Monday, August 1, 2011

Anita Mellott's "School Is Where the Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents"


Title: School Is Where the Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents
Publisher: Judson Press

Cover blurb: Inspiration, encouragement, and practical help for today’s homeschool parents.

"The devotions found in School Is Where the Home Is are exactly what my homeschool days need! Anita opens the door to her home and heart to share soul-stirring wisdom for how God can transform your homeschool journey into all that the Lord longs for it to be—both for you and your children. Whether you’re new to homeschooling or a veteran, these devotions will lighten your load, brighten your mood, and heighten your awareness that God is with you every step of the way." —Amy Wallace, author of the Defenders of Hope series

"In Anita Mellott's book, we get a glimpse of God's provision, wisdom, encouragement, and love all wrapped up in a daily devotional that is sure to encourage the heart of every homeschool mom who reads it. —Heidi St. John, thebusyhomeschoolmom and FirstClassHomeschool.org

"With clarity and sincerity, Anita Mellott leads the reader through a series of short readings and reflections which become more than just a time of devotion, but spark powerful and relevant thoughts on how we can be the best parent we can." —Andrew Pudewa, Institute for Excellence in Writing

1) How did this story come to you?
Five years ago when we relocated to Atlanta, I attended my first homeschool encouragement meeting even though I had been homeschooling for four years. I left the meeting encouraged that I wasn’t the only parent who faced ups and downs in my homeschool. I wondered what it would be like to have a daily reminder of God’s presence with us each homeschool day, along with practical tips. And so the idea of a devotional for homeschooling parents was birthed.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote a few ideas down here and there. The real momentum came when I joined a critique group 2009. They encouraged me to send out queries. So I wrote a proposal and worked on some devotionals. Twenty-seven rejections later, I received a contract from Judson Press. This June, “School Is Where the Home Is” became a reality. God in His unique way and timing allowed pieces to fall into place.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. My Caucasian husband and I met in India through a traditional “arranged marriage.”
2. On a good hair day I’m just about five feet tall.
3. A maid carried my book bag to and from school daily.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m taking the plunge into fiction writing after writing non-fiction for about 15 years. I’m working on a compilation of short stories about the Indo-American experience and my first novel.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me! And a huge thank you to all who read what I write.

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

Beverly Nault's "Fresh Start Summer"


Title: Fresh Start Summer
Publisher: Lamp Post Publishing

Cover blurb: Pack your bags for Cherryvale, where neighbors care, gardeners share and God allows do-overs. With a touch of humor, a smattering of faith and a glimpse at movie-making glamour, Fresh Start Summer introduces you to the folks living on The CherryPath, a unique artery that stitches lives together as one in heart and mind. Follow the fun when this peaceful community meets Hollywood, and the bike-riding, muffin-baking town organizer, Grace Harkins, has to choose between her quiet retirement and rescuing a friendship in danger.

1) How did this story come to you?
I read about a development in our town that planned the homes’ front doors facing a common area, their garages on a back alley. Kind of an inside out community. Their idea was to force—ahem, encourage—neighbors to sit on their porches, chat over the fence, enticing the old-fashioned, small-town-in-a-bigger-city atmosphere. They were going for the opposite of driving your car into the garage at night and disappearing. After I picked myself up off the floor laughing in disbelief that people would really live like that, I realized that sounded nice, and the idea for Cherryvale blossomed. Then I added in the concept that friendships, family relationships and sometimes even entire communities often need a fresh start, and the story was born. (Oh, and from what I hear, the people in that planned community live in perfect harmony as the developers dreamed. Right.)

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I was enrolled in Christian Writer’s Guild when I first had the desire to write “gentle” fiction. When Cherryvale came to me, I took early samples to my critique group, attended workshops, and sought advice at the San Diego Christian Writer’s conference. And of course I prayed that the Lord would have His hand on the project.

Then the country’s economy tanked, so I decided Cherryvale would also experience a downturn, but instead of waiting around for handouts, ‘Valers came up with a unique solution to attract tourism by making over their town. The fresh start thing again.

Anywhooo…when the manuscript was nearly ready (drafts are never 100% unless you’re Angela Hunt), I met the acquisitions editor for Lamp Post and sent her a proposal. Ashley got my vision and, as all great editors can do, came alongside and cracked the proverbial red pen over my head. The final product is uber different from the first scratchings, but I couldn’t be more proud. Lamp Post’s products are incredible. From my gorgeous cover and incredible layout, to the itty-bitty muffins they used for scene breaks, it all makes me smile.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
This is fun. Okay, number one. I’ve lived in seven states (ten cities) and two countries. Moving so much has given me rich experiences and exposed me to many different people and cultures. So grateful to social networking so I can reconnect with friends from past lives. Er, moves.

And two, speaking of reconnecting, I’ve recently had a fresh start in friendships of my own with classmates from my high school. We ladies especially (about fifty of us) have been having tons of fun finding out we were all just a bundle of hormones and anxieties back then, glad now we can laugh over what at the time seemed dramatically important. And there are also secret things we talk about that they would kill me for if I revealed them here. I think a story idea is coming to me. >scratches out note<

Three. Not sure if I’d call it an addiction—or even a secret for that matter—but I adore all kinds of entertainment. Television, movies, books, theater, art. You name it, I’ve dabbled in almost all of them in a “stick my little toe in” kind of way. I was a props mistress/set decorator for Community Theater, I’ve been an extra in television shows and one movie (catch a glimpse of me in the nosebleed section of Like Mike.) I was in a short film as a Katie Couric-type reporter. Not as easy as it looks folks. Oh, and I was the co-author of Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton (Kensington Publishing) with Mary McDonough. The experience of a lifetime, working with and writing about Hollywood legends. Meeting Earl Hamner in person? Only an extreme honor. Okay, maybe it is an addiction. Hand me the remote.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Fresh Start Summer is the first book in The Seasons of Cherryvale, which, you guessed it, has a book for each season. Autumn Changes is next. We also plan several novellas for digital readers to supplement the series. In the first one, Grace and Maggie Across the Pond, the main characters from Fresh Start Summer get sidetracked while fulfilling a bucket list dream traveling in England.

5) Parting comments?
I’m really enjoying hearing from readers who want to move to Cherryvale. It’s fun having people join me in the little world I created in my head. My dream was to write about a place where you want to go, populated with people you want to know. An escape from, or just a change from, our day-to-day lives. And to perhaps be inspired to make a fresh start in a friendship or career, hobby or goal.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My personal page is http://www.beverlynault.com/  and I tweet @bevnault. I have an author page, Beverly Nault, on Facebook. I enjoy the Goodreads.com community as well. (And whatever other social networking sites have exploded overnight while we were sleeping.) The books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, other fine stores, and through the publishers.

Cherryvale blessings, and thanks for having me!

Lindi Peterson's "Her Best Catch"


Title: Her Best Catch
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books

Cover blurb: Allison Doll's mother is rebelliously turning fifty, her two best friends have started dating and a gorgeous injured relief pitcher named Ashton Boyd has joined her Sunday school class, rocking her world into confusion, heartache and temptation, places she hasn't visited in a long time, much less all at once.

But with the help of family, old friends she really hasn't lost, a new friend she really can count on, and God, she begins to find out whether she'll always be a girl waiting for life to happen or a woman who's ready to commit to her best catch.

1) How did this story come to you?
After reading Judy Bauer and Kristin Billerbeck I wanted to write a novel with those tones. I played around with a couple of ideas and came up with the 3 friends and two start dating leaving my heroine feeling out in the cold.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
My manuscript was titled Girl in Waiting. It was a finalist and winner in some writing contests. It did get rejected as well by publishers. But Bell Bridge books read it and wanted to publish it.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I met my husband in a bowling alley, I work as an accountant at my day job and I like NASCAR.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve sold a second book to Bell Bridge Books. Summer Song will be out in Spring 2012. I’m working on a three book series now set in coastal Florida where 3 Georgia women relocate.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you for having me here. I enjoy writing and I hope that the passion I have for it comes across to the reader as they are reading. I want to tell people about the love of Jesus and make people smile.

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

Sarah Sundin's "Blue Skies Tomorrow"


Title: Blue Skies Tomorrow
Publisher: Revell

Cover blurb: Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.

1) How did this story come to you?
When I was researching A Distant Melody, the first book in the series, I grew to admire the US Eighth Air Force and decided to write a trilogy with a story for each brother. The oldest brother, Ray, is a true pastor with no inclination for combat. What would happen if he did fly a combat tour? And what could possibly induce him to volunteer? Also, young Helen Carlisle had been widowed in the first book, and I really wanted a happy ending for her. I mentally introduced her to Ray and the mutual attraction was strong. What I didn’t realize was how the romance would unearth something painful in Helen’s past.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I started writing in 2000 and churned out two awful contemporary romances. However, I learned through this process. In 2003 my critique partners said A Distant Melody was ready, so I submitted it at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I then began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, story, and characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. This continued through 2007. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious He wanted me to finish the trilogy, so I plugged away. In 2008, the market flipped and historicals were in demand. And my trilogy was close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton from Revell at Mount Hermon and was offered a three-book contract.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I wrote the rough drafts for all three of these books longhand, curled up on my couch. I’ve skipped that step with my next series.
2. During summer breaks in college, I worked as a ride operator at Knott’s Berry Farm. I knew how to jump on and off of a moving merry-go-round. Don’t ask to see it now.
3. My least favorite subject in school? Creative writing. Go figure.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I signed another three-book contract with Revell for a series that follows three World War II flight nurses in the Mediterranean Theater. I’m polishing the first book for its September 1 deadline (release date Fall 2012) and plotting out the second novel.

5) Parting comments?
Family stories from World War II fascinate me—combat, stateside, or Home Front. I’d love to hear yours!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://www.sarahsundin.com/
Blog: http://www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahsundin