Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Interview with Mystery Author JoAnn Arnold

JoAnn and her husband, Brent, have 4 amazing sons, who all live out-of-state with their families—so the Arnolds do a lot of traveling to visit 15 grandchildren. Her first book, Miracles for Michael, was the product of a Christmas Musical she had written for her Community Theatre. After that, writing became a passion. She has written a fantasy Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient and three mysteries: Journey of the Promise, Pages from the Past, and The Silent Patriots.

Welcome back to my blog, JoAnn. Please tell us about your mystery novel, Pages from the Past.

After the sudden death of her husband, John, Betsy Braden struggles to find meaning in her life. With some help from her mother and a lovable golden retriever named Dorado, she slowly works her way through her loss. When Dorado digs up John’s watch in the woods, Betsy discovers that her husband’s death was not an accident. Next John’s notebook, written in his personal shorthand, is found in one of his jackets. Then six more notebooks are found in his safe. Suddenly Betsy and her family are drawn into a mysterious plot of science and technology. Along the way Betsy learns just how important freedom and liberty truly are.

Two of my favorite heroes in this book are Elmira, an 80-year-old woman, who knows more that she lets on, and the Golden Retriever, Durado—a brilliant sleuth.

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

I was reading about the Constitution, one day when something that was mentioned really struck me. After the Constitution was signed, men were called to become the “Watchers” of the Constitution. They were to protect what was written and make sure it was never defiled or trampled on. I thought to myself, if there were watchers then, perhaps there are watchers, today. That became the theme for this book.

Your idea sounds intriguing. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I bought a book that gave the history of the Constitution and those who brought it to life. Then I had my son, who designs computer chips, give me some details of how a chip can do what I wanted it to do in this story.

Thank you, JoAnn. I bet it was so interesting to learn about our Constitution and what brought it to life. It is the foundation of our freedom.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Interview with Children’s Author Shirley Raye Redmond

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond has written 27 books and over 400 magazine and newspaper articles. She comes from a military family—her father won a Bronze Star in WWII, her husband was a chaplain in the Army reserves, and her daughter was an Arabic linguist for the Army. Shirley Raye even dedicated the book to her sister, who was born in an Army hospital overseas!

Welcome back to my blog, Shirley Raye. Your nonfiction children’s book is about a real American hero…a World War II messenger pigeon that saved many lives. Please tell us about your book.

Pigeon Hero! (Simon & Schuster) tells the true story of one of the Army Signal Corps messenger pigeons named G.I. Joe. This bird is credited with saving the lives of over 1,000 of our British allies in Italy. Following the war, he was presented with a medal by the Lord Mayor of London before being retired to the cushy “pigeon hall of fame” at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The title won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award in 2004. Recently, Simon & Schuster re-released the title, making it available in hard cover, paperback and as an ebook—just in time for Memorial Day in May!

This is so interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My father was a Marine in WWII, so I’ve always been fascinated by that time period in American history. While watching a program on the History Channel one night, I learned about the Army Signal Corps using pigeons during the war. I wanted to learn more. About that same time, youngsters all over the United States were involved in class projects to raise funds to help pay for the World War II Memorial. Celebrities, such as actor Tom Hanks and Senator Bob Dole, were actively supporting the project as well. I guessed that teachers, school librarians, parents and grandparents would be looking for WWII stories appropriate for children. My book Pigeon Hero! fits the bill!

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Of course, I started by Googling everything I could find on messenger pigeons and G.I. Joe in particular. There are several military reference books that cover the subject, and I also found an old National Geographic article on pigeons that served in both World War I and II. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Museum at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey was a big help too.

Thanks for the interview, Shirley Raye. I love learning about American history. It fascinates me. This book should be fun for parents to read to their children. For a free Pigeon Hero! bookmark, readers can contact Shirley Raye through her website at http://www.shirleyrayeredmond.com.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Interview with Romance Author Jewel Adams

Jewel Adams is the author of interracial, young adult and inspirational romance, as well as romantic fantasy. She is a wife and mother of eight, and a grandmother. Armed with a library of her favorite books and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs, she and her family reside in Utah.

Welcome back to my blog, Jewel. To Love the Beast has a tragedy that happens within this love story. In other words, the reader will have feelings of sorrow at one point during the story. Please tell us about your new book.

To Love the Beast takes up where the final season of the 1987 Beauty and the Beast television series leaves off. I absolutely adore the series and I watch it about once a year, sometimes twice. But the ending was so unsatisfying that I have rewritten it in my head for years. The Beast loses the woman he loves and a new woman comes into his life who is also investigating the first love's murder. The series ended just as their friendship was beginning to blossom, so my story is about what could have been.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

For me, a romance definitely has to have a happy ending, and the TV show just didn't cut it. I mean, Diana and Vincent definitely needed their happily ever after. I needed it for them. So to save myself from more sleepless nights and emotional anguish, I had to write about their growing love and give them a life together:-)

Hahaha. I understand. I enjoy talking with you about your books. You love to write sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing love stories?

I just love love! I love being in love and projecting that love onto paper through interesting characters. And I love writing romance that everyone can read, including my daughters. Sure I write some fluff, but sometimes that is exactly what we need. When I'm in the mood to read something serious, I have my favorite authors that I can always count on to give me something that really makes me think. But I mainly read romance to be taken away to another world and be pulled into other lives, lives that have plenty of fluff:-) I just really like how diverse the romance genre is. There is something for everyone.

Thank you, Jewel, for an awesome interview. As always, you’re fun to talk with. One of these days we’ll have to meet. We’re not that far from each other.