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.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tina Pinson Visits

Welcome back, Tina Pinson!
Tina visits today to tell us a little about herself and her new book, Touched by Mercy.

Hello, Shawna. Thanks so much for inviting me back to your page.

Tell us a little about yourself? You mean you don't want a book. I am an author, you know? LOL I live in Grand Junction, Colorado with, Danny. We've been married 30+ years. We own and operate Omega Avionics and our newest venture F & S Tire. We have three grown sons, two beautiful daughter-in-laws and 5 grand children.

I started my first novel in elementary school, probably so I wouldn't die young. You see, I was a liar extraordinaire, sooo writing gave me an outlet for my fiction where I wouldn't get in trouble from my parents. I write poetry, short stories and songs. One of my songs won in the top twenty-five for a contest out of Nashville. I like to camp, garden, work with wood, sing and teach. I've been with American Christian Fiction Writers since 2003.
My first novel, In the Manor of the Ghost, was published in June 2010

Tell us about your writing journey? I started in elementary school. When we lived in Turkey during my junior high years, I worked on a story called Just in Time for the Rain. I wrote for a time, little stories and poetry. Then started to work on another novel called When Shadows Fall, but, with little kids in the house, I didn't get far. So I sat that aside and worked on poetry, songs and short stories, plus drawing. I also did newsletters and such. I took a correspondence writing course and went to a couple of conferences. One my songs won in the top 25 for a Nashville contest.

Once my children were in school, I started to write in earnest. I pulled out When Shadows Fall again, and wrote a good five hundred pages. My fingers and imagine flew then my computer when kaput on me. Fried it's hard drive and ate all my files. Needless to say it scarfed my stories along with it. I lost When Shadows Fall, but luckily, I had saved a hard copy so I started again. Can I just say retyping that many pages is not fun. Remember to back up your work. Anyway, I started writing and I didn't stop until I had 900 plus pages.

Then I started working on several other stories. I have over eleven. I self-published two and found that more editing was a good thing. Which I did, and then started trying to get them published only to find out that the rules of writing had changed. And my stories wouldn't be accepted unless the rules were adhered to. Oh well. So I started rewriting as per POV rules and one of my stories placed third overall in the Noble Theme Contest through ACRW in 2003. The Noble Theme Contest became the Genesis Contest soon after and ACRW became ACFW. (So I've been at this for some time, this writing.) Because of my win, an agent asked to represent me, and thought that publishing would come soon after. I wished. I wasn't published until this year when Desert Breeze Publishing accepted two of my stories.

What's your favorite thing about Christmas? Christmas always makes me think of simpler times. I love Christmas Lights. I like to sit in the house with only the lights on. I like snow, when we get it, and icicles and gifts. I like the frost on the windowpanes of the house, not the car—makes it kind of hard to see. When we were younger, we did a lot of caroling. Kind of a lost art these days, but our family would bundle up, go out and carol around our neighborhood then come back and have hot chocolate, and maybe have a taffy pull and read the Christmas Story. My father died in 1994 and I wonder if that's not why we don't go out as much. We still read the story and have chocolate, but now that Dad is gone and we've all moved to all points of the country, it just doesn’t happen the same.

Any great recipes to share? My goodness, I don't really know if I have any great recipes. I just pull out the cookbook. But in honor of past Christmases, here's a taffy recipe
1 cup sugar
¾ light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1 tblsp cornstarch
2 tblsp margarine or butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Butter a pan. I use a cookie sheet. Mix sugar, corn syrup, water, cornstarch, margarine and salt in 2 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook without stirring to 256 deg. on candy thermometer or until small amount forms a ball when dropped in cold water./ Remove from heat and stir in Vanilla. Pour into Pan

When cool enough to handle (we usually did it when it was too hot) butter up your hand and pull taffy until it is satiny, light in color and stiff. Pull into long strips and cut into pieces. You can wrap piece individually in plastic or wax paper. This yields about a pound of candy.

What do you do enjoy doing in you spare time? I like to doodle, and do woodworking. I like to sing and teach too. Hear lately, my spare time has been taken with grandkids or moving one business into the same office with another and taking care of paperwork for both. Which really bites into my writing time, something else I like to do when I have spare time.

Tell us a little about your new book, Touched by Mercy. Touched by Mercy 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.

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. When her daughter, Angelina, is taken from her, she believes that it happened because she's not good enough. She sets out to find Angelina, which leads her to the Orphanages of New York. She doesn't find Angelina, but she is introduced to several needy children and some Nuns who begin to teach her about God's love. Because of her wounds, Samantha doesn't quite believe the Nuns, she still thinks she has to prove her worth to God. So Samantha sets out to ease the pain that the children of the orphanage suffer. When word comes that Angelina might have been found in Kansas, Samantha heads west, with plans to get her daughter and open a boardinghouse for stops on the Orphan Train. The west seems to hold all the answers to her dreams, but time and circumstances cause her to wonder if it has taken her far enough away from her past and her nightmares.

And if she'll ever be good enough in God's eyes to become his child.

Touched By Mercy is a story about God's plan for our lives, and how he can use and loves us even though we feel inadequate. It also tells shows how God places people in our lives to Touch us with his Mercy.

What inspired you to write it? The catalyst for writing Touched By Mercy arose from my own healing from abuse and desire to see others whole. Having been molested as a child, I related to some of what Sam felt. Her insecurities and her belief that she would never be good enough, were mine more than I care to admit. Yes, I gave Sam deeper problems to deal with, but the emotions and scars are cast from my own. I know there are many out there going through the same insecurities, thinking somehow they did something wrong and don't deserve God's love unless they prove themselves, and through Touched By Mercy, I hoped to show them how much God loves them and walk them toward hope as well.

What message do you hope readers will take from it? I hope that they will see how loving our God really is. And see that he is there to carry us and love us no matter what people may do.

Do you have a favorite scene? Care to share an excerpt?
Preston led his boys in evening study and prayer then tucked them in. They weren't babies anymore, but he enjoyed the few moments before bed with them. He enjoyed mussing their hair, hugging them, and telling them he loved them. As fast as the years moved, it wouldn't be long before they'd be grown, tucking in children of their own. He recalled the way their mama used to kiss their cheeks and whisper her love as she pushed the blankets around them. He remembered with an ache.

Would he ever stop missing her? Would the boys ever have another mother? Would he ever take another wife?

He lay back on his pillow and asked the Lord those very things. He believed he'd have them someday. Maybe soon. The ache he once bore had eased with time, and the conviction that he'd never love another was being tested. It'd been tested that very afternoon when he found himself looking into Miss Northam's deep green eyes with longing. It surprised him. Her, too, judging from her reaction.

He remembered something the Lord had told him three years before, about a year after his wife had died. He lay in bed, asking the same questions. Figuring the Lord agreed, he'd told the Lord a firm no to every one of them. No new wife, no marriage, no... He loved his dear Sarah too much. How could the Lord want him to marry, or love another?

The Lord surprised him.

Preston, my beloved son, the ache will ebb, and a time will arise when you'll take another wife.

Preston had chuckled. "This can't be. I've loved Sarah for too long. I couldn't love another. I couldn't bear it." Besides there weren't many woman in the territory at the time.

You will. The voice in his heart had been adamant.

"I don't know any women. Not any that I want to marry."

I've chosen one for you, beloved.

Preston nearly gasped. But he didn't scoff at God. "All right, let's say you have. How will I know her? Does she have a name? Who is she, Lord? Where is she?"
When the time comes, you'll find her at the Chicken Ranch.

Preston had sat up with yelp and argued no man of God could find a woman to be his wife at the Chicken Ranch. A woman from a brothel? A woman like Lil? What did the Lord want him to be… another Hosea? Surely not.

The Lord had been adamant. I know whom I have for you. She'll be at the Chicken Ranch.

Petrified he'd find her sitting in her long underwear on the front porch, Preston took long detours home, skirting the ranch so he wouldn't find the wife the Lord had for him.

Where can readers buy your book and where can they learn more about you?My website --
Purchase my books at:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost

Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy—available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy – available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost

In honor of the release of Touched By Mercy I am running a contest, Win a Nook… Touch Mercy for the month of Dec. 2010. Check out my blog under the Touched By Mercy Contest page for the particulars.
Thank you, Tina. Please stop by Tina's blog and check out her amazing contest. Tina's book will be a great first purchase for you guys who open up an ereader on Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deborah Kinnard Visits!

I love Christmas! So I'm really excited to have Deborah Kinnard visit today to tell us about herself and about her new Christmas release, Aloha, My Love.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Short-round soccer mom who spends way too much time writing novels and doing jewelry, and not enough time on housework. Housework is boring. Dust is a wood preservative. There—I’ve said it!

OMGoodness, you sound just like me!
What's your favorite thing about Christmas?

Hanging with family and friends, with enough time to really talk and catch up. Everything else is just icing.

Any great recipes to share?

A quick, easy one that everyone seems to like: drain and chop fine a small jar of marinated artichokes. Throw ‘em in a casserole. Add a dollop of mayonnaise (about ¼ to ½ c.) and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Add a dash of Louisiana hot sauce. Stir it up really well. Nuke in the microwave about 3 minutes or until bubbly. Serve in a bread bowl with chunks of bread for dipping, or with table water crackers. (I love artichokes).

Me too! Especially artichoke dip. I'm making this.
I recently learned that you make jewelry. How long have you done this and what's your favorite type of bead, style, etc... Do you ever make stuff to go along with your books?

I’m a newcomer to this. I like using mixed beads and silver or gold-tone spacers. Svarovski crystals are great, and fun to add to other beads. I like to do “random” necklaces that don’t have any particular pattern save for harmonizing colors. Lately ’ve started hunting down beads that look vaguely Celtic or medieval, to go with some of the books I’m working on now.

Your new book, Aloha, My Love, is a Christmas story with an unusual setting. Tell us a little about this book and what inspired you to write it?

Some years ago, my husband took us to Hawaii for our tenth anniversary. I fell in love with the Big Island and knew I would eventually set a story there. We did a lot of skin diving and roaming around on our own—it was idyllic. So when I wanted to tell a “second chances” story in a setting that wasn’t Illinois, it came naturally.

Do you have a favorite scene? Care to share an excerpt?

My favorite scenes are when Adam and Delaine are diving. Here’s a snippet:

Adam glanced seaward. "Tide's coming in. Those waves are getting bigger."
"I'd like to watch it come in." Her voice sounded wistful. They swam easily toward the shore. "I've never seen a tide before."
His heart softened further. "Then that's what we'll do."
"Suppose you can swim a few minutes first?"
"Sure. It's easy in salt water." To demonstrate he turned over onto his back, blowing excess water up into the air like a whale's spout. Delaine laughed. She splashed him, and he coughed. "Get you for that, Bishop!"
He couldn't resist a lunge, diving down to come up underneath. He grabbed a slender ankle and tugged to dunk that sassy face. He surfaced laughing, she did the same with another splash. The battle continued until he accidentally got her with a handful of water just as she was inhaling.
"Sorry," he said as she coughed. "Bad timing." He put his arm around her waist in case she couldn't touch the rocky bottom.
He wasn't quite sure what mischievous impulse overtook him. Still grasping her waist, Adam lay back in the water. He drew Del close, then spun her around like a pair of dolphins. Laughter bubbled up in both of them at once. She threw back her head to give it rein. Oh, she was lovely like this, with drops of seawater on her lashes and the sun in her face. Far too beautiful to resist one moment longer. Too lovely not to kiss. He let his lips seek hers, but she avoided the contact.
Like lightning, she disentangled their arms and legs. Her withdrawal hurt, for she'd felt sweet and precious against his chest. Hoping he misinterpreted her action, he let her have a few seconds' space then grabbed for her again. They rotated through the water, first one then the other, tugging and changing direction. Lithe young bodies bent and curved in the freedom of the buoyant waves. Delight shone in her gray eyes, and he felt the joy in her down to his own soul. Their play was all beauty; the happiness on her face matched that in his heart.

Where can readers buy your book and where can they learn more about you?

ALOHA, MY LOVE is available at the Desert Breeze web site (, and will be coming out for the Kindle. Fictionwise also carries DBP titles, and usually has them a few days after they release.

Deb is giving away a holiday-themed beaded necklace. Leave a comment with your email to enter!
Thanks Deborah!

If you're thinking about gift ideas for distant friends and relatives, why give a card when you can give a book! Kindle now has a gift-giving feature for e-books. All you need is an email address.

1970 Olds 442


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