Thursday, January 13, 2011
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has fifty books in print and has sold over 1.5 million copies.
DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.
Six of her titles have appeared on the CBA Bestseller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2008, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008 and a Christy Award winner in 2010.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman Mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.
She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
Welcome, my friend. You have a lot of books out now. What is your favorite setting to use in your books?
That’s a tough question!
I love my Texas, from the piney woods to the hill country to the western mountains. The Colorado Rockies are a close second—majestic, challenging, beautiful. This is the setting for The Fire in Ember.
What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
The author, cover, title, back blurb, and the first sentence. In that order. :)
Give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
The time period is 1888. Colorado had acquired statehood in 1876, and the state buzzed with growth and development. I pictured the Timmons ranch near Lyons, Colorado, which is not far from the Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s summer and the countryside is filled with color.
What other books do you have coming out soon?
Summerside will release a historical during the summer of 2011 titled Under a Desert Sky, and Tyndale will release a romance suspense in October. I’m excited!
I am, too. I must feature these on the blog. Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
What an interesting question! I live in a two story brick home in Houston, TX. It’s a traditional home and decorated in that style. I have a large kitchen, which I love. The formals are down, including a work out room for yours truly. Upstairs is a Texas themed game room, a guest bedroom, and two offices—for my husband and me. Oh, and we have bathrooms too. :) My office looks like me, lots of books, pictures of grandbabies, and room to work without distraction.
The Fire in Ember is marketed as a stand alone. However, many of the characters are from A Woman Called Sage. If you read this novel, you’ll remember John Timmons, a young man who attempted to bring in a gang of outlaws suspected of murdering his father. He grew a lot in that book, but nothing prepared him for Ember.
Tell us about the story.
John Timmons' life is planned and orderly. He cares for his mother and four younger brothers, and their future depends on him to keep their Colorado ranch profitable. Ember Farrar (Bert) has run away from her lawbreaking family in search of a new life. But, when she attempts to return a horse that her brother had stolen, ranch hands believe she is a thief and a boy and they plan to hang her. John, who is also a deputy marshal, breaks up the hanging. After paying for the stolen horse, he takes the boy home to work off the debt. Later he learns Bert is a girl who refuses to tell him who she is and why she possessed a stolen horse. When ranchers report stolen cattle, Bert is a natural suspect. John is touched by Bert's sweet spirit and natural gift of music. Surely she's not a cattle thief. Bert fears for their lives when she is forced to either help her brothers steal or put the Timmons in danger. When John thinks Bert has betrayed him, he ignores God and turns revengeful. Will John learn who Bert truly is? Will their lives ever return back to normal?
Oooo, I like it. Please give us the first page of the book.
A hanging is no place for a woman.
Bert cast a wary glance at the man who lifted a rope from his saddle horn and stomped her way. With her hands tied behind her back and a second man holding her shoulders, she had no hope of freeing herself.
“Horse thieves are hanged.” The man they called Leon gazed up into the branches of a cottonwood and pointed. “That limb looks sturdy enough to carry the likes of you. If it breaks, we’ll find another one.” He tied the noose around her neck.
“But he’s just a boy,” an old man said. “I’m not up to hangin’ a kid.”
“Billy the Kid started his murderin’ ways at fourteen.” Leon walked toward Bert. His breath reeked of liquid courage, and the swagger in his step meant she couldn’t reason with him. “He won’t even tell us his name. That means this ain’t the first time he’s broke the law.” He sneered, revealing a mouthful of black and broken teeth. “But it’ll be the last time.”
“Maybe he’s too scared to talk. You hit him hard,” the old man said.
Bert touched her tongue to the stinging side of her mouth where blood dripped down her chin. That had been Leon’s first punch. She glanced his way again through one eye. The other one had already swollen shut, and it throbbed in time to her pounding heart.
“In case you’ve forgotten, the boss’s been lookin’ for that horse nigh onto six months.” Leon tossed the rope over a branch. “This here’s his prize mare all right, and she’s wearing the Wide O brand.”
“All I’m sayin’ is you’ve taught the boy a good lesson. One he ain’t likely to forget. Let’s send him on his way and take the boss his horse.” The man held the bridle of the sleek mare she’d been riding.
Bert stared into the face of the haggard man who was attempting to reason with her executor. His lined face and bushlike silver beard showed his age. He couldn’t help her with three men determined to hang her.
I knew I'd want to read this book! How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.diannmills.com/ Please sign up for my e-newsletter!
Facebook author page: http://www.blogger.com/goog_1389911001
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