Thursday, July 31, 2008

Author Marlo Schalesky - BEYOND THE NIGHT - Free Book

I just loved Marlo Schalesky's book Veil of Fire, so I wanted to feature her with her newest book.

Welcome, Marlo. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I’ve just begun to write a new type of story, which I’m calling “love stories with a twist!” These combine the poignancy of a Nicolas Sparks type love story with big-whopper, surprising twist like you might find in a M. Night Shymalan movie. I’m writing these because, well, they’re just so much fun! As a reader, I enjoy a good romance, but I want something more. I want mystery, I want surprise, I want to catch my breath in delight by book’s end. So for me, these types of books (hopefully! :-)) accomplish that. They’re the type of story that I not only like to write but also love to read, and so far, I haven’t found anything else in the market quite like them.

Another reason I write this type of story is that one of my life’s missions is to pull back the veil and give readers a glimpse of the wonder and beauty of God. My hope is that readers will be captured by that wonder and left breathless at the vividness of God and His love. And this type of story is a wonderful vehicle for that vision. I think that’s maybe why God gave me this type of story to write. And I’m thankful that He did!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I suppose it was the day when the guy I loved kissed me for the first time. We’d been friends most of the year, but I’d given up hope of our relationship becoming anything more than that . . . until that night. Now, Bryan and I have been married nearly 20 years, but it all started back there in that dorm room at Stanford University when he surprised me with a kiss.

How has being published changed your life?

Deadlines! You know, before I was published, I thought a book contract was the end all of everything I wanted. I didn’t have a clue! Now I know that getting that contract is only the first step of a whole other world of concerns – sales, marketing, promotion, editing, and of course, deadlines! Before I was published, I could write for myself. Now, I have a responsibility to my publisher, my readers, and mostly to God – to try to be faithful and reach the vision for the work He has for me.

Before, writing was much more a self-centered endeavor. It was more about my dreams, my goals, my hopes. Now, it has becomes something else entirely. Now, it’s about be faithful to the vision God gives me; it’s about serving my readers; it’s about painting a vivid God for a world that’s lost its wonder.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Fossil Hunter by John Olson. This is the novel that goes along with the new Expelled! documentary movie with Ben Stein. Great book! And as a chemist (in my former life ;-)), I’m especially enjoying it.

What is your current work in progress?

I’ve just finished my second of the “love stories with a twist!” which will release in March 2009 and I think will be titled If Tomorrow Never Comes. This is a neat story of a woman facing infertility, a locket discovered in the sand, and a mysterious lady rescued from the water.

Next, I’m starting the third of this new type of book, and I’m very excited about how the story is starting to develop. This one, which I’m calling Shades of Morning, follows the story of a woman who becomes the legal guardian of her estranged sister’s son . . . only to find out that the boy has Downs Syndrome. If this story lives up to its vision (here’s hoping!), it’ll be a wondrous story of redemption, family, and leaving regrets behind. I’m looking forward to getting more of it written!

What would be your dream vacation?

I’d love to go somewhere where I stayed in a little cabin in the woods, could hike every day and see the incredible wonders of nature. I’d go with my hubby and 4 little girls, and no one would gripe, complain, whine, or fuss. They would all get along beautifully, be wonderful to each other, and eat their food without having to be nagged about it.

In fact, forget about the cabin in the woods. I’ll take anywhere if I could get the gang to all be happy at once and be good.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

For my historicals, the settings has always come with the storyline, so I didn’t get to choose. When I wrote about the greatest firestorm of Minnesota history, the setting had to be Hinckley, Minnesota. When I wrote about the last Yahi Indian, the setting had to be San Francisco.

But now that I’m writing my contemporary love stories with a twist!, I’ve been able to choose the settings for the stories. So, I’ve had fun choosing places that are special to me. For example, in Beyond the Night, my main characters attend Stanford University, my alma mater (in fact, watch for a fun video on my website that shows the different places at Stanford that are seen in the book!), they take a trip to Monterey, one of my favorite places to go locally, and eventually, Maddie goes back to Boston and walks along the Charles River, just like I did one summer when I attended Harvard.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

My husband. Because he’s a great guy, I love him, and with four little kids, well . . .you figure it out! :-) Honestly, a quiet evening out with no diapers to change, no one hollering, just my hubby and me with a nice dinner that someone else cooks, brings to the table, and cleans up after . . . wow, that’s heaven!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Hobbies? What are hobbies? Ah, I remember! Those things I used to do for fun before having four little kids. :-) Well, I love horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, racquetball (watch for the racquetball scene in my newest novel, Beyond the Night!), and going to the movies and eating sweet kettle korn.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I have two writing obstacles. Their names are Bria and Jayna, and they’re two-year-old twins. When I try to write or get anything done, one gets into everything and the other screams and throws a fit. Never a dull moment around my house!

How do I overcome it? Four words: Starbucks. Venti. White. Mocha. The only thing that works is getting away for a couple hours during naptime (while they nap at Daddy’s office and I take the 4-year-old to school) and writing like crazy at Starbucks. And that doesn’t work all the time, but I’m tryin’! Meanwhile, feel free to pray for me!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Don’t write a story just to be a writer. Find the right story that resonates with what God’s doing in you. Write what moves you and comes out of your seeking of God and His hand on your life. Then, write the story God gives you. Surrender. Follow God. Seek Him. And if He’s called you to this writing thing, then write the best that you can. Study the craft. Hone your work. Remember that it’s an offering to Him, so do your best. Find the story that’s not only your passion, but His. And then, be faithful. Go to writers’ conferences, listen to advice, be humble. Write. And make friends who will be there for you in the ups and downs of the business.

Marlo, tell us about the featured book.

Beyond the Night is the first of three contemporary novels that I’m writing for Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers (a division of Random House). All of them are “Love Stories with a Twist!,” a new type of story that I think will knock readers’ socks off.

Beyond the Night includes groovy 70’s trivia and a whopper of an ending twist, that I hope will surprise and delight the reader. Here’s a blurb about it:

They say love is blind. This time, they’re right.
A poignant love story . . .
A shocking twist . . .
Come, experience a love that will not die.

A Nicolas Sparks (The Notebook) type love story meets a M. Night Shymalan (The Sixth Sense) twist in this moving story of two people trying to find love in the dark. A woman going blind, a man who loves her but can’t tell her so, a car crash, a hospital room, and an ending that has to be experienced to be believed.

Sounds like fun, huh? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

I can hardly wait to read it! How can readers find you on the Internet?

Oh, please visit me at my website at, and also visit my blog (I post every Wednesday, at least) at I can also be found at Shoutlife ( and at My CCM ( I love to hear from readers!

Marlo, thank you for coming by my blog.

Readers, doesn't this book sound exciting. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy, but if you don't win, you'll want to get a copy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Author Lenora Worth - LONE STAR SECRET - Free Book

Today, we're featuring abook in a Love Inspired series--Homecoming Heros. This book releases in August.

Welcome, Lenora. I just love reading these series by Love Inspired. What is the name of the series this book is in, and where in the series does it occur?

This is the Homecoming Heroes series set in Texas (near Austin) in a fictional town and army post (Fort Bonnell) The town is Prairie Springs.

Who came up with the idea for the series?

Our editors came up with the idea and created an overall with all the characters, plot threads and setting.

I know that working on a series that weaves together takes a lot of work. How did your team schedule the work?

I've been blessed with each continuity to have great writers to work with! We start by setting up an e-mail loop and we immediately begin brainstorming and working out the questions/concerns/kinks in that way. We hash things out (somtimes argue things out (grin) then once we feel like we've got a handle on the continuity plot threads we usually retreat and write our stories. We keep the communication lines open with e-mails and discussions, sometime phone calls. So it's a daily procedure of checkin on the loop, answering questions, asking questions, sending important scenes to critique and compare and we try to make sure we're all on the same page (pun intended!)

Did you find it hard or easy to work within the series framework?

A little of both. Continuities are a challenge but you learn so much about teamwork, compromise and working with other writers. It's amazing that six different writers can all have such diverse writing styles yet work together to make a continuity story flow. It's exciting when the books come out to read the others and compare. It's fun--like opening a present! But it is hard in that you have to be able to give and take with the other writers and the editors to make things work. Sometimes, an idea you feel strongly about gets cut and sometimes it gets very confusing (especially in a suspense continuity.) Homecoming Heroes was such a blessing, however, because it has such a heartwarming, patriotic plot thread and it's about our military heroes. We all agreed that we wanted that aspect of this series to be as true to life as possible and we worked together to make that happen. As for me, sometimes I'd rant to the other writers or get a bit defensive but overall, we each did a pretty good job of working peacefully together to make this series shine. I'm thrilled to be a part of it. And who doesn't love a series set in Texas!!!!

What other books have you had published?

I've written over thirty books, most of those for Steeple Hill. I love writing Love Inspired romance and Love Inspiried Suspense. It's so much fun and such a challenge. And I love to tell people that I have over a million books in print. Who would have ever dreamed I'd be able to say that--a little country girl from Georgia!

When you aren't writing or spending time with your family, what is your favorite activity?

Well, I love to read. I like to shop. And I love to take trips to the beach with my friends. I even like to cook when I have the time. I enjoy sitting in my garden with a good cup of coffee and a good book! And I enjoy getting together with my writer friends at conferences. That is always fun!

Where do you do most of your writing?

I have an upstairs office and that is where I write. We remodeled a bedroom when we moved into this house and we did it in a beach theme with soft blue walls and sand colored accessories. I have beach pictures and a mural on the wall so I can stare off into the distance when I'm plotting. I have a sand colored chaise lounge near my desk. I often sit there to proof or read or just daydream and plot. I rarely write anywhere else in the house because I like to keep that separate from daily life, as much as possible. My office has everything I need to get the job done, including research books and floor space!

Wow, I'd love to come write with you. What part of the country do you live it? And why do you like that part of the country?

I am a southern girl. I live in Louisiana. I love the south because of the beauty of nature we have in the four seasons and I guess because it's where I was born. While I enjoy traveling, I'm always very glad to be home, too. I could do without the humidity and mosquitoes, however.

Tell us about the featured book.

Mine is the second in the series--Lone Star Secret. It's about a returning helicopter pilot named David Ryland who is helping to bring a Middle eastern little boy to America to be with his paternal grandfather (his father was American and killed in the war) and to have needed heart surgery in Texas. My hero is a wonderful man, but he is tormented by his past and he longs to find out who his father was. He meets Anna Terenkov, a Russian born humanitarian who now lives in Texas. The conflict comes when Anna's best friend reveals a secret and asks Anna to keep the secret, especially from David. David, who hates secrets and lies, is devastated when he finds out the truth.

Sounds intriguing. I can hardly wait to read it. How can my readers find you on the Internet? or

Thank you, Lenora, for spending this time with us.

Readers, check out her web sites after you leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Author S. Dionne Moore - MURDER ON THE OL' BUNIONS - Free Book

Today, we're talking about another good summer read--a cozy mystery from this debut author.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

It’s hard to say. I really try to give each of my characters their own flaws and strengths, personality and tone. LaTisha Barnhart, lead character for my cozy mystery series, is like me in many small ways. However, the main model for LaTisha is one of my really good AA friends.

The way people interact fascinates me, and the study of personalities has helped me to form the characters as unique individuals. Actually, It’s great fun to create characters. Like playing Sims on paper-er, screen.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Write a book with a title like Murder on the Ol’ Bunions!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Definitely when I was in High School writing love poems to my current crush. I hope he’s forgotten them by now. I’ve avoided reunions for all these years because of those poems.

Seriously, I’ve written on and off most of my life, but my daughters premature birth, and the pain and grief of watching her struggle to do the things most parents of newborns take for granted, prompted me to pour my heart onto paper. I posted it on my Geocities Website and an editor putting together a book about premature babies read it, loved it, and asked to feature it in Living Miracles: Stories of Hope from Parents of Premature Babies, St. Martin’s Press.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Who says I’m sane?

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Punny you should ask. Most of the names I use are puns. Bad puns, probably, but I love ‘em and it’s part of the fun for me. We writers must amuse ourselves somehow.

So, I take a character’s basic personality and try to match a name. In Polly Dent Loses Grip, book 2 of the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series, Gertrude Herrman is a man chaser, so this last name is my attempt of showing that. Payton O’Mahney in book one is a less obvious pun. Pay-ton O-mahney. He’s a music store owner who sells high-end European pianos for which you will pay a ton of money. :-)

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Sorry to disappoint, but it’s not writing related. I’d have to say that teaching my daughter to walk on Lofstrand crutches is the moment that stands out in my mind. She was probably four years old and she kept falling. She was scared. I was too. Dying a little bit everytime she fell. But she got the hang of it and overcame her fear. We celebrated with a chocolate milkshake.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A dinosaur. And Since I turn 40 this year, I’m halfway there!

I hate to think what that makes me. What is your favorite food?

Salad. Yogurt. Spinach. They do great things for my compost pile.

Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

After "The Preemie Experience" was published in Living Miracles, I joined ACRW (member #64!). I wanted to write something bigger and I loved historicals. I learned so much about writing through ACRW, becoming an active member in many aspects. I’ve been Webmaster, the Noble Theme contest coordinator, Zone Director for the MidAtlantic. I have attended every conference, except for the one in 2007.

Anyhow, when I retired from coordinating the Noble Theme contest, I entered it myself (though they changed the name to Genesis) in 2006, sending a proposal to Susan Downs and the required pages to the Genesis. I finaled in the first round! I e-mailed Susan the good news and she offered me a contract about two weeks later.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I kept hearing people say write what you love to read. For some reason, for me, that equated to writing historicals. Then an agent pointed out that I wrote great spunky, mature female characters. It was a lightbulb moment when I realized I could use this character in a contemporary setting, surround it with mystery, sprinkle it with humor and write a different genre. I was just in time, too, since Barbour was acquiring for cozy mysteries.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

Get tough or get out. It sounds overly harsh, but expecting a glowing review of your manuscript every time someone reads it is not going to gain you any ground in the writing world, and the reality will ultimately crush you.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

I’m running a Most Beautiful Bunion contest! Seriously. Check it out at The winner receives and autographed copy of the book and some other goodies. I’ll also be doing a blog tour on Christian Fiction Blog Alliance ( with Bonnie Calhoun October 22-24, 2008, and a chat and a workshop with Anne McDonald ( October 11, 2008 and October 16, 2008. There are a few other things running too, but the bottom line is you will be seeing and hearing lots from me. Grab some caffeine to stay awake!

Sandra, thanks for spending this time with us.

Readers, check out her websites, but before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

And if you haven't heard about the Heartsong Mystery line, check out this web site:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Five, Count Them, Five Winner!!!!!

Lovedandamazed is the winner of The Bunko Babes by Leah Starr Baker.

Lilac Grandma AND Eileen Astels Watson are the winners of my book Minnesota Brothers.

Jackie AND WendyK are the winners of my book Montana Mistletoe.

Each of you need to email me your mailing address. There's a link in my profile.

Go back and check the four interviews posted this week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Author Lynette Eason - RIVER OF SECRETS

Lynette is back with us with her second Love Inspired Suspense.

Welcome, Lynette. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I’ve always loved romance, the love stories, two characters who beat the odds to live happily ever after. I even used to read the sweet ones Harlequin published back in the 80’s and 90’s. But while I loved the story lines, I always felt a lot of the characters were…missing something. I finally decided that it was the spiritual aspect of their lives. It was never developed in the secular stories and left me wanting more. I’ve loved God all my life so when I turned to writing, it was only natural for me to include Him in my characters lives. Why suspense? I love a good mystery. I love being on the edge of my seat, not knowing what’s going to happen next…and I love the challenge of thinking up stories along these lines. And I get to show the characters turning to God when they’ve got nowhere else to go. And I get to show His faithfulness even when their world is going crazy. And…it’s just plain FUN!

I love reading romantic suspense novels. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I would have a hard time picking just one…I’d have to say, the day I married, the day I had my daughter, and the day I had my son, all come up in a tie for that one.

When you have grandchildren, the day they're born will b e added to that list. How has being published changed your life?

I’m having to be a bit more organized with my time. Homeschooling has given me a bit of a schedule to work with and I have to schedule writing time around that, plus trips to Karate, horseback riding, chauffeuring friends, swim lessons, and homeschool field trips. So, to sum it up, I guess I would have to say I’m more conscious of making time to write.

What are you reading right now?

I usually have a couple of books going at the same time. However, I just finished Brandilyn Collins’ new one CRIMSON EVE in one sitting. I’ve also got Shirlee McCoy’s, STRANGER IN THE SHADOWS to read. And I just finished a fabulous story by Lisa Mondello called CRADLE OF SECRETS.

What is your current work in progress?

I’m still working on the latest book that sold to Steeple Hill. And, just this morning, I submitted a three book proposal to my agent to look over then send on to Steeple Hill.

What would be your dream vacation?

Ah, wow. A trip around the world on a cruise ship with my husband and knowing 100% for sure that I wouldn’t be a bit seasick!

There are ways to take care of the seasickness. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I pretty much write what I know. I live in Spartanburg, SC, so most of the settings are going to be in that area. ButT, I also love to research exotic, little known areas of the world. RIVER OF SECRETS and this third one are written in places I’ve never been to, like Brazil, but I did tons of research and read voraciously about the place, so much so that I FEEL like I’ve been there. I hope that comes across to the reader. I also love Nashville, TN, so I expect I’ll come up with something in that setting sometime in the future.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

It would have to be my husband. He travels so much, I mean literally weeks at a time, that we rarely have an entire evening to ourselves, especially since when he’s home, he wants to spend time with our children, too.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love to ice skate when I get the chance. I also enjoy scrapbooking, photography, ebaying, garage sale-ing, and cheering my kids on in all of their activities.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Probably plotting and character description. For plotting, I force myself to write out a very detailed synopsis. I don’t hold myself to it religiously, but at least if I get stuck, I can go to it and get an idea of where to go next. Usually, when I’m done with the story, the beginning and the end match up pretty well, but the middle kind of takes off on its own with the characters determining different scene ideas, etc.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Write, write, and write some more. Make writing a priority in your day. And if this is what you feel God has called you to do, never give up, no matter what anyone tells you. Go to conferences, enter contests, and trust your instincts. Get a mentor, someone who will work with you, teach you the fundamentals and basics of writing, and be excited for you and your successes. And hopefully he/she will be someone who will let you cry on a shoulder when you need it, but give you a kick in the pants when the time comes and you need that, too. :-) Most of all, stay close to God. He always has the best writing advice out of anyone you’ll come across!

Tell us about the featured book.

RIVER OF SECRETS was NOT a fun book for me to write, yet once it was finished I loved the story. God used this book to reveal some things to me, to touch my heart with His faithfulness and His unfailing love. It’s a story set in the Amazon in Tefe, Brazil.

How can readers find you on the Internet?;; my AOL IM screen name is lynetteee1 although sometimes I don’t have time to chat for various reasons. Remember, I homeschool and have writing deadlines…ha. But when I have the time, I love it!

Lynette, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Just remember to check back every Saturday to see if you won. I usually have the post up by noon. Then go check out her web sites.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Author Delia Latham - GOLDENEYES - Free Book

This week and next week, we'll have an extra interview to catch up with my schedule. Today, we're talking to Delia Latham

Delia, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I don’t do it intentionally, but my readers tell me they see a lot of me in my heroines. Maybe I just paint a little of myself into my characters (the things I like about me), then round them out with all the wonderful characteristics I wish I possessed!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Quirky is not a word I would use to describe myself, as a rule. But I do occasionally get in strange moods …. A friend and I once pushed my husband’s little VW out of our driveway at midnight. (It was a standard shift, and I couldn’t find reverse, hence the pushing trick.) We drove it all over our tiny little town (and rather jerkily, I must admit), trying to find a place to buy sodas in a little berg that rolled up the sidewalks at five o’clock. I forgot about the reverse situation, and we nearly got attacked by guard dogs at a service station while pushing the silly thing out of the corner I’d parked it in. All we wanted was a Dr. Pepper out of the machine! LOL

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

In third grade, during an essay contest. The entire class had to write on the same subject: “What I Was Like As A Baby.” I won the girl’s prize, a beautiful bed doll with a pink satin, quilted skirt. After that, it was difficult to find me without a pen and notebook in hand. I wrote songs, poems, little stories – anything I could think of. If the notebook wasn’t in my hand, I was holding a book. I always loved to read.

I believe you cant can be good writer without reading a lot. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Anything from Steeple Hill-type romances to murder mysteries to paranormal studies. I like so many inspirational authors, but I have to admit that my favorite book of all time is still Robert R. McCammon’s Swan Song. Second would be Stephen King’s The Stand. Both are outstanding, unmatched epics of good vs. evil.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My first published novel was Almost Like a Song (2006). That wasn’t a positive experience, as I got in a hurry and chose to publish through a company I later learned had a less-than-sterling reputation. (Patience is not my strong suit, but God is teaching me.) I now have the rights back to that book, have reworked it a bit, retitled it, and hope to sell it elsewhere before long.
Goldeneyes was released March 30 by Vintage Romance Publishing. I’m very excited about this one! Reviews so far have been more than encouraging and I’m eager to introduce it to my readers.

I’ve completed a novella, Karissa’s Dream, and am currently working on a novel that will tie together characters and components from Almost Like a Song and Goldeneyes. I had no idea that was going to happen until it did, but I’m liking the route it’s taking.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Who says I do? LOL I’ve decided a person needs to be just a little over the edge to survive this crazy world! What keeps me even minutely sane is my trust in God. Without Him, I’d have been certifiably out of my mind a long time ago.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Most of the time, I don’t. They tell me who they are. I don’t study the phone book and I don’t keep a stack of “Name Your Baby” books in my bookshelf. The right name comes to me along with the development of the character. I give more thought to making sure I don’t have several people whose names start with the same letter, or names that sound too similar, and could cause confusion for my readers.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My four children. They’re all good, moral individuals with loving, caring hearts. I consider them – and my four perfect grandchildren, of course – my greatest accomplishment.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

This isn’t an easy question for someone who’s not an “animal person.” Hmmm. I think I would choose to be a lazy housecat. I’d be petted and pampered, fed and groomed, and “my humans” would consider all this extra blubber just evidence of their outstanding care.

What is your favorite food?

It would take up less space to say which foods I don’t like. I’m a meat-and-potatoes gal – I love food! I guess my favorite is lobster, but I never turn down a chicken breast, either. On the ethnic side, I like Chinese … and Mexican … and Italian … see what I mean?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Planning. I’m a Seat Of The Pants writer. For awhile, though, because I’d taken certain writing courses and attended a few writing groups that frowned on that method, I tried hard to be a plotter. Needless to say, trying to force myself into a mold that didn’t fit choked my imagination and dried up the idea flow. I was dead in the water until I sincerely prayed about it, and God let me know it was okay to just be me. Now I leave the plotting to Him, and He guides me through each project, from beginning to end. He’s the absolute best outline guide!

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Write, write, write! Take every opportunity to learn more about your craft. But attending a class every day will never get you published unless you write. Don’t take rejections personally, and don’t let them stop you in your tracks. Get back on that horse and write!

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Goldeneyes has been brewing in my mind and in my heart for several years. I grew up in a little farming community called Weedpatch, and I always wanted to use it as a setting for a book. But Weedpatch and it’s history is so much a part of me, I found myself struggling with turning it into a work of fiction. When God helped me overcome that roadblock, it became such a pleasure to share a bit of my heritage with my readers.

Part One of Goldeneyes is set during the Great Depression, when farm labor camps were springing up all over California to house the immigrants from other storm-torn states. Poverty was a way of life, and many people resorted to unthinkable actions in order to obtain the necessities of life. That’s the premise this entire book is built on–one alcohol addicted man resorts to a despicable action in order to obtain his “fix,” and the results of that action reverberate down through time, creating a whole set of repercussions twenty years later, in Part Two.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website:
My blog:
Christian web community:

A writers’ blog I co-host with three other authors:

Delia, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers. check out all these wonderful web sites. But before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Goldeneyes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Author Kim Vogel Sawyer - WHERE THE HEART LEADS. - Free Book

Kim, I'm very happy to welcome you back to my blog with your newest release.

Why did you become an author?

I became an author because God planted the desire in my heart (it has been a part of me from my earliest memories), and He clearly opened the doors to make writing possible. I love the opportunity to write stories that present the hope we can possess when we place our lives in God’s hands. I am very blessed.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?

Before writing full-time, I was an elementary school teacher. I love what I’m doing now, but I miss the kids tremendously. I’d really enjoy working with kids again.

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?

I would like to have been around at the time the prairies were being tamed into cities. All of the changes that took place would have been fascinating. I’m also very curious what the landscape looked like before buildings and roads and telephone poles sprang up everywhere.

I'm withyou on that. What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?

I have always wanted to visit the New England states. There is such a rich history there (as a former history teacher, it intrigues me), plus I’ve never seen the Atlantic Ocean. I would love to take a short cruise and go whale watching.

The closest I've been to the Atlantic coast is Washington, DC. How about a foreign country you hope to visit?

Someday I WILL go to Germany and Russia. I want to visit the places of my ancestry—especially the Molotschna area in Russia, which is where my family lived prior to coming to America. That is on my “list of things to do before I die.” :o)

My family was from Norway and Sweden. I'd like to go there, too. What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?

He is there, and He is enough. It really is an on-going lesson, but it has been reiterated recently in the midst of personal conflict. God gives strength and grace, peace and comfort when it makes no rational sense that you can feel comforted and at peace. I’m so glad He keeps His promise to never leave us or forsake us.

Kim. tell us about the featured book.

Where the Heard Leads is the sequel to my first Bethany House historical title, Waiting for Summer’s Return, which released in June of 2006, so it has been a little while in between! I had great fun revisiting the characters of Gaeddert, Kansas, and getting a peek into their lives ten years after the first book ended.

Where the Heart Leads features a grown-up Thomas Ollenburger, who has accomplished his father’s dream for him: earning a college diploma. The only question is…what should he do with this hard-won education? Open doors invite his entrance, and he finds himself caught up in a campaign for a presidential candidate with some questionable values. The root of Thomas’s faith is threatened as he seeks his footing in adult life. Two women—one from Gaeddert (readers of the first book might remember snippy little Belinda Schmidt) and one from Boston—create further conflict for Thomas as he wonders to whom he should give his heart.

I hope readers will enjoy the chance to return to Gaeddert and reconnect with Peter, Summer, and Thomas in Where the Heart Leads.

I'm sure they will. Your writing is wonderful. How can readers find you on the Internet?

It is very simple to find me. :o) Just go to or You can find my author pages at my publishers at or Please stop by—I enjoy visitors!

Kim, thank you for spending this time with us. I always enjoy having you and letting the readers learn more about you.

Readers, check out all of Kim's Internet sites. You'll find a lot of interesting information.

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Where the Heart Leads. And don't forget to check back on Saturdays to see if you have won a book.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Author Sharon Hinck - SYMPHONY OF SECRETS - Free Book

Yea!!! I'm finally back online with the data I need to put up the scheduled interviews. We'll have an extra interview for the next couple of weeks so we can catch up.

Welcome back one of my favorite authors, Sharon Hinck. This time we're going with a different kind of book from The Restorer series, which we all loved. I know we'll love this one just as much.

Sharon, what are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

I find myself returning often to the way that God can use even the unlikely, ordinary, or broken to share grace with others. That recurs in The Secret Life of Becky Miller and Renovating Becky Miller, where an overwhelmed young mom wonders if she is making a difference. It’s a central theme of The Restorer, The Restorer’s Son, and The Restorer’s Journey – as God chooses and equips improbable people for unique purposes. In Symphony of Secrets, the mystery of God’s grace shows up in the way He woos someone who doesn’t acknowledge Him – someone who also is seeking a way to be an unlikely heroine.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

Stepping Into Sunlight will release in the fall of 2008. A young mom witnesses a violent crime right after moving to the Tidewater area of Virginia where she doesn’t know anyone, and only days later her husband leaves on his first deployment as a Navy chaplain. She suffers from post-traumatic stress and isolation, and begins to take small steps toward healing – including a project to try to do a small kindness for a different person each day. There is both humor and courage in her journey, and I love the variety of supporting characters and strange events that contribute to her adventure.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

Michael Card. My son met him at college and said he was inspiring and down-to-earth, and I’d love to hear his stories of serving God through the poetry of his music, as well as his writing.

I love his music, too. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I’ve always adored authors. Books have been treasures to me all my life. So I probably always had a secret dream to write a novel one day - but it was too outrageous a dream for me to voice. In about fourth or fifth grade, I read the story of Nellie Bly, a journalist who went undercover and wrote exposés that led to social change. That was when I knew I wanted to write in some way, but still didn’t imagine writing novels. As an adult, after many years in other Christian arts, raising children, and seeking God for “what’s next?,” I felt His call to get back to writing – but still wasn’t sure what that would include. Magazine articles? Non-fiction books? Songs? I kept praying and trying things and seeking. Then I joined a small Christian writer’s group, and many of the members were working on novels. I suddenly felt the dream burst back to life and began my first novel.

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

On a purely practical level, I have some suggestions and resources at my website on the “Encouragement – for writers” page.

But on a deeper level, cling to the vital truth. God cares about YOU – not as a tool to use, but as a dear child to cherish. Time spent creating art for Him as a gift of love is never wasted, whether or not it’s published.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with checking in with Him frequently. I’m a practical person, and want to use my time wisely.

I’ve often set goals that were all my grandiose idea, and I kept asking Him to bless my plans instead of stopping to hear His guidance. I try to remember that just because He has called me to write, doesn’t necessarily mean He’s called me to be published. Keep seeking Him. If there are other places He wants you to serve, He’ll show you that. If He calls you to keep writing – then do it with all you have, and trust Him with the results. And be flexible. If you’ve written five or six complete novels and still aren’t getting nibbles, ask Him if there are other forms of writing that might be a better fit.

But if you feel the calling to continue writing novels, keep reading, studying, writing, growing, and enjoy the time you spend with Him at your keyboard.

An interesting cover. Tell us about the featured book.

Talented flutist Amy Johnson's dreams come true when she wins a spot with the Minneapolis Symphony. But this armchair detective has trouble concentrating on the notes as she begins to see devious motives behind her fellow musicians' mishaps. Meanwhile, her musically talented daughter is forsaking the arts for cheerleading. Amy has to confront questions of faith, challenges of being the single mom of a teen daughter, and the secrets of her past – all while solving the mystery of the symphony before it’s forced to close and she loses not only her dream job but her promising new relationship with its conductor.

This was a fun book to write. I love the notion that God woos us, and speaks to us in languages we understand. In Amy’s case, God sparks the first glimmers of faith by reaching out to her through music. It was also fun to draw from my own experiences to create the character of an obsessed musician (it’s not that different from being a neurotic writer!) A little sprinkling of mystery and romance added some flavor, but at it’s core, it is like all my books – a story of a woman doing the best she can with the challenges she faces, wrestling spiritual questions, and growing.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Sharon, thank you for once again spending time with us.

Readers, check out her website. I love the design as well as the content.

And don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Summer Winners!!!

Patricia PacJac Carroll is the winner of Return to Love by Susan Page Davis.

Kelly (Kalea_Kane) is the winner of A Promise for Tomorrow by Sara Dubose.

Carrie Turansky is the winner of For Pete's Sake by Linda Windsor.

Please send your mailing address to me. There's an email link in my profile.

And check out the other interviews. More books will be give away next week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Christmas In July - MONTANA MISTLETOE - Free Books!!!

I now have a new computer on the way. It should be here before Monday, so we're having another blog about me. And we'll give away a couple of copies of Montana Mistletoe, my Christmas novella from last year.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I know that many authors only write one kind of book. However, I like to read all kinds of books, so I write all kinds of books. There are some elements I always include. There has to be a strong faith element, and I've never written anything without a romance element, even if it is a mystery, western, comedy, or suspense. But beyond that, the vivid imagination God gave me takes over.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

When you live as long as I have, there are many happy days. Of course, my wedding day and the births of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchild are way up there. So are the day I recieved my first contract, the day I held the first book in my hands, and the first time a book hit a bestseller list. Add to that the times when someone I've mentored sold their first books. . .the list could go one and on. Suffice it to say that I'm usually a very happy person.

How has being published changed your life?

At the time when many women were facing empty nest syndrome, God gave me something new to fill that time in my life. And it's been wonderful.

I have friends around the world--both readers and other authors. I've met really big name authors, too. I'm friends with editors and agents. And I've been afforded the opportunity to read a lot of really good books from the people I've interviewed on this blog. Could life get any better?

What are you reading right now?

After reading The Shack, I've been trying to catch up on some of the books I missed reading while I was on a book deadline. I just finished Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace so I could read the current choice of the ACFW Book Club, Healing Promises, which is a sequel.

While we're talking about that. If you're not a member of ACFW Book Club, go to to join. You'll be glad you did. At the end of the month, you'll be able to participate in a chat with each author.

What is your current work in progress?

I just finished the first chapter for a Christmas novlla collection I'm in for next year. The title of the collection is Cowgirl Christmas Brides and my book is Charlsey's Accountant.

What would be your dream vacation?

There are two places I want to visit that I haven't yet, no make it three. Alaska, Hawaii, and Australia.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

I would love to spend time with George and Laura Bush at the Crawford Ranch. It's in the area of Texas that I love.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love to travel.

Now about the book.

Love Comes in Unexpected Packages

Four childhood friends from Mistletoe, Montana, made a pact to find true love by their twenty-eighth Christmas. As the deadline looms, each woman keeps busy with expanding careers and experiences that threaten to douse their Christmas spirit – as well as their chances for romance.

Christmas Confusion by Lena Nelson Dooley

Lori Compton, mayor of Mistletoe, needs ideas for ways to prop up the sagging economy. After having her heart broken by the former pastor, she doesn’t want to spend time with the new pastor. Rev. Russell Brown has plenty of ideas, even one that includes his spending the rest of his life with the beautiful mayor. Will Lori be able to move beyond her hurts and recognize God’s intentions for the future of the town – and for her own future?

Return to Mistletoe by Debby Mayne

Deanna Moss assumes Frank is the man she’ll marry, until her old flame, Anthony Carson, arrives in town on business. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but she doesn’t want her heart to be broken again. Anthony has a reputation for not staying in one place for long. Deanna loves Mistletoe and wants to protect not only her heart but the place she loves from people who only care about the bottom line. Will Anthony ever convince Deanna that he’s serious about loving her and making Mistletoe his permanent home?

Under the Mistletoe by Lisa Harris

When Madison Graham leaves the quaint town of Mistletoe for New York City to buy products for her year-round Christmas store, Under the Mistletoe, she’s positive she has met her man. Albert Kendall is everything she’s ever dreamed of: successful, good-looking, and well off. But is worldly success really what she’s looking for in a man, or have the bright lights of the city so blinded her that she’s forgotten the real meaning of Christmas?

All I Want for Christmas Is. . .You by Kim Vogel Sawyer

When Kathy Morgan returns to her childhood home of Mistletoe for a stroll down memory lane before accepting the marriage proposal of her business-partner boyfriend, she doesn’t expect to have her world turned upside down. But local postman Erik Hoffman ends up delivering more than mail – he delivers the disturbing message that Kathy needs to get her heart back in order with her Savior. Although Kathy resists Erik’s advice at first, she slowly comes to realize he’s right – what she need most for Christmas isn’t a husband; it’s faith.

When Romance Arrives in Unexpected Packages, will Each Woman Be Able to Accept the Gift?

Now Readers, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win one of the free books.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Author Lena Nelson Dooley - MINNESOTA BROTHERS - Free Books

Today, I’m doing something a little different.

My desktop computer with all my data on it had a meltdown today, so it might be a few days before I can access the next scheduled interview. So instead, I will give away copies of some of my books.

Today, I’ll give away 2 copies of Minnesota Brothers. This is a really fun book. It contains a four-book series I wrote.

Some of you may not know me.

My husband James and I have been married since 1964. Ours was one of those love-at-first-sight relationships. We were married three months and three days after we met. He truly was God’s gift to me. We are absolute opposites, but that means that his strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are his weaknesses. Together we make a more perfect whole. I believe that is what God intends for all of us.

We have two daughters. Marilyn Van Zant is married to Roger, and they have a son named Timothy, who is married to Crystal. Timothy is serving in Iraq. They gave us out first grandchild --Sebastian. If you want to see pictures of him, go to my personal slide show blog: Jennifer Waldron is married to Eric, and they have three children—Austin, Marissa, and Amanda. James and I love to spend time with our family, and we are blessed that both families live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, so we see them often.

For several years, I worked on the support staff of a church, but in November of 2002, God changed things so that I can stay home and write full-time. It has been the desire of my heart for a long time. In Proverbs 37:4, it says, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." I believe that this blessing is a result of my delighting myself in Him, and I praise Him for the opportunity.

James and I like to travel. We have often gone on missions’ trips to Mexico, and some of our best friends are missionaries in several countries around the world. We hope to visit more of them in the future.

We worship at Gateway church in Southlake, Texas. Visit them at:

Now about the book:

Minnesota Brothers contains four complete romantic novels in one volume: The Other Brother and His Brother’s Castoff are prairie romances. Double Deception is a mystery. Gerda’s Lawman is a western with a touch of comedy.

Love Sets Down Roots

The Nilsson family of Sweden has decided to settle in Minnesota, where each of the brothers seeks a wife.

When Lars suddenly elopes, Gustaf is left to meet his younger brother’s original fiancée at the ship and explain his brother’s absence to her. Could God have designed all along for these two to be together?

August admires his older brother Gustaf, but perhaps not enough to accept his castoff for a wife. Can Anna Jensen recover from the death of a fiancé and the marriage of another beau in order to see August as more than just a friend?

Lowell and Ollie are both fascinated by a mysterious young woman who has come to town–thought she is good at eluding their affections. Will Rissa Le Blanc drive a wedge between the brothers?

Gerda Nilsson envies her brothers’ wives, but there has been no romance for her–until a tight-lipped cowboy rides into town. Will Gerda trust her fanciful heart or lean on her faith to guide her?

Experienve an immigrant family’s adaptation to a new home as each sibling searches for acceptance, fulfillment, faith, and love.

As always, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Minnesota Brothers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Leah Starr Baker - THE BUNKO BABES - Free Book

Our new author today is Leah Start Baker. Her book is Bunko Babes.

Welcome, Leah. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’ve discovered that to create a genuine, three-dimensional character that is believable and lovable to a reader, you must always incorporate pieces of yourself and others. In every character I create, a part of myself and those closest to me always makes its way into the mix.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

If you had asked me what the wildest and craziest or even the dumbest or bravest thing I’ve ever done, I think I could have answered it right off the top of my head. But quirky? Aren’t all writer’s a little quirky? The desire to expose your deepest thoughts to the world for their review is definitely what I consider to be quirky.

Okay, I’ll stop dragging my feet. I’d have to say that the quirkiest thing I ever did was to get in a car with my new husband and drive down to Nashville with nothing but a rinky dink demo tape, a week’s vacation, and a couple hundred dollars - thinking that I was going to actually get discovered in that amount of time. Funny thing is…I did meet an independent producer and ended up with a record of my own without paying a dime. Nothing ever came of it but I still got the experience of recording with some of the best in the business. What a blast!

Sounds like great fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve always been a writer, a lover of words and the beautiful pictures that they can create when put together just right. I love the sound of certain words, the way they roll off of your tongue. I just feel a certain kinship with books. They were my friends when I didn’t have any friends. I could escape from my everyday doldrums without ever stepping foot out of my bedroom. How many people can claim that they are a part of something that transforming? Writing for me is a way to reach people whom I would never come into contact with in my everyday life. Yep, I’ve always been a writer - it just took me some time to break out of my shell and be ready to share it with the world.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I think I’m rather eclectic in my choice of literature, but my father would beg to differ. I love historical novels, mystery, romance, chick lit, books on music, marketing, and the transforming power of Jesus and God’s grace. I prefer stories to non-fiction. It’s true. And you can chase me away with a Western. Sorry Louis L’Amour - I’m just not a huge fan of the genre. My favorites of all time are Gone With the Wind, Jackdaws, The Thorn Birds, and Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My first book that I wrote is entitled Shattered Trust. It is a family drama set against the backdrop of Oklahoma politics and old money. Hopefully, you’ll get to read it someday soon.

I hope so. Sounds as if I'd like reading it. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

That’s easy. I don’t. I am a Systemic Lupus survivor, and with Lupus you simply can’t keep up with even the pace of a normal life, much less the hectic, never stop, go-for-broke kind of world we live in now.

I once heard living with Lupus described this way: It begins with a pile of spoons. Ready?

Remove one spoon simply for waking up and doing your stretching exercises. Take away another for taking a shower. There’s goes another for getting dressed, and another for making and eating breakfast. Depending on how you were feeling when you woke up will depend upon how many spoons you have for the day. But let’s say it’s a good day and you have twelve spoons. You’re down to eight and you haven’t even left the house. Each action you do costs you a spoon, and when you get down to zero there is nothing left. No resources for you to draw upon. Zip, zilch, nada and there is no way to refuel for the day.

When you live with a disease like that, you learn that you have to measure everything you do and decide what in your life is truly worth giving up a spoon in order to do it. It’s amazing how many things in your life you discover aren’t worth the energy it takes to do them. It’s quite freeing when you get to that point. I no longer have the option of going, going and going. But I do have a great excuse for saying no.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Great question. I love unusual names and I told myself that if I ever wrote a book my characters would have those kind of names. And The Bunko Babes did have a lot of my favorite names in it until the reviewers got a hold of it. At that point, I was asked to consider putting in more relatable, normal names. I was quite reticent but then I realized that creating beautiful names for all my characters wasn’t the point of the story. The “Babes” are everyday people with everyday problems, and if I wanted to touch people with their story then I needed to make sure that nothing got in the way of connecting with the reader.

After that, I went with names that have good memories associated with them. Names that I knew great people who had touched my lives who bore that name. It made it much simpler. With the exception of Mercedes, every name in the book is the name of someone I know or once knew, and loved very much.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

It’s a toss up between being married nearly 14 years, giving birth to two beautiful children, and finishing my novel.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A great white owl—wise beyond my years, on the lookout for trouble, and protective of the ones I love. A girl can dream right?

I love it. What is your favorite food?

Is sugar considered a food?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Understanding that sometimes even the best-written scene will need to be removed from the manuscript because it doesn’t add anything to the plot, or worse, it’s a detriment to the story. Boy, it’s hard when you have to cut something that you consider to be stellar writing, Oscar winning stuff. But the story always comes first.

That is so true. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

If you are serious about writing, then you need to write on a consistent basis. And read. You can write well even if you aren’t well-read. If you want to write thrillers, then read thrillers, analyze the thriller genre, dissect your favorite stories. Then when you feel comfortable, confident that you can create that kind of a story, write. Every day write. I read that you can complete your first novel in 90 days if you write 3 to 5 pages every day and that is what I did. And guess what? My first draft was done in 3 months. Just don’t give up. You’ll never regret it. If nothing gets published, you will always have the manuscripts for your own pleasure and that of your family. You never simply want to write for the end goal of getting published. You want to write because it is in your soul.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

The Bunko Babes is a story from my heart. Focusing around 8 eclectic women who gather once a week to play that crazy dice game, The Bunko Babes is a journey of friendship and faith. You will laugh and cry as you walk with the “Babes” through struggles like infertility, infidelity, chronic disease, and the trials of life in general. By the end, your faith will have increased and you will feel as if you have gained another set of friends.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers can visit or purchase The Bunko Babes at

Thank you, Leah, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. If you don't, be sure to get your hands on a copy anyway.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hot!!! Winners!!! It's Triple Digits in Texas Today!!!

Rachelle is the winner of Blessed Are the Meddlers by Christa Ann Banister.

Bookwurm70 is the winner of Shadows at the Window by Linda Hall.

Maryzan is the winner of Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck.

Be sure to email me your mailing address. There's a link in my profile in the right column.

And another wonderful interview will come your way tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Linda Windsor - FOR PETE'S SAKE - Free Book

We're welcoming Linda Windsor back to the blog with her latest - For Pete's Sake. I read this book a little while ago and LOVED it!!

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

I keep being tugged back to historicals. And not just any historicals, but those that reveal the witness of the first century Christians in Britain. The historical information and this witness, which I discovered while researching my Fires of Gleannmara Irish Celtic series, helped bring my daughter back to Christ after she’d been stalked and assaulted in college, turned against God in anger, and became involved in Wicca. There is such a need for Christians to possess the historical knowledge of the church and what it was up against, knowledge beyond Scripture (which modern unbelievers too often discount in its entirety) in order to effectively witness to family and friends who are into New Age.

At some point, I may even write a nonfiction book- this mother’s journey and what I learned that finally reached my lost daughter. Or simply a nonfiction compilation of historical data that, combined with Scripture, will enable us to witness more effectively. God’s still working on me with regards to these. I’ll know when the time is right.

Of course I say all this, while hopefully keeping my contemporary readers in books too. But that’s God’s decision.

I've loved your historicals, too, so bring them on. Tell us a little about your family.

I have the most wonderful family in the world! When Jim died, I was blessed that my adult son and daughter were still at home. Blessed, but worried. I wanted my thirty-somethings to have someone special like I had.

January of this year, my daughter was married. Make that: she FINALLY got married. Her wedding date floated from September 2007 to January 2008. I should write a book. WEDDINGS ON THE GO :-). And with her marriage, I got instant grandchildren—a little boy (5) and a little girl (7). They are the cutest, most intelligent, charming children ever! And that’s my unbiased opinion.

Their father is saved and even going into youth ministry, at the least. Perhaps more. So, am I blessed? You bet. God has brought my baby the long way back home since she strayed in her early college years.

And now my son has someone special in his life. God does answer prayer. He simply hasn’t synchronized His watch to mine :-). My mom lives with me and is a joy. We have ups and downs with health, but all in all, it’s a hands-down blessing. And a year ago, an old friend of mine and Jim’s, re-entered my life. He is a good friend and companion. It remains to be seen where that will go, but for now, that is enough.

Of course, my mom, comic that she is, said with all this nonsense going on, she’s wondering if she should go on the pill. She thinks it’s in the water. LOL! And people wonder where I get my wacky sense of humor.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Boy, has it! I am so much more particular about what I read now because…SIGH…I start to edit it. And because I am so busy with nonfiction research and writing improvement books, time to read for pleasure comes last. So I have developed a rule of thumb. If said book will keep me on my elliptical for my full workout or more, I’ll finish it. Hey, it kills two birds with one stone. Time is of essence here. :-)

What are you working on right now?

I am working on the proposal for books 3 and 4 of my Piper Cove Chronicles. SWEET NOTHINS is shy Jan’s story. A girl with low self-esteem, who always wants the kind of guy she shouldn’t have, finally gets her head on straight and throws off the yoke of humiliation and verbal abuse—all the while dodging thugs who…don’t want to give it away :-). Readers will cheer for this insecure girl gone wild, once she discovers her worthiness in God’s eye.

Lastly will come sassy Sue Ann’s turnaround in MERCY ME! This bosom buddy is based on Designing Women’s Suzanne—self-centered, outrageous, money-obsessed, but with a big heart that hurts big too. Especially when she finds out her late husband left her his three kids by another woman. Thank goodness there’s a youth minister to help this bad girl put things into a constructive perspective and maybe put her broken heart back together.

I can hardly wait for these two to come out. What outside interests do you have?

I have a music ministry. Music is still an integral part of my life, even though my partner has passed on. I can still hear his harmony when I sing. Music is what brought us together in the first place. I saw this movie called August Rush on a recent plane trip and it speaks volumes of the bond music can have between people. And Liz Curtis Higgs’ fourth Scottish highland book, Grace in Thine Eyes touched me deeply for this same reason. Liz got it so right, even if one of the characters got it so wrong in other ways. Music melds souls. It soothes mine. On St. Patty’s Day, I had friends over and we sang Irish ballads to our hearts’ content.

Yesterday, I spoke writing at a church gathering and sang about the perfect romantic hero—Jesus. He was courageous enough to stand for what He believed in. He was willing to die for those He loved. He had a soft spot for children. He wasn’t afraid to show emotion, to cry before men. He loved me when I wasn’t loveable. He always put me first, even when I was stealing His glory, thinking I’d done something on my own and not acknowledging that I was nothing without Him. Now that’s my kind of hero. I sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" to Him.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I have no idea. I think they choose me. I usually come up with a conflict first and then find a setting to suit it. It might be somewhere I’ve been, or somewhere I’d like to learn more about. Take Ireland. I researched Ireland backwards and forwards to write the Fires of Gleanmara. A few weeks ago, my dream to go there and see the place where it all that happened came true. And it was everything I’d written and imagined.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

My goodness, I hate this question. There are just too many to pick one. I’ll pick St. Patrick. No, wait! St. Columba. No, St. Brendan. (Now SEE what you’ve started?) Face it, all of these guys were really unique individuals. Not quite your garden-variety saints. Their human flaws endear them to me.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

That there were organizations that helped new writers learn the ropes. I stumbled my way into getting published. I made mistakes and received far more rejections than I needed to because I didn’t know any better. I thought everyone wanted a ten-pound manuscript instead of a one-ounce query/synopsis.

I wish I’d known to watch out for allowing my writing to become my god, ahead of my church and family. Keep your priorities in order. They WILL start to wag you, you keyboard-pecking pups! And the sad thing is, you won’t even see it coming, unless you are looking for it.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Aside from re-prioritize, re-prioritize, re-prioritize? I suppose the main one is WWJD when it comes to my time. My mom won’t be here forever. My grandchildren will grow up. So take time to smell the roses…and the stink of their black Lab pup. Lead that church small group. And if I do, God will enable me to write twice as much in half the time. I swear! It never fails.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

See questions eight and nine. Join ACFW. Enter contests for the feedback. Then take that advice only as you are led to accept it, since it is subjective. And the old standby: Read, read, read.

And with the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference coming up in September in Minneapolis, now would be a good time to join and be a part of that--especially the book signing in the Mall of America. Go to

Tell us about the featured book.

FOR PETE’S SAKE started out to be about a tomboy willing to risk her heart and a makeover by her bosom buddies for the sake of a troubled child. (There’s a lot of me in Ellen—tomboy, Pied Piper with kids, but a horse instead of a Harley.) She’d waited on love and this felt like the real deal, but how can she compete with a femme fatale, even if Ellen were so inclined? Enter faith, friends and a matchmaking mom.

Then there’s the hero’s conflict. He’s angry at God over the loss of his wife, estranged from his son by business, and now is engaged to the wrong woman for the right reason. He owes his associate much of his success and his son needs a mother. The partner is gorgeous and aggressive like him. But he just can’t get that Harley-riding neighbor of his out of his mind.
And his son is a new person around her. Pete son is like my son. He has Aspergers Syndrome, a condition which can take the most beautiful, sensitive heart and hide it behind low frustration levels masked as anger and other anti-social behavior. It is a parent’s blessing—these kids are usually highly intelligent and incredibly loving—and nightmare. A parent knows the real child and it hurts that others too often perceive this child as an insensitive jerk.

Then came a surprise for this author—facing a major career change during midlife, not only for my heroine, but for the hero too. They both take time to (here comes that word again) re-prioritize their lives. Didn’t see that one coming. God did—not only for my plot, but for the lives of my characters as well. Only He can equip us for such a major change. It’s called a leap of faith.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Stop by and sign up for my newsletter, which comes out only when I have something to say, as opposed to a regular basis. What can I say? I’m a spontaneous sort. And definitely enter my contests for signed books and other goodies.

But the main reason to stop by is to read my apology regarding two editorial slips in WEDDING BELL BLUES, the prequel to FOR PETE’S SAKE. Some readers may not have noticed, but if I have offended even one person, that is one too many.

Lena, thank you so much for this opportunity to chat with your readers. Your generosity of sharing your readership is such a blessing to all of us inspirational writers. His Spirit truly shines in you and your wonderful writing.

May His blessings surround you always,
Linda Windsor

And thank you, Linda. It's always a pleasure to have you. I can't wait to see you in person in September.

Readers, you REALLY want to get a copy of this book. Leave a comment for a chance to win one, but if you don't win, go out and buy one. It's a wonderful read.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sara DuBose - A PROMISE FOR TOMORROW - Free Book

Welcome to our blog, Sara DuBose, the author of A Promise for Tomorrow.

Sara, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

If you see me in my characters don’t be too surprised. It’s hard to hide a lifetime somewhere between a dash or a semicolon. Supposedly, we know ourselves best of all so, whether I realize it or not, my worldview and attitudes are bound to show up in my stories.

Frankly, I like to think of myself as an amateur psychologist, a people watcher. I like to eavesdrop on conversations. Expression, mannerism and voice inflections are all important. I also find myself weighing motives, predicting reactions and speculating regarding the outcomes.

My characters are composites of people I know. A pessimistic acquaintance may take up a frustrated sigh from a busy department store clerk A bossy neighbor inherits the raised eyebrow or staccato speech of an overworked teacher.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

When I shared this question with my husband he said, “The quirkiest thing you’ve ever done is to marry me.”

We laughed but, in reality, my husband is the best thing to ever happen to me. He is the quirky one. I’ll give one example. After our first child was born I had an unexpected, and extended, hospital stay. To add some levity to the situation, Bill put my beloved cat in a laundry bag and sneaked up the back stairs to my floor. Soon Aras (my name spelled backwards) lay perched on my stomach emitting a soft purr.

Minutes later, a nurse walked in and erupted. “You can’t have a cat in here.”

My husband simply put his long index finger to his lips and gave her his best smile. To our surprise, she slowly returned the smile, said, “oh,” turned and left.

That man really sounds like a keeper to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

My seventh grade teacher told me I was a writer so I believed her. Never underestimate the power of a teacher! Mrs. English (yes, the name is correct) also told me I’d need to work on my grammar and punctuation and she was right there, too. I also remember an essay assignment from Mrs. English. My subject: Determination. Eventually, her encouragement and my determination paid off.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I enjoy theology and fiction but not at the same time. Theology teaches us about God, and fiction can open wide doors into the study of human behavior.

What other books have you written, whether published or not.

My first book, Conquering Anxiety, is a devotional Bible study written on assignment for my denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. Since then I’ve written four novels. The first three, Where Hearts Live, Where Love Grows and Where Memories Linger form a trilogy. This fourth novel addresses a new theme and is called A Promise for Tomorrow.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run, world?

When I first wake up I thank God for His protection during the night and then I commit the new day to Him. My best intention is to then have a quiet time but, I confess, the “to do” list often jumps in and, before I know it, stress takes it toll. When this happen it’s like my car. If I don’t give my Honda proper maintenance it needs repair. The same is true for this ole believer’s soul.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes a name comes right away. It just fits. On other occasions I need time to get to know the person before selecting an appropriate name. One thing is for sure. When the character is likeable and optimistic he or she is baptized with a name I admire. Naturally, the opposite is true for unsavory individuals. Of course, there are limits. I wouldn’t name a villain Derange Satana.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

No single event or recognition on my end. My greatest discovery, however, is the surprise and wonder of God’s forgiveness and grace to this sinner.

And we spend a lifetime learning the depths of those two things, don't we? If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I love animals so I must choose two. Right now my dog is going through a serious health problem with almost daily trips to the vet for injections and treatments. Through it all, and with her limited understanding of what is going on, she is demonstrating tremendous trust in me and seems to know we are doing all we can to help her survive.

My second choice would be a lamb because even a cursory reading of Scripture explains why He calls us sheep.

What is your favorite food?

I’m a southern girl so I like fried chicken and potato salad. In fact, I enjoy any southern meal, even turnip greens and cornbread.

I often serve turnip greens and cornbread in our home. I've even worked out my own recipe for cornbread. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

It took me awhile to grasp the importance of structure in a novel. It’s still not easy, but I find it challenging. And, as I have already alluded, I still struggle a bit with the mechanics of grammar and usage. However, I think all writers can benefit from a good line edit.

Oh yes, editors are our friends. They make our books shine. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

For the beginning writer, I would say start small. Try a 250-500 word filler or a brief piece for the local newspaper. If this proves interesting, consider taking a class with a university, a correspondence course, or a study online. I’ve taken courses with the Christian Writers Institute and Writer’s Digest School.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

A Promise for Tomorrow is a 50’s journey with a little girl who longs for adventure but soon finds herself in a life-threatening situation. What seems like a harmless trespass on Mr. Boyd’s property turns into a grip around her waist, a knife to her throat and Boyd’s breath, a smell like spoiled cabbage laced with tobacco and licorice.

Soon Flea unearths secrets regarding other Sugar Hill residents. She discovers the mystery behind Boyd’s locked upstairs room and, eventually, places herself in danger to rescue someone else.

Throughout the story I want readers to realize that nothing is beyond hope. Broken lives can be redeemed.

Sounds like a wonderful read. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I invite readers to visit my website: Here they can read more about the novels and contact me with any questions concerning speaking engagements or workshops for writers.

Thank you, Sara, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of her book. Then go check out her web site.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Susan Page Davis - RETURN TO LOVE - Free Book

I'm always glad to welcome Susan to my blog.

Susan, God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Yes, I’ve been mightily blessed the past two or three years with multiple books contracted and released. In addition to this 3-book historical series from Heartsong (New Hampshire Brides), look for more suspense books and more cozy mysteries.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband, Jim, is a copy editor for a daily newspaper. We have six children, ages 13 to 30. The oldest two are married and have given us five adorable grandchildren. Megan, 25, is getting married this summer. Page, 22, is a college grad like her three older siblings. The two youngest are still home schooling with me (as did the other four).

And still you find time to write a number of books. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

I hate to say it, but I don’t have as much time to read fiction as I used to. However, I still read probably 20 or 30 novels a year. And if I get into a book I like, I just drop everything and finish it. This week I’ve been ill, so I curled up and read books 2, 3, and 4 of Susan Downs and Susan May Warren’s Heirs of Anton series, having read the first book a month or so ago. Worth every minute of vacuuming I missed. I also read more nonfiction now, for research.

What are you working on right now?

Revisions for the second book in daughter Megan’s and my MAINEly Murder series, Treasure at Blue Heron Lake. And I just finished a long suspense book for Harvest House (Inside Story will release next January). Look for more suspense and more cozies in the future.

What outside interests do you have?

I’ve always loved horses, reading, history, and genealogy.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

For this historical series, I was targeting the New Hampshire Brides slot with Heartsong, so that part was easy. But where and when in New Hampshire? My eighth-great-grandfather, Richard Otis, was a blacksmith in Cochecho (now part of Dover), New Hampshire. His garrison house was burned and he was killed during the 1689 massacre there. His daughter Judith Otis (my seventh great-grandmother) was captured by Indians. I first read about this event many years ago while doing genealogical research. A few years ago my sisters and I went to visit Dover and toured the only garrison house of that era still standing. In it we saw artifacts dug up from the site of the Otis Garrison. Seeing those square nails and hinges that our ancestor probably made at his forge solidified my desire to write about that time and that tragedy.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Maybe Judith Otis. I would ask her how she felt when she was captured and what it was like when she returned and saw the town devastated. More than half the residents were killed or captured that night. Judith was one of the fortunate ones who was rescued after only a few weeks.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

That writers don’t have to be isolated and go it alone. There’s a wonderful writing community out there to support you!

That is so true. Without that community, you and I probably would never met. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

I am still learning how to follow in humility. Seems like I’ve been on that lesson a long time.

I've had a few lessons like that. Go on forever, it seems. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

1. Don’t give up.
2. Write SOMETHING every day.
3. Define “successful” and keep reminding yourself of what it REALLY means.

Tell us about the featured book.

Return to Love opens with the massacre itself, and with Richard’s family leaving their home in an attempt to reach safety at one of the garrison houses. But they realize the garrison is burning, perhaps with Richard’s younger brother inside. Richard and his father find the parents of his sweetheart, Sarah, murdered. Five years later, Sarah returns with a group of redeemed captives. She has spent years in a primitive Indian village in Canada. Her family is dead, but she hopes Richard and his family will welcome her back. Instead she receives a cold reception and finds herself with two other young women, shuffled off to the pastor’s home until someone figures out what to do with them. Will God change the villagers’ hearts and renew the love Sarah and Richard once knew?

Sounds interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Come see me at . I’m also a host at, a site for writers of mystery and suspense.

Thank you for spending this time with us today, Susan.

Readers, you'll want to check out both of those web sites. But before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Return to Love.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Holiday Winners!!!!!

Luv2read is the winner of Anathema by Colleen Coble.

Blue Violet is the winner of Mission: Motherhood by Marta Perry. is the winner of Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man by Claudia Mair Burney.

Please send your mailing address to: SAFE-LDWRITES[at]FLASH[dot]net.

And check out the other interviews. Winners chosen every Saturday.

A new interview will come tomorrow.