Monthly Archives: August 2014

Code Prodigal and K.D Harp

Spencer Series code prodigal finalK.D. Harp is with us this week to share about her book Code Prodigal. Welcome, K.D. please tell us about your book.

CODE PRODIGAL’s my second published work, the first targeted at the Christian bookseller’s market. I’m proud as can be to mention it made the semi-finals in the highly competitive and prestigious American Christian Fiction Awards GENESIS contest.
Featuring Boone (a Marine home from OPS) and Brianna (Summer camp director), it has the bad guy mayhem and hero/heroine bravery you’d expect in a romantic suspense. The two pair up to fill in for Boone’s sister (Brianna’s friend) to watch over his niece. In the world history of babysitting, it’s never been this difficult, and falling in love only makes things trickier. (The full backcover copy appears on my website http://www.kdharpbooks.com)
I like how they struggle with balancing not only the gifts each has that can benefit the other, but also the give and take all new relationships have:
How far do I go with advice or help?
What’s too much too soon?

I also like how it goes beyond the story’s faith aspect being represented just by a “Christian” sounding business or people attending church between run-ins with the bad guys. When they aren’t confronting Mafia kingpins, Brianna and Boone explore relevant faith issues like:
Is questioning God the same as a lack of faith?
Is having concerns the affront to God so many churches seem to teach in this age of prosperity and positive thoughts?

While such spiritual aspects might appeal to some readers, it also portrays Christians more the way we really live, rather than how we’re usually depicted. I haven’t met any real couple that didn’t have a God given libido, but many CBA offerings gloss over that. (I make CBA editors uncomfortable, but I could let my father-in-law read Prodigal, and he’s a Class A guy.)
There’s thought behind the ‘edge’. Prodigal‘s series is a potential cross-over from my other True Colors series, targeted at the ‘regular’ ABA market. I want to encourage and entertain people of faith with it, but I also want to give insight into how we live to people unfamiliar with our culture. So many people think of us as passionless non-thinkers, it’s important to me to make sure my characters aren’t just smart and courageous, but also (while by no means even PG-rated) have ALL the aspects of humanity real people are given.
All manner of media undermines Godly values everywhere we turn. One of my goals is to use entertainment to affirm strong character values in the next generation of the faith, so pretending we don’t have physical desires would miss the mark. No point in writing, if I fail in that mission.
God willing, my work is a fun reinforcement of values which have served me well, and can serve today‘s (and tomorrow‘s) young adults.

What is next for you?

If I stay on schedule, the second in the far edgier “True Colors” series, WHITE LIES comes out this fall, just under a year shy of the release of its predecessor, BLACKMAIL. (WHITE LIES took fourth place in the nationwide Hook, Line & Sinker! Contest. How cool is that?)
The next piece in CODE PRODIGAL’S “Fighting for the Heart of Spencer” series, RESCUE ME, is due out next Spring.
(You can subscribe to a newsletter with head’s up on all releases at http://www.kdharpbooks.com which also features cover previews and is where I play with backcover copy for upcoming titles if you’re into that sort of thing.)
If you’re newsletter phobic like I am, (my letter’s just announcements, no recipes, cute stories, vacation pics, or embroidery patterns, sorry), you can pop in on facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/kdharpbooks)
Oh yeah! I’m supposed to craftily sneak in a plea to “Like” K.D. Harp, Author on facebook somewhere in this interview. Something less desperate than say, my local news team does. (Those people seriously need some friends or a hobby or something.)

Did you or do you have anything fun planned for this summer?

My father always talked about going to Alaska, something we wanted to do but couldn’t fund. He died last summer, and left my brother and I enough to make the trip this year. Alaska’s a beautiful, inspiring hunk of God country for sure and we all had a great time, doing this trip to the max. My husband and I are usually pretty frugal, the type to buy a two liter and reuse ice and cups from the fast food place, but this trip was in memory of Dad, so we flew over fijords and even sprang for the ATV run near Denali. It reminded me of bouncing along in Dad’s truck as a child, and hikes with him in our local wilderness. Back then, you could even drink from creeks or rivers you came across, and he taught us what to look for, and how to cup our hands and slake our thirst in the days before water bottles. That adventure occurred on Dad’s birthday, and as we finished the trek (running up a stretch of dry river bed) the guides invited us to hop off and collect rocks from an old quarry. Someone pointed to a trickle of water coming down the hill, nothing bigger than a garden hose’s output, which fast became a rivulet, and would soon be a summer stream. The guide explained we’d witnessed the arrival of glacier melt, the first of the season. Hard to find water purer than this. It would become a mountain creek within hours and arrived at that spot just as we did.
My brother, always faster on his feet than me, bent over and cupped his hands to snare a taste of glacier and I followed, remembering our hikes with Dad. He would’ve loved this. It’s neat how God can layer a moment if we stop to observe.
As we jounced home, making full use of any rut or ridge to maximize our fun, my son, who drew the short straw and rode with me,commented no one else in the group was game to choose a rock or taste the previous winter.
He’d hit on something big and the reason behind our trip: live life as full as you can while you can.
I just had to go all MOM on him. “You know I preach caution. But some people are afraid to look spontaneous and they waste opportunities like this,” I said. “You be different. Be the one looking for the rock. Push for the best. Taste the water. Standing to the side and watching is no way to live.”
He nodded and smiled-
…and held on for dear life.

I’m sorry about your dad, but what a wonderful tribute to his life and legacy!
Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?

It’s a treehouse overlooking a deer run with electrical power, ceiling fan, and rocker. It has a phone which only connects calls from people I want to talk with, and never needs maintenance. Oh hang on. You didn’t say ‘fantasy spot’ to write. In reality, I have an office, which stores extra copies of books and old rejection letters among other things. I actually work with a laptop, sometimes in a park or restaurant/cafe, once on a beach, (yeah, I know, beaches are for READING books, not writing them) but most often looking out at the woods through my family room window.

What is your favorite sweet treat?

It’s either a chocolate/chocolate fudge homemade seven layer cake of refrigerated decadence I make on rare occasions, or chocolate coconut covered macadamias by Mauna Loa, (You sense a theme here…)
We discovered them on an anniversary trip (romantically chaperoned by our young son. …I know, I know. They’re going to take away my RWA and ACFW membership cards when this gets out…)
Fortunately, I’m too lazy to make the cake and the candy is VERY hard to come by unless you live in Hawaii, or I’d be immobile.

If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing?

I’d be in medicine or nursing somehow. I loved the science of it, and the heart. We can’t have enough good people in those fields. Almost did it anyway, but my own health issues tracked me toward something more flexible, like writing.
Whatever I do, I want to make a positive difference.
Thanks for inviting me. This has been fun.
Please leave a comment for a chance to win Code Prodigal.

Rules: There must be at least qualifying 10 comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing is open to USA mailing addresses only. Drawing ends September 7th. The winner will be contacted by me via email September 8th, and have until September 14th to respond or forfeit the book. Void where prohibited by law.

fb headshot2x3GENESIS award semi-finalist and native Atlantan K.D. Harp enjoys world travel, volunteering, and educating non-Southern folk about the appropriate use of the phrase “Bless his heart,” the original meaning of which has NOTHING to do with sarcastically calling someone a sucker, and is properly used to imply a ‘there but for the Grace of God’ sentiment.

Bored and dismayed by the trend in today’s entertainment to equate genuine love with the pale imitation of lust without personal investment, K.D. portrays people of character engaged with a world that lacks it. When they do it without losing the physical passion and sense of humor God would give to them, it’s a total win. This debut author needs all the support she can get in this endeavor.  Your prayer support is coveted.

The Georgia State University grad has no patience for dumb protagonists, and true to form, female leads will MacGyver their way out of some sort of situation whether it’s jury-rigging a flamethrower with kitchen supplies or finding new uses for a fire extinguisher to escape an inferno.

K.D. won 4th place in the nationwide Hook, Line & Sinker! contest and and has been honored by her local Boy Scouts of America council with a Distinguished Service Award.

You can read more on K.D. at: http://www.kdharpbooks.com

most frequently at K.D. Harp, Author Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kdharpbooks

Amazon Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/author/kdharp

occasionally at GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/kdharpbookscom

K.D.’s works are available in regular and large print paperbacks and for Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Easy links to the format of your choice can be found at http://www.kdharpbooks.com

New Beginnings, Good or Bad?

photo 5(2)As we enter another school year and I enter another new phase of my life, I’m reminded that new beginnings are a fresh start. How great is that? I’m not one who generally likes change, but I’m excited about what the future holds for my son as he begins his first year of college out-of-state. (Incidentally he’s the photographer for almost all of the photos that I post with my devotionals. He has a gallery on iStock. If your interested I’ll share the link–just ask. J)

Yes, it’s odd not having him at home with our family, but at the same time, this is a very exciting time for him and all the other freshman, or anyone else experiencing a fresh start.

I am reminded of Ecclesiastes chapter three. It says that there is a time for everything and goes on for eight verses about this. This is our time to dance as stated in vs. four as our son steps out on his own.

I know not everyone looks at change with excitement and for many when their children go off to school it is a season of mourning. I understand that feeling, but I refuse to be sad. I will instead rejoice that my son has this opportunity and pray that he is successful.

Have you had, or are you experiencing a fresh start? How has that affected you? Is there a scripture you leaned on if this was a difficult change? Or perhaps you have word of encouragement to share.

 

Janette Oke’s Stage Disaster

Guest blogger Ada Brownell shares this weeks devotional.

ada brownell

Janette Oke’s Stage Disaster

By Ada Brownell

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:10).
During Janette Oke’s early school years, her family traveled by team and sleigh to the annual Christmas program.

Janette’s teacher coached her in the recitation of the poem, “The Twins,” and she could hardly wait, expecting the crowd to enjoy it. Since the poem was written from the male point of view, Janette dressed as one and had practiced changing her voice in appropriate fashion. It would be fun to ham it up a little.

After the appropriate introductions and fanfare, Janette began reciting. Then to her horror her mind went blank. She scrambled and floundered and the poor teacher coached, but the performance was a major flop. Janette was glad to exit the stage.

After the applause faded, and people clustered around giving congratulations, the teacher asked, “What happened?”

There was no easy answer. The poem simply left Janette and never returned, although she mentally groped for it over the years. It stubbornly refused to be relearned.[1]

I wonder if Janette was so embarrassed by her performance she decided to avoid anything having to do with crowds.

In my youth I embarrassed myself in grand fashion, too. I was in sixth grade and won a contest with a story I wrote. As a result, I was honored to be chosen to present my speech at the high school in a speech contest. I was shocked to discover I would complete with seventh and eighth grade students.

I panicked, and when I stood up to say the memorized speech, I ran through it so fast no one could understand a thing I said. Mama who had been so proud, sat on the front row and as I spoke melted down lower and lower in her seat. I slowed down enough so they could understand the joke at the end, but I was thankful to get it over with and get out of there.

A few years later, I sang a duet in church with my sister. We were so nervous we started laughing in the middle of our very serious song. We finally giggled the last note and I shot out of the church building toward home. We only lived a couple of blocks away. I sobbed all the way as I ran. Inside, I went to my room, threw myself over the bedspread and sobbed some more. I vowed to never sing in front of people again.

Truth is, I spent my life singing in church–solos, in trios and occasionally a choir.

Like Janette Oke, whose words in her novels eventually blessed millions despite her failure to recite a poem, I discovered God uses people who mess up occasionally. I learned embarrassing myself reminds me I’m imperfect and humbles me. That keeps me on my knees asking for His help.

As a writer I need God to impart wisdom, knowledge, faith and touch me with the Gift of Prophecy every day so that I can write words that will encourage, bless and lead people to Christ.

After all, it’s about Jesus—not about me.

[1] Laurel Oke Logan, Janette Oke, A Heart for the Prairie, Bethany House 1993

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and on blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Among her books: Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at http://www.Audible.com Free book with new Audible membership.

THE LADY FUGITIVE COVER 2How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LYDWAIW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries     Twitter: @adellerella   Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement     Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06BarnesandNoble.com   http://ow.ly/rFSW3     Google https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdaBrownell/posts     Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

In Perfect Time with Sarah Sundin

Sundin - In Perfect TimeThis week author Sarah Sundin shares with us about her book In Perfect Time. Welcome, Sarah. Please tell us about your latest release.

World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper seems immune to her charms. Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

How many books do you have published?

In Perfect Time is my sixth published novel. I can’t believe it! I still feel like a complete newbie.

I understand that feeling. I’ve contracted five books and I feel the same way. 🙂 Congratulations on having six books out there!

What is next for you?

In September, Where Treetops Glisten releases—a Christmas novella collection featuring stories from Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and me. I just turned in my next novel—Through Waters Deep is the first book in the Waves of Freedom series, which follows three US naval officers based in Boston in WWII. It releases in summer 2015. And I’m starting work on the second novel in the series.

It sounds like you are keeping busy. That’s fantastic! I’m looking forward to having you return in October to share with us about your Christmas novella.

Did you or do you have anything fun planned for this summer?

I just returned home from vacation in Pennsylvania (visiting my parents) and Boston. While in Boston, I was doing research for the Waves of Freedom series. I got to walk around in a 5-inch gun mount on the WWII battleship USS Massachusetts and explore the ammunition handling room on the WWII destroyer USS Cassin Young. Yes, this is interesting to me. I’m weird.

Then I’m weird too. It sounds fascinating to me. Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?

I write wherever I can. When I first started writing, my kids were in the blur of soccer/ballet/karate/choir, so I learned to write anywhere. Now my kids are older, so I get to do most of my writing from my desk in my office. Much more efficient!

If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing?

I’m also a pharmacist, and I still work one day a week at the local hospital. I never had any plans to be a writer until God smacked me with a story idea. Then another. Then another. So if He hadn’t done that, I’d be working full-time as a pharmacist.

What was the last fiction book you read that you can recommend?

My favorite read this summer has been Melanie Dobson’s Chateau of Secrets. This is the first time in years I’ve read an entire book in one sitting. I was completely drawn in—a Frenchwoman in WWII hides Resistance members in the tunnels under her chateau—which is occupied by Nazi soldiers. This is based on a true story, and it’s mesmerizing.

Thanks for sharing with us, Sarah.

Sarah is giving away one copy of her book to a lucky commenter.

Rules: Open to USA mailing addresses only. Drawing closes August 31st.  The winner will be contacted by me via email September 1st, be watching and don’t forget to check your spam just in case it gets sent there. J Winner will have until September 7th to respond or forfeit the book. No new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law.

Sundin #D70 ©2008 Linda Johnson Photography web  (2)Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. You can find her at http://www.sarahsundin.com

There is Hope

DSCF2176 COPY

It seems to me there are a lot of people experiencing hopelessness, despair, and overwhelming sadness… I don’t know how to help, but there are people who do.

Maybe you want end it all. Please reconsider. There is help. You can go the following website or call.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

For those of you interested in reading a devotional on getting rid of discouragement my friend Sherri Sand wrote a great article on the topic.http://ow.ly/AfnoM

 

 

The Nun & and The Narc

TheNunAndTheNarc2_850-1
This week we welcome Catherine Castle. Please tell us about The Nun & The Narc.

The Nun and the Narc is an inspirational, action adventure, suspense novel that has been garnering 4 and 5 star reviews and won the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award romance category. The book has also finaled in a number of contests both this year and before being published.

Here’s a quick book blurb.
Captured by the local Mexican drug lord after she interrupts a drug deal, novice Sister Margaret Mary risks losing her life, her vocation, and her heart when she falls for undercover DEA agent Jed Bond who is imprisoned with her. Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary. Jed knows she’s off limits, but his heart can’t help wanting this woman who’s been promised to God.

Do you, have anything fun planned for this summer?

We went to see Mickey Mouse in Florida this spring and to visit old high school friends. Mickey’s place is one of our favorite vacation spots.

How fun! My husband and I went there for the first time in December. We had such a nice and relaxing time.

Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?

I do most of my writing in my office-a cluttered, book-filled space. I have written other places though, like in hotels while my husband was on business trips, Panera, the library, but the office, where I have all my resources, works best for me. I like complete quiet and a comfortable chair when I write.

How many books have you published?

The Nun and the Narc is my debut novel as Catherine Castle.

If you weren’t a writer what would you think you would be doing?

Probably gardening and keeping the house clean. These two things suffer because of my writing habit. LOL.

What is next for you?

I’m working on a romantic comedy that I hope to get published soon, and next April I will have my first speaking gig as a published author when I present a workshop at the Midwest Writers Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

How exciting. I hope it goes well. Thanks for sharing with us about The Nun & The Narc.

Catherine is giving away one eCopy of her book. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment.

Rules:Drawing ends August 17th. The winner will be notified via email on August 18th and have until August 24th to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law.

C Castle author CT Bio 8x11Award winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.