Monthly Archives: April 2015

Taking Care of Business

Capitol building 007Hello everyone. I’m changing things up on this blog. Beginning Monday I will no longer be posting author interviews, but rather author spotlights. It will be up to you to ask the author questions and interview them. 🙂

Sometimes there will be a giveaway and sometimes there won’t be. That will be up to each author or their publisher.

I spend a great deal of time each month putting together the interviews and with my writing schedule being so busy along with everything else life tosses my way, I need to try something that will take less time.

I hope you enjoy this new format and will join in the fun each Monday with your questions.

Can’t Buy me Love with Beth Vogt

headshotThis week Beth Vogt shares with us. It’s great having you here, Beth. Please tell us about Can’t Buy Me Love. Can’t Buy Me Love is the eNovella that introduces readers to my destination wedding series – all for 99 cents! It’s Bellamy and Reid’s story, and it has a fun Pinterest angle to it and a Manhattan destination wedding. I have a Story Question for each of my books and in Can’t Buy Me Love, my characters are wrestling with the question: What is the true cost of love?

Do you have a favorite scene you’d be willing to share? I had a lot of fun writing Bellamy and Reid’s reconciliation – I just let my imagination run with “dreams coming true.” And I also was surprised with their wedding reception scene. It didn’t go as I planned. Sometimes writing is like that – you think you know how things are going to turn out and then you let go of the plans and write something altogether different.

Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them? Oh, I do this all time. In my debut novel, Wish You Were Here, my heroine drank Jasmine tea – and I love Jasmine tea. Some of my friends say they can “hear me” in my novels. I weave my favorite snack foods into books, my friends’ names – and in one upcoming novel, I even put myself into a scene – but no one would ever know it unless I told them.

Oh how fun. I’ve never thought of inserting myself into a story. 🙂 How has publishing changed your life? Publishing has crystalized my faith. If you don’t know who you are –Whose you are – before you get published, you can get lost in the reviews, the awards (or the lack of awards), the competition, the comparison trap. I’ve had to anchor myself strongly to who I am in Christ – not to a particular review or moment of acclaim. I love what a pastor here in Colorado Springs said: “We have to trust what God declares about us more than what we think about ourselves.” And we can’t let what others say about us mean more than what God says about us, either.

That is great advice. What does a typical day look like in your life? I write in between – or despite – the interruptions of my life—however you want to say that. I set myself a schedule – and then I keep to that schedule as much as I can, despite the interruptions that life inevitably throws at me. I have people I love – family, friends – who I value. Sometimes they trump the deadlines and the imaginary people in my life. And sometimes they know the deadlines are looming and I’m going to be locked in my office. A lot.

What is next for you? Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the first full-length novel in my destination wedding series, releases on June 30th. This is Vanessa and Logan’s story and it features a, Florida destination wedding. This story asks the question: What if you discover that what you thought was your worst mistake was actually the right choice?

Interesting question. Thanks for sharing with us!

CantBuyMeLove_5bReaders, Beth is offering an Ebook giveaway of Cant’ Buy me Love. Please leave a comment to be entered.

Rules: Open to USA and Canada only. There must be at least five qualifying comments. Comments made by Kimberly and Beth do not count. The drawing ends May 3, 2015. The winner will be contacted the following day and must reply by May 10th, 2015 to receive the eBook. Void where prohibited by law.

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love(May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June). Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

Stranger’s Secret with Laurie Alice Eakes

StrangersSecret_final[1][1]This week Laurie Alice Eakes shares with us about her latest release. Welcome, Laurie. Please tell us about A Stranger’s SecretA Stranger’s Secret is the second Cliffs of Cornwall set in, of course Cornwall, England, in 1811. In the first book, A Lady’s Honor, we meet Morwenna. She is the cousin of A Lady’s Honor’s heroine, Elizabeth (Elys in Cornish). Morwenna has a troubled past and present, to say the least. Angry with her controlling grandparents, who have raised her while her parents explore the world, Morwenna is determined she will restore her son’s inheritance without their help. She’s taking steps in the right direction when “wreckers” lure another ship onto her beach for looting, and, as she seeks clues to find out who is committing this crime that is being blamed on her, she finds David, who is nearly dead from a beating and half drowning. She nurses him back to health, but someone wants him dead and wants Morwenna to take the blame for it. Even as David falls in love with her, he doesn’t trust her and withholds information that could save or destroy them both.

Do you have a favorite scene you’d be willing to share? The following is from Chapter 9 of A Stranger’s Secret

 

David’s hands came down on Morwenna’s shoulders, gripping them hard enough to hold her near, gentle enough to feel like comfort. “Is that Penmara?”

“It is.” Morwenna resisted the urge to lean back against his broad chest. Earlier in the evening, his strength had sheltered her from the horror of what the lieutenant had told them all. She had wished away everyone in the room so she could be held.

No one had held her with such tenderness in far too long.

You’re frightened, vulnerable, lonely. You. Do. Not. Care. About. Him.

But that was a lie, the part about not caring. She liked him, but how much was because of the person he was, and how much was her empty heart and arms she didn’t know. What she did know was that caring was dangerous. Yet she didn’t move away from him.

“How long will they stay there?” David asked.

She shrugged. “Until morning. Until—until a ship wrecks.” She shuddered with a violence that knocked her teeth together.

He moved his hands from her shoulders to her waist and drew her back against his chest. “You’re cold. We need to go in.”

“I need to watch.”

Not until the words flew from her lips did she realize how they could be understood. And he understood them that way. She felt it in the sudden tension of his body.

No sense in denying it. Denial would make her sound defensive, as though she did have something to hide. Now she must go inside where she could not see across the headland to the cliffs above Penmara.

She stepped out of David’s hold, instantly freezing to her marrow, and turned toward the house. “Let us be on our way before we catch our death.” Because the night was so dark between flashes of lightning, she took his hand and led him back to the garden. “How did you find your way out here?”

“I had a candle.” He lifted the iron bar into place to secure the door.

“Then why did you come out here?”

“Perhaps the same reason as you.”

Morwenna gritted her teeth. “Do you mean if my coming out here is innocent, you came out for the same reason?” Her hands fisted around the edges of her shawl. “But you say ‘perhaps’ in the event I have other reasons for being out here, as in waiting to see if my gang is successful this time?”

“I haven’t made any accusations, my lady.” He took her hand this time, as they traversed the path toward the house. “I was concerned.”

And wanted to stop her or anyone else?

Weakened from his wounds or not, he was a powerful man. The hand holding hers was surely broad enough and long enough of fingers to capture both her wrists at once. The roughness of calluses told a tale of labor that explained his strength.

Conan’s hands had been callused, as well, but not so much. They weren’t nearly as strong. David’s were more like Sam Carn’s, honed in the mines.

Dear Sam, her first flirtation, then her friend, now a married man who wouldn’t so much as look at her for fear of enraging his wife. Another abandonment, another loss. In days, perhaps as long as weeks, David would leave. Everyone went away, leaving her with the broken pieces to try to fit back together again. Each time, another sliver went missing, leaving an aching hole.

She removed her hand from David’s and gathered anger around her like a half dozen shields. “You may as well outright accuse me of being in league with these men. The lieutenant didn’t hesitate to do so.”

“And got him nowhere. His evidence was poor at best.”

“He could get a conviction from a jury at the assizes, men who don’t know me.”

“But they know your grandfather, which seems to be enough.”

They reached the steps to the terrace, and Morwenna slammed her booted foot onto the bottom tread. “Of course. Think badly of the widow with the tarnished reputation, but don’t dare offend the richest man in Cornwall. I tell you, if I’d been alone at Penmara, I’d be in chains right now.”

How has publishing changed your life? Publishing has given me a career I love. Now I don’t need to feel guilty about writing because it’s my job. And I have met so many wonderful people, both fellow authors and fans who never would have come into my life and enriched it with their presence had I not pursued publication.

What does a typical day look like in your life? I am usually at my desk by eight o’clock after I have made breakfast and packed lunches, fed and walked my golden retriever and fed the cats. Around noon, I take a break and walk the dog again—how far depends on the weather—then I work until five or five thirty before I stop to make dinner. I try hard not to work much on weekends, especially not Sundays. Sometimes, when I am on a deadline or the house is quiet because my husband is away, I will work. This is a business and I try to work business hours. Working includes being active on social media—mostly Facebook and Twitter—answering email, and talking with fellow authors or my agent or editor.

Are you published in more than one genre? I have written in various time periods of history from colonial America, to Regency England, to nineteenth century England. Now, however, I have just finished my first contemporary novel about which I am really excited. It will be out next year from Zondervan.

What is next for you? I will be writing more historical romances, but my main focus will be on contemporary romance in the form of more midwife books, spinoffs of my historical series The Midwives.

It was wonderful learning about your new book. Thanks again for joining us.

rwa 2014 literacy signingLaurie’s bio: “Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author, with a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University contributing to her career path. Now she has nearly two dozen books in print.

After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and her husband are exploring their new neighborhood. Although they haven’t been blessed with children—yet–they have sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another, the only two times she genuinely enjoys housework.

Love Comes Calling

Cover_LoveComesCallingThis week we welcome Deborah Piccurelli. Thanks for joining us, Deborah. Please tell us about Love Comes Calling.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.

 Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.

 But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?

How has publishing changed your life?

On the down side, it certainly adds extra busyness to each day. But on the up side, I have been blessed with meeting wonderful new people, making lifelong friends, gaining a ton of knowledge I never had before, and I could go on and on.

Do you write seven days a week?

No, I don’t. I would consider a perfect schedule to be working 4-8 hrs. Monday through Friday, and weekends off. As it is, I rarely have time for writing on weekends, anyway, except to go through emails and answer or delete. But, at times, even during the week, life is crazy (!) and there is precious little time spent on actual writing. But I do spend time on something writing-related every day.

 Are you published in more than one genre?

At this point, I’m not published in more than one genre, but I do have projects I’ve started in nonfiction, television and movie scripts.

How many manuscripts do you work on at one time? If you work on more than one, how do you keep the story details straight?

As mentioned above, I have other projects started. What I mean by that is that I’ve done some research and have notes on different aspects and elements of each, such as dialogue, setting, plot, etc. But if I have more than one book in mind, I never work on one before finishing another. Am I boring

I don’t think that is boring at all. We do what works for us. I find it difficult to work on more than one project at a time because I end up typing the wrong character’s name. 🙂 What is next for you?

I had been working on another romantic suspense, but the Lord impressed upon me to lay that aside and work on a futuristic television drama He gave me the idea for. Hopefully, we’ll be able to view it on one of the major networks in the not too distant future! :o)

That would be very cool. If/when it happens I hope you will contact me so you can tell us about it.

Resized Proof of meAfter years of reading books and watching movies with an element of romance, Deborah M. Piccurelli’s desire to write romance novels came naturally. She is active in her church and is an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. As one of the winners in a contest by The Christian Authors Show, details of Deborah’s writing journey can be found in the 2013-2014 edition of the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.cm/pxyyym4

 

Forgiving those who Hurt us is Not Easy by Kimberly Rose Johnson

DSCF1902

It’s probably safe to say we have all experienced hurt at one time or another. Hurts come in the form of disappointments, misunderstandings, downright meanness, and the list goes on.

The other day I was reading a passage in the book of Matthew chapter 26. Jesus was arrested and his disciples abandoned Him. I expect that hurt Him deeply. Can you imagine being abandoned by your best friends in your greatest hour of need?

I realize Jesus came to this world with a purpose, but he had human emotions and feelings. He was hurting, yet He understood their fear and forgave them, just as He has forgiven us multiple times.

Forgiving isn’t as easy as it sounds. In my new release Island Refuge Zoe was deeply wounded by people who were supposed to love her. She comes to realize that if she doesn’t forgive them she will never be able to be happy or be able to move on with her life. In fact not forgiving them hurts her more than it hurt the people who wronged her.

I encourage you today to forgive if you are hanging on to hurt. It’s not easy but with the Lord’s help it’s possible. Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do all things with His strength.

IMG_4314-2 PublicityKimberly Rose Johnson, writer, blogger, and  soon to be empty-nester, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their yellow lab. Island Refuge is her sixth published book and the first in a series of three. Kimberly enjoys long walks, chocolate, and mochas, not necessarily in that order.

Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake?

 

 

Island Refuge cover 25080381Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together.

 

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/1BWlVMK

 

Post Card by Laura Hilton and Giveaway

PostCardThis week we welcome back Laura Hilton.  It’s great to have you here, Laura. Please tell us about The Postcard.

David Lapp (from Promised to Another) survived a “code blue” when he was in a buggy/semi truck accident in Seymour, Missouri. Now after extensive therapy he has lingering mobility problems and is still struggling to find his place in the world. Lured away from Webster County by thoughts of closed buggies and a postcard friendship he’s developed with an Amish girl in Jamesport, he moves north, hoping for a fresh start. He finds work in the area tying flies and basket weaving, selling his products in the Amish markets in the Jamesport area.

Rachel Miller dreams of travel, but feels tied to her Amish life. She is being courted by Obadiah Graber, but wonders if there’s more to life. When she sees David’s name mentioned in The Budget, she strikes up a pen pal friendship with David while he’s in the hospital and in therapy, consoling him when he and his girlfriend part ways. She never dreams that David will come north and move into her community. David is still fearful in the buggy, especially in high traffic areas. Feeling he’s called by God to preach, David spends hours in the Bible, but the Amish discourage him, believing their ministers should be drawn by lot. Will David follow his call, even if it takes him out of the Amish church? Will Rachel realize her dream to travel?

What is the funniest or most awful situation you have ever put one of your characters in?   I put my characters in a lot of awful situations. My critique partners comment that they feel sorry for them. David survived a buggy accident with a semi in backstory—but what he goes through in this book is worse.

What does a typical day look like in your life? I get up, have breakfast and coffee and market. Then I homeschool the girls and do household chores. I run errands if I need to. Then I edit what I’ve written the previous day and start writing.

It sounds like you live a full life. 🙂 Do you write seven days a week? I take Sundays off, and there are a lot of days when life happens.

What is next for you? The Birdhouse releases in September. I am currently working on the first book in a new Amish series. I am also polishing up a Christmas novella.

Wonderful, Laura! Thanks for joining us this week.

Laura has graciously offered to give away a copy of Post Card to one lucky commenter.

Rules: Open to USA mailing addresses only. There must be at least five qualifying comments made by people other than Kimberly or Laura. Drawing closes April 5th. The winner will be notified on April 6th and have until April 12, 2015 to reply or forfeit the book. Void where prohibited by law.

35839_1469192045700_1110551537_1419357_4095333_nAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Birdhouse in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

 Purchase my books:

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

 

Adrift at Sea: Dropping an Anchor That Will Hold by Sarah Ruut

Adrift at Sea graphicDo you ever feel like you’re just drifting? Life is swirling around you, and you move from one thing to the next, but you’re being carried along by the swells?

What anchor do you drop? What do you hold onto so that the waves don’t carry you where you don’t want to go?

Maybe it’s work. There’s certainly a sense of stability that comes from having a job that you know you’ll be going to each day and that will be paying the bills…

Maybe it’s family. As long as you remain close, you can support one another through whatever comes…

Maybe it’s friends – those dear ones who stick by you when life gets tough. They’re there for you, and you can count on them no matter what…

Maybe it’s financial security. Things may get rocky, but you’ve got a nest egg set aside, so you know you’ll be okay no matter what comes…

What happens when you face a layoff, lose a loved one, feel the sting of betrayal, or watch your investments plummet? None of those anchors are guaranteed, and you’re likely to face changes that affect each one of them. Then what?

In the nautical world, there are many different types of anchors to choose from. In life, there’s only one anchor that will truly hold, no matter what. That’s Jesus.

Life gets tough, and things go wrong. All our planning and preparation will be for naught if we’ve chosen the wrong anchor to drop. All those other anchors – work, other people, money – will eventually fail us. When the storms come, the only anchor that will hold is Jesus.

Take a look at Psalms 91:1-2. These two verses are such an encouragement to me when life seems to batter at me from every side. He is our refuge, and we can hide away in Him.

I don’t know where you are or what you’re going through, but I encourage you to make Jesus your anchor. Spend time reading the Bible, praying, and growing your relationship with Him. He will not only guide you through the storm, but He will give you His peace in the midst of it.

Sarah Ruut PicSarah Ruut is an avid reader who loves talking books and authors on her blog. Although she is regularly interrupted by geometry proofs and foreign languages, she wouldn’t trade her homeschooling days for anything. All she needs is a cinnamon roll and a great novel to get through the rough spots!

You can find devotional thoughts as well as reviews of Christian fiction, interviews with amazing authors, giveaways and more at sarahruut.com. You can also connect with Sarah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahruut