Friday, March 24, 2017

Whispers in Purple is pleased to be participating on a blog tour featuring author Misty M. Beller. Many thanks to Misty, and A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services.

 ♦ Writing God’s Stories ♦

by Misty M. Beller
For a few years now, I've been amazed at the love God's instilled in me for writing novels. It's become my passion, where I can invest my energy and brainpower and every ounce of the creativity I never thought I had. Something I can work at, and be constantly learning. A place where I can strive for perfection.
But, through this process, God has made it abundantly clear to me that the writing is His. The words—whether they flow onto the page in harmonious magic, or whether I have to build each one from a desert of nothing.
The words are His.
What He chooses to do with them, whether they only plant a seed for one person, or whether they touch hundreds of lives. The difference these words make is His difference.
This may seem like a basic concept in the Christian life, but it continues to completely changing the way I approach not just writing, but every area of my life. My entire existence is to be a tool for God's work. That took me a while to wrap my mind around, but I now approach things with a new perspective.
Everything I do should point to Him.
We sing a song at church with the words, "I breathe in grace, I breathe out praise." And that's the concept I want to live out. God fills me up with his grace, so that I can pour out His praise in everything I do.
And as He chooses to bless this writing in some areas, and close the doors in other areas, it's not my choice. These are His stories, and He has a master plan to use them in ways I may never know.


So now, I'd love to hear from you! How has God used you as His tool? How have you seen Him work in ways you would never have imagined? Here's your chance to breathe out His praise!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the bestselling Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family--both immediate and extended--is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

Author contact links:
Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.Misty loves to connect at her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Bookbub, and Pinterest. 


ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Wyoming mountain country seems like the perfect place for Zeche Reid to find himself. When a blizzard sends him scrambling for cover, he stumbles upon a lady and her professor father holed up in a remote cabin. His protective instincts won't let him desert them to continue his travels, especially when the father’s haunting memories from the War of Succession put his daughter’s safety at risk. 

Fighting her own nightmares after the war, Greta Michelly is trying to settle into this rugged mountain land, but her bad memories are nothing compared to the demons that haunt her father. The haven they’ve found in these Rocky Mountains seems to be the solace he needs to find peace—until a mysterious sojourner appears on their cabin doorstep. She can’t help but be drawn to the wild aura that surrounds the man, but that strength seems to be that very thing that intensifies her father’s struggles. 

As Zeche is torn between his craving to protect Gretta and the awful realization that he’s the one putting her in more danger, he’s forced to make a difficult choice. But when a run-in with an elk changes his plans and Gretta is faced with a danger Zeche is powerless to control, Zeche has to find a way to protect her at any cost. Even at the cost of his heart.


Book links:
·       Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQYOL58


GIVEAWAY:
                                           
Enter to win Misty Beller’s readers-only gift basket! This book end chest is filled with sweet treats and coffee, perfect for reading time. The chest is filled with …
  • Cashew Roca Toffee chocolates
  • Chamberry Raspberry Truffles
  • Chocolate Covered Almonds
  • Java Bon Coffee Caramels
  • 3 Assorted gourmet coffee's
  • 2 Fudge Brownies
  • $15 Barnes and Noble gift card


Click the image below to enter!




BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

March 24 – Whispers in Purple
March 25 – Labor Not in Vain
                                                      





Thursday, March 23, 2017

Refined as Pure Gold, a Guest Post Devotional from author Patrick E. Craig


Refined as Pure Gold

By Patrick E. Craig +Patrick E. Craig - Author 


And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. Revelation 21:21

A friend of mine who was a missionary once told me an interesting story. When he was in South Africa he visited a gold mine. There he was able to watch the process by which the miners extracted the gold from the ore that was dug from the earth.

First they crushed the gold-bearing rock into manageable chunks. Then they put it into a huge caldron where they began to heat it. When the ore melted, the impurities floated to the top and they were scooped off. Then the operator turned up the heat and more impurities floated to the top—again to be scooped off. This occurred over and over until the process of purification was completed.

Once the operator was finished my friend asked him how pure the gold was. The answer: "99.9% pure." Steve asked another question. Is that the purest it can get?" The operator answered, "Yes. 99.9% pure is the purest gold we can ever get in this world."

My friend asked one last question. "If it was 100% pure what would it look like?" "Oh," the man said, "it wouldn't be yellow anymore. The yellow color is the impurities that are left in the gold. No, 100% pure gold would be perfectly clear, like glass."

There are two things that come to mind here. First of all, when we look at gold in this present life, it is the wonderful, gleaming yellow color that captures us. That's why we call it "Gold". It's that lustrous golden color that has caused men throughout history to do anything to possess it. If we stumbled upon a trove of gold that was clear like glass we would probably pass it by even if it were right before us. And doesn't that reveal us for what we are—natural born sinners who are drawn to the impure things of this life while we often walk right by those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or of a good report?


The second thing that comes to mind is our future. When this life is over and we stand before the Lord, He will finish the refining process, the fiery trials as it were, that he began on the day we said yes to him. And when He finishes, all the impurities will be gone and we will stand transparent before him, as transparent as the golden streets of heaven, purest gold and clear like glass.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

 Best-selling author Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor. In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first two books in the series, The Amish Heiress and The Amish Princess, were published by P&J Publishing. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.



Where can readers find me online?

Where can readers purchase my books?

Patrick’s Newest Book - The Amish Princess—


Opahtuhwe, the White Deer, is the beautiful daughter of Wingenund, the most powerful chief of the Delaware tribe. She is revered by her people–a true Indian princess. Everything changes when the murderous Delaware renegade known as Scar brings three Amish prisoners to the Delaware camp. Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger are twin brothers that Scar has determined to adopt and teach the Indian way. The third prisoner is Jonas Hershberger, their father, who has been made a slave because he would not defend his family. White Deer is drawn to Jonathan but his hatred of the Indians makes him push her away. Joshua's gentle heart and steadfast refusal to abandon the Amish faith lead White Deer to a life-changing decision and rejection by her people. In the end, White Deer must choose between the ways of her people and her newfound faith. And complicating it all is her love for the man who can only hate her.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Faith-based Fiction for Kids. Do we need it? ♦ Rachel Pellegrino ♦ Giveaway



I'd like to welcome author Rachel Pellegrino to Whispers in Purple today as she shares her thoughts on n important...and timely...subject. Her article title tells it all.

♦ ♦ ♦

Why We Need Faith-Based Fiction For Kids

By Rachel LaMonica Pellegrino

As a publisher of faith-based fiction, I can tell you without hesitation that there’s a hole in the market for faith-based fiction for kids.

Walk into any major bookstore, and while there are shelves full of books for young readers on everything from dystopian worlds, royal contests, and magical mutants, generally-speaking you’ll be lucky if you can find one shelf labeled “Religion/Spiritual” in the back corner. If you do find this shelf, it will contain the evergreen copies of devotionals, biographies, activity books, and Bibles, but hardly any fictional stories.

Why is this?

It’s hard to understand why there is such a shortage when there is a huge hunger among parents and grandparents as well as young children, tweens, and teens for stories that affirm a biblical-worldview and celebrates God’s presence in our world as well as for stories that answer the request for colorful, entertaining, and yes, even humorous stories that include strong examples of characters overcoming obstacles, engaging in positive relationships, and shining a light in a dark world.

You can find many wonderful board books, picture books, and early readers for elementary readers and chapter books and novels for upper elementary, middle grade and young adult readers that don’t have a faith-base. Books that build creative settings, share strong characters, have colorful covers, and yes, even teach character traits through interesting plots.

But, the count is far, far less for those same types of books that tell our children it’s okay to be a Christian, that it’s okay to love the God who made them, it’s okay to stop and pray when you are afraid or worried…far less that offer biblical references for encouragement, strength, love, and support.

Aren’t there writers writing faith-based fiction for kids? Aren’t there publishers publishing faith-based books for kids?

The answer is yes and yes, but they are too few and far between, and now more than ever, we need writers wanting to take their talent and their calling to write and create wonderful fiction that incorporates salvation, faith, values, and morals, and still enriches the imaginations of the readers and inspires their love for reading even further.

When it comes to the process, faith-based fiction is not any different than writing secular fiction for kids. It should weave a strong main character with an engaging plot through a conflict that needs to be resolved. Each story should have an attention-grabbing beginning, an interesting middle, and strong, satisfying ending. Each story, whether for elementary, middle grade, or young adult readers should show and not tell.

The difference is that faith-based fiction should be written to subtly or overtly highlight the influence of faith or the impact of faith on the person, place, situation, or outcome.

Children read books to be entertained, to be inspired, to be humored, to travel, to have adventures, to fall in love, to discover strength, to not feel alone, and so much more. We need to give them those kinds of stories and allow there to be the discussion about the challenges of loving an almighty God we cannot see, we cannot touch, or we cannot hear.

We need to write stories for them that teach them how to stand up for themselves and their viewpoints with grace and dignity, strength and kindness.

We need to create new and unique worlds so they can understand how to honor diversity, love their neighbors, and share the gospel.

We need to write relationships that are good and bad, perfect and so-not-perfect to show them what to do in any of those types of friendships, relationships, or family settings.

We need more faith-based fiction for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers, and I know that at Little Lamb Books, we are doing everything we can to make that happen.

Rachel Pellegrino is the publisher and managing editor of Little Lamb Books, an independent publisher of faith-based fiction for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers. She is passionate about empowering authors who write faith-based fiction and providing them with a positive publishing experience. Rachel lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with her husband, daughter, and their lab mix, Daisy. She blogs on the Little Lamb Books website, and is a current member of IBPA, ACFW, and SCBWI. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Little Lamb Books website: http://littlelambbooks.com/
Little Lamb Books Twitter: @Little_Lamb_Books
Little Lamb Books Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/little_lamb_books/
Little Lamb Books Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlelambbooks/

♦ ♦ ♦

Giveaway Details:
Rachel is generously offering not one, but two gifts for your readers:
A $20 Starbucks gift card, AND a beautiful travel mug.


(Hmm, whaddya know...it's trimmed in purple!) 

Entering is easy: Just leave your name, where you live (State or Province), your email, AND answer this question:

As a parent, or grandparent, what kind of books/stories do you like to see your kids reading?

Contest runs for one week, ending Tuesday, March 28, at Midnight, Central time. Winner will be notified via email...that why it's required :)

Thanks, Rachel, for being my guest today, AND I'm looking forward to having you back again next week for more about writing fait-based fiction for kids!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Life Is All About Choices…and Consequences ♦ Lillian Duncan ♦ Giveaway


Please welcome guest blogger Lillian Duncan as she shares from her heart and talks about her new book BROKEN TRUST.

 ♦ ♦ ♦  

Life Is All About Choices…and Consequences

by Lillian Duncan @LillianDuncan


Life is all about choices…and consequences
.
That’s what my new book, BROKEN TRUST, is all about. The main character is Chrysalis better known as Chryssie. A chrysalis is another name for a cocoon and a cocoon is one of the necessary steps for a caterpillar to become a butterfly.

Chryssie wants to soar like a butterfly but because of a lifetime of bad choices she seems to be stuck in the caterpillar stage. She knows good choices can propel her forward but it’s not always easy to make the good choices.

And isn’t that true for all of us? We know that eating that second piece of cake isn’t a good choice but… We know that buying that expensive “whatever” isn’t a good choice but…We know that arguing with our spouse about insignificant things isn’t a good choice but…

Lots of times we don’t even think about what we’re doing, we are just stuck in a pattern of bad choices and then complain because we don’t like what’s happening in our life. If you want to change something in your life, start making better choices.

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2nAzdyn
Chryssie is only days away from graduating when she witnesses a murder. Common sense would tell her to call the police, but she’s so focused on taking her final exam for nursing school, she decides to take the easy way out—again.

Life is all about choices…and consequences.

Chryssie makes a bad choice—and even worse consequences follow! Her easy way out not only puts everything she’s worked so hard for in jeopardy but her very life!

Each day we make hundreds of choices—they may not be life and death choices like Chryssie, but they will either move us toward our goals or away from our goals. It’s not easy to break patterns and bad habits but it can be done—one choice at a time.


Life is all about choices…and consequences.




GIVEWAY INFORMATION:
To celebrate the release of BROKEN TRUST, I’m giving away Amazon Gift Cards. All you have to do is hop over to my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of the Broken Trust posts and you’re entered. Easy Peasy!

♦ ♦ ♦

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com

Friday, March 17, 2017

Be Still and Know . . . Cathe Swanson with Giveaway


Be Still and know . . .
Guest post by Cathe Swanson

How often are you truly at peace, at rest, alone with God? Is your mind always filled with people, work and things? In idle moments, do you seek distraction or entertainment? Most of us enjoy a break from our responsibilities and anxieties. What do you do with that time? Read a book, watch television, visit with a friend, browse Facebook and Pinterest, go shopping, play games? There’s nothing wrong with relaxing entertainment. I am grateful for Facebook, where I can see pictures of my grandchildren. It’s important to spend enjoyable time with your loved ones, and I certainly don’t want you to stop reading books!

Perhaps you garden, exercise, knit or watch birds – activities that should leave your mind open for prayer. Those things do require some attention, though, and if you are like me, your mind is prone to wander back into the world, maybe even dwelling on those anxieties and responsibilities. Often, when I have activities that occupy my hands but don’t require my full mental attention, I listen to audiobooks, so even when I could pray and meditate on Scripture, I clutter up my mind, filling it with something else.

We are called to worship and to serve in local church communities. The Holy Spirit equipped us for that work among the body of believers. It’s good and right. And yet, in this busy world, we also need to spend time alone with God, very still and apart from all that might distract us. For some women, especially those with young children, that means getting up very early, before the household (Psalm 119:47-48), or at night in bed, as David often did. (Psalm 4:4, Psalm 63:5-8, Psalm 77:6 and more).  
In other stages of life, we have more flexibility. Wherever we are, though, we need to be still and give Him our full attention. Jesus withdrew from his disciples, to speak to His Father. Throughout the Psalms, David speaks alone and intimately to God, with a hopeful soul, waiting, and God responds. David called on God in grateful praise, in deep pain and in frustration. He was honest and completely focused on God.

In my book, Baggage Claim, Teresa is a believer. She reads her Bible, prays and goes to church. She’s confident in her faith. But when she moves to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she is alone with God for the first time in her life, experiencing his glory in a whole new way.  She is still, knowing God, and realizes that the petty sins of her life – discontent, anxiety and irritation – cannot coexist with that real stillness. You can find that. I encourage you to get alone with God for a while every day. Leave behind the study guides and prayer journals. Shut off the praise music. Be still – really still - and know that He is God. 
♦ ♦ ♦

Baggage Claim, Feb 2017

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?
Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.
His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

A nanny with a past…
Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.
As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation? 

♦ ♦ ♦

Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Her family is growing steadily; she and her husband had three sons, and those boys all grew up and married delightful women and started producing grandchildren: three boys and two girls so far - and two more arriving in the spring!

The long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.
  

Social media links

To Enter Cathe's Giveaway:
Leave a Comment Below, along with your first name AND email address and answer the following question: Where is your favorite place to go where you can 'Be still, and know . . .'?
Giveaway ends one week from today (March 24) at Midnight, CDT. Winner will be notified via email after a random drawing. Have fun with this!

Thank you so much, Cathe, for this timely, and thought-provoking post. God bless you!





Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why the Next Book Isn’t Ready ♦ Julie Arduini

Please welcome author Juiie Arduini with a guest blog post that touched me right where I live!
Read on, Whisperers, and discover how you can get a free copy of her devotional FINDING FREEDOM FROM SURRENDER.

Thanks for being here and sharing this post today, Julie!


Why the Next Book Isn’t Ready  
by Julie Arduini +Julie Arduini 

As an indie author, I have the ability to set my own deadlines. I’ve learned I often give myself a goal without allowing reality, and last year I struggled to find success. This year I’ve embedded more time into my tasks, knowing life is just going to get in the way. With a husband that travels, a college aged son, and a teen daughter with medical issues to monitor, there’s rarely a dull moment.
Or time to write.

The wisdom in that played itself out immediately this year. I had to take an unexpected trip out of state and it was full of winter driving and heavy emotions. My husband was local, but unavailable as he was training clients from out of town. That left our eighteen-year-old son to fill in the gaps.
I gave him a modified schedule, writing down menu ideas, ingredients, medicine reminders for his sister, homework issues she had, and the pet agenda. I didn’t add laundry, housecleaning, or bill paying. While I was away, I received a text.

Now I know why your third book isn’t finished.

Tears fell as I realized he got it. There are so many times I get all the “stuff” done to sit down and write, only to look at the clock and realize it’s time to go to school and pick our daughter up. There is always something unplanned that pops up. A run to the bank. Praying for someone who texts an emergency. Cleaning up a pet mess. It all adds up.

Of course, I’m not perfect. I find myself on Facebook or looking up to see what someone else is watching on Hulu, and that’s valuable time, too. There’s also marketing the books already available. Creating a monthly newsletter. Engaging with readers through social media. As much as I try to write that in my iBloom planner, these things seem to take a little more time than I anticipated.

Last month I finally reached a place where I wasn’t traveling or going to doctor appointments when I felt like I was supposed to set ENGAGED aside and do something unique. I created a devotional called FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER and it utilizes the surrender themes I wrote about in my Surrendering Time series. What makes it very different than anything I’ve read or written is that the daily readings are written from the POV (point of view) of the characters from ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED. They share their experiences of surrendering fear, loss, change, regret and the future without giving away the story. I’m formatting the 30 day edition for Amazon now, and the 14 day preview is available for readers at my website. It was sidetrack I wasn’t counting on, but already I’ve received reader feedback that the readings helped them with their surrender issues. That’s what I’m called to do, so I’m not frustrated that my ENGAGED deadlines need tweaking. Again.



ENGAGED: Coming Spring 2017

Trish Maxwell returns to her mountain hometown after a failed move to New York City with a lot of apologies to make. The Speculator Falls residents haven’t forgotten how she left, and want to know what’s next for her. Paramedic Wayne Peterson encourages Trish with her idea to market Adirondack store fronts to increase business traffic, but he also wonders if her love for city life will lure her away from their blossoming friendship. Can Trish find a “Plan B” that will satisfy her and gain back the trust of everyone in Speculator Falls?






Book Links:
ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, Book 3, Coming Soon!

While You Wait:
Julie Arduini has a FREE 14 Day devotional based on the characters from Entrusted, Entangled and Engaged. FINDING FREEDOM FROM SURRENDER features the surrender issues fear, loss, and change, including Julie’s own surrender experiences. Click link for your copy. FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER.


How about you? Do you keep strict deadlines? Are you able to meet them? What kind of things distract or get in the way for you? I’d love to hear from you.


Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.

Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Writing Team Diane and David Munson ♦ an Interview


In all my years of blogging—10 this year, matter of fact—this is the first time I’ve featured a husband/wife writing team. That's why I’m so excited to have Diane and David Munson here today to spend some time with us in an interview.

So sit back and emjoy!


David and Diane Munson
Welcome, you two!

I’ve been browsing through your website and I’m so intrigued! A former Federal prosecutor and a former NCIS DEA Special Agent. Wow! I hardly know where to begin this interview. But, let’s give it a try . . .

Peg: When did you decide to join forces and start writing what you call ‘factional fiction’? (Love that term) or, as in your banner above: High Velocity Suspense.

D/D: While looking for a diversion from writing legal briefs, Diane penned a Christian historical novel that revealed persecution of a Dutch family who owned the first Bible printed by Johann Gutenberg in the Middle Ages. She floated to acquisition editors just after 9/11/2001, and they liked the manuscript; however, they admitted demand for historical was waning. Readers were beginning to read more suspense. Upon learning that Diane was an attorney, a former Federal prosecutor, and married to a former NCIS agent and undercover DEA agent, these acquisition editors suggested Diane and David collaborate to write a suspense novel. Diane pitched the idea to David, who had also spent his career writing lots of investigative reports, which many defense attorneys claimed were fiction while defending their clients before judges.

David saw the possibility as a challenge and the two of us spent the next months writing our first novel, “Facing Justice,” which is inspired by one of David’s cases where he investigated someone he knew. We presented “Facing Justice” to FaithWalk Publishing, and three weeks later we were offered our first contract. What happened to the historical fiction? In a fun twist, we later pared it down and included in a modern day suspense that returns to the fifteenth century to decipher the mystery in our ninth thriller, “Embers of Courage.” We have written two other thrillers with touches of history to resolve a modern day mystery. These are “Stolen Legacy” and “The Camelot Conspiracy.”

Peg: How do the two of you handle the dual writing roles?

D/D: It was more complex for our first novel, which we completely outlined. We’ve developed a beautiful harmony as co-authors through the years. Once we discuss a possible plot, then we agree on the characters and their hopes and conflicts, the setting, and the plot. Once we’ve agreed on the basics, Diane begins writing the first chapter. David begins at the end and writes backwards, until we meet in the middle. Then we are done. Not really. We are just kidding. We really divide up the writing task into various scenes. If David were to write the entire novel, he would pen all action and no romance. Once Diane explained the majority of readers are women that enjoy hints of lighthearted romance, we season our thrillers with appropriate romance mostly written by Diane. If the scene involves surveillance, an arrest or an undercover sting, most likely David wrote it based on the many aspects of his exciting and dangerous career. Diane makes a final pass through the manuscript to ensure a uniform voice. We take our writing seriously as we want to bring glory to God with each story.

Peg: I’m always curious about writers’ work spaces. Tell us about yours.

D/D: We both write on laptop computers. Our work space looks much like your living room. We have a folder with miscellaneous notes. We sit on recliners and type. If the doorbell rings, it takes thirty seconds for us to collapse and stow our computers and we are ready to entertain guests. Although we can easily check our Google maps online, we have the bookshelves stocked with dictionaries, an encyclopedia of world history, and illustrated world atlas. We also keep nearby our Bibles, concordance, and other Christian materials to help us construct the faith elements of our thrillers.  Outside the windows where we work are many beautiful flowering plants reminding us of God’s creation, which is one source of inspiration as is God’s Word. Many Bible verses decorate our walls.

Peg: The list of your books already published is impressive. I’d love to read them all, but will have to add them one-by-one to my wish list. Your latest/upcoming book The Looming Storm. Let’s talk about that.

D/D: As trouble and trials seem to abound in this country and around the world, we were lead to write a thriller with Jesus at the center of the storm bringing calm and peace as He did with the disciples in Mark 4:35-41. In The Looming Storm we reveal some of the techniques David used in his undercover cases against smuggling cartels as a former Federal Agent. Readers will discover how tomorrow’s headlines leap from the pages when Federal Agent Eva Montanna uncovers a menacing threat to harm Eva and her family.  Daughter Kaley’s trip to Eastern Europe with her high school class puts the entire family in danger and alters their lives in the blink of an eye. Eva’s faith is stretched as she and Griff Topping, her FBI partner, use every trick to infiltrate a band of Florida smugglers. The agents are shocked when their undercover charade reveals the criminals have sinister plans for America. Secrets are shredded, and in this our tenth ‘stand alone’ thriller, we rip the veil from a labyrinth of covert criminal enterprises in a surprising and family friendly way!
Peg: This is probably an unfair question, but . . . which of all your books is your favorite?

D/D: David’s favorite is The Looming Storm probably because it is based much on his undercover cases. David also recommends for female readers Hero’s Ransom because it features a grandmother, daughter, and grandson, plus it is inspired by one of Diane’s family law court cases, and has a happy ending. Besides The Looming Storm, Diane’s other favorite is Embers of Courage as in this one we highlight persecution of Coptic Christians happening today as well as persecution of Christians in the Middle Ages who receive the first printed Bible, all against a backdrop of our federal agent Eva Montanna’s family legacy. We are both deeply concerned and pray for the persecuted church. 

Peg: I saw on your website that you wrote the story about the arrest of the Johnny Depp movie character in Chicago. Which book was that? Maybe I should start my reading adventure with that one J

D/D: You are referring to an incident that Diane used to convince David to join her in writing what we call ‘factional fiction.’ When a successful drug dealer wrote an autobiography, which was published as Blow, it became a movie wherein Johnny Depp played the part of the drug dealer. David was offended because the book and movie contained falsehoods. David knew this because he arrested Depp’s character in the Chicago Playboy Club. As portrayed in the movie, after the Depp character was released from prison, he returned to drug dealing with Colombian cartels and when Depp’s character was arrested again years later, David arrested some of the dealers working with him.

Peg: Do you have another book in the works after The Looming Storm?

D/D: We both had a laugh when we saw this question. It takes us about a year to research, write, edit, and support each new release with event appearances. Yet, it takes a reader anywhere from two to seven days to read our newest release. So, about a week after we release a new book, we begin to get this question. The answer is yes. We are hard at work creating a new idea with lots of twists, which will feature the return of Eva Montanna, our Federal agent who is also a wife and mom, and her partner, FBI agent Griff Topping. These two characters and their families return in all our novels, and for that reason we call them ‘companion books’. Each book stands alone. They are not a series; however, the characters do reappear and Eva and Griff will be in number eleven.

Peg: Anything else you’d like to add?

D/D: Readers can check us out on our website at www.dianeanddavidmunson.com.  They can sign up for our email newsletter (that goes out three times a year) where we feature our appearances and events. We also critique the main NCIS TV show each week at our NCIS blog, because David was an NCIS agent just like Leroy Jethro Gibbs. That is the number one question we receive: Is the show realistic? Check out our blog to learn the answer! 
Peg: Enjoy Diane and David's YouTube Video - A neat alternative to a written bio.




D/D: Thank you for having us on your blog. Blessings to you and your readers!


Peg: Thank you both so much for being my guests! It’s been fascinating and I’d love to have you return some day.