Monday, May 25, 2015

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, and the simple life. And her grandsons! Did she mention their grandsons?!

“With Music In Their Hearts is a mystery romance. This is the most adorable mystery ever! Emma Jaine is a strong character and I really like her. Not only does she run a boarding house, but she also takes care of her father and two younger sisters. She’s a spunky and pretty woman, and a few men at the boarding house are attracted to her.

“Tyrell is a good-looking man and absolutely adorable when he teases and flirts with Emma Jaine. He is a reverend, a minster of a nearby church, but at the same time he’s an undercover agent for the government. His flirtations with Emma are appropriate for a minister and you can see the attraction between the two. I love the mystery that goes along with the romance. Romance and mystery make a book so much fun to read.” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Carole. This book is a World War II Spy Trilogy. Please tell us about it: With Music in Their Hearts.

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

Where can my readers find your books?

What kind of research did you have to do?

Lots of it, and since I love research, it wasn’t a hardship. I researched:

Phrases and words common to the 1940s.
Fashion, including men’s hats and suits, women’s hats and clothing, and styles
Music: songs especially
A bit about the area, although I have lived for awhile in the Cincinnati area, so knew some.
Some about ammunition

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

I have two main characters: Emma Jaine Rayner and Tyrell Walker, but I will focus on Emma Jaine for this question.

She’s the oldest red-headed daughter of Papa (Ossie) Rayner. Since her mother died ten years before, she’s taken over the care of her two younger sisters, and her father. The responsibility has given her a rather over-bearing attitude in some ways, and only when Tyrell Walker shows up with his teasing, does she come to life and realize she wants what all the young women her age--and younger--are wanting: a MAN! 

I love how Tyrell teases Emma Jaine. He is so adorable. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I love life--not the hardships and trials. Lol. But the privilege of having another day to enjoy. I love elephants and many other animals. I like learning about new things (research). I love real cheesecake and Christmas and well, most holidays or any chance to be with family and friends. I enjoy collecting rocks and music boxes. I love traveling and we have visited ¾ of the United States. I love cities at night and the country anytime. Love misty valleys and rolling streams, crashing ocean waves and waterfalls. I love photography, scrap booking, good food and the simple life. Most of all I adore my three grand boys--God sent! And God himself.

Now that’s quite a handful of things you just named, Carole. Thank you for this fun interview. It was enjoyable getting to know you.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Interview with Children’s Author Louie Lawent

Louie Lawent is the author of the picture book "Gerty The Pig" which is in schools across the United States. The book is part of the National Accelerated Readers Program. He is also a lyricist with his works featured on rock, country and children's releases. Louie co-wrote 10 children's songs with Steve Goodie which are featured on Steve's "Refrigerator Art" CD. Also, he co-wrote "Worms In The Can, Wieners On The Bun" on Canadian children's recording artist Erick Traplin's CD "A Little More." Louie is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and enjoys table tennis.

Welcome to my blog, Louie. Please tell us about your children’s book: Momma Don't You Worry.

The tale is told through the voice of a boy who's almost 6 years old and wants his independence. He feels like he's too old to have to hold on to his mom's hand when they're out and about. When he breaks away from his mom in a shopping mall, he gets lost. Then he must decide what to do.

I read this book and it’s so cute. Its only 9 pages and done in rhyme. Here is an example to whet your “reading appetite.”

When we’re crossing busy streets
My mom always insists
“Put your little hand in mine”

She watches me with eagle eyes
Like I’m a treasured jewel
She cramps my style, oh man alive

The author writes “Thank God” in this rhyme and I figured the boy was actually thanking God for helping him to find his mother when he was lost. Where did you get your inspiration for this book, Louie? From life experiences?

I came up with this idea quite a while ago. I can't pinpoint how it came to be, but yes, I do get many ideas from life experiences, whether it be from something a friend says, or something that someone I know does. For instance, one day I was in a post office and 2 kids were sitting side by side - a boy and a girl - probably 4 to 6 years old. The girl said something to the younger boy and I thought "that would be a great title for a children's song" and I then wrote a lyric. One of my grandmas was a packrat. I wrote a lyric entitled "A Packrat's Mind" that eventually became a song I co-wrote with Wayne Hamilton who sings it. He reformed it and added to it and it's a real catchy folk song.

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

I love that the little boy wants to assert his independence, but at the same time recognizes that he has to do it on the sly because he knows he will be in trouble if all goes wrong.

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

Well, when I was in kindergarten, apparently I scrambled across the street when school let out. The kindergarten teacher wrote on my report card something like this, "You should talk to Louis about crossing streets. He's had a couple of narrow escapes."

Thank you, Louie, for this interview. Louie’s children’s book, Momma Don't You Worry, is only $1.29. There is no book giveaway for this interview but you can purchase it at Amazon.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Interview with a Inspriational Romance Author Diane Dean White

Diane started her writing career at an early age when she asked for a typewriter for Christmas. She pounded the keys writing poetry and short stories in grade school on an old black Royal manual. She wrote for a local newspaper, covering hard news and feature stories including a column called: “Yankee Viewpoint’s”. She enjoys ancestral history and writing donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. She is the author of Beach Walks, Carolina in the Morning, On a Summer Night, Stories from a Porch Swing, Winter Wonderland and Texting Mr. Right. Diane is also the author of over three-hundred short stories. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-two years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

Welcome back to my blog, Diane. I love the book cover. It's draws me into the story. Please tell us about Texting Mr. Right.

Thank you, Linda. This is a novella set it my home state of Michigan. I write mostly inspirational romance and suspense, but this was purely romance. I used the familiar setting at my parent’s cottage on Lake Michigan to introduce readers. The story is fictional but the cities are real.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I wanted to do a story that included the area in Michigan around the great lake, and the cottage. I was asked to write something by a publisher, and sadly a few months after she published this, she dissolved her company. The book was relinquished back to me, so this
April, I did some small edits and it’s now back on Amazon. On both e-book and paperback.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

The area, which is a few hours north of major metro cities in Michigan, is well known to me. But things such as diseases contracted from deer, which are popular and how they are treated took some research. Although our son and daughter-in-love are stateside after six years in the mission field, they now live in California and helped with research there. I take readers on a tour of that area. I constantly do research to be sure names I use aren’t real in a city, and had fun writing this story.

Please tell us about one of the main characters in this story and what you like about him or her.

Megyn is the main character and she has just graduated from college…she watches friends marry and wonders why she hasn’t found Mr. Right. Soon she finds him, but they don’t live in the same part of the state. (Relationships are often separated with both spouses working today.) So when Megyn falls in love she seeks God for guidance, in hopes she and Brandon can make it work…praying, but wondering how. I enjoyed creating a number of characters…Megyn’s girl friend’s mother, Mrs. Young, is a fun-loving woman, and Megyn’s own mother is a character. Brandon is handsome, computer savvy, and knows what he wants in a wife.

Where can my readers find you online?

This book is presently in ebook and paperback on Amazon, and other booksellers.
My website is:
YouTube video for Texting Mr. Right:

Thanks for this awesome interview, Diane. If this video doesn't make you want to read this story, I don't know what would. Great video! 

"Texting Mr. Right was a fun love story. Brandon was an awesome guy in this story. He was attracted to Megyn right away and their love grew quickly. I love how the author developed his loving personality, using a pet name for Megyn that is so charming… he calls her Beautiful. Megyn reminded me of my own daughters and her pet name for Brandon was Handsome. This story is unique because it doesn't have that old unrealistic misunderstanding between the couple: get mad, stay mad for a few chapters, then make up. Diane White allows the couple to think about their problem, lets the couple try to solve it, and still be wildly in love at the same time. The ending is delightful and totally unlike other love stories, because the author chooses to end the last chapter on their honeymoon. How fun is that!" --Review written by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Monday, May 4, 2015

Interview with Historical Biographer Author Anna Ray Jones

Anna Ray-Jones is the author of Sustainable Architecture in Japan. She has also written several screenplays including The Haunting of Rachel Gottlieb, a semi-finalist in the Nicholl’s Screenwriting Fellowships of 2005, and There Might be Angels, a finalist for the Kairos Screenwriting Prize of 2009. Her short story, Him Woolly, was a winner of the new fiction prize of 2009 awarded by the Journal of Arts and the Environment. Her next book, a work in progress, is called Loom Song, a novel about Irish linen weavers shipped out as felons to Australia in 1828. She is currently a Senior Vice-President at the PR agency of Donley Communications in New York City.

Despite a story set in, and surrounded by, horrific events, ‘Journey of Ashes: A Boyhood in the Holocaust’ does not allow those events to dominate or to become ‘the story.’ Instead, it captures the human perseverance for normalcy during even the most abnormal and abhorrent of circumstances.” – Sherrie Dulworth

Welcome to my blog, Anna. Please tell us about Journey of Ashes.
Journey of Ashes presents a literary interpretation of a child’s recollections of growing up in Krakow surrounded by the Holocaust.  In this uplifting story we are introduced to Roman Ferber, a boy whose humor, courage and sturdy sense of self outshines the sun, even in the darkest days of the Nazi era in Poland. His biography displays a delicate balance between humor and tragedy and explores the striving for normalcy in the face of the unimaginable. 

Journey of Ashes offers up humor and grace, cunning, spirituality, friendship and betrayal as among the well honed tools of endurance.  The transition to the death camps is shocking, yet the book exalts the sustaining power of a child’s belief.  Despite facing unimaginable cruelties, Roman held fast to the pledge made to his lost father that he would survive at any cost.  This book confirms that shining promise.

Roman Ferber is a holocaust survivor. He was born in Poland in 1933 and spent his childhood confined by the Nazis in several prison camps including Auschwitz. You are the co-author of Roman’s story. How did this come about? 

We found each other on Craig’s list after a friend of mine saw his post looking for a writer to tell his story. We met and got along well. Initially, we had planned on a non-fiction book derived from interviews but after nine months of discussion, I had a very dull manuscript that was not satisfying to either of us.  Also, Roman didn’t want to do any writing himself--he felt it all should come from the interviews that regrettably weren’t good. I think he never realized that to write the book he wanted, he would have to lay open his soul for all the world to see.  But Roman was reluctant and fearful (and understandably so) to dig deep into personal recollections about his wartime experience, so no emotional investigations at all seemed possible. I certainly did not have the heart to quit on the project but needed a completely different approach to take it forward. It was then I had the idea to reinterpret Roman’s story as a semi-fictionalized memoir.

Thankfully, I could draw on my accumulated knowledge of the Shoah and my Polish travel notes and use that knowledge to expand his story into a kind of “theater of experience,” whereby not only would the story be centered on him but would integrate characters around him that were real, that he knew or may have encountered, and also I could compose composite characters who would have been archetypes of the period.  Two examples are: the Catholic Pharmacist in the Krakow Ghetto named Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who helped Jews in a hundred different ways, and who interacted with Roman’s brother, Manek. The Pharmacist’s role and many of his brave acts are highlighted in my book, as are those of his opposite, a German officer named Walter Mueller, who went insane after a day of killing in the Ghetto and shot himself.  While Pankiewicz was a real person, Mueller is a composite soldier based on real-life case histories I researched of Nazi officers who lost their minds from the atrocities they agreed to commit.
What happened to Roman after he was liberated from the prison camp?

After the liberation, he was rehabilitated in what had become the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen Belsen in northwestern Gemany. In 1949, at the age of 16, he immigrated with his mother to the USA and settled in New Jersey. For over three decades, he served under several mayors and held key positions in the city government of New York including: Special Assistant to the Deputy Mayor for Business & Community Development, Director of Manufacturing & Wholesaling, Director of Business Development, and Director of Job Development & Treasurer of the NYC Job Development Loan Program.

Thank you for telling us about Roman Ferber, Anna. To learn more, visit Check out Roman’s story on Amazon.