Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Linda J. White {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Linda...

Linda J. White writes FBI thrillers from her home in rural Virginia. Her husband, Larry, was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy for over 27 years. Mother of three grown children, Linda is also a national-award winning journalist and a women’s ministry speaker. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with Keira, her Sheltie, reading a book, or dreaming of the beach.

How to connect with Linda...

Twitter: @rytn4hm
Purchase her novel:Words of Conviction  

Author Interview | Linda J. White

You and Writing

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

...I’ve been a writer since I was little: My fourth-grade teacher thought enough of a poem I’d written to make it the centerpiece of the hallway Christmas bulletin board! I majored in English in college and won an award for writing as a government employee. Later, when I was married with children, I found myself editing preschool newsletters and writing all kinds of things for church, including a play for a major Christmas production. When my youngest child went off to school, I asked God, “OK, what do you want me to do with the rest of my life?” Having been a mom at home, I felt suddenly out of a job!

...But along came an idea for a novel … and a whole new life began. 

Why do I keep writing? 
...Because I go a little crazy if I don’t. I think writing helps me process my life. It gives my creativity an outlet. And because, frankly, it’s what I feel called to do—and what I do best!

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...My favorite book is still my first, an unpublished work I call “The Tiger’s Cage.” Why? I think because I was in the “can I really write a novel?” stage. I wasn’t worried about getting it published. I wasn’t writing with any marketing in mind. I was just expressing myself. It was fresh, and I still love it.

Your Writing 

Tell us a little bit about your book? Why did you write it?
...I met a wonderful lady, Dr. Sharon Smith, in Sunday School of all places. She was a forensic psycholinguist for the FBI. (She’s now retired.) She analyzed threats, detected deception, studied psychopaths, and did all manner of other interesting things. We have been friends now for at least 15 years, and she was very gracious to share her expertise with me.

...In “Words of Conviction,” the five-year-old daughter of a powerful senator is abducted from her bedroom. Special Agent Mackenzie Graham, a forensic psycholinguist, is assigned to the investigation team to analyze words from the kidnapper. But is her science reliable? Kenzie works with Special Agent John Crowfeather, a Navajo running from a difficult past, and Agent Scott Hansbrough as they search for the little girl.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...Because of God’s love for us, we can risk loving humans.


What was the hardest thing about publishing?
...Certainly keeping up with the ever-changing world of publishing. I have an agent who does that better than I. Still, I find myself constantly off balance. I think God intends it that way.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...Clearly I want to present a good solid, logical story. I also care a lot about writing authentically about the FBI. My husband worked at the FBI Academy for over 27 years, and many of our friends are agents. But my overall mission statement is this: To spread a passion for Christ through white-knuckle fiction. If I can encourage someone to move a little closer to God through my books, my work is successful.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Persist. If God has called you to this work, keep writing. Because in the end, it’s not publication credits or awards or acclaim that matters, it’s obedience to his design for your life. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10 ESV


What is your favorite season and why?

...I love fall. I think it’s refreshing after what in Virginia is usually a hot, humid summer. I love the colors of the trees, digging out my turtlenecks, and, after the first good frost, walking in the fields and woods with my dog without worrying about ticks. (I landed in the hospital a few years ago from a tick-borne illness called ehrlichiosis.) Fall brings lots of work as we gather, haul and stack wood, but there’s great reward just around the corner: warm, cozy nights in front of the woodstove in the frigid winter.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I’ve always loved mystery suspense. Recently, I reconnected with a guy I haven’t had contact with in a long, long time. He reminded me that when I was in early elementary school, I ran around with three boys. No girly girl games for me! I wanted adventure! And that’s what I like in books.
Linda, thank you so much for this wonderful interview today! I'm really looking forward to reading your novel (it's right up my alley!). I love how you say that writing helps you process life - I completely agree. And, I envy your connections to the FBI ;) It's difficult to write something that's entertaining and somewhat accurate without access to a little 'inside knowledge'. As for your love of fall - I am right there with you! I will be in DC for this fall and I cannot wait to experience it! Thanks again and I hope to see you back on the blog in the future!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teresa Pollard {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Teresa...

Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.

How to connect with Teresa...

Amazon Author Page:
Purchase Tokens of Promise and Not Guilty

Author Interview | Teresa Pollard

You and Writing 

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

...For most of my life I’ve been a stay-at-home wife and a Mom (and now grandma). I worked to put my husband through college, and off and on at mostly retail jobs, but hated the time away from my family those types of jobs required. Believe it or not, I started writing in 1979 on a dare. I’ve always been a reader. I’ve read everything from War & Peace to comic books since I was a small child. My friend had given me a grocery bag full of Harlequin romances, but I quickly grew bored with them and complained to her that every single one of them had exactly the same plot. “I could write a better novel than these,” I said. “I dare you,” she replied. 

...So I wrote my first novel and sent it to Moody Press, I think because that was where Grace Livingston Hill (the only romance writer I did like at the time) was published. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to submit at the time and sent the entire manuscript. I hadn’t even kept a copy. After eight months of nail biting, I finally got a nice letter from them saying my manuscript had come up before their review board, and it was a split decision, but since I was an unknown author, they didn’t feel they could take a chance. I didn’t write another word for three years. 

...Then in 1982, my friend Candi Pullen and I wrote Not Guilty, which was published by HopeSprings Books in 2013 (only thirty one years later) . When no publishers even expressed any interest in our inquiry letters about it, in 1984 I went back to college really with the thought I was going to learn how to get my novels published. It was there I wrote Tokens of Promise. I really think Hollins taught me a lot about writing, but nothing at all about how to get my work published. In the next thirty years I wrote ten more novels and put them up on my bedroom shelf, never even attempting to send them out. 

...Then in 2012, I was sitting in church one day holding a copy of Not Guilty on my lap to share with a another friend, when Betty Lumpkin came up to ask if I’d heard about the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. I started to tell her I just couldn’t afford it, but at that moment a girl from Liberty University came on stage and sang a contemporary song called, “Not Guilty.” God was speaking directly to me. I went to the conference. The result was that not only were Not Guilty and Tokens of Promise published in 2013, but I have just signed contracts for Not Ashamed, a sequel to Not Guilty, and Woman of Light, another biblical novel about Deborah from the book of Judges. 

Your Writing 

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

...I’m currently in edit mode for both Not Ashamed and Woman of Light. The characters for Not Ashamed are some of the same ones from Not Guilty, only eighteen years later. The premise for the novel is that the baby born at the end of Not Guilty comes home from Africa to confront the man who raped her mother and fathered her. Before she can do that, however, she is caught up in a murder mystery. Will she be able to overcome her judgmental attitude, or will her unforgiving spirit endanger her own life? I hope the take-away is that forgiveness is vital, not for the other person’s sake, but for our own.

Do you have a favorite character from your books?

...The theme of Woman of Light is praise. My favorite character is Barak. That surprised even me. I knew he would be a heroic character, but when he sees a miracle of God, he’s simply breaks out into song. I almost felt for a moment like I was writing a Broadway musical, the idea seemed so ridiculous, but it was so perfect for the circumstances, there was no other way he could react but to praise his God. The take-away is the power of praise in every situation.    


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...My stories are pretty diverse. Some are contemporary, some Biblical. God gave me the plot to Not Guilty whole cloth. Tokens of Promise jumped off the pages of Genesis at me. Characters tend to be composites. A person may look like one person I know, have the personality of a second, the background of two or three others, etc. 

  When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...My overall intention is simply to glorify Christ. I do want to inspire and encourage as well as provoke theological insight, but mainly I just want to speak forth His truth in love. 

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

...My best advice is hang in there. Don’t give up. In God’s timing, He will show you the next step. A good step to consider though is to go to your nearest Christian Writer’s Conference as soon as possible. Don’t wait thirty years like I did. I’d never heard of such a thing. In college, they even said the key was networking, but no one ever told me how. This is how!


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...No. Not because I don’t love music, but because I do. When I listen to music, I tend to focus on the music, not on anything else. That’s why I can’t even play the radio when I drive.

What is your favorite season and why?
...I love the colors of the fall. It’s God’s majesty and artistry displayed for all to see.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I’m a mystery nut! I just think it’s a great way to tell a story.


Thank you so much for sharing with us Teresa! What an encouraging story of learning how to "hang in there" when things don't go quite as you'd planned. I'm glad you did and were able to be published! I also love how your favorite character is one you hadn't expected. Sometimes those pesky characters come to life in ways we never would have expected. Again, thank you for taking time out to chat with us today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

H. L. Wegley {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about H. L. Wegley...

H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he was a weather forecaster and a research scientist in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he developed computing systems for Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 47 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking Olympic Peninsula beaches, snorkeling Maui whenever they can, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic-suspense novels.

How to connect with H.L. Wegley...

Facebook page:
Amazon Author Page:
Web site:
Blog: The Weather Scribe
Purchase On the Pineapple Express

Author Interview | H. L. Wegley

You And Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started writing poetry for extra credit in elementary school, took advanced writing classes through high school, and extra writing classes in college. Working as a research scientist, I wrote books, research reports (often book length) and journal articles. But only after I retired did I start writing fiction. My first project, written in 2010, was so much fun that I worked on it until I received a contract for it in 2011. The enjoyment has remained, despite the brutality of book marketing, and now I have a contracted 4-book series, am finishing my 7th novel, and planning my 8th.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why? 
...My favorite is book 4 in the Pure Genius Series, Triple Threat, releasing November 14, 2014. I love the main character, Katie, a 15-year-old genius from book 2 who now is about to receive her PhD in Computing Security at the age of 20 (nearly 21). She’s rapidly falling for another genius in the department, also a PhD candidate, but he’s an agnostic, while Katie is a Christian. Over the course of the story, they argue, in short sound bites, nearly every major objection to the Christian faith. It was a fun way to condense my 10 years of apologetics study into the gaps between the action in this fast-paced thriller.

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing – rejections aren’t fun, but the hardest thing for me is the drudgery of marketing. I don’t like it and that makes me not as good as I might otherwise be. The easiest thing is, of course, the most fun part, drafting a new story. Creating characters and dangerous adventures for them is a blast.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...My latest release is On the Pineapple Express, book 2 in the Pure Genius Series. My heroine, Jennifer Akihara, a beautiful young lady with an IQ of around 200, does research for NSA and inadvertently discovers a human trafficking organization selling girls to international clients. I chose the subject matter after attending an awareness meeting on human trafficking. We live in one of the worst areas in the U.S. for child trafficking, and I wanted to expose this evil and, hopefully, motivate some people to take action in their communities.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Jennifer, a bright, beautiful Japanese-Hawaiian genius who has a heart for the oppressed, and is willing to go wherever God leads her, even into the gun sights of human traffickers. Jennifer is only 5 foot 2 and 110 pounds, causing people to underestimate the abilities of this formidable opponent. She’s not strong, but she’s quick, knows how to defend herself and can perform under pressure. One miscue around Jennifer will put you in checkmate.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I’m going to mention 2 take-aways. First, God provides the courage we need to carry out His will, even in the face of our worst fears. That’s why He says 400 times in His word, “Do not be afraid.” Second, God has a heart for the oppressed. He hates oppression and loves for us to help the oppressed. We, who know Him, need to be helping the victims of trafficking. They are the oppressed, having been violated beyond what we can imagine … but not beyond what God can repair.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Many times I’ve drawn on experiences from my own life and woven them into the fabric of my stories. I’ve also drawn from the lives of people I’ve known, and I glue it all together with my imagination and a little logic.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...My answer might surprise you, but please read the entire response. I write to entertain, but I do this so people will continue to read my stories. If they keep reading, then I have the opportunity to encourage and inspire them and to show them God’s character through the characters I create. That’s the ultimate goal, to let my readers know that this great God exists and to give them a better picture of who He is so they will establish, or grow in, a relationship with Him.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...The recognition of a good story seems to be planted in the heart of man, and stories have the power to impact our lives. Jesus showed us that. Once we realize this, learning the craft of story telling then takes on a great significance. So my advice is to learn the craft of story telling through good writing books, through reading good stories, by seeking help through organizations like ACFW, and, if you want to accelerate up the learning curve, through paid memberships in mentoring organizations like My Book Therapy.


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...Much of the time I do. When writing intense action scenes, I have some play lists on the Internet of themes from military movies.
...When writing romantic scenes, I often put on some of the oldies, the romantic classics like Unchained Melody, I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You, or the Beethoven-Billy Joel medley called This Night.
...I’ve learned that I can write romance with a vocalist singing but, for any other type of scene, the music must be instrumental only.

What is your favorite season and why?
...Summer! I don’t even have to give that a second thought. My body is sun-starved most of the time and my achy joints and bones crave warmth. Those cravings are maximized by living in the Seattle area. Anyone want to trade homes for a few months? If you live in Florida or South Texas, how about a November through March trade. We have some really nice Christmas trees up here in the Northwest. :)

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...High-action, romantic suspense and thrillers with romance are my favorite. Being a guy, I like action and action means something’s burning, blowing up, being shot or shot at, or such events are imminent. But thinking back to that very special time when we experienced young, first love. I only had that experience once and I’m glad. But 47 years later, it’s fun to give that experience to my characters and vicariously to my readers.

Thank you so much for coming back to the blog, Harry! I love that, as you talk about your favorite book being #4 in your series, you are able to use your knowledge of apologetics in your writing. It's great that the Lord gives us passions and experiences to fit right into our writing! Plus, I love your take-away's for this next book in your series. Thanks so much for sharing with us and I'm sorry to say I don't have a house to swap with you because I'd take Seattle in a heartbeat! I just love the northwest :D Thanks again for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mortis by Hannah Cobb | RE:View

In Mortis, nothing is as it seems. Jane, quiet as a mouse but as deadly as a dagger, survives the trap-filled life of a sixteenth year student with her friends Willamina (Willy) and Felix. Among dangerous tests and deadly duels, Jane discovers the truth about her school that goes deeper than anything she could have imagined. It's up to her to set things right, but will "Jane-Mouse" be able to step out of the shadows and into the light to do it?

I wasn't sure what to except with Mortis. Children as assassins? Knives? Fighting? What is that all about? But, as I dove into the underground world of Mortis and Hannah Cobb's enchanting writing, I began to see more clearly.

Jane's character is at once easy to identify with and yet enigmatic enough to keep you guessing. Willy is a charming secondary character who captures your heart the moment you see a mental image of her mischievous smile. Felix is strong and has a warriors heart that draws you to him.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult/teen fiction. I would classify it as a fun mix between Harry Potter and Medieval times that will satisfy readers of popular dystopian novels who enjoy a twist of fantasy and adventure.

Purchase Mortis (on sale for $3.50 right now!)

Book Description: 
(Description used from Hannah Cobb's website)

In an underground school rife with duels and deadly classes, Jane hides in the shadows
to stay alive. She is the invisible assassin. But as she prepares to graduate from Mortis,
Jane stumbles across secrets that reveal dark truths about her school.  
Will she embrace the darkness, or betray the school that raised her--and the boy she loves?
Once Jane sets herself against her school, there is no turning back, because in Mortis,
failure always means death.
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.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Popcorn, Toast, and a Trip to D.C.

View from the Robert E. Lee house at the Arlington National Cemetery

I'm going to admit right off the bat that last week I ate popcorn and toast for dinner. Oh the shame. But the toast was quite good and I'm a popcorn fanatic so it's really not that strange...well, for me at least.

Em & Jenn at Arlington Cemetary
In addition to my strange, nightly eating habits, I also took a trip to Washington D.C. this last weekend. As it is, I'm currently sitting in a lovely coffee shop right around the corner from my hotel enjoying a cup of coffee (I'm never far from caffeinated wonderful-ness) and the company of my roommate Jennifer (Jenn to those who know her well). We're killing some time before we're picked up by the shuttle that will take us to the airport. I'm looking forward to the dedicated reading time I'll enjoy while flying back ;)

I'm trying to process this whole trip. 

The Metro: An Experience
It's been full of new adventures, sightseeing, my first attempt at public transportation (I'm getting the hang of it!), and meeting new people. All in all, it's been amazing and yet tiring because, for me, it's a lot to process. I mean, this is the city I'll be moving to, but it hardly seems real to me. Like some type of complex math problem I haven't figured out yet (I never did well in math class).

I think one thing that has become clear to me is that a step like this isn't without complications or fear. I don't mean fear in a debilitating way, but fear that comes from the unknown. No one likes to jump from a great height without knowing what's going to meet them at the bottom. No one enjoys making decisions without knowing all of the facts.

Me with the memorial & reflecting pool in back
And at the same time, that's exactly what the Lord is asking me to do (to a certain extent). I may not know all of the details or see the whole picture, but He's asking me to trust that He does know them. Many verses come to mind about this:
... trust in the Lord with all your heart...those who know your name will trust in You...when I am afraid, I will trust in You...he who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept in the Lord not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God... may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him...
I guess you could say I'm flooded with an eerie calm. I'm existing in a state that is at once cautious and calculating as it is excited and filled with anticipation. I know the challenges to come - finding [affordable] housing being top of of list - but I must place my trust in Him before anything else.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9
I'm clinging to these verses and anticipating the adventures to come.
Reflecting pool and memorial (crowded due to the Cherry Blossom Festival)

If you're interested in keeping up with my D.C. adventures, check out the tab above (the one that says D.C. Bound) to sign up for my newsletter.  Or you can click [here].

Also, if you are interested in receiving my support letter and learning more about why I'm D.C. bound, feel free to email me here or you can use the contact form on the left hand side of this page.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Paula Mowery {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Paula...

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

How to connect with Paula...

Second blog for Christian writers:
Author Interview | Paula Mowery

You and Writing

What is one book or resource you would recommend to other writers? Why?
...I find myself most often recommending The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass and Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Maass’ book is one of the most practical I have found to help polish your manuscript. He explains about a given topic like tension, gives examples from actual novels, and gives pointed exercises to implement into your own work. The only warning I give to this book is that some of his example passages contain profanity.

...Nelson’s book is such a good resource for making sure you are staying in the POV and making it the best experience for your readers to get into that character. She also gives examples and exercises to hone your POV writing skills.

Share a writing-related milestone with us? 
...Legacy and Love is my fourth published work. The distinguishing characteristic about this book is that it is my first solo romance. My first two books were considered women’s fiction. My third was a historical romance story within an anthology. So, Legacy and Love’s release is quite special to me. I have actually written more Christian romance than any other genre and hope this is just the beginning of romance releases for me.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...My life is definitely a balancing act. I am a pastor’s wife and work part-time in a public school Pre-K to earn that all-important tuition for my daughter’s college. I am an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group as well as writing my own manuscripts. Throw in a couple of blogs and a magazine column with the occasional speaking engagement and you’ve got a full plate! Those who know me, know that I am fanatical about organization. This is the only way I get everything accomplished. I have a very detailed calendar, more like a teacher plan book, on my desk. I write down every deadline and times to work on those. When life intervenes unexpectedly, I rearrange in my planner to make sure everything gets done. 
Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about the book.
...Legacy and Love contains two contemporary Christian romances connected by the godly influence of a grandmother on the main heroines.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success?
...The story, Inheritance, went through so many revisions that I lost count. I struggled with how to begin this story and how much of Granny Olivia to include. Several readers fell in love with the grandmother figure which made it hard to chop many of the scenes with her out. But, after realizing that an editor had wisely pushed me, the story fell into place.
Who is your favorite character and why?
...The grandmothers in each story have become favorites even though they aren’t even main characters. However, their influence shines throughout the stories. This was special to me because I feel the influence of my grandmothers still shining through my life today.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I pray that others will see how important it is to be intentional about the godly legacy we leave.


Favorite writing snack:
...I’m laughing because I just had this very snack while writing last night – Cheese-its, Peanut Butter M&M’s, and Diet Dr. Pepper. Strange combo but it gets me through.

Book you’re reading right now:
...I read several books because of the review column I write for an online Christian magazine. Currently, I’m reading an anthology called Sincerely Yours by Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Ann Shorey. Before this one, I just finished Christy Barritt’s Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife and Janice Thompson’s Picture Perfect.

If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why? 
...Now, this is going to be an interesting answer. I actually have the dream to have a cabin/treehouse in the Smoky Mountains for a writing retreat. We live only about an hour to an hour and a half from the Smokies. It is my dream to have this place to slip away to at any time to just write write write. I love my mountains and grew up hiking and splashing in the creeks there. There would just be no more perfect backdrop or spot to escape to.

Thank you so much for joining me on the blog again Paula! It's been a pleasure getting to catch up with you. Love your thoughts on being organized in order to help with the busy nature of life - I am a crazy organized person (most of the time) and I know it definitely helps! And, I am right there with you in reading several books at once. It get's a little difficult at times, not keeping them straight because they are all so very individual, but splitting up my time :) 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Trapped by Irene Hannon | RE:View

Laura Griffith faces a nightmare when she comes home to find out that her younger sister Dracy is gone. Entrusted to her care, Laura has found living with her sixteen-year-old sister wasn't as easy as she'd first assumed. The tension between them is nothing like the anxiety she faces knowing that her little sister is without protection during a snowstorm in February.

Laura turns to the handsome former ATF agent James "Dev" Deviln for assistance. The private investigation company he works for (introduced in Vanished which is the first book of the Private Justice series) provides the resources to find Darcy. Without a trail to follow, things begin to look dismal and Laura starts to wonder if they'll ever find her sister.

Questions arise as clues lead them down many different avenues without solid proof. With every day that passes, the possibility that Darcy will remain safe diminishes. Dev isn't optimistic about the outcome, but he's discovered is more invested in this case than he could have ever imagined.

I enjoyed this novel, though it did take until over half was done before I was "hooked". It was a slow path to begin and I really had to stick with it until things fired up toward the end. The ending was great and I was definitely satisfied, but I wish there could have been more action and a tid-bit more romance in the first half of the novel.

**Slight spoilers**

And, while we're on the subject of romance, due to the nature of the situation with a missing sister, I understand the difficulty in drawing the two main charters together. Laura's sister is missing, she can't just fall head over heels in love with the handsome James Devlin. Yet, there wasn't a lot of depth to them together. This felt like more of a psychological thriller that ended like a Christian Romantic Suspense novel. I'm not saying that's bad, just something to look out for!

All of that said, I'd still recommend this book. I'd say the ending mostly justifies the slower start and it will definitely keep you guessing!

Purchase Trapped (Private Justice Book #2) HERE and Vanished (Private Justice Book #1) HERE  

Book Description:
(Description used from Irene's website)
When librarian Laura Griffth’s sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James “Dev” Devlin to help—but the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl’s disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn’t just dangerous—it’s deadly.
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, April 2, 2014

G. E. Hamlin {Writer Wednesday}

A little more about G.E. (we'll call her Ginny for the sake of this interview)

G.E. Hamlin (Ginny) passionately writes about broken marriages and the restorative power of Jesus Christ. Her stories stem from personal experiences and working in lay ministry as a member of her church. Her characters encounter the natural consequences of addiction to: alcohol, drugs, and sexual immorality. It is Ginny's hope each story will create a bridge for discussion in real life.

Ginny has been a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) for over six years. Her style of writing reflects the qualities of Nicholas Sparks' soft side and the fast pace of James Patterson.

She and her husband Ed have a blended family with five adult children and eight grandchildren. Ginny and her husband live in Southern California where they enjoy the beach, desert, and mountains. As a full time author, she is blessed with frequent opportunities to spend time with the grandchildren.

How to connect with Ginny... Marriage Takes Three
Main Facebook page:
Personal Facebook author page:
On twitter:
Linked In:
Goodreads profile:

Author Interview | G.E. Hamlin

You and Writing 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing?
...I started making up bedtime stories for my children in the late 70s. I’d encourage them to pick a few characters, which included: playmates, animals, and often inanimate objects. Once the cast of characters was set, I’d have them pick a setting and tell me what they wanted the characters to do -- a goal. My passion for storytelling was born during those years with my two little ones.

...The desire to create stories never left me, but with adult children I no longer had an audience. I prayed about what God wanted me to do with the desire to create stories. I believe God directed me to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers, which went by another name at that time) via my online search for Christian novels. I’ve been a member for over six years and the blessings are too numerous to count, one of which includes contracting with my publisher, Chalfont House/HopeSprings Books.

...I write Christian fiction with a focus on broken marriages, and the restorative power of Jesus Christ. My husband and I are passionate about placing God at the center of our marriage and encouraging other married couples to do the same, thus the title of my debut novel Marriage Takes Three.

What has kept you writing?
...What’s kept me writing is my belief that God placed a passion in me to write novels about broken marriages and that I needed to persevere in spite of what things looked like e.g., winning contests, signing or not signing with an agent, and or contracting with a publisher. The awareness that God is in control of my life, which obviously includes my passion to write, freed me up to enjoy the journey. (It also helped that my husband would encourage me when I received responses to queries, which were less than favorable.)
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...“Marriage Takes Three” will always hold a special place in my heart. As my debut novel, how could it not?

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The most challenging aspect of publication, for me, came after I theoretically typed the words “The End”. I had no idea how much work was involved in marketing. The easiest and most rewarding thing about the publishing process is letting go and letting God have His way with it.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...My debut novel “Marriage Takes Three” which is scheduled for release from Chalfont House/HopeSprings books April 02, 2014, is a story about a woman, Darla Connor, who is struggling with whether to stay in her troubled marriage or walk away. Maintaining a long distance friendship with an old sweetheart isn’t making the decision easier, especially when that sweetheart, now a famous country music star, declares his love for her, even though she is married. Darla Connor’s husband, Randall Connor, is a recovering alcoholic and wants to heal his broken marriage. As a new believer, he is counting on God to help him. When Darla rejects his ultimatum to sever ties with her old boyfriend, he’s in for the battle of his life. Jack Collins, the protagonist, feels Darla is the only woman who truly loves him for who he is, and not the well-known country music artist he’s become. Jack’s goal is to give Darla everything her heart desires, but first he must get her to divorce Randall. Darla is at a precipice. Will she follow promises of ‘better to come’ with Jack, or if she will she surrender to God in time to save her marriage?

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...My favorite character in “Marriage Takes Three” isn’t limited to one character, but rather to different character traits. Randall’s perseverance is admirable. Darla’s loyalty is heartwarming. Paul’s innocence and ability to forgive is inspiring, and even Jack’s tenacity is motivating at times.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I’ll reference a line from one of my characters; you’ll have to read “Marriage Takes Three” to identify which character.
The character says, “Lord, thank you for being faithful—even when I’m not.” That’s a humbling takeaway.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Each of my stories has a bit of “real life” in them. Yes, even the protagonists in varying degrees are from observations more so than personal experiences…yet on that slight admission, I plead the fifth. ;)

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I hope my novels will be a bridge for discussion of real relationships issues. Dysfunction doesn’t destroy relationships; dysfunction that is not dealt with destroys relationships. The stories I write reflect the restorative power of Jesus Christ.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Embrace a teachable spirit. Yes, we want to respect and guard against our voice being drowned out by well intended critique partners and seasoned editors, but we also need to acknowledge a good suggestion when we hear one. My critique partners have blessed me over the years, and most recently an editor who knows of what she speaks. Because I’ve listened for good advice and heeded it when it came my way, I believe my novel is the better for it.


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...When I’m writing I don’t generally listen to music; I find it too distracting. However, on occasion I will turn Pandora on while I’m writing and listen to an Instrumental Praise radio station.

What is your favorite season and why?
...I enjoy the colder months, which may seem odd for a native Californian to admit to, but I say bring on the rain and overcast days. I love snuggling up with my hubby in front of a roaring fire while we watch old movies – we’re Hitchcock fans, so we’ve been known to hole up for a weekend with munchies.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I appreciate Christian fiction with an edge, which unsurprisingly is what my publisher, Chalfont House/HopeSprings Books promotes. And by edge I mean true to life stories that represent what Christians face in the world.

Emilie, thank you for having me as guest on your blog, I’ve enjoyed the interview. I hope your readers will enjoy learning a little about me. ;)


 Thank you Ginny :) I've loved getting to know more about you and look forward to this new release of yours! I appreciate the real-life aspect you are desiring to share with your readers.