Gail's Book Nook

Monday, August 26, 2013

Looking Out the Window: K. Dawn Byrd Talks about Her New Teen Novel, Hotline Girl. She'll Give Away a Free Download.

To enter to win the download of Hotline Girl leave a comment and an e-mail address.
It's great to have K. Dawn visit today. Hotline Girl sounds like such a fun book to read. What would you like readers to take away from it?
 It's important that when Christian teens choose a boyfriend or girlfriend, they choose someone who shares their Christian faith.

Why did you choose to write this book?
I thought it would be fun to explore how a couple could fall in love on-line. When my heroine's high school begins a counseling hotline, she's chosen to work it anonymously. She finds herself giving advice to a guy she's had a crush on forever. Once she knows all the hero's secret, will love blossom or fail? When he divulges the problems he's having with his girlfriend, she's tempted to give him advice that will break them up. Will she do the right thing?

What did you learn while writing this book?
I really love writing for the young adult market. Bouncing back to YA after writing suspense is a refreshing break.

Which books on writing have been the most helpful to you and why?
It's not really a book, but I'll tell you about it anyway. Margie Lawson's on-line classes made more impact on me and my writing style that anything else I've ever studied. They're very affordable too!

What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I fill out character sketches in order to get to know my characters better. I ask myself what their goals are, what motivates them, and what's keeping them from reaching their goals. Sometimes, I start by writing a synopsis. This gives me information about the plot as it develops. I usually have a pretty strong plot before I actually begin the story.

What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a thriller about a serial killer. It's a difficult story because there are several twists and turns and I have to be careful how I write it for everything to fall into place correctly.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Probably still riding a Harley. I sold my bike in order to have more time to write. On weekends, I'd rather curl up with my laptop and the story in my head.

Tell us a little more about yourself , with three things not many people know
about you.

I have a masters degree in professional counseling from Liberty University.

I'm an animal lover. I have two hairless Chinese Crested dogs, four ferrets, and several aquariums in my home, and somehow recently I ended up with a shelter rescue Chihuahua.

 I  love sour foods. I'd rather have olives, pickles, or dilly beans than something sweet sometimes.

Thank you, K. Dawn. It's great to hear about Hotline Girl and to learn more about you!

  About Hotline Girl
When the school counselor asks Abby to work a counseling chat line, she begs her to choose someone else. When Race, Abby's three-year crush, begins using the chat line to talk about his girlfriend problems, can Abby be impartial when she really wants to tell him to dump her?
Race notices Abby after she has a complete make-over. He begins to spend more time with her and feels like a cheater because he likes the hotline girl too. How can he like two girls at once?
Abby is thrilled when Race begins spending time with her, but she's crushed when he tells the hotline girl that he likes her and wants to take her out. Is he a player? Will he even want to be with her when he finds out that she is the hotline girl and knows all his deepest secrets?

An excerpt:
I signed into the chat room and found SS2 RS waiting for me. HOTLINE GIRL HERE. WHAT'S UP? I asked.
I leaned over and took a whiff. THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL. THANK YOU.
SS2 RS had been paging me a lot lately and the more time I spent with him, the more certain I was that he was Race. I'd asked a couple of times who he was and he'd refused to tell me. We were getting to know each other quite well and I wasn't sure how he felt, but the more I came to know him, the better I liked him. I just wondered if I could trust him. We were finding out that we had a lot in common. Our faith. Our love of sports cars. Our love of animals.
I contemplated my response. What would be the harm in that? There were dozens of blonde seniors. BLONDE.
I opened the notes app on my phone and typed in football player. I'd been keeping notes on him so I wouldn't forget anything, hoping I could play Nancy Drew and determine who the mystery guy was. GUESS I'LL SEE YOU THERE.
FINE WITH ME, BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR GIRLFRIEND? It was killing me not knowing for sure that he was Race. I know it was crazy, but I really liked him and I didn't even know his name. He might be Race, but then again, he might not be.

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, sports cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"

Get in touch with K. Dawn

Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Author Page:  
Facebook Christian Fiction Gathering:

Hotline Girl’s available at Amazon, B&N, and where other ebooks are sold.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Winner of Out of the Darkness

It's always difficult to choose a winner!

This time I solicited help from hubby.

And the winner is...

Drum roll...

Congratulations Diana Montgomery!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Christian Suspense Author Anne Patrick. She'll Give Away a Copy of Her Latest Book, Out of the Darkness.

It’s my pleasure to have Anne Patrick on my blog this week. She'll give away EITHER a PDF, Kindle or Nook copy of Out of the Darkness. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address.
Welcome, Anne. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a Christian Suspense author with over a dozen books published.  When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family and friends.  I also love to travel and have been richly blessed by being able to travel out of the country on several short-term mission trips. I've had the pleasure of seeing God do amazing things in the mission field.

That's a wonderful way to spend time when you aren't writing. Tell us, why you write.
Because I have to.  I would probably go insane if I didn't have an outlet for all the stories floating around in my head.  And yes, my characters do talk to me.  I try not to talk back to them in public though. LOL.

LOL. Tell us about your latest book. Out of the Darkness is about a former FBI profiler whose life is shattered when a serial killer murders her twin sister and leaves Alex with a career-ending injury. Leaving the FBI behind her she sets off across country with a truck driver she barely knows who is battling his own demons.  What Alex doesn't know is the killer is hot on her trail and he won't give up until he finds the victim who got away.

It sounds suspenseful. In three words describe your style of writing. Romance, Mayhem and Faith. 

What themes do you write about?
Usually the darker side of life (Mayhem & Murder) and how in the midst of it our faith sustains us.  I'm a firm believer that if God leads us to it, He'll get us through it.  Another strong theme in most of my books is forgiveness.  We are human, we are going to make mistakes and sometimes stray from God, but He is always with us.  He never turns His back on us.

Thanks for sharing words about your faith with us. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
 I'm a pantzer.  I can't imagine writing any other way.  It's like riding a rollercoaster. You never know what's right around the corner…or over the next hill.

What are you working on right now?
I'm currently working on book four, SECRETS, in my Wounded Heroes Series.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  Never give up on your dream.  Finish that first story, edit it until it's the best you can do, then submit it.  You will get rejections, everyone does, but don't let it deter you.  Believe in yourself and your work.  Sooner or later, that door will open and you'll be on your way.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Flying in helicopters.  It's a passion I love and do it every chance I get.

Neat. Thank you, Anne.

A Little More about Out of the Darkness
FBI profiler Alex Michaels’ life was shattered when a sadistic serial killer murdered her twin sister and left Alex with a career ending injury. Hoping to put the past behind her, she sets off across country with a truck driver she barely knows.

Royce McIntire knows Alex is on the run from something or someone, but he doesn’t care. He’s fallen in love with her and is finally getting his life back on track and wants to win back custody of his son.

The killer is hot on Alex’s trail though, determined to find the one victim who got away. As more bodies turn up dead Alex has no choice but to tell Royce who she really is. Will the love that has blossomed between them be strong enough to sustain them, or will the killer get to Alex before they even have a chance to find out?

Enjoy an excerpt
The house was dark as Alex Michaels drove onto the snow-covered lawn. She slammed the gearshift into park, pulled her gun from its holster, and jumped from the car. She swiped frantically at the tears as she stepped to the front door and grasped the knob. Please God… Please don't let me be too late. Her grip tightened on the 9mm as beads of perspiration formed on her forehead. Inside the entryway, she reached out with her left hand to flick the light switch.

The knife came out of nowhere.

A sharp pain, followed by a burning sensation, seared up her right forearm. Her fingers went numb and the gun clattered to the floor. She jabbed with her left arm, her clenched fist coming in contact with the jaw hidden behind a black ski mask.

The intruder retaliated with a punch to her right cheek that slammed her body back against the door. The room swirled. Her knees grew weak. She struggled to stand on solid ground. With a fist full of her hair, the attacker jerked back her head as his knee rammed her rib cage, forcing a gush of air from her lungs.

She cried out as her knees buckled and she fell. Another blow to her rib cage knocked her back onto the floor. Her left arm pinned beneath her, she raised a bloody right arm toward the intruder and stared in horror at her hand dangling lifelessly.

With the full weight of his body pinning her, she writhed beneath him, trying to free her left arm.
"Fight me, Alex. Show me you're not as weak as the rest."

"I swear I'm going to kill you." Using her feet as leverage, she rolled against him, but she was no match for his strength.

He laughed. "Come on, Alex. Your sister put up a better fight than this."

A sob escaped her lips. She could still hear Cassie's cries for help and her blood curdling screams of terror.

"Sorry you didn't make it in time to say goodbye. But you'll be with her soon enough."

Learn more about Anne at

Order a download for Out of the Darkness from these locations:
Barnes & Noble
Desert Breeze Publishing

Monday, August 5, 2013

Looking Out the Window: Meet Emilie Hendryx--Photographer, National Novel Writing Month Winner and Church Office Manager

Welcome, Emily. Thanks for coming by to chat with us today about your photography and your writing projects. First, tell us a little about yourself.
 I’m a full-time office manager at my church, a photography business owner, and an author all rolled up in one. I grew up in a small town in Northern California and moved to Southern California to go to college and then ended up staying. I love coffee and am so looking forward to Fall and Winter, they are my favorite seasons!

Lots of people who write love to read. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
 My mother has always been a huge reader in our family and that trait was definitely passed down to me. Some of my favorite books growing up were the Enid Blyton Adventure Series, The Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved anything to do with mystery and adventure.
Why do you write?

 I’m an only child and grew up in a small town. I think that created in me a deep love for a good story as well as a large imagination. I also believe that the Lord has gifted me to be able to craft stories. Writing is a passion as much as it is a privilege. I write because He has given me the words to use.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
 I write Romantic Suspense and am faced with ideas at every corner. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and have an idea, or I’ll just be driving down the road and something will strike my imagination. I also love watching television shows like Bones or NCIS (usually while editing photos) and they give me ideas as well. Right now, I’ve got pitches for five books I’m working on all from within the last month! My imagination has been working overtime recently ;)

 What themes do you write about?
 Each book is different, and each character has a different hurdle to face and overcome. In the past, I’ve tackled such topics as contentment, loss, fear, and trust. My next work will deal with the importance forgiveness and how the lack of it can lead to bitterness.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
 I’d love to say I have a set schedule, but I don’t. A lot of my writing time depends on my photo schedule. Since I work during the day, I usually come home and, after dinner, find myself behind my computer working on my next book. My room is my refuge and I have a comfy chair and handy lap desk that I use. I also would be lost without my small whiteboard. You can often find me scribbling out ideas, plots, or just to-do lists on this.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
 Working full-time and being a photographer is hard enough. Add in author, and you’ve got to have some level of crazy going on! I find that, at this point in my life being single, I have the time to devote to these things. I won’t always be in this season of life, but for now I can take advantage of my free evenings. 

I also love National Novel Writing Month! I’ve participated 4 years and “won” the last 3 years. I love the challenge, and organization, of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I break it up and try and be as disciplined as possible to write out 1,667 words a day during the month of November. During the rest of the year, I challenge myself with self-imposed deadlines to get things done. It’s very helpful!

Congratulations! Does your faith affect your writing? How?
I live by 1 Corinthians 10:31 and try to apply this verse to all of my life. Whatever I do, I want it to be done to the glory of God. I view my writing in the same way. Having a relationship with Christ and seeing the faithfulness of God to His people throughout the story of the Bible influence my writing. In any story that I tell, no matter what the “theme” of it is, I want it to reflect the fact that God is sovereign over all things. In my books I desire for it to be evident that God works all things together for His good just as he does in our lives.

What are you working on right now?
 I’m getting ready for the ACFW writers conference in September. I have a manuscript into an editor, so I’ve started my next book I’m tentatively titling, Shot In Action. This will follow a wedding photographer (borrowing from my real-life experience) who photographs a known criminal at her wedding event. Her only course of action is to call on her ex-boyfriend and FBI agent for help. I’m still working out the details of their story, but you can bet it will be filled with suspense and romance!

That sounds like a suspenseful book. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
 I guess you could say I’m a little bit of both. I’m an organized person, but I’ve found that if I’m too organized, the creative side of me feels stifled. I plan just enough to get my feet off the ground then go from there.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
 I can’t imagine not writing. I love working for my church and I really enjoy photographing weddings and portraits, but my heart is in creating stories. I think, no matter what stage in life I’m in, I’ll always be a writer!

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
 Several years ago I was in Israel on a college choir tour. We had the night off and I went with several friends to explore. We ended up finding this old, abandoned hospital (it was pretty creepy) that looked like it had been burned down. We explored it and made our way to the very top (about 3 stories up) where we could see out over the city. It was frightening as well as exhilarating all at once.

Wow! That must have been a great trip. Thanks for sharing, Emilie.

Bio: Emilie is a small town girl who moved to the big city. Now living in Los Angeles, she is a writer, photographer/owner at E.A. Creative Photography, and a musician.  She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization and loves to read and write Christian fiction in addition to writing her blog Thinking thoughts  She believes in doing all things for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31) and her passion for Christ fuels everything she does. She also likes spending time with the girls from the high school youth group she volunteers with and, in her free time, you can find her curled up with a book and a cup of coffee.

Blog: Thinking Thoughts:
Emilie’s twitter: @eacreativephoto
Emilie’s instagram: @eahendryx