Interview and give-away with Laura V. Hilton!

A Christmas romance…A new beginning…A resurrected past…
 
A White Christmas in Webster County
Hi Laura! Welcome to The Diamond Mine!  
 
I really enjoyed your book, “A White Christmas in Webster County.”  How did you get your idea for the characters of Abner and Mercy, and their histories? 
 
  Thank you, Nancy.  Abner is the twin brother of the hero in Awakened Love, Abram.  I knew Abner’s backstory when I started the book, because he shared most of it with Abram. The part that I didn’t know, Abner was willing to share.  Mercy, I read an article about Amish going fishing on Lake Michigan. And the what if questions followed from there.
 
That’s interesting! In your books, are your Amish characters based on people you know, parts of yourself, pure imagination, or a combination of these?  
 
Probably a combination of all three.  I am a quiet/shy person by nature, but I am fully capable of standing up for myself, too.  Amish are not so different, human-nature, than “Englisch”. 
 
I can tell that from your characters! I see that most of your books are about Amish people. What inspired you to take that direction with your writing? 
 
  My maternal grandparents were Amish.  But that wasn’t what did it.  Someone mentioned on American Christian Fiction Writers that we should write what our favorite genre is.  I love most Amish fiction, so when my agent gently suggested I give it a try, I was willing. And I love it.
 
And readers do, too! Do you have a lot of readers who are Amish?  
 
No, not too many Amish read about the Amish. Not a lot of Amish. It is mostly Englisch who read it.
 
I’ve always wondered if practicing Amish are flattered or puzzled by the interest so many readers have in their lifestyle. What’s your opinion on that? 
 
  I think they are puzzled.  To them, their life is normal, what God commands. Flattery would mean pride, and pride to the Amish is a sin.
 
Good point! I see that an upcoming book of yours, “Swept Away” releases this month and is somewhat of a departure from what you usually write. How did that come about?
 
    I love contemporary fiction and wanted to write for the Quilts of Love.  However, to be honest, Swept Away is not mine so much as it is Cindy Loven’s.  Cindy came up with the Grandma and heroine idea, and the quilt, and she told me most of their story.  I tried to write it the way she wanted it.  Drew, however, was my invention and his story is all mine. 
 
 Can you describe the book a bit?  
 
I actually have three new books out this fall.  A White Christmas in Webster County, The Snow Globe, and Swept Away.  
 
After our interview, I’ll post a blurb from each!  I’m curious. Do you have a favorite among your stories or characters?   
 
My favorite male characters are Troy Troyer in Surrendered Love, and Viktor Petershiem in The Snow Globe.  My favorite female characters are Shanna in Healing Love, Esther in The Snow Globe, and Janna in Surrendered Love.
What are you working on now, Laura? 
 
I’m writing the third book in the Amish of Jamesport series,  The Birdhouse. 
 
What is the main message you’d like your readers to get from your books? 
 
I leave that up to God and the reader.  But I hope they hear the gospel of Grace. That they are accepted in the Beloved. That God loves them, despite everything. 
 
That’s a wonderful thought, Laura. Thank you for sharing your answers with us on the Mine. Now, here are some descriptions of Laura’s latest books! Since we’re showcasing “A White Christmas in Webster County” I’ll  start with that one:
 
A White Christmas in Webster County
Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montanato work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in town and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place? 
The Snow Globe
Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?   
 
 
Swept Away
He survived a life-altering event. She is facing one.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her grandmother who doesn’t want to be cared for. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.
It doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever. 
 
 
 
Sounds like a lot of great reading coming our way from Laura V. Hilton! Remember to leave a comment for Laura, and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of A White Christmas in Webster County!
 
Here are contact and purchase links for Laura:
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Purchase Laura’s books:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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.

Sandra Merville Hart Interview and Book Giveaway!

Today I’m interviewing Sandra Merville Hart. Her debut novel, “A Stranger On My Land is just out, and if you leave a comment after the interview, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of her wonderful book. I loved it!
Hello, Sandy! Glad to host you on The Diamond Mine! “A Stranger On My Land” is your debut novel. How long have you been writing fiction?
 
I wanted to be a writer in elementary school and actually wrote my first novel, a mystery, in the sixth grade.  I received no encouragement. I rightly took this to mean that my story was not a good one. What I didn’t know was that most first attempts aren’t very promising. I let my dream go.
It returned to me about ten years ago. After spending time taking correspondence classes and a couple of college writing classes, I began writing in earnest.
 
I noticed your historical references after the ending, and found them very interesting. How did you come upon the idea for placing your novel in this specific point of time during the Civil War?
 
My dad lived on another mountain in Tennesseein his childhood. The mountains of Tennesseehave always had a strong pull on me.
The BattleAbove the Clouds, fought on Lookout Mountain, fascinates me. The mountain is so tall that fog shrouded the middle section during the battle. Folks in the valley watched soldiers from both sides climb beyond the fog as fighting continued. It must have been quite a sight.
My research showed that many who lived on the mountain hid in caves with the armies of both sides of the conflict in the area. This sparked my idea.
 
 Has the Civil War held a special fascination for you? As Americans, we all have our own views of this nation-changing conflict, but I’d like to know what significance it has for you.
 I can’t remember what first captivated me about the Civil War. It may have reading Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell while in high school. I believe it was the longest book I had read up to that point. (And one of the few of that length I’ve read, now that I come to think of it.)
My fascination grew as an adult when visiting historical sites. My interest always perked up when finding a connection with the Civil War.
Even after I let my dream of becoming an author slip from my fingers, I still wanted to write a book set during the Civil War. It was one of the first ideas I pursued at writers conferences only to be told at that time no one wanted them.
I’m glad that changed.
 
So am I! Did you have an outline, or did you just write as inspiration hit?
 
When I first started writing, I outlined my chapters before beginning my books. I don’t do that anymore. Now, when I begin a novel I know the ending, but how the characters will get there isn’t clear. I pray that God will give me His story and the book takes off in surprising directions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought after typing a scene, “I didn’t know that was coming.”
It’s like I’ve relinquished control of how the characters will react. I like this way of writing much better.
 
I agree! It’s pretty exciting to have your characters surprise you! I’m curious, aside from what you share in the epilogue concerning actual historical people, were any of your main characters based on you or people in your life?
 
Signs of Carrie’s feisty spirit flash throughout the story. When I think of feisty women, my grandmother definitely comes to mind. If you ever watched the TV series, Beverly Hillbillies, you have a good idea of what my grandmother was like.
So my grandmother probably influenced this side of Carrie’s character.   
 
This is your debut novel, but I know in my case, my debut novel is not my actual first novel. Is this one your first, or do you have others?
 
I’ve written about a dozen books so far. If I’m not mistaken, I’m writing my thirteenth novel right now.
 
Wow! That’s great. I’d like to know more about your writing journey. What first inspired you to write down a story?
 
My love of reading began in the third grade when my teacher took us to the library weekly. I didn’t know what to start with, and the librarian suggested biographies. I loved learning about people in history. Now that I think about it, that’s probably where my love of history originated.
Soon after this, I told my mom that I wanted to be a writer. Lack of encouragement was a major stumbling block for me because I lacked confidence.
 
Well, I hope you have confidence now. You’re definitely a writer! What is your writing process like?
 
I begin each writing day by reading a chapter in the Bible. It seems to ground me for the day. Then I open up my current WIP, update the word count from the previous day’s writing, and let my imagination go.
 
Sounds like fun to me! What do you want your readers to experience through your writing?
 
I really want them to go on a journey back in time with me, when times were both simpler and more difficult in their own way.
 
What are you working on now?
 
I had an idea for a romantic suspense novel. It’s a contemporary novel but still has a historical element!
My next novel will be another Civil War romance. This one will be set in Gettysburg. I can’t wait to write this one!
 
Be sure to let me know when you finish it. I’ll look forward to reading it!
 
Thanks for hosting me today, Nancy. I’ve enjoyed our conversation!
 
I have too, and I hope your book does well. I certainly loved  reading it!
 
Here’s a short blurb from Sandy’s book, “A Stranger  On My Land.”
Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him.

But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam’s friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. It’s not long until his gratitude and teasing manner spark a friendship between the young couple. Even though Carrie’s father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love.

When Adam’s condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family’s hiding place a secret?

 
You can find Sandy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.m.hart.7
Don’t forget to leave a comment for Sandy, and be entered in the book giveaway drawing!
 

Welcome Sylvia Wheatley to the Mine!

Today I’m privileged to have independent author Sylvia Wheatley with me on the blog. She’s produced several books in both fiction and non-fiction. As a special treat, Sylvia has agreed to make one of her titles Your Time or Mine available for free until the end of the day tomorrow (July 31, 2014). Read ahead for details.

Welcome, Sylvia! I’m so glad to have you with us today. Tell the readers a little about yourself and how you got into writing.

I was born in South Africa and brought up in a home where my parents loved the Lord with all their hearts. At nine years of age my mother told me I was not a Christian because they were. This made me think and I asked Jesus into my life. At twenty one I came to England and went to theological college.
  After college I trained as a registered general nurse and when I was trained nursed. I then married, had a daughter and became a district nurse. After that I became a teacher and later a chiropodist. I also became the minister of a church.

  I have always written, right from very young. Stories, articles, Bible studies, anything. To me writing is an intrinsic part of my life. I cannot imagine life without writing. My imagination is acute and I even dream stories though what I dream I do not usually write. 

 
How fascinating! I’ll bet you have some fantastic stories from all your travels. Since you don’t usually write about your dreams, what sort of books do you write and why?
Mostly I write novels and in all of them I like some excitement. Usually there is some medical aspect to a story though not always and there is always romance. My book ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ is about soul winning and I am hoping to publish some other Biblical books soon, God willing.
 
I’m a huge romance fan myself. I can’t seem to write anything without at least a touch of it somewhere. Discovering how it fits is always fun. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
The most favourite part of the writing process is actually writing because I never plan my books. An idea pops into my head and I open my laptop and start typing. Because I do not plan I find the process very exciting because I never know what is coming next. It just comes. It feels as if I am reading a book, not writing it. Once the book is completed I go back and add to it, subtract from it, try to make it as readable as possible.
 
That does sound exciting! Like an adventure with your characters. 🙂 Writing seems to be full of adventures, including the publishing process. How did you decide to self-publish and what challenges/rewards did you experience with that?

 

I decided to self publish because going through publishers is a long and tedious process. It involves sending books to various publishers and waiting for ages to receive responses, even to having the book printed. Short articles are a bit different but even they take ages until you receive the final payment. There are many would be authors who probably never publish because of these difficulties and I have found from reading self published books that most of the ones I have read are good. 

 
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
I always hope people will enjoy the plot. I also want them to think about God and how necessary Jesus is to our lives. That does not involve preaching. It involves bringing it naturally into the story. One can clearly tell people of their need for Jesus in just a few words and then bring it up again later in the story. My book on soul winning is slightly different because it is about that subject but in that I try to make it as readable as possible, not preachy and with lots of stories.
 
Any last words to your readers?

If you like reading I invite you to read one of my books and make up your mind about it. Below are the links to my books and my web page. I am also on Facebook. I have a personal page and also an author page.

 
Don’t miss Book 1 of the ‘When Times Collide’ series, free on Amazon for 2 days only! Get your copy now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KECYWI0. And make sure to leave a comment for Sylvia to make her feel welcome at the Diamond Mine.
 
Books by Sylvia Wheatley

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

A book on leading people to Jesus
 
A romantic thriller set in East Germany and England
before and when the wall came down
 
 
A Christian romance set in Alaska and Great Britain
The first in the series ‘The Web of Lies’
A Christian romance and thriller
The second book in the series ‘The Web of Lies’
 
(Book 1 of a trilogy, ‘When Times Collide’))
This is a book about a young lady who accidentally discovers a
way to travel in time and travels back to just before the
first world war where she a friend who will change her life
 
(Book 2 of a trilogy, ‘When Times Collide’))
The first world war begins and Sylvia continues to travel back
in time while carrying on her own life in the year 2002
 
 
Web Page