Saturday, January 31, 2009

Last January 2009 Winners!!!

Cathy Bryant is the winner of The Valentine Edition by Robin Shope.

Deborah is the winner of No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan.

Brenda Lott is the winner of Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy.

A J Hawke is the winner of Framed! by Robin Caroll.

Please click on the View Complete Profile link in the right hand column. You'll find a link to my email. Send me your mailing address, so we can get these books on their way to you.

I recommend that you check after noon on Monday to read my monthly newsletter. You can find out what's coming up in my writing life as well as the new Christian book releases of ACFW members. I review all the books I read in a month on that blog:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Author Stephanie Perry Moore - FINDING YOUR FAITH - Free Book

Today, we're talking to an author of young adult fiction. Welcome, Stephanie. What has drawn you to writing for young adults?

I’ve been drawn to writing young adult books because I longed to tell stories to help the young people know they can be cool, but still live a life that pleases God. Since I’ve been there and done that, I just felt compelled to help them have hope by telling stories that can be an inspiration. Connecting to so many young readers through talks and emails, I get more and more request to tell stories that are similar to their struggles.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, one thing my husband thinks is weird is that I talk to my fictions characters sometimes. I figure as the USA Network says, “Characters are Welcome.” And if I don’t see the people in my books as real, then how can I expect the readers to truly feel them.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In the 7th grade, I wrote episodes of the Cosby Show. That is when I knew I had a desire to write create and tell moving stories.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy anything Christian, fiction or Christian non fiction and I love romance novels as well. Basically, I love reading things that inspire me.

If you love romance novels, you might enjoy reading mine. What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written the Payton Skky Series, The Laurel Shadrach Series, The Faith Thomas Novelzine Series, The Carmen Browne Series, The Perry Skky Jr. Series and my two next YA books are from the Beta Gamma Pi series, a collegiate sorority story and the Yasmin Peace Series, an inner city 8th grade series. I’ve also authored four adult titles, Flame, A Lova’ Like No Otha’, Chasing Faith and Wearing My Halo Tilted. I feel the lord has given me tons more ideas for books, and I pray many more titles are still waiting to be written.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I pray and I love to get away with a book story, book, movie, tv show, or hearing someone tell me a great tale. I know God has something for us all to do and though things aren’t always like I want them, I feel the urgency of now pushing me to keep on writing. Also, I like being a little insane. I think to be able to write about problems you have to have a screw loose to get in the minds of all types of characters. In the days when I’m most vulnerable I feel my best writing shines through.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I volunteer on a regular basis and I’m most proud of my public service. I feel my books are also my mark on the world. I want to leave things better than I found them. I seek the applause of Heaven. Though I can’t fix every problem or get it all right. I do feel, my work in the community and my writing in each tale I am inspired by God to tell is something I’m doing right.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Fun question, if I could be an animal, I’d be an Eagle. I’d want to be one to soar high and to mount my wings and fly for Jesus.

What is your favorite food?
I love seafood, especially whole crabs and sushi. Eating the exotic food makes me feel free and tastes so delicious.

Is it hard to break into the YA market?
Yes, it is very hard to break into the YA market. It took me seven years to get published. Also, I’m now finding it’s hard not only to break into the publishing world, but it’s hard to stay published. The economy is so tight right now and publishers need books to sell, sell, sell. But God can do anything but fail.

What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
So advice I’d give would be to keep on writing, trying, and praying. Don’t stop until God grants your dream. And when you get that dream it will be something else He’ll have in store. It won’t be easy, but you can achieve greatness.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
The Yasmin Peace series book 1-Finding Your Faith is a tale about a triplet who is from a tough background. Even though life is hard, God is there and He cares. I believe this novel can uplift any reader. We all need to know that the tough times do make us strong and better in the end.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
On the web, I can be located at I’d love for readers to come and visit me there.
Stephanie, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, you can order the book by using this link.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

I still haven't heard from these winners:

Fecarly (2 books)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Author Brandt Dodson - DANIEL'S DEN - Free Book

I'm really glad to have Brandt back on the blog. My husband, who isn't much of a reader, has been kind enough to read most of my novels, but he got tired of reading romances. The first other book I gave him to read was White Soul by Brandt. He loved it. Now he's reading James Scott Bell. As soon as I'm finished with Daniel's Den, I'll have him read it, too. I think we've developed a new reader.

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

I’m a big fan of jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain. I grew up listening to him and eventually played the clarinet, in part, due to his influence. In high school, I eventually landed first chair because of my tendency to “jazz up” the numbers we were playing. (I think our band director was a closet Fountain fan so he tended to favor my playing style.)

Several years ago, after Hurricane Katrina devastated Pete’s home, I read an interview where he was asked the same question. (Why do you play the music you do?). His answer was poignant. He said; “I play it because it’s what I grew up listening to. It speaks to me.”

I think that’s the best answer that any artist, whether they be a musician, painter, sculptor, or writer, can give. I write the kind of books that I do because they speak to me.

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

I know this is going to sound trite and maybe even a bit corny, but the happiest day of my life was when I married my wife, Karla. I don’t tell her that as often as I should, but the rest of my life – everything I’ve been able to accomplish, regardless of how trivial or important – has come off of that foundation. Having the Lord with me and my wife by my side has made everything else possible.

Sometimes corny is good. How has being published changed your life?

Being published hasn’t changed my life to any great degree. I’m still the same man I was before, still struggling to put the right words on paper in the right order. I still have to take out the garbage (actually, my sons do that now, so maybe some things have changed) and I still enjoy the same things that I’ve always enjoyed. But writing has added a dimension to my life that was entirely unexpected. I’ve grown closer to the Lord as I learn that my plans aren’t necessarily His. He is clearly in control of my life – and that includes my writing – so I’ve learned to trust Him and leave the consequences to Him. I’m resting in the Lord to a much greater degree than I ever did before. If sales are up, thank God. If not, He will work it out in His time and for His purpose. That isn’t fatalism. He still requires me to do the best that I can. But it is to say that I know God will never leave me, and that especially applies to the work He has called me to do.

Writing has also brought new friends into my life, people I would never have met otherwise. I’m grateful for that.

Isn't that the truth? It's a blessing to be included in the army of authors God created. What are you reading right now?

I’m one of these people who tend to be an eclectic reader. I read widely, both fiction and non-fiction, and I read several books at one time. Amazingly enough, I tend to finish all of them at about the same time, before moving on to the next group. Currently, I’m reading: The Messenger by Daniel Silva, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, The Art and Craft of Storytelling – A Comprehensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques by Nancy Lamb, and Finding Peace by Charles Stanley.

My wife and my sons are also avid readers. Karla tends to prefer reading the same genre of fiction that I do, and is currently reading the collected works of Mickey Spillane. This shouldn’t surprise me. Although I write what has been termed, “male-oriented” fiction, my largest group of readers is actually women.

I know I loved White Soul, and I'm sure I will love Daniel's Den. What is your current work in progress?

I’m currently writing a suspense thriller with strong political overtones. The book is titled: The Hand of God and features Martha DeLuca, an FBI profiler and James Dillback, a United States Deputy Marshal. The two have very different investigative styles and definitely do not mesh well. The story is set in Washington, D.C.

Sounds like a good read. I'll be looking for it. You'll have to come back on the blog when it is published. What would be your dream vacation?

It changes periodically. I would love to take my family (parents and in-laws too) on an extended world-wide cruise.

Now, Brandt, how do you choose your settings for each book?

Setting is extremely important to me. It becomes a character in its own right, when written correctly, and adds flavor to the story. For Daniel’s Den, I chose New Orleans because the over-arching theme of the story is that we can only rely on God. Human efforts, though noble, can and will fail. Industry falters, and government will drop the ball. But God will never fail. But a secondary theme is redemption, resurrection. Daniel Borden and Laura Traynor, the two protagonists of the story, are in need of both. New Orleans, a city that is undergoing its own resurrection, seemed to be the best place to highlight this.

For White Soul, I chose Miami for its glitz and glamour, but also for its materialism. I wanted my chief protagonist, Ron Ortega, who is in a spiritual battle of his own when it comes to following God or following the world, to be thrown into the Crock Pot, so to speak. The back drop, the setting, added the flavor I wanted while supporting the theme. Setting is important.

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

Billy Graham. No question. The man has been used by God in a way that no one else has ever been used. His ministry has largely remained untouched by scandal and his lifestyle has reflected a man who seems truly committed to the Lord and the calling that He has placed on his life. I am not trying to diminish the calling and the work of others. The man or woman who mops the church floor every Sunday – and does it faithfully – will receive as great a reward. But Graham has been required to live his life and ministry in the public eye in a way that most of us could never imagine, and he has done right by the Lord.

I haven’t met him, but I did get within a few feet of him during a crusade, once. It’s probably as close as I’ll ever get to talking with him.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

You mean there are other things to do?

I like to travel. It’s becoming an increasingly important part of my life. And I like history. I’m just beginning a study of my family. Besides that, I like to cook, work-out, and target shoot. I also follow boxing. (Sorry, but I’m a man. It’s what we do.)

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

Wow, I have to choose just one?

I’d say time. I have a very busy practice, I’m teaching residents and lecturing to several medical staffs, and that easily runs 50 – 60 hours per week. So time is a problem. And then, when I have the time, it’s usually at the end of a very long day and I’m mentally exhausted. But I’ve learned that “scheduling” time in the day to write can help. So I’m learning to ease up on the hours in my practice and “scheduling” time in the day to write, when I’m the most fresh. Early morning is going to become a big part of my day. It’s amazing how many ideas and plot twists come to me in the shower that are often gone by the end of the day.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

I lecture at writing conferences (both Christian and secular) and this question invariably comes up. The best advice I can give is to:

1. Read. Read widely and deeply. Reading Agatha Christie is only going to give you a small window into the world of mystery. Reading Robert B. Parker is going to give you an entirely different view of the mystery. Both are excellent authors with large followings. But they are entirely different. So read, but read widely (more than one or two genres) and read deeply (several authors within each genre). I would also recommend reading the “leaders” in each genre. If you’re going to learn by reading, you would be well served to read the best.

2. Write. It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a reader or conference go-er. Both have excellent benefits (see below) but are not the same as actually writing. You learn to swim by swimming. You will learn to write by putting words on paper. There is – as Porsche used to say – no substitute.

3. Attend a good writer’s conference. You can get critiqued, make contacts, learn craft, learn marketing, and have face-to-face meeting with editors and agents. I’m the product of a good writing conference and I can’t stress this enough.

4. Be persistent. Word hard - work smart - and don’t give up. Ever.

Brandt, tell us about the featured book.

Daniel’s Den is the story of two very different people who must wrestle with the same question. Can I depend on God?

Daniel Borden is an investment analyst who, seemingly, has everything.

Laura Traynor is a struggling, single mother, trying to manage the demands of a bed-and-breakfast while raising her son and working a second job. She, seemingly, has nothing. But when unseen forces seek to destroy them both, stealing even their very identities, they are thrust together in a struggle that will leave them with no where to turn, but God.

Like Daniel in the lion’s den, the question is: “Where will you turn when the lions come?”

The Bible tells us that Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour. The lions in our life may come in the form of financial disaster, a family crisis, medical concerns, or a myriad of other possibilities. But regardless of the form they take, they will come and they will come at a time when our resources are insufficient, exhausted, or gone altogether.

But the Bible also talks about another lion. The Lion of Judah. And of him, C.S. Lewis once wrote, “He is no tame lion.” And He is on our side.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’m at: I love hearing from readers and will respond to all questions or comments.

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

Readers, you can order Daniel's Den using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. Or you can sign up for Feedblitz in the right hand column of the blog, and the notification for posts will come to your Inbox.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Author Michelle Stimpson - THE GOOD STUFF - Free Book

I have to thank author Jenny B. Jones for recommending me to Michelle. We found out we live in different parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Now Michelle attends the critique group that meets in my home. I think you'll find her as interesting as I do.

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

I used to think that I was creating all of these thoroughly original, totally other-inspired characters, but the more I write, the more I realize that I put a great deal of myself and my experiences into the characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Well, that would have to be as a result of the quirkiest job I ever had. I used to be Chuck E. Cheese. It was so hot in that costume, and kids always pulled my tail!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I first knew that I was a writer when I was 12 years old. My mom had a car accident and, suddenly, I became the keeper of our household. I started keeping a journal as an outlet, and writing became my best friend.

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

I read mostly spiritual non-fiction – Beth Moore, Chuck Swindoll, Andrew Murray. I read quite a bit of young adult fiction because I can usually knock those out in one sitting – plus I do lots of work in public schools, so I have to stay up with the times. For adult fiction, I usually read books that different people just keep telling me I must read, and those can be anything from Christian fiction to one of the classics.

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

I have written a total of 4 published novels – Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road, The Good Stuff, and Trouble In My Way (YA). My unpublished books are my very first attempts at writing, done in the 90’s. I still think they’re good, but I’m at a different place, spiritually, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable publishing them without a serious overhaul. As for non-fiction, I wrote a book called Breaking Bondage to Biscuits about overcoming food addiction. That one is self-published. I have another untitled book about marriage - excerpts appear in the back of The Good Stuff.

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

You know, I enjoy people, I enjoy being busy, I enjoy public speaking, and I enjoy working with teachers, but deep down on the inside, I really am a “loner” and I must have at least an hour alone every day. When I start to feel that I’m losing touch with myself or (more importantly) with God, I just take a night away from everything. I tell the kids they’re on their own, I tell my husband I want to be alone, and that’s that.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I think, first, of the character and how old he/she is because many names indicate the person’s generation. I also think about the character’s background. I try not to be stereotypical, but I think that there are some realities that help decide a character’s name. I mean, for the most part, Beverly’s are older than Kaitlin’s.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of my marriage – though I can take no credit for it. My husband and I (married 15 years) are a testament to God’s faithfulness.

I'm with you there. I don't know how people stay together and build a successful marriage without the Lord in the middle of it. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I would like to be a tiger. I think they’re really cute, and they’re not so busy trying to be lions.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food changes. Now, I’m into this awesome blackened chicken salad at Razoo’s (I have no affiliation with the restaurant – though I should probably ask for a coupon now). I’m not big on rabbit food but, seriously, I’ve been eating those salads like crazy. I suppose I could do worse.

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

My biggest roadblock was finding time to write while working full-time. Thankfully, God released me from full-time work and opened doors for me to do short-term projects and consulting. I am in a position, now, to do two things that I love: writing and teaching. Again, I can’t take credit for that because I could not have even planned the flexible opportunities God has given me.

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

I meet so many people who have 50 Chapter One’s sitting in their desk drawers. They have lots of good starts but haven’t finished books because they stop “liking” them. Newsflash: you don’t have to like it, just finish it. You may like it later, you may not. You may end up polishing it, you may end up taking just one character from that book and using him/her as the basis for another book. Whatever – just finish. And if you get 2/3 of the way through and absolutely hate it, that’s okay. I have fallen out of love with every single book I’m written at some point or another. It’s part of the process.

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

The Good Stuff – this book is one for every woman who’s ever wondered why on earth she got married, and what God can do with a marriage that is beyond repair. The two main characters, Sonia and Adrian, are in two miserable marriages. They basically take them to the Lord and say, “Lord, fix it!” In their complete hopelessness, they find God’s will. This book is a testimony, of sorts, so the final pages are a non-fiction “Note From the Author.” I am so excited to see what God will do for marriages with this book!

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My main website is:
I post articles at,
and I tour with 6 other Christian fiction authors – our tour information is at

Thanks so much, Lena! One of these days, I’ll get a blog together. I surely won’t forget you!

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

Readers, you can order The Good Stuff using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Good Stuff. Be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Author Sue Dent - FOREVER RICHARD - Free Book

I'm happy to have Sue Dent back to the blog. As I said before, when I heard about a Christian vampire-werewolf novel, I was totally sceptical. Then when I read Never Ceese, I changed my mind. Sue can reach people with the message of God who will never even see one of my books.

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

I write books speculative in nature because speculative stories are the kind of stories that appeal to me the most. If I had to give a reason why I settled on a vampire/werewolf story for my debut novel, my answer would have to be that I love vampire and werewolf lore. I love westerns too and subtle romance stories, adventures and mysteries, science fiction and fantasy, legal thrillers-you name it.

Writing speculative is what I lean toward though and I suppose all my stories, no matter what the subject matter, will always be speculative in nature. I might experiment later. Who knows?

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

I consider coming to know the Lord as the most significant day in my life but not necessarily the happiest. It is certain that I would say the Lord is responsible for the happier days in my life. :-)

Also, my happiest day is subject to change. For now the happiest day in my life would be when my daughter, at five years old, and after celebrating her sixth birthday in the hospital, walked out of the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City on her own accord. She’d been admitted two weeks earlier with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) At the time of admission, the coordination center of her brain, along with many other areas of her brain had been attacked by an “outlaw” anti-body. Upon admission to the hospital, Amanda couldn’t walk, stand or even sit-up. Neither could she speak without drawing out her words. The damage was significant. The day she left the hospital with no residual side effects, ranks as the happiest day of my life so far. And to substantiate my claim from above, I’ve God to thank for that and Dr. Afifi who I’m certain God sent our way. :-)

How has being published changed your life?

LOL It’s really too early for me to tell. One change is that people actually read what I write now and some even pay to do so. That’s nice. :-) The interest in my second novel, Forever Richard, shows that people enjoy what I write and want more. For the most part, being published hasn’t really changed my life at all.

What are you reading right now?

As a writer, I find little time to read. When I have any time, aside from raising my daughter and son, I write. I will push most everything aside when John Grisham comes out with a new book, almost always around my birthday. I know it will be fast-paced, enjoyable, and a quick read. Since he’s a Christian, I’m pretty certain he won’t write anything that might offend me and so far I’ve been right. I will admit though that I’ve yet to read Mr. Grisham’s first book, A Time to Kill, because I can’t get through the rape scene. He writes the scene far too well and the account hits to close to home as things such as what he described actually happen here in Mississippi. My brother told me how the book ends though, and I’m sorely tempted to skip the first few chapters so I can read on.

I do make time to read for research though. Currently I’m going through The Secret Commonwealth of Fauns, Fairies and Elves by the “Fairy Minister” himself Robert Kirk.

What is your current work in progress?

The third installment in my Thirsting for Blood Series is my current WIP. The tentative name is Cyn No More. It looks like this name will stick.

What would be your dream vacation?

I’ve never given it much thought. If I want to go somewhere that bad, I just find a way to go. I do love the beach A LOT! But then, I go there A LOT! Therefore, it’s not really a dream vacation. LOL

How do you choose your settings for each book?

No straight answer here. The story writes itself. The characters tell me things and I write. It’s not up to me to decide where they are and what they’re doing. If I did choose the settings, along with everything else, my writing would most likely be very predictable and boring. I have to laugh though. I’ve read reviews that placed Richard’s castle in Wales and not England, Zade has been called Zane and not Zade. It seems like most of my readers create their own world in spite of what I write or choose.

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

Absolutely no one comes to mind. *gasp* Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Probably. If I could spend an evening with one person currently alive I suppose I’d prefer being with someone who would want to be with me. Oh, and they’d have to like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies because I’d probably make them watch it with me--over and over. Particularly the last POTC movie as I really enjoyed that one. Yes, there’s definitely something wrong with me. LOL

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I like scrapbooking but I don’t have time for it anymore. Fancy that! Is driving your kids around a hobby? I guess not since I don’t particularly enjoy doing that and a hobby is supposed to be something you enjoy, right?

I remember the days when I felt like the chauffeur for the world. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Ending a story? Okay, it’s not really an obstacle. It’s just that I’m in the beginning of a series and I haven’t had to deal with actually ending a story yet. I can see that it might be a problem though and if it turns out to be one-and I find a solution, you’ll be the first to know. :-)

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

The best advice I’d give any beginning author, if that author is seeking to be traditionally published as I was, is to find and hire a professional editor. Use critique groups if you want so that you won’t have to pay a professional editor quite as much, but get a professional edit nonetheless. This is the ONLY reason my work was picked up as fast as it was. A traditional publisher, no matter how small, is NOT going to muddle through what you think is well-edited writing when they’ve got a professionally edited MS from another author sitting right there.

Rarely, if ever, is someone’s first MS ever picked up by a traditional press when that author hasn’t had a professional edit. Ms. Rowling is an exception not the rule so don’t even go there. Also, it would be best to find a professional editor that edits for the market you intend to target. For example, if you plan to write for the specific market of Christians that bigger Christian publishers market to, then you’d best get an editor who is familiar with what those publishers will and won’t allow. The same goes for hiring a professional editor who knows the Sci-fi market or fantasy market or horror market or romance market.

Another piece of advice is to understand your market. Many aspiring authors I know of spend a lot of time attempting to sell their work to a market that doesn’t want the type story they write. This is particularly true for those writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and horror. I’ve had numerous responses from several of the bigger Christian publishers myself that state quite clearly that since their market doesn’t read these kind of stories, they won’t publish them. It’s why Jeff Gerke left the Christian Booksellers Association to form his own publishing house. Most authors who are Christians want to solicit publishers who are Christian but many Christian publishers market to a very specific group. It may not be your market at all. Ask questions and a lot of them. It will be worth your while.

Actually, Sue, I sold the first novel I wrote without having it edited by someone else. Of course, it took several years. Tell us about the featured book.

I thought you’d never ask.

Forever Richard

The saga of redemption and spiritual triumph readers enjoyed in Never Ceese continues in Forever Richard.

Cassie Felts, graduate student and reluctant believer of such things as vampires and werewolves, couldn't be happier for Richard and Ceese Porter. Their curses lifted and after hundreds of years apart, they can now celebrate being brother and sister once more. Even Rodney, Cassie's college roommate and former nemesis, shares her relief. But will the faith that saved Richard and Ceese be enough to defeat the new evil that threatens them all?

Cassie learns that Dr. Clayton Henderson, the corrupt stem-cell researcher, has acquired the vampire's curse and has managed to transfer it to Rodney's troubled, drug-addicted buddy Josh. Addict or vampire, Cassie can see Josh isn't handling his new cravings for blood any better than he did his old habit. Their best hope seems to be taking Josh to Richard's isolated country estate in England. There, Josh can learn to temper his desire to curse another while they try to figure out how to deal with the impossible-to-kill Dr. Henderson.

Their mission becomes more complicated when they find a new vampire inhabiting Richard's castle, a malevolent werewolf stalking Ceese, and a long-lost relative who shows up carrying a sawed-off shotgun and an ancient knife he claims has supernatural powers.

Will the faith that redeemed two lost souls before be enough to overcome the wicked forces that now threaten to destroy them all?

Forever Richard has already received encouraging endorsement from The British Fantasy Society:

“Insightful and thought-provoking. Well worth the wait!” – Maryann Boo

I am anxiously awaiting my copy so I can read and review it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

You can find out more about me through my publishers site at They also have a site where all their authors share at

I have my own site through TWCP at and my personal blog at

I’m also a member of The Lost Genre Guild formed by fellow author Frank Creed. LGG is a support group and attention-bringer for those authors whose work is too overt for the general market publishers yet too outside-the-box for the bigger Christian houses or rather CBA and ECPA affiliated houses. Frank is responsible for coining the phrase, Biblical Speculative Fiction though he may truly never get credit. Their web address is

And lastly, I’ve been blessed by those who run as they have become the official book launch site for Forever Richard. This huge and growing family friendly social network has been nothing but supportive. I’ve been featured author more than three times and spotlight author at least twice. Part-owner Steve Mclellan posed for Richard on the book cover with fellow part-owner Hauns Froehlingsdorf taking the photo. Part-owner and wife to Hauns, Laurie Froehlingsdorf provided the *ahem* studio. :-)

I spend a lot of time on so do visit me there. They absolutely do a superb job of supporting all artists who are Christian no matter what the affiliation. I must say they have at least one well-deserving author listed this month as one of the featured authors. *winks at Lena* Congratulations! That’s twice for you as well, isn’t it?

I’d like to add a final thanks to you Lena for all your support. Your review of Never Ceese still makes me smile.

God Bless

Thank you, Sue, for spending this time with us. This month, Shoutlife has debuted a rotating featured author strip on the Authors page. You're on it, too.

Readers, you can order Forever Richard using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. There are several winner's who haven't contacted me. If you click on the winners label, all the winner blogs will be listed and you can check easily. Or just sign up for FeedBlitz at the top of the right hand column of the blog.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Four!!! More!!! Winners!!!

The Surrendered Scribe is the winner of The Perfect Match by Susan May Warren.

Hippmom is the winner of Sweet September by Tricia Goyer.

MaryZ is the winner of Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska, by Irene Brand.

Marla is the winner of Shelter in Seattle by Rhonda Gibson & Jean Kincaid.

Please email me your mailing address, so we can get the books on their way to you. You will find a link to my email in my complete profile in the right hand column of the blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Author Robin Caroll - FRAMED! - Free Book

This is Robin's first Love Inspired Suspense series with other authors. Welcome, Robin, I just love reading these series by Love Inspired Suspense. What is the name of the series this book is in, and where in the series does it occur?

The series is "Without A Trace" and my book, Framed! is book 2 in the series.

Who came up with the idea for the series?

The brilliant editors at Steeple Hill came up with the overview, setting, and characters. They incorporated the continuing elements that is seen from book-to-book in the series. Then, we six authors began discussing,
brainstorming, and going back and forth until we'd each hashed out our individual plots.

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

I was blessed to have five wonderful women and authors to work with for my first continuity series. We chatted a lot online, I talked on the phone with one of them for more hours than I probably should admit to (lol), and we sent each other our synopses and then final rough drafts. It was such a wonderful learning experience for me, and a honor to work with these esteemed ladies.

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

That's a tough question. Some of the points were difficult, but the other authors and I discussed and brainstormed a LOT, and then if we needed to change something in the overview, we'd take it to the editor for approval and input. There is a LOT of teamwork that goes into these series--from all the authors and the entire team at Steeple Hill.

What other books have you had published?

My bayou series....Bayou Justice, Bayou Corruption, Bayou Judgment, Bayou Paradox, and Bayou Betrayal. All published with Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense.

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

Sleeping? LOL Seriously, between church, family, and deadlines, add to that ACFW business as president last year, sleep is a BIG commodity around my house!

Where do you do most of your writing?

In my office, on my desktop. When I need a change, or the kids beg me to come out and play, I take my laptop and sit outside on my patio. The back of our house faces a wooded area with a creek running through it, so it's nice for a change of location.

What part of the country do you live it? And why do you like that part of the country?

The South--is there any other place? LOL I'm southern through-and-through, so I can't imagine putting down roots anyway north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Tell us about the featured book.

Framed! is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story--Ava and Max were high-school sweethearts, torn apart by feuding families. Years later, they're back in Loomis, Louisiana where a rash of deaths have occurred, one of them being Ava's brother. When Max is implicated in the crime, Ava must decide to follow her heart and believe in his innocence, or let the evidence dictate what she believes.

How can my readers find you on the Internet?


Thanks for hosting us, Lena! It's always so much fun to visit you and your

And I love having you, Robin.

Readers, you can order Framed! using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Be sure to check back so see if you are the winner. I have a list of winners who have not contacted me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Authors Ted Dekker & Erin Healy - KISS - Free Book

Our interview today will be a little different. First we'll have the bios of both of the authors, then we'll visit with Ted, thenErin.


Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. To see a complete list of Dekker's work, visit The Works section of

Erin Healy

Erin Healy is owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book critique, manuscript development, and editing for publishers. Kiss, co-authored with Ted Dekker, is her first novel. Erin is the director of the Academy of Christian Editors and former editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children.

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

About 15 % of myself. The part above my shoulders and between my ears. Or variations of that which rests between my ears.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Recently, I told my kids I’d learned how to throw my voice. To prove my new skill in a crowded mall food court, I barked once like a dog, throwing my voice across the room. No on looked, So I did it again, much louder this time. Everyone looked. My skill failed, as did my daughter’s attempt to vanish into their chairs. We had a good laugh.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In college. I first learned that I could tell stories much earlier and I first learned I could write novels when I was in my early thirties.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Anything that fascinates me. Unfortunately my mind is not easily fascinated. Right now I’m reading a book on mental illness that I find riveting.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve completed BoneMan’s Daughters, not yet published (April 09.) Lunatic and Elyon, not yet published (coauthored, June 09.) Green, not yet published (Sept 09.) Burn, not yet published (coauthored, 2010) Tea with Hezbollah (2010) and three novels that never got published from a decade ago.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t. I let it go, and then go chasing after it. It’s in the pursuit that I write and learn. That’s where you find the edge of our world and the beginning of a new one.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
People I’ve met. Books.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Winning my Eldest daughter’s respect and love, something that fueled the writing of BoneMan’s Daughters, a kind of prodigal daughter story.
I can hardly wait to read it. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An eagle. To fly above it all and peering down at the rats scurrying about, chasing their tails. It’s what I do now when I lose my sanity:-)
What is your favorite food?
Coffee. Yes, it’s is a food. I’ve found that you can extract the flavor by grinding the beans and running hot water over them. Better than jawing on the beans.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writing is always a writer’s greatest road obstacle. Like in extreme sports, there are distractions that keep us from tackling the obstacle, but the writing itself must remain the obstacle, or it is no great feat. The greater the obstacle, the greater the accomplishment. It’s what drives me to improve.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Chose a rather small obstacle. A smaller book. A simple book. Learn how to write before you try a double back flip :-)
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
My first coauthored with Erin Healy. Burn is our second.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Welcome, Erin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
You know, I have no idea. I might not be able to answer that question for a few years, when hindsight might be more revealing to me. Either that or I’ll need to ask a psychologist for a professional assessment.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I said yes to my husband’s marriage proposal only three weeks after I met him. Smartest thing I’ve ever done, too.

I think James asked me to marry him about three weeks after we met. We married after knowing each other three months and three days. That was over 44 years ago. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
There was no aha moment for me. Writing has simply always been a part of what I do, of how I think and express myself. But I remember the moment I consciously thought I wanted to “be a writer”—it was after I read Harriet the Spy. I even kept a notebook full of spy-like observations for a while. Lucky for a few people out there, I have no idea what happened to it.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I admit a preference for fiction, but within that category I read everything from Dean Koontz and Jodi Picoult to Leif Enger and Marilynne Robinson, including young adult fiction and, once in a while, a classic. And of course, my day-to-day work is saturated with Christian fiction that’s all over the map, from rich historicals to soul-searching contemporaries to speculative fantasies.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?
A gift book of short stories with John Trent, titled My Mother’s Hands, and a Bible study for moms called Managing Your Time for the Mom’s Ordinary Day series.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Every night after the family’s in bed, I take a hot-hot shower, pray and plot and ponder, stay in until the water heater’s drained, and thank God I was born in an age of indoor plumbing.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Names have such unique connotations for everyone. I pick what sounds right to my own ears. And I’ve been known to use a phone book.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Once, while attempting to install new flooring in a bathroom, I cracked the toilet tank while removing it. I singlehandedly—without the aid of husband, plumber, or Home Depot employee—purchased and installed a new toilet after ruining only two wax rings. (Apologies for the tongue in cheek, but I guess that’s a question I’m uncomfortable answering.)

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A polar bear, chubby and mentally suited for cold climates, content to eat fish, to live in low-populated areas, and to hibernate with my cubs.

What is your favorite food?
I only get to pick one? But I love to eat! I’m a polar bear, remember? Eenie meanie miney … flank steak, marinated in my nana’s ginger-honey-soy sauce recipe and cooked on my father’s grill. Accompanied by his spicy Caesar salad. And my mother’s sourdough-cheese soufflé. Must … go … eat …

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I went into writing believing I’d be a plotter. I’d spend days on detailed plot, act, and scene summaries, outlining from beginning to end, only to have the story fall apart once the writing began. That failure paralyzed me, Mrs. Uber-Organized. While working with Ted I learned the value of holding a story loosely and allowing it to have its own breathing room. Now I start a story knowing where I want it to start and where I hope it will arrive. As for how it gets there, I try to discover that more organically during the writing itself.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Learn the craft. Learn how to respect it before you attempt to do anything subversive. Learn what moves your audience. Learn how to expose yourself and your work to the honest opinion of others, especially people who don’t like what you’ve written. Learn, learn, learn. “Your job,” write the authors of Art and Fear, “is to learn to work on your work.” And keep a lot of chocolate on hand. It enhances the retention of studying.

Dark chocolate, of course. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It’s awesome! Buy it. Read it. I do hope readers might find it to be more than entertaining, that they might begin to see their most painful personal memories in a new light. I hope they can discover grace in pain and see these experiences as formative events that God can redeem and transform into meaningful parts of their history. When God told the Israelites to commemorate their suffering (such as with altars and feast days), He wasn’t telling them to wallow in it, but to remember Who delivered them from it. If our whole history—good, bad, and ugly—keeps us focused on Him, our future will make more sense. I really believe that.

That is so true, especially in this day and time. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Erin, for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order the book by using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Author Maggie Brendan - NO PLACE FOR A LADY - Free Book

We have another debut author today. Welcome, Maggie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’m sure there are parts of me that seep into my main characters, but not physically though. That’s one thing I don’t believe a writer is conscious of doing until their critique partners tells you that you did. I think most writers write from their own life experiences, and how it has shaped them will find its way into our characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I guess I’m pretty quirky when I play with my grandchildren. I have tea parties with them and always speak with a British accent or rich southern drawl while holding their dolls as if they are speaking. I get behind the doll and move her arms this way and that and it makes them giggle. They forget that it’s me speaking and watch the doll instead. I take my teddy bear that sits on my bed and prop him up under the covers, put my reading glasses on his eyes and place my Daily Light devotional book in his lap. I enjoy pretending with them in a make believe world. There you can do just about anything.

Make believe is what authors do, too. Right? When did you first discover that you were a writer?

That’s easy. I was in the 3rd grade and the teacher saw me writing on a piece of paper during our “free homework” time. She encouraged me by giving me ruled paper to write my story down. It was a pitiful story that I still have today. My second story I wrote in the 5th grade, a mystery. I’ve always had stories in my head and was constantly thinking what would happen if…
And "what if?" is what authors use as they build stories. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

What can I say? Almost everything except sci-fi. I love historical, suspense, biographies, and apologetics and of course, my Bible.

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

Sometimes it seems as if there is no sanity at all in our hectic world of cell phones, Internet, media, family, church, etc. Music and singing have always been a huge part of my life. Prayer keeps me centered and focused. Sometimes I focus on other people when they have a need, and it takes my mind off myself, which is healthy. Another important thing that I do for myself is maintain some form of exercise. I walk 2 miles 5 or 6 times a week and lift weights every other day. This actually gives me more energy, and some of my best ideas come while I’m outside walking.

I have an I-Touch but I don’t walk with it every time so that I can empty my brain or talk to God on my walks. Staying connected with my family is very important to me. I try not to spend much time in front of the TV—but I’m addicted to "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars" and I enjoyed the "Celebrity Apprentice." The Hallmark channel and TNT is my favorite to lose myself in good stories or westerns, but I must admit that I am a HUGE Tyler Perry fan! He is brilliant and got his start right here in Atlanta.

I like Tyler's work, too. How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m not really sure other than sometimes I’ll hear a name, or read it somewhere and mentally take note or jot in down for future reference. Writing a historical is a little different in that a lot of names used today would not be in use then, so those are harder to come up with. Once I start using the name in my story, I read it out loud. It has to have the right ring to it for the particular make-up of my character as a whole.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’d have to say completing my book. A lot of people say, “Oh, well, I could write a book.” But it does take persistence and desire to finish what you create. Winning the 2004 American Christian Writers Persistence Award validated my writing and was a huge encouragement to me. Raising a fabulous son and daughter, now adults with their own children, is so incredibly rewarding.

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

Probably a tiger or lion. I’m fascinated in the beauty of a tiger’s eyes and his striking face which is always observant and watching. The Lion represents power and strength and that makes me think of the Lord and his majesty. But I do love the horse with his unleashed energy, form and gracefulness. Maybe I could embody all of them. LOL.

What is your favorite food?

This is a hard one to answer, but the first thing that comes to mind is red beans, and rice with sausage, (or big white lima beans), cornbread and sweetened iced tea. I love crowder peas, mustard greens, fried okra and skinless fried chicken, topped off with homemade banana pudding. See why I have to make sure that I work out. Lol. I’m a true southern girl.

Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

I wrote off and on throughout high school and when my children were small. I submitted poems and a short story that was rejected. Then it seemed that life and raising children were front and center, so I placed my dream of becoming a writer in the background of my mind. My brother was a western writer, and he always encouraged me to keep working it at it. He was the greatest influence on my writing.
One day, I was going through my Bible and throwing out last week’s bulletin and saw a tiny blurb that said a study for people who were interested in writing would be starting up and gave the phone number. Somehow I had missed seeing that the first time around but decided to call. The teacher was really encouraging over the phone and said the study was, Write His Answer. During that study there were questions that would help to decide if you were called to write. That pushed me into making a decision to finish my book and write for Christian publication. By the way, that teacher, Jennifer Schuchmann, is the co-author of Your Unforgettable Life and has written more articles that I could ever count. My brother, Jess McCreede, was one of the guest speakers and so was Cecil Murphy who impressed me so much. Out of this study, I co-founded a writers group and I have been leading my critique group now for 5 years.
I attended the Atlanta ACW conference, the ACFW Denver and Nashville Conference and a screenwriter’s workshop in my area last summer. I met with Tamela Hancock Murray in Denver and she like my story, but decided not to take me on as a client then. DiAnn Mills critiqued my first three chapters and said it was almost ready for publication. I didn’t even know who she was at the time! What a fabulous writer and encourager! My author interview was with Colleen Coble who gave me direction and support as well. My mentor was the lovely and talented suspense writer, Brandilyn Collins.
One of my current critique partners, Caroline Friday, loved my manuscript and wrote a screenplay that has been optioned by Starz Media to Hallmark for a TV movie. Later, I met Tamela again at the ICRS in Atlanta and she asked me to submit my manuscript. She liked the story and chose to represent me as her client and we have signed a three book deal with Revell. God is Good! I am being quoted in an upcoming book, Word Weaver: The Successful Writers Critique Group by Eva Marie Everson and Janice Elsheimer.

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

Probably finding time to myself or permitting myself to have time to pursue a writing career while taking care of the gazillion needs of my family. Women tend to be good caretakers of everyone except themselves, and feel selfish and guilty if they want to carve out time alone. I had a lot of other jobs from the time I got married until last July—some part-time and full-time.
It’s gets a bit overwhelming when your husband has his own high stress job and doesn’t take your writing seriously until things start to happen with your work. Even then, I think it’s hard for most men to see what needs to be done because it’s a never ending job to run a home smoothly. But women are expected to continue to do it all, along with their job, and I’m sure many writers can relate to that.
In the mix, there needs to be time out for and fun and relaxation, too. When we don’t get that a part of the equation our health and everything else suffers. It’s hard for us to do this in our culture in this country, because we are told to make every minute count for something.

My brother, who was my mentor and a writer suddenly died 4 years ago, and I still struggle with his loss even now. It wasn’t a roadblock, but it sure set me back for a period of time, with shock and grief. But I can still hear him encouraging me onward. He believed it me. I have every scrap of letters and rough drafts of his novels that I pull out and look at to lift me up from time to time.
What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

Be persistent and finish what you start. Never give up on your dream. Keep plugging away and it can happen. Read, read, read. Especially in the genre that you are writing. That helps you learn your craft. Join a critique group to get feedback and connect with other writers and learn to take criticism without thinking that it’s a personal attack. It’s not. Attend workshops and conference where you can learn as much as you can about this crazy world of writing. Good reading for honing your writing skills are books like, Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain, and Writing Novels that Sell, by Jack Bickham, and of course, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas.

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

No Place for a Lady is based on the scripture Jer. 29:11; that the Lord has a plan for our lives.

The heroine endures the hardship, danger and fatigue of a cattle drive. There are few recordings of a female on a cattle drive. She has very human failings such as personal prejudices and petty irritations. She has to rely on her faith in God for strength and guidance, which ultimately shapes her character and her future. I think readers will find it high entertaining, romantic and inspirational.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Maggie, thank you for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order a copy of Maggie's book using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. There are still winners who haven't contacted me.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Author Robin Shope - THE VALENTINE EDITION - Free Book

We're back with Robin Shope's second Edition book. Welcome, Robon. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Hopefully more of the same. I am happy in my job as the Special Education Coordinator at the Juvenile Justice Alternative Educational Program. I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of troubled teens. The adults I work with are dedicated and interesting people. Everyday I am inspired by attorneys, case managers, probation officers, judges and fine teachers.

Last year I sold five magazine articles and several short stories. I also have five books out, the sixth one releasing in late April of this year. Meanwhile, I am editing one book and writing two more. Several publishers have requested to read my book proposals.

Adding to these blessings, my husband and I are looking forward to greeting our first grandchild in the spring.

Grandchildren are awesome. James and I have our first great grandchild. Also a wonderful thing. Now, Robin, please tell us a little about your family.
This summer Rick and I are celebrating our thirty-third anniversary. We met at an Illinois church where he was the assistant pastor. After we were married, we travelled the world as missionaries for several years. After we returned to the states, Rick became the pastor of a small country church before we moved to Texas where we live now. Our two children are grown. Kimberly works for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dallas and worked on the Obama health plan. Matthew is a certified nurse’s aide. Rick is now in the business world. Instead of taking family vacations, we save that money for his yearly missions’ trips overseas to third world countries. This past year, he made his seventh trip to India.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
And how! I cannot just read and enjoy a book anymore. I find myself editing, learning from the book how to improve my own writing. I also analyze the story, the structure, the characters, muse over really well-written sentences. I miss just reading for pleasure.

I know what you mean. One book I read this month had a first page that was so wonderfully written, I had to reread and savor it several times before I finally turned the page. What are you working on right now?
I am working on several books right now. First on my plate is polishing a mystery book about a female forensic profiler. Almost ready to submit it, I have a good friend who is a Chicago defense lawyer and he is considering joining me on this one, so I am holding off. He says the whole story intrigues him. He could add such depth to this - I am saying my prayers. This friend is also Jewish so I think the mix with both of us would make it fascinating with added layers.

What outside interests do you have?
I love geology, archeology, and certain aspects of history. I love to look at mummies in museums and try to imagine them as a person who once lived. What kind of lives did they have and were they happy.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is dictated by the story itself. For instance my next book, Wildcard, a stand alone, is out in late April 2009. Ivy Dillon is working as an Intern for the secretary of the President of the United States. During her last week at The White House, Ivy overhears a conversation about missing software that would rig voting machines and change the results of the next election. The subject dictates it be set in Washington, DC. Ivy has clues to find the software and begins following them across the United States, at last ending back in the capital where her ex-fiancé helps clear her name since she has also been accused of killing the president’s secretary.

The Turtle Creek Edition series is set in a small Wisconsin town. I started the series with The Christmas Edition. I live in Texas and many of our Christmases are spent with the air conditioner running. However, when I think of Christmas, I think of snow and hot chocolate and real Christmas trees. Born and raised in Wisconsin, it was easy for me to set that series there. Now The Valentine Edition is out and it’s still quite cold in Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. Have you been following the northern weather forecast lately? One snowstorm after the next.

Yes, I have. My brother lives in Indiana, and I have close friends who live up North. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with Albert Schweitzer. He was my first hero. This talented, German doctor gave up a lucrative medical practice to live in Gabon, Africa, and build a clinic to help meet the health needs of the natives. When I was young, I would watch him on The Jack Parr Show. Doctor S. had a marvelous sense of humor along with his passion for helping others. At night, at the end of a long day, he would sit at his organ and play. I can only imagine how wonderful that sounded in the night air in the jungle. In middle school I wrote to him all the time, asking if I could come and visit. When he died, my friends who had laughed at my vision for wanting to have spent time at a medical clinic said to me, “Well, it looks like you will not be going now!” Weeks later I received a letter with pictures of the Doctor and of the facility, from one of his Dutch coworkers, Mrs. Obermann.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Not to head hop – and what that meant. (For blog readers, that means to jump from one person's thoughts to another all the time, instead of staying in one point of view per scene.)

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To be joyful no matter the season. The most important relationship I have is the one I share with Him. He balances me, shows me the important stuff in life. God gives me beauty from ashes. When I get to heaven it isn’t going to matter what others think of me, only His opinion will carry weight there. There are many voices in the world. But the sheep know God’s voice and they follow Him.

Very well said, and exactly what I feel, too. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Everyone has an opinion if you should have an agent or not. What publisher to use, or not use. Listen to the advice and pray about what is right for you. You are the one living your life, not another. But remember this, I guarantee God isn’t going to ask you who your publisher or agent was when you get to heaven. There is this motto I have on my wall. It reads; "One small life will soon be past. Only what is done for God will last." It was the way my Grandmother lived her life. She went to heaven at the age of 101.
2. Keep studying the market. I do. One of my writer friends told me she doesn’t need to study the market because her agent does it for her. Agent or no, I want to be informed. So you be informed. Know what is going on in the publishing world. With the Internet there is no reason not to be.
3. Read. Read. Read. If you are like me, you will be studying/reading every book. It helps us with sentence formation, vocabulary, character development, plot expansion, grammar, punctuation, and the like.

Tell us about the featured book.
It’s a holiday book and a fun light-hearted read. However, it deals with real life problems such as forgiveness. Jodi has men issues because her father deserted her when she was a child. This changed her world and molded her into the person she is when we first meet her, driving down an icy Wisconsin country road in the dead of winter. Later we learn of another betrayal of close friends. These two significant incidents from her past, sets her up for someone new to blow apart a potential relationship she is developing with a man of God.

Here is a blurb:
The last place in the world Jodi Williams wanted to live was Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, but when her stepdad refused to put in a good word for her at the Chicago paper, she had no other choice than to accept the first job offer that came her way. Josh Thomas was Turtle Creek's veterinarian, but he also happened to be single and quite handsome. His life was pretty peaceful until a pretty, young stranger came to his clinic with a dog that had been hit by a car. While his first reaction was to care for the injured animal, he couldn't help a few glances at this unique young woman. That day was one of quite a few new beginnings. Jodi came to the aid of an injured animal, earning her the respect of a handsome man, she started a new job as a reporter for The Turtle Creek Newspaper, and she gained the wrath of the vet's receptionist. Della had her sights set on Joshua, and she wasn't about to let anyone come between her and the man of her dreams.

And here is the first page of The Valentine Edition:

Jodi Williams sighed for the hundredth time as she waved goodbye to the Chicago skyline, catching the last of the city in her car's rearview mirror. Dreams of working at The Tribune were dead right along with drinking green tea latte's at Starbucks anytime she wanted.

Hope behind her.

The unknown ahead.

She steered toward Wisconsin. An hour later, Jodi looked out the window at the open fields of frozen ground and cows standing along snowy fences. The comparison between her two lives the previous and the present were startling. Jodi attempted to shift her body in the seat but was pretty well anchored into the one position with her belongings crammed into the compact car from the trunk to the front. The turn-by-turn directions she had printed out were hard to follow since not all the roads were actually marked in this neck of the country. She decided to refer to them as mystery turns. Finally, Jodi pulled over to the shoulder and unfolded the road map to try to figure it out one more time. According to her calculations, she was almost there at the end of civilization.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Robin, for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order The Valentine Edition with this link:

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I haven't heard from these winners:

fecarly (2 books)
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

3!!! More!!! Winners!!!

Pammer is the winner of Hannah Grace by Sharlene MacLaren. This is a very good book. I was privileged to be an endorser in it.

Katie 8407 is the winner of Bluegrass Courtship by Allie Pleiter.

Christy Janes is the winner of Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard. I'm reading it right now and loving it.

Winners need to send me your mailing address. You can find an email link in my Complete Profile. The sooner you send the address to me, the sooner you'll be reading these wonderful books.

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I still haven't heard from these previous winners:

Mommyjen 99
fecarly (2 books)
Pat (grist)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Authors Rhonda Gibson & Jean Kincaid - SHELTER IN SEATTLE - Free Book

We're having a different kind of interview today. Rhonda Gibson and Jeanie Kincaid are both friends of mine. Shelter in Seattle is Jeanie's first published book. Welcome, Rhonda and Jeanie. How did your story come about?

Rhonda: I have always liked the Asa Mercer stories. So I decided to tell what might have happened to one of the girls’ that traveled with him to Seattle. The story grew from there. Asa is mentioned but the story really belongs to Caleb and Julianne.

Jeanie (in the white hat): This was Rhonda’s story idea and I fell in love with it. I added what I thought would define the love between Caleb and Julianne, flushed out a few paragraphs for an already great story.
What are you reading right now?

Rhonda: Fiction: Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake Non-Fiction: The Everyday Visionary by Jesse Duplantis

Jeanie: I just finished Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist. Fantastic story.

I've read Deep in the Heart of Trouble. It's wonderful. Now s this book a standalone or part of a series? If series, what are the other books in the series?

It’s a standalone.

What is the hardest thing about writing as part of a team?

Rhonda: Jean and I live in two different states, so everything we did was by email or chats online. We did call from time to time. I think it would have been easier if we could have “seen” each other while we were plotting out the story and later during edits. But, Jean was so easy to work with; nothing seemed hard about this book.

Jeanie: Rhonda was simply wonderful to work with. She didn’t even complain when I agonized over every little detail.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?

Rhonda: I think it bonded our friendship even tighter, and that was quite an accomplishment.

Jeanie: It’s made a few things more difficult. For instance, now I tend to want to write all her stories with her. When I critique her work, I want to put my two cents in. I have to pull back and go, “whoa, this is not yours.” But, yes, it has been a wonderful experience.

How did you choose your characters’ names?

Rhonda: Jean is very gracious and allowed me to name the characters. I have always liked the name Caleb and I think it is a strong name, I wanted this character to be strong and full of the Lord. Julianne was named after a cousin of mine. I used to tease her with a song that had the words, “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” in it. Julianne is a character that has had more then her share of hard knocks and the book opens with her facing the hardest one yet. But, she remains strong. My cousin is a lot like Julianne, life has dealt out some hard knocks but she remained strong and is now a successful business woman, a wonderful mother and grandmother.
Jeanie: Rhonda chose them. She did well.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?

Rhonda: The knowledge that God is with us in all circumstances.

Jeanie: That it’s always better to tell the truth. That it’s a wonderful thing when people come to know the Lord.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?

Rhonda: I am. For me, American Christian Fiction Writers isn’t just a group, it’s my writing family. I have met so many loving people through this organization. I met both Jean and you in person for the first time at an ACFW conference.

Jeanie: Yes, I’m a member. Most of what I know of writing, I learned from ACFW conferences, online courses, and critique groups.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?

Rhonda: In 2002, I was struggling with my writing and wondering if I should continue to write. Bruce Wilkinson has a book out titled, THE DREAM GIVER. The advice in the book is, if you have a dream, work toward it with all you have. Don’t let others stand in your way or discourage you. Don’t be afraid to follow the dream of your heart, God put it there and you have a purpose. That was the best advice for me as an author. I grabbed those words and pushed forward. Thanks Bruce!

Jeanie: I was told by a critique group many years before the advent of ACFW that I added too much description in my stories. A well known male author, (undiscovered at that time) told me not to stop my descriptions, just to hone them and to think of that as a talent. It has worked to my advantage.

Someone recommended that Bruce Wilkerson book to me several years ago. It's meant a lot to me, too. Where can we find you on the Internet?



Thank you, Rhonda and Jeanie, for spending this time with us.

Readers, you can order a copy of the book using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. But don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. I'm still missing some former winners.