Life and Love With Cheryl Wyatt at the Mine

Hello, Cheryl. Let me first welcome you to the Diamond Mine. I’m so glad you’re here…even if this interview has been a challenge between forgotten and lost emails. (For those who may not know, I recently moved back to Wyoming and most of my office is still in boxes. I’m so happy to be under a real roof and have internet!) Anyway, ma’am, thank you for your patience! Let the games begin…
 
***GIVEAWAY via RAFFLECOPTER***
 
 
 
The Nurse’s Secret Suitor (Eagle Point Emergency series) from Love Inspired Books
(See book and giveaway details following the interview)
 
Renee: I love your writing. With all the genres to choose from, what led you to lean toward military fiction?
Cheryl: My military stories happened to be the first ones to get contracted. I mostly write about rescuers, military or otherwise. Most of the military characters I write about are either in Search-and-Rescue or are medical in nature. My nursing background comes in handy and also that I have a lot of friends and family who were or are in various branches of the military.
Renee: Do you have a favorite character of one of your stories? What makes him or her so special?
Cheryl: Wow, this is so hard to choose. I love all of my characters but I’m usually partial to the one I’m currently writing. There is a really fun secondary character named Memaw from my Coast Guard series from Redbud Press who makes me laugh a lot. I’d say she’s my favorite currently.
Renee: Oh, I believe joy’s necessary for survival. I think it’s so cool you have characters like that. Humor makes a book a lot of fun to read. Is that something you try to do all the time?
Cheryl: I try to incorporate laughter in every book.

I strive to inspire and encourage.   (Tweet this)   Tweet: I strive to inspire and encourage. #author #diamond #christlit http://ctt.ec/sQ1AT+

Laughter is good medicine for the spirit and life is so very tough sometimes that people need to be able to laugh. I hope my words provide that gift for people.
Renee:Well, speaking of books, do you have anything releasing soon for the readers?
Cheryl: I have several books releasing in the next few months from three different publishers and more books in the que from my original publisher. Coming in November is Out of the Flames, a Haven Bay Heroes prequel that will be FREE from Redbud Press for folks who sign up for their newsletter. In December I have A Refuge Christmas releasing from Inspy Kisses in the novella collection. In February from HarperCollins Christian Publishing comes Serving Up a Sweetheart, a February Bride story from Zondervan’s Second Year of Weddings series. In March comes book one in Haven Bay Heroes, titled Out of the Deep. Visit my website for more information on releases and purchase links or to sign up for my newsletter for new release news and goodies exclusive to subscribers at: www.cherylwyatt.com.




Here’s the blurb for Out of the Flames. Remember this is FREE for anyone who signs up for Redbud Press’s newsletter.
 
Coast Guard fire chief Scotty Cohen learned his lesson when one careless moment on the job cost his best friend his life. So he heads for Haven Bay, Florida, ready to start again. And this time? No distractions allowed.
Enter conservationist Lilah McLaughlin—that woman is one major distraction. How is he supposed to ignore her when the marine wildlife rescue center is right next door to the Coast Guard facility—and when she proceeds to break down every wall he’s put up?
Then the unthinkable happens, and Scotty must decide: give up Lilah or give up his calling. Whatever choice he makes means he’ll get burned all over again…
Renee:Whoa! You’ve been a busy beaver. How do you do it? I can barely keep up with the schedule I keep and only have one or two books in the works. Has your life changed now that you’re a “multi-published” author?
Cheryl: I think people have a lot of misconceptions about authors in general. One is that people think we make a ton of money. I actually made way more money working as an RN. LOL! Another thing is that being a writer is such a blessing but it stretches me in the sense of it’s not a very hidden gift, like say prayer would be. You have to put yourself out there and being shy, I’d rather operate in obscurity. On the other hand, I love being able to make myself accessible to readers online, to pray for them and encourage them and let them know how much I appreciate their readership.
Renee: You know, you’re so right. Many writers start their career in the recesses of their home and after publication, are thrown into the spotlight, so to speak. It’s a challenge, especially for a little girl who used to hide in corners. (I’m not mentioning any names here!) Pharmacy helped me overcome a lot of my shyness, but I have to admit, there are times I’d run if given the choice. Still, it seems like every author has a literal nook or cranny where he writes…and a cat that walks all over his keyboard. Do you have a special place?
Cheryl: My recliner in our family room because it’s nearest the fireplace. I like to write with the fire crackling. It’s also by the window and I love being able to look out and see wildlife or hear the rain pattering against the window as I write.
Renee: I have a recliner too! Not a fireplace anymore but my chair is right next to a window where I can see the hummingbirds. I’m sure I’ll watch the first snowflakes of winter float down as well. If you could tell a reader one thing before she cracked open the cover of one of your incredible books, what would it be and why?
Cheryl: Don’t hold mistakes against me or my publisher. LOL! No author is perfect and I hope they find the story worth their time and while.
Renee: Oh, I agree so much. And in this day and age, it’s expected. After all, so many are publishing at the touch of a button. By the way, what do you think of social media? Is it a benefit or hindrance to the publishing world today?
Cheryl: I LOVE being able to market digitally. I have a busy family life, and it is a blessing to be able to market on social media from home or wherever we happen to be that week. It would be difficult if I had to travel a ton for book signings or book events. I left one career to stay home with my children and I want to spend as much time nurturing and training and loving on them as I can. Social media enables me to do that as well as connect with my readers. I consider that a huge blessing and benefit.
Renee: I’m getting better but I still have a lot to learn! Thanks for stopping by the Diamond Mine, Cheryl. It’s been an honor and a joy to have you here.
***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***
 
Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge—except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won’t take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend’s brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she’s always hoped to unmask? 
 
Eagle Point Emergency:  Saving lives—and losing their hearts— in a small Illinois town
 
 
***ENTER VIA RAFFLECOPTER BELOW***


About the Author:

Multi-award-winning author Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue for the Christian market. A busy mom, wife, humanitarian RN and orphan advocate, joyful chaos rules her home and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room.

She loves her readers and cherishes interaction with them at: https://www.facebook.com/CherylWyattAuthor.
Join her newsletter for goodies exclusive to subscribers via her website: www.cherylwyatt.com.
She provides encouragement and writing prompts for aspiring authors at: https://twitter.com/cherylwyatt.

RWDDW!!! (Rappin’ with Diane Dean White!!!)

HFAWTTDM!!! Translation: Hi folks and welcome to the Diamond Mine!!!

Today we welcome, Diane Dean White, hailing from the SS, text for the Sunshine State, and me hollering from the HH, or rather the Hoosier Homeland.  Thankfully, I won’t have to strain my voice, thanks to modern technology!  Which is exactly how I met my friend, DDW. BTW, AWHFY? (By the way, are we having fun yet?)  I think so. C&G (Chuckle and grin.)

By now you’re thinking, okay, seriously, what’s with the acronyms that I usually save for a quick text?  So glad you asked!!!!  Diane’s new book is entitled, Texting Mr. Right!!!  I love it.  Mixing in the cutting edge new, with the classic romance, ‘happily ever after,’ ending that’s timeless!  What could be better?! Less acronyms, perhaps?! LOL Not a chance! However, YAFIYGI! (You asked for it, you got it!) Author and friend, Diane Dean White! LLOTA (Lots and lots of thunderous applause.)

PT:  Welcome Diane!  So glad to have you! I’ll try to tamp down the texting, but it will be difficult.  But I can’t tamp down my excitement of your new book, Texting Mr. Right.  What exactly lit the flame of your new novel?

DDW:  LOL~Well, I’ve wanted to do a book about Michigan and a publisher who was doing novellas was interested.  I thought the title was good.  My problem is I don’t text!  Thus, the texting abbreviations were eliminated and the normal reader could understand.

PT:  Yes, Yes. I hear echoes of dissatisfaction with just my intro. But, TTGBTW. (Time to get back to work.)  I noticed Michigan is the backdrop for this book. What’s been your favorite location to set a story?

DDW:  The location for, Texting Mr. Right, was primarily set at my parent’s cottage on Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan.  I haven’t been back for a number of years, but spent so much time there it wasn’t difficult to picture.  A favorite location in my books is, This Side of Heaven, coming out next year.  It takes place in rural Georgia, where we lived for several years.

PT: I know you collect glassware and enjoy beautiful tea settings.  Do some of these favorite things find their way into your writing?

DDW:  Very few thus far have made their way into my writing.  Since I enjoy antiques, it’s been hard with contemporary settings to use them.  In, This Side of Heaven, my main character decorates her ancestral home, and I’m able to use some collectibles and tea cups in that novel.  I think my china/glass slipper collections makes its way into a scene.

PT:  Usually you write romance with a touch of mystery or suspense.  Why did you choose to go strictly romance for this one?

DDW:  In, This Side of Heaven, I have a lot of romance, but equally a running mystery.  I enjoyed writing romance, and thought a book strictly with romance would be fun.  It was and yet I had to create a distraction, thus the lime disease scare in Traverse City was developed.  There’s just so much romance you can do.

PT:  First and foremost, we are witnesses for JC! (Jesus Christ)  What do you think has been your most influential form of showing Jesus to others?

DDW:  Sharing the plan of salvation makes its way into most of my books.  However, as Christians, I also show weaknesses that with God’s help. can be made right.  The reality of harboring a deep fear, grudge, or running from God, that some people deal with is faced; and with faith, trust in our Lord, redemption is always possible. All things are with God.

PT:  Wow! That is 2G2B4G!!! (Too good to be forgotten!!!) Well said, and so true. Now, what’s next for DDW?

DDW:  My book, Winter Wonderland, to be released soon, is a sweet Christian, Christmas 50’s romance, with a lot of history as well as a focus on Christ, the Salvation plan, and helping others.

PT:  ICW!  (I can’t wait!) Thanks for joining us today, Diane!

DDW:  I’m glad you invited me to stop by and share more about, Texting Mr. Right.  I’ve enjoyed your blog and appreciate you having me, Peggy. J

PT: No, Diane, 10Q! (thank you!)

 Don’t miss it, readers! You can win a free copy of, Texting Mr. Right!  Leave a comment below with your email address to enter! 
 



Diane’s Bio: Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her book On a Summer Night was released in October and her ebook, Stories from a Porch Swing in April. Texting Mr. Right was released September 1 of this year, and her Christmas novella, Winter Wonderland will be out the end of October. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-two years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

Catch up with this Diane Dean White here:
http://simplepleasureswithdiane.weebly.com/

 
Texting Mr. Right, available on Amazon and B&N booksellers.




 

This week, Dawn M. Turner joins us at the Mine!




Good morning Dawn. We’re glad to have you at the Mine this week.

 
Thanks for inviting me for a visit. 🙂
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a full-time writer, married 21 years this past July to a wonderful Christian man, and “mom” to two dogs, 2 cockatiels, a budgie, a guinea pig, and 3 hens. I spend a lot of time writing, but I also enjoy deeply researching topics that grab my interest, especially science- and medicine-related ones. God’s creation, in all its many facets, never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I also love photography, scrapbooking, crochet, and spinning my own yarn from wool and alpaca.
I’m currently working on multiple writing projects, all but two of which are fiction. One of my latest releases is entitled ‘In God’s Time.’ It won the Contemporary Romance category, as well as the Grand Prize, in the Writers On The Storm Category Five writing competition in 2011 (my hubby’s fault, I tell him). Here’s the back cover blurb for it:
All things come in God’s time, including love.
Tara Whitman has a big problem. She’s in love with her best friend, and it’s getting harder to hide it from him. She fears the truth will destroy a friendship she holds dear, even as she battles jealousy toward the string of leggy blondes that parade through Jack’s life.
Jack Carlton spends his free time at one social event or another with the latest woman he dates to protect a huge secret he’s keeping from Tara – he’s in love with her, has been for years. Haunted by the memory of a kiss shared in their teens, he doesn’t want to endanger their friendship. Yet the thought of her kissing someone else drives him to distraction if he lets himself dwell on it.
(Available for giveaway – autographed paperback copy of IGT.)
What Genre(s) do you write?
 
Mostly contemporary romance, or anything that contains romance. Romance is definitely my favorite genre to work with, whether alone or combined with suspense, in full or just a suspense twist. I’ve done a couple of Women’s Fiction books, one novella that’s currently available, and a novel that’s not yet published. Even those have a romantic thread through them. I mean, how can you write about husbands and wives and not have romance? I also enjoy writing fantasy, medieval style in a world I’ve created. I publish those as D.M. Turner versus my contemporary work being under Dawn M. Turner, so fans don’t get confused.
What made you decide to be a writer?
God called me to it. I’ve known that for a very long time, and I fought it nearly that long. I’ve always had a love of words, and I express myself better in writing than I do verbally. I inherited that from my dad, I think. I had a bad experience in high school with a teacher who discouraged me from writing. That traumatized me sufficiently that I stopped writing creatively altogether. Then a college English teacher wouldn’t let me out of a short story assignment, no matter how hard I tried to convince her it was pointless because I was a horrible writer, per the other teacher. She loved my story and encouraged me to keep writing. I did for a couple of decades but didn’t let anyone but my mother read my stuff until 2011, when my hubby talked me into entering a writing competition. To my profound shock, I won. At that point, I realized, no matter what anyone else had ever said, God had made it abundantly clear what He wanted me to do and there’s no arguing with Him. I’ve tried.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered concerning getting published?
Honestly, the biggest hurdle was a result of talking with other authors who had taken years to get contracts only to have editors with publishing houses rip the heart out of their stories and go to great lengths at times to try to make them all sound the same as everyone else. I’m willing to work with a good editor, but when it comes to keeping the integrity of my stories intact and honoring the characters, I see that as a hill worth dying on, as a friend would say. I won’t compromise some things. Knowing those two things had me praying hard about what agents and publishers to query. While I kept praying and waited for an answer, I kept writing. God’s answer was “Go indie.” Scared me to death, the idea of being responsible for everything myself, but it’s actually been a (usually) fun adventure.
Could you tell us what your favorite manuscript is, and why?
 
I love different stories and series for different reasons, but I think Promisesis probably my all-time favorite. Wes is a hero after my own heart, and Terry is so hurt by a broken world. I identify with her in some ways, yet she’s so different from me in others. Those two as a couple have a special place in my heart, too, because of all my characters, they’ve been with me almost longer than anyone. I wrote the start of their story before I met my husband and continued working on it after we got married. It went through a good number of edits before I published it in 2013.
What books do you have in the works and when can we expect them?
In editing, I’ve got the final two books in the Donovan Legacy series to go. Those books are about the lives and loves of the children of Wes and Terry from Promises(and their follow-up story, Beyond Hope).
In writing, I’m working on a new romance series, with 2 books completed, 3 partially written, and 1 still to start. The series is entitled Mysterious Ways, because each book is about the many ways that God confronts challenges we often throw at Him. The first three books in the series all stem from a conversation the heroes have about how they don’t want to get married. Each of them presents their own challenge to God, not even thinking God would do such things.
What person in your life would you say had/has the biggest influence on your writing?
 
My husband actually. Though he’s not a writer, and he hates to read (go figure), he’s been an avid supporter of my work, even when it looked like I’d never do anything with it. He encouraged and supported me in online participation with writers groups, classes I’ve taken over the years to help my writing, and anything else writing-related. He’s also supported me as a reader, despite the fact that’s meant living at times buried in books. He makes jokes about my “crazy writer friends” and all of our “imaginary friends,” but he’s never failed to encourage and support me on this wacky journey I’ve taken. Without him, I don’t think I’d be writing today.
What author do you aspire to be like?
 
I can’t really say I aspire to be “like” anyone else. I’m simply me. Unique as God made me. My writing style is different from everyone else. My author voice is different from everyone else. My path is different in so many ways. There’s a host of authors whose work I absolutely love, but I don’t want to emulate them except in the quality of my work.
What author do you like to read, and why?
 
Wow. Big question. I love the work of so many authors – Janice Hanna Thompson, Colleen Coble, Terri Blackstock, Karen Kingsbury, Dee Henderson (whose work introduced me to Christian fiction), Lynette Eason, Candace Calvert, Michelle Sutton, Denise Hunter, and so many other authors of Christian fiction. I also enjoy sweet romances by Joselyn Vaughn, which I only discovered recently. I also love the ABA urban fantasy novels by Patricia Briggs. The main thing I look for is well-developed characters. If a book has those and an interesting storyline, I’m hooked. Those authors never fail to grab me and make me laugh, cry, or both.
What do you find the most difficult about being a writer?
 
Staying focused at times. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us all the time, and sometimes I’m supposed to ignore those and just keep working. Other times, they need my attention. Sometimes it’s hard to be sure which is which and not waste time on the ones I should ignore. Also, I’m a prolific writer, and I tend to have high expectations for myself. That’s been a challenge, too, turning those expectations over to God and setting the goals He has me to set. He’s an easier taskmaster for me than I am. He plans ahead for the curve balls.
Thanks so much for the interview, Dawn. We loved having you. J
Listed below are some links to Dawn:

Interview with Sally Bradley and a giveaway!

I’m so excited to welcome author Sally Bradley to the Diamond Mine today. I recently read her novel Kept, and loved it! Make sure you leave a comment to enter to win your very own copy of this amazing novel. And with this amazing cover, how can you not be intrigued?


Sally, can you tell the readers a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I always say Chicago since I grew up in the suburbs. My family and I live in the Kansas City area now, but Chicago is still home, and despite the insane taxes, traffic, and politics, we love going back.


When did you first fall in love with writing?
I remember wanting to write as young as nine. I think I wrote my first story then, something about toys that came alive at night. Really original stuff. 🙂

I love your tagline– Big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. It seems like big cities are a little neglected in fiction right now as there are lots of stories set in small towns. How important do you think setting is when writing a novel?
Up until this book, setting wasn’t a huge deal to me. But with this story, setting really played a significant role. It affected everything–my characters’ choices, the plot, the climax. There isn’t anything that isn’t affected by the setting. My heroine’s whole plot is based on how she feels about the setting. So now… yes, setting is very important to me and can really take a story and bring it to life that much more.

Is Kept the first book you wrote?
No, it’s the third adult novel I’ve written, my seventh overall. The first five will never see daylight. 🙂

I have a couple of those myself. 🙂 But then, as a writer, you have other stories you just know were meant to be published. How/why did you decide to Indie publish?
I’d been praying about it for a couple years, and the CBA doors were firmly shut. Kept just wasn’t the safe read that CBA seems to want right now. But I believed completely in the story–in the quality of it and the need for it–so I made the decision to take all the risk myself, and I’m so not regretting that. I’ll definitely continue to publish this way until God makes it clear to do otherwise.

What advice do you have for new writers?
Read quality fiction only. As you grow as a writer, you’ll notice things other writers are doing incorrectly or poorly. Stop reading them and try new writers who write exceptionally. You’ll pick up a lot of technique that way. Plus it’s more fun!


That’s great advice! I think writers should always make time to read. Do you have any other projects in the works?
Sort of. I’m debating which of three ideas is next. I’d love to do a few sequels to Kept, but I don’t have a solid story down yet. But writing begins again next month, so I better figure that out soon!

Read on to see what Kept is all about, then make sure to leave a comment for Sally to be entered to win a copy of her book. Make sure you leave an email or some contact information to be notified of your win.

Kept
“Gutsy and fast-paced.”—Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning

“One of the most surprising and best books I’ve read this year.”—MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.

Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.

When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they still get back to Chicago once in a while for important things—like good pizza and a White Sox game. Fiction has been her passion since childhood, and she’s thrilled now to be writing books that not only entertain, but point back to Christ. Kept is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Interview and Giveaway with Amryn Cross!!

Love won’t save her. U.S Marshals can’t contain her. Death will not stop her.

 

         Today on the Diamond Mine, I’ll be interviewing one of our group members, Amory Cannon, whose pen name is Amryn Cross. Her debut novel, Learning To Die debuted this month, and we’re all so excited for her! She’s woven a compelling suspense story with an intense romance between two strong-willed characters. Quite an exciting read!  I highly recommend it! After the interview, leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered for a free copy of this wonderful story in either e-book or print copy, whichever you prefer.

Now for our interview!

What was the first thing you remember writing?
 
When I was in elementary school, I wrote lots of little stories about puppy love and girls doing things that only boys do—like joining the football team. The first thing of any length I remember writing was a fan fiction of sorts based on the characters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
 
One of my favorite books, too! So, when did you decide to write fiction novels?
 
I began writing my first novel in November 2011 for National Novel Writing Month. It was an experiment for me, coming up with all original characters and starting to weave my love of writing with my love of forensic science. I learned a lot during that process, and it only solidified my decision to commit to writing.
 
I’m glad you did! What genre or genres do you write?
 
My main genre is romantic suspense, which is where my debut novel fits, but I’m also delving into young adult as well. Eventually, I’d like to write a book that’s strictly romance, but that’s a way off for me at this point.
 
How do your story ideas come to you?
 
It varies from book to book. Sometimes it’s an idea for a specific scene that just grows into something more. I have been inspired by certain TV shows and books, but my favorite is when I read or hear a certain phrase and it sparks an entire plot. Music is a big one for me for this reason. A line or two of lyrics can carry me a long way. For that reason, I make playlists for each story I write.
 
I also use music as inspiration. When I write a historical novel, I listen to music that fits the time. 
Do you use outlines, or write the plot as you go?
 
I sort of fall in between. I like to have a vague outline since it’s important in my genre to know the crime that’s committed and the timeline of when the characters figure out what clues. Major external events tend to be the cornerstone of my outlines, but I don’t plan my characters reactions to those events. I let them develop naturally, and that sometimes leads to additional scenes I hadn’t planned on.
 
They take on a life of their own, don’t they? So, is this debut novel the first one you wrote?
 
Actually, no. Learning to Die was originally intended to be a sequel to the first novel I wrote. However, the more I learned about writing, the more I realized that first novel needed a lot of work and maybe would never be published. This story had more potential, and I’d already fallen in love with the characters, so I decided to put my effort into getting Kate’s story published.
 
How much of yourself is in your characters?
 
I love this question. In this book, I don’t think there’s much of me in Kate or Graham. Actually, it was a bit difficult to get Kate right in the beginning because I’m not very much like her. But I did connect with her because there are a lot of people I know in her. She’s real and she’s broken, and on the most basic level, I think we’ve all been there. In other books, however, I’ve put a lot of myself into characters. In a novella series I’m working on for next year, the main character is basically me turning off my filter and writing. It’s a lot of fun!
 
Do you ever hit difficult spots or get derailed in your stories, and if so, how do you get past this?
 
This does happen to me from time to time, but I’ve found the best way to get past this is to be willing to skip around. I don’t always write chronologically. In fact, for the first novella in the next series I’m working on, I wrote it backwards! I break my story down into scenes, and if one scene isn’t cooperating, I’ll move on to one that I have a clearer picture of. Sometimes I have to go back and change things when I tie all the scenes together, but it does usually break me out of writer’s block or a rut.
 
What do you like best about writing?
 
This is tough to narrow down, but I really think it’s figuring out what makes people tick. My stories are very character driven for that reason. I’m not just interested in what someone does, but why they do that. I love complicated characters because we all lead complicated lives. I want to write stories that make people think about their actions and relate to the character.
 
What effect do you hope your writing has on the reader?
 
Ultimately, I hope my writing glorifies God. I want to tell a good story, to make a reader laugh or cry, but the purpose is to use the little things in the book to point people to Him. From Learning to Die specifically, I hope readers will realize that God really does work in all things, and that you’re never too far that He can’t love you.
 
That’s a beautiful message. 
What are you working on now?
 
I’m in the process of editing the first novella in my East Wind series (which you can find out more about at http://theeastwind.amryncross.com), which will hopefully release in January next year. It’s about a former military man who’s forced into medical retirement and somehow ends up solving crimes with this crazy but brilliant consulting detective—Alexandria Holst. Each novella follows the two of them through one of their cases. Very much based on several adaptations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson… especially the modern BBC version.
I’m also finishing up my young adult novel The Broken Crown, which I also hope to release next year. It follows a young princess, Emilia, in a fictional world where Christianity has been outlawed, and even her own mother—the queen—was not safe from execution because of it. Finding the strength to save the Insurgos Christians means a choice between the life Emilia was born for and the one God called her to. Both of which could mean death. I can’t wait to share this book with my readers!
Another one of your books to look forward to! Thanks so much for this interview!
Now for an excerpt from Learning to Die:
“I’m here to protect you.” His eyes changed, softened maybe, and the white haze that usually preceded a flashback edged her vision. No. Not now.

His hand twitched as he made a move for his pocket. Reflex took over as her muscles coiled in anticipation. Her right hand flew forward in a well-practiced uppercut, aiming for the sweet spot under his chin.

Though she had surprise on her side, he was much stronger and anticipated her move. Her fist never made contact. Instead, his hand wrapped tightly around her wrist and twisted her until her back slammed up against the wall with her right hand over her head, the muscles in her shoulder aching in protest. He reached for her left hand and raised it until he held both wrists, in one hand, above her head.

Her chest heaved with adrenaline. Self-preservation coursed through her gut, and if it came to fighting for her life or the lives of her friends, she would not hold it back.

His face was mere inches from hers now, his breath on her cheek. Involuntary shivers tingled her spine. If only she’d grabbed her gun before she stepped into the hallway.

“I said I’m here to protect you… even from yourself.” The words ghosted over her as he lowered his lips to her ear and brushed them against her skin. She imagined if anyone bothered to look at the security cameras right now, they’d appear more like a pair of lovers than two enemies in a stalemate. There didn’t seem to be much of a line between the two at the moment, as confusion and attraction waged a war in the pit of her stomach. He wasn’t as unaffected as he’d like her to think — she could see his pulse thrumming in his neck.

He looked down to his left, and her eyes followed his movement. When he went for his pocket again, she didn’t fight. Instead of a weapon, he raised his hand to present a badge directly in front of her face.

Lying inside a black flip wallet, the badge resembled a gold circle with a star inside it, the words “United States Marshal” around the outside. Opposite the badge, she read the credential card that introduced her attacker as Graham Shepherd, Senior Deputy U.S. Marshal, Inspector. She looked back and forth from the picture on the card to the man in front of her. The eyes left no doubt it was the same man.

Now, here’s a short author bio:
Amryn Cross is a forensic scientist and author of romantic suspense novels. As a lover of college football, Shakespeare, superheroes, and travelling, she is drawn to complex characters who aren’t always what they seem. Her novels are character-driven stories of people who face down some of life’s darkest moments and learn to reconcile that darkness with God’s light. She refers to these as “between the shadow and the soul” moments. Amryn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy. You can connect with Amryn on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
 
Here are the buy links:
 
Remember to leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a copy of the book!
 
 
 
 

V.B. Tenery: A Diamond of Christian Suspense

 
 
GIVEAWAY!!!
Kindle Copy of Dead Ringer
Leave a comment to enter!
 
Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Virginia. I’m so happy you’re here! As you know, the Mine digs into the wells of Christian Fiction and searches for those gems. I already know you write awesome suspense. And I see you’ve had a new release this year. Can you tell a little bit about it?
Dead Ringer was released in May and is an inspirational romantic suspense. The story follows Mercy Lawrence who is identified as a notorious missing model, Traci Wallace, by airport facial identification software. Traci’s husband is convinced she is his missing wife who deserted him and their ill son. He takes Mercy to a private island to care for the boy, and that’s when the action begins.
I remember tasting a bit of your stories on the crit loop for ACFW. Talk about suspense and intrigue. It makes me want to dig into this one right now! Do you think we can give the readers a bit of a peek?
1
Hamilton, Bermuda Friday, May 5 
Mercy Lawrence wouldn’t have noticed the large man standing by the silver Mercedes except for the way he was dressed. Unlike the tourists on the sidewalk, he wore a light gray business suit and tie. Sunglasses hid the upper portion of his face, and the grim set of his mouth detracted from his otherwise handsome appearance. He stood beside the car’s open back door, arms crossed as if waiting for someone.
Not wanting to stare, she tore her gaze away. In jeans, T-shirt, and sandals, she blended easily into the vacationers along the boulevard. She’d spent the last five months in this wonderful country, recuperating from a head injury. Most of her memory remained intact after the accident, but dark recesses still refused to reveal their mystery.
But tomorrow, like a good soldier, she would return to Houston and report to her new job at Sabine Oil, the fulfillment of a goal she’d worked towards for the past six years.
The city’s main drag ran four lanes wide with a palm-tree-lined median, the sea on one side, shops and hotels on the other. A soft wind filled the air with the scent of sea kelp and brine, mixed with a light floral fragrance from the purple bougainvilleas hanging on the walls along the walkway. Seagulls swept low over the water, looking out past the rolling surf for lunch.
She shook her hair loose from the confines of its ponytail clip and turned her face to the balmy sunshine—mainlining vitamin D. Her path took her within four feet of the parked car.
The man moved onto the sidewalk and grabbed her arm. “Having fun, are we?‛
He spoke with a slight Scottish burr, the strange question more an accusation than a greeting.
She tried to jerk her arm away. “Let go of my arm.”
 His grip tightened. “I’ll just bet you’ve been living it up.” His voice was harsh, his jaw tight. No one intervened. Casual observers would think she knew him. One hand locked on her arm, he shoved her into the backseat, slid in beside her, and slammed the door. His movements were so quick, so smooth, she had no time to struggle, no time to scream or put up a fight.
She swallowed the lump in her throat choking off oxygen. Women disappeared all too often on foreign soil, never seen or heard from again. “Who are you? What do you think you’re doing? Let me out. Now!”
 He ignored her protests and leaned forward in the seat. “Airport, Fergus.”
 Blood pounded a persistent rhythm in her ears. He couldn’t be police. They had to tell one the charges before making an arrest. Besides, she’d done nothing wrong. Her heart skipped a beat. She wanted to run, but it was too late for that. Pivoting towards him, she drew back her arm and aimed the heel of her hand for an upward thrust under his nose. The move from a seated position lacked the needed momentum.
He blocked the blow, slamming her back against the seat with a forearm of steel across her chest. “You dropped off the map six months ago. To do what, find yourself?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She squeezed her eyes shut. This couldn’t be happening. “This is kidnapping. My name is Mercy Lawrence and people are expecting me back at my bungalow.” She struggled against the vise-like grip, slapping at his hand.
“Stop it, and cut the crap, Traci, or I’ll slap you back. Taking a wife, a mother, home to the son she abandoned is not kidnapping.  Besides, you’re not a kid.”
See what I mean, folks? I love it, V! This one will have to join my collection. Anyone else agree? It may inspire me to write a story about kidnapping a bride. Just kidding.
Speaking of that…how do you find inspiration for your stories?
I’m never sure where my story inspirations come from. Some from new headlines, some from observing human nature, good and bad.
Is there anything in particular you wish someone to receive from your writing?
I write to inspire and entertain readers. When the reader finishes one of my novels I would like them to feel it was time well spent and feel good about the experience.
Your books are full of twists and intrigue. I love to read them and they entertain me. In fact, a person would love to read them for the excitement alone! But what’s unique about them? What’s one thing all of your books have in common?
There’s a thread of forgiveness in most of my stories not only of others but of one’s self, and of staying strong in the face of adversity. I also use biblical symbolism in some of my stories. 
That’s awesome. I think I love that the most about your books. You truly are a terrific person and author. Do you have special events planned surrounding the release of your title?
Since this was published earlier in the year most of my promotions have been done. But I still buy advertising and promote on Facebook from time to time.
And a few blogs here and there, huh? I guess every little thing helps! What’s your biggest challenge in writing?
At the moment its finding time to write. Promotion is a big part of a writer’s life today. I once thought when I became published I could sit back and relax. Wrong. I’m busier than I’ve ever been.
I have to agree with you and I haven’t even published my book yet! Of course, my job takes up a lot of my time too. As a reader, what do we have to look forward to? What’s in the works?
I have just published an Indie novel this month, the second book in the Matt Foley/Sara Bradford romantic suspense series. I also have another novel with the Pelican book group, The Watchman that releases in a couple of weeks on October 3rd.
Awesome! I can’t wait. Anyone else agree? Well, I believe we have another diamond to add to our collection…V.B. Tenery!
 
 
About the Book:
 
Bermuda airport facial recognition software has identified her as missing runway star, Traci Wallace. Despite Mercy’s protests, Traci’s husband, ex-CIA agent Thomas Wallace, is convinced Mercy is the mother of his ill six-year-old son. With only his son’s welfare in mind, he abducts Mercy and takes her to a private island to care for the boy.
But Mercy soon discovers there are men much more dangerous than a father desperate to save his son. Her doppelganger has made deadly enemies—a relentless team of killers who now want her dead.
When Thomas is lured into a covert mission to rescue a CIA asset and uncover a government mole, Mercy is left isolated and alone—and Thomas finds himself stranded on foreign soil with a compromised mission and a wounded agent. Fighting against a rogue nation’s timetable for launching a nuclear strike, he has to escape Saudi Arabia alive and rescue Mercy and his son before assassins finish the job they started.
 
About the Author:
 
Author V. B. Tenery lives with her family in East Texas. Her passion is writing books with shining characters and settings with plots so exciting readers come away feeling delighted with the experience. Not content to stay in one genre, her novels range from contemporary suspense and supernatural suspense, to an upcoming historical suspense set in WWII England. When not writing she enjoys reading, hiking, and tube-floating down rivers in the beautiful Texas Hill Country   

Nancy Shew Bolton Debuts with her First Novel!!!

I am so stinking excited! Nancy Bolton is one of the first of our group to see her words in print! Somebody scrape me off the ceiling, ’cause I can’t hardly contain myself. I’m so honored to be the one to interview her! We here at the Diamond Mine are all so incredibly proud of Nancy, and delighted to be part of her journey to publish. We knew this story when it was yet a tiny babe.  And now it’s blossomed into a full-blown novel. All right, enough gushing for one day. On to the fun.


Nancy, we’re all so excited for you! How does it feel to actually get your work in print?
 
Words fail me. Pretty sad for a writer, isn’t it? I think I could express it better if I were a bird and could fly around singing, or if I were the horn section of an orchestra! As it is, I’ll say I’m amazed and thrilled. Very much so.
 
So let’s delve into how this all began. What started you on this writing path, and how did you reach this point in your writing career?
 
Ever since I learned to write, I’d jot down thoughts, poems and lines of inspired sentences on various subjects that struck my interest. As a teen and an adult, I branched out into song lyrics, poetry and essays in college. Then around 2007, during a very hot, humid stretch of summer, I was emailing with a friend about the beauty and silence of a winter night in the country, and how welcome those temperatures and conditions would be right about then. I realized that for a brief time, it had felt as though I were really there. Though at the time, I was writing a non-fiction project, somehow, that short, intense experience gave me the incentive to attempt a fiction novel. And here I am!

 

Was there anyone who influenced you or inspired you?
 
As far as influence, my father kept urging me to write the story of how my husband and I moved out onto undeveloped land with five small boys. Kind of a modern-day pioneer story, as we had no electricity or running water out there. This was my first book, and I put it aside when I started with fiction. However, I’m now editing the final version of it and hope to see it published. As far as inspiration, I’d have to say the encouragement of family, and a life-long voracious habit of reading works by numerous incredible authors. Also, life inspires me, with all its challenges, struggles and delights.
 
How does your faith play a part in your novels and is there an underlying message?
 
For me, my faith is my heart, the foundation of my life and thoughts, so in my writing, I explore this internal relationship in the lives of my characters, and try to show how faith determines actions and reactions. I am endlessly fascinated by how a relationship with God transforms a person.
Where did the idea of this book start?
 
Well, my husband and I worked in a family-run doughnut shop for a few years, and I remember how the workload really took over our lives. When you’re that busy, your life mainly consists of work and sleep. That reality formed the catalyst for the dilemma of my main character, Ann. And it grew from there!
What can we expect next from Nancy Shew Bolton?
I have a novella set in the later dust-bowl years, which will come out next spring with Prism. I also have two other fiction novels I’m working on, as well as two others I’ve completed and submitted. Now I’m waiting to see if they are picked up for publication! I also have two creative non-fiction novels, and I’m knocking around with a children’s book, as well. I love writing, even when it drives me nuts! One of my prayers is that my husband will collaborate with me on one of these projects. He has a wonderful, quirky sense of humor that I think would fit really well in a children’s book. So maybe one of these days, you’ll see a book written by John and Nancy Bolton! It makes me smile to think of it!
 
Nancy, it makes us all smile to see this story come to fruition! All of us couldn’t be more pleased than the proverbial punch. (Tropical, please, with fresh pineapple juice!)

 

And here is the cover reveal, and a little ‘taste’ of Nancy’s confection, The Right Ingredients! 
Catch it on Sept. 24th!
 
Missing the right ingredients for a life of joy, a young baker learns lessons in the true recipe for love. 
 
 
   Ann’s hectic work responsibilities demand all her time and effort, and what was once a useful, satisfactory life has become a burden. Her bakery partner Susan has lost none of her enthusiasm for their business, and Ann can’t understand her exuberance, or her friend’s Christian faith. So she trudges along, hiding her dissatisfaction from Susan, resigned to a life of work, sleep and problems.
   Unexpected comments offered by two different people cause a crack in Ann’s armor and her thoughts careen into unexpected directions. Attention from a young widower with a son challenges Ann’s resolve to stay safe and uninvolved. Susan’s example of faith through trial furthers Ann’s curiosity about God. Ann must choose to step toward the unfamiliar freedom of giving and receiving love, or stay in the shadows, stuck in the grip of past hurt and long-standing barriers.
 
Leave a comment for Nancy and you are entered to win a copy of her debut novel, The Right Ingredients!

You can find Nancy’s debut novel on: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Prism Book Group.