The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ECFL Summer Blog Tour

This Summer I'll be participating in the Edgy Christian Fiction Lover's Blog Tour and I want to encourage you guys to join in. The purpose is to draw attention to the many fine books written by Christian authors who don't shy away from addressing tough topics. No sugar coating, no preaching, no cowards -- just honest stories about life and Grace. Click on the badge for a schedule.

My blog stop in the tour is on August 15th. I'm still contemplating topics. Any ideas? What would you guys like to learn regarding Edgy Christian Fiction?

AND...I'm announcing a new blog!
Inspirational Ebooks goes live tomorrow. The ebook market is growing exceedingly fast, and the purpose of this blog is to make Inspirational stories easier to find amongst the other genres. K. Dawn Byrd's new release, Queen of Hearts, is to be the first feature. If you want an early peek, here's the link. Check out the lists of titles under each genre. (I'm adding these as fast as I can, but I'm a little behind) If there's an ebook you want me to include, tell me about it in the comments section of this post. Books can be in both print and ebook format to be included.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Author Interview: Heather Justesen

I get to introduce you guys to another author I met through The Sweetest Romance Writer's Group. Heather Justesen, who is a super nice lady (and adorable too) is here today to tell us about herself and her new book.

Welcome Heather! Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a small-town girl who’s found life taking her in lots of directions she’d never envisioned. I’m a volunteer EMT-I with my local ambulance (so not even on the radar of possibilities until a few years ago), I have a whole menagerie of poultry including chickens, geese, ducks, guineas, and turkeys, I live in the small town where I grew up and love it, and I’m a writer.

Actually, if you’d mentioned to me a dozen years ago that any of those would be true I would have laughed and denied the possibilities, but life has a way of making strange twists and turns. My husband of twelve years and I own a small computer business and did foster care for a couple of years but don’t have any children of our own. I love living in a small (read: tiny) town because you know everyone, and there’s always someone I can call to answer those random research questions writers have.

Small town girl here too!
When did you first become interested in writing?
I started writing early in 2000 when I had a story idea that just wouldn’t go away. I hadn’t planned on writing before that. I have a literature degree, but didn’t study creative writing.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
I wrote on and off for about four years before attending my first writer’s conference in the spring of 2004. I had already submitted one of my books to a publisher and shortly after the conference, they expressed interest in it, but requested a rewrite. I made the changes they suggested and then sent it to an independent editor to look at it, and then did another major rewrite. It never was picked up by the publisher, but my experience with them, and with having my book edited by someone who knew what they were doing, made a big difference in my writing and put me on track to publication, even if it took several more years before I submitted another story. I started submitting “The Ball’s in Her Court” in the spring of 1998 and after a couple of rejections, received a contract with my publisher, Cedar Fort, Inc. that fall.

How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
I used to be a total pantser. I’d come up with an idea and situation and run with it—which is why I have so many story beginnings and not a whole lot of finished manuscripts until the past couple of years. The thing is, an idea isn’t a story, it’s just an idea. It might be enough for a few scenes, but unless I have more planned out in advance, it won’t ever become a finished product. Since then I’ve learned that I really have to plot—though I keep mine loose with several conflicts, some background on the characters, and an idea of how I want it to end. As long as I plan enough conflict up front, the writing goes much smoother.

Sounds very similar to my process.
Tell us about your latest release?
“Rebound” is a spin-off of my first book, “The Ball’s in Her Court” with minor characters from the first book becoming the focus in “Rebound.” It’s about Lily Drake, whose life looks perfect on the outside, but when her husband is arrested for fraud she finds out that the verbal abuse and belittling she’d been living with were just the tip of the iceberg. Left with bills, no income, a toddler and pregnant, Lily has to work to put her life back together. Her husband and in-laws don’t make it easy on her, however.

She also has a friend named Curtis with whom a romance develops late in the book. Curtis has his own demons and requires a search for his birth family to get some answers of his own. Unfortunately, what he learns brings complications. It’s a great story, one of my favorites (but then, they’re all my favorites in some way or another!).

Sounds great! What inspired you to write this story?
This may sound lame, but I loved the characters from the first book and wanted to give them a happily ever after, something Lily doesn’t get at the end of “The Ball’s in Her Court.” I just loved them both and they meshed well in my mind, so I wrote it out. That sounds simplistic, and it is, It took several major rewrites and direction changes before the story came together with enough conflict and chemistry to make it work.

Isn't that how it goes though.
Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them, and what endears them to you?
When I first started writing “The Ball’s in Her Court” it was supposed to be about both Denise and Lily and their romances and lives, but Denise’s adoption story and struggle to deal with her dark past (and the romance, of course) took over. I think it made “Rebound” easier to write because I already had well-developed characters and backgrounds for them. I knew about their families and their history and how well they knew each other. I started writing the first story about eight years ago so I can’t remember all of the character development, but that’s something that continued throughout the rewriting process—and there have been many, many rewrites.

As for endearing characteristics, Lily is, in many ways, the woman I’d like to be. I love landscaping and gardening, so I had her very interested in that (only better at weeding than I am). That was something I gave Curtis too, making him a student of landscape architecture, and its one of the things that draws them together. Lily is also just shy of a gourmet cook, which is something I wish I could be. Curtis is strong and handsome and honest. He’s a hard worker and pretty straight forward, but he has this thing that has frightened him for years—the fear of rejection by his birth family—and he allows it to interfere with his relationships for a long time. We all have worries and fears just like he does, and if we try hard enough and put our necks out, we can overcome them too.

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
Though I always aim to entertain, I think every story has a slightly different goal. Some may be to educate, as “The Ball’s in Her Court” does so well on adoption issues, others may be to uplift or inspire readers. I think hope is something that cannot be undervalued—whether it’s hope in a religious way, or just in one’s own abilities. And it’s funny how four people can all read the same book and get different themes from it—often things the writer didn’t intend to accomplish with the book.

Did I get off topic? Oh, yeah, long-term goals. Well, I have two or three more books in this series that I’ve been working on and some other projects in the works in various stages. I hope to be writing for the rest of my life, and honestly can’t imagine my life without it.

Haha! Don't worry about straying from the topic. In my last interview I strayed so far I ended up giving a geology lesson on the formation of Arkansas's hotsprings, and a history lesson about Minoan civilization, and its connection with Ancient Egypt. From there I ventured into a possible origin for the myth of Atlantis. I don't even remember what the original question was. So no worrries. Authors are encouraged to stray while visiting my blog.

Any ideas for future projects?
More than I’ll have time to write in a decade! Not only are there several more stories in this series, but I have a number of unrelated books written or nearly finished, and file after file of other stories that are just a couple of scenes and a rough outline or character sketch. Many of that last group have been nagging at me to get crackin’ on them, but I’ve had to prioritize other projects first. Right now I’m getting ready to submit a story unrelated to “Rebound” about a Tucker, Marine reservist who suddenly finds himself responsible for his orphan niece and nephew and the lengths he goes to in order to keep them—which includes proposing to his best friend, Rena. I’m very excited about this book!

I always include trivia. So tell us, what's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, any other hobbies?
Favorite movie? I have to pick just one? I admit, I’m a sucker for romances, so “You’ve Got Mail,” is high on my list of favorites. I also have watched (over, and over, and over) the mini-series “Our Mutual Friend,” which is based off of a book by Charles Dickens.
Favorite foods include cheese enchiladas from one of those little mom-and-pop Mexican places where they load the plate with beans and rice, cake (did I mention before I love to decorate cakes?), and of course, anything made with chocolate!

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? I recently read “Courting Miss Lancaster” which is a light, fluffy and CLEAN Regency romance by Sarah M Eden. It was very hilarious with great characters. I also thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Ann Nunes’ new paranormal romantic suspense (also squeaky clean) “Imprints.” Readers can check out my blog to see what I’ve been reading and reviewing lately.
This week I’m giving away a load of books, some I’ve read, and some I’ve just heard great things about. Pop by my blog to enter to win!

Thanks Heather! This has been great!

For more about Heather Justesen and her book:

Thursday Chat

Please join The Sweetest Romance author and reader chat tomorrow, with guest -- Editor and Chief of Desert Breeze Publishing and multipublished author -- Gail Delaney. 8 p.m. EST

Or take the long route to the blog and pick up a banner by following the scavenger hunt that will begin here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Author Interview: Miss Mae

Today I have the privilege of introducing one of the nicest people I've met during my writing venture, and that's Miss Mae. Miss Mae is the originator of the writing blog and group known as The Sweetest Romance. This has been a great group full of kind and encouraging people. I'd like to encourage everyone to join this group for our chat this coming Thursday with guest speaker, Desert Breeze's Editor and Chief, Gail Delaney. I'll post the link Wednesday. But for now, let's focus on Miss Mae.

Miss Mae, would you please tell us a little about yourself? I’m a happily married housewife, been married to the same guy for 38 plus years now. We live in the north Georgia mountains, only eight miles below the Tennessee line. From our driveway we have a breath taking view of the Appalachians as they stretch as far as the eye can see. Our one child is married, but lives close by. We’ve expanded our family to include four orphaned, thrown away mixed breed mutts.

I LOVE dogs, and we have extended our family with several, okay more than several dogs too.
When did you first become interested in writing? When I was in fifth grade. That’s when I was introduced to the adventures of Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Donna Parker. Nancy was my favorite, though. Her stories caused all sorts of imaginary ideas to circulate through my young mind. I put pen to pencil and wrote a whopping five pages. Whoa, best seller there!

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication? Rejection after rejection, disappointment and heartache. I was tempted to quit, but after I came on line with my first computer around 2005, I visited websites, gleaned nuggets of what, how, why of what I ought to do. I joined an online critique group, and after much struggle and toil, I finally hammered together my first accepted story, “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady.”

Critique groups make you sore, but they whip you into shape like nothing else.
Tell us about your latest release? “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” was my first book, but it was contracted through a small e-press. I despaired of this story remaining an ebook when I, and so many others who inquired, wanted to see it in print. When the contract expired, I didn’t renew. Though I sold two other books after “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady”, (“Said the Spider to the Fly”, and “When the Bough Breaks”), it’s now become my latest release because I’ve taken control of its destiny. It’s now self-published as an ebook through Smashwords and its affiliates, but it’s also a gorgeous PRINT book.

What inspired you to write this story? I had entered an online writing course at Writers Village University. One lesson involved that we were to write a page which included all the five senses --hear, taste, smell, touch, sight--but to add two more of setting and time. After I turned in that first page of chapter one, comments came through like, “Oh, I have so many questions! Who killed Mr. Davenport?” and “Who is that creepy guy in the fog?” , “What’s the story behind Dorcy?” That encouraged me so much that I sat down and thought, “Can I really make this into a good story line?”

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you? I’m endeared to Dorcy partly because of the time in which she lives. Victorian London didn’t smile favorably on women and what if you were alone in the world, as Dorcy was? I admire her survival spirit. Gareth captures my heart because of the unhappy boyhood he endured. Yet, despite his tumultuous relationship with his womanizing father, he retained his honor and good character.

Any ideas for future projects? Right now I’m writing a short story, “Miss Penelope’s Letters” to be included in the February 2011 anthology by Victory Tales Press. Also, there will be Book Two in the “Dear Winifred” series.

I always ask trivia questions. so here it goes. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, do you have any other hobbies? My favorite movie will either be “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” or “Murder, He Says”. Both are classic comedies. And favorite food? Chocolate, of course! Place to vacation? Hmm, I’m a homebody. No place entertains, nor relaxes me more than sipping a glass of iced lemonade while sitting out on my screened front porch.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? Makes lots of online friends! They will become your support base, and the relationships can last a lifetime.

Thanks for having me, Shawna.

You're most welcome, Miss Mae!

Here's the blurb to "See No Evil."

New maid Dorcy Edwards flees the scene of where her employer's body is found. His murder
sparks a chain of macabre events. Cloistered on a remote island with five strangers, including Gareth Davenport, her late employer's brooding, but darkly handsome heir, Dorcy encounters baffling questions with what she fears may be terrifying answers. Who cut the telegraph lines? Who left a mutilated animal carcass outside her bedroom door? What is the reason for Gareth's black gloves and eye patch? Can he be "Jack the Ripper", the madman suspected to be Mr. Davenport's killer? Dorcy must solve the mystery, and soon, or her growing attraction for Gareth could be her very death sentence.


For more about Miss Mae:

The Sweetest Romance:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Desert Breeze is open for submissions again

Just wanted to let you guys know that Desert Breeze Publishing has reopened for submissions for releases in 2011.

Here's what they're looking for in the Inspirational category.

"We are actively seeking inspirational novels with a bit more real world flair. It's not always easy being a Christian, and we would like to see novels that express that."

Here's the link to their guidelines.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Author Interview: Lorean Brooks

Today I get to welcome Laurean Brooks to my blog. Laurean writes Inspirational Fiction; and apart from being a wonderful author, she's a kind and encouraging person! I've had the pleasure of getting to know her through The Sweetest Romance writer's group. I'd like to encourage you guys to join this group for a chat next Thursday. I'll post the link next week. But right now, let's get to know Laurean.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in a rural, farming town in Tennessee. My graduating class consisted of 16 students. Everyone was like family. Our class still gets together a couple times per year. Today, I live in a small town nearby. I worked in manufacturing, then trained as a legal secretary. Today I write, enjoy church involvement, playing fetch with my two Labs, and when not otherwise committed, accompany my hubby to auctions.

When did you first become interested in writing?
In fifth grade the teacher assigned book reports due every 6 weeks. I always picked mysteries. Don't remember the titles or author, but I read several in a series, about a gang of kids who solved the town's mysteries. When I read the book reports aloud, I'd end with cliffhangers. Half the class fought to be next in line to read the book. One time after I'd just caused such a commotion, the teacher announced, “One day Laurie will become an author.”
Miss Mary planted the seed, but that seed did not come to fruition for three decades.

I love it! Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
My first two stories, nostalgic essays, were published in our local Hometown Magazine, December 2002. The spark ignited a flame. Over the next year I added 20 stories to the collection. Then on January 1, 2004, I made a resolution to begin a full length inspirational. Journey To Forgiveness, a historical about my mother's life, was birthed. Between a full-time job and family illnesses, the manuscript was not finished until March 2007. After waiting three months for the first publisher's reply, I submitted to The Wild Rose Press. Five weeks passed.
On August 20, 2007, ninety minutes after my brother passed away, I received an email requesting the first 50 pages of the manuscript. The next months were harrowing. TWRP loved “the rich story and interesting characters,” but the hero/heroine did not meet early enough. If I would do a major rewrite, cutting the first two chapters, they would “look at it again.”
I tore the story apart, cut those chapters, then weaved them in throughout the book as back-story. I re-submitted. Again, my editor “loved the story, but...” my hero and heroine did not meet often enough. They must interact every 10 pages or so “to hold the reader's interest.” I took the manuscript, found places every 8 to 12 pages where a break would make sense, the squeezed in nine more interaction scenes. These mostly humorous scenes turned out to be my favorite ones in the book.
I signed the contract in April 2008. and after months of edits, Journey To Forgiveness released in February, 2009.

Wow, what a great story.
How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
Plot? Huh? What's that? (Laughing) I'm a full-blown Pantster. I do some research beforehand if I'm writing a historical, or about a topic of which I know little. Otherwise I know how the story begins and a few things I want to happen along the way. But, for the most part, I give my characters free reign to say and do whatever pops in their heads and out of their mouths.

Tell us about your latest release.
Over The Coals is part of a 5-author collaboration, titled, A Summer Collection Anthology. Released on May 15th, 2010, the book includes riveting stories by talented authors, Rita Hestand, Cheryl Pierson, Laura Shinn, Rebecca J. Vickery, and er... me.
Over The Coals is a story of emotional trauma and healing, built around a summer cookout. I began with the idea that my heroine, Jill, would have most of the problems and growth. After all, her fiance' stole her credit card, charged it to the hilt, then skipped town with another woman. But by the third page, while Jill is forming her opinion of the gregarious hero, Rob, I began to ask, “What would make Rob flirt with women and clown around? Maybe it's a cover-up for the real Rob. A front to keep people, especially women, from getting too close.” So I came up with a traumatic experience, one that would make Rob take on a dual personality. You will have to read the story to find out how Rob was traumatized.

What inspired you to write this story?
As a whole, we make snap judgments about people from first impressions. Most of the time those opinions stick. Later, we may discover we are way off-base. I wrote Over The Coals to show how wrong our opinions can be, and to instill others to take a closer look “before” passing judgment.

That's an imporatant message.
Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?
Jill Landers, like myself, enjoys sitting on the sidelines to observe people. She also asks personal questions. Questions that make Rob Canter flinch. I enjoyed developing Rob's dual personality. Funny, outgoing, flirtatious...but when confronted with touchy questions, he flees. I like the way Jill persists until she gets to the truth. She loves Rob and will not let up. She knows healing must take place before she and Rob can have a relationship built on trust.

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
My desire is to write inspiring stories to not only entertain and evoke laughter, but stories that pull the readers into the characters' minds to make them feel their pain, struggles, heartaches, and finally joy. When it all comes together, the couple realizes nothing is impossible with God.

Any ideas for future projects?
My current project is a short story about two secondary characters in Journey To Forgiveness. Since this pair added humor to JTF, I wanted to take off with their relationship then submit it as a short story to the “Humor Anthology” due to come out next year. Besides, that, I'm working on a sort of pre-quel to Journey To Forgiveness that stars the heroine's aunt as a young woman in 1923. Another one on the back burner is a modern-day cowgirl story. The heroine flees Wyoming and a manipulative stepmother by obtaining a a ranch hand job in Colorado. Only problem is during her phone interview, her new boss mistakes her for a guy. The only way out is to dress the part. Melody really needs the job. You can imagine the humorous possibilities that could result from her cowboy disguise.

Trivia time! What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, any other hobbies?
You mean besides Gone With the Wind? The Two Worlds of Jennifer Logan stuck in my head when I first watched it in the late 70s. The heroine (Lindsay Wagner) finds a beautiful 19th century dress in a trunk in her attic. When she puts it on and looks in the free-standing mirror, she's taken back in time to meet a wonderful, charming man who is in danger. She must save his life somehow, by changing history.
Favorite food? Chocolate, and if you add caramel and pecans, all the better. Rocky Road or Moose Tracks ice cream is good, too. For vacations, I love Branson...the clean air, the shows, mountains, lakes, restaurants, shops, the hospitable people.
As far as hobbies, most are unaware of my knowledge about herbs, natural alternatives, supplements, etc. My cabinet is stocked like a pharmacy, only it's full of supplements. No drugs for this gal. I don't even take a headache pain reliever unless Ginger can't take it away. Popping a couple ginger capsules actually works better than a headache remedy.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? If writing is in your blood don't let anyone steal your dream. Steer clear of those who try to discourage you from your goal. Often these are family members. So, though we can't always avoid them, it may be best to avoid the topic of your latest writing endeavor. Hold that dream close to your heart; allow no one to rip it from you.
In the meantime find a good critique partner who will encourage and help you hone your writing skills. Be sure to ask God for direction, then go for it. Never, never, never, never, never, give up!
Laurean, this was great! Thanks for visiting today.
For more about Laurean:
To purchase her books:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Author Interview: Vicki Hinze

Today I get to welcome Vicki Hinze to my blog. Vicki is the author of nearly 30 published books, and she's still going strong. Today she'll share a little about herself, her latest book, and her new series. Stick around for the whole interview because Vicki also has some wonderful words of wisdom for us new and aspiring writers.

Vicki, for starters, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a wife, mom, gran and a writer. So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to see 24 of my novels, 3 of my nonfiction books and hundreds of my articles in print. I mentor through a program I started over a decade ago called Writer’s Zone (previously Aids4Writers), serve as VP on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors, acted as a consultant to the RWA and Emerald Coast Writers boards, and do lots of other writing-related stuff that I totally enjoy. There’s a ton of information on programs and awards and such on my website at

Wow! Thanks for sharing that. When did you first become interested in writing?
I used to write political essays for my dad. I had to earn the privilege of reading the Sunday funnies in the newspaper. I developed a real interest in politics. Later I wrote poetry, and then moved into writing fiction and nonfiction books. That was over two decades ago now, though it seems much longer and shorter than that, depending on how the writing is going at the moment. I’ve always loved books and reading, and when we played school as kids, I was the librarian. That should have been a big hint on what to do when I grew up, but I didn’t get it until much later in life, after a healthy stint in the corporate world as a director of operations.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
There have been many. Most of the downs have been self-inflicted. I wrote the kind of books I most wanted to read and couldn’t find, which meant I wrote a lot of books for which there was no established market. I wrote my first “romantic fantasy” which now would be described as a paranormal, in 1988. I went on to write fifteen novels that didn’t fit in a specific place on a bookshelf. Then I decided I wanted others to read what I wrote, and so I studied the market and discovered that if I wrote with the three elements I liked most, I probably could sell. Those elements were, suspense, romance and mystery. I’d been writing for six years then. I wrote using those elements and sold the next book.

After my first book was published, I was orphaned, meaning I lost my editor. It took two years to sell another book, but I then sold four more within six months. I’ve been writing and selling steadily since then, though there still have been many ups and downs during the journey, and a lot of flexibility has been required. I learned the value of developing a sense toward your writing early on, and from that sense I developed one rule: I will not write a book I don’t love. To that, experience has me adding that I can’t love a book that isn’t infused with purpose. I must have a clear vision of some value being gained in writing the book. So far, it’s been a magnificent journey and I still feel a bad writing day is better than any day doing anything else.

Very Inspiring! How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
I don’t have a set way of writing. I think that can hamper the process because it can lead an author to believe that’s the only why s/he can write. Books come in different ways. Some spring from a subject or a snippet of conversation. In 1994, I changed the entire path of my career because of a conversation I overheard in a grocery store. Some novels start with a character or an emotional reaction to a person, an event, a situation. And still other novels well from the unlikely marriage of something that is fascinating, perhaps marrying disparate elements discovered in magazine articles. Scientific American, for example. An article there coupled with another led me to write ACTS OF HONOR.

Research at times comes first, and can feed plots and develop characters, but there have been just as many other times when those things were clear and I had to research to reinforce not to develop. So it really depends on the specific book and on the purpose for writing it, which significantly impacts what one writes.

I'm discovering this. The process for the book I'm working on now is nothing like my previous one. Tell us about your latest release?
FORGET ME NOT is my latest release. It’s the first book in a new series where the novels are tied to Crossroads Crisis Center. We follow the story of a woman who is carjacked, beaten and left for dead. A woman who doesn’t know who she is or why people are trying to kill her. She also doesn’t know if she’s a good person, if she has family, and that no one seems to be looking for her makes her wonder even more about her worth as a human being. What kind of woman is she that people want her dead? That no one—no one in the whole world—misses her? But she does recall that she’s a woman of faith. And she relies on that faith to help her answer all the questions she has about herself and those around her. Help comes to her in the form of a man with every reason to hate her as much as he hates himself. And yet hatred can’t stand up to the power of love. And love fiills those dark places where hatred and worry and doubt and fear dwell. I just love this story. Guess you can tell.

But like you said, you woundn't have written it had you not loved it. I think that's great! What inspired you to write this story?
I wondered if a person could ever get to a place beyond faith. If you lost everything—everything—including your identity and the lifetime of memories and experiences that make you remember who you are, would you then be beyond faith?

I discovered that even when we don’t know who we are, we know whose we are.
There’s strength in the knowing to help us through any and all obstacles we face.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them, and what endears them to you?
Looking at the heroine, you’d think she had it all. But get to know her and you see that she had many trials and challenges and obstacles and little support. She had one woman who loved her: a woman with whom she had restricted access. All the way through the book, we see new sides to her. Ones that make us see her differently. She isn’t who we think she is—and that’s the case with all of us really. We wear different hats, and others perceive us to be only as they see us—through their eyes. And that’s all they perceive us to be. But we’re more. Far more. Complex and at the same time simple.

The same can be said of the Crossroads owner, Ben. He seems to have it all—looks, money, position and the respect of those in his sphere. But inside he’s tortured and lonely and eaten alive with guilt that he doesn’t own and regret that was thrust upon him. He stumbles and falls. But he’s a good man and he does get up. And during his dark time, where he wanders lost in the desert so to speak, he discovers the path out must be sought to be found, and that life beats us up but it also offer us tubes of glue.

Lisa Harper and Mark Taylor have minor roles in FORGET ME NOT. She’s got problems and so does he, but they don’t wallow in them. They do what they can and then focus on helping others. I so admired these two that I made them the main characters in the next book, DEADLY TIES. It’ll be out in February 2011.

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long-term goals?
I write healing books. By puberty, all of us are scarred and/or broken in some way, and often we don’t know how to get through our challenges constructively. So I have characters face challenges that are relatable to ones we all face. They find constructive solutions. Not without struggles or pain or obstacles, but they do overcome them and heal. My hope is that readers see that constructive solutions exist, and that if the characters can find them and heal, then readers can, too.

I love what you just said. Fiction may be a made up story but that doesn't mean that there's no truth involved. Wisdom is just conveyed in a different way, and I think it's often more powerful because it allows us to see how that wisdom might affect a person's life. Okay, there's my 2 cents for the day. I do this every interview, btw.

Back to you. Any ideas for future projects?
I mentioned DEADLY TIES, Lisa and Mark’s book. I’ve just finished writing it. And now I’m workng on Beth and Joe’s story. Readers meet them both in DEADLY TIES. I’m loving these related books and I hope readers will, too.

I also ask a little trivia in every interview, so here it goes. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, what other hobbies do you have?
Movie? Depends on my mood. The American President and The Hunt for Red October are always enjoyed. But I loved Pilgrim’s Progress, Fireproof, Out of Africa and K-Pax, too. And I always enjoy Kate and Leopold. If I had to pick just one, it’d be that one.

Food? Chocolate. I love chocolate. And coffee.

Place to vacation? The beach. I love the sight, smells and sounds. Mostly, I love looking out on the vast horizon. No matter what’s going on in the world or how troubling it is, I see that vast horizon and it pulls things right into perspective for me. The sights and sounds are a soothing balm. I totally love the beach.

Hobbies: I’ve had many over the years, but they all fall to the passion of writing, save reading. Oil painting, home renovations—I’m on a moratorium from knocking down walls—and I LOVE watching baseball games.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? Recommendations is a broad topic, but I’ll share a few things I think are pretty valuable:
In your work: Love what you’re doing or change what you’re doing until you do love it. Nothing fosters excellence more than love.

In your life: Seek wisdom over knowledge, contentment over happiness, and respect over desire. The first things are enduring; the second things depend on circumstance, change and fade.

In your family: Love first. And on those days when loving takes work, remember everyone else has hard-to-love days, too—and that even stopped clocks are right twice every single day.

Overall: Know where you stand and what you most want and why. That keeps you from drifting through life, and that negates the odds of at life’s end, you looking back and being overwhelmed by regret. Also, immerse yourself in the worthy, admirable and noble. You will rise or fall to the level of what’s around you.

For writers: Write each book as if it will be your last. To invest in it, it should matter that much. It requires your time, everything you have to give it to make it your best, and your time is your life. Read, observe, study and grow. The deeper your creative well, the more you have to share.

And most importantly on everything: No matter what you face, how hard life seems at times, how many times you get knocked to your knees, never settle for the half-hearted and never forget that you are a child of God and His royal blood flows through your veins. He gave all to bless you and will provide what you need; He promised. So remember who you are, whose you are, and stand up. You’re never alone and hope in Him is yours. Claim it.

Vicki, thank you! This was a fantastic interview. Vicki is also giving away a copy of Forget Me Not, so leave a comment.

For more about Vicki Hinze and her books:
Her blog

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Author Interview: Gail Pallotta

Today I get to welcome Gail Pallotta. She's going to share with us a little about her life, and her book, Love Turns the Tide. This is Gail's first visit to my blog, but I look forward to having her back often and discussing more of her work.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself, Gail?
First of all, thanks for having me, Shawna. I live in Georgia with my husband, Rick. When I’m not writing, I enjoy swimming, reading and walking on the beach. My daughter and I love to bargain shop. We recently went on vacation in Florida. During the hottest part of the day Rick could find us in a discount store trying on shorts, shirts, skirts and dresses. When we tried on something wrong for us, we spent several minutes laughing about it. Even though we only bought one item each day, we had a great time. And, now we have to plan another trip to find something to match the clothes we bought.

When did you first become interested in writing?
I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. In grammar school I put out a newspaper with a friend and worked on the high school newspaper. But, I first thought about writing seriously in college when I took a creative writing class. After analyzing a number of manuscripts I saw that writing is a tool that can be used for good or bad. That was long before I’d heard the word “spin,” but I saw the spin and wanted to use it for good.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
In short, the ups are the acceptances and the downs, the rejections. But after writing articles for a number of years I’m happy to see that some have been selected for anthologies and two ended up in museums. When I think back, a couple exciting moments were when two of my poems were recognized. “Country Spring,” was selected for Best New Poets of 1988 by the American Poetry Society and “Thank You God for…,” was reprinted in a book, The Power of One, put out by The Bethany Press in 1976. Most recently in 2004, I received a regional writer of the year award from the American Christian Writers Association at a writers’ conference.

That's amazing! Congratulations. My granddad was an award winning poet and I wonder if you might have ever crossed paths.

How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
I do research and plot before I write, but as I write I add to the plot and characters.

Tell us about your latest release?
In Love Turns the Tide Cammie O’Shea faces a traumatic split-up with her fiancé and has to leave her friends and family to take a new job in Destin, Florida. Heartbroken and alone in a place where she knows no one, she needs God more now than she ever has. But for some reason she can’t explain why she feels more estranged from him. A feature writer, she dreads meeting her new boss, the editor of The Sun Dial newspaper. However, her real source of angst turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate tycoon she must write about to generate interest in the paper. While she refuses to open herself to another painful relationship he attempts to court her. Even though she sees him as pompous she goes out of her way to maintain a good business association. Trying to get over her heartache, she continues to read her Bible and say prayers. One day she reads Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” Afterward she ponders how living in Destin possibly could be good for her. Then, break-ins occur at her friend’s condo and her unit, making her doubt the wisdom of living in Destin even more. However, Vic comes to their rescue. He even launches his own investigation into the crimes, and Cammie sees a different side of him. But finally she gets an offer to return home to her old job. Will Vic solve the crimes and win Cammie’s heart or will she leave Destin?

So Cool! That's one of my favorite Bible verses. It reassures us that His hand is in every aspect of our lives. That verse is the reason the sequel to "No Other" is called "In All Things." But nevermind that for now, this is your interview.

So tell us, what inspired you to write this story?
My husband says I’m the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with the cashier’s life story. He may be exaggerating, but over the years I’ve heard lots of people’s problems. And, many of them involve love. While I’m aware that some people dated, fell in love and walked down the aisle, I know others who were hurt again and again before they found the right person. I wanted those people to realize they aren’t alone and to trust God to help them find their soul mates.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them, and what endears them to you?
Before I started writing Love Turns the Tide I gave the characters physical traits and made lists of their favorite foods, their activities, their jobs and their beliefs. Their personalities endear them to me.

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
I hope to entertain my readers and add a little something that makes their lives better at the same time. As for long term goals, just keep working to be a better person and a better writer.

Excellent goals! Any ideas for future projects?
I’m currently working on another romantic suspense.

But you aren't giving up any details. Drats!

Well, I always ask a little trivia, so here it goes. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? you have any other hobbies?
My favorite place to vacation? That’s easy, it’s Destin, Florida. My favorite entrée is fried fish, and my favorite dessert is pecan pie. I hadn’t thought about it until you asked, but I can see my southern heritage coming out in my food choices. As for movies, I like the classics, such as “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Dr. Zhivago,” but given my roots, my all- time favorite is “Gone with the Wind.” When I have time, I enjoy making flower arrangements.

Yum! Pecan pie. I've got a great recipe btw.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? I’d like to say congratulations on having your book, No Other, selected by the American Christian Fiction Writers book club for September.

Why thanks! I'm really excited about that too.

Gail, thanks so much for being here. Your book sounds really wonderful and I wish you much success. May God bless you and your writing.
Gail is giving away a download of her book, Love Turns the Tide. Leave a comment with your email to enter the drawing.

For more about Gail Pallotta and her books here's her website:
And her blog:

Publisher’s web site:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Classic Romance Revival Review of No Other

Williams tells a heartfelt story filled with yearning, young love, and the power of faith with No Other. Set in 1949, 20 year old Jakob Wilheimer is putting his life together after World War II, but when he meets Meri Parker, he realizes God has closed one chapter of his life only to open another. When the novel opens, the reader learns that Jakob's family were in an internment camp because they were German. His parents are out now and his older brother, Joe, has returned from war, a hero. Jakob goes back to school to earn his high school diploma and meets Meri Parker, his English teacher. Meri is only 22, barely older than Jakob. She's writing a play for the drama department and Jakob agrees to make the sets. The couple nurture a simmering attraction. Jakob lets go of the festering resentment he has for his parents being sent away and embraces the warm feelings of love he has Meri. Meri finds herself between two worlds, the cold, appearance-to-keep world of her parents and Jakob's warm family filled world which has a strong Christian faith. For Meri to embrace Jakob's love, she'll have to make a decision about the type of world she wants to live in.

Williams's writing flows well. She uses a good economy of words to paint a vivid picture of Meri and Jakob's world without slowing down the reader's pace. Both Meri and Jakob are flawed, but very human characters. Meri wants something more substantial than the love her parents offer – she wants a pure, good, true love, one that is patient, kind, and never boastful, but does she have the strength to claim it? Jakob is strong, physically and in spirit, but he needs to learn patience. It's a value he struggles with, especially when he embraces the love he has for Meri. No Other is sweet for CRR reader as Meri and Jakob share several kisses and tender caresses. Overall, the novel is a solid character romance that will resonate with the reader.

She gave it five wings!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Author Interview: Michelle Sutton

Today I get to welcome back Michelle Sutton. She's been a busy thing. Last time she was here her book First Impressions had just released, since then she's had two more come out. In Plain Sight was released in April, and the ebook version of Never Without Hope released in May. The print version comes out in July. I'm currently reading this book and plan to post a review this coming weekend. I have a blurb later in this interview about why I think this book, and books like it, are important.

Now, let's learn a little about Michelle.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I'm the author of over a dozen edgy novels releasing through 2012 and I have two boys who are about to enter college. My husband and I have been married twenty years and we live in sunny Arizona.

When did you first become interested in writing?
Back in August of 2003 I started writing a book for Love Inspired. I thought it was a great story, but I didn't know what head-hopping was or anything about writing, so it was a good story but poorly written. It has since been revised and was released in January through Desert Breeze. That book was First Impressions.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
Every time an editor from a big publishing house seems excited about a manuscript and then asks your agent for a full, you think, "this is it" only to have it on hold forever, get bumped by an in-house author (someone already published with them), or have it languish for a year or more on their stack until it's forgotten or they get transferred to another house or resign. Publishing is full of "hurry up and wait" situations, so you need patience or you'll go nuts. The highs are seeing your new book for the first time, getting checks from the publisher, and seeing great reviews posted by people you don't know saying that they loved your book.

How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
I always let story ideas simmer in my head until they are ready to explode onto the page. I never plot anything. The most I do is a rough outline in my mind. The thing is that since I don't know what my characters will do, I have to get to know them really well to find out what will happen next. That's why I think people say my characters seem real. I am getting to know them as I write just like my readers are getting to know them as they read.

Tell us about your latest release?
Never Without Hope is my edgiest story to date and the e-book version just released the second week in May. The printed version of the book will be available in late June, early July 2010. It's pretty edgy because it's about sexual struggles in a marriage. I've started the sequel and am already loving writing it. Fun characters and intense situations make for a great story to write. At least that was how this book was for me. I grieved right along with my character as I let her experience heartache and bleed onto the page as her desperation skewed her view of the world and her own beliefs.

What inspired you to write this story?
Real life situations either for me personally and/or with friends. Pretty much every woman I've met has had unmet needs in the bedroom at one time or another, so I just expounded on it and what it would feel like to be young and never see resolution in site. I then delved into how it would feel to be totally stuck and miserable and desperate enough to throw out everything you know is right for temporary satisfaction and then watch the situation blow up in your face. I've had many, many people I know get divorced over sexual issues in marriage. It's more common than you'd think. I just wrote about one fictional scenario to give the reader a vicarious experience so they could experience the pros and cons of adultery. The cons always outweigh the pros, of course. I show that.

I'm half way through it, and I've never read a Christian Fiction novel as bold as yours. I'm glad you wrote it because, personally, I think we need more books like this. You have a great scene where Hope is afraid to open up to her Bible study group -- especially in front of one lady in particular -- because she thinks none of them will understand her struggles. Then she's shocked when the woman she thinks is least likely to understand reveals a similar situation. Imagine how someone, who picks up a Christian Fiction title, hoping for just a little something...understanding or guidance maybe, feels when the most a character may struggle with is saying "drat" when they're mad. Fiction may be make believe stories, but readers still want to be able to relate to the characters. So, when this sanitized version of dealing with sin is all that portrayed, the story runs the risk of making Christians seem not very relatable. And that's my Soap-box insertion into this interview. Back to you, Michelle.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?
Originally my main character's name was Lilly, but since I had another Lilly (even though it was a stage name) and James in another book, I didn't want to be too similar. So It became Hope and James. They are a typical couple experiencing struggles in the bedroom when Hope wants more sex and James can't do it. He's ashamed and won't deal with it (like most men respond) and so she's freaking out thinking things will never get better. What endears them to me is they both seem like real people. They respond like real people, too, and not perfect Christians.

They really do!
What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
I'd like to minister to anyone. Christians or not, everyone has some type of heartache and temptation. I love to write a thread of redemption and hope into each book I write in the hopes that it will touch the reader deep inside, regardless of where they are spiritually.

Any ideas for future projects?
Yep, working on the sequel to Never Without Hope. Also finishing up the sequel to First Impressions, which will be followed up by a third book next year.

Trivia time! What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, any other hobbies?
Favorite movie is probably Charlotte Gray. Food is probably Mexican. Vacation? Beaches. Other hobbies are reading and reading and more reading.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? If you like edgy Christian fiction, pretty much everything I write is guaranteed to meet that need.
For more about Michelle Sutton and her books:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Author Interview: Tina Pinson

I have another great author visiting today by the name of Tina Pinson. Tina is, like me, an Inspy writer. Today she's here to tell us about her new release, In the Manor of the Ghost. I've had the privilege of reading this book and can honestly say that you don't want to miss it. I never knew who was behind everything until the very end. There's a review in the blog post prior to this interview that you might want to check out.

Tina, would you please tell us a little about yourself?

I was an Air Force brat and a navy widow. Meaning of course, my father was in the Air Force and my husband served in the Navy. I lived in Germany and Turkey and moved to several different states. Now I reside in Western Colorado--God's Country-- with my high school sweetheart, Danny. We've been together for 34+ years, married to for over 30 years. I am mother to three grown sons. I have two lovely daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren, with another one due by the end of the year.

Congratulations! When did you first become interested in writing?

I started writing in elementary school. I actually wrote my first novel then. I continued to write, working on short stories, poetry, songs and some longer stories. I started another novel in Junior High called, Just In Time for the Rain. It took place in Turkey where we lived at the time. I got involved in journalism, enjoyed it but found fiction was still my favorite. When my children were born, I decided to cut back and not push as hard getting the stories done. I wondered if that was the right decision and decided with my husband in the Navy and gone a lot and three boys, I couldn't wrap my head around a story and give it the necessary attention. Once the boys were in school, I picked it up with a bit more fervency. I sat down and wrote a 900 page novel in a few months time, which promptly got deleted when my computer fried on me. Thank heaven I made a hard copy and was able to plug it all in again.

Yikes! That's like a writer's worst nightmare. Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?

Sadly I think there was a time I spent looking at the downs and not recognizing an up for what it really was. I'd been told I was good writer, and had great characters. But I was also told I needed to learn the rules of writing. And my characters were written too well. What did that mean? I've been told a lot of things over the years, and tried to keep plugging away. I got discouraged and decided to publish my own novels. Which didn't go over so great, but it taught me some about writing.

Vickie McDonough reviewed my books and while she liked the stories, she told me about the new rules of writing. She introduced to me ACFW and asked me to join a critique group. In ACFW I became a sponge, soaking up knowledge from the courses they provide. I learned about rules, like POV, GMC, among other things. I entered a book in the Genesis Contest and went to the ACFW Convention. When I placed third in the overall of the contest, and Joyce from Hartline Literary Agency approached me to be my agent, I believed I was on my way to publication. Five years later and I still wasn't published. I continued to write, but I questioned why. What if I never became published? What if I lost my writing skill, or worse never had it? They say a writer is harder on themselves than anyone else, I was horribly mean, and listened to the voice of failure well. I finally had to give myself the freedom to write and know that I had a talent whether published or not.

Uncertainty is really hard to handle. I asked all those same questions, and wondered if God had given me this desire for a purpose, or was I deluding myself. I have an amazingly talented friend who is going through the same thing. I think pretty much every writer out there can relate.

How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?

I am what they call a seat of the pants writer. I get an idea, usually a dream, and I start to write the story and follow where the dream, characters and ideas take me. I do an outline and of course, research. I like delving into the history.

Tell us about your latest release?

In the Manor of the Ghost has romance, a love story and a ghost. I'd like to think it's a pretty good read. But it's important to know that some of the houses we reside in aren't always made of lumber or stones. They are fashioned from our fears and are as thick around us as a wall might be. Some of the Ghosts we face are those fears, real or perceived they haunt us.

While the main scene for In the Manor of the Ghost does take place in a manor, the story is inspirational fiction written with the spiritual aspect in mind. It is my belief that as God is the author and creator of love and romance, some of the most beautiful love stories come out of two people growing together through good times and trials, facing their fears and turning them over to the Lord.

I'm huge into symbolism within a story. I use it a lot too. I picked up on this while reading yours. What inspired you to write this story?

The why behind In the Manor of the Ghost? Hmm… I've given that consideration, we had just traveled to Minnesota and I wanted to work it into a story, but I think where I was at in life pulled the biggest part of the story out of me. Though like Kaitlin, I wondered how I fit, and had lost a loved one, (my father had passed away not long before), I identified more with Devlin in some aspects of the story and his journey to find himself. To believe he had the worth. He invested in everyone else, but didn't think he could find redemption.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them, and what endears them to you?

Devlin is a lawyer, with a unique background. He was adopted by a loving, nurturing family, who loved him. I find his torn spirit and need to fix him endearing. Although it does seem so, he has a quiet accepting spirit. The Manor Devlin lives in, was once a place of joy and safety. It was used as a safe house during the Indian Raids a decade earlier. After losing his wife and daughter, Clayborne Manor has become a dark, sad place with too many haunting memories. But the walls around Devlin's spirit seem to be almost as thick as the Manor's.

Kaitlin lost her husband and daughter in a fire, and went through years of Therapy for her burns. She hopes moving to Minnesota to live with her sister, Constance, will help heal her spirit.
Accepting a contract to marry Devlin, Kaitlin finds herself living in the Clayborne Manor. When she begins to uncover secrets and resurrect ghosts, she questions her choice. Does she have the strength to break down the walls that confine those who reside in the Manor? Does she have the faith to lead them to the one who sets the captive free? I find Kaitlin's resilience, gentle and loving spirit endearing.

I really enjoyed the supporting characters too. Loved them actually! They added so much to the overall story. What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?

I want to become world renown and get a gazillion stories published. Okay, while being world renown might be nice, let face it, getting a gazillion stories published would take forever. What I really like to do is leave a legacy perhaps. I would like my books, published and unpublished to touch lives for years to come. My themes usually deal with forgiveness, grace and overcoming insurmountable odds for that reason. I want to introduce my readers to a God who is bigger than any troubles, scars or sin my characters may have. He's a God of second chances and a God that carries us sometimes, and others, allows us to walk through valleys while guiding us. To help us grow. Having been a benefactor of that grace, I want people to know and understand the love God has for them. I try not to be too preachy, I hope. I want to show how you get from Point A to Point B with God. It's a process and my characters get to go through it. A process that has been cathartic for me and a truth I hope to relate to others.

Not preachy at all! The faith element was woven perfectly into the story, and I think that even those who don't typically read Christian Fiction would find this story entertaining. Any ideas for future projects?

My book Touched By Mercy is due for release in December 2010, so I'll be working on edits for that. It tells the story of one woman's journey to grace. Samantha Northam comes from a background of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, having been molested as a child, I identify with Samantha even more than Kaitlin from In the Manor of the Ghost. The story was pretty much my rite of passage. Coming to a point where I believed God could find me lovely. I made it a bit harder on Samantha than myself, but I wanted to show the beauty of God's grace on us, his arms around the brokenhearted. Samantha hadn't done anything wrong, as far as the molestation went, but she spent years believing she had, and spent long years hating and being afraid to love. I went through long years of wondering like Samantha.

I think many of us have areas where life catches us, uses us and beyond no fault of our own, leaves us feeling dirty and unlovable. It literally spits us out. That's the nature of abuse. I wanted people to see that God knows exactly what happened. He hurts to see that his creation could be so cruel, and he loves us and wants to heal the scars. If we'll allow him to, he has gentle hands, strong arms and a loving heart

I am currently working on a Sci-fi time-travel series, with clones, gene mutation, and sinister people trying to get rid of Christ. Counting Tessa is the first installment. Then I plan to get back to two Civil War Era stories I've been working on, Finding Middle C, as story about finding the music of Life and From Hell to Eternity, a story about Andersonville Prison

Very cool! Now it's time for trivia. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, any other hobbies?

I like a lot of movies, old musicals, comedies, war movies… but I have a couple movies I could watch again and again. Calamity Jane with Doris Day, and Emma ,with Gwenyth Paltrow.
As for food. Give me a good cheesecake any day. I love salt and vinegar chips, and applesauce and cottage cheese too.

My husband and I would love to get to Australia for a visit, someday… it could happen, but for now, we plan to camp some here in Colorado.

As for Hobbies, I like to doodle, write poetry and songs, and love to sing. I like to have a good vegetable garden, and have been known to do some canning.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along?
Well I've been reading our gracious interviewer's book, hey, Shawna, No Other. Pretty good so far.

Why, thank you.

I also like Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman, Colleen Coble, and Maggie Brendan among many others. If the story catches my imagination and curiosity, I stick with it. One of my favorite books growing up was From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, a story about two kids who runaway and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I still love the concept and read the story from time to time to reacquaint myself.

You can find me on the web at:
Visit my website --
Purchase my book at Desert Breeze Bookstore.
Stop at my Blogsite—
Shawna, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my books and myself.
In honor of the release of In the Manor of the Ghost, I am running the contest … Win a Kindle… Catch a Ghost… for the entire month of June 2010. Check out my blog for the particulars.
My whole family is begging to enter this, btw. One daughter wants her own ereader, and the other said if she wins she'll sell it to save up for a car. She also informed me today that in 4 days, 6 months and 1 year she'll be 16. Not sure what hubby and son would do. Neither are big readers, but they still think it would be cool to win. I'm rooting for my daughter who will actually read on it so she'll stop borrowing mine.

Leave a comment today, for a chance to win a copy of Tina's e-book of In the Manor of the Ghost.

Book Review: In The Manor of the Ghost by Tina Pinson

Kaitlin Franklin has her doubts about the mysterious Devlin Clayborne, but she agrees to marry him anyway for the sake of his son. The young boy cowers from his father and hasn't spoken since the night his mother and sister went missing. Kaitlin soon discovers that in a mansion full of shadows things aren't always as they seem, and she must uncover the truth before it comes back to haunt them.

In The Manor of the Ghost is a suspense filled story that kept me guessing until the end. Superstition, prejudice, hidden family secrets, all play into its intrigue, with plot twists throughout.

This book was a good-ole-fashion mystery which built into a clever crescendo with all the pieces falling into place at the very end. The conclusion was as satisfying as winning a game of Clue (which I love). The only hint I'll give is this: The____did it in the _____with a ____.

I Highly recommend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's That Time Once More

And now I get to announce the winner of the "Grand Prize." I have a friend who's gonna be a little disappointed. (Sorry Tina. You didn't win that locket) This prize has includes a beautiful Sterling/Gold overlay locket in it. It also consists of the ebook, signed poster, notebook, postcards, pearl locket bracelet with matching earrings, goatsmilk lotion and soap and a $10 Amazon gift card.

The winner of the grand prize is Casey. I don't have a last name, but I do have your email, so I'll be in contact soon.

This has been fun! And I'm not done. I like giving away stuff, so I'm putting together some smaller packages for the months of June and July. You guys can look forward to more braclets, with and without lockets. Several locket necklaces, while not as nice as the one in the "Grand Prize" they're still pretty. I also have some cd's from a local artist I'm rather excited about. His name is Logan Lind, and if you're curious you can check out his music here or become a fan facebook. Plus I've got more posters and there's no telling what else I'll find. Be sure to check often.

It's That Time! Winner #2

This is for the winner of the "Great Prize", which is the ebook, tote, signed poster, notebook, postcards, homemade honey soap, freshwater pearl locket bracelet, matching earrings, and $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Pretend drum roll please...
JANET THOMPSON! Your multiple entries have paid off!

I'll be in contact by email this evening.

It's That Time!

It's time for me to announce the winners of the drawing in the contest I've been running all month celebrating the release of my debut novel, No Other. First of all though, I'd like to thank everyone for participating. I had a total of 127 people enter, and since many took advantage of the multiple entries, the tally of actual entries exceeded 700. I've been cutting little slips of paper most of the day.

Now I don't want to do this all at once, because that just seems a little anticlimatic. So, I'm going to start with the third place winner. This is for the price I've named the "Good" one, which includes the book, "No Other", as a Kindle download, or other ebook format (according to the winner's preference), a signed poster, Tote bag, notebook (all with coverart), postcards, freshwater pearl locket bracelet, matching earrings and a $5 Amazon gift card.

And the winner is...

Congratulations, Latawnia. I'll be in contact soon.

Check back in thirty minutes for the winner of the "Great Prize"

1970 Olds 442


If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)