Monthly Archives: July 2013

Love Stays True July 29

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This week Martha Rogers joins us to tell us about her book Love Stays True. Welcome, Martha. Please share with us about your book.

Love Stay True is loosely based on the love story of my great-grandparents, Manfred and Sarah Louise (Sallie) Whiteman. The idea came to me as I read one of his letters to her a week or so before the battle of Nashville where he was captured and held as a POW until April of 1865. She didn’t hear from him after that and had no idea if he was dead or alive, but she waited for him until his return home in June 1865 when they were married.

What is the take-away from Love Stays True?

Not only is Sallie separated from Manfred, but she has turned away from God because of her circumstances and all that has happened to her. She feels God had abandoned her. When Manfred returns, she welcomes him with open arms because her love stayed true no matter how far away he was. She then realizes that God is waiting for her with open arms because His love stays true no matter how far away we go from Him.

That’s fantastic. 🙂 What’s next for you?

I’m working on the third book, Love Never Fails, of this series with a deadline of August 1. Book 2, Love Finds Faith, will be released in January 2014.

Excellent! I’m sure everyone will be anxiously awaiting future books in the series. I’ve read several of your books, Martha. Is there any one in particular that stands out in your mind as a favorite?

My favorite book is Christmas at Holly Hill. I absolutely loved writing that book. I love Christmas books anyway, so this one was a real joy. Another thing that makes it special is that I brainstormed ideas with a precious woman and her daughter at wellness retreat. They gave me the idea of a prodigal son and an orphanage. I dedicated the book to the two of them, but Mrs. Amy passed away before the book was released.

I can see why that book is so special to you. I always like to ask at least one fun question, so here is yours. Since it’s summer time, please tell us where you would go if you had a dream vacation.

My dream vacation would be to go back to Austria and Switzerland. I stayed in a little town in Switzerland and had a view of the Alps from the hotel window that was truly magnificent. Another teacher and I traveled down to Zermatt and rode a tram to the top of Klein Matterhorn and gazed at the Matterhorn. Oh my, what a sight.

That sounds picturesque. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Martha!

If you would like an opportunity to win an Ebook of Love Stays True please answer the following question:

Do you know anything about your family history? If so, what was the most interesting thing you discovered? If not, have you thought about going back to find out more about your parents and grandparents?

Rules: There must be 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law.

Martha Informal 2012Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and the author of the Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart series as well as the novella, Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas and Not on the Menu in Sugar and Grits. The first book in her third series, The Homeward Journey, is now available. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. In addition to fiction, Martha has contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Debra White-Smith and Karen O’ Connor as well as various devotion books. Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Be Joyful

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1 Thessalonians 5:16

Being joyful always is easy, right? Wrong! I don’t know about anyone else, but this is a tough one. How is a person supposed to be joyful when bad things happen?

Although being joyful always is difficult, I do see the value in striving to be joyful. Verse 17 goes on to say “pray continually.” (Why didn’t my Sunday School teachers ever have me memorize these verses? They would have been so easy!) 🙂

I think about when my son was in ICU not all that long ago. I was absolutely praying continually and although I may not have been rejoicing at the circumstances, my heart was not heavy because I knew that God was in control. Yes, I was scared at first and concerned when the alarms on the machines he was hooked up to went off and freaked out when he was choking and couldn’t breath, but I had God’s peace in the midst of it all.

I won’t pretend that I am always joyful, but I will strive to look for the good and set my focus on the Lord. It’s actually kind of hard to be crabby or down when my focus is on Him.

This morning my son heads back in to finish the surgery that went wrong. I would appreciate your prayers.

Serenity Springs Ohio

SerenitySpringsCOVER_72Sb(1)This week we welcome Lillian Duncan to tell us about her book Serenity Springs Ohio. Thanks for being here, Lillian. Please tell us about your story.

SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO.  It’s actually a new release of an older book. It was released before e-books were popular so I thought it was time for e-book readers to have a chance to read it.

Here’s the blurb:

An abandoned bird; an ailing aunt; and an unhappy fiancé. What else could happen?  Oh, yeah—a murder! Chief of Police, Matthew Travis moved home to avoid the violence of being a big city police officer, but murder shatters the peace and tranquility of his hometown.

It appears to be an open and shut case. A troubled teenager at the scene covered in blood with the murder weapon in his hand is arrested. Unfortunately, as Matthew ties up loose ends, his once open and shut case unravels.

And the danger escalates!

 How did you come up with the idea for the Serenity Springs Ohio?Sometimes, my books are character-driven and other times plot-driven. In this case, it was definitely plot-driven. The beginning scene simply popped into my head and I started writing and didn’t stop.

Serenity Springs was actually one of the easiest and fast books I ever wrote.

I love it when a story flows! What’s next for you?

I have a book scheduled to be released sometime this year, but don’t have the exact date yet. It’s BETRAYED and is the second in my SISTERS BY CHOICE series. It’s the story of a woman in witness protection to keep her daughter safe.

This sounds like a good book too. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Hawaii and Alaska!  I’ve been to all of the 48 continental states and would like to complete the quest of visiting all 50 states.

LOL. Those are a couple of the few states I’ve been too. You must visit them both! What is your favorite genre to read and can you recommend a book in this genre?

I love suspense and romantic suspense. Two of my favorite writers are Terri Blackstock and Brandilynn Collins. Anything by them is always good, but one of my favorites is Terri’s series LAST LIGHT. Great set of books!

I agree, you can’t go wrong with either of these Ladies. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Lillian is giving away one Ecopy of Serenity Springs to a lucky commenter. Please leave a comment to be entered. There’s no question to answer this week and there is no need to leave your email since wordpress provides it for me.

Rules: Void where prohibited by law. There must be 10 comments by different people for the drawing to take place. I will contact you Monday morning July 28th if you are the winner. You will have until August 4th to reply or forfeit the Ecopy. No new winner will be chosen.

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Lillian Duncan writes suspense novels with a hint of romance. She believes books can be entertaining and uplifting at the same time. Along with novels, she writes devotions for ChristianDevotions.us

For more information about Lillian and her books visit her website at http://www.lillianduncan.net/index.html


Costly Distractions

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While at the mall, I went into the restroom where a woman stood beside a stroller and was playing on her phone. I proceeded into a stall and closed the door. Seconds later a child’s voice whispered loudly “crawl under and lock all the doors”. Let’s just say, I finished up fast. But before I left the restroom the mother finally noticed her children were crawling on the floor in the stalls. She told them to stop and faster than Mom could move they locked the last stall. Guess which side of the doors the kids were on? Before I left, the mother was also on her hands and knees crawling on the floor trying to get to her children.

Oh my! I immediately thought, I have to share this on my blog. :). Besides the obvious lesson to pay attention to your children, or be present in both body and mind, or avoid distractions when in public with your children . . . I thought there has to be a spiritual lesson here.

In our zeal for something, do we become distracted and end up crawling on the proverbial floor when God is there with open arms saying come here, let me help, or I have something so much better for you. Or maybe the lesson could be God loves us so much He would even crawl on a disgusting floor to help take care of us.

Just something to think about. I hope you all have a blessed week.

Dolled Up to Die

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Welcome, Lorena! This cover has me intrigued. Please tell us about Dolled Up to Die.

Dolled Up to Die is Book #2 in my lighthearted Cate Kinkaid Files mystery series. It is scheduled for release on July 15 in both print and e-book form. (Dying to Read, which hit the New York Times E-book Bestseller list, was Book #1 in the series)

#1 on the New York Times E-book list. That’s fantastic! Sorry for the interruption. Now back to the description. 🙂 I read Dying to read too, and I believe reviewed it on this blog way back when. Note: to those of you who haven’t read book one, Dolled Up to Die stands alone.

Cate stumbled into the job of assistant private investigator in her uncle’s Belmont Investigations when she hadn’t been able to find a steady job for almost a year. Her uncle insists they don’t do murders, but her first “easy” assignment turned into a murder in “Dying to Read.” Now, with her uncle still insisting murders aren’t what Belmont Investigations does, Cate receives a frantic call from a woman about a triple homicide. A head blown off, a face destroyed, a bullet in a chest! But when Cate arrives, she finds these victims are a little short on human DNA. They’re dolls. But who would shoot someone’s dolls – and why? And then there’s the matter of  the very human but also very dead ex-husband in the next room, with reason enough for several people to want to do him in.

And Cate is again up to her elbows in murder,  with a trophy wife, a woman who claims she can tell you all about your past lives, a wedding and a wig – and, of course, the hunky Mitch Berenski – all involved.

What inspired Dolled Up to Die?

One big inspiration was the boy doll my stepdaughter has. When I first saw him sitting on a beanbag chair in her home, I thought he was a real boy and wondered how come I’d never seen him around before. Then I met the woman who makes these very lifelike dolls, and I knew I had to put them into a story.  However, as a mystery writer, the dolls face a very rough existence with me!

LOL. Since I originally wrote up this interview I had the privilege of reading Dolled Up to Die and loved it. I think the lighthearted feel of this story hit the mark for me. Thanks for sharing, Lorena.

What’s next for you?

I’m just finishing up Book #3 of the Cate Kinkaid Files. It’s just been retitled to “Death Takes a Ride.” After this is done, I plan to take some time off and come back with another book in my popular Ivy Malone Mysteries series. I keep getting requests for “more Ivy.” I’ve been telling readers for quite a while that another book is coming, and it’s time to do it.

I can’t wait to read book #3!

Please describe your version of the perfect day.

The perfect day: This would be my husband and me going over to the Oregon coast. We’d take a long, barefoot walk on the beach, where we’d dip our toes in the surf, find some beautiful agates, mysterious shells, and some tiny, dime-sized sand dollars. We’d write our names in the damp sand and haul a stranded starfish back to safety in the water. We’d sit on an old driftwood log to watch the sun go down, and we’d see that legendary green flash that’s supposed to happen on rare occasions just at the moment the sun dips over the horizon. Then we’d go to a  beach side restaurant to eat fresh-caught crab for dinner, and wind up back on the beach again to watch the moon.

Do you have a secret talent? 🙂 I suppose if you tell is it won’t be secret anymore.

Oh, I wish I had a secret talent. I’ve been waiting all my life to discover a secret talent!  It doesn’t have to be a huge talent. A little one will do. Maybe I could make the best cheesecakes ever? Discover I’m a fantastic “horse whisperer”?  Talk to my petunias and they grow like a flower avalanche?   So far, not yet. But it could still happen!

Wouldn’t be fun to be able to choose our talents? Thanks so much for visiting with us, Lorena. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of Dolled Up to Die please answer the following question.

What’s the most intriguing book title you’ve ever seen?


Rules: Void where prohibited by law. There must be a least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. I will notify you by email Monday morning July 22 if your name was drawn. You have until July 28th to send me your snail mail address or you will forfeit the book. No other name will be drawn unless requested by the author.

Lorena reduced(1) You can learn more about Lorena by visiting her website at http://www.lorenamccourtney.com/index.asp

God’s Plan, not Mine

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Proverbs 19:21

As I was reading the Bible this morning I noticed a verse I’d underlined and checked it out. Wow, did I need this reminder–the Lord’s purpose prevails. So often I jump ahead of the Him. I tend to be a dreamer with all sorts of ideas and plans. Guess what? Most of the time things don’t go well when I forget to include Him, and I end up making things more difficult for myself.

I need to remember to follow the Lord’s lead, keeping my focus on Him and not my wants, desires, and dreams.

What about you? Are there any verses that have jumped out at you lately?

Hush Little Baby

Hush cover with text revi (FINAL - 4-17-2012)

Deborah please tell us about Hush Little Baby

Investigative Journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.

Hush Little Baby sounds intriguing. What inspired this story?

Two things. An idea for a story sparked when I saw a clip on Good Morning America for an upcoming 20/20 segment about an investigation into fetal harvesting, and how 20/20’s producers did their own investigating. This was back in 1999. I just knew then that I had to write about it, as I mostly write about controversial issues. The inspiration for my little people characters was that I noticed day time talk shows were frequently featuring dwarfs, but not in a good light in my opinion. I vowed that one day I would write a novel with little people as the main characters, showing them living normal lives just like anyone else. Except for the suspense part, of course!

Wow. What is next for you? Do you have anything else in the works?

Yes. It’s another “issue” romantic suspense novel, but I don’t want to reveal what the subject is, just yet. It’s all a part of the plot.

No problem. Have you read any books lately that you would recommend?

I am a reviewer for Wordsmith Magazine, which is an online magazine that introduces readers to Christian books each month, so I read a lot of books I would recommend. The last one I can remember is Celtic Knot, by Tammy Doherty. I also recommend all of Michelle Sutton’s novels, if you like edgy Christian fiction. There are tons of authors who are members of ACFW that are excellent writers whose books I would recommend, but there isn’t the time or the space. If a reader searching for books to read goes to the ACFW website, they’ll find a slew of authors and their books there. Also if you they go to my website, http://www.deborahmpiccurelli.com/ all of my past review are posted.

Excellent. I agree the ACFW fiction finder is a great resource. I did a blog post on it some time ago.

What made you want to be a writer, and when did you begin to write seriously?

I’ve always loved reading, and reading good stories made me want to write my own. I had started writing a couple of novels as a child of about 10 or 11, but I didn’t tell anyone, so I didn’t receive the encouragement I needed to stick to it. As I grew that went by the wayside until after I had been married for some years, and had children. Then the writing bug returned full force, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Thanks for sharing with us. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Hush Little Baby click here to find out how to save 25% http://newbookjournal.com/2013/02/hush-little-baby-by-deborah-m-piccurelli/

Deborah has offered to give away a copy of her book Hush Little Baby to one lucky commenter. You must answer the following question to be entered. You may want to check out her website for ideas for answering this question. http://www.deborahmpiccurelli.com/books.php

What is one thing we can all do to help stop fetal harvesting?

Rules: You must have a U.S. mailing address. You must answer the question. There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing ends Sunday July 14, 2013. Void where prohibited by law.

Resized Proof of meDeborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for the sanctitiy of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.