Monday, September 20, 2010

Sandra D. Bricker's "Love Finds You in Carmel by the Sea"


We're happy to have Sandra D. Bricker with us today talking about her book, Carmel by the Sea. To learn more about Sandra and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?All I needed was to spend a little time in Carmel to go gaga for the place. It’s so artsy and quaint, and it struck me that it has the vibe of an old Hollywood movie.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I actually sold a different story to Summerside, one that was set in Montana. However, the owner of Summerside went on a golf vacation to Carmel, and he fell in love with the place, then asked me if I’d consider changing the location of my story.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.1. The Bachelor is my secret pleasure. Don’t ask me why!
2. I grew up wanting to be Ann Marie, Marlo Thomas’ character in That Girl.
3. I am a fanatic fan of the old Dick Van Dyke Show. Rob Petrie was, and still is, my ideal man.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?I co-authored with Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Debby Mayne and Trish Perry. It’s called Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days. It’s due out in the spring, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. I’m working on books two and three in the OH! series for Abingdon Press.

5) Parting comments?Thank you so much for inviting me to join you for a visit. You’ve been so supportive of me and my books, and I’m really grateful.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?My Web site: http://www.sandradbricker.com/
My blog: http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com/
Book trailer for Carmel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxMPh8qr3uM

Maureen Lang's "Whisper on the Wind"


We're happy to have Maureen Lang with us today talking about her book, Whisper on the Wind. To learn more about Maureen and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?Through research! I love reading about the First World War era, and came across references to an “illegal, uncensored” newspaper that the German occupying army in Belgium very much wanted to stop. I knew there was a story there. So I created characters living in Belgium who are willing to do whatever they can to resist the Germans. For them, it’s helping to circulate this powerful little newssheet that thumbs its nose at an iron-fisted enemy.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.This book actually has one of the longest journeys. I originally conceived the idea back around the year 2000, but I had so much fun with the first draft it was extremely long—over 150,000 words. I knew it would have to be cut to a more reasonable length, under 100,000 if possible. But rather than take the time to make it more marketable, I went on to write and then publish several other books. I always knew I’d come back to this one, though. And I did. I never entirely gave up on it, and it’s had plenty of time devoted to cutting and revising, so I’m hoping it’s my best book to date.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.Well, if they haven’t read anything else by me, in particular The Oak Leaves, they might be surprised to learn I have a child with Fragile X Syndrome, a form of genetic mental retardation. He just turned fifteen, but functions more like a two year old—a very tall two-year-old, since he’s taller than I am! That means pretty much constant attention when he’s not at school for those few hours during the day.
Readers might also be surprised to learn that although I’m an eager, avid reader, I only finish books that captivate me. If I’m not learning something from a book, or enthralled with the plot or characters, I just don’t have the time to plod through something just to reach The End. I know many readers who would never abandon a book once started, but I just can’t force myself to be that diligent. I admit this reluctantly, knowing that in all likelihood some people have set aside one of my books, which is of course just about the saddest thing an author can envision about their work.
That’s only two, but for the life of me I cannot think of a third! I’m pretty open about most things in my life, so everything that comes to my mind doesn’t seem as though it would surprise anyone. I’m a member of groups you would expect: ACFW, RWA, a local writer’s group, a Christian church, a wonderful family. All that might seem rather dull, and not very surprising, but that’s my life!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?Did I just say my life was dull and not very surprising? Not true! I just finished a book I’m sooo excited about, and not only was it anything but dull, the content was a total surprise to me. I thought it might be interesting to finally give a plot line to the Germans, who have largely been the “bad guys” in my previous books. Of course every book needs angst, but there was just so much to choose from if I set the book in Germany at the end of the war. I zeroed in on my heroine, who tries escaping the guilt she feels over her father’s war profits by going to Munich and taking up with a seductive revolutionary. But when her parents send an old friend after her—a soldier trying to get over his own war nightmares—she must choose between faith or guilt, conservative or liberal hopes, and love or appeasement. It’s titled Springtime of the Spirit and comes out with Tyndale next March (2011). And I can’t wait!
Okay, so my excitement only comes through the characters I dream up…I guess my real life is still rather dull and unsurprising. Sigh.

5) Parting comments?I’m happy to present a signed copy of Whisper on the Wind to a blog winner according to Dawn’s guidelines, and hope the story will inspire and entertain. Thanks very much for visiting with me!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?http://www.maureenlang.com/
http://maureenlang.blogspot.com/ (where I’m blogging about the story behind Whisper on the Wind)
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/maureen.lang

Sandra Robbins "The Columns of Cottonwood"


We're happy to have Sandra Robbins with us today talking about her book, The Columns of Cottonwood. To learn more about Sandra and her book, read on!


1) How did this story come to you?I’ve always enjoyed reading and studying about the Civil War and its aftermath for the people who lived in the South. The paddle wheelers that plied the rivers and transported crops to market played an important part in reestablishing the agricultural heritage that had been damaged during the war. I thought it would be interesting to set a story in a fictional riverboat port town. The story involves two people—(1) a woman who lost everything she holds dear during the conflict but has a dream to raise her family’s plantation from the ashes of war; and (2) and a man, a stranger who never meant to put an end to her dream when he purchased her land for the back taxes. They both have plans for their futures, but they discover God’s plan is best for both of them.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published?I knew that the Heartsong Presents Romance line at Barbour needed a three book historical romance series set in Mississippi, and I wrote a proposal and sent it in. I didn’t hear anything from the editor for a year and a half. One day I received an email from her that said she had two Mississippi proposals that she liked, mine and another, but she didn’t have an Alabama one. She asked if I could change my setting to the Alabama River. I quickly did some research and found that it would present no problem to change the setting. So I moved the story from the Mississippi River to the Alabama River.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.I hate to wash dishes. I love to cook, but the clean-up afterwards is something I always dread.

I am the mother of twins (a boy and a girl) who were born before my two older daughters started to school.

Although I’d always had a desire to write, I majored in music in college with piano as my instrument and taught music in the public schools for years.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?I have just finished the first of three romantic suspense books that are set on Ocracoke Island. I vacationed on that small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina several years ago and couldn’t wait to set a book there. The first one will release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense in July 2011.

5) Parting comments?Thanks for having me on your blog today. I hope readers will enjoy The Columns of Cottonwood. The two books to follow are Dinner at the St. James and Blues Along the River.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?I always enjoy hearing from my fans. You can contact me on my website at http://sandrarobbins.net/ my blog at http://www.sandrarobb.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter and Facebook.

I also hope readers will go to my website or blog and sign up for newsletter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Register to win a getaway weekend with bestselling author Lisa Wingate!


What could possibly be more fun than reading a great book this summer (well, maybe not more fun, but a totally different kind of fun)?

Celebrating 2011 with national bestselling author, Lisa Wingate, in beautiful, historic, antique-filled Jefferson, Texas for the fun-filled reader event of the year, the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend 2011 book extravaganza! If you've never been to the Pulpwood Queens annual tiara-wearing, book sharing event, or even if you have, you'd be in for a treat! Head Pulpwood Queen Kathy Patrick hosts a weekend filled with books, authors, beautiful bed and breakfast hotels, antiques, a costume ball, and more fun with books than you can imagine. Kathy has over 50 authors on the slate, including Lisa Wingate. This year, the Keynote speakers are Fannie Flagg, Rick Bragg, and Pat Conroy!

The best thing about this girlfriend getaway is that the winner and companion can do as much or as little as they like. Girlfriend Weekend offers two days of amazing events, and the town of Jefferson features everything from museums and antique shopping, to quilts, history tours, and carriage rides!

The prize package does not include travel. The winner be responsible for travel for herself/himself and guest (that's right, this package is for TWO). If you're the lucky winner, you'll get:

***TWO fully-paid admission armbands for Girlfriend Weekend 2011 (one for you and one for your best girlfriend, or your favorite Timber Guy). This includes admission to Saturday night's big-hair extravaganza, the "Great Big Ball of Hair" where you can come as you are, or arrive dressed as your favorite book character and compete in the costume contest. Who knows? You might become "Miss Hairball Queen 2011!"

***TWO nights in a room fit for a queen, amid the opulence and grace of the 1920s at the beautiful Delta Street Inn bed and breakfast in historic Jefferson, Texas. (double occupancy)

***Your very own "Insta-Queen Kit" featuring a gorgeous tiara and a smaller porta-tiara for more casual occasions (or one to keep and one to share with your best girlfriend), free autographed Lisa Wingate books, your scepter, a copy of Kathy Patrick's Tiara Wearing Book Sharing Guide to Life, your very own Pulpwood Queens T-shirt, and everything else you need to crown yourself and read like a Pulpwood Queen!

More details and entry form are available at http://www.lisawingate.com/. This is a great opportunity for readers or writers, so don't forget to spread the word to your book clubs, co-workers, family members, and girlfriends -- after all, if one of your friends wins, you can come along as the guest! Contest ends November 15.