Monday, April 21, 2014

Interview with Mystery & Sweet Romance Author Linda Weaver Clarke


Book Release Party and Book Giveaway April 21 – 28! You have a chance to win a romantic cozy mystery, The Bali Mystery: Amelia Moore Detective Series. I’m having a drawing for a hard copy and several e-books. If you prefer an e-book and want to be in the drawing, let me know. Book: U.S. and E-book: International

Linda Weaver Clarke paints a beautiful portrait of the island of Bali. In fact, she made me wish I were there. I’ve read her books before and she has a wonderful way of drawing the reader right into her stories. Amelia and Rick were very realistic to me. I thought Rick’s Bucket List gave readers a great insight into his character. Throughout the book you couldn’t help pulling for these two to realize they were more than co-workers. The mystery and romance flowed beautifully through each page.” –Socrates Book Reviews


George Clarke: Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke’s blog! This is Linda’s husband and I’m interviewing her today. We've been married 41 wonderful years. We met at college and now have six daughters and 5 super grandkids. Linda usually interviews authors, but today I’m interviewing her. Now the shoe is on the other foot!

Linda: So does the shoe fit, Sweetheart?

George: Not as good as it fits you, I guess. So Linda, you have written both sweet romances and adventure/mysteries. I have read all your books and your mysteries are my favorite. Why did you change genres?

Linda Weaver Clarke: Because of the challenge! I wanted to see if I could do it and in the process fell in love with this genre.

George: How does writing a romance differ from writing a mystery?

Linda: The writing process has a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, depending on the plot of the story.

George: What is a cozy mystery?

Linda: Cozy mysteries are in a genre of their own and are usually a series of stories. It should be a G-rated story with no swearing or sex. It has many twists and turns and must have likeable characters. A cozy mystery focuses on the plot and characters, and the main character is usually an intelligent woman.

George: You have a new cozy mystery series named “Amelia Moore Detective Series.” This cozy mystery is different from the usual mysteries. Instead of solving a crime, in each story Amelia and Rick will find a missing person. Will you tell us about The Bali Mystery?

Linda: Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing.

When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.


George: How much research goes into writing a book like this?

Bali means “The island of the gods.” My research about Bali Island was so much fun. The Hindu temples are unique and the gardens surrounding them are absolutely beautiful. The ocean is a turquoise blue and dolphins can be seen in the water around the island. The island is known as one of the most romantic spots and affordable places to visit.

I learned what a religious people the Balinese are. They pray with their families daily and visit their temples weekly, giving thanks to God. Another interesting fact is that Indonesian law requires that everyone hold an identity card. Included on the card is the person’s faith or religion. Indonesia does recognize Christianity but does not recognize atheism. By the way, blasphemy is illegal in Bali and in any of the Indonesian islands. I read that you can be arrested for profanity.

I also had to do research on self-defense techniques so Rick could teach Amelia how to defend herself if the need should arise.

George: What is your next cozy mystery about?

Book two has already been written and it’s with my editor right now. It’s called The Shamrock Case. When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

George: Where can you find The Bali Mystery?

Linda: At Amazon and Barnes and Noble. E-books are also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

George: Thank you for this interview, Linda. I have read The Bali Mystery and found it very enjoyable and can’t wait for the next one.

If you choose to purchase this book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, let Linda know and she’ll email you six free e-books of your choice from her website at http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/samplechapters.html.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Interview with Christian Author Sharon Srock

Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty five years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of “nowhere” Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. She is the proud mother of six, the prouder grandmother of twenty, and the great grands are coming with three and counting!

Welcome back to my blog, Sharon. Pam is the third book in the series: “Women in Valley View.” Each book focuses on a new title character. Please tell us about your new book.

Pam’s story is about secrets and forgiveness, and the harm we do to ourselves when we carry these things around instead of giving them to God.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

I’ve been divorced and I know the pain of ending something that was supposed to last a lifetime. I’ve also had to learn to forgive. I never faced any abuse on the scale that Pam did, but it made me wonder… Could I forgive if I had?

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I had to talk to a counselor. I needed to have legitimate reasons for Pam to act like she does in the early part of the story.

Your characters have a great sense of humor in your stories and I love it. Does it just come naturally for you to come up with comical things?

When it comes to my dialogue, I tend to write like I talk, with just a hint of sarcastic humor. I’m glad it works for my women, cause it usually just gets me in trouble.

Thank you, Sharon, for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books. I read the second one in this series, which was a sweet romance, and totally loved it.

Purchase links for THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: PAM
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Interview with Children’s Author Sherrill Cannon

Sherrill S. Cannon is a former teacher, mother of four and a grandmother of ten, who is also an Award-Winning Best-Selling Author! In less than four years, her previous five books Manner-Man, Gimme-Jimmy, The Magic Word, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys and Santa’s Birthday Gift have received eighteen 2011-13 national awards. She is also the author of seven published and internationally performed plays for elementary school children, produced throughout the world. She is a resident of New Hope, PA and travels with her husband of 53 years throughout North America in their RV, sharing her books along the way!

Have you ever seen a work of art worth millions, which looks like something your child brought home from school? This story is about a child who paints a fingerpaint print in class and then loses it in the wind on the way home. What happens next when it’s found and official judges interpret the fingerpainted art?

Welcome back to my blog, Sherrill. This book sounds amazing. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I’ve often thought, when seeing a painting that sells for millions and looks like someone threw paint on a wall, that my child has brought home better artwork from school! So a little bit of “Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder”, and a trace of The Emperor’s New Clothes! Themes of perspective and perception – with some self-esteem as well!

Each of your children’s books is done in rhyme. Could you give us a few lines of your story please?

One day in my art class, Ms. Gallagher said,
“Just fingerpaint something you see in your head.”
So I dipped all my fingers in paint that was green
And drew on the paper my very best scene.
Then right in the middle, I put a red blob
'Cause I wasn't quite sure how to best draw my dog;
But then the bell rang, so I put things away
And never got back to my picture that day.

Wonderful! I love children’s books that rhyme. They’re my favorite. Do you get to have a say about all the illustrations for your book?

That’s the most fun about working with Kalpart (the team that has illustrated all my books.) I am able to give them the instructions for each illustration, and then get a sketch back that I can either approve or change…before reaching final approval on the color version. This tends to happen occasionally, since they are in India and we do everything by email and there’s sometimes a language misinterpretation. One wonderful thing about this book is that not only is the theme of the story about perception and perspective concerning artwork, but the book is illustrated from the point of view of the child narrator – the reader sees what the child sees - so the reader interprets whether girl or boy, good or bad, etc.

You love to write children’s stories. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?

I love poetry and I love children. I especially love to get them to hear the music of the words. It makes my heart smile when I am reading aloud to children and hear a delighted exclamation, “It rhymes!” Also, as a former teacher, I usually try to teach social manners, such as consideration for others and self-esteem, disguised as fun stories.

Thank you for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books. You can buy her books at Amazon. Just click here: Amazon Link

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, and Intrigue!

The Alliance of Isian

What is this romantic fantasy about? Read an awesome review below and find out.

I am quickly becoming a huge fan of Serena's. I loved this book even more than the first one in the series. I am always intrigued by stories of arranged marriages and how they turn to marriages filled with love. These two characters had so much to overcome, coming from different cultures. Yet, they bravely took on the challenge because of the love they had for the people who they ruled over. There is plenty of action and intrigue in the storyline. I lost quite a bit of sleep reading way too late into the night. I love the characters. I want to know even more about their lives. I can't wait for the next book in the series!!!!!!” -- Cheryl Larson

Book: The Alliance of Isain

Synopsis: War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trails or tear them apart? Enjoy the fantasy, danger, mystery, and romance!

The Alliance of Isian was one of the best fantasies I’ve read. This book was enchanting and very difficult to put down. Gabrielle is a strong character and I could feel her frustration in being forced to marry someone she did not know, and whose background was totally so different from her own. Alec is likewise a strong character and has his definite opinions, but he is also very sensitive to Gabrielle’s feelings of inadequacy in marrying a stranger. I noticed the change in both characters, a change for the better, as Gabrielle and Alec fall in love. I found myself wishing the story would never end.” –Linda Weaver Clarke


This book may be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available as an e-book for $2.99. Visit Serena’s website at http://serenaclarke.wordpress.com/about-author and learn more.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Interview with Mystery Author Jon Foyt

Jon Foyt is 81 years old, an octogenarian prostate cancer survivor, a marathon runner (60 completed), hiker, and political columnist. He lives in a large active adult retirement community near San Francisco. Jon is the successful author of 11 fiction books.

Hello Jon. Wow! You have accomplished quite a bit in your life. To run 60 marathons is fantastic. Nothing holds you down. Now you're writing mysteries and entertaining those around you at your retirement community. That's awesome.

Time to Retire is filled with mystery, romance, and adventure, as Willy and Sally explore the lifestyles of aging retirees. Things are not quite what they seem at Sunset Gardens, an active adult retirement community in California. The directors of the Homeowner's Association has been handling money in questionable ways, there's secret meetings occurring at The Silent Front, a former speakeasy, and an influential resident recently committed suicide. Reporter Willy Herbst, approaching retirement, is curious about what’s going on in the neighboring community “over the hill.” He and his eager intern, Sally Saginaw, team up to investigate. Their discoveries are surprising.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

The inspiration for writing Time to Retire comes with living in an active adult retirement community with so many people with amazing backgrounds and interests.

Now that really is “inspiration.” What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

I’ve lived in three active adult retirement communities, and am quite active in the present one in Northern California. So, I’ve met hundreds of retirees and learned their stories and felt their concerns. All of which is inspiring to write about.

I can see how you can create some good stories with this atmosphere. Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

Willy Herbst is the local investigative journalist who, himself, is nearing retirement. So, he wants to investigate a mysterious death and learn about life in a retirement community because that’s the sort of place he may live one day soon. Having once been a reporter, I think I can empathize with Willy and his intern Sally. Willy is very human, believable and vulnerable.

Okay, Jon, now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I grew up in Indianapolis and dreamed of racing cars at Inde, but, of course, I never did. It was a fantasy. Maybe most novels are a fantasy of sorts, one’s imagination venturing off on a lark.

That is a great dream. My brother used to race cars at a figure eight track and he also entered several Demolition Derbies. Haha. But that’s nothing compared to the Inde. Thanks, Jon, for this awesome interview. I hope my readers will check out your mysteries.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Interview with Mystery Author Linda Baten Johnson

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. Growing up in White Deer, a small Texas town, which boasts one blinking light, Linda won blue ribbons for storytelling in elementary school. She still loves telling stories. Linda’s books include The Friendship Train, Her Christmas Cowboy, Healing Scars, Orphan Train Riders-Kathleen’s Vision, and three books in the Young Texans series: Tiny’s Emancipation, Elsie and the Hurricane and  Henry Goes to Texas. She co-authored Homer the Racehorse with Katherine Loughmiller, a friend who raised racehorses. Her books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in e-formats.

Hello, Linda. This book can be enjoyed by all ages. Please tell us about The Friendship Train. What is it about?

The Friendship Train is based on America’s generous donation of over ten thousand tons of food to starving Europeans in 1947. The train’s trip began in Los Angeles on November 7th and culminated in New York on November 18th. Pearson’s goal to collect 80 boxcars on the journey was quickly exceeded with over 700 cars filled. The humanitarian effort was completed without any government assistance. 

In the book, Jimmy Burns, an eighth-grader whose brother died in World War II, wants to help the hungry people in France, but doesn’t know how. When he and his family learn about the Friendship Train, they’re quick to respond, and Jimmy and his father are selected to ride the train as representatives of the people. On the cross-country journey, the thirteen-year-old uncovers a plot to sabotage the train, but no one believes him. Jimmy relies on detective skills gained from reading Hardy Boy books to solve the mystery, to ensure the food gets to its destination, and to survive.

Adults like the history in the book and young people like the mystery.

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

I was able to use Drew Pearson’s documents. Watching the idea of the Friendship Train grow from idea to reality through his correspondence, through his columns, broadcasts, and records of phone calls was thrilling. Oh, Pearson was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in organizing the Friendship Train, but the nomination came the year Gandhi was assassinated, and the committee decided not to award a prize that year.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

That’s a strange story. When my husband and I were vacationing in Idaho, we read about a tourist attraction called the Idaho merci car. This was one of fifty boxcars sent to the United States in response to the Friendship Train of 1947. The Train of Gratitude arrived in the U.S. filled with gifts from French citizens, ranging from a little boy’s stuffed dog to an elaborate carriage. I majored in history and had never heard of either train. After returning home to Texas, I discovered Drew Pearson, the driving force behind the Friendship Train, had donated all his papers to the LBJ Presidential Library, only twenty minutes from my home. I felt this was a sign I should write a book about this story of American generosity.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

Can I have two characters? I love Jimmy and Samuel. Jimmy’s optimistic spirit and his insecurities are constantly at war. Due to all the changes in his life during this story, he grows emotionally. I found myself rooting for him to overcome his problems and I cried with him when he experienced loss. In my writing experience, characters sometimes take on a life of their own. This happened with Jimmy and he did a couple of things that surprised me.

My other favorite is Samuel, the porter on the train. He is steady, kind, perceptive, and non-judgmental. He’s the type of person who enriches the lives of everyone he encounters.   

Your story sounds very intriguing. Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

My husband and I lived in a lighthouse as volunteers for the National Park Service. Squash is my favorite food. I’ve been on three TV game shows, The Price is Right, Family Feud, and Scrabble.

Wow! Now these are unforgettable experiences. Thanks, Linda, for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your new book.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Jewel Adams

J. Adams is the author of interracial inspirational romance, as well as YA romantic fantasy and children's chapter books. She is a motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. She is a mother of eight and a grandmother, and when she isn't writing, her favorite thing to do is hide in her library with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs. She and her family reside in Utah.

“Jewel Adams does an excellent job with this sweet romance. It's refreshing to read such a wonderful love story where the couple falls madly in love and there isn't the usual tension in their relationship that frustrates the reader. The tension comes from another source from their past. I liked this. I loved what Jewel wrote in the last chapter: ‘I finally decided that no matter what trials came my way, I would roll with them and work through them. Then I would take control and become stronger. Adversity is a part of life, and trials are meant to teach, mold and shape each of us into the person we were meant to be all along.’ Wow! I loved this.” By Linda Weaver Clarke, Sweet Romance Author

Welcome back to my blog, Jewel. It’s always a pleasure to have you on my blog. This is a Highland romance. Please tell us about your new book, If Not For Love.

If Not for Love is one of those stories that has stayed in my mind over the years. It's about a woman who writes short stories. After getting out of her publishing contract, she moves to Scotland and starts over. Her own Scottish roots fuels her fascination with the country. She isn't looking for love but soon finds it with her own Scottish highlander. But all is not smooth sailing with the two and trials soon come that makes Adia wonder if their love is really strong enough to overcome all.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

Like Adia, I've always been fascinated with Scotland. The journal excerpts of Adia's grandmother are actual experiences from my own grandmother's life, and she was indeed a Calhoun, her father being a Calhoun and her mother a McCullum. Both names were derived from Scottish clans, and though they were probably the sir names of slave owners, (specifically her father bearing the name coming through the line of James C. Calhoun) it made me want to learn even more about Scotland's history.

Wow! That is quite the inspiration behind this story, Jewel. Since this story is set in Scotland, what kind of research did you do for this book?

Besides spending a lot of time on the Internet, I have a friend who was born and raised in Scotland and goes back a couple of times a year to see her family. I spent a deal of time picking her brain. She helped me with the culture, the people and the different words the Scottish people use, specifically the Gaelic.

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

I love the niche I've found. Interracial inspirational is definitely different. I like emotion-driven stories, and I love being able to share stories that are clean yet passionate. I also like being able to share an inspirational message without being preachy. I just love romance and showing in my stories that true love doesn't see color.

You are so right. When we fall in love with a person because of what is deep down inside, then that love will remain with us forever. Thank you for a wonderful interview, Jewel.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Teresa Ives Lilly


Teresa Lilly has authored nine Christian Romance Novellas. She also has written several children’s chapter books and has authored over 250 unit studies for home school and public schools. She lives in Texas and loves her three children, grandson and husband.

This is the first time I’ve heard of Shamrock, Texas. I was intrigued with the celebrations they have every St. Patrick’s Day. This is an adorable 35 page short story about a young woman who finally realizes that her small town is really a special place to live. As Carol shows Pete around Shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day, she notices things she never really paid attention to before such as the beautiful sunset. Before she knows what is happening, Carol finds herself falling in love for the first time in her life. This is a sweet love story and it was fun to read.” –Review by Linda Weaver Clarke, Author of Sweet Romances

Hello, Teresa. This novel is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day month. Here is the synopsis for Lucky In Shamrock Texas.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day....you may relax and read this wonderful story about Carol, a waitress at the U-Drop Inn, in the historic town of Shamrock Texas on Route 66. All Carol wants is to get out of this town and away from the crazy yearly St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But when good-looking city boy Pete comes to town, yearning to experience a true small town festival, Carol is only too happy to partner up with him. But as she sees her hometown again, through Pete's gorgeous blue eyes, she realizes that God has placed her in a very special place. Now if only Pete will stay.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I actually read about a contest for stories that take place on Route 66 and I looked up the Route and found the name of the town of Shamrock. The contest never got off the ground, but I had the completed novella, so I had it published.

So the name of the town was your inspiration. I love it. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

I had to read about Shamrock and their events on the Internet. I discussed the type of cars men would have liked to drive back then with my husband who restores classic cars for a living. If I lived closer, I would have made the trip to the town.

Thanks. I love hearing about an author’s research for a book. Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

I like Pete. He has a great attitude and interest in the small town life and helps Carol to see the great life she really has.

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

I only do my writing between 9:00 pm and midnight every night and I mainly write novellas….short and sweet and clean. Just right for women and teens…

Awesome! You’re the second author I’ve met that writes way into the night, something I don’t do ‘cause I’m too tired to think. Haha. My daughter is an author of fantasy/romance and she writes at night, too. I guess some people think better at night. Thanks for this great interview and I hope my followers will check out your novellas.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Interview with Adventure/Romance Author Larry Hammersley

Larry is 75, married to Sue for 51 years, has two children and five grandchildren. He has a BS in chemistry from Purdue University and MS in chemistry from Indiana University. He enjoys jogging, amateur radio, astronomy, occasional woodworking, is a teacher and song leader in church and has been writing for 38 years. He has several short romance stories at various sites on the Internet. He started out writing short science fiction stories and more recently sweet romance stories. His first accepted novel is a sweet romance, A Change of Heart, and his second novel is a science fiction entitled Higher Mission.

Welcome back to my blog, Larry. Your new book sounds very interesting. It’s a science fiction/romance thriller. This is what the novel is about:

Joe Cramer, a widower, takes on mining jobs in the solar system to finance medical treatment for his sick daughter, Cindy. Cramer, in his early 50s, is paired up with 35 year old Mona Watson who is already experienced in space missions herself. She is beautiful, arrogant, inconsistent, inflexible and argumentative. Despite that, Cramer’s feelings for her grow. They serve on several missions together and get into some “hot spots.”

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel, Larry?

I wrote a short story, which occurs in the novel as chapter one. I decided to expand it into a novel, and also, my love of astronomy and the writings of science fiction authors of years gone by. The main plot of this story, the protagonist’s Higher Mission for seeing to the needs of his permanently ill daughter, was inspired by mine and Sue’s first born child, Tisha, who was permanently ill and lived for fourteen years. Unlike Tisha, Cramer’s daughter, Cindy, is finally healed. The novel is dedicated to the memory of Tisha.

Wow! I bet this part of the story was quite emotional for you as an author. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I have an abundance of astronomy books and was able to access the Internet on the particulars of the planets, their moons and the star Sirius. I’ve done much reading in the past and have retained that. The earth scenes from the Ohio resort were easy as I’ve been there several times. Much of the artist’s paintings are accurate and my descriptions are based on that as well as space probes and telescope findings.

My husband is very interested in astronomy, also. In each of your books, you enjoy adding a sweet romance. What intrigues you most about writing “clean” love stories?

I enjoy the challenge of writing sweet romance stories because so many stories today are based on the physical aspect, something I don’t feel is long lasting. I believe the relationship between the hero and heroine is stronger when based on a “clean” interaction between man and woman.

I totally agree. That’s what lasts in a relationship. I hope my followers will check out this book. Thanks for this wonderful interview, Larry.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview with Fantasy Author Anna Del C. Dye

Anna was born in Valparaiso, Chile and came to the USA at age 21 to marry her sweetheart. She has lived in Utah all her married life and loves to travel. Anna is the parent of three princes and a princess, and the author of eight novels. Anna loves anything that is medieval or fantasy.

Hello, Anna! It's always a pleasure having you on my blog.

Thank you so much for having me back, Linda. It’s always fun to visit you.

Your Elf series is written for young adults, but my husband absolutely loves them. So I would recommend this series for all ages.

I have found out that many of my fans are older than 20. I have been told that my deep characters, the battles, romance and clean entertainment attract many older readers. I am beyond pleased with this development.

This novel is considered “High Fantasy.” How does it differ from other fantasies?

High Fantasy is referred to as epic fantasy. It is defined either by its setting in an imaginary world or by the epic stature of its characters, themes and plots. (My books fit both.)

Examples of High fantasy: Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Wheel of Time, Book of the Fallen, Chronicles of Narnia may be classified as high fantasy. There are contemporary fantasy, Sci-Fi fantasy, Urban fantasy, Low fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Fables, heroic fantasy, legends and many others.

High fantasy is mythical stories with highly developed characters and story lines. Heroic fantasy will include most of the Walt Disney stories, where the characters are not highly developed but are the means to tell a story. 

Wow! That's a lot of fantasy. Please tell us about your book.

The Roilden Stone of Elf Mountain is the Prequel to my elf series. I just never felt that this book should be first…so now it will become the golden broach to my elf series. It is the story of three Brown Elfs who want to reunite their kinsmen with their families of the Gold Elfs. Once they were one race, but changes in their government affairs separated them, and the Brown Elfs live in exile in the northern part of Andoriah.

When they arrive at the Gold Elfs kingdom, they find it in disarray because the queen and her only daughter have disappeared. The Gold Elfs fear kidnapping but know nothing about the affair nor do they do anything about it.

Meanwhile the land is drying for lack of rain and a permanent heat wave. This can only mean that The Roilden Stones of Elf Mountain have been removed from their bed. The land will die and all the races within, if they are not found and brought back. The three elfs think that if they can save Andoriah, then the Gold Elfs will grant them their return to their lands and families. The story in this book is their quest to restore balance to the land and also to their race.

Where did you get your inspiration for this series of elf books?

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and my insatiable quest for information into the background of his characters. (Especially the Elves) I wanted to know more and I have to invent my own answers and that is how my books came to life.

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

The possibilities within… I like to have the freedom of fantasy with the roots of the medieval era. When you do that, the possibilities are endless. When you write Medieval or any other era by itself you are enclosed by a set of rules that you can’t break. When you add fantasy, you create the rules and you have much more space to move in. It is freedom at its best.

That is so true. My daughter, Serena Clarke, writes fantasy and she has said the same thing. Thank you so much for this wonderful interview.

You can find all my books at:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Interview with Cozy Mystery Author Liz Stauffer

After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, Liz Stauffer retired from corporate life to write mysteries, travel, and play on the beach. Since that time, she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. Liz lives in Hollywood, Florida, with her two dogs where she owns and manages a vacation rental business. Her second Thursday Morning Breakfast Club mystery is with her publisher and the third is in the works.

Hello, Liz. This novel is a cozy mystery. Please tell us about Thursday Morning Breakfast Club.
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--> Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, and the ladies of the Thursday morning breakfast club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. But Clare wants to hear none of their suspicions and warns her friends to be silent on the subject. That same day Hester Franklin, another Thursday morning breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he’s arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list. But it’s when Lillie Mae Harris, the club’s leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder and is arrested. No one believes she did it, but Clare insists she’s guilty and refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends. The Thursday Morning breakfast club ladies vow to find out who she’s protecting and why.  

This is Charlie Warren’s, the town’s homegrown policeman, first murder case, and he uses unconventional means to solve it. Collaborating with the Thursday morning breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal, he’s unaware of the potential danger that lurks when he invites them to help with the investigation. Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear –one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the evil. In a rush against time, they form a bizarre and perilous plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.

Do you get your ideas from real life experiences?

I have a vacation house in Pen Mar, Maryland, a mountain village not unlike Mount Penn. And, there is a group of ladies who have been having breakfast together on Thursday mornings for many years. That’s the extent of anything real in the book. I did want to introduce a place like Mount Penn (Pen Mar) to the world, since it really is special.

I love close-knit communities, and I believe we’re moving away from them in our very busy modern lives. Relationships in cyberspace have replaced relationships down the street. I’m guilty of my own complaint. I, too, love having friends all over the world, and Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter have given me far more pleasure than I ever dreamed they would. But I miss the small town community I grew up in, and the city based community where I raised my two sons. I wanted to revisit those times, so I created a community where friends and family are of first importance, and technology, although available, is still used infrequently and inexpertly. I could do this partly because the area is rural, and in the mountains, and the infrastructure for the technology is still formative.

Mount Penn is the best of all communities. People still accept and enjoy and love each other, despite their differences.  In fact it’s often their differences that make them so lovable. The Thursday morning ladies automatically assume they have most things in common with each other, and they do.  I’d like my readers to feel a part of this community when they read my book and maybe, yearn to visit it again, when they finish the last page.

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Other than walking the trails, exploring the mountains, and woods, and parks, and looking out my window, not much for this book. However, I’m working on a historical novel about the area when it was a grand resort, and I’m doing extensive research for this book.

Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?

Lillie Mae, a younger, feistier, Miss Marple sort of character who is just like the small mountain hamlet of Mount Penn that she lives in, is a favorite of mine. That said, I really love all my characters. They’re so pure in many ways, and kind, and innocent, and in my mind, adorable. But Lillie Mae, when she thinks her small mountain village is threatened by murder and mayhem, becomes even more protective. She believes her mission is to keep her tight knit community and its residents safe and intact as the ever-encroaching world, out to disrupt their peaceful status quo, closes in on them.

Maybe I like Lillie Mae so much is because we share some interests in common, although we're more different than alike. Lillie Mae is a country lady through and through, and I belong in a city. We both love to talk; we care about our friends and family; and, we enjoy meeting new people. We are both outdoorsy, and like hiking and walking. Lillie Mae would ride her bicycle as much as I do, if the country roads were easier to navigate. I like the beach, but Lillie Mae finds it hot and tedious and she has no interest in water. I am a vegetarian; Lillie Mae eats meat. We both love to cook, just do it in very different ways.

That is so interesting. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Let me think. While I can’t think of anything that is unforgettable, I do have some quirks. For example, I’d rather drink beer than wine. When I’m out at a formal event, I’ll ask for it in a fancy glass so I’ll look more elegant. One thing I’m proud of is that I lift weights and can leg press 100 lbs. Not bad for someone my age.

Wow! You have some powerful legs. I wonder if Lillie Mae is that strong, too. Haha. Thank you for this wonderful interview. I invite everyone to visit Liz Stauffer’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club is available on most e-book sites including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sweet Romances Book Giveaway

Six Sweet Romances:  a fantasy/romance, mystery/romance, or historical/ romance. These books are family friendly and have received raving reviews.

Every week I introduce a new "family friendly" author and talk about his or her novel. Stop by often and have fun reading about these new books.

FANTASY / ROMANCE

E-book: The Treasure of Isain
Synopsis: Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him, even die for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by angry giants, soul-stealing elves, bewitched dragons, a vengeful water-witch, battling foes, and a mysterious kingdom. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Garin must decide what the most important things are in his life. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom? And will Elani find true love?

E-book: The Alliance of Isain
Synopsis: War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trails or tear them apart? Enjoy the fantasy, danger, mystery, and romance!


HISTORICAL / ROMANCE

E-book: Sarah’s Special Gift
Synopsis: Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with this very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. He finds that Sarah has gone through many trials as she teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. Meanwhile, David learns about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster and wonders why the community believes in such a thing. He is determined to prove there is no Bear Lake Monster.

E-book: Elena, Woman of Courage
Synopsis: The “Roaring Twenties” was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. The language of the era was also new and different. Watch a young love blossom in this sweet romance. When Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor, a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against the prejudice to establish her new practice. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

E-book: The Rebels of Cordovia
Synopsis: 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. In this battle for freedom, a tender love story begins to blossom. 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?

MYSTERY / ROMANCE

E-book: Desert Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans Series
Synopsis: When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?


I have an author interview and book giveaway every week on my blog. Please stop by and visit often and get to know new authors.