Monday, October 24, 2011

Donita K. Paul's "Dragons of the Watch"


Title: Dragons of the Watch

 Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah

 Cover blurb: Trapped in a forgotten city, bound by secrets, Ellie and Bealomondore must enlist the dragons of the watch to find freedom.


Ellie knows exactly where she is going. She just wants to experience the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, then settle into a simple life with a country husband.


With too many choices, Bealomondore’s future is a tangle of possibilities. He is respected, well-known, and admired among the elite of Chiril, but Wulder demands he narrow his focus and follow his Creator, one step at a time.

Both Ellie and Bealomondore’s plans are thwarted when they find themselves lost in an isolated city. As they discern the needs of a group of wild children and a very old man, clues began to surface and a bigger picture is revealed. With the help of the dragons of the watch, can the two tumanhofers find the way out—and perhaps discover their connection to something greater than themselves?

1.      How did this story come to you?
My son is a literature nut. This is a good thing, because he is getting his doctorate in medieval English with an emphasis on theatre. He and I were talking one day, and he mentioned bottle cities. These are enchanted places where the inhabitants are more or less stuck inside the boundaries. The two that come to my mind are Brigadoon and Shangri-la. Modern readers are more familiar with Kandor, a bottled city in the Superman series. 


2.      Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This is the third book in the Chronicles of Chiril. Bealomondore had made a good impression on my readers and many of them were disgruntled that he didn’t “get the girl” at the end of the first book. As I read the letters from readers, I realized I had a hero worth developing for the last book. That required a new heroine and a unique problem for them to solve.

3
.      Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I make jewelry. I have a very decent voice, but can never remember the lyrics to the songs I belt out while vacuuming. I’ve never been to Europe.


4.      What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m taking a couple of old manuscripts from my Christian romance writing days and putting them out as e-books. Taming the Wild Wind was a story I wrote for my mom right before she died. She had always been fascinated by Native Americans. We are part Cherokee. Wild Wind is a story about a free spirit in a very restrictive society, who goes to the Indian Territory to open a mission school. I love the message of that story. The heroine discovers so much about herself and God as she experiences some fun and exciting adventures.  You can find it here:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Taming-the-Wild-Wind-ebook/dp/B005IIRB1K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316188102&sr=1-1


Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-the-wild-wind-donita-kathleen-paul/1105099654?ean=2940013046665&itm=1&usri=taming%2bthe%2bwild%2bwind


Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/84838


Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/donitakpaulatmsndotcom



I’m still writing fantasy. I have five books planned for the Sage Street Wizards. These are characters from the Christmas novella, Two Ticket to the Christmas Ball. My daughter and I have two new Roger and Padraig picture books that are looking for a publishing home. And I am working on a new story world that has dragons and quests, two of my favorite things.


 6
.      Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.donitakpaul.com/; and for my children’s books: http://www.dragonandturtle.com/



5.
      Parting comments?

Dina Sleiman's "Dance of the Dandelion"


 Title: Dance of the Dandelion

 Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing


Cover blurb: Love's quest leads her the world over.

Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion  . . . with more. Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William’s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache.

From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings.


Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

1) How did this story come to you?
I first had the idea for this book in 2001. It was based roughly on a plot from an old Eugene O’Neil play where the heroine loses her true love in a war and spends the rest of the story looking for a man who can take his place. I combined this idea with the Biblical Greek definitions of love. Then I set it in medieval England to remove it from our current religious mindset and schisms. Et voila…Dance of the Dandelion was born.


2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This book was a hard sell because of the medieval setting. Of course, when I wrote it I had no idea the time period would create a problem. Lots of agents and editors turned it down for this reason alone. However, they all seemed to agree that the writing was strong, so I didn’t give up. WhiteFire Publishing is a small press that specializes in hard to market books, so it was a perfect fit.


3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) For one thing, my nose is pierced. I wear a small crystal stud and a lot of people don’t even notice it.
2) My daughter is the cover model for my book. I had based the childhood version of the heroine on her years ago, so it was a wonderful blessing to get to use her for the photo shoot.
3) I’ve lead worship dance ministries for the better part of seventeen years.


4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Early next year I’ll have an inspirational nonfiction book coming out with WhiteFire that will take a deeper look into many of the subjects I cover in Dandelion, including freedom in Christ, intimacy with Christ, worship, and inner healing. The book is an unconventional mix of memoir, essay, poetry, even some short stories.


Currently, my agent is shopping a contemporary series I’ve written. This one is women’s fiction with a heaping helping of romance and a sprinkle of comedy. It features a veiled Muslim, a blonde ballerina, and a bi-racial hippie chick who search together for meaning and truth.

5) Parting comments?
I would say that while I’m still finding my genre niche as an author, there are some things you can always expect from me like authentic Christianity, inner healing themes, a focus on intimacy with Christ, and a lyrical style. My tagline is “Dance with Passion,” and I hope that comes through in all my writing.


6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://dinasleiman.com – blog and website
http://inkwellinspirations.com – group website
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1573808600 - facebook

Lisa Lickel & Shellie Neumeier's "A Summer in Oakville"


Title: A Summer in Oakville
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing
Cover blurb:
One Magical Summer in Oakville, Wisconsin,
Love Finds its Way through Four Entwined Lives.

Meet Tessa, Lindsay, Art and Andy.

Tessa Hasmer Murphy has a secret. Estranged from her husband, will she let a past love and a fight to save the family farm destroy her marriage and daughter Lindsay’s happiness?

Lindsay Murphy plans to live on her grandparents’ farm until she can find a job, but developer Brandon Calloway has other plans for the property. As she wages war against him, will she lose her heart and the farm both?

Widower Arthur Hasmer’s life and that of his son, Andy, spiral out of control. Then old friend, Dana London, reenters the picture with the power to help them all back to love, joy and faith.

Andy Hasmer has the ultimate bummer life. No mom, not much of a dad, no future. When he’s sent to the farm and wrecks the truck, nothing could be worse than the lousy job he takes to pay Grampa back—except maybe putting up with the pastor’s daughter, Ella.


1) How did this story come to you?
Lisa: I have to take the blame for coming up with the convoluted idea – four stories in one book was the theme of our original target publisher, romantic stories, but then we worked it out so that the stories worked with each other to tell one tale. The theme, trying to keep the rural life they are familiar with, can’t bear to give up even though the adult children don’t farm or live on the home place, is a very real problem in the US that few people understand. The way of the family farm has passed, and while we don’t purposefully try to villainize anyone, not even the developers, I do want to draw attention to the fact that single families can’t make a living, in general, from an 80-120-acre farm in the 21st century. We still grow our own food, but fewer urban children truly understand where it comes from, and it would be a shame if we lost that connection.


Shellie: Well said, Lisa! I was privileged to be a part of this collection, since it is so much more than four romantic tales. A Summer in Oakville epitomizes the difficulties rural Wisconsin—America—has experienced for generations, and it highlights the beautiful strength you find in family ties and homegrown roots. To answer your question, Dawn, the stories, Andy’s and Lindsay’s, came to me as I listened and watched my neighbors and friends…Lisa included.


2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Lisa: When I heard that Barbour Publishing (the publisher of my first novel, a mystery called The Gold Standard) offered one more opportunity for authors in the form of “Four-in-One” novels, I asked my new writing friend Shellie if she’d be interested in writing one with me. You can read more about that here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Summer-in-Oakville/200940583288468#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=202789583103568&id=200940583288468


Shellie: Not everything was as we imagined, but it was as God ordained. Fortunately, neither Lisa nor I could let this family’s story sleep, and I’m so grateful it didn’t sleep long! How’s that for vague:D. **giggles** No really check the FB fan page.


3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Lisa: You mean, without scaring them away? Um…I’m probably the only woman in the world who wishes her hair would start thinning, I like science fiction and history, but not really at the same time, I would give up chocolate before bread.


Shellie: Oooh, can I tell Lisa’s? :D. JK, though I’m sure she’d have fun telling a few of mine;). I bet readers don’t know I’ve gone spelunking and loved it (no, really…crawled through tunnels and little caves, they have those in Wisconsin); I’m actually shy, but I work hard at overcoming that little trait (requires a lot of down time); and I have a wretched sense of humor that surfaces only when I’m tired.


4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Lisa: I’m working on a couple of projects; one is the rewrite (again) of a story I like about a couple trying to make their marriage work in today’s busy-ness. He’s a former medical missionary who was forced to return to the states and who never planned on getting married; she’s a businesswoman who planned to marry her parent’s choice for a husband and live quietly, boringly ever after. Then God laughed. I’m also teaching some more online and in person workshops and working with some other local authors on signing and panel talk events.


Shellie: I have a mid-grade chapter book, co-written with my youngest two kiddos, entitled The Wishing Ring which releases in February 2012. I’m also cleaning up a story near and dear to my heart. It’s a story about an autistic seventeen year-old boy. Imagine Rainman meets Karate Kid, only this time a trophy isn’t at stake, its Delaney’s life.


5) Parting comments?
Lisa: thank you for having us! We love to chat with folks, and would enjoy visiting your bookclubs, too. For some fun recipes, visit our Summer in Oakville Facebook page.


Shellie: Yes, thank you! We’d love to hear your family’s story too. Leave us a tale in the comments below and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a copy of A Summer in Oakville. I don’t know about your relatives, but I’m thinking not every family has just one black sheep…


6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Lisa: All my links can be found on my web site: http://www.lisalickel.com/

Shellie: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001729933656
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shellie_c
Website: http://shellieneumeier.com
Booktrailer: http://youtu.be/D0iUtvrC_PU
http://www.amazon.com/A-Summer-in-Oakville-ebook/dp/B005KF6I2E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319498851&sr=8-2  

Cara Lynn James' "Love by the Book"

 Title: Love by the Book
Publisher: Thomas Nelson


Cover blurb: Savor this sweeping love story set in a lavish seaside mansion in 1901 Rhode Island.

Melinda Hollister is a society lady, intent on finding a rich husband before her peers discover her quickly diminishing wealth. Nick Bryson is all business, focused on making a name for himself in his father’s steamship line. Despite the marriage of their siblings, they rarely gave each other a second glance—until a tragic accident results in Melinda and Nick being appointed as co-guardians of their three-year-old niece Nell.

In order to get better acquainted with Nell and one another, Melinda and Nick agree to spend the summer in their own private quarters of the Bryson family vacation home, Summerhill. As their love for Nell grows, so does their attraction to each other. And for the first time in their lives, they sense that God has a bigger plan in motion.

Yet old habits die hard – and Melinda and Nick each find it difficult to resist the pull of their former worlds.

When the unthinkable happens, they find themselves faced with seemingly impossible choices and a new understanding of God’s true love.

1) How did this story come to you?
My editor suggested I write a ‘marriage of convenience’ story because it would be really different from my first two books in the Ladies of Summerhill series, Love on a Dime and Love on Assignment. Right from the beginning the idea intrigued me, so it was fairly easy to develop characters and a plot. I already had the setting of Newport, Rhode Island during the Gilded Age. The plot turned out to be more complex than I’d initially envisioned, but lots of fun to write.


2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Since Love by the Book was the third novel in a contracted 3 book series, it wasn’t difficult to get it published! It was harder to get the story just right for my editor. I’m glad she was so exacting because it made the story much stronger.


3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I don’t take escalators unless I have no alternative, I could live on popcorn, and I can’t carry a tune unless I’m singing with a group.


4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
My next book is called A Path toward Love. It’ll be released in July 2012. It’s set during the Gilded Age and it takes place in central Florida and Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. I’m working on revisions right now and they’re keeping me very busy. Too busy.


5) Parting comments?
If you’re a writer hoping to get published, I really encourage you to persevere. Don’t get side tracked by discouragement, your inner critic or anything that keeps you from learning the craft.


9) Where can fans find you on the internet?
www.caralynnjames.com and http://www.seekerville/.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/pages/Cara-Lynn-James