Monday, July 25, 2011

Janet Nitsick's "Seasons of the Soul"


Title: Seasons of the Soul
Publisher: Tate Publishing and Enterprises

Cover blurb: "'Help!' said the eyes of my husband, Paul, as he stared glassy-eyed at me. He was submerged in the deep end of the hotel's swimming pool. Quickly, I swam over to him ... to pull my oldest autistic son, Brad, off of him. ..." This begins one personal story presented in Seasons of the Soul, a 20-short-story collection written by Janet Syas Nitsick. Change is a fact of life, and that change is experienced through each person's own seasonal, spiritual journey. Janet and Paul's spiritual walk includes two autistic sons. Seasons of the Soul, an inspirational book ... will make readers laugh, smile, cry and know God heals the hurting soul.

1. How did this story come to you?
"Autistic Sons Brings Struggles, Joy," a personal story detailing the trials and blessings of having two different autistic sons, and "This Day will Always be Special," describes my oldest autistic son's low-key graduation ceremony, both were published in a newspaper where I worked as a journalist. I was granted permission to run these highly-praised articles in my book. Other stories, such as my youngest autistic son running out of the plane before we took off for Boston, show how autistics react in stressful situations and highlights the small joys they bring into our lives. The book with its faith stories and personal accounts is similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
My reporter background provided me with good writing skills and gave me a leg up with the manuscript's professional appearance. This, I believe, helped secure it getting read and published not too long after its submission.

3) Tell me three things about you that would surprise your readers.
(1)My story, "The Silver Lining," placed 10th in the Writer's Digest short story competition in the mainstream/literary category last year. You can read this moving story by visiting my Web site: www.JanetSyasNitsick.com.
(2)You are the product of your environment, and this is the same for me. I am the daughter of late Nebraska State Sen. George Syas. He served in the Unicameral for 26 years and was distinguished in his knowledge of the state's constitution, fought for educational issues and was an advocate for conservation, game and wildlife. He became dean of the legislature. However, he was an average Joe. When the legislature did not meet from January through April or May, he was a machinist at the Union Pacific Railroad.
(3)I inherited my father's love of politics and am a political junky. I take a break from it on weekends but return to reading and listening to the news during my daily writing activity.

4.What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I finished my first novel, Sustaining Love: A Time Remembered, and this early-twentieth romance is scheduled for release the winter of 2012. The novel, in its early form, won honorable mention in the 2008 Writers Dream Contest. Now, I am writing an e-book, a prelude to Sustaining Love.

5) Parting comments?
Do not stop persevering toward your goals, find a critique group and take their advice.

6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.janetsyasnitsick.com/, JanNitsick on Twitter, Janet Nitsick on Facebook, Smashwords or visit my monthly blog: http://janetsinnerramblings.blogspot.com/2011/05/networking-scams.html

Gayle Ropers "Shadows in the Sand"


Book Title: Shadows on the Sand
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah

Cover blurb:
Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals…although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries…and into her life. But when Carrie’s own painful past becomes all too present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink. She and Greg struggle with God’s help to find a way to keep the fragile relationship they’ve built from imploding under the weight of the baggage they both carry.

1. How did this story come to you?
Shadows on the Sand is the fifth story set in the Jersey shore town of Seaside, a fictitious version of Ocean City, NJ. The story came out of wanting to tell the story about Greg, the cop that showed up in the four preceding books. He is one of the things that ties the series together since each book has different lead characters. Clooney, the guy with the metal detector looking for treasure in the sand, reappears here too, as does Pastor Paul. But Carrie is new as are most of the other characters. (In other words, you don’t have to read 1-4 to understand 5)

2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I guess the journey began when I imagined the first four books which were sold under the Seaside Seasons series (say that four times fast!). Those titles were Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, Autumn Dream and Winter Winds. Since there were four seasons, there were four books. But my editor and I thought the setting and the peripheral characters were worth their own book. So here’s Shadows on the Sand showcasing Greg.

3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I just went white water rafting and loved it.
I’m getting ready to leave for France to teach at a camp for MKs.
I LOVE my Kindle.

4. What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have a couple of novellas I’m working on, and a couple of novels looking for homes after the publisher that had contracted them decided not to do adult fiction after all. The novellas are set in Seaside and are something I’m doing just for fun. As for the two novels, I’m praying they find a home because I think the stories are great and the points they make about life are things we need to be reminded of all the time.

5. Parting comments?
Life is short. Love God. Love your family. Read books. And enjoy each day!

6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
My web page is http://www.gayleroper.com/. Come visit!

Bonnie Leon's "Wings of Promise"



Book title: Wings of Promise
Publisher: Baker Revell

Cover blurb: Her spunk has always gotten her through tough times. But does she have what it takes to go the distance?
Kate Evans may be a woman in a man’s profession, but as Alaskan bush pilots go, she is one of the best. If only her personal life wasn’t so complicated. Torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson, Kate longs for clarity in her heart. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, her mind may be made up for her.

1) How did this story come to you?
My mother is a native Alaskan, who spent many years on a remote homestead. She and her family depended on bush pilots for their mail, emergency supplies and an occasional lift into Anchorage.

My mother used to tell me stories of the pilots who kept them connected with the outside world. She had great respect and affection for them. Because my mind is always looking for a good story my mother’s history seemed a natural. And my imagination kicked in and I started to wonder what it would have been like to be a woman bush pilot back in the 1930’s. The story flowed from there.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
While this story was working its way through my mind so were a couple of others. I submitted three story ideas to my agent. She liked the Alaskan Skies best, thinking it was just right for these tough times. Although the books contain a good deal of drama they are also fun adventures with just enough romance for romance readers.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I feel the best thing that ever happened to me was becoming a mother. My children have made my life richer and more fun. But there was a time when I decided I’d never have children. I thought it cruel to bring them into such a harsh world. I’m so glad I changed my mind.

I had a dreadful speech impediment as a child. It was so bad people could not understand what I was saying. It was a devastating disability that broke my little girl’s heart and it took Christ to heal those wounds. I went to speech therapy for two years, which corrected it. And now I love to speak for readers groups and women’s groups and teaching writing workshops is always a blessing.

I live on a winding mountain road, and I truly hate these kinds of roads, they terrify me. Years ago when my husband and I looked at the property we eventually built on I told him there was no way I could drive this road. Over time, I’ve gotten used to it, but put me on an unfamiliar cliffside road and I reach for my Xanax.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have two separate projects. One is a series placed in 1920’s USA, and though I usually have difficulty finding titles, this time I found the titles before the stories. If my publisher accepts them the titles presently are—A Square Peg, Susie Sunshine, and A Rose by Any Other Name. I’m looking forward to telling these stories. I also have another book I hope to write while I’m working on these. It is the story of my heart and very unlike anything I’ve written previously.

5) Parting comments?
I simply want to say thank you to my readers. I love to write and if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be able to do that. So . . . keep on reading. : - )

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My web address is easy. It’s http://www.bonnieleon.com/.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

2 books and a tee shirt giveaway up on the sister blog at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com

I appreciate your following this blog where we'll continue to give away great books every week. However, we need your support at the sister blog http://www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com/ also as we get it up and running. It's not just a blog for young adults, it's a blog for the young at heart. We'll give away some great books and we'll laugh, encourage, and maybe even shed a tear with young adults who share their stories.

AOL picked the Angel series as the Christian alternative to the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers for their Top Ten Most Challenged Book List of 2010.

So, come on over and register to win Lisa Grace's Angels in the Shadows, my Mistaken Identity, and a Mistaken Identity tee shirt by leaving your comments at http://www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com/

Eden Morgan makes a list of six goals to accomplish in order to have the best summer ever. Getting a boyfriend, which is perhaps the most important goal, becomes complicated when she and her best friend, Lexi, fall for the same guy. Since Lexi is popular, gorgeous, and always gets her guy, Eden thinks she doesn't have a chance.

Channing Johnson is everything Eden's ever dreamed of and she can't believe he just moved in next door. When he starts showing interest in her, she's overjoyed...until she sees him out on a date with Lexi. He says Lexi talked him into it to repay her for tutoring him. Lexi says they're in love.

Eden doesn't know who to believe and is forced to choose between her best friend and the guy of her dreams. Nothing is as it seems and no matter who she chooses, someone will get hurt.