Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with Historical Romance Author Cynthia Hickey


Book Giveaway Oct 24 – 31: You have a chance to win a sweet romance, In A Texas Ranger’s Arms. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U.S. and Canada.

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 fiancĂ©, 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 fiancĂ© 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


Book Giveaway Oct 13 - 23: You have a chance to win two Young Adult Novels, Stopped Cold and Mountain of Love and Danger. If you have a preference which book you want, let us know. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. E-book: International.

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


Book Giveaway Oct 1 - 14: You have a chance to win an Inspirational Romance, Stone of Destiny. Leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Book: U.S. and E-book: International.

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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Jeanna Ellsworth


When someone asks Jeanna what she does for a living, she asks them, “Are you asking about my day job or my night job?” Of course we all know she is as straight as can be, but she likes the shock factor of making them think she has clandestine employment at night. The truth is she is a neurological ICU nurse and works nights. Her day job for the last two years is split between being a mother of three daughters, running a mini farm on an acre lot, being a landlord, writing 6 novels, and marketing, editing and self-publishing the first three of her books (the others will follow). In the spare time that she does get, she makes valiant, yet not always successful, efforts to keep her house clean. She fully admits occasionally that one of these gets neglected, but she declines revealing which one.

Welcome to my blog, Jeanna. I love your bio. I understand you want to give more than one book away with this interview. Please tell us about it.

I am willing to give away each book including a pre-order copy of my third book, To Refine Like Silver. This is a chance to win the book before it is published and will be delivered as soon as it is released in November. So three chances to win!

Where did you get your inspiration for these books?

Although each of the first three books are inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, they each are totally separate books with entirely different plots. I surprise myself some days with where my inspiration comes from. Once it was a Walmart checker, another time it was my bishop sharing a spiritual thought, often it comes from “people watching” while I ride TRAX commuter train. Believe it or not, TRAX is where I do a lot of my best writing. It is amazing what a solid, uninterrupted hour commute to and from work three days a week can do for making progress in a book. To be honest, anything can inspire me, especially the people I am around, like my children. But I only started writing because I was introduced to the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction (JAFF) and Regency romances by my sister, KaraLynne Mackrory, who is a published author as well. I admit I became an addict and now read everything I can get my hands on. In my most recent writing project, Inspired By Grace, I step away from fan fiction and Austen’s books. It is an original Regency romance that has all new characters and plot. It is challenging, but so far, Inspired By Grace is looking like it will be a very intriguing book. I have to admit, for the first time in two and a half years, I feel like I am cheating on Mr. Darcy because I have already fallen in love with Gavin, the hero of Inspired by Grace.

What is Mr. Darcy's Promise about?

This was my very first book I wrote and was published on Amazon in July 2013. This is a forced marriage scenario where Mr. Darcy is accused by Elizabeth’s father of compromising her, when in fact, he was rescuing her from the sinister Wickham. Elizabeth always wanted to marry for love, and is distraught in the carriage on their way to Darcy’s London house after the wedding. With great compassion, Darcy tries to figure out why she is so emotional and like many men, they assume wrongly instead of just asking outright. He assumes she is worried over the wedding night, like any maiden would, so Mr. Darcy makes her a promise on his gentleman’s honor, that physical intimacy will only come when she desires it. That promise proves nearly impossible to keep, and as Elizabeth falls in love with him, it becomes rather vexing to Elizabeth.

Please tell us about Pride and Persistence.

This is the second book I wrote and was published on Amazon in March this year. Some of the character traits that we love about Jane Austen’s original Mr. Darcy is that his emotions are tightly controlled which is perceived as being prideful, yet feels deep passion for Elizabeth. Her refusal motivated him to look inside himself and evaluate the kind of man he is. He only won her hand because he was willing to admit his defects and introspect to show more of the man that Elizabeth could love.

But what if he had a temporary brain injury that made him irrational and emotional, yet at the same time, obsessive about the fact that he wanted to marry Elizabeth? What if his head injury made it so that he could not remember that he already proposed and was refused? How many proposals does it take for Elizabeth to see that she loves Darcy and to finally accept his proposals? What you end up with is a romantic comedy that could easily be described as Pride and Prejudice meets 50 First Dates (the 2004 movie with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler). Who could not laugh at a man who is so persistent in his pursuit to win Elizabeth’s hand that he proposes over and over again only to forget the next day that he was refused? Like all good romances, they eventually find their happily ever after but not until they both learn the value of persistence.

Do you feel you kept the true character of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth?

For the most part, yes, but I did make a few changes that I think added to the fun of each book. In Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Elizabeth is a little out of her element, since she was forced to marry Darcy and tends towards a sensitive and emotional woman rather than impertinent or witty, but she is also more human and real and therefore loveable. In Pride and Persistence, I enjoyed making my least favorite character, Mr. Collins, totally repulsive, more so than Jane Austen did. In To Refine Like Silver, due to be published in November, I had to ask myself why Elizabeth was such a strong, confident woman in the original Pride and Prejudice. I believe that any woman in any era that is strong and confident is only that way because they have endured and put one foot in front of the other, no matter what the obstacles in their life. (Rosa Parks, Helen Keller etc.) So in To Refine Like Silver, I gave Elizabeth a few good reasons to have earned her confidence and strength. I gave her a history that Austen never did. I think in doing so, it made Elizabeth even more of a strong female lead. I can’t wait to share it with all of you. It is my favorite book I have written.

I also have gotten a lot of feedback that all my Darcys are just so lovable. I have a hard time writing him as harsh and prideful and cruel to Elizabeth at the beginning and then have him warp into a lovable guy like I have seen many authors do. I admit I don’t know any other way to write about a man I already love but to make him lovable right from the beginning!

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

Some things that you will never catch me doing is reading the newspaper, listening to the news or watching TV sitcoms unless it is one of three shows that I DVR, and even then I force myself to sit and watch them in order to have “mommy-daughter time” with my three daughters. I do like watching movies, but I adore reading and would choose it any day. It is not unheard of to read 2 books a day when I am in “research mode” preparing for the next book I am writing. (Definition of “research mode”: I read everything I delayed reading while writing and I get caught up on my to-be-read list as if I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet to get fresh ideas and get immersed in the genre I am about to write.) I also am a frequent flier at a Thai restaurant here in Utah, so much so that when I call in a to-go order, they ask me if I am getting the usual. Yup. Love Thai food and I keep them in business.

Thanks Jeanna, for this fun interview. I hope Jane Austen fan fiction lovers will enjoy these stories set in a time long ago.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Joy Dawn King


Joy Dawn King is a native Oregonian grandmother of five-year-old twins. When the parents of the twins moved to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador several years ago, Joy and her husband of 34 years packed up and moved with them. Grandchildren have power! Two years ago, she had read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. It was love at the first sentence. Not long after Joy discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction, a story was born. She has always been a storyteller, but had not put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard until early this year. Two months later, A Father’s Sins was available.

Hello, Joy. Does this book continue on where Jane Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice? Please tell us about your novel.

A Father’s Sins is an alternate path for the central characters, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.  The premise is based on terrible decisions that the fathers make earlier in their children’s lives. It is these children that suffer the consequences. They meet by chance in London a year before tragedy strikes both families and reconnect five years later. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a quiet, taciturn man who is honorable, responsible, and gorgeous. Due to circumstances, Elizabeth Bennet is a much more independent young woman who is kind, knowledgeable, and compassionate.

In the original Pride and Prejudice, the turmoil, misunderstandings, and trouble comes between Darcy and Elizabeth as their personal imperfections and incorrect attitudes inflict emotional pain on them both. In A Father’s Sins, the couple, who are far less prideful and prejudiced, pulls together as outside events try to pull them apart. There is humor, pain, sadness, and joy and enough melodrama to satisfy the most avid adventure lover. It is a morally clean variation that can be read by young and old.

My story follows Darcy and Elizabeth as deal with the fallout from their father’s decisions and come to terms with these men that they had once adored. It is a story of compassion and forgiveness.

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

My research for this project covered Regency fashion, transportation, weapons, disease, and travel to India, Italy, Greece, Egypt, east Africa, and Portugal by ship during this period. It fascinated me to learn so much of history as my story took shape.

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

I absolutely fell in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy. His love and tender care for his sister, Georgiana, showed the feelings that lurked behind that stoic exterior. Even his responses to Miss Caroline Bingley (his best friend’s sister who was intent on becoming his wife), his half-brother George Wickham, and his aunt (Lady Catherine DeBourgh) showed his strength of character and his goodness. He, too, was imperfect in my story just as he was in the original. However, once he realized that he loved Elizabeth, his determination to cherish and protect her was exemplary. Sigh!

I do have to mention the Fitzwilliam family too. Darcy’s Matlock relatives on his mother’s side were delightful. His aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Matlock, epitomized family members that would go to the ends of the earth in efforts to help their beloved nephew. Darcy’s cousins (Colonel Fitzwilliam and his older brother along with Anne DeBourgh) also stepped up and provided comic relief as well as genuine support. You just loved them as they stood together as a strong family unit to help our dear couple.

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

While I love to cook, eat, and read – I hate, no I ABHOR, Brussels sprouts, sewing machines and snakes – not necessarily in that order.

That is so funny. Thanks, Joy, for this interview. I hope Jane Austen fan fiction followers enjoy your new take on this story.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Interview with Christian Author Sharon Srock


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. Her books include: The Women of Valley View: Callie, The Women of Valley View: Terri, and The Women of Valley View: Pam.

Welcome back to my blog, Sharon. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

Thanks for having me Linda. Where did I get my inspiration? That’s still a bit of a mystery. If you look at the first book, CALLIE, The interaction between Callie and her three friends is very reminiscent of the church I attended for more than 40 years. I don’t think I meant it to be, but my daughters and my friends are constantly finding themselves in my books.

That’s funny. I think that might be something a lot of authors do. Please tell us about book one.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: CALLIE

Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her. Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.

Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing.  And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family. For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

I read book two and loved it. Please tell my readers what book two is about.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: TERRI

Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.

Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child.  She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother. Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?


Now tell us what the third book is about.

THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: PAM

Pam’s divorce broke her heart. The cruelty of her ex-husband broke her spirit. A bottle of sleeping pills almost took her life. Four years later the scars of Alan Archer’s emotional abuse are beginning to fade under the love of her new husband. When Alan returns to Garfield, Pam must learn that buried secrets and carefully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness.

Alan Archer has returned to Garfield with a new wife and a terminal heart condition. His mission? To leave a Christian legacy for his children and to gain Pam’s forgiveness for the sins of his past.
Two hearts hang in the balance waiting for the delicate touch of God’s healing hands.

Are there more books coming out in this series?

Book four, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: SAMANTHA was just contracted. I am about 20,000 words away from putting “THE END” to book five, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KATE. In six months I’ll begin the final story, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KARLA. I’ve lived with this community of women in my head for six years now. I’m not sure what happens when I try to shift gears to new stories and new people.

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

I have to say Callie. She was me when I started out, but she outgrew me pretty quickly. She is wiser and more dedicated than I am. Callie is who I want to be when I grow up.

Hahaha. I understand how you feel.  Thanks for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books and tell the librarians to order them for the library.

To get a FREE novella, FOR MERCIE’S SAKE by Sharon Srock, click here.

Connect with Sharon at www.sharonsrock.com.

Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books.