Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Giveaway

A Warm Welcome to

Linda Weaver Clarke 

Hi Linda,

Thanks for sharing with us. Tell us about your new book and your contest.

Mystery on the Bayou is a Fun New Cozy! Book Giveaway Nov 23 – Dec 7

It’s time to get cozy once again with the Amelia Moore Detective Series. Louisiana, the land of bayous and gumbo! Crawdads, jambalaya, swamps, alligators, and plenty of Spanish moss hanging from the trees! Mystery on the Bayou, book six, blends a nice balance of mystery, intrigue, romance, and humor. Amelia Moore and Rick Bonito, two private eyes and a newly married couple, specialize in missing persons.

To enter the contest, make a comment about the interview and tell me why you enjoy mysteries.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Slattery Talks about her New Book, Intertwined, and Shares a Personal Mom Story

A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer's Mom Experience

It’s the one job I most want to excel in and yet the one responsibility I mess up most. But when it all goes well, when, by the grace of God I manage my emotions and hold my tongue, it’s beautiful. Bonding. Healing.

Moms, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Nothing tugs at our hearts quite like our kids, and it’s that intense tug that often does us in. For me, most of my less than grace-filled reactions are usually rooted in fear. And when I’m in that hyper-alert fearful state, I tend to react… before I think.
It was a Sunday night, and my husband I had just returned from an overnight away—our teenage daughter’s first night home alone.  Well, sort of alone. She had a friend over. This trip felt pretty monumental. With our daughter leaving for college next fall, this step of independence only served to remind us of how much she’s grown and how short our time with her truly is.

And I was giggly-excited, thinking about how her night might have gone with her friend. Did they feel like roommates? Did they enjoy their freedom and having the house all to themselves? I had so many questions I wanted to ask our daughter, but it appeared I’d have to wait. By the time we made it home, she’d already left for church. Youth group followed, keeping her out until almost nine.

Needless to say, by the time she returned, she was more than a little tired. But even so, I expected her to come in our room, sit on our bed, and tell us all about her first semi-adult experience. The response I got? Aloof. Maybe even a little snotty. Could I even say rude?

It started out with a simple question and ended with her walking away, not having answered.
My husband waved it off as no big deal, but the more I thought about our interchange, the more upset I became. How ungrateful, I thought. We’ve given her so much, and this is how she responds after having had this new experience of freedom?

Though in truth, I was frightened. I felt like I’d lost my daughter’s respect. Like she felt she no longer had to listen to me. If you have a teen, you know how frightening that can be. So, fueled by the anxiety only a mom can work into a frenzy, I sent her a text explaining my feelings.
Her response: I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.

I paused, read it again. No excuses? No anger? Just a simple, “I’m sorry”?

Something felt… not right, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to her room. And I simply sat on her bed. To listen, because I sensed there was much more going on with her than an unanswered question.

I was right. Before long, she was in tears, sharing all her fears and insecurities. That overnight that made my husband and I more acutely aware of our daughter’s impeding departure? It’d done the same for her, making adulthood all the more real. And she wasn’t sure she was ready. I rubbed her back, let her know her feelings were normal and that she’d do great. Soon, what could’ve turned into a major argument, dividing a wedge between us—at a time when she really needed me—turned into a wonderful, heart-to-heart, bonding moment.

As I walked back upstairs, I was reminded of the need to resist surface level parenting, making assumptions about behavior without taking the time to reach the heart. And thanking God for His gentle guiding Spirit and the knowledge that I’ll never have to parent alone.

My daughter’s in college now; an adult. But even so, may God help me to continue to seek out and parent to her heart.

About Intertwined

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

Buy it:
Barnes and Noble


Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Candee Fick Talks about Catch of a Lifetime, Her Debut Novel about a Rookie Coach and an Athletic Trainer

A Warm Welcome to Candee Fick
Candee will give away either a mobi or pdf file of Catch of a Lifetime

First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been married to a high school football coach for almost 20 years and we have three kids, including a recently-turned-adult daughter with special needs, a high school senior, and the “baby” in middle school. I’m a former chemistry teacher and cross country coach who now works from home summarizing work histories in asbestos cases. In my free time, I savor the escape of fiction through both reading and writing!

Lots of writers loved to read when they were young. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

I learned to read at age four and haven’t been far from a book since. Some of my early favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series, Chronicles of Narnia, The Borrowers, Black Stallion, Jannette Oke’s Love Comes Softly, and Watership Down.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I write to give readers a place to escape the stress of life for a few hours. I also write to create the stories I love to read. But mostly, I craft stories that show genuine faith in action, give a glimpse of God’s character, instill hope that obstacles can be overcome, and remind readers that God pursues and loves them even more than a romantic hero pursues the heroine.

Tell us about your latest book.
Catch of a Lifetime is about a rookie college football coach who breathes football and the bitter tutor/athletic trainer who shudders at the very mention of the sport. As the two work together, sparks fly, but their growing relationship must remain hidden behind a wall of professionalism in order to avoid a career-ending scandal. This story was an ACFW Genesis Finalist in 2014 and is my first published novel.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I worked hard to capture the energy of a college football team pursuing their goal of a bowl game as well as the competitive tension of close game with high stakes. Several advance readers told me they couldn’t put the book down with hearts pounding in their throats at the end so I think I achieved that goal. I want readers to find a satisfying read and fall in love with the hero right along with the heroine, even if they don’t particularly like football themselves.

How do you get to know your characters?
I’ve learned a huge time-saving and story-crafting trick from Susan May Warren and the gang over at My Book Therapy. While I generally have an idea about physical traits and a profession for my characters, I don’t really get to know them until I’ve figured out that dark moment in their past that left them wounded and believing a lie about either themselves, the world, or God. While their goal is to avoid repeating that pain, the story’s black moment will re-open the wound and the truth they eventually embrace will bring healing. So, I ask them “Why?” over and over until I reach the heart of the story and uncover their motivation. Of course, I also find a picture of each of the characters and hang them over my computer when I’m writing the first draft.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
Right now my goal is to create three days a week while my special needs daughter is away at her transition program. Sometimes I set up camp in my home office, but other days I take my Alpha Smart to a comfortable chair, park, or the library to just pound out words as fast as I can. Then, I edit and revise what I’ve written on other days or in the afternoons because when I’m interrupted it’s easier to jump in and out of editing mode than the creative fog. All the marketing and social media pieces get fit in around the edges.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I’m generally a plotter. Before I invest hours writing, I make sure I have a solid structure, character sketches, and have divided out the essential scenes into a rough sequence of chapters. I often start with index cards on a grid-marked posterboard but soon transition into Scrivener where I can keep track of the pivotal scenes, dialogue snippets, research facts, and other ideas that have been percolating for months waiting for this story’s turn. Once I’ve filled in the gaps enough to know the story will work, I turn into a “planster” during the first draft. My characters always surprise me with theme elements to take deeper or twists in the plot so I’ve learned to run with the small detours as long as the basic structure stays strong.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
My faith is such an integral part of who I am that it can’t help but affect my writing. I try to create an honest picture of Christian characters struggling with real issues in life, and yet show hope because God is right there with us through the trials. I also try to weave in some aspect of God’s character. For instance, in Catch of a Lifetime, I focused in on how God examines the heart while mankind only sees the outside appearance.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m plotting the sequel to my next contracted novel that is set in a dinner theater. This heroine is an outside-the-box, anti-rules rebel actress, photographer, creative type person who’s about to discover there is amazing freedom inside God’s plan once she gets her eyes off the religious rules and onto a loving relationship with God. Of course, the rugged hero plays a big part in opening her eyes to the possibility that she tried to fit God into too small of a box.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice is to be patient. Be willing to invest the time learning the craft, reading, writing, practicing, and taking baby steps as you build a solid foundation for a writing career. Self-publishing avenues make it easy to get a book out there, but you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Guard that first book by making it the best it can be. Then work to make the second book even better.

About Catch of a Lifetime

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Watch a video

Purchase Catch of a Lifetime on Amazon

Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Learn more about Candee on her web site
Visit her on Facebook