Monday, August 31, 2015

Writing Talk Tuesday with Yours Truly

unhappyAs a writer, have you ever become disenchanted with your work in progress? A work you’ve been totally in love with when…BAM! The love has dimmed and you’re wondering what happened to that spark that got you started?

Then the doubts and self-castigation begin and you start listening to the lies the enemy has been lurking nearby, just waiting for a chance to throw at you:

Your writing really stinks.

You’ll never be good enough.

You should never have started the project to begin with.

This effort isn’t nearly as good as your last one.

What were you thinking?

Give it up. Go crochet doilies or something.

Any of those sound familiar?

I confess. Guilty as charged. I’m at that point right now, one-third of the way through my current work. Oh, I still love the concept of this series. The first two volumes have been well received. And I had fun writing them.

But…

Why am I having so much trouble with Volume 3? I’m procrastinating way too much, reluctant to move forward, and I must. I’m under contract to write this series. Though I’m under no set deadline, I am obligated to submit each volume in a timely manner, and I know I’m pushing it.

When I looked last night at what I’ve written so far, well, I’m not happy with it. It’s…okay. Just…not good, know what I mean?

So I’m curious what the rest of you writers out there do when this happens to you? How do you work through it? Please share in the comment section below.

Or, better yet, write an article to share her for other enquiring minds.

Why? Because this is the inaugural post of what I hope will become a weekly feature here on Whispers in Purple. I’m calling it WRITING TALK TUESDAY, and will be featured once a week on…Tuesday’s! Clever, huh?

So consider this my INVITATION to contribute something…anything…as long as it’s writing-related, to share with others. If you’re interested in this, mention it in your comment; use the CONTACT tab at the top of this page, or email me at peg@peggyblannphifer.com

Hope to hear from you soon!

 

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Author Peggy Blann Phifer, a retired executive assistant after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale Industry, lives in the ‘boonies’ of NW Wisconsin. A late bloomer as far as writing is concerned, Peg’s first published work was a prayer that appeared in 2000 in a Guideposts Book compilation called Prayers for Every Need. Her debut novel, To See the Sun, a contemporary romantic suspense, released in January 2012. A novella, Somehow, Christmas Will Come, contemporary women’s fiction, released in November 2014, re-released in late 2015. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and she is currently writing a series of her own called Sweetwater River. Peg is represented by Jim Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency.

 

Where to find Peg:

A Northern Wisconsin Lament



The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, But mosquitoes come close. 


Saturday, August 29, 2015

And the CLASH Goes On





A BRIDE AT LAST by Melissa Jagears! Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts. Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she'd been deceived about her intended groom, she's now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she'll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony--until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy's father. Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony's wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

 


 


 


 


Here's what Publisher's Weekly has to say:


In [Jagears'] latest novel [A Bride at Last], . . . the characters are all well-balanced and engaging: Silas' struggle with his failed marriage, struggling faith, and dark past makes him sympathetic; Kate's commitment to Anthony gives her depth and pathos; and their romance develops realistically . . . a memorable read for fans of redemptive historical romances.

Check out her upcoming release, With This Ring?



A historical novella compilation of four award winning authors - Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings and Melissa Jagears Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives. Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Find it here on Amazon

 About Melissa:



Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance after everyone is asleep. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter is free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Blogger Author Tina Pinson, Article, Book, and Giveaway!

Pinson_Tina_WebsiteImageAward Winning author Tina Pinson resides in Mesa, Arizona with Danny, her husband of thirty plus years. They are blessed to have three sons, and nine grandchildren. Tina started her first novel in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. She also loves to doodle and enjoys gardening.

It is her prayer that her stories, though fiction, will transport you to worlds beyond and touch your spirit and give you a closer insight to yourself and God.

In the Manor of the Ghost, Touched By Mercy To Carry Her Cross Black Rain Then There Was Grace, Black Rain, Christmas in Shades of Gray and the Shadow Series; When Shadows Fall, Shadowed Dreams , To Catch A Shadow and This Shadowed Land are available through Desert Breeze Publishing and major retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CBD. Then There Was Grace took First Place in the Epic Awards for Contemporary Fiction and Christmas in Shades of Gray was a finalist in the Epic Awards for Paranormal Fiction. Her newest release Betrayed - Trail of the Sandpiper Book #1 placed third in the Genesis in 2003.

~♦~♦~

War and Peacestilence

by

Tina Pinson

At the time the US was drawn into the war in 1941 the country was on the tail end of the Great Depression. In truth, it was the war that put the country on the path to financial recovery.

But it sent thousands to their death, many in island places we call exotic paradises, and hope to visit one day for vacation. We can visit these places today, having been vaccinated to hopefully protect us from any virus or disease we might confront.

But that wasn't true for the soldiers in WWII. In 1942 the US Government vaccinated all personnel for tetanus, typhoid, smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever, which helped eradicate many of the diseases and kept outbreaks from spreading through the ranks like in prior wars.

Having prepared their army with every medical advance in their arsenal, the government sent them to war. Some headed to Europe to fight against the Nazis and others headed to the islands of the Pacific to face the Japanese.

Those fighting in the South Pacific soon found out it was nothing like home. At home they fought Tuberculosis, and Polio, Flu, and other diseases that scared them, but those diseases they understood and knew some precautions to take. In the South Pacific, they marched into jungles ready to fight the Japanese unaware they'd battle extremes of heat and incessant rains that would give them rashes and jungle rot so bad they itched, bled profusely, and could become gangrenous

They fought all kinds of bugs and disease carrying vermin and ended up with; dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, dysentery, Leishmaniosis (black fever, sand fly disease), cholera and Scrub typhus (brought on by mites).

Living conditions and tainted drinking water caused cholera and dysentery, which would inflict the already fatigued soldier with diarrhea and cause dehydration. Canvas water bags (Lister bags) treated with chlorine were hung around camp to give a fresh supply of water, and many soldiers learned (some the hard way) the importance of a clean canteen and a clean mess kit.

Some soldiers got Dracunculiasis, or guinea worm disease, from drinking water infected with water fleas carrying the guinea worm larva. The soldier would have no symtoms initially, but after about a year they would develop a painful burning feeling, usually on their lower limbs. The matured worm would then come out of the skin over the next few weeks. This disease was usually deadly, but could you imagine trying to figure out why your skin was blistering only to learn it was from a drink of water you took almost a year before.

We know about these diseases, but people today can still get them from visiting countries where these diseases persist.

But in WWII many hadn't even heard of Dracunuliasis and for every two men saved on the battlefield two or more might die from disease.

Soldiers, especially if taken prisoner and fed a staple of rice, also fought Beriberi, a vitamin B1 deficiency that caused a loss of feeling in hands and feet, vomiting, coma and even death.

Those who contracted Malaria carried it for years after, as there wasn't much to then to stop the disease from revisiting when it wanted.

Another disease that lasted years after the war, was PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or Syndrome,) even then we didn't talk about it as much as we do today. Like a mental malaria PTSD hung around and attacked uninvited long after the soldier had returned home, leaving soldiers to relive the atrocities of war over and over again. Pulling them from their now quiet existence back to the battlefield. And yes, like today, there were those who took their lives to kill the echoes of war in their heads forever.

In Betrayed -- Trail of the Sandpiper Book #1, I write about some of the pests and bugs on the island of New Guinea. And show some of what Trauma does. Lieutenant Tyler Merrick lives with reoccurring dreams from child hood and Pearl Harbor. And Justine Whitcomb is haunted by her own memories. Remember PTSD doesn't just hit a soldier who's been to war.

~♦~♦~

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Justine Whitcomb, who, after the missionary compound where she lives is attacked, is left to get herself and several children off the island of New Guinea. Escaping might be easier done if she didn't have to get through Japanese lines and fight Lieutenant Tyler Merrick of the US Navy in the process.

Lt. Merrick is on a mission to find a rogue spy, and Justine's independent nature and knowledge of the island has him believing she just might be the spy he's after. Were it not for the children she's protecting, he would've followed his instincts and taken her prisoner already.

Now she wants him to follow her through the jungle. He not certain he's ready to trust her. But if they can't put their fears aside and learn to trust one another, they might not get off the island alive.

It's the summer of '42. The world is at War and Japan's Imperial Army is moving across the island of New Guinea.

After their mission is attacked, Justine is left with seven children to lead to safety through enemy lines. She leads them to a cave and goes back for her husband when she is taken captive. Upon her escape with the help of a friend, Virginia, she starts back for the children and runs into Lt. Tyler Merrick. She hopes he will help her. But he's drunk and doesn't believe there are children. He thinks Justine is the rogue spy he been sent to find.

Justine goes for the children and returns to an even angrier Lt. Merrick. He wants to tie her up. She hopes to win his trust. Because if they can't stop fighting one another, they will never get off the island alive.

~♦~♦~

Where to find Tina “Out There”:

Book Links for Betrayed

~♦~♦~

About the Giveaway:

Tina is giving away a free copy of Betrayed to one lucky winner who visits this blog. Entering is easy: just leave a comment below and your name will be entered into the drawing at Contest End, Midnight (Central) September 3. Winner will be selected in a drawing through random.org the next day and notified via email.

Tina, thank you so much for being my guest here on Whispers in Purple. I really enjoyed reading your article about the so very unpleasant–often deadly–things our brave military men faced, every one of them heroes. even if they didn’t return home. God bless them all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Interview with Author Pamela S. Meyers w/Giveaway

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A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, and Love Will Find a Way, contemporary romantic mysteries, and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas.

Welcome, Pam. Let’s chat a bit. Tell us a little bit about you.

Although born in Ohio, I moved to southeastern Wisconsin with my parents at around two years of age, and I consider myself to be a native Wisconsinite. Or Cheesehead, if you will. :-) As an adult I spent about seven or eight months in New York City while chasing my dream but when that relationship imploded I followed my parents to the West Coast. My parents eventually returned to the Midwest but I stayed on in LA for about seven years. The lure of family and change of seasons and just wanted to get back to all things familiar brought me to the Chicago area and I’ve been in the northwest burbs ever since. I rarely venture to Chicago proper and love that I’m a scant more than an hour away from my hometown of Lake Geneva. I’m single and live with my two rescue cats. I was asked to take early retirement from my job about ten years ago and have been writing full time ever since.

Though you now live in Chicago, I know you grew up in Lake Geneva. Tell us about those years. 

The Lake Geneva, WI that I grew up in is a lot different than the Lake Geneva that exists today. Yet there are some things that are the same. Namely the beautiful glacier-carved spring-fed lake. Like most everyone, I took living near a lake like that for granted until I moved away. In the summer it was the gathering spot growing up. Swimming lessons in the morning and swimming and sunning on the beach in the afternoon. I feel very blessed to have grown up in a small town as opposed to a large city.

Have you ever done something so completely stupid you could kick yourself? How did you handle it?

I must do something like that at least once a week if not more LOL. Of course, now that you ask I can’t think of a specific instance. There’s been more than one time that I’ve hit send on an email and what I thought was a private message turned out to have been sent to an entire e-loop. You know that sinking feeling and then a mad dash to read the message to see what I said that will either let people know something they shouldn’t or offend someone. There’s really nothing to do but to apologize and hope people are understanding. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a friend over it.

Do you write in one specific place, or switch off to other locations? Describe your favorite writing area. 

I have a small condo and my dining area has been converted into an office. But I can’t show you a picture because right now it’s now suitable for viewing. LOL. The space is small and I have more in there that there is room for. But when it’s organized and cleaned up it’s quite cozy. If I don’t sit at the desk where I can plug my laptop into a large monitor, I’m camped out on the couch sideways with the laptop on my lap.

What do you do ‘just for you’?

I enjoy my cats, knitting and crocheting, movies and attending rodeos in the summer with a special friend who first introduced them to me about ten years ago.

What sparks your creativity when you feel drained?

When I get stuck with a story I need to be writing, I pick up a novel written by one of my favorite writers and start reading. Reading a good well-written story usually sparks my muse and then when I go back to my own story I’m suddenly able to start writing.

If you were born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

I love cats and I would have to say a cat. I’d love to be one for just a day to see how they think, how much they understand and find out how much I think I understand about them is correct LOL.

How much of yourself goes into your writing and your characters?

I think the answer varies with each story. I think there is some of me in each of my heroines, but most of all in April Love, the heroine in Thyme for Love, the book that I just republished a couple weeks ago.

How did the title of this book come to you?

I first began writing Thyme for Love (TFL) six or so years ago and was struggling to come up with a good title. I asked people in an online critique group to help me and told them it was about an in-house chef whose ex-fiancé shows up in her life again after eight years of separation. Someone suggested Thyme for Love and that is how it came to be. I can take no credit, but it’s perfect. I can’t remember if I’d already changed April’s last name to Love at that time or not. That also came from a friend. She was originally April Spencer and Ane Mulligan called me one day all excited and said “You’ve got to call her April Love.” Bingo. I have had a lot of fun with that name. Of course readers in their 20s and 30s may not have a clue as to why it’s so clever. I’ll just keep that to myself and let the readers find out when they read the book. I hope to write the third book of the series, which I’m calling the Cooking Up Love Series after I re-release the sequel to TFL.

Finally, tell us a bit about Thyme for Love.

Thyme for Love Front300TFL and its sequel, Love Will Find a Way, were both published by a small press several years ago. I requested the rights be returned to me and received them last January. I have spent the past six months preparing TFL for re-release and it’s now available in both Kindle and print. I completely edited the original version and updated the technology. Here’s the back of the book blurb.

New chef, April Love, has landed her dream job, but she never anticipated her former fiancé and a murdered boss would be on the menu.

When April Love applies for a job as an in-house chef at a century-old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she never expected to find her old flame, Marc Thorne working there and looking more gorgeous than ever. He’d left her high and dry weeks before their planned wedding, and last she heard, he was living on the West Coast. Soon, the old attraction heats up. But, April senses Marc isn’t spilling all the beans about his past eight years, and no amount of questioning has him talking. Despite being unable to trust Marc for her future, she’s determined to not let him stand in the way of living out her dream.

Their boss is murdered, and Marc is falsely accused of the crime. He’s about to be indicted, and April has no choice but to turn detective and find Ramón Galvez’s real killer. It isn’t long before she realizes she may be the murderer's next victim if she doesn’t stop her sleuthing. If she stops now, hopes for a future with Marc will end in a cellblock.

About the Giveaway:

Pam is offering a copy of either the print or Kindle version of Thyme for Love. To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below. Winner will be selected in a random drawing through random.org and will be notified via email. Giveaway ends at Midnight, September 2, Central time. Winner will be drawn and notified on Thursday, Sept 3.

Where to find Pam on the Internet:

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Interview with author Lillian Duncan plus Giveaway



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Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. She writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

♦♦♦


Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Lillian, I’m so glad to have you visit.


Tell us a little about you.
My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have one traffic light. But I love being back. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

Tell us about DEADLY INTENT.
Deadly Intent is the second in my Deadly Communications series that features Maven Morris, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who gets a little too involved with her clients. Okay, a lot too involved.

In Deadly Intent, she becomes a foster mother to an abandoned child who won’t or can’t speak. Then he disappears without a clue! And that’s when things start getting interesting not to mention deadly!

How long did it take you to write this book?
DEADLY INTENT is a novella so it didn’t take anywhere near as long as a full-length novel. I would say I finished the first draft within a month. Then another month to revise and polish before I submitted it.

Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?
I had a great time creating Maven Morris—a crime-fighting speech pathologist! In many ways, we’re quite similar. I was a speech pathologist for more than 30 years! She’s short just like me, but not as short. She has Bell’s palsy, just like me. But we’re also different. I would never get myself into the trouble she gets herself into. I’m not nearly as adventurous or as fearless as she is!

What’s the setting for DEADLY INTENT?
Maven lives in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life. But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality!

How did you come up with the title for the Deadly Communications series?
How could that not be the title? When a speech-language pathologist (SLP) gets involved in a murder mystery, what else could you name it?

Is DEADLY INTENT the first book you published?
I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past several years. My last release was REDEMPTION, the third in my Sisters by Choice series.

How did the Deadly Communications series come about?
First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense story and an SLP. I loved being an SLP, but most people would find the repetition somewhat boring.

Secondly, a few days later I was talking with someone whose daughter had been involved in an accident and was now experiencing communication difficulties.

Thirdly, as writers are prone to do, I was sitting daydreaming and had a vision of a young woman running through the woods and into ongoing traffic.

That’s all it took! My writer mind took over from there and DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was born.

So, then it sounds as if you were a speech-language pathologist. Tell us a little about that job.
I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and still miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work involved. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.

What sort of serious health issues?
In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors. Fortunately, they weren’t cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t wreaked havoc on my life.

Oh, my, Lillian. I so admire your courage and determination to keep writing despite this.

What do you want readers to take away from the DEADLY COMMUNICATION series?
Maven has experienced a series of life-changing events that led to depression. Maven chooses to get out of bed and keep moving. It’s not easy when life throws us a curve ball or two, like getting brain tumors.

It may not seem fair, but how we react to those things will determine the quality of our future. As the story moves forward we see Maven struggle with her spirituality but we also see her turn back to God. I want readers to know they can overcome difficult situations in their own life with God’s help.

Was it difficult to write a character with communication problems?
Not at all. In fact, that was part of the fun of writing DEADLY INTENT. When Maven meets her foster child for the first time, he won’t communicate with anyone and shows characteristics of autism. As the story proceeds we see him slowly improve his communication skills.

What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

What are you working on now?
I just finished the final edits on the third in the Deadly Communications series. Its title is DEADLY SILENCE. In it, Maven will be back and facing some very difficult life circumstances.

Along with that, she’s working with a late-deafened adult as a client. A subject near and dear to me since I’ve lost all my hearing in one ear and a significant amount in the other because of the brain tumors.

I also have several other stories in various stages that I’m working on.

♦♦♦


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Book Title: Deadly Intent

Author: Lillian Duncan

Publisher: Pelican Ventures Book Group - Harbourlight Books

Release Date: August 2015

Genre: Mystery & Suspense

TAGLINE: Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. In this case, it could be lethal!

Book OVERVIEW:
Everyone belongs somewhere. The key to happiness is recognizing that place when you get there.

Maven Morris can’t seem to find that place. A childless widow, she has no immediate family. Forced into a medical leave, she has no career. At loose ends, she hasn’t a clue what’s next for her.

Her neighbor, Paul Jordan knows what he wants—to move their friendship to a new level. Maven may not know what’s next, but she does know she has no interest in romance with anyone— not even her handsome neighbor.

When a young boy is abandoned in the city park, he touches her heart. In spite of his obvious special needs, she agrees to provide a temporary foster home for him. She has no idea the impact he will have on her life—or the danger he brings to her doorstep.

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?
My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

To celebrate the release of Deadly Intent, I’m having a giveaway on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. Grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift cards but that’s not all! Five more winners will get a $5 Amazon gift card. How’s that for a celebration?

All you have to do is hop over to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment on the Deadly Intent announcement. The contest ends September 26. PS. When you leave a comment, be sure to tell me what blog you read about me on. Then check back to see if you’re a winner!

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. Tiaras & Tennis Shoes is her personal blog at www.lillian-duncan.com.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The July Clash is on!





Beautiful New July Covers!


Welcome, fellow book lovers! As we wrap up summer, we're bringing you four wonderful reads to take out on your deck chair. From the mountains to the rugged west, these books offer a great variety of escapes. But if you could only pick one, which would make it into your need-to-read pile? Vote at the end--and don't forget to leave a kind word for your favorite author.

 


 


The Lady and the Mountain Fire by Misty M. Beller 



Claire Sullivan's desire to help others carried her all the way to the Montana Territory to care for her blind grandmother, but the callous, hardworking doctor she meets there doesn't fit her expectations. When disaster strikes their rough mining city, Claire must face her her greatest fear to help the man she's come to love.
Purchase on Amazon 






A Bride At Last by Melissa Jagears

Silas and Kate are both wary of love after failed mail-order engagements, but when a common interest in a motherless boy leads to an interest in each other, they begin to think they can set aside past hurts. However, neither is prepared for the secrets that have yet to come to light.
Purchase on Amazon






To Soar on Eagle's Wings by Renee Blare

While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season, but the trouble follows him—straight to town.







The Daughters of Jim Farrell by Sylvia Bambola

Pennsylvania 1873: When Jim Farrell is hanged for murder, his three daughters resolve to clear his name. But all too soon their dangerous quest rips the family apart and could cost them the men they love.





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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Author Johnnie Alexander, Guest Blogger

Johnnie Alexander

Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Her first contemporary romance, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), releases from Revell in January 2016. She recently signed a contract with Barbour for a novella that will appear in their Courageous Brides Collection (July 2016).

Where Treasure Hides (Tyndale, 2013), Johnnie’s debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011 Historical Fiction). “Beneath the Christmas Star,” her first short story, appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer—Tales of Joy and Wonder for the Holidays (2013).

Johnnie also has won the Golden Leaf (Autumn in the Mountains Novelist Retreat), Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest).

She volunteers as a category coordinator for the ACFW Genesis Contest and as a judge for various contests. This year, she is also marketing director for the MidSouth Christian Writers Conference.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area where she experiences farm life with a small herd of alpacas and Rugby, the princely papillon known for treeing raccoons.

♦♦♦


Surprise! My Character Did What?


by


Johnnie Alexander


One of the most rewarding, awe-inspiring, and just plain fun aspects of fiction-writing is when the characters make their own decisions.

When secrets spill from their lips.

When they do the unexpected.

Alison Schuyler is a Dutch-American artist and heiress to an artistic legacy that stretches back to the days of Vermeer and Rembrandt. Several Old Masters hang in the family’s Rotterdam art gallery, but Alison’s treasures most The Girl in the Garden, a portrait of her deceased mother that was painted by her father.

I didn’t realize how much Alison valued this painting until she risked her life to protect it.

In fact, I didn’t realize how important the painting would become to the storyline until . . . well, until it did.

I’m fascinated how things like this happen. An object, a sentence, an action nonchalantly appears on the screen then later serves as unintentional foreshadowing of more important events. Once the value of these unintended gems is realized—which may not happen until I’m reading through the pages—they can inspire the story line.

It’s a mysterious process that I don’t pretend to understand. I only know I love it when it happens.

Curious to find out what Alison did to save her mother’s portrait and how The Girl in the Garden became an integral part of the story?

Then take a trip with me to Waterloo Station in August 1939. Listen to a young boy play “Rule, Britannia!” on his violin. And fall in love with Alison and a British soldier as they fall in love with each other.

♦♦♦


Where-Treasure-Hides-682x1024 new cover

Where Treasure Hides, Book Overview
Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life.

Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow.

As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?


Chapter One


August 1939

The stringed notes of “Rule, Britannia!” grew louder as the crowd quieted, eyes and ears straining in their search for the violin soloist. The patriotic anthem echoed through Waterloo Station’s concourse, and as the second chorus began, sporadic voices sang the lyrics. Travel- weary Brits stood a little straighter, chins lifted, as the violinist completed the impromptu performance, the last note sounding long after the strings were silenced.

Alison Schuyler gripped her leather bag and threaded her way through the crowd toward the source of the music. As the final note faded inside the hushed terminal, she squeezed between a sailor and his girl, murmuring an apology at forc­ing them to part, and stepped onto a bench to see over the crowd. A dark-haired boy, no more than seven or eight, held the violin close to his anemic frame. His jacket, made of a finely woven cloth, hung loosely on his thin shoulders. The matching trousers would have slipped down his hips if not for his hand-tooled leather belt.

Either the boy had lost weight or his parents had purposely provided him clothes to grow into. Alison hoped for the latter, though from the rumors she’d heard, her first assumption was all too likely. She stared at the cardboard square, secured by a thick length of twine, that the boy wore as a cheap necklace. The penciled writing on the square numbered the boy as 127.

Other children crowded near the young musician, each one dressed in their fine traveling clothes, each one labeled with cardboard and twine. Germany’s castaways, transported to England for their own safety while their desperate parents paced the floors at home and vainly wished for an end to these troublesome days.

“Now will you allow him to keep his violin?” A man’s voice, pleasant but firm, broke the spell cast over the station. The children fidgeted and a low murmur rumbled through the crowd. The speaker, dressed in the khaki uniform of a British Army officer, ignored them, his gaze intent on the railroad official overseeing the children.

“He better,” said a woman standing near Alison. “Never heard anything so lovely. And the lad not even one of the king’s subjects. I’d take him home myself—yes, I would—if I’d a bed to spare.”

Alison mentally sketched the tableau before her, pinning the details into her memory. The officer’s hand resting on the boy’s shoulder; the official, a whistle around his neck, restlessly tapping his clipboard with his pencil; the dread and hope in the boy’s eyes as he clutched his prized instrument. The jagged square that tagged his identity.

♦♦♦



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Meet Author Donn Taylor, Guest Blogger

Donn Taylor portraits 12/7/07Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. He was chosen by faculty as "Scholar of the Year" at one and by students as "Professor of the Year" at the other. His poetry is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. In addition to his historical novel Lightning on a Quiet Night, he has published two suspense novels and a light-hearted mystery. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and groups. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.

I am so happy to welcome author Donn Taylor to Whispers in Purple today. Donn has written a special article—along with some tongue-in-cheek chuckles—to share with us.

So, take it away, Donn!

 

Avoiding Misuse of Words


by


    Donn Taylor


One of the frustrations of being a writer of fiction or essays is the fact that we have only words to communicate with our readers. Novels and essays have no pictures or diagrams to clarify relationships, and gesturing with our hands or counting on our fingers does not help. The poet W.H. Auden went so far as to describe a poem as a "verbal contraption," a machine made out of words, to convey the poet's vision to the reader. Consequently, it behooves us as writers to respect words and their meanings, and to use them both correctly and appropriately. Here I will list some that are frequently misused in published writing, and then I will mention some that have become trite through overuse.

Let's begin with a heavy error (pardon the pun): The past tense of the verb to lead is led, not lead. This one slips through the proofreading to appear in quite a few novels. I am not immune to this kind of error: In a recent novel I wrote that a character's complexion was "unusually pail." (No, that didn't mean she would kick the bucket.) Fortunately, a proofreader caught my error before publication.

Another common error is confusion of the two verbs lie and lay. (They were separate verbs as far back as Middle English.) The forms of lie are lie, lay, lain, while the forms of lay are lay, laid, laid. Forms of lie never take a direct object: "I will lie down." Forms of lay always do: "I will lay the book on the desk." Confusion arises because the past tense of lie and the present tense of lay appear identical. The solution is to select the correct word in present tense and then convert to the appropriate tense. When all else fails, remember that we can only lay down if we are carrying duck feathers.

One frequently misused (and overused) word is incredible. Its first meaning describes something that can't be believed. The second describes something so unusual as to be beyond belief. A problem arises when the writer intends the second meaning when the first meaning is also possible. One writer recently wrote that she belonged to "an incredible church." Who would want to belong to a church that can't be believed?

Certain modifying words are "absolute," meaning that they cannot be modified as to degree. The most misused of these is unique, which means one of a kind. Something cannot be very one-of-a-kind or somewhat one-of-a-kind, yet one often hears the expression very unique or somewhat unique. Examples of other absolute words are equal, impossible, eternal, unanimous, square, round and perfect. (Yes, the US Constitution speaks of "a more perfect union." When we write a Constitution of the United States, we're entitled to use the same expression. Meanwhile, we must refrain from modifying absolute words.)

Some irritating usages occur when the writer attempts to sound sophisticated rather than write for plain meanings. One is using the term escalate for the more direct increase. (That is a cliché held over from the intellectuals of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.)

Next comes the attempt to sound sophisticated by using exacerbate when one means simply make worse. When we’re tempted to preen our sophistication, we should not rise to the exacer-bait.

Other words to avoid are those that have become clichéd through being overused. One such offender is Excuse me. In using it, the writer sarcastically feigns politeness while pretending to be victimized by a powerful but wrongheaded opposition. So many writers use this crutch that the victims apparently outnumber the oppressors.

Then there is using the word sure to introduce a sentence. (“Sure, some people still think the world is flat, but….”)

And there’s using the word Hey! as an attention-getter. (“Hey! Why do you want to use a cliché?”)

I suggest the following rules: 1. There is no excuse for excuse me. 2. Sure should be consigned to the sewer. 3. Hey should be fed to livestock. (They’ll never notice the difference in spelling.)

Ultimately, however, attempts to stamp out trite expressions are doomed to failure. One fundamental rule always applies: Whenever a writer can’t find his Pegasus, he’ll hitch old Dobbin to the cliché.

To summarize: For clarity, we writers should make it our business to know the meanings and accepted usages of words. For originality, we should avoid expressions that have become clichéd through overuse. As Auden said, each of our writings is a verbal contraption, our only means of conveying our vision to our readers.

♦♦♦


Lightning Cover - 300dpiBook Title: Lightning on a Quiet Night


Author: Donn Taylor


Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas


Release Date: November 2014


Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery


Overview:  In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder. Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, MS, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will these discoveries lead? To repentance? Or to denial and continuation in vanity?


♦♦♦


Here’s what Publishers Weekly said about Lightning: “Taylor’s powerful historical romance is filled with passion and heart, spiced with mystery and a keen understanding of the human condition.”

♦♦♦


Where to find Donn:




 

Where to Buy Lightning on a Quiet Night:

♦Peg here: I hope you enjoyed Donn’s article as much as I did. I love his dry sense of humor. We would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts, or feel free to ask Donn some questions, in the Comments section below. Join the conversation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Billy Graham Quotes

[caption id="attachment_2488" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The Rev. Billy Graham preaches to the audience at the Ford Center Sunday, June 15, 2003, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Haderthauer) Rev, Dr. Billy Graham[/caption]

His face and his name is known, recognized, and revered the world around.


The Billy Graham Crusades have reached untold millions around the globe, and drawn uncounted thousands to knowledge of the Lord and led them to Salvation.


I tried to catch every televised crusade from as long as I can remember, and have been blessed each time by the featured music, but most of all his message.


I thought I'd take advantage of this blog, and the opportuinity it affords, to post some of Billy's quotes on LIFE:


~~~


 "Every journey has a starting point  . . . and it has an end. God meant for  [life] to be filled with hoy and purpose. He invites us to  . . . make the rest of the journey with Him."


~~~


"There comes a moment when we all must realize that life is short, and in the end the only thing that really matters is not how others see us, but how God sees us."


~~~


"A century ago man's chief concern was his spiritual life; today his chief concern is with his physical and temporal affairs."


~~~


"The one who made the Ford knew how to make it run. God made you and me, and He alone knows how to run your life and mine. We could make a complete wreck of our lives without Christ."


~~~


The legacy we leave is not just in our possesions, but in the qulaity of our lives.


~~~


♦Your comments are coveted. Please take some tome to think about these and share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks.♦

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Up To My Old Tricks Again

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Notice anything different?

One of the crosses I bear, if you want to call it that, is that I’m a perfectionist. That fact wreaks havoc with my writing, for one thing. It  is nearly impossible for me to sit at my computer facing a blank page . . .

Wait, let me back up. I’m what’s called a seat-of-the-pants writer. I have an idea for a story, a setting–sometimes–and usually my main character. Maybe a vague idea of a plot of some sort, and that’s about it. So when I set out to write, every word, every twist, every new character that enters the scene, is a surprise to me. It’s kind of fun, but not necessarily a good thing.The perfectionist thing comes into play when I have to stop and search for the right word, the right description, am I telling or showing, and all that inhibits my forward progress.

I’ll settle for the okay word or phrase, and try to move on, but . . .

I’m the same way with almost everything I do. Rearranging furniture. Rearranging my files. Rearranging my cupboards. I’m sure you get the picture.

Which brings me to this blog site and design. The blog title itself dictates the theme overall design. Over the past several years I’ve played around with numerous different headers, all with a purple image of some sort. I like them at first, then grow tired of them or decide they’re not quite right, and go on a search for something better.

That’s what happened yesterday. Hence, the header image that now greets you. The WordPress Theme I’m using calls for a header of 940x198 pixels. When I’d find an image I liked, I usually had to either crop it or resize it–or both–resulting in something less than satisfactory. But I settled. I felt guilty spending so much time on such a superfluous thing. Or so I told myself.

But this time, somehow, was different. Determined to find what, to me, was the perfect image, I spend several hours browsing the Internet in the WordPress images world until . . . I saw what you see above. The candles and purple-centered daisies whispered peace to me. My shoulders relaxed, and my heart said . . . Home.

For a refresher, below are the last few headers I’ve used. I hope, when you compare them to this new one, you’ll agree with me.

cropped-velvet-fractal-940x198-got-WP

 cropped-Newblogbanner cropped-abstract-fractal-purple-fractals-1920x1080-wallpaper14922 next-banner

(Click on the images for a larger view.)

Think about it. Blog title: Whispers in Purple. Tag line: Keep listening for that still small voice if you are weary on life’s road; The Lord will make your heart rejoice if you will let him take your load.

Share your thoughts with me.

Thank you.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Featuring Author Misty M. Beller's Latest Work




A delightful transport through time, The Rancher Takes a Cook brings history to life with realistic characters, a colorful setting, and comfort food that teases your appetite!

~ Melody Carlson,

author of 200+ books




About the book:

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch.

Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans.

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

PURCHASE






 
About the author, Misty M. Beller:Misty M. Beller 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 two 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.

You can find her on her website, reader blog, marketing blog for authors, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Or check out her books The Lady and the Mountain Man, The Lady and the Mountain Doctor, or The Lady and the Mountain Fire. Or her latest book, The Rancher Takes a Cook.

Misty's favorite Scripture and prayer for readers:



For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (NKJV)

 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Author Mary Ball Interview

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Author Mary L. Ball lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, suspense or mystery blended with romance.
When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter

♦ ♦ ♦


 Hi, Mary, welcome to Whispers in Purple. So happy to have you drop in for a visit. Let’s chat a while.

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for a long time, but began a career as an author in 2012.

Has your writing journey been as you envisioned it? If so, tell us a bit about it. If not, how is it different?
No. I enjoy plotting out the characters but I was naïve. I believed that I would write the books, without worrying about promoting. I soon learned that unless you’re on the best sellers list with the big boy publishers, you’re the one responsible for letting readers know about your books.

What sparks your creativity when feeling drained?
On days when I have to clear my mind and refresh, if it’s warm outside I sit on the patio and enjoy the flowers and the birds. That recharges my creative juices. In the winter, I enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace. No TV, just me and a cup of hot coco.

What have you learned recently about yourself, and how has it affected your writing?
I’m getting older and less intuitive to the younger crowd’s ways. I tend to write in a different generation, even if I’m writing YA, so I often seek my daughter’s advice on trends and lingo to make sure I’m generationally correct.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?
When I write about faith in the Lord, that ‘s all me.

Do you write in one place or switch off to different locations? Describe your favorite writing place.
I use my dedicated office space most of the time, because it’s quiet. My workstation is beside a big window where I feel the warmth from the sun and can look out at the trees. Occasionally, I’ll take my laptop to the living room and write while hubby watches TV. However, my most favorite spot is sitting on the front porch at my bistro table with the birds singing in the background.

Let’s pretend: An anonymous donor has gifted you with a 5-day stay at a place of your choice, and you can bring four other living (not family) people with you. Where would you go, who would you take with you, and why?
I’d go to Hawaii because I haven’t traveled there yet and love tropical weather. I really wouldn’t want to take anyone. LOL. Me and the tropics, I can feel the inspiration now.

Tell us something about your book.
ecover_redemptio n-001

Title: Redemption in Big Fork Lake, Inspirational Fiction

Author: Mary L. Ball

Publisher: Prism Book Group

Release Date: November 2014

Book Overview: Can he be forgiven?
Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life.
For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future.
His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness free Robert? Or will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?

Thanks for that. Intriguing.

Finally, where can readers find you?

Mary, thank you so much for being my guest today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.

No Title Necessary

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Join the conversation…

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Character Interview with Mary Hamilton and Claire Thompson, w/Giveaway*

Sorry, folks, this giveway has ended, but DO emjoy the post.


Whispers in Purple is delighted to be hosting Author Mary Hamilton and her book SEE NO EVIL,


and an interview with one of the characters in the book.


So please join us as Mary delves into the inner workings of


what makes Claire Thompson tick.


~ ~


SeeNoEvilFrontDropCrop copy

Book Title: See No Evil, Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Book 3

Author: Mary Hamilton

Publisher: HopeSprings Books

Release Date: May, 2015

Genre: YA

Book Overview:  Steven Miller guards a dark secret.
Dad drilled into Steven that blindness should never be used as an excuse. So when Steven finds an old triathlon medallion among Dad's belongings, he's inspired to follow in his footsteps. Maybe it'll quiet the guilt he's carried since Dad's death three years ago.
While Steven continues his triathlon training during his final summer at camp, a serious illness keeps Rustic Knoll's beloved Nurse Willie from managing her clinic. When Steven teams up with his friend Claire to encourage Willie's recovery, his feelings for Claire grow beyond friendship.
But his buddy, Dillon, has started down a dangerous path that Steven knows all too well. Can he keep his friend from falling into that sin without exposing his own past?

~ ~


We’re now talking with Claire Thompson


You’ve played a supporting role in all three of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp books. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m from Milwaukee, WI and I live with my mom, dad and younger brother, Seth. He and I get along pretty well most of the time. I’ll be a senior in high school this fall, so I’ll be applying to a couple of the state universities. Right now, I’m planning to major in education, but that could change. I’ve also thought of kinesiology or something like that since I like being active.

You’ve been coming to camp along with Steven for many years. And even though you only see each other one week out of the year, the two of you seem to have a lasting friendship. What has kept your friendship so strong when you only see each other one week out of every year?

I like Steven because I can be real with him. By that, I mean I can say just about anything to him and not worry that he’ll take it the wrong way or think less of me. I don’t have to pretend around him, because even though he can’t see, he’s very perceptive. It’s almost like he can feel my mood without me even saying anything. We’ve had some really good talks because we both accept each other for who we are. Besides that, I’ve always thought he’s kind of cute!

In the Rustic Knoll books, we see the spiritual struggles and growth of Brady, Taylor and Steven, but we never really see your faith. What can you tell us about your faith walk, and maybe something you struggle with?

My parents taught me from a young age about God and the Bible and Jesus. I don’t really remember ever not believing in God. But I’d say my biggest struggle is knowing He’s involved in every part of my life. Sometimes, like when I heard that Steven’s dad died, it’s hard to think that God would let that happen if He honestly loves us. It’s easy to think He doesn’t care, or maybe that He’s punishing us for something we did in the past. My emotions want me to think that’s true, but it’s not. He feels every hurt we do, and wants to comfort us if we’ll run to Him rather than blaming Him and running from Him.

Besides your friendship with Steven throughout the series, we also see your kindness to Brady in Hear No Evil and your willingness to look deeper into Taylor’s personality in Speak No Evil. What attracted you to those two very different personalities?

When Steven first introduced us, I thought Brady looked like a lost puppy. His eyes had sort of a scared look in them. I didn’t know all that had happened with his mom rejecting him, but he obviously needed someone on his side. I guess in a way, he reminded me of my little brother. Maybe that’s why I accepted him so easily.

Taylor was a different story. I really did not like him at all. It was only through getting to know his sister, Marissa, that I started to see him in a different way. I realized that outer toughness and bullying was just covering up a lot of stuff going on inside.

In See No Evil, we see some conflict between you and Steven for the first time. How did that affect you?

Like I said before, I’ve always felt free to tell Steven anything. I’d watched his dad challenge him to do things he didn’t really want to do, and that was good as far as making him independent. But sometimes, especially after his dad died, it seemed like Steven would try things just to prove he was as capable as the rest of us who can see. He didn’t like it when I questioned that, and tried to persuade him not to do the triathlon. It really hurt when he got mad at me and walked away. We’d never had a fight before, so I didn’t know how this would turn out. But looking back, I can see that our foundation of friendship held us together and helped us forgive each other in the end.

What’s your favorite memory from all the years you’ve come to camp?

That’s a hard question! My first thought is Zeke’s chapel talks where he drew pictures to go with his lesson. It wouldn’t be Rustic Knoll without that, or without Janie’s cooking or Nurse Willie’s hat with the fishing lures all over it. But I guess the memory that will always be my favorite is when Steven and I first started going together. I wanted a picture of him to take home with me, but since he can’t see, he asked if he could touch my face as his way of remembering me. It felt so weird sitting on that log at the campfire site with his fingers moving all over my forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks and chin. But it was so tender that when he finished, it felt like he’d kissed me.

One last question: I’m going to jump a few years ahead now. Were you surprised when Steven proposed?

(blushing) Yes! I totally was not expecting that. And how cool that he chose that campfire site to propose. He’s the best!

~ ~


Alt. headshot Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. Once was enough.

Mary is a graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group and a member of ACFW. Her writing has won recognition in both the Genesis and Selah contests.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas.

Where can we buy this book and the others in this series?

http://amzn.to/1MtOkMj

Connect with Mary:

~ ~


Peg here:
Thanks, Mary, for being with us today, and for giving us an inside glimpse of Claire. I like her name, by the way. Maybe that’s because Claire is my middle name. Smile

I loved Bible Camp when I was a child, and for two years in my late teens, I was a camp counselor. Loved that, too.

*GIVEAWAY: What about you, readers? Did you go to a Bible Camp, or any summer camp, as children or teens? Why not share some of your favorite memories? Mary, Claire, and I would love to hear about them. All commenters, whether you share a camp experience or not, will have their names entered in a random drawying to win a copy of See No Evil. Sorry, open to the Lower 48 US only. Ends Monday, Aug 17, at Midnight Central Time. Winner will be notified via email on Tuesday. Note: I require a minimum of 5 (five) entries in order to hold a fair drawing.

C’mon, don't miss a chance to win: join the conversation. 

Presenting, a Titus Ray Thriller!



 


About the book:

 

On the hunt for an assassin, Titus Ray faces a threat he never imagined.

Can he overcome the obstacles and capture Ahmed Al-Amin before it's too late?


In this pulse-racing Christian thriller, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, travels from Costa Rica to Venezuela in an effort to stop Ahmed Al-Amin, a Hezbollah assassin, from murdering a high-profile government official. Along the way, a family crisis jeopardizes his mission, and an Agency division head threatens to destroy his career. As the danger mounts, he’s forced to partner with an untested operative to complete the mission and bring Ahmed to justice. Will he make it in time?


PURCHASE




What COTT voters had to say:

--Great book. So exciting! Two Days in Caracas.

--The first book, One Night in Tehran, was excellent so reading the second book in the series is a given. Looking forward to it!

--Loved the book, "Two Days in Caracus" by Luana Ehrlich

--Luana Ehrlich is a wonderful storyteller! LOVE her books!

--Luana, I love the realism of your characters and the accuraccy of your research into the espionage community.

--I will be reading Luana Ehrlich's newest book!

--Luana, you are a fabulous writer. I am so excited to read Two Days in Caracus!




Q & A with Luana:

Is there a message for readers to take away after they read these stories?

If there's an underlying message in the series, it's that God is always at work in the lives of unbelievers to bring them to faith in Christ. Titus is a career intelligence officer, dedicated to carrying out deceptive, treacherous, sometimes violent, operations against both individuals and governments. He was raised in a dysfunctional family with no spiritual upbringing. Yet, while hiding out from Iran's secret police, he is confronted with the truth of the gospel. The message is simply that a conversion experience often happens to the most improbable people in the most unlikely of

circumstances.

In addition, contained in each of the books is the reality all believers must face—how to live out the Christian faith. Titus is forced to deal with what it means to be a follower of Christ in the world in which he operates. The first book primarily deals with his attempts to pray, but he also buys a Bible and attends church for the first time. Then, in Two Days in Caracas, Titus is thrust into several situations where he’s faced with the need to offer forgiveness for past sins. These are gut-wrenching episodes, and he’s not always successful.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up as a preacher’s kid, and it was actually my dad who gave me my first spy novel when I was eleven years old. After that, I was hooked on the thriller/suspense/mystery genre forever. I’m also a news fanatic, and I follow events around the world on a daily basis, particularly the Middle East.

I married a minister, and we’ve lived in several states in the South and Midwest and have served as missionaries in Costa Rica and Venezuela. For the past two decades, we’ve lived in Norman, Oklahoma, where my husband has been the pastor of a Baptist church.

I’ve also done freelance work for Baptist Press, a national news service for Baptists, reporting on the experiences of newly converted Christians. And, in a similar fashion, when we lived in Indiana, I wrote a weekly column for The Indiana Baptist, which told the stories of ordinary people who became followers of Christ. I belong to several organizations for writers, including the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Where can we find you?

My personal website is www.LuanaEhrlich.com, and then I have a website devoted to my thrillers, www.TitusRayThrillers.com. I blog at His Glory My Joy and I’m the Blessing Box Blogger.