Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview With Maureen Lang +++ Giveaway!!



Well, today the interview is with Maureen Lang and she has been gracious enough to offer a copy of her book, Whisper on the Wind, to one of my blog readers. Again, read to the end to find out how to enter the giveaway.

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

Since I was about ten years old—but let’s not count how many years that’s been! When I was very little, I heard my father tell a neighbor that I was “the creative one” and being singled out in such a way from my other siblings was a treat. I think I always wanted to live up to that assessment.


Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

Whisper on the Wind is one of my Great War books, set in Belgium during the First World War. That’s a war so few people seem to know much about, because when I mention it they often ask what part the Nazi’s play. But that party didn’t start until the 1920s, well after the First World War ended. Even though war is brutal and this war is certainly no exception, the lines between good and evil, right and wrong, were far less defined in this war.

At the start of the story, my heroine risks her life to sneak back inside Belgium, which has been overrun by the German Imperial Army on their way to conquer France. She plans to smuggle in—then out—rescuing both the man she loves and the woman who helped to raise her, his mother. But the man she loves refuses to go, because he’s involved in a secret newspaper which is the only source of real news for Belgium. Despite his reluctance to have her involved, partly because he’s always thought of her as a young nuisance, my heroine works right alongside of him—and it isn’t long before he realizes she’s a woman fully worthy of his love. If only both of their lives weren’t in constant danger…


When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

I’d love, first of all, for them to have been entertained, because that’s what a romantic story does for me. But I also hope they feel a bit closer to God, to be reminded that He loves each of us as individuals and that no matter what happens His love remains strong. If we turn away from Him, refuse to acknowledge Him, if everything seems lost, He’s still there. Loving us.


What is the funniest moment you have had while writing?

This isn’t a LOL moment, but it’s kind of funny in surprising way. Before I was published, I had a ten-minute interview with an editor from Kregel Publications at the Write to Publish conference in the Chicago area. I came with my “one-sheet,” a single page complete with a description of the novel I was prepared to pitch, my past publication credits, a head shot and contact information. No sooner had I handed the one-sheet to the editor, explaining my story was set during the First World War with an element of espionage, than he said something along the lines of: “We just purchased something with espionage. What else do you have?” Thankfully I was able to go on to share information about a project I was just beginning, and he was interested in that—even taking notes about it on the back of my one-sheet.

So despite the rough start, the appointment ended well. Home I went to work on my new project and to send him a proposal on that. A few weeks later, I received an email from another editor at the same publishing house asking for a proposal on my First World War espionage story. How strange, I thought. Although I didn’t know this other editor, I assumed the first editor to whom I’d handed the one-sheet had passed it on. How else would anyone at Kregel even know I was writing a First World War story?

So with a cover letter explaining that another project of mine was already under consideration there, I submitted my espionage story. That’s the one they bought. (Pieces of Silver, a Christy finalist.) Let this be a lesson to aspiring writers: always come to an editor or agent meeting prepared to pitch more than one story!


Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

I actually wrote the first draft of Whisper on the Wind a number of years ago, and always wanted to visit Belgium because of my research. I was blessed to go there recently, and it was a dream come true!

Having had that dream fulfilled, it seems like other places pale a bit in comparison. But I’ve wanted to go to the Czech Republic for several years now, because my daughter visited there while she was in college. She said of all the cities she’d visited, Prague was her favorite. I guess I’ll have to set a book there so I can plan a research trip!


If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

Living, or dead? That’s what I hope to do in Heaven, share all kinds of wondrous meals with people I’ve read about in history. Like the apostles and saints that came after them, or famous figures in history. I suppose if I were somehow able to meet any one of them in this life time I’d be incredibly intimidated, so waiting for Heaven to enjoy such a thing probably works out best anyway.

As far as a dinner with living people: I’d love to talk to Beth Moore because I admire her Bible study methods so much. I’d also love to meet comedian/commentator/radio host Dennis Miller. I didn’t always like him because he’s a bit more liberal than I am, at least socially, but whenever I hear him on the radio I’m always struck by how kind he is to his callers. So many radio personalities, either conservative or liberal, are so abrasive I can hardly stand that part of their program. But Dennis Miller seems genuinely friendly, intelligent, and I agree with enough of his conservatism that I feel like I’d honestly enjoy his company—like a brother.


What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

My initial thought was that I’d love to be a witness to Christ’s second coming, but almost as quickly I thought I’d love to see how God created the universe. I don’t want to be Eve’s older sister, I want to be a heavenly being, not bound by time, watching it all unfold. What a show!



Do you have a favorite hobby?

I used to enjoy working on embroidery or painting ceramics, but between family demands, writing and reading for both pleasure and research I haven’t had time in years. I think reading for pleasure might still qualify as a hobby, even though I consider it vital to my writing life. The time I could spend being creative with my hands I now devote to reading.


Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?


I always feel like between my books, my blog and my Facebook page people can find out far more about me than even I realize! But if someone were to have read all of my books, visited my website, followed my blog, they still might not know I absolutely dread talking on the telephone. This is true most of the time, but especially in the mornings when I’m working. I love email! Hate the telephone.


Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Write consistently because we learn by doing, and read voraciously. Read not just the genre in which you want to be published, but anything that’s excellent. I believe we learn best through positive example and also through positive reinforcement. So even though we must certainly be aware of our weaknesses in writing, ask critique partners what your strengths are. Then try to minimize weaknesses but concentrate on your strengths, because the rest will tend to either work itself out or be so overshadowed by your strengths that they’ll pass notice.


Any last thoughts for your readers?

I’m always so grateful for readers who spend their precious time reading one of my books. I consider myself a reader first, one who’s figured out a way to write what I want to be reading. Chances are people who enjoy my books have taste that’s similar to mine, and I love to celebrating that—so let me know if you enjoy my books!

And how can they connect with you?

Email: maureen@maureenlang.com

Website: www.maureenlang.com

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/maureen.lang

Blog: http://maureenlang.blogspot.com/

READERS-To enter the giveaway, tell me your favorite type of food to eat. Is it Mexican, German, Homestyle, etc? Let me know in a comment and that is your mandatory entry. EXTRA ENTRIES- Either follow my blog through GFC, Subscribe through RSS Feed, follow me on Twitter or any other way you can think to get this giveaway out or become friends with me. You get one entry for each thing you do. Please be fair though. I am able to delete comments I don't think are relative to this giveaway. Thanks all!

This giveaway will end 10/7. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They have 48 hours to respond.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interview with Jody Hedlund and Giveaway!!


Today I have an interview with Jody Hedlund. She has also offered to give one of my readers a copy of her book, The Preacher's Bride. So please read to the end for details on the giveaway.

Thank you for being with us today, Jody!
How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I was born holding a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. And when I was toddling, I chewed on erasers and books. J Seriously, it’s been a life-long aspiration.

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

The Preacher’s Bride is a tale about finding true love amidst hardship, discrimination, and persecution.

This book is inspired by Elizabeth Bunyan, the second wife of John Bunyan who was author of Pilgrim’s Progress. As I was reading a biography about John Bunyan, I ran across a small excerpt about Elizabeth. I loved the brave way she defended John during one of his trials when he was under arrest for his “unlicensed” preaching. Her strength to face a court of persecutors and her determination to faithfully support her husband touched me so deeply, that I decided her little-known story needed to be told to the world.


When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

Sometimes God will lead us down a difficult path or ask us to do hard things and he doesn’t want us to avoid them for the easy way. Ultimately he uses those difficulties to shape our character and deepen our love for Him.


Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

Every time I’m writing a book, I want to go visit the location of that particular book. But because of the busy nature of my life, raising five children and homeschooling them, I have to satisfy myself with visiting my story settings via the pictures of those who’ve already been there. I LOVE the internet and the way that it allows us to virtually walk almost anywhere in the world right from our kitchen tables.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

John and Elizabeth Bunyan, the characters that inspired The Preacher’s Bride. I’d love to see what they think of my fictionalized tale of their romance! I have a feeling we’d have a good laugh together over my glamorized attempt to portray their story.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

I would love to stand next to Elizabeth, a mere peasant woman, on the day she acted as “lawyer” for her husband, John Bunyan. I would have cheered her on as she stood in front of a room full of pompous and rich judges in her incredibly brave attempt to get her husband released from prison.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I love going to used book sales—especially the ones my local library has a few times a year. I’ve found wonderful treasures there—especially books I’ve been able to use in my research.


Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

I’m a coffee and chocolate addict. Oh wait, most already people know that about me. J Actually, I’m an open book. If you want to get the low-down on the cookies I eat for breakfast or all the funny things my 4 year old says, follow me over on Twitter or Facebook!

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Dream big, work hard, never stop learning and growing. Oh, and visit my blog—browse through old posts. I’ve chronicled my writing journey there and given my two cents on a lot of writing topics.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

My next book, releasing in 2011, is also an “inspired by” story. I won’t say who it’s about yet. You’ll have to get your hands on the book to find out! It’s my deepest desire readers will be inspired and encouraged by the lives of these incredible women of the past.


And how can they connect with you?

Website: JodyHedlund.com

Blog: jodyhedlund.blogspot.com

Email: jodyhedlund@jodyhedlund.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJodyHedlund

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JodyHedlund

Question For Readers:

If you’d like to sign up to win a free copy of The Preacher’s Bride, please tell us your favorite kind of chocolate! And don’t forget to leave your email address.

Jody Hedlund is a debut historical romance novelist who was a double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

She’s represented by agent Rachelle Gardner and her debut book, The Preacher’s Bride, is currently available for order on Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, and other internet sites. It’s also for sale in most bookstores.

READERS-Did you see Jody's question above? That is how you will be entered in this giveaway!! You must answer her question. And please leave your email. I cannot reach you if you win, without an email.

This giveaway will end 10/6. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Review of Be Not Afraid by Deborah Lynne.

Howdy all, I was trying to get this up on Saturday but just got too busy. Seems that is happening a lot recently:) But you know how it gets.
Anyways, Deborah Lynne sent me a copy of her new book, Be Not Afraid. It is a mystery book.
I have to admit I was impressed. I thought this book was a first novel as I had never heard of Deborah before. But then in researching her, I found out that she had previously written at least one other book. I did have two problems but I will tell you about those a little further down.
This did have a lot of mystery and suspense in it. Almost too much:) Just kidding but there was a lot of mystery throughout this novel. I never would have known who dunnit!! The two problems I had with this novel is, one, that twice two of the characters think that something about the suspect looks familiar. But it never clears up if they knew the suspect. It almost makes it sound like the husband who had died, was not really dead. But that doesn't seem to be what happened but that was something put in to sidetrack the reader. Definitely did it with me:) I thought for sure the suspect was the husband. The other thing I didn't like was the detail put in about why the suspect might have done what he did.
Overall this was a good book. Other than the two problems, I enjoyed the book. Good plot and nice mystery!

I received a book from Deborah for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation in exchange for my thoughts.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Excerpt from the Book, Heading Home With your Newborn.

Pediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of "parent-tested, pediatrician-approved" advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, HealthyChildren.org. Also available in bookstores nationwide. The following is an excerpt to help you navigate those first crucial weeks of parenthood and caring for a newborn:
The Many Colors of Poop Long after adjusting to parenthood and your role as principal poop watcher and wiper, you may still find yourself fretting over changes in the color of your baby's poop. In reality, once your baby has pooped enough to get rid of the tarry meconium, all the varying shades of yellow, brown, and even green are considered perfectly acceptable. Mustardy yellow is the color of choice for most breastfed babies, and yellow-tan with hints of green for those who are formula-fed. Being presented with a changing palette of colors is not uncommon, however, particularly later on down the road when your baby is introduced to such things as solid foods and snotty nose colds, both of which can add new shades and substance to the mix.
Black, White, and Shades of Red
There are a few colors of baby poop that, should you see them, always warrant discussion with your baby's doctor.
Red. Seeing red can mean blood, especially in the newborn period when your baby isn't eating or drinking anything red-colored that could be mistaken for blood when it comes out the other end. Blood should not signal you to panic immediately, but you should bring it to the attention of your pediatrician, who will be able to help you sort out the cause. It is possible for babies to swallow some blood during delivery that presents itself shortly thereafter--either in the baby's spit-up or poop--but, nevertheless, any amount of bloody poop should be evaluated because it can also be a sign of a problem.
Black. Black-colored poop sometimes represents old blood because blood is known to turn from red to black over time in the intestinal tract. Remember that this black color alert does not apply to your baby's first few meconium bowel movements, which you can fully expect to be black and tarry looking.
White. White poop is quite rare, but needs to be brought to the attention of a doctor ASAP because it can be caused by an underlying liver problem. The earlier it is addressed, the better--either for peace of mind or medical management.
*Book excerpt from Heading Home with Your Newborn (Second Edition/Copyright 2010/American Academy of Pediatrics). The Heading Home with Your Newborn excerpts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.

Interview with Deborah Lynne



Tonight I have an interview with Deborah Lynne, author of Be Not Afraid. I will be posting my review of this book tomorrow. Was trying to get it done tonight but just too busy. It was a good book though:)


How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

In high school I wrote poems…love sick teenage poems…but my true calling to writing novels came after a car accident that kept me home from work for 3 months. I read so many novels that one day I said, “Lord, I could write one of these.” And then He gave me the title for my first romance “Accidental Romance” and I’ve been writing ever since. In the beginning I wrote for my pleasure, my mother’s and one dear friend. They read my completed novels—the first five anyway—and encouraged me to try and get published. Then after five years of writing, the Lord hooked me up with other writers and opened a whole new world to me.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

The idea for Be Not Afraid came to me one night when I was working the midnight shift at a trucking company. I’d only been a dispatcher for a short time but had written 3 mysteries by then. That night I heard a sound that had me slip out into the dark and try to find it. That’s when the idea hit me for a wonderful new mystery, actually suspense.

What if a woman dispatcher hears a sound in the middle of the night and when she goes out to search for it, she sees a killer doing his best, killing another woman. And because no one has lived to tell how he looks, she becomes his next target.

Not only does this put her life in jeopardy, but it endangers the place she works, her son’s life, and her friends. Being the victim, but survivor, of an abusive husband (policeman) who before taking his own life scared her for life, she finds it hard to trust policemen when her son’s and her life depends on it most. But what choice does she have?

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

When you trust God in ALL parts of your life, you can get through anything. He NEVER lets you down.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

I dream one day my husband and I will get to go to the Bahamas…or another island with white sands and God’s glorious waters all around. The only thing holding us back, is it’s the last place my husband dreams of. He doesn’t like sand or water…or going away from home for that matter. But one day….

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

I’d choose Beth Moore and Gloria Copeland, if I have to narrow it down to two.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

One of the Copeland family conventions or one of Beth Moore’s teachings in person as they are taping instead of viewing it over a DVD second, but thank God for them. Beth Moore’s excitement for the Lord is something you pray will rub off on you.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

Writing was my hobby in the beginning, but it grew to be my passion. So now, I’d have to say I’ve been thinking of buying me a sewing machine and start back making clothes. I used to do it in high school, but did better making my own patterns then following those already created.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

I don’t think so. Anyone who knows me…knows me. I’m an open book and I pray the light of the Lord shines through at all times—well at most times anyway. I know sometimes my flesh kicks in, sorry to say.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Never stop writing and join a writer’s group as soon as you can. The public libraries in most cities have writer groups who meet regularly. If they don’t, talk to your closest librarian and try to start one at that library.

If you don’t already have a friend who is a writer, you don’t know what you are missing. They’ll talk for hours about a plot or a character with you, whereas most friends who don’t write, their eyes glaze over as they think, can’t this girl talk about anything else?

Any last thoughts for your readers?

I pray you enjoy every one of my books and I would love to hear from you. Go to my web site, www.author-deborahlynne.com and click on the contact page. There you can go to the comment section and make a comment on the book, the trailer, anything…and/or you can click on the email block and send me a private email. I would love to hear from you both ways. My web-site was just redesigned and the web master – Molly Moore, did an awesome job. Check it out.

And how can they connect with you?

You can go to my web site as I noted above, or you can email me at deblynne8@gmail.com . I’d love to hear from you either way.

Help A New Book Blogger Get Started.

Hey all you book bloggers out there. I have a friend who I met through email and I would like to get her some help in building her blog up. Edna is trying to get more people reading her blog so she can get more interviews, book reviews and giveaways for you readers. All you book readers know what I am talking about:) It always helps to get more readers so the authors feel more comfortable about the time they spend in doing an interview and giveaway. So, I would like you all to read the little piece I have below about Edna and then head over to her blog and become friends. And I tell you what, if you go over and become a follower through GFC, I will give you two extra entries on my giveaways. That is right!! I really don't think you all need the extra incentive to do it because I know you all are friendly people and want to help others get started as well, but I know you all try hard and helped me out when I was starting. So please, take the time and friend Edna and maybe enter her giveaway she has running right now. Thanks you all!!

"I am a retired great-grandmother and have raised three sons and one daughter. My husband and I live alone now and I am an inside person. He is always outside so I guess maybe that is how we will celebrate our 50th anniversary in March 2010. I have always loved to read, sew, crafts (anything) and I used to play the organ and sometimes the piano at church. My back has stopped that, I am a Christian and of the Baptist faith. But most of all I believe in is my Savior Jesus Christ. I have so many favorite authors that it is hard to name, but just a few, S. Dionne Moore. Laura Frantz, Lisa Harris, Kathi Macias, Mary Connealy, all the Amish writers etc. I love them all, I just love books and I am not into the e-book thing, I love to look at my books and to hold them and see them fill up my book shelves. I am a reader not a writer, wish I was."

Edna's blog is My Favorite Things. She has done a real good job about getting a nice look and feel to her blog. Please head over there right now:) Thanks you all!

Friday Blog Hop!!

Hey everyone,
I have never participated in one of these hops before and I am still not sure I understand it all so if you have done one before, please let me know exactly what to do:) But I had to try entering this one. Guess why? The Frugal Free Gal, the hop host, is offering a $10 Starbucks gift card to one hopper!! It will be randomly picked and she wants to get to 100 people participating. So come on and help by entering and you just might be the winner:) Of course, if you win you have to share with me. Just kidding:P

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Price of Trust Book Review

What was going on? Was she allowing herself to think too much of this little town? Or just the people in it. She blushed as she remembered how her heart had sped up as Joe had sat next to her. Carly Richards is on the run. For the last two years, she's skipped from town to town, ducking her dangerous and well-informed ex-fiance every few weeks, never settling anywhere for long. With the death of her parents, Carly's vulnerability made her trust a man with an attractive facade, now that same man tracked her across the country, always nipping at her heels, preventing her from reaching out to anyone other than her God. Now she's in Montana, and surely that is far enough away from Texas and her abusive past that she can rest. But her emotional scars are reluctant to heal, and Carly resists the friendliness of those in the small town she lights upon, especially handsome farmer Joe Baird. Without a car and money, though, she has little choice but to dig in and begin building back up her savings so she can run once more. Caught in the circumstances, the kind people around her begin to creep into her softening heart. God is at work, and she has to trust him to not only take care of her, but care for the people she is learning to love. Carly must learn the Price of Trust.


I have a bad feeling when I get a book that is a debut novel. With all the reviews I write up it is kind of a feeling that the debut novel is not going to be as good or the writing will stink. Yes I know, kind of prejudiced but you know how it goes if you review books as well. Anyways, I was so surprised with this novel!! I loved it from the beginning. Amanda writes like a pro and I would never have known this was her debut novel. The thing I most enjoyed was the dialogue between Carly and Joe. They are so humorous and I found myself laughing more than once. I absolutely loved the whole book!! Joe is a sweet guy and Carly is very independent but at the same time learns to rely on someone other than herself and that not all guys are out to hurt her. This is a book I will be reading for a while down the road. Way to go Amanda!! I will definitely be on the lookout for your next book!!

Interview With Amanda Stephan

Readers, today I have an author interview along with a review of her book. This is her debut novel and I loved it! I do not have a giveaway though as I fell in love with the book myself and wouldn't dream of passing it on:) So you will just have to find a copy for yourself I guess. All kidding aside, you seriously need to get acopy of this book and read it. You will absolutely love it!

Thank you for being with us today, Amanda!!


Thank you for having me here, Charity!

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I've always loved to write, but I would hide my stories away. When I finished my first full-length novel, my husband asked me to at least submit it to a publisher, so I did. Quite honestly, I was surprised when they accepted it!

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?
My first published work, The Price of Trust, was released in May of 2010. Here's a short blurb:

Beaten and betrayed by the man who professed to love her, Carly Richards is on the run. Stalked without mercy and forced to be a fugitive, she's unable to settle anywhere for long. It's only a matter of time before he finds her again, preventing her from reaching out to anyone other than her God.

Hiding in a small town and reluctant to trust anyone, she resists the kindness of those around her ~ especially handsome farmer Joe Baird. Tall, dark, and handsome, he begins to creep into her softening heart, forcing her to choose what path she will trod. Trust God to take care of her? Or run yet again?

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
I'd like readers to come away knowing that in the midst of trials and hard times, God is still there, still cares, and will take them through.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?
I've always wanted to visit Ireland. I'd actually like to write a romance that takes place there.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?
Daniel (the Biblical one in the lion's den) and C.S. Lewis - Not excluding, of course, my husband and kids! :)

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
I'd love to have been around when Daniel was thrown into the lion's den and when they pulled him out the next day, completely unscathed. Wow. Just to see his faith and how God answered that faith is amazing to me.

Do you have a favorite hobby?
I love to do many different things, but I'd have to say other than writing stories, I absolutely LOVE to sew dresses. My favorites are the Retro dresses from the fifties.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
I'm very old fashioned for my age, and I'm quite a plain, boring person.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
Keep at it! When you're down and discouraged, keep going. I've found things always look better in the morning!

Any last thoughts for your readers?
I am unabashedly unashamed of being a Christian. I love God with all my heart, and I want to please him with my writing, and I hope to bring others to a closer relationship and walk with him.

And how can they connect with you?
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, my blog - The Eclectic Crafter, as well as my website,The Price of Trust

Please stop by and say hi! I'd love to hear from you!
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