Monday, October 23, 2017

Interview with Contemporary Romance Author Charissa Stastny

Charissa Stastny is an avid reader, happy writer, wasp-hater, iris-lover, and food connoisseur (she especially loves sushi and chocolate, but not together). She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and has four children that make her smile and laugh all the time. She called Idaho her home for ten years, but has recently moved to Utah, where she was thrilled to discover dozens of flavors of hot chocolate to keep her happy in the winter. The cherry one might be her favorite (this week). She is the author of five books and ‘imagine-eer’ of many more.

Welcome to my blog, Charissa. Please tell us about your novel, Game Changer.

This is the first in a stand-alone series called the Ruled Out Romances. Here’s the blurb:

Meridee Mansford wants nothing to do with the popular crowd. She’s comfortable being invisible. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the hunky football player who visits the campus ice cream shop where she works. Still, she’s smart enough to know he’d never notice a girl like her, and she’d never want him even if he did. Too much unwelcome attention.
Parker Harrington basks in the glory that’s been his since the game-changing passes he caught that pushed his team into the national spotlight. Sticky Fingers is his media moniker now, and the cheerleaders who used to ignore him when he sat the bench have become his most devoted fans. But when he accidentally crashes into a quiet coed and covers her in orange chicken, it throws off his offensive game.
As fate, ice cream, and orange chicken throw the opposites together, will Parker continue keeping company with women he knows are only using him for his fame, or will he change up the game and risk his heart on a genuine girl who despises the attention he craves?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story? 

I came up with a list of opposites (famous football player, shy introverted girl), and started wondering how they could come together. I had quite a lot of fun with this brainstorming stage. Some of the characters I came up with were pretty cheesy and I had to ditch them, but these two jumped out at me and worked their way into my heart.  

I like the idea of an introverted girl getting the attention of a famous guy. It sounds intriguing. What kind of research did you do?

I did lots of city research on the town of Pullman, Washington, as well as looked into the college there (WSU) and this little ice cream shop on campus called Ferdinand’s (that’s my dream shop).

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Meridee is a quiet, shy, introverted ice cream worker/college student who has been secretly crushing on the loud and charming football player for over a year whenever he visits the shop to get ice cream. I love the way she watches the world and how she has a dry, quirky sense of humor that few people ever see because she guards herself so well.

Where is your website, so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Thank you, Charissa, for this fun interview. I hope my readers will check out your book. I really enjoy your reading style.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Interview with Historical Romance Author Ann Mock

Ann Mock lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with her husband, Dave. She and her husband have four children and five grandchildren.  She and her husband enjoy ballroom dancing and have gone dancing at least three times a week over the past twenty years. They also enjoy traveling, particularly cruising, where they get to dance. The river cruises in the United States are a particular favorite of theirs. 

“The Union of the North and the South was a delightful story full of secrets. When I thought I had discovered the first secret, then another secret came to light. This made the story fun for the reader. I enjoyed the love story and trying to figure out who the bad guy was in the story. I listened to this story as an audiobook and the narrator did a wonderful job with the voices. She even delighted me with a song toward the end of the book called: I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair.” –Review by Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Ann. Please tell us about your novel, The Union of the North and the South.

The Union of the North and the South is a romance and suspense Christian novel set in the South in the 1870's. This is a story of Laura who overcomes personal tragedy, but is forced to hide a secret that, if revealed, will cause her great heartache.  She experiences a number of crises that challenge her faith and encourage her to make her former enemies become allies while she deals with her secret. Can she find the strength to forgive as well as love again?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Twenty years ago I visited a Southern mansion in Vicksburg, Mississippi, that had survived the War Between the States because it had been used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.  I was fascinated by a Union cannonball that had been fired by the Union navy during the siege of Vicksburg. The cannonball was still lodged in the door frame over a century later.  This inspired me to start my novel, The Union of the North and the South. 

What kind of research did you do?

A few years ago I traveled on a Mississippi steamboat which gave me fresh ideas that allowed me to finish a novel I had started over twenty years ago. I also visited a number of mansions that helped me in recreating the settings of some of the scenes in the novel.  My husband is also a history professor and helped me so much on the historical aspects of the book.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

My favorite character is Jenny.  She is a delightful child that is full of hope and happiness. 

You're right. I really liked Jenny, too. Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Thank you so much for this interview, Ann. I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I hope my readers will check it out.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Interview with Inspirational Author Sharon Srock

Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Thirty years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. When she isn’t working or writing, she loves to read, cook, and travel.

Sharon Srock writes fiction for “Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Faith.” Welcome to my blog, Sharon. I really love this book cover. Please tell us about your novella, Hannah’s Angel.

Needed: One Christmas miracle
When Jillian Rishi shared the news of her pregnancy with her boyfriend, Wesley Price, he left the country. Unable to stay away from the woman he loves, he returned five months later to reclaim Jillian and their unborn daughter. Now they’re on the run, hiding from the dishonest lawyer who’s determined to take their baby. And hope is running out…

More than just a girl’s day out.
A leisurely day of Christmas shopping, that was the plan when Callie, Terri, Pam, and Karla went to the mall. They never expected to be embroiled in a mystery, never expected the mystery to turn into an FBI investigation, never expected to deliver a baby in the middle of nowhere in a Christmas Eve blizzard.

Just a simple paper angel.
Hannah’s angel is on a mission from God and paper or not, she refuses to be ignored until her charge gets the Christmas miracle she so desperately needs.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Oh, I have a very strange imagination. I was shopping in the mall one Christmas and I noticed their Angel tree and thought…what if those were more than paper…? 

LOL…a story is born!

What kind of research did you do?

Honestly…most of my research is for any legal issues or illnesses that crop up in my story.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Callie Stillman.  She was my first main character (debut novel, CALLIE, (Women of Valley View, book one) Even though she is not a POV character in this story, she gets plenty of page time and it was fun to get back in her head for a few days.

I read Callie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Free novel for everyone: THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: CALLIE

Subscribe to Sharon’s newsletter

Connect with her at,
-->Facebook, Goodreads-->Pinterest, and Sharon's  -->AMAZON page.

Thank you so much for this interview, Sharon. I hope my readers will check out your books. DON'T FORGET that Sharon is giving a free novel, Callie, to everyone who comments.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Interview with Cozy Mystery Writer, Author Russ Atkinson

Russell Atkinson was born and raised in California, where he obtained degrees in mathematics and law before joining the FBI. As an FBI agent he worked a wide variety of matters around the country including foreign counterintelligence, violent crime, fugitives, and, eventually, high-tech crime in Silicon Valley, where he lives today with his wife. After retiring from the FBI he worked in corporate security and then practiced law. Since fully retiring he has pursued his hobbies of ciphers, guitar, running, geocaching, and writing. He has a son and a daughter, both married, and is looking forward to the day he has grandchildren to spoil.

Welcome to my blog, Russ. I read your bio and you have lived a very interesting life. That alone would intrigue me to read your books. Please tell us about your novel, The Cryptic Crossword Caper.

The Cryptic Crossword Caper is a cozy mystery featuring Mags, a widow living in a small vacation town in the rugged coastal mountains near Big Sur, California, with her dog Raisin. She’s a crossword maven and fan of puzzles of all sorts; she just loves solving things. When a renowned puzzle-maker in town is murdered, the police chief asks for her help as a part-time typist, but her skill solving puzzles becomes more important. She casts an admiring eye at the chief, but he seems more interested in the glamorous FBI agent who blows into town investigating a jewel theft she thinks may be connected to the murder. Fortunately for Mags, her friends in her book club have her back as things get more complicated. A unique feature of this novel is that the puzzles in the book can be worked by the reader either in the book or online; there is a link in the Appendix to the crossword and a Sudoku that provide valuable clues, and a cryptogram is also revealed.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

My previous seven books, the Cliff Knowles Mysteries, are all police procedurals, inspired by real FBI cases and all but the first feature Cliff’s hobby of geocaching to varying degrees. Although relatively tame by murder mystery standards, they are a bit on the gritty side. I wanted to broaden my audience and write something of a kinder, gentler nature without the geocaching, so a cozy mystery seemed to fit the bill. My interest in ciphers and puzzles were a logical theme.

What kind of research did you do?

I didn’t research for the book per se. I’m the past president of the American Cryptogram Association and I provide the crosswords for The Grapevine, the magazine for retired FBI agents, so I had long experience with puzzle-making. My life story gave me the knowledge of police and FBI procedure as well as familiarity with the geography of the area.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Rather than focus on Mags, the main character, I’d rather tell you about Rick Moran, the police chief. He’s a small-town boy who became an FBI agent, then left early to return to his home town. He struggles with budget and the mostly boring work, but what he really cares about is keeping the citizens safe. Although I created some tension between Rick and the FBI, they’re able to work together to protect the public, because in the end, that’s what motivates them both. I wanted to show the reader the reality of law enforcement at both local and federal level, not the warring between them that characterizes so many novels and TV shows. Rick personifies real-life police work, the devotion to duty that I saw in my FBI career.

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

All my books are listed at

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