Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Zoe McCarthy Talks About The Putting Green Whisperer, Her New Book. Gives Away A Kindle Copy Of One Of Her Other Books.








A Warm Welcome to Zoe McCarthy

Zoe will give away a Kindle copy of either The Invisible Woman in the Red Dress, Calculated Risk or Gift of the Magpie. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below. 








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

My passions are being creative, being analytical, and writing stories. I earned a BA in mathematics and became an actuary for twenty-five years. I grew up a Coast Guard brat. From ages seven through ten, I lived in Haiti during the rise of Papa Doc. When I was a teen, home was Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. I was there during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

During a summer break from the University of South Florida, I lived in Thailand while the Vietnam war raged. Since my early forties, I’ve loved the Lord, and have taught adult Bible studies and was a BSF children’s leader. Now, I teach the Community Bible Study. I live with my husband on a hill in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We enjoy exploring the mountains and valleys and canoeing the New River. I have two sons and 6 grandchildren.

It sounds as though your past has given you some interesting book fodder. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

I was not an avid reader as a child. As a teen, I read Crime and Punishment twice, but it was during my twenties that I discovered the joy of reading novels. I worked in a library between the births of my sons and copied a patron’s children’s reading list. I read the books I’d missed reading as a child. Although I didn’t start out as a reader as a child, I’ve always written stories in my mind and on paper.

Tell us about your latest book.

As a teen, Allie Masterson experienced two tragedies. Her mother died and her pro-golfer father, in his inability to handle his grief and guilt, pawned her off to her aunt. Allie has stockpiled defenses around her to prevent opening old wounds or incurring new injuries. She immerses herself in golf, something she’s good at and something that doesn’t let her down.

Allie is watchful of others’ motives and relies on herself. But all this changes when she and fellow caddy Shoo Leonard become best friends, a relationship she wishes was something more.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

John and I joined my sister and my brother-in-law at a PGA seniors golf tournament at Rock Barn Country Club and Spa in Conover, NC. My sister and I sat on the fifteenth green and watched the over-age-fifty golfers putt and move on to the next tee. In one group, a male and a female caddy stood side by side on the edge of the green with their backs to us.

The two young caddies talked quietly while their players prepared to putt. He was tall, and she was petite with her blond ponytail protruding from her pink ball cap. My heart experienced a sappy moment, and romantic what-ifs cluttered my mind. I turned to my sister, pointed at the caddies, and said, “My next book will be about those two caddies.”

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

Her father being a pro golfer, her love for the sport, and her caddying job associates Allie with males. I enjoy that guys are romantically drawn to Allie, except Shoo, the caddy destined for pro golf and the one she is painfully in love with. Shoo is content to be Allie’s best friend. I like the social play between the guys and feisty but loyal Allie. Although the book has a golf background, I hope readers will tell others that the book is humorous, tender, and full of relationships for Allie’s growth, such as with her father, her stepmother, Shoo, the other caddies, Shoo’s family, and Jesus.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. 

Readers, I’d like you to meet Allie Masterson. Allie would you share with us what you want to accomplish physically?

Sure. I’m glad Dad asked me to caddy for him on the PGA Seniors Tour, but when that ends, I want to teach kids in a good golf program. Some problems have come up, and I might have to research youth golf programs sooner than I thought.

What do you think about your fellow caddy Shoo Leonard?

Man, I was afraid you’d ask me that. The great thing about Shoo is he has this unbelievable gift to read the greens. Guys who listen to his directions sink their putts. I misjudged Shoo at first because of our past history when we were kids, but now I’ll do anything to help him make it into the PGA. We’re fist-bumping buddies. And that’s a huge problem.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Humor. Tenderness. Relationships.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

When we moved from Richmond, Virginia to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I planned to write full-time. My supportive husband, gave me permission to design my office in the house plans.

It’s upstairs with three large picture windows across one side that look out over fields and mountains. My office has three writing stations, a table, a desk, and a recliner. I work five days a week (and an occasional Saturday), writing, developing writing workshops, and performing the tasks that come with a writing platform and marketing. I work in my office from nine to six, when my husband calls “I need a sous chef!” My husband has recently become my marketing manager and CFO.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I use the Hero’s Journey to plot all the stages of my hero and heroine’s journey, then I write the story by the seat of my pants.

What are you working on right now?

I'm well into completing Book 2 of the Twisty Creek series for which The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress is Book 1. Both stories take place in Twisty Creek, a fictional spot in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Also, I'm working on a novella for a 2019 Valentine Day's collection, which will host five authors’ Valentine’s Day romances. My nonfiction book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is coming out soon, and I’m preparing to promote that book.

                                                                       


More about The Putting Green Whisperer

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer...and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

Excerpt

What was that all about? Shoo stared at the retreating caddy, whose blonde ponytail protruding from the back of her golf cap danced wildly as she hurried off. He craned his neck to keep her in sight as she wove through the caddies on the cart path. Approaching him, she’d seemed like a girl on a mission. Her striking blue eyes, bright against her tanned skin, had focused on him, as if she’d rediscovered an old friend. No doubt about it, her smile had beamed at him. Then, bam! She’d done an about-face and slammed into the check-in table.

But he didn’t know her. Did he? He mentally scanned his female acquaintances. No match surfaced. Unlikely he’d have forgotten the petite blonde.

Buy The Putting Green Whisperer on Amazon



About The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress

Candace Parks's high school crush, star football player and prom king Trigg Alderman, is in Twisty Creek visiting his grandmother who lives next door to Candace’s family home. He doesn’t recognize her at first and remembers little about her. He’s not alone.
Candace’s rekindled attraction to Trigg adds unexpected complications to finding her passions.
Sorting her life out? How about nothing of the sort.



About Gift of the Magpie

After ten years, Amanda Larrowe's heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.



About Calculated Risk

Nick LeCrone is a man too much Cisney Baldwin's opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her  overbearing father's "list." Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.
                  
Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he's stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she's his perfect match. He'll do what he can to keep his distance, but there's just one problem--he's starting to believe Cisney's magnetism is stronger than he can resist.


Bio:

A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She is the author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. Zoe and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Connect with Zoe on her website and blog


Monday, September 10, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Pelican Book Group Sponsors Christian Bonanza. Barely Above Water And Thirty-Nine Other Books On Sale For .99





Check out Pelican Book Group's Bonanza and Giveaway! Barely Above Water and thirty-nine other books are only .99 cents. Then there are $400.00 worth of prizes. There's no purchase necessary to enter the giveaway. Stop by to enter and browse the Christian books at My Book Cave

In Barely Above Water, a Reader's Favorite 2017 Book Award Winner, a young woman's stricken with a mysterious illness



About Barely Above Water

An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?


What reader's are saying

Suzie Morris leaves behind a great job and the man she loved in North Carolina to become a kids’ swim coach in Florida. There is a doctor there who may finally be able to cure her of the mysterious disease that has ravaged her body. But in Gail Pallotta’s touching contemporary romance novel, Barely Above Water, Suzie’s search for physical healing leads her to discover something she didn’t expect. The kind of love that can also heal her wounded soul. Nancy Mehl - award winning author of the Finding Sanctuary series.

The main theme in Gail Pallotta's Barely Above Water is "overcoming incredible odds." Readers will find themselves rooting for characters who face illness, unemployment, and heartbreak. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy this story about trust and faith! (Loree Lough, bestselling author of more than 100 award-winning books, including RT 4.5-star Top Pick, Saving Alyssa [Harlequin Heartwarming].)

Gail Pallotta introduces us to a world with options when it comes to taking care of our bodies. She speaks with authority on the subject because she understands it first hand. Gail Pallotta's characters are real and convincing because they come from a place of understanding. Gail's love story is fragile and tender, but with an inner strength that comes from trust and faith in God. Gail Pallotta's story is inspiring and resonates with hope when all hope seems to be gone. A lovely story with well defined and well developed characters, and a story line with factual information that will help, or at least educate, readers.” Deborah Stone, Reader's Favorite Book Reviews

Buy for .99 in the Pelican Book Groups Bonanza from now through September 20.




Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Writing From The Trenches, A New Book On Writing Techniques By Those Who've Been There




Ten Authors Provide Experience and Expertise On Writing

They've been on the front lines of publishing and lived to teach about it in Writing from the Trenches

A Warm Welcome To 

 Connie Almony, Lynnette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Louise Gouge, Michelle Griep, Julie Lessman, Elizabeth Ludwig, Ane Mulligan, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch.

How Writing from the Trenches was Born

By MaryLu Tyndall

Who in their right mind would attempt to create a writing instruction book with nine other authors? It’s hard enough to co-write anything with two different personalities. But nine? Especially because most authors—well, how do I put this gently?—we are an eccentric bunch. It goes with the creative territory, I suppose. We all tend to hear voices in our heads, and most of the time we aren’t even present in this world, but drifting in another time and place, constantly creating worlds and characters in our minds. Try to corral ten people like that and get them to focus on a single task!  Honestly, I don’t know what came over me.

The truth is, I’ve read many writing instruction books over the years from many different authors, and I’ve learned a great deal. But I noticed that everyone’s advice, style, and instruction was different. Sometimes they even contradicted each other. So, I thought, why not get a bunch of fabulous authors together to give their own advice on a variety of writing topics and put it in one book? A one-stop shop for the best advice out there on writing!

Hence, Writing From the Trenches was born. Then, to gather the authors, which ended up being much like gathering and leading cats, I might add. I wanted to get a variety of authors—some successfully published in the traditional market, some who’d made a success as Independent authors, some who did both, some with name-recognition, some without a whole lot, but ALL great writers who had won awards or been on best-selling lists. Those were my criteria, so I went about sending out recruitment emails!  Surprisingly nearly everyone I contacted was excited to be a part of this book.

Working with nine other people is never easy, but I was fairly surprised at how great this group got along, how quickly we came up with the topics we wanted to cover and who wanted to write which ones. We divided up the tasks we needed to accomplish—writing, editing, formatting, printing, cover design, marketing, etc—and then set a timeline. I have to say, everyone has been wonderful to work with, everyone got their chapters done on time, and everyone is contributing to the final product. Truly a miracle has occurred!

Since I was the one pulling all the chapters together and creating the book, I had the privilege of seeing how it was all coming together through the entire process, and the more I saw, the more excited I became. This book is like no other writing book out there. Nowhere can you get ten different authors’ advice on how to write a best-selling novel. No other book provides you with ten different perspectives on the best way to plot or what marketing techniques work the best. We start the book with plotting your novel and end up with marketing, including a section on whether to traditionally publish or go Indie. Each chapter is written by an author who is an expert in that particular area. This is a rare jewel in the writing instruction treasure chest, and not one to be missed by any writer serious about taking their writing to the next level!




About Writing from the Trenches

TEN-HUT! Gear up for your writing with tried-and-true tips from the trenches. Ten award-winning authors share invaluable tips and secrets they’ve gleaned the hard way, offering a broad range of insights and opinions on the best way to tackle subjects such as the following:

Plotting Techniques
Research
Characterization
Villains We Love to Hate
Dynamic Dialogue
Sigh-Worthy Heroes
The Right Heroine for the Job
Hooking Your Reader in the First Chapter
Scene Endings to Lead Your Readers On
Creating a Movie Set
Making your Readers Cry
Deep POV
Copyediting your Manuscript
Indie Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing
Marketing for Those Who Hate Marketing

Buy Writing from the Trenches on Amazon


Saturday, September 1, 2018

The American Christian Fiction Writers' September New Releases



More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:


A Baby for the Minister by Laurel Blount -- Jilted at the altar, Natalie Davis has no one she can turn to—until Jacob Stone steps in. The single minister’s drawn to the beautiful mommy-to-be and wants to help…even if it goes against his congregation’s wishes and could cost him his job. But when she refuses to accept charity, can he convince her she’s more than a ministry project? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Courting Her Secret Heart by Mary Davis -- Deborah Miller lives a double life as an Amish woman—and a fashion model! All photography is forbidden in her Plain community, so she must keep her job a secret. But when Amos Burkholder starts helping at her family’s farm, hiding the truth from him is impossible. And soon she must choose between the Englischer world of modeling and the Amish man she’s come to love. (Contemporary Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



12 Gifts of Christmas by Lena Nelson Dooley -- Can Malcolm MacGregor, a contemporary descendant of Scottish lairds, capture the heart of Brazilian-Italian beauty, Alanza Cantalamessa, in 12 days? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)



All Made Up by Kara Isaac -- Katriona McLeod has never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she's ever loved. When she accepts a job as a make up artist on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she's cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



An Amish Holiday Wedding by Carrie Lighte -- On the brink of losing her bakery, the last thing Faith Yoder’s interested in is courting—until Hunter Schwartz returns to Willow Creek. After hiring him to deliver her treats to a Christmas festival, Faith’s determined their relationship will stay strictly professional. But despite a secret that’s kept her single, Faith can’t help but wish she and Hunter could become husband and wife. (Contemporary Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:


Deadly Holiday by Marissa Shrock -- The Christmas season greets Georgia Winston with a new boyfriend (maybe), a Christmas program to run, and a man dying at her feet. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction

From the Lake to the River by JPC Allen, Bettie Boswell, Carole Brown, Sandra Merville Hart, Tamera Lynn Kraft, Sharyn Kopf, Michelle Levigne, Cindy Thomson, and Rebecca Waters -- Set in Ohio, in the past and present, these nine short stories and novellas by Ohio authors cover a wide range of genres, topics and locations. From Troy in the west to the North Coast and south-central Ohio. From Lake Erie to the Ohio River. From romance to YA adventure, with touches of mystery and humor. Dealing with historical events and situations, such as floods and the lasting effects of the Civil War. With characters involved in square dancing, theater, and music. Dealing with loss and danger, a second chance at love and taking a chance on love for the first time. Chances are good, no matter what you have a taste for reading, you'll find something to like. Welcome to a taste of the Buckeye State! (General Contemporary from Mt Zion Ridge Press)



Place Called Home by Brenda S. Anderson -- While building his graphic design company, Nate Brooks is focused on the future he's dreamed of: traveling around the country from the comfort of his renovated school bus. But when he picks up a wounded, mysterious hitchhiker, those well-laid plans take a backseat to protecting her. Hobbled by her injury, and unable to keep running from her controlling ex, Tessa fears she'll never find freedom. Or has she found it with the family who graciously opens their home to her? And will Nate's protection put his family--and his heart--at risk? (Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)


Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson -- Jillian Connors has big expectations for her teenage daughter, Gabby, an Olympic hopeful---until Gabby becomes pregnant with her boyfriend Travis's child. Meanwhile, Margaret Owens is furious that Gabby's condition jeopardizes her son's baseball scholarship. In the midst of the family drama lies the fate of the unborn baby. What does the future hold for him? (General Contemporary from Kregel Publications)

Historical:



Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson -- A gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted the evils of the Hitler regime in their own extraordinary way. (Historical from Tyndale House)



Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick -- A Victorian woman who traveled 15,000 miles by stage between 1870-98 decides to tell the story behind her memoir believing her husband will never see it. (Historical from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)



Enya’s Son by Cindy Thomson -- This retelling of the early life of St. Columcille and his mother will usher readers on a fateful journey through ancient Ireland’s monastic centers, her wild coastline islands, and the land Columcille believed was filled with holy angels, a place where he felt safe … yet was destined to abandon. (Historical, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:



Victorian Christmas Brides by C.J. Chase, Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Vanessa Riley, Lorna Seilstads, and Erica Vetsch -- Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




Esther’s Temptation by Lena Nelson Dooley -- Saddle weary, former deputy US Marshal Jac Andrews rides into Denton, Texas hunting a swindler-and-daughter criminal team and finally feels he’s caught up to them. Unfortunately, he becomes distracted by the lovely redhead, Esther Brians. Esther, feeling like an old maid surrounded by all her close friends who are happy married couples, is drawn to the intense gaze, blue as the Texas sky, of an unknown cowboy. But several things cause her to become wary of his intentions—and his spiritual well-being. Has this unsaved lawman captured Esther’s heart or will the Lord deliver her from the temptation of Jac’s presence? What will it take for Jac to win this lovely lady and become Esther’s husband? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)



The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler -- Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents' insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother's name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother's place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation? (Historical Romance from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Romantic Suspense:



Loving the Texas Negotiator by Mary Connealy -- Beth Garrison is the top hostage negotiator in Rocky Ridge Texas. She's called in to a task force to investigate a killing that is a copy cat of her first bust as a rookie cop. The Valentine Killer.

Tate McCade, with the best arrest record on the force and a reputation for steamrolling anyone who gets in his way, heads the task force. He's had a run-in with Beth and her oversized ego. He's got a bruise on his face to prove it. Rather than have the pleasure of busting her back to walking a beat, he has to work with her. And the clock is ticking because there's a woman and child missing and nothing about the crime adds up. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Speculative:


Guardian of Ajalon by Joan Campbell -- The poison tree path is Shara’s road home. . .if she and her companions can survive the journey. In the danger and darkness of the forest, her only respite is in the story unlocked in the Old Tongue book. In this vivid world, Shara finally discovers what she has longed for all her life: the key to the secrets of her past. Yet time is running out for Shara—and all of Tirragyl—as Lord Lucian, King Alexor, and the royal army attack the Guardian Grotto to claim the powerful Guardian Rock. Unwilling to sit idly by as her kingdom is destroyed, Queen Nyla leaves her hiding place to recruit a most unlikely army—the Charab. But how can she win over the infamous assassins who have been oppressed by her family for generations? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

The Winner of Hosea's Heart



Hats...

Horns...

Congratulations, Sonja!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Linda Rondeau Talks About Her New Book, Hosea's Heart, Shares A Devotional, Gives Away An E-book





A Warm Welcome to Linda Rondeau

Linda will give away an e-book of Hosea's Heart. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below

Linda Shares a Devotional based on a passage from Hosea

Hosea Chapter 12 talks about Jacob's journey, how God called him and blessed him though he'd been a deceiver, how he wrestled with the angel until he submitted.

Jacob's family was riddled with strife. With two wives, sisters who obviously had serious jealousy issues, and two concubines who squabbled as well, and twelve sons who fought continuously. So fierce was there jealousy, they plotted to murder their little brother. Joseph's story is familiar. God used the dysfunction of a family to save a nation. Family rife is as old as Cain and Abel and sometimes with just as serious consequences.

In Hosea’s Heart, my main character, Aubrey Beaumont, worried for his children because of his addicted wife’s choices. Darlene became an overachiever, Paul excelled in golf and sought acceptance in sports, Bradley went into counseling services perhaps in some way to make sense of his life without a mother. The choices of parents can have far-reaching impact on children. I believe God is able to reach beyond a family's dysfunction and weave threads of gold from burnt cotton.

Thanks Linda, tell us a little about yourself.

Once I answered this questions with, “I was born in the usual way,” to which my interviewer became greatly worried. Was I a test tube baby? No. I merely mean that my birth and childhood were nothing out of the ordinary. I participated in choir and sports as do most children. I attended Houghton College. Then my life took a turn from ordinary to not so ordinary. My first marriage ended in disaster and I became a single mom. Though I’d studied to be a teacher, I ended up doing human services work. I remarried and that marriage has lasted over forty years. I believe God has used the messes in my life to be a better social worker and to encourage those whose lives may not have been the stuff of fairy tales.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you do it?

Like most authors, I have always loved the art of storytelling. As an older elementary child, I often regaled younger children with my version of fairy tales and other made-up stories. Imagination was my middle name, according to my mother. In my work career, I particularly used my writing skills for client social summaries and case reports. At the ripe age of 54, God visited me with an undeniable call to begin writing professionally. I quit my day job. I don’t recommend anyone do that unless you are positive you have been asked by God to do so. I write to show others that, though we’ve made poor choices, our worst past, with God’s intervention, can become our best future.

Tell us about your latest book

Hosea’s Heart took many years to see daylight. This was my first attempt at fiction and had gone through many rewrites and title changes before landing with Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Hosea’s Heart probably best portrays my mission of helping others to find Grace despite poor choices.
What inspired you to write this particular book?

The story of Hosea and Gomer is symbolic of God’s unconditional love for Israel as well as for us today. I wanted to bring their story into our current culture and demonstrate, though we must suffer consequences of our poor choices, God stands ready to turn our brokenness into beauty.

Are you a plotter or a panster. 

My writing process is both. I allow myself “free stream of consciousness” throughout most of my first draft, though I generally know my beginning, middle, and end before I start. I also know my message, target audience, and what style and presentation, I will use before I begin. When I do my first revisions, I make sure that my plot flows smoothly and in a logical progression.

How does your faith affect your writing?

In addition to fiction, I also write a devotional for my own blog, Snark and Sensibility, (found on my website and on Blogger). I cannot write gratuitous love scenes or formulaic stories. Not that there is anything wrong with that approach. However, my stories are written to impact those who are searching for answers rather than pure entertainment.


Linda's father plays the guitar for his little actress in the making

Do you put yourself in your books? 

That depends on what you mean, “yourself.” Like all authors, I draw on my personal experiences and emotional lessons learned and infuse them into my stories. A Wonderful Love, formerly known as It Really IS a Wonderful Life, was strongly influenced by years in Community Theater and a move into the tundra of Northern New York. The Other Side of Darkness draws heavily on my impressions of the Adirondack Mountains, where I spent many years. A Father’s Prayer, (aka A Christmas Prayer) was heavily influenced by both my social work experience and our caretaking experience of an autistic grandchild. Miracle on Maple Street was inspired by my relationship with a dear cousin. Though we never became estranged as in my story, years and distance drew us apart. Fiddler’s Fling was influenced by my love of music. Hosea’s Heart was greatly influenced by my years in human services.



Linda plays Sister Hubert in Nunsense

What would you be doing if you didn’t write?

I spent many years in Community Theater. If I did not write I would probably be more involved in this activity. Perhaps one of my fondest memories is my role as Sister Hubert in Nunsense. I have played many roles: a cigar-smoking elderly mystery writer, M’Lynn from Steal Magnolias, the mother in Under the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, just to name a few.

Tell us about Aubrey Beaumont.

As if a call from God, Aubrey Beaumont knew he’d marry Joanna Curtis even before he walked across the room to introduce himself and even though she carried another man’s child. Their marriage had a few good years following her frequent rehabs. He loved her despite her addiction problems. He understood, that, though misguided, Joanna fled to protect her children from herself, realizing how harmful her addiction was to her family. Aubrey completed his ministerial studies after Joanna left him, but he never gave up his search for her, his driving passion behind his ministry. He takes a pastorate at a Silver Spring church after his friend and private detective told him she might have returned to Washington, D.C. where she was the daughter of a prominent politician but had lived in DC’s underground drug culture. After fifteen years, he feels that perhaps he should give up the search, realizing that Joanna simply did not want to be found. However, out of the blue, she contacts him. Terminally ill, she has become a material witness against her lover, a notorious D.C. drug lord. Aubrey’s faith is challenged as he struggles to forgive Joanna and is faced with the reality and enormity of her unfaithfulness. Like the prophet of old, God uses Aubrey’s struggles with an unfaithful wife to demonstrate the Lord’s compassion and great love for a world that scorns him.





More about Hosea's Heart 

How much should a wronged husband forgive?
Isn’t fifteen years long enough to search for a drug-addicted, runaway wife? His best friend, a private detective, tells him Joanna doesn’t want to be found. Since meeting the alluring Cynthia Prescott, he considers Gregg’s advice—get a divorce and move on.

A respectable minister of a Silver Spring church, Aubrey’s conundrum intensifies with Joanna’s reappearance. Claiming to be a new Christian, she confesses her life as a Madam for Washington’s rich and powerful and her plans to accept a plea bargain in exchange for testimony against Drug Czar, Joey Juarez, her former lover. She seeks Aubrey’s forgiveness.

 How can he believe her sincerity? Is all this brought about because of her terminal illness? What does God require? He could possibly forgive Joanna’s drug addiction. How can he overlook her prostitution and liaison with a murderous cartel? Should he love her like Hosea of Old who rescued his unfaithful wife from the bowels of degradation? And why would God bring her back to him now, only to watch her die?

Joanna accepts her probable end—her salvation and reunion with Aubrey is Grace enough. Yet, she prays for purpose in these final days. Is complete reconciliation with her family even possible? Or does God intend for her to help put a Washington menace behind bars? 

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will lead them into unimagined territory as they crisscross through Washington’s underworld, testing faith and friendships. Only in retrospect will they realize God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.

Buy Hosea's Heart on Amazon

Watch a trailer and learn more about Linda on her Website

Bio:

God is able to turn our worst past into our best future. This is the theme of every Rondeau book. A veteran social worker, Rondeau delves into the intricacies of human relationships, earning her critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her best friend in life, her husband of forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website: www.lindarondeau.com.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Dave Arp Talks About Me and Jake. Gives Away A Print Copy




A Warm Welcome to Dave Arp

Dave will give away a print copy of Me and Jake. (U.S. residents only) To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Dave, first, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m 60, married for 32 years, and I have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. I’ve spent the last 40 years working an equal time-on/off schedule, drilling oil and gas wells all over the world. When you hear someone say, “It’s on a slow boat from China,” I’ve been on one. Four years ago my relief and I moved a semi-submersible rig from Shanghai, China, to the Gulf of Mexico, 15,300 miles, in six months, on one tank of diesel fuel—4 million gallons.

Wow! What an exciting career. Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

I survived through 12 years of informal education, and graduated, without reading a book. Not one. Not until a friend introduced me to Louis L’Amour after I graduated high school did I develop a love for reading. Since then, I’ve read thousands, fiction and nonfiction.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you do it?

I began writing while living and working in Saudi Arabia, in my spare time, when rig activities allowed, and I discovered two things about myself: I loved to write and could not spell. I began doing crossword puzzles and acquired a dictionary. I kept writing. I love it. I still do.

Tell us about your latest book.

Me and Jake is a story about twin brothers, Ty and Cameron Ray, and their coonhound, Jake. The boys are 14 and normal enough for boys growing up in rural Arkansas, except for their family life. Their father was abusive. What seems to the boys like a string of coincidences, events and people popping in and out of their lives, turns out to be anything but.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Me and Jake was inspired by a young man I met, again, on a drilling rig, offshore, Louisiana. As men do when working together, we talked and became fast friends, and I discovered that he was raised in a horrific, evil environment, all the making of his own father. I wrote his story as it happened and it was rejected. I rewrote it in a present/past format and it was rejected. Then I thought try fiction. Me and Jake is my imagination at work. My friend influenced the direction.

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

I love the boys. They’re boys. They want to hunt and fish and go to school and see their friends and ride a horse. They’re simple, almost innocent, to the point of being ignorant of worldly things. I hope my readers will walk away with the same knot in their throat as Ty has in his on the last page, then smile and tell others about Ty and Cameron.

Does faith affect your writing? If so, how?

I don’t/won’t write trash. I want to exchange eye contact with my mother, my grandmothers (were they still with us), the neighbor girl, my kids and grandkids, myself, and my God—unashamed.

What are you working on now?

I have two projects on my plate. A memoir for a veteran who did four tours of combat as a medic: two in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. And I’m taking Riley James across northern Saudi Arabia, on foot, trying to escape The Bloodletting after the Kingdom falls.

These sound like exciting books. Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities, or other obligations? If so, how do you balance it?

A helicopter takes me to a drillship where I breathe, eat and sleep, on the job, for 14 days. In years past, during my spare time I read. Now I write. On my time off, back home in Colorado, I’m an early riser, like four to five in the morning early. Between then and seven when I take my bride a cup of coffee to begin her day, I write. I don’t know about balance. I just write when I can.

Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Yes, I do. Write. Join a critique group, get involved, and write. As the adage goes, “No guts, no glory.”




More About Me and Jake 

Ty told his twin brother, Cameron, that he felt like something was going to happen to change their lives. Little did he know how prophetic that statement would be, or how soon it would come to pass. What seems like a series of coincidences are anything but, and what's more amazing, Ty's coon dog, Jake, might not be a dog at all.

Excerpt

The pond wasn’t big. About fifty paces across. Cameron and I had visited the little water hole many times for a drink when we could escape the hayfield without Dad catching us.  Sometimes the water was clear, most times not. The smell of mud, rotten plants, and frogs and such made me wonder how I’d put my lips in it for a long drink so many times before.

The woods opened up and the pond came into view. Jake swam around in the middle, like he couldn’t make up his mind which way to go. A big coon scurried out of the water and disappeared into the bushes on the opposite bank. To Jake’s left, another critter thrashed in the water. A red and white…what? Coon? I stopped and stared, stuck in the mud like a dead tree stump. Moron.

Cameron wore a red ball cap and a white shirt, but he couldn’t swim.

My scream propelled me into the water.

Buy Me and Jake

on Amazon and

Pelican Book Group's Main Page

Connect with Dave
on his website
on Facebook

Monday, August 13, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Carol Award Finalist Lillian Duncan Talks About Puzzle House. Gives Away An E-book.




A Warm Welcome to Lillian Duncan

Lillian will give away an e-book of Puzzle House

To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below

Congratulations, Lillian, on being a finalist for the prestigious Carol Award. Tell us about Puzzle House.

Puzzle House is the book I never wanted to write!

What??? Let me explain. Rachel Summers, the main character in my new book, Puzzle House, has brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2.

Neuro…What?

That’s what I said when my doctor told me I had brain tumors because of something called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2 for short) in 2012. The tumors are almost always benign, but there’s two meanings for benign. One being non-cancerous and the other being harmless. The good news is that my tumors are not cancerous, the bad news is they are definitely not harmless.
That’s why I say Puzzle House is the book I never wanted to write. I would never have written it if it weren’t for the brain tumors. But Romans 8: 28 promises that God works all things for the good of those who love Him.

Even brain tumors? Yes, even brain tumors. Recently, I was blessed with the news that Puzzle House is a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award. An award for excellence in Christian Fiction.

I won’t know if I’ve won or not until September. Of course, I want to win but the truth is I feel like I’ve already won just by being a finalist. I know everyone says that but now I know it’s true.
In many ways life is like a puzzle—not a box of candy! There’s lot of pieces that have to be put together before you can see the whole picture. Many times we don’t understand why we need a particular piece of our puzzle but God does.

If we trust God with all the puzzle pieces of our life, he will use them to create a thing of beauty.






More About Puzzle House

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.
Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.
Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

Buy on Amazon
Pelican Book Group
Barnes and Noble

Bio: Lillian Duncan…mysteries, miracles & wonder.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance as well as stories that demonstrate the wonder and power of God. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at her website or blog. She also has a devotional blog,  at www.PowerUpWithGod.comPower Up With God.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Looking Out The Window: American Christian Fiction Writers August New Releases





More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Contemporary Romance:



Out of Their Element by Angela Breidenbach, Robin Lee Hatcher, Vickie McDonough, and Deborah Raney -- They are totally out of their element! Four mismatched couples find unexpected romance. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



The Redemption Road by Christa MacDonald -- As Alex awaits retribution, he means to keep Annie safe at any cost, but she knows it’s redemption he needs and she’ll pay any price for him to find it. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)



Scarlet Tears by Laura Hervey -- Caught in a romantic triangle with her brother’s best friend and a charming pastor, former call girl Carly Lawrence struggles to start a new life. (Contemporary Romance from Alabaster Box Press)


Historical Romance:


Rebecca’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens -- After a threat against her family, a spoiled heiress is sent to the country to work on her aunt’s produce farm and finds love. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)




The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse -- Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Cozy Mystery:



Deadly Harvest by Marissa Shrock -- Georgia’s biggest challenge in the farming town of Wildcat Springs, Indiana, is figuring out how to win Evan Beckworth’s heart. Until the day she discovers the body of a former student in the woods. When she starts to suspect this wasn’t an accident, memories stir of her father’s murder nine years earlier. A murder never solved. As Georgia works with the sheriff's department’s newest detective, Cal Perkins, she finds her heart slipping into his hands. But her head is pummeled with conflicting evidence and anonymous threats of severe consequences if she digs any deeper. In the end, Georgia faces a paralyzing choice. Ignore the dark secrets inside the family and friends who surround her or be willing to risk her own life to uncover the truth. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)




Unknown Enemy by Janet Sketchley -- A young woman with a traumatic past must discover the truth about who's playing mind games with the Green Dory Inn's owner. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)


Romantic Suspense:



Hiding in Plain Sight by Mary Ellis -- When a Charleston PI rents a room above an Italian restaurant owned by a handsome chef, she lands in the middle of a family feud with robbery, arson and murder for the daily specials. (Romantic Suspense from Severn House Publishers LTD)



Wildfire by Gayla K. Hiss -- A female wildfire scientist and a firefighter team up to solve the mystery behind the outbreak of wildfires in the Rockies and find themselves at the center of a firestorm. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)



Amish Country Ambush by Dana R. Lynn -- A police officer and a dispatcher travel deep into Amish country to rescue her nephew and to escape a killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes -- When a homegrown terrorist threatens the woman he loves, former Special Forces soldier Jonas Cameron calls on old friends to help him eliminate the danger. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)



Cold Fear by Susan Sleeman -- When a sniper’s ex-girlfriend, a musician, is framed for murder during her summer tour, he jumps to defend her from an imminent arrest and a killer’s deadly rage. But the evidence against her stacks higher as three bodies are found with her name tattooed on their wrist. (Romantic Suspense from Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc.)



Cold Case Cover-Up by Virginia Vaughan -- The first thrilling Covert Operatives tale An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Thriller/Suspense:


Pretense by John Di Frances -- A dark cloud hangs over Europe after the brutal murders of two heads of state just days apart. A diabolical plot appears to stretch westward to the United States, implicating the CIA. But do the facts reflect reality or is there a sinister force working behind the scenes to destabilize Europe and NATO? The team of investigators led by Interpol’s Marek Frakas, 'The Wolf,' moves quickly to track the perpetrators and uncover the identity of the unseen mastermind behind the conspiracy. This cadre includes the lovely Adrianna, a young forensic weapons expert who can hold her own on the male-dominated international team of investigators. Together they seek to understand reality versus the shattered mirror-like reflections meant to obfuscate the truth and shroud the mastermind’s identity and ultimate purpose. (Political Thriller from Reliance Books Publishing, LLC)



Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig -- Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell wants only to put the dangers of his past behind him and begin his new life with Haven Cortes. First, though, he's called to complete a final mission: retrieve the sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order. The AFO, however, is determined to reunite the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the artifact is tied to a string of unsolved serial murders. Tox and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to target the true enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must destroy the AFO . . . or join them in the flames. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])