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.

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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.

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

Meet Prism Author, Mary L. Ball!

I’m excited to present author, Mary L. Ball today. She’s a fellow Prism Book Group author. Check out other great books by this publisher at http://www.prismbookgroup.com/.
 
 
Mary L. Ball

Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Mary! Tell us about your genre, and when you realized God wanted you to write?

Ever since I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I’ve wanted to tell people about His grace. I dislike a preachy person, so I’ll mention my relationship with Him, but writing is another avenue of showing people how God works in our lives. Sometimes, we need a story to help us keep the faith.  I’ve always written Christian articles in the newsletter and on a few sites, but one day the Lord gave me an idea for a fiction novel. The inspiration just keeps coming.
Now, I see that you have two out with Prism Book Group, Escape to Big Fork Lake, and Stone of Destiny.  Are they part of a series or separate?
No, both are stand-alone novels, although my next novel to be released with PBG is titled, Redemption in Big Fork Lake, and visits the same characters in, Escape to Big Fork Lake.
I love old homes and see in your second novel that you have your main character, Taylor Harrison, renovate the family home. How did you research this and did you find anything, ‘mysterious?’ Lol
I enjoy watching HGTV, Property Brothers, and Love it or List it. That’s my research. The hubby and I have done renovations of our own, so I know the pain. LOL. There are many things found in old homes that can turn mysterious. 🙂 One could write about old letters in the wall, a lost picture, or even a missing ring from fifty years ago that has a legend surrounding it. (As in Stone of Destiny.)

Hmm. Great story starters! So, what is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?

Each of us, believe we have the answers and know what we want in life, but at times, we’re confused by the demands of the world. I hope the readers will discover that often our own desires aren’t the ones that lead to happiness. Trusting in God and following His guidance is the only true way to find contentment.
I gotta ask, fishing?! That’s really your favorite pastime? You gotta let us know how that came about!
Fishing is a sport I learned to do with my husband. It’s our time together when things get hectic, and we need to unwind. I like the challenge of catching a fish. When I’m fishing, it’s just me and hubby. We talk about life and dreams. I watch nature and reacquaint myself with God’s world. Not the congestive mess we see in the city, but the beautiful water, trees, and wildlife. Just writing this makes me want to grab a pole and go to the lake. I also enjoy going to the coast. I live in NC about 3 hours from Carolina Beach. Two years ago, I caught the largest Red Drum for the season on Kure Pier. Hubby had to help me reel it in, but it was fun hanging onto the 45-pound fish!
Wow, fishing, writing, editing, ministry─you are one busy gal. How does a normal day look like for you and how do you find time to write?
Peggy, you asked how a normal day is for me. You know the old saying, “be careful of what you ask.” A normal dayI haven’t found one yet. LOL. My favorite time is early morning. I get up before 6 o’clock, have my coffee, catch up on email, and write. Sometime after eight, I walk next door to the house where my Mother and Stepfather live. (Mom has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s-stepfather has Dementia.) I see they’re okay, change Mom’s bed and help them get settled for the day. Then back home where my grandsons are waiting, (Did I mention I watch my two grandsons while my daughter works?) One is 15 (No keeping him-only guidance, I hope.) the little man is seven. Throughout the day, I attend to any duties a work-at-home-Nana does. They’ll be various phone calls from Mom, congregation, and friends. Somewhere in the midst of that, I can sometimes write more, or shut out on FB and Twitter. School’s ended for the year, which means I also need to spend time with my grandsons. We have a no-electronics day out. I live in town, so we often go a few blocks to a fast food restaurant for lunch. That takes care of the day. At three, Joey (husband) comes home from work, and then dinner needs to be prepared. Oh my, I forgot to add that I sing at retirement homes with Joey and a few from church every Tuesday night.

Time to let us in on your secrets. What’s next for Mary L. Ball’s list of novels?
A lot is going on. I have a new release scheduled for this year, titled, Redemption in Big Fork Lake. (I mentioned it earlier.) I have another novel, Postmark from Heaven, which I hope will be coming out this year also. My currant WIP is titled, Voices of Suspicion.

Thanks for being with us here at The Diamond Mine, Mary! You’re yet another gem in Christian Fiction!
Here’s a sneak peek at Stone of Destiny:

     Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete─until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.
     Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange dreams. Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn’t understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced.
     Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.
     Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world─a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

  



With Mary’s new release coming up, here’s your chance to get acquainted with the characters! 
 
Leave a comment with your email address for for a chance to win, Escape to Big Fork Lake!
 
You can follow Mary on her blog: http://marylouwrites.weebly.com/
You can purchase Mary’s books through Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Prism Book Group.
 

Legacy and Love: More than Romance with Paula Mowery


Hello, readers! Please welcome Paula Mowery to the Mine. Once again, we’re digging for diamonds in Christian fiction, and I believe we have quite the gem among us today.
Hello, Paula, thanks for joining us at the Mine. I noticed you have a new release.
Legacy and Love released in March. It contains two romance stories which both have a godly legacy passed through a grandmother on to the main character.
Two stories in one, and the premise is amazing. Can you tell us a little more about it? Like… what’s the message you wish the readers to receive from them?
Most of all, I pray my readers will be prompted, as I have recently, to think about the godly legacy they are passing on to those around them.
In The Prayer Shawl, I would hope that additionally the reader would understand that the world will try every way to pull you away from God and your Christian beliefs, but God will always take you back. Through Inheritance, I wish the reader would understand that God has a plan for each of His children, but you must seek Him to find it.
Although you have two distinct stories, the faith and hope interwoven in your book sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it. Now I know you’re a busy lady. For those who may not know how busy, what’s a day in the life of Paula Mowery like?
During the school year, I go to work at 7:10 as an assistant in the Pre-K program at a local public elementary school. I get off at 12:15, come home, eat lunch with my daughter then begin my writing and editing jobs. Normally I write, promote, update blogs and Facebook, and send emails in the afternoon. Then, later I work on edits for my authors through my job as an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Not a moment to spare.
Sounds like it! Your day’s packed from morning to night. When do you find time to eat? Or sleep for that matter? I don’t see how you find time to write! By the way, what other types of books do you write?
My first two books were considered women’s fiction. The second two were both romance. I have also been included in several collaborative nonfiction books including Join the Insanity, a book for pastors’ wives. I have contributed to several devotional books as well.
Busy isn’t the word for you. I’m going to have to come up with another one. I have to say it though. I’m so excited for you especially with this book. Did you have special events surrounding the release of Legacy and Love?
Fairly soon after the book came out, I spoke at a women’s event, sharing about leaving a godly legacy. I signed copies there and at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
Blue Ridge… I’d like to go to that conference. Well, any conference. I’d love to meet you in person. Not happening this year though. Until then… what do we have to look forward to? Do you have something in the works?
I have a book I’m finishing up tentatively called Lamp Unto Her Feet. This is yet another example of a heroine being influenced by a grandmother’s godly legacy. Right after that, I have a romantic suspense. I also am working on a nonfiction book about being intentional about leaving a godly legacy. Another project I’m working on is a Christian writer’s creative spark book.
Innovative, creative…awesome! A true gem.
 
Thanks, Paula. I believe we have a diamond, folks. Questions for Paula, anyone?
 
 
 
******
 
GIVEAWAY!
 
Winner’s choice of an e-copy or print copy
(signed or plain)
 
 
 
Enter via Rafflecopter below
 
******
 
 
 
About the Book: Love and Legacy
 
The Prayer Shawl
Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?
Inheritance
Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.
Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.
Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?
 
 
About the Author:
Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance.
Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.
As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.
Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team. She was a member of the 2014 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference faculty.
Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.
You can follow Paula at www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Mowery/175869562589187. Learn more about Paula at her blog at www.paulamowery.blogspot.comor enjoy her monthly columns on www.christianonlinemagazine.com. You can also check out her blog for Christian writers at www.ccwcu.blogspot.com.
 

You’re invited to a wedding (or three!) with Donna Robinson

 
 
Hello, Donna. Thanks for joining us today! I’ve been reading your newest release Tumbleweed Weddings, which I love, and I’m excited to help you give away a copy!.
Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.
I’m not one of those writers who was born with a pen in her hand! I didn’t think about writing for publication until a friend of my husband mentioned that he was writing a book, which in turn interested me in writing. I thought I could just dash off a book, and it would be accepted right away. (Little did I know!) It took about 16 years before I received my first book contract.
Now I feel that the Lord has called me to write Christian fiction. He put the desire in my heart many years ago, and I’m trying to write the stories He wants me to write.
What made you decide on contemporary romance?
I write contemporary romance and historical romance, both for the Christian market. Right now, I’m concentrating my energies on writing contemporaries. I love stories set in a small town with one prominent family whom the reader gets to know. That’s the setting for Tumbleweed Weddings. I also love Christian romance. That spark of attraction between a man and a woman is one of God’s mysteries, and He’s the one who creates a Happily Ever After for them.
What do you enjoy reading?
Some authors think you should read everything out there—the classics, literary fiction, science fiction, medical thrillers, legal thrillers. I prefer Christian contemporary and historical romance books, and that’s basically all I read. I must say also, I’m thankful for my Kindle! I’ve loaded quite a few books on it, which has turned into my “To Be Read Pile.” Now if only I had more time… 
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
As one writer said, “I don’t like to write, but I enjoy having written.” Getting the book out of my head and onto the computer is not my favorite part, but that’s the only way the book will get written. Actually the thing I enjoy the most is editing my manuscript. I like to tinker with the sentences until they shine.
For Tumbleweed Weddings, how did you decide on Wyoming as the setting?
This book is a 3-in-1 collection, with three stories that were published separately by Barbour Publishing in their Heartsong Presents line. At the time, Barbour was putting all their Heartsong books into a series called “Romancing America.” They would put three books together that were set in the same state, and they covered all 50 states. Wyoming was open—no one had written a set for it, but while I was writing the first book, the editor collected three other books for Wyoming. She accepted my books as a “Wild Card” set. I really didn’t think my books would be put in a collection, but I asked the editor anyway. It took a couple years, but she finally gave me a nod, and Tumbleweed Weddings was published!
What do you hope readers take away from your books?
I want to write interesting, entertaining stories that edify Christians—books that build up, not tear down. Also, as I say on my website, I want my readers’ faith to be strengthened in the God who loves them.
What are you currently working on?
My next book is The Ballad of Steffie Mae, a contemporary Christian romance.
A West Virginia gal who moves to New York City tries to hide her uncultured family roots, especially from the sophisticated hero who has secrets of his own.
It’s slated to come out in the fall of 2014.
Thank you for having me on your blog, Amryn! I really appreciate this opportunity.
 
Do you have questions or comments for Donna? Comment below to be entered in a random drawing for a copy of Donna’s book! Make sure you leave an email address to be notified of winning. The winner will be contacted on July 2.
Here’s a short summary of Tumbleweed Weddings:
In Tumbleweed Weddings, you’ll meet the Brandt siblings—Callie, Tonya, and Derek—who live on a sheep ranch with their parents near Fort Lob, Wyoming. That part of the country has rolling hills, a sparse population, and tumbling tumbleweeds when the wind blows. Callie Brandt thinks she’ll be single all her life until Lane Hutchins comes to town. But what secret is he hiding? Tonya Brandt wants to marry a handsome man, but who is her secret admirer? Derek Brandt doesn’t want to marry until he’s forty. That’s a problem for Cheyenne Wilkins who needs to get married right away to fulfill the stipulations in her grandmother’s will.
This is a collection of three contemporary romances under one cover, previously published separately by Barbour Publishing.
To read the first chapter, visit Donna’s website: www.DonnaRobinsonBooks.com
Donna Reimel Robinsonis a member of JOY Writers, a local critique group, as well as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). As a pastor’s wife, she plays the piano for their church and teaches a Jr. High Sunday School class. In her spare time, Donna enjoys sewing and working jigsaw puzzles. She and her husband have four grown children and ten grandchildren. They live in Denver, Colorado.
 
To learn more about Donna and her books, visit her website (www.DonnaRobinsonBooks.com) or her Amazon page (http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J43HJKI)
 

 

Hanging out with Jericha Kingston

Interview with Jericha Kingston

PT: Hi, Jericha. Welcome to the Diamond Mine!

JK: Thanks for having me, Peggy. 

PT: You wrote an Easter story set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. How did that come about? 

JK: Great question. I’ve always been fascinated by that era in our nation’s history, captivated by the photographs and documentaries about Black Sunday. I began writing about it. I’d entered a few contests with the opening chapter, and it scored well, so I thought I was onto something. One day, I reviewed the submission guidelines for Pelican Book Group’s Easter stories. Talk about a diamond mine – the publisher laid the ground rules, detailing exactly what they were looking for in a story. 

 PT: So you crafted your story based on the publisher’s prerequisites? 

 JK: Pretty much.

 PT: Was that difficult? 

 JK: Not as difficult as I thought. In fact, I loved the process. 

 PT: How so? 

 JK: Writing-to-spec caused me to create a story that surprised even me. When I’d previously written, I drew from my own ideas, knew where the story was going. Sometimes it’s difficult to translate the thrill of a scene you’ve repeatedly envisioned. But writing-to-spec, my characters constantly surprised me. I delivered the thrill. The process was a blessing, really. And in the end, if Pelican rejected my story, at least it wouldn’t be because I hadn’t followed the guidelines. 

 PT: (Laughs) But that could’ve backfired. If your story was rejected, wouldn’t you have a hard time getting it published elsewhere?

 JK: (Laughs) True. If the story was rejected, I’d have needed to increase word count, change the plot… even changed my heroine’s name. But you raise a good point, Peggy, because risk-taking is part of an author’s DNA. We’re mad, really. Which of us doesn’t labor at a computer for months at a time for the possibility of having our work published? Yet that’s what we do. We write stories because we must. Stories are trapped inside of us, clawing their way out. 

 PT: What do you try to deliver to your readers? 

 JK: A great story. A new setting, someplace we don’t read about all the time. I’m a reader. I understand how difficult it is to find a fresh read. Especially in inspirational romance.

 PT: Explain that.

 JK: An inspirational romance is a guy and a girl. They get together in the end. How am I going to weave a story that hasn’t been done before? I dig deep. Create complex characters. Develop an engaging setting and an intriguing plot. And always remember that if it’s boring me, it’s going to bore readers, too. Simple as that.

PT: What can we expect from you in the future? 

 JK: I’m editing a story I really love, a contemporary military romance. It’s good. And I know it’s good because it’s ripping my heart out. If I’m not in a puddle by the end, it’s back to the drawing board until I get it right.

 PT: Until you can translate the thrill?

 JK: (Laughs) Exactly.

 PT: We look forward to it. Thanks for being with us today here at the Diamond Mine. 

 JK: Thank you for hosting me, Peggy. I’ve enjoyed it. 

PT: Here’s a quick excerpt:

     “Lily.”
     She looked to the front porch where James stood, his face leached of color.
     “Walk toward me as fast as you can.” His voice cracked. “Now, Lily.”
     What? The bully was at it again, this time issuing orders. She sighed and stepped off her rung on the fence. Mr. Bloom was about to learn she didn’t obey tyrants. She released the top plank and would’ve turned to go, but something in his voice startled her.
     “Don’t look back, Lily. I’m begging you. Come to me.”
     She glared at him.
     His face crumpled, and he bounded off the porch and ran toward her.
     The beast was chasing her! And he looked…crazed. No. Terrified. The only other time she’d seen such a look was when—
     “Lily!
     Everything turned red. She was enveloped in a cloud. Fine dust stung her eyes and throat, choking her. She gasped, inhaled dirt, and coughed. Her mouth snapped shut, sand grinding between her teeth. She closed her eyes and hid her face behind the flimsy sleeve of her dress, protecting her nose and mouth. But it was no use.
     Shaking. The earth was shaking. Wind gusted, shrieked and moaned, almost as loud as her racing heart. Would it burst right through her chest? What’s happened? Is this a tornado?
     Wind-driven sheets of dust blasted into her flesh like piercing needles. She tasted dirt, smelled dirt, cried dirt.
     “Lily, grab the fence.” James coughed and sputtered. “The fence!”
     She tripped over her own feet to reach the corral and latch on. She clung there, wind and dust swirling around her, lifting her braid up into the air. Please, God, help me!



 Here’s your chance to win an e-book of Jericha’s novel, Waiting for Lily Bloom. Leave a comment to be entered!
 

 


James Bloom has prayed three years for rain and five years for a wife. His dreams are demolished on Palm Sunday, 1935, when a catastrophic dust storm hits Oklahoma, and his neighbor’s niece has to ride out the storm at his house–-overnight. The next day, he’s forced to marry her, an East coast city girl who can’t speak. Could this be God’s plan?

Married to a stranger in the dusty Oklahoma wasteland, Lily Driggers longs for her home. Yet somehow, her new husband is the only one who understands her silence.

As Easter approaches, Lily and James wonder if there is hope after the storm.

 

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You can purchase Waiting for Lily Bloom on pelicanbookgroup.comamazon.com, kobobooks.comwww.whsmith.com
Jericha Kingston–tomboy gone rogue–loves the visual, performing, and literary arts. She’s the winner of the 2013 Touched by Love Award contest (Short Contemporary), the 2nd place winner in the 2013 Laurie contest (Inspirational), and a Finalist in the 2012 and 2013 ACFW First Impressions contest (Historical and Romance). Her Easter novella, Waiting for Lily Bloom, released April 18, 2014 from Pelican Book Group.
A Georgia native, Jericha is comfortable in the solitude of the woods, or singing and acting before audiences. Her heart was stolen at age 16, and it’s never been returned. She and her husband have been married for a quarter of a century, and they have two grown sons. Ousting her inner tomboy has been futile, so Jericha is often found fishing, camping, or hiking with her Australian Cattle Dog.