Monday, November 17, 2014

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Colleen L. Reece

Book Giveaway Nov 17 – 26: You have a chance to win 2 Christmas Romances, Christmas Calling. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U.S. or E-book: International

Colleen L. Reece was born and raised in a home without electricity or running water but filled with love for God and family. Colleen learned to read by kerosene lamplight and dreamed of someday writing a book. God multiplied her “someday” book into 150 “Books You Can Trust,” with six million copies sold. She considers herself an ordinary person with an extraordinary God.

Welcome to my blog, Colleen. This novel has two Christmas stories in one book. Please tell us about this Christmas novel.

Christmas Calling, co-authored with my dear friend Birdie L. Etchison, offers two heartwarming Christmas novellas: my Christmas Challenge (historical) and Birdie’s Christmas Snow (contemporary). The love stories are as mystifying as a white-out, as sweet as homemade cookies. Only by the grace of God can two troubled couples weather the storms of life and find true love.

Ahhhh… true love! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

All of my stories contain elements from real life and many are based on actual incidents. I have strong feelings of family loyalty and a hatred for injustice, both foundation blocks for Christmas Challenge. My small town upbringing and living in a one-room school where my mother once taught all eight grades contributed a great deal to the heroine’s accepting a challenge to prove the pioneer spirit was still alive in the late 1800s.

What kind of research did you have to do?

Life in rural Montana in the 1880s. I had already set other stories there so this wasn’t as hard as might be expected.

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about her.

Valerie O’Shea is dear to my heart. She has the same kind of ancestors I do. Valerie and her father came to America on a coffin boat to escape the Irish potato famine. My great-grandparents went to a small, western Washington logging town in the early 1900s and built the first church—there was nothing there but seven saloons, a grocery store, and a one-room school.

I heard about that potato famine and what a hardship it was. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

God continues to restore my energy after chemo, a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation in the last two years. My side effects were minimal compared with what is normal. The medical personnel at St. Francis in Federal Way, WA call me their miracle patient. I came home the day after surgery and never had to take a pain or nausea pill—and I just turned 79.

I haven’t been able to do much writing, but God supplies my needs and gives me endless opportunities to witness. When my medical personnel say, “You are awesome,” I reply, “No. God is awesome. I am grateful.” I am. The past two years have taught me to trust Him in and for everything and encourage others to do the same.

Wow! You are a woman of great faith and have endured a lot. Thanks for this wonderful interview, Colleen. To buy a book or e-book, you may go to Amazon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Donna Hatch


Book Giveaway Nov 10 - 17: You have a chance to win a Regency Romance, A Christmas Reunion, the Gift of a Second Chance. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book: International.

Author of Historical Romance and Fantasy, award-winning author Donna Hatch is a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter. Her passion for writing began at age 8 she wrote her first short story, and she wrote her first full-length novel during her sophomore year in high school, a fantasy which was later published. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, her work as a freelance editor and copywriter, and her many volunteer positions, she still makes time to write. After all, writing IS an obsession.  All of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 20 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.

Welcome back to my blog, Donna. This Christmas story is all about the Gift of a Second Chance. Please tell us about your new book, A Christmas Reunion.

Heartbroken at the news that her betrothed has wed another woman, Emily is determined to pick up the pieces of her life and enjoy Christmas with her family. Newly returned from war, Bennett holds a secret and will do anything to ensure Emily, his only true love, never discovers it…even if it means losing her. Fate reunites the star-crossed lovers and reveals the truth that will either unite them or drive them apart forever.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

It came in the shower, of course, where most of my ideas decide to appear J  I was relaxed, my mind drifting, mulling over reasons why two people in love might have separated, and what might bring them back together. Then the idea of a Dear Jane letter came to me and the characters and plot formed around it. Originally, the title was The Letter but since my publisher already had a book by that title, we brainstormed and came up with Christmas Reunion, then added the subtitle, the Gift of a Second Chance.

That is a very interesting place to get your inspiration. Haha. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Really, the only thing I needed to research was dates and locations of battles during the Napoleonic War and if any convents would have been nearby—I needed to mention a hospital and a nun. Everything else I’d already learned in my last eight years of research.

You love to write regency romances. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?

I love many things about them but mostly it’s because of the men. In Regency England, duty and honor were everything. If a man said he’d do something, especially if he gave his word, he meant it, and others could count him to follow through, even if it came at a great personal cost.

Men in many historical eras were civilized and treated women with courtesy by standing up when a lady entered the room, doffed their hats, curtailed their language, offered an arm, bowed, and a hundred other little things I wish men still did today. But they were also very athletic; they hunted, raced, fenced, boxed, rode horses. They were manly. Strong. Noble. Resolute. Honorable. I love that about them! And that makes them perfect heroes for both historical fiction and historical romance novels.

That is a very good reason for writing your stories during that era. Where can my readers find you online?

Website is www.donnahatch.com 

Thank you, Donna, for a wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Interview with Fantasy Author Amarissa Ainsworth

Book Giveaway Nov 1 - 14: You have a chance to win a Fantasy, The Secrets of Myth. How do you qualify? Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U. S. E-book: International and U. S.

Ever since Amarissa was young, she was intrigued by the worlds of fantasy, magic, and make-believe. As time went on, she became the ultimate fan of those genres. Now, besides raising two active boys and a busy husband, Amarissa finds time to put her imagination into words in her debut novel, The Secrets of Myth. She is now working on the two sequels.

"I am impressed with this fantasy. The characters drew me into a world of make believe so easily. I fell in love with them right away. That is what kept my interest. This story is fast paced and keeps you turning the pages. This is Amarissa's first book and she sounds like a professional story teller. I would recommend this book to both young adult and adult alike." --Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Hello, Amarissa. I’ve read your book and it’s an intriguing story. I know that fantasy lovers will love this story. Please tell us about The Secrets of Myth.

Leila Butterfield, an exceptionally smart high school girl, finds her world turned upside down when she discovers she may not be human. After washing up on the beach at the age of six with no memories except for a disturbing reoccurring nightmare and an incapacitating fear of water, she is adopted into a family that knows nothing of her past. But someone does know and they aren’t telling. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they dive into her past, unlocking secrets about her life and who she really is. But time is running out. Leila races against the clock to find out the truth. But whom can she trust? One day could alter the course of her entire future, but will she even survive that long?

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I have always loved writing short stories. About seven years ago, before I had kids and my husband still worked late, I started reading a book my family told me about. When I reached the end, there was a big cliffhanger. I love cliffhangers as long as I have the next book in my hand, ready to read. But since this was a new book, the next book in the series had not been released yet. I was too involved with the characters, and agonized waiting to find out how the greater story ends. I distracted myself with another book. After finishing that book, in less than two days, I found that one was also a cliffhanger. Now I was worrying over, not one, but two books. I decided to read a stand-alone book to distract me from worrying about how those other two series’ would end. After finishing the third book, I realized that it too was part of a series. Frustration and excessive puzzling over each book started to become overwhelming. So as I sat home alone one night, counting down the days for the new books to come out, I directed my excessive obsessive energy into writing a book of my own.

Haha. That is so funny. Who is your favorite character in this story and what do you love about him or her?

In this book, The Secrets of Myth, my favorite character would have to be Leila’s little brother Eric. His easy personality and fun-loving nature made him easy to write. But I also love the magical creature characters. Gates was also an intriguing character to write, being surrounded by mystery and a little bit of danger.

What does your family think about you becoming a new author?

My family thinks it’s incredible that I have published my book. They’ve heard enough about it over the past seven years that they are thrilled it’s published. And even more thrilled they never have to hear me tell them about it again!

Haha. They can now hear about the sequels, right? It’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Leila, the main character in The Secrets of Myth, and I share a few traits in common. But the one thing that was the crux of her character is that she has an intense, irrational fear of water. I too share that fear. As much as I love boats and flying on an inner tube over a lake, I have only done it a handful of times in my life. As soon as the boat stops moving, I become enveloped with fear. Mermaids have always fascinated me, but the fear of water always made me nervous to be around the beach or dive into ocean-themed media. The question floated into my head, what if there was a mermaid that was scared of water? Thus, The Secrets of Myth was born.


That is so interesting. I never thought about not being afraid on a boat but when it comes to a stop it’s a completely different situation.

ANNOUNCING 3 FREE E-BOOKS: If you choose to buy Amarissa’s book, then you will receive three FREE e-books as a gift. Just let me know and I’ll email you the 3 gifts. Serena Clarke has agreed to donate one of her fantasies, The Treasure of Isian. You may read a sample chapter at Serena's website. The next gifts are from Linda Weaver Clarke. That’s me! I will donate 2 e-books. One is a romance set around the time of Robin Hood called The Rebels of Cordovia. The second is a mystery/suspense called Anasazi Intrigue. The book information is below. You may buy Amarissa’s book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The Treasure of Isian is the first book in The Isian Series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by giants, elves, dragons, and a vengeful water-witch. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom?

The Rebels of Cordovia: Long after the legendary Robin Hood, a group of men and women find themselves fighting for the same cause. In the small country of Cordovia, small groups of rebels begin springing up, but its Robin’s Rebels who get the attention of the king.

Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?


Anasazi Intrigue: When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, residents are shocked by the news of also a possible poison spill that kills many of the fish and neighbor's pets. Julia, the town's newest reporter, begins her investigation but realizes the story is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing the story of a lifetime! She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous. With artifacts, dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants, John and Julia have their hands full.







Visit Stuck in Books for more giveaways.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with Historical Romance Author Cynthia Hickey



Cynthia Hickey’s first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. All of her cozy series have been in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances through Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 200,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. Cynthia lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com

A Texas Ranger’s Arms is a sweet romance. I enjoyed this story about a Texas Ranger and a young girl who is trying to keep the land that was meant to be hers. Both characters were wonderfully developed. I totally fell in love with the Texas Ranger who is recuperating at his parents’ home.” – Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Welcome to my Family Friendly Blog, Cynthia. You have written in several different genres. Will you please tell us what they are?

I write historical romance, cozy mystery, contemporary, and romantic suspense, whatever the story on my heart is.

You have published a few books under “Heartsong Presents.” Heartsong only publishes Christian Romance and I’ve read several, including yours. Please tell us about In A Texas Ranger’s Arms.

KATIE GAMBLE IS ON THE RUN. After her unscrupulous stepfather accuses her of being a thief, a horrified Katie hopes to hide out until she can prove otherwise. But slipping into obscurity in a small Texas town isn't so easy. Not with Texas Ranger Ward Alston on her tail. 

Ward's used to getting his man—or woman. But he's not used to the accused being so resolute in her innocence or so beautifully appealing. As he uncovers the truth, Ward realizes this Harvey Girl isn't all she seems. Together, can they evade danger and obey the law of their own hearts?

I enjoyed your story and the Texas Ranger was awesome. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Once I decided to do a series on the Harvey Girls, I researched towns where there was a Harvey House. When I ran across the town in Texas, I immediately knew I needed to do a story of a Texas Ranger and a woman on the run from the law. It was a lot of fun to write.

The fourth book in this series, A Doctor’s Heart, is being released Nov 1st. What is it about?

Betsy Colter's Heart is On the Line. Betrayed by her soldier fiancé, Betsy takes a job as a Harvey Girl waitress and vows to steer clear of military romance. But soon she's falling for her army pen pal, Dr. Spencer Gregory. When a wounded Spencer returns home and rebuffs her friendship and love, Betsy's deepest fears come true.

Though he's a decorated soldier, Spencer sees himself as a burden—one he won't saddle Betsy with. But keeping her at arm's length is no longer an option when Betsy's former fiancé shows up eager to win her back. If their romance is to survive the war, Spencer must set aside his pride and win her heart.

Thanks, Cynthia. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Wow! Hmmm, I’ve been on television twice. The first time almost got me fired from my high school job. I worked at a pickle factory and they were doing a documentary on the factory. My job was to throw out the holey pickle slices. All I’d ever been told when I asked why they were holey was that they were rotten. Apparently, that was a joke. They’re only over processed. Anyway, when the documentary crew asked me what I was doing and why I was throwing out the holey pickles, I said, “Because they’re rotten.” Boy, did I get a talking to from my boss.

Haha. I can imagine. Thank you so much for this interview, Cynthia. For those interested, you may visit Cynthia’s website at http://cynthiahickey.com and read about her other books.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Interview with YA Christian Author Gail Pallotta



Award-winning author, Gail Pallotta, is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen book, Stopped Cold, was a best-seller on All Romance eBooks, finished fourth in the Preditors and Editors readers’ poll, and was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards. She’s published short stories in “Splickety” magazine and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

"Stopped Cold is filled with emotion, strong characters, teenage romance, adventure, danger and the intricate workings of modern day high school studies and sports." --Larry Hammersley, Author

Welcome back to my blog, Gail. For those who enjoy a bit of mystery, this book has it. Stopped Cold is being reintroduced with a new cover and publisher. Please tell us about your book.

The theme of the book is: You don’t have to be number one for God to love you. It takes place in a small mountain town, but things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
This book has a wonderful message for teens. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

As a young adult I saw lots of heartache in several instances when people weren’t number one. Sadly, the drive pushed some of them to destructive behavior. I could only imagine the pain they must have gone through and how their God-given talents were wasted simply because they weren’t “the best.” The fact that God gave us all a gift or gifts to use for Him kept rattling around in my head until I decided to write about it. When I thought of being number one, even though we can win everything from a pie-tasting contest to a spelling bee, sports came to mind. As a young person I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and wanted to write a mystery. I pondered how to connect a sports story and a mystery and steroids came to mind. When I researched steroid use, one of the main reasons given for taking them was a desire to excel in athletics. This rounded out the book for my theme.  

What kind of research did you do for this book?

To learn about steroids I used the Physician’s Desk Reference in the library and several online sites. I also interviewed a couple policemen.

My daughter was a U.S. swimmer, and I swim laps, but I checked the local papers and heat sheets for up-to-date times for specific events and asked several people associated with the sport to check out the swimming scenes.

You did a lot of work, Gail. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

Oh yes. To name a few, the scene where the doctor explains steroids to Sean and Margaret’s mom reflects my research in the Physician’s Desk Reference book and the online sources. The entire character of Joe Garrett, the undercover cop, comes from talking with the police. The technical information about swimming shows up at every swim meet.

That’s awesome. You have a new young adult novel that was just released this week called Mountain of Love and Danger. Please tell us about it.

Mountain of Love and Danger is a novella. It’s a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and will be book number four in a series with four other authors. In it Jack Greenthumb’s having fun—a different day—a different girl to ride around in Fairwilde Kingdom. Then Dad’s attacked and beaten up. The family farm’s destroyed and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. A giant-sized criminal holds her captive atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. Jack launches an undercover operation that reveals Gwenie’s whereabouts, but reaching her is a dangerous expedition even for a champion rock climber. A Greenthumb Acres employee plants a miraculous seed from Heaven at the base of the mountain for the rescue. Suspense and danger mounts as Jack makes the perilous climb. When he reaches  Gwenie, they must escape then face a treacherous descent. Mountain of Love is available at Smashwords and Amazon

Thank you, Gail, for this wonderful interview. Gail is giving two e-books away. If you have a preference which book you want, let us know in your comment.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Mary L. Ball



Mary L. Ball lives in North Carolina and writes Christian fiction. When she’s not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing gospel songs with her husband. Readers can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review for Stone of Destiny: “Taking Taylor's destiny in her hands, Grandma tries to make light of selling the family home, a home Taylor spent much time in as a child, and uses the ‘old lady’ excuse to shame her into staying there to oversee remodeling. Of course the remodeler is a hunk ... and the sparks of battle turn into sparks of romance.” –Lisa J. Lickel

Hello, Mary. This book is a sweet romance with a bit of mystery. Please tell us about your novel, Stone of Destiny.

Hello Linda, it's a pleasure to be here today. You have a wonderful blog. Here's the blurb to Stone of Destiny.

Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete--until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom. Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning.

Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn't understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced. Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.

Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world--a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

Romance! Mystery! This story sounds so intriguing. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My oldest grandson likes to read YA fantasy. One day while seeing him relaxing with his favorite book, I thought, I need to write a novel about spiritual wonders and remarkable things that happen when we put our trust in the Lord. Over the next week, the plot for Stone of Destiny was born.   

That’s so interesting. What kind of research did you have to do?
 I haven't been to Panama, so I spent countless time researching Central America, as my character spends a few months in the area.

The ring in Stone of Destiny is a sapphire. I used that gem because it's my birthstone, but during the editing process my publisher asked if I'd researched the meaning of a sapphire. I read the link and found the sapphire symbolizes mental clarity, faithfulness and truth, which are important components to the story.

Wow! So the sapphire was perfect to use in your story. Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

 I have a few and can't decide. I enjoy Taylor (the main character) she is like me in a lot of ways and finds herself questioning her path in life. Deep down she has different aspirations.

Taylor's love interest is Brent. He's a God-fearing, blue-collar worker who looks good in Wrangler Jeans. LOL

Then there is Granny Kaye. That lady has wisdom and lives by faith. She's the one constant in Taylor's life.
      
What wonderful characters! Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I live in a small town and like it that way. I'd much rather be at a lake than in a five-star restaurant.      

Thank you, Mary, for an awesome interview. I hope my readers will check out your book. I know they’ll enjoy it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Regina Andrews



Award-winning author Regina Andrews, a resident of Providence, Rhode Island, grew up in the seaside village of Barrington, about 20 miles South of Providence. After graduating from Providence College she earned her degree in American Civilization from Brown University. The author of numerous works including romantic fiction, plays, essays and articles, Regina is currently working on The Sterling Lakes Series. Regina is involved in numerous community organizations, and is a radio host for In-Sight, an association for the visually impaired. Her hobbies include travel, museums, theater, reading, chorale singing and gardening. She and her husband share their home with a semi-feral cat named Queen Tiana, whom they rescued from a shelter.

Welcome back to my blog. Regina. Your new book sounds intriguing. When I read your sample chapter, I was instantly interested in the story. What is your new book about?

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit, Linda. I am delighted to be here. This book is very exciting to me, as it is a re-issue that I am looking forward to having people enjoy.

THE PERFECT PROPOSAL centers on Lindsay Richardson, a quiet elementary school teacher, whose world is turned upside down when she becomes the assistant to Dean Singleton Copley, one of the nation’s most dynamic business leaders in the high-powered corporate world. Lindsay’s father recently died unexpectedly and the school where she was teaching could not allow her time off to take care of her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. Thanks to a chance encounter with one of her father’s friends, businessman Mr. Copley Sr., she is offered a position at his company. When she arrives at work, she discovers she will be working with Dean Jr., the dynamo – not the kindly elder Mr. Copley who knew her father.

This time in her life is a test of her faith, her courage, and her strength. Her questions extend to not knowing what the Lord expects from her regarding her new boss, a dashing bachelor so different from her on the surface. Lindsay begins to see that Dean is scarred from situations in his past. Only faith gives Lindsay the strength to deal with the many challenges of her new position, all her personal crises, and the turmoil in her family life.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

Actually I read an article about a situation like this on the Wedding page of our Sunday paper many years ago. The two met at work and lived happily ever after!

I love “happily ever after” stories. What kind of research did you do for this book?

It was crucial to understand Alzheimer’s disease. There were many questions I had to research, and facts I had to verify. Such as, for example, the matter of a patient wandering away from the house, which is a scene in the book, or the phenomenon of “sundowning”, which also occurs. I tried very hard to treat the entire subject of Alzheimer’s disease and its ripple effect with the utmost respect and dignity. Additionally, I had to research a bit about the various social clubs at Brown University, which involved several enjoyable visits to the University’s facilities.

Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

At one point I served as a member of the Senior Citizens Governing Board in Rhode Island, and much of my experience from this appointed position could be applied to the subject matter of this book.  The “research” in this case was my actual life experience.

Wow! To use your own experiences is fantastic. You love to write Inspirational Romances. What intrigues you most about writing these love stories?

To me, the most exciting aspect of Inspirational romance, Linda, is that unlike a traditional romance with two main characters - the hero and the heroine, an Inspirational romance actually has three main characters – the hero, the heroine and God. That dynamic creates a fluid, vibrant paradigm that propels the story along without my having to construct it, because it is not just the hero and heroine’s thoughts or the way they relate to each other that propels the plot along. Rather, it is the hero and heroine’s relationship with God in addition to their relationship to each other directly impacts the storyline. And since it is a romance and we can be assured of a positive outcome, the path towards that evolves very naturally in my stories. It is guided by human foibles, triumphs and actions -- all held within the loving heart of God.

You explained your reason for writing these stories so well. Thank you for this interview, Regina. To learn more about this author, visit her website at http://www.reginaandrews.com. You’ll find all her books at this site.

Thank you for having me visit, Linda. Your blog is lovely and it is a joy to be here. Happy reading, everyone!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Interview with Romantic/Suspense Author Julie Bellon

Julie is married with eight children and eleven published books. Her novel All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense and her novel Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense. She loves to travel and her favorite cities she has visited so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She would love to visit Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, and Scotland someday. She loves to read, write, teach, watch Castle, Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate---not necessarily in that order.

Welcome back to my blog, Julie. You have four books in the Hostage Negotiation Team series: All Fall Down, Ashes Ashes, Pocket Full of Posies, and Ring Around the Rosie. Each is a “stand-alone” story. Please tell us about the last book.

Ring Around the Rosie is the Captain's story and it explores how his life gets turned upside down when his ex-wife is caught in a hostage situation with him.  Can the intense experience rekindle their feelings for each other? Here's the back cover copy for this one:

Revenge is a dish best served cold . . .

As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that's full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer---and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed.

Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance---literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology and uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind---using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are.

Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?

My husband has read your first three in this series and really loves them. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

I loved the idea of a Hostage Negotiation Team dynamic and how their personal lives would be affected by their jobs. I also read a lot of newspapers and current events jump out at me. My imagination takes over as I see how different characters could react in those situations and the stories just went from there.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I have the privilege of interviewing several different law enforcement officials. I read tons of hostage negotiation transcripts. I feel like I researched every last detail from guns to bombs and bullet resistant wall panels down to the schematics of hotels, diners, and sub-basements.  I did a lot of research for this book and learned so much that never made it into the story! Maybe I should do outtakes sometime. That might be fun.

 You love to write romance/suspense. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?

I've always been attracted to this genre and what it means to want to protect your country or other people and how that balances with the instinct to protect those you love. I admire our military and law enforcement heroes and feel like there are so many stories to be told in what they deal with and how it affects them.  Their stories inspire my imagination and how I would feel in those circumstances and what I would do.  Of course I like the romance aspect because who doesn't want to have a little of that in their life?

Here are the covers for each of Julie's books in this series. 


I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind what they write. It has always intrigued me. I hope my readers will check out your books. Julie is having another contest in which she is giving away $30 Amazon gift card, A Booklovers Basket with three novels, a fuzzy new blanket and gourmet hot chocolate, or a copy of all four of the Hostage Negotiation Team series at http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/2014/09/ring-around-rosie-blog-tour-kickoff.html.


My readers find Julie at:

My website is www.juliebellon.com
Twitter: @juliebellon
Pinterest: juliebellon8

Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Shirley Raye Redmond


Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of several sweet romance novels and dozens of children’s books. Many of her titles have won national and regional awards. She is a member of numerous writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writer, Romance Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and SCBWI. She lives in New Mexico.


Welcome back to my blog, Shirley. I understand this book is “Jane Austen approved.” How awesome is that! Please tell us about Prudence Pursued.

At the advanced age of twenty-seven, Prudence Pentyre is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret, shy and plain, does not share her own unmarried fate.

Despite her best efforts, all of Prudence’s matchmaking attempts fail. Margaret proves reluctant to accept Sir James Brownell’s marriage proposal, and fears being “bovinised” if she undergoes the controversial cowpox vaccination he recommends. And the dashing baronet—with his sunburned skin, eye patch, and unfashionable attire—seems more concerned about the plight of headhunters in Borneo than Margaret’s stubborn refusal of his offer.

Prudence, on the other hand, finds herself unexpectedly smitten with the man. Can she trust that God’s plan for her life is richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself?


This book sounds like a fun story. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

A three-week trip to England with friends, where we visited Bath, Jane Austen’s home in Chatsworth, and other sites associated with the Regency period gave me an abundance of ideas. Also, I’d written a biography for kids about Edward Jenner for a write-for-hire publishing company, but they killed the project. I saved all my research, determined to one day share what I knew about smallpox during the Regency period. Jenner’s vaccination was quite controversial. Many people feared they would develop cowlike physical features if they underwent the procedure because the lymph used in the vaccine came from cowpox pus!

Amazing. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

Yes, the riots and public demonstrations in the story (poor Pru gets knocked in the head by a protestor!) actually took place in several towns and cities in England. And the Borneo adventures experienced by my hero Sir James Brownell were inspired by the real-life adventures of James, Charles, and Vyner Brooke, who were the real White Rajahs of Sarawak in Borneo—but during the Victorian times, not the Regency period. I took a bit of literary license with that.

Also, we tend to think of the Regency period as a polite, civilized time in history. Jane Austen’s novels are often called “comedies of manners.” And yet shortly prior to that period, William Wilberforce considered the age a decadent one and even founded the Society of the Reformation of Manners in 1787. My heroine Prudence is a member of the Society and heartily embraces Wilberforce’s reforms.

You love to write inspirational romances. What intrigues you most about writing these love stories?

I am intrigued by the who, what, where, when and how people fall in love through the ages.  No one falls in love in a vacuum. We think of romance and current events as two separate categories, but really, men and women all around the world fall in love in the midst of current events—during wartime and political upheavals, during smallpox epidemics and even while collecting fossils, which was hugely popular in England during this time period.

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, Shirley. I hope my readers will check out your new book.

Thanks for having me, Linda. I love connecting with readers via my website at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com or through my author facebook page - a fun place for readers to visit at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shirley-Raye-Redmond-Author/533496973399344.