Gail's Book Nook

Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY, SAFE NEW YEAR!

Beginning on Tuesday, January 4th, join The Sweetest Romance Authors for a round robin writing adventure at Coffee Time Romance. We'll be writing a sci-fi story, and we'd like you to participate. Some of us have written science fiction, but lots of us haven't, so we'll see where the story leads together. The biggest thing to remember -- The Sweetest Romance Authors write only G-rated material. We hope to see you at
our forum. It's http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1096

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looking in the Window: Christmas Love








MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!




BE SURE TO CHECK BELOW FOR CHRISTMAS FUN


GIVEAWAYS AND PRIZES

The Love of Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve in Georgia. My husband, my daughter and I are riding on deserted streets into the cold, dark night. The pots and pans in my kitchen are washed and dried. The rolls of wrapping paper are empty; the presents under the tree. We pull into the church parking lot and go inside. We find a seat in the back, where the woman beside me brushes flour from her skirt. I smile at her and settle into the peacefulness reflected by the Christmas tree glimmering at the altar. Bright green wreaths with red bows line the sanctuary filled with a congregation dressed in red and green. I listen to the Christmas story. Ushers hand out candles, lighting one on the end of each row. The overhead lights go dim. We pass the flame from one person to another while we sing “Silent Night.” All the hustle-bustle of the season leaves me. I am still. I rejoice in Jesus’ birth. We finish with, “Sleep in Heavenly peace.” The lights come on. The choir stands and the sounds of the “Hallelujah Chorus” burst forth. I look at my watch -- midnight. It’s Christmas.


When I think of Christmas, I think of love. Over the years I’ve heard several theories on its origin. Some proclaim that chemicals in the brain produce love. So far no one has isolated those elements or found a pill that stimulates defective chemicals to produce love that isn’t there. I most recently read that it’s implanted in us and already existed when we were born. Even if it did, where did it come from? It had to have a source. Scientists can’t create it. If they could, they would be selling it for a fortune.

I believe it’s a gift from God. His unconditional love is so great we can never measure up to it. But when we understand we are worthy because He loves us, even though we’re not perfect, we can tap into it. Sometimes it appears that love can be bought or forced on someone, but no one can dictate the feelings of another person’s heart. Love must be received and given.

At Christmas God gave us the greatest gift, sending his son to die for our sins. It’s up to us to accept His love and share it.

John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

CHRISTMAS FUN, GIVEAWAYS AND PRIZES


MONDAY, DECEMBER 20TH

I’m participating in The Sweetest Romance Authors Holiday Party. Join us on Monday, December 20th. Check out our favorite holiday memories and share your own! All visitors will be entered for sweet romance giveaways. With titles such as Sabotage, Love Turns the Tide, Taking Advantage, Loyalty's Web, and Turtle Soup, you will not want to miss out on your holiday free read! Plus, we want to hear from you!What is your favorite holiday memory? Share with us.Stop by The Sweetest Romance Authors at http://thesweetestromanceauthors.blogspot.com/
Drawings will be held Monday at midnight and winners announced Tuesday morning.

CHRISTMAS EVE, DECEMBER 24TH
My blog, “When Is Christmas,” will appear on the Jingle Bell Blog Fest at Long and Short Reviews on Christmas Eve. During the Christmas season blog fest one lucky commenter will win a fifty-dollar gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and another will win a “Bag of Books.” The link directly to the blogs is http://lasrguest.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Delia Latham



I’m so happy to have Delia Lathan to talk about Destiny’s Dream, the first book in her Solomon’s Gate series, which revolves around a Christian dating agency of the same name. A dating service – what fun!

And, she’s having a contest. Be sure to click on “my website” at the end of the interview to learn about it.

First tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a born-and-raised California girl, recently transplanted to Oklahoma. (That’s a big change for a gal past 50!) I’m a wife of 37 years, a mother to four adult children, and Nanny to nine, counting the five extra grandchildren God “brought” into our family. I enjoy singing, and especially enjoy Southern Gospel music. And I enjoy designing marketing products, such as business cards, bookmarks, flyers, postcards, etc.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
It would probably be easier to say what I didn’t read! J I’ve loved books ever since I was introduced to “Dick and Jane.” (Okay, I know, that really dates me, doesn’t it?) From that time on, I could be found with my nose buried in a book at just about any given time. I read everything I could get my hands on–including dictionaries and the backs of cleaning products. I especially enjoyed Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and The Bobbsey Twins, but…anything would do, as long as the storyline pulled me in and took me to another world.

I believe most writers are avid readers. Why do you write?
Because I can’t not write. Just like reading, writing is something I’ve done since I was able to hold a pencil. Even as a very young child, I wrote little poems and songs, then graduated to making up short stories. I always knew I wanted to write a book…someday. But first I had to raise four children, so I wrote for a large daily newspaper and freelanced to a regional magazine in the meantime.

I can relate to that. I wrote magazine articles also. Tell us about your latest book.
Here’s a blurb: Is a little respect too much to ask at a parent’s funeral?

Apparently it is for Destiny May. Clay Gallagher is built like a small mountain and far more vocal than is fitting when he shows up late to her mother’s “going away party.” When it turns out he’s not even at the right funeral, Destiny demands retribution in the form of an escape from the day’s dreary proceedings. Spending time with a handsome stranger who makes her laugh is more therapeutic than fighting with her overbearing family.

Clay finds Destiny beautiful, charming...and intelligent. So why is she stubbornly determined to open a Christian dating service? Clay has little respect for such a frivolous profession, and doesn’t think the small, conservative town of Castle Creek will welcome such a progressive business. But when Destiny is threatened by an anonymous caller who deeply resents her and what she does for a living, Clay makes it his business to keep the saucy redhead out of harm’s way.

Trouble is, spending time in her company weakens his defenses, and Destiny may be the one thing Clay can’t escape...if he even wants to.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
Ideas are everywhere. I think of them as chameleons…they blend into the surroundings, but if you’re really looking, you’ll find them. They’re hiding in overheard conversations. (Writers are shameless eavesdroppers. Be careful what you say in the booth at your favorite restaurant… J); they’re tucked away in newspaper headlines and magazine articles; they play hide-and-seek in the movies you watch–if you don’t like the way the scenes play out, how would you have written that story?; they tuck themselves into everyday situations, like a trip to the store or an over-the-fence chat with your neighbor. The trick is to hear what people are saying, see your surroundings, feel the wind in your hair and the sand between your toes, take a moment to actually smell the roses…fresh air…barnyard–yes, even the unpleasant smells have something to say; relish the taste of everything that touches your tongue. Only by using all of your senses to their maximum potential will you be able to recreate them in your descriptions. Only by going one step beyond what you think you hear, see, feel, smell, or touch will you be able to find the chameleons (ideas) hiding beneath the surface.

How do you get to know your characters?
How do you get to know anyone? By spending time with them. By listening to what they say…and what they don’t say. By noticing how they react to various situations. By allowing them to become a part of my life.

During the writing process for each book, I actually feel that I know my characters better than I know anyone else—even the “real” people in my life. How could I not? I live in their heads and exist in their world, sometimes almost to the exclusion of my own. I suppose being so immersed in an imaginary world might be considered dangerous or ridiculous (depending on who’s judging…lol), but it’s what works for me. When I finish the book, I actually miss my characters. Writing a series has been a joy, because I’ve been able to spend a little more time with the original characters in each of the follow-up novels. J

What themes do you write about?
Romance, of course. Christian romance, which brings other themes into play—faith, trust, forgiveness, prayer, salvation…. But readers will almost always find some element of the divine in my books, as well–usually angels. For some reason, God seems to draw me to and give me ideas using His special messengers. In Destiny’s Dream, the angel angle begins from the very first chapter–almost the first page. I’ve enjoyed this series so much, as God took my storylines in directions I hadn’t even dreamed of. I’ve always thought I believed in angels, but through this series, God has made them very real to me, and I hope that will be true for my readers, as well.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I’m definitely a pantzer. I wish I could plot ahead and know right where my story was going, but…no. It doesn’t work for me. I get the seed of an idea, toss it around in my head for a few days (or weeks, depending on how stubborn my muse is being), then sit down and start writing. My stories are very much character-driven, so I just start putting words on paper and see where the characters take me.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Without a doubt. How can it not? I consider my writing a ministry, and I spend a great deal of time praying about every word that I write. I want the finished product to be edifying and uplifting, clean, inspiring—and for my readers to find something to take away with them. A stronger faith, a more trusting heart, a call to forgiveness…something lasting.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the galleys from Book Two in the Solomon’s Gate Series, Kylie’s Kiss. And I’m writing the third book, Gypsy’s Game. In addition, I’m working on my portion of a Christmas collection that’s being written by four different authors, and preparing for the release of my first published children’s book, a rhymed story called Mine!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Writer’s write. So write. Even if on some days it feels like you’re writing rubbish, write. Find a place you can make your own, whether it’s one end of the dining table, a walk-in closet you’ve taken over, or a full-blown office with all the bells and whistles. The important thing is that you have a place to go, and that you go there every day, preferably at the same time every day, and do what writers do. Write. You’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes such a part of your routine that you can’t imagine not being there, in that place, at that time…writing.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
I’m not much of a risk taker. Does getting married at 16 and having four children count? LOL

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Yes. In lieu of doing separate giveaways at every blog stop during this blog tour, I’m running a two-part contest on my website. It’s fun, exciting, and the prizes are beautiful. Come on over and check it out–there’s ample opportunity for participants to earn numerous entries. Good luck!

Delia's Bio
DELIA is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. While she considers each of these roles important ones, she treasures most of all her role as a child of the King and an heir to the throne.

A former newspaper staff writer, Delia promised herself a novel for years, while raising her four children, working at various jobs and writing the occasional article, poem, or song. She fulfilled that promise when Vintage Romance Publishing released Goldeneyes in 2008. A Christian historical romance with a touch of the divine, Goldeneyes is set in the farm country of the author’s childhood, and therefore close to her heart. In 2010, White Rose Publishing released Yesterday’s Promise in electronic format, and Destiny’s Dream in print and e-format. A children’s book will be available early in 2011.

Delia grew up in Weedpatch, a tiny agricultural community near Bakersfield, in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She and her husband Johnny recently transplanted from that area to Okmulgee County, Oklahoma.