Monday, January 25, 2016

Interview with Humorous Sweet Romance Author Laurean Brooks



Ms. Brooks creates sassy heroines with “Foot In Mouth Disease” who are accustomed to the taste of their own shoe leather. But there's always a chivalrous hero on standby to rescue her from her self-inflicted catastrophes. Beneath A Macon Moon is a Christian Romance peppered with humor that addresses guilt and forgiveness.

Welcome to my blog, Laurie. Please tell us about Beneath A Macon Moon.

Jaela Andrews was born to well-to-do parents and accustomed to the finer things in life. Jaela has never lacked for any material thing. She is independent, determined and ambitious. Staying busy with her job as an insurance claims adjuster keeps her from dealing with grief and guilt.

When Jaela's mother reveals a shocking secret, Jaela flees to Macon, Georgia to house sit for a couple touring Europe. But her plan for peace and quiet are thwarted by Viking lookalike Eric Larsen, the handyman hired to renovate the Victorian home where she's staying. No one warned her about the renovations and Jaela's had it up to here with Eric's attitude, noisy tools--plus his nosy questions. Why doesn't he mind his own business? Jaela will not return her mother's calls until she's good and ready. If Eric knew what her mother did, he would understand.

Guilt and nightmares plague Jaela two years after her father's death. She was not at his side when he drew his last breath. Her mother must never know she disobeyed, and that her dad died alone. Jaela's attraction toward Eric grows as she begins to realize he's not trying to control her. His concern for her well-being stems from an overly protective nature. Eric gradually melts Jaela's grieving heart, a romantic entanglement leading to marriage is not in her plan.

Can Jaela forgive her mother and grandparents for concealing a twenty-three-year-old secret? She had a right to know. Will Jaela forgive herself for not being there as her father lay dying? Only God can heal her wounded heart.

Eric Larsen was hired to renovate the Victorian home while the owners are away. The project will take all summer, and all the complaints from a feisty young woman will not stop progress. Jaela obviously comes from money. Her sporty little BMW and straight-from-Fifth_Avenue-wardrobe speak volumes. But she's clueless when it comes to responsibility. Eric has worked to support his family since their father deserted ten years ago. How could Jaela comprehend responsibility or sacrifice? And why did Jaela high-tail it to Macon? Why doesn't she return her mother's calls? When he asks, she lets him know it's none of his business. He's smitten with the sassy little spitfire, but they from very different worlds. Like the pauper wooing the princess, it just wouldn't work. If only there were a way.
With God, all things are possible.

A nosy elderly couple next door add suspense and humor, keeping things lively. Madge Wilcox becomes suspicious when her neighbors come up missing to be replaced by a young woman from out of state. She doesn't buy into Jaela's story that the Cranstons are touring Europe. Madge's obsession with crime solving keeps her binoculars glued to the house next door. Then one night she slips over with her flashlight to search the backyard. Haunted with guilt, Madge has become bitter and suspicious. Can she forgive herself? Can God forgive her for what she did nearly five decades ago?

George Wilcox, Madge's mild-mannered husband, tolerates his wife's eccentric behavior. While she is glued to reruns of Murder She Wrote, George slips next door to “consort with the enemy.” Over coffee and cookies, the wise little man and Jaela bond through heart-to-heart talks.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Five years ago my husband, son and I were sitting in a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky when my son called a former co-worker to join us. When Dwayne arrived, he was distraught. “Man, thanks for calling me. I had to get away! My wife's going crazy. She's throwing stuff, tearing up the house.”

I won't disclose the shocking news Dwayne's wife Teresa received. It would give away my plot. But I kept the idea in the back of my mind for three years before I wrote it. With Dwayne and Teresa's permission, I dedicated Beneath a Macon Moon to them. Without them it would not be written.

What kind of research did you do?

I researched Macon, Georgia on the internet. Its tourist attractions, popular restaurants, climate and weather, festivals, and nearby towns. Did you know Macon was one town not invaded by the Union troops? As a result, the city has more beautiful antebellum homes than any other town. Many are open for touring.

That’s so interesting. I love learning bits of history from fictional novels. Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about him or her.

This is not easy. I equally love my heroine and hero.

I like Jaela's sassy spirit, her quick wit. Her self-sufficiency and independent spirit are only a facade. Eric sees right through it. She has a lot to learn, and by God's grace she will. Jaela's refusal to accept advice from Eric gets her in trouble. She refuses the map he offers her to guide her through the backwoods of Georgia. As a result, she must eat humble pie, or crow.

I like Eric's character because he is a strong, protective alpha male with a silly sense of humor.  Eric owns a home renovation business. Because he shoulders his family's financial burden, he's had little cash to spend on a woman. Then he meets Jaela and wants to impress her. Sparks fly (in more ways than one). Eric sees Jaela as helpless and tries to protect her. But Jaela misinterprets his chivalry. What will make her realize Eric's only looking out for her?

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

In my mid forties, the manufacturing plant where I worked closed. Employees were offered the opportunity to further their education. I took advantage of it and signed up for Legal Assistant courses at a college 50 miles away. After graduation then obtaining and being laid off from two jobs, I decided to use my newly acquired skills for something different. Instead of feeling that my schooling had been a waste, I used the computer skills to become a writer. The courses using Microsoft Word had prepped me. In fact, every class included a computer. Without these skills, I would not be a published Christian author today. Maybe God looked down the road. Could it be He had a purpose for my life that I had not considered?

Thank you for this awesome interview, Laurie. I, too, understand what you mean about computer skills. I had to take a class to graduate and it was so hard. My children knew everything about computers, but I didn't. So if I needed help, they were there. Without this skill, it would be difficult to be an author in this modern day. 

Ms. Brook's first release, Journey To Forgiveness is an embellishment of her mother's life story, set in the Depression Era. It will soon re-release with a new cover and minor changes to the story.  

A Medley Of Inspirational Romance, is a compilation of four stories which can be downloaded separately or as one unit, in either print or ebook. 

Beneath a Macon Moon, Ms. Brook's latest title, is available in both kindle download or print.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Interview with Christian Romance Author Candee Fick

Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Catch of a Lifetime is a super sweet love story. I didn’t know much about football until I read this book. The author knows so much about football that she was able to help me understand this sport. I learned that a college football coach has a lot more work than probably anyone realizes. There is more to it than just teaching techniques only. I also didn’t realize that the boys have to watch film clips to help them with strategy. I grew to respect what a coach has to go through to get his team ready. This was a fun story and I was able to feel the excitement of the game along with the tender romance. Towards the ending, there are some tense moments.” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Candee. Please tell us about your sweet romance, Catch of a Lifetime.

Catch of a Lifetime tells the story of a first-year college football coach and a graduate assistant athletic trainer who hates football but has to work with the football program in order to pay for her schooling. It’s a clean and wholesome read even as it deals with real life issues inside a college football program. Here’s the back cover blurb:

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This story nugget arrived in a dream. I woke up living a scene that was so real it stayed with me for at least an hour. As the details began to fade, I realized it had the makings of a good story and so I scribbled down as much of the scene as I could and filed the paper away with other ideas waiting for the right time. Of course, when I pulled out my notes, the characters needed a bunch of tweaking in order to make the situation believable and book length, but the essence of the conflict was still there. Cassie did not want to work with the football program but Reed was hero enough to help change her mind.

Of course, they say to write what you know so several of the individual scene ideas came from my personal experiences as a football coach’s wife and mother to a player who got hurt during a game. I knew a lot about football from my guys, but I still needed to do a lot of research.

What kind of research did you do?

While I fictionalized the college, it was based on a very-real team’s schedule because I needed to know how many games there were in a season, how they would qualify for a bowl game, and a typical week’s practice plan. I also needed to know about NCAA eligibility requirements for athletes, the test schedule for a biology class, athletic training certification protocols, and how to diagnose or treat specific injuries. All those tiny details and many more from sideline game action helped create realism in my descriptions and bring the setting to life.

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

Cassie Parker hates football, mostly because she blames a football player for the tragedy that destroyed her family. But she’s also a fierce competitor who remembers the commitment to excellence required in her previous sport of gymnastics as well as the agony of career-ending injuries. She’s dedicated to her new field of athletic training because she wants to help others and resolves to put up with the football players in order to fulfill her vow to her late mother and finish her education. I love how her empathy toward an injured player opens the door for her to face the past and learn how to forgive so she can move forward to a bright future. She’s a spunky fighter in a petite package.

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

I get to read and write for a living. Unfortunately, what I get paid to read is thousands of pages of depositions from asbestos cases and the writing involves summarizing work histories for legal reports. I’m blessed to get to work from home with flexible hours, but it’s definitely my dream that the income from my fiction would someday replace the need to read and write about asbestos. Can you blame me? I guess in that way I’m like my heroine Cassie because I’m doing something I don’t like in order to support my real dream.

Thank you so much for this interview, Candee. It was a great pleasure reading your book. It was so much fun and I hope my followers will check it out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Interview with Romantic/Suspense Author Shirley Raye Redmond

Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of several sweet romance novels and dozens of children’s books. Many of her titles have won national and regional awards. She is a member of numerous writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writer, Romance Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and SCBWI. She lives in New Mexico, has been married 41 years to her college sweetheart. They have two adult children, two adorable grandsons and one sassy Scottish terrier.

Welcome back to my blog, Shirley. Please tell us about your new book, Viper’s Nest.

Caring for her 9-year-old daughter, Pippi is Widow Wren Bergschneider's main priority. But she becomes frightened and mystified when she receives an anonymous note hinting that her husband’s traffic death the year before might not have been an accident after all. When an unidentified shooter makes Wren and her boss, history professor Allan Partner, his targets after they emerge from the basement of a 175-year-old insane asylum slated for demolition, their lives take an unexpected—and dangerous—turn.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I actually had a private tour of the Jacksonville Insane Asylum many years ago. Mary Todd Lincoln was a patient there briefly following the death of President Lincoln. Built in the mid 1840s, the asylum was the product of humanitarian Dorothea Dix’s impassioned plea to the Illinois Legislature. Miss Dix was a stalwart advocate for mentally ill individuals mistreated by society. Some were locked away in cellars and attics. Others were put on display in county jails. No medical aid or social services were available at the time for those declared insane. Everyone was lumped into the same category—whether one was a cruel psychopathic killer or a melancholy young mother suffering from postpartum depression.  Dorothea Dix changed that.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Originally, I wrote about my tour of the asylum for a Writer’s Digest nonfiction contest. My submission won an Honorable Mention. People who read the piece urged me to “do something else” with all the historical information I’d collected.  After toying with the idea of for quite a while, I decided to write a suspense novel, using the abandoned asylum as the backdrop of the story. Besides the tour, I did a lot of research on Dorothea Dix and Nazi medical experiments during World War II.

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

I am fond of Wren Bergschneider, the heroine of the story. She’s not one of those fearless women who dash headlong into danger. Being a good mother is her first priority, and that priority influences every decision she makes. Since her husband is dead, Wren realizes that if she’s too careless, her young daughter Pippi could end up an orphan. That’s her biggest fear. It makes her particularly vulnerable, and I think that adds to the suspense of the novel.

Where can my readers find you online?

I love to connect with readers through my website at and on facebook at

Thank you, Shirley, for this interview. I hope my followers will take a look at your website and check out your book. It sounds very intriguing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Interview with Fantasy Author Iain Reading

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to

Welcome to my blog, Iain. Here is a synopsis of your fantasy: The Dragon Of The Month Club.

This fantasy tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club: The Dragon of the Month Club.

On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed, and Ayana and Tyler attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.

One day when a conjuring spell goes wrong, Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Travelling from one “book-inspired world” to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal, they must try to somehow find their way home again. From 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London, the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.

I understand this is book one. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

Just outside of San Francisco there is a small town at the end of a dusty road. Just up the street from a haunted hotel there is a wishing tree. And that wishing tree is where this story began. But of course, when you're talking about dragons and books already, what other inspiration do you need? This idea just seemed to come out of nowhere.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

For this book I had to do some of the best research I've ever done: reading. I had to read many stories and books as part of getting ready to write this book. Can you imagine anything better than that? Unlike those pesky Kitty Hawk books I write, I didn't have to go out and travel around the world for research. All I had to do is sit at home in my favourite comfy chair and read.

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

The two main characters in this book are Ayana and Tyler. Of the two of them I think I relate to Ayana the most. She is brave and confident, but she's also wounded and sometimes she doubts herself and is frightened. She is human, in other words, just like the rest of us. She has dreams but even I (the author) am not sure yet what those might be. So I am looking forward to writing the rest of the series to find out what becomes of her.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you, Iain, for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check this series out.