Gail's Book Nook

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Looking In The Window: Breaking Barriers, Book Number Eight in Prism Book Group's Love Is...Series

I don't usually blog about my books, but this one is part of a special series, Prism Book Group's Love Is...Series.

From Prism Book Group
A blog about Breaking Barriers

When I was in college I used to run into an atheist in the small cafe where we gathered for Coca-Colas, hamburgers and French fries after class. I tried to avoid him, because he always hopped over to my table and started an argument about my faith.

Perhaps he comes to mind on the release day of Breaking Barriers for several reasons. One, he was angry at me because I am a Christian. Even though today I can’t recall which verses he used, he’d take passages from the Bible and try to make me say they weren’t true. When I wouldn’t, he’d retort with a scientific argument and claim it had to be right.

The second reason he comes to mind—it was the mention of God’s love that finally silenced him. One day I grew so frustrated I asked, “If there’s no God, where does love come from? Why don’t you mix me up a little bowl of it? If scientists could do it, they would, because they could sell a ton of it for lots of money.”

His mouth gaped.

He never trotted to my table again.

Since then I’ve read that we have chemicals in the brain that produce love. I’ve often wondered if he came up with that theory. Even if that were true, the chemicals in the brain came from somewhere, and that would still lead back to God. I hope it wasn’t him. I hope he thought about God’s great love for us and decided to read the Bible.

 Check out Gail’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

Breaking Barriers

“…love is not easily angered …” 1 Corinthians: 13:5

Gunshots ring out as Ann Jones enters the church. She hides in the bathroom until they stop, then stumbles into the sanctuary. The congregation lies dead in pools of blood. To rebuild the church, she starts True Light Guardians. At the first meeting, she's attacked by a terrorist, but rescued by James Crawford. He melts her heart, cold from her father's abuse, and they fall for each other. She's afraid to commit to love that might grow angry later, like the type she knew as a child. James yearns to stop other attempts on Ann's life, but can't. Tormented by her constant risks, he breaks up with her. When an assault sends her to the hospital, an unlikely ally shares Ann's plight with James, but he reveals a lead that puts all three of them in even more danger.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Winner of A Message In A Bottle

Hats, Horns...


A winner's name has been drawn from comments below


The Winner Is...

Congratulations, Joyce!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Award-winning, Best-selling Author Beth Wiseman Talks About A Message in a Bottle, Her New Surf's Up Novella. Gives Away a Copy

A Warm Welcome to Beth Wiseman
Beth will give away EITHER an e-book OR a print copy (U.S. only) of Message In A Bottle. Winner's choice. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Beth, first, tell us a little about yourself. 

My husband and I are empty nesters living in South Central Texas. We wake up in the country to our rooster crowing, and we listen to the coyotes howling at dusk. As much as we love where we live, we have monthly discussions about selling everything and hitting the road in our RV. I suspect we will do that some day, even if just for a while. I’m blessed to be able to write for a living, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.   

Tell us about your latest book.

Each ‘Surf’s Up’ novella takes the reader to a beach locale, weaving romance and adventure into a soul-soothing journey of hope. In Message In A Bottle, Kyle loses the love of his life when girlfriend, Morgan, is whisked away by the CIA in the middle of the night. Almost six years later, two men show up at Kyle's door with news that he has a daughter who is ill. Her only chance of survival lies with Kyle, if he'll fly to an undisclosed island location in the Pacific. But reuniting with his first love and saving his daughter places his engagement to his fiancée, Lexie, at risk.

This is a love story, but not just love between a man and a woman. My books tend to be character driven, and I like to explore relationships between friends, parents, and siblings also, while subtly showing the way God works in our life. In Message In A Bottle, it almost seems like there can’t possibly be a good ending, one where everybody wins. But God has a plan for these characters, and sometimes the journey isn’t what we expect, but the destination is all in God’s good plan.  

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

I love the beach, romance, mystery, and humor. Most of my books will have all of these elements. And I particularly like the locale of this story. I’d hate to give any spoilers, but . . . Aloha!   I hope readers will tell others, “It’s a love triangle with a seemingly impossible good ending, but the author does give readers a happily ever after.” And when someone picks up one of my books, I think they expect that.

How do you get to know your characters?

Writers are like crazy people, I reckon. We hear voices, even when we’d prefer not to. But there is no Mute button when the characters demand to tell their story, so over the years I’ve just accepted things on my characters’ timeframe. They reveal themselves to me a little at a time, and I get to know them as I go along. It’s like a real-life friendship. We don’t get to know a person in one day. It takes time to bond and grow into a relationship. That’s how it is with my characters, and by the end of the book, the people in my stories are real to me. I hope readers will feel that way too.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

My faith affects everything I do, including my writing. I usually don’t know the spiritual journey God has in mind when I start writing, but I always hope and pray that my books will find those who need the message the most. The surprising thing about writing inspirational fiction is that I am always ministering to myself. The message is usually for me. I think of it as a gift from God that He encourages me to share with others. 

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m working on book #3 in the Amish Secrets series. This book (not yet titled) will follow Her Brother’s Keeper and Love Bears All Things (releasing in October). I love being able to alternate between Amish stories and these beach romances like Message In A Bottle.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

This is either the best possible time to be a writer, or the worst, depending on who you ask. As traditional publishing merges with Indie publishing, there is a hodgepodge of opportunities available for writers. But my advice to aspiring writers would be to write the very best book you can. God will provide for the rest. A book is around forever. You’ll be long gone when people are still reading your books, so make it the best that it can be.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I like to talk and I like to eat, so it would be a toss-up between talk show host and chef. Oh! Maybe a talk show about food, lol!

That works. What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

It’s odd because I’m a risk-taker when it comes to anything that keeps my feet on the ground and doesn’t require any type of life or death defiance. But you won’t ever catch this gal jumping out of a plane, attempting to climb the highest mountain, scuba diving, or even getting on my own roof. So, my risk taking comes in an emotional or business way. For example, I’ll risk my heart getting broken if I feel that the fight is worth it. I’ll try something new in business that others might think will fail. I’ve done a lot of whacky things, etc. Can I opt to not to share those publically, lol? Although, here is a fun one that’s writing related: After my first book signing, I had a slumber party. Envision a group of middle-aged women doing all the things that slumber parties entail. We went on a scavenger hunt in our PJs, and we TP wrapped houses. I’ll stop there to protect the privacy of the other crazy ladies who were with me, lol.

Sounds like fun! What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?

Well, I’ve certainly embarrassed myself plenty of times, but here’s another writing related recollection. Some of your blog readers might know Allen Arnold, former VP and Publisher for Thomas Nelson (now HarperCollins Christian Fiction). Allen and I were all dressed in our pretty clothes following the ACFW Carol Awards gala a few years ago. As we discussed a new book contract for me, I suppose I was talking with my hands too much. Poor Allen hadn’t even taken a sip of his drink when I spilled it in his lap. It was icy cold too! I was still pretty early into my career with Thomas Nelson and still nervous around Allen. I was hoping that the floor would open up and swallow me.

I knew Allen liked hot sauce, so when I got home, I sent him a bottle of my husband’s favorite hot sauce with a note—Here’s a little something hot to make up for the something cold that I dumped in your lap. His response—Thank you so much for the hot sauce. But this in no way makes up for what happened. You will never live this down! And I haven’t. The topic continues to be brought up in writing circles everywhere. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m grateful. Sometimes I get whiny about deadlines, the pressure, and the process.  I have to remind myself that I’m doing what I love, that God gifted me with the opportunity to comingle my words with His through story. I don’t want to ever take that for granted. 

And thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. Blessings for a great rest of the year!

Having you was my pleasure!

About Message In A Bottle

One man. Two women. A child desperate for medical treatment. How can Kyle choose between the woman he once loved and his current fiancée? Is there a solution that suits all involved, or will someone end up out of the triangle forever?  

Morgan Calhoun and her parents are whisked away in the middle of the night, something Morgan always knew was a possibility because of her father's CIA job. But she'd always thought if such a scenario played out that she would have time to say goodbye to those she loved—particularly her boyfriend, Kyle. Adding to her unbearable situation, several weeks after the move, Morgan finds out that she's pregnant.

Kyle Brossmann doesn't even get a break-up letter from Morgan. She's just gone, along with her parents. His heart broken, Kyle continues with his plans. He graduates from high school and attends college, where he meets his fiancée, Lexie. But two men visit Kyle and encourage him to travel to an undisclosed location, where he will meet his five-year-old daughter. Rocked by the news that he has a child, Kyle learns he is the only person who might be able to save his daughter's life.
Will Kyle choose his first love and his daughter? Or will he stay with Lexie and live the life they’ve been planning?

Each Surf’s Up novella takes the reader to a beach locale, weaving romance and adventure into a soul-soothing journey of hope.  


Beth Wiseman is best known for her Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan Amish series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple bestseller lists, and she has been the recipient of many prestigious literary awards. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2019, and she has published fourteen novels and sixteen novellas to date.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas including Christian contemporary romance novels and novellas.  Need You Now, The House that Love Built, The Promise and A Tide Worth Turning are some of these recent releases. 

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, Beth loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth and her books at her website Beth Wiseman.comFans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers, and on twitter

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Winner of Hearts Tightly Knit

Got a little help from hubby drawing a name on this one...

He drew...

Hats, Horns...

Congratulations, Connie!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Jodie Wolfe Talks about Her New Book, Hearts Tightly Knit

A Warm Welcome to Jodie Wolfe

Jodie will give away a print copy of Hearts Tightly Knit. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Jodie, first, tell us a little about yourself.

I've been married for close to 29 years to the love of my life. We have two sons and two granddaughters, and another girl on the way.

Congratulations! Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what were your favorite books?

I loved to read as a child and most often had a book in my hands. I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series, Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and a slew of other titles I can't remember. 

Let's talk about your writing. What motivates you to do it?

I write because it's something God called me to do. Writing is a part of who I am and how God made me.

Tell us about your latest book.
Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never marry. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin's Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children's Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she's hardly tempted, despite his good looks.

Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman.

Buy Hearts Tightly Knit here

What inspired you to write this particular book?

I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated with twins—maybe because I only had brothers growing up. Once I decided to have a story with twin sisters, I brainstormed and came up with what they would do if they made a childhood vow to always stay together…what would cause one of them to question the promise?

Interesting. Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?

Faith is an integral part of my writing. It's woven into each of my stories.

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on the sequel to Hearts Tightly Knit. Love in the Seams will tell Mae's tale and how she finds love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Pray about your writing and seek others to join you in praying too. Don't be afraid to step out in faith and do what He has called you to do. Don't give up when things look impossible and you face rejections. Trust Him and His timing.

That's great advice. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

When I'm not writing, I'm often researching. I also love to walk, read, and spend time with my husband. 

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)

Ellie Stafford cooks for the Good Fixin's Diner. One of her specialties is fried steak. The recipe comes from her mother's recipe book (The Improved Housewife, or Book of Receipts; with Engravings for Marketing and Carving by Mrs. A. L. Webster -1855).

What a treasure to have that recipe book. Thanks for sharing with us.

Ellie Stafford's Fried Steak

Such pieces as are good for broiling, are also good for frying.
Brown a few pieces of salt pork; take them up; put in your beef; when brown on both sides, take it up and remove the pan to let the fat cool. When cool, pour in four spoonfuls of water; mix two teaspoonfuls of flour with a little water; mix it with the fat; replace the pan on the fire; stir it till it boils up; pour it over the beef.
Connect with Jodie on her web site
and on Facebook