Meet the Characters in Stalking Willow by Fay Lamb

June 13, 2013

Stalking Willow book coverBeneath her professional persona, Willow Thomas’s heart harbored resentment. She had reason to be bitter—in fact, many reasons. As much as she loved Granny, she’d lied to Willow, concocting a story about her parents. The truth was her mother hadn’t wanted her, and her father’s devotion to his wife and his ambition were stronger than his love for his daughter. Her aunt hated her. Her cousin, Laurel, whom she’d grown up with, had turned on her. Even Quentin had ignored her all through high school.

After the paparazzi created chaos in Amazing Grace revealing the story of the starlet who’d abandoned her daughter, Granny died. Willow fled the little town for New York City without even as much as saying goodbye.

So, why would a stalker be the catalyst that brought her back home? Who was he and what did he want from her? It seemed she couldn’t hide from him, not even in Amazing Grace. Amidst her fear and confusion, could she trust her first and only love for support?

Fay Lamb has created plenty of action and suspense to keep the plot moving at a perfect pace and the reader intrigued. There are so many interesting characters in this book, it’s difficult to condense the list. However, here are some of the main ones:

Meet the Characters:

Willow Thomas couldn’t rely on anyone. She didn’t even trust God anymore. After all, she thought, what kind of life had He given her? One of deceit, loneliness, and resentment. And now–fear.

Quentin McPheron lived next door to Willow as she grew up under Granny’s care. They’d played together as children, practically inseparable. As a teenager she’d hidden in the woods and sketched him as he relaxed on the dock with his fishing pole. She loved him, but she couldn’t seem to get his attention until…

Laurel Thomas was Willow’s cousin and nemesis since high school. Why did the two cousins dislike each other so? Some time during the ten years of Willow’s absence, what had happened to change Laurel’s life and what effect would it have on the prodigal cousin?

Granny Thomas raised Willow from infancy. From what was she trying to protect Willow by fabricating the lie about her parents? Would the snippets of wisdom left around her house be enough to begin the healing process for her granddaughters?

Agatha Thomas, “Aunt Aggie,” lived with bitterness and jealousy for so long, she couldn’t seem to get along with anyone. But why? She hadn’t smiled in years, let alone laughed. And now Willow was back in town. Harrumph!

Bear – Who was this man who lived in the cabin behind Granny’s house? And how did he know so much about Willow?

LeBlanc thrived on terrorizing women a little at a time then killing them and watching the life seep from their bodies. He focused his sights on Willow Thomas. Why Willow? Where had he come from and what evoked this psychotic mentality?

~~~

Fay Lamb’s career has escalated to new heights in the past year, and she’s definitely an author to watch for more Fay Lamb author picexciting Christian fiction. After the release of Because of Me last year, she co-authored The Christmas Tree Hunt and signed with Write Integrity Press for two series.  Stalking Willow is the first in her Amazing Grace series.  The first book in The Ties That Bind series, Charisse releases next month.

Fay’s heart and ministry are in helping other writers achieve their dreams and be the best writers they can be. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she has served as secretary of the operating board and moderator of the Scribes critique group within the organization. She’s a founder of the ACFW Central Florida Chapter and currently serves as advisor to that group.

Learn more about Fay and read her blog, On The Ledge, at her website, www.FayLamb.com, and purchase her books at www.Amazon.com, www.Barnesandnoblecom, www.Christianbook.com, or at your local bookstore.


Meet the Characters in No Way Out by Susan Sleeman

June 5, 2013

No Way Out book coverAlsyssa Wells had been dealt some hard blows in life.  Trouble in her marriage. The loss of her police officer husband.  Coping with her children’s grief while dealing with her own. When she stumbles on the fact that her husband was framed for an illegal activity at the time of his death, and his murderer pursues her, Alyssa’s faith is tested beyond anything she could have imagined.

After discovering the one person she trusted most with her children is not as upright as she thought, can she trust a total stranger to protect them? And what is it about this new acquaintance that has her guarding her heart?

Meet the Characters:

Alyssa Wells –after all she’s been through, Alyssa maintains faith that God is in control. Her positive outlook puzzles her new friend. How can she help him see that her strength comes from God, and help him trust the Lord again?

Nolan Saunders  had been Todd Wells’ partner in the Pacific Bay Police Department. After Todd’s death, he clearly had his sights on Alyssa for more than friendship. While she wasn’t ready for another relationship, she’d trusted him completely after he’d helped her so selflessly after her husband’s death.

Frank Gibson, an officer with the local police department, was involved in methamphetamine distribution. After his son’s remission from leukemia, wanted to get out of deal, but the “boss” wasn’t going to let him out, at least not alive.

Cole Justice carried serious baggage from two tours of duty in Iraq. His partner had died, and Cole blamed himself. He’d given up on God two years ago. Or maybe God had given up on him? His siblings insisted he take some time off from the Justice Agency to deal with his issues at the beach. What he discovered there would change his life.

~~~

Ms. Sleeman is a very talented and prolific writer whose characters warm your heart and whose stories of romanticSusan-Sleeman-228x300 suspense make it difficult to put her books down.  One of the things I like about her books is that they’re long enough to tell an exciting story, but short enough to read in a sitting or two.

I’ ve read all Susan Sleeman’s Justice Series books, and I love the Justice siblings, all five of them: Ethan, Cole, Kat, Derrick and Dani.  In my humble opinion, I believe these books could easily become as popular as the Hannah Swensen Series by Joanne Fluke.

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Sleeman at a book signing event a year and a half ago. Little did I know I’d immediately become one of her biggest fans. Having read her Garden Gate series books, I started the Justice Agency series, and eagerly await each new release.

If you’d like to learn more about the author and her books, please visit her very interesting website at http://www.susansleeman.com.

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Meet the Characters in The Icecutter’s Daughter by Tracie Peterson

June 1, 2013

This is an intriguing novel that begins in the bitter cold winter in Minnesota with our heroine attending one of their Belgian mares as she struggles to give birth. She got my heart in the first paragraph.

The story contains interesting references to the German and Swedish cultures throughout, which adds to the delightful tale. The family’s ice cutting business held a fascination for me and gave me a clearer understanding of life in the late 1800’s. Like many other readers, I’d never realized that, back in the day, ice was obtained in that way. (Read the book to find out.)

Ms. Peterson is an expert word painter whose vivid prose readily invites you to enter into the world of her story. The characters are well-developed and one will easily be enchanted by the hero and heroine while fittingly disliking the antagonists.

This was one book I had a hard time putting down. The pacing was just right, and the plot  with interesting twists held my attention to the end. This one is definitely on my recommended reading list.

Merrill Krause possesses all the characteristics of a good wife and mother, only she’s all but given up on that dream. Caring for her father and brothers for the last ten years, her life is full. Now that she’s reached the ripe old age of twenty, she feels some are beginning to consider her a spinster. Merrill shies away from the pampered, frilly persona expected of ladies of that day, and she remains a woman of strength, virtue, and compassion.

Rurik Jorgenson is a man of gentle strength, and is not easily intimidated by anyone, least of all Merrill’s brothers. Thinking this journey to help his uncle Carl in his cabinet business is temporary, he soon finds that there are more reasons than one to consider remaining in Minnesota.

Granny Lassiter takes care of everyone, and Merrill holds a special place in her heart. She is the one person to whom Merrill can go to bare her heart and get trusted, Godly, feminine advice. Granny and cousin Corabeth are trying to convince Merrill to “gussy up” a bit and see if they can find a suitable match for her.

Nils Olsson and Rurik’s were best friends growing up back in Kansas. What is it that prompts Nils to take advantage of that friendship and pressure Rurik to become business partners?

Svea Olsson has marriage on her mind. Marriage to Rurik. What secret does she hold that motivates her to take advantage of his integrity and make an outrageous claim that initiating a scandal that will only hurt the one she  claims as her own.

~~~~~~~~~

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson has just been added to my favorite authors list. Having written more than ninety-five novels, she begins a new series, “Land of Shining Water” with  The Icecutter’s Daughter. I can hardly wait to read the rest of the series.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she was awarded their  Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She has won numerous other awards and currently writes exclusively for Bethany House.

To learn more about Tracie and her books, visit www.traciepeterson.com.


Meet the Characters in Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer

May 20, 2013

Sweet SanctuaryThis is anything but a formula romance novel; rather this story contains suspense, mystery, faith, hope, and a whole lot of God’s grace. It clearly demonstrates a favorite Scripture:  Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The memorable characters will pull you in, the story line will keep you involved and wanting to know what happens next. I was sure it would go one way, and to my delight, discovered a surprise worth waiting for. The book incorporates some very interesting historical information about people in NYC during World War II.

 

Meet the Characters:

Nicholas Allan Eldredge, III, “Nicky,” is a precocious and lovable four-year old who instantly captures everyone’s hearts. He is the central focus of the only family he’s ever known.

Lydia Eldredge is a nurse who had a crush on Dr. Micah Hatcher when they worked together in Oahu. However, she knew a relationship with the handsome physician was out of the question. Now, back in Boston, her life is focused on her son.

N. Allan Eldredge – Lydia’s father is a man who relies solely on himself to get through life. He lets no one stand in his way of what he wants. On top of his priority list is his desire to protect his grandson.  Unfortunately, the child’s father has other ideas.

Nicolai Pankin wants his son, but for what reason? His morphine addiction dictates his priorities and his life, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to find his son and take him from whomever it is that is hiding the child.

Micah Hatcher, amidst a hectic schedule of working a clinic for immigrants in NYC, receives a surprising and disturbing missive from someone he’s never met. Micah wants to know what makes Lydia’s father think that he is Nicky Eldredge’s father, and he makes a trip to Boston to find out. What transpires after his trip substantially impacts his life and the lives of others.

***

Kim Vogel SawyerKim Vogel Sawyer lives in Kingman Kansas with her husband, Don, and four resident cats. Together they run a quaint, historic bed and breakfast called The King’s Inn Bed and Breakfast Inn – Retreat Center,  in which, interestingly, each room or suite is named for a famous author.

Having written over twenty novels and contributed to several others, Kim has won awards for her work and been on best-sellers lists numerous times. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and an inspirational Christian speaker,  she writes “gentle stories of hope.”

 

 


Meet the Characters in The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish

March 15, 2013

The Air We Breathe book cover
Christa Parrish breathes life into a story of fear, hope, and faith in such a way that the characters immediately capture your heart and you find it difficult to lay the book aside, even for a few moments. While I’ve read a few other books in which the plot switched back and forth between different time periods and characters, this is the first one that has held my interest so intently, as I searched for clues of the connection.
Sometimes, difficulties we face in life may seem surreal at the time; however, God is always in control. There is a reason for everything in God’s plan, as Christa so aptly reveals in a contemporary and realistic way.
Meet the main characters:
Molly Fisk – is seventeen years old and terrified to go outside of the wax museum where she and her mother live and work. So much so that she home schools and watches church services on television.
Louise Fisk – Molly’s mother runs the wax museum on a tiny island tourist town. Although she is “there” for Molly, her connection with her daughter seems quite aloof. And she avoids conversations with her daughter about God and about events of the past.
Tobias – The cute boy from the pizza parlor across the street from the museum finds whatever excuse he can to pop in and visit Molly. He is the one person her age with whom Molly has any conversation, but Tobias senses there’s something awry, and he wants to discover what it is.
Hannah Suller – This young girl is not speaking. At all. To anyone. Until she meets a kindred spirit on the playground. What is it about this woman that connects the two and inspires Hannah to talk?
Claire Rodriguez – Learning to live without her two beloved children, Claire fills her time writing and completing crossword puzzles. Then a chance meeting awakens something inside of her and gives her a new purpose.

About the Author: Christa Parrish
Christa Parrish is an award-winning author of three novels. Her debut, Home Another Way (Bethany House, 2008) was a finalist for the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year. Her second novel, Watch Over Me, won the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year and the ForeWord Reviews bronze medal for religious fiction. Her long-awaited third novel, The Air We Breathe (Bethany House, 2012) has already been named a finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award.

When not writing, Christa is creative director of the modern contemporary worship service at her church and co-director of the youth group. She also produces a weekly radio show, helps facilitate DivorceCare and DC4K, chauffeurs her Grand Champion blue belt to and from Taekwondo clases, and chases a toddler. She and her husband, author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, have three children in their blended family: Gray (18), Jacob (11), and Claire (2).

I had a chance to ask Christa about her writing journey. Here’s what she said:
“I’m not sure there was a time I didn’t believe I’d write – I remember walking through the bookstore as a teenager, touching all the book covers and thinking, “I’ll be here one day.” But I never viewed it as something I would do as a career and, honestly, still don’t. For me, writing is just one way I express myself creatively. I once heard Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux) speak, and a child in the audience asked her, “Do you like to write?” Her response? “I like having written.” That’s how I feel. I don’t wake each morning with a burning desire to sit at a computer and type stories onto the screen. In many ways, I’m an author as an act of obedience; God has called me to it, whether for a season or a lifetime, so I write.

“My novels all deal with the same overarching theme: God using people – in all their brokenness – to bring His purposes to pass. I hope my readers will come away with that message, and never feel as if they are too damaged or hopeless, or in some way “not enough” to be a instrument of God’s love to others.”

Christa’s books are available at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, Christianbook.com, and through your favorite bookstore. You may read more about Christa and her books at http://www.christaparrish.com


Meet the Characters in Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

February 2, 2013

Laurie Alice EakesChoices of the Heart book cover
This is the first book by Laurie Alice Eakes I’ve read, and I thoroughly enjoyed her story and her writing style. She expertly uses her talent for painting vivid word pictures, both physical and emotional, so you feel like you are there in the midst of the adventure. I particularly enjoyed the historical aspect of the time period and the profession of midwifery. I like the way she hints at the mystery and suspense without giving too much away early in the book. Although the romantic outcome seemed somewhat predictable, there were enough twists and suspense to keep you reading and see if your guess was correct.

Choices of the Heart is a captivating story of loss, faith and redemption. Mid-nineteenth century Appalachia saw four families caught up in a feud that resulted in fifteen deaths in ten years.

Meet the main characters:

Esther Cherrett, the heroine and daughter of a local pastor, decided to leave her beloved hometown of Seabourne, Virginia and her precious parents to spare them controversy and embarrassment for which she blames herself. Oblivious to the tensions in the mountains, Esther accepts a teaching position there.

Griff Tolliver, Lizbeth Tolliver’s eldest son, took a shine to Esther the minute he met her. However, he vowed to not court her, because his cousin, Zach, expressed a desire to do so, and outright competition could ignite the feud all over again.

Lizbeth Tolliver, Griff’s mother, wanted a better life for her children, so she advertised for a teaching position. Esther answered, and accepted the job to teach the children in the settlement. However, Mrs. Tolliver neglected to mention the history of feuding in the area.

Zachary Brooks felt jealous of the attention he felt Esther was getting from his cousin, Griff. Could his envy be strong enough to start the family feud all over again?

Hannah Goshnoll, Zach’s sister, married Henry Goshnoll, whose reputation was well-known amongst the local folk. Hannah, however, was determined to make her marriage work.

Bethann Tolliver, Griff’s sister, was sickly and obviously emotionally troubled. Why wouldn’t she confide in Esther who could help her, or even her family?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
“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 dozen books and novellas in print and more on the way. A graduate of Asbury University and Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, she also teaches writing and gives inspirational talks to women’s groups. She lives in Texas with her husband, dogs, and cats, where she enjoys long walks and the beach as often as possible, and knits—rather badly.


Meet the Characters in Winds of Wyoming by Rebecca Carey Lyles

November 28, 2012

Highly entertaining with a thread of romance and plenty of suspense, Winds of Wyoming is a must-read.The interesting, well-developed characters, especially Kate, will steal your heart and leave you salivating for more Kate Neilson stories. Rebecca Lyles has created a great debut novel that you’ll not soon forget.

There are too many intriguing characters to list them all, so meet the major players in this story:

Kate Neilson has a past, one she’d like to forget. Although she’s in Wyoming, many miles away from her home state of Pennsylvania, an ugly part of her past has followed her there, threatens to haunt her and ruin her chances of realizing her dreams.

Dymple-with a y-Louise Forbes is undoubtedly my favorite character. Spunky and full of grit, the tiny old lady befriends Kate early on, and demonstrates her testimony of faith through her actions.

Mike Duncan, son of Laura Duncan, owner of the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, helps keep the family business alive and prospering after the passing of his father. Mike seems to take a fancy to the new girl on the ranch, but not without opposition from his long-time friend and the woman who pursues him.

Laura Duncan (“Mrs. D.”) is a brave and determined woman of faith. She struggles against outside influences to retain what rightfully belongs to her and her family and manage her business without interference from certain neighbors.

Clint Barrett, handsome ranch foreman and Mike’s best friend has eyes for Kate. How will he respond when he realizes Mike has also taken a shine to her?

Tara Hughes, self-proclaimed fiancé of Mike, won’t allow anyone to interfere with her dream—marriage to Mike Duncan and acquisition of Whispering Pines. To what lengths will she go to accomplish her goals?

Jerry Ramsey is the compulsive, violent man who is bent on having Kate Neilson all to himself—with or without her consent.  To what depths will he stoop to get her?

Manuel Ortega is a teen who works at the ranch. Was it because he’d been sent to reform school that people shunned him, or was it because he was he’s Hispanic? What was it that Kate sensed about him that caused her to trust him?

Cyrus Moore is Whispering Pines’ dining hall manager and a twenty-three veteran of the ranch. Was it just his personality that caused him to grouse at Kate, or was there something more?

You can purchase your copy of Winds of Wyoming from your local book retailer, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or another online bookstore.

 About the Author:

Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, then moved to Idaho with her husband, Steve. She has written non-fiction articles and books. Winds of Wyoming is her debut novel. You can interact with Becky on Facebook or visit her blog at http://www.beckylyles.com.


Meet the Characters in Women of Valley View: Callie by Sharon Srock with Give-away

October 22, 2012

Obedience to God sometimes means getting out of your comfort zone, as Callie Stillman learns when she senses there is something disconcerting about one of her Sunday School students that draws her to the child. She’s suffered for a year over the outcome of the last child she thought she was helping. What would happen if she reached out to this child? Meet the main characters in this wonderful story of faith, healing, forgiveness and redemption:

Callie Stillman – Although she blames herself for the tragic death of a small child, Callie knows she must obey God and find out what’s happening with Iris Evans, even though her husband has well-intentioned objections to her becoming involved.

Benton Stillman  wants to protect his wife from more pain. But once he sees the courage and determination of this little family struggling to stay together, he not only relents, he offers his support.

Samantha “Sam” Evans has the tenacity to do whatever it takes to keep her family together. Trusting no one, she keeps her younger sister and her daughter out from under the radar and out of range of “the system,” which has already failed them once.

Iris Evans is wiser than her eleven years, yet she is a little girl who has a desire to enjoy the benefits of childhood. However, her love for her sister and her niece prompt her to keep the secret and care for little Bobbie while Sam works to support the family.

Steve Evans – Since he left the family ten years ago due to his drug use, he’s accepted the Lord into his life and become a best-selling author. He speaks at shelters and halfway houses in hopes of having a part in redeeming other souls. When he hears of his ex-wife’s death in an automobile accident, he determines to find his daughters. But, will he ever find them? And if he does, can he make up for all those lost years?

***

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines.

Learn more about the author:

Sharon, how much of yourself do you write into your characters?

I don’t, intentionally, write any of me into my characters. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a little piece of me in all of the women. Callie teaches Sunday school and loves her guacamole, Terri is looking for God’s will in her life and arguing the whole way, Pam is learning lessons in forgiveness. Yep, there I am.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Believe it or not, I went to bed one night, a normal person, and woke up the next morning determined to write a book. I know, now, where that came from. It was more than a little weird at the time.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love a good courtroom drama. Fantasy when it’s well done. By well done, I mean it has to completely draw me into a different world. Mysteries, and Romantic suspense are devoured at my house like chocolate covered cherries.

How do you keep your sanity in this crazy fast paced world of ours?

I guess I’m a product of our environment. I like being busy. Even on a vacation I have to consciously tell myself to slow down and enjoy the moment. Sanity…I’m a writer, that option took a hike a few years back.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’m going to assume you don’t mean raising terrific daughters.  Really? This book. Not just for the validation or a sense of “I can really do this”. But because I feel like it represent me, finally finding God’s place for me.

What is your favorite food?

I have two rules when I cook. If it’s sweet add chocolate. If it isn’t sweet add cheese.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?

It has to be a God thing. I wake up with these stories in my head, things I would never see or think of on my own. He gets all the credit.

In what ways has being published changed your life?

Besides making me busier that I used to be? The jury is still out on that one. Ask me again in a year or so.

 What is your current work in progress?

I’m working with my editor to get Terri’s story complete. Pam’s story is close to being at the word count I want. Then I’ll start the serious editing process for her. Samantha is knocking…

If you could invite a fictional character to dinner who would it be and why?

Oh, can I pick two? Merlin and Spock. Merlin because I’m captivated by the whole knights in armor, Arthur, slaying the dragon thing. Spock because…well…because the idea of extraterrestrial life interests me. If we ever find life out there, I’d hope they would be wise and beneficial sort like Vulcans. Not the I’ve come to destroy your world we see portrayed 99% of the time.

Of all the current technological marvels, which is your favorite and why?

My GPS. I don’t navigate. Now I don’t have to.

If you could have a do over on one day in your life what would you pick?

Fourth of July, 1996. It was the last day we spent with our little grandson before he was murdered. I wish I’d spent more time with him that day.

Where was the location of the best vacation you ever had?

Now you’ve opened the flood gates. For the last 7 years I’ve taken one of my grandchildren on a special vacation. We’ve been on cruises, been to Hawaii, visited The Grand Canyon and Vegas, Spent a week in Cozumel, Done the whole Disney thing in Orlando…God has placed a special blessing on these trips. They’ve all gone off without a hitch and there is no way to just pick one.

If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?

King Arthur’s court. I wouldn’t want to stay forever, I’d miss my hot rollers, but I think there was a elegance to life then that we don’t have any more.

What is your favorite season of the year? What’s special about it for you??

I only have three seasons to my year. Summer, Spring, and SWEATER. I have a serious sweater addiction, so Sweater is my favorite.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

That sometimes we spend too much time beating ourselves up for something God has already forgiven and forgotten. That we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we indulge in those feelings.

What is something that very few people know about you?

I’m a serious Trekker. I have my own uniform.

What is the hardest part in writing a story?

Editing and Editing and Editing….

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?

That I don’t like research. Does that count? Seriously I write contemporary fiction so I don’t have to do a lot of research. I’d never Googled anything til about a year ago.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: iPod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

My Kindle. It’s just the most amazing machine.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?

My characters constantly surprise me. Their individual determination to be front and center in my brain is relentless. I’m a SOTP writer. I don’t work with an outline, so I can’t give you an example of where I planned to go one way and they insisted on taking their own way, but I continue to be amazed.

Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?

I think where Pam, Karla, and Terri come to Callie’s house with groceries and stuff for the girls. That is exactly like it would happen, has happened, in my life. Our church family is so generous. I have been on the giving and the receiving end of help.

What three things about you would surprise readers?

My favorite pet of all time was an iguana.

I hate reality TV

I love to mow the grass

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who  would it be and why?

Nora Roberts. I would pick her brain completely dry.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

A lack of time. I don’t think there is a way to overcome it until I retire. I just have to deal with not enough hours in the day.

Which character in your book are you most like? What have you learned about yourself in writing this story?

For this book. Callie, of course. I didn’t really need to learn the life lesson that Callie had to learn, but writing the story taught me so much about persistence, trust , and patience.

If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?

Australia. It’s on my bucket list. I’ll make it someday, God willing.

What was your favorite book as a child and now as an adult? Is there a connection between the two?

That is an impossible question to answer. You’ve heard about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Well, my mom must have had a terrible time giving birth to me with a book clutched in each hand. I can’t remember a time when reading wasn’t a priority. Picking a favorite out of 50 years worth of books…impossible.

As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?

You are looking at it. Learning the craft, editing, and revising were easy compared to putting myself in the path of perfect strangers and begging for their attention. I’m a pretty solitary person. If I had my way, I’d write the book and pay a look-alike to go out and face the public.

***

Sharon is giving away a wonderful basket including the following items: A copy of Callie’s story, a certificate for Terri’s story when it releases in April, a 6 piece Cherry Blossom bath set, a cosmetic bag, a bath wrap, a Cozy pink eye mask, a pair of aloe infused booties, a hair turban, a tennis bracelet, a 25.00 Amazon gift card. 

The rules are simple:  For every reader that comments on my feature, he/she gets an entry into the drawing. Be sure to include your contact information!  A winner will be drawn Monday November 19th. (The items add up to well over 100.00 in value.)

 


Meet the Characters in Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry – Must Read!

October 19, 2012

When you pick up this book and hold on to your seat, because you’re in for a suspenseful ride in this part thriller-part romance that includes chilling realities of the activities of drug cartels. Equally, it is a great story of coming to the end of yourself, letting go, sacrifice, finding love and redemption, and finding God’s plan for your life. Believable characters and exceptional story-telling make this a must-read.

 Meet the Main Characters:

John David “JD” Jessup –  Emotionally damaged from the loss of the love of his life, JD relocates to the Tuscon area to learn about organic farming. Having given up on God, he relies on himself. By choice, he finds himself living in an old rundown schoolhouse, sharing his living space with cattle feed, while learning about farming.  The events that follow his discovery of a Mexican woman near death on the farm where he works will change his life forever.

Maria – This beautiful, petite, and gutsy woman who held more secrets than JD could imagine, entrenched his heart, which prompts him to risk his life to save her from whomever would take her life. The killer was tracking her—and him. But, how? What conundrum would reveal the reason for the events taking place, and how could they foil the tracker?

Gabriel Matos Muerte  had an evil plan, and there wasn’t anyone anywhere who could contain him, not even his boss, Sanchez.  Consumed by greed and  the love of power, he would stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.

Slocum,  the farmer for whom JD worked, had no use for illegal immigrants and his stance was that all who were discovered anywhere his farm were to be turned in to the authorities. But then, there came an opportunity for him to use this “illegal” for his own benefit. Would he succeed?

Harlan “Win” Winslow saw something in JD that the man himself didn’t even recognize. Win believed in JD and his motives for helping Maria, to the point of putting himself and his family in danger. Win knew God was in control and wouldn’t allow anything to happen that was not according to His plan.

 Author Bio:   Chris Fabry, an award-winning author and radio talk show host, is a fresh voice in Christian fiction. He hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on the Moody Broadcasting Network and was honored with the 2008 Talk Personality of the Year Award from the National Religious Broadcasters. He can also be heard daily on Love Worth Finding, featuring the teaching of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, and weekly on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, which he co-hosts with his wife, Andrea.

Fabry’s adult novels— Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and Not in the Heart—have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more. He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults.  A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children. Learn more about Chris Fabry on his website: www.chrisfabry.com.

 Author Questions and Answers:

 Q: Your newest novel, Borders of the Heart, addresses heavy topics such as illegal immigration, the U.S./Mexico drug trade and the cost of compassion. Where did you get your inspiration for the book?

A: Our family moved to Arizona in 2008 and since then I’ve known I wanted to write about this area of the country, a rich, desert existence with problems and possibilities. This book is not as much an “issue” book as it is a book about people who have to deal with lots of those issues as part of their daily lives. I don’t have an ax to grind on the topics, but I did want to show how real people are affected by these contemporary topics.

Q: Several of the characters in Borders of the Heart are dealing with things from their past. What lessons do your characters learn along the way?

A: The past is huge for each of us. I’m convinced many are “stuck” by something in the past that holds us back from being all God wants us to be. A reader will walk through that process with the main character, J.D., and I’m hoping they’ll see an authentic struggle.

Q: J.D. Jessup is faced with a very difficult moral dilemma when he weighs the decision to follow his boss’ very clear direction or his own heart when he discovers Maria near death. What lessons does this story provide for your readers?

A: Every choice we make in life comes with a cost. If we say yes to one thing, we may have to say no to something else. The choice J.D. makes is a good choice, and even good choices can lead to disastrous and deadly results. Can you believe that God is involved in even the difficult circumstances? I think that’s a huge reveal in this story for me. Does everything have to work out perfectly in the end in order for God to be glorified?

Q: How does the concept of redemption figure into your story? Was it gratifying to write about redemption? Why or why not?

A: A lot of people don’t like the word “saved.” It’s old fashioned and not in vogue. I think the term is loaded with truth because if you’re on the verge of death and someone “saves” you, you know exactly what that means and how grateful you would be. Characters in this story get rescued from certain death and when the stakes are that high, I can’t help but get emotionally involved in the story.

Q: How does the concept of grace figure into your story? Was it gratifying to write about grace? Why or why not?

A: Grace is when we’re treated better than we deserve. Yes, characters discover that in the book as well. I love the concept of grace in such a gritty, tough story because you’re not expecting it. You’re expecting A+B=C and when grace invades, it catches you by surprise.

Q: Borders of the Heart clearly demonstrates that sometimes there is a cost to compassion. What made this an important story element for you? Why was it important for you to show that sometimes there is a cost for us when we behave compassionately?

A: You’ve heard the saying, “Freedom isn’t free.” The one who acts with compassion usually absorbs the pain of someone else. This is a picture of the cross, of the sacrifice made for us in Christ. This is another thread you’ll discover throughout the story.

Q: Have you ever been faced with a real-life hard choice or ethical dilemma like your main character J.D.? If so, what was your dilemma and did you feel like you made the right choice?

A: I’ve never had to decide whether to leave a person for dead or not, but I think every day we have a chance to sacrifice. Sometimes it’s a small thing, like taking time for your children when you have something REALLY important, like writing a few more paragraphs. I haven’t always passed those tests. My contention is, the details of everyday life will show what we’ll do with the big decisions. If you choose well in the small moments, the moments when no one is looking, you’ll choose well when a huge decision comes your way. Conversely, if you don’t see the little things as important, you might not make a good decision with the big decision.

Q: What do you hope your readers will take away from reading Borders of the Heart?

A: Borders of the Heart is at its core a love story. You will root for J.D. and Maria to survive and solve the mystery of what’s really going on in Tucson. And I hope readers will take away the truth that what looks impossible to people is possible with God’s power. Even if something looks hopeless, it’s really not when God is involved.

 Borders of the Heart released on October 1st and is available at your favorite bookstore or from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com.


Meet the Characters in Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan

September 29, 2012

The second in Maggie Brendan’s The Blue Willow Brides series is a sweet romance story set in Central City, Colorado amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains in the late 1800s. It is fun, easy read with some interesting twists. I found myself giggling a bit toward the end.

Meet the characters:

Greta Olsen, a tall blonde with big blue eyes,came from Holland and lived with her brother and sister-in-law in Cheyenne, Wyoming before answering an ad for a mail-order bride. Upon arriving in Central City, Colorado, not only did she find that she wasn’t the only “bride” there to marry Jess, he knew nothing of the arrangement. Outspoken, headstrong, and not afraid of work, she’s a personality to be reckoned with.

Cora Johnson was the daughter of a banker, accustomed to having servants take care of her and consequently had no domestic skills except for quilting. After her parents rejected her new-found faith, she answered the ad for the mail-order bride. She was accustomed to much finer living than she found herself in when Zach provided a miner’s cabin for the ladies to stay in when they arrived. Although more demure than Greta, Cora would speak her mind when she needed to.

Jess Gifford took over the mercantile business when his parents died of influenza a year ago. Although her was perfectly satisfied living alone and running the business, his brother, Zach, had other ideas. It took more than a little of Zach’s persuasion to get Jess to agree to hire the two ladies to work in the store and choose one of them as his bride.

Zach Gifford had an ulterior motive for finding a bride for his brother. He wouldn’t leave Jess to run the mercantile alone, but his dream was to be a rancher, a goal he couldn’t pursue as long as he was tied to the store.

Granny had her own ideas about how to decide which of her grandsons should be courting each lady. The spry seventy-year-old woman doted on her grandsons, the only family she had left. The brides-to-be immediately loved her, and she them.

Agnes Cartwright had been courted by Jess in the past, and nothing would please her more than for his attention once again.

Cole Cartwright, Agnes’ brother and a good-looking rancher, waited in the wings, should one of the two brides decline her betrothed and become available.


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