Category Archives: author interview

Reflecting Gold Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Reflecting Gold

Author: Cynthia L. Simmons

Genre: Mystery

Release date: June 2021

Peter and Mary Beth Chandler kept their Confederate bank on the gold standard. However, a Confederate officer asked for a loan. He insisted he should be able to repay in Confederate bank notes not backed by gold. If they refuse, he will label them traitors. Should the Chandlers change their loan requirements and risk losing the bank? The entire town questioned their loyalty, especially when the officer turned up dead. Will the Chandlers be court martialed or lose the bank? While facing an impossible situation, they seek God’s guidance and learn to reflect his love.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Cynthia L Simmons is the mother of five grown children, imperfect and down-to-earth, she uses her experience to model grace for all and speaks from the heart of a spiritual mom. Fond of times past, she writes both fiction and nonfiction while combining history and scripture to minister to moms of all ages. However, she has a special place in her heart for young moms and homeschool moms. While she loves writing—books, articles, devotions, and notes—Cynthia also enjoys traveling around the nation speaking to homeschool events, bookstores, libraries, and churches. Plus, conducts writing workshops, and leads retreats. She’s a huge fan of sugar, tea, orchids, purple, re-enactments, friends, and ballroom dancing with her husband. https://clsimmons.com

More from Cynthia

The same year my first book came out, my husband came down with encephalitis. In simple terms, his brain was infected. He’d been sick for several days with a mild headache and temperature, and our doctor thought he had the flu. One morning I watched him slide into the floor as a grand mal seizure ravaged his body. I remember thinking this couldn’t be happening. I’m a nurse, and I was reviewing his medical history in my mind. Seizures didn’t fit with anything on either side of his family, and I wanted to deny what I saw. Needless to say, our life changed dramatically for several years as we walked through dark times. My husband spent 11 days in intermediate intensive care and came home on IV medications. For several weeks he had partial seizures the doctors couldn’t control. However, I learned so much during that time, and I’ve shared lessons from that time. In Reflecting Gold, I demonstrate how we can reflect the beauty of God even in the middle of heartbreak.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I have always loved words and hated numbers. At about ten or eleven, I tried to write a novel, but my brother laughed at me. Embarrassed, I stopped and planned never to write again. Years later, I homeschooled my five children and taught them to write. As I taught grammar, I explained how everything I taught was really a tool for writing. Once my kids started to leave home, I started writing and using those tools I’d been teaching.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I can’t brag on just one. Cec Murphy got me started with his classes and critique groups. Jennifer Slattery and I worked together for a year or so, and I learned a lot from her. Fay Lamb taught at a writing conference I hosted here in Atlanta, and she influenced me a lot. Sandra Byrd coached me as I wrote my first novel. She gave me confidence that I could write for publication. I still use her techniques.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Both. I tend to structure the entire book before I start. However, once I get started, things happen I didn’t expect. Sometimes a new idea occurs to me, and I like it better than what I intended. On some occasions, I get bored with what I planned and go off in a different direction.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

I love the Victorian period. I grow orchids, which men discovered in that era, and I adore the hooped skirts and fancy dresses. If you peeked into my closet, you’d see several dresses from that period that I wear to events. I often pose for photos with fans or their children.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I have used all three. Traditional books are wonderful. I enjoy holding a book in my hand and turning pages. However, your house can only hold so many. So, if I interview an author for my podcast, I usually ask for an ebook or pdf. I also enjoy listening to my kindle when I clean house.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, September 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

Texas Book-aholic, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

For Him and My Family, September 12

deb’s Book Review, September 13

For the Love of Literature, September 14 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living, September 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11818/reflecting-gold-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story Author Interview

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About the Book

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Book: The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story

Author: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade Novel

Release date: June, 2021

Foster kid Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa, drummer for the Rubber Band, chooses Elvis for his 4th grade living biography report. With little money to create a costume, Rocky believes he’ll be the worst Elvis impersonation ever, destined to fail.

When his ex-con father Eduardo, sneaks into his life demanding attention, Rocky’s best friend and lead guitar for the band, Eddie, comes to his rescue. Eddie involves the entire band in Rocky’s protection to be “secret service” and comedic chaos erupts.

After the Rubber Band performs its first set at the mayor’s 50th birthday party, Rocky mysteriously disappears. The band realizes it’s no longer about fun and games. Friends and family are what matter most in life. The bond of the band demands that secrets be revealed.

Will friends, foster or blood family win the battle for Rocky’s future?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation:

Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

The Rubber Band Stretches, Rocky’s Story is the second book in The Rubber Band middle grade novel series by Christy Hoss.

More from Christy

Why the Rubber Band?

Sitting in the front row keeping an eye on my students, the stage curtain opened to our elementary school assemble. A sign over the group declared “The Rubber Band.” With one stroke the lead guitar caused my inner groupie to emerge. I screamed in delight and crooned out. ‘Born to Be Wild’ along with the kid band delivering professional sounds. Our usually reserved staff soon joined me in my whoops of delight and the band had the entire assembly on its feet, dancing and clapping.

I was so impressed by this rock and roll group of fourth and fifth grade students, I asked them to play at my fiftieth birthday party.

Returning to our classroom, I put on my writer’s hat, thinking about what a cool kid’s book The Rubber Band would make. But I had to come up with a plotline. It was then I noticed a rubber band on the floor and knew instantly what needed to be done. It had to be about a good guitar-playing kid getting trouble for a mis-shot rubber band. He’s sent to the principal’s office where he sees the sign advertising the talent contest and he begins his quest to recruit a diverse group of misfit kids to form a garage band.

My imagination took off as I thought about the many children I have taught through the years. Most of my characters are inspired by those actual students and events. Rocky is a fictional name given to a real foster kid who came to our school temporarily. He used to walk alone around the perimeter of the school boundaries – just like Rocky. Edison and Oliver are actual names of maternal twins I taught my first year at Kenwood Elementary, the school I derived Wildwood elementary from. Even Principal Haymaker is based on my friend, Principal Bales.

The band is not without troubles and Eddie soon finds himself challenged by an incurable illness. But the bond of the band is strong, and they will not snap but hang tight to see the dream through no matter how it turns out. Rocky longs to be a part of a permanent family, but has his heartstrings pulled when his freshly paroled birth father shows up. Becca is the lonely, spoiled-rotten rich girl with no friends but a voice of gold. Manny plays bass and Oliver the keyboards, but not without adding their own unique personalities to the mix.

You’ll be hearing more from The Rubber Band as I plan to write about their adventures into adulthood and beyond, and there will be many.

I no longer look at a rubber band and think of it as just an elastic ring to hold things together. It’s a simple, useful object. that inspired a novel series.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

In second grade my teacher, Mrs. Olson, told me I was destined to be a writer after winning a writing contest with a story about my dachshund dog, Noodles. I never lost sight of that dream and began to pursue it 15 years ago by attending writing conferences.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

My first writing conference, I mentored under Brandilyn Collins. She taught me to write a hook at the end of every chapter. I love reading her Seatbelt Suspense books that are always hard to put down, page turners to the very end.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I can’t write unless I’ve had my nails done

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

One hour on, three hours off…do some chores, then try to write some more

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am definitely a pantser, but an aspiring plotter.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I love to write in my backyard in the shade while sitting in the bench swing my husband built for me, otherwise I’m in my office where I find most of my inspiration.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

I like reading modernism because I can relate to it.

Describe your book in five words.

Rock Music Roller Coaster Ride

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa speaks to me the most because as a kid, I was always looking to belong and be loved, and this is his heart’s desire- to belong to a forever family

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Yes- but I’m not giving them up…

What are your hobbies?

I love to sculpt and create art, mostly with clay, but when I get an idea in my head, it doesn’t have to be ceramic for me to create it

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My Dad. He was the kindest, most patient man who taught elementary school 40+ years and always supported my endeavors

What is your favorite book?

Little Women

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

There is nothing like a good page turner. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. A traditional book smells better and is easier on the eyes.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

Joseph from the Old testament. I love how he was a dreamer, overcame extreme difficulties and was able to forgive his brothers, forging a way for the survival of the Israelite nation

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

The Wizard of Oz

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Revise, revise, revise and never stop learning the craft

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

For the Love of Literature, August 12 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 14

deb’s Book Review, August 15

Vicky Sluiter, August 16 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of both The Rubber Band and The Rubber Band Stretches!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/111b5/the-rubber-band-stretches-rocky-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway

Chain-ged Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Chain-ged

Author: Casey Cassady

Genre: Non-fiction/Christian Living/Transformation

Release date: May 4, 2021

Casey Cassady is a young woman who, through Christ, overcame a lifestyle of partying, alcohol, promiscuity, toxic relationships, rejection, shame, guilt, regret, and probably anything else you can think of. Now free, Casey is using her new life, new future, and new passions to help other women and girls find their way out of the brokenness and bondage they were never meant for. Determined to live freely from her past, she uses poetry, prayer, and the word of God to draw us deeper into the healing process.

Chain-ged: Finding Freedom in Christ through Poetry, Principles, and Prayer is an artistic, soulful, and authentic work that teaches who God is, His character, and why He can be trusted with our fractured souls. Casey shows that as you grow spiritually and surrender to God, He will help you find your way to live a deeper revelation of who you are and the beautiful future ahead of you. Each chapter presents a poem, principle, practice, and prayer designed to help you work through your thoughts, emotions, new knowledge, and how you might respond.

The process of healing and growing into who God intentionally created you to be is not an easy journey. But the more you are able to surrender to God and allow Him to transform your mind, your heart, and, ultimately, your life, every step forward with Him, the good and the not-so-good, will be worth it in the end.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Casey Cassady is a born-again believer in Christ, author, and poet who is passionate about helping others to find hope, healing, and wholeness through her poetical testimony, wisdom, and gift of exhortation. Chain-ged is the first book of what she hopes to be many in her Finding Freedom in Christ book and poetry series. Some of the poetry in this book has been brought alive into spoken word format on her YouTube channel so viewers can connect with her through the shared experiences that we all, unfortunately, go through. Casey is currently pursuing a master’s degree of Christian Ministry with Oral Roberts University and resides in Fresno, CA.

More from Casey

“Chain-ged: Finding Freedom in Christ through Poetry, Principles, and Prayer” is a women-focused, Christ-centered book that will take you on a poetic, authentic, and practical journey of spiritual growth and healing. Each chapter’s testimonial poem, biblical teaching, prophetic prayer, and practice section are themed to focus on various roles that God has in our lives: God is Father, God is Son, God is Spirit, God is Creator, God is Savior, God is King, God is Healer, and God is Lover.

I wrote “Chain-ged” to demonstrate a sense of relatability to readers; and to provide readers with the tools, knowledge, and wisdom needed to gain freedom in Christ. This freedom is found as identity in Christ is discovered. It is then that hope, healing, and wholeness comes, and purpose may be lived.

Readers will be able to benefit from both spiritual and practical aspects. For example, there is content that discusses the importance of having conversations with the Holy Spirit, and what that can look like. Other chapters focus on relationships (both romantic and familial), and others focus more on the importance of community, mentorship, accountability, and healthy decision-making processes.

I truly want readers to know the things that I wish I would have known sooner – most of which I had to “learn the hard way”. If I can be used by God to help redirect people onto the path they were created for, I will be confident that I am living in my calling.

”Wounded Warrior” Spoken Word Video: https://youtu.be/DSxoqbUZJ-A

“Expired” Spoken Word Video: https://youtu.be/Lu37qH-qyJ8

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I have always been a writer, ever since I can remember. I grew up writing poetry, songs, and even funny stories just to make other people laugh. But I hadn’t seen myself becoming an Author or professional writer until recently – probably in 2018. Prior to 2018, I was comfortable with a plan to work at an 8 – 5 job until retirement and figured I would just write for fun on the side.  But God then placed a handful of divine contacts into my life who encouraged me to take my writing more seriously. I could finally grasp the vision of being used through my writing, as a career. I began the “planning and brainstorming” part of my book that year (which I probably could have done without), and finally sat down to start writing the book in the beginning of 2019. It took me about a year to write it, and a little over a year to go through the self-publishing process with “The Sophos Group” publishing.

What drew you to the time period that you write about?

“Chain-ged” generally focuses on the time period from before I found my relationship with Christ, to having and building that relationship.  I chose to focus on that time period because I know that many people are in a place that I was in – a life of sin, bad-decision making, lukewarm and/or hypocritical Christianity, and do not know how to get to a deeper place in their walk with Christ. They need hope, healing, and wholeness through discovering who they are in Christ. Although I feel as though “identity” is a never-ending journey, I want my book to provide readers the tools and knowledge that I have gained from my experiences of brokenness so that they can find freedom in Christ and begin to live more according to the Word of God (although imperfection is expected). These tools, and this knowledge, can allow readers to learn how be “unstuck” in their walk in Christ, and bring them more fully into their destinies.

Describe your book in five words.

Finding Freedom in Christ Jesus

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

“Do everything in love” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

It may be easy for some to read the Bible (especially the Old Testament) and think of God as a “punisher” or that he is a God of “revenge”.  In reality, He is a God of Love, and a God of Justice. His authority approves of justice, with an ultimate goal of love. He truly desires a relationship with us, and eternal life with us, and loves his followers, and sinners alike (with the desire for all sinners to be Saved).  He allows things to happen so that we may experience His love through miracles, through prayer, and through seasons of healing, prayer, and blessing. He ALWAYS does everything in love, as should we as followers of Christ.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  1. God can use your gift of writing to the level of your willingness; and there is no limit to what God can do.
  2. It is normal to have days that you don’t feel like writing, and if you need to take a break, then that’s okay. Be kind to yourself.  But on a general level, you must also be consistent and intentional about making time to write. There will never be the perfect time to write a book (or anything else), so you must consciously make it a priority.
  3. If you believe that a writing career (or writing something, such as a book) is a God-given calling/assignment, you must perceive and approach it as a responsibility.
  4. There are people out there who are desperate to read your words and hear your voice, even if they aren’t aware of that. God has given you a gift for a reason. Never be afraid to use it. You are impacting lives, challenging the status quo, and changing the world.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 26

For Him and My Family, May 27

Texas Book-aholic, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 29

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 31

deb’s Book Review, June 1

Inklings and notions, June 2

Artistic Nobody, June 3 (Author Interview)

Cats in the Cradle Blog, June 3

For the Love of Literature, June 4 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 5

Susan K. Beatty, Author, June 6 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Casey is giving away a gift basket containing a hardback copy of the book, $50 Amazon gift card, and a copy of “Prayer C.H.A.T. Journal” Prayer Journal by Jessica A. Brown!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10c94/chain-ged-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wait for Me Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Wait for Me

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 9, 2021

A town besieged by the enemy with just one Sovereign order: wait.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1780

With the inevitable occupation of Charles Town by the British pounding at the gates, Louis Lestarjette braces for possible imprisonment or worse. How can he provide for his growing family with the evil chains of the enemy binding his source of existence? The scenarios of imprisonment and starvation force him to realize he has no control over the outcome of the stronghold of the British. All that remains is a sense of survival at almost any cost.

Elizabeth Lestarjette faces looming confinement with both a drive to protect her children and a desire to do her part to undermine the enemy. They must thwart the British plans to imprison more men, but how? Who can they trust?

Just how long will Elizabeth’s confidence in justice withstand the constant battering of war and circumstance?
Discover the destiny of the Lestarjette family in the final book of the Revolutionary Faith Series as they hope and wait upon deliverance from a world under siege.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Marguerite enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.

More from Marguerite

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Thank you for stopping by the Wait for Me tour. I’m so excited about the release of this novel, the finale of the Revolutionary Faith series,

I have always been fascinated with the ordinary—the simple acts from day to day. When an historical event is added, I surround my fascination with questions. What did they wear or eat? Why did they marry? Did they have children? Where did they shop? What is incredible or surprising to me about the historical event or activity was at one time ordinary to the characters whether in fiction or nonfiction.

The ordinary that I like to encounter and write in historical fiction includes how the characters dressed. I even had the dress pictured here made for me just in case I want to present in costume!

Also, I like to explore the food my characters ate. I found a wonderful recipe for a beefsteak pie in an American Girl cookbook. I’ve made it several times. Yummy!

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The ordinary activities such as going to church or to the market or mercantile make the characters real. Their lives have depth in their interaction with society. My simple faith in God’s provisions and promises flow into the lives of my characters. What makes the story exciting is the historical element linked with the dramatic background of war.

Thank you for continuing the journey with Wait for Me, rooted in the ordinary from two centuries ago.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

What a great question, that takes me way back to when I was in fifth grade. I devoured every book I could get ahold of that had to do with mystery (Nancy Drew), horses (Black Stallion Series), Anne of Green Gables, and anything about King Arthur. I started writing children’s books that I kept in a journal. Later, I majored in Journalism thinking that would satisfy my writing urge. It didn’t. If wasn’t until my children were in high school that I took the time to put my thoughts and plots from a notebook into action. In two years I wrote six rough draft novels. Now, whether I get published or not, I write two novels a year.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I choose four to five hours a day for a month. During this time frame, I can write 60,000 words that I consider a nice rough draft. I then spend a few more weeks to complete an additional 30,000 words. Once the initial words are written, I take another month of two to three hours a day to edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite until the novel is ready for new eyes and critiques.

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

This is going to sound strange but my hero Louis Lestarjette, 1770 Charles Town, S.C. resonates with me more than any other. It’s a little bizarre because he is a guy. Why didn’t I choose Elizabeth or Jeannette? His story is full of excitement and conflict and questions. How would it have been for a Frenchman to loose his title, land, direction, and faith and end up in the New World? He has the adventurous spirit that I lack. Could I have done it? I want to think I would cross the ocean to a new life, but I don’t think I have it in me. But he does, and he succeeds where I probably wouldn’t. In a way, I’m living my alter personality through him. Also, I love anything French—the language, the culture, the food, the people.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspirations through the many years have been my parents. They gave me the awesome opportunity to travel and explore the world at a young age. Daddy is an architect and student of history. He lives, writes, and loves the historic aspect of people’s lives, buildings, churches, cemeteries, and art. My mom stands by his side and supports his endeavors. My sisters and I lived in England with them where we received a life-changing education and experience. We traveled all over Europe, studied French, art, and people.  I “blame” them for my constant desire to travel. It really is a big deal for I’m constantly planning the next trip!

Yet, I cannot forget my husband as my biggest encourager. I would not have written one novel without his sweet, honest words of support and encouragement.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

This is such an important question. Two years ago I would say hands down—traditional books. I love the feel, the smell, the sound of the pages, the bookmark—absolutely everything about a print book. But, I also see the value of ebooks. I have a full library of books on my ipad. I like the availability of having a book for the road, the plane, etc., not forgetting the economical aspect. My bookshelves breathed easier because of ebooks. Audiobooks are a lifesaver when I on the interstate. For three years I drove 50 minutes twice a day to and from work. I “read” so many books and found some awesome authors. My answer? I’ll always lean toward traditional books but have huge libraries of ebooks and audiobooks.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, March 26

Artistic Nobody, March 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 28

For the Love of Literature, March 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 29

deb’s Book Review, March 30

She Lives To Read, March 31

Betti Mace, March 31

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 1

Splashes of Joy, April 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

Inklings and notions, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 6

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 7 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a print copy of all five books in the series and a box of Charleston Plantation Tea!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d4/wait-for-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Heaven and the Afterlife Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Heaven and the Afterlife

Author: Kathy Carmichael

Genre: Christian Non-Fiction

Release date: October 25, 2020

What lies on the other side?
In this relevant and life changing story, Kathy Carmichael details her experiences so that you may share, learn and receive comfort from them.
Imagine being given the opportunity to meet with Angels, Saints and Jesus Christ face-to-face. Imagine watching the recently-passed step through the Pearly Gates. Imagine knowing that if you ask, God and Jesus can be an intimate part of your life. This isn’t your typical self-help book, yet reading about these events may change you and your life forever.
Journey to heaven in this firsthand account of the Glory of God and the afterlife.
Wires and tubes were connected to almost every available space on Kathy’s body as she lay in her hospital bed awaiting surgery. In the days leading up to her illness and then later post-surgery, Kathy experienced incredible supernatural events. She has been tasked with sharing what happened to her with you, bringing you evidence of the afterlife.
In this inspiring spiritual flight to Heaven and back, you will learn more about prayer, blessings, miracles and the generous love and understanding available to each of us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1
*Have you had a near-death experience also known as an NDE?
*Has an angel ever brought you a message, protected you from harm, or visited you?
*Has your soul ever been transported to Heaven?
This book explores events such as these, and you will learn you are not alone. You may come to a deeper and abiding love for God and humanity. It’s likely you will no longer have as much fear relating to death or dying. Heaven, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are real.
This volume also includes bonus material such as:
*Thinking About Heaven: Reader Questions
*Map of Near-Heaven and parts of Heaven
*Meaningful Scripture and Quotes
*Photos relating to Kathy’s life and hospital stay
*Foreword by John Carmichael

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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With a deep and abiding love of our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who came into this world to save us, Kathy Carmichael is compelled to share her astounding spiritual experiences with others. She believes part of her mission on this Earth is to help people feel better, whether it’s through her writing or her (at times, sophomoric) sense of humor.

A USA Today bestseller and award-winning author, she lives on a canal along Florida’s west coast with her Scottish husband of over 40 years, one son, two cats, a part-time grand-dog, and a bevy of dust bunnies and seagulls.

Kathy has written primarily comedic clean/sweet romance, cozy mysteries, and non-fiction articles and workshops. She has been recognized by the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine with starred reviews in both the Mystery and Romance genres. Kathy is well-known for her fiction-writing seminars, including her short synopsis workshop.

Kathy loves hearing from readers.

More from Kathy

Many times as I sat down at my keyboard to work on this book, I have been encouraged by Holy Spirit to count my blessings.

Has anyone reminded you to count your blessings? If so, when you examine the numerous ways you’ve been blessed and begin to list the numerous blessings in your life, do you feel eternally grateful?

It’s part of our humanity that we tend to lose sight of those blessings while dealing with our day-to-day cares. Yet when we stop to think about how many good things are steadfast in our life, outside of the setbacks, gratitude washes over us.

I believe I was encouraged to look at my blessings as a means for me to overcome my obstacles. Healing from my physical ailments has been time consuming and difficult.

Yet, when I look at my blessings…

Like you, I have been blessed in a multitude of ways. Recently I have been blessed even more so. A large part of that blessing was my being allowed to remain alive and still walking God’s green Earth. An even bigger blessing was the amount of time I was granted to spend in Near-Heaven, which is a setting running immediately beside Heaven, and the glimpses I was permitted of Heaven itself.

Not everyone has such amazing opportunities, and even fewer have the chance to tell about it afterward.
 Please allow me to share my story with you.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can recall. While in third grade I distinctly remember writing and illustrating my first “book” – in crayon. When I got older I kept putting off writing a novel because I didn’t think I was old enough, or wise enough, or dead enough to be a good author.

I stayed home with my children after they were born, but before I had children I was a very busy advertising executive and a systems analyst. When my youngest was around two years old, my husband recognized the fact that my brain wasn’t as active as it once was, and he suggested that then was the perfect time to work on becoming a writer. I had read many books about writing, and one book said that lots of people wanted to become authors, but few ever wrote an entire book. They simply didn’t persist long enough to finish. Since I’m famously stubborn, that was a war cry for me to not only start writing a book, but to finish it.

That weekend, when my husband got back into town on Friday evening, I started writing my book—no outline, no synopsis. I merely wrote. I finished it in the early hours of Sunday, without having stopped to eat or sleep. It was 78 handwritten pages front and back—and as I learned later, it was nothing but dialogue. When I found a critique group, I expanded those pages into a full-length book (by filling in things like introspection, setting, emotional reaction, body movement and so on). I went on to write several more books that were never published, but that first revised book later became my second published book (My Lady Mischief – a sweet Regency) by Avalon Books. My first published book was Chasing Charlie. Back then Avalon Books was well known as a sweet and clean publisher, so it fit my style very well. Later, Avalon Books was acquired by Amazon and it no longer exists.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I think there have been three authors who have had huge influences on my fiction writing. The first is P. G. Wodehouse (a famous comedy writer), the second is Georgette Heyer (sweet Regency historicals) and lastly, Agatha Christie (mystery). Mainly I have written romantic comedy and comedic mystery novels, so the influence is very clear.

Now that I am also writing Christian Non-fiction, I believe my writing is influenced by the above authors as well as by Holy Spirit. I sensed Holy Spirit making suggestions and giving me direction throughout the writing of Heaven and the Afterlife. It was an unusual experience that is difficult to describe. When I write fiction, yes, I do feel led in the writing of the books. But it is not in the same manner as when I wrote this book. I would start to write something, and a voice in my head (not my voice) would say, “Rethink that. You should write about XYZ now.” It was eye-opening in that I wrote the book in a way I would never have written it on my own. The book isn’t written chronologically or linearly. It was written revolving around events instead. I believe I was given amazing and blessed guidance.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

My husband says I have five places where I write in my house. It’s not true, well, not usually. Mostly I sit either on my screened-in porch or in my dining room (that has windows onto the screened-in porch) because both look out on the canal behind my house. It’s a salt water, tidal canal that leads to the Gulf of Mexico in less than a mile. There is a bird sanctuary right on the canal, and we often have dolphins and manatees as well as incredible birds. It’s so nice to be able to look up and see all this beauty (when I’m not so involved in my book that I can’t see anything but the screen in front of me). I sit in other places based on what or how I’m writing. For instance, I sit at the kitchen table when I’m writing longhand.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I used to prefer print books, especially trade paperbacks, but not anymore. Now that my eyes are older (sigh), I truly prefer eBooks because I can adjust the font size. Also, it allows me to carry hundreds of books wherever I go. I prefer reading on my actual Kindle, but I’ve been known to read on my iPhone when I’m standing in line at a store or stuck waiting for an appointment. I wish I could listen to audiobooks, but I find them too immersive. I’m better off with words.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I love the 23rd Psalm and go back to it time and time again when I’m worried or feeling burdened. This line particularly helped me through various health issues.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

There is so much to learn when you’re just starting out as a writer, but my best advice is to be true to yourself and who you are, rather than chasing the hot new trend. People will say, “Oh, this is where the money is,” or “You’re more likely to sell a book if you write in that genre.” I advise you to ignore such advice.

What do you most love to read? Strongly consider writing that, whatever that might be. Genre trends come and go, but your voice, your style remains a constant. Work on improving your voice, learning all you can about writing, and ignore the temptation to follow the dictates of the market. Write to yourself as a market. If you love it, there will be many other readers who love it, too. Your goal as a writer is to write what you love and find your audience. Your goal as a Christian is to follow what you know is true and good and right, and never deviate from that. And if Holy Spirit suggests you write something, as happened to me, I strongly encourage you to do so. While I never thought I would find myself writing Christian Non-Fiction, it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. It may not become an overnight success or a bestseller, but I’m so proud of being an obedient daughter and giving the book everything my skills and knowledge could provide. I want for you to have a similar experience.

Each of us have different paths and our own unique ways to spread the word. Sometimes it’s through making someone laugh during times of trouble, sometimes it’s providing an emotionally draining read to divert the reader’s attention from their own situation. And sometimes it’s testifying in person. You will know when you find the path intended for you. And don’t let anyone deter you from it. Be true to you.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 12

For Him and My Family, March 13

For the Love of Literature, March 14 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 18 (Author Interview)

Godly Book Reviews, March 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, March 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1095b/heaven-and-the-afterlife-celebration-tour-giveaway

Catching Hope Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Catching Hope

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: Young Adult, action/suspense

Release date: February 1, 2021

Catching Hope—a pursuit fraught with danger.

Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Kathy Cassel lives in the Florida panhandle with her husband and four of their eight children, five of whom are adopted. She is a motorcycle rider, scuba diver, and loves spending time with her family. Her debut novel, Freerunner, was published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. in 2019.

More from Kathy

My Experience with Haiti

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Prior to the 2010 catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that caused immense damage to the country of Haiti, many people would not have been able to tell you that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola just a two hour flight from Miami.

I knew where it was because our family had adopted a child from Haiti in 1997. At the time the earthquake took place, my husband and I were in the process of adopting twins from a different orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti. It had been over three years and our adoption was not yet complete. During those three years I visited the twins at the orphanage five times. Other family members went with me on some of those trips, and at one point, all of our children still living at home went to visit the orphanage.

This was an eye opening experience for my family. In fact, I volunteered us to do the daily wash. That meant hand washing clothes and sheets for 135 orphans using large metal tubs and harsh soap, then rinsing the clothes in other tubs before hand wringing them and hanging them on clotheslines. Once home, my children no longer complained about unloading the dryer!

Cooking was done in large pots over open fires and mainly consisted of rice and beans, or red sauce over rice. The cooks originally prepared the food in a wooden shack, but more than once one of them would get so hot she’d pass out, so an outdoor area was set up for food preparation.

After the earthquake, there was a mountain of paperwork to be done to get refugee status for children in the orphanages who had families waiting for them. Finally the children were brought to the United States, although some of the orphans went to other countries too, to be united with their forever families. Sadly, many were held in the airport for days before being released. For our family, the long wait was over January 25, 2010. Now our family is complete with three birth children and five adopted children, three of whom are from Haiti.

Some of the places mentioned in the book resemble real places in Haiti, although they have been fictionalized. I hope you will not only read Catching Hope, but will also take time to learn more about the country of Haiti.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I always enjoyed writing but never thought it could be a career, so I went into teaching. But moving around with my Air Force husband meant trying to recertify in different states, so instead of teaching, I parented and worked on my writing. I had several devotion books published before feeling a passion to write issue-based teen fiction.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

James Scott Bell. I reread Write Your Novel from the Middle and Plot and Structure quite often, especially when starting a new project.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I want to understand my characters, their hobbies, interests and so on. This had led me on some interesting adventures such as whitewater rafting, certifying in scuba, and getting my motorcycle certification. I never know where my writing will lead me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have to grab a little time here and there to write. But if I need to get a lot done and have time free, I head to the library where there are no distractions.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser with a few key points in mind. I have a vague idea of where the story is going, but write it as I go. I really need to learn how to create an outline.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I have a home office I’ve fixed up, but more often I simply set on the living room couch with my computer.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

There are some really amazing authors who write historical fiction in an authentic way. I’m not one of them. I want to reach today’s teens by tackling the issues they face each day in order to provide hope and healing.

Describe your book in five words.

Despair gives way to hope.

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Lexi. She so badly wants to fit in with her new family, yet she’s afraid to hope for that coveted happily ever after.

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

No. I just want them to identify with the main character, be riveted by the story, and find a sense of hope for themselves.

What are your hobbies?

Scuba diving, photography, traveling with my family and finding new places to visits and things to try.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

Don’t really know.

What is your favorite book?

No one book, but Mary Higgins Clark is my favorite author. I like her style and sense of story. I like her Under Suspicion series.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I drive a lot, so I listen to books much more than read them.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I really like the key verse for this book, I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT. My other favorite is Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

That’s a tough question. I know I would not want to live in one of Mary Higgins Clark (favorite author) books for fear I’d be the victim!!

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

Mary Higgins Clark. Unfortunately she passed away, so that won’t happen.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Study your craft. Invest in the James Scott Bell books I mentioned earlier or other writing books that appeal to you. Read the kind of books you want to write—but don’t copy them. Find your own voice.

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 27

For the Love of Literature, February 28 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, March 1

Inklings and notions, March 2

For Him and My Family, March 3

Wishful Endings, March 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 6

Artistic Nobody, March 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 8

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, March 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1089e/catching-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Midwife’s Heart Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Midwife’s Heart

Author: Brenda Ray

Genre: Historical

As Abraham’s descendants prepare to cross into the Promised Land, led by Moses, Hannah, a disillusioned midwife will be tested in ways she cannot imagine. She wanted love, a home, and children, but gave up on that dream long ago. One heartbreak and humiliation was enough.

Ze-ev is a commander in the army, protecting his people. Busy doing what must be done, finding a wife is not his priority. Besides, when his childhood sweetheart marries another, he lost interest in securing a match to be his bride.

When he meets Hannah, they are both tested. Will either of them let down their guard long enough to trust again?

Set on the Plains of Moab, amidst attacks on the camp, spies, plague, and the unprecedented request of Zelophehad’s daughters, Ze-ev and Hannah must navigate the thorny path of the heart.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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RWA award-winning author, Brenda Ray, grew up along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. A University of Florida trained nurse-midwife, she traveled as a military wife and raised three remarkable sons. She is now retired and writing full time in Vero Beach, FL. A graduate of the University of Florida, as well, she is always confused during football season, but she is never confused about loving feedback from her readers. You may contact her at: www.wildwolfwomanwriter.com

More from Brenda

I didn’t set out to be a writer. In 1997, I was a practicing nurse-midwife, blessed to have delivered hundreds of babies. In one day, latex allergy abruptly ended my career, ended my job, and took my health. Seven years of college felt like a waste. At times the grief felt bottomless.

My strong faith in God got me through that dark time. My daily meditation and clinging to God’s Word were by lifelines. One morning, while reading the second chapter of Exodus, (which I had read many times before) the story of Puah and Shiphrah struck me in a new way.

I began asking myself how that came to be. Why would a pharaoh order his future workforce murdered? Did all the babies arrive before the midwives could arrive or did the midwives lie? With much research and study and my own experiences as a midwife, the answers to those questions became The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.

The book started a flood of writing that continues today. Writing is a creative process and as the Holy Scripture teach, “In the beginning, God created….” We are told we are made in God’s image. Thus, we ourselves are destines to create. For me, it has been quilting, sewing, cooking, and writing. I also write under the pen name of B. K. Ricotta. Two of a Kind is my first book under that name. A sweet novella will be released soon by Wild Rose Press entitled A Love So Sweet by B. K. Ricotta. Finally, the finishing touches are being done on a historical romance set in Northwest Florida when it was a new state.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

Writing chose me.  In 1997, I was a practicing nurse midwife.  When I anaphylaxed to latex, my career was over.  One day I was reading my Bible and I re-read the verses in the second chapter of Exodus that talks about Puah and Shiphrah, the midwives of Egypt.  It grabbed me.  In asking myself questions about how that transpired, a book was born, which was The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.  I knew that I could write, but most of my writing prior to that was technical for my master’s thesis.  So, I began studying creative writing. I joined RWA, and began plotting the first book in the Hebrew Midwives Trilogy.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

In the past, my stories have been written intuitively, but I am now working on writing with plotting the stories before writing them.  I think that when I master that, I can be more productive, and the storylines will be tighter.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It is a very spiritual book, but not religious.  It teaches us how we live as women.  It was life changing for me.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I adore a print book.  Over my lifetime I have probably owned thousands of books, but as a former military wife, I could not take them all with me, so I learned to read books and only keep the one’s that are most loved or those I know I will read again.  I also keep research books.  With that said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve downsized and only own a small bookshelf of books now.  I read most of my pleasure reading on my Kindle.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would advise them to study creative writing as if it were a job, because it is a job.  Study things such as plotting, character development, etc.  They should network with other writers, such as joining a critique group.  If they have a favorite genre, join professional writer’s organizations, and get involved with their chapters for various genres.

Second, if someone wants to write and be successful, they must treat it like a job.  Set aside time each day to just write or work on writing projects.  Create a space that is dedicated to and conducive for writing.

Finally, never give up.  I heard Susan Wiggs speak many years ago and she told the story about how when her husband built her writing studio, she wallpapered the bathroom in it with her rejection letters.  Great writers must learn to keep moving forward and don’t take rejection letters as a sign that you are no good.  It’s simply a “this story is not right for us” letter.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Artistic Nobody, February 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Older & Smarter?, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Through the Fire Blogs, February 14 (Author Interview)

Our Whiskey Lullaby, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 15

deb’s Book Review, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of “The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth (1st edition) and a few rainy day comfort items!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1073f/the-midwife-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

Book: About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Illustrated Poetry

Release Date: 2019 and 2020

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The terrible accident happened too long ago to remember the specifics. Having lost what she doesn’t remember owning, it takes the miracle of crossing paths with Hush, Shush and Silence, to reveal the truth. The shock of realizing she struggled to maintain an identity never meant to be hers, floors her. From a position of surrender, the surface of her tears mirrors who she has always been but hasn’t seen and does not know. Unimaginable possibilities, surprising choices and thrilling freedom ensues.

At the core of all anxiety is mistaken identity. About Face invites readers to consider who they might be apart from other people’s expectations and who they might become.

Click HERE to get your copy of About Face!

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A perennial gift book for the stressed and beleaguered. Falling into the growing category of children’s books for adults, Rest: An Invitation to Freedom, lures readers out of frenzied productivity into a state of peaceful contemplation. Written for exhausted high achievers, this story is suitable for office lobbies, coffee and bedside tables.

“The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. At its best, the fairy story or fantasy is far from being a flight from reality; it is, rather, a flight to reality.”- JRR Tolkein

“The trumpet of imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their

graves.” – GK Chesterton

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis

Click HERE to get your copy of Rest: An Invitation to Freedom!

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This story took longer to live than to transcribe. For daydreamers, truth-seekers, joy-feeders, and those longing to let your heart instruct your mind, this little book is for you. Falling into my own stylized category of children’s book for adults, Intents and Purposes, chronicles the path of a life abandoned by disconnection and loneliness as it moves to the threshold of hope and contentment.

Both text and illustrations are mine. Although countless versions reside in my constantly reconfiguring memory, this compilation seems to be its truest version.

Click HERE to get your copy of Intents and Purposes!

About the Author

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I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, received the Hallberg Award for Art; Best of Show, Blue Line Gallery, Membership Medley; published in The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies; Ruminate Magazine; Metonym; Sierra College Journal.

More from Tonia

They are ready! Finally! These three illustrated books are condensed chronicles of various phases of my spiritual development. Over the years, I’ve learned that the deepest matters of the heart seem to be resistant to the confines of words. Images aid in the capture of emotions, but even still, the heart is shy. It runs from impatience and requires a concentration of listening and a suspension of judgment.

Each one of these books hovers over distinct territories and touch down in depths most avoid. I struggle to put my experiences into a kind and beautiful package, hoping to lure readers into places of feeling many might avoid. Not realizing they would be officially released during this unnerving pandemic, I am now so grateful for the message of hope that invites readers into possibilities and faith in our merciful Father of Lights who brought all things into being and is, even now, administering Peace to those who simply ask and expect. For those who suffer in the unknown, as I have and often do, I invite to include the reading of these missives of encouragement and their distribution of the message of Hope hidden in their pages. They were written to uplift you on the days when you can find no words for your longing, no relief for your uncertainty and a deep desire for encouragement. I am eager to get them out in the world.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I was in my late 20’s.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

C.S. Lewis; Frederick Buechner; Wendell Berry.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I take forever to write. I often start from a “lyrical impulse and work backwards, ”which is the funniest description I’ve ever heard.  But some fancy editor told me that and its always rolled around in my mind.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I write almost everyday but rarely at the same time or the same amount or on the same thing.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

Yes, in my office. I need to be quiet and confined.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

No I like a wide variety of books and articles and poetry and subjects.

Describe your book in five words.

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Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

The characters all speak for me from regions I couldn’t access any other way.

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Not intentionally.

What are your hobbies?

Gardening, cooking.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

Frederick Buechner

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

The Story of Esther inspires me. I wish I had Esther’s courage.

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

Oh wow! What an interesting question. The more I thought about it, the more frightening it became. The idea gives me claustrophobia. I think I love reading stories to experience characters making difficult choices and speaking up when I’d be too much of a coward to do the same. I can be inspired but I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a book.

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

Mike Mason or Frederick Buechner.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Get a group of like minded writers and commit to being a “tribe.” A group like the Inklings…that’s what every writer needs.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Beauty in the Binding, September 21 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 26 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, September 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 29

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 30

Through the Fire Blogs, October 1 (Author Interview)

Mary HakeOctober 1

Emily Yager, October 2

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e9/about-face-rest-and-intents-purposes-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good and Faithful Servant Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book:

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Book: Good & Faithful Servant

Author: Wes Daughenbough

Genre: Non-fiction, leadership

Release Date: July, 2020

The greatest need in the body of Christ today is for spiritual leadership training, and the first law of spiritual leadership is that you are not the leader—the Holy Spirit is! If you follow him, you will lead many to righteousness.

Veteran pastor Wes Daughenbaugh, a Christian leader for nearly fifty years and author of five books, presents a wealth of spiritual wisdom designed to help Christian leaders develop skills for true godly leadership.

Key topics:

  • The differences between secularized leadership and spiritual leadership.
  • How to avoid using people to obtain a secularized vision and instead have God’s vision for the individuals you are leading.
  • How to have influence with God (power in prayer).
  • The importance of spiritual warnings.
  • Seven ways to live in Christlike character virtues.
  • Over sixty professional drawings to help you “see” spiritual truths.

If you long for intimacy with God and want your life to glorify Jesus, you’ll find Good and Faithful Servant to be a comprehensive, timely resource to help you be a Spirit-led servant of Jesus Christ and his church.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Multi-published author Wes Daughenbaugh understands pastors and church leadership. He has served forty-six years in ministry as associate pastor, lead pastor, and traveling teacher-evangelist, preaching in fifty US states and several foreign countries. With the gift of teaching, Wes turns complex truths into easy-to-remember illustrations for leaders and readers. Ordained with the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Wes lives with his wife, Bonnie, in western Oregon. They have two daughters, three grandsons, and one granddaughter. Learn more at www.EncouragementExpert.com.

More from Wes

WHY I WROTE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT

During my many years in the ministry I’ve tried to feed my leadership gift with books on leadership but I never bonded with them. They were so dry. Then never talked about being rich in God, how to get supernatural faith, have a dynamic prayer life or live in the power of the Spirit. I finally decided I just must not be a leader but only a “teacher.” During those years I “led” thousands to Christ and led thousands more into forgiveness and lessons in Christ-like maturity. Two years ago I began to pray earnestly that God would restore spiritual POWER to the American Church. Then to my surprise, God strongly impressed me to write a book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP and gave me the title and subtitle. The book gushed out of me in eight days of writing and I’ve spent the last year and a half perfecting the copy and getting the sixty plus drawings finished. This book has the leadership lessons the Holy Spirit personally taught me. They are not DRY. You’ll find God’s presence in this book. It will teach you how to be a great follower of the real LEADER of the church, the Holy Spirit.

ONE MORE THING: These lessons are for every Christian. We don’t need titles and positions to be spiritual leaders. Just desire to “lead many to righteousness” by being a great follower of the Holy Spirit. God will use YOU to bring “massive glory” to His name.

Author Interview

When and how did I decide to become a writer?

I started writing serial stories when I was in grade school and students would sometimes stay inside during recess to hear my next episode.  But when I was twenty-three I said to God, “I love you so much I wish I could put myself in that copy machine and make thousands of me to serve you all over the world.”  God spoke instantly and firmly, “DO IT!”  Every tract, booklet, audio CD, DVD, and book is a “copy of me.” I’ve been writing these things for forty-seven years.  Many such “copies of me” (hundreds of thousands) have gone out all over the world.

Which Author has most influenced my own writing?

The Apostle Paul.

What is my own interesting writing quirk?

I think in pictures.  I love to think of ways to illustrate a truth with a drawing and I have a great artist to work with.  I want people to REMEMBER what I write and our brains remember pictures way better than mere words.  God has used me to “say it in pictures” so that people not only hear their answers—but SEE them.

DESCRIBE MY BOOK IN FIVE WORDS

YOU CAN BE A SPIRITUAL LEADER!  (six words)

YOU CAN LEAD MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS!  (Six words)

YOU CAN TRAIN SPIRITUAL LEADERS! (Five words)

Who is my biggest inspiration?

My greatest spiritual inspirations have always been hearing directly from God.  Of all of those experiences, perhaps the most important one of all was when the Holy Spirit showed me the heart motive of Jesus and then compared my motives to His until my heart was taken over by the motivations of the heart of Jesus.  This burning motivation to bring glory to God has been the usher of God, leading me into all the other truths and experiences.  A favorite Bible verse from which I received this revelation is John 17:1-5.

What are my hobbies?

I love every aspect of the ministry and I’ve preached in all 50 states and several foreign countries.  So “work” never feels like work to me. Sending boxes of books to prisons is especially fun!

We live in Oregon and enjoy walking on the beach or costal trails. We enjoy picking blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, peaches, pears, apples, etc.  I love family times with m wife, daughters, and grandchildren.  Board games with grandchildren—that’s lots of fun.  We also like to fish.

What kind of book do I prefer?

I like audio books and traditional books.  I don’t like to read books from a phone or computer screen.  I love to “mark up” books so that I can find what I want to use in sermons, or what I want to remember to apply.

My advice to those writing spiritual books—Hear from God.  Ask what He wants to say.  Ask how He wants it said.  Dependency is the key word in being a great achiever—depending upon God is the first step in the cycle of success.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

By The Book, September 10 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

For the Love of Literature, September 15 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 15

For Him and My Family, September 16

Artistic Nobody, September 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 19

Through the Fire Blogs, September 20 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Wes is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10094/good-and-faithful-servant-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Season to Dance Scavenger Hunt and Author Interview with Patricia Beal

A Season to dance scavenger hunt

About the Book

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Book: A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

About the Author

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Patricia writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. She is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance and Desert Willow (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017 and 2020). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit her at http://www.patriciabeal.com for more.

More from Patricia

When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important.

I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good.

She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting.

During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein.

When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.”

So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.

God’s Plan—Phase One

One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece.

When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it.

Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that.

See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.”

Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start.

Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

God’s Plan—Phase Two

As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop.

After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good.

During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted…

But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.

The One Open Door

When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013.

I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing!

A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits.

I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.

Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good.

Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good.

I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good.

ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good.

My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good.

Is - Sarah

Author Interview

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser all the way. The novel began in my mind as a single scene—a ballerina stuck at the top of a marquee, something that kind of happened to me once. From there it grew a chapter at a time, one per Saturday, during a six-month period.

I wasn’t a Christian when I wrote the first version of A Season to Dance, so the story was initially just about big dreams and dreamy suitors. But the whole time, God had me writing my own salvation story.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but for most of my life I believed there had to be some kind of god out there and that being a good person was important. But in the summer of 2012, that early version of the novel was rejected in three different continents on the same week. I was tired and lonely, and I freaked out. I decided the notion of a loving god was absurd. There was no loving god, if there was a god at all.

Self-gratification became the chief end of my existence, and I looked behind every door for happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t find anything worth keeping though, and at the end of every new pursuit, I was still tired and lonely.

Then Jesus passed by. I was born again in January of 2013, and soon after that, I realized the novel wasn’t complete. I cancelled a trip to a secular writers’ conference and started a fourteen-month rewrite. This book, A Season to Dance, wrote me—not the other way around. I journeyed with Ana and pray that now others will journey with us, beyond expectations and suffering and to the very heart of Christ.

I think God is a plotter. He knew where the whole thing was going all along. But how could I have known that I was writing my own salvation story? ❤


Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Do I ever! I’m big on this. Huge! If you go to the reading guide at the end of the book, I reveal several hidden things one might have missed… 😉


Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

Yes! I love all the stories about less-than-perfect people who were greatly used by God. How sweet of Him to show us time and again that we don’t need to be stellar to be family and be His hands and feet.

Remember the story of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32? That might be my absolute favorite… So much in. I love both God’s actions and Jacob’s refusal to let go.

What does God do before blessing Jacob (self-reliant, self-seeking) and naming him Israel (prince, powerful with God)? God touches the hollow of Jacob’s thigh. The hollow of Jacob’s thigh was now out of joint. Jacob would be forever weakened by that injury. God saps strength out of Jacob. He breaks Jacob of Jacob.

God grew him by making him weak. He grew Peter by making him weak (let the devil sift him as wheat). He grew Paul by making him weak (didn’t remove the thorn in the flesh).

Our trials are making us weak and loosening us from the shackles of self-reliance that are holding us back. All we have to do is cast ourselves at His feet daily and acknowledge that we can’t do life and service on our own. He already knows. He wants us to know.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 😊

Celebrate Lit Scavenger Hunt page:

http://www.celebratelit.com/a-season-to-dance-scavenger-hunt/

Giveaway

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The grand prize is a $50 Amazon gift card!

https://promosimple.com/ps/10068/a-season-to-dance-celebration-scavenger-hunt-giveaway