Friday, April 27, 2012

Meet Dani Pettrey

Welcome to the Book Loft, Dani!
Is there a story behind this book?
I watched a movie about cave divers and I was fascinated. It got me thinking about what type of person would pursue something so extreme and dangerous for a career, and Cole McKenna was born.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy a wide range. In fiction, I read everything from the classics to mysteries to romantic suspense. Some of my favorite novelists include Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Gina Holmes, Sue Grafton and Jane Austen. I also enjoy a great deal of non-fiction. I enjoy reading travel commentaries, history books, and Christian living titles by authors like Max Lucado and Alistair Begg.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Something with a fun melody like Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison or Bubbly by Colbie Caillat.


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I won an indoor mock rodeo competition. Instead of bulls, we rode hoppy balls. Definitely the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Here’s a new favorite of mine. You can easily make it up ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
1 lb diced chicken (or ground beef)
16 oz thick and chunky salsa
16 oz can refried beans
16 oz enchilada sauce (any, but I use green, medium)
16 oz cannelini beans
16 oz black beans
2.25 oz sliced black olives
3-4 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese
4 soft tortilla shells
In olive oil, cook chicken, lightly salt and pepper
Add salsa, enchilada sauce, all beans, and black olives to chicken, simmer 10 min.
Cut the tortilla shells into strips. In a 9x13 casserole, place a layer of tortilla strips; add half mixture on top.
Sprinkle half cheese on top. Repeat this step again, making two layers.
Bake at 350 for 30 min.
Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips. Also good topped with chopped scallions.


Here’s an easy side to pair it with:
Mexican Rice
1 cup rice
1 can Rotelle
1 can black beans

Cook rice, then mix together with other ingredients.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching Submerged?
There were so many fascinating things I learned while researching for Submerged—the amazing courage of dive rescue volunteers, the vast and beautiful landscape of Alaska, but I think what I found most interesting was Russia’s connection to Alaska. I had no idea how long Russia had a claim to Alaska, the depth of their involvement there and the amount of cultural heritage that is still present.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. 
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

I love it because it explains why death is so hard for us to deal with. It is because God has set eternity into our hearts. We know He has created us for more than this life, this world.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Shattered will be available February 2013. It is the second novel in my Alaskan Courage series and will follow Piper McKenna’s story. I am really excited about her story and had a ton of fun writing it.


You can purchase Submerged from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CBD

Dani is giving away a copy of Submerged.

The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.  





Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dani Pettrey's Submerged

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

 You can find her online at: Dani's blog
 http://www.twitter.com/DaniPettrey
 http://www.facebook.com/DaniPettrey
 

Submerged

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.
 Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.
Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart... but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.
Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

Prologue


Never wager unless you control the stakes.

And she’d thought she held such a strong hand.

Agnes Grey forced her head against the rattling seat back, clenched the armrests with such force her nails broke. Perspiration soaked her brow, seeping into her eyes, but she refused to cry. She was too old to cry.

The plane was going down into the water within sight of her home. Home—warm, safe, dry. She’d never see it again.

Her friend Henry Reid strained to look back, his white knuckles bulging on the wheel as he fought to regain control of the spiraling Cessna, but the fiery plane seemed bent on destruction. Panic flashed through his eyes. “Tighten your belts. Put your head between your knees.”

His concern was sweet, but it wouldn’t change the outcome. Their fate was set.

They were going down—hard and fast. The other passengers’ terrified expressions said they knew it too. Innocents, every one, Agnes thought, fury on their behalf trumping her own fear. She was the only one on board who knew this catastrophe was no mechanical failure. It was him. She knew it as surely as she knew she’d seen her last sunset.

A bitter cry tore from her cracked lips. Any semblance of control on her part had been an illusion.

She’d played her hand, and he’d just called her on it.

If she hadn’t been so stinking stubborn, if she’d kept her mouth shut and given him what he wanted . . . But Momma hadn’t raised her like that. She’d done the right thing. She only wished she hadn’t brought the others down with her.

Managing to crane her neck left, she took in the sight of the loving couple’s hands clasped tight, crying as they whispered frantic words to each other.

Agnes’s stomach lurched. She’d brought them on this journey, doomed them to a watery tomb.

At least now he’d be satisfied. She’d be gone. They’d be gone. No one was left to . . .

Acid burned up her throat.
Bailey.

You can purchase Submerged from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CBD

Dani is giving away a copy of Submerged.

The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.  


Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome, Nicole O'Dell

It's good to have you today, Nicole.



Let’s start with some fun questions:

Tell us a bit about your childhood: a favorite memory or moment that’s stood out to your through the years.


My family loved to go downhill skiing. My parents met in a ski club, so they were very eager to get my brother and I started so they could ski, too. I think I was four when we started with the small man-made slopes here in Illinois. After a few years, we graduated to skiing the higher elevations in Michigan, then Colorado. I even lived in Utah for a year, right at the bottom of the pass to Snowbird and Alta.

One of my dad’s rules was that we couldn’t have our own skis until we could carry them ourselves. I remember struggling to carry my skis as I clomped along in my boots, the snow crunching underfoot, already shivering, but knowing that somehow I’d warm up when things got going.

And there’s nothing like the ride on the chair lift up the mountain…

Yeah, it’s been a while. Might be time to dust off those skis. :


My youngest son loves to ski, too! I've never been brave enough for that! What career did you have before writing?


Mostly I was raising kids with a bit of retail-management madness thrown in for the chaos and the discount. I can’t say it was for the money because I left most of that there!

I started writing for publication right about the time I got pregnant with my triplets, and I’ve never looked back.


Now, some serious ones:
Do you have a favorite spiritual theme you like to write about?


Oh yeah—It’s all about choices! We have the power to choose righteousness or sin when it comes to the way we live our lives. I believe in helping teens prepare to make good choices in advance of the pressure, and I work to help parents with that goal.

When mistakes are made, the redemptive and restorative power of the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all sin even though there are natural consequences to choices.

Those themes are pretty much an outline of each of the books in the Diamond Estates series.

If one of your characters showed up at your house, which one would be the most feared/least wanted? Why?

The fearless gang-leader, Marco! He was a real piece of work. He had sinister intentions from the very start and he made my skin crawl. Marco is the kind of guy you don’t want to corner you in a dark alley. Or a bus stop. As Carmen found out the hard way.


Ooooh, he does sound scary. Tell us where readers can learn more about you and where they can get your book.


Sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo wonders what it would be like to have a pair of ruby slippers.
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home.”

But then reality sets in, and Carmen concludes that ruby slippers are mere fiction. Constant prayers that her parents will patch things up remain unanswered. . .and her hurtful world becomes too much for her to bear. Trapped by resentment and anger, Carmen lashes out the only way she knows how and soon finds herself at a crossroads.

Will Carmen find the path to ultimate peace and contentment that her heart longs for? Or will her troubled soul remain forever embittered?

Series Description:
DIAMOND ESTATES. Three girls are on a journey to find hope and healing. Each coming to Diamond Estates seeking solace… Each with her own unique set of struggles… And each capturing hearts and challenging the faith of teen girls.

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Embittered-Ruby-Diamond-Estates/dp/1616266406/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1332941939&sr=8-17

B&N
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embittered-ruby-nicole-odell/1104274007?ean=9781616266400&itm=1&usri=nicole+o%27dell

Christianbook:
http://www.christianbook.com/2-the-embittered-ruby/nicole-odell/9781616266400/pd/266401?product_redirect=1&Ntt=266401&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP



Nicole O'Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk, is a youth culture expert who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. She’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents helps pre-empt peer pressure by tackling tough issues. Visit www.nicoleodell.com for more info.



Nicole is giving away a copy of The Embittered Ruby. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Carole

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Bit About Nicole O'Dell


Sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo wonders what it would be like to have a pair of ruby slippers.
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home.”

But then reality sets in, and Carmen concludes that ruby slippers are mere fiction. Constant prayers that her parents will patch things up remain unanswered. . .and her hurtful world becomes too much for her to bear. Trapped by resentment and anger, Carmen lashes out the only way she knows how and soon finds herself at a crossroads.

Will Carmen find the path to ultimate peace and contentment that her heart longs for? Or will her troubled soul remain forever embittered?

Series Description:
DIAMOND ESTATES. Three girls are on a journey to find hope and healing. Each coming to Diamond Estates seeking solace… Each with her own unique set of struggles… And each capturing hearts and challenging the faith of teen girls.

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Embittered-Ruby-Diamond-Estates/dp/1616266406/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1332941939&sr=8-17

B&N
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embittered-ruby-nicole-odell/1104274007?ean=9781616266400&itm=1&usri=nicole+o%27dell

Christianbook:
http://www.christianbook.com/2-the-embittered-ruby/nicole-odell/9781616266400/pd/266401?product_redirect=1&Ntt=266401&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP



Nicole O'Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Choose NOW

Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk, is a youth culture expert who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. She’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents helps pre-empt peer pressure by tackling tough issues. Visit www.nicoleodell.com for more info.

Check back tomorrow to find out who Nicole fears the most in her book!

Nicole is giving away a copy of The Embittered Ruby. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Carole

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Winners!

The winner of: 


Delia Lathham’s book, Gypsy’s Game is Maxie


Christy Barritt’s book Race Against Time is Jo Hannabass


Winners, it's your responsibility to contact me (Sharon {at} BarnDoorBookLoft {dot} net with your address so the author can send you a book. 


Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss the winners list. ;-)
http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=BarnDoorBookLoft&loc=en_US


Thanks so much for stopping by!
Until Next Time . . . Sharon A Lavy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Welcome, Susan P Davis

We're happy you're here to give us more information about Cowgirl
Trail
!

Tell us about the series.


Cowgirl Trail is part of the Texas Trails series. Two books were written by me, two by Darlene Franklin, and two by Vickie McDonough. All can be read as standalones, but they all follow members of the Morgan family, and each is set in a different decade of Texas history. You can see all the books of the series at: www.texastrailsfiction.com . We hope to see more books about the Morgan family in the future.

Sound great. What is your favorite scripture verse and why does it resound with you?

Isaiah 40:31—They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. I have a lot of “favorites,” but this lesson is one I have to learn over and over. Lately it’s been a good one to think about as I wait for things to happen. I tend to be very impatient, but God’s timing is always better than mine.

I love that verse, too. In your latest book, is there a story--an inspiration behind it that gave you the desire to write it?

I always wanted to be a cowgirl! When I was a child, my siblings and I set up a western town upstairs in our barn. The false fronts of the buildings were old wooden bed headboards that we found there. We stood them up around the walls. Some were quite tall and shaped like a building fa├žade. We had great times playing cowboys in our make-believe Virginia City.
When I read about the real life cowboy strike that took place in Texas in 1883, I wanted to write about that topic. It seemed so unlikely—and yet, it made sense. I brought the problem home to Maggie Porter, and I put a member of the Morgan family right in the middle of it. Poor Alex is pulled both ways, and he wants to do what’s right. Consequently, he can’t please anyone!

Intriguing, and I love the thought. Do you have a favorite character in your book that is dear to your heart?


I like Maggie a lot. She is tenderhearted, but tough enough to get a man’s job done. And she gets to ride horseback all day!

Now, a couple of fun questions:

If you could choose a favorite meal, where would it be and with whom would you want to share it?


I would invite all of my six children, my two sons-in-law and daughter-in-law, and my eight grandchildren. We would all fly to Edinburgh, Scotland (well, Megan and her husband could take the train up from Liverpool), and we would eat on the Royal Mile. Fish and chips.

Yum! Sounds like great fun. Where would you like to live permanently if you could have a choice? Why?

I did have a choice, not long ago. We decided to move to western Kentucky after my husband retired. After many years in Maine, we were tired of the long winters. But we’re both from the north (he’s from Oregon), so we didn’t want to go TOO far south. We’re in the north of the south. It’s definitely warmer here, we have a longer growing season, and we’re closer to all of our children and grandchildren except the ones in England.

Kentucky's a beautiful state. Please tell us where readers can stay in touch with you and where to purchase your book.

Check out my Website at: www.susanpagedavis.com. I give away several books there at the end of each month.

Cowgirl Trail is found in bookstores and online at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cowgirl-Trail-The-Texas-Series/dp/080240586X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332599088&sr=1-1

Christian Book Distributors:
http://www.christianbook.com/cowgirl-trail-texas-trails/susan-davis/9780802405869/pd/405869?item_code=WW&netp_id=961128&event=ESRCN&view=details

and Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cowgirl-trail-susan-page-davis/1106560744?ean=9780802405869&itm=1&usri=cowgirl+trail

And as an E-book for Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Cowgirl-Trail-Texas-Series-ebook/dp/B007O0SK7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1332599170&sr=1-1


Susan is giving away a copy of Cowgirl Trail. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Carole

Monday, April 16, 2012

Susan Page Davis is Here

Susan is with us today and tomorrow. Don't forget to check back for more information about her book!

Author Bio:

Susan Page Davis is the author of 40 published novels. She’s a past winner of the Carol Award and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband Jim and their two youngest children.




Blurb for Cowgirl Trail:

Maggie Porter returns to the Rocking P Ranch to find her father’s health failing. When the cowboys threaten to walk off the job, leaving no one to drive the cattle to market, Maggie turns to foreman Alex Bright. But Alex can’t persuade the men to stay. Maggie is desperate to save the ranch. She turns to the town’s women for help, but their trail is made harder by some of the strikers. Maggie had dreamed of a romance with Alex, but now she’s so angry at him, that seems impossible. She must learn that even her cowgirl friends aren’t strong enough to help her do this job. As she starts to depend on God’s strength, can she also find forgiveness in her heart?

Susan is giving away a copy of Cowgirl Trail. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Carole

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Interview with Laura V. Hilton


With her newest book, Promised to Another, set to release in April, author Laura V. Hilton shares some thoughts and an excerpt with our readers.

from Promised to Another

Chapter One

“May I take you home from Singing?”
Annie Beiler’s breath hitched and her gaze shot from the dusty tips of her powder blue tennis shoes to the drop-dead gorgeous man standing not three feet in front of her. Unfortunately, his tentative smile wasn’t aimed in her direction.
Nein, Joshua Esh’s hazel eyes were locked on Rachel Lapp. Though Annie had to admit Rachel was cute with her strawberry blond hair and the green dress that perfectly matched her green eyes.
He was what her Englisch friends called a player, for sure. Everyone talked about how he never took the same girl home from Singing twice. But maybe that meant he would eventually make his way to Annie.
Rachel’s face lit up. “Danki, Joshua. I’d love a ride.”
Annie scowled. And when he did get around to asking her, she’d reject him. Seems someone should have the willpower to. Even though Rachel had talked about him and his ways earlier that evening, it appeared that she had only been suffering from jealousy since Joshua hadn’t asked her first.
Okay, to be honest, Annie did feel a bit envious too. Make that more than a bit. Not mainly because of Joshua, although he played a huge part of it. But partially because none of the men swapped from Pennsylvania had ever offered to give her a ride. Not a single one.
She didn’t think she was that unfortunate looking.
Annie brushed past Joshua and Rachel and left the barn. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone outside, because she did need a way home unless she planned to ride with another couple. But she didn’t think she could stand there alone by the barn doors, hopeful, when all the buwe she noticed didn’t seem to know she was alive.
Like Joshua Esh.
Especially Joshua Esh.
Annie kicked at a rock and winced when it didn’t budge.
“Annie? Is that you?” A male voice came from the darkness in front of her.
She jumped. She recognized that voice. Just hadn’t expected to hear it. Not in a month of Singings. She frowned. “Luke?”
“Jah.” He moved enough to come into the circle of light from the lanterns hanging around the barn.
Annie planted her fists on her hips. She wouldn’t make the mistake of falling for Luke Schwartz twice. Not that she’d fallen for him the first time. It was just—he’d asked. And a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Right? Okay, he wasn’t what she wanted, wouldn’t make her top ten list of dreamy Amish men, but he was better than nothing. She pulled in a deep breath, steeling herself. “What are you doing here?”
“Ach, that’s a wonderful way to welcome me. I’m home.”
She stilled, hope building, despite her internal warnings. “For how long?” She didn’t want to spend her life alone. Didn’t want to rely on the kindness of other couples for rides. Didn’t want to be the only girl left unattached, unaccepted, unwanted.
Unloved.
But then again, she didn’t want to settle for just anyone either.
Luke didn’t quite meet her eyes. “You wound me.”
Ach. Not for gut, then. The pencil fell from behind her ear and she stooped to pick it up, careful not to glance at him as she rose.
“Never without that ever present pencil, I see.”
She winced, hating that he mocked her. Okay, she probably shouldn’t take a pencil to Singing, but what if she wanted to write something down? The name of a book she’d like to read, or something she wanted to mention to the scholars. Maybe even the initials of her number one dream guy. One who stood somewhere nearby, but didn’t pay any attention to her. One who didn’t know she was alive. She didn’t dare glance away from Luke. “Sarcasm doesn’t suit you.”
He sighed. “May I give you a ride home? Looks like things are breaking up.”
“I’m sorry, but I already have a ride. Maybe another time?”
Luke laughed. “Right. I heard how popular you are. Having to beat the buwe off with a stick, ain’t so?”
Annie stiffened. “So, you couldn’t pay rent on that run down trailer and ran home to your parents, jah?”
Someone moved up beside her, and she glanced that way. Whoever it was didn’t register. What she did notice was that everyone had gathered around her and Luke, watching their exchange.
She was in enough trouble, only allowed to continue teaching on probation. All she needed was for one of these eavesdroppers to go home and tell their folks. She’d be out of a job so fast a racing horse and buggy wouldn’t be able to keep pace. She searched for something to say, something to diffuse the situation.
Luke’s glance slid from her to whoever offered wordless support. He sneered, then backed up a space. “Well, since you have a ride, I’ll just see you later then. Good to see ya, Annie.”
She forced a smile. “Glad you’re back, Luke.” 
He turned and disappeared into the darkness.
Book Three in the Amish of Seymour series

Interview

1. What started you on your writing journey?

I always loved to write.  I was writing when I was in third grade (but I'm not saying anything was publishable).

2. Your Amish of Seymour series sold on the strength of the proposal. Tell us about that.

My agent told me that for this series, where I was, I didn't need to write the whole book unless it was requested. I just wrote three chapters and a synopsis for the first book and two-sentence pitches for books two and three. The series sold on the proposal. I was so surprised, but happy.  But I didn't have anything more written, so then I needed to write the remaining manuscripts by deadline.  It was a great experience. I loved actually getting to complete the story and see what happened, and to discover the stories of the other two books.

3. Which character in Promised to Another most interested you while you were writing? Why?

Joshua, because he has secrets.

4. What distracts you from writing the easiest?

My children fighting. Stress. Or finances. Distraction is the hardest thing about writing.

5. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading contemporary romance, Amish fiction, and romantic suspense.

6. What is your strangest habit?

I have to check email in the morning and usually don’t mess with it the rest of the day.

7. What spiritual themes you like to write about?

Forgiveness and second chances. My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

8. It’s the day before the church potluck. What meal/dish will you take?

I like to bake cakes for potlucks. My son is going to take a pretzel salad to the one Sunday. I don’t have the recipe.

9. Sounds tasty! Tell us about your next book.

The book comes out in summer 2012. I don’t have the official title yet, but the blurb is:

Dog Daze
Who knew Cupid had four paws? Amish midwife Kristine Lapp’s dog, Chinook, develops a slew of unfamiliar ailments that sends Kristi to Shane Zimmerman, their veterinarian neighbor. Shane was raised Amish, but left years ago in favor of education and marriage to an Englisch woman. After his wife died in childbirth, Shane returns to Amish country to live and serve, but he’s determined not to return to the faith of his childhood. Prejudiced against the herbal and natural remedies that Kristi uses in her practice, the vet is determined to avoid what his eccentric neighbor cooks up. Can God use a loyal pet to mix a little old medicine with new and bring two neighbors past their differences so they can find a love with a positive prognosis?

Thank you for a great interview, Laura!

Readers, post a comment for a chance to win your own copy of Promised to Another. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. Note: Contest is open only to readers with U.S. addresses.

Remember, you can find Laura online at her blog, http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com, or on Facebook as Author Laura V. Hilton. Her Twitter handle is Laura_V_Hilton.

Click to buy Promised to Another in paperback or Kindle ebook.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Susan Page Davis Returns



EXCERPT
            Anne gulped. How could this man be her uncle? Impossible. She sucked in a deep breath. Though he repelled her, she must use her manners and greet him warmly. He was now her closest living relative. Or was he? Could there possibly be two men named David Stone in the territory? Perhaps this was all a mistake.
             Her stomach plummeted at the thought, but she pasted on a smile.“Hello. I’m searching for Mr. David Stone. Would you happen to know where he lives?”
           He laughed, a big, noisy guffaw. “Why, sweetheart, you’re lookin’ at him.” He moved down onto the next step, and Anne backed away, into the solid bulk of Dan Adams.
          “Daniel,” she gasped.
           Dan touched her back only for an instant, and she took comfort from that reassuring pat. He stepped around her, between her and the stranger.
          “Howdy. Are you Mr. Stone?”
         “Yes, I am,” the other man said. He held out a meaty hand. “I’m this little gal’s uncle. And who might you be, mister?”
         “My name is Daniel Adams.”
          The man’s eyes narrowed to slits as they shook hands, as though he was trying to categorize his guest, but Dan didn’t offer more information.
          Anne recovered at least a portion of her poise and moved up next to Dan. “I’m sorry, but you’re not at all what I expected.” She eyed the man. He was several inches taller than she was, but not nearly as tall as Daniel. She gazed at his fleshy face, his flinty eyes, and his slicked-back, badly barbered hair.
        She longed to bring out the miniature portrait in her handbag, but an inner restraint told her not to. This man could not be the same one who posed for the portrait twenty years ago. Or could he?
       “You wrote that you wanted to see me and give me some news,” the man said. “Come on in.”
         Anne looked at Dan. He arched his eyebrows, seeking her opinion.
       “Well, I. . .”
       “Come on.” The man started up the steps again, beckoning with his beefy arm. “Millie’s got supper ready.”


Susan Page Davis is giving away a copy of Lady Anne's Quest. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

You can find out more on Susan's website and her facebook page.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Welcome Susan Page Davis

Susan Page Davis is the author of 37 published novels and novellas. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband Jim, a retired editor. They have six children and eight grandchildren.


Is there a story behind this book?
Lady Anne started her journey in The Lady’s Maid. She left England with her maid and closest friend, Elise, to find her uncle. The clues they found led them to join a wagon train for Oregon. This series came about after I suggested some ideas to my editor. She liked the idea of bringing the aristocracy to the West. What started you on your writing journey? I began writing stories when I was very young, but I only began seriously writing fiction about 15 years ago. I realized that I had a complicated story in my head and that it was in reality a book. Since I began writing it down, I have never looked back.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Other people.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
Mysteries, suspense, historicals. Right now I’m reading Renee Yancy’s A Secret Hope, set in ancient Ireland, on my Kindle, and Tim Downs’s Nick of Time, a contemporary suspense, in paperback.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I like Millie very much. So much I decided to bring her back in book 3, A Lady in the Making. She’s a woman with “a past,” and a limitless future.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Probably folk music.

What is your strangest habit?
Some people probably think it’s strange that my family writes and performs skits at holiday gatherings. Each group of 5 or 6 people might have to present a skit including something like a bandanna, a bag of marshmallows, a musical number, and the phrase, “Is that your final answer?” The requirements change each time. We’ve seen some very memorable performances.

What is your favorite season of the year?
It always used to be spring because that is the farthest from winter. I say this having lived more than 50 years in Maine. And now that I live in Kentucky, I think it’s still my favorite. Springtime is just plain beautiful.

What is a favorite (season) memory from your childhood?
I was the youngest of five. One summer my brother set up his whole electric train set in my room and let me use it while my three sisters were away at camp. (I was too young to go.)

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Every day. Can you spell vacuum?

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!)
Probably lasagna, but I don’t make it very often anymore.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
One that shows up repeatedly in my books is forgiveness and reconciliation.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Cowgirl Trail is due to release in April. It’s set in 1884 Texas. When a rancher’s cowboys go on strike, his daughter enlists her girlfriends to help her finish the roundup and cattle drive.


Expecting to find her long lost uncle, Lady Anne Stone instead discovers an imposter using his name. Her quest to find the new Earl of Stoneford continues—with the swindler and his lady friend hot on the trail. As Daniel Adams and Anne struggle to outrun and outwit their adversaries, Dan finds it necessary to guard his heart as carefully as he guards Anne, certain he’ll never convince Anne to join him on a wheat farm in Oregon. She wants only to return to her beloved life in England. But as Anne’s quest becomes even more difficult—and dangerous—will she find her priorities shifting?

Thanks Susan.
You can find out more about Susan's books here:
website or facebook page

Susan Page Davis is giving away a copy of Lady Anne's Quest. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Please Welcome Author Delia Latham


Is there a story behind this book?
Gypsy's Game is the third book in my Solomon's Gate Series. I don't think there's a story behind this individual book, but the series as a whole has been an immense blessing to me. God opened my eyes and my understanding to a number of things as I wrote. For instance, the reality of angels in our world, and the power in the obedient use of anointing oil.  I feel honored and humbled that He would care enough about me, my writing, and my readers to insert Himself into the series in this way.

What started you on your writing journey?
I like to say that I was born with a pen in my hand…and I really don't think it's that far from the truth! I've always loved to write, and have been doing so since I was just a pipsqueak, always running around with notebook in one hand and pencil in the other. I grew up and became a staff writer for a large daily newspaper, and played around with writing other things (short stories, poems, songs, etc.), while promising myself a novel "someday." God kind of woke me up one morning and reminded me that if I was going to do it, it ought to be done before I got too old to ride the train of thought! (It was almost too late already! LOL)  So I got off my duff and started writing, and He has held my hand, provided inspiration, and given me words I didn't know I knew. It has been and continues to be an amazing ride, and I'm just oh-so-grateful that Jesus has the wheel!

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
The internet. No contest. It's a wonderful tool, and a tremendous distraction.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 
I don't tend to like just "one" genre. I love romance, of course—but I like sweet romance, and I like romance with a touch of suspense and mystery. I've always enjoyed tales with a bit of a scary bite, as well—and that includes certain Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. In fact, the two books that made the most lasting impression on me are Stephen King's The Stand and Robert R. McCammon's Swan Song. They're both epic tales of a post-apocalyptic worl, and grand battles of good vs. evil.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I love them all, but I particularly enjoyed Kylie and Lea, from book two. Kylie's lack of self-esteem and her unfortunate phobia of facial disfiguration was interesting research, and it was so satisfying to "grow" her from who she was at the beginning of the book to a much stronger, more confident woman at the end. And little Lea…well, she was just a gift from God. I didn’t really plan her into the story…she just happened, and I loved her from the first moment. I think readers will too.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I'd probably be the introduction of a brand new genre with a touch of country, a beat of bluegrass, and a blast of old-time rock and roll. Maybe folks would call it Blue Country Blast. :D

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I'm not the quirkiest of gals—too much fundamentalist Pentecost in my childhood. LOL  It tended to make a little girl into a proper young lady before her time. But I grew up in a little farming community and ran around barefoot 99.9% of the time (still do, when I'm at home!). I remember, while working at the newspaper, I stood one day at a third-floor window and noticed that across the street, there was a mini-mountain of fill dirt that had been brought into a lot where an office building was being erected. I longed…desperately yearned to kick off my shoes and run across the street so I could walk in it and feel the cool dirt between my toes. I shared the inclination with a friend, who encouraged me to go for it…but I didn't. I'm sure at least a couple newspaper photographers would have been over there taking pictures within 60 seconds. I couldn't have that, now could I? :D

What is your favorite season of the year?
 Spring! I love the new signs of life, and watching Lady Spring chase Old Man Winter into hiding.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
It's a tactile memory that I treasure, and it somehow makes its way into my books now and then…. Daddy always had a heavy beard. I mean, he was clean-cut, but he had to shave twice a day to accomplish that. When he came home from work, he always had the most wonderful five o-clock shadow. I'd run out to meet him, and he'd pick me up in one arm while his lunch pail dangled from the other hand. I'd wrap my skinny little arms around his neck and rub my cheek against his. I absolutely loved the scratchy feel of it…I can still feel it when I think about it. Daddy always laughed and pulled away, grinning and shaking his head. "You're going to scratch that soft skin of yours." He said it every time. But I never did…always did it again the next night, and he'd repeat the little ritual all over again. How I miss him!

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Oh, yeah? Doesn't everyone? J I don't go see the doctor until I'm pretty sure it's do or die. As a writer, I tend to procrastinate when I should be starting a new book. I'm fine once I get going—in fact, I completely lose myself in that fictional world and tend to forget there's a real one around for a while. But sitting down to get those first words…that first chapter…yeah. I put it off far too long every time.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? 
You are so asking the wrong person! Not because I don't enjoy meals with family and friends, but because I love them. I confess: I love to eat. LOL I love having everyone gathered around the table and the chatter coming from so many directions that it becomes just a buzz. I love seeing familiar faces I haven't seen in a long time, and catching up over potato salad and tri-tip, or fried chicken and mashed potatoes—or plain old sandwiches and chips. The fare doesn't matter, just the family. So I guess I'd have to say my favorite "meal" with family and friends is any meal at a large gathering, like a reunion of some kind. Our family often jokes that even funerals become something of a celebration, because for many of us, they're the only time we get to see each other. But I think that's God's way of helping us through the grieving process, don't you? Just bringing together all the people who loved the departed loved one, and who love each other. No meal at any five-star restaurant could outdo that kind of meal.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Again, not something I'd thought out or planned, but angels have found their way into all but one of my books so far. God used the Solomon's Gate series to open my eyes and my understanding of a number of things, most specifically angels and anointing oil.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
So many wonderful scriptures, so little space to share them! J I have two very favorite verses, and I can't share one and not the other.
Psalm 51:10, because it is my daily prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Phillipians 4:8, because it leaves no doubt about the things we should allow into our minds. If we think constantly on these things…there's no room for anything dangerous, detrimental, or deadly to our spiritual man. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Gypsy's Game releases March 16. It's the third book in the Solomon's Gate series, and a little different from the other two…but I think my readers are going to love. I certainly loved writing it!

Purchase the book at:                       
Barnes & Noble                     

Delia Latham is giving away a PDF fileWinner's choice of the three Solomon's Gate books: Destiny's Dream, Kylie's Kiss, or Gypsy's Game.
The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Untill next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Delia Latham's Gypsy's Game

Born and raised in Weedpatch, California, Delia Latham moved to Oklahoma in '08, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. She's a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She loves Dr. Pepper and hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website or e-mail delia AT delialatham DOT net.
Delia writes inspirational romance and women's fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.

Back Cover Blurb 

Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers.

Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him.

Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he's willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms.

What Gypsy doesn’t know is that Solomon’s Gate is a dating agency with a Divine connection. What she finds there may save more than her mother’s life. It may save Gypsy’s soul.

Book Trailer 


Book Excerpt 

   If someone had told her two weeks ago that she’d be sitting where she sat right now, she’d have threatened to turn them into a toad. Not that she had the slightest idea how to turn a person into any kind of amphibian, but she’d been born with the sultry looks to match her ridiculous name, so people tended to suspect she might.
   Until now, Gypsy'd had no plans to ever be married. Watching her mother fade and draw into herself after being abandoned by the love of her life—Gypsy’s father—freed Gypsy of any illusions about romance in general, and certainly about happy ever afters.
   But Destiny didn’t know that. And Gypsy wasn't going to tell her.
   “Well, if your application is approved and you become an official Solomon’s Gate Seeker, then we’ll pray that your first experience will also be your last.” The owner’s open smile lit up her whole face, including the mesmerizing green eyes with their fringe of lush, dark lashes. She peeked at the application attached to a clipboard on her lap. “Speaking of prayer. I haven’t asked you yet about your faith.” She looked up and straight into Gypsy’s soul. “You are a Christian, aren’t you?”
   “Depends on what you call a Christian.”
   The other woman’s smile took a slow leave. “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? Do you believe that He is Lord? That He died for the sins of the world, that He rose again on the third day, and that He now lives in the hearts of those who love Him and live according to His Word?” Her otherwise smooth brow furrowed enough to place a neat little crease across her forehead. “It’s not a trick question, Gypsy. Either you are a Christian, or you’re not.”
   Gypsy shrugged. “Then I guess I’m not. Is that a problem?”
   “Yes, I’m afraid it is.” Destiny laid aside the application she’d been studying and shook her head. “My Seekers are Christians. That’s the foundation Solomon’s Gate is built on. I rarely make exceptions to that rule, and then only when I feel a direct unction from the Holy Spirit.”
   What on earth was the woman talking about? Unction? Holy Spirit?
She stood and crossed to a window that offered a view of a huge, rolling green lawn. She had hoped not to have to explain herself in too much detail. Heaven only knew how much she needed to find what she was looking for in a hurry. She didn’t have time to go traipsing off to Sacramento—the nearest large metropolis—to find an agency without all the goody-goody hang-ups.
   “Let me be honest, Destiny. I’m not here to find—” Gypsy tossed a derisive glance at the scripture on the wall. “—‘he whom my soul loveth.’ I have no use for romance, and I don’t believe in love. I just need a husband for a few months.”
  “I—I beg your pardon?” Destiny stammered.
   Her elegant hostess seemed a bit ruffled. Oh, well.
   “Look, I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to play games. I stand to inherit quite a bit of money. Money I desperately need.” She balled her fists at her side and steeled her voice. “I am entitled to that inheritance, and I intend to have it. My father owes me.”
   “What does that have to do with your being here?”
   Gypsy crossed the room to stand in front of the other woman. “I can’t claim any of this inheritance unless I’m married. And I have to stay married at least six months in order to get the entirety of it.” She tried to smile, and felt her lips curl into what felt more like a bitter snarl. “My dad wasn’t around while I was growing up. He left when I was four and we—my mother and I—never heard from him again. Until now, that is, and apparently this is his last laugh. Dangling his money in front of me like a carrot, then jerking it out of reach by attaching this ridiculous stipulation to the will.”
   Destiny stood and crossed her arms under her breasts. Her shoulders raised a bit, hunching toward her neck, and she shook her head. “I’m afraid I can’t help you, Gypsy. I’m sorry.”
   Something in the matchmaker’s somber gaze gripped Gypsy’s heart. Sadness? Pity? Whatever it was, it curled her stomach into a tight little ball and stung the backs of her eyes with forbidden tears.
   On to Sacramento then.
   She bent to pick up her purse and slipped the strap over her shoulder, then met Destiny’s gaze, which now brimmed with moisture. Oh, good heavens. Waterworks. Just what she needed.
   Pretending not to notice the matchmaker’s emotional reaction, Gypsy offered her hand. “I’m sorry too. I wish we could have made it work.”
   To her surprise, Destiny ignored her outstretched hand and pulled her into a warm hug. “I’ll pray for you, Gypsy.” She stepped back and swiped at her damp cheeks with one hand. “I really w—”
   “I’ll do it.” A deep, resonant voice interrupted, and both women spun around to face the door. “I’ll marry the lady.”
   Gypsy sucked in a startled breath. She wasn’t fond of men, but she wasn’t blind, either. This guy left “mediocre” miles behind. He lolled against the door frame as if he’d been formed for no better reason than to stand there in that position. A pair of dark, impossibly beautiful eyes narrowed as he raked her face with a piercing gaze. A lock of deep brown hair fell over his forehead, and a five o’clock shadow lent a slightly rakish look, which was further defined when his precisely molded lips curved into a crooked half smile.
   Gorgeous. The man was gorgeous, and he’d offered to marry her.
   Maybe there was a God.


Purchase the book at:                       
Amazon

Delia Latham is giving away a PDF file. Winner's choice of the three Solomon's Gate books: Destiny's Dream, Kylie's Kiss, or Gypsy's Game.
The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Untill next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Please Welcome Author Christy Barritt


Is there a story behind Race Against Time?
I came home from dropping my son off at preschool one day, and I heard something ticking when I walked into my house. For a moment—and just a moment—I froze, wondering what the sound could be. It turned out that my son left an egg-timer on in the bathroom. My imagination took off from there and I began asking the age-old question of, “What if….?” That’s when this book was born. It’s about a serial killer who uses timers as a psychological weapon (of sorts) against his victims. The book takes place in a sleepy fishing village in Virginia. One reader called it an “atmospheric thriller.”

What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve always loved writing, even from a really young age. In fact, I even wrote a couple of books in high school. I continued writing in college and later got a job at a Christian publishing house. My father became ill, so I decided to move back home. I felt God prodding me back to my first love—writing. Writing helped me get through the difficult times while my father was in hospice care and then later after he died. Stories can bring such healing and help us to sort out the jumbled thoughts and emotions we face. I haven’t looked back since then!

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
That one is easy—my kids! But also email and Facebook. Occasionally my dog will push my keyboard under the desk with his nose. That’s when I really know I need to take a break!

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
I love mystery and suspense. I do enjoy reading Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton. I also think Linda Hall is an amazing, subtle suspense writer.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Acoustic rock—all the way!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
According to my husband, everything I do is quirky. He claims I drink soda from a bottle as if I’m auditioning to be in a commercial. I really like for all of my food to be separated—no casseroles, please! I name my cars—La Rouge was my red Mustang, The Silver Bullet was my silver Mustang (yeah, I like Mustangs!), and Bucky was my 4-Runner (what can I say? The SUV just struck me as Bucky!). J

What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn. I love the leaves and the weather—especially when I visit the mountains.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Laundry. Dusting. Weeding. Yeah, just about anything housework! At the same time, I can’t stand for things to be dirty or too messy. Household chores are a necessary evil, I guess!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? 
Chicken and dumplings! Yep, I’m a southern gal, and my mom makes the best southern country food ever! I’ve tried to copy her recipe but it never, ever tastes as good.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I think the core story that I tell the most is about how God can take the messes in our lives and turn them into something beautiful. I really believe that the hard times help to make us better people. I’ve been there. I’ve lived that message, and I know it’s true. While we’re going through a crisis, the truth of God’s love can be hard to see and feel. That’s why it’s so important that we dwell on it constantly, so much that it’s ingrained in us. That way when the hard times hit, even though our emotions may go crazy, our spirit can stay grounded in God’s assurances and promises.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’ve got several things in the works right now. April is going to be a huge month for me. To thank all of my readers, I’m hosting Reader Appreciation Month. I’ll be doing tons of giveaways with some really cool prizes—like winning a part in one of my books! That said, I’m also re-releasing two books (Hazardous Duty and The Trouble with Perfect) that went out of print, and I’m releasing a book on writing (The Novel in Me)—for free! You can visit my website at: www.christybarritt.com to find out more details. In May, my cozy mystery, Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife, releases. My next Love Inspired Suspense will release in September and it’s called Ricochet. It’s a spooky little mystery that takes place at a Christian summer camp that’s on the verge of shutting down.

Purchase RACE AGAINST TIME at:                       
Barnes & Noble             

Christy Barritt is giving away a copy of RACE AGAINST TIME. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Untill next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

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