Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman

Lily Winter's wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily's lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her, a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she'd been hiding for decades—Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies.


Without looking back, Lily—with her fear of flying—boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Aussie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible—the chance to fall in love again.


Excerpt


I sat on a 747, trying to talk myself out of a panic attack.
The jet still sat on the tarmac, but already I could imagine—in electrifying detail—the fiery crash and then the watery pull into the briny depths of the Pacific Ocean. Lord, have mercy. What had I been thinking?
Fool that I was, I’d left the sanctuary of my own home, which was safe, and hygienically clean, I might add, to board this death trap. Too late now. I’d taken a leave of absence from work, stopped the mail, given all my indoor plants to my neighbor, and said a dozen goodbyes to my daughter, Julie. The trip was set in stone—the igneous kind that the geologists liked to talk about at work.
While I sat there sweating, my mind got out its magnifying glass to examine my inner motives. All in all, the journey had a grab bag full of miseries attached to it. For me, getting on the plane proved that the empty nest had driven me over the edge like the biblical herd of pigs. Since my Julie had left the house, was I trying to find a person to fill that void . . . that vacant place at the table . . . the perpetual silence of the house and the clocks, ticking away the rest of my tedious life? Probably. And yet finding my sister in Australia would be no less than wonderful, whether Julie was at home or not.
I looked out the small plane window at the heavens with my anxious puppy dog eyes and could almost hear the Almighty chuckling. Yes, I know, God. I must keep You entertained.



About Anita



Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.








To connect with Anita:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorAnitaHigman

To buy Anita's book:


Anita is giving away two copies of Winter in Full Bloom. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)


Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Monday, October 28, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Anita Higman

Winter in Full Bloom is set in Texas as well as Australia. What made you want to set the novel in these two places?
Well, I live in Texas, and so I wanted to make use of my home state. After living here for about thirty years I have a soft spot for Texas now. Also, I’d visited Melbourne, Australia for about three weeks and had taken notes, and since it was such an exotic place and I’d had such an amazing time there, I wanted to share some of my experiences with readers.

The cover is beautiful. Did you have any input in this cover?
Yes, actually, I did. The publisher sent me a few samples to look at, and I chose this one. But the cover you see now was tweaked a number of times. One of the changes was the addition of the red tulips all along the snowy path. I’m so glad the publisher was open to changes. I’m very happy with the final cover. It reflects the story even better than before, and I think that bit of unexpected intrigue along the road will be eye-catching to the bookstore browser.

That title is unique. How did you come up with Winter in Full Bloom?
Sometimes I brainstorm titles, and then sometimes I use a phrase I find within the manuscript that works well as a title. Winter in Full Bloom was created during one of my brainstorming sessions. As a side note, there are a couple of meanings to this tile. The heroine’s name is Lily Winter. Also, half of the book takes place in Houston at the advent of winter, but when she flies to Melbourne at the same time of the year, Australians are experiencing the beginning of spring. So, even though Lily has begun getting ready for winter, she suddenly enters into a season of springtime—literally and in her personal life.

Are the characters from your imagination, or do they come from real life?
My characters are a mixture of both. I’ll be watching someone at the airport or the mall or at church, and I’ll think, “Wow, that gesture or laugh or walk is perfect for my character.” Then some of my character’s traits will come straight from my imagination. Usually, it’s a fun brew of all the above.

Do you and your husband travel a lot?
We travel much more now that we have empty nest. Last year we went to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. This year we’ve been to Mexico, California, and right now as I type this answer, my husband and I are waiting at the airport to fly to Ireland. Can’t wait. I’m hoping to set one of my future novels in Ireland.

Why do you write?
I have a real need to express myself creatively—guess I was born that way—and writing and I fit well together.

Your heroine, Lily Winter, is experiencing empty nest. Why did you add that element to the story?
I was going through this same rough phase of motherhood, and I thought it would be good to add this to the story. I hope it added an element of authenticity to the tale. And too, forcing myself to write about the pain surely helped me deal with it better.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been in this profession for about thirty years. It’s been a long, stumbly kind of journey. I’ve had some dark hours—those moments when I really didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. Moments when rejection swept me under like a scary undertow. Moments when getting published seemed pretty much impossible. But I never gave up, and I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve had thirty-four books published in many genres, and even though it’s been a rough ride, it’s also been deeply satisfying.

This story is about twin sisters? Are you a twin and do you have a sister?
I’m afraid I have to say no to both of those questions, but I’ve always wanted to have a sister. And that desire I suppose fueled the dialogue and some of this story.

Winter in Full Bloom is a love story but also a story of family reconciliation. Have you experienced that last part in your own life?
Yes, I have known the miracle of family reconciliation, and it has brought me great joy!

Any final words for your readers?
If you have ever taken the time to read one of my novels, I thank you with all my heart. I sincerely hope that Winter in Full Bloom inspires you and makes you laugh, and when you come to the last page and close the book, I hope your heart and your step feels just a little lighter.


Back Cover Blurb

Lily Winter's wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily's lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her, a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she'd been hiding for decades—Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies.
Without looking back, Lily—with her fear of flying—boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Aussie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible—the chance to fall in love again.



To buy her book:


About Anita:
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

To connect with Anita:


Anita is giving away two copies of Winter in Full Bloom. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)



Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart





Sunday, October 27, 2013

Welcome Debut Author Carole Brown To The Interview HotSpot

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Carole. How fun to be able to interview you instead of read an interview from you. 
Tell me, what started you on your writing journey?
Carole: I’ve always written from grade school. I remember sharing in “show and tell” and having my classmates clap when I finished. I suppose that aided my interest. The talent has been there; it’s part of me, and I love it. I can’t think of another thing I’d rather do with my life as to write.
What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Carole: I’m particular what kind of music I listen to when I’m writing. I like subdued and/or no distractions: conversation, music, people. I like to see the scenes and people and actions. The less that gets my attention from that, the more and better I can write.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
Carole: Love suspense books and books filled with substance. Some of my favorite ones are written by men. Kevin Mark Smith is a new favorite. I recommend his book, Flashback. I also really enjoyed David Stearman’s book called Hummingbird.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Carole: Probably Caralynne Hayman. The story is about her reaching the spot where she must accept God’s existence or continue a downward path that very well could have serious consequences.
Developing her character was a lot of fun in spite of the work. I had to make her sympathetic and likeable that shone through the bitterness and anger she carried inside her. Giving her two other daughters to care for and love gave her that edge.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Carole: Probably some kind of romantic song with a twist now and then to show independence and interest.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Carole: I once sat in a cornfield with a Native American medicine man’s wife while we shucked corn. She invited my friends and me into her home (lovely!) and talked to us about eating rat (not the kind YOU’RE thinking of! Lol) and about using hot peppers in her food.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Carole: Window cleaning? I’d rather clean the bathroom! I’m serious. Or maybe it’s doing Sunday dishes. Ugh. Anytime of the week, but Sunday--despise doing them then.
I could add that one of the top hated chores in the world for me would be carrying in groceries. If I had enough discipline perhaps I could go longer without food and I could put that one off longer. J I’d like to announce to the world (if I was rich) I’d hire someone JUST to do this chore. Never carry in another sack--yeah!
What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Carole: I love sharing holiday meals with family. They’re such fun times when we can be together, laugh, bring up old memories, and relax. I feel so blessed to finally have three adorable grandsons when I thought I’d never get the chance to be a grandmamma. 
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Carole: Forgiveness and hope are two of my favorites. This novel dealt with both deeper than most of mine but I always like to show a change or improvement in my characters.
Share a  verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Carole: Ephesians 6:10, says, “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Assurance and a promise that we can be strong when we have God in our hearts and in our lives. We cannot have the strength we need in certain circumstances, but with God all things are possible. Love the thought.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Carole: I have the first book in a cozy mystery series (called Hog Insane, and, no its not about pigs) that will release in mid-November. It’s a fun story about a middle-aged retiree couple who travel around the country in their RV with their dog, Taffy. Their first stop is in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where they discover the young man they’ve been asked to find. The only trouble is, he’s dead. That, along with their own personal marriage problems, keep the couple on their toes. Look for it on Amazon 
I also have right now a companion book to The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, on Amazon as well. It's a short, but interesting book filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, mountain sayings, recipes, a colorful tale about the history of The Children of Righteous Cain, and a few discussion questions about the novel.
I’m also working on a sequel to The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman and here’s a very rough blurb:
It begins with a baby kidnapping. Elder Simmons, the antagonist, will not let go. He is determined to wreck vengence upon the MacFarlands, even if he has to do it from prison.

Cara and Dayne, now happily married, go through trials that will shatter their self-complacency and test their love. Dayne will be lied about and like Joseph in the Bible must hold steady for God’s timing. Cara has suffered hurts and abuse from her former marriage. With Dayne she thought everything would be smooth sailing. But when the lies surface, can she trust him, does she love him enough to stay strong for his sake? Will her mustard seed faith grow or be uprooted?
Wow, Carole. sounds like you have a lot going on. I can see you are a prolific writer and I can’t wait to read your offerings.
You may purchase The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman on Amazon
Or have your local library order it in for you!
Carole Brown is giving away a copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Carole Brown's Debut book The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman.


The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
About the book:
How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. 

Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest and is receiving raving reviews! Release date is October 21, 2013 from the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an ACFW approved publisher. 

Excerpt:

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
Carole Brown
Chapter One

Twenty years earlier
   The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched.
   The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark.
   “Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing the fear away.
   Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
   Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him.
   “And she’ll read to us and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear then rolled over.
   Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room.
   Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
   “Please. That hurts.”
   “Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn't open. Just like they did when she and mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes. 
   “Stop it—”
   Rubbing at her eyes the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money. 

About the Author:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? 

Carole is very active on the web. You may connect with her:
as well as these blogs:
You man purchase the book at:
Amazon
Or have your local library order it in for you!
Carole Brown is giving away a copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Friday, October 25, 2013

A Warm Welcome to D. A. (Dorothy) Featherling

Is there a story behind Kissing Frogs? 
There is. The idea for the story came from a friend who met his (now current) wife through a Christian internet matchmaking service. He was the last person I would have expected to do this…so when he did…I sat up and took notice. I also interviewed a couple of people in his office about their own internet experiences…and the idea for the book was born.  I wanted to make it fun so I recalled the old saying which precedes the first chapter…”Before you find the handsome prince, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.”

I used my own and other folks’ experiences to find and write about the ‘frogs’ in Em’s story.


Interesting! What’s the last thing you wrote? 
I’m just now finishing up Book 1 in the Staged for Murder series. The book is “Murder Outside the Box.” Since I’ve had a home staging business for going on five years, it seemed a natural thing to do!  Of course, so far, I’ve never found a body….but…..


:) What’s your favorite genre of writing?
If I’d ever been able to answer that, I wouldn’t be writing in multiple genres. So far, I have book written (and in various stages of publication) in mysteries, romantic comedies, futuristic suspense (due out 2014), and romance. If I live long enough, I have ideas for several other genres as well.


Who is the most annoying character you ever created?
Probably Ev Washington in my romantic comedy “Making Over Caro,” not yet released.
Ev cannot take ‘no’ for an answer…in fact, he’s never heard of the word. It makes for some very humorous situations in the plot, but makes poor Caro almost crazy before the situation gets resolved.


What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?
That would have to be my futuristic suspense “Time Out.” Since it involves time travel and eventually, the end times, it’s got to be the most different thing I’ve done, but I love the book – it’s probably my favorite. I should have it ready to publish in January 2014. At least that’s the goal.



Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
You know, I wrote a little children’s story years and years ago…in fact had the idea for another as well. Now that I have an almost 9-year-old grandson, I keep thinking about going back and doing those. Maybe someday.


What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
Horror or paranormal. I do not like being totally scared. I don’t do high things like ferris wheels or roller coaster…I find no enjoyment in fear. Now I love a good suspense, but I find those suspenseful, not awful. The paranormal is also an area I tend to avoid just on general principle and certain warnings in the Bible.  So you’ll never see my name on anything in either of those lines.


How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Let’s see. I’m putting final touches before publishing a mystery, I’m final editing another romantic comedy, I’m ready to start making corrections/changes to the futuristic suspense, I’m editing some books for another author, setting up booksignings/talks around the Central Texas area, and am ready to start writing book 2 in my “It’s Murder at the Office” series.  That’s about it!


How do you find the time to write?
You know, it’s like anything else. We generally find time to do the things we truly want to do. I chop up my day into segments…so much time to write/edit (several different projects), so much to spend on marketing, so much for social media, etc. It’s amazing, at the end of the day, to see how much you’ve accomplished. To me, it’s kind of like that old joke, “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”


How do people react when they find out you write?
I guess I’m always humbled and surprised at how much awe they show. To me, it’s what I do. But to others, particularly those who don’t write or have some other consuming passion in which they participate, it’s like there’s this ‘author pedestal’ and I’m on it. It’s a little amusing, but mostly, like I said, pretty humbling. I don’t want to let my readers down.


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it? 
Next book out is “Murder Outside the Box,” Book 1 of the “Staged for Murder” series. It should be out by or before November 1st.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Ari Ames is a home stager, par excellence. She’s equally good at getting involved with murder.
When Ari discovers a dead body in the bushes at a vacant home she’s to stage, it starts her on a pathway of murder, mayhem, and not-so-sweet revenge.

Can her faith in God see her through to a perfectly staged outcome – or will her reliance on her own resources put her in more danger than she’s ever imagined?

Thanks for joining us today, Dorothy!




To buy her book, go here:
Amazon   (Kindle and Softcover)
www.dafeatherling.com   (links to Amazon)
Soon to be available on SmashWords
May be ordered through any bookstore


About Dorothy:
D. A. Featherling has penned eight novels in multiple genres and has written in a variety of non-fiction fields as well. An experienced public speaker, she has also worked in advertising, public relations, and marketing. Awards for journalism and public speaking began this writer’s career, with writing awards following. She co-founded and served for four years as president of the CenTex Chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and coordinated the first national ACFW Conference in St. Louis in 2001. She is the current owner of a staging business headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, and former administrator for an independent physics research center at the University of Texas at Austin and for other various state agencies and corporations.

To connect with Dorothy, go here:


Dorothy is giving away a copy of Kissing FrogsThe 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


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kissing Frogs by D. A. Featherling

Back Cover Blurb:

Until she decides to look for a husband, Em Snider is so-o-o-o in control of her life. But the trip on the internet matchmaking highway soon shows her that she can’t control the journey.
Her first encounter is a warning. There are toads out there! A Christian internet matchmaking service provides Em a chance to discover Prince Charming, if she can survive the shocks.
Em is soon ready to quit. . .or will true love still come about in a way she never dreamed if she’ll quit stepping on the brakes and let God be in control





Read an Excerpt:


“Before you find the handsome prince, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.” Adaptation from published needlepoint pattern, 1975

Chapter 1

 It would be a whole lot easier if I could just pick up a tranquilizer gun and bag my quarry with a single shot. Unfortunately, that method is generally frowned upon when husband hunting.

Not that I’m desperate, but after hours and hours on the computer reviewing online dating and matchmaking services, I could get that way fast.

It’s all the fault of those ads I saw on TV yesterday. The ones touting an Internet matchmaking service. Very trendy these days.

I watched it with a bit of a sneer curling my upper lip. Romance for a lifetime. Right! This gal has indulged in enough romance – and has the scars to prove it – for this lifetime and probably another one or two as well.

Anyway, nobody wants a fifty-something, independent female for a romantic relationship. At least not anybody I know.

On the other hand. . .

 My reverie is rudely interrupted by a sharp pain in my left ankle.

“Salem, that hurt!” I glare at my unrepentant white Persian whose main mission in life is to remind me who is in charge of this household and call me to order when I don’t follow my assigned duties.

His Royalness marches down the hall in arrogant silence toward the kitchen and his meal. I, knowing my place, walk the appropriate humble ten paces behind.

“No wonder I named you Salem.” I mutter to make sure he doesn’t hear me. “You are such a trial.” My ankle twinges in sympathy.



To buy her book, go here:
Amazon   (Kindle and Softcover)
www.dafeatherling.com   (links to Amazon)
Soon to be available on SmashWords
May be ordered through any bookstore


About Dorothy:
D. A. Featherling has penned eight novels in multiple genres and has written in a variety of non-fiction fields as well. An experienced public speaker, she has also worked in advertising, public relations, and marketing. Awards for journalism and public speaking began this writer’s career, with writing awards following. She co-founded and served for four years as president of the CenTex Chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and coordinated the first national ACFW Conference in St. Louis in 2001. She is the current owner of a staging business headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, and former administrator for an independent physics research center at the University of Texas at Austin and for other various state agencies and corporations.

To connect with Dorothy, go here:


Dorothy is giving away a copy of Kissing Frogs. 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


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Weekly Winners

Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.

I know you want to know ... WHO WON? I am eager to pull up those names also!

But before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:
Ashberry Lane publisher who offered Diane Price’s Historical Romance  Broken Wings. (I understand the publisher has more books by this author in the works.)
Linda Rondeau who offered her Suspense novel Days of Vines and Roses. And to Liz Tolsma for offering her Women’s Fiction Snow on the Tulips. We are looking forward to more books from these authors as well.


And now: We're pleased to announce this week’s winners:
Amy Putney has won Diane Price’s Historical Romance  Broken Wings. Mandyn  has won Linda Rondeau’s Suspense novel Days of Vines and Roses. And MaryPopMom has won Liz Tolsma’s Women’s Fiction  Snow on the Tulips.


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 seeing the winners list.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On a Summer Night by Diane Dean White


A fusion of past thoughts with fragrances and salty air played in the recesses of Kate’s mind. More seagulls flew in formation against the blue sky that now showed gray clouds, with splashes of pink. She took her husband’s strong hand, full of love and warmth. Nestled, she sat next to his broad frame as he drove into the village. Memories flooded her soul. She’d been eighteen, and with youth, wrong decisions often led to grave consequences. There was no erasing the past.

It had been years ago when she and her best friend, Vanessa, made this journey. What a special time their two-week trip after high school graduation had been. She’d never shared with her husband what had happened on that summer night. Kate wasn’t sure she should. Did it really matter? She knew the answer…they shared everything. Maybe it was time to tell him her story.

Book Excerpt

Chapter One
Kate could feel the still Florida heat as she and Vanessa made their way along the last stretch of the Tamiami Trail to Gladesville. The trip was fun, but after leaving their home state of Michigan she noticed the temperature gradually increased. By the time they hit the Florida State line and stopped at the visitor’s center for fresh orange juice and a quick stretch, Kate wished that her brother, Rich, 1965 red Ford Mustang had air conditioning. Considering much of the weather in Michigan she understood why it didn’t. Rich, she prayed would stay safe, fighting for his country in Vietnam. He was constantly in her thoughts.
“I can’t wait to get there. Guess I’d better keep the speed at the numbers designated by the road signs, but this is the home stretch, Van.” She screeched. They would soon start to search for the house her uncle had promised they could to stay at as their graduation gift.
“I wonder what Uncle Robert’s place will look like. I’m sure it won’t be as cool as the hotels the kids go to in Fort Lauderdale. But then again, it’s free and for two whole weeks.”
Both set of parents insisted that the two high school seniors, she knew they meant “girls,” go to a respectable and familiar place. Kate guessed her uncle’s house he used to get away from his high-profile job to enjoy deep-sea fishing, would work. She wasn’t sure what to expect, since he was a bachelor in his forties. Kate’s mother had thought her older brother would make the place “homey,” and it would be relaxing for her and Vanessa.
“Watch for the sign. I thought it said twenty-four miles when we passed Naples. The burger and fries wore off hours ago.” Kate tuned in a popular song on the radio. Both girls began singing the new hit.
“Look, this must be the turnoff, Van. The road ahead has a sign that reads Gladesville, posted on a tree.” A magnificent pelican stood erect in the warm ground; a striking picture against a background of Spanish moss descending from the swooping oak trees.
Van couldn’t look around fast enough. “This is so cool; I’ve never seen moss up close. Just in post-cards. It’s really neat, and all this swamp area with so many pretty birds. Wonder why my parents never made trips to Florida. Everyone goes.”

This was the adventure Kate and Vanessa had thought about since they’d turned sixteen. The girls had tried to talk their parents into a Florida trip during spring break in both their junior and senior years, as many of their friends were going to bask in the sun in Fort Lauderdale, but neither set of parent’s would agree. Kate was ecstatic that they’d approved of the trip after her high school graduation. She and Van had both turned eighteen. Kate secretly thought Uncle Robert may have influenced her parents to let them stay at his place. He was her favorite uncle and Kate adored him.

About Diane:
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” in a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories, and her book On a Summer Night was released in October. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

To purchase Diane's book:

To connect with Diane:


Diane Dean White is giving away a copy of On a Summer Night. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)


Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Diane Dean White

Is there a story behind your book On a Summer Night?
There are some things taken from life experiences in On a Summer Night, but most of the story is fiction. I attended Florida College in the 60’s when this story starts and the girls encounter a bad situation, there is much truth in the book, and research is always a part of it, especially in fiction.

What started you on your writing journey?
I loved to write from the time I was in grade school. My first writing job was working as a reporter in a southern town, far away from my home in Michigan. I covered hard news, local events, feature stories and had my own column, “Yankee Viewpoints.” Possibly not the best choice of titles in the late 70’s…Back in Michigan, I did stringer work, while at home raising my family and donor appeal writing for non-profit organizations, and historical research. I self published two books in the early 2000’s. I also wrote for a magazine and had a weekly column for four years before I started On a Summer Night.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
I write early mornings, often until mid-morning before a break. I have my own area and don’t get distracted. I know when I’ve got to stop and rest my mind. I’m eager to start writing each morning. Less eager to critique, however, I’ve learned a lot by critiquing on the loop with the scribes. I’d rather do that than watch television. But other than an electrical black-out, which Florida is famous for, nothing distracts me. Maybe a hurricane warning if one gets close. J

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Oh, each one. We live in Florida now and there are no seasons! I miss the changes and in the autumn, trips to the cider mill and pumpkin patch; the first snow-fall and hearing the Salvation Army bell ringers on city sidewalks. And the springtime is beyond gorgeous and a sign of rebirth and newness in Michigan, with tulips, daffodils and lilacs.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I grew up in the college town of East Lansing, Michigan, next to the state capitol. It was a great place to live. We walked to the college and took children’s classes, fed the ducks and learned cheers as youngster from the State cheerleaders. It was a great place to live, and later after I returned from a year at Florida College, I worked at MSU as a secretary for a few years, before my hubby’s job to us south, where I became a reporter.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I had loving grandparents, and many of my short stories are written about the small town in the thumb of Michigan where they lived. I spent summers visiting them, and was truly blessed to have a great-grandmother and grandmother who lived into their 90’s. Kids today don’t realize how much they’re missing by tuning out older people and glued to their computer devices, etc. Our elders are our gift of ancestral history for generations to come.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I want to be sure to include the plan of salvation in my stories. I also try to show how we can’t blame God for things in life, and we need to accept that they happen, and because of our faith in Him, He’s with us during these times. This is a challenge for someone who doesn’t know Him, and many who do.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
Since we are empty nesters I have a lot of quiet time. I often have the television music station playing low with instrumental easy listening when I write, and I have my devotional time alone and then with my hubby….and prayers for friends happen at all hours day and night.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thy heart.” I learned this as a very young Christian, and I believe He knew my desire for writing and allowed it to happen in His time. I wanted to be at home for our children when they were growing up, and other than substitute work in the school system, which gave me the same hours they had, I was. It was special and there were sacrifices with one income, but I believe the Lord honored that, and we’re blessed to have wonderful children.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I’m completing This Side of Heaven. It’s a sequel to On a Summer Night. Yet it can also sand alone. This takes place in rural Georgia, while my first one is in southern Florida. It follows one character and her life to Georgia in a witness type program…and then her new life. Although life is good, we know things happen there is no control over, and we will never know on earth how beautiful it will be compared to Heaven.

Back Cover

A fusion of past thoughts with fragrances and salty air played in the recesses of Kate’s mind. More seagulls flew in formation against the blue sky that now showed gray clouds, with splashes of pink. She took her husband’s strong hand, full of love and warmth. Nestled, she sat next to his broad frame as he drove into the village. Memories flooded her soul. She’d been eighteen, and with youth, wrong decisions often led to grave consequences. There was no erasing the past.

It had been years ago when she and her best friend, Vanessa, made this journey. What a special time their two-week trip after high school graduation had been. She’d never shared with her husband what had happened on that summer night. Kate wasn’t sure she should. Did it really matter? She knew the answer…they shared everything. Maybe it was time to tell him her story.

To buy her book:

About Diane:
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” in a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories, and her book On a Summer Night was released in October. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.

To connect with Diane:

Diane Dean White is giving away a copy of On a Summer Night. 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. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)


 Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart




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