Saturday, May 28, 2016

Interview with Mystery Romance 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, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Welcome to my blog, Carole. This new book is part of a Romantic Mystery Series. Please tell us about your novel: Knight in Shining Apron.

Here’s the cover blurb:
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.

Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?

And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I like how opposites attract, so the idea of an owner of a restaurant who couldn’t cook fascinated me. Give this same owner some mistrust of men because her deceased husband was both unfaithful and abusive--a cause for the exterior cold front she put up for most everyone. Inside she is anything but the icy snow maiden of Appleton. Her loyalty to her friends and her employees, her generosity and kindness in a shy way, and her extreme business sense are all good reasons for her friends to stick right by her side.

Because of her high standards (and a little bit of pickiness) in choosing the best chef she can find, she’s run out of choices and is forced (somewhat!) into hiring a sanguine chef /knight.

Giving my protagonists difficult situations to face, that appear to be impossible to solve are important to me. I like a little rebellion in my stories, even when it’s a minor factor, because, after all, don’t most people, even when it’s not apparent, have a bit of rebellion in them?

So, in this story I wanted a woman who’s learned to be strong (because of her past problems), determined to succeed (her restaurant is her lifeline), who needs both a spiritual/healing touch from God and the tenderness and love from a man who is a real man.

What kind of research did you do?

Here’s a few things I learned:
1. Chefs in general: I wanted the basic structure of how chefs work, their idiosyncrasies, their training, etc.
2. Recipes--classy ones. Even though I don’t mention a lot of them, I wanted the feel of what a professional chef might create or prepare for a higher classed restaurant. It’s important, I feel, for an author to place herself right inside the work-in-progress so that her readers can also experience “being there.”
3. Abuse. I’ve already done a lot of research about different kinds of abuse, so it was easy to give that “feel”--the scared, it’s-my-fault, fatalistic feeling that many abused people feel.
4. Classical music. I love many types of music, and am acquainted with some classical. I also have always loved listening to excellent pianists, so giving Starli that talent, and then having her make the “wrong” choice (no one’s perfect, not even Starli) was part of the right setting for Knight in Shining Apron.
5. Ice skating. I’ve studied a lot about this activity too, and thought that with it, I could create some fun and romantic scenes to the novel. The moves and routines that ice skaters use were important in showing that though Starli wasn’t Olympic material, she still was an excellent skater who loved and enjoyed the activity.

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

Chef: Sir Joel Peterman Blair
From Great Britain AND knighted because of his labors of love to the less fortunate, Joel knew early on, that his love and talent lay in creating recipes that were top-notch. Although he came from a privileged family, his stuffy father didn’t approve of his pick of careers and refused to finance his schooling. Enter Uncle Lawrence (Manny) who supports Joel and helps him become what he’s always wanted to do.

Because of his success and popularity (being handsome doesn’t hurt him any), Joel is a bit of a tease, rich in his own right, and well-traveled. He’s most women’s dream--except for Starli Cameron.

Her reluctance in accepting his flirting and teasing just fans the ardent fervor in him. She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, and her withdrawal, his sensibility in seeing a woman who’s been hurt, and his tender acts of love eventually wins the day--and the woman!

Restaurant Owner: Starli Cameron
While still in college, Starli chose to marry Ryan Stratton instead of pursuing her plans to be a professional pianist. Wrong choice. He was an abusive man who belittled Starli constantly. When he died in a car accident, Starli inherited the insurance money--enough to start Apple Blossoms, the classiest restaurant in West Virginia. With live music and the best, exceptional chef Starli can hire, it’s a restaurant that has a waiting list for seats.

Starli is beautiful with her white blond hair and green eyes, and almost regal stature. She’s strong and independent but also afraid to face the past. To her friends she’s a loyal friend, but those less acquainted with her consider her a bit “cold.”

Roland Stratton, Ryan’s brother, is hassling her and still blaming her for Ryan’s death. Appleton’s banker is pushing for a closer relationship with her. Two of her employees are acting strangely, and the new chef--Sir Joel--is a flirty, teasing man whom she automatically distrusts.

Deep down, Starli longs for freedom from the past, the hurts and bitterness, the freedom of forgiving and moving on with her life in a peaceful way, and most of all--though she won’t admit it--freedom to love again.

Where can my readers find you online?

Barn Door Book Loft:

Thank you, Carol, for this very interesting interview. I hope my followers will check out your book.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Diane Dean White

Diane started writing for a local newspaper, covering hard news and feature stories including a column, “Yankee Viewpoints” in the late 70’s.  She’s written ancestral history, donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations and had a four year running weekly column for a Michigan based magazine. 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 almost forty-four years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

Welcome back to my blog, Diane. Please tell us about This Side of Heaven.

The story takes place in rural Georgia with a single mother who has relocated from a large northern city, under the protection of an underground group of people who help victims of abuse. Darlene has two preschoolers and a small home among the gardenias and pecan trees. A neighbor and also a handsome detective, heir to large pecan orchards stops by with a small puppy for the children. Unaware of Darlene’s situation, they slowly fall in love. He thinks she’s still grieving for her deceased husband, and she’s afraid to let anyone know where she is.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

The story and plot are fiction, but we lived in rural Georgia for just under four years in the late 70s. It was quite a time of adjustment for me, from the capital city of Michigan. Steve’s mother was from the area, and we got to know many people, made some nice friends and built our first home among the pecan trees. It’s taken me a long time to write this story, to be able to release some of the feelings from the past, then to write, and finally allow the story to take wings.

Did you do any research for this book?

Oh yes! There’s a lot of suspense, and part of the storyline deals with how easy it is to make meth and sell drugs today, as well as a number of things legally related. I had a good source in Atlanta who’s a captain in the police force, and able to answer many of my questions. And although we had pecan trees, things have changed, and today there are a lot in harvesting techniques. The story is fiction but the life style and characters are true and what exists in some of the rural areas.

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

Brett is a bachelor when he meets Darlene and falls in love with her. In the story he’s a dedicated detective who is exceptionally good with his skills in this field. He also falls in love with Darlene’s two children, Maddie and Mark, and takes time to be the father they so desperately need. His concern for Darlene is very protective, and when problems arise for her, and adjustments, he has a loving way of speaking with her, bringing the Lord into their talk. Brett’s a Christian and his actions throughout the book show readers he can do his job as a detective, a father, husband and maintain those values, despite his position and wealth.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you very much for this wonderful interview. Your book sounds very intriguing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Interview with Comedy Romance Author Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned stay at home mom/freelance writer/author. She has written a dozen books including Someone Always Loved You, Accept this Dandelion, Dandelions on the Road, After the Final Dandelion and others. Brooke has been married to her husband Sean since 2002 and they have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Welcome back to my blog, Brooke. Your books are full of humor. That’s what I love about them. Please tell us about your new book, After the Final Dandelion.

This book is the third in the Dandelion series. It can be read alone, but it’s probably more fun to read the other two books first. In the first book, we follow the story of one couple. In the second, another couple. In this book, we get to see what happens to both couples and there’s even a wedding. I won’t go into details, but like in the other two books, nothing goes right…in a hilarious way!

This is a series of books called The Dandelion Series. What got your interest in having a dating show for your storyline?

I really enjoy The Bachelor TV show and I’ve often wondered what the show would be like if someone like me was on it. Someone who doesn’t do things quite right…ever. Someone who doesn’t like dressing up and wearing makeup. Someone who speaks her mind instead of trying to fit in. So the storyline is based on that idea. A local version of the Bachelor TV show with down to earth people who mess up…a lot!

This third book is about the two contestants and what happens after they fall in love. What made you decide to do a follow up on the last two ladies?

When I wrote the first book, “Accept this Dandelion,” I had NO idea it would turn into a series. When it was complete, one of the contestants started to bug me about writing HER love story. So then came the second book. After that, I started having wedding ideas and I had to form them into a book. These were the perfect characters to work with. They were already in love and ready to roll!

Do you consider your female characters to be strong and determined or meek yet spirited?

I’d say mostly strong, determined and spirited. At least where Renee Lockhart is concerned. Eva is a little more meek, but still has plenty of determination as well. I often write stubborn female characters who know what they want, but aren’t sure how to get it.

Where can my readers find you online?

My website is and I have a blog there as well that you can sign up to receive by email. I’m on facebook too:

Thank you for this great interview, Brooke. I hope my followers will check out this series. Here is where you can read about them below.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Interview with Poet and Author Gail Pallotta

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s been a best-selling author on All Romance eBooks. She’s published four books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

This week I’m celebrating the art of poetry. Welcome to my blog, Gail. Please tell us about your book of poems called Messages.

It’s a compilation of poems and short stories. Some have been previously published. I’ve written them over the years, some on notepads at work, some scribbled on a piece of paper after seeing something that inspired me, and others while sitting at my computer. The back cover copy gives readers a peek into the contents.

Find inspiration for our hectic times in these straight-forward poems for happy and sad days. Find history, warmth and a touch of the paranormal in three stories.
Getting the Goat peeks into the early 1900's when mountain life was tough. Does Mama's advice hold true today? In Stitches in Love Rose's deep love for her grandmother motivates others to share their gifts. Does Rose reap her reward? Robert Horner is tempted in The Stranger, but does he succumb to the lure?
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My inspiration comes from observations or experiences in real life. While visiting the traveling Vietnam Wall at Lenox Square in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 4th, many years ago, I couldn’t help but think of the huge sacrifice so many in the military make for our freedom. After I got home that day I wrote the poem, “American Summer” and stuck it in a drawer. I wrote “Irony” in college after I’d experienced a disappointment. Odd, I can’t remember the situation, but recall writing the poem. I wrote “Questions” in the 1970’s after listening to the news one night, and “Sensitivity” was scribbled on a legal pad late one night after I graduated from college, moved, and was looking for a job. I wrote “Country Spring” in the 1980’s on a trip when we passed by a field of daffodils that seemed to go on and on as far as I could see.

One of the short stories, Getting the Goat, is based on a story my father used to tell.

Do your poems rhyme or are they free verse?

Both, some rhyme and others are free verse.

Will you please give us a sample of your favorite poem in this book?

It’s difficult to choose a favorite because all of them are special in their own way to me. However, I put “Hope” in the book first because I think there are times in our lives when we need it desperately and search for it. It’s a short poem. Here it is.


There comes a day
when only dark clouds
light our way
and rain’s
ceaseless drops of blue
disguise the path
we thought we knew.
We cry
into our rooms of black
and only silence
answers back.
We listen
for a voice to care
and all we hear
is no one there.
Hope is lost
in deep, deep despair.
But wait.
Say a prayer.
God is there.

That is so beautiful. I loved that poem when I read it. Where can my readers find you online?

I love to connect to readers. My web site is

Thanks so much for having me on your wonderful blog, Linda.

Thank you for this interview, Gail. I hope my readers will check out this book. Below is my review of Messages. It was so inspirational.

I love to read poems that have a meaning. One of my favorite poems that touched my heart was about “hope.” To quote the author: “There comes a day, when only dark clouds light our way, and rain’s ceaseless drops of blue disguise the path we thought we knew…” It continues on with a beautiful ending to the poem. A very uplifting book of poetry!” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Interview with Children’s Author Sherrill Cannon

Sherrill S. Cannon is a former teacher and grandmother of ten, who is also an Award-Winning Author! Her multi-cultural books have received thirty-six 2011-15 National and International awards. Most of her books try to teach something, like good manners and consideration for others. She also fundraises for CureJM and imbullyfree.

The Golden Rule is a great reminder of how we should treat one another, for both children and adult alike. The storyline is cute, beginning with two children searching for a "golden ruler" that is said to be very valuable but then realize they misunderstood. Sherrill Cannon wrote: "It's a rule that you live by, to give and to share, A way to treat others to show that you care." This is a great reminder for the adult reading to a child and fun for children to listen to in rhyme.” –Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome back to my blog, Sherrill. Here is the synopsis of your new children’s book, The Golden Rule.

What if you treated others the way you’d like to be treated?  What if everyone did that?  What kind of world could there be?  Robert and Kait decide to look for a golden ruler that their Mom has told them about, only to find out that she had meant Rule instead of ruler.  What is this “Golden Rule”, and what does it mean?  Please join in the children’s quest to discover how to follow the golden rule and share it with others, and meet many of the classroom friends you have met in previous books!

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This is the subliminal message of all my books, so I thought I would write this book to be more specific and to try to suggest ways that children can try to follow the Golden Rule in a more kid-friendly way than “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  So I use “Treat others the way you’d like them to treat you.”

All of your children’s books are done in rhyme. Will you please give us a few lines from your book to let my readers see what your style is like?

“Try to help others who have less than you,
And I think you will find that you’re happier too!
Help stop the bullies by forming a team
To protect smaller kids from the ones who are mean!
No matter the color of anyone’s skin,
It’s not just the outside – it’s what is within.
For we must be thankful for all that we have,
And try to be kind to the ones who are sad.”

Please tell us a little about the main character in this book.

The main characters are a brother and sister who have heard their mother talking about a golden ruler, not realizing that she meant “The Golden Rule”.  They work together to share with their friends what they learn about the meaning of the Golden Rule and how to apply it in their lives.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you so much for this interview, Sherrill. I hope my followers will check out your books.