Thursday, March 28, 2013

Interview with Christian Author Ann Miller

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She has four children in their twenties, two daughters-in-law, a grandson, and an almost-son-in-law in June. Over 70,000 copies of her debut novel, Kicking Eternity have been downloaded from Amazon. Her other titles are Avra’s God and The Art of My Life.

It’s always a pleasure to have you on my blog, Ann. You write Christian romances. This novel is perfect for this Easter season. It's about a couple who learns the importance of repentance and forgiveness. The idea behind this story is changing and becoming a better person. Please tell us about your new book.

Tattered Innocence is a tale of passions indulged, denied, and ultimately forgiven. On the verge of bagging the two things he wants most—a sailing charter business and marrying old money—Jake Murray’s fiancée/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin, the only one to apply for the first mate position he slapped on craigslist.

Rapid fire dialogue and romantic tension sail Jake’s biker-chick of a boat through hurricanes, real and figurative. A cast of wannabe sailors, Rachel’s ex, Jake’s ex, a baby—go along for the ride.

Tattered Innocence is for anyone who’s ever waken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt.

This subject is about repentance and beginning your life again. What are you specifically teaching the youth in this book?

The story's message is all about the journey to God's forgiveness. Premarital sex between people who love each other—unlike what movies depict—wreaks havoc and causes immense pain. No one would want to go through this kind of anguish. The light at the end of the tunnel is that God forgives and heals when we seek Him.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

The setting on a sailboat comes from part of my childhood when my family lived on a sailboat in Miami, Florida. My Catholic upbringing, not only pointed me toward Jesus when I went looking, but gave me a hearty grasp on the concept of guilt for this story. I think most, if not all, of us have done things we deeply regret. These mistakes cling to us with the tenacity of super-glue and produce life-long shame. I believe the only one able to cleanse us of the shame is Jesus.

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

There is something magical about the first time a person falls in love. As children and teens we dream of meeting that person we can bare our souls to, share sunsets and mountain tops with, hold in our arms. Once we meet him, nothing is ever the same again. I had a sad childhood, but my husband has loved me well for thirty-two years and made up for my rocky beginning. He is my happily ever after. Why would I not want to write about love?

Wow! You are so right. For those interested, you may check out Ann’s website at You may join her at Facebook as well at

Friday, March 22, 2013

Interview with YA Author Monique Bucheger

Monique is a happily married mom of 12 kids and Grandmama to a sweet little girl. She has written several books, though only three are published. Her passions include her kids, writing, scrapbooking, and causes which empower kids. Monique appreciates a kind word, a good joke, the occasional power nap, good chocolate, and hopes to brighten her corner of the world with a good story.

Hello, Monique. Trouble Blows West was written for young adults. Please tell us about your novel.

Trouble Blows West is about a spirited 12 year-old girl named Ginnie, who gets on the wrong side of the biggest bully in 6th grade when she knocks him on his rear while defending her twin brother, Toran. She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Charlie likes being knocked down by one. When Charlie seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Charlie’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Charlie has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

This sounds like a wonderful story for children to read. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My husband and I fostered 120 kids over 12 years and have some experience with child abuse. I wrote the Ginnie series to empower kids and adults on all sides of the child abuse issue: victims, abusers, and those wanting to help both.

Tenacious as a bulldog, Ginnie is a spunky kid who isn’t afraid to try new things or stand up for the people she cares about. She doesn’t always think before she acts, but she is loyal to friends and family … and those who need a friend. She is courageous, impulsive, and a lot of fun.

The first book in this series is called The Secret Sisters Club. What is it about?

The Secret Sisters Club has been described as “Parent Trap meets An American Girl.” Ginnie’s best friend, Tillie, wants her mom and Ginnie’s dad to date. They come up with a plan to make it happen: Operation Secret Sisters. Ginnie is fine with the plan until she finds her deceased mom’s journals and realizes that getting a new sister will come with a new mom. While finding her mom’s journals gives Ginnie a chance to get to know the mother her dad doesn’t talk about, it also makes her wonder what life would be like if her mom had lived. When her dad takes away the journals, Ginnie isn’t sure what to think, she only knows she has to get them back, no matter what.

What does your family think about your writing?

My husband is my biggest fan. My nine-year-old loves Ginnie and Tillie. My children who are bookworms think it’s kind of cool that I write. When I recently introduced some of my children to Kevin J Anderson and his wife, Rebecca Moesta—they were impressed by the wide variety of fantasy and sci-fi books they had written. Being an author got elevated some that day. It was fun to see my kids get excited about meeting real authors and in turn, they are more supportive of my writing as well.

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

On September 11, 2001, I scheduled an induction so that I could give birth to my 9th child, who also happened to be my 11th pregnancy. My husband worked a lot and I wanted to make sure he could attend the birth. I fully expected to be able to tell the tale of having a “9-1-1 baby”, having no idea that the events of the day would change my son’s status as a “9-1-1 baby” forever to a “September 11th baby.”

While I would change what happened that day if I could, I wouldn’t change my son’s birthday. I consider his birth one of the many miracles that happened on that eventful day. I have collected many stories of strangers helping one another, and of kindnesses rendered within the depths of such horrific tragedy, that Sept 11, 2001 is a day I recall as a day that has re-awakened the intrinsic goodness of most people, as they looked past differences to help one another reconnect as brothers and sisters in humanity.

Thank you so much, Monique. I have learned a lot about you and that makes this interview so much fun. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Danielle Thorne

Danielle Thorne is the author of sweet romantic adventure books, both historical and contemporary. She currently writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. Danielle is a former editor for Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing, but freelance writing and blogging at The Balanced Writer ( is now her day job when life isn't calling. She has four sons with her wonderful husband. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors.

Welcome back to my blog, Danielle. Please tell us about your book, BY HEART AND COMPASS.

BY HEART AND COMPASS is about having the courage to follow your heart even when it seems crazy. It's about chasing dreams and having them come true. It was nominated for a Whitney Award when it was released, and I'm very proud of its great sales and reviews.

This story is about genealogist Lacey Whitman, who buys a restored Victorian home, but never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past (like so many of us do) comes to a screeching halt as diver, Max Bertrand, and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: to discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again.

I love sweet romantic adventure stories. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

Believe it or not, I always wanted to write an adult version of my favorite childhood movie, Goonies. My historical novel, THE PRIVATEER, was a great springboard for going forward in time and unraveling a great treasure ship adventure

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I had a great time researching the Caribbean islands on a few cruise vacations. Luckily, I'm an Age of Sail nut so I had plenty of resources for refreshing my memory of the sailing world, and my scuba certification comes in handy, too.

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

I've always been a closet romantic even though I sometimes take myself too seriously. Writing romances has given me the opportunity to make people smile and believe in fairytales. It's also a chance to share sweet love stories full of exciting adventure that takes the reader somewhere far away for a spell. I love to give someone that "awww" moment and make them want to give a hug to the one they love.

Thank you, Danielle, for this wonderful interview. It was fun talking to you. For those interested, Danielle’s book is available in print and as an ebook at: Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Interview with Author Steve Miller

J. Steve Miller has taught audiences from Atlanta to Moscow. He’s known for drawing practical wisdom from serious  research and communicating it in accessible, unforgettable ways. He's happily married to his wife, Cherie, and they have seven sons.

"For some time we've needed a well-researched, compelling introduction to this exciting field that focuses on the evidence. Miller delivers!” - Jeffrey Long, MD, best-selling author of Evidence of the Afterlife.

Welcome back to my blog, Steve! We have talked about your books called Publish a Book, Sell More Books, and Enjoy Your Money. Now we have a very interesting subject to talk about today. Please tell us about your new book, Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven.

With the publication of Heaven is for Real and Harvard Neurologist Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven (both best sellers), near-death experiences (NDEs) have become a hot topic. But readers like myself, with a skeptical bent, look at those personal experience books and ask, "But how can I know for sure they're telling the truth? Don't I just have to trust their stories?" In that sense, their out-of-body experiences were proof of heaven for them, but perhaps not for skeptical readers.

So I wanted to get beyond the personal stories that people write about in their books, since atheists might suspect that they were just making things up to make money. I needed something more substantial to believe that these people were really going to the other side and back.

So I decided to study the professional research that's been done on near-death experiences over the past 35 years. Most people don't know that over 900 articles on NDEs have been published in professional journals such as Psychiatry, The Lancet, and Neurology. Over the past 35 years, over 55 researchers or teams have published at least 65 studies of over 3500 NDEs.

Rather than bore readers with academic details, I wrote in a popular fashion and relegated the more technical stuff to appendixes and endnotes, so that people might actually read it. It must have worked, because it's selling great!   

Where did you get your inspiration?

I've always been a questioner, a doubter - sort of a doubting Thomas who required evidence to believe. So I've always been interested in evidence for the Christian faith. My course selections in college and graduate school read like a God search. But I never took NDE's seriously as evidence for heaven, since I assumed it consisted of personal stories with no corroborating evidence. But a relative sent me a copy of Heaven is for Real and wanted my input. I reluctantly read it, decided that the evidence presented wasn't very strong, but discovered that academics and medical professionals had been studying NDEs in clinical settings for decades. I just had to find out what they'd discovered.

What kind of research did you do for this book and can you tell us about one “Near Death” experience from your book?

I started by reading Raymond Moody's seminal study from 1975, Life After Life. Before this book, hardly anyone knew of the experiences, so you couldn't attribute the experiences to their prior expectations. In fact, their experiences were typically not what they were expecting at all of the afterlife.

After Moody, I began to read more recent studies, especially those that included reviews of all the other literature since Moody. I kept thinking as I read, "Surely somebody will come up with a natural explanation that's compelling!" But they never did. In fact, many facts of the experience don't seem compatible with naturalism at all. People report viewing their surgeries while they're brains are unconscious. Those born blind report seeing. Those who were born deaf report hearing. It's the wildest thing I've ever studied!

I also began to ask relatives and trusted friends if they knew of trustworthy people who'd experienced NDEs, so that I could interview them. After all, surveys found four percent of both Germans and Americans reporting that they'd experienced one. I was amazed to find plenty of people to interview within my own circles of trust.

I interviewed a staff member at my church - a bright, successful man in his 60's. He hardly ever talked to people about his experience, since he considered it quite private. But he sat across from a table telling me, at first with tears, about this powerful, life-altering experience that he described as "more real than sitting across from you talking to you right now. Nobody could ever convince me that it wasn't real." He was extremely ill in the hospital during his experience, which consisted of talking to three heavenly creatures about whether or not it was his time to die.

In my lifetime, I've studied many arguments for the existence of God, but this one is especially convincing and life changing. It's certainly helped my faith and shaped my priorities!

Thank you, Steve, for being a guest on my blog once again. It’s always a pleasure talking with you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Interview with Children’s Author Sherrill S. Cannon

All five of Sherrill S. Cannon’s books are in rhyme and all try to teach something like good manners and caring for others.  In less than three years, this former teacher and grandmother of ten has won a dozen National Awards for her books: The Magic Word, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, Santa’s Birthday Gift and Gimme-Jimmy.  Her latest book, Manner-Man has just been released. She has also written six published and internationally produced plays for elementary school children. All of her books are part of a CureJM Fundraiser through where 50% of the cost of her books goes to the CureJM Foundation to help find a cure for this incurable children’s disease.

Welcome back to my blog, Sherrill. Each of your books is set in rhyme. That makes it fun for the children. Please tell us about your new book, Manner-Man.

Manner-Man is a Superhero who helps children learn how to cope with bullying, and to have good manners and consideration for others.  Using the phrase, “I am strong, and my flash is bright; and I will defend you and make things all right…” Manner-Man arrives, helping children learn about sharing and warning about not ‘hitting with words’, suggesting that if someone starts bullying, just shout out “not nice!”  Manner-Man incorporates messages and characters found within some of my earlier books, and invites children to become part of the Manner-Man team.  It reminds them that they each have their own inner superhero within themselves.

This is wonderful. Where did you get your inspiration for this children’s book?

My four-year-old grandson asked me to write a book about a superhero.  When his mother first read him the story (without any illustrations) he promptly decided to send me his version of Manner-Man, which he and his father drew outside on the patio in chalk! He has since given me his approval of Kalpart’s illustrations!!

That is so cute. I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Did you put real experiences in this book?

Mainly hearing “not nice” as a familiar phrase throughout all of my children’s and grandchildren’s growing-up years!  It’s a simplistic way to solve bullying problems, but children can begin to resist bullying at a very young age…and adults generally respond when they hear the phrase!

Thank you, Sherrill, for being on my blog once again. I always enjoy having you because your books are so wonderful for children.