Monday, July 25, 2016

Interview with Contemporary Romance Author Linda Baten Johnson

CHRISTMAS IN JULY! Book Giveaway July 25 – Aug 1: You have a chance to win a Christmas Romance, Cocoa and Christmas Crackers. To enter the contest, make a comment and leave your email. Ebook: International.

Please write a brief bio in 3rd person, about 5 sentences. You can tell us how many books you have written, how many children you have, etc. It’s up to you.

Linda Baten Johnson has spent many hours packing and unpacking as she and her husband George have lived in 20 different places in the United States and enjoyed a stint in England. In between moves, Linda worked as a Realtor, a teacher, and logged many volunteer hours. One of her favorite volunteer assignments was at a lighthouse in a National Park where they were housed in the assistant keeper’s cottage.
Growing up in White Deer, a small town in the panhandle of Texas, Linda won blue ribbons for her storytelling ability. She still loves telling stories, reading stories, and sharing stories.

We’re celebrating Christmas in July this week. Welcome to my blog, Linda. Please tell us about your Christmas novel, Cocoa and Christmas Crackers.

Joy Young, an attractive, young waitress at the Cozy Cocoa Shoppe, intends to graduate with top academic honors and without a penny of debt. She believes that working hard and doing the right things will bring the rewards she desires. Her philosophy works until Dane Michaels threatens to take the coveted award she considers to be hers.
But Joy refuses to back off from this fight, even with Dane, her handsome rival. Can she win without sacrificing her principles? Or her heart?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

All three of our daughters were involved in academic rivalries for college scholarships, which gave them an opportunity to grow in many ways. As for the Christmas crackers, we were introduced to the tradition when we lived in England, and I thought it would be fun to incorporate the crackers into a novella.

What kind of research did you do?

I learned how to make Christmas crackers, so we’ll have a bowl of them for guests this holiday season.

Yum! Christmas crackers sounds delicious. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

I like Joy Young because she is hard-working, loyal, and loving. Oops! That makes her sound like the ideal dog. She is not a dog—she’s a spunky, attractive heroine with a good sense of humor. However, she must resolve some past issues before she can move toward the future she craves.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you so much for this interview. Your book sounds wonderful. I hope my followers will check it out.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Interview with Adventure Author Andean White

Book Giveaway July 18 - 25: You have a chance to win an Adventure, Summer's Swarm. To enter the contest, make a comment about the interview. Book: U.S. and Canada or Ebook: International

It does not matter if it is peddling on a skinny seat, looking for a little white ball, or laying a fly on a riffle, Andean and Nancy enjoy the outdoors with their dog Sage.

Andean is a work-from-home writer. He retired nine years ago when diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, although it has not slowed him down much. He is writing his fourth book to be published this autumn. On weekends you might find him on his bike participating in a fundraiser.

“I am completely amazed at your story telling abilities…” Lynda Logan
“I really enjoyed this book!” --Cindy Paret, artist
“I finished reading your third book, and it is FANTASTIC!” Dale George, writer

Welcome back to my blog, Brad. After reading your bio, I have the greatest respect for you. Please tell us about your new book, Summer’s Swarm.

Summer’s Swarm is the story of a queen and prince frightened by dark visions foretelling the death of their unborn son. Prince Kendrick’s long lost, mystic uncle arrives predicting a bleak and devastating future with thousands of marauders attacking the castle. Several schemes are developed to protect the kingdom, but a bold plan becomes the central hope.

Summer’s Swarm is the third book of the “Seasons” quartet.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I had the same set of elements as many other quality medieval tales—dragon, mystic, over protective mother, gifted son, angel, archery, and so on. The challenge of creating a unique story is what inspired me. Early reviews have been very positive.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Research focused on angels and dragons—both topics were fun to study. I had thought that angels were basically God’s emissaries, but they have numerous jobs—attendants at God’s throne, spiritual soldier, messengers to mankind, and much more.

Tell me about the main character and what you love about him or her?

Kendrick is the son of the Captain of the Guard resulting in excellent weapon skills, but he prefers using his creativity to defeat a foe. He lives today, but thinks about how a decision impacts the future.

Where can my readers find you online?

Twitter:           @AndeanWhite
Amazon:         Click here.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Interview with Science Fiction & Romance Author Larry Hammersley

Larry is 78, married to Sue for 53 years, has two children and six grandchildren. He has published one romance novel and two science fiction novels along with a number of short romance stories. He is active in the local church, enjoys amateur radio, jogging, astronomy and some woodworking. He has a BS degree in chemistry from Purdue University and an MS degree in chemistry from Indiana University.

Welcome back to my blog, Larry. Please tell us about your new science fiction book, The Silver Dart.

Thank you for having me again. The Silver Dart is a high tech spaceship built by Jade Cromwell’s genius wife, Darla. She willingly went with aliens two years prior to the beginning of the story. Living on Mars, Jade, Missy, their daughter, and Spike, their Australian Sheep Dog lose a fight against seven aliens who abduct Missy, also a genius. Jade and Spike take the Silver Dart and hunt for Missy and Darla. They must leave our Milky Way Galaxy and span the space to a distant galaxy. Along the way Jade and Spike encounter other aliens, some militant and some who help and need help themselves. They learn why the aliens took Darla and Missy.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

My love for astronomy and the love for our dear deceased dog, Roscoe who is Spike in the story, have inspired this story. I admit the model from sparked me to create a strong heroine. I had a hand in the cover by providing the blond and the dog.

This book has plenty of action. It’s different than your others. I know you as a romance writer. You’ve now stemmed off to science fiction. What intrigued you to try a new genre?

Actually, science fiction is not a new genre for me. It came along over forty years ago when I kept submitting short science fiction stories to magazines. I never gained acceptance from the SF magazines. It is an extremely difficult market to break into but I’m still trying. Most all my SF stories have clean romance and lots of action.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

How about four characters? Jade is a tough but family oriented man, fights for his loved ones and gains loving attention of alien women. Darla and Missy are pure geniuses, skilled in fighting ability and risk their lives for family. Spike is a beloved dog who will do anything for family and fights to protect them no matter the odds.

Where can my readers find you online?

Email address is

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

Friday, July 1, 2016

Interview with Mystery Writer JoAnn Arnold

JoAnn Arnold lives in Santa Clara, Utah, with her husband, Brent. The Buckskin trail is her sixth book. Miracles for Michael, Journey of the Promise, Pages from the Past, The Silent Patriots, and her first fantasy, Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient, have taken her on some amazing imaginative journeys. The Buckskin Trail is no exception. Writing it invited her into yet another realm, one that charts a higher path. JoAnn is also an artist, a family history sleuth and Assistant to the Matron in the St. George Temple while Brent serves in the Presidency. JoAnn and Brent are the parents of four amazing sons and the grandparents to fifteen delightful grandchildren. 

Welcome to my blog, JoAnn. Please tell us about your new book, The buckskin Trail.

A miracle saved Kelzi's life when she was a child.  Now it's her turn to save others. When Kelzi discovers the truth about her parents deaths, she steps onto a dangerous path, one where she much avenge those who have died while protecting the land of her Cherokee people . . . at any cost. Now, unlocking the past, is the only way to save her people.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

That's an interesting question. I'm not sure when inspiration stepped in. It seems that an idea comes then inspiration simply follows. I rely on my characters to help deliver the development of the story, itself.

I know what you mean. Sometimes the characters begin to take a shape that an author didn’t see before. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Once I decided that Kelzi was part Cherokee and part Irish, I decided to study the Cherokee people and their past. I found some amazing information in my research and I let it add truth to fiction.

Tell me about the main character and what you love about her?

Kelzi is a very intelligent child and though her past has been tragic, she lets herself become a student of learning. She has the faith and the courage to do all she has to do as she learns the truth. She is blessed with the wisdom of Shannon, an old mountain man, who is more than he seems, at first. I might add, she also has a stubborn streak that proves to add to her strength.

Where can my readers find you online?

Amazon, Facebook, LDS Storymakers, and My web sights at,

Thank you, JoAnn, for this wonderful interview. I hope my followers will check this book out. This mystery is for both young adult and adult alike.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Interview with Authors Kathryn Elizabeth Jones & M. Celeste Martin

Kathryn has been a published book writer since 2002, but this is the first time she's worked with another author in producing a book. It was great bouncing ideas off her dearest friend, Celeste, working through the chapters together and digging deep. She is the owner of Idea Creations Press. Along with her husband, Doug, she helps other writers write, publish and promote their work.

Celeste was born and raised in California. She has been married to her sweetheart, Chris, for 33 years. They have two amazing children. Celeste is creator and owner of MAX 4 Creations and loves to assist people in finding and move toward their goals. Sharing her love of life and faith through her voice, both singing and speaking is her passion. She also is working alongside her husband in their networking business.

Welcome back to my blog, Kathryn. Celeste, you’re new to my blog. Please tell us about your new book, Heaven 24/7: Living in the Light.

Kathryn: So many of us want to work through our insecurities, our mistakes, our struggles, but find it difficult to do so. In Heaven 24/7, get the chance to learn as well as participate in the best life possible. Reflect. Write. Learn how to experience heaven 24/7 today.

Each chapter begins with a parable. Could you please give us an example of this?

Kathryn: Sure. This excerpt is from the first chapter entitled, "A Stone."

Imagine that you are at a great lake, and that on this lake are beauties to behold. Large aspens, yellow and purple wildflowers; the best and most refreshing breeze possible is caressing your face.
You are not alone at this lake. You are standing by the water, looking out into the distance, feeling the breeze, smelling the mountain air. It feels like heaven.
Someone is suddenly beside you.
You don't look at him at first, it's almost as if you can't look, but you feel him there and you know he is looking out at the lake as you are.
That's when you first notice the rock.
The rock is smooth and fits within the palm of your hand. It is black. It is dark. It feels heavier than it should.
"I can take the rock if you'd like me to," says God. "You just need to hand it to me."
But you don't know if you can. You are thinking about the pain your sister caused you just last week; the moment your husband confessed the lie, the time your mother forgot you.
"Can't I just throw it into the water?" you ask.
"No," says God.
"I feel like hitting her with it," you say.
"I know," says God.
"I don't know if I can let go of it."
"I am here," says God, "when you're ready."
We all carry stones. No, I'm not talking about gallstones, or kidney stones (though we may have the unpleasant misfortune of traveling there for a time). We might even be carrying milestones, especially if we're one of those people who likes to take stock of where we are in our life and where we're heading, but these stones, if you'll pardon the fun, are stones we carry inside ourselves that no doctor can see, no foot can kick or remove or throw.
They can only be removed by God.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Celeste: Well, it literally came at a local Village Inn while Kathryn and I were having lunch. We love to get together and discuss our lives and experiences and be dear friends. We were having such a discussion when out popped the thought of what it would be like to live in Heaven 24/7. Then came the reality that we do. We are living on this earth, amongst the eternities. We decided to share our experiences of life that has proven that to us in our lives.

What kind of research did you do?

Celeste: For me, 60 years of living! Less years for Kathryn, yet just as vital. Life is the great teacher.

Where can my readers find you online?


Thank you for this interview Kathryn and Celeste. I hope my readers check out this book.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Interview with Regency Romance Author Marie Higgins

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s published over 30 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories. She broadens her readership by writing fairy tales, mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her "Queen of Tease", because of all her twists and turns and unexpected endings.

Welcome back to my blog, Marie. You have written a series that you call “twisted fairytales.” What intrigues you most about this series?

I’ve always been a fan of Disney fairy tales, but what intrigued me about this series, is that I can play the ‘what if’ game. I’m having so much fun twisting up these fairy tales!

Please give us a short description of The Witch Hunt from Hansel & Gretel.

Fascinated by the boarded up house on the hill, three teenagers, Eric, Brooke, and Rick are drawn to the ancient rumors surrounding the abandoned place. According to local legend, teenagers have been disappearing from the house for centuries.  Determined to solve the mystery, the friends uncover a book that may hold the key to the mystery.

However, after opening the old book to search for clues, something phenomenal happens…the pages literally suck them in. They now find themselves in a literary fantasy world with no way out. Will they find their way home or will they be forever trapped within the pages of the book battling strange creatures?
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Robin Hood needs his own story, so please tell us about Champion.

When you wish upon a star… All romance novel photographer Payton Fox really wants is a hero in her life. A man that is dashing and honorable… a man worthy of his own fairy tale! One particularly frustrating evening she casts a fleeting wish upon a shooting star. She doesn’t actually believe anything will happen, but in the blink of an eye the man from her fairy tale wishes—a regular Robin Hood—materializes right before her. He even claims to be the legendary Lord of Loxley, and goes by the name of Archer. Uncertain what to believe, Payton is shocked when this hero rescues her time and again, and she can’t help but be swept off her feet.

Slowly she accepts that this strange and noble man might truly be the fairy tale character of her dreams. Unfortunately, Archer isn’t connecting with the modern-day world and longs to return to his time. She also discovers that if he stays with her, his story will cease to exist. Can she send him back, knowing he’ll take her heart along with him? Can she deprive the world of his story? How can she do that to those looking for their Champion - the perfect hero?
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Keep on Believing is taken from the all-time favorite: Cinderella. Tell us about this one.

Have you ever wondered what would have happened to Cinderella if she had run away from her evil stepmother before meeting the Fairy Godmother and before the prince’s ball? Well… In this story, you’ll find out what might have happened.

Taking some of the family’s jewels, Ella Spencer and her brother left the kingdom in the dead of night, escaping the clutches of their evil stepmother. Ella realized they need a different life than one of a servant. Now living in a new kingdom, Ella believes this is where they can start over again. So far, it’s working…until her brother’s school teacher starts poking his nose into their business. She cannot tell him the truth, yet deep down inside, she feels that he might be her Prince Charming after all, and be the one who’ll save her from danger.

Christopher Morgan is hiding secrets that he never plans to divulge. The sister of one of his students intrigues him, and he can’t keep from wanting to know more about her. When a man comes around asking questions, Chris fears Ella is not safe and he needs to protect her. But he finds that he is the one in need of a dream-come-true. Can he hope that Ella will be the one to rescue him out of his life before these secrets destroy him?
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I’m glad that you didn’t leave out Rapunzel’s story. Tell us about Once Enchanted.

Once upon a time… The time had come for Princess Clarissa to find a husband—or so her parents told her. The shy and somewhat clumsy, Prince Ormond from a neighboring kingdom, is a contender. Clarissa knows she’ll never fall in love with him much less accept him as a husband. And yet… seemingly in a split second, she changes her mind.

Ryder Grey has known Clarissa since childhood and cannot understand the sudden change from the girl he once adored, to the woman he sees now. How can she be in love with the meek Prince Ormond? Ryder begins to investigate and discovers that a reclusive witch has Clarissa under a spell. When Ryder interferes with Clarissa’s budding romance with Prince Ormond, she takes action and locks her childhood friend in a secluded tower in the east forest until she and Ormond can marry. Forgotten in the tower by all but the rats can Ryder enchant Clarissa and break the sinister spell? His chances do not look favorable.
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Thank you so much for this interview, Marie. I hope my followers will check out these fairytales. Here are the links for Marie below.

Visit her website/blog to discover more about her:
Find her on Facebook:
Twitter - @MarieHigginsXOX

Monday, June 13, 2016

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Mary L. Ball

Mary L. Ball is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and resides in North Carolina. Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Redemption in Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, and Christmas at Angel Ranch.

When Mary isn't working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions. Watch for Mary's two new releases, Sparks of Love and A Love Valley Christmas scheduled for November 2016.

Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your Inspirational Romance, Stone of Destiny.

Taylor Harrison 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. Taylor experiences strange dreams. 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?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Stone of Destiny is a book I felt compelled to write. I was passing by my oldest grandson one day; his nose was deep into one of those YA books about magic. The thought came to me that there all kinds of captivating wonder around and real miracles. So I set out to write a fictional story that starts with a simple object but becomes hope to hang on to through faith and prayer.                 

What kind of research did you do?

In Stone of Destiny Taylor, my main character must temporarily relocate to Panama.
I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Central America so I did a lot of arm chair visits to get the scenery and the attractions correct.

Do you consider your female characters to be strong and feisty or meek yet spirited?

Taylor is strong to a fault due to some childhood insecurities. She never knew the way she was raised had impacted her life until things began to force her to change her routine.

Where can my readers find you online?

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Interview with Regency Romance Author Donna Hatch

Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series," is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart. She is a sought-after workshop presenter and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six children. A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Welcome back to my blog, Donna. I understand you have a new book coming out called Summer House Party, which features authors Sarah M. Eden, Regina Scott, and you. Please tell us about your part of the story.


Thank you so much for having me back. It’s always a pleasure to be here with you. Summer House Party is an anthology--one of three complete novellas. One novella was written by Regina Scott, one by Sarah M. Eden, and the third is one I wrote. They all have the common theme, Summer House Party, which has inspired completely different tales. Each novella is approximately 100 pages, which is perfect for an afternoon read while still providing very satisfying stories with happily ever after endings. They are all sweet Regency historical novellas that sit firmly on the “clean and wholesome shelf.”


In my novella, "A Perfect Match," Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can't wait to introduce her to a gentleman she met in London. Determined to learn whether this young man is good enough for her friend, Genevieve watches him with a critical eye. Unfortunately, he is perfect, and Genevieve loses her heart to him. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, she must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who seems obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.


Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

That is a story in itself. In an Amazon review for A Perfect Secret, a reader said her only complaint with the book was that the story began with the two main characters already in love, and she prefers books that start with the characters meeting and falling in love for the first time. (The book actually starts with them getting torn apart, and the rest of the story is about how they find their way back together, get over their hard feelings, and how they learn to trust and love each other again). Anyway, after I got over my hurt and my defensiveness, I took her opinion to heart and tucked it away for another time.
Incidentally, A Perfect Secret is my mother's favorite, probably because she relates to Genevieve--my mother, too, fled an abusive husband and found a second chance to love.

--> A couple years later, when the publisher of the TIMELESS Romance anthologies invited me to participate in another TIMELESS Regency anthology called Summer House Party, I knew my novella needed to be about how Christian and Genevieve meet for the first time, how they fall in love, and how the terrible Lord Wickburgh becomes obsessed with Genevieve. So I delved into their backstory and created a prequel with all new challenges, some fun new characters, and which tells their whole backstory. This prequel leads seamlessly into the next part of their story told in "A Perfect Secret." Let me emphasize that each tale is complete enough to be read as a stand-alone story, and the prequel has a strong happily ever after ending. However, the two books together complete Christian and Genevieve's story as a whole.

"A Perfect Match" is one of three 100-page novellas contained in Summer House Party. The other two novellas are penned by some of my favorite historical authors, Regina Scott and Sarah M. Eden.  This TIMELESS Regency Collection will be released exclusively on Amazon June 6, 2016 and is available now for pre-order.
What kind of research did you do for this book?

I briefly researched architecture so I could get a good picture in my mind of what the abbey looked like, and I talked to an artist friend to get some art terminology correct. I also had to brush up on my waltzing so I could describe how the hero could teach the heroine how to waltz. Overall, I’ve been researching the Regency Era as a whole for about ten years.

Do you consider your female characters to be strong and determined or meek yet spirited?

My heroines seem to have quiet strength—some are spirited and most are pretty witty. They aren’t tough, most can’t shoot guns or hold their own in a fist fight, but they unswervingly stick to their convictions and they will do hard things because it’s the right thing to do.

Where can my readers find you online?

Here is an excerpt from  "A Perfect Match," the prequel to A Perfect Secret:

He shied away from the truth, from the horrible challenge that led to his brother Jason’s death, and the scattering of his brothers over the fight Christian caused between them and the earl. He breathed through the pain lancing his chest. “I have done things in my past that I deeply regret. Lost people I thought would always be there—some through my own actions.”

Genevieve slipped her hand into his and squeezed it gently. “Everyone deserves to be loved, to be given a second chance. Even you. Especially you.”

"A Perfect Match," part of Summer House Party anthology, is available now for pre-order from Amazon.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Interview with Mystery Romance Author Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Welcome to my blog, Carole. This new book is part of a Romantic Mystery Series. Please tell us about your novel: Knight in Shining Apron.

Here’s the cover blurb:
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.

Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?

And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I like how opposites attract, so the idea of an owner of a restaurant who couldn’t cook fascinated me. Give this same owner some mistrust of men because her deceased husband was both unfaithful and abusive--a cause for the exterior cold front she put up for most everyone. Inside she is anything but the icy snow maiden of Appleton. Her loyalty to her friends and her employees, her generosity and kindness in a shy way, and her extreme business sense are all good reasons for her friends to stick right by her side.

Because of her high standards (and a little bit of pickiness) in choosing the best chef she can find, she’s run out of choices and is forced (somewhat!) into hiring a sanguine chef /knight.

Giving my protagonists difficult situations to face, that appear to be impossible to solve are important to me. I like a little rebellion in my stories, even when it’s a minor factor, because, after all, don’t most people, even when it’s not apparent, have a bit of rebellion in them?

So, in this story I wanted a woman who’s learned to be strong (because of her past problems), determined to succeed (her restaurant is her lifeline), who needs both a spiritual/healing touch from God and the tenderness and love from a man who is a real man.

What kind of research did you do?

Here’s a few things I learned:
1. Chefs in general: I wanted the basic structure of how chefs work, their idiosyncrasies, their training, etc.
2. Recipes--classy ones. Even though I don’t mention a lot of them, I wanted the feel of what a professional chef might create or prepare for a higher classed restaurant. It’s important, I feel, for an author to place herself right inside the work-in-progress so that her readers can also experience “being there.”
3. Abuse. I’ve already done a lot of research about different kinds of abuse, so it was easy to give that “feel”--the scared, it’s-my-fault, fatalistic feeling that many abused people feel.
4. Classical music. I love many types of music, and am acquainted with some classical. I also have always loved listening to excellent pianists, so giving Starli that talent, and then having her make the “wrong” choice (no one’s perfect, not even Starli) was part of the right setting for Knight in Shining Apron.
5. Ice skating. I’ve studied a lot about this activity too, and thought that with it, I could create some fun and romantic scenes to the novel. The moves and routines that ice skaters use were important in showing that though Starli wasn’t Olympic material, she still was an excellent skater who loved and enjoyed the activity.

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

Chef: Sir Joel Peterman Blair
From Great Britain AND knighted because of his labors of love to the less fortunate, Joel knew early on, that his love and talent lay in creating recipes that were top-notch. Although he came from a privileged family, his stuffy father didn’t approve of his pick of careers and refused to finance his schooling. Enter Uncle Lawrence (Manny) who supports Joel and helps him become what he’s always wanted to do.

Because of his success and popularity (being handsome doesn’t hurt him any), Joel is a bit of a tease, rich in his own right, and well-traveled. He’s most women’s dream--except for Starli Cameron.

Her reluctance in accepting his flirting and teasing just fans the ardent fervor in him. She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, and her withdrawal, his sensibility in seeing a woman who’s been hurt, and his tender acts of love eventually wins the day--and the woman!

Restaurant Owner: Starli Cameron
While still in college, Starli chose to marry Ryan Stratton instead of pursuing her plans to be a professional pianist. Wrong choice. He was an abusive man who belittled Starli constantly. When he died in a car accident, Starli inherited the insurance money--enough to start Apple Blossoms, the classiest restaurant in West Virginia. With live music and the best, exceptional chef Starli can hire, it’s a restaurant that has a waiting list for seats.

Starli is beautiful with her white blond hair and green eyes, and almost regal stature. She’s strong and independent but also afraid to face the past. To her friends she’s a loyal friend, but those less acquainted with her consider her a bit “cold.”

Roland Stratton, Ryan’s brother, is hassling her and still blaming her for Ryan’s death. Appleton’s banker is pushing for a closer relationship with her. Two of her employees are acting strangely, and the new chef--Sir Joel--is a flirty, teasing man whom she automatically distrusts.

Deep down, Starli longs for freedom from the past, the hurts and bitterness, the freedom of forgiving and moving on with her life in a peaceful way, and most of all--though she won’t admit it--freedom to love again.

Where can my readers find you online?

Barn Door Book Loft:

Thank you, Carol, for this very interesting interview. I hope my followers will check out your book.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Diane Dean White

Diane started writing for a local newspaper, covering hard news and feature stories including a column, “Yankee Viewpoints” in the late 70’s.  She’s written ancestral history, donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations and had a four year running weekly column for a Michigan based magazine. She is the author of Beach Walks, Carolina in the Morning, On a Summer Night, Stories from a Porch Swing, Winter Wonderland and Texting Mr. Right. Diane is also the author of over three-hundred short stories. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for almost forty-four years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

Welcome back to my blog, Diane. Please tell us about This Side of Heaven.

The story takes place in rural Georgia with a single mother who has relocated from a large northern city, under the protection of an underground group of people who help victims of abuse. Darlene has two preschoolers and a small home among the gardenias and pecan trees. A neighbor and also a handsome detective, heir to large pecan orchards stops by with a small puppy for the children. Unaware of Darlene’s situation, they slowly fall in love. He thinks she’s still grieving for her deceased husband, and she’s afraid to let anyone know where she is.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

The story and plot are fiction, but we lived in rural Georgia for just under four years in the late 70s. It was quite a time of adjustment for me, from the capital city of Michigan. Steve’s mother was from the area, and we got to know many people, made some nice friends and built our first home among the pecan trees. It’s taken me a long time to write this story, to be able to release some of the feelings from the past, then to write, and finally allow the story to take wings.

Did you do any research for this book?

Oh yes! There’s a lot of suspense, and part of the storyline deals with how easy it is to make meth and sell drugs today, as well as a number of things legally related. I had a good source in Atlanta who’s a captain in the police force, and able to answer many of my questions. And although we had pecan trees, things have changed, and today there are a lot in harvesting techniques. The story is fiction but the life style and characters are true and what exists in some of the rural areas.

Please tell us about one of the main characters in this story and what you like about him or her.

Brett is a bachelor when he meets Darlene and falls in love with her. In the story he’s a dedicated detective who is exceptionally good with his skills in this field. He also falls in love with Darlene’s two children, Maddie and Mark, and takes time to be the father they so desperately need. His concern for Darlene is very protective, and when problems arise for her, and adjustments, he has a loving way of speaking with her, bringing the Lord into their talk. Brett’s a Christian and his actions throughout the book show readers he can do his job as a detective, a father, husband and maintain those values, despite his position and wealth.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you very much for this wonderful interview. Your book sounds very intriguing.