Monday, July 16, 2012

Sharon Leaf's "Lady and the Sea"

Title: Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf, a novel based on a true story
Cover blurb: After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the process of rebuilding her life with husband, Jesse, in Southern California. But the settled rhythm of her newfound comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a haunting photo of another aging lady, the World War II vessel MS Restoration. A special mission to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel means an adventure of a lifetime; does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and comfortable life? In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the old ship, Rosie says yes to the inner voice that is saying GO!

After fourteen months on board the ship—from a hurricane to a heart attack, from miracles to the M word--menopause--and now being held at gunpoint in the Haifa harbor—Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor.

1) How did the story come to you?
After volunteering fourteen months on a World War II vessel in 1994-95, I knew I had to tell the ship’s story. When the government put the lock-knot ship in mothballs after the war, she thought her glory days were over, until forty years later when a retired Alaskan sea captain bought her, then gave her to a church in Sweden to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. The Titanic was the ship of dreams, but the MS Restoration was the ship of miracles. God saved the best for last for the old gal, showing the reader that the best is yet to come for us 40+ gals and guys.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
One traditional publisher liked my manuscript but suggested I make two major changes. I have no problem making changes, but these two were critical for telling the story. So after much research and prayer, I indie-published. Instead of waiting months (or years) for Lady and the Sea to be accepted, then waiting another year (or perhaps two) for the publishing process, Lady and the Sea was published in seven months. The whole process, including the marketing, is on my time schedule. Because the two major changes remained, many readers have been blessed. The moral to my story? Stay true to yourself in the publishing process.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. When I was an avid runner, I ran a ½ marathon (non-stop) and lived to tell about it.
2. I recorded a song in a honest-to-goodness recording studio 30+ years ago; no telling how famous our group “Sonshine” would be today if You-tube had been around then.
3. I guess I’m just an Annie Oakley kind of girl at heart because I love to shoot my 45 … at the shooting range, that is. And yes, I’m downright good!

4) What are you working on now, and what’s next for you?
In between promoting Lady and the Sea and enjoying life, family, and friends, I am re-writing my non-fiction, Lady on the Run, editing my young adult novel, Victory Run, and oh yes, since I self-published Lady and the Sea, I’m going to go ahead and write a screenplay for LATS (is that considered self-producing?)

5) Parting comments?
A thirteen-year-old girl read her mother’s copy of Lady and the Sea and learned about the Holocaust; an 89-year-old avid reader read Lady and the Sea in one day (oh, the joy of retirement) and after she re-reads it, she will loan it to her family members. Young or old, my prayer is that readers will find faith for their forgotten dreams.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?

You can order a signed copy of Lady and the Sea directly from me on The Book page, through, E-books, and other online bookstores.

About the author:
Sharon Leaf is the author of Lady and the Sea, a debut novel based on her adventures as a volunteer aboard a WWII ship secured for a hazardous mission, to rescue Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. She traveled to over fifteen countries, lived in Sweden while attending Bible College, and travelled the Trans-Siberian Railway. At the age of sixty she received a degree in theology, proving that it is never too late to fulfill another dream. Sharon and her husband of twenty-four years now enjoy life in the sultry southern state of South Carolina.

Kim Watters' "And Father Makes Three"

Title: And Father Makes Three
Publisher: Harlequin’s Love Inspired

Cover blurb: “Your Daughter Needs You.”
She’s saved countless lives, yet there’s one person emergency room doctor Elizabeth Randall can’t rescue—her adopted daughter, Jordan. Perhaps meeting her biological father, Blake Crawford, will be the lifeline Jordan needs. The handsome, guarded firefighter takes risks every day. But facing the daughter he never knew—along with lovely Elizabeth—has him thinking about family. With fatherhood thrust suddenly upon him, there’s no way he can turn his back on his sick child. Will working together to give Jordan a second chance at life also lead them to a second chance at love?

1) How did this story come to you?
The idea for And Father Makes Three came from a personal situation. One of my dear friends from high school was diagnosed with Large Cell B non-hodgkins Lymphoma and needed to have a bone marrow transplant to put her cancer into remission. I twisted things around a bit and brainstormed with my critique group and came up with the premise of a child having leukemia and in need of a bone marrow transplant. Her biological father plays a key role in helping both his daughter and her adoptive mother tackle the illness and put it back into remission. In Carol’s honor, I have dedicated this book to her.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Well, aside from having to rewrite it a few times there isn't too much to tell. I sold it on proposal and then wrote the book. Three weeks before I turned the manuscript in, I discovered that I'd received some misinformation and had to change my entire plot and conflict for the book. I work a full-time job and my kids had just gone back to school so no pressure there. I turned it in on time and hoped my editor wouldn't notice the changes too much. I did get a revision letter back and had to rewrite the book even more with her comments. I even wrote scenes in the final line edit stage, but I feel the book is so much better with all the editorial input.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’ve lived in Johannesburg, South Africa and Le Harve, France, I absolutely, positively HATE to fly, and I’m claustrophobic.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just turned in another proposal to my editor with the working title A Christmas Angel.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me here K. Dawn. It’s always a pleasure to share my works with your fans.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?  from there I have links to my social networking sites.