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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Inspirational Ebooks: Meander Scar, Lisa Lickel

Inspirational Ebooks: Meander Scar, Lisa Lickel: "Romance/Contemporary “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its ardor unyielding a..."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Destination: Berlin by Stephanie Burkhart -- and a little history to go with it

I've been taking a short bit of a sabbatical from this blog to finish a book that is due very shortly, and to focus on starting a new blog called. Inspirational Ebooks. (don't worry. I'm keeping this one as my personal blog) Today though, I'm pulling myself away from those things so Stephanie Burkhart can share a little history about the setting of her book, Destination: Berlin. This is Stephanie's second visit to my blog, so let's give her another warm welcome.

I'm thrilled to be here visiting Shawna's blog to promote my "sweet" military romance, Destination: Berlin. Thanks for having me, Shawna.

You're most welcome, Steph. I enjoy having you visit!

Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH with a hungry appetite for reading gothic romance, especially by Victoria Holt. I served in the Army for 11 years from 1986-1997 and spent 7 years in Germany. My time in Europe inspired two passions – my love of history and the paranormal. Currently, I live in California and work for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher.

"Destination: Berlin" was the first novel I wrote, and I used a pen name. (SG Cardin, my maiden name). It is not an inspirational romance, but a "sweet" military romance between Corporal Sharon Cates and Soviet Jr. Sgt. Dimitri Nagory. (The couple share several tender touches and a kiss near the end.)

It's 1988 and Corporal Sharon Cates is traveling to Berlin on the Duty Train to attend the Orientation Tour. On the train she meets Jr. Sgt. Dimitri Nagory. They agree to be friends for the night, then chaos hits – the Duty Train is derailed in the middle of Communist East Germany. The Stasi, (East German secret police) want top secret documents that Sharon has in her briefcase. Dimitri offers his help and Sharon takes him up on it. Destination? Berlin.

I thought I'd talk a little about the rich history of the Berlin Duty Train in this post. Of course, it goes back to the end of World War II. (Shawna's time frame in No Other!) Germany was in tatters. The four allies, the British, French, Americans and Soviets made the decision to occupy Germany, each responsible for a zone of occupation. The French and Americans occupied southern West Germany. The British took the north, and the Soviets took East Germany.

Berlin was divided between the four in a similar fashion, the division called "sectors."

On 10 SEP 1945, the allies enacted railroad regulations that would govern travel through occupied Germany and Berlin that would remain enforced until German unification in OCT 1990.
The Soviets did allow for two routes – One from Frankfurt to Berlin and one from Bremerhaven through Helmstedt-Marienborn. (This is the route Sharon takes in the novel.)

The American, British, and French all had their own duty trains – and they all allowed the others to ride on their trains. In 1945, the Americans established their West Berlin train station in the Lichterfeld-West station approximately half a mile from the major American bases. (McNair, Andrews, Roosevelt, and Turner) In NOV 1945, the first American duty train traveled from Frankfurt to Berlin. At first, the service ran 3 trips a week, in MAY 1947, daily trips started.

Rail traffic to Berlin was denied by the Soviets from JUN 1948 to MAY 1949 when they cut off the borders. The allies enacted an airlift making the Soviet blockade ineffective.

The Soviets were masters of harassment. At the border, they insisted on changing out western locomotives for Deutschen Reichbahn (East German) ones. They also insisted on train commanders presenting them FLAG orders of everyone on board. (Since they couldn't inspect the trains themselves)

For the most part, the duty train ran with no problems and to my knowledge it only derailed once, on 3 JAN 1967 near Potsdam. East German troops held the soldiers at gunpoint for 18 hours while the damaged cars were fixed. What caused the derailment? One theory was it happened because the Americans helped several East Germans cross the wall a few days earlier.
I hope you enjoyed this look at the American history of the Berlin Duty Train, and thanks to everyone who followed me on the tour.

As Sharon unfastened the ropes that held the boat docked, Dimitri put the trolling motor into the water and turned it on. The boat slowly pulled away from the bank. Dimitri kept it as close as he could to land. The boat plodded forward. The once dark orange rays of sunlight were slowly growing lighter. Sharon could being to make out the contrasting shadows of the tree line against the water.

"Can't we go any faster?" she asked. She sat next to Dimitri. He was near the bow, holding the pedal down on the trolling motor.

"This motor is intentionally slow, but it's noiseless. If I turn on the engine, it will make a lot of noise and attract attention to us," he began.

"We don't want that," Sharon muttered.

"No, we don't, but I'll use it if I have to – if I need a sudden burst of speed."

Sharon understood. She sat down with her back against the side of the boat and looked past Dimitri's shoulder. The small tributary gave way to the Wansee. The sun dared to show a tiny sliver of itself as it crested the horizon. Sharon guessed the lake was five hundred meters wide.

As Dimitri headed toward the center of the river, Sharon quickly studied her surroundings. The East German side thinned out considerably, revealing about five kilometers of barren, unplowed land.

"No man's land," Dimitri whispered. "Look." He pointed toward the right.

Sharon saw Freedom Bridge looming in front of them. She would guess it was about three hundred meters directly ahead. The water's current seemed smooth and rhythmic.

"Now look to the left. There's the American guardhouse."

Excellent, Stephanie!

Here are some links to more stuff:
Destination: Berlin's Book Trailer
About the Berlin Duty Train

Destination: Berlin is a Print book only. Here's where you can buy it:

Goodie Time: Post a comment. I'll pick two lucky winners out of a hat to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Today, I'll also be picking one lucky winner to win an autographed copy of "Destination: Berlin." I'm on Pacific Standard Time (PST) so I'll be back early 29 JULY to announce the winners.

For more about Stephanie Burkhart visit:

SG Cardin/Stephanie Burkhart Online
Romance Under the Moonlight

Steph, thanks for coming again! This book sounds great and I wish you the best of luck. Please come visit again!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inspirational Ebooks: Woman of Honor, Nicole Zoltack

Inspirational Ebooks: Woman of Honor, Nicole Zoltack: "Romance/Medieval Fantasy Aislinn of Bairdhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horro..."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Inspirational Ebooks: Fire and Ash, Anne Patrick

Inspirational Ebooks: Fire and Ash, Anne Patrick: "Suspence/Romance/Contemporary Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor is called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspic..."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Author Interview: Kristen Fagala & Denise Hyde

I'm so excited for this interview because the two ladies visiting today are near and dear to my heart. I first met them when my family lived in Baytown and we were part of the same homeschool group. These two ladies have experienced first hand the stress of leading a homeschool group, and they've written a book, One by One, to share their wisdom for strengthening and encouraging the families that make up a homeschool support group. The book isn't just great for this type of group though. Really, the insights given apply to dealing with people in any type of organization. It's a book about people skills, and genuine concern for others. So, allow me to introduce my friends, Kristen Fagala and Denise Hyde.

Ladies, please tell us about yourself.
We're two friends who got know each other through our local homeschool group. We then worked side by side as officers of the homeschool group--Kristen served as President and Denise as Field Trip Coordinator. Refined through the fire of leadership, a lifelong friendship was formed.

Together we wish to share hindsight wisdom gained from our experiences and the experiences of other veteran homeschool group leaders. Readers are invited to laugh and cry with us, witness the times we failed while doing it our way, and the times we succeeded doing it the Lord's way. We've learned so much and hope our input will shorten the leadership learning curve.

Tell us about your book, One by One.
Kristen: What I love about this book is its title, One by One: The Homeschool Group
Leader's Guide to Motivating Your Members. We chose this title because we have
discovered that true success comes when leaders listen to, connect with, and reward their members--one person at a time, one family at a time. When we serve our members one by one, we lead them. We believe that the unforgettable stories, easy-to-implement tips from other leaders, and information-packed links that take you deeper will provide you many motivating and useful insights about:

*What motivates people to follow a great leader
*Practical suggestions of how to engage each type of member
*What truly inspires members to roll up their sleeves to ensure the success of the group with their involvement.

Christian communicator JoJo Tabares once said, “A leader isn’t a leader until someone believes in him.” It is our prayer that this e-guide provides the exact encouragement needed to be a leader who others follow.

Denise: What I love about this e-guide is how it speaks to your heart and gives purpose to your hands as a homeschool group leader. In each section, we clearly lay out the keys, reasons and ways to motivate your group members and volunteers. So many times we reveal secrets that leaders often overlook.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
Traditionally, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. We want to give leaders step-by-step helps in how to get people motivated and participating in their group to make it a richer a more rewarding experience for everyone. As Homeschool Group Leader, we wish to serve leaders
with hope and with meaningful answers as they lead. We are here to cheer leaders, especially through our writings.

What inspired you to write it?
It was pretty simple, really. What inspired us to write the book was the questions people were asking us. One of the biggest questions we always received was "How do I get people involved in my group?" So, we decided to answer that question.

Why did you decide to become work-at-home moms?
We are idea people and we wanted to do something creative, fun and helpful. And we wanted to stay home to do it.

You wouldn't believe the crazy ideas that crossed our minds! But we also knew that with homeschooling and raising our families, we couldn't do most of them.

Since we are good friends who complement each other well, we knew that we wanted to work and write together. So, in October of 2007, after a lot of prayer and planning and discussing with our husbands, we signed up for an e-course by Stephen Beck on how to write an e-book.

We learned so much, so fast! In just eight short weeks, we learned how to blog, publish articles on the internet, research our niche, conduct teleseminars, add affliates, and design a website from scratch.

Beck's video tutorials also made it possible for us to easily navigate complicated software programs that were needed to launch Homeschool Group Leader and then begin writing and eventually publishing our e-book.

We've conquered fears and we've made mistakes. We've overcome obstacles and we've begun to trust even more the direction God wants us to go. We know that Homeschool Group Leader needs to reflect who we are, what we've learned and what we can learn from other leaders. It has become a ministry.

Tell us about the writing and researching process?
In the fall of 2007, we began to dream of ways to reach and encourage homeschool group leaders. We began the writing process by writing our first blog and offering a free mini-course online. Learning as we took each new step was exciting and sometimes overwhelming. We continued growing through several teleseminars and interviews. The need for supporting the homeschool support leader became more real every day as each leader sent in an important question. The actual writing of the book took us 2 years of dedication and research. We wanted to answer the homeschool leader's heart questions with real, practical answers. We met and interviewed wonderful leaders with years of experience and success. Soon, what was going to be a chapter became an 84-page book.

What is the best piece of advice you'd pass on to homeschool group leaders?
We will answer that with some points directly from our book, One By One:

Your leader stress will be greatly alleviated by remembering these realities:
*Learn to delegate and ask others personally to help with specific jobs.
*If no one volunteers to help with a particular project, let it go and do not overdo it.
*Keep relationships at the forefront of your job description, not tasks or activities.

What is Homeschool Group Leader's purpose?
Committed to the success of homeschool group leaders, Homeschool Group Leader purposes to provide practical leadership how-to's, to encourage the hearts of leaders, and to create a safe online community of wisdom, all to the glory of Christ.

Kristen, Denise, I have to say that the timing of this interview is really interesting. The homeschool group that I'm currently involved with is looking to implement some structure. For the first time in a number of years we've selected a board, and I plan to pass this book on to them. I'm actually quite excited to share this with a lot of people. I wish you guys the best, and hope to have you back. God bless!

For more about Kristen and Denise, and their book, One by One:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Author Interview: Danielle Thorne

Hello folks,
Today I get to introduce you to Danielle Thorne. I recently read her latest release, By Heart and Compass, and you guys can NOT pass this one up. It was just a great, fun and romantic adventure that I totally got caught up in. It's a sweet romance with plenty of action, that will appeal to all ages, and readers of genres other than romance. (Would it surprise you guys if I told you I'm not a big romance reader, even though it's "technically" what I write?) Well, it's true, and Danielle's book is my kind of romance, which is one where there's a good solid, entertaining story to carry everything else along.

Okay, enough of my ramble. Let's get to Danielle.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Absolutely. I'm a Southern US author settled in Georgia. I write contemporary and historical sweet romance, and when I'm not hunkered down in the office, I try to balance my life raising four sons along with my supportive husband. We have a cat named "Sparky". He's a slightly mental Bombay, who thinks he's human. High school marching band and Scouting takes up a lot of our free time, but we love to travel and try new things.

When did you first become interested in writing?
I can remember my first story writing assignment in second grade. My teacher kept it and showed it to my mother. She told her I'd be a writer someday. That first nugget of positive reinforcement made an impact in how I felt about myself. My creative writing continued throughout my school years and both my parents and teachers were always supportive.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
I wrote poetry for the newspaper in high school and won an Honorable Mention in a National Scholastic contest when I was a young teenager. Sadly, though, I never truly believed I could ever be a "real" author. As I began raising babies as a young mother, I continued writing and submitting poetry and short stories the old-fashioned way, with a typewriter and envelopes. When the Internet came along, everything changed. I could work from home and pursue my dream. I did a lot of reviewing and freelance writing, but when my last child started kindergarten I took the leap into writing novels.

And it has been an up and down journey—of rejections and near-successes and finally accomplishments. My first contract was issued from Awestruck Publishing in 2007 after many frustrating, though sometimes positive, submissions to New York. This year will see the release of my third and fourth novels.

Wow, that's impressive! And congratulations too!
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?
When I start a new project, I spend the first few weeks daydreaming and imagining faces and scenarios. When I have the setting, characters and a firm story problem in my head, I write out the first few pages until I run out of steam. Then I sit down and create a story map with all of my important turning points from beginning to end. The creative writing process takes over once I have a road map, and the characters get me to where I need to go.

Tell us about your latest release?
Here's a little cover blurb:
When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a dead halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?

What inspired you to write this story?
BY HEART AND COMPASS is a story I have always wanted to write since I saw the movie "Goonies" in the eighties. Of course, as a teenager I thought that finding a pirate ship would be the most romantic adventure in the world. I never forgot that, and after I wrapped up my first historical, THE PRIVATEER, I realized that I didn't have to quite let go of my beloved hero. I could bring him into the present by having his ship discovered by future generations in a contemporary romance. Coming up with new characters was easy. Every bookworm dreams of such an adventure and every cynical, disappointed hero needs to have his dreams come true, too.

That's whose ship Lacey and Max find! That settles it, I'm buying The Privateer as soon as I publish this interview. I loved the Goonies, btw.
Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?
I'm a big believer in the archetype theory. Two years ago, I took a class from Tami Howden, the author of "Heroes and Heroines," and was able to see in black and white what I already knew instinctively—that characters, just like people, fit into some type of personality mold and each has strengths, weaknesses and attractions to different types of other archetypes.
After my characters, Lacey and Max, were created in my imagination, I thought long and hard about their personalities and how they would butt heads and be able to grow—as individuals and as a couple. Lacey fits the Librarian archetype and Max is somewhat of a Bad Boy with a little Lost Soul. There is a lot of myself in Lacey's personality, and though Max is a complete individual, a lot of his personality was inspired by Sawyer on the program "LOST"—though I must say for his description I chose to use some physical features I admire in one of my own brothers—who would be mortified to know that!

Very interesting! I use Jung's Personalty theory, and MBTI type my characters. It helps alot, especially in regard to how they interpret one another. You're the first writer I've talked to who does something similar. Dare I say that I've learned a lot about myself through this process too. (Intuitor)
What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
With my third novel out and a Regency romance set for release this winter, some of my next goals include releasing a poetry chapbook and cookbook, along with several other novels on the backburner. I also hope to grab an award for one of my novels in the next two years, and I eventually plan to start an editing business because I love giving feedback.

Any ideas for future projects?
I have three projects in the immediate queue: The first is a story is about a young girl who has lost her mother to a drug overdose-- a serious contemporary romance set in Pensacola, Florida. The other two include a second Regency and a children's novel set in a Chicago orphanage in the 1940's.

And now for some light-hearted stuff. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, do you have any other hobbies you'd like to share?
Favorite movie is a toss up between PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and MASTER AND COMMANDER. I pretty much can't survive without chips and salsa—and I love summer so I can sneak in some guacamole every week. As far as hobbies, besides historical research and genealogy, I've learned how to geocache this year and I really enjoy it. When I'm not doing that I'm always planning my next trip. We started cruising a few years ago and I absolutely love it.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? There are so many fantastic e-published authors out there right now I can't get enough of them. As far as anything I've just read, I have to recommend a short story collection from UK author, Nik Morton, titled SPANISH EYE. It is about an Indiana Jones-type private eye in Spain who's out to save the world, and it's available at Solstice Publishing this month. As far as a disclaimer, I have to add that I helped edit this collection but there was little to do. It's a fantastic book with the most intriguing character. Nik Morton has a lot to say and the stories are thought-provoking and entertaining. I do believe he is one to watch.

Thank you, Shawna, for letting me visit today. You have a great blog and I always enjoy what you and your friends have to say—so it's an honor to be featured with your father's Oldsmobile!
Thank you, Danielle. This was fun, and I really hope to have you back. Like maybe to talk about The Privateer, which I'm about to go buy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Author Interview: Regan Taylor

Today I get to introduce you guys to another new author, Regan Taylor. Regan's book, Return to the Round Table: The Photograph comes out in August. We're just going to give her a jump start.

Regan, Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I live in Marin County, California. I have a day job in San Francisco and begin my days by crossing over the Golden Gate bridge where every day is a different tapestry of color. I have three furfaced children, commonly called cats – Mel, Missy and Bogie.

I love cats. We have a three-legged indoor kitty, named Kitty.
When did you first become interested in writing?
In 2004 when I met Jewel Adams and she was starting one of her "kick butt" weeks – 1,000 words a day for 7 days. I had such a good time doing it I never stopped.

That's a good goal, 1,000 words per day.
Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
You know, I've been very fortunate in my journey so far. I've had some outstanding publishers and never had any problems having a book accepted at exactly the right place for it. There were disappointments when a publisher I thought was a dream publisher may have rejected one, but when it was placed it became clear that the house it went to was the best for it. I was with two publishers that went belly up; neither handled very professionally and that has made me cautious about where I submit.

I bet.
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'm a punster however, most of my books come to me in dreams. I'll dream a scene and write it the next day and so on until the book is done. If I seem to stall, which generally does happen at about 40,000 words, I ask for a dream and will generally dream the closing chapter. As odd as that may sound, it is a huge help to me because it shows me where I need to take the story. Fortunately for me, I dream in a linear fashion so the books tends to make sense.

You may or may not be aware, but my first two books are the product of a dream. I have vivid, and often interesting dreams, so this makes complete sense to me. I guess our imaginations are always at work.
Tell us about your latest release?
The Photograph, book 1 of the Return to the Roundtable series is due out with Desert Breeze in August. Based on the old superstition that a camera could capture your spirit, I have a Lakota warrior who ends up in modern day Napa. My cat, MaiTai, has a prominent role in the story as "Taister." As to the Roundtable – remember the old lore that in our time of greatest need Arthur and the knights will rise?

What inspired you to write this story?
MaiTai. He was my familiar and an inspiration. This was my way of honoring him.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?
Hmmm. Carrie is a devoted reader. Books are her passion and she totally and completely immerses herself in each book she reads. That immersion leads her to the hero of the piece. She has a totally by the book, eerrrrr literal roommate, Molly, who sees things in black and white. No grays for that lady. But her level-headedness is exactly the balance Carrier needs. Mr. Merle is a wily elderly gent with a mysterious past that is revealed in later stories. The villain of the piece is Dean and the character is a carbon copy of someone I used to work with.

Hmm...yes, we writers can do that. Be on your best behavior around us. Lol! What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing?
Any long term goals?
To entertain. I recently took part in a discussion where the icons of romance writing, Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss were main topics of the conversation. Forty years after Ms. Rogers debuted Sweet Savage Love readers are still reading that book. It was for, for me, the seminal book on what a romance novel should be. Ms. Woodiwiss' The Flame and The Flower were a close second. Forty years from now I hope a reader says my books helped make them a fan of romance.

I understand that. I feel that way about Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love was published more than twenty years ago, and this past Christmas I noticed that bookstores were stocking it like crazy still.
Any ideas for future projects?
The Roundtable series has 15 books, I have the third book in my Bride series to complete, there are 8 more in my McKenna series, 2 more in Descendants of Earth, another Eyes series book and a spring off from America's Hero in the works. I'm contracted with eXtasy for 5 more shorts in the tarot and witches tools series. So loads!

Okay, I ask every guest a bit of trivia. So, what's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? And, you got any other interesting hobbies?
My favorite movie is a tie between Gone with the Wind and Final Countdown (starring the USS Nimitz). Food would be chocolate with a latte. My favorite vactions are the ones where I'm home alone – no roommate, just me and the cats – writing and reading. I'm an avid reader and can't say no to Tess Gerristen, Kelley Armstrong and Deanna Raybourn.

Did you just say Tess Gerristen! I love her! Btw, Kindle recently offered one of her books for free. You bet I got it!
Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? Tell the ones you love you love them; once they are gone you can never hold them again.

Aw...and I know you're thinking of Molly. For my followers, Molly is Regan's cat who recently passed. Regan has twenty-two years worth of memories with Molly, and losing her has been very difficult. She recently wrote a post in honor of Molly, and it's so heart-warming I'd really like to share it. So here is a link to Regan's post on her blog.

Since many of my followers read mainly Inspirational Fiction, I do want to add that Regan is a talented writer, who writes secular romance. I do this so there will be no confusion. I have always hosted secular writers as well as Inspirational writers on this blog, but with the release of my book, No Other -- which is Inspirational -- I've gained a number of followers. Recently, after hosting another wonderful secular writer, a reviewer gave her book a low rating because it wasn't Inspirational. It wasn't advertised as such on my blog, and I'm not certain if the review was a result of the interview on my blog, but just so everyone is clear, I feel that it's necessary to make this announcement.

Regan, thank you so much for joining me today! Best wishes to you and your furry family.

No Other on Sale at B&N

Just wanted to pass this on. Its usual price is $5.99, and it's on sale for $2.56. Don't know for how long. Most of you probably don't own a Nook, but B&N has free reading apps, just like Kindle, that you can download to your pc, iPhone, Blackberry, etc... . No Other is the acfw bookclub choice in September, so if you had planned on participating in the discussion this is an opportunity to get the book for a lot less.

Here's the link to the free apps:

And here's the link to the book:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Author Interview: Anne Patrick

I get to introduce you today to one of the absolute nicest people I've met since I've been writing. Anne Patrick is a wonderfully encouraging lady, and a magnificent author. If you haven't read any of her books, you need to. Enough said.

This is actually Anne's second visit to my blog. In the fall she wrote a post about her amazing journey to publication, since then Anne has had the joy of watching numerous books of hers become published. Today though, she's going to share with us about her latest, Fire and Ash. (Which is really good!)

Would you please tell us a little about yourself? Well, I’m the author of over a dozen novels that are either published or under contract. I write Inspirational Romantic Suspense under the name Anne Patrick, and Inspirational romance under the name Kinzie Monroe. And when I’m not writing I enjoy spending time with family and friends.

When did you first become interested in writing? Since reading my first Romantic Suspense novel as a teenager. I’ve been a junkie ever since.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication? After many, many, rejections I sought the help of a very wise professional editor who was brutally honest about my writing flaws. She taught me so much about the craft and was also very encouraging. After a few more rejections, the Lord finally opened that door.

Well, it must have helped because your writing is fantastic! 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’m a character driven pantster—meaning once I have an idea I generally concentrate on the characters and let them tell me their story. I’ve tried plotting, but it never worked well for me. I am a careful researcher though.

I can tell. Your characters come across as very believable in their professions. Tell us about your latest release? I’m thrilled to announce Fire and Ash releases today from Desert Breeze Publishing. It’s a ‘Sweet’ Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Here’s a snippet: Fire investigator, Sadie McGregor is called to her hometown to investigate a suspicious fire that claimed the life of a local college student. Teaming up with the handsome new police chief, Quinn Harrington, the two must unravel the mystery surrounding the fire. The answers they find could rock the whole community and may cost one of them their life.

What inspired you to write this story? The idea came to me while watching the DVD of the movie Backdraft a couple of years ago. I loved Robert DeNiro in the part of the fire investigator and was really intrigued by what all goes into finding the answers to why a fire started.

I thought of that movie while reading it. Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you? Sadie and Quinn are two of favorite characters thus far. Sadie lost her family in a fire when she was seven and blames God and herself for not saving her baby brother. Quinn, in a close walk with God, is determined to help her to face her past once and for all. As far as developing the characters, I had the help of fire investigator, Keith Tarbox, in researching this book and understanding the make-up of a fire investigator. His help was invaluable. He not only helped with the logistics, he gave some great advice on how to improve my characters.

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals? Whether I’m writing as Anne or Kinzie, I try to weave an inspirational theme into my stories. I want to share my faith in a subtle way that leaves the reader feeling good—which isn’t always easy considering the dark subject matter in some of my works. The main thing I want to accomplish is letting people know that no matter what we travel through the Lord is always with us.

You do that really well, Anne. The faith element flowed so naturally through this story. This is a book that people will enjoy even if they don't typically read Inspirational stories, because everything intertwined effortlessly (that's how it seemed). I was never pulled away from the story, nor did I feel like faith was an afterthought.

Any ideas for future projects? I’m working on two projects right now, an Inspirational Romance and a ‘Sweet’ Romantic Suspense. The Romantic Suspense is the first in a series I’m working on. You can read my progress online here:

Trivia time! What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, any other hobbies? Favorite movie – French Kiss w/Meg Ryan. Fav food – Chinese (black peppered pork & fried rice). Vacation – Central America. Hobbies – Video games and camping with family and friends.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? The most recent highly recommend read is The Shack. It’s an amazing book!
Thank you for having me Shawna! You ask great questions!

Glad you think so!
For more about Anne, check out the link to her blog above.

1970 Olds 442


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