Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving a Day Early

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1 Chronicles 6:34

I hope everyone has a blessed day today as we here in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all you who read my blog and especially thankful for those of you who comment. It puts a smile on my face every time a new comment hits my inbox or someone new subscribes.

What are you thankful for?

I am also thankful that when I need a break from blogging I can step back. During this busy time of year I’m taking a couple of weeks off from blogging. This is the last post I am making until December 16th when I will return with an interview featuring Tamera Kraft. She will be sharing with us about her new release A Christmas Promise. Not to be confused with my book The Christmas Promise.:) More than once when “talking” with Tamera, I mixed the two titles up.

Speaking of being thankful, if you’ve purchased my book The Christmas Promise THANK YOU. I appreciate you so much. My book was nominated for book of the month on http://www.bookfun.org/ There are several great books nominated so I’m up against some incredible competition. If you wouldn’t mind voting for my book I’d greatly appreciate it.

Take care and enjoy the holidays. I’ll see you back here December 16th!

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Starlight Star Bright

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Welcome back, JoAnn! It’s always a treat to have you with us. Please tell us about Starlight Star Bright.

I’m so excited to introduce my second Christmas novella to readers! This is the sequel to last year’s Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishers). It can certainly stand on its own, but I think the experience is enhanced by reading the first one. Starlight, Star Bright is part of Pelican’s 2013 Holiday Extravaganza of romance and romantic suspense novellas. Such fun! Here’s the blurb:

Texas-born goalie and World Cup champion, Dante Moretti, only expected tiny Starlight, Iowa to be a blip on the radar of his life. Stopping at Barney’s Diner for a quick meal during the holiday season, Dante meets two women who quickly capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start, stranding him overnight. Could it be the Lord has a plan for bringing him to Starlight?

Amanda Marston is excited to be home in Starlight for her big brother Jake’s wedding. When she drops in for a cup of Caroline Picasso’s coffee at Barney’s, who is that handsome, Italian-spouting cowboy? Before she knows it, Dante’s staying with Ben and Caroline and helping out with projects all over Starlight. Does God have a plan for Dante in Starlight—one that might include Amanda—or will he take her heart with him when he returns to Italy?

I know you call Dante your “Italian cowboy,” and that sounds very intriguing. Can you tell us a little more about his story with Amanda?

I’ve always loved a cowboy hero: handsome, strong, loyal and faithful. Dante Moretti was born in a small town in Texas, the grandson of first generation Italians. For the past five years, he’s lived outside of Rome, Italy and played on a championship soccer team (called football in Europe). Because of tragic circumstances in his past, Dante carries a certain sadness in his soul. Dante had no plans to stay in Starlight, but he finds much more than he could have hoped for and finds he doesn’t want to leave. Amanda Marston is back in her hometown to be a bridesmaid in her brother’s Jake’s New Year’s wedding to nurse Julia Sinclair (the characters featured in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe). As Dante and Amanda work together on various projects around Starlight during the Christmas season, they grow close and begin to care deeply for one another. After the wedding, Amanda is set to return to her teaching job in Florida and Dante’s scheduled to return to Italy for another season as goalie. How can these two hope for a future together? This is a fun story of how the Lord in His infinite wisdom, and the characters’ faith in His guidance, work out their dilemma in an amazing way!
Do you have another Christmas novella planned for next year? If not when can we expect your next release?

I love writing the Christmas novellas, and the Holiday Extravaganza is quickly becoming a favorite for both readers and authors. I’m already formulating a new story in my mind, but this is most likely the end of the road for my Starlight novellas. I have another proposal for a novella set primarily in Edinburgh, Scotland. If accepted, it will release sometime in 2014. I’m also hoping to release Book #5, Moonbeams, in The Lewis Legacy Series, sometime in early-to-mid 2014.
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
Christmas will be low-key in our home this year. However, my husband and I are going on a Caribbean cruise in early January and will also visit Disney World for the first time without children. We’ve both been super busy the past few years, and we’re eagerly anticipating this getaway!

Thanks for hosting me again on your lovely blog, Kimberly! I look forward to many more return visits. As the author of Starlight, Star Bright, I will have paperback copies (not available to the general public but only from me as the author). If readers will answer the following question, one reader will be selected to receive a signed copy of the paperback edition. Here’s my question:

What’s the one most important element for you in a Christmas romance novella?

Rules: There must be at least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing is open to U.S. addresses only. Drawing closes Sunday December 1, 2013. The winner will be notified 12/2/2013 and have until 12/8/2013 to respond or forfeit the book, No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

JD2_origJoAnn Durgin is the author of four full-length novels in The Lewis Legacy Series (and more coming!) and Catching Serenity, as well as Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and Starlight, Star Bright. When not writing, she lives with her family in her native Southern Indiana and is a full-time estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm.

Living Joyfully

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I don’t know about anyone else, but my thought life can have a big impact on how my day goes. If my thoughts are negative, things generally don’t go as well as they could, but when my thoughts are positive, even when things go wrong, it tends to runs off of me, and I’m able to move on without being dragged down.

Today I encourage you keep your thoughts positive. When I was searching for a verse on Joy I came across Psalm 92:4.

The Lord has definitely given us much to be thankful for. Let’s rejoice in Him.

The Pawnbrokers Ring

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Welcome, Justina! I love the cover. Please tell us about The Pawnbrokers Ring.

I have always had a curiosity about jealousy and envy. As the definition of each–jealousy being one of emotions, envy as desire for another’s possessions–each can be one of the heaviest crosses to bear for some people.  But what if someone struggled with both to the degree of taking over one’s life? Choices made because of them? Regrets? This story is of one such woman and her target is Adela Seward, who seems to have it all. Mrs. Blackburn is riddled with the outcomes of both jealousy and envy. Jealous of Adela’s love life and envious of what Adela has attained as a business woman in 1830.  But what someone sees and believes, in all actuality, is not what the other is experiencing. Does Adela enjoy those things she has earned? And what of her husband, who has yet to return after eighteen years? This novel proves the old adage: “You can only believe none of what you see and half of what you hear.” It also substantiates that we can accomplish anything, especially overcoming passions, with the help of God

Do you write strictly historical or do you write contemporary as well?

I wrote a contemporary mystery several years ago which was well received by editors at publishing companies. Then the last line of the letter was: “Find an agent and resubmit.” You know how that goes when you have never been published before! Perhaps I will rework it and resubmit one day. But I love what goes into the writing of historical books. The things I learn are amazing…and thankfully I have the internet!

What is next for you?

I am now on a three-part story called “Tunnels.” The nightly news one evening brought a small blurb about King George V and Queen Mary. A tunnel ran from Buckingham Palace in many directions where they could travel safely. It was used during WWII to build parts of bombers and numerous other war supports. She was walking in one area of a tunnel one day and encountered a man who clearly was not of royalty, dressed in rags. She asked him what he was doing there and he answered that he had been living there for some years, undetected. What an image. Here comes the internet and research. “Tunnels” takes place in Washington D.C., Moscow, and London. The theme centers on stealing. Is there a time when God could excuse such a transgression? This novel presents three different thefts, reasons and outcomes.

When did you first know you wanted to write and how long have you been writing?

Since the early years of my teens, I consumed English classes. Inhaled them, actually, but could not find what it takes to actually sit down and put stories on paper. I would think of P.D. James and the late evenings and early mornings sitting at the dining room table handwriting her mysteries! So you will ask: how did you finally do it? If you are meant to write, change in circumstances are usually behind it. I found myself living with my 11-yr old son in Northern California near Mt. Shasta back in the mid-80s in a cabin on 1,000 acres in the middle of BLM land—without electricity. The only electricity we had was 2 miles down the road where the landlord kept a small trailer in the middle of a cow pasture next to a roaring river that had long since been emptied of gold. My father bought me a Brother disc typewriter because he said that every job requires the right tools. Every day I drove my son down to the trailer, which also happened to be the bus stop for school, and type all day waiting for the bus to come back and then we would head back up the mountain. Well, didn’t type quite all day. I had a gold pan and took a few breaks! The other pauses to the writing endeavor were forced, when the cows would decide to move closer and use the trailer for a back scratcher. I suffer greatly from motion sickness…

Oh my goodness, what an imagine you’ve created in my mind! I can just see the trailer moving side to side–it would’ve made me sick too! Thanks for sharing with us, Justina.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Pawnbrokers Ring please answer the following question.

What was one of the most lucrative ways to obtain riches pre-electricity?

Justina Prima(1)

Justina Prima lives with her husband in Colorado, a full-time hospice nurse and writes as much as possible the rest of the hours of the week. She has a son and daughter in Chicago and three young grandchildren. This is her first published novel, now working on the second. http://justinaprima.weebly.com

Amazing Strength

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Life has a way of wearing me out. My first instinct used to be to call a friend since human contact generally makes me feel better, but this past week I chose a different route. I picked up my bible, and guess what? It helped. Somehow just the act of putting my focus on someone, or something other than myself made me fee better.

I ran across this scripture this morning and thought I’d share.

Isaiah 40:29

I LOVE this reminder! I hope if you feel weary this week you will remember that the Lord is strong and able. He will give us the strength we need, all we have to do is ask.

On A Summers Night

SummerNightCoverLargeWelcome, Diane. Please tell us about On A summer Night.

In my contemporary romance/suspense, ON A SUMMER NIGHT, it starts out in 1966 with two eighteen year old girls on a senior trip to Florida, to stay at one of the girl’s uncle’s winter home. They come in contact with something that at that time period, and probably still is, more popular in the south. They went through an experience they had to turn over to the Lord, and pray hard about forgetting. My main character, Kate, could never really give the experience from the summer night completely to the Lord. Like many of us, she kept taking it back. The story jumps to present day after a few chapters. Her hubby and she leave for Florida when he takes an early retirement; Kate’s uncle leaves her the Florida home, where memories haunt Kate and through a hard lesson she has to learn to let go. There are a number of twists and turns and we go to Montana and back to Michigan before the story comes full circle.

Letting go is a tough thing to do. This sounds like an interesting story. What is next for you?

I’ve just completed a present day suspense/romance that takes place in rural Georgia. It follows one of my characters from my new release, but stands alone. THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN shows events in the lives of people who petition God; wonder when He will answer, but realize nothing will be perfect on earth. It’s a story of love, murder, suspense and redemption. I had a lot of fun writing this and enjoyed my characters a lot.

Please describe your writing space. Do you prefer to write in quiet, or do you like noise like music in the background?

We live in a high-rise and over look the Gulf of Mexico. I have a corner in our room where although the television resides, it doesn’t come on until evening, and after checking early morning events. I write to easy listening, instrumental music in the background and rise early, by six each morning. I write for a few hours, and spend afternoons on FB or answering emails, proofing, and then critique chapters with my partners in the evening. I’d love to go to fun places and with a lap top write my book, but I can’t even imagine doing that; I need more quiet and I get ideas from my imagination, not watching others. I’ve had a lifetime to do that. 🙂

What is your favorite genera to read and what is the most recent book your read that you’d recommend in this genera?

I enjoy historical fiction as well as contemporary. I usually don’t have time to read a book while I’m doing a promotional and fine tuning another one. Deborah Raney is a favorite author and I look forward to reading her new release, SILVER BELLS. I also have a zillion books on ebook and often pick out one for an hour or so, and try to zip through it, when time permits.

lol I hear you about the zillion books on ebook. I’m am way behind on my to-be-read list! Thanks so much for sharing with us, Diane.

If you would like a change to win a copy of On A Summer Night you must answer the following question. What is your favorite Christmas carol or song, and what special memory does it hold for you?

Rules: There must be at least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. The drawing will close Sunday November 17th. I will notify the winner 11/18/2013. Drawing is open to US addresses only. Void where prohibited by law.

GreenHatDianeJP

Diane started her writing career at an early age when she asked for a typewriter for Christmas. She pounded the keys writing poetry and short stories in grade school on an old black Royal manual. Grateful when she took a summer typing class a few years later, she could type on an electric typewriter. It wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper, covering hard news and feature stories in the area. Returning to their home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations; while doing her favorite job ever, as a stay-at-home Mom. She is the author of Beach Walks and Carolina in the Morning. Diane was a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years, and her stories have appeared in a number of magazines and books. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her book, newly released, On a Summer Night, is a story of suspense and romance. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals. Diane thanks the Lord daily for her loving husband, three great kids and for giving her the desires of her heart.

Visit Diane on her website at www.DianeDeanWhite.com

Her blog page at http://simplepleasureswithdiane.weebly.com/

Her ministry, Seeds of Encouragement, for hurting people. http://www.dianedeanwhite.com/seedsofencouragement.html

https://www.facebook.com/diane.d.white.75?ref=tn_tnmn

 Diane’s book is available at all online booksellers, as well as Amazon, below:

 On a Summer Night: Diane Dean White: 9781936746682: Amazon.com: Books

 

 

Giving My Best

045I am currently working through Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study Gideon. There is one section where she discusses giving our gifts to God.  She uses the reference Judges 6:19-20.

The point here is that if we are going to offer our gifts/talents to the Lord we need to take the time to prepare them and not just slop something together. Then we need to follow through and present that gift/talent. For example I am a writer, but I wasn’t born knowing how to write. It took years of study and I am still learning.

I think people in general are afraid to present their gift/talent. Sure there is a risk in opening ourselves up failure, or public scrutiny, but there is nothing better than living in perfect obedience. Just something to think about .

I hope you all have a great rest of the week!