Writer of the Day–Tamera Lynn Kraft

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Award winning author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. Some of the novels she has written are Red Sky Over America, Alice’s Notions, and Lost in the Storm. You can check Tamera out on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net.

Tamera been married for 40 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. She has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

She’s here to talk about her new book,  Lost in the Storm (Ladies of Oberlin Book 2)

 

 

Will war bring them love or will they be Lost in the Storm!

Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job.

Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist is trying to get him to tell what he’s been hiding. He wants to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?

Let’s learn more about Tamera in this author interview:

 

What would you say has been the most rewarding part of writing?

Every story I tell has a theme that shows God working throughout history. I love researching historical events and seeing how God has weaved Himself throughout our nation’s history. I love when someone reads one of my stories and gets that. My faith permeates through everything I write because it’s a major part of who I am. Even when I don’t write something “Christian”, my faith still shines through the pages.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I have always loved to write. I remember writing my first novel when I was ten years old. It was awful. I think what sparked my love for books was my grandmother. She only had an 8th grade education and was a coal miner’s wife, but she loved to read. I remember sitting on her lap in her rocker and her reading great novels like Black Beauty to me.

In high school, I took all the English and literature classes I could to prepare for my career in writing. I even majored in English in college in preparation of being a writer. At some point in my twenties, my writing career was put on hold for decades. Between raising children and becoming a children’s pastor on staff at my church, there just wasn’t time. I still couldn’t keep from writing. I would write children’s church curriculum and puppet skits for my lessons. Some of it even got published.

Finally about twelve years ago, I resigned as a children’s pastor and started a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I travel to other churches to do teacher training, kid’s crusades, and children’s ministry consultations. I also am launching Revival Fire for Kids children’s church curriculum in about a year. This keeps me very busy during the summer, but the rest of the time, I have time to write fiction.

My writing career is back on track and moving along. I feel like God has brought me full circle. I put Him first in raising my children and ministering to other children, and He is fulfilling the desires of my heart by opening up doors for me to write again.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? How did you decide to write Lost in the Storm or the Ladies of Oberlin Series?

I get my ideas from historical events. I love studying history. When I read about an event in history, I wonder what it would have been like for the people living during that time.

The way the Ladies of Oberlin Series began was when I thought about writing about strong Christian women in the 19th century. The more I researched, the more I noticed almost every women I read about had a connection with Oberlin College. That intrigued me enough to research Oberlin. What I found astonished me.

Oberlin College was the first college to give degrees to men, women, and blacks before the Civil War. Almost every missionary who went overseas between 1860 and 1900 was a graduate of Oberlin College. Oberlin’s president was the fiery Second Great Awakening evangelist Charles Finney. Oberlin graduates were involved in abolition, women’s suffrage, prohibition, education, laws protecting children, and many other causes of the late 1800s.

I knew I wanted to write stories about women who graduated from Oberlin shortly before the Civil War. The first novel, Red Sky Over America, is about America Leighton the year before she graduated. She went home to Kentucky to try to convince her father to free his slaves. In the second novel, Lost in the Storm, Lavena Falcon is a woman’s rights activist and a journalist during the Civil War and wants to be a war correspondent. In the third novel, The Aftermath, which will be released in 2021, Betsy Teagan fights for prohibition after the war. Each lady has a love interest to keep things interesting.

What advice/tips do you have for budding authors who are just starting out?

Don’t give up too early. It takes years to get to a point where your writing is good enough to be published. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you work hard, continue to improve, and don’t let discouragement stop you, you’ll make it. I’ve always believed that the published authors are not the ones who are the greatest or who have the most potential. They’re the ones who work hard and persevere.

What are your future plans?

I am currently writing the first of a series of novels about women who came to Jamestown in 1619 to marry. The series is called Jamestown Brides, and the first novel is The Seasoning of Elizabella.

Thanks, Tamera, for being my Writer of the Day.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Writer of the Day–Carol McClain

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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

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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!

STOPPED COLD by Gail Pallotta

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GIVEAWAY ALERT! Read to the bottom to have a chance to win a review copy of STOPPED COLD or a Kindle copy of BARELY ABOVE WATER–winner’s choice. Barely Above Water is a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner! Now let’s find out a little more about Gail Pallotta and her new book, STOPPED COLD.

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s a former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, a 2013 Grace Awards finalist for an earlier edition of Stopped Cold and a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Award winner. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and two-hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. To learn more about Gail and her books visit her website at www.http//gailpallotta.com.

Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school swimming and hanging out with friends—until the day her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking steroids. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital.

Anger sets a fire for retribution inside her, and Margaret vows to make the criminals pay. Even the cop on the case can’t stop her from investigating. Looking for justice, she convinces two friends, Jimmy and Emily, to join her in a quest that takes them through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture they discover deep in the woods behind the school. Time and again they walk a treacherous path, and come face-to-face with danger.

All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.

The high school in Stopped Cold, Meriwether Christian, has its own twitter page. Margaret would love to have you follow it at Meriwether Christian @ MeriwetherCS (https://twitter.com/MeriwetherCS/followers). What a fun idea!

 

The theme for Stopped Cold, you don’t have to be number one for God to love you, rattled around in my head for years. As a college student and later as a Mom I saw children, teens and young adults suffer heartache and sometimes, devastating results because they didn’t always excel. The results ranged from sadness over not winning a race, or making all As to suicide attempts and suicide in young adults. The more pain I witnessed, the more I wished these children, teens and young adults had believed they did not have to be the best, but do their best. Even though the drive seemed to originate from different sources – parents, siblings, peer pressure or within – I wanted to tell them that God had given each of them a gift or gifts to use for Him, and they didn’t need to be #1.

Over the years I’ve seen quite a few newspaper articles exploring this subject. In “A Young Athlete’s World of Pain and Where It Led,” published on June 22, 2016, in “The New York Times,” Tim Rohan tells the story of a young football player suffering from concussions. He didn’t mention it to anyone because he thought it wasn’t the manly thing to do. He ended up killing himself.

In today’s society the sports media lambasts us with their opinions of the best and worst players in a game. While accolades about the best and demeaning remarks about the worst may make good headlines, they’re anything but healthy for young people. They also fail to promote healthy competition, which is unfortunate because it’s a good thing. Healthy competition pushes us to do our best. We may achieve success beyond our goals, or not, but when the game or contest ends, we realize it was only a competition and doesn’t define our worth as a human being.

People compete in so many things, and it’s fun—everything from pie tasting, quilting and sports to writing contests, the list goes on and on, but neither the competition, nor the hoopla surrounding it, are the reason for our existence. The Westminster Catechism tells us our
chief end” is “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

Thanks for visiting us, Gail. This sounds like a great book to read.

Stopped Cold is available at most online book stores including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

AMAZON LINK

BARNES & NOBLE LINK

 

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Thanks to Gail’s generosity, one  winner gets their choice of  a review copy of STOPPED COLD or a Kindle copy of BARELY ABOVE WATER. Barely Above Water is a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner! Now let’s find out a little more about Gail Pallotta and her new book, STOPPED COLD. To enter the giveaway leave a comment. Winner will be chosen June 10. 

 

 

 

 

Christmas in East Kansas by Regina Smeltzer (DAY 12)

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On the 12th day of the Christmas Giveaway, my true love gave to me, 12 drummers drumming and…

A FREE copy of GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS by Lillian Duncan on Amazon! It will only be FREE today so click on the link before you forget.  AMAZON LINK

Keep on reading to enter for today’s prize!

Regina Smeltzer loves the unusual, the unexpected, and ALWAYS cheers for the underdog! Her favorite experiences include riding a runaway camel in Egypt and catching Camen in the Amazon and holding a snake-charmer’s python. Her biggest adventure was marrying a career military man and raising four children. Now five grandchildren hold her heart.  Regina writes:

I wrote my first story in grade school (Akron, Ohio), and had my first short story published at age fifteen. During my busy motherhood and nursing career years, my writing included developing protocols, writing grants, and creating workshops, as well as creating puppet shows for VBS, and providing holiday dramas for my church.

I moved from Ohio to Darlington, South Carolina in 2006, took an assistant professor position at Francis Marion University and also began teaching online as an adjunct for Indiana Wesleyan University. I love speaking to groups about my faith, my life’s challenges, and my writing journey. I currently have three novels published by Pelican Book Group, Deadly Decision, Retribution, and Light of Logan and one novella, Christmas in East Kansas.

East Kansas is the picture postcard of Christmas with the mountain peaks, wreath-covered storefronts and holiday music streaming into the streets. During the holiday season, ice skating on Miller Pond is the main social outlet for the town. A new road through the mountains will ease the town’s economic struggle, but will destroy the pond which is fiercely protected by Olivia Miller. Even though Olivia hates Thomas Baker, the man hired to build the road and destroy her family’s legacy, she also finds herself unexplainably drawn to him.

Thomas Baker plans to spend another Christmas alone until he is offered a chance to supervise the construction of a new road. His excitement fades when he finds out the job is in East Kansas, the one place he swore to never return to. Besides avoiding the man who lives there, Thomas must protect his heart against the young girl who stole it 15 years ago.

Just as Olivia and Thomas begin to kindle a relationship, history between their two families surfaces. The past threatens to kill both their futures as well as the road. Will this be the last Christmas for East Kansas?

A Christmas miracle is needed in East Kansas.

AND THAT CONCLUDES THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about all the great Christian authors and their books. You still have a few days to go back and enter for all the days’ prizes.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway!

 

TODAY’S PRIZE: An ecopy of Christmas in East Kansas.

To celebrate Christmas, I’m having A Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway. Each day, one of my books will be FREE on Amazon so everyone’s a winner!

There will also be a daily prize, but you must leave a comment for each day to win that day’s prize as well as be entered for the grand prize. If you leave a comment each day, that gives you 12 entries for the grand prize!

Grand prize:

$10 Amazon gift card from me;

$10 Amazon gift card donated by Molly Jebber;

$10 Amazon card donated by Anita Klumpers;

An e-book of Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber;

An e-book of Everything About You by Lisa Lickel

A print copy of Without a Song by LoRee Peery,

Your choice of one of my e-books!

 

Winners will be chosen on December 20th and announced on December 21st (I hope!).

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for today’s prize.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

A Journey to Christmas by Clare Revell (DAY 11)

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On the 11th day of the Christmas Giveaway, my true love gave to me, 11 pipers piping and…

A FREE copy of UNTIL DEATH DO US PART by Lillian Duncan. It’s only FREE today so don’t forget to click on the link! AMAZON LINK

Keep reading to enter for today’s prize.

A JOURNEY TO CHRISTMAS by Clare Revell

 

Clare Revell is a British author. She lives in a small town just outside Reading, England with her husband. Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American in some of them, the books contain British language and terminology and the more recent ones are written in UK English.  The first draft of every novel is hand written.

Journey to Christmas: The only problem drama teacher Paiton Underwood had was deciding what to do for the school’s fiftieth anniversary Christmas production. Until a class altercation left her with a broken arm—and a new job.

Fraser Quirk’s first day as headmaster went from pretty good to downright disastrous in seconds. Now he’s suspending students, and dealing with an injured teacher. Not to mention the threat of school closure—of the permanent kind.

She thinks he’s bossy and overbearing. He thinks she’s a control freak. Can the schools journey to Christmas bring healing, love and a hope for the future?

 

LILLIAN’S REVIEW:

Journey to Christmas is a great way to start your own journey to Christmas this year.

It’s a wonderful story that’s guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit. Clare Revell’s done a great job of creating a memorable Christmas story with believable characters and a plot that will make you smile—not to mention a love story that will have you swooning.

One of my favorite things about the book is that it’s set in Great Britain where Clare lives and writes. It was enlightening to read a story set in another country.  It’s gives us a glimpse of life in Great Britain these days. Plus, it gave me a peek into their educational system—something that interests this retired educator.

Well done, Clare Revell! I’d definitely recommend A JOURNEY TO CHRISTMAS if you like romances–and who doesn’t?

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway!

 

TODAY’S PRIZE: Journey to Christmas (ebook)

 

To celebrate Christmas, I’m having A Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway. Each day, one of my books will be FREE on Amazon so everyone’s a winner!

There will also be a daily prize, but you must leave a comment for each day to win that day’s prize as well as be entered for the grand prize. If you leave a comment each day, that gives you 12 entries for the grand prize!

Grand prize:

$10 Amazon gift card from me;

$10 Amazon gift card donated by Molly Jebber;

$10 Amazon card donated by Anita Klumpers;

An e-book of Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber;

An e-book of Everything About You by Lisa Lickel

A print copy of Without a Song by LoRee Peery,

Your choice of one of my e-books!

 

Winners will be chosen on December 20th and announced on December 21st (I hope!).

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for today’s prize.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

 

A Cardinal Christmas by LoRee Peery (DAY10)

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On the 10th day of The Christmas Giveaway, my true love gave to me, 10 lords a leaping and…

A FREE copy of  SPLIT by Lillian Duncan from Amazon! Be sure to download it today!  AMAZON LINK

Keep reading for other goodies and more chances to win!

 

Christian romance author, LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to 1 John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten. Connect with LoRee through these links: www.loreepeery.com

A Cardinal Christmas

AMAZON LINK

Blythe loves her job and doesn’t need personal relationships, especially of the “love life” variety. Steeling herself from a recent heartbreak, Blythe focuses on furthering her successful career, but when her father needs surgery, Blythe returns home to help with the family auto shop. There, she comes face-to-face with the dreams of her past.

Werner has been content to let life pass him by. Following the death of his parents and the loss of his job, he returns to the only place he’s ever called home. He finds Blythe more breathtaking than he remembered. But her presence is only temporary and she refuses to let him in.

Can Blythe leave her career behind for a whole new life? Though her heart cries to remain with Werner, can she risk being hurt again?

Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway!

 TODAY’S Prize:  A PDF copy of A Christmas Cardinal by LoRee Peery.

To celebrate Christmas, I’m having A Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway. Each day, one of my books will be FREE on Amazon so everyone’s a winner!

There will also be a daily prize, but you must leave a comment for each day to win that day’s prize as well as be entered for the grand prize. If you leave a comment each day, that gives you 12 entries for the grand prize!

Grand prize:

$10 Amazon gift card from me;

$10 Amazon gift card donated by Molly Jebber;

$10 Amazon card donated by Anita Klumpers;

An e-book of Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber;

An e-book of Everything About You by Lisa Lickel

A print copy of Without a Song by LoRee Peery,

Your choice of one of my e-books!

 

Winners will be chosen on December 20th and announced on December 21st (I hope!).

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for today’s prize.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!