Monday, January 3, 2011

Shawna Williams' "Orphaned Hearts"

We're happy to have Shawna K. Williams  with us today talking about her book, Orphaned Hearts.

Title: Orphaned Hearts
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Cover blurb: Pastor David Langley understands six-year old Caleb Holsheyer -- what it feels like to be damaged and alone. His family killed in a fire, and his body severely burned, David grew up in an orphanage, ridiculed and shunned. He couldn’t let that be Caleb’s fate.
When adoption plans fall through, David is desperate to find Caleb a new home. But in the midst of the Great Depression, most families are barely getting by. No one seems willing to take on the responsibility of an extra mouth, especially one belonging to a crippled child.
Except for Sadie Miller, the town spinster. In Sadie, David sees the answer to Caleb's needs. But Child Welfare doesn't agree, and demands other arrangements be found, or the boy be returned to the orphanage.
David and Sadie team up, determined to find a home for an orphaned child, but while searching, might they find a family instead.

1) How did this story come to you?
My granddad was an orphan. I have pondered a lot about his feelings when he became a father and finally had his own family. I've also thought a lot about other ways his experiences molded him. My grandmother worked with her dad at the orphanage's dairy, so she was also influenced by what she saw at the orphanage. One day the idea struck about an adult orphan searching for a home for an orphaned child, and how finding one might also fulfill a deep yearning within himself.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This story had initially been a ten thousand word short story called The Orphan's Home. I started it with the intention to submit to a literary journal, but it ended up being a little long. I then decided to lengthen it a little more and submit it as a novelette. The EIC of the first press I sent it to contacted me and said she liked the characters and plot but thought it needed more romance. She asked me to revise and resubmit, which I did, only this time the acquisitions editor it ended up with had a problem with a 'lie by omission' that David does at the beginning of the story. His inaction has bad consequences, but because he is a preacher I was told that he should show a higher standard. The problem was that without this inaction in the beginning, there was no story. His reasons were motivated by a deep hurt, and the story is about his journey to resolve that. This rejection turned out to be a good thing because the next place I wanted to submit only accepted longer stories. At this point I was pretty attached to the characters and even more possibilities with the story were bouncing around in my brain, and the end result is Orphaned Hearts.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I used to work at a radio station. My writing career started because of a vivid dream. When I was 18 I performed a dance routine on a late night talk show in Hong Kong.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm currently working on "The Good Fight". It's a spin-off from my first two books, "No Other" and "In All Things". It's about Roger, the district attorney of Port Delamar, as he goes after Niles Parker (Meri's evil father in the other books) for his involvement in illegal gambling establishments. Of course, there's also a romance with a new character, Ralph's sister, Pennye. If any of you guys have read In All Things you can probably guess why this is a complicated relationship. "The Good Fight" releases in November 2011.

5) Parting comments?
It hasn't been that long since I visited K. Dawn's blog, so my parting comments really haven't changed. I just want to encourage writers to write what's on their heart. Your sincerity will shine through your words, and nothing reaches deeper into the soul than a sincere heart.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet? My Website: http://shawnakwilliams.com/
My blog: http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shawnakwilliams
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245



Roger Bruner's "Found in Translation"

We're happy to have Roger Bruner with us today talking about his book, Found in Translation.
Title: Found in Translation
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb:Faith, obedience, and forgiveness intersect in a remote Mexican village. When Kim Hartlinger—eighteen and spoiled—arrives on a mission trip to Mexico and discovers, to her chagrin, that she’ll be doing construction in a remote village without plumbing and electricity, rather than evangelism in a medium-sized town with a fast food joint . . she has only two choices. “Rough it” (which isn’t exactly what Kim had in mind when she signed up for this trip) or turn around and head home.
Will Kim be able to touch the villagers’ hearts with the Gospel? Or will her time in Mexico be up before she gets the chance?
Kristi Rae Bruner lives in the Orlando area and enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and cooking. During her teen years, she went on a life-changing mission trip to Mexico.
Roger Bruner worked as a teacher, job counselor, and programmer analyst before retiring to pursue his dream of writing Christian fiction full-time.

1) How did this story come to you?
When my daughter, Kristi, went on a Global Expeditions mission trip to Mexico, she didn’t follow the directions and had to pay for overweight baggage to bring things she didn’t need; she also failed to bring some of the items she did need. Kristi’s well-intended bad beginning—along with the fact her group did construction and the area had a lot of trash on the ground—stirred my imagination. Found in Translation started out as a short story, but—from the beginning—I knew it would eventually become a novel. Kristi wrote the foreword.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Despite the fact that Found in Translation won first place in the novel competition at the 2006 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, it turned out to be far from publishable. But I didn’t realize how far until James Scott Bell looked at the first page a year or two later and said, “You’re not even starting with a scene.” Long story (slightly) shorter, I cut the first fifty pages and came up with a better beginning. Kimberly Shumate, then at Harvest House, became one of my biggest fans, even though HH couldn’t use my novels. When I sent her a sample of Found in Translation, she requested the whole thing. Later that week, she told me she’d sent it to Terry Burns at Hartline and I now had an agent. Although another year passed before I was offered contracts for Found in Translation and its sequel, Lost in Dreams, that was largely a matter of continuing to write while waiting and pretending to be patient while Terry did the work.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
When I was in the eighth grade, I had acute viral encephalitis. The doctors said that—even if I came out of the coma and recovered—I might just be a vegetable. God intervened, and you can see what kind of vegetable I am now.
I was a PK—a preacher’s kid—but I turned out reasonably normal in spite of the fact I hated being a PK.
When I was a teen, my parents didn’t want me to bother saving for a nice guitar; they thought that would be just one more of many hobbies I started and abandoned. Boy! Were they pleasantly surprised when I stuck with it and proved I had songwriting talent as well as guitar playing ability.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m trying to decide whether to take a chance on Barbour’s contracting a third and fourth novel in the Altered Hearts series or to work on something totally unrelated. In the meantime, I’m editing and revising two other novels—a YA called Wherefore Art Thou Ramón and a somewhat-whimsical speculative novel called The Devil & Pastor Gus.

5) Parting comments?
I never expected the after-sixty part of my life to be the most exciting and fulfilling part, but it has been so far. I can hardly wait to see how God uses my writing!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is http://www.rogerbruner.com/. Please feel free to send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/roger.bruner. You can watch my book trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3JXf5WUSCA.



Dream Summore's "Mirror Beware!"


We're happy to have Dream Summore with us today talking about her book, Mirror Beware!
Title: Mirror, Beware!
Publisher: G Street Chronicles

Cover blurb: Antoinette Rodgers, known by everyone as Toni, is a stunning, vibrant, young girl that loves the Lord with aspirations of playing in the WNBA. Toni is torn between what she knows to be true and her dream of being a basketball star when she meets Money Mike, who is a famous rap artist.
Money Mike introduces Toni to a fantasy life of money, fame, and glamour. Toni becomes addicted to this new way of life causing her to turn away from God and into a downward spiral of destructive behavior. Will Toni be able to find her way back to God, discover true love, and fulfill her dream? Or, is it too late for Toni’s dreams to become reality?

1) How did this story come to you?
While working nearly two years in a group home (foster care) environment, I realized that there are so many stories that these young adults face of which has been overlooked. Therefore, I started writing their story in Mirror, Beware! I plan to continue the Mirror Sagas in the near future.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
When I originally finished the manuscript in late 2006 (wrote within 4 weeks), I sent out to a new publisher that an editor-friend told me about. Originally, it was written as a short story for an anthology. I received a call about two weeks later from the senior editor on this teen project and had ‘good’ and ‘bad’ news to share. She stated that they didn’t want the story for this book project; however, they wanted me to write it in a full-fledge novel. I completed before the end of the year. I submitted the work but never got a callback after a year of waiting. I proceeded with another publisher that was new from an email received by an author-friend. This publisher had great interest in the work but wanted to change the current title name to Mirror, Mirror. I felt this title was used in fairytales and this was a young adult book. However, due to their transitions within the publishing company to choose new board members and such, I never received the contract. Less than a year later, I sought out another publisher who also was only out for about two years. They had an interest and sent contract via email. After the contract was submitted, we started with the editing process a month later. Due to the required editing and time schedule for the book to be published, the contract was terminated and had to proceed with a new publisher once more. A month later, I located another possible lead to a publisher and it was picked up immediately. However, someone on the publisher board sent a canceled contract without their knowledge. Then, the publisher called me to let me know that the contract still was in place and book was published by July 2010. Therefore, it went through three publishers before one publisher picked it up. It was almost denied a total of four times but finally it’s in print.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’ve been in a stage play entitled “Are you Ready?” for nearly two years. In the past, I was involved in drama, dance, and talent shows. I also was in the stage play in high school, “Fame” as the dancer Phoenicia.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m writing a screenplay for Mirror, Beware! I’m also writing the next book of the Mirror Saga Spin-off called Mirror Broken. There will be 5 total at this time.

5) Parting comments?
Believe in your dreams, continue to dream and soar for more, and make your dreams a reality. It is one thing to dream but it’s another thing to see your dreams come into fruition.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Dream Summore: http://www.dreamsummore.webs.com/, Blog: http://www.dream-summore.blogspot.com/, Twitter: dreamsummore. Facebook: Dream Summore. Dream 4 More Firm (Dream Store): http://www.dream4more.us/ and able to find the book where books are sold. You can follow or join the sites given too!



Roseanna White's "Jewel of Persia"

We're happy to have Roseanna M. White with us today talking about her book, Jewel of Persia.

Title: Jewel of Persia
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing

Cover blurb:How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords? Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.
Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.
Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?
Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

1) How did this story come to you?
Well, as I was showering one morning I was trying to think of a way to turn my favorite Bible story—Esther—into a novel. But it had to be my kind of Biblical fiction, which means a fictional heroine. So as I debated and brainstormed, it hit me—what about all those other wives in the harem? What if one of them were also Jewish? Better still, what if one were Esther's childhood friend? And what if she was the favorite of the king before Esther arrived? And so Jewel of Persia was born.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Following the release of my first Biblical fiction last year, A Stray Drop of Blood, my agent recommended I follow it up with another bib-fic. I talked with my publisher about the possibility and my idea for an Esther story where Esther isn't the main character, and he was all in favor of it. So we chose a launch-date, set a deadline, and there you have it. =)

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hmm . . . first, that I'm addicted to romance. When reading, I'm generally disappointed if a book doesn't have a strong romance line. Yet the two books I now have out aren't romance, though there's certainly love stories within. Second, that I'm addicted to email. My kids have so fractured my attention span that I've become unaccustomed to long periods of focused work time, and on those rare occasions I find some, I still interrupt myself constantly with email checks, otherwise I go a little crazy. And third . . . hmm, I don't think I have any other deep, dark secrets. ;-) But people are often surprised to learn that I got married at 18, to my high school sweetheart. We were going to college at the same place and married after our freshman year. This year will be our tenth anniversary, and we don't regret a thing! (Not that I advocate teen marriage for everyone, mind you, but we weren't your average teens . . .)

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I'm working on a story set in 1783-4 Annapolis, during those six months when it was the nation's capital. It's penciled into a publisher's 2012 schedule—nothing's in writing yet, but they'll want to see it very soon, and I need to get cracking on it! That may very well be my next book out. But if that falls through, WhiteFire has expressed interest in several other ideas I have that I could hammer out in the next few months, in time for a 2012 release.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me! I love getting to know readers and fellow lovers of Christian fiction—and really love chatting with them. Feel free to ask questions, y'all—I'm happy to answer them!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is http://www.roseannamwhite.com/, and you can find there companion guides to my books, with all the fun historical facts—and where I diverge from them. My blog is http://www.roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/, where I have themed days 5 days a week. I'm a contributor at http://www.bellesandbuckskins.com/ too, which just launched. I'm also editor of http://www.christianreviewofbooks.com/. And of course, look me up on Facebook!

Options for the winner:
I have a couple options for the winner. She can have her choice of A Stray Drop of Blood in digital or paperback, Jewel of Persia in digital now, or receive a paperback of Jewel of Persia as soon as I get them in a few months.






Sunday, January 2, 2011

Register to win a $15 Bath & Body Works gift card



I'm really excited about The Zoe Mack Mystery series, which will debut on January 15. In celebration, I'll be giving away a $15 Bath & Body Works gift card. Please leave a comment on the Zoe Mack blog for your chance to win at http://www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com/.

Stay tuned for more giveaways!