His Holiday Family"


Title: His Holiday Family
Publisher: Love Inspired

Cover blurb: When Hurricane Naomi tears through a small Mississippi town, a daring rescue unites two heroes. Nurse Kathleen Hart is a single mom racked by guilt over her husband's death. Firefighter Gideon O'Brien—orphaned as a young boy—has lost too many people he cared for. To rise above the storm's devastation, Gideon helps Kathleen and her sons rebuild their home. As Christmas approaches, they discover that even the strongest of storms can't destroy a romance built on the foundation of faith.

1) How did this story come to you?
I used to live on Mississippi Gulf Coast and wanted to honor the people who rebuild after a disaster like a hurricane. They do an amazing job. They are heroes.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
My publisher asked me to do a Love Inspired series, and this is what I came up with. His Holiday Family is the first in A Town Called Hope Series. The second one is in April, 2012 called A Love Rekindled and the third one is out in September, 2012 called A Mom’s Fresh Start.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) I love to read and haven’t read a book in four months for pleasure.
2) I don’t want any present for Christmas.
3) I can’t think of a third thing that would surprise my readers--I’m an open book.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on my third in the Men of the Texas Rangers Series for Abingdon Press. These books are a romantic suspense (contemporary). This third book called Scorned Justice should be out in August 2013 and is about revenge. The first book in the series will be out in March 2012 and it is called Saving Hope, followed by the second one, Shattered Silence in August 2012.

5) Parting comments?
I love hearing from my readers. You can email me from my website. There is a contact form.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.margaretdaley.com/

Melanie Dickerson's "The Merchant's Daughter"


Title: The Merchant’s Daughter
Publisher: Zondervan

Cover blurb: An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.
Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

1) How did this story come to you?
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale, and when I decided to do another fairy tale retelling, I knew I wanted to do a Beauty and the Beast story. I knew I wanted to set it in England and for it have a little bit of a Gothic feel. Then the story just gradually evolved. I don’t really remember too much about the process. I wrote it about four years ago.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I was still trying to get The Healer’s Apprentice published when I entered The Merchant’s Daughter in its first contest, and it won first place and The Healer’s Apprentice took fourth. But I didn’t really try very hard to get it published. Once Zondervan decided to publish The Healer’s Apprentice, my agent submitted The Merchant’s Daughter to my editor. A few months later, she asked for some changes. I did the changes, and finally, about a year after we submitted it, they said yes.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) My books are published as YA’s but I rarely read a YA.
2) I am watching the TV show Once Upon a Time, which is not surprising, but it is the first TV show I’ve followed in over twenty years.
3) I hate bananas.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have a Snow White story and a Cinderella story that are both sequels to The Healer’s Apprentice and am hoping Zondervan will publish them in about a year. Right now I’m working on a Regency for an adult Christian audience.

5) Parting comments?
I should probably say something profound like “World peace is so important and we should all do our part,” but instead I’ll say, “Please go buy my book. It’s really good.”

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I love interacting with readers, so please friend me on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Melanie-Dickerson/100000220838349

And please check out the awesome trailers for The Merchant’s Daughter and The Healer’s Apprentice on my website, http://www.melaniedickerson.com/

Beth Trissel's "Somewhere the Bells Ring"

Title: Somewhere the Bells Ring
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Cover blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative's ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn't so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope--until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe--in Bailey and the ghost--before the Christmas bells ring?

1) How did this story come to you?
In a vivid dream that took place in the beautiful old Virginia home place where my father grew up and I visited during the holidays about a young woman, a guest in the house at Christmas, and the mysterious gentleman she met. That dream nagged at me until I wrote the story. I’m also very nostalgic about the late 1960’s, thus the time period the story is set in, and an even earlier era 1918 and the end of WW1--that accounts for the flashbacks.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Writing it. My Faery Rose (light paranormal) editor loved the story, so the journey was all in the creation.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m a wee bit psychic. Stories and characters often come to me in dreams, also events I’d rather not know about sometimes. I pray a lot.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The next story in my ‘Somewhere’ series, the sequel to Scottish time travel romance Somewhere My Lass, while I wait to hear back from my historical editor about a manuscript I turned in, the third in my colonial frontier trilogy and the sequel to Through the Fire. I write for two different lines at the Wild Rose Press.

5) Parting comments?
If you enjoy an intriguing mystery with Gothic overtones and heart-tugging romance set in vintage America then Somewhere the Bells Ring is for you. And did I mention the ghost?

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My blog is the happening place and has links to everything else: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Liz Tolsma's "Under His Wings in A Log Cabin Christmas"


Title: Under His Wings in A Log Cabin Christmas
Publisher: Barbour

Cover blurb: Adie O’Connell, orphaned and alone in a dangerous logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.

1) How did this story come to you?
I was visiting the Camp Five logging museum in Laona, Wisconsin and thought it would be a great place to set a story.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote the first two chapters of the book several years ago, but wasn’t able to find a publisher for it. It sat lonely on my hard drive for that entire time. Then in August 2010, Barbour put out a call for a Christmas story with a log cabin in it. How perfect! I wrote the third chapter, polished everything, and submitted it.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Wow, this is hard for me. I’m pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person.
1. I’m disorganized. O.K., very disorganized. I like to pretend I have it all together, but I don’t.
2. I haven’t read the other stories in the collection. I’m afraid they’re way better than mine.
3. I don’t like talking on the telephone.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
My agent has submitted my WWII story to several publishers. Still waiting… I’m working on a prairie romance now and will soon embark on another series set in South Dakota.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you so much for hosting me. I appreciate it and I appreciate all the readers who have bought the book and sent me such kind comments.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
They can find me at www.liztolsma.blogspot.com, http://www.liztolsma.com/, on Facebook as Liz Tolsma and on Twitter @LizTolsma. I’m also a regular contributor to The Barn Door, http://www.thebarndoor.net/

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Register to win Precarious Yates' new book on human trafficking at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com


We're happy to have Precarious Yates with us talking about her new book "The Elite of the Weak." She's on our sister blog at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com. Please leave a comment there with your email address for your chance to win. Thanks!

Tell me about The Elite of the Weak

The Elite of the Weak is set in the near future, when Babylon is rebuilt over the ancient ruins, odd political alliances are forged and strong earthquakes occur in strange places.

Trained to do covert missions from a young age, Hadassah enjoys few things more than thrills, whether it’s jumping out of an airplane, a high speed chase after a Somali pirate or crawling through the air ducts in a mafia-owned warehouse. But nothing is more thrilling than rescuing kids from human trafficking. The only thing is, she might do better on a team than on her own.

Enter Revelation Special Ops and their unique short-term mission trips. This elite group of people, R.S.O., is trained to rescue kids from the darkest forms of human trafficking. And they may just be willing to take seventeen year old Hadassah on board.

Why did you write about human trafficking?
In the summer of 2010 I knew I needed to start writing again, but I didn’t want to write about just anything. I had spent almost two years in intense study of the book of Revelation, so I knew my book would have an End Times theme. Also, by that time I had spent ten years raising awareness about the horrors of human trafficking throughout the world, and this theme snuck into everything I wrote anyway. But I took three days where I asked God what He wanted me to write about. That’s when the idea came to me for Revelation Special Ops.

We all agree that kids should not be trafficked. It’s just plain wrong on so many levels. But I prayfully wondered: will there be people trying to rescue these kids when the world as we know it starts to fall apart? It was from that question that I started writing the first book of Revelation Special Ops, The Elite of the Weak, during the 2010 NaNoWriMo. I was so inspired by the character of Hadassah that I wrote over 62,000 words in a month—by hand. I hope she inspires others too.

What inspired you to become an abolitionist?
Eleven years ago, I took a summer job working for a company that did electronic funds transfers for non-profit organizations. You’d think a job like this would be mundane, but my boss, a former Navy Seal, was anything but mundane. He’d spent four months in early 2000 filming a documentary about forced prostitution in Eastern Europe. So my job title went from passive receptionist to an active abolitionist. I was asked to help put the presentation together, pooling articles about human trafficking from a dozen or more news sources. I learned later that my boss took this presentation to the Vatican when he had an audience with the Pope and other Vatican staff.

Once I learned about what happened to girls and women around the globe, I couldn’t be silent about it any more.

Does human trafficking only happen overseas?
There are over 100,000 kids caught in human trafficking in the USA. As many as 95% of those trafficked have been in foster care.

What are some practical steps a teen abolitionist can take?
(1) First of, get close to God. He is the great Emancipator and the great Abolitionist. A friend of mine said recently, “In Exodus 2, Moses was an activist and a revolutionary. But in Exodus 3 he became a prophet and a deliverer. That’s what... an encounter with God will do to you.”
(2) Allow the Lord to soften your heart toward those who are oppressed. It’s easy to feel compassion when they are far away, not so much sometimes when they are up close.
(3) Prayerfully, and with your parents’ full knowledge and support, befriend someone who may be on the brink. Many kids in terrible circumstances will be more likely to tell a friend they were propositioned by a pimp. Love, advice and help from peers can lead kids on the brink toward positive choices. But tell your parents and direct this friend toward the guidance counselors at school or your youth pastor. Remember that you are powerful in this person’s life (even when they mock you), but you also can’t and shouldn’t do this on your own.
(4) Get involved with organizations that work to end trafficking. Here’s a link http://precariousyates.wordpress.com/links to a list of them .
(5) Start a prayer meeting, or bring it up as a topic in your next prayer meeting.
(6) Tell friends about the issue, or tell them about books, news articles, organizations, etc.
(7) Hope in the Lord always. With God all things are possible, including a world without slavery.

Register to win a signed paperback by leaving a comment at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jude Urbanski's "Joy Restored"

Title: Joy Restored
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Cover blurb: Oh, this wasn't easy to finalize! I wanted to tell everything. But here's what I eventually settled on: Kate Davidson feels God has played a cruel joke with the accidental death of her husband, a troubled Vietnam vet. She is so angry at God she almost misses the incredible love offered by rich widower Seth Orbin, no stranger to loss and grief.

1) How did this story come to you?
In writing women's fiction, I seem to be drawn to themes of spinning tragedy into triumph and Kate and Seth both do this, each in their own way. My own life includes tragedies I've turned into triumph with the help of God. So I easily identify with my characters. The setting, which is on the cover, is where I was born, but left early in my life. The memory never left me though and I returned to it for the book.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
That was amazing. I had nearly relegated my first novel to my computer for 'my eyes only' when I learned of Desert Breeze. Someone wanted novels with a touch of the Vietnam era and the Depression Era! My novel links to the Vietnam era and the free accompanying download with my book is my mother's short love story set in the Depression Era. We both share the same setting. Bonanza!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I confess to a popcorn addiction; I collect rocks from sites I visit; and when in Honduras, rode in a military Hummer full of soldiers and no, I wasn't arrested. I was on a mission trip and 'looked after' by the government.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm doing a sequel to Joy Restored and it is called Nurtured in Purple. I have a completed women's fiction manuscript set in Jamaica.

5) Parting comments?
For those who dream, there is no such word as impossible. Thank you for having me, K. Dawn!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://www.judeurbanski.com/
Blog: judeurbanski.blogspot.com
Email: urbanski4u@aol.com

Rhonda Gibson's "A Biltmore Christmas"

Title: A Biltmore Christmas
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb:Explore the luxuries of America’s largest home through the eyes of the fiction Bradford sisters. Having been orphaned, they each secure work and lodging at the Biltmore estate. Charity, a laundress; Peggy, an assistant cook, Selma, a chambermaid; and Melissa, a stable "boy" each experience adventures in employment and romance that culminate at Christmastime when the Vanderbilts’ hospitality is at its grandest level.

1) How did this story come to you?
Sylvia Barnes approached me about joining this collection. Peggy is the oldest sister and I just knew she’d be a wonderful cook but I also knew she’d be allergic to bees. The Biltmore house fascinated me from the beginning and Peggy’s story simply unfolded as I researched this wonderful piece of history.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I am very lucky to have a support group called The Bards Of Faith. We like to brainstorm and help each other get published. This book started with the Bards and has been a wonderful adventure. One of our members pitched the story at the ACFW conference to Rebecca Germany. She liked the idea and from there we researched and wrote our stories.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. The older I get the more recluse I become.
2. I love to read fantasy fiction
3. I have moved out of my writing cottage and into an office, if you’ve been following me for long, you know I LOVED my writing cottage.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I’m working on a mail order bride historical romance. My next release will be in May and is a Love Inspired Historical titled, The Marshal’s Promise. I’m thrilled to be a part of the LIH family!

5) Parting comments?
I love writing and would enjoy hearing from readers. Feel free to email me at rgib2001@yahoo.com Thank you for having me. This has been fun!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
www.rhondagibson.com or visit my blog at http://rhondagibson.blogspot.com 

Amanda Deed's "Ellenvale Gold"


Title: Ellenvale Gold
Publisher: Even Before Publishing

Cover blurb: It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled gold rush of the 1850s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.

But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?

Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or will Penny’s faith prevail?
1) How did this story come to you?
I wanted to write an historical romance set in Australia. The Victorian gold rush was a very formative part of our national identity, so I thought it would make a good backdrop to a romance.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote the first draft back in 2000. It took me years to gain the courage to put it out there and then take steps to find a publisher. As it turned out, I had another novel published first, but finally this one is ready for the market.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. It surprises people that although I am an artistic person (I play music and paint occasionally), I have a passion for mathematics.
2. As soon as the weather is warm enough, I go barefoot as much as I can.
3. I wore running shoes beneath my Victorian style wedding dress (not so I could escape, but for comfort).

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am about to send the sequel to Ellenvale Gold off to the publisher. Next I plan to write the third and final installment of the Jacksons Creek Trilogy.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me on your blog today.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
 www.amandadeed.com.au

Suzanne Hartmann's "Peril"

Title:  PERIL: Fast Track Thriller #1
Publisher: OakTara Publishing

Cover blurb: A top secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments from the White House to NASCAR tracks. When unwanted publicity threatens to expose her, she herself becomes a terrorist target, with danger surrounding her on all sides. “Plenty of action and unexpected twists.”  Foreword by Jimmy Makar, GM of Joe Gibbs Racing

1) How did this story come to you?
The Fast Track Thrillers began as stories I created to entertain myself during my children’s music lessons and sports practices. It didn’t enter my mind to write a book until a thought popped into my head while I was taking a walk: “Why don’t you write them into a novel.” For a while I considered whether I was having a premature mid-life crisis, but finally decided that it was truly a nudge from God. The NASCAR aspect of it filtered into my stories after my daughter decided she liked watching stock car racing. I started paying more attention to the races (instead of taking a nap), and after a while, I realized that a NASCAR driver would make an exciting addition my story.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I followed a fairly traditional route towards publication, in spite of having no clue what I was doing when I wrote the first draft of PERIL. I joined a critique group, polished up the manuscript, then spent a year and a half looking for an agent. After another serious revision pass, in which I reduced the wordcount by twenty-five percent, and rewriting the opening chapter, Terry Burns offered me a contract. He diligently queried editors for a year and a half before Ramona Tucker at OakTara offered a contract five months ago. Along the way, I’ve learned a ton about how to write a novel, which I share in my book Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level, and I have made many wonderful friends.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a) I wasn’t a NASCAR fan when I started writing PERIL.
b) Like one of my main characters, I was in a very serious car accident years ago.
c) I touched the Berlin Wall when it was still standing in Berlin.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
CONSPIRACY: Fast Track Thriller #2 and REVENGE: Fast Track Thriller #3 The ideas have been rattling around in my head for several years, but so far I’ve only got a narrative outline. Now that Book #1 is out, I’m getting serious about writing the further adventures of the protagonists in PERIL.

5) Where can fans find you on the internet
Website: Fast Track Thrillers (http://fasttrackthrillers.blogspot.com)
Blog: Write This Way (http://suzanne-hartmann2.blogspot.com)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiffany Amber Stockton's "Bound by Grace"


Title: Bound by Grace

Publisher: Barbour Publishing / Heartsong Presents

Cover blurb: While young ladies happily attend parties, gossip, and pursue eligible gentleman, Charlotte would rather run her bookshop and discuss great literature with her customers. But when her parents pressure her to agree to an advantageous match, Charlotte fears she'll be trapped in a loveless marriage. Richard Baxton feels pressure at every turn. The accidental deaths of his brother and sister-in-law leave him responsible for the family business and his niece Grace, who is unable to walk. When Grace's love for books leads him to Charlotte's bookshop, Richard is drawn to Charlotte's sweet spirit. But endless problems leave Richard unable to afford the surgery that may allow Grace to walk again and to assure Charlotte's parents that he could provide for their daughter. Time is running out before Grace is permanently paralyzed, Charlotte is forced to marry a man she barely knows, and Richard will lose the woman he loves. Will God's grace bind them together as they confront their challenges?

1) How did this story come to you?
I wrote a series that released in 2008, set in Delaware during the Colonial era. Many of my readers asked if I was going to continue that family’s story at some point. So, when my editor asked me for another 3-book series, I jumped forward a little over 100 years and continued the family a few generations down the line, using a book that figured prominently in the first book of the previous series to tie the couples together in each of the 3 books of the new series. It proved quite a challenge—albeit an enjoyable one—to research the area over 100 years into the future and map out the family lineage from where I left off to where I began with this book.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
There isn’t much to say, to be honest. Since I had already sold 8 books to my publisher, I didn’t have to do anything more than pitch a paragraph or two about this series to my editor. She loved the premise and sent me a contract from a 2-page synopsis.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) Before I married, I was the only living female Miller in my family (except my mother who married into the name).
2) My grandfather’s cousin married President Woodrow Wilson while he was president, so I’m somewhat related to “American Royalty.” :)
3) I work for international celebrity Jane Seymour, handling her fan mail and managing her web site.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am currently writing book 2 in this series (Stealing Hearts), and it’s due in January. My next book releases in May 2012, and it’s a novella (Colonial Courtships) with 3 other authors. I’m also working on a 3-book series for Harvest House Publishers, and there’s a possibility of another book for an ongoing series partnering multiple authors from a single literary agency working in collaboration. That’s a relatively new development, so nothing is confirmed yet.

5) Parting comments?
I’d like to thank K. Dawn for having me here today, and you for stopping by to read this interview.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Look me up anytime at http://www.amberstockton.com/. There, you will find links to my blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account. I love to hear from my readers, and anyone who follows or is interested in my writing career. Drop a note. I always respond within 48-72 hours, unless one of my 2 little ones interrupts my nicely made plans. :)

Jeanne Brooks' "Across the Wilderness" and "Through the Waters"

Title: Across the Wilderness
Cover blurb:Isobel dreams of marriage and a family of her own after graduation from college. Her plans come to a grinding halt when her potential in-laws reject her because of her ethnic appearance. She doesn’t fit into their class-conscious, blue-blooded, American society. Broken-hearted, she retreats to the home of her last living relative, Aunt Betty. When her aunt dies, she discovers a family secret: that she isn’t who she thought she was! Isobel was raised to believe she was part Japanese and part Caucasian-American, but she finds proof that her ethnicity is totally different and that her birth mother might still be living. She determines to seek out her biological family and in the process finds a heritage far greater than she ever anticipated.

How did this story come to you?
A close acquaintance, when he was over 50 years old, learned that the man he knew as his father was not his father. The knowledge was traumatic and life-changing. That particular incident combined with my love for other cultures helped me to build this story. As the mother of bi-racial children, I also saw situations of rejection purely because of the appearance or ethnicity and wanted to carry that into my main character’s life.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This book is one of four books, called Journey of Faith, about friends who graduated together from a Christian college. Each book follows one woman on hers. Having self-published my first book (“Through the Waters”) it seemed natural to continue that path for this one, although I chose a different publisher for several reasons.


Title: Through the Waters
Cover Blurb: MADELINE MARIE GALLOWAY is a single, solidly Christian young woman excited about the future until she experiences the loss of her father and a violent attack resulting in a pregnancy. How could God let this happen to one of his faithful? How could she ever offer herself to her future husband now that she was no longer pure? And what about the baby? Abortion, Single parenthood? Adoption?

JIM AND SUZANNE are a young couple looking forward to raising a family and having a loving Christian home. They experience multiple disappointments until tragedy forces them toward a choice they never expected to make. Unexpectedly, the result brings them great joy, but will their happiness last? Why do tragic things happen to good people?

Watch how God carries them through their trials and tears. See how “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:27-29 KJV

How did this story come to you?
As a medical professional for over 30 years, I have had the opportunity and challenge to work with many of these situations. Probably the one event in my life that strongly impacted me was when my oldest sister became pregnant after an attack and chose to give up the child for adoption. Combining my personal experience with various individuals I’ve treated helps me build strong characters. Recalling how my faith has carried me through various losses: grandparents, father, daughter, helped me insert that into this story in a realistic manner.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Honestly, I never approached an agent or traditional publisher to attempt to get published. I have been writing for years, but struggled with self-esteem issues, so wasn’t willing to risk rejection. Instead, I decided to test the market by putting this quartet of books out there using self-publishing. I prayed hard about it and felt impressed to go this path, even though I knew that many did not respect self-published authors. I’m glad I chose self-publishing because it has allowed me to continue my primary job, working with soldiers before and after deploying to war. I was even able to freely give copies to soldiers heading to the combat zones without feeling guilty; the cost was on me and my publisher carried no risk.

Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) I was the first female in my career field in the United States Air Force: Aircrew Egress Systems Repairman,
2) I worked in a male, medium-high security prison for nine months, and
3) I married nearly 38 years and have 10 grandchildren (guess that’s a two-fer)

What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I tend to work on multiple projects at the same time. Right now I am working on completing the Journeys of Faith, with the third named “Out of the Valley” which I hope to have out later this year, and a fourth, “Over the Mountain” which will be out early 2012 if all goes according to plan.

Parting comments?
Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite Bible verse, “I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for welfare and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope.” ESV

Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.jeannebrooks.com/
Facebook Author page: Jeanne F. Brooks
Twitter: Author4Him
Amazon Author Central: Jeanne F. Brooks

Edward Snipes' "I Called Him Dancer"


Title: I Called Him Dancer
Publisher: GES Publishing

Cover blurb:I Called Him Dancer is about a boy growing up
in a broken home. His fragile world is shattered when his mother leaves him with a relative and walks out of his life. After seeing a man dancing with grace and acrobatics, he decides to imitate the man and discovers a natural talent for dance. His life's passion becomes dance and eventually the young man achieves his dream of Broadway. A drug addiction and his inner demons destroy his life and he eventually becomes homeless. His previous dance partner refuses to let go and reaches out to him, but he rejects her. Bitter at God and the world, the dancer embraces a solitary life on the streets. Though he lashes out at God, the Lord has other plans for the fallen dancer.

1) How did this story come to you?
In 2009, two song writers named Tralena Walker and Tom Webster visited the Atlanta Writers Club. They were scheduled to speak at the second hour of our meeting. I almost didn’t stay since I had no interest in song writing. I headed down the hall after the first session ended, but when I reached for the door, I had the strange urge to stay. At the end of their presentation, Tralena performed a song titled, Dancer, and then said, “I’ve been trying to find someone to write about this song. I think it would make a great novel.”

Until then, I was a passive spectator, but her words made my head explode. Embarrassed by the loud pop, I quickly scooped up the pieces and reassembled my head and discovered that the book was mixed into my brain matter. The whole story hit me at once. I met with them and we worked together shaping the story into what it is today.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I never expected to become a writer, much less did I plan to get published. When I was a child, I got my first book. I flipped through the pages, then tore it apart. I didn't know it at the time, but that's exactly what you do when editing a manuscript.

I hated writing when I was younger. I only did what I had to do, and sometimes not even that. Writers block was more like writers dementia. My mind didn't return to me until after... hmmm. What were we talking about?

In 1998, I became active in prison ministry. Many of the men I ministered to were eager to learn. Someone asked me if I had my studies or notes on paper. I agreed to write out the next study and then my writing career was born. The problem wasn't that I couldn't write. It was that I didn't have something to say. Or didn't realize I had something to say. Over time writing transformed from a task to a passion.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m dyslexic, but hey, slysdexics are teople poo.
I have 5 kids – all girls. I did get a male dog to get some testosterone in the house.
My favorite hobby is to tap dance on oatmeal while reciting Shakespear.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have many project going. I’m working on my new release, Sound Mind. It’s a non-fiction book about how to deal with emotions in a healthy way. This was inspired by many discussions with my 5 girls. While working through a problem with my third daughter, I realized these same issues keep coming up. Maybe it’s time to put these things on paper.

5) Parting comments?
I try to make my books affordable. The ebook version of I Called Him Dancer is only .99 cents. The ebook version of my discipleship books are free downloads from my website. All are available in print as well.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is http://www.eddiesnipes.com/
Twitter: @eddiesnipes
I’m also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amish Fiction continues to capture readers' hearts...

Clash of The Titles

It's Clash of the Titles week here on the blog and we're taking a week off from book giveaways. Please take a moment to read the guest post below from Clash of the Titles' Jennifer Slattery.

Amish Fiction continues to capture readers hearts, and this Friday, I'm adding two must reads to my list. I love the promise of plot twists in The Waiting a unique Amish Fiction about heartache, love, and laughter, by Suzanne Woods Fisher. According to readers, this novel is full of surprises, sweetened by romance, and spiced by suspense. Although readers connected to all the characters, they appeared to love Jorie most of all, a woman characterized by love.

From the back cover:
She was waiting for love--and found it in the most unexpected place. Jorie King's life is on hold. She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him.But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning--until their worlds are turned upside down.With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengths, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others. You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren't as simple as they seem.

A bit about Suzanne:
When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She started raising the first puppy after the family returned from living in Hong Kong for four years, in a 44-story highrise.

Ten puppies later, she is hooked. She says it’s like eating potato chips: You can’t stop after one. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

My second "must-read" comes from A Harvest of Hearts ,an engaging Amish Fiction about a strong-willed woman with a dream that threatens her Amish way of life, by Laura V. Hilton. Readers love the authentic realism Laura adds to her writing and image-evoking details.



From the back cover:Matthew Yoder volunteered to be part of the swap of Amish men from his Old Order Pennsylvania Amish Community, to the Amish community in Seymour, Missouri. There is nothing for him in Pennsylvania, as the youngest of twelve children, and the lack of farmland around Lancaster County, he felt he could make a better future in another district. Shanna Stoltzfus has been raised Amish, and couldn’t wait for her rumspringa so she could pursue her education. She hated having to quit school in the 8th grade to stay home and learn everything that makes a home run smoothly. But now she has earned her GED and is taking college courses, but her family is begging her to come home; her little sisters miss her. And there’s something about newcomer, Matthew Yoder that draws her attention. But is it enough to give up her dreams of education and join the Amish church?


A bit about the author:
Laura V. Hilton is a home school mom of five children – but not all five are currently homeschooled. Her sons are in college working on their associate degrees, but they are still living at home. She'd miss them if they weren’t! Her three daughters are the ones she teaches.

She's a breast cancer survivor of three years now.

She's a northern girl living in the south. Yes, she likes her tea unsweet. She has gotten acquainted with grits but she hasn’t been brave enough to try chocolate gravy. Everyone says it’s good, but seriously…gravy? She has a hard time imagining it on potatoes.

And join us next week at Clash of the Titles to meet these two great authors!

***Jennifer Slattery is a publicist, writer, and freelance editor living in the midwest with her husband of sixteen years and their fourteen year old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Minnistries, the Christian Pulse, Internet Cafe Devotions, and Samie Sisters and her work has appeared in numerous publications. Visit her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about her and her writing.

Jennifer Slattery
Broken Lives Saturated by Grace
Facebook
JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com
ClashOfThetitles

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview with Lauralee Bliss



Title: “A Crossroad to Love” in A Quaker Christmas
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb: Christmas is a simple matter among the Quakers of the historic Ohio River Valley, but can it be a time to welcome love into four households? In Lauralee’s novella, “A Crossroad to Love” Mary Hall’s family runs an inn for weary travelers, but some guests, like Silas Jones, pressure them to compromise their steadfast Quaker ways. Could it be that Silas just needs a reminder of why simpler ways are often better?

1) How did this story come to you?
I was actually hiking the Appalachian Trail at the time the editor asked if I would be a part of this collection. I was staying with a couple then who took me in as a weary hiker, and the idea for an inn ministering to a weary traveler came into being.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
As I alluded to, the idea of an inn came to me while I was out hiking last year, and from that initial premise, I pieced together a storyline. I had also done extensive research on the Quakers many years ago for a biography on William Penn that did not come through. He suffered quite a bit of injustice in his life as a Quaker, so I wanted to incorporate that aspect within the story.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail twice, both north and south, one of only 24 women to have done this.
2. I make brownies from scratch using applesauce nearly every day - they are easier on my digestion, and I just love them!
3. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I go all out in decorating and celebrating the season.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am working on another novella idea to take place in historic St. Louis. I am also writing an e-book for those interested in hiking the Appalachian Trail. And I am actively speaking about the Appalachian Trail to interested hikers.

5) Parting comments?
You never know what will cross your path on your journey in life. Just be open to what God brings your way.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.lauraleebliss.com/
http://www.blissfullifejourney.com/
http://www.blissfulhiking.com/
Readers of Lauralee Bliss on Facebook –
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Readers-of-Author-Lauralee-Bliss/170259122202





Cover blurb: "Love Finds you in Bethlehem, New Hampshire:
Sara McGee is not what Tom Haskins expected. The artist knew he was taking a risk when he reluctantly agreed to advertise for a mail-order bride but Tom assumed the woman who answered his ad would be more refined than the penniless and uneducated Sara McGee. Tom takes Sara under his wing but he knows he can never marry her— especially now that he’s suddenly receiving attention from accomplished pianist Annabelle Loving. While Tom’s sister is bent on transforming Sara into a lady, Sara knows she can never compete with Annabelle. Nonetheless, she finds herself drawn to the lovely mountain town of Bethlehem… and to the artist who brought her here. But without a marriage to Tom, Sara knows she cannot stay. As preparations for Christmas transform the tiny town, will Tom come to understand the message of the first Bethlehem—that the most precious gifts don’t always come as they’re expected?

Mildred Colvin's "Love Returned"


Title: Love Returned
Cover blurb: Megan McGinnis was pressured to give up her baby and has regretted doing so ever since. Now she’s met Scott Landis and his son, Randy. His adopted son.

About the time she falls in love with Scott, circumstances convince her Randy is the baby she gave away nine years ago. But what can she do?

If she confronts Scott, she'll lose his love, and he'll keep Randy from her. If she marries Scott without telling who she is, she'll have Randy and Scott, but be living a lie. Is there a happy ending to her life?

1) How did this story come to you?
I have always been interested in adoption and how it affects both sides of the child’s family. As an adoptive mother, I’ve experienced feelings of insecurity and uncertainty that comes with an adopted child. I’ve sympathized with the birthmother who gave her child up for adoption and admired her for doing so. Love Returned is the story of a birthmother who longs to have closure with the baby she gave away. Mostly, she wants to know if he’s happy and being taken care of.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I first wrote Love Returned a few years ago when I was active in Cub Scouting as a den leader. I even attended Cub Scout camp and researched while there for this book. I linked Love Returned with two other books set in Missouri and sent them to Heartsong Presents for their Romancing America line. Another series was selected for that spot so I put my books aside. When I learned I could self-publish, I dug this manuscript out and rewrote it, polished it, then published it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as an e-book. Since, I have released Love Returned in paperback.  

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a. My husband and I married 2 months after our blind date and are still together after 40+ years.
b. We have had more than 30 children, 3 adopted, the rest fostered.
c. Sorry, that’s only two. My life is really quite boring just the way I like it.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am rewriting one of my old Heartsong Presents books, Cora. Besides lengthening the story, I’ve changed the title to Love’s Tender Call. My goal is to submit it to another publisher, but if it isn’t accepted, I’ll more than likely self-publish it since I know it’s better now than it was before.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you K. Dawn for having me back on your blog. There’s one thing many people still don’t know. You don’t have to own a Kindle or Nook to read e-books. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have graciously provided an e-book reader download on their sites. This allows you to read e-books from your PC, many phones, and other things. Take a look and get yours for free.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I can be found at my personal blog: www.mildredcolvin.blogspot.com or a group blog with other authors: http://www.infinitecharacters.com/