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 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 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.