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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss

Four Bestselling Authors Create One Winning Idea
(But it wasn't easy!)
By
Margaret Brownley

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."
- Albert Einstein


How do four authors living in different states, with complicated writing schedules and individual writing styles come up with an idea for a new collection?  They brainstorm and that's what Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, Debra Clopton and I did via a conference call one memorable day. 

After batting a few ideas around, Robin suggested we do something with unlikely brides.  It seemed like a good idea and after some discussion we knew we wanted the collection to be about women who found true love despite failing to meet certain social standards.  That's a theme that many can relate to and we knew it was an idea worth pursuing. 

As any writer will tell you an idea is nothing more than a tiny seed. Once you have this seed in hand you must then go after your story, sometimes with a sledgehammer. That’s what Rod Serling called the bleeding part.  After the phone call, we pretty much had to sling the proverbial mallet by ourselves.  Here's how the four of us came up with our stories: 

Margaret Brownley on writing Courting Trouble:
When I put down the phone following our conference call a woman in jail flashed through my head—don't ask me why.  What I didn't know is what she was doing there. It's questions like this that keep me awake at night.  Being in jail didn't necessarily make her an unlikely bride
unless . . .

She killed her husband—or at least was accused of killing him.  Would that make her an unlikely bride? What if two husbands had died under mysterious circumstances? Three?  Ah, the mind boggles!


Debra Clopton on writing A Cowboy for Katie:
I needed an unlikely heroine for our premise and I thought of Crazy Cora from the movie Quigley Down Under and I had always adored that character and her damaged heart and knew that I wanted to create a character similar in some way--my heroine Crazy Katie Pearl immediately appeared in my head, talking to herself and hoping she didn't have to shoot a cowboy. I loved writing this character and the whole A COWBOY FOR KATIE story.


Robin Lee Hatcher on writing Love Letter to the Editor:
There was no light bulb moment that inspired Love Letter to the Editor. I began with our premise of unlikely couples, and intelligent, well-educated, outspoken, unmarried Molly walked into my imagination. The man who took the job she wanted, Jack, followed soon after. And the story was born.

Mary Connealy on writing Spitfire Sweetheart:


I've had the idea for Spitfire Sweetheart starring wild child Maizy MacGregor for a long time. I picture her, reckless as can be, harming a man and having to care for him by way of atonement. (In other words, she owes Rylan Carstens big time for the harm she's done). Maizy's got a good heart and she's been raised like a boy, so it's not really her fault. And when she meets a man who reminds her she's truly female and he's shocked and upset by the way she conducts herself, in true Maizy fashion, she causes a lot of trouble. So much trouble in fact that only True Love can overcome it.


NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MARGARET BROWNLEY has penned nearly forty historical and contemporary novels. Her books have won numerous awards, including Readers' Choice and Award of Excellence. She's a former Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap.  She is currently working on a new series.  Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade.  Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence. 

Find Margaret:
Website: margaret-brownley.com


Thanks for visiting with me today, Margaret. I'm looking forward to reading this book written by some of my favorite authors. What fun it must have been to work together.

If you'd like to know more about this book and others by Margaret, visit her website. You'll be glad you did.

Leave a comment with your email address and answer one of the questions below and you may be the lucky winner of a copy of this book. Sorry, US and Canada residents only. Winner will be announced next Sunday, June 22. If you're a follower, you will receive one extra entry.

QUESTIONS: What is your favorite book by Margaret? 
                        What kind of books do you like to read?

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Release

Rebecca DeMarino

Rebecca, it’s good to have you as my guest this week. I’m sure readers are eager to hear more about you.
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
When I took the SAT as a junior in high school, I scored very high on the verbal section, which I’m sure was a result of all those novels I loved to read! The counselor put me in a creative writing class for my senior year. I think that was the first time I thought I could be a writer, but it wasn’t until my ten-year reunion from high school that I ever told anyone I wanted to write and be published. And many, many years before I started writing.
Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite? Why?
This is my first novel, and it was much fun to write because it was about my ancestors. I loved all of my characters – the really did have a place in my heart!!
I can understand that. The series I’m working on now is based on my great-grandparents and their family. The research really turns up some interesting things. Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?  
I found Barnabas very intriguing because he took off on a life of his own – which is good!  But Mary was truly the one I was interested in.  She is my ninth great-grandmother and there was so little information about her. But I got to know her and experience her a number of ways. I visited Plimoth Plantation and went on board the Mayflower II. I took a one day 17th century cooking course at the Alice Ross Studio on Long Island, and I walked the same roads and stood on the same beach as Mary Horton and recreated in my mind her feelings and emotions.
I’ve been to some of those same places and they were fascinating. So, how did you choose the setting for your book? 
It chose me! I grew up listening to my mom’s stories about Barnabas Horton, my ninth great-grandfather and how he came across the pond from England on a ship called The Swallow. When my brother became interested in genealogy, we discovered there was a lighthouse named after Barnabas, located on Long Island. I asked my mom if she’d like to go there, and off we went. There was a lot of interesting information about Barnabas. He was a baker and a widower with two young sons when he met my ninth great-grandmother. But I could find very little about her, and I began to wonder about what dreams and motivation she had, and courage she must have possessed, when she married and then left her family behind for the wilds of Long Island. A few years later, I began writing my first novel with a desire to give Mary a voice.
That’s wonderful. A letter from my great-grandfather to my great-grandmother during the Civil War sparked my interest in their story, so I used their hometown.

What is your strangest habit?
 I cannot throw a book  away or give it away (unless it’s a duplicate) and lending is hard for me because I fear I won’t get it back. I still own many of the books I owned in high school, and now have well over a thousand books. Many are nonfiction, but I would guess most are fiction.
Oh, my, a girl after my own heart. I still have college textbooks because I can’t throw a way a book. A thousand must take up a lot of room.
 Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I love reading all kinds of genres, though I’m partial to historic romance. I love all of Jane Kirkpatrick’s and Nicholas Spark’s novels and own most, but not all, and they are signed copies!
Wow! You are lucky to have signed copies of their books. Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?  
Homemade gorp – it’s not messy so I can pop one or two pieces in my mouth.  My recipe: Peanuts or almonds (unsalted), M&M’s, raisins or dried cranberries – or for a really decadent treat, dried cherries!
Sounds good to me. I’ll have to try that. What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?  I love to read, I love to visit with grandbabies – though the live kind of far – gardening, baking, genealogy and traveling are my hobbies.
What is something most people would not know about you?  I’m an introvert – which is really not surprising for a writer I guess.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  That God is with us no matter how much we mess up – all we have to do is ask. He’s there waiting.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?   To meet God in the morning and seek him throughout the day.
Now that’s a good lesson to learn. Thank you Rebecca for you great responses, but tell us, when will your next book be out?
Book #2 of The Southold Chronicles is due out June, 2015!  The young Horton boys are all grown up!
Where can we find you on the internet?   I can be found on the following social media sites:
 Facebook   Twitter  Google+   Pinterest            Subscribe to Rebecca’s Blog and/or Newsletter

 Blurb about the book:
A PLACE IN HIS HEART is inspirational historical romance author Rebecca DeMarino’s debut novel and book one of THE SOUTHOLD CHRONICLES!  Releases from Revell June, 2014

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton, the town baker, still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. 

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart? 

Rebecca DeMarino lives in the Pacific N.W. and enjoys travel, hiking, baking, genealogy and gardening. Her debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton, and is book one of The Southold Chronicles.

Rebecca, what question would you like to ask readers of your books or Christian fiction in general?
What is it about a novel that will make it linger in your mind, in your heart?

Thank you, and now it’s your turn, Readers. Leave a comment below for the opportunity to win a copy of this great book. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you in case of win.
 Also Revell is giving away a copy of the book: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5f05632/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, June 02, 2014

Of the Protected

Lars Landre, Of the Persecuted  
Lars, as hero of this story tell us about yourself.
As the Maker’s servant,. He has called me to defend His people, no matter the personal sacrifice. While I’ve been reluctant to accept a leadership role in the crusade against the Rendow Clan, who aim to slaughter the Faithful of the Woodlands Region, I now recognize my relevance. I’m destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution. And as I reflect on my early years when I was orphaned as a young one, I also now recognize the many ways in which the Maker prepared me to lead His people.
What is it that you in service of the Maker?
I am a warrior in the Mighty Army, leading the Faithful to defeat Vatten Rendow. I am also the founder of Tuveil, a magical village in the Woodlands Region.

How did you and Laila, the heroine meet?
I met Laila Pennedy in Drysdon, a village in the Woodlands Region, as we faced death by hanging.

Now that must have been an interesting meeting. What was your first impression of her?
Though forthcoming death loomed, her green eyes remained resolute and her demeanor defiant. Yet her vulnerability wrenched my heart. In all of my nineteen years, I had never gazed upon such beauty. While I had planned escape all along, the task suddenly became about preserving her life and not my own.

Did you think right away this was a woman you could love?
Without a doubt. It’s difficult for me to explain, but her combined demonstration of confidence and vulnerability both strengthened and weakened me. Though we had not yet spoken to one another, I felt stronger with her by my side. Until then, I’d longed to cross paths with a woman whom the Maker graced with humility, for such a lady is destined to glorify Him.

What are your expectations for a loving relationship?
I have only one expectation—that she devotes her life to the Maker. For then, she’ll value His blessings as much as me.

What causes you the most fear about this relationship?
Because the Faithful endeavor to defeat the Rendow Clan, to assure freedom to openly worship the Maker…I fear the chances of both of us surviving are slim.

I can see how devoted you are to your work. What makes it so important to you?
My devotion to the Maker and my unwavering faith in His promise of victory make my endeavors very important. My one true match, Laila and my family, whether by blood or commitment are also important in my life.

What do you want the heroine to see in you that she may not see now?
That, though I didn’t realize it until I locked gazes with her at the gallows in Drysdon, I’d waited for her. She is the fulfillment of a promise I never knew the Maker had made.

What are your hopes for the future?
I have only one hope—freedom to worship the Maker with those I love most.  
Thank you, Lars for sharing some of your life with us this week.
Of the Persecuted Back Cover Blurb:
Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.

Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.

Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?

  
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her
kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children.



For a chance to win this book, leave a comment below. We need at least ten entries for the drawing. A winner will be randomly selected on Wednesday, June 4 and posted here on June 5. 
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited by law; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. No purchase is necessary and one entry per post plus one extra for being a follower of the blog.  You must be 18 or older to enter. Remember to leave your email address for contacting you in case of win.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Christina Rich
Author of  The Warrior’s Vow
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication. Oh, wow. I had dreamed of writing for a long time but never thought it was possible. I started having babies right out of high school and never pursued college. In my mind, a college education was a necessity to write. It wasn’t until 2006 when I participated in Avon’s Fanlit writing contest. We were given a prompt to write from the first week, and then over the next several weeks we wrote based off the previous winning chapter. Avon eventually published the story with the winning chapters, but it was then during that contest, where I competed against hundreds of serious writers that I ‘knew’ I could do this.
Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite? I have fun writing, period. However, I’d have to say my yet-to-be-published historical western romance Love at Twenty Paces. Why? My heroine, Darby, is a hoot. She tries so hard to do what is right for all the right reasons, but she always ends up in a pickle. In the beginning of the story she stops a train in order to rescue orphan girls bound for the saloon, but she ends up shooting an innocent man in the shoulder. Of course, she doesn’t know he’s innocent and she didn’t ‘mean’ to shoot him, but she does anyway.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? I think my most difficult obstacle is myself, or other people needing my time and my inability to say no. ;)
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Abigail Why? She was completely unknown to me when I began writing Jesse’s (the hero) story. I had an idea of who I wanted his heroine to be but once I started writing Abigail peered between the folds of the tent and captured my attention. Abigail has always been sheltered, not out of love, but out of neglect. The first time she witnessed the sun set was breathtaking, not only for Jesse to witness but for me to write.
What would a perfect day for you look like? I just came back from the beach, so I’d have to say walking the beach with my family enjoying God’s creation.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. Romance! ;) I also love a good suspense and biographical sketches.
What do you most enjoy doing in your free time? I’m really learning to enjoy spending time with my Daddy (Father God). Instead of opening the word because I feel I must, or praying because of a requested need, I’m discovering the joys of seeking constant communion.
What is something most people would not know about you? I’m CDO (OCD). It’s not something that I’m proud of but it is something that I can’t seem to help. As much as I love books it’s difficult for me to decide how to place them on the shelf. Naturally, alphabetically would be the answer, but then you have some books that are taller than others, so I have to go with tallest to shortest. The odd balls, the ones that are shorter and longer, really get me and about throw me into fits of hyperventilation.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about? I think my favorite theme is forgiveness. I know, kind of cliché, but forgiving others even when they don’t deserve it is so important. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us that if we forgive those who sin against us, we will be forgiven but if we withhold that forgiveness it will be withheld from us as well.
I also like to write about restoration.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?   Joy. No matter the circumstances, and trust me we’ve been through a lot in the last few years (cancer, juvenile delinquent, etc), the joy of the Lord is my strength.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it? My next book won’t be out until the summer of 2015. I don’t have a title yet, but I can tell you it is set in mid-600 BC on the Mediterranean. It’s about a Greek merchant who rescues the daughter of a Philistine and a Hebrew slave from the auction block.
Where can we find you on the internet? www.threefoldstrand.com, www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaRich and twitter.com/christinainspy
More about Christina: Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research,  take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.
Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, released from Love Inspired March 2014. The Warrior’s Promise releases July 2014. The Warrior's Vow is being featured here.

He Was Hers to Command
Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him.
She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.

What question would you like to ask readers of your books or Christian fiction in general?


What themes would you like to see fiction Christian writers tackle?
Answer the question in your comment below and enter the drawing. Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited by law; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. No purchase is necessary and one entry per post plus one extra for being a follower of the blog. Winner will be selected next week-end and posted here on Sunday, June 1. You must be 18 or older to enter. Remember to leave your email address for contacting you in case of win.




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Murder by the Book
Interview with hero Drew Farthing 

 How would you describe yourself, Andrew?

      Just an ordinary fellow.  I suppose I look tolerably well in evening wear and can be presented in public without embarrassment. I have money enough to do as I like, but not so much that it gets me in trouble. I suppose I’m a trifle old-fashioned for 1932, but I do believe in the concept of right and wrong. For all that, though, I tend to be a rather affable chap, more likely to defend myself with a witty remark than my fists. I am in good training nevertheless, so I can use my fists if necessary.

2      What is your profession (career, job)? Describe a little about what you do.
Mostly I do as I please.  I am the titular head of Farlingford Processing, an oil and gas exploration and refining company, but I know shockingly little about the business itself. I generally take my late father’s advice and make sure to hire the very best people to run the company for me. So far, despite some peripheral incidents, that has worked like a charm. I’m far too young to work for sport.

 What is the most interesting thing about you?
I like solving puzzles. I’d rather they were between the pages of a well-written book, but I’ve
unraveled a few real-life mysteries, too. I enjoy figuring out what makes people do what they
do. And I have a new Rolls Royce. 

What do you put off because you dread doing it or don’t want to do it?
Going over the estate accounts.  Fortunately my best friend, Nick Dennison, is in training to manage Farthering Place when old Mr. Padgett retires, so the prospect isn’t really that grim.

What is your most important goal in life or what do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to use my wealth and position and my sleuthing abilities to help people in difficult situations and to in general do whatever I can to be what God intended me to be. And, it goes without saying, I hope to be a fine husband to that adorable angel, Madeline Parker.

What causes you the most fear?
Failing someone I love.

What things are most important to you?
Figuring out what God wants me to do, helping people in trouble, being a man of honor and a credit to the Farthering name.

What do you want others to see in you?
Honor, intelligence and dependability but not without a sense of fun and stylish wit.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Oh, I love a cracking good mystery novel.  Mrs. Christie and that Sayers woman have written some real corkers, and I absolutely adore Allingham. And, of course, I love to spend time with Madeline. If only she played golf . . .

What gives you the most pleasure in life?
Doing what I’m meant to be doing.  I mean, if I can help people in trouble with my little sleuthing efforts, I suppose that makes me feel I’m good for more than just filling out a dinner jacket. Some would consider sleuthing a rather odd calling, but we can’t all be behind the pulpit, can we?



What the book is about:
With his family’s company and good name safe again, Drew Farthering wants nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself involved in another mysterious case. The family solicitor lies dead in a Winchester hotel room, skewered through the heart by an antique hat pin with a cryptic message attached: Advice to Jack.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the man's double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem. Nothing except for another puzzling note and another antique hat pin affixing it to the doctor's chest.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all sure they have the right man. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, 2014). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and four contemporary mysteries for the Annie's Attic series. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz). 
Find out more about Julianna at: www.deannajuliedodson.com  https://twitter.com/deannajuldodson  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering

Julianna will be giving some lucky person a copy of her book. Leave a comment below along with your email address to be entered in the drawing.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited by law; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. No purchase is necessary and one entry per post plus one extra for being a follower of the blog. Winner will be selected and posted here on Monday, May 26. You must be 18 or older to enter. Remember to leave your email address for contacting you in case of win.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Hog Insane

Interview with Carole Brown.
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
Re-entering college to learn about computers, after my sons were grown, was a wake-up call for me. I knew then, that if I was going to pursue publication seriously, I needed to buckle down and re-learn. I worked hard for several years: writing, gaining critique partners, an agent, learning all the new “rules”, attending conferences and workshops, re-writing, editing, and finally, signing a contract for my first book. Within a short time I had another book releasing, and I realized I’m a real author.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Hog Insane: I would have to go with Denton Davies. He’s grouchy, opinionated, protective of his wife and adores her. Since this story deals with marital relations, and I love showing how much trouble people can land in, letting Denton learn that a wife’s love and respect is precious when not taken seriously, is a hard lesson to go through. Only when he thinks he may have lost it, does he wake up and determine to re-gain both. 
How do you choose the settings for your stories?I know my basic plots and go from there.
Ÿ  In The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, it was a little harder. I needed a place that could be secluded, mountainous, with streams, lots of woods, where a cult could thrive and perhaps go undetected for awhile. I thought about a couple different states/areas, but nothing seemed to “jell” until I went with West Virginia, and it clicked. Turned out, WV was the perfect state to set the story into.
Ÿ  With my upcoming release of the WWII spy series (With Music in Their Hearts), my plot includes a civilian spy. Since I spent some early years in Cincinnati, Ohio, I thought it would be interesting to bring a spy into that area. Plant a fictitious munitions plant across the river from the city, and it worked well.
Ÿ  With my “Insanity” series, it’s easy. I can place Denton and Alex anywhere to fit the plot. In the first book, Hog Insane, my family loves Tennessee, so using the Smoky Mountain area was perfect. In Bat Crazy, a fictitious cave will figure heavily into the scene, and there are a lot of states boasting of their own caves. J
What would a perfect day for you look like?
Ÿ  I’d start out with high 60s/low 70s, sunny weather. Balmy breezes would waft the flowers scents toward my window. Hummingbirds would flutter around the feeders. (setting)
Ÿ  Coffee, devotions, (later a smoothie or yogurt) toast.
Ÿ  Exercise
Ÿ  A two hour writing session with no blocks or interruptions.
Ÿ  Very light lunch
Ÿ  Another few hours with no blocks/interruptions. Progress!
Ÿ  Preparation for a special dinner out w/hubby (and/or family).
Ÿ  Home with an hour or so quiet time w/hubby
Ÿ  A huge thank you to God for such a marvelous day. Lol

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you? Popcorn and ice cream are my favorites (failings!). I forego other snacks just so I can enjoy these two.
What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?Family time is super important to me. I love being with them and making memories with them. Whether traveling, boating, hiking, or family meals, I appreciate the opportunity to do it with family.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?I really enjoy bringing into my stories real life issues. In The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, abuse, revenge and redemption and forgiveness played a heavy part, but in Hog Insane, marital relations was a minor thread that wove its way throughout the book.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?   To trust him. I’m a person who likes things done yesterday sometimes so learning to leave my writing life in his hands has been a big learning problem with me.
“Lord, you know I’d love to have a book published before I die.”
“Lord, now you know what this would mean for my book to . . .” (fill in the blank!)
“Lord, are you sure?”
Lol. Of course, he’s sure. I’m the one who needs to learn to trust, and I’m working on it.
Carole's Present Release:
A dead body, a missing motorcycle, a strange key, and dope are at the bottom of the trouble Denton and Alex Davies, and Taffy, their Jack Russell Terrier, run into when they head for their first stop in the Smoky Mountains immediately after early retirement.
Find this book at:
Amazon print:  http://bit.ly/1fd3cCQ
Amazon kindle:  http://amzn.to/1eDC39t
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1dvNA6z 

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?I have two books due out later this year. One is the second book after Hog Insane, entitled: Bat Crazy. Vampire bats biting humans? What’s the secret in the cave worth killing for?
The other is the first book in a trilogy, a WWII romantic suspense spy book entitled: With Music in Their Hearts. This series deals with: Three spies and three sisters.  And their stories.

Where can we find you on the internet?
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/ 
What question would you like to ask readers of your books or Christian fiction in general?
Does it matter to you the age of the characters you read about in books? Do you enjoy a certain age group, like the ones in Hog Insane: early retirement-characters? I’d love to know!
Thanks for having me visit, Martha. Enjoyed answering your questions and getting a chance to connect with your readers.
Thank you, Carole, for sharing a bit of your life with us. To enter your name in a free drawing for this book, answer the question above and leave your comment. We'd love to hear from you.

 Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited by law; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. No purchase is necessary and one entry per post plus one extra for being a follower of the blog. Winner will be selected next week-end and posted here on Monday, May 26. You must be 18 or older to enter. Remember to leave your email address for contacting you in case of win.







Monday, May 12, 2014

True Love

True Love is Worth the Wait

Laura Jackson has written a story all girls should read. Life isn't perfect and when we try to make it perfect, life can begin to come apart and create questions as to whether or not God truly cares about His children.

Blurb: Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.


Now that you have an idea as to what the book is about, let's hear from Ellie herself.

Ellie, tell us how you might describe yourself to others?
I’m friendly and eager to please others. I want to be the perfect daughter and girl-friend, and I want to please God.

How did you and Josh meet?
Josh has always been around. He’s my best friend’s twin and good friends with my long time boyfriend Dylan.

What was your first impression of him?
He was the annoying brother always around when my best friend and I would hang out. He’d always crash our slumber parties.

Oh, yes, my own brother was like that. Not that you’re older, how do you want him to see you?
I didn’t really worry about how he saw me until my world fell apart and he was the person who caught me when I fell—over and over again.

Were you planning on romance with Josh entering your life?
Not hardly. I started planning my wedding to Dylan when I was in elementary school. When he cheated on me, I still couldn’t picture myself with anyone else.

So now that you and Dylan are apart, what things are of most importance to you in a relationship with someone you love?
Honesty and trust because once those are lost, the relationship can never be the same again.

What are your hopes for your relationship in the future with Josh?
I hope we both follow God’s plan for our lives. And, I hope God’s plan for me includes Joshua Martin. J

With so many disappoints in your life recently, how do you face them?
I freak out—suffer from panic attacks. With the help of my youth pastor’s wife, I’m learning to turn to Jesus instead of myself.

What do you want Josh to see in you that he may not see now?
Josh sees more in me than I see in myself.  It’s crazy how he believed in me when I didn’t.

What is your main goal in life? What do you hope to accomplish?
After my life changed at the orphanage in Mexico, I want to raise money and awareness for the orphans around the world.

That’s a very worthwhile ambition. I pray you will succeed. Now, if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could relax a little—let things happen instead of always planning out every detail and being disappointed when things don’t go the way I want. But, I’m getting better.

Thank you, Ellie, for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I hope many young girls read your story and learn to depend on God.



 Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

Laura will be giving away a copy of her book this week. Leave a comment below and tell us about your true love or how you met your true love. Remember to leave your email address so we can contact you in case of win. The give away of a copy is for the US only with E-books available for international readers.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited by law; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. No purchase is necessary and one entry per post plus one extra for being a follower of the blog. Winner will be selected next week-end and posted here on Monday, 19. You must be 18 or older to enter. Remember to leave your email address for contacting you in case of win.