Talkin’ Turkey with Jude Urbanski!

Yes! Jude Urbanski is with us this week! And, yes, she’s a fellow Hoosier, (woo-hoo!) transplanted, but still part of the left sock state,(shamelessly copying Michigan’s nickname moniker here!) and we’re all thankful to have her. If you’re not acquainted with her, take a break from your holiday cooking and pull up a chair. You’re in for a huge treat! (post by Peggy Trotter)

PT:  Hello, Jude! So exciting to have you here on the Diamond Mine! So much to discuss,but let’s start with the basics. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Judy Urbanski

Judy Urbanski

JU: I’m a wife, a mother,a grandmother, and a sister! I have lived in the Midwest all my life, but have traveled nearly all over the world. I began writing seriously after retirement from nursing. A strong faith guides and directs me! We have several writers in the family.

PT:  I’ve met a lot of writers who begin writing later in life and that is so interesting to me. Perhaps it’s because they’ve seen God pull them through so many obstacles.  You’ve had some major struggles in your life.  What gave you the courage to overcome these obstacles? 

JU:  Early on, I surely hadn’t anticipated what life would bring, but, my story is not unique, it is simply my story. It’s no surprise tragedy is universal and grief is evergreen. Would that everyone turned to God at such times for He certainly is on the journey with us. He gave me the courage then and still ‘gets’ me through. Family and friends all help one through hard times.

Continue reading

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:

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   

Welcome Deborah Piccurelli: Author, Advocate, and Diamond

Deborah Piccurelli
Welcome to the Mine, Deborah. Summer’s almost over, and school’s getting ready to start in some areas, started in others. A busy time of year!
Thank you for having me, Renee. It’s a pleasure to be here!
I see you have a book out and about called Hush, Little Baby. Can you tell us about it?
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.
Wow, it sounds like a powerful book. Do you think we can get a sneak peek?
CHAPTER
            She would be working for her sister’s killer.
            Amber’s skin goosebumped as she drove down the town’s main highway to the Cedarview Women’s Center for her first day on the job. To think the man responsible for Ashley’s death, Dr. Albert Hines, would be her employer.
            Her foot pumped the extender pedal for the brake, and her Honda Odyssey glided to a smooth stop at the red traffic signal. She sometimes wondered what it would feel like to be five-six instead of four foot tall, and able to drive without the extenders; to live a life without the need for any adaptive products.
            She was about to find out. In part, anyway. Her last visit to the clinic for the interview revealed very few accommodations for a little person. Not that she expected there would be any, as they probably never had a dwarf working there before. Despite her size, Dr. Hines had shown her much respect. Because of that surprising courtesy, a tinge of guilt crept in at the thought that he would end up in prison because of her.
            Not enough to put her off, though. He had it coming.
I started writing novels fairly late in life (around forty), but I heard the call loud and clear. I just never thought I’d be writing suspense. I figured I’d write more historical or chicklit. Anything but suspense or mystery. When the Lord called you as a writer, did you think you’d be writing what you are?
Actually, I thought I’d be writing screenplays, because that’s what I started with. I really don’t know how I switched over to novels, but I do know that reading good books made me want to write them, too. I had even started a couple as a child, but never finished them, and then teenage life took over.
Ever wonder if you heard right?
Not really. I just write whatever I hear the Lord give me. I have three other assignments from Him: Another novel, which I’m working on right now; a nonfiction book, and a TV drama. The latter two I’ve never even thought of getting into before.
Now don’t laugh… I had aspirations of being a ballerina as a child. Of course, it wasn’t meant to be, either due to God’s will or my own foolishness. Either way, now I’m a pharmacist and an author. Praise the Lord. If God hadn’t made you to put the pen to the page, what else do you think you’d be?
This sounds really lame at this point in my life, but as a little girl, I wanted to be a secretary when I grew up. For some reason I thought it was glamorous. I guess from watching TV shows and movies where the secretary looked official and ended up marrying her boss. (laughs) Anyway, I did end up doing that for many years. And no, I didn’t marry any of my bosses. So, being a writer is a bigger, better dream for me. And as I mentioned earlier, I did do some writing as a child, so I guess writing was a sort of hidden dream.
I can see writing as a hidden dream of mine as well! I think God plants that desire very early in many writers. I know He did for me. Like I said before, I write suspense and romance. The Lord imbeds His message of deliverance. He offers me stories of faith and hope…  with struggles through insurmountable odds. What do you write and why?
The books I write are cause-related. Mostly subjects related to sanctity of life. The Lord just put this on my heart, and I feel it’s an assignment he appointed me to.
The Lord promises to never forsake us. So even when we think we’ve been abandoned in our endeavors, He’s with us. What can you share with the readers to encourage them?
Stay close to Him. Consult Him at every turn in each project. It wouldn’t even hurt to fast some. Praise Him. He inhabits our praise.
Thank you so much for that, Deb. So many times we forget to do that very thing. In fact, He becomes our last resort when He should be the first. My faith in Jesus Christ sustains me. I’m actually known to many as Faithwalker. How does your faith provide strength for you?
I think it’s more that the Joy of the Lord gives me strength to have the level of faith needed to do this work.
That’s an interesting perspective. For me, I have to say it’s the reverse. My faith gives me joy. When all else fails, I have faith in the One true God and He’s always there for me… no matter what. I take joy in that. Even if I don’t feel like smiling or laughing, I know He loves me. Of course, I don’t write what you do!
Thanks for coming to the Mine today. Before you go, can we let the readers know what’s in the works for you? New releases to come?
And thank you for having me, today, Renee. I have a contract with Prism for a novella, that’s pure romance, not the usual stuff I write. I’m working with the editor now, but have not yet been given a release date. I’m hoping it’s not too far off.
I can’t wait until it’s released. I bet it’s going to be great. I hope you let us know when you find out the release date. Until then… may the Lord bless and keep you!
Deborah’s giving away a signed print copy of her new release, Hush, Little Baby. Enter for your chance to win via the Rafflecopter below!
 
Drawing will be August 27th!
About the Book:
 
 
 
Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting.
As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.
 
 
About the Author:
 
Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.
 
Contact info:
Twitter @DebPiccurelli
Pinterest.com/DebPiccurelli

A Big Howdy to Author-to-be, Megan Besing!

I am uber excited to introduce to you, author-to-be, Megan Besing. Although we usually have established writers here on the Diamond Mine, I thought it would be fascinating to promote an author who’s still striving to reach that ultimate writing goal—publishing.  And who among us doesn’t love the thrill of discovering a budding new author?  Plus, she’s near and dear to my heart because she’s my very own daughter! Woot, woot!  Please welcome, the beautiful, the talented, Megan Besing!
 
Hi Megan! Fancy meeting you here! LOL
 
Hey! (laughs) Yes, we usually meet on less formal occasions! Like around the dinner table.
 
Well, let’s dive right in. So you are a stay-at-home mom, a babysitter, and a photographer.  What started you on the road to publication?
 
Don’t get mad at me, but I was super late coming into the game of reading. I thought books were for education and Bible studies, while movies covered everything else. LOL I know. I know. Thankfully, I am no longer blind to the idea that books are actually heart-thumping wonderful! During my past three years of devouring books, I finished a story that didn’t place God in a good light, and to be honest, I didn’t like the ending. It wasn’t how I wanted it to go at all. So the next morning, I woke up and started writing. It probably also helped that earlier in the year, my mother told me she was going to get serious about her writing career. Otherwise I may have thought my idea to write a book was pure craziness.
 
Craziness describes a lot of an author’s life! But let’s get to genres. Authors often  have trouble deciding which genre to write.  How did you decide to go with Christian Dystopian?
 
One of my favorite genres to read is YA, especially Dystopian. Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, The Fifth Wave, and The Selection are some of the popular secular Young Adult Dystopian books right now. Of course there are tons of others! It’s what I enjoy. I just wanted to make sure that God was a factor in my stories, since He’s the factor in my life. And I feel like there should be more Christian Dystopian books, mainly because I’d like to read more of them. But my second novel isn’t Dystopian. It’s a YA Contemporary. So I suppose I decided to go with YA because it’s what I enjoy, and it pops into my head the easiest.
 
Since many of our readers may not be familiar with Christian Dystopian, tell us a little about this type of genre.
 
It does sound like a frightening term, but it’s not! To me it’s just a made up world, that often resembles what we live in now, but something in the society is causing fear or problems. Of course that may not be the exact definition, if there even is one. And if you put Christian in front of it, then typically that means the characters are dealing with their faith in one way or another. Or as in my story, the world is trying to do away with faith.
 
So getting to the nuts and bolts, tell us some of your struggles of finishing a novel.
 
Sleep. For some reason I need it? LOL. But my life is like so many of you–busy.  I may stay at home with my kids, but I feel like I’m never there. I babysit along with running my photography business. I also review books over at Edgy Inspirational Romance, teach the youth at my church, play the piano for Sunday’s service, and for some odd reason my husband actually likes to see my face. So I believe the biggest challenge is finding time to get my hiney seated in my writing chair with the discipline to block out the temptation of social media, which can be both a blessing and a curse for me.
 
True. You can’t write without planting that old gluteus maximus (and minimus) in a chair. (laughs) Let’s go from the bottom-side to the topside. Disappointment. It’s a big part of being an unpublished writer. Wow, it’s a big part of being a published writer!  Tell us some of your big discouragements and how you’ve overcome them.
 
The road of a writer is…interesting, stressful, oh, you can pretty much add in all of the seven dwarfs and that should cover the average day. Receiving honest feedback from your critique partner and rejections from the publishing world are up there, but I think my lowest point has been when I received what I call, my first “hate mail.” I have received two unpleasant emails from an individual who apparently doesn’t want me to be a writer.
At first, I was a bit stunned, not because I think I’m an awesome writer, but because someone bothered to take time out of their busy day to demand that little unknown-me, “retire.” I do blog a tad, and I have two flash fiction stories published in Splickey Love Magazine, but besides that, most of my work is hidden from the world. Of course I started questioning my writing and abilities, and panic bubbled in my chest for a few days. But after praying and seeking advice from others, I wrote this blog Through Our Weaknesses and Dealing with the Haters. I think it answers this question best.
 
Let’s get current. You’re working with an agent to tweak your first novel.  What would be the ultimate publishing goal for you?
 
True, I am technically working with an agent, but she’s not my agent…at least not yet. JCurrently, I just call her ‘the agent lady,’ as if there’s only one in the world. Earlier in the year, I received offers from two different publishers for my first manuscript. I had questions piled in my mind about the contracts—those very intimidating contracts. I mean I didn’t want to sign away my left arm or something. So, I contacted an agent who I’d pitched to at the 2013 ACFW conference to see if she’d be willing to offer advice. I liked her, and thought the worst that could come from emailing her, would be her ignoring me. But she surprised me and emailed back. She provided me with a couple options. Choosing door number three, I decided to take a leap of faith and reject both offers from the publishers I received, and instead, work with her (the agent lady) as my content editor. After I finish tweaking, or after I sweat and bleed all over my manuscript, my ultimate publishing goal would be to have my book printed and on the shelves of Family Christian, Lifeway, and Barnes and Noble. Where I could hug it, prance and twirl around the aisles not caring that I’m receiving awkward stares and finally take a selfie with the cover. And to be able to do that with multiple books would be dark chocolate-fantasticJ Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and find it true. A girl can dream, right?!
 
Oooh. That’s sounds fun.  I may steal your idea! Lol Thanks for appearing on the Diamond Mine, Megan. Many blessings, on your writing journey! She’s just another of God’s fine raw gems just beginning to gleam.
 
You can catch up with Megan on these websites and/or follow the links above for more information about her.
In honor of unpublished writers everywhere, we are offering a chance to win a $25 dollar gift card from Barnes and Noble. And here’s all you have to do! Become a member here at diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com, and you are entered to win!  Don’t forget to leave a comment or a question for Megan.