Writer of the Day–Carol McClain

Leave a comment

Author Carol McClain is an eclectic artist and author. Her interests vary as much as the Tennessee weather—running, bassoons, jazz, stained glass and, of course, writing. She’s a transplant from New York who now lives in the hills of East Tennessee with her husband and overactive Springer spaniel. She is also the president of ACFW Knoxville and the secretary of the Authors’ Guild of Tennessee.

She’s here to talk about her new novel–A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek.

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Yankee-Stinking-Creek/dp/057849115X/ref

What was your inspiration for A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek?

So many things inspired me to write this novel. I moved to Tennessee about four years ago. A hamlet near us had a name that made me laugh . Who’d name their town Stinking Creek, especially as this sweet town has no malodorous water?

I’ve always loved Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The novel is an anachronous romp into medieval times. I figured I’d play up the idea in a modern day world. I worked in Manhattan for many years. Then I considered Stinking Creek, a small rural village and wanted to play up the perceived differences of the liberal know-it-all and the conservative know-it-all and create a world where we see ourselves, see love and sacrifice, and see what really matters in life.

Which character in the book was the easiest for you to connect with, and why? Which, if any, character proved most difficult, and why?

Ironically, I connect more with Delia Mae “Lia” McGuffrey, the Southern conservative Christian. She’s bound by rules and the desire to please God and to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). I manage to get myself bound up in trying to please God (and others). I can make the whole world—even the Lord—crazy. I started the last paragraph with the adverb ironically. Most people who know me think I’m the more liberal, free-spirited, artistic protagonist. In reality, they’re two halves of a black and white cookie.

What did God teach you during the writing of Stinking Creek? What spiritual truths or nuggets of wisdom do you hope your readers take away from the book?

The extremes of anything are out of balance—extreme religion or no-religion, extreme liberalism or ultra-conservativism. The adage goes there’s a fine line between genius and insanity (which says I’m borderline genius). So too, only a fine line separates the radical liberal and fanatical conservative

What do you do when you’re not writing?

One might ask, what don’t I do? My passions are words and glass. When not writing, I create stained glass, glass garden flowers, and sun catchers.

I’m a member of ACFW Knoxville, and I am the current president. I am also the secretary for the Authors Guild of Tennessee. I love teaching. When situations arise and I can teach, I do so. Life is short. Grab it all.

When I’m not involved with the above, I play Candy Crush.

 

Thanks, Carol for being my writer of the day.  A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek sounds like a great read.

 

God Bless & Good Reading.

 

 

Writer of the Day–Gail Kittleson

Leave a comment

Gail Kittleson is my Writer of the Day. Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband of forty-one years enjoy grandchildren, gardening, traveling and historical research. After instructing college writing and English as a Second Language, Gail wrote a memoir. Then the World War II bug big her . . . hard! Seven novels later, she’s still hopelessly addicted to this riveting era. Her women’s fiction honors Greatest Generation characters who made a difference despite great odds. Gail’s second love, teaching, has her facilitating workshops and retreats, where she cheers others’ creativity.  You can connect with Gail at http://www.gailkittleson.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor.

She’s here today to talk about her new book-UNTIL THEN. But first, she shares how the book came to be.

Creativity in Wartime

Madeline L’Engle wrote that when we create, we co-create with Spirit or our muse and also with the recipient. We weave seeds of our imagination into our artistic work and hope they take root, flourish, and touch or change our readers.

My D-Day release Until Then (after the World War II song), features a real WWII nurse/heroine. Dorothy Woebbeking grew up down the street from the Sullivan brothers in Waterloo, IA. The Woebbeking children played with the five Sullivan boys, who all enlisted in the Navy. Like many from rural Iowa, three of Dorothy’s brothers also enlisted in the Army or Marine. And so did Dorothy.

I think she would like this tea bag message I read the other day.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Milton Berle, a comedian in the fifties and sixties, said this. Other versions exist, but this one, short and sweet, fits Dorothy’s modus operandi.

So often in the dangerous trek of the Eleventh Evacuation Hospital across North Africa, through the Invasion of Sicily, up the boot of Italy, northward through France and into Germany, opportunity failed to knock. But Dorothy and others built doors everywhere they went.

They suffered from terrible heat, torrential rain, snowstorms, and enemy fire. A ruthless enemy that didn’t mind aiming at the white cross clearly exposed on hospital tents. But these incredibly faithful workers determined to use every ounce of their expertise to save wounded GIs—or to stay with them through the throes of death.

Someone recently asked me why I wrote this book. Well, Dorothy’s real-life story gripped me, and so did another one. At about the time Dorothy deployed, the worst civilian tragedy of the war occurred in a poor London borough, a horrific loss of life that would affect the community for decades.

Verbalizing our pain helps at times like this, but the war department ordered survivors to keep silent, lest that bugger Hitler hear and think he’d gained the upper hand against the populace. This added suffering—being forbidden to talk about your lost loved ones—is understandable, but so difficult to grasp.

And so Until Then took shape. I’d never tied together two such divergent stories, but the more I wrote, the more I loved them both. I hope readers do, too!

 

Thanks, Gail, for sharing how the story came to be. Here’s the book cover–front and back.

AMAZON LINK

 

Thanks, Gail for being my Writer of the Day today! It looks like an intriguing book.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

And the Winner is…

Leave a comment

Congratulations to briantzondi for winning the giveaway by Gail Pallotta! You’ll be hearing from her soon. Briantzondi, please use the contact form below so we can make sure you get your prize. Thanks!

Thanks to everyone for participating!

 

God Bless & Good Reading!

Book Review: Living Lies by Natalie Walters

2 Comments

lLiving Lies (Harbored Secrets)

 

When I read the blurb about Living Lies by Natalie Walters, I thought that this was the exact kind of book I like to read. And I wasn’t wrong about that! A good plot and believable characters make this book a joy to read.

The main character, Lane Kent, is not a cookie-cutter character. Instead, Walters created a believable character with more than her fair share of problems. She’s a widow with a young child. But if that’s not enough, she suffers from life-long depression. But if that’s not enough, she has overbearing parents. But if that’s not enough, she finds a dead body at the beginning of the story… and that’s when things take a dangerous turn.

As a writer of suspense as well, I really enjoyed the writing style of Natalie Walters. My own writing style is fast-paced and edgy, but Walters does a great job of “writing pretty” while still creating a sense of danger that keeps you reading one more page…and one more…and one more.

If you love suspense and romance, this story will not disappoint!

 

God Bless & Good Reading! 

 

A Writer’s Life–Part 4

Leave a comment

God created me to be a writer, really?

How presumptuous of me to believe that God actually created me to be a writer, right? In Part 3, I talked about two of my reasons that makes me believe God did indeed create me to be a writer. Both of those reasons were based on my childhood, but I have another reason to believe that I’ll share with you today.

You may or may not know that I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in 2012. They were benign in the sense that they were non-cancerous but they were not benign in the sense that they were harmless. They have wreaked havoc on my life and my health in all sorts of ways! But that story’s for another day. Today, I want to talk about how my brain tumors answered the question on whether God really wants me to be a writer or not.

During some of my worst days of my brain tumor journey, I could barely function. Most of my days during that time were spent sitting in a chair or laying down without bothering to get dressed. I had extreme fatigue as well as not being able to concentrate–at all! I had “brain fog” or as I like to call it–wonky brain! But…for years it had been my practice to write everyday, if at all possible. So even though I felt horrible, I would climb up my steps–yes I said climb–because my balance was too bad to walk up them. I would sit down at my computer and then something amazing would happen. The brain fog would melt away and I could write. Sometimes it would only be for ten minutes but I was actually able to write coherently and add to my current manuscript. Then the brain fog would descend once again and I’d be done for the day.

And, in fact, most of my more than 20 novels have been written after my diagnosis of bilateral brain tumors.  I still have brain fog, memory issues, and fatigue–all things that affect my writing as well as my life. But God is so good and blesses me by allowing me to continue to write–something I love to do!

And that’s why I believe God really did create me to be a writer!

How about you? What do you think God created you to do?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

New Books!

Leave a comment

Here’s a list of April releases by authors that are members of American Christian Fiction Writers that you might want to check out. As you can see, there’s a little bit of everything no matter what genre you love!

 

April 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Children’s:

The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio — Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is preparing her for a greater mission — far beyond what she could imagine. (Children’s from Ambassador International)

Contemporary Romance:

Faith and Hope by Amy R. Anguish — Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God. Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything? For two sisters who haven’t gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster…or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God. Can they overcome all life is throwing at them? Or is this going to destroy their relationship for good? (Contemporary Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Match Made in Heaven by Julie Arduini — Beth Prescott wants to make a difference with the senior citizens she serves as a volunteer coordinator, but their matchmaking efforts leave her guarded. She’s experienced too much pain to make that leap again. Dean Kellerman returns to the Finger Lakes area to help his grandfather and heal his own broken heart. He’s recommitted his life to Christ, and doesn’t want any distractions.
When his grandfather needs assistance with a senior program, it places Dean right in Beth’s path. Can these two surrender their pasts to Christ and have faith in each other and their future? (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)

An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kathleen Irvin, and Beth WisemanTheir True Home by Amy Clipston: Marlene Bawell’s new friendship with an old crush is threatened when change once again disrupts the home she’s tried to make in Bird-in-Hand. A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman: Separated after tragic grief, husband and wife Ruth and Gideon Beiler are reunited when they accept an invitation to a family reunion they each believe the other has declined. A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller: Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else? Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin: Abandoned by her father, penitent single mother Hannah Kauffman finds support in her old friend Phillip, who has loved her for years, but fears risking another mistake by opening herself up to love. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Her New Amish Family by Carrie Lighte — Widower Seth Helmuth needs a mother for his sons, but for now, hiring the Englischer next door as their nanny will have to do. Trina Smith plans to stay in Amish country only long enough to claim her inheritance and sell her grandfather’s house. But as she falls for Seth, his twin boys and Amish life, will she inherit a home and a family? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beauty for Ashes by Kathleen Neely — Well-known novelist Nathan Drummond revisits painful memories when family responsibilities force him to return to his home town. Although he’d intended the living situation to be temporary, Nathan didn’t count on falling in love. As guilty memories threaten a return of panic attacks, Nathan begins to write a novel paralleling the tragic event from his youthful folly. Will the novel be seen as a work of fiction, or will it expose his secret? (Contemporary Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Restoring Her Faith by Jennifer Slattery — An artist fighting to save her career must find a way to work with the handsome yet stubborn cowboy overseeing a church restoration project–without falling for his southern charm. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sweet On You by Becky Wade — Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long. As they work together to investigate Zander’s uncle’s mysterious death, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

General Contemporary:

The Edge of Mercy by Heidi Chiavaroli — A dying request from an elderly neighbor forces a woman in a troubled marriage to find the 300-year-old story of a young colonial woman—one forced into an unwanted betrothal but drawn to a man forbidden to her by society. (General Contemporary from Hope Creek Publishers)

All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey — Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.
See how God gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love. (General Contemporary from Mantle Rock Publishers)

Historical:

The Refuge by Ann H Gabhart — Can Darcie Goodwin find love and a way to keep her baby in a community that doesn’t believe in marriage or individual family units? (Historical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance:

The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere — At loose ends in London after a near-tragedy, Cara Bernay finds herself at odds with the Earl of Morestowe after she befriends his brother, a talented but troubled young artist. Soon she finds herself drawn to the earl as she becomes more involved with his family. Like Cara, they are suffering from unresolved mistakes in their past. Can they form an unlikely alliance and find a way to a new beginning? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse — Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the 1849 Gold Rush. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Justice Delivered by Patricia Bradley — An escaped victim of sex trafficking must find the courage to report her captors to the authorities—some of whom could be corrupt—when her niece is kidnapped by the ringleader. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

You Shouldn’t Have by Susan Page Davis — “I SAW MY NEIGHBOR MURDER HIS WIFE!” But the police don’t believe Petra Wilson. There’s no body, no evidence, no murder. But Petra knows what she saw. And now her dangerous neighbor knows it, too. Her sisters introduce her to private investigator Joe Tarleton. Petra tells Joe her story, expecting him to decide there is no case. But the dedicated P.I. accepts her word, and he vows to uncover the truth. Still, he can’t guard Petra twenty-four hours a day. In spite of her precautions, her neighbor makes inroads in her vulnerability. Petra is left open to a killer intent on silencing the only living witness. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)

Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen — Harper doesn’t want to return to Maryland to face the police. The mess she left behind makes her look guilty of the worst, but it’s too late to run again. Red is safe and the authorities are waiting. At least Jack is by her side.
Now that Jack knows the truth, his feelings for Harper are deeper than ever. He’s not about to leave her side, especially knowing a killer is after her. But Derrick is on their trail, and he’s come unhinged. And he may not be the biggest threat lurking. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Speculative:

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse — Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new role as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill. While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself. With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: accept the Dark Lady’s offer or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other freedom. But time is running out, and if she doesn’t choose soon, her decision will be made for her. (Speculative Fantasy from Bethany House [Baker])

Snow Globe Travelers: Samuel’s Legacy by K.A. Cummins — Transported into another world, an Austrian girl must face a genetically-engineered warrior with an army of vicious hybrids. (Hard Science Fiction (for Children), Independently Published)

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings — A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job. A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister’s house before her niece’s wedding. And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive. When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcases from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave. (Speculative Allegory from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Winners!

3 Comments

As promised, here are the winners of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

 

DAY 1–Kathy H.

Day 2–ClickClickMyCat

Day 3–Kathy H.

Day 4–Marisela Z.

Day 5–LoRee Peery

Day 6-Reba

Day 7–Kay B.

Day 8–Tracy T.

Day 9–JoanArning

Day 10–FishingJan

Day 11–Pamela

Day 12–Carol James

And the grand prize winner is…..ClickClickMyCat!

 

Congratulations to all the winners. I’ll notify the authors tomorrow about who won but remember it’s a busy time so you may not hear from then until after Christmas! Thanks for playing, everyone! I hope you had as much fun as I did!

God Bless & Good Reading and…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!