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, June 28, 2011

Author Interview: Tom Blubaugh

I'm honored to have Tom Blubaugh visit my blog today, and to be able to learn more about him and his new book, Night of the Cossack. (Be sure to read the book excerpt at the end of this interview)

Welcome, Tom!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a father of six and grandfather of fourteen living in southwest Missouri with my wife Barbara. I’m retired and should have plenty of time, but I stay pretty busy and my days get away from me. An interesting thing about being retired is Monday can come any day of the week without notice (if you know what I mean).

Tell us about your writing journey.
I started writing when I was in grade school—poetry. I stopped after high school and didn’t start until after I became a Christian—age 28. I started writing nonfiction. A lot of my writing is on one of my sites Genesis Project (don’t pay attention to the grammar please). My life has not been pretty, but the Lord has molded me. Night of the Cossack is my first fiction book. I didn’t write to be published in the beginning, but a couple of people who read my story suggested I consider publishing it. I joined a local critique group and they agreed. When the manuscript was nearly finished, a friend and his wife asked me to help them develop a website for an independent publishing company they were starting. The saw the first chapter of my story on my site and read it. They asked to read the manuscript and then asked me if they could publish it. Not your usual publishing story.

Please tell us about your new book , and if it is part of a series let us know about that as well.
Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I know very little about either of them, however, I know my maternal grandfather was a Russian Cossack soldier. This fascinated me. I had about three other pieces of information about him so I started doing some research? The information I had appeared to be accurate and I started writing. I’m working on the sequel now.

Do you have a favorite scene in your book? Would you care to share and excerpt at the end of this interview.
I haven’t really thought about this, but I suppose one of my favorites is when he proved to the company of Cossacks that he was a good marksman. Sure, I’d be happy to share it with your readers. (The excerpt is posted at the end of the interview.)

What do you like most about your main characters?
Nathan was a victim, but he became a survivor and more. He grew into a man through all the twists and turns of his life. He stayed true to his morals.

Who is your favorite author?
James Scott Bell

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't writing?
Hanging out with my wife and family; reading other Christian fiction writers; playing with my cat, Blacky; socializing with friends; playing horse shoes; and watching movies.

Where can readers buy your books?;;


Stepan wondered why he would need Nikolai. He looked toward Vasile, who smiled and winked.

Stepan winked and smiled back. Placing his rifle between his knees, he opened his hunting bag. A noise behind made him jump. Turning, he was surprised to see Ludvig along with what looked to be the entire camp walking out of the woods. His hands shook.

Vasile stepped close to Stepan. “Don’t worry. You’ve shot in front of an audience many times. Pretend you’re back in the village.”

Stepan relaxed. Closing his eyes he imagined he was back in Gagra. All his friends were there. Smiling to himself, he turned his attention back to his rifle. It was unloaded and working properly. Pulling the hammer back halfway, he examined the nipple. Clean. Wiping his forehead, he checked the wind. He poured some powder into his hand. Dry. Using a brass measure, he scooped it up, transferring it to the barrel. He pulled a cloth patch from his pouch, placed it over the end of the barrel, and put a lead ball on it. He trimmed the excess cloth and rammed the patch and ball down the barrel. The mark on the ramrod showed they were solidly placed.

“How’re you feeling?” asked Vasile.

“A little nervous.”

“You can do this. You’ve made more difficult shots.”

“I know, but it’s not the same.” A bead of sweat rolled down his nose and dripped onto his hand.

“You won’t miss. Now focus on our village.”

Stepan turned his thoughts back to the village.

Kirill returned. “It’s on a boulder, about a meter off the ground.” He pointed.

Stepan followed Krill’s finger and saw his target.

Nikolai stepped close to Stepan. “This is the moment of truth, little man. Are you ready to show us what a marksman you are?”

Stepan nodded. He tilted his head back. Closing his eyes, he felt the sun. The breeze cooled his face. He drew three deep breaths. Relax. The water lapped the shore, the birds sang, and the branches rustled. There were no other sounds. Slowly opening his eyes, he let them find his target.

He reached in his bag. His fingers found a percussion cap. He fixed the cap on the nipple. A young White Birch tree grew to his right. He placed the barrel in a fork of the tree that was chin high. He positioned the barrel, balanced the gun, and set the butt of the rifle against his right shoulder. He settled his feet and dug the soles of his boots into the dirt. He looked again to find his target. Slowly, he cocked the hammer. Closing his eyes, he whispered, “God, help me.”
He took a deep breath, looked down the long barrel across the sight, and found his mark. His right eye focused on the bottle. The barrel moved slightly above and to the right of the object. Closing his left eye, he checked the sight. He took a deep breath, held it, and slowly squeezed the trigger.

The gun roared, the bottle disintegrated, and the men’s cheers filled the air.

“Thank you, God,” he whispered.

He brought the rifle to half cock, removed what was left of the cap, and blew through the vent of the nipple. Then he wiped down the barrel. Looking at Vasile, he smiled. Nikolai stepped forward and slapped him on the back.

“Not bad,” said Nikolai. Shaking his head, he repeated, “Not bad.”
For more about Tom please visit:
or check out his facebook page

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mistaken Indentity by K. Dawn Byrd

Author K. Dawn Byrd visits this week to tell about her newest release, Mistaken Identity. Enjoy!

Book blurb: Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn't have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.How did t

How did this story come to you?
Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I wondered what would happen if a not-as-pretty good Christian girl and her gorgeous non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. Who would get the guy?

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had already published several book with Desert Breeze Publishing when they opened a young adult line. I'd been writing romantic suspense and thought it would fun to try my hand at a young adult novel. It was so much fun that I'm signing a contract for a young adult mystery series that will debut in January.

Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.
2) I love sour things....pickles, lemons, sour candy.
3) I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don't miss mine at all.)

What are you working on now and what's next for you?I'm editing my October release with Desert Breeze. This Time for Keeps is an inspirational romance.

Parting comments? Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away their books.

Where can fans find you on the internet?


I'm also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and facebook (K Dawn Byrd.) I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering facebook group (!/group.php?gid=128209963444) If you join this group, you'll get reminders about the weekly book giveways.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Author Interview: Karen Baney

Today I have the privilege of introducing author Karen Baney. Karen is the author of two Christian Historical fiction books, with more on the way. Welcome Karen!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I just recently celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary to my wonderful hubby, Jim. We met on Leap Day in 2000 and got married just a few months later. (When you know it’s right, it’s right). We have two adorable dogs, Max and Ginger.

Tell us about your writing journey. What led you to do this?
For several years I thought about writing, but never really wrote more than a few devotionals. Then in early 2010, I experienced a string of unexpected health problems. As a result of that time, I grew closer to God. I knew that he had not called me to be a mother, so I asked him what he was calling me to do. He said, “Write.” So I started with “A Dream Unfolding,” and just kept going.

Please tell us a little about your book. Is it part of a series?
“A Dream Unfolding,” is the first in my Prescott Pioneers Series. It is a great story about trusting God in difficult places. The main characters (Drew, Hannah, and Will) have to learn to adapt as their own versions of tragedy strike. Their first dream might not become reality so they must learn to accept a new dream as it unfolds.
The second book in the series, “A Heart Renewed,” follows some of the characters we meet in the first book as they learn to let God heal their deepest hurts. I am currently writing the third book, “A Life Restored,” and I have two additional books planned in the series.

What message to you hope readers will take from it?
I pray that each book I write will show my readers some aspect of God in a tangible way. I have learned so much about Him over the years and I continue to learn. I just want to share those things with my readers through believable, imperfect characters. I hope readers will be encouraged that even when they are going through tough times, God is still here and he still cares.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing, and how did the idea for this book (and series) come to you?
When I started the first book, I knew I wanted to do something set in Prescott, Arizona. I love the place and have visited numerous times over the past 14 years. It’s a charming town that has such a Midwestern feel to it—so different from the stucco and cookie cutter homes of the Phoenix area. I also knew what the climax of the book would be—I just didn’t know how to fit it all together.
In the end, the research I found about the birth of Prescott led to the idea for the first book. Readers will see it in the many historical details woven into the story. Since some of the characters in the first book end up traveling with the first territorial governor of Arizona, the story leant itself to relaying so many real historical events. The other books in the series, while still including many historical facts, do so in a more subdued way—more as a backdrop to the story.

Do you have a favorite scene from your book, and why is it your favorite? Care to share an excerpt?
Picking a favorite that doesn’t give away too much of the story is hard, because my favorite scene would totally ruin the book for you (but you’ll know it when you read it). So I chose a scene with my favorite character instead. I love the following excerpt because it shows the intense stress Will faced. As the rancher, he was responsible for getting everyone to their destination safely, but he and his men have encountered a number of obstacles.

The dust stirring from the cattle stung Will’s tired eyes. In the two days since the Indian attack, he slept not more than an hour or two. Even his exhaustion could not diminish the bright pink and orange streaks splaying across the horizon, chasing the last remnants of night from the sky. God must have known he needed the little bit of peace that always rose up from his soul when witnessing such a glorious sunrise.
Other than this brief moment, peace seemed a distant friend—the kind that never wrote. The burdensome responsibility he bore ushered the refreshing peace to the corner of his heart. His men needed him to stay strong. He had to do whatever it takes to get them and the cattle to the Arizona Territory safely.
Only things weren’t exactly going as planned. With one man buried on the side of the trail two days ride behind them, and another looking like he might soon join his friend, Will fought against the strong sense of failure pushing through his fatigue. If given the choice, he would rather have both men healthy and in the saddle. No one wanted to be attacked by Indians.
Nevertheless, they had been. And now it was his job to pick up the pieces and get everyone to the next milestone—Santa Fe—as quickly and safely as possible.
How could he do that when every tired muscle begged him to slip from his horse and sleep the day away?
Stifling a groan of frustration, Will turned his horse from the flank of the herd to camp. Maybe his mind would function better once his stomach was full.
Pulling the chestnut mare to a stop next to the other horses, he dismounted in a wobbly manner, his feet almost buckling under him. Resting his hand on the horn of his saddle, he steadied himself before unbuckling the straps. Lifting the saddle from the horse, he carried it away as Covington took over the horse’s care.
Tossing his saddle on the ground, Will fought against the temptation to lie down without breakfast. Instead, he forced his feet towards the makeshift table where Snake dished out breakfast.
As he neared the table, a flash of silver caught his eye. Owens worked quickly to stash the flask, but not before it registered in Will’s foggy brain.
Slamming his palm down on the table, Will said, through gritted teeth, “Owens! What do you think you are doing?”
Feigning innocence, Owens just shrugged.
In no mood to deal with insolent behavior, Will leaned forward into the man’s face. The smell of alcohol invaded his senses. “I will not have my men drinking on the trail!”
“Calm down, boss. I’m not on until this afternoon. How else do you expect me to fall asleep in broad daylight?” Owens said, his eyes narrowing to tiny slits.
Adrenaline shot through Will’s body, bringing him fully awake. He struggled not to hit the man as he tested Will’s resolve. Reaching his hand to Owens’ inside vest pocket, Will took the flask, opened it, and dumped the contents into the dirt. Then he handed the empty flask back to Owens.
“I expect my men to have a clear head while we’re on the trail.”
Owens’ face turned beet red. When he started to stand, Whitten clapped his hand down on his shoulder. The forthcoming response died on Owens’ tongue when Whitten shook his head in warning. At least the fool listened to his friend, Will thought, walking from the scene.
Splashing cold water over his face, Will blotted the soothing liquid away with the sleeve of his shirt. For a brief moment he closed his eyes, calming his temper before he did something stupid, like firing Owens. Replacing his Stetson on top of his head, he took the bowl of grits Snake offered. Leaning against the chuck wagon, some distance from his men, he ate slowly. Exhaustion tugged at him. Lord, I just need to make it to Santa Fe. Give me the strength to get us there.

What about characters. Do you identify with one more than the other?
Will is my favorite character in the story. He’s a single guy who lived under the shadow of an overbearing older brother. Though he was content with his life, his circumstances changed unexpectedly. He is a good leader to his men, but he has a bit of a temper problem. Even though he’s changed a lot from the man he used to be, he still struggles with being the man he wants to be.

I understand you self-publish your books. Tell us a little about that.
Well, I decided to self-publish after doing a great deal of research about both traditional publishing and self-publishing. Self-publishing appealed to me because I get to set my own schedule and I retain full control of the book. It’s tough at times to be solely responsible for the outcome of my books. I love business (have a Masters in Business Administration) and so I enjoy the business aspect of selling and marketing my books almost as much as writing them. One of the benefits of self-publishing is that I get to retain a much bigger percentage of the royalties—that’s why I can afford to sell the ebook versions for $2.99 instead of the $9.99 of most major publishing houses.

Do you have a favorite author or book that has impacted your life?
Most of the books I read are Christian Historical Fiction. But a few years ago, I started branching out into some Christian Suspense. I received Terri Blackstock’s Restoration Series for Christmas one year and I devoured those books. I loved how she took a bunch of everyday modern Americans and tossed them into a situation where they had to live for years without any modern conveniences—no power, no cars, no mass produced food. I walked away from reading those books with a new perspective on how incredibly blessed we are in this country and how we take it for granted to easily.

What do you do enjoy doing in you spare time?
Writing is what I do in my spare time. I work full-time as a Software Engineer, then I come home, kiss my hubby and pet my dogs, and lock myself in my office to write. Oh, maybe it’s not that harsh. But, I do spend a ton of time writing. I also try to carve out enough time to read at least one book for fun each week. Photography is another passion. I love going to cool museums with my hubby and my camera. Check out the photo gallery on my website for some neat historical things (coffee grinders, carriages, ranch house, and much more).

Where can readers buy your book and where can they learn more about you?
Please visit my website: to learn more about me, my books, and the history of Arizona in the 1860’s.
My books are available on Amazon (paperback & kindle), Barnes & Noble (nook), Apple iBooks, Diesel, Kobo, Sony eReader, and Smashwords. Links to purchase are included on my website.

Thank you so much for visiting Karen! Later in the week Karen will be guest blogging again about the ins and outs of self-publishing. More and more authors are considering this route and Karen has some great information, so check back.

1970 Olds 442


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