Monday, August 15, 2011

Nan Corbitt Allen's "Watercolor Summer"


Title: Watercolor Summer
Publisher: DEEP RIVER BOOKS

Cover blurb:
If Kathleen could relive any moment, it would be the one in 1969. Not because of its sweet memories, but because it changed her life forever.

In the summer of 1969, Kathleen’s thirteenth year, her mother drags her to yet another artist colony on the beaches of Northwest Florida. There, Kat’s feelings of isolation and hopelessness, spawned by her parent’s estrangement, develop into a selfish rage.

Malcolm, a mentally-challenged boy who lives at the artist colony, tries to befriend Kat, but his very presence annoys her to her core.

Though it takes a long and difficult summer for Kat to see it, Malcolm and his colorful guardian, Jeanette, are the examples of true and selfless love. Just as Kat’s heart begins to melt, Malcolm’s congenital heart problems become a concern. The canvas of Kat’s life, first stained by pain and trial and now touched by love, begins to transform into a masterpiece.

1) How did this story come to you?
I’m a child of the 60’s who grew up on the beaches of Northwest Florida, so the time and place weren’t hard to imagine. Having been a 13-year-old girl myself once I understand what it’s like to feel out-of-place and ignored as my main character, Kat, did. I decided to put my memories of this time, place, and feelings into a novel and let readers know how God can take any life and remake it to be something beautiful.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I went through three literary agents to help me find the right publisher. They all were unable to help me. Then I contacted Deep River myself. It took six months to write the book and maybe three more to find the right publisher.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
•I’m a song writer/musician who has written over 100 musicals and collections and 100’s of single songs with my husband, Dennis. He and I are three-time Dove Award winners for musicals we wrote: two for children’s choirs and one for adult choirs.
•Watercolor Summer is my third published book. I had my first novel Asylum published with Moody Press in 2004. I had a non-fiction book called The Words We Sing published by Beacon Hill Press in the fall of 2010. It is a reference/devotional guide that gives insights into lyrics that we sing on Sundays but hardly use otherwise, i.e. Abba, Redeem, Ebenezer.
•My husband and I are about to celebrate 37 years of marriage! We have two grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law and two exceptional grandchildren.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I will continue to write music, drama, lyrics, etc. but my next book project will probably be a historical fiction work based on the life of William Carey (the father of foreign missions).

5) Parting comments?
I hope the readers enjoy reading the book as much as I had writing it. It was such a blast!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.allenhouseproductions.com/

Karin Kaufman's "The Witch Tree"


Title: The Witch Tree

Cover blurb:Four days before Christmas in Elk Park, Colorado, genealogist Anna Denning discovers a client’s body. When she starts asking questions no one wants answered, she becomes the killer’s next target. Still grieving the death of her husband, Anna must draw on her wounded faith to enter a world of wicca and paganism -- and discover the secret of The Witch Tree.

1) How did this story come to you?
Several things came together. First, I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and I’ve always wanted to write the kind of mystery I like to read. Second, about ten years ago I started researching my family tree, and as anyone who’s done that knows, genealogical research is a lot like detective work -- or at least how mystery writers imagine detective work to be! (I should mention that the “tree” in the title is a family tree -- in this case, one full of witches.)

And finally, in my twenties, even though I considered myself a Christian, I dabbled in wicca. I feel tremendous empathy for young people caught up in wicca, witchcraft, and paganism. I completely understand what draws them to those “paths.”

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Although I wrote a lot as a child and off and on as an adult, I didn’t complete my first mystery novel until about seven years ago. A couple years after that, I wrote my second mystery. Neither book was fit for publication, but I learned a lot as I wrote and received some encouraging feedback. After I finished The Witch Tree, I realized that the world of publishing had changed a great deal, so I decided to change with it and publish my mystery as an indie ebook.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. In my early teens I played guitar in an all-girl rock band. We were ahead of our time!
2. When I lived in Los Angeles, I worked on the sets of two low-budget movies produced by the king of B movies, Roger Corman.
3. I dislike summer, and since weather plays a big part in everything I write, I may never write a mystery that takes place during the summer months . . . though a Christian horror novel and August seem made for each other.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on some short stories (mysteries with a touch of romance) and the second novel in my Anna Denning mystery series.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you for having me, Dawn! I love connecting with readers.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website: http://www.karinkaufman.com/
My blog: http://www.karin-kaufman.blogspot.com/
I’m also easy to find on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.







Roger Bruner's "Lost in Dreams"

Title: Lost in Dreams
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb: Grace, hope, and healing intersect in the California mountains.
From the moment eighteen-year-old Kim Hartlinger steps off the plane from a mission trip to a remote Mexican village, her journey takes a turn for the worse. As she collides with the biggest challenge of her young life—and faith—Kim struggles with haunting questions and recurring nightmares. . .all the while trying to hide a deep, dark secret.
Will Kim find the hope and healing she needs? . . . Or is her broken spirit beyond repair?

1) How did this story come to you?
When I was writing the first book in this series, Found in Translation, I arrived at a good stopping point long before I’d finished the story I’d meant to write. So I could easily refer to Lost in Dreams as Found in Translation, Part Two. I had entitled it Prancing on Pebbles to signify the way God can lead us to a joyous victory through a series of terrible events. (My publisher didn’t think that title would resonate well with teens.) The Altered Hearts series has a mission theme. Since I’d done some prison ministry years ago, that gave me the needed mission idea. Kim’s fatigue problem came from my daughter’s similar problem during middle school, although hers had nothing to do with what caused Kim’s.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
That journey actually begins with Kimberly Shumate, who worked at Harvest House at the time and loved my writing, even though it didn’t fit into Harvest House needs. When she read Found in Translation, she knew it needed to be published. So she obtained Mr. Terry Burns for me as an agent.

In spite of his strong belief in Found, Terry needed about a year to sell it to Barbour. My acquisitions editor there wanted my ideas for other books in a series. Because I had one chapter of Lost in Dreams written and a clear idea of where it was going, Barbour contracted it at the same time.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
• I started my novel writing career with adult fiction and have three or four unsold manuscripts that fall into such varied genres as contemporary women’s fiction and speculative.
• I’ve been playing guitar since 1963 and have written several hundred Christian songs (you can listen to some of them at RogerBruner.com/ReadListen.shtml). I’ve shared them on mission trips to Wales, Romania, England, and Australia; in prisons, migrant camps, and nursing homes; and anywhere else I could get people to listen.
• I have quite a collection of Beanie Babies (the corner cabinet in the living room is full of them) going back to the time they were so popular. I prefer the cat ones since we have two cats.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on book three in the Altered Hearts series in the hopes Barbour will contract it. But I’m also working on a YA novel I hope will appeal to teen guys. Misfits is about a couple of misfit preacher’s kids who start such a rocking nonconformist movement that the in crowd is begging to join. Since I’m a preacher’s kid, that’s a fun one to work on.

5) Parting comments?
The fact that writers are largely responsible for their own marketing is an unfortunate reality of today’s publishing world, and making oneself known is a daunting task for the newly published author. I really appreciate this opportunity to greet the readers of your blog and to thank them for their interest. I hope you’ll come visit me at my website.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.rogerbruner.com/; Facebook.com/roger.bruner





Tom Blubaugh's "Night of the Cossack"

How Well Do You Know Your Heritage?

When I was four years old, my parents moved us to a small town in southeast Kansas. The only relatives I had there was an aunt, uncle and five cousins. The rest of my relatives were at least 120 miles away. We would go to see rest of our relatives on Thanksgiving. It was always a good time, but we had very little time to get to know them. I think I spent a week with my maternal grandmother once during a summer. Very rarely did anyone come to visit us. I’m not sure why that was other than it was a five hour round trip.

My mother had three siblings and my father had eight. Most of them lived in the same city so I met them and learned a little about them and their families, but that is pretty much, where it stopped. I didn’t know one single great aunt or uncle and no cousins beyond my first cousins. I really didn’t think too much about this until I became a grandfather and suddenly the realization hit me—I didn’t have a grandfather. Both of them died before I was born.

Oh, I heard bits and pieces about them, but I did not really know them. I started asking questions, but my father had already passed. My mother didn’t know much about my dad’s dad because he died when dad was six years old. She didn’t know much more about her own father, at least that she would tell. She would tell me that her accounts of him didn’t agree with her siblings. This mystified me because he was alive when she married dad when she was twenty years old. She did tell me he died of ALS and that he was an insurance salesman. Somehow, I knew he was born in Russia, was a Russian Cossack soldier, was a Jew, married my grandmother who was from Poland and was a Jew. They met in New York City where my grandfather tutored Hebrew in exchange for tutoring in English at New York University and that he was a streetcar conductor. That was pretty much all I got. I found out from an aunt that when grandmother and grandfather talked about the old country, they would talk in one of the nine languages they spoke because they wanted their children to be Americans. I found out in latter research that this was common among immigrants.

When my mother died, I was left with one aunt in her family and I decided I had better find out all I could before she passed. I asked her if I could interview her on tape. She agreed. For two hours, I asked her everything I could about my grandparents and their families. I gained very little new information—not even the names of my great grandparents or their families. I wondered how this could happen and made a decision this was not going to be the case with my children and grandchildren although I had developed the same pattern when I thought about my own situation. I made a commitment to change things.

Most of my adult life, I have written nonfiction, but I sat down at my computer with the intent to write a story about my maternal grandfather. I was intrigued with his being a Russian Cossack soldier. So I took the seven things I knew and started researching. As I researched, I found the things I knew fit into the history I was reading. I started writing a historical novel in which I was creating my grandfather for my heirs. They were going to have a heritage.

Long story short, it is a published novel, Night of the Cossack, and is available on amazon.com, B&N, my website (a signed copy) and in a few bookstores. It is written for the YA genre. I didn’t know this until after it was published, which you may find strange, but I wasn’t writing it for publication—I was writing it for six children and fourteen grandchildren, the majority YA’s and younger. No big surprise when I think about it—subconscious I suppose.

What is surprising to me is that I am finding out, as I talk to students in middle school and high schools, that a fair percentage do not have a grandfather and know very little about their ancestors. I encourage them to find out all they can while those ahead of them are still living—to create a heritage for themselves. I have had adults tell me they are in the same boat. I hope it is not the case with you.




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We're happy to have SQ Eads with us today. She's been kind enough to offer to give away one of her books (anything except large print). Your choice! You can check out all her books on Amazon by clicking on her author link at the bottom of the page. Please leave a comment with your email address at the end of each interview for your chance to win. In addition, place your email address in the feedburner box to the right to receive weekly email reminders about giveaways.

Title: Unlikely Partners
Cover blurb: Texas 1880: When Texas Ranger Colt McCutcheon picks up his final assignment it comes with a major complication. His job is to infiltrate and capture the deadly Palmer gang while baby-sitting a would-be gunslinger. Suddenly he's forced to ride on the wrong side of the law with Dru Ramsey, a beautiful, gun-toting female bent on revenge. His unwanted partner soon proves the pearl handled revolvers strapped on her hips aren’t decorations -- a renegade lawman and a fast gun. When the dust settles will Colt’s faith have stood the test? Will Dru trade in her guns? Is there a future for this unlikely pair?

1) How did this story come to you?
My husband challenged me to write a western. That was the beginning. My father was a cowboy and a deputy sheriff. I cut my first “entertainment tooth” on TV westerns and grew up in the Wild West where cowboys and fast-guns were commonplace. It was great fun combining action, adventure, humor and romance in one historical setting.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
A Texas Ranger hero was an easy character for me to develop. Then, of course, he needed a worthy partner. A female that could out-ride and out-shoot him seemed perfect. I love strong characters, but I want them real enough to have a weakness or problem. I didn't have any idea what escapades they would get in to, but once they mounted their trusty steeds, I was simply along for the ride. They surprised even me at times.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
My husband and I love to take photos of wildlife and spectacular scenery. The cover of this book is actually a shot taken of my dad many years ago on the family ranch. All my female characters are strong and independent and I'd like to say they are me in different forms. BUT I'm more wimp than warrior. I like company on my journeys whether to the store, to a party or around the world to visit my grandkids.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm working on a tough one...a mystery. I love to read them and to solve them. However, I'm finding it difficult to plot events and leave clues for any would-be detectives. One of the funniest scenes I've ever written is in this book so I will persevere. I will solve the mystery of writing a mystery!

5) Parting comments?
I panicked recently—I had only one more story idea in my file. I feared I was working on my last book. Then, as usual, the Lord stepped in with two new project ideas. He plants them on my heart. At times He drops entire scenes, or a couple of cool characters, or perhaps an important issue or just a funny tidbit into my mind for me to mull over. These then pester me until I tell their story. I'm thrilled that I now have several challenges ahead. I'll write as long as the Lord allows. Praise Him!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.amazon.com/SQ-Eads/e/B004C84Y2Q
http://sqeadsfiction.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SQ-Eads/173761605969733