Monday, April 27, 2015

Interview with Children’s Author Amy Hauer

Amy Hauer is an avid reader, a lover of non-fiction and children’s picture books. She is also an avid photographer, her camera never far from her hand. The Emily Grace Series, which teaches preschoolers to read, uses her photography to illustrate each adventure. Amy lives in upstate New York with her husband and three daughters—all of whom provide much inspiration for her  stories—but her youngest daughter serves as the subject of the Emily Grace Series.

Welcome to my blog, Amy. Please tell us about your children’s books, The Emily Grace Series.

Thank you so much for having me. What an honor! Well, The Emily Grace books are non-fiction tales about a young girl’s real adventures as she visits, discovers and interacts with the world around her. Whether it’s a flower shop, a garden with worms, or picking pumpkins and apples, each story is different. Emily Grace is naturally curious about everything and through these books, young readers can discover things as she does. Each book is designed to help children build their reading skills through sight words and repetition.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Inspiration comes from so many things in my life. I am an artist and love to create, so ideas come from everything around me. My children are a big inspiration! I also spent the last 13 years as a preschool teacher, so I know what the children I taught loved to read: books that engaged them and held their attention. Adventure was a big part of that, and any book that they can feel a part of they wanted to hold onto. I found that there were books that weren’t written for this age group, but should be. I love nature and how things work. I love the seasons and how things change. I also love the idea that I can give something to the kids I taught that they hadn’t seen: interaction through their natural world. By inviting them into Emily Grace’s world, they can go along for the adventure as if they were there.

What kind of research did you have to do?

Being that this series is non-fiction, I needed to research how things grow. Emily Grace Goes Pumpkin Picking shows how seeds change into plants by showing the life cycle of the pumpkin in a kid-friendly way. With both Emily Grace Plants a Garden and Emily Grace Goes to a Flower Shop, our research came from visiting a flower shop and talking with the staff, and then capturing Emily Grace learning from hands-on experience. One of the best parts of Emily Grace Plants a Garden came when Emily discovered a group of worms digging their own holes in the dirt as she dug holes for her flowers. By experiencing that, she was able to both see and learn just how valuable worms are for a garden. In the coming months, The Emily Grace series will find her visiting the NASA Space Center in Florida, as well as an aquarium, a veterinarian, a fire station, and an emergency medical services provider in her “People in Our Community” books.

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about her.

Emily Grace is the young girl in each of The Emily Grace series books. She is naturally curious about the world around her. She loves to ask why—a lot. Emily Grace, like most children her age, looks at the world with eyes wide open. She often sees things with a curiosity we adults have lost. I found that by joining Emily Grace, as both the author and photographer, I was able to chronicle her adventures as she navigates the world around her while learning about things at the same time.

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

I am quite good at doing a rooster impression and a witch’s cackle. Hey, maybe that’s an idea for two more Emily Grace books. Emily Grace on a farm and going out on Halloween!

HAHA! Thank you very much, Amy, for this awesome interview. I hope my readers will check out your children’s books.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview with Historical/Romantic Suspense Author Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen was raised in Rexburg, Idaho and has been a writer for as long as she can remember. At her request, she received her first typewriter when she was ten years old because she wanted to write her stories more efficiently. She enjoys traveling with her husband throughout the world and especially loves historical sites. Besides writing romantic suspense novels for adults and fantasy chapter books for children, she is the author of numerous articles and short stories. Betrayed is her third romantic suspense novel.

Welcome back to my blog, Ronda. This book is sort of a mystery/suspense story with sweet romance. Please tell us about your new book.

Betrayed is about a young woman who protects a child from the ruthless gang who killed her parents and faces love and self-sacrifice at the brink of the Niagara Falls.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
1851: Niagara Falls, New York. The evidence has been well hidden—the Thayers were confident that it was safe from the clutches of the ruthless Murphy Gang. But it has all been in vain. The lawless group is closing in on the family homestead, and seven-year-old Penny is given only one instruction: Run. After two long years eagerly anticipating her fiancĂ©’s return, twenty-year-old Julia Barrett is ready to make a fresh start with Adam Wolcott—even if it means putting her dream of traveling west with the Mormons on hold. But when Adam’s return is overshadowed by the unexpected arrival of a young orphan girl in desperate need of help, Julia is drawn into a dangerous mystery that will threaten all she holds dear. Charged with the protection of little Penny, Julia quickly finds herself relying on the help of Tom Harrison, an endearing young man who has long admired her from afar. Torn between two suitors, Julia soon uncovers a shocking trail of corruption and deceit—a discovery that pulls her inescapably into the race to locate telling evidence that Penny’s family gave their lives to protect . . .

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

A variety of sources, but the first inspiration came while I was looking through my family history and found a story about a family who was crossing the plains when two men joined up with them. The men killed the parents and stole their wagon and supplies. They then tied the two children to a horse and sent them off, alone, into the wilderness. Later, after another family found and rescued the children, they saw the murderers in town, but hid so the men wouldn’t see them. That event led me to create Penny Thayer, the child in my story.

Wow! What an inspiration for a storyline! What kind of research did you do for this book?

First, my family and I visited Niagara Falls a few years ago, but beyond that I read a lot of historical books and web documents related to life in 1851, the town of Niagara Falls, the falls themselves, the Tuscarora Indians, and anything else I needed to learn to make the book as authentic as I could.

That’s great. I love to learn about an area in a book, at the same time read a fun story. Where can my readers find you online?

I’m always happy to hear from readers, and my website,, will likely give readers the most information about me as well as contact information. I’m also on FB and Twitter.

Thank you for this interview, Ronda. I love your website. It’s very informative.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Interview with Inspirational Author Mary Ball

Mary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, suspense or mystery blended with romance.

Her novels include: Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel Ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake. She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith. When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.

Welcome back to my blog, Mary. I love the cover of your book. Please tell us about Redemption in Big Fork Lake.

Linda thanks for having me on your wonderful blog again. I can’t take a lot of credit for the cover. My publisher, Prism Book Group did the cover. The editor-in-chief of Prism, Joan Alley does a fantastic job on all the authors’ books. I call her the cover guru. LOL.
Here’s the blub for Redemption in Big Fork Lake: Can he be forgiven? Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life. For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future. His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness free Robert or will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?

I love inspirational stories. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My debut novel titled, Escape to Big Fork Lake was released in 2013. One of the characters in this novel has a drinking problem and caused Samantha (the main character) several problems. He actually attacked her. Many readers asked, “What happened to Rob?” Redemption in Big Fork Lake is Robert’s story.

I like it when an author tells the story about a character from a former book. What kind of research did you do for this novel?

I had to research alcoholism, and the Alcohol Anonymous foundation.

I bet it was interesting what you learned about it. You love to write inspirational stories. What intrigues you most about writing in this genre?

I’m a woman of faith and I enjoy writing about situations that we all can face in this world, and taking my characters through the tough times while highlighting their journey to a graceful outcome.   

I love your answer. Where can my readers find you online?
My website
Also, find me on Face Book

Thank you, Mary, for this awesome interview. I hope my readers will check out your websites.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Interview with Humorous Romance Author Teresa Ives Lilly

Lilly is the author of 9 Novellas and 4 Novels.  She writes Christian Romance and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group.  Her books can be seen on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, and Lovely Romance Press.

 Welcome back to my blog, Teresa. Mammie's Mail Order Bride sounds humorous and romantic. Please tell us about your new book.
Mammie’s Mail Order Bride is about how Mammie has ordered a Mail Order Bride for her son Stephen, so she can have grandchildren eventually.  Sally Jersey has filled the position, but has brought along 4 nieces and nephews…. Mammie is pleased to have an immediate set of grandchildren, but Stephen, who didn’t even want a wife, is not happy at all.  

This sounds like a hoot. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This book has actually been in my mind for over ten years.  The first page was written that long ago.  I just love Mail Order Bride stories, but wanted a unique twist.  Having Mammie order the bride seemed unique.

Most definitely! I like this new twist. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Researching Mail Order Brides for me is just reading other Mail Order Bride books…. 

That’s right. You can get a lot of good ideas and info that way. You love to write sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing this genre?

I love sweet romance, but actually don’t read too many of them, because I always think I should be busy writing one…. It’s the only type of book I even care to write…

I know what you mean. When I changed genre, from romance to mystery, I couldn’t help but add some romance to each book. Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you for this wonderful interview, Teresa. I hope my readers will check your books out.