Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Interview and Giveaway for "Murder in Marietta" by Deborah Malone

Congratulations to Susan
Winner of "Murder in Mareitta"
 

Hi. This may be a first, but I'm going to interview myself and offer a giveaway of my new book "Murder in Marietta" the second book in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. Just follow the instructions at the end of the post and I'll enter you in the giveaway. Thank you for stopping by!


Can you give us a sneak peek at your new release “Murder in Marietta?”
     Trixie and Dee Dee head off to Marietta, Georgia for another assignment. They visit the Marietta History Museum where they spend the night to see if they can sight the resident ghosts. Sometime during the night a murder takes place in the museum and the director, Doc Pennington, is put on the suspect list. He asks Trixie and Dee Dee to help him find the real killer. Nana takes a larger role in this book and she won’t disappoint you with her antics.  All of this together makes a recipe for murder and mayhem.
What inspired this book?
     I’ve always loved to read so I think it was natural that I’d transition into writing. Mysteries have been my genre of choice since I was a young girl and loved to read Nancy Drew.  Cozy mysteries are one of my favorites and Ann George has been a big influence on my writing. As for writing Christian Fiction – Margaret Daley’s books were a big influence.
How did you know you were called to write?
     I’ve always wanted to write, but while I was writing my manuscript I wrote it as a secular book. While I was writing it I was thinking I’d like to write it in a manner that wouldn’t be offensive. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “Christian fiction.” I had finished the manuscript when I read one of Margaret Daley’s books and went to her website where I ‘discovered’ Christian fiction. I couldn’t get enough. I joined ACFW and began to study how other writers wrote their books. I went back and rewrote my manuscript as Christian fiction.  
Are you a panster or do you outline?
     I’m definitely a panster. I have a general outline on how I want the manuscript to progress, but that’s it. Then I might do a general outline for each chapter, but none of it is done in detail. Now after I’ve written a chapter I will go in Microsoft One Note and detail the chapter so I can keep up with my characters, timeline, setting, etc.
How long have you been writing?
     I started writing seriously in 2001 when I started writing for “Georgia Backroads” a historical magazine. I am still writing for them. I started on my book in 2002, but life got in the way and so I came back to it around 2009/10. 
Tell us something silly about you.
     My friends and family could probably answer this better than me. The one thing I can think about is that I love to sing – but I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. So I sing in the car with the windows rolled up and the radio/CD’s going to cover up my singing. 
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
     There aren’t any deep messages in “Murder in Marietta, but there is a theme of forgiveness and faith. For the most part I hope I make someone laugh and take them away from the stresses of real life for just a while. I want them to have some laugh out loud moments 
What is your favorite season?
     Spring 
What project are you currently working on?
     I’m working on the third book in the Trixie Montgomery series. Trixie and Dee Dee along with Nana and Trixie’s mama Betty Jo have gone to Savannah/Tybee Island, Georgia for a vacation. Of course they are going to have to help someone find a killer. 
What has been your most challenging experience writing a book?
     I don’t think I can list just oneJ  Learning the craft/rules of writing was a big curve for me. Then there is the editing. Then there is submitting to publishers. And then when you are finally published you think you are home free – not! Then there is the marketing. It seems there are always new challenges to learn in writing and publishing a book. 
What is your favorite color?
     Blue
 What is a fond childhood memory?
     I have many fond memories, but one that stands out is when my grandmother bought me a horse. My parents weren’t able to afford one so she chipped in to help and one Christmas they surprised me. Boy was I surprised.
What book are you currently reading?
     I just finished “Honored Redeemed” by Loree Lough. 
Links for books: www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com 
Links where you can find Deborah:
Bio: Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.  
TO BE ENTERED IN THE GIVEAWAY:
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THIS POST WILL BE UP FOR A WEEK!
HAPPY READING!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Interview and Book Giveaway with Jayne Self

by Jeff Reynolds

Ladies and gentlemen, book giveaways are nothing new on this blog. But this is my first one. The author I'm privileged to give a book from is Jayne Self, author of Harbourlight's Seaglass Mysteries, where one lucky (or should I say blessed) reader will receive one of the two installments. Rules for the giveaway are at the bottom of the interview.
author jayne self


Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to Sleuths and Supsects, Jayne. What is seaglass? Is it what a pirate looks out of to see if there's a ship coming? Do you have personal experience with seaglass?


Jayne Self: Hi Jeff, Thank you for inviting me here today. I’m always delighted to talk about mysteries and seaglass.
Seaglass are the bits of wave-battered, colored glass that wash up on sea shore. It’s something I collect every summer as at our Nova Scotia cottage, and Gailynn, the heroine of my mysteries, crafts seaglass into one-of-a-kind jewelry.


a boat is shown on the cover with police tape in front of itJR:  Which leads to the obvious point. You have written two mysteries, and one lucky reader will win their choice. So they'll know which one they want, can you give us a description of both books?



a crime scene is shown on the cover. JS:  Set in the fictional Nova Scotian fishing community, Hum Harbour, part-time jewelry crafter part-time medical receptionist Gailynn MacDonald is a small town girl who hates change. But changes abound as murder and romance turn Gailynn’s world upside down. In Murder in Hum Harbour, Gai’s employer is murdered the eve of his retirement. In Death of a Highland Heavyweight, the local hero and international highlands heavyweight champ (think big men in kilts throwing telephone poles) dies suddenly and suspiciously. In both cases Gai is first to find the body but her involvement never ends there. Gai is quirky, impulsive and perhaps a bit too inquisitive for her own good—which makes for calamities, misunderstandings, and lots of fun.


JR: I've had the honor of reading the first book. Would you describe your writing more as a mystery with some romance, or a romance with a mystery?


JS: Mystery with a touch of romance. In both books the main plot and character development revolve around solving the murder. The romance is a subplot, or byproduct of that activity.


JR:  This story is written in the first person. I thought of rewriting my first mystery in that perspective, but I have various things like a different character being in a high speed car chase and a third character sitting in a friend's kitchen with said friend pointing a gun at her, neither of which would work in the first person. What were the benefits and liabilities for you using this technique?


JS:  Writing in first person definitely has its limitations since all information must be filtered through my main character, Gailynn. It means some plot possibilities simply don’t work. However, I love the misdirection an unreliable narrator like Gailynn lends a cozy mystery. And I enjoy the challenge of planting clues only she can understand—or misunderstand. For me, that’s a big part of the fun.


JR:  What mystery writers do you consider inspirations for your writing? Any authors of other genres do you enjoy reading as well?


JS:  Interestingly, my favorite authors write historical fiction. Elizabeth Peters in her Amelia Peabody Series has created what I consider the ultimate unreliable narrator. Daine Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, and Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles are also favorites. For mysteries, right now I’m gobbling up anything by Louise Penny (Inspector Gamache) and Donna Leon (Commissario Guido Brunetti)


The common denominator is these authors have created engaging characters and a very strong sense of place, which I’ve striven to achieve in my mysteries as well.


JR:  One important question in Christian writing is the faith element, and especially the balance from being too preachy and coming across so saccharin that it is only a toned down story that won't offend anybody. How do you accomplish that?


JS: My first goal is to create an entertaining mystery that does not compromise my personal values. (I won’t write anything that I’d be embarrassed to read out loud, in public.) I strive to keep any Christian content organic to the story—it must flow authentically from the characters. I want to show readers (both Christian and non-Christian) that a relationship with Jesus is no guarantee of a trouble-free life. Instead, He is the strength that sustains believers through times of trouble. I want to show growing faith. And although each book ends with the mystery solved, I don’t tie every issue up in a lovely bow because life just isn’t like that.

JR:  Thank you for your time, and may you have a blessed and Merry Christmas. (I usually try to have a Joseph Christmas instead of a Merry one.)


JS: Thank you, Jeff. It’s been a delight. May you enjoy a blessed holiday season as well.

You can learn more by going to Jayne Self's Webpage and check out her blog, Where Faith and Mystery Converge.




Now for the giveaway. There are four parts to be entered in this giveaway. Ready? Here they are:
  1. Leave a comment. Otherwise, it would be hard to know you've been here!
  2. Sign up to follow this blog and receive posts via e-mail. (And Heidi, Deb, and Jackie, you all are elgible.)
  3. Pass along your e-mail address. That would come in handy to notify the winner.
  4. Let us know if you would prefer Murder in Hum Harbour or Death of a Highland Heavyweight and why. I know, I'm being a scrooge, but you need to make a decision and choose one!


I'll pick a winner on Christmas Day and will notify you of who the winner is.


 *The authors of this blog are Amazon.com affiliates. Sometimes, we will include links in our blog posts. When visitors to this site purchase items from Amazon.com using links in our posts, the authors of this blog earn a percentage of the sales.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview with Lillian Duncan and E-Book Giveaway



TELL US ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS STALKING.

The Christmas Stalking is a romantic suspense novella that features Destiny-a very famous country music star. She has everything she dreamed of and more. Fame. Wealth. Beauty. Adoring fans. Oh, yeah and a stalker.

As the stalker escalates, she decides it’s time for Destiny to disappear and let Holly Stone take over her own life again until the stalker can be apprehended. She goes back to the Adirondacks where she spent time as a young girl. She reconnects with an old friend and...that’s where the fun begins.

The cover for THE CHRISTMAS STALKING is so awesome, you should take a look at it at : www.lillianduncan.net

WHAT’S THE SETTING FOR THE CHRISTMAS STALKING?

It’s in a fictional hamlet called The Village Of Serenity & Peace in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The citizens refer to it as Serenity. And, of course, there is no such thing as serenity or peace when my main character, Destiny, shows up.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT TITLE?

It’s a great title for a Christmas-themed book, don’t you think. I actually was almost finished writing it. My working title was simply STALKED—nothing Christmassy about that. All of a sudden, it came to me in a flash-THE CHRISTMAS STALKING. I thought it was the perfect title.

IS THE CHRISTMAS STALKING THE FIRST BOOK YOU PUBLISHED?

No, I’ve published several others, including DECEPTION and PURSUED also published by Pelican Book Group. This is. however. my first novella and it’s only available as an e-book. So, it’s a little different from my other books.

WHY DID YOU WRITE THE CHRISTMAS STALKING?

I could give a deep profound answer, but the truth is I wrote it to entertain my readers. My publisher (Pelican Book Group) announced they wanted Christmas-themed novellas. I’d never written a novella before so thought I’d give it a try, the real challenge was to incorporate the Christmas theme into a suspense novel?

I took up the challenge to do just that and I enjoyed every minute of it!

WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE CHRISTMAS STALKING?

We have become a celebrity-obsessed society. Many people think they can only be happy if they are rich and famous. I wanted to show a character who “had it all” but still wasn’t happy. True happiness and joy comes from a relationship with God not how many people know your name.

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS? DO YOU OUTLINE YOUR STORIES IN ADVANCE?

I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

DO YOU KNOW WHO THE BAD GUY IS WHEN YOU BEGIN YOUR STORY?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. This story was no exception, there are several characters who could be the stalker. And I wasn’t sure who it was until the very end.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK OF MURDER MYSTERIES AND SUSPENSE NOVELS AS CHRISTIAN FICTION, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s ok, I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

THEN WHAT MAKES YOUR STORIES CHRISTIAN FICTION?

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories in any way. My characters experience the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.

My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.

IF THE CHRISTMAS STALKING BECOMES A MOVIE, WHO WILL PLAY THE MAIN CHARACTER?

Either Carrie Underwood or Kelly Picker would be great as Destiny. As for the male characters, I’m not going to say since it could give away the ending!

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?         

My editor and I are busy on the final edits for a book to be released next year. It’s the second in my SISTERS BY CHOICE series and is currently titled BETRAYED. The first book in the series was DECEPTION.

DECEPTION is the story of a school counselor who’s get the shock of her life one morning when a niece she doesn’t know exists calls her and asks, “where’s my mommy?” Her journey to find her sister leads her on a winding path of deception. BETRAYED picks up the story of DECEPTION, but focuses on Maria who was the wife of the terrorist from the first story.

I also have a devotional blog (www.PowerUpWithGod.com) that I love to work on. Lately, I’ve been working on a series of devotions called FACING ADVERSITY GOD’S WAY. I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors this year and so I’m using my experiences to help others who are facing a crisis.

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

As an early Christmas gift to your readers, anyone who purchases a copy of THE CHRISTMAS STALKING can receive a FREE e-copy of either DARK ALLEYS or GEESE MATE FOR LIFE. Once you purchase it, simply go to my website (www.lillianduncan.net) and send me the order number. I will email you a copy of the book of your choice. Merry Christmas to all!!

Lillian is also hosting a giveaway of an e-book copy of The Christmas Stalking.

To enter the giveaway:
1) Leave a comment.
2) Be a current or new follower of Sleuths and Suspects.
3) Leave your email address.

The winner will be chosen at random and announced on December 15th. Reasonable attempts will be made to try to contact the winner. If the winner does not respond within one week (December 22nd), another winner will be chosen.  


An eye is shown in the reflection off a house with Christmas lights. The weather outside is frightful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Sherri Wilson Johnson

CONGRATULATIONS DIANA
WINNER OF AN EBOOK FROM SHERRI
 

Let's welcome Sherri Wilson Johnson to Sleuths and Suspects. She's going to tell us about her new book "Song of the Meadowlark." She is also offering a free ebook to one person chosen from those who leave a comment and follow steps listed below. Without further ado, here's Sherri!




1.             Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a writer, speaker and former homeschooling mom. I am from Georgia and live with my husband, two kids and two dogs. I love writing about faith, hope, and purity. When I'm not writing, I'm hanging out with my family or church friends, reading or dreaming up new romantic ideas for books. I love to vacation at the beach but I also find the mountains enjoyable.


2.       Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.


Song of the Meadowlark is a Contemporary Romance full of hope, forgiveness, and second chances at life and love set in South Georgia on a ranch with an ornery cowboy.
 
 




Here is the synopsis:

When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again?


Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town.


While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area.


Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.

3.       Why did you choose this particular genre?
I had written Historical Romance (To Dance Once More) and wanted to try my hand at Contemporary. The characters I had in mind worked best in a Contemporary romantic setting.


4.       What was your journey to publication like? 

I guess the short version of this story would be that I dreamed, plotted, prayed, researched, wrote, rewrote, edited, submitted, got rejected, cried, gave up writing, prayed some more, took a two-year writing course, and did it all over again until I finally heard the magic words: “We think your story is a good fit for our line.” If you want to read the long version, here’s the link:
http://sherriwilsonjohnson.com/about/sherris-road-to-publication/


5.       What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?

I thoroughly enjoyed Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan, Short-straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer, and For Such a Time as This by Ginny Aiken. Those are at the top of my romance list right now. I also love Pride and Prejudice, The Screwtape Letters, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, and Thr3e by Ted Dekker. Currently I am reading Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof.


6.       What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? 

My current WIP, After the Raging Storm, is part of my New Hope Series, set in drought-stricken Georgia in 1894. Annabelle is engaged to the son of the town's copper supplier but feels uneasy about the whole thing. She's searching for the meaning of her life apart from this relationship. When she runs into an old friend from school and compares him to her fiancé, she begins to doubt her chosen path in life even more. As the storm rages inside her heart, a storm of a natural kind threatens to destroy her family home and the neighboring farms. What will it take to calm the raging storm inside Annabelle? 


7.       What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?

Don't ever give up on your dream. Practice your craft. Step through open doors only after much prayer. Be ready for rejection because it’s part of the path to publication. Always write what God puts on your heart and even if you don’t find a publisher for that story, it will honor the Lord.


8.       Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?

Yes! The Element of Style by William Strunk, Jr., Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King, and Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I have a list of links to websites that have been helpful here at this link on my website. http://sherriwilsonjohnson.com/writers-resources


9.       Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?
I am thankful for readers and also for authors who are willing to be mentors. We’re all in this together and I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for the Lord and my family support but also if it weren’t for readers and mentors.


10.   Please let us know where we can find you on the web.


To qualify for Sherri's free e-book please.
1) Leave a comment
2) Sign up to follow and to receive posts by email
3) Leave your email address
HAPPY READING!




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Interview with author Stephanie Guerrero

By Jeff Reynolds

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? If you're in the mood for a seasonal story, you might try three, in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main. I have the honor of interviewing one of the collaborators, Stephanie Guerrero. She also has written … oh, I'll let her tell you.

Jeff Reynolds: Tell us a bit about the anthology you're involved in, and especially your contribution.

Stephanie Guerrero: Thanks, Jeff. The anthology is written around a real life event in Boerne, Tx the weekend after Thanksgiving called the Dickens on Main Event. The event itself involves a town wide, Charles Dickens theme (think Tiny Tim and Mr. Scrooge). There are arts and crafts, wassail-making contests, costumed re-enactments and more. With this as the backdrop, I was tasked with creating a romantic mystery that would weave in the events of the weekend. It was a lot of fun, in fact, the real-life event is coming up in a couple of weeks. Wish I could be there.

A wearing a top hat is shown next to a woman.

As for my story, I had so much fun rocking Gabe and Angelika's world. These two FBI partners are jerked out of vacations that never get off the ground when the FBI uncovers a terrorist plot going down in Gabe's home town the weekend of the Dickens Event. Thrown undercover as a couple out to enjoy the event, the plot thickens as, unexpectedly, the Secret Service show up with President-Elect and his V-P, a vital piece of intel left out of the FBI's briefing. Amidst the jolly Christmas event, someone is not who he seems. Gabe and Angelika must uncover the mole, stop the terrorist plot and sort out their untimely feelings for each other all while learning to practice that we are not to worry about tomorrow. Impossible, right? You have to read it to find out! :)

Shh! (Inside scoop, I had a little fun with their names. It's Christmas, so Angelika is for "Angel" and Gabe is for "Gabriel"!)

JR: How did you get invited to contribute to an anthology? Also, did you have much interaction with your partners-in-crime (i.e. fellow contributors)?

SG: I am part of a writer's email loop and was told of an opportunity to submit a novella. I sent in a sample chapter and a synopsis and, to my delight, was given the opportunity. One of the authors was the lead author and main editor, but we all editted each other's work for technical errors. It was fun to read the different approaches we had taken. One story is definately more romance, one is a balance, and mine leans toward a more complex, suspense plot with the romance intertwined.

JR: Normally, I don't think of Christmas and suspense together. How did you come up with your idea?

SG: It was a difficult jump for me as well, so I tried to pull from current events or rumors to make it believable. There has been a lot of buzz lately, that terrorists are planning events within the heartland and recruiting people who look more like Americans to pull it off. We are also in an election year. It occurred to me that hitting our government officials during their Christmas recess in their home towns would really shake us up. I hope such a thing never happens, but if it does, how would a believer in Jesus Christ cope with such a senario? Once the idea blossomed, the story began to write itself.

JR: Earlier this year, you also had a novel published. Could you tell us about that? And is there a sequel in the works?

SG:
Yes, thanks for asking.
Shades of the Orient is an action packed suspense where no one is who they seem... It's classic tale of good versus evil:spies, smugglers and betrayal. Here is the back cover:

What appears to be mountains are shown on the cover.
The Smuggler
Black Jade is many things… Hiding behind a prominent name by day and a Chinese mask by night, he can be anyone, just not the man he wants to be. Trapped in an ever tightening web of deceit, and pursued relentlessly by the White Dragon (Major Montero) he must choose which man he wants to be. When a way out is offered from a surprising source, will he choose power or let it go?
The Spy
A Spanish officer, a black market dealer, a shipping executive…
Intelligence officer Philip Montero is skilled at wearing masks to defeat the enemy, but this time he must face the enemy within. When his body betrays him with night terrors, he must unlock the past in order to survive, but time is running out and Black Jade has targeted the woman of his heart.
Betrayed by his family, his fiancé, and his fears, WHO can teach him how to trust again?
The Senorita
Shipping heiress turned missionary nurse, Francesca McRae is a target everywhere she turns. Desired as an heiress by power-hungry men and hated by the Chinese Boxers for her interference in the culture… she is surrounded by betrayal and hatred. None of her suitors are who they seem, yet one has stolen her heart. When loving others becomes more than she can handle, WHO can she trust?
Where do you turn when life is too much to handle?
There is a God… Who is waiting to be your answer…
The sequel to Shades of the Orient will be coming out in 2013! I'm so excited!!

JR: How do you approach the faith element in your stories? Did you write with a specific theme in mind, or did the theme enter as you developed your story?

SG: I always write with a specific theme in mind, and more often than not, it is something I have personally come through. I LOVE a good book, but for me, it has to have a great message too. Reading is the area I allow my mind to let down it's guard for a while. Knowing that I can write a great plot, real characters, heart-pounding yet God-centered romance, all rolled into a message is my goal.

With Shades of the Orient, the topic of how to experience betrayal as a Christian and yet move beyond the anger, the bitterness to being able to actively love my enemies, is a real topic I've dealt with in my life. It's one thing to say we forgive and another to act on that forgiveness and continue to love. An added undercurrent in the story is the contrast between romance God's way and the world's way. Purity before marriage is not a lack of passion... it is a valuing and saving of our passions for something beautiful waiting for us inside God's plan of marriage. Passion God's way is the most beautiful, rich blessing. The world's way is always a poor shadow of the real thing.

In Time for Christmas, ( my novella in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main), I address being in the middle of overwhelming events and walking moment by moment without worry. Why? Because, I have a tendency (I'm getting better) to want to plan out and fix tomorrow. I love when Jesus says that each day has enough trouble of its own, but seek God first and He'll take care of things.

In the next few weeks, I have another new novella coming out: The Christmas Village of Joy, in the anthology Christmas Village Miracles. The topic is how God takes can trade our sorrows for comfort and JOY! I'm usually the calm, collected one. Shouldn't I be writing about peace or hope? LOL Those two villages were already taken in the anthology. To write about joy was a God-given challenge. He makes me smile, and I'm so glad for the chance to write about it. (My love of fruitcake comes through!)

JR: Thank you very much for your time. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas. (Though I try to have a Joseph Christmas instead of a Merry one.)

SG: LOL, Isn't God amazing! That He would give up everything and be born as a baby, live a sinless life that I can't achieve no matter how hard I try, take my punishment by dying on the cross, resurrect, and turn around and offer me eternal forgiveness and life with Him... I'm blown away by His love! Have a very Merry Christmas! God has blessed us, everyone!
Feel free to follow my blog: http://shadesoftheorient.wordpress.com or find my author page on amazon.com under Stephanie Guerrero. God bless you. Thanks, Jeff.




*The authors of this blog are Amazon.com affiliates. Sometimes, we will include links in our blog posts. When visitors to this site purchase items from Amazon.com using links in our posts, the authors of this blog earn a percentage of the sales.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oldest Enemy by Michael J. Webb

Today I'd like to welcome Michael J. Webb. Let me share his bio with you from Risen Books. Michael J. Webb graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida and obtained his J. D. from the same university. Over the past forty years he has travelled the world in search of adventure. He is a history buff, both ancient and modern, and is fascinated by the intersection of the scientific, supernatural, and Biblical world views, and has studied and taught from the Bible extensively for more than twenty-five years. He is also intrigued by recent discoveries in quantum physics that are now providing extraordinary insights into the reality of the spirit realm, especially as it relates to the study of Light. He incorporates all of the above into his supernatural thrillers.
JL: Michael's newest book is Oldest Enemy. Michael, thanks for visiting with us today. Where is the most exotic place you haven’t been and would like to visit?

MW: There are several, actually. I’m just finishing up my sixth thriller, and much of the final action takes place in Antarctica. I’d really like to visit there. In my fifth novel, one of the exotic settings was in a fascinating place in southern Africa, Gamkaskloof. It’s kind of like the “Lost World’ from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings. I did all the research on the Internet and would love to see it firsthand. While I’m in Africa, I’d like to do a photographic safari, see Victoria Falls, and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with a copy of Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” in my backpack. (Before I leave I’ll watch Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner in the 1952 film version several times to get my adrenalin going.) Finally, I’d love to dive The Great Barrier Reef and The Red Sea, hike New Zealand, climb Mt. Sinai and watch the sunrise, and climb to the Base Camp of Everest. Guess I got carried away with the question.  I do have a few more things on my bucket list, but that will have to do for now.

JL:  How did you decide to write thrillers? Is it your favorite genre to read?


MW: Yes, my favorites are thrillers. I’ve read everything Daniel Silva has written, enjoy Dan Brown (even though I don’t agree with his worldview), James Rollins, Boyd Morrison, James Byron Huggins, Frank Peretti, and others. Having said that, I read eclectically. I look for a fascinating premise that captures my attention, intriguing and unique characters, and a fast-paced story with lots of action. I especially like thrillers that blend history, emerging technology, and little known facts with the story line. I love to be educated by authors who’ve done lots of research, and I hope I return the favor to my readers.

JL:  How did you decide to have a parrot for a pet?

MW:  I didn’t, my wife did. When I met her she’d had a Nanday Conure for over 20 years. I almost didn’t marry her because of that darn bird.  At the time, birds were definitely not on my list of desired --or approved--pets. I love dogs, horses, cats, and most other animals. However, Carlitos was so special I eventually fell in love with him. He died at the ripe old age of 28. By then there was no question that we were going to have another bird. My wife chose a Sun Conure, and his striking, bright colors exemplify his breed. He’s extremely smart, very talented (my wife taught him to poop on command, which is very helpful!), and we’re convinced he can see angels, especially when they show up during praise and worship in our home. It’s a good thing I learned to love small parrots, because our current “child” will live 35-40 years!

JL:  Tell us a little about your story. How did you come up with this idea?
MW:  I wrote The Oldest Enemy in ’98-99 and tried to find an agent/publisher to no avail, so it went into the drawer (figuratively). It stayed there until, on a whim, I submitted it to a contest sponsored by Risen Books last August. I’m still stunned that it won! Interestingly, many of the exciting events portrayed in the story are now actually unfolding on the world stage, especially in the Middle East. Talk about art imitating life and the prophetic timing of God, not to mention the publisher’s name! I got the idea while reading two divergent books--one about exorcism and the other about art and gold stolen from the Jews by the Nazis. My protagonist, David Lighthouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter turned assistant pastor, gets caught up in solving the gruesome murder of one of the new members of his church. He becomes entangled in a demonic plot by a reclusive German billionaire to overthrow America and destroy Israel. Eric Reinhardt develops an intricate plot to attack Israel with biological weapons of mass destruction, take control of Russian oil fields in the Caspian, and assassinate both the Venezuelan and American presidents along with the Saudi Oil minister. Add more than a dash of sinister supernatural forces, a few unexpected twists and turns, and a fascinating ex-Mossad agent who survived Auschwitz as a boy and you have the kind of thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night. Just make certain all the lights in your house are on while you’re reading it!

JL:  I think I'll also make sure I'm not home alone. Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Interview with Kathryn Bain

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?

I kept hearing these voices in my head saying I could do that. At first I was going to do screenplays but realized I needed to move to either L.A. or New York. Since I didn’t want to move and I was bad at it, I decided to do children’s stories. After all, how hard can it be to write a story in thirty pages? Boy did I get a lesson with that one. Once I realized I should write what I read, it became a lot easier.

WHAT AUTHORS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?

I love Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, and Dean Koontz.

WHAT DOES YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?

I’m up at 5:30 each morning, exercise, then by 6:15 I’m writing for an hour before I go to work as a paralegal. At about 5:30 in the evening, I work on editing or marketing, then take a break for Judge Judy. Yes, I’m a fan.

A woman's face is shown with her mouth open.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE.

My latest release is titled Catch Your Breath. It’s inspirational romantic suspense. It’s the sequel to my book Breathless. My hero is Sheriff Riley Owens who lost his fiancé in a bank robbery years before and has shut himself off from caring for any woman since then. Calley Regan is my pregnant unmarried heroine. She comes from a staunch Christian family. Someone attacks her, and she comes to stay in Lincolnville, Georgia.

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR WRITING RESEARCH?

I have a book coming out in 2013 called Beautiful Imperfection. It’s another inspirational romantic suspense book where my heroine is dealing with the aftermath of breast cancer. While researching the affects of breast cancer on a woman I realized I knew nothing about the topic. I figured, I’m a woman, I would know how it feels. I was wrong. The depression can occur anywhere from one week to a year after your surgery. It’s amazing what these women go through for the rest of their lives. They are very courageous. It just blew me away.

A woman is shown on the cover. Text reads: Would God pull her through cancer only to die at the hands of a killer?

HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

I have completed nine (9) full manuscripts and have five (5) under contract. This doesn’t include the children’s mystery I wrote or the awful screenplay I mentioned at the top.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU'RE NOT WRITING?

What time? I take Sundays off completely from writing. A lot of times I sit back and watch mysteries from England. Things like Midsomer Murders. Right now I’m going through all the episodes of A Touch of Frost. I enjoy those more than American movies because the people are so real. Here in the United States the actors and actresses have to look perfect. In movies from England, they look like real people. No fake breasts, no perfect white teeth.

HOW CAN READERS CONTACT YOU AND/OR LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WRITING?

You can learn more from my website at www.kathryjbain.com or contact me by e-mail to bainwriter@comcast.net.


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