Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Cleo Lampos

It's great to welcome Cleo with us today. She's an extremely good teacher, and I believe you'll love her book! Now, to the interview:

Is there a story behind your book, Diamonds In The Tough?
It is a result of 26 years of teaching and “journaling as therapy”. I wrote to document my attempts to reach emotionally disturbed and behavior disordered students. The reflective value of journaling is amazing.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy two genre the most. One is biography because truth is stranger than fiction. Torey Hayden, a teacher/psychologist, wrote narrative nonfiction and influenced me as a special education teacher with her quasi-biographical books. The other genre is historical fiction because I learn so much about a period of history by reading well written novels like those of Lynn Austin.

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?

I would like to paint like Mary Cassett because she drew her inspiration from the nurturing of mothers toward their children. Her work fills me with maternal feelings of love and compassion.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, the only job that I could get in our small Wisconsin town was the onion ring factory. Yes, I packed onion rings for 40 hours a week all summer. Two weeks after returning to college, people still commented, “Do you smell raw onions?”

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
My husband and I have ten grandchildren and they make me smile all the time. As a child, I lived in a foster home where there was a lot of love. I want my grandchildren to have many moments of joy in their lives and a refuge of unconditional acceptance.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
As a first year teacher, a girlfriend and I were able to go to Haiti to stay with missionaries during my spring break. The visit proved to be life changing for me. We went all over the island and watched as the missionary diagnosed diseases from malnutrition. We walked through the market and saw the beautiful items made by the Haitian people. We learned to appreciate our lives in the United States and the responsibility that comes with that privilege. Lifechanging.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The spiritual theme that I write about is that God sees every person as an individual with potential and worth. No matter what has happened or where a person has been, God restores with second chances. As an educator, I looked for the value in each student put in my care.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps.” This is my life verse and God has never failed to lead me in His way. This verse was the one I repeated as I moved from a farming community in Wisconsin to teach on Chicago’s South Side where I met my husband in an urban church.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Oak Tara is planning to publish the first in a series about the Teachers of Diamond Projects School by summer, 2013. It is titled Second Chances, and introduces a first year teacher from a rural area who is assigned to an urban classroom. She meets a police officer who cannot commit to her because of his home situation. As Zoey learns about her deaf student, the gangs in the neighborhood, and the uniqueness of her class, she deepens her faith in a God who gives everyone a second chance.

 

To buy the book, go here:www.amazon.com
The Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing Company

Cleo's bio:Few people spend their lives doing the things that they love. Author Cleo Lampos has been able to combine her love of writing and teaching. An avid reader, Lampos majored in Elementary Education at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Library Science Minor. She taught for 26 years after attaining a Master’s Degree in Special Education from St. Xavier University-Chicago. As an educator, she drafted educational positions for the teaching staff of the South Chicago suburban district.

Her magazine articles appeared in Focus on Teachers, Lookout, Christian Leadership, Freeway, Virtue, Today’s Child, and many others. Using her journals, she wrote a devotional, Teaching Diamonds in the Tough: Mining the Potential of Every Student, published in 2012 by Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Lampos was the 2011 SemiFinalist in the Genesis Contest for YA.


To connect with Cleo, go here:

Website/blog - www.cleolampos.com
Facebook - Cleo Lampos


Cleo is giving away a copy of Diamonds in the Rough. 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.


Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown



Monday, April 29, 2013

Diamonds in the Rough by Cleo Lampos

Finding the potential in problematic students is challenging regardless of the setting: public school, private school, church clubs, youth groups or Sunday School. In her book, Teaching Diamonds in the Tough, author Cleo Lampos reminds the reader on each page that every teacher possesses the power to shape a child’s future. Through illustrative episodes drawn from her teaching experiences, Lampos recreates the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreaks inherent in education. Undergirded with the belief that even the most incorrigible child can change if given affection, attention and guidance, the author inspires educators with story, Scripture, quotes and a suggested follow through action plan. The challenge, according to Lampos, is to look beyond the rough exteriors of a student’s attitude and behavior to their inner needs. Underneath may be a true diamond in the tough.

To Read a Sample of the book, go here:
 

MELISSA’S GIFT Melissa joined the staff at a time when middle-aged or forty-something teachers dominated. The twenty-something rookie with three years of experience reminded many of us of our daughters. It was difficult to reign in maternal feelings for Melissa, but, to our amazement, she didn’t need our protecting or mentoring.

Coming to the public school from a parochial setting, Melissa soon had her class in lock-step precision as they walked to lunch and gym. Somehow she spoke softly to twenty-five students who responded, maybe out of love. Their teacher always dressed up for school long skirts swishing, hair up, hair down, hair braided in an Eastern European style.

Melissa’s room boasted learning centers in each corner that changed weekly, as did many of the bulletin boards. On Friday afternoons, Melissa’s grandparents came to the classroom with home-baked goodies and worked individually with students on reading or math. After school, several students stayed to help wash the desktop and counters. Melissa’s grandmother put up intricately designed bulletin boards she had used in her many years teaching in the Chicago public school system.

I stood at my door day after day, looking across the hall at Melissa, glowingly greeting her students each morning. She seldom voiced frustration about so many children’s apathy toward eduction. Only a few of us knew she cried about the lack of progress that her under-privileged children made despite her efforts to stimulate their creativity and challenge their skills. To those in her care, Melissa presented a picture of love, beauty and concern.

“I used to be like that,” I often thought, watching her. Twenty years of teaching had deadened my soul, but Melissa rekindled a spark of idealism inside me that flickered dimly. After leaving college, I had chosen to teach in the Chicago area, wanting to reach the culturally deprived, high-risk students; thinking one teacher could make a difference; hoping to change lives in a positive way. I believed that God placed me in my particular classroom with specific students for a reason that stretched into eternity. Watching Melissa, that idealistic feeling returned and grew, changing my attitudes and style of teaching from tired and negative to a daily opportunity to reach out. At mid-life, I felt energized.

 Melissa taught for another year. In her third year, she married her best friend, Kevin, in a quiet ceremony, autumn leaves ablaze on the trees. They spent weekends on short trips to spots of natural beauty in neighboring states. Their honeymoon appeared endless.

I was sitting in the teachers’ lounge sipping my morning caffeine, when a phone call came through. “Melissa and Kevin were killed in an automobile accident while returning from Michigan. Kevin was thrown from the car as it impacted another. Melissa burned in the driver’s seat.”

The social worker moved the crisis team into full counseling mode. Most of us pushed through personal pain to keep the situation calm. So many children, so many questions.

I had never been to a funeral with two caskets. Melissa and Kevin’s wedding picture stood between the caskets, hundreds of flowers softening the brutal truth. We cried together as a faculty, we cried with the family, we cried until there were no more tears, only an ache in the heart. Melissa had accomplished much in a short time.

I still glance at Melissa’s old room and remember her energy, concern, and desire to reach the most difficult student. And I thank God for placing Melissa in a particular classroom, in a specific school, so an old, apathetic teacher could rekindle her flame of passion for students.

Look It Up
“Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.” Colossians 4:17

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58

Chalk It Up
“You can’t change the world. You can only change yourself.” - Beatrice Wood (102 year old American Artist)

“Those who lose dreaming are lost.” - Australian proverb

“You can’t turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again.” - Bonnie Prudden

“Some people come into our lives and quietly go. Others stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.” - Embroidered Motto on friend’s wall

Lesson Plan
Think back to the reasons why becoming a teacher intrigued you. Get in touch with the idealism that motivated your dedication. Breathe your youth back into a tired body.

To buy the book, go here:
www.amazon.com
The Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing Company


Cleo's bio:

Few people spend their lives doing the things that they love. Author Cleo Lampos has been able to combine her love of writing and teaching. An avid reader, Lampos majored in Elementary Education at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Library Science Minor. She taught for 26 years after attaining a Master’s Degree in Special Education from St. Xavier University-Chicago. As an educator, she drafted educational positions for the teaching staff of the South Chicago suburban district.

Her magazine articles appeared in Focus on Teachers, Lookout, Christian Leadership, Freeway, Virtue, Today’s Child, and many others. Using her journals, she wrote a devotional, Teaching Diamonds in the Tough: Mining the Potential of Every Student, published in 2012 by Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Lampos was the 2011 SemiFinalist in the Genesis Contest for YA.


To connect with Cleo, go here:

Website/blog - www.cleolampos.com
Facebook - Cleo Lampos


Cleo is giving away a copy of Diamonds in the Rough. 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.


Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Please Welcome Vanessa Riley to the Barn Door Book Loft

Hi Vanessa, thank you for joining us at the Book Loft today! We are eager to learn about your writing journey.

Is there a story behind your book Madeline's Protector?

It was a vivid dream that I had while I was pregnant. You could say it's a sweet figment of my chocolate cravings.

What started you on your writing journey?
I have been writing both technical and fiction pieces since high school. Writing is a strong part of my nature. If you can claim to write your own ending to Gone With The Wind, edit TV episodes in your mind, then you can understand this desire to create a perfect happy ending.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!) 
Of, course I love all regency novels. I'm really enjoying Laurie Alice Eakes, The Daughter's of Bainbridge Series. Lots of great angst.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why? 
I really like Justain. Though he's the earl now, he grew up a second son, the one who was expendable to his father. The lack of his father's approval undergirds all Justain's actions. I think folks growing up in difficult relationships with their parents can relate to Justain's small desire to please or win approval.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud? 
My daughter's reasoning. She is eight and excels in eight-year-old logic, like the time she wanted to help make the bathroom "nice". She painted the sink in acrylic paints.  We are still scrubbing it clean.

What is your favorite season of the year?
I love the autumn the best. To me, it's so full of colors, and the apples are the juiciest.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
My trip to London, England still inspires me. To see these places, which have existed for hundreds of years, is awe-inspiring.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love stories in which the hero or heroine finally view themselves as God does, not the lens of society. Even though my stories focus upon the 1800's, I think everyone needs to remember we are more than conquerors. We are wonderfully and beautifully made.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. 
Psalm 71:1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. The whole passage is stirring, but this plea to God is one I recite daily. To know I have a God to trust in who will never let me shamed.  When I am putting my faith in Him, I believe this covering extends to all my efforts, including my novels.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I am currently working on a few wips, mostly focused on the Old Baileys, the legendary courtroom of England. Think Perry Mason of the Regency.

Now that sounds intriguing! We'd love to have you come back when the next book is out.

Thank you so much for hosting me.  

The pleasure is all ours, Vanessa.

Purchase the book at:
Or have your local library order it in for you!

Vanessa Riley is giving away a copy of Madeline's ProtectorThe giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.
Please stop by RegencyReflections.com (April 26-May 5) and InfiniteCharacters.com (May 20-24) for more really great giveaways celebrating this debut.





Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vanessa Riley's Novel Madeline's Protector


Back Cover Blurb:
If all the young men of England leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn't care. Then she'd have peace. Her nightmares of courtship would end, and she'd cozy up with a Psalm in her aunt's quiet sculpture garden. Yet, a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything, and Madeline must trust the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Death and pain are no strangers to Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, and he vows his dutiful bride will be kept safe and in her place. Though this compromised marriage is in-name-only, his wife and her unwavering faith both intrigue and allure him. Perchance when he thwarts his brother's killer, Justain will tempt the unpredictable Madeline with the comfort of his arms. But can Madeline and the stubborn earl forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?

Book Trailer:

  
 Author Bio:
VANESSA RILEY is a technology enthusiast who loves all things regency. Her debut novel, Madeline's Protector, exhibits her skill in discovering the hidden nuances of a character: making him believable, her touchable, and both ready to be used of God. Vanessa holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and loves writing from the comfort of her southern porch.   

You can find her on her website, her regency blog, or her character blog. facebook and twitter.

Purchase the book at:
Or have your local library order it in for you!

Vanessa Riley is giving away a copy of Madeline's Protector. 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 may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Southern Historical Author Jo Huddleston


Hello Jo! Congratulations on the new book in your Caney Creek series. Is there a story behind Beyond the Past?

I believe our past makes us who we are. And we all have a past. Sometimes it has elements we’re rather forget or wish that never happened. But what’s done is done. Leaving the bad parts of our past behind is sometimes not easy. In Beyond the Past, the two main characters want desperately to build a relationship for the future but they must first find victory over the hurdles their past has placed in their paths. As time progresses those hurdles seem to multiply. They have to face the gritty reality of their lives and overcome their obstacles if they are to be successful in forging a relationship for the future.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

In fiction I’m published in Southern historical. My first book in the Caney Creek Series started in the years prior to the Great Depression and continued into the Depression years. Some folks say it was a sad book. It was the reality of the setting. I’ll probably stay with this genre although I plan to intersperse more humor to lighten the mood. I have done that some in Beyond the Past.

Who is the most annoying character you ever created?

The mother of one of the main characters, named Mary. She is very class conscious and wants her daughter to mingle socially with those of their class. She’s a bitter lady who doesn’t often smile when confronted with someone not of her class. Mary was deprived of the love of her life and settled for a husband whose family would leave him ownership of the town’s mill—not a bad thing in her time period, but certainly not of the caliber of the bank president. She’s always trying to make her daughter think as she does.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

I’ve never had writer’s block. I’m what many call a panster writer—one who writes from the seat of her pants. I never outline. A story simmers in my mind for a while, the plots, the characters, the ending, etc. When I begin to get it on paper I already have those things in my mind and I find that the characters do pretty much what they want


to because in my mind I have developed them well. Sometimes I have to pull them back on their path but not often.

Do you type or write by hand? Computer? Typewriter? Legal pad?

I write on a laptop computer. I read about folks who began writing for publication using an electric typewriter and carbon paper. (Does anybody remember what carbon paper is?)

I remember! I have some carbon paper in a drawer, saved for historical preservation. What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?

Mystery/suspense. I absolutely love to read that genre but I don’t think I’d be able to write it. Who knows? If I ever did write mystery/suspense, I’d have to use a pen name.

What are your five favorite words?

Jesus, positive, hopeful, enthusiastic, smiling

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Not on the first draft. I just write. I don’t identify chapter breaks but I do indicate scene breaks. Some of the words I type when my fingers get off the home keys are laughable. And I tried the speak to type program but I’m from the South where we pronounce a one syllable word as two syllables. The program just couldn’t understand my speech.

How do people react when they find out you write?

The funniest reaction I got was from a twenty-something. When she heard me talking about my books, she asked me, “You mean if I google you, you’ll be there?”

LOL, as that twenty-something would text. Thanks for sharing with us!

Connect with Jo Huddleston


Jo Huddleston is giving away a copy of Beyond The Past. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beyond The Past by Jo Huddleston



A Southern Historical Novel with Threads of Romance

Emmajean Callaway’s life in Atlanta plummets from bad to worse. Can big brother, Jim, lead her back to the family who loves her and also hold the imploding Callaway family together?


Jim Callaway looks forward to 1951 and the chance to forge a relationship with
Caroline after twenty years apart. He’s sidetracked when his sister and his best friend need his help. His baby sister, Emmajean, skids into jail on drug charges in Atlanta. The ordeal of incarceration and trial diminishes her and she needs rescuing, not only physically but spiritually. She struggles toward recovery and restoration with her lawyer’s help as he champions her inside and outside the courtroom. Jim’s nephew Joe is one step ahead of the truant officer, wrecks his car, and officials suspect alcohol is involved. Joe awaits his fate at the hands of the juvenile court judge. Jim and Caroline continue their bumpy journey as they seek realization of their dreams, wondering if they really can overcome obstacles to their being together after so many years.

Excerpt



Chapter 1

January 1, 1951
Atlanta, Georgia

   Emmajean bolted upright in bed, her heart hammering against her chest, and eyes searching the darkness. What had awakened her? She glanced at the clock. Two o’clock in the morning. She’d only been in bed a scant thirty minutes. She had worked with Barry till after the New Year's Eve celebrations settled down.
    She eased aside the shade at her bedside window that overlooked the street to see what awoke her.     Three cars parked beneath the street light and four men huddled on the sidewalk. Two of the cars were police cars, one was not. Two of the men wore uniforms, the other two had on suits. They approached the house and hurried to get up the steps to the front porch. When they knocked on the door, Emmajean scrambled from her tangled covers, searching for her house slippers. She jerked her housecoat from across the foot of the bed and pushed her arms into it. As she cinched the belt around her waist she stepped across the room and opened her bedroom door. At the same moment, Barry opened his bedroom door directly across the living room from hers, buckling the belt in his pants. When he saw Emmajean he put a finger against his lips and motioned with his other hand, palm forward, for her not to come out of her room.
    Another knock came through the door and a gravelly voice said, “Open up. Atlanta police.”
Barry went toward the door, again motioning for Emmajean to stay put. He opened the door a small crack and backed up as the four men pushed through.
    An overweight man in a rumpled brown suit looked at Barry. “Are you Barry Wagner?” Then he swung his gaze toward Emmajean, still standing in her doorway. She saw his degrading smile and tugged the cotton housecoat closer beneath her neck.
    “Yeah, I’m Barry.”
    “Is that your car parked in the driveway?”
    “Yeah. What are you doing here?”
    The man exchanged glances with his partner who smirked toward Barry. Then Brown Suit’s attention turned toward Emmajean. “Young lady, are you Emmajean Callaway?”
    Wondering how he knew her name, she answered, “Yes, sir.”
    The heavy man walked farther into the room and motioned for Barry to sit on the sofa. The two men took chairs across from the sofa. The uniformed policemen stood near the door.
    The designated speaker for the men cleared his smoker’s throat. “I’m Detective Hamilton and we have a few questions for you. Where were you this evening for the last three hours?”
    “Right here. Both of us.”
    “Is that right, Miss? Were you here all evening with this man?”
    Emmajean knew they had not been home all evening, but Barry gave her a slight nod of his head. “Yes, sir.”
    “Come on out here and join us.” Hamilton waved Emmajean to the sofa.
    Emmajean eased across the living room and settled next to Barry on the lumpy sofa. What was going on? Were they in some kind of trouble?
    “What are you doing here?” Sweat dotted across Barry’s brow. “You must be at the wrong house.”
    “Nah, we’re not at the wrong house. We have witnesses who say you’ve not been home this evening. They say you were seen in your car north of town at a drive-in and this pretty little redhead here went to different cars delivering some kind of goods.”
    “Now you leave her out of this.”
    “Out of what?”   
    Barry fell silent.
    The detective pulled some papers from his inside coat pocket, snapped them open, and held it up for Barry and Emmajean to see. “This here’s a search warrant. We’ve been watching you two for a while and we have cause to take a look around.” His degrading sneer spread across his face. “Okay, boys. Get started. I doubt there’s anything in the little lady’s room, but look everywhere.”
    When one of the officers started toward Barry’s bedroom, Barry jumped up from the sofa.
    Detective Hamilton rose and moved in front of Barry. “I think you’d better just have a seat there. You can get up when we’re finished looking around.”
    It didn’t take the policemen long. “Looky here.” One of them came out of Barry’s bedroom holding up a small brown paper bag opened at the top resting on the palm of his hand. He carried several more bags bunched in his other arm and hand. The detective met the officer and peered into the bag.
    “What do we have here?” The other detective joined him, reaching into the bag, checking its contents.
“And there’s plenty more in the bedroom.”
     “Okay, you two, let’s go. Both of you get yourself dressed. We’re going downtown.”
    “You can’t take us anywhere.”
    “Oh, but I can, Mr. Wagner. You’re under arrest for possession of and selling of a controlled substance. You know, drugs. Marijuana.” He turned to the other detective and said, “Hank, read them their rights.”
    Turning to the two officers, Hamilton said, “Gather all that stuff up and let’s get it all to the station.”
    “No. You can’t take any of my things.”
    “Well, yes, Barry, we can and we are. Now, get yourself and your little lady ready to go.”
    Emmajean had remained dumbfounded throughout the entire questioning. Why was Barry carrying on so? Why did the detective think they had any illegal drugs and what did that mean, anyway? When the two suits motioned her toward her bedroom, she complied and shut the door behind her.
    She wondered how she could get out of this. She didn’t want to go to the police station. What if her family found out? She whipped her gown off. After she donned her bra she stutter-stepped and yanked on a pair of blue jeans, pulled a Georgia Tech T shirt over her head and slid into a pair of Keds. She grabbed her purse from the chest and eased over to the window. She raised it inch by inch.

About the Author


Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN). She holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Meet Jo at www.johuddleston.com. While there sign up for her newsletter and read her blog. 

Purchase Beyond The Past at

Jo Huddleston is giving away a copy of Beyond The PastTo be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weekly Winners


Welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. 

Before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to Laura Hilton  who offered her novel  Surrendered Love.
Thanks to Amanda Deed who offered her novel Henry’s Run.
And thanks to Sharon Srock  for offering her novel Terri

And now: We're pleased to announce this week’s winners:

Diana Flowers has won Laura Hilton’s novel  Surrendered Love.
Mary (touch of heaven) has won Amanda Deed’s novel  Henry’s run.
And Maxie has won Sharon Srock’s novel Terri.
Congratulations Winners! Remember, it's your responsibility to contact me  sharonalavy {at} gmail {dot} com) with your address so the author can send you a book. 

Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss the winners list. 





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Deanna Klingel

Welcome, Deanna. So good to have you on our blog. Now on to your interview:

Is there a story behind Cracks in the Ice? Cracks in the Ice is precisely what the book is about. Gina is a figure skater whose only self- identity is on the ice. She sees her entire life through that focus, so when things are going along well she’s on smooth ice. When there’s a crack in that surface, Gina figuratively, falls through the cracks in the ice.


What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?


I recently came across a yellowed crisp newspaper that was a poem I wrote in college. I don’t remember it, but I guess I did it.


What’s your favorite genre of writing?

Historical fiction. It’s my favorite to read and to write.


Who is the most fun character you ever created?

Oh dear, that’s like asking which child I love the most. They’ve all been fun in different ways, but probably the one that has the most sense of fun is Jim Limber, in The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber. That’s not been published yet. But, he’s a real “fun” character.
 

Who is the most annoying character you ever created?

That would have to be Storm Sykes, Willy’s dad. It’s from Waiting With Elmer, also not yet published.

Which of your written plots is your favorite?

Cracks in the Ice.This story takes us from innocence to adulthood, which, as us old folks know, really is only a few chapters, and it takes us from gold medal victory to utter despair at the bottom of the abyss. Then it brings us back to the surface with another kind of victory, a new beginning. A story of a resurrected life is also a good plot, I think.


What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?


Probably Waiting With Elmer, not yet published. I don’t think it’s a twist that is suspected.


Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?


If you mean writer’s block in the sense that a writer can’t write, or work, then no, I don’t believe in that. I think there are lulls in creativity, pauses in the process, but I don’t think writers ever can “not write.” Write something, for goodness sake, don’t just sit there and whine that nothing is happening. Write. Write a grocery list, write a list of publishers, just keep writing and sooner rather than later you’ll be back at that story, refreshed. I think it’s very real that writers and every other human, can get what I call “e overload” when frustration with technology might “block” your concentration. So power off and go for a walk. It’s not permanent. No writer should ever not work because of “writer’s block.” That’s my opinion, of course.

Have you ever written fan fiction
?

I don’t know what fan fiction is.


Do you type or write by hand? Computer? Typewriter? Legal pad?
 
I write all the time on anything that’s handy. But my work is on my computer.

 Do you archive everything you write?

No, I don’t archive. I have a gazillion versions of everything and multiple drafts. The only one that matters is the last one. That’s the one I keep. Occasionally I might pull out an entire chapter that has possibilities for reuse. I might save that one.


Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?  
Absolutely I do. Some ideas are good ones, but the timing isn’t right. It might be right another time or for another purpose. Yes, I keep a file of story ideas.


What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? My favorite historical fiction is the Avery and Gunner series. That was my first out the gate, which is like the favorite eldest child. My favorite biography is Bread Upon the Water. I grew spiritually while interviewing this. It’s my favorite biography. My favorite fiction is Cracks in the Ice. I made up the whole thing and that’s exciting. Generally, my favorite is the one I’m working on at the moment, the one that needs me the most at that moment. Just like children.


What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
I’ll never write dystopian, science fiction, horror or erotica. I don’t enjoy reading them, so I’d never write them. I read the manuscripts a thousand times while in the process, so it better be something I enjoy reading and not something that will give me nightmares.


How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I’ve got several things “out shopping” right now, everything is rewritten, edited, “done,” for now. I’ll probably have something brand new started later this spring or early summer that I’ll work on. An idea came to me the other day that has me humming a little, stewing about it.

What character that you’ve created most resembles you?

I’m not sure that writers can write a character that doesn’t have a little of themselves portrayed. Avery has my wanderlust and love of seeing new things. Tien has the faith I hope to have if I’m ever tested. Gina as a little girl was quite a bit like I was, wanting to be in charge of something, decide things for myself. Unsure how to go about that.


Do you ever write based on your dreams?


I don’t dream very much. I sleep.


Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?


I’m not overly concerned in the beginning, but I’m careful. Misspelled words and poor grammar, stop me when I’m reading and also when I’m writing. The best way to keep the words flowing and not be stopped is to write it right and keep on going. Even though I say I’m not overly concerned, if I see a misspelled word, I stop and go back to it, even though I know I don’t have to. It interrupts my concentration.

 

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I’ve got several things “out shopping” right now, everything is rewritten, edited, “done,” for now. I’ll probably have something brand new started later this spring or early summer that I’ll work on. An idea came to me the other day that has me humming a little, stewing about it.

 
Where do you most like to write?

I write at home in the upstairs loft. My computer and big screen is on the desk; behind is a wall of windows that overlooks mountain tops and tree tops, rhodendron, mountain laurel and pine, mostly. Nothing moving except birds. It’s perfectly quiet up here. Beside me are all my resource books and research, lap top and files, bottle of water. My dog is beside me. This is where I write.

 
Does music help you write? I don’t listen to music when I write. I have to listen to my characters talking to me, talking to each other. I don’t want distractions.

 
How do you find the time to write?  I don’t find the time. I make the time. I try to plan the days so that some days are “out” days: oil change, haircut, vet, groceries, that kind of “out.” It makes a busy day, but leaves the others to be “in” days. Some “in” days are going to be partial days because I might have some home chores I have to do. I try to do them in a block leaving another block of time open. Then other days I have the entire day set aside for nothing but writing. When I’m really working hard on something, say getting a first draft down, or maybe trying to rewrite the entire manuscript in a difference person or tense, or editing a second draft, I need lots of uninterrupted time. So I “schedule” myself lots of time and my husband helps out, walking Buddy, running to the store, taking me for a quick supper. And I just write. Everyone has a busy life, and I think our time-saving devices have made us even busier. We work around the clock now with our “work” in our pockets, never shutting down. I think that’s a problem. We need rest, we need time to relax, rekindle, refocus. No one has “spare” time or “extra” time or “free” time. We’re booked up 24-7. I think that’s a mistake. And I don’t believe we can “find” time for any purpose. We need to consciously make that time, set it aside, whether it’s for meditation, prayer, visitation, cooking dinner, reading to the children, reading for your own pleasure, or working, writing. We have to make that time. And we must also make time for rest.

 


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?  
I don’t know what book will be the next one out. I’ve got a few that are shopping: Waiting With Elmer is about an abandoned boy Willy who is being raised by the homeless men in the Union Mission. He’s learning Biblical truths with some interesting slants. Elmer is the patriarch of the little town of Waitnsee. He’s a homeless man who wheels through town on his hand-propelled platform sharing his wisdom and kindness. I hope that one will be next, but it might be Blue-Eyed Doll, or the Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, Rebecca & Heart, or Rock and a Hard Place, Lithuanian Love Story. These have all been in the works for a long time. Only God knows who will be next or if any of them will be.

 Thank you for inviting me for the opportunity to meet your followers. I appreciate it. Deanna



To buy the book, go here:

book is available at your favorite indie bookseller
www.writeintegritypress.com
www.BooksByDeanna.com
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Author's bio:
Deanna K. Klingel was raised in a small town in Michigan. She left for college, married, and spent the next twenty years moving every two years with her IBM husband Dave. Their family grew with each move. They eventually settled in Atlanta with their seven children where they put down roots for nineteen years. The children grew up, left home, and Dave retired. They moved to the quiet mountains of western North Carolina. It was here, in the quiet remote setting that Deanna returned to her love of writing, and began the life of a writer.

In addition to writing, Deanna works with her therapy dog making visits in nearby communities, and travels every weekend to market her books. She enjoys golfing with her husband and working in the gardens, too, but there just isn’t time!

Her books include Beth’s Backyard Friends, and Rebecca & Heart, both eBooks on Storyrealm.com, and published award-winning short stories that can be read on her website,
www.BooksByDeanna.com.

Other published books are:
Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, (Dog Ear Publishing, Oct 2010); Avery’s Battlefield, (Journey Forth BJU Press, March 2011);
Avery’s Crossroad, (Journey Forth BJU Press, Sept 2011;
Bread Upon the Water, (Rafka Press, spring 2011.)
Cracks in the Ice, (Write Integrity, Oct. 2012.)

Deanna writes primarily for young adults in a Christian market.


To connect with Deanna, go here:
Blog and website: www.booksbydeanna.com;
fb: Deanna K. Klingel; @deannakklingel



Deanna is giving away a copy of Cracks in the Ice. 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.


Monday, April 22, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Deanna Klingel

Back Cover Blurb
Gina Mangalli, niece of a mafia don, has dreams of Olympic gold as a figure skater. When tragedy strikes, her life spins out of control, and then a rash decision changes Gina’s life forever. The burden of guilt causes a spiral that carries her further from the life she had always dreamed for herself. Have things gone too far? Can her hopes and dreams be restored or is it too late?


Catchy book line;
Three things happened when I was younger that changed everything for me. The first was the Dobermans.

One of my favorite lines is the exact turning point in Gina’s life:
Nick is struggling to get up and there’s blood all over the place. It’s mine.


To buy the book, go here:


book is available at your favorite indie booksellerwww.writeintegritypress.com
www.BooksByDeanna.com
Amazon
Barnes and Noble  


Author's bio:
Deanna K. Klingel was raised in a small town in Michigan. She left for college, married, and spent the next twenty years moving every two years with her IBM husband Dave. Their family grew with each move. They eventually settled in Atlanta with their seven children where they put down roots for nineteen years. The children grew up, left home, and Dave retired. They moved to the quiet mountains of western North Carolina. It was here, in the quiet remote setting that Deanna returned to her love of writing, and began the life of a writer.

In addition to writing, Deanna works with her therapy dog making visits in nearby communities, and travels every weekend to market her books. She enjoys golfing with her husband and working in the gardens, too, but there just isn’t time!

Her books include Beth’s Backyard Friends, and Rebecca & Heart, both eBooks on Storyrealm.com, and published award-winning short stories that can be read on her website,
www.BooksByDeanna.com.

Other published books are:
Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, (Dog Ear Publishing, Oct 2010); Avery’s Battlefield, (Journey Forth BJU Press, March 2011);
Avery’s Crossroad, (Journey Forth BJU Press, Sept 2011;
Bread Upon the Water, (Rafka Press, spring 2011.)
Cracks in the Ice, (Write Integrity, Oct. 2012.)

Deanna writes primarily for young adults in a Christian market.


To connect with Deanna, go here:
Blog and website: www.booksbydeanna.com;
fb: Deanna K. Klingel; @deannakklingel



Deanna is giving away a copy of Cracks in the Ice. 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.


 
 
 
Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

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