Friday, February 28, 2014

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin | RE:View

It's the 1940s in the middle of WWII. Lt. Georgie Taylor, who has more fears than a bushel of apples her honey back home grows, meets up with Sgt. John "Hutch" Hutchinson in the beautiful, but war torn countryside of Sicily, Italy. Hutch is on the verge of becoming one of the Army's first pharmacy offices and is pining away for his sweetheart back in the states. As their paths repeatedly cross, their friendship grows in a beautiful and strengthening way that, unknown to them, is preparing them for the difficult future.

It's no secret that I love all things related to WWII and On Distant Shores is not an exception. Sundin's descriptions had me ducking when bombs flew overhead and cheering as advancements were made. Her characters had a genuine, homey quality to them. I enjoyed how Georgie and Hutch's friendship drew out the best in each other.

There are strong Christian themes and opinions plainly stated in the book and I definitely appreciate Sundin's candor about the spiritual issues. Occasionally, I did feel as if some of the conversations about God were a little too "convenient" given the circumstances, but it wasn't very distracting. The overall romance was also wonderfully done and appropriate to the time period in addition to being perfectly sweet.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical Christian fiction or Christian romance. Sundin's historical details are excellent! You will find yourself trapped in a world where fears are real and lives are on the line, but love is the brightest light in the midst of it all.

Purchase On Distant Shores (here)and make sure you read With Every Letter (book #1 in this series) and keep an eye out for In Perfect Time (book #2). You can pre-order it on Amazon today!

Book Description:
(Description taken from Sundin's website)
Homesick flight nurse Lt. Georgie Taylor arrives in Sicily and strikes up a friendship with Sgt. John Hutchinson, who longs to become one of the Army's first pharmacy officers. When Georgie and Hutch's lives back home fall apart, can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they've made?
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Darlene Franklin {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Darlene...

Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network.
How to connect with Darlene...

Blogs: and
Twitter: @darlenefranklin  
Purchase Homefront Dreams [here]
(currently only $3.82 on kindle - what a deal!)

Author Interview | Darlene Franklin 
You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?

...I started writing for the same reason why I continue to write today. It helps to keep me sane in a world where everything changes. Twenty-three years ago, I was in the middle of a divorce. Today, I am adjusting to life in a nursing home. I wrote a devotional book first (and continue to write hundreds of published devotionals, as well as my devotional website,

...My second book was fiction, and I found my voice. My second novel,
Romanian Rhapsody, later became my first published book. Of course I wrote a lot of other books in between.

Romanian Rhapsody came out in 2005, my second book didn’t come until 2008. Since then, I’ve been an overnight-success-after-fifteen-years story. By now, I have twenty-seven books in print, and five more scheduled.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?

...I am currently writing book 8 of 9 books set in Maple Notch (Homefront Dreams is book 6.) The last three books are contemporary. I am fond of the town and the family; I bid them a fond farewell.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?

...I identify a lot with the heroine, Clarinda. Like me, she is a single mother and breadwinner for her family. As mayor, she faces the challenge of leading her town through the difficult of World War II, and the hero disagrees with about almost everything. Circumstances push her out of her comfort zone, and she has to grow with them. I hope I handle challenges in my life with some of the grace that she does.


When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?

...My overall intention is to tell a good story. My tagline is “writing at the crossroads of love and grace.” Most of my books include losses and tragedies to a greater or lesser degree. I want my readers to know that God love is enough, no matter what brings their way.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

...The simplest is the best: read, read, read and write, write, write.

...Get involved with a critique group as well as a group such as American Christian Fiction Writers ( Attend conferences. You will learn and make face-to-face acquaintance with agents, editors, and writers. So much is available to new writers today that wasn’t around when I started. I believe it speeds up the learning curve.


Would you prefer chocolates or flowers on Valentines Day??

...Chocolate. Of course! Always chocolate.

On Valentines Day would you rather stay in (ie: home with a movie) or go out (ie: night on the town)?

...I’d rather have a night on the town.

Thank you so much for this interview Darlene! How exciting that your second book was what "got the ball rolling" for the rest to make their way. I am also excited about your novel Homefront Dreams! I love the history of the 1940s and WWII fiction. I'm sure your book is wonderful.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writing like a Sunset: 3 Ways to Write Distinctively

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

Tonight, as per my usual ritual, I went to check the mail. This is common (usually daily) occurance, but the one thing that changes, depending on the time of day, is my view. The sun sets directly in front of me as I walk down the path to the mailboxes and most of the time it is simply spectacular!

As I made my way down the path tonight, a brilliant haze of deep orange painted the sky in front of me. The trees, darkly outlined against the light, reached their knobby fingers to the sky as if to touch the last ounces of warmth this day would feel. It was stunning! Then a thought hit me.
When God creates a beautiful sunset, it is never the same as the day before, nor will it be the same tomorrow.
Each sunset is unique.
Each moment distinctly different than the one before. 

Then, of course, I started thinking about writing. No matter what the sunset is like, it's generally pretty fantastic. The mixing of colors and light always create a haunting glow that reminds us the day is soon to be over. If I were to describe a sunset, each time I would need to portray it differently because no two sunsets are alike. 

Below I outline three ways to write distinctively. There are more than just three, but they just came to mind as I contemplated the sunset. 

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

3 Ways to Write Distinctively

1) Don't use cliches
I'll be honest - this is a tough one for me. Sometimes I just want to use a cliche because I feel as if I know that my readers will understand it. As if I couldn't describe it differently for fear they wouldn't really "get it". A good writer will find new and exciting ways to describe the ordinary.

2) Write true to your voice
I just want to shout out, "Be YOU!" but I think a little more direction is needed here ;) No two people are exactly alike. Even twins have differences because they aren't the same person even if they look alike. In the same way, no two writers will write the same. Sure, you may have a similar style to {fill in the blank with your favorite writer} but that doesn't mean you must write just like them. Create your own voice. Find out who YOU are as a writer and exploit that! You have experiences and personality that is completely unique to you and that will add a fantastic flavor to your writing.

3) Always push the envelope
This one is a tricky one. I think you can take this too far and find yourself writing something (fiction or non-fiction) that no one will publish - or read for that matter. What I'm really talking about here is pushing your envelope. This naturally occurs when you are studying your craft, reading fantastic books by authors you admire and respect, and having a second or third or fourth...(well, you get the idea) pair of eyes on your WIP. Maybe that means you challenge yourself to write in a different point of view or to describe a scene you wouldn't normally. The lovely thing about being a writer is that you can always learn and grow.

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

What do you think? Is your writing distinct? What would you add to this short list? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ada Brownell {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Ada...

Ada Brownell’s prolific writing career began in her teens when she was youth leader. She and her husband had five children of their own. She is a retired newspaper reporter, mostly at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. Nearly 300 articles of her articles and stories have appeared in 45 Christian publications. Her books include Imagine the Future You, a motivational Bible study for youth; Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a suspense novel; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, a Bible study for the grieving, support groups, religion classes, those with a troubling diagnosis, those who fear death or are curious; Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God in 1978, recently released as an e-book. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

How to connect with Ada...

Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page:
Purchase Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult [here]

Author Interview | Ada Brownell
Share a writing-related milestone with us?

...Last year, 2013, was an eventful year. My novel, Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult was released in January. In November, my motivational Bible study, Imagine the Future You, was published. I was surprised when The Pentecostal Evangel featured my book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death Resurrection and the Eternal, in their June 2 "Reading for Spiritual Health" edition. Also, my blog has grown to 1,000 or 1,500 hits a month.

...Interesting things are happening in 2014. I just completed a large blog tour. I have a speaking engagement in March for a group of retired railroaders. Two brick-and-mortar bookstores are stocking my books and one had to take orders because they ran out. Then a few days ago I sold my first copy of my out-of-print paperback, Confessions of a Pentecostal, on Amazon. I still have a few paperback copies, but released it as an e-book in 2012. Thanks to Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart, marketing is becoming more enjoyable as I learn and have more success.

...However, when I had free days recently for Imagine the Future You, at first I was disappointed when only 187 readers downloaded the book. A gal with a free novel had 10,000. Then it dawned on me. If I'd spoken to a group of 187 and they all got the book, I'd be thrilled. By the same token, if one person found Christ or was encouragement by my book, I'd be blessed.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?

...It helps to be a work-a-holic, but that certainly is not a "trick." I get up, have devotions, check email and if my husband isn't up yet, work a little while. Then I fix breakfast, make the bed, shower, perhaps start some laundry, and get back to work.

...Many writers don't understand that thinking is an important part of writing. For instance, yesterday while I was at the hairdressers, I thought about a requested article for a chap-book on grandparenting. I thought about my grandparents while the gal worked, the interesting things they did, and how their lives impacted me, although I never met my grandfathers. Then on the notebook I brought with me I listed seven things I want my grandchildren to remember. I had some other obligations, but I sat down and wrote the piece in an hour and a half later that day and sent it to a pleased editor.

...Today, while I went to Wal-Mart I thought about this interview, what I could say, and which questions I'd pick.

...I think about meals ahead of time, so I'm prepared. When I see something that needs done around the house, I often do it right then. That way work doesn't pile up.

...When I quit writing on a project, I try to stop in the middle of a thought—even stop before completing a sentence. Then when I come back I can easily pick up where I left off.

Tell us a little bit about your book.
Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. After Joe Baker’s parents mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is dedicated to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water, and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets. Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit. Will he escape or will he be harmed? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?
...No fantasy. No wizard, but suspense that sometimes makes you smile. Christian payload.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success?
...I went through CreateSpace and was disappointed by their lack of photos from which to choose for the cover. I wanted a small castle similar to what is in my book. All CS had was gigantic castles. Then I was frustrated at the many errors which showed up in the final drafts after paying a huge amount for an editor.

...I would consider the positive reviews the book received as a wonderful success, and I was pleasantly surprised that adults enjoy the novel, written for teens. Then I understood. The sub-plot is about Joe's parents.

Who is your favorite character and why?

...I like all the characters a lot except the "bad guys." Often I almost believe they're real and living near here and I should visit them. (I'll do that with the sequel.) I think my favorite is Old Norton, an elderly botanist who traps animals and scrounges for edible plants so the prisoners can eat more nourishing meals. But Norton often plays tricks on Gorilla, the guard. Old Norton always sneaks away and never gets caught.

...One of my editors' favorite characters was Centipede, the leader of the Gallant Guardians gang. He's bold, full of faith, and will try anything.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?

...God answers prayer.

...Thank you, Emilie, for inviting me to be your guest.


Thanks for coming to the blog again Ada. Always a pleasure to have you. Glad to hear that 2013 was such a full year for you and I'm happy to see that 2014 is shaping up similarly. I love your advice about leaving off in the middle of a sentence or thought in your work. I think for some it could help to hop right back in to where you'd left off. And what a fantastic take-away. God does answer prayer and I love getting to see that in some cases. Thanks again for this great interview!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dating Like Airplanes by Caleb Breakey | RE:View

You've always heard it's good to fall in love. In his book Dating like Airplanes, Caleb Breakey challenges this thought and instead asks couples (and those who may someday be in a relationship) to consider flying instead.

Initially, I was intrigued by the books tagline: "Why just fall in love when you can fly?" I think I thought it sounded like a good idea, but I was curious to see just how Breakey would handle the explanation of that. What does it mean to fly into (and through) love?

Breakey breaks up his book into three sections: Falling in Love, What Your Other Needs Most, and Flying. As I dug into the book I found it to be heavily focused on keeping Christ at the center of the relationship - no matter what stage the relationship was in. I really appreciated this focus because too often I've seen authors try and fix problems without getting to the heart of the matter. The key ingredient in any solid relationship is having Christ as the foundation upon which everything is built.

Breakey takes his readers through many different scenarios, always keeping things practical and applicable. He also is open and honest about the troubles you could face in any relationship. At the end of some of the chapters in Part 2 he also has included sections called, "Ask Those Who Fly". These were a highlight because you were able to hear from many different couples on the topics discussed in the chapters and how they succeeded (or sometimes failed) in the things the chapter discussed.

Overall, I found the book to be helpful and entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone who is currently in a relationship or who plans to be in one some day. This would be a great book to go over in a small group of high school or college students because of how well Breakey handles to topic of love in todays culture.

You may not want to fall in love, but you'll definitely fall for this book ;)

Purchase Dating Like Airplanes {here}
P.S. As of this post the Kindle edition is only $4.61 - a great deal!

Book description: 
*Description taken from Breakey's website
It's no secret: falling in love can be hard. Falling in love can leave you hurt, confused, and emotionally paralyzed. But what if you could fly instead of fall?

Join author Caleb Breakey as he charts a new way of dating that's intentional, determined, and ascends to the kind of romance you so desire but seriously doubt possible. It doesn't matter whether you've broken every relationship bone in your body or if you're emotionally whole. In Dating Like Airplanes, all that matters is your willingness to take flight and encounter the greatest romance of all.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig | RE:View

I cannot contain just how much I LOVED this book!!!

The third book in Kendig's A Breed Apart series,Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog met and exceeded my expectations!

From the moment you open to the first page of Beowulf, you are ushered in to a world of action, intrigue, and suspense. Kendig divides her chapters to deliver multiple stories that eventual converge, but at the time leave you wondering exactly where they fit in. This puzzle-piece affect only helps to fuel the drive to finish the book.

I immediately fell in love with Timble Hogan and her Explosives Detection Dog, Beowulf. Despite Hogans tough attitude, Kendig did an excellent job of showing the reader who she really was behind the facade she fronted. She's a difficult character, but one I wanted to like.

Tony "Candyman" VanAllen was also excellently portrayed. His devotion to convincing Hogan they should date was endearing and yet, as the story progressed, and Tony's career was in danger, we see how God can step in to the most difficult of situations and still pull through with a good outcome.

To be honest, I think Beowful is my favorite out of the whole series (and that's saying a lot because I've loved all of the books!). There was a genuine rawness to Hogan and Tony's relationship, one that drives past the fluff and gets to the heart of the matter. The action-packed, "rapid-fire fiction" Kendig is famous for helps pull everything together into the perfect package of entertainment and thrill. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I did Talon: Combat Tracking Team (review here) and Trinity: Military War Dog . You cannot go wrong when you pick up a book by Ronie Kendig and I highly recommend reading Beowulf or starting from the beginning with Trinity

Book Description:
*Description taken from Ronie Kendig's Website
Former Navy handler Timbrel Hogan has more attitude than her Explosives Detection Dog, Beowulf, but she’s a tough woman who gets the job done.

Green Beret Tony “Candyman” VanAllen likes a challenge and convincing the hard-hitting handler they belong together might just get him killed. When tragedy strikes and Tony’s career is jeopardized, Timbrel must re-evaluate her life and priorities—and fast. A terrorist plots to unleash a weapon of mass destruction on American soil.

Can Timbrel and Beowulf track the chemicals in time? Will Tony surrender everything to save the woman nobody wants to love—except him?
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Giving Is Still In Style | Corrine & Matt

E.A. Creative Photography
Sometimes you meet people and you connect with them right away. That's how it was when I met Corrine. Since that initial meeting, we've discovered a kindred love of books and writing tied together with our mutual love of Jesus.

As I got to know Corrine better, I was able to learn more of her story - I wont retell it here (you can find a lot on her blog here), but I will say it's incredible and the best part is that she gives all glory to God. You also may remember me mentioning her as I started on my 5th NaNoWriMo journey - she was my writing buddy - and I'm happy to say we both passed the 50k mark on time!

Since then, she was also featured during my Spread the Christmas Joy posts in December (you can find that post here) and we have continued to bounce story ideas off each other, inspire one another (generally in the form of hilarious pins from Pinterest), and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord.

I say all this to give a bit of history. You see, Corrine recently underwent radiation therapy to treat an inoperable mass in her brain that was believed to be cancerous. That was a tough time for both her and her husband Matt, but I was so encouraged to see our church come around them. We signed up for meal trains, there were people cleaning their house, walking their dog, and even just coming to spend time with her. Corrine and I actually choose a book and I read out loud to her each week (talk about a hilarious time...).

Since then, she has finished this round of treatment (and we're hoping that's it) and is now getting back to life. The next shock came for them when they received their medical bills. Radiation is not cheap and they have felt the weight of these bills.

My roommate decided it was not okay for us to just say, "Oh, that's too bad" and go on our way. Instead, she took action and set up a fundraiser specifically for our dear friend Corrine. I have been blessed to take part in spreading the word and already (with the fundraiser only being live for about 2 weeks) we're at the half way point!!!

Preston Richardson Photography
I wanted to share here because I know a lot of people have been affected by cancer in their life - maybe a family member, friend, coworker, or maybe even themselves! Sometimes, we look in on the situation from the outside and wish we could help, but don't know what to do. Well, a very practical thing is to sharewhat we've been blessed with - whether that be verbal encouragement, prayer, or financial blessing.

Before anything else...

I ask that you would pray for Matt and Corrine!

They are determined to use this part of their story for the Lord. They give Him all the glory and know that no matter what happens, He will take care of them.

Secondly, we have set up a "YouCaring" account (which is a free fundraising platform) and I would ask that, if you feel led at all, you'd consider giving to the cause even if that's $10. Maybe you don't get coffee this week and give to the Matt and Corrine instead :)

Fundraiser page:

Either way, be sure to check out the website and feel free to share the link on Facebook or other social media - any help to spread the word is great! We just want the burden of medical debt to be lifted from this young couple and we know a big God who can do just that through us!

I am blessed to know Matt and Corrine and I hope sharing just a little of their story can bless you too! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Laura Jackson {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Laura...

Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

How to connect with Laura...

Purchase: Worth the Wait

Author Interview | Laura Jackson

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I taught middle school writing for eight years, and I loved it. I’d write with my students, and I enjoyed the writing process so much. When I became a librarian four years ago, I missed writing. So, I sat down and started a story. The first one was so horrible that I never finished it. Worth the Wait is my second attempt.

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest? ...The editing was hard! I’ve never seen so much red. I improved as a writer through it, so I’m thankful for that.

 Your Writing

Do you have a favorite character in this book? If so, why?
...I love Josh. I think there are guys (both teens and adults) out there who love Jesus, but they often get overlooked. In fact, a while back, I was debating whether I had made Josh too good of a guy. After all, what teenage boy loves Jesus that much? Then, I went to church and happened to see a teenage boy near me, who had his eyes closed and his hands lifted as he sang. He was on a row full of other teens, but that boy was focused on Jesus. So, girls, take heart—there are guys like Josh out there, and I’m praying you find one in God’s timing.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I hope readers identify with the theme of waiting. Whether we’re waiting on a publishing contract, a husband, a child, a promotion, a loved one’s salvation, the pain of waiting, especially when God seems silent, is so hard. But, His plan is always worth the wait.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Both. In Worth the Wait, Ellie and her friends go on a mission trip. I modeled it after a mission trip to an orphanage that I went on.
...In the book I’m writing now, the main character is doing community service, so I have her working at a mission much like the one my church runs.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I love to read YA books. I’ve read so many amazing stories about teen girls finding out who they are and falling in love for the first time, yet so many leave out the most important part of finding yourself. Jesus. So, my goal in writing (other than to tell a great story) is to remind girls of the most important love of their lives—the one who created them and died for their sins.


Would you prefer chocolates or flowers on Valentine’s Day??
...Can a girl get both?

On Valentines Day would you rather stay in or go out?
...Valentine’s Day is such a big holiday that anywhere you go is crowded. So, I’d rather stay home.

Describe your ideal date.
...I can’t tell you…it might end up in my next novel, and I want it to be a surprise. Ha! Actually, I’ve been single a while, so any date would be good. :)

Thank you so much for the interview, Laura! I love your description of your character Josh. I had a conversation the other night with a friend and he'd mentioned that when he first came to know the Lord he was "all out" for Christ (treating getting to know Christ as if he were training for a sport) and people told him to "calm down" - as if you can love the Lord too much!

I love your intention with your stories and how your focus is on Jesus! Amen :) And can I also so say AMEN to flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day? (hehe)  And I know what you mean about your "ideal date". I'm a pretty low maintenance type of girl so any date would be fun! Loved hearing from you Laura and I hope to hear more about your coming novels. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

James R. Callan {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about James...

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing. He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books. He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book releasing in Spring, 2014.

How to connect with James...

Amazon Author page:
Twitter: @jamesrcallan
Purchase A Ton of Gold [Here]

Author Interview | James Callan

You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...I like David Baldacci for his intricate plots. Also, Stephen Woodfin writes very interesting suspense books.
What is one book or resource you would recommend to other writers? Why?
...Beyond the thesaurus? That is my first choice for every day writing. But, for a more general view, I’d recommend The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler. It lays out the underlying structure necessary to produce great plots and great characters.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...I’m not the one to give advice on that. I do a terrible job in that regard. What I try to do is set aside the same time every day that is “writing time.” I try to let that be known so fewer interruptions will occur. Having said that, to be completely honest, I don’t seem to make it work more than half the time. But, that’s better than nothing.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book.
...A Ton of Gold is a look at how an old, long forgotten folk tale could affect the lives of people today. Crystal Moore, a brilliant computer researcher, learns that someone is trying to kill her grandmother, her only living relative. As she tries to find out who and why, the world seems to fall apart around her, with murders, arson, and kidnapping. And in the midst of this, the man who nearly destroyed her emotionally comes back. This time, he can ruin her career. She will need all the help she can get from a former bull rider, a street-wise housemate, and her feisty, 76 year-old grandmother.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success?
...I needed a way to get information to the greedy and unscrupulous characters and how to pin down a location where the thugs would search. A little “sittin’ and thinkin’” solved that. Crystal’s sidekick, Brandi, turned out to be a great success. I had expected Crystal’s grandmother to be really good (and she is quite popular with readers), but Brandi grew to be special and she plays an even bigger role in the sequel.

Who is your favorite character and why?
...I have to put Crystal Moore at the top. She must not only confront the thugs who try to kill her only living family, but she has to deal with a powerful man who has tried to destroy her emotionally. She has to grow or be swept away. However, Brandi was a pleasant surprise, a character that jumped in and demanded a larger role.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I’d like the reader to take away two thoughts. The first is that family is more important than job. And the second is that we cannot let others determine our self-worth.


Favorite writing snack:
...Dr Pepper and dry-roasted almonds.

Book you’re reading right now:
...Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton. 

If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why?
...That’s tough. But if I have to pick just one place, I think I’d pick Australia. Several years ago, my wife and I spent a month in Australia and didn’t begin to satisfy ourselves. It is an amazing country. Our one week in Tasmania was totally insufficient. Another month “down under” would be great.

So great to hear from you again, James! I like your time-management advice, and the fact that you struggle with it. That sounds strange, but as a fellow writer, I can completely identify with you on how hard it is to stick to a schedule!

Your book sounds great and I hope that it will hit the "to read" list for many of my readers! As for the Dr. Pepper, that's just great. For some reason, it immediately makes me think of Ronie Kendig and one of her characters from her A Breed Apart series - he's always drinking Dr. Pepper haha :) Thanks again so much for the interview!