Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Lynn Lovegreen Talks about Gold Nuggets, Her Latest Book in the Gold Rush Series

A Warm Welcome to Lynn Lovegreen

Lynn will give away an ebook copy of Gold Nuggets. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address.

Also, be sure to check out her fun quiz at the end of the interview.

Hi Lynn, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Alaska, and still live there. I’m a retired teacher who now writes full-time. I write young adult historical romance, and Prism Book Group publishes my Gold Rush series.

Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

Yes—mine was a reading household, and I read anything I could get my hands on. I read a lot of children’s books (favorite picture book: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, favorite chapter book author: E. B. White). I enjoyed strong young ladies, like the Little House, Anne, and Nancy Drew books. But I also waded into my mother’s poetry and Shakespeare books early on, and read both young adult and adult novels by the time I was in high school. I discovered the power of words and that was it. I was hooked.

Why do you write?
I write to entertain and inspire with stories of old Alaska. I hope readers see themselves in my strong female characters, and enjoy the fun parts of Alaska history. I write to show readers they are not alone. And, of course, I also write because I enjoy playing pretend on paper.

All about Lynn's Latest book

My latest book is the last in my Gold Rush series. Gold Nuggets is set in Kantishna and Denali Park in 1916.

In the shadow of Denali, she has a home, and he finds adventure. Charlotte Cooper wants to stay near her parents' home in Alaska. But her dreams of being a writer call her away to college or work, and she has to choose her own path in life.

Henry Reeves is a wealthy New Yorker seeking a summer adventure when he travels to Kantishna near the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park. He discovers two passions, one for Charlotte, and the other for keeping Alaska wildlife from being wiped out like the buffalo. Charlotte and Henry find an attraction they can’t deny, but can they build a new life together between the wilderness and high society?

What inspired you to write this particular book?
I knew I wanted to wrap up the series near the end of the Gold Rush. Tying it to the beginning of the conservation movement and the creation of Mt. McKinley (now Denali) National Park seemed like a nice transition into the next era of Alaska’s history. Plus, I love the area. I’ve been there several times, and my husband used to drive buses in the Park, so the setting was a natural for me.

In three words describe your style of writing.
Heart-warming, sweet, romantic

What themes do you write about?
So, far, all of my books involve young characters coming of age. I love that scary/heady period of life when we’re discovering ourselves and where we fit in the world.

Romance also finds its way into each story. Love is the most important thing in life, whether it’s romantic love, love of family and friends, or love for our fellow human beings. “Love thy neighbor,” as they say.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read and write! Both will give you models and tools for writing. Get as many hours of practice as you can. Then, when you’re ready to show your work to others, find a critique group or network to help you grow in your writing and support you through your journey. And be ready for a long journey—persevere!

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
It’s not really wacky, but the most risk-taking thing I’ve ever done is retire in order to write full-time. It was scary, but something I needed to do at that stage of my life. And I have no regrets.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)
Charlotte grew up in Kantishna, Alaska, far from any town. She is an independent young lady who wants to become a writer. She’s considering what this means for her future plans when she meets Henry, a wealthy, cocky young Easterner who comes to Alaska for a summer adventure.  She is surprised to find they have things in common, and even more when she finds herself attracted to him.
To learn more about Charlotte and my other heroines, take my quiz to find out which Gold Rush heroine you are! 

Book Links:

Prism Book Group



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Blog Tour Book Launch for What God Knew

A Warm Welcome to June Foster
Congratulations on your new book, What God Knew.

About What God Knew

Neonatal specialist Dr. Michael Clark is passionate about saving the lives of premature babies. But the pediatrics department at El Camino General can't provide the care many of his preemies require. Now he wants to build a specialty hospital where he can better offer medical treatment for his young patients.

Tammy Crawford is an accomplished geriatrics RN who wants nothing to do with her sister Joella's religious beliefs. She's independent and doesn't need anyone, including God in pursuing a new job as a nurse practitioner.

When she falls in love with the intriguing Michael Clark, she must reconsider her resolve to devote herself completely to her career and not become distracted by a romantic relationship. Now the obstacles are insurmountable. She's in love with a man from another culture and a different race.
Michael acknowledges his growing affection for the beautiful nurse yet can't ignore his brother's deep racial prejudices.

Can two people who are as different as night and day find a life together?

Buy What God Knew here

About June

An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's
eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father won The Clash of the Titles book of the month for January 2014 and
was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in
COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown
Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Books One, Two, and Three in the Almond
Tree Series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are all available from as well as Misty Hollow. June enjoys writing stories about characters
who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom
to live godly lives. Find June on line at

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Brandy Heineman Talks about Writing and Her New Book, Whispers in the Braches

A Warm Welcome to Brandy Heineman

Photo credit: Copyright Emilie Hendryx of E. A. Creative Photography, 2014.

Hi Brandy, lots of writers enjoyed reading as a child. How about you? If so, what did you read?

Oh, yes. I always loved to read. I adored mysteries—The Dollhouse Murders and Behind the Attic Wall come to mind—and of course I had my Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High phase, my Roald Dahl phase, my Judy Bloom phase . . . I was quite a bookish child, I’d say!

About Whispers in the Branches

In 1942, Ruby lost something. In 2012, Abby found it.

Abby’s love life, career, and faith are in shambles when she first hears Great Aunt Ruby’s claims that the family home is haunted. Abby moves in, determined to shake out a ghost, but the secrets she discovers there aren’t the ones she hopes to find.

Whispers in the Branches is my first novel. It was released earlier this year by Elk Lake Publishing.

Buy Whispers in the Branches on Amazon

Where do you get ideas for your books?
Since I love to write (and read!) stories that mingle past and present, very often the relics of another time will send me down the rabbit hole of “What if?”

Now, the Eureka moment tends to get all the attention, but it takes roughly a zillion ideas to write a book—character quirks, events, bits of dialogue, plot twists. The joke is to be careful what you say to a writer because it’ll end up in a book, but that’s really true. The key is assembling all those little pieces into a brand new picture.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Metaphorical, considered, mischievous.

How do you get to know your characters?
Sometimes I use character interviews, and personality profiles can be helpful, but for the most part, I just have to write and write about them and see who they become on the page. Oftentimes, this means that inconsistencies get worked out between the early ideation stage and their later, more developed forms. In my current project, I’m at the fun stage where I feel like I know both the hero and heroine really well.

I have a quick funny story on that, in fact. Just today I said to my husband, “Sometimes I just can’t believe my characters aren’t actually real people.”

His response? A slight pause, followed by, “All righty, then!”

That’s okay. I know being married to a writer is a laugh-and-a-half. He’s so patient!

What themes do you write about?
Those past-present connections get me every time. What opportunities were missed in the past? Can one generation make up for the regrets of an earlier one? Does history—family history, personal history—ever really teach us anything?

I love to explore these kinds of ideas in my fiction.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I keep trying to be a plotter, but all the interesting stuff seems to pop up as I’m writing along and some fascinating little detail finds its way from my head to my fingertips . . . and then, of course, I have to see where it goes.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Very much so. God really made the parable of the talents personal for me, and I know it is part of my calling to use His gifts wisely. I pray over my work, and I pray for my readers. It’s particularly important to me that whatever treasure the Lord seeds in my heart through His word and the experiences He gives me, that I weave it into my stories in a way that is as beautiful and real as I can make it.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I’m sure it would be something creative and expressive. I’m a visual learner and I’ve always been a dabbler in arts like photography, page design, photo manipulation, and scrapbooking. If writing hadn’t been the outlet for me, I might have pursued something along those lines more seriously. Who knows—I might still!

For fun, what is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
I’m fairly self-conscious anyway, so I might confuse “most embarrassing thing” with “just another Tuesday,” but I’ll tell you a doozy . . .  A few years ago our church had a drama ministry, and we used to put on little skits to publicize church events and sometimes longer plays at major holidays.
In one skit, I was to enter after the other actor was already on stage. I was waiting outside the choir loft door, which leads to an open hallway behind the sanctuary, and our pastor and another person were there having a minor pre-service conversation. I worried they would think I was eavesdropping, when all I wanted was to focus on what was happening on the other side of that door and to remember my lines! (You don’t spend six weeks rehearsing for a three-minute skit, you know?)
When I heard my cue, I was never happier to walk out on stage . . . but because I was distracted, I forgot to turn on my headset microphone before I did. I realized my mistake immediately, but it was too late. The other actor spoke her lines normally, but I had to call upon some very rusty, very minimal theatre training to project from the bottom of my not-particularly-powerful lungs.
I suppose the bright side is that I only made that mistake in the second service, so only half of our entire church saw me goof on stage. I’m still cringing.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Just that I’m so happy to have been a part of your blog today! And if readers would like to stay up-to-date with what’s up next… I have a newsletter! This is where my book release updates, giveaway alerts, and other fun tidbits get announced. Sign-up here:
Thanks so much for having me, Gail!

It was my pleasure.

BRANDY HEINEMAN is a Christ-follower. She’s also a book hoarder, a cat herder, a first-generation Southerner, and a self-appointed family historian. She likes to cook when it’s convenient, and to order pizza when it’s not. An alumna of Wesleyan College (Macon, Ga.), she has written for ACFW’s The Journal, Writer Interrupted, and Book Fun Magazine. Brandy resides in metro Atlanta with her Captain of Street Cred and super-hero hubby, Michael. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at Brandy Heineman