Friday, April 18, 2014

Please welcome R.M. Strong to our Meet The Author Day

Sharon: Welcome to Author Day, Rickki, May I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? A soft drink? Or just plain water?

R.M. Strong: Well, my husband and I have been Netflix binging on Star Trek: The Next Generation this last month, so there’s really only one answer to that question: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Sharon: Coming right up!
Tell us a little about your family.

R.M. Strong: As I mentioned just now, I married a Trekie, and I’m happily watching ‘90s sci-fi with him, so that should tell you something about us. ;-) We’ve been married for over 11 years and have one son, who is 7.

Sharon: Who has been one of your best encouragers on your writing journey?

R.M. Strong: I’d have to say Nathan, my husband. I would have never pursued publication if he hadn’t read my feeble attempts at writing the first few drafts of my debut novel and encouraged me to keep polishing. Now, 10 years later, he has a good job and encourages me to keep at it, helping me polish, and hand-coding all of my ebooks.

Sharon: I love hearing how your husband and you can work together on your projects.
What gave you the inspiration for Patient Love? How was this story placed on your heart?

R.M. Strong: A friend of mine gave me the basic outline for Patient Love a few weeks before Camp NaNoWriMo in April of 2013—a young woman is dumped by her college sweetheart and relearns her worth in God’s eyes with the help of friends and family. The story evolved from the one sentence synopsis, as all stories do. I was determined to write something new, in a different genre than my “safe” biblical historical fiction and young adult fiction. I was also in a slightly more nostalgic and romantic mood as Nathan had moved to Portland for work and I was still in Idaho while our son finished the school year. My main character, Jasmine, re-discovers herself as I was doing somewhat the same thing.

Sharon: Sounds like a case of absent makes the heart fonder. Giggle.
Of your own experiences, what influenced the writing of Jasmine the most? What features became aspects that were Jasmine’s alone?

R.M. Strong: Like Jasmine, I was a lonely adolescent. I only had a few good friends, and even those friends I kept at arm’s length emotionally. Because of that, like Jasmine, I also fell into a one-sided relationship and while we didn’t get to the point of planning the wedding, it still wasn’t the right thing for me.

Sharon: I do believe an author’s experiences makes the writing more true to life.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

R.M. Strong: That would have to be my son. He has big dreams (right now, he wants to be president, a doctor, go to Mars with NASA, and be an Olympic medalist). Despite having sinners for parents, he loves Jesus, loves Bible quizzing, and loves the people around him.

Sharon: As far as your writing career, have you received a particularly memorable reader response?

R.M. Strong: Patient Love has gotten some very memorable responses, especially from some of my beta readers. One of my characters sits for the Bar exam in the book and I asked an old friend who had just passed her own exams to read the story and make sure the legal stuff was correct. Unbeknownst to me, she had been in an abusive relationship herself. She was very impressed with how I portrayed Jasmine coming out of her bad relationship and beginning to see herself not as Philip saw her, but as God saw her.

Sharon: So even your beta reader was a God thing!
Are you planning another book? If so, what’s the story about?

R.M. Strong: I always have a few other books in some state of done-ness. Currently, I have three works in progress and one book out with some beta readers. The book that’s being critiqued right now is the third (and probably final) in my My Life as a Superhero series. I also have another biblical historical fiction, God of Chaos, which retells the story of Exodus and the Ten Plagues of Egypt, and an historical fiction about 17th Century Caribbean pirates. I’m also working on a fantasy with some allegorical overtones.

Sharon: What an interesting line up of subjects!
One last question: How can readers find you on the Internet?

R.M. Strong: I can be found quite a few places. I’m on Twitter ( @RM_Strong ), on Facebook, at my website , and my books are available on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes & Nobel (Just search for R. M. Strong). If you have any questions that are still not answered, my email address is rmstrongbooks@gmail.com.
                                                                
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining us today. Do you have any parting words?

R.M. Strong: Thanks so much for having me, Sharon, and letting me talk about my books and what I’m doing. And a big thank you to your readers for stopping by as well.

Sharon: The pleasure is all ours, mind and the readers.


Q4 Our Readers: Do you read only one type of book, or are your tastes versatile?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Please welcome Mary C. Findley to our Meet The Author Day

Sharon: Hi Mary, I’m so glad you are here today. May I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? A soft drink? Or just plain water?

Mary: Hot tea will do nicely, thank you! It’s been a very cold winter.

Sharon: You are certainly right about that. Take your pick of tea bags from this basket while I get your hot water. Then tell us a little about your family.

Mary: Hubby and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage this year. He drives tractor trailer cross country and sometimes to Canada. I ride along full time. We have 3 grown children, Boy-Girl-Boy.

Sharon: When and how did you get interested in writing?

Mary: I started drawing around kindergarten, creating characters for stories. It was junior high when I seriously decided to be a writer.

Sharon: Do you write while traveling?

Mary: Yes, we do everything in the Semi, or a truck stop. :-)

Sharon:  Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Mary: I read a lot of books by friends in my indie author groups now, quite a mixture of genres. I want to review for them, and I have been blessed by stretching my preferences with some very good stories.

Sharon: Who has been one of your best encouragers on your writing journey?

Mary: The Christian Indie Authors group on facebook.

Sharon: Are we allowed to ask about the group?

Mary: The authors group itself is secret, but this is the Portal Group, where we route people to the other groups.

Sharon: What story haven’t you told yet that you want to tell? What’s holding you back?

Mary: I started writing a modern-setting book for the first time for NaNoWriMo last November. I normally write historical fiction, and it’s tough to make sure the conversations and characters are contemporary without being so up to the minute that they will not remain relevant.

Sharon: What makes your writing different than other writers? What is your brand? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Mary: We use Findley Family Video Publications as our imprint. “Speaking the truth in love” is our tagline. In my historicals, there will always be some romance, but mostly suspense, with people finding God doesn’t work the way we think He does, but brings things to a good end if we rely on Him.

Sharon: What gave you the inspiration for the Benny and the Bank Robber series? How was this story placed on your heart?

Mary: It was a combination of Tom Sawyer, the Sugar Creek gang, and some classic children’s adventures, like those written by Louisa May Alcott. I wanted a boy main character traveling westward in the 1800s and the people he meets along the way. I especially wanted to communicate the message that we might not understand why things happen, or like how they go, but God always has a purpose.

Sharon: What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Mary: Regular sales each month without any real paid advertising. We might not be million-sellers, but apparently we are doing something right, with mostly good reviews and 30-100 sales a month.

Sharon: Have you received a particularly memorable reader response?

Mary: I’ve had some wonderful reviews by parents reading them with their children. They have even done some historical fact-checking and found out I was right about details I included. Since I wanted them to appeal to homeschoolers, this was very encouraging. They also loved the way I included faith in the stories. One said, “One of the best Christian adventure books out there!” 

Sharon: How can readers find you on the Internet?

Mary: Our blog is http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com All our books are linked there, and there are teasers, plus we write about current issues and Bible study topics.
                                                                
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining us today.


Q4U Readers: How many books to you read each week?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CrossReads Book Blast With Lillian Duncan

Betrayed_h11347_300

By Lillian Duncan

About the Book

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future. Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster. When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake
lil2011dLillian Duncan
Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com
Follow Lillian Duncan

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Lillian Duncan!
This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bargain Books For 99 Cents




Check out the books below they are all 99 cents some for a limited time only. Please check the dates  before buying. Enjoy our Bargains and Happy Reading.  If you pick up a book, and love it please take a few moments to leave a review.




Street Justice Series 
Charlie's Angel book 1 
99 cents The whole month of April.
AMAZON
Samantha Fury


Miracles In Disguise
Always 99 cents
Michelle Lynn Brown  




Blessings From Above:  
A Deeper Look at the Beatitudes
Always 99 cents 
AMAZON
Heather Heart 





21 Prayers for Teen Girls: 
Finding True Beauty Through the Power
of Prayer and God's Word 
(True Beauty Books)
AMAZON Always 99 Cents
Heather Heart  &
Shelley Hitz




Matchmaker, Matchmaker 
(Christian Romantic Comedy novella)
Always 99 cents 
Sherry Chamblee





Chasing Norie (Stones Creek) 
99 cents until May 1st 
Sophie Dawson




The Elite of the Weak
 (Revelation Special Ops)
99 cents Until After Easter
Precarious Yates






Prince of Alasia 
(Annals of Alasia)
Annie Douglass Lima










FREE FRIDAY ONLY
Trouble At Lake Lorraine (Book 1) (KerryAnne Dawson)
AMAZON
Sherry Chamblee


THANKS FOR DROPPING BY
PLEASE SHARE








Please welcome Tamera Lynn Kraft to our Meet The Author Day.

Sharon: Hi, Tamera. Thanks so much for joining us. May I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? A soft drink? Or just plain water?

Tamera: I’m a tea drinker. Do you have any English Breakfast?

Sharon: I sure do, Tamera. Coming right up.
Can you tell us a little about your family?

Tamera: I’ve been married 35 years and have two married children and two grandchildren. My son is married with two sons and is college and career and facilities pastor at his church in Tennessee. My daughter is married and is children’s pastor at her church.

Sharon: Thank you for sharing, Tamera.
What makes your writing different than other writers? What is your brand? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Tamera: Most of the time when readers see Christian historicals, the think of romances, in particular prairie romances. My historicals are different. Even though they often have a strong element of romance, they emphasize the adventure historical events offer. Most of my stories are centered around an historical event, not just a time period, and how it affects the lives of those who lived during that time. That’s why my tagline is “Faith-filled Historicals for the Adventurous Heart.”

Sharon: That is great. We can learn a bit of history when we read your books.
So how do you choose the settings for your books?

Tamera: The settings for my books are the stories. I choose them by researching historical events. Once a historical event intrigues me, I imagine the stories of ordinary people living through those events, and the birth of my stories begins.

Sharon: What gave you the inspiration for SOLDIER’S HEART? How was this story placed on your heart?

Tamera: I was studying about the Ohio Seventh Regiment in the Civil War for another novel. It was considered by most to be the most heroic regiment in the Union Army. But their worst defeat and greatest losses occurred during their last battle. I got to thinking what it would be like for those soldiers who survived coming home after a defeat like that. I looked up PTSD and found out it was called soldier’s heart during the Civil War. When I heard that, I knew that would be the title.

Sharon: What impact do you hope this book has upon the reader? What is the theme of SOLDIER’S HEART?

Tamera: Noah Andrew, the main character, goes through an experience during the war that leaves him traumatized. He relies on his faith and counsel from godly men to help him through it. I hope the reader draws parallels to hard situations she may be going through and uses the same principals to help her through them. The theme of this story is to take our thoughts captive when we are going through difficult times and to trust God to get us through them.

Sharon: What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened in your writing career?

Tamera: I never submitted anything to my agent, Linda Glaz from Hartline. She contacted me out of the blue. I guess what happened is I submitted to another agent from Hartline. She left the agency and passed it to another agent, who passed it to another one, who passed it to Linda. A year later, I heard from Linda that she found my proposal on her desk and wanted a full read. She said it would take a couple of months before she got back to me, but two days later, she contacted me saying she loved the novel and wanted to offer me representation. I know this was a God thing.

Sharon: Linda Glaze is a wonderful person. I expect she is a friend as well as an agent.
Who are your favorite authors or books both Christian and/or secular?

Tamera: That one is hard because my tastes are eclectic. I love suspense writers Dean Koontz and Steven James. I also love historicals by Julie Lessman, Francine Rivers, and Ann Shorey. HUNGER GAMES and THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNN HAYMAN were two of my favorite reads last year. I also like young adult novels by Andrew Klaven. And I just read Amish author Mary Ellis’ first historical novel, QUAKER AND THE REBEL. I really liked that one.

Sharon: Have you received a particularly memorable reader response?

Tamera: The responses I’ve received about SOLDIER’S HEART have all been very kind and memorable. One review in particular really touched me.

In July 1864 Noah Andrews is on his way home to Ohio after a three-year stint in the army of the North. A young man who'd married his sweetheart before leaving for war, he'd chosen not to reenlist. The last dreadful battle in the mountains of Georgia had been a nightmare he'd vowed to put behind him.

Trying to live down the hero's welcome, Noah and Molly go to their farm, which she'd kept up during his absence. It was her home, too, a comfortable place where Noah had grown up. But something terrifying came home with Noah after the war. They called it soldier's heart, and Noah's shame at being unable to be the hero everyone considered him might be their undoing.

Phrases like, "they all tried to leave the train in one clump, as if...determined never to march in file again..." puts a face on often nameless facts and figures from this horrifying time in our history. In keeping his journal, Noah bled words onto the page...great writing!

Kraft's careful attention to detail of events during the period, real-time additions of fact, add depth to this beautiful fictional account of a young soldier who makes it home, back to his bride and a new life, but has the fiercest battle yet to face.    -- Lisa Lickel

Sharon: What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

Tamera: My favorite part is creating story worlds to play in. My least favorite part is the waiting. Waiting on an answer from a publisher or agent is like watching grass grow. But patience is a necessary part of being a writer.

Sharon: Are you planning another book? If so, what’s the story about?

Tamera: Actually a number of them. I have a Civil War Series about ladies who graduated Oberlin College shortly before the war half finished. Each lady represents a different cause of that era. The first novel, RED SKY OVER AMERICA, is finished and is being marketed by my agent. The second, LOST IN THE STORM, only has the first draft finished. I’m editing that one, and planning the third in the series. I’ve also just finished co-writing a post World War II era novel with Lisa LIckel call ALICE’S NOTIONS. I’m also now writing a 1920 tornado story called RESURRECTION OF HOPE, and am researching an early 1800s story called A YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER. That should be enough to keep me busy over the next couple of years.

Sharon: Yes, indeedy. That should keep you busy.
How can readers find you on the Internet?

Tamera:
I have a website: And a blog called Word Sharpeners: 
I’m also on FaceBook
And on Twitter: @tamerakraft
And I have an Amazon Author Page
                                                                
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining us today. Do you have any parting words?

Tamera: I want to thank you, Sharon, for having me on your blog today. I enjoyed it.

Sharon: Thank you, Tamera. I am sure the readers enjoyed this interview with you as much as I have.


Q4U Readers: Stories about the wars in our history fascinate and are very popular. What book was your favorite read in 2013?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Please welcome Brenda K Hendricks to our Meet the Author Day

Sharon: Welcome Brenda. We have refreshments on the coffee bar. If you don’t care for coffee you can grab a softdrink, or a bottle of water and let’s set and chat.

The two women choose a beverage and sit across from each other.

Sharon: I’m so glad you are here with us today, Brenda. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about your family?
Brenda: My husband and I will be married forty years this July. We have two married daughters and six grandchildren.

Sharon: Wonderful. So many marriages don’t last these days. I’m glad your family is still intact after all these years.
So when and how did you get interested in writing?
Brenda:  For years, I presented mini sermons and puppet skits for the children in our church. I usually wrote my own scripts and stories to share with them. Eventually, I met my now close friend, Marsha Hubler, who was just beginning her writing career at the time. We talked about writing, and she invited me to her critique group. Neither of us remembers how the conversation got started. It must have been a God-thing.

Sharon: That is beautiful.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Brenda:  Oh yes, on many levels. First of all before I started writing, I had little to time to read. Therefore, I read what I considered “significant” books like how-to’s, self-helps, devotions, and Bible studies. I didn’t want to waste any of my valuable reading time on fiction, let alone write fiction. But at one point, I read several of Francine River’s books and wept. God showed me that fiction was just as significant and life changing to some people as any nonfiction book. On another level, since I have more knowledge of what a well-written book looks like, I read with a more critical eye. It’s the plight of an author. It becomes difficult to read anything without seeing typos, misused verbs, and misplaced modifiers.

Sharon: I agree with you. Even Jesus often used a story, a parable to make a
point.
So what inspired you to write Trouble at Camp Turnabout Creek? How was this story placed on your heart?
Brenda:  I wrote this story for an assignment in a class I was taking at a writers’ conference. We were asked to write a fictional short story using a real life event. I thought about being a junior camp counselor and some of the shenanigans the campers pulled on me. That story stayed in my file for many years. Last fall, I was asked to do a presentation at a school. The theme was camp. So I pulled out the story and stretched it into a chapter book for preteens just for that occasion, which is March 2014.

Sharon: And your protagonist of the story is Ray Nuestrong. Of your own experiences, what influenced the writing of Ray the most? What features became aspects that were his alone?
Brenda:  As a junior camp counselor, I was tormented by a couple of nine-year-old boys. My protagonist, Ray Nuestrong is tormented by nine-year-old, twin girls. And he loves to paint animals as I do. That’s where my experiences and his begin and end. Ray is a prankster and loves to skateboard. He is outgoing and enjoys being on stage performing in front of an audience. He’s fashioned more after my grandsons—little of this one and a little of that one.

Sharon: That sounds so interesting.
Are you planning another book? If so, what’s the story about?
Brenda:  I have several books in the making. The next one I plan to publish is the third book in my Bumbly Bee picture book series, You Want to What, Nibs Rabbit? is a fun story about a rabbit who wants to learn to fly so he can join the high flyers club.

Sharon: Good choice. I believe children relate well to animal characters.
Brenda: I, also, plan to write a fantasy series for preteens which involves a boy who has a lot of questions. Alex discovers a secret cave and a magic horse. The horse takes him back in time where Alex finds the answers he seeks while observing events recorded in the Bible.

Sharon: How can readers find you on the Internet?
Brenda:  Readers can find me on Face Book, Follow me on Twitter, 
Look me up on Pinterest,  Connect with me on Goodreads, 
Visit me on my blogs: http://www.myquotesofencouragement.com and

Thank you, Sharon, for giving me this opportunity to share my writing experiences and my stories with you and your readers. God bless.

Sharon: Thank you, Brenda. The pleasure was all mine, and of course our readers.

Brenda: See you in a twinkling.

Sharon: Yes that is the promise. I pray that our Lord continues to bless your writing.


Q4U Readers: Do you read to your children and or grands? Do they have a favorite type of story they request over and over and over?