Saturday, December 3, 2011

Register to win Precarious Yates' new book on human trafficking at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com


We're happy to have Precarious Yates with us talking about her new book "The Elite of the Weak." She's on our sister blog at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com. Please leave a comment there with your email address for your chance to win. Thanks!

Tell me about The Elite of the Weak

The Elite of the Weak is set in the near future, when Babylon is rebuilt over the ancient ruins, odd political alliances are forged and strong earthquakes occur in strange places.

Trained to do covert missions from a young age, Hadassah enjoys few things more than thrills, whether it’s jumping out of an airplane, a high speed chase after a Somali pirate or crawling through the air ducts in a mafia-owned warehouse. But nothing is more thrilling than rescuing kids from human trafficking. The only thing is, she might do better on a team than on her own.

Enter Revelation Special Ops and their unique short-term mission trips. This elite group of people, R.S.O., is trained to rescue kids from the darkest forms of human trafficking. And they may just be willing to take seventeen year old Hadassah on board.

Why did you write about human trafficking?
In the summer of 2010 I knew I needed to start writing again, but I didn’t want to write about just anything. I had spent almost two years in intense study of the book of Revelation, so I knew my book would have an End Times theme. Also, by that time I had spent ten years raising awareness about the horrors of human trafficking throughout the world, and this theme snuck into everything I wrote anyway. But I took three days where I asked God what He wanted me to write about. That’s when the idea came to me for Revelation Special Ops.

We all agree that kids should not be trafficked. It’s just plain wrong on so many levels. But I prayfully wondered: will there be people trying to rescue these kids when the world as we know it starts to fall apart? It was from that question that I started writing the first book of Revelation Special Ops, The Elite of the Weak, during the 2010 NaNoWriMo. I was so inspired by the character of Hadassah that I wrote over 62,000 words in a month—by hand. I hope she inspires others too.

What inspired you to become an abolitionist?
Eleven years ago, I took a summer job working for a company that did electronic funds transfers for non-profit organizations. You’d think a job like this would be mundane, but my boss, a former Navy Seal, was anything but mundane. He’d spent four months in early 2000 filming a documentary about forced prostitution in Eastern Europe. So my job title went from passive receptionist to an active abolitionist. I was asked to help put the presentation together, pooling articles about human trafficking from a dozen or more news sources. I learned later that my boss took this presentation to the Vatican when he had an audience with the Pope and other Vatican staff.

Once I learned about what happened to girls and women around the globe, I couldn’t be silent about it any more.

Does human trafficking only happen overseas?
There are over 100,000 kids caught in human trafficking in the USA. As many as 95% of those trafficked have been in foster care.

What are some practical steps a teen abolitionist can take?
(1) First of, get close to God. He is the great Emancipator and the great Abolitionist. A friend of mine said recently, “In Exodus 2, Moses was an activist and a revolutionary. But in Exodus 3 he became a prophet and a deliverer. That’s what... an encounter with God will do to you.”
(2) Allow the Lord to soften your heart toward those who are oppressed. It’s easy to feel compassion when they are far away, not so much sometimes when they are up close.
(3) Prayerfully, and with your parents’ full knowledge and support, befriend someone who may be on the brink. Many kids in terrible circumstances will be more likely to tell a friend they were propositioned by a pimp. Love, advice and help from peers can lead kids on the brink toward positive choices. But tell your parents and direct this friend toward the guidance counselors at school or your youth pastor. Remember that you are powerful in this person’s life (even when they mock you), but you also can’t and shouldn’t do this on your own.
(4) Get involved with organizations that work to end trafficking. Here’s a link http://precariousyates.wordpress.com/links to a list of them .
(5) Start a prayer meeting, or bring it up as a topic in your next prayer meeting.
(6) Tell friends about the issue, or tell them about books, news articles, organizations, etc.
(7) Hope in the Lord always. With God all things are possible, including a world without slavery.

Register to win a signed paperback by leaving a comment at www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jude Urbanski's "Joy Restored"

Title: Joy Restored
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Cover blurb: Oh, this wasn't easy to finalize! I wanted to tell everything. But here's what I eventually settled on: Kate Davidson feels God has played a cruel joke with the accidental death of her husband, a troubled Vietnam vet. She is so angry at God she almost misses the incredible love offered by rich widower Seth Orbin, no stranger to loss and grief.

1) How did this story come to you?
In writing women's fiction, I seem to be drawn to themes of spinning tragedy into triumph and Kate and Seth both do this, each in their own way. My own life includes tragedies I've turned into triumph with the help of God. So I easily identify with my characters. The setting, which is on the cover, is where I was born, but left early in my life. The memory never left me though and I returned to it for the book.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
That was amazing. I had nearly relegated my first novel to my computer for 'my eyes only' when I learned of Desert Breeze. Someone wanted novels with a touch of the Vietnam era and the Depression Era! My novel links to the Vietnam era and the free accompanying download with my book is my mother's short love story set in the Depression Era. We both share the same setting. Bonanza!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I confess to a popcorn addiction; I collect rocks from sites I visit; and when in Honduras, rode in a military Hummer full of soldiers and no, I wasn't arrested. I was on a mission trip and 'looked after' by the government.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm doing a sequel to Joy Restored and it is called Nurtured in Purple. I have a completed women's fiction manuscript set in Jamaica.

5) Parting comments?
For those who dream, there is no such word as impossible. Thank you for having me, K. Dawn!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://www.judeurbanski.com/
Blog: judeurbanski.blogspot.com
Email: urbanski4u@aol.com

Rhonda Gibson's "A Biltmore Christmas"

Title: A Biltmore Christmas
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb:Explore the luxuries of America’s largest home through the eyes of the fiction Bradford sisters. Having been orphaned, they each secure work and lodging at the Biltmore estate. Charity, a laundress; Peggy, an assistant cook, Selma, a chambermaid; and Melissa, a stable "boy" each experience adventures in employment and romance that culminate at Christmastime when the Vanderbilts’ hospitality is at its grandest level.

1) How did this story come to you?
Sylvia Barnes approached me about joining this collection. Peggy is the oldest sister and I just knew she’d be a wonderful cook but I also knew she’d be allergic to bees. The Biltmore house fascinated me from the beginning and Peggy’s story simply unfolded as I researched this wonderful piece of history.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I am very lucky to have a support group called The Bards Of Faith. We like to brainstorm and help each other get published. This book started with the Bards and has been a wonderful adventure. One of our members pitched the story at the ACFW conference to Rebecca Germany. She liked the idea and from there we researched and wrote our stories.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. The older I get the more recluse I become.
2. I love to read fantasy fiction
3. I have moved out of my writing cottage and into an office, if you’ve been following me for long, you know I LOVED my writing cottage.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I’m working on a mail order bride historical romance. My next release will be in May and is a Love Inspired Historical titled, The Marshal’s Promise. I’m thrilled to be a part of the LIH family!

5) Parting comments?
I love writing and would enjoy hearing from readers. Feel free to email me at rgib2001@yahoo.com Thank you for having me. This has been fun!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
www.rhondagibson.com or visit my blog at http://rhondagibson.blogspot.com 

Amanda Deed's "Ellenvale Gold"


Title: Ellenvale Gold
Publisher: Even Before Publishing

Cover blurb: It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled gold rush of the 1850s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.

But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?

Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or will Penny’s faith prevail?
1) How did this story come to you?
I wanted to write an historical romance set in Australia. The Victorian gold rush was a very formative part of our national identity, so I thought it would make a good backdrop to a romance.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote the first draft back in 2000. It took me years to gain the courage to put it out there and then take steps to find a publisher. As it turned out, I had another novel published first, but finally this one is ready for the market.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. It surprises people that although I am an artistic person (I play music and paint occasionally), I have a passion for mathematics.
2. As soon as the weather is warm enough, I go barefoot as much as I can.
3. I wore running shoes beneath my Victorian style wedding dress (not so I could escape, but for comfort).

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am about to send the sequel to Ellenvale Gold off to the publisher. Next I plan to write the third and final installment of the Jacksons Creek Trilogy.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for having me on your blog today.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
 www.amandadeed.com.au

Suzanne Hartmann's "Peril"

Title:  PERIL: Fast Track Thriller #1
Publisher: OakTara Publishing

Cover blurb: A top secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments from the White House to NASCAR tracks. When unwanted publicity threatens to expose her, she herself becomes a terrorist target, with danger surrounding her on all sides. “Plenty of action and unexpected twists.”  Foreword by Jimmy Makar, GM of Joe Gibbs Racing

1) How did this story come to you?
The Fast Track Thrillers began as stories I created to entertain myself during my children’s music lessons and sports practices. It didn’t enter my mind to write a book until a thought popped into my head while I was taking a walk: “Why don’t you write them into a novel.” For a while I considered whether I was having a premature mid-life crisis, but finally decided that it was truly a nudge from God. The NASCAR aspect of it filtered into my stories after my daughter decided she liked watching stock car racing. I started paying more attention to the races (instead of taking a nap), and after a while, I realized that a NASCAR driver would make an exciting addition my story.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I followed a fairly traditional route towards publication, in spite of having no clue what I was doing when I wrote the first draft of PERIL. I joined a critique group, polished up the manuscript, then spent a year and a half looking for an agent. After another serious revision pass, in which I reduced the wordcount by twenty-five percent, and rewriting the opening chapter, Terry Burns offered me a contract. He diligently queried editors for a year and a half before Ramona Tucker at OakTara offered a contract five months ago. Along the way, I’ve learned a ton about how to write a novel, which I share in my book Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level, and I have made many wonderful friends.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a) I wasn’t a NASCAR fan when I started writing PERIL.
b) Like one of my main characters, I was in a very serious car accident years ago.
c) I touched the Berlin Wall when it was still standing in Berlin.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
CONSPIRACY: Fast Track Thriller #2 and REVENGE: Fast Track Thriller #3 The ideas have been rattling around in my head for several years, but so far I’ve only got a narrative outline. Now that Book #1 is out, I’m getting serious about writing the further adventures of the protagonists in PERIL.

5) Where can fans find you on the internet
Website: Fast Track Thrillers (http://fasttrackthrillers.blogspot.com)
Blog: Write This Way (http://suzanne-hartmann2.blogspot.com)