Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Looking Out the Window: The Susanne Matthews Blog Tour for Her New Book, All for Love.



A Warm Welcome to Susanne Matthews
 

Congratulations, Susanne on your new book, All For Love

Thanks for stopping by Peering Through Life’s Window on your blog tour to share about your new release! Suzanne will give away two $10 gift certificates. See below to enter to win one.

Hi Suzanne, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a retired high school teacher, living in Eastern Ontario, Canada. I’m married with three adult children and 5 grandchildren. I’m an introvert, preferring to spend my spare time with a good book or movie. In the summer I enjoy traveling and camping. In the winter I stay indoors by the fire.

We you always an avid reader? If so, what did you read?
I’m asthmatic, and in the 50’s and early 60’s when I was growing up, there were no inhalers like there are today. Each time I had an attack, I was hospitalized, and so I spent a lot of time in bed. Reading was my escape. I loved Nancy Drew books as well as the Donna Parker series. As I got older, I became interested in historical novels, especially those dealing with Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Gradually, I gravitated towards romance novels. Today, my reading taste is eclectic, although I don’t read horror or erotica.

Let’s talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I write because I have to. It’s a need, the same as eating and breathing. When I was teaching, my favorite part of the curriculum was teaching writing and poetry. I loved encouraging the students to write stories—not really a fan of essay writing, but I taught it too. Now, I feel the stories piling up in my head. I go somewhere and the ideas just come. My greatest thrill as a writer comes from hearing people tell me how much they love my books.

Tell us about your latest book.
All For Love is a romance suspense with an underlying theme of overcoming your fears and self-doubts, and learning to trust again. It’s set in the winter, primarily in Vermont. Olivia is a bodyguard hired to protect a young skier whose life is in danger as well as the girl’s father, a famous author who’s been targeted for revenge.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
There were a number of factors that came into play. I watched a lot of the Olympic skiing last year and I really admired the women competing on such treacherous slopes. My granddaughter is an avid cross-country skier and I knew she’d like the premise of the novel. The other primary motivator was watching people I know overcome tremendous obstacles for the sake of others, especially others bent on revenge for perceived injustices. I hate bullying, and I wanted to write a book where the bully didn’t win, even when he cheated.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I taught English for almost thirty years—taught outlining, plotting, doing character sketches, finding goals and motivation, but when I started writing, all that went out the window. I’ve tried writing the synopsis first, but when I attempt to force the plot in a specific direction, it just doesn’t work. So, I’m a pantzer. I give my characters control of the story and let them take it away. Sometimes I don’t know how the story’s going to end until it happens. I do have a rough idea of where I want it to go, but my characters often surprise me.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
My faith is part and parcel of who I am. I have some strong opinions, so there are certain topics and types of books I won’t touch. My imagination and talent are God-given, and I think He’s the one who writes the novels with me. He’s my muse. There are often times that something said in the minister’s sermon or in conversation with her ends up in the book. One of my novels, In Plain Sight, grew out of an incident when I was involved in an Easter pageant.

Do you put yourself in your books?
Always. Who I am comes across in the dialogue. I had a friend who read Fire Angel, and when she finished the book she swore Alexis was modeled after my daughter. She was partially right. All of my heroes and heroines are based on the qualities I admire in people. Similarly, my villains represent those I think poorly of or despise.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
I’m a roller coaster fanatic. I went to Cedar Point in Ohio and rode all the coasters in the park. I’m barely tall enough for the stand-up one. I rode roller-coasters when I was seven months pregnant, so that’s probably the riskiest thing I’ve done.

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
I had my children close together so I was used to cutting their meat. At a fancy dinner, I reached for the plate beside me and started to cut the man’s beef. He stopped me and told me he could handle it. Everyone laughed, but I was really embarrassed.

LOL. That’s so funny, Suzanne. Introduce us to the main character in All for Love.
Olivia is a feisty red head with a Scottish temper. She often speaks without thinking and then regrets her words almost as soon as they’re out. A first class skier, she was an Olympic hopeful until her fiancé and her cousin were killed in an avalanche. Since she blamed herself, she gave up skiing and moved away from her home in Colorado to Philadelphia. Determined to help others, Livy had planned to become a police officer, but instead got a job with a personal security company working as a bodyguard. She’s had a tough time getting the respect she needs from her male coworkers who tend to judge by appearances, but she’s earned her stripes. She’s a crack shot, has had survivalist training, and will do whatever it takes to protect her charge, even if that means taking a bullet for them. Her favorite story is from the Arabian Nights and it’s the story of Scheherazade who offers herself as the sultan’s new wife to save the lives of others.

Thank you for having me here today.

It’s my pleasure.



More About All for Love

To overcome your fear, you must first face it.

Someone is out to destroy Greg Simmons and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again.
Olivia Marshall lost both her fiancé and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Anderson Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.

Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?

You can find All for Love on GoodReads

About Suzanne

Susanne Matthews grew up as an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. A retired educator, she now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Susanne lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband. She has three adult children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.

You can find and contact Susanne here:

Website: http://mhsusannematthews.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLMauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jandsmatt
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009276.Susanne_Matthews
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+SusanneMatthews/posts

Enter to win a $10.00 gift certificate

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1102/

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Talks about Her Lost Love, the Latest Cozy Mystery in the Amelia Moore Detective Series



A Warm Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke, author of the Amelia Moore Detective Series

Congratulations, Linda, on your latest cozy mystery, Her Lost Love
 
 
Her Lost Love: Amelia Moore Detective Series

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

What the reviewers are saying about the Amelia Moore Detective Series and Her Lost Love

Most mysteries are a “who-done-it,” but this cozy mystery series specializes in missing persons. Amelia Moore, founder of the Moore Detective Agency, and Rick Bonito always solve their case. Her Lost Love is the fifth mystery in the Amelia Moore Detective Series. There is a nice blend of mystery, romance, and humor. The little sparks of romance between the two detectives simply add to the mystery of this story.

“I've read this series from the beginning and come to know and love Amelia and Rick more with each book. These are some of my favorite cozy mysteries and I know exactly what I'm getting with them--a fun, unique mystery that isn't too intense, mingled with a sweet, clean romance. I think Amelia and Rick compliment each other perfectly, both professionally and personally. Of course, since I'm a romantic at heart, I love the romantic moments in the story.” --Katie Watkins, Katies Clean Book Collection

Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

“I love long-lost love stories,” wrote Melanie Valderrama of Mel’s Shelves. “So this one grabbed my interest right from the beginning. What I enjoy about this series is that there's always more to each case than they originally think. This case was no different. I love how their personal relationship is progressing and am excited to see what happens next. Rick is so irresistible and romantic and he steps up big time in this book. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more!”

 Each novel in this mystery series has enough twists to keep the reader guessing. “Her Lost Love” not only has a case for Amelia and Rick to solve, but the romance is intriguing. Library of Clean Reads wrote: “This is a fast-paced, creative mystery that has at its heart crime, archaeological digs, romance, ‘good guys and bad’ that combine to make an interesting, quick read.”

The books in the Amelia Moore Detective Series are The Bali Mystery, The Shamrock Case, The Missing Heir, and The Mysterious Doll. For more information or to read sample chapters, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

More about the Amelia Moore Detective Series on YouTube here

About Linda Weaver Clarke
Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of several historical sweet romances, a mystery/adventure series, a children’s book, and a cozy mystery series.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Annslee Urban Talks about Broken Silence, Her Latest Love Inspired Suspense. Gives Away a Copy and Shares a Yummy Recipe.



A Warm Welcome to Annslee Urban

Annslee will give away an e-book of Broken Silence.
To enter to win leave a comment and e-mail address below.

She shares her favorite Bible verse and a yummy recipe for brownies.

About Annslee

Annslee grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Annslee began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.
Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she moved to Western Pennsylvania, before settling in North Carolina with her husband and children. Aside from writing, Annslee works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and has served as on the board of Carolina Christian Writers. She guest blogs regularly and also has her own blog, Cozy Customs at annsleeurban.blogspot.com.
 

 About Broken Silence

Broken Silence for the second month running has been on the Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank for Books and Kindle under Christian Romance and Suspense.
 
In the book

SHE'S HIDING A DEADLY SECRET…
…and someone wants to make sure Amber Talbot never reveals it. When she becomes the target of a car bomb and a home invasion, she gets the message loud and clear. If she tells anyone her secret, she will die. The person charged with protecting her is police detective Patrick Wiley—the fiancé she walked away from but never forgot. The same man she never wanted to tell about the attack that left her for dead. Back then Patrick couldn't save her. Now he must. Because the attacker has returned to finish what he started. Except this time he's got them both in his sights.

Nourish the Soul - Annslee talks about her favorite Bible verse

"I have told you these things, so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
 
This was a verse that was part of my devotional on 9/11 after the attacks on our country. It was a heartbreaking day for all Americans and very personal to our family as my husband is an airline pilot.  There was so much uncertainty that day, but God gave me this verse and a peace that truly was beyond understanding. I have cherished this verse since.

Thank you for sharing
 
Annslee’s Walnut Fudge Brownies
 
This is a recipe I have used for over 30 years. It is one that I tweaked from a recipe given to me by my grandmother. I often get asked for the recipe whenever I bring it to a function or give some as a gift.

Walnut Fudge Brownies


1 cup flour      ¼ teas. baking powder
¼ teas. Salt      1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar      1 teas. vanilla
12 Tablespoon cocoa     1 cup chopped nuts
4 eggs

Preheat oven 325. Grease 10” x 12” pan. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in small bowl. In larger bowl beat butter, sugar, eggs until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and blend in dry ingredients, and then add nuts. Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

You can reach Annslee at: annsleeurban@gmail.com

Learn more about Annslee and her books on the following sites
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Winner of Bridge of Faith



To choose this winner I gave my husband the names to select one at random.


He picked....


Hats...Horns...


Congratulations, Laurean!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Catherine West Talks about Her New Book, Bridge of Faith. She'll Give Away a Copy.




A Warm Welcome to Catherine West

Catherine will give away an e-book OR a print book. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below
 
 
Hi Catherine. First, tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see – the first thing people ask when they meet me, is “How did you end up in Bermuda?”  Actually I had the good fortune to be born here. My parents were already living here and quite settled into island life by the time I came along, and here we all remained. Growing up on a tiny island has its advantages, in that I’ve done a lot of traveling, and it’s definitely a simpler way of life. I love it.
When I’m not writing, I’ll work in my garden (which is in a sorry state right now!), walk my dog and hang out with my family. I also love to sing, and I’m on the worship team at our church. I kind of have a crush on the worship leader guy. (Who I happen to be married to, btw). We have two grown up kids, our daughter and her husband live in Bermuda, and our son is just about to graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
Oh, definitely! My parents were great readers so it was kind of a family activity. I was an early reader and went through all the books at school quite quickly. I think at some point they just let me bring my own. I loved mysteries, anything with animals, fairy tales. I was a huge Enid Blyton fan, read all her books, every series. Basically I read whatever I could get my hands on!

Let's talk about your writing. Often people wonder why writers write. Why do you write?
I suppose it’s in me? Hard question and I’m always asked it, so I like to challenge myself to find a good answer! Really, I think I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else. And it’s the most comfortable way for me to express myself. I love the excitement of thinking up stories, creating characters and watching their lives unfold on the page. I love the thought that one day my words might help somebody in that same situation. But really, I just can’t imagine anything else I’d be any good at!


 
About Bridge of Faith, Catherine's Newest Book.

Two lives taken down different roads - one enduring love - one shot at starting over.

    If only they believed in second chances.

Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in an abusive relationship. Now able to live the life she’s longed for, Julia takes her two children back home to Vermont, hoping for peace and healing. The last person she expects to see is the man she eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage, with little explanation.

 When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind. Confronting his past was not in the plan.
Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul.

And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him.

They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?
I love the characters. Reid and Julia are about as real as you get. They’ve both been hurt. They’re both dealing with the hard things life has thrown at them, and they are both in need of God’s healing touch. Both a little stubborn, but eventually they come to realize that forgiveness is the only way forward. It’s my hope that this will challenge my readers as well, because I know from my own experiences that sometimes forgiveness is really the hardest thing to give. I hope my readers will tell others that it’s a book for everyone!

In three words describe your style of writing.
Realistic. Emotional. Challenging.

How do you get to know your characters?
Usually I just write and see what happens. My stories tend to play out like movies in my head, and that’s the best way for me to get to know my characters. I try to think like them, to wonder what they’d do in certain situations and why they’d react that way or say something like that. It’s an ongoing process for me, which makes it all the more fun.

What themes do you write about?
I write what I tend to call ‘Reality Fiction’. The stuff of real life. I think all my books will have various themes in them, but for the most part I’d have to say always forgiveness, redemption, hope and healing. And of course none of these are possible without God’s grace.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
I hope so! I really hope that my writing conveys the depths of God’s love for us. While I prefer to weave a spiritual message subtly, it’s always there. I don’t think I could write a book that didn’t point people toward the cross. It may not be in blazing neon lights, but sometimes it’s in the smaller details that all of a sudden just pop out at you. God gets our attention in the strangest of ways at times, and that is also true for my characters.

What are you working on right now?
Well, I’m working on marketing, really. I have some ideas mulling around for something new, but I probably won’t get started on that for a little bit. I’ve got some good news on the horizon which I'll be able to share soon, but my readers can expect more books from me in the future!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Oh yes! First thing of course, read as much as you can about craft. There’s so much to learn, but don’t let it intimidate you. Be humble. Ask as many questions as you need to. Find a critique group and don’t ever be afraid to submit your work. Join writers groups like ACFW, attend conferences if you can, or local seminars. But really, have fun with it. If this is what God has called you to, He’ll provide all that other stuff. Don’t take it or yourself too seriously, life is too short for that!

Bio: Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards. Catherine’s latest novel, Bridge of Faith, is now available on Amazon.

When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

Learn more about Catherine and Her Books on the following sites

Web site
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads
Pinterest
Google Plus
Amazon

Bridge of Faith Buy Link Amazon