Thursday, June 28, 2012

Please Welcome Author Christy Barritt



Hi Christy. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks so much for having me. I always enjoy visiting the Barn Door Book Loft!

Is there a story behind Death of the Couch Potato's Wife?
I was sitting around with some friends and listening to their horror stories about overbearing homeowners associations. They were telling me things like they had to get approval to work on their flowerbeds or to put a pool in their backyard. They weren’t allowed to work on their cars in the driveway or put up basketball hoops. They had to get approval before painting their shutters and they got notices if their trashcan stayed curbside too long or if their grass was a little too high. I knew there was a book in there somewhere. As usual, my mind started going, “What if…?” I was off and running. I thought setting a mystery series around a suburban homeowners association would be great fun. I was right—I had a blast creating Boring, Indiana and all of the characters there!

What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve always loved stories, for as long as I can remember. I seriously did write three novels while in high school. I continued writing into college and took a job at a Christian publishing house after college. Writing and telling stories has always been my passion. I probably wrote 15 books before I ever got published. I persevered through the storm of rejections, feeling confident that I was doing what God had called me to do. I’m so glad I did!

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My cute little boys. They’re two and six. I spend plenty of time with them, but it’s good for me to have some time to myself to write, also! Other than my children, I find that Facebook and email are huge distractions.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Babe. I loved writing about Babe! I always have fun when I’m able to create characters who are quirky and different and fun. Babe fits the bill on that all the way. She’s in her 70s, but addicted to everything and anything someone in their early twenties might be.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Acoustic rock. I love it! In fact, I play the guitar and sing. I used to play a lot of coffeehouses, and that was my style.

What is your strangest habit?
I sing—like, all the time, without realizing it. If I’m not singing, I’m humming or snapping my fingers or sometimes breaking out into a little dance. My kids aren’t old enough to be embarrassed by this—YET. I’m just waiting. LOL

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Absolutely. Housework. And laundry. Always laundry. J

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
One of the big lessons God is constantly teaching me is about how he can the messes in our lives and turn them into something beautiful. I think that theme shows through in all of my books. Life can be bittersweet and pain can be beautiful in its own way, especially when we’re pointed back to our Creator as a result. I look back on all the heartbreak and disappointment in my own life, and I know I’m a better person as a result of what I’ve been through.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Ricochet is releasing in September with Love Inspired Suspense. The book takes place at a Christian summer camp. If you’ve ever enjoyed a good campfire story or been awakened by a strange noise outside your cabin while at camp, you’ll like this story! I went to summer camp while growing up, and I also traveled for two summers with a music and drama team from my college to various camps, so I had plenty of experiences to draw on!

Thank you so much Christy!

Purchase The Book At:
Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:


Christy Barritt is giving away a copy of  Death of the Couch Potato's WifeThe 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.

Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Christy Barritt's Death of the Couch Potato's Wife

About the author:
Christy Barritt has penned articles for Campus Life, Marriage Partnership, Blueridge Country, The Plain Truth, Guideposts for Teens, Brio, and The Lookout.

She's the author of the Squeaky Clean Mystery Series (Kregel Publications). Hazardous Duty, the first book in the series, took third place in the ACFW Book of the Year contest. The series is about a crime-scene cleaner who also solves crimes. The second book in the series, Suspicious Minds, will hit shelves in May 2008.

She also co-authored a non-fiction book, Changed: True Stories of Finding God in Christian Music. The book is currently available in Christian bookstores across the country.

Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia (suburbia, America), she journeyed off to college in Cincinnati where she majored in communications and psychology. She worked at a Christian publishing house for two and a half years after college. During this time, she also had a short jaunt in the independent Christian music field.

When family obligations called her home, she saw it as the push she needed to start writing again. The journey has been scary, she says, but it's definitely where she should be.

She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

Christy's married to Scott, a high school teacher and funny man extraordinaire. In June 2006, they added a little boy named Eli to their happy mix. They also have two dogs and a houseplant named Martha. When Christy's not writing, she's also on staff part-time at Celebration Christian Church, where she leads worship each week.

For more information, visit her website at: www.christybarritt.com.

The Blurb:
Welcome to Boring, Indiana, home to patio cookouts, homeowner dues, carpeted lawns, and neighbors so welcoming they’re dying to meet you—literally.

City slicker turned suburbanite housewife Laura Berry isn’t taking well to life in her new neighborhood. She moved to follow her husband’s dream, and now she can[‘t tell if she’s clinically depressed or just bored half to death. But
Boring becomes anything but when Laura discovers her neighbor Candace Flynn face up on a sofa with her hand buried in a snack bag. With a healthy dose of neighborly suspicion and street smarts, Laura stes out to find
Flynn’s killer, but her curiosity becomes desperation when the killer targets Laura.

Someone is determined to stop her from digging deeper into the murder, but Laura is just as determined to figure out who’s behind the death-by-poisoned-pork-rinds.

Excerpt:
   “This is called breaking and entering.” 
    Babe, my neighbor, waved her hand in the air in a laid-back way that made me wonder if she’d been a cat burglar in her pre-senior citizen days discount days. “We’re not breaking anything.” 
    My neck muscles clenched tighter. “How about the law?” 
   “Nonsense, Laura. We’re just being neighborly.” Babe used that word a lot, including when gossiping and borrowing lawn equipment from other people’s sheds—without their permission. My husband and I had been the recipients of her neighborly deed on many occasions. 
   Babe and I stood on the porch of Candace Flynn’s house, staring at her front door. Though it was only 3 p.m., the crisp winter sun was already beginning its descent, and a glare of light caught on the glass atop the door, nearly blinding us.
All the other neighbors on the cul-de-sac seemed to be occupied at the moment because no one else stirred. Most of them were working or at afternoon tot time at the local gym. 
   Sure, Candace’s husband had been out of town all week on a golf outing. But was that really an excuse for the mostly dry, yellowing grass in her front yard to be uncut with wisps of some kind of winter weed waving to everyone who passed? Or for the garbage cans to remain curbside for two days? For various flyers, once stuffed behind her door handle, not to litter the stoop? 
   Even more disturbing than the aesthetic no-no’s of her yard was the fact that the storm door, which had been closed just yesterday, not flapped open. 
   And there was the small fact that on one had seen the woman in two days—and Candace always made herself known. She wasn’t even answering her cell phone, which usually appeared to be glued to her ear. 
   All of these things left me with three thoughts. First, I considered that maybe Candace had spontaneously taken off on a trip herself. I couldn’t fault her for doing so, because I knew her husband never cut her any slack.

Purchase The Book At
Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:


Christy Barritt is giving away a copy of  Death of the Couch Potato's Wife. 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.

Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jordyn Redwood's Proof


Hi Jordyn. Thanks for joining us today. 
Thanks so much for having me! It’s so great being here today.

Is there a story behind the novel Proof?
The inspiration for this novel came from a Discovery Health Channel special. Though, I can’t say which one. Don’t want to spoil the plot!

What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve always penned stories from the time I was very young. What put me on the publishing path was failure in my own life and finally surrendering to God’s will. It’s a long story but God’s path, though at times difficult, is always the more rewarding one (and I’m not talking about money.)  

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Nearly everything. Husband. Kids. Social Media. Research. I have to be very disciplined to make my writing goals.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 
The two biggest categories I read are suspense and non-fiction. I’ll list some and put my favorite books by that author in parentheses. My favorite suspense authors are Dean Koontz (Life Expectancy), Lisa Gardner (Love You More), Harlan Coben (The Woods) and Linwood Barclay (Never Look Away). On the Christian side: Robert Liparulo (Comes a Horseman) and Ted Dekker (BoneMan’s Daughters).

For non-fiction it’s usually what I need to research at the time. Right now, I’m reading a lot on near death experiences and research into the physical existence of the soul for my next trilogy.

Which character in Proof most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Oohhh, tough choice. I have a big heart for Detective Nathan Long. I know Lilly has had a rough upbringing but Nathan feels responsible for a hostage situation gone awry and that baggage has altered his course dramatically. That’s where his dogged pursuit of criminals comes from—never wanting to lose a life on his watch again.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
A praise and worship song with a good driving beat. That’s what I workout to.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Yikes! The well is deep I could draw from here. As part of a citizens’ police academy, I got to do a ride-along with a police officer. As he was going lights and sirens to a reported stabbing, I was giving advice to his wife on his cell phone for their young son who had croup—trying to talk calmly as he took turns at Mock 10—throwing me against the window. An ER nurse’s job follows her everywhere. I also snuck a guide dog into an ICU once so he could be a presence for the child as he was dying.

What is your strangest habit? 
I have to be the first one to read a book or magazine. I don’t like to read a new book after someone else. That new book feel and smell needs to be all mine. My husband has actually checked books out from the library because I wouldn’t let him read a book first.

What is your favorite season of the year?
Definitely Autumn. Love the cool, crisp weather. Colors. And—we’re back in holiday candy season.

 What is a favorite seasonal memory from your childhood?
Winter—as that’s when Christmas was. Still one of my favorite things is the Christmas church service where everyone lights candles. So beautiful.  

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Eating the right foods. Exercise—no problem but cutting out chocolate is never going to happen.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
I love Mexican food! That’s where I’ll go with friends as my husband isn’t a big fan.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The sacrificial nature of Christ’s love for us.  

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” It just sums up what the goal in life should ultimately be about.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Poison is the second book in the Bloodline Trilogy and will release Feb 1, 2013. Keelyn Samuals’s sister, Raven, is missing.  Keelyn’s fiancĂ©, SWAT commander Lee Watson, is investigating a string of mysterious deaths that lead him to believe Raven is the killer. Or is she? 

Purchase the book at:                       

 Jordyn Redwood is giving away a copy of Proof. 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.

Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Please Welcome Jordyn Redwood


Bio: Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel, Proof, has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at www.jordynredwood.net
Back Cover Blurb: Amazon Blurb: Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?
Purchase the book at:                       
                 
 Jordyn Redwood is giving away a copy of Proof. 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.

Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy


Friday, June 15, 2012

Welcome Back, Nikki


So glad you're here this week, Nikki. Tell us, what is your favorite scripture verse and why does it resound with you?

I feel like God gave me a life verse in the summer of 2010. I was deeply involved with helping a Muslim Background Believer (MBB) who was escaping from a country in the Middle East. In that case, as with others I have helped, I saw God perform miracle after miracle to save his life. If I had not been a witness to them, if I had heard about them from someone else, I would not have believed they happened. They were so beyond my understanding of what was possible at that time in my life.

I asked God why He was showing me all these incredible things. Why were my prayers and the prayers of others being answered in this way? The same day that I put that question before Him I went to a Bible study class. The verse for the week was Isaiah 43:10. When I heard it, I knew God was speaking to me directly. 

"You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know Me, believe Me and remain steadfast to Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.” (AMP)

He made me a witness to them and when I tell others about them, it makes them witnesses too. I believe He is showing us His power and authority as time grows short. He desires that none die lost.

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

It was inspired by my ministry, A Voice for the Persecuted. I help persecuted Christians who are under the threat of death . . . here in America! That is code for Muslims who convert to Christianity. Working with Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) has changed my life.

Muslims who convert to Christianity pay a huge price for their faith. Most I talk to live under persecution by their former friends and family. They have no jobs because they live in a Muslim community and are shunned. And of course there are those who have been deported and/or killed.

I feel a burden to tell their stories. To introduce American Christians who have a fear of Muslims to characters who are patterned after Muslims and MBBs I have met. They live and work among us. We can reach out to them, model the love of Christ, and then with the leading of the Holy Spirit, give them what Islam can never give!

 

Your first novels were women’s fiction. This novel is suspense. Was there a reason you switched?

A. The story told in The Next Target really calls for the suspense genre. But the genre isn’t what defines my books. I write transformational fiction. That is what readers of my books are looking for. Transformational fiction is fiction that deals with tough issues. It seeks to show how God's Truth transforms characters on their journey. And it invites the reader to journey with them. Readers often find they are touched or changed in some way by the story.

My books deal with social, political, and spiritual issues that Christian's face today. My first novel, The Winds of Sonoma, touched on illegal immigration. The hero is a Mexican laborer. It is a love story based on my own experience of meeting my husband! In Book 2, In the Shade of the Jacaranda, the hero and heroine in Book 1 are married and it deals with unplanned pregnancies and abortion. In Book 3, The Fragrance of Roses, I deal with leukemia and the need to have more minorities donating to bone marrow registries. And I always try to have at least one character who would be judged “less than” by the world. A one-legged beggar, a child with Down syndrome, or a poor, illiterate stableman become the catalyst of the story, impacting the other characters in the book in positive, life-changing ways. I do this as a way of breaking stereotypes.

I believe that God has a plan for every life no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes it is hard to see that plan when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. That’s why in my books, quite often, things are not what they seem. I have found God’s ways to be mysterious and beautiful. I try to show through my characters that if we will approach the challenges that come to us with an eye to discern His divine hand at work and a willingness to be a vessel of His love, we will overcome.

 

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?

It would be on a desert island with my husband. I adore that man. We’ve been married 36 years and he still treats me like we’re dating. The first book I wrote, The Winds of Sonoma, is about how I met him, how God’s hand orchestrated it, and how it led me to the conclusion that God’s ways are mysterious and beautiful. He would be cooking the fish he caught with the spear he fashioned out of a piece of wood he found, as we drank milk from the coconuts he opened with his bare hands. Yep, believe me, he is that resourceful and capable! Besides salvation, he is the best thing God ever gave me.

You have a beautiful relationship only God could orchestrate! Where would you like to live permanently if you could have a choice? Why?

I would like to live on the edge of the ocean. There is something about the ocean, at dawn or at dusk, that touches my soul.

Me, too, Nikki! Please tell us where readers can stay in touch with you and where to purchase your book.

A. I am in all the usual places. “Like” me on my Facebook Author Page,
www.facebook.com/nikkiaranaauthor or follow me on my blog http://www.nikkiarana.com/blog/ . If you visit my website, www.nikkiarana.com , you’ll find a tab called My World and one called My Ministry. There’s a lot of information there. And if you tweet I’m @nikkiarana

To buy the book and read reviews about it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-Target-Novel-ebook/dp/B007ZH731K/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1338664016&sr=1-3

Nikki is giving away a copy of The Next Target. 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, June 14, 2012

Welcome, Nikki Arana!

Would You Share Your Faith If It Would Cost You Your Life?
 

It only took one bullet. Austia's friend and student fell dead. And with a glimpse of a newspaper headline, the young and recently widowed Austia knows more about what happened than the police. From that fatal night, Austia’s secret outreach to the U.S. Muslim community—in the guise of English language classes—becomes a target. Local Muslim extremists set their sights on ending her ministry and even her life. And the women she ministers to will be next.

A thick web of deceit closes in around Austia, and her circle of friends becomes smaller by the day, even as she finally opens herself to the idea of falling in love again. But who can she trust? Facing a spiritual battle that proves more treacherous than it at first seemed, Austia’s convictions are tested to their limits and her heart becomes primed for breaking. She must ask herself: how much she will risk to stay true to her herself, her faith, and to the lives of the women she serves?



Nikki is giving away a copy of The Next Target. 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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Welcome Back, Michelle Sutton


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

My favorite scripture verse is Romans 8:11-13 (well, technically it's three verses) because that was the first portion of scripture that opened my eyes to the fact that something has to change inside your heart for your spirit to be reborn, and that was what I had been missing in my life before I gave my life to Christ. The power that raised Jesus from the dead wasn't living in me. That was the reason why I couldn't truly change before when I tried to do it on my own.

 

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

At first I was just trying to write a story that my agent said was being sought after at the time. They wanted NASCAR stories, so I whipped up a chapter and a synopsis and handed it in. Needless to say some better known authors were chosen, not to mention that my opening was just a bit…edgy.

In the opening scene this famous racecar driver is looking though his bedroom window while he's talking on the phone. He has binoculars in his suitcase since he just returned from a trip. He adjusts the binoculars and sees a girl sunbathing in the backyard next door that he's not met before. Of course, being a worldly playboy, he must meet her. She is not impressed, however, and tells him to get lost after he teases her about how she will get a nasty burn from laying out in the sun to long. The problem is that he's right. She gets a really bad sunburn and can barely move (she is also a burn unit nurse by trade and knows better than to roast her skin) so she goes to him for help. This starts an unlikely friendship that eventually blossoms into more.

But what I wanted to show in this story was a man who was used to having any girl he wanted and anything he wanted suddenly humbled and searching for God. His best friend had been witnessing to him for years, but to no avail. And the heroine is a young woman who used to have strong faith and had backslidden in her walk with the Lord. She is very insecure with the hero because he gets attention everywhere he goes and she feels like she needs to compete with his many female admirers. So she does some dumb stuff. There is a lot of tension as well because he is trying to behave and show his father he is responsible so his dad will give him the family business and he can retire from racing. What begins as a ruse becomes the real thing.

 

Do you have a favorite character in your book that is dear to your heart?

Donny the sexy racecar driver is my favorite character, of course. Why? Because I always say there is nothing sexier than a man who strives to keep his passions under control, and this man is newly saved and not used to denying himself anything. He's very heroic, in my opinion, and did I mention sexy? LOL!

 

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?

Of course, I'd share it with my husband. A favorite meal? I like so many things! It's hard to choose just one.

Where would you like to live permanently if you could have a choice? Why?

Somewhere exotic, like Hawaii. I love the whole "beach at night" thing. Now that I'm getting older I just get funky age-spots (that look like large freckles) on my face, so I'm not into the tanning scene at all. But walks on the beach at night and watching the sun set? I'd love to treasure those times.

Please tell us where readers can stay in touch with you and where to purchase your book.

My website is
www.michellesutton.net and my book can be purchased anywhere ebooks are sold. However, when the book is purchased directly from the publisher there is no middle man taking all the profits and leaving the publisher and I will a little bit to share. If people could purchase the book straight from the publisher in their preferred e-format, that's my preference. Here is a link to the publisher's page where you can purchase one of several different formats…
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-306/Out-of-Time-Michelle/Detail.bok



Michelle is giving away a copy of Out of Time. 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, June 11, 2012

A Warm Welcome to Michelle Sutton



Out of Time
About the book:
Bree Le Fleur moves to Arizona to heal from her past. She meets her neighbor Donny Garafalo Jr., race car driver and model. Unlike most, she's not impressed. After their disastrous introduction, Bree ends up needing Donny's help. They become friends and Donny decides Bree is the perfect girl for him. He won't inherit the family business unless he can change his ways. He believes dating Bree and attending church will persuade his father. While following his ruse, they fall in love and find faith. Things look promising until Donny hits the road again for his final racing circuit and Bree discovers a plot to harm him. She tries to tell him, but he won't listen, so she takes matters into her own hands. When he finds out, will he thank her for meddling or send her packing? Is their love strong enough to make it through the ultimate test?


Check back tomorrow for her interview and another chance to win her book.

Michelle is giving away a copy of Out of Time. 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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Winner

of

Valerie Comer's book: Rainbow's End--Jo (ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com)
Staci Stallings' book: Deep in the Heart--Brenda (bbrendaon8@bellsouth.netook)

Congratulations!
Winners, it's your responsibility to contact me at browncarole212(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address so the author can send you a book.


Happy Reading
Carole Brown

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