Monday, December 16, 2013

Blog Winner!

The winner of Rosemary Hines' free book is Katrina. Thanks to those of you who commented.

Rosemary's trilogy is a wonderful story. Michelle Barron, the heroine in the book, tells Rosemary's story of her struggle through dabbling in the New Age movement, finding Christ as her Savior, and her life. If you read the interview, you saw Rosemary's testimony (and if you didn't, you can go back and read it. You will be blessed.)

In Out of a Dream, we meet Michelle and learn of her temptations with New Age. Once Satan gets a foothold like he did with her, it's hard to get away. But she succeeds as you will see when you read this book.


Through the Tears tells of her problem with infertility and her subsequent adoption of a baby.  Into Magnolia recounts Michelle's experience with a young girl in her class at school who is unmarried and pregnant. I downloaded all these onto my Kindle and read them in a short time.

If you want to read a great story, download these and read them. They are expensive as print, but as e-books they are quite a bargain. If you don't have a reader, you can download an app on your computer to read them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Author Rosemary Hines--one more time!

Hello, Readers, Since my blog was not working last week, I'm posting it again this week. Hope you'll read and comment and enter your name to win one of Rosemary's books. If you can't comment but want to enter the contest, please send me an email at
mjnobles@charter.net and I'll put your name on the list.

---------------

Juanita: Hello, Rosemary, It’s so nice to be able to visit with you today. I know we’re going to have a great time as we get to know you.

Rosemary: Thanks, Juanita! I’m looking forward to our time together and the privilege of being a guest on your blog.

Juanita: I found your books on an e-Reader list and am so glad I downloaded and read them. Your three-book series was wonderful—up-to-date and so relevant to today. The setting was modern America, present-day, and dealt with problems everyone has heard about. Please tell us about them.

Rosemary: I’m glad you enjoyed them. Since you’ve read all three, you know that they are realistic, contemporary Christian fiction. My goal was to create a seamless story line that spanned all three books. I’ve been told they are page-turners, with many readers reporting they stayed up late to finish reading. That’s music to an author’s ears! J

Juanita: Did you always aspire to be an author? Will you tell us why you wanted to write these books and what you want people to take away from them?

Rosemary: Becoming a writer was never on my radar growing up. Although I’ve always been an avid reader and found that words flowed easily for me, my career goal was focused on teaching.

I didn’t become a Christian until I was 30 years old, choosing New Age beliefs instead. One day I was praying and expressing my regret to God about how I had wasted those first 30 years trying to live without Him. I’d even mocked Christians as out-dated and narrow-minded. 

As I expressed my regrets in prayer, God impressed on my heart that He was going to redeem the years the locusts had eaten away. As a new believer, I had no idea that was actually a Bible verse from the Old Testament book of Joel. Then He gave me an inspiration to use the gift of writing and my life experiences from those first thirty years to help others understand His grace, mercy, and love.

Initially, I hesitated, not seeing myself as an author. But bit-by-bit God dismantled my excuses and fed me the stories that became the Sandy Cove series.

My hope and prayer is that He uses these books to make a spiritual impact on believers and non-believers alike. For believers, I hope Michelle’s journey through New Age deception will help them understand this false religion and be better equipped to share Jesus with family members and friends who have been seduced by its tantalizing lies. For non-believers, I hope it will open their eyes to who God really is and the only truth that can truly set them free.

Juanita: How much of your own life did you write into this series? How true to your life was the heroine of Out of a Dream, Michelle Baron?

Rosemary: First let me say I believe that fiction authors are most effective in their storytelling when they write about struggles and conflicts they have faced in their own lives. That said, each of Michelle’s trials are trials I have experienced, but her story is definitely her own, and she has her own unique responses to these circumstances and struggles.

Juanita: How easy is it for people to become taken in by the New Age Movement?

Rosemary: For those who have never experienced a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the New Age system of beliefs is very enticing. It gives followers the flexibility to basically design their own religion and create their own personal god, suited to their lifestyles and desires. In our contemporary culture, that kind of self-power is very appealing. Plus, New Age beliefs espouse “tolerance” for all beliefs, a mindset that is advocated in our public life in America, including in our public schools.

Juanita: Tell us a little about your writing journey. How hard was it to get started on this road and where has it taken you?

Rosemary: Writing these novels was a seventeen-year journey. I wrote as God inspired me along the way, while I worked full time and raised a family. In addition to the writing process, I had to make decisions about publication, which required research and attending writers’ conferences. Once the books were published, I began the process of learning how to get the word out to potential readers through social media, advertising, and lots of prayer.

Juanita: Please tell us a little about yourself. Besides writing and reading, what do you like to do? I understand you were once a schoolteacher, as I was. I think your teaching experiences led to the writing of your third book, Into Magnolia.
 
 


Rosemary: My childhood dreams always revolved around being a wife, mother, and teacher. God has graciously given me the opportunity to fulfill all of those dreams. My husband and I have been married for 37 years, we have two wonderful children — a daughter and a son — who are both married and live near us. Recently we became grandparents to two beautiful granddaughters now ages one and two.

My dream of teaching did not unfold easily. It was nearly derailed before it began by an anxiety disorder that crippled me for the first year after I obtained my credential. This was back in my New Age days, and I basically abandoned any hopes or plans for teaching.

After I became a Christian and began asking God to make me one of His servants, He answered, “Teach my children.” That was a very frightening thought for me. I resisted for awhile, but He patiently and gently led me one baby step at a time back into the classroom, beginning with a handful of preschoolers in a parent co-op on the beach, to an elementary position, and finally into my 15 years of teaching junior high English.

Those years as a junior high teacher gave me an opportunity to work some intensive interventions in the lives of kids who were struggling. Through my experiences, I saw the effects of broken homes, a limping foster care system, and the lack of character education and values on some very fragile kids. All of this contributed to the third novel in the series, Into Magnolia.

Juanita: Your second book, Through the Tears, dealt with the prevalent problem of infertility. I went through this with my daughter and thought you presented the problem very realistically. Why did you choose to write a novel with this topic?

Rosemary: When my husband and I first tried to start a family, we were hit with an unexpected diagnosis of infertility. Although the characters in Through the Tears were dealing with male infertility, ours was a case of sporadic ovulation coupled with endometriosis on my part. Eventually, surgery and fertility drugs succeeded, and we were able to have our daughter. Since endometriosis goes into remission during pregnancy and nursing, our son was a special surprise baby who was born 17 months after our daughter.

I wrote about this topic because there are so many people who struggle with it silently. I wanted to portray how this issue wrenches the hearts of those involved and becomes a consuming factor for them.

My prayer is that family members and friends, who are looking in from the outside, will have a deeper understanding and compassion for those in the midst of this struggle. I wish I had a dollar for every person who suggested I should just “relax” and then I would get pregnant! For those in the throes of medical issues, that is the very last thing they need to hear. I also hope and pray that those who are immersed in the heartache of infertility will find courage and hope from Michelle’s journey.

Juanita: And you certainly attained your goal, in my opinion. Having watched my infertile daughter suffer for many years, I can attest to that. Are you a member of a Writers’ group? How important do you think this is for people who desire to write?

Rosemary: I have been involved in several writers’ groups. It is a wonderful way to learn and grow as a writer, and I highly recommend trying it! If you don’t click with one group, don’t give up. Try another. Or start one yourself!

Juanita: I read these books in e-format. Are they also available in print? How can people get these books to read them?

Rosemary: My books are all available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. They sell on most online vendors such as Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo, Apple Books, etc. For more information, your readers can visit the book page of my website, which provides some links for purchasing them. www.rosemaryhines.com/books

Juanita:  Do you have any more books in the works? What are your plans for the future?

Rosemary: I have been praying about a fourth book in the Sandy Cove series and have an idea for a devotional/prayer book. My sister and I may co-write a stand-alone novel as well.

Juanita: Rosemary, thank you so much for being our guest today. We’ve enjoyed reading about you and your work. We’ll look forward to hearing from you in the coming years.

-----OK, Readers, Now it’s your turn!  Leave a comment and your name will be entered in a drawing for one of Rosemary’s books. (If the "comments" don't work, please send me an email and I will enter your name.) The winner will receive a copy of Rosemary’s first book, Out of a Dream, in print or e-format (Winner's Choice).  The winner will receive a link from Rosemary with instructions on how to download the book if you choose an e-book. Print book can only be mailed to U.S. addressesDon’t forget to leave your email address so I can notify you if you are the winner. 
My email is mjnobles@charter.net
 

 

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Interview with Rosemary Hines, author of contemporary fiction


Juanita: Hello, Rosemary, It’s so nice to be able to visit with you today. I know we’re going to have a great time as we get to know you.

Rosemary: Thanks, Juanita! I’m looking forward to our time together and the privilege of being a guest on your blog.

Juanita: I found your books on an e-Reader list and am so glad I downloaded and read them. Your three-book series was wonderful—up-to-date and so relevant to today. The setting was modern America, present-day, and dealt with problems everyone has heard about. Please tell us about them.

Rosemary: I’m glad you enjoyed them. Since you’ve read all three, you know that they are realistic, contemporary Christian fiction. My goal was to create a seamless story line that spanned all three books. I’ve been told they are page-turners, with many readers reporting they stayed up late to finish reading. That’s music to an author’s ears! J

Juanita: Did you always aspire to be an author? Will you tell us why you wanted to write these books and what you want people to take away from them?

Rosemary: Becoming a writer was never on my radar growing up. Although I’ve always been an avid reader and found that words flowed easily for me, my career goal was focused on teaching.

I didn’t become a Christian until I was 30 years old, choosing New Age beliefs instead. One day I was praying and expressing my regret to God about how I had wasted those first 30 years trying to live without Him. I’d even mocked Christians as out-dated and narrow-minded. 

As I expressed my regrets in prayer, God impressed on my heart that He was going to redeem the years the locusts had eaten away. As a new believer, I had no idea that was actually a Bible verse from the Old Testament book of Joel. Then He gave me an inspiration to use the gift of writing and my life experiences from those first thirty years to help others understand His grace, mercy, and love.

Initially, I hesitated, not seeing myself as an author. But bit-by-bit God dismantled my excuses and fed me the stories that became the Sandy Cove series.

My hope and prayer is that He uses these books to make a spiritual impact on believers and non-believers alike. For believers, I hope Michelle’s journey through New Age deception will help them understand this false religion and be better equipped to share Jesus with family members and friends who have been seduced by its tantalizing lies. For non-believers, I hope it will open their eyes to who God really is and the only truth that can truly set them free.

Juanita: How much of your own life did you write into this series? How true to your life was the heroine of Out of a Dream, Michelle Baron?

Rosemary: First let me say I believe that fiction authors are most effective in their storytelling when they write about struggles and conflicts they have faced in their own lives. That said, each of Michelle’s trials are trials I have experienced, but her story is definitely her own, and she has her own unique responses to these circumstances and struggles.

Juanita: How easy is it for people to become taken in by the New Age Movement?

Rosemary: For those who have never experienced a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the New Age system of beliefs is very enticing. It gives followers the flexibility to basically design their own religion and create their own personal god, suited to their lifestyles and desires. In our contemporary culture, that kind of self-power is very appealing. Plus, New Age beliefs espouse “tolerance” for all beliefs, a mindset that is advocated in our public life in America, including in our public schools.

Juanita: Tell us a little about your writing journey. How hard was it to get started on this road and where has it taken you?

Rosemary: Writing these novels was a seventeen-year journey. I wrote as God inspired me along the way, while I worked full time and raised a family. In addition to the writing process, I had to make decisions about publication, which required research and attending writers’ conferences. Once the books were published, I began the process of learning how to get the word out to potential readers through social media, advertising, and lots of prayer.

Juanita: Please tell us a little about yourself. Besides writing and reading, what do you like to do? I understand you were once a schoolteacher, as I was. I think your teaching experiences led to the writing of your third book, Into Magnolia.
 
 


Rosemary: My childhood dreams always revolved around being a wife, mother, and teacher. God has graciously given me the opportunity to fulfill all of those dreams. My husband and I have been married for 37 years, we have two wonderful children — a daughter and a son — who are both married and live near us. Recently we became grandparents to two beautiful granddaughters now ages one and two.

My dream of teaching did not unfold easily. It was nearly derailed before it began by an anxiety disorder that crippled me for the first year after I obtained my credential. This was back in my New Age days, and I basically abandoned any hopes or plans for teaching.

After I became a Christian and began asking God to make me one of His servants, He answered, “Teach my children.” That was a very frightening thought for me. I resisted for awhile, but He patiently and gently led me one baby step at a time back into the classroom, beginning with a handful of preschoolers in a parent co-op on the beach, to an elementary position, and finally into my 15 years of teaching junior high English.

Those years as a junior high teacher gave me an opportunity to work some intensive interventions in the lives of kids who were struggling. Through my experiences, I saw the effects of broken homes, a limping foster care system, and the lack of character education and values on some very fragile kids. All of this contributed to the third novel in the series, Into Magnolia.

Juanita: Your second book, Through the Tears, dealt with the prevalent problem of infertility. I went through this with my daughter and thought you presented the problem very realistically. Why did you choose to write a novel with this topic?

Rosemary: When my husband and I first tried to start a family, we were hit with an unexpected diagnosis of infertility. Although the characters in Through the Tears were dealing with male infertility, ours was a case of sporadic ovulation coupled with endometriosis on my part. Eventually, surgery and fertility drugs succeeded, and we were able to have our daughter. Since endometriosis goes into remission during pregnancy and nursing, our son was a special surprise baby who was born 17 months after our daughter.

I wrote about this topic because there are so many people who struggle with it silently. I wanted to portray how this issue wrenches the hearts of those involved and becomes a consuming factor for them.

My prayer is that family members and friends, who are looking in from the outside, will have a deeper understanding and compassion for those in the midst of this struggle. I wish I had a dollar for every person who suggested I should just “relax” and then I would get pregnant! For those in the throes of medical issues, that is the very last thing they need to hear. I also hope and pray that those who are immersed in the heartache of infertility will find courage and hope from Michelle’s journey.

Juanita: And you certainly attained your goal, in my opinion. Having watched my infertile daughter suffer for many years, I can attest to that. Are you a member of a Writers’ group? How important do you think this is for people who desire to write?

Rosemary: I have been involved in several writers’ groups. It is a wonderful way to learn and grow as a writer, and I highly recommend trying it! If you don’t click with one group, don’t give up. Try another. Or start one yourself!

Juanita: I read these books in e-format. Are they also available in print? How can people get these books to read them?

Rosemary: My books are all available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. They sell on most online vendors such as Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo, Apple Books, etc. For more information, your readers can visit the book page of my website, which provides some links for purchasing them. www.rosemaryhines.com/books

Juanita:  Do you have any more books in the works? What are your plans for the future?

Rosemary: I have been praying about a fourth book in the Sandy Cove series and have an idea for a devotional/prayer book. My sister and I may co-write a stand-alone novel as well.

Juanita: Rosemary, thank you so much for being our guest today. We’ve enjoyed reading about you and your work. We’ll look forward to hearing from you in the coming years.

-----OK, Readers, Now it’s your turn!  Leave a comment and your name will be entered in a drawing for one of Rosemary’s books. (If the "comments" don't work, please send me an email and I will enter your name.) The winner will receive a copy of Rosemary’s first book, Out of a Dream, in print or e-format (Winner's Choice).  The winner will receive a link from Rosemary with instructions on how to download the book if you choose an e-book. Print book can only be mailed to U.S. addressesDon’t forget to leave your email address so you can be notified if you are the winner. 
My email is mjnobles@charter.net
 

 

 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Books by Lisa Tawn Bergren


The Bridge  by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This wonderful story is actually two stories, one in present time and the other in flashback. It pertains to an accident on the bridge over Swan River in Montana which resulted in a fatality.

As Bergren deftly weaves her story, I was drawn in so that it was hard to put the book down. She presented the story of Anna, the woman involved in the accident, in italics, which indicated each flashback, while the story of the man returning to his uncle’s cabin was in regular print, indicating the present day story. They were slowly woven together to give the reader both background and plot.

Jared Conway, divorced father of an eight-year-old boy, took his son to his uncle’s old cabin so he could clean it up and sell it, but he did not count on the quirky people he would meet there. Nor did he count on the peace and comfort the cabin and its surroundings would provide for him and his son during the summer. As we meet the characters, we are slowly taken in by them, as the story goes back and forth between present day and the 40-year-old incident.

The surprise ending will leave the reader with an “aha” moment when the reader fits everything together, as the two stories converge.

This book was a wonderful page-turner, and I recommend it highly for someone who enjoys the combination of a light mystery and a sweet love story. I borrowed this book from our church library and read it upon the recommendation of the librarian. She was right. I couldn't put it down.

Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Krista is a 38-year-old history professsor in a college in Colorado, but she has never forgotten her lost childhood. She grew up with an absent father and a mother who treated her indifferently. When her mother is near death in Taos, New Mexico, she reluctantly goes to be with her. Her mother never regains consciousness, but Krista battles with memories from her past. A close friend of her mother who has always befriended her helps her to see her mother in a different way as she grows closer and closer to death from Alzheimers.When Krista finds diaries and letters and reads them, she comes to understand her mother better and is able to clear her mind of some of the things that beset her for so long.

The imagery in this book is tremendous. Bergen's description of the countryside is colorful and alive. As Krista remembers things, she also remembers historic events, so the reader gets a history lesson as well as an enjoyable story. Krista also remembers Christmases through her life. This book's first title was Christmas Come Morning.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.


God Gave us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergren, art by Laura J.Bryant

Lisa Bergren has written a beautiful story for young children with her book, God Gave Us the World. Full-page artwork by Laura Bryant is colorful and appealing.

Mama Bear, who makes her home at the North Pole, is taking her cubs on a trip to see a special exhibit: Bears Around the World. As she explains to her cubs the different kinds of bears, the artwork depicts the landscape where each kind lives. She impresses upon her little ones the vastness of the world, the uniqueness of each kind of bear, and their similarities and differences. Of course, the cubs are thrilled to learn this, because all they know is the part of the world in which they live. Since they are polar bears, they dont know about panda bears in China, sloth bears in India, or grizzly bears in America.

Mama Bear explains that while their family lives in the cold, snowy North, some bears live in the rain forest, and others live in the desert. Every bear has a special place in God’s world, a place where they are suited to live.

It is easy to see that the story of the bears relates to the children who listen as this story is read to them. People, too, live in many different places. Mama Bear shows her cubs that God gave us the world and everything in it, and that God chose the place where each one would live. She impresses on them a need to protect their environment, just as the children should do.

This delightful book will be read again and again as children drink in the beauty of the artwork and come to realize that God made the world for them, too.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Winner from Bergren's interview


Thanks to all of you who commented on the interview with Lisa Bergren this week. There were 40 entrants from 18 states. I am overwhelmed with all the comments from Lisa’s devoted fans, and from some who were meeting her and hearing about her books for the first time. The internet is truly an amazing tool!
And the winner is......Julie from Minnesota!
I've met several new authors since I started doing interviews last March--some new to me and some new to writing, as well as some I already knew. Check the Author Interviews tab to find the names of all of them. Authors coming up in the next few weeks and into 2014 are:
Rosemary Hines, author of contemporary fiction, based on her New Age experiences. (found her on Kindle and ordered all three of her books)
Sarah Sundin, author of books about World War II women soldiers (found her on Kindle and ordered another one)
Kimberly Rae Jordan, daughter of missionaries, and author of a book about a missionary who was kidnapped and held for years by terrorists, and what happened when he returned. (Her books is an e-book but is being printed in December and will be available to the winner of those who comment)
Kimberly Rae, a Christian author of books about the sex trade among young girls (I've ordered one of her books and it has not yet arrived)
Eva Marie Everson, an author I found when I downloaded one of her books for free. She writes books about contemporary times. (I read one on Kindle and just finished the one I ordered from Amazon).  

Heidi Glick, author of Christian mysteries

Becky Povich, writer of memoirs (just finished her book From Pigtails to Chin Hairs and chuckled my way through it.
Can you tell I'm an avid reader? If only housework and cooking didn't get in the way of my reading!
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview with Lisa Tawn Bergren


 Juanita: Hi, Lisa, Welcome to my blog today! I am so looking forward to learning more about you.

Lisa: Thanks for inviting me into your circle!

Juanita: First, tell us a little about yourself, and your reason for writing Christian books.

 
Lisa: I’m a wife and mom living in Colorado Springs. I finish ducks in the morning (I can see your puzzled expression—see RMrustic.com) and write in the afternoon. I write Christian books because my faith is such an integral part of me, I can’t imagine not incorporating at least a tiny measure of spirituality in everything I write.

Juanita: I looked it up and found what you mean. You are very artistic, too. Looks like you make these out of weathered wood.

Have you always lived in Colorado? If not, did you have any trouble adapting to the climate there when you moved to the state? What do you like best about living in Colorado?

Lisa: I came with a team to start a Christian division for Random House, WaterBrook Press. They said we could move to New York or Colorado, and we chose Colorado. We love it here. We adopted it as our home state—I love the easy access to mountains, and the people, a wonderful combination of Midwest-sensible and Western-casual.

Juanita: Wow! I didn't know you were in on the beginning of that! What an honor.  I've been to Colorado a couple of times, and I loved its beauty and the many different things you can see there.
I notice you write in many genres—historical fiction, children’s books, teen fiction, devotionals--- Do you have a favorite or do you love them all?

Lisa: My favorite is always what I’m currently writing. But I do really love YA (teen) fiction because I think young women are adorable, and so ready to interact with me. And when their moms read the same novels along with their daughters? That’s a very happy place for me. The series I wrote last for them is called The River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), and I have a new series coming in 2014 called Remnants. Lots of action…those novels practically write themselves for me.

Juanita: How do you balance being a wife and mother of three children with a successful writing career?

Lisa: It’s always a juggling act. But since my kids are bigger now (freshman in college, freshman in high school and 4th grader), it’s a tad easier. Concentrated hours while they’re away to get the work done, so I can concentrate on them come evening.

Juanita: That is different, having kids in so many age groups. But I remember those days.
What do you like to do when you have a little free time? Or is that something you don’t know about?

Lisa: Ha! I like to hike and host dinner parties. Being outside recharges me and I love intimate, real conversations with dear friends.

Juanita: What part did books play in your life while you were growing up? Did you always think you would be an author?

Lisa: I was one of those kids who read under the covers until my mom found me out and made me go to sleep. There was nothing I really liked more than getting lost in a great book. To be an author, however, seemed like an impossible dream. I always wrote and had a role in my school yearbook and newspaper staff, and I graduated in English Lit, but I was thinking more about editing than writing myself. Post-college, I had a friend of a friend who wrote a Harlequin romance and I thought, “Well, I could do that…” And I did. God’s been more than generous in opening doors for me ever since.

Juanita: I read in one of your interviews that you didn’t have to wait long after you started writing before you were a published author. Tell us a little about your journey and the importance of having an agent in this transition.

Lisa: I wasn’t agented for my first 10 or so novels. I was in the publishing biz (first in marketing, then in editing), so I felt I knew enough about contracts and the “other side” to negotiate them myself. When I stopped working in-house, I hired an agent. While I still keep up on what’s happening, especially in this world of e-pub, I greatly value my agent and his role in my traditional publishing.

Juanita: Besides when you came to know the Lord, what was the happiest day in your life?

Lisa: The day I married my husband, Tim. He’s a prince of a man, my best friend as well as the love of my life.  

Juanita: Lisa, thanks so much for visiting with us today. It's so nice to visit with you, and I really appreciate your taking the time to do this. Bloggers, you can find Lisa on the net at www.LisaTawnBergren.com  Also, check out her books on her Amazon page. I'm sure she has a facebook page too.

Lisa: Thanks for inviting me to do so!

 ------
Now, bloggers, we have a wonderful prize for this week's winner! Lisa has offered to give away a copy of one of her Grand Tour novels-- Glamourous Illusions, Grave Consequences, or Glittering Promises. This is a trilogy that I read  on my Kindle and they are wonderful. I also read The Bridge and it was one I couldn't put down.  WINNER'S CHOICE!
I have read and reviewed several of Lisa's children's books and donated them to our church library. Lisa is truly a talented writer of several different genres.

 
I hope you will leave a comment so you can be entered in the contest. I'll notify the winner by email on Saturday, November 23, and Lisa will mail the book to you. Please remember to leave your email address, and will you tell me which state you live in?
Have a great week!

 



 


 

 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanksgiving

Thanks to Angela Hunt for her interview last week. Not many people availed themselves of the free book--a children's book--but it was there for them if they wanted it. I know many of my readers probably don't use e-books, etc., and I didn't either, for a long time. I learned there is an app you can put on your computer to read the books, and then my husband gave me a Kindle for Christmas one year. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Kindle, but I like real books more.

What are you thankful for? Several of my friends on Facebook have been posting what they are thankful for since the beginning of November. I haven't done it yet. I'm working on updating and rewriting my book about Bible Characters for use in a Women's Bible Study at our church, and it has been a time-consuming, but very rewarding project. I'm excited about getting these books printed (not published) for use by the women, starting in January. I'm thankful God gave me a mind that wants to learn more and more.

Next week, on November 18, look for an interview by Lisa Tawn Bergren, with a give-away. She is letting the winner of the week's blog choose the book she wants. Take a look at Lisa's books on Amazon and see what she has written. I've read several of her books and they are all great!

I will not be posting any more this week--getting ready for the big interview next week.

Hope you are thankful this November. God bless you.

Juanita

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meet Author Angela Hunt

Q:  Hello, Angela, I’m excited to have you on my blog today. First, please tell us about your salvation experience and why you write Christian books.
A: I accepted Christ as a child, at about six years old. I was raised in a Christian family, so I was taught early about the things of God. 
Q: Please tell us about your early life. Did you always want to be a writer or did you come from a family of readers to cause you to become so prolific in your writing?

A: I never really thought about being a writer because I was a singer, and that's sort of what everyone expected me to be.  But my mother was a reader, so I was, too. I read everything I could get my hands on. 

Q: I read your book, Roanoke, the Lost Colony on my Kindle and was surprised that I had not heard that story before. In all my years of teaching children about the Pilgrims and the beginning of America, I wonder how I missed that. How did you learn about this incident and why is in not in the history books?


A:  I think the story of Roanoke is often overlooked because the colony was not a "success" by historic standards. The colony mysteriously disappeared, leaving only a few mysterious clues. When I heard that part of the story, I loved the mystery and delved into the history. The answer I came up with in my book is the one that best fits existing folklore and probability.
 


Q: When I read The Shadow Women about the women in the life of Moses, I was excited to read all the history you inserted into your novel. How do you go about beginning your research when you start to write?  Do you depend wholly on facts or do you write some new things into Biblical fiction?

A: I use as much history and cultural information as I can, and I try never to contradict anything I know to be true. But when you're dealing with times that ancient, you find that even scholars don't agree on timelines and such. All I could do was compare the historical sources with the Bible--my bottom line--and then do what felt most logical to me. 

Q: And you did a marvelous job, in my opinion! I was not aware of your children’s books. Tell us a little about why you chose to write books for children, and something about these books.

A: My first books were children's books, written when my children were small. I love kids, and sometimes I think I still think like a kid.  :-)  Now that I have a granddaughter, I'm rediscovering children's books and having a great time with them. 


Q: After looking through your website and reading some of the titles of your contemporary fiction, I can’t wait to get started reading some of these books. Where do you get your ideas for such up-to-date novels—dealing with everything from a bad marriage to a surrogate mother to a funeral home?

A:  I love exploring anything that interests me, and I'm interested by almost everything. And our society is experimenting with a lot of technological advances that could have dangerous ethical implications. I like exploring those issues so people can see how serious the complications can be. 

Q: Tell us about your newest book, and what we can expect to hear from you in the future.

A:  I have just finished a novel on Esther, and found her story fascinating!  I'm still waiting to find the right publisher for that one. 

Q: Angela, thanks so much for visiting with me and my blog readers today. I appreciate the time you took to answer these questions and to help our readers get to know you and your books a little better.

A:  My pleasure!  Thank you for the invitation! 
Now readers, you can download a copy of one of Angela's children's book, If I Had Long, Long Hair, for your e-reader, phone, tablet or computer. Go to Facebook, search for Angela Hunt, Novelist, and you will find the link to download the book. You will see it in color, just as it is in print. Hope you enjoy reading it.  I hope you will also comment.

Or you can go to Google, type in www.angelahunt.novelist, then click on her link for Facebook and you will be directed to Amazon where you can click on the free book. I just did it. Angela says she has a free book offered regularly, so check this site often, and see what you find.
This is the cover of the free book, copied from the Faceook page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The World of Reading--by our grandson, Austin DeGroot

First, I want to congratulate Lisa from Ohio, who won the drawing for the free book from Susan Sleeman! Happy reading, Lisa!

Last week's interview with Susan Sleeman was the second most popular interview since I've been doing this blog regularly. I started on March 4 of this year with the interviews, have done 16 of them (two a month) and only one netted more comments than the one last week. Thanks to all of you who came by and left your comments. Hope you will come again and keep commenting.

Here is an essay by our grandson, Austin DeGroot. He recently completed his service in the U.S, Navy and enrolled in Texas University in Austin, Texas. Yes, Austin moved to Austin. One of the first assignments in his English class netted a great comment by his teacher, when she recognized his literary prowess. It is about how he learned to read as a four-year-old child, listening to his mother home-school his older brother, and how he came to discover the world of books. He is still an avid reader, like many in our family.

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Surrounded by LEGOs and legs below the table where my mother was slowly leading my older brother from A to Z, I was doing more than building castles and starships; I was listening. Through the thick mahogany desk that served as our home classroom, I was learning. Aided by some discarded alphabet pages I’d found in one of my many forbidden “treasure hunts” in the trash, strange shapes became letters, those letters became words, and words became sentences. Soon my toys were collecting dust in the corner and with a book in my hand I built castles and starships in my mind.   (in the picture, Austin is about 3, but he already loved books.) 


Reading excited me in a way that the little corner of the world I knew never had. I was always being told to hurry up, to slow down, to come here or go there. I felt constantly rushed along by my mother, whose time was ever stretched by her four very young children and our soccer practices, doctor’s appointments, and annoying need to be clothed and fed. No doubt a few of her gray hairs owe me some credit, but most often I just wanted to be be away from the hustle and bustle and quietly explore new frontiers on the page. (in the picture, Austin's mother is instilling a love of reading into her two oldest boys. Notice the other book stuck in the crack of the couch. Both Austin's parents loved to read. Books were everywhere in their house.)

Before long, inspiration struck. I began to run wild with stories. I’d share them with anyone who would listen, regaling them with imagined adventures alongside my monkey companion, Abu. We raided ancient hidden temples, battled ghostly pirates, rescued hapless villagers from dragons, and embarked on countless other death-defying experiences. As soon as I was able, I laboriously filled notebook after notebook with my stories. They were by no means good and hardly original, but they were mine and I treasured them. As I grew older, more and more diversions clamored for my attention. Friends, school, video games, and girls pushed my writing back to the occasional scribbling. Still, reading and writing are such a strong part of who I am that without them, I would be unrecognizable. Reading expanded my mind and gave me big dreams. Writing let me express those dreams to the world. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where I not only had the tools to do this, but I had the encouragement and affirmation of my family.
 
Sadly, my privileged upbringing was just that; privileged. Children everywhere grow up with none of the opportunities that I had. Born to illiterate, overworked, or just plain apathetic parents, these kids never have the chance to experience the magical worlds waiting between the covers of books. Illiterate children won’t be able to experience the magic that this world has to offer either; two-thirds of students in the fourth grade who cannot read proficiently will end up in prison or on welfare. (In this picture, Austin was 8 or 9. Notice what a thick book he is reading.)


Eighty-five percent of juvenile offenders have reading problems. Here in Austin, the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas is working to give every child access to the tools they need to read and succeed. Learning to read and write proficiently is one of the single most important things a child can learn in order to improve themselves and I strongly believe in supporting any effort to help build those skills.


Here is Austin today, all grown up. I can't wait to read his first published book!



What do you think of Austin's essay?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Valley of Chaya by Tracey Hoffman


I downloaded this book to my Kindle, on the basis of what was said about it on Amazon.com, and I must say, this is the most compelling book I have read recently. I literally could not put it down. There were a few errors, such as commas that had been omitted or used incorrectly, and once “you’re” was used for the word “your”, but these few errors were minimal when I considered the rest of the book.

It was the story of Charlotte Turner, an 18-year-old girl who went to India for a mission trip and two children who lived there, and the human trafficking that must be so prevalent there. The two children, Ashtok, a boy about ten, and Shanti, his sister, about eight, were orphans who were on their own, living on the streets and foraging for food every day and a place to sleep at night. They had some friends, also on the street, so the few of them banded together to try to keep themselves safe.

It was a little unbelievable because Charlotte's friend backed out of the trip and she went to India on her own. She worked with a group that was operating to help the street children, but she was on her own at times, living in a hotel and not with a group that could protect her, and during one of those times she was stolen and taken to live as a prostitute. There she met Shanti, who had also been stolen and was living in the same house of prostitution. A few other characters were introduced, but these were the main characters, along with Charlotte’s brother Eli and Shanti’s brother Ashtok whose main purpose was to find the girls.

The author described in detail some of the things that went on in the place where the women who had been kidnapped were living, and the terrible conditions they had to endure. I don’t know anything about this, but I know that human trafficking is real, so I do not doubt the things she described.

Charlotte’s family were committed Christians from Australia who were devastated when their daughter was taken captive. Her brother, Eli, went to India to try to rescue her. Throughout the book, he is seeking her while subsequent chapters told about her life in the brothel.

In Hindi the word “Chaya” means “shadows”. These women were living in the shadows. Charlotte tried to live in the love of God, even though she was a prisoner. She quoted Scripture and she led some of the women to the Lord, even amid the terrible conditions in which she had to live. Ashtok, the little Indian boy, also believed in God. He had a card with a picture of the Good Shepherd that someone had given him, and he comforted himself and his sister with his incomplete knowledge of God.

 
I will not tell the ending, but I will tell you that as you read, the pages will turn faster and faster and you will be compelled to go on reading to find out what happens. I strongly recommend this book.
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You still have a few days to read and comment on this week's interview with Suspense writer Susan Sleeman. The winner will be selected on Saturday and I will notify the winner by email, so be sure to get in on the drawing if you like this genre of books.

Thanks to all you bloggers. This has really been a large group of commenters and I appreciate your visiting my blog.

Thread of Suspicion is the book that Susan is giving away to the winner.