Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Interview with Comedy Romance Author Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a stay at home mom/freelance writer/author. She has written ten different books including family dramas, romantic comedies, and children’s books. She spends most of her time playing with her girls, but when they are away, she writes blogs and web content for clients. Fiction is her fun time and she has trouble leaving characters behind when she’s in the midst of a story. Brooke has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002 and they have two daughters, KAelyn (8) and Sadie (4).

Welcome to my blog, Brooke. Please tell us about your romantic comedy: The Leftover.

The Leftover is a romantic comedy based around a local version of the TV show Survivor. So, imagine your local news station were to put on a contest, similar to Survivor, with people from your community. Of course, it’s not a big production like the real show, but it’s plenty exciting!

Romantic comedies are so fun to read. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

My oldest daughter (age 8) loves the show Survivor so we watch it together. The people on the show seem to REALLY want to be there. They give up a lot to play this really tough game. I wondered what would happen to a character that got pulled into the show a bit more. IT’s not her thing and she knows it. But she lands herself in the position anyway. Now what?!

This story sounds intriguing. What kind of research did you do?

I watched Survivor with my daughter and did a lot of imagining. I used location names that are a combination for certain neighborhoods in Nebraska and left little name-like gems for locals around this area to find.

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

I love Megan Malone, the main female character. She’s awkward and she knows it. She wears glasses and keeps her hair up and out of her face and she doesn’t particularly feel comfortable around people. She has a lot of me in her, really, but she’s able to overcome her failings and find her confidence. I love how we get to see her grow to love herself just as she is!

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

Thank you for this interview, Brooke. I hope my readers will check out this fun book.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Interview with Inspirational Author Colleen L. Reece

Colleen L. Reece learned to read by kerosene lamplight in a home without electricity, dreaming of someday writing a book. God has expanded Colleen’s “someday” book into 150+ “Books You Can Trust” with six million copies sold. She describes herself as an ordinary person with an extraordinary God.

Breaking News: Colleen's Romance Quartet (Romance Rides the Range, Romance Rides the River, Romance at Rainbow's End and Romance at the Hacienda) will soon be available as audiobooks. Winged Publications recently issued Shades of the Old West Romance Quartet in both Kindle and print editions. Available from Amazon.

Welcome to my blog, Colleen. You have really accomplished a lot in your life. More than 150 books published is quite an accomplishment. Please tell us about this Christmas book: Patchwork Christmas?

An Heirloom Quilt Heals Tattered Hearts: Tying many lives together—literally—with the use of a beloved patchwork quilt led to this heart-warming title. When a homeless mother and a grounded pilot are most in need of healing, a treasured patchwork quilt appears to each, offering comfort, hope, and love.

Story 1: Remnants of Faith, written by Renee DeMarco
Natalie Thorsett and her two daughters, seven and five, are in desperate straits. Natalie's letters to her husband are returned marked "Addressee Unknown." Has Mark abandoned his family?

Story 2: Silver Lining, written by Colleen L. Reece
Major Gavin Scott, a U.S. Air Force pilot, is badly injured after a plane crash in the Middle East. Can his nurse-practitioner fiancĂ©e accept the grounded "white hawk?" Will Natalie and Gavin’s former teacher’s cherished possession fulfill her dreams concerning her beloved students? Can the couples, with the help of God and an old quilt, piece their lives back together and each find true love as they struggle to make it through a Patchwork Christmas?

Award-winning aunt-and niece team Reece and DeMarco combine their talents into a touching story of those who face adversity. Note:  The story is fictional, Colleen’s mother, Pearl, made the quilt on the cover more than 50 years ago

You published a Children’s Christmas picture book that tells where some of our favorite hymns came from: Christmas Caroling Classics. Please tell us about this book.

Nine-year-old Dennis and seven-year-old Sarah love singing Christmas carols. Dennis wants to know where the carols came from and why they are called classics. Mom suggests that the children look up the answer to that question and report on the find in their family worships between then and Christmas. Dennis and Sarah eagerly agree and discover some surprising facts. A preacher who was considered one of the greatest of his time wrote over 700 hymns and psalms. However, he couldn't compare with another man who wrote over 6000 hymns! The children's favorite story is about naughty mice that may well have been the reason for one of the world's best-loved Christmas hymns. Suggested age range for readers: 6-10

Will you please give us an example of one of these hymns?

All Christmas Eve day nine-year-old Dennis and his seven-year-old sister Sarah talked about the special story Dad had promised to tell them at family worship that night. They sang as much as they could remember of “Silent Night, Holy Night” over and over, then got out their hymn books and sang some more.
At last it was time. Dad turned out most of the lights and threw an extra log on the fire. “I want you to pretend tonight,” he told the family. “Try and feel the way two men felt just before Christmas in 1818 in a little town in the Austrian Alps.
Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber looked at each other in despair. ‘How can we have a Christmas service without music?’ they asked each other. ‘The organ is old. It needs to be repaired.’
“They stared out the window into the village of Oberndorf. Thick snow blanketed the ground and made it impossible to get a repairman through the drifts.
"'Perhaps mice have been in the or­gan. Or maybe it's just too old to work properly,' they de­cided. 'What can we do?’
"Joseph Mohr continued to stare at the snow-covered village. Gradually the snow lessened. Into the young man's mind came the words, 'Silent Night, Holy Night.' The next morning, he handed the words to Franz Gruber, who soon hummed a simple melody for the song.
Dad paused.
"What happened?" Sarah cried.

Dad smiled. ''The organ still didn’t work, but Franz Gruber played the melody in chords on his guitar. 'Silent Night, Holy Night,' or 'Stille Nact, Heilige Nacht,' the German language in which the song was written, was first heard in that candle-lit church."

"I wish I'd been there." Dennis sighed. "I kind of feel like I was." It sounded funny when he said it, but when the others nodded, he didn't feel funny at all.
"Since those early days many other wonderful hymns have been written," Mom reminded the children. "Every time we go to church and sing a Christmas carol we should remember how God in­spires people to write and compose music that praises Him. The word carol in Old French means 'song of joy.' "
"Does it make God happy when we sing carols about Jesus?" Sarah wanted to know.
"I'm sure it does, especially when we mean what we sing. I believe such songs are prayers. We always need to listen carefully to the words we are saying," Dad said.
Dennis thought about everything they'd learned. When they all joined hands in a prayer circle, he thanked God for Christmas carol classics.
But most of all, that it was almost Jesus’ birthday.

What do you love most about Christmas?

Everything! Putting up decorations on December 1st, putting a lighted star in the front window. Hanging a Christmas flag that honors the birth of Christ outside my house. Decorating the mailbox and lamppost with big red bows. Watching inspirational classic movies on TV such as It’s a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Calling “Merry Christmas” to neighbors on my daily walk and clerks in stores. Listening to carols. Spending time with family and friends. Most of all, simply giving thanks for the gift of God’s Son.

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

Colleen L. Reece: Writing to Inspire and Entertain

Thank you for this wonderful Christmas Interview. I hope my readers will check out your books.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Interview with Author Anna Del C. Dye

Ann Del C. Dye is a Spanish spiker that writes in English. She has four children and twelve grandchildren. Anna just happens to live in a hundred twenty one year old house in Taylorsville, Utah. She loves romance and the holidays. She has received many Awards for her books and stories she has written. 

Welcome to my blog, Anna. To live in a home that is 121 years old sounds awesome. I love old homes. You usually write fantasy, so this is a new genre for you. Please tell us about your novella: The Other Santa.

For a girl of twenty, Angieline is uncommonly wise. Perhaps losing her mother at five years old shaped her this way. Though, the presence of her forty-three-year-old tutor and the secrets they share could be closer to the truth. She and Mario, her tutor/adopted father, have been in many towns in the USA. Though their strange deeds could make them targets for unscrupulous people, they keep going even if it leads to the end to their undertakings.

When James, the reporter, appears in their lives right before Christmas, their secrets become hard to keep and their lies threaten to catch up with them. Torn between duty and love, she will have to make peace with her heart one way or the other. Though her choice could break not only her and his heart, but the heart of her tutor or the children's orphanage that desperately needs a miracle for Christmas.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I’m not sure…one day I thought about the depression era and wondered how it could be if someone would go about helping the people, especially in the poorest part of the USA. That is how the story started.

I started this story about ten years ago, but got stuck and never did much with it. This year I made it my goal to finish it and publish it as a free download.

Did you have to do any research for this book?

Yes, I did look up all I could about the 1930s so I could get my facts right. Food, even entertainment. I was surprised to learn about the many known actors that were big in that era. Also it took me back to see how the poor people barely existed in that era, in contrast to some quite wealthy citizens. 

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

Mario is a wonderful man who fell deeply in love with a woman that was taken from him just a couple of weeks before their wedding. He lost her mentally, physically, emotionally and five years later to death. In all, he didn’t become bitter, instead he adopted her little girl and raised her as his own, and the two become The Other Santa.

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

Thank you for this fun “Christmas Season” interview, Anna. I hope my readers check out your book.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Interview with Mystery Romance Author Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, with another one releasing this month, 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 month we're discussing Christmas novels. Please tell us about your Romantic Mystery: Sabotaged Christmas.

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions—all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her—is building to a peak. Yet Perrin's own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen? Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?

Buy the book here.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story, Carole?

I first began planning a series of romance novels for my agent to propose to a certain publishing group, but eventually realized they needed to be romantic mysteries. I dreamed about a small town in WV with three friends, their loves, and their mysteries. I also wanted each female protagonist to own/work at/etc. somewhere unique or interesting. Sabotaged Christmas was the first with Antoinetta (Toni) DeLuca serving as the protagonist.

What followed were books about two close friends of Toni's: 
  • Knight in Shining Apron, Book 2, with Starli Cameron, restaurant owner even though she can't cook (and ice skater), and Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, chef and a British knight!
  • Undiscovered Treasures, Book 3, with Caroline Gibson who co-owns Undiscovered Treasures, an antique, collectible and junk shop, and Andrew Carrington, an up-and-coming artist who adores Caroline but gets no encouragement from that fair maiden!

I received so much encouragement about this series that I've expanded to include three main male protagonists, their mysteries and romance:

  • Next up in this series will be: Toby's Troubles (Tobias Leelyn Gibson), the brother of Caroline, who is caught up with solving his own small town mystery of a hidden, dark secret...and the love of his life.

Also, we've traveled so much in West Virginia and met many of its friendly inhabitants that it seemed the perfect setting for this series. Small town America, with friendly, down home people, simple, but fun lives, yet who yearn for more and face their own set of problems.

What kind of research did you do?

For this book, I researched carpentry, apples, restaurants, designed houses, Italian tidbits, inheritances, and other things. As always, I love research and get lost in the details!

I certainly understand what you mean about research. It can be so fun. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Perrin Douglas is a smart, handsome man with a young son. He has a particular longing to be left alone to write during his hiatus from working as a history professor back in his hometown. With a deceased wife who was everything she shouldn't have been, it isn't easy for him to trust and grow close to another woman. Yet something about Toni DeLuca's warmth and genuine-ness draws him. His son loves the woman, so why can he not let loose and do the same? Perrin's reluctance and eventual yielding to love, shows what the wrong relationship can do to an individual and the struggles people go through to overcome those situations.

Your story sounds intriguing. Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Personal blog: Sunnybank Secrets - where readers can follow my blog and/or sign up for my newsletter

Amazon Author Page: where readers can learn about my books and/or follow me

Thank you for this informative interview, Carole. I hope my readers will check out your books. Here are some additional links about Carole below.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Interview with Award Winning Author Sherrill Cannon

Sherrill S. Cannon is a former teacher and grandmother of ten, and the author of nine published rhymed children's stories which have received forty-eight National and International awards. Her first book of poetry has just been released. She is also a playwright with seven published plays for elementary school children, which have been performed internationally in over 20 countries. Most of her books try to teach something, like good manners and caring for others. Married for 57 years, she and her spouse are now retired, and travel in their RV from coast to coast each year to spend time with their children and grandchildren. 

Welcome to my blog, Sherrill. I love your children’s books because they rhyme and that makes it fun to read. Please tell us about Santa’s Birthday Gift.

Santa's Birthday Gift is an attempt to include Santa in the meaning of Christmas. One reviewer who critiqued this book wrote: “What a cute story! I know there are many stories about how Santa came into the picture, but this is a delightful idea behind the gifts at Christmas.” The story is best for ages 3-10, to be read to children who still believe in Santa!  This book received a 2011 National Indie Excellence Finalist Award, and a 2011 Readers Favorite Silver Medal.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

When my granddaughter was 3 years old, I read her the story of the Nativity.  When I finished, she looked at me and asked, "But where’s Santa?"  That night, the entire story came to me in a dream - and when I sat down to write it, the words just flowed...with ideas I had not even thought about before!  How do reindeer fly, why does Santa wear a red suit, where do all the presents come from?  I know that God blessed me by allowing me to write this story - and I hope that its message will be shared with as many children as possible.  Santa's Birthday Gift to Jesus was his promise to bring presents at Christmastime each year, to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.  "He remembers his promise in a wonderful way...He gives Christmas gifts for the Christ Child's birthday."

Could you please give us a few lines from your book?

And kneeling before Him, with a sack full of toys,
He offered his heart to this dearest of boys.
He leaned toward the Christ child and blew Him a kiss
And promised to Jesus what would be his gift:
Each year on Christ’s birthday, he’d deliver his toys
To all children everywhere, all girls and boys.”

That was a perfect example from your book. I loved it. You also have a book of poetry called A Penny For Your Thoughts. I really like the cover. Will you please tell us more about this book?

As a Valentine, I have always been preoccupied with love in all its many forms, and I have also found great joy in writing poetry. As a teacher, I used poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends, and have continued this pattern throughout the years. A Penny For Your Thoughts combines all my loves into a book full of feelings.  There are three sections:  Heads, Spinning, and Tails… (Love & Loss: Coin Toss?)  The poems are a variety of forms, including free verse, blank verse, haiku, sonnets, and some are just ways to play with words…like this one:


Words, words, words, words -
Fill my mind like a flock of birds:
Flying, dipping, soaring, twirling,
Keeping my mind always whirling;
Singing, chirping in my heart,
Helping all my feelings start.
Bound within my heart they rage -
Gliding, diving in a cage;
Winging, darting everywhere,
For there is no way to share.
Until, finally, my heart is loosed…
I put them on a page to roost.

This one captures a little of the longing for love and community that many of us feel:

               A LONGING

I know I'm loved, but still I'm insecure...
My longing heart cries out for something more -
And I don't know just what I'm searching for,
For what it is, I'm still not very sure:
A perfect love, that's strong yet sweet and pure?
A love to make my thoughts and feelings soar?
A love that satisfies, deep in my core,
That I can trust forever to endure?
All this I have, and yet my heart still longs
For something deeper - that may never be...
How can my heart find out just what belongs
Within that empty space inside of me,
When even I cannot identify
The longing that still makes me want to cry?

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

Thank you for this interview, Sherrill. You are a very special poet who shares your talents with children around the world. I hope my readers will check out your books.