Monday, March 17, 2014

Water Under the Bridge

My friend and writing associate, Verna Simms, has written a book which was published by Rocking Horse Publishing in St.Louis, Missouri, in February of this year.

Verna is 92 years old and this is her first book. It is captivating. If you want to read an excellent story that you won't be able to put down, you might want to go to Amazon and take a look at this book and at the reviews. I don't have permission from her to send a free one to the winner this week, but I know you will enjoy reading this book.

This book is historical fiction. It includes some things that happened in Verna's life, but it is not an autobiography. Amelia, the little girl who is the main character, does some things that Verna did as a child, and she very precocious. I was amazed at some of the things she was able to do--proving that this came from Verna's creative imagination.

You will be astounded by some of the things that happen in the book. I was amazed that a little girl could come up with such creative ideas, when she rescued her sister and herself from her father's plot to marry the two girls off to much older Mormon men. Amelia's brother was also creative as he helped the girls to hide out and escape.

The mother in the book is very creative in ways to take care of her family during a dark time in American history, the Great Depression. This was a time when family depended on each other much more than they do today. They had to, in order to survive.

Here's an interview with Verna about her writing and why she decided to become an author.

Question: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Answer: I'd say around 45 years of age or so, one New Years' Day I sat down to make a New Years' resolution and typed out ten things I would like to accomplish in my lifetime. I don't recall all ten but one of the dreams I had was to view both oceans. I did that. One was to learn to play the piano--no luck there--and the third that I remember was to write a novel and have it published.

Question: Why did you wait so late in life to start the project?

Answer: I'd say it was because I was too busy doing things that needed to be done, and wouldn't wait. I needed to help with my grandchildren and my aged mother. Also, I loved traveling and camping in the beautiful state parks in Missouri. No time for sit down projects.

Question: Is the novel in any way a story of your life?

Answer: Definitely not. I had the family live in the same town I grew up in and described the school I attended. I mentioned an aeroplane that came to town and Lindbergh's flight over the ocean.
These were happenings I remember. Also the mountain I loved in my youth, but Amelia's family and mine are no way related. All the characters and the life they led are 100% fictional. I created them from my imagination.

Question: How did you choose the topic to write about?

Answer: An article in the newspaper a few years ago touched my heart. It told about a dad that beat his young daughter unconscious because she ran away rather than marry her uncle who already had several wives. 

Question: Are you blaming the church for the problem?

Answer: No, I have no fault for the Mormon religion. You will find bad people in any culture. It just happened this girl's dad was a member of a cult that had spun off from the religion practiced today. 


I hope you will consider purchasing this book. I can guarantee you will enjoy it.

Verna will be having a book signing Saturday, March 22, at 100 Jefferson in Kirkwood from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. I'm sure she would be happy to sign a book for you if you are able to get there.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Winner, and Guest Post

Blog Winner of the book by Eva Marie Everson is Dorie

Sweet Tea-- by our son, David Nobles
       ......Today I'm posting an article by our son, David Nobles, an attorney in Midland, Texas. I hope you enjoy his writing. I never tire of reading it.

I like sweet tea. Growing up, we had sweet tea at just about every meal. With four kids, it was hard and expensive to go out to eat, so my mom cooked for us, and she cooked really well. I can remember her pot roast, fried chicken, spaghetti, and lots of other great meals. Almost all were accompanied by sweet tea.

We very rarely bought soft drinks. Maybe Mom thought they weren’t healthy enough, but I suspect it was “all about the Benjamins” and cost kept them out of our house. I do remember they didn’t last long if they ever showed up. My biggest memory of soft drinks in the house was on Sunday nights after church, getting a half-gallon (in a glass bottle) of Dad’s Root Beer and having root beer floats. If only Blue Bell had been around back then!

So tea was my drink of choice, until I went off to college and they had soft drink fountain dispensers in the dorm cafeterias. Forget the tea, gimme the good stuff! Being a loyal Baylor Bear, Dr Pepper quickly became my favorite. I even learned that it’s spelled WITHOUT the period.

At some point in my early adult days, I began drinking tea again, and decided to drink it without sugar. At first it was very bland, but eventually I came to appreciate it. I was eating out more, and adding sugar to the iced tea brought to my table wasn’t anything like home, so I figured it was no great loss and maybe even a bit healthier.

Today, more and more restaurants offer sweet tea. I have noticed some of the tea in town is worth it and some is not: Rosa’s is amazing, Bush’s is good, McAlister’s is OK, Jason’s sweet tea is putrid. I’m sure you know as I do that it depends on the type of tea and sweetener used and when and how sweetener is added. When the tea is hot, real sugar (the best sweetener) dissolves and flavors the whole pot. When the tea is cold, you can stir that thing all day long and you’ll still end up with a lot of sugar on the bottom of the glass.

In other words, the tea has to be right to accept the sugar.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Just like the tea, we have to be in the right position to accept God’s truth and instruction in our lives. The sugar doesn’t change—it’s still sugar—but when the tea is hot it combines with the tea in a way that produces a much different result than when the tea is cold. I know there’s a scientific reason for this, and it’s all about the heat. When we are ready to accept God’s influence, he can dramatically flavor our lives. How do we get hot—how do we become ready? Admit sin. Repent. Ask Him to give you the desire to experience Him fully, then ask Him to fill you, lead you, influence you. Get in the habit of talking to Him all the time—He wants to hear about everything, no matter how big or how small. Read His word and let it fill your heart. Serve God by serving people.

All that is really easy to write and much more demanding to do—but when we do—life is sweet.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meet Eva Marie Everson

Today we get to meet Eva Marie Everson, a Christian author I met while reading one of her books she offered free on Kindle. It was so good, I ordered a couple more.  (By the way, the book I read is the one she is offering free to the winner this week!)

Q: Hello, Eva Marie. I’m so glad to welcome you to my blog today. I hope all the blog readers enjoy meeting you and learning about your books.

A: Me, too! J (Hello, readers …)

Q: The first thing that really impressed you was when you talked about your relationship with the Lord. Please tell us about your salvation experience and your decision to write Christian books.

A: I grew up knowing the Lord. There was never any question for me. Of course I had the “break away” during my teen years, and a pretty discouraging event in my late teens that hardened my heart. But God wouldn’t let go. I rededicated myself to the Lord at about age 21 but had my “real Come-to-Jesus” meeting when I was probably in my mid to late 20s. Closer to late. Everything changed for me in one night. Everything became more real. He became more real. I learned to listen for and hear His voice.

When the door to publishing opened (I was over 40 by this point), I walked through, knowing God had my hand. Writing for the Christian market wasn’t a decision I made. There simply wasn’t a decision to be made.

Q: I am always thrilled to hear authors tell about the time they came to know Jesus. It is so important to have a personal relationship with Him. Another big impression was when I read that you really love the Old Testament. I do, too. I just completed a Bible study about many of the Old Testament characters. I know many people say they don’t understand it or don’t know anything about it. Why do you like the Old Testament so much?

A: Well, I’d better like it; I’m working toward my Masters in OT Theology. I like the Old Testament because our Christian faith is built on it. It’s the root of our faith. Listen, Jesus (Y’shua) didn’t think of the OT as the OT. He thought of it and called it “the Scriptures.” What He talked about, what He taught from … where the Jewish Scriptures and the culture of their day. When we learn it … truly learn it … our eyes are opened to the completeness of Jesus Christ.

Each week I attend a class at a shul (Jewish congregation) on Jewish Life. I am amazed at what I’m learning about the Christian faith!

Of course, you may know that I wrote a book with Miriam Feinberg Vamosh called “Reflections of God’s Holy Land; A Personal Journey Through Israel.” This book, published by Thomas Nelson in 2008 (the 60th anniversary of the statehood of Israel) won an ECPA Silver Medallion as well as some other awards. But it was the writing of it, the walking the land with my Jewish friend Miriam, the photographing of the land and of the sites that will always stir my heart. I laid on a large rock at the brook where Gideon separated the soldiers as the ones who would fight from those who would go home … I placed my hand in that cool water … and watched the ripple. What an effect it had on me! I stood where Elijah called down fire from heaven and, after a few minutes of standing on Mt. Carmel alone (and I do mean ALONE), I cried like a baby. I went with Miriam by IDF protection to where Rachel is buried … in a bus with a few dozen Orthodox Jews who take their lives into their hands every day just to pray! I have so many amazing memories …

Q: Tell us a little about your family and your hobbies.

A: I married my husband nearly 35 years ago and he “gifted me with two children” right away. I love my stepson and stepdaughter dearly!! Then we had a child, a daughter—a gifted writer and editor in her own right. They are all married, all have kids now, and my husband and I are “empty-nesters” unless you count the two dogs who pretty much own us. As for hobbies, I love walking/hiking, photography, ancestry, knitting and … I’ll be honest … shopping. Of course reading and writing …

Q: I noticed that you have a seminary degree, something few women possess. What made you decide to go for this and which seminary did you attend?

A: My first trip to Israel. God had been nudging me anyway … I went to Andersonville Theological Seminary where I am still enrolled!! One day!! I. Will. Get. That. Final. Degree! My friends tease me that when I’m done with my Masters I’ll go for my Doctorate. But … no.

Q: I’m married to a preacher, so I worked while he attended seminary and typed all his papers. I only got a “Putting Hubby Through” degree along with my “MRS”. But I enjoy studying the Bible.

 Did you ever think about writing a novel based on the life of one of the Old Testament characters? If so, who would it be?

A: No, I haven’t … so, there’s no answer to the second part of that question.

Q: Has your writing career been a life-long one, or did you take it up later in life?

A: Like I said, I was 40. But as soon as I could hold a pen, I started spinning yarn … If I couldn’t write them, I told them.

Q: And I’m sure you attended Writers’ Conferences and studied about how to be a better writer. What importance do you place on these kinds of activities? Tell us about your speaking and writing life.

A: I attended my first writers conference as faculty, but I wouldn’t suggest that. I’m not the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and I cannot say enough about “sharpening your skills as iron sharpens iron” type of thing. I’m also the president of Word Weavers International, Inc, which is an international group of writing critique groups. I worked with Jerry Jenkins for years as a mentor (Christian Writers Guild) … so yes! I think this is important. I spend at least a little time every day learning more about my craft, not just for myself but to pass along that knowledge to others.

Q: If I could start over, I would study journalism in school and focus on writing. But we don’t get a second chance at life. What would you say to women who wish they had become a writer early in life?

A: Well, I think we do get second chances. We cannot go back but we can start right now. Listen, if you want to go back to school, go back to school. (But, you say, it will take four years to get a two-year degree. Okay, I say, so four years from now you can either stand with a diploma in your hand or nothing in your hand. Doesn’t matter. Four years will come no matter …) So, if you want to be a writer … write! Come to conferences. Join groups like Word Weavers. Take some classes at a nearby university or online university. But don’t just sit there wishing …

Q: Thank you so much for visiting with us today. I just wish it could have been face-to-face. I hope to read many more of your books.

A:  I’d like that, too! And be sure to tell me what you think!

And now readers, you can comment and enter your name to win CHASING SUNSETS (BOOK 1 IN THE CEDAR KEY SERIES). I have read this one and loved it! I know you will too. Be sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if you are the winner.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog winner!

Congratulations to Diana from Indiana. She won the free book by Kimberly Rae this week.

I just completed a new book by Meg Moseley--A Stillness of Chimes-- it will be out February 18.
Meg now has written three novels: Gone South and When Sparrows Fall preceded this one. If you haven't read one of her novels, you are in for a treat. Check your local library or go on-line to find one of these titles.

Another one I read this week is The Final Note by Kevin Milne. I read this in one sitting. My 94-year-old mother told me about this (we talk almost every day by long distance) and I wen on-line to find it. Since it's an older issue, I got it for $2.00 plus postage, and it was such a good book, I would have paid more to get it.

I also have been reading the Bible and many things have been brought to mind because of this reading. I'm teaching a study of Old Testament characters for some women in my church, and reading several of the Old Testaments books while we were snowed in for a couple of weeks has been a great blessing in my life.

Hope you're enjoying what you are reading these days. Tell me about a book you enjoyed recently!

In two weeks I will have an interview with Eva Marie Everson, another Christian author I met while blogging. The winner of those who comment will win of her brand new books coming out in April: The Road to Testament. Be sure to come back Monday February 17 to read her interview and enter your name to win.

Every day is one more day closer to spring. We're all anxiously waiting for that, I know. This winter has been a bad one!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kimberly Rae, author of several genres...

Today we meet Kimberly Rae, author of Christian suspense. She has written a series on human trafficking as well as a series about dealing with pain, and I think we’ll be interested to hear what she has to say.

Q: Hello, Kimberly. It’s so nice of you to come to visit today.

A: Hi and thanks for having me!

Q: I looked on your Amazon page and saw that you had lived in several foreign countries and that you had work in five languages. Please tell us about that, how you came to be living in so many different exotic places and knowing so many languages.

A: I’ve lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. I went to Bangladesh for 2 years after I graduated from college, to teach school and do writing projects. Uganda and Kosovo were both short humanitarian trips, and then after I got married my husband and I lived in Indonesia for nearly 3 years. He taught ESL at a University there. I love different cultures!

Q: I loved the trailer on your site where you talked about your books. Please tell our blog readers why you write the books about human trafficking.

A: When sickness brought me permanently back to the US, I wanted to stay involved in doing things that matter in the world. Human trafficking was a major subject on my heart. I had been writing for 10 years but mostly for magazines and such, so when I started thinking of writing a novel, I tossed around some ideas but wasn’t sure what to focus on. My mom looked at me and asked, “If you could write about anything, what would you write about?” By the end of the day, I think I had 3 chapters of Stolen Woman done. It brought together things I’m passionate about—human trafficking, missions, and women finding their worth.

Q: I also discerned from your trailer that you love Jesus. Will you tell us about your salvation experience and a little about your life?

A: I definitely love Jesus! Everything good in my life comes from Him. I trusted in Christ to save me when I was a child, and grew up loving Him. My dad was in the Navy, and my mom was a school teacher. I have two sisters—I’m the middle—and we lived in the South but I don’t like grits and don’t have an accent most of the time (though my husband thinks it’s funny how thick it gets when I’m talking to someone who does!).

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?

A: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Actually I just found a set of stories I’d written when I was only 10 and ironically, I had a story of rescue in there. I guess this idea of helping the helpless was something God put on my heart a long, long time ago. Officially, I began writing for publication after college, if you don’t count the novel I wrote in high school that was so horribly cheesy I threw it away a few years ago to make sure nobody ever found it!

Q: How was your writing journey? Was it easy or hard?

A: Definitely hard work, with a lot of humility-inspiring events along the way, but that’s a good thing! When I started writing for magazines, at first of course rejection felt devastating. However, once I decided I was in this to learn and succeed, and after I told myself to expect nine out of ten submissions to get rejected, it really did get easier. I learned to submit several pieces at a time, so I wasn’t biting my nails waiting for that one to get returned, and to study my target magazines to know what they were looking for, and how to write a great query letter. I have a blog now for other writers, to hopefully make it a little easier on them!

Q: Tell us about your series “Sick and Tired”. What compelled you to write about this?

A: I have had health problems since childhood, but they seemed random and disconnected. When we lived overseas, my condition got worse and worse, but years of doctor’s visits and heaps of tests still didn’t reveal the problem. Now, after fifteen years of searching, I was finally diagnosed by a specialist at Emory. I have Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, asthma, and a cyst on my brain. Dealing with lifelong illness gets discouraging, and those of us with chronic illness tend to feel alone. I wanted to read a book that was funny, empathetic and helpful, but especially one that would remind me that God loved me and had purpose for me, and my worth wasn’t it how useful I felt I could be. I couldn’t find that book, so I wrote it! It’s now a series, with the first two out and two more on the way!

Q: I know there are many, many people with chronic pain and I am sure they would profit from reading what you have written. If there were one book in this series that would benefit a sick person most, what would it be?

A: I’d have to say the first one, Sick & Tired. Nearly one out of every two people in America has some kind of chronic illness. They need to know they are not alone, and it helps to hear somebody say it stinks, they understand, and they’re cheering you on. That’s what the first book in the series is meant to, with some practical help like how to explain your condition in a way that doesn’t leave room for people to think it’s in your head. =)

Q: I saw a letter on your Amazon site from a doctor who was praising your work as something both doctors and patients would enjoy reading and was very impressed. Do you get a lot of letters like this from doctors and patients?

A: I love hearing from both doctors and patients! I have one doctor friend who keeps stocked up on the books to give to certain patients, and I love that. She gets to encourage them, and they feel more understood. I heard about another doctor who put the book in their waiting room and had a patient ask if she could keep it! They said no. =)

Q: Tell us a little about your new book, Blue Ridge Setup, that was released this month? It is anything like the other books you have written or it is the beginning of a new series?

A: It’s totally different novel than my ones on trafficking. At its heart, Blue Ridge Setup is a fun read about a young woman getting set up who doesn’t want to get set up. Kayla Madison moves in with her eccentric romance-novelist great aunt, who is determined she and Ryan Cummings would make great characters for her next novel, if only she can get them together! Poor Ryan has no idea what he’s getting into when he agrees to do a landscaping project for the great aunt, who intends to keep coming up with jobs for him to do until her plan works!

But it also has the serious themes of what illness takes away, struggling with feeling useless, needing to find worth for who you are, not what you do. It was good therapy for me, writing the book, and I hope it will be good therapy for others reading it!


Q: Sounds like fun, and it also sounds like a good lesson. I can’t want to read it. Tell us about some of the children’s books you have in print.

A: The newest one, When I’m With Jesus, is due for release November 29th. It’s a beautifully illustrated book for children who have lost a loved one, from the perspective of the person who goes to Heaven. This is a very special book to me, and I hope God uses it to touch and comfort many children and adults.

Q: It sounds like you have your finger in lots of pies--lots of different genres--I'm looking forward to reading some of them. Kimberly, it has been so nice to talk with you today. I’m looking forward to the readers’ comments about your diversified books. Thank you so much for your interview.

A: Thanks so much for letting me visit here today. God bless and keep you!


OK, bloggers, it’s your turn again. Leave a comment if you’d like to win one of Kimberly’s books, and don't forget to leave your email address and the name of the state you live in!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Bette Lee Crosby's new book!

The winner of Kimberly Rae Jordan's book is Valerie from North Carolina.
Congratulations, Valerie, and thanks to all those who visited my blog last week!
Now read about Bette Lee Crosby's new book:

Jubilee's Journey by Bette Lee Crosby
Give-away of one paperback and one e-book to the winner of those who comment!
If you read Bette Lee Crosby's book Spare Change, you met Ethan Allen, an eleven-year-old boy whose life was pretty destitute. Born to parents who cared more about spiting each other than caring for him, he found himself in a desperate situation. Both his parents were dead, and the sheriff was looking for him! All he knew to do was to try to find his grandpa. But he didn't know where he was. Finding an envelope in the house with his grandpa's address on it, he went searching for somebody to live with.

Jubilee's Journey starts out in a similar fashion. Jubilee, aged seven, and her brother Paul, aged fourteen, lost their parents, so they headed out to find a place to live and be together. When they arrived in Wyattsville, Virginia, a catastrophe took Paul away from her. Ethan Allan rescued her and took her to his grandma Olivia. The adventures they have are full of fun and suspense.

You'll love this novel, another winner by Bette Lee Crosby, in book two of The Wyattsville Series.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, there is one paperback and one e-book to give away. Leave a comment, along with you email address, and I'll notify the winner on January 31 or February 1.

Winner of Kimberly's book!

The winner of last week's blog is Valerie from North Carolina. I appreciate all those who stopped by to leave a comment about the interview. I thought an interview with the daughter of a missionary was pretty special.

I'm teaching a Bible study that I wrote to women in my church, from now through the first of March, about people in the Bible. The title is Ordinary People come face-to-face with Extraordinary God.
We meet people in the Old Testament through the first part of the study and we're enjoying them. I've been working hard to get the book adapted to be used as a Bible study, and to make study sheets to go with each week's lessons.

As you might have noticed, I'm only doing one post per week. Enjoy the rest of winter, try to stay as warm as you can, and look forward to spring. I think it's only bout 50 days away, and I can't wait. Can you?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meet Kimberly Rae Jordan

 Today we are visiting with Kimberly Rae Jordan, an author I met when I downloaded one of her books on my Kindle. I’m so glad she agreed to do an interview. She has some interesting material and I want to introduce her to all of you who read my blog.

Q: Hi, Kimberly, it’s so nice that you can visit today.

A: Thanks so much for having on your blog, Juanita!

Q: Tell us about your life—where you live, your children, etc.

A: I live in central Canada where we have beautiful summers and horrible winters! I have four wonderful kids. My oldest daughter is in university and my youngest son is just getting out of diapers! In between them are my boy/girl twins who have just entered the teen years! I do have a “day job” working in the administration department of my brother’s technology company.

Q: The book you authored that I read was Faith, Hope and Love and it was about a missionary couple. I noticed that you are the child of missionary parents. How long did you live in Asia, and did this book have any connection to your experiences there?

A: My parents took me to the mission field when I was 18 months old and, aside from furlough years, I was there until I was 18 and graduated from high school. Yes, this book was based on my experiences to some extent. The missionary center that is introduced in the prologue was based on the one I grew up. Rural and beautiful with dirt paths running through the grass and lots of trees to climb! The hostage-taking part of the story was based off several different incidents. From the time I was around 11, I was aware of missionaries who had been kidnapped. It is always a possibility for missionaries serving in foreign lands, but there are definitely countries that have been more dangerous in this regard than others. As I read the stories of these men who had been kidnapped, I was always amazed and encouraged that through it all, they maintained their faith. It led me to wonder what it would be like if the opposite occurred. A man taken hostage, tortured and released…having lost his faith. That was the basis of Faith, Hope & Love.

Q: I suppose you left Asia to go to school in the states. Did you study journalism, or was that something that came later in life? In other words, I think I’m asking, did you always want to be a writer?

A: I left after high school and came back to Canada—talk about a shock on several levels! At the time I was planning to go to college for Business Administration. That didn’t work out so I ended up working at a few different jobs until I had my first child. It was around then that I began to dabble a bit in writing. I have always loved reading, and growing up without a television really helped develop my imagination. I would tell myself stories to fall asleep at night. Early on I don’t think I was necessarily writing in pursuit of publication, but more for the enjoyment of it. So the written word has always been a large part of my life only now I get to share it with lots of people.

Q: Tell us about your spiritual experience and when you came to be a child of God. With missionary parents, I’m sure this was an important part of your life.

A: Yes, growing up as a missionary kid meant that I was exposed to Christianity at a very young age. It was a large part of my life through most my school years as well since the schools I attended were all missionary schools which included Bible teaching along with other subjects. Having all that exposure does not, however, guarantee that a missionary kid will “stay the course”, so to speak. As a young adult I found myself just drifting along in my spiritual life. I spent a lot of time trying to be the person people expected me to be because of my parents and my background. I went to church because that was expected of me. I agreed to work in the nursery and teach children’s Sunday School because it seemed like the right thing to do. I adhered to the conservative life I’d been raised with for no other reason than I’d been told to. I struggled a lot for a few years and finally came to a breaking point where I questioned much about my spiritual life. It was a very difficult time for me spiritually and emotionally. I never questioned the reality of God, but just felt lost in my relationship with Him. Eventually I realized that I needed to have my own personal relationship with God, not my parents’ (grandparents, etc.) relationship with God. My writing has helped me to continue to build that personal relationship. Often the things my characters struggle with and learn in the course of the story are based on my own struggles and what I’ve learned.

Q: How true, Kimberly. We all have to have a face-to-face encounter with God. I call it a "point in time" experience. Something you can always remember.

Tell us a little about your writing journey. How long did it take after you started writing to get a book published? Or did you start with free-lance writing for magazines, etc?

A: Once I put my mind to trying to publish, I began to research publishers and agents. I joined a writers’ organization which lead me to become part of a couple of critique groups. Those groups were filled with some wonderful women who helped me polish my writing and offered encouragement along the way. I originally targeted the Love Inspired line and had several requests for complete manuscripts, but each time I ended up with a rejection from them. It was discouraging, but I kept writing and submitting. When I had my spiritual crisis, I stopped writing. I stopped submitting. I was in a place where I just couldn’t face any more rejection. I set aside my writing and focused on other things. A couple of years ago I reconnected with an old critique partner. She had self-published through Amazon and told me I should look into it too. My husband also encouraged me to take up my writing again. It took me awhile to get the nerve up, but eventually I pulled out those old manuscripts and began to revise (update!) and polish them. At the end of January 2013, I published Faith, Hope & Love, and I haven’t looked back!

Q: I so appreciate authors who write Christian fiction. How long have you been writing and how many books have you published?

A: My writing journey has been kind of fractured, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve been writing in one form or another (fiction, journaling etc.) for most my adult life. To date I’ve published six books and contributed to a devotional for authors.

Q: I notice you have a series about the Karlsson Brothers. From the reviews I read, this is a popular series. Tell us about these guys and how you came up with a series about them. How many books are in the series? Do you plan to write more?

A: To be honest, when I wrote the first book (Waiting for Rachel), I never planned for it be a series. As the story unfolded and Jace was introduced into the story, I began to think about writing his story. I had already planned that Damian (the hero of book 1) would come from a family of three adopted boys, so then I just needed to flesh out the middle brother, Alex. There will only be three stories in this series, but I have discovered a love for series books! In writing the stories of these three brothers, the thing I enjoyed most was not having to say goodbye to the characters at the end of their book. Well, except when I got to the end of book 3. Lol! Being able to carry on parts of Damian and Rachel’s story into Worth the Wait was fun. And then to be able to revisit the lives of the characters of the first two books in the third, which takes place a few years in the future, was very satisfying for me. I hope the readers feel the same way!

Q: What would readers be surprised to know about you? Tell us an embarrassing situation or an unusual happening, please.

A: This question has me stumped! I try to avoid embarrassing situations at all costs. Lol In addition to writing, I enjoy baking. I don’t bake as much as I would like to because baking leads to eating, and eating sweets and such leads to…well, you know! I was first introduced to baking by my dad. He helped me bake my first pie! When I was 14 years old, 4 friends and I started up a bakery on our missionary center. Each day we would take orders and then would bake things like cookies, bread and cinnamon buns. The name of our bakery was “Dough-Dough’s Bakery” and our slogan (courtesy of my mom!) was “We knead your dough.” We each made a nice sum of money that summer. I have sold baking to help raise money for my oldest daughter’s mission’s trip to Jamaica as well as to supplement our income at varying times.

Q: Kimberly, thank you so much for being with us today and for your insightful answers. I hope our bloggers will be looking for your books. Tell us where you can be found—your website and how to reach you on Facebook or Twitter.

A: Thanks so much for the opportunity to share about myself and my books with your readers! I’m in all the usual places on the web. My website is You can like my author page at and follow me on twitter at I answer all email, so you can also write me at

Q: Thanks, and I hope I get to read more of your wonderful books.

Note from Kimberly: We will hopefully have Faith, Hope and Love available in print by the end of the year. I would be happy to donate a book for your winner!

Readers, you will love this book! I read it on my Kindle and had to keep recharging so I could keep reading! Remember to leave your email address so I can notify you if you win.
I'll announce the winner on January 26, but will email the winner on the weekend, January 24 or 25.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mona Hodgson--Interview with Wooly Rutherford Wainwright, character in first novella


The winner of last week's blog contest is Rachel from Virginia. Congratulations, Rachel! You'll be hearing from Sarah Sundin soon.
Now meet "Wooley" Rutherford Wainwright-- a character from Mona Hodgson's book, The Quilted Heart. Be sure to read to end to find out how you can enter to win a copy of this book on Mona's blog.

 "Wooley" Rutherford Wainwright is the son-in-law of Mrs. Brantenberg, who has been away in the Civil War for four years, ever since the birth of his little daughter, Gabi, and the death of his precious wife. Gabi can't understand why her PaPa has never come back to see her. As you read THE QUILTED HEART by Mona Hodgson, you might wonder about this man. I did. So here is an interview with him to learn something about his life. He is a man of few words, and he has a sorrow about him that is evident as you read his words: 

Wooley, tell us a little about yourself. What is your job?

I was a farmer, then a soldier. Now my work depends on how I am received by Mrs. Brandenberg.

How would you describe yourself?

As a disappointment.

What do you need most right now?


How do you face disappointment or hardship?

In the past I ran. I hope I can do better this time around.

What is your most important goal in life?

To reunite with my little daughter, Gabi, and be a PaPa to her.

What are you most afraid of?

That I won't be given a second chance.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go, and why?

To the day before my daughter was born. I'd like to do things differently. And right.

What do you put off because of dread, or because you just don't want to do it?

Returning to St. Charles.

What is most important to you?

To return to St. Charles and to make sure the daughter I abandoned knows how much I love her.

What do you want others to see in you?

My dependence on God for every step I take, from now on.

If you have not yet read The Quilted Heart by Mona Hodgson, you can get it and learn about Wooley and his second chance. The sweet love story of Wooley and Maren, and his precious little daughter Gabi is in the first novella, Dandelions in the Wind. All three novellas will thrill you as you read about three women in the town of St.Charles. The women are of different nationalities with different customs but they are tied together because of a love of quilting. In Bending Toward the Sun and Ripples Along the Shore you will meet other beloved characters, all friends, some of whom are making their plans to go to West on a Wagon Train.

BlurbThe Quilted Heart OmnibusLike a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.
Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

Dandelions on the Wind 
Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg'’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gab'i’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?
Bending Toward the Sun Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie'’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?
Ripples Along the Shore Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline'’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her, ­a single woman, ­to travel with them, will one man'’s prejudice destroy Caroline’'s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

Click here to pre-order your paperback or eBook copy of The Quilted Heart. (

Comment on Mona Hodgson Author Page [] before Friday,, January 31st to enter the BLOG TOUR DRAWING for one of three signed copies of The Quilted Heart. Which blog did you visit and comment on? You can enter once for each Blog Tour Drawing blog you visit and comment on.


Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Prairie Song, Book 1 in her Hearts Seeking Home Series. Her children’s books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books.

Mona’'s writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women’'s groups, Christian women’s retreats, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians.

Mona Prairie Song, Book 1 in the Hearts Seeking Home Series (WaterBrook Press/Random House) NEW!The Quilted Heart Omnibus (Pre-Order for January 21st Release) The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meet Sarah Sundin, author of novels set during World War II

Juanita: Hello, Sarah, I’m looking forward to our visit today and to getting to know you better. First, will you tell us where you grew up and where you live now? Also, tell us a little about yourself and your family.

Sarah: I grew up in southern California and now live in northern California. My husband and I have three children—two in college and one in high school.

Juanita: I noticed from your website that books were important to you as you were growing up. I think you said “Our house was wallpapered in books.” That’s a great way to grow up. What were some of your favorite books when you were a little girl and a teen-ager?

Sarah: I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. The Little House on the Prairie books were particular favorites, as were the Betsy, Tacy, and Tib books.

Juanita: Now will you tell us about your spiritual heritage? I know you are a Christian because of your testimony on your website and the things you do. When you began writing, what impressed you to write from a Christian perspective?

Sarah: I write from a Christian perspective because I can’t imagine writing from any other. The Lord is active in my life, and I see Him at work all around me. To write stories omitting Him wouldn’t be true to reality.

Juanita: That’s a great testimony, Sarah, one I love to hear. I just finished reading On Distant Shores and the main character was an Army Pharmacist. I also notice you have a Doctors’ degree in pharmacy. Please tell us about this direction in your life and what inspired you to write about this medical field, along with placing it in the time frame of World War II?

Sarah: Starting in sixth grade, I fell in love with science and knew I wanted to use science to help people, which led me into pharmacy. I never seriously considered becoming a writer—but God had other ideas! However, my scientific and health care training has ended up being very useful to me as a writer. I’ve been able to decipher technical pilot manuals and write authentically about Army hospitals, nurses, and health care. My husband (also a pharmacist) kept bugging me to write about a pharmacist. My research turned up very little about pharmacy in the military during the war…but when I finally found some sources, what I learned fascinated me—and inspired On Distant Shores.

Juanita: I notice a lot of World War II history is included in your writing. Are most of your books set during this time period? What impelled you to get into this part of history and devote so much time to it?

Sarah: As of now, all my novels are set in World War II, including a future contracted series. I find it such an intriguing time period with an unlimited supply of stories. Part of the appeal is how ordinary men learned they could do extraordinary things, and how women tried on new roles while remaining ladies.

Juanita: You are also a Sunday School teacher and a leader in Women’s studies. I do these things, too. Can you tell us how long you’ve been doing this and which authors you prefer to study with the ladies you teach?

Sarah: I’ve been teaching Sunday school since 2002 and women’s Bible studies since 2003. I’ve enjoyed learning from Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and many others. Our church women’s ministries uses a combination of video-driven studies from established teachers like these, but we’ve also recently begun using our own material. We have an excellent teaching team of about a dozen extremely talented ladies. We rotate teaching throughout the quarter, write our own lectures, and develop the discussion questions. The teachers like this because we get to teach from our personal study and what God lays on our hearts—but we only have to put together a handful of lectures each year. And the women love the variety of teaching styles and focuses.

Juanita: That sounds like something I would love to be a part of. I like the lecture format, too, and I just finished writing a Bible study about ordinary people in the Old Testament, that I will teach in January at our church. How long have you been writing and how many books have you authored? Are all of them still in print?

Sarah: I’ve been writing since 2000, and my first novel (A Distant Melody) was published in 2010. I have five books published right now (all still in print), two more coming in 2014, and then another three-book series after that.

Juanita: If one wanted to read a book just to get to know you and your style of writing, which one of your books would you recommend that we start with?

Sarah: I’d suggest either A Distant Melody (Book 1 in the Wings of Glory series) or With Every Letter (Book 1 in the Wings of the Nightingale series). However, all the novels do stand alone, so if another story particularly appeals, start there.

Juanita: I also noticed that you place a lot of importance on belonging to writers’ groups and studying the craft of writing. What advice would you give a beginning writer in this respect?

Sarah: If you’re writing for the Christian market, I strongly recommend joining American Christian Fiction Writers. There are email loops, free courses for members, online critique groups, and an excellent yearly conference. I love this group. Also look for writers’ conferences, which are great ways to learn gobs of material, meet other writers, and get connected in the industry. A good conference is worth every penny. I joke that I’m “addicted” to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference—I need my yearly dose! (That’s a pharmacist joke).

Juanita: Do you have any more “words of wisdom” for our blog readers this week?

Sarah: If you have a dream on your heart, take advantage of the spirit of the New Year. Pray about this dream, and if it’s something God wants you to do, pray He’ll give you the courage, discipline, and wisdom to bring it to pass.

Juanita: Thanks so much for being a guest today and for introducing us to your books. I love books set during the 1940’s and 1950’s and many of our blog readers do, too.

Sarah: Thank you so much for having me!


Readers, be sure to leave your comment and email address so your name can be added to the list of those who qualify to receive a free copy of On Distant Shores.
If you have problems signing on here, you can send me an email (mjnobles at charter dot net) or find me or Sarah on Facebook and comment there.