Monday, July 7, 2014

Register to win Elizabeth Maddrey's "Hope Deferred"

We're happy to have Elizabeth Maddrey with us today talking about her book  Hope DeferredPlease leave her a comment (with your email address) for your chance to win a copy. If you've not yet done so, please place your email address in the feedburner box to the right to receive email updates regarding book giveaways. To learn more about Elizabeth and her book, read on!


Before I was first published, I wrote novels in several different genres. Well, I wrote the first three quarters of those novels at least. I never seemed to finish them. Then I started a romance. I love reading romance, so it’s not as if this was a new idea to me, but I’d had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to join the ranks of romance writers. But now I have and I’m firmly entrenched. I love it—and it’s so much less of a struggle than my other genre novels were. So, when I introduced a set of twin sisters in my novella Joint Venture, I didn’t think much about them. They were already engaged, so there was nothing left for me to write about.

 But a little whisper in the far reaches of my mind began. “What if…,” it said. I couldn’t shake it no matter how I tried. So, grudgingly, I sketched out a plan and chatted with my editor. She loved the idea. Secretly I’d been hoping she’d say no and I’d be able to move on. Stuck, I started writing. That became Faith Departed.

 Faith Departed is the beginning of a three-book series that follows sisters, June and July (pronounced Julie), as they and their husbands attempt to begin families. Hope Deferred, my July release, continues their story.

 Though my husband and I went through thirteen years of infertility, it was never anything I wanted to write about. Frankly, it wasn’t even something I wanted to talk about. Or think about. I imagine I’m not all that unusual. Infertility is hard. It’s hard on the individual and it’s hard on marriages. And it’s hard to talk about, even with friends and family. So generally speaking, people don’t. Which leaves you, the person hurting, to deal with your hurt on your own.

 It’s my prayer that as people read these books that they’ll get a little insight into how they can help friends who might be dealing with infertility. Or, if they’re going through it themselves, that they’ll realize they’re not alone.

 Bio:

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey

 Social Media:
Website: http://www.ElizabethMaddrey.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey
Twitter: @elizabethmaddre
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emaddrey/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethMaddrey/posts
 
Blurb:
Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse?

 June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage.

 Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?


 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gail Pallotta's "Stopped Cold"


Cover blurb:
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.
Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean.
Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
Read an excerpt at http://www.gailpallotta.com/id13.html

1) How did this story come to you? 
As a young adult I knew someone who took drastic measures because she couldn’t live up to “the best” label. I’m not sure if the phenomenon to always be number one has crossed the path of others or not, but I later witnessed more sad events when someone who’d always been the winner wasn’t. After I married, became a Mom, and worked with children, I saw lots of hearts breaking over not finishing first in sports, classes or activities.

Expressions began rattling around in my head. “ Well, we don’t have to be number one for God to love us” and “God made each of us special with a gift or gifts to use for him.” One day I decided to put my thoughts about being number one in a book. I’d always enjoyed Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries, so I wrote one similar. When I thought of winning, sports came to mind. Steroid use, it seemed pointed to a drive to be number one. From that point I added a lot of research then the mystery and characters. 

2) Tell us about your journey to getting this book published. 
Wow! I could write another book about the New Revised Stopped Cold’s path to publication. I first took a draft of the book to a writers’ conference, where an editor told me it wasn’t right for her list, but it was worthwhile. I should edit, rewrite and not give up on it until it was published. I followed her advice and took it to another conference. There an author told me the book had value and suggested a publisher. I sent it, and they did whatever they do with submissions for a year then returned it with a rejection slip. I put it in a drawer. 

Several years later I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ran out of material for my critique group, and pulled it out of the drawer. They seemed to like it, so I ran it by my one-on-one critique partner, who worked on it even more and encouraged me to submit it. I sent it to few Christian publishers and an agent. They all rejected it, so I put it back in the drawer. One day I noticed a new publisher looking for Christian writers. I submitted, and she took it. The book started selling online and in bookstores, and I got good feedback. I thought things were going well for Stopped Cold until my publisher shut her doors. I had lined up signings and committed to a festival, but I had no books. The drawer was no longer an option. 

With lots of encouragement I sent Stopped Cold to three publishers, each of whom offered to take it. However, I needed print copies ASAP for my commitments. My critique partner encouraged me to ask if one of them would publish the e-books while I did print books. With the help of a lot of people Stopped Cold is out once again.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.  Hmm. 
I’m an Elvis Presley fan. 
I swim several miles in a week
I once chased a large iguana out of a yard and across a field to take its picture 

4) What are you working on now and what’s next for you? 
I’m organizing  promotion for the New Revised Edition of Stopped Cold and finishing a fun novella for Fairwilde Reflections, a series of retold fairy tales my critique group is doing. Two are out, At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony and Red and the Wolf  by June Foster.  Coming soon, Mirror on the Fall by Mildred Colvin then mine, Mountain of Love and Danger, and finally Swept Away by Vanessa Riley. 

5) Parting Comments. 
Thanks for having me on your neat blog. I’d like to conclude with a few comments from some who’ve read Stopped Cold

From the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll, where Stopped Cold finished fourth:  

Very compelling with emotions and feelings that have been felt by everyone in their lives at one time or another. Everyone can relate to this book ! Great read for all, especially students and parents !

One of the best books recently published dealing with self-esteem, drugs and the drive to be #1 at any cost. A must-read for the young athlete and the family. 

Stopped Cold is an extremely good book to help teens make right decisions in their life. It is also a very good mystery.

I thought it was great Book I think all young people should read it. Opened my eyes.

This is an exceptional work and tells the truth of today.

Excerpts from a couple of reviews: 

“…follow Margaret’s journey to discover the depth of true character and faith not only in school and friends, but family.” Author and Book Reviewer Lisa Lickel. 

“They…” (the characters) “..are as finely tuned as a lovely stringed instrument, each having a different song to play in the story.” Book Reviewer Barbara Shelton.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet? 
My web site - http://www.gailpallotta.com
My blog - http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore
Twitter - Gail Pallotta  @Hopefulwords




Monday, June 23, 2014

Harry Wegley's "Moon over Maalaea Bay"

Moon over Maalaea Bay Cover blurb:
In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs to a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night. Were the abductors the trafficking ring Jennifer crippled or does an even a more sinister organization want her for other purposes.

With the clock ticking toward Jennifer's impending sale, Lee, accompanied by their fifteen-year-old foster daughter, Katie, and Jennifer's grandfather, begins his own search of the island. As the search by Lee and the authorities intensifies, he fears beautiful Katie might end up in the crosshairs of the traffickers.


Can Lee save both his bride and his future daughter? What if he has to make a choice? If Jennifer is sold, could she kill herself to avoid a life filled with degradation and horror? If she did, would God forgive her?


1) How did this story come to you?Since this is a series, the setting and subject matter came directly from the previous book. My hero and heroine are leaving on their Maui honeymoon. Because I write thrillers, something has to go wrong, so the bride disappears on her wedding night. But the spiritual theme didn’t come to me until I started writing and asking questions. Would I trust God, even after such a devastating loss? One of God’s names is Jehovah-Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts, our Protector. Could the abducted bride, destined to be sold to the highest international bidder, still trust Him as her Protector?


2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.The path to publication for this story was the smoothest road I’ve traveled. My publisher was happy with books 1 & 2 of the series, and I knew what my editor wanted in terms of story and writing. So I researched and wrote up scene cards for about 2 weeks, then wrote and polished my submittal in about 4 more weeks. Six weeks from inception to submitting a contract-winning novel—that’s a record for me.


3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.First, by the time I was 12 I already had NFL wide-receiver speed in the 40, about 4.3 seconds, and was proud of it.Second, when I was 15, at a track meet on a cold day, I experienced a third-degree quadriceps strain, nearly tearing the muscle in two, and ending my dreams of a sprinting career. What I once was proud of, I became ashamed of. He gives and He takes away, but it took a while for me to say blessed is His name.Third, on a lighter note, when I was 6 my uncle climbed high into the neighborhood climbing tree and carved my initials plus those of a short, freckled-faced, red-headed, Irish girl, the only girl my age in the neighborhood. I vowed, when I was strong enough, I’d cut those initials out. At age 10, I finally could reach them, but they were now a permanent part of the tree. I had no clue that 10 years later I would marry that tall, slender, dark-auburn-haired, Irish girl.


4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?I’m polishing up an espionage novel, a high-action, romantic suspense story. Some agents are interested, so I’m working on proposals, and just beginning to plot my next story. The 4th and final book in my Pure Genius Series releases in November 2014.


5) Parting comments?If you like reads that are fast, furious, funny, yet a bit frightening, you might enjoy Moon over Maalaea Bay.


6) Where can fans find you on the internet?Author web site (being rebuilt): http://hlwegley.comFacebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegleyAmazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Wegley/e/B00B1XMR56Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4460203.H_L_WegleyBlog – The Weather Scribe – a climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather:http://weatherscribe.blogspot.com/Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlwegley




Monday, June 16, 2014

Susan Page Davis' "Beaches and Brides"


Interview with Susan Page Davis

Title: The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection, from Barbour Publishing
My novel in this collection is The Castaway’s Bride.

Cover blurb
Venture along historic American shorelines, enjoying five novels full of adventure, challenge, and romance. In Key West a couple collides over a child s welfare. In Washington, a captain s wife guards a secret. In Maine, a castaway returns from the dead. In Georgia, a woman dares to man a lighthouse alone. In Virginia, a wounded soldier recoups at a seaside cottage. Watch as God works through their challenges to bring them safely to a harbor of love. Authors in the collection are: Cathy Marie Hake, Lynn A. Coleman, Susan Page Davis, Mary Davis, and Page Winship Dooly.

How did this story come to you?
I first envisioned my novel (The Castaway’s Bride) as focusing more on the hero than the heroine. I wanted to tell his story, beginning at the point where he was marooned on a Pacific island. However, the editor preferred to start the story when he arrived home, and so that is where we open. I’ve always loved survival stories, and I may write another book someday about a castaway’s ordeal.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
My story in this collection was the second in a trilogy of historical novels set in Maine. The Prisoner’s Wife, set in 1720, came first, and The Lumberjack’s Lady, set in 1895, was the third. I actually submitted The Prisoner’s Wife by itself, and when asked to do two more Maine novels, I came up with the other two plots. The Castaway’s Bride was fun to write, but also required a lot of research in Portland. Maine had just come to statehood in 1820, and Portland was its first capital. I needed to double check everything, including what buildings were there then and which ones were under construction.

Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I grew up in an old stone farmhouse that had no running water until I was about eight years old. I have six children, and all were home-schooled. In junior high, I was my district’s spelling champion.

What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
I am writing a new western for Barbour Publishing. It’s called The Outlaw Takes a Bride, and will release in spring 2015. Meanwhile, I will have a couple of Christmas-themed novellas out this fall, and a couple more cozy mysteries for Guideposts Books. Shady Characters just released, and All That Glitters will appear in October.

Parting comments?
I’m happy to be giving away a copy of The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection. Choose the beautiful paper-covered anthology, or an e-book of my individual novel, The Castaway’s Bride.

Where can fans find you on the internet?
Come see me on my Website: www.susanpagedavis.com  or my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor 



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Angie Brashear's "Of the Persecuted"

“Tha-Reee!”
In recent weeks my sons have spent their evenings watching the NBA Finals, energetically cheering on the San Antonio Spurs. Most game nights, their animated antics interrupted me as I attempted to prepare for the release of my debut novel, Of the Persecuted. But it was difficult to get irritated with my handsome, blond blessings. This held especially true when they jumped off the couch screaming "Tha-Reee!" every time the San Antonio Spurs hit a long shot.
My boys love basketball. They appreciate fundamentals. Dribbling. Pivoting. Passing. Well-executed shots. Not traveling. Not double-dribbling. Not two-handed shots. Not selfish shots. They admire players who’ve gone down in history as executors of such fundamentals—Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and my own personal favorite, John Stockton.
Their love for basketball, and for three-pointers led me to think about the best "Tha-Reee!" of all time—the Trinity. One God, three distinct persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Like time, God represents past, present, and future. One is not separate from the other. He is a Father to the fatherless. He is a Savior for the lost. He is a Guide in prayer and truth. God’s plan for us is the best well-executed shot of all time, guided by His fundamentals outlined in scripture.
To non-believers, the Trinity may be a difficult concept to grasp. It certainly was for me before the Lord saved me in my early twenties. But it makes perfect sense when you open your heart to the One True God. Believe me. Seek Him and you will seek no more.
So while the NBA Finals are in full swing, the best "Tha-Reee!" of all time dominates all of our seasons. And we are grateful.

Back Cover Blurb:
Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.
Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.
Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?

Order Of the Persecuted at:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692214712

Author Bio:
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com. 


Monday, May 19, 2014

Cathy Bryant's "A Bridge Unbroken"



Cover blurb: A frightened runaway wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But he isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness? (Readers can read a sample chapter and view the book trailer at: http://www.catbryant.com/millers-creek-novels/a-bridge-unbroken/
1) How did this story come to you? 
 My husband and I endured a very difficult and emotional trial that was both personal and devastating. Once the dust settled, I struggled with forgiving the offenders. I searched the scripture as I studied the concept of forgiveness, secretly hoping I'd find an exception to Christ's command for us to forgive. While I didn't find the exception I searched for, I did come to realize that the world's definition and way of handling forgiveness has subtly slipped into Christian circles. Out of this, Chance and Dakota's story was born, a story about the power of true forgiveness.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published. Some stories seem to tell themselves. That happened for me with the fourth book in the Miller's Creek Novels, Pilgrimage of Promise. But A Bridge Unbroken was one of those stories I struggled to tell, mainly because I didn't feel qualified to write a story about forgiveness, when I found it so difficult to forgive. But each time I prayed about it, I came away feeling like it was exactly the story God wanted me to tell. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord uses my writing to speak truth to my heart.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.  
First of all, I'm pretty handy when it comes to home improvement. I've laid floors, refinished floors, done sheet rock work, installed tile and grout, and more. My favorite power tool is a chop saw. Secondly, I'm a big believer in growing our own food. We have an indoor garden and raise chickens and rabbits. I'd like to add goats at some point. Lastly, I'm a reality-TV junkie. My favorites are Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, Design Star, The Amazing Race, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette (some seasons). The human interaction is invaluable writer research!
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you? 
 Right now I'm organizing the blog tour for A Bridge Unbroken. The tour is scheduled for May 1-22 and concludes with a Facebook party where I'll announce the winner of our $100 Visa Card Giveaway. There will also be other prizes given away at the party. You can join the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/315502748601792/ Once I get the tour scheduled, I have a host of unfinished house projects that need to be completed. I'd also like to write a companion Bible study on forgiveness to go along with A Bridge Unbroken. In addition, I'm harvesting ideas for the next Miller's Creek Novel, Crossroads.
5) Parting comments?
 Since the spiritual theme of A Bridge Unbroken is forgiveness, I'd like to share a couple of short quotes I came across in my research. The first is from Mark Twain: "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." The second is a quote from C. S. Lewis: "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."
7) Where can fans find you on the internet?

Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.
 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jericha Kingston's "Waiting for Lily Bloom"


James Bloom has prayed three years for rain and five years for a wife. His dreams are demolished on Palm Sunday, 1935, when a catastrophic dust storm hits Oklahoma, and his neighbor’s niece has to ride out the storm at his house—overnight. The next day, he’s forced to marry her, an East coast city girl who can’t speak. Could this be God’s plan?Married to a stranger in the dusty Oklahoma wasteland, Lily Driggers longs for her home. Yet somehow, her new husband is the only one who understands her silence.
As Easter approaches, Lily and James wonder if there is hope after the storm.

Excerpt:
“Lily.”
She looked to the front porch where James stood, his face leached of color.
“Walk toward me as fast as you can.” His voice cracked. “Now, Lily.”
What? The bully was at it again, this time issuing orders. She sighed and stepped off her rung on the fence. Mr. Bloom was about to learn she didn’t obey tyrants. She released the top plank and would’ve turned to go, but something in his voice startled her.
“Don’t look back, Lily. I’m begging you. Come to me.”
She glared at him.
His face crumpled, and he bounded off the porch and ran toward her.
The beast was chasing her! And he looked…crazed. No. Terrified. The only other time she’d seen such a look was when—
“Lily!”
Everything turned red. She was enveloped in a cloud. Fine dust stung her eyes and throat, choking her. She gasped, inhaled dirt, and coughed. Her mouth snapped shut, sand grinding between her teeth. She closed her eyes and hid her face behind the flimsy sleeve of her dress, protecting her nose and mouth. But it was no use.
Shaking. The earth was shaking. Wind gusted, shrieked and moaned, almost as loud as her racing heart. Would it burst right through her chest? What’s happened? Is this a tornado?
Wind-driven sheets of dust blasted into her flesh like piercing needles. She tasted dirt, smelled dirt, cried dirt.
“Lily, grab the fence.” James coughed and sputtered. “The fence!”
She tripped over her own feet to reach the corral and latch on. She clung there, wind and dust swirling around her, lifting her braid up into the air. Please, God, help me!

You’ve hooked us, Jericha. Why did you write a story set in the Dust Bowl? There is so much to glean from this era. The effects of the Great Depression still lingered. Drought conditions mingled with poor farming techniques made farmlands barren, and covered the country in dust. Hunger and illiteracy was rampant. Hardship creates excellent tension for writers.

Tell us about your path to publication. My path to publication was paved with lots of rejection. I received over 50 rejections for my first novel, and over 50 rejections for my second novel. But my third story, Waiting for Lily Bloom, was accepted in its first submission. Persistence is crucial. If you give up, you’ll never be published. Equally important, rejection makes you investigate what you’re doing wrong. Don’t pass up an opportunity for growth.

Where can we find your story?
In the U.S.: http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=556 

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Lily-Bloom-Easter-Lilies-ebook/dp/B00JQQE4S8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397960288&sr=8-1&keywords=waiting+for+lily+bloom

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/waiting-for-lily-bloom?store=allproducts&keyword=waiting+for+lily+bloom

In Europe:
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/waiting-for-lily-bloom/product/9781611163797

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebook/waiting-for-lily-bloom/47880830/

http://books.inmondadori.it/Waiting-For-Lily-Bloom-Jericha-Kingston/eae978161116379/

Where can we find you online?
https://twitter.com/JerichaKingston
https://www.facebook.com/jericha.kingston
www.quidproquills.com/blog

Thank you for visiting today. Thank you for hosting me!

Jericha Kingston--tomboy gone rogue--loves the visual, performing, and literary arts. She's the winner of the 2013 Touched by Love Award contest (Short Contemporary), the 2nd place winner in the 2013 Laurie contest (Inspirational), and a Finalist in the 2012 and 2013 ACFW First Impressions contest (Historical and Romance). Her novella, Waiting for Lily Bloom, released in April 2014 from Pelican Book Group.

A Georgia native, Jericha is comfortable in the solitude of the woods, or singing and acting before audiences. Her heart was stolen at age 16, and it's never been returned. She and her husband have been married for a quarter of a century, and they have two grown sons. Ousting her inner tomboy has been futile, so Jericha is often found fishing, camping, or hiking with her Australian Cattle Dog.

Jericha is giving away two electronic copies of Waiting for Lily Bloom to the first two people who leave a comment and tweet today’s blog.