Monday, September 29, 2008

Michelle Sutton - Interview & Book Giveaway - IT'S NOT ABOUT ME

Michelle SuttonTHE BIO

Michelle is a member of ACFW, Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Board, Editor-in-chief for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, marketing director for CFOM and Sheaf House, edgy fiction writer, book reviewer, avid blogger, CWOW blog mistress, mother of two teens, wife, pet owner, and follower of Jesus Christ.


JA: Congratulations on the publication of your first book, It’s Not About Me. What’s it about?
MS: It’s about a young woman who has a great life and a promising future. But then she has something happen that devastates her physically and emotionally and her boyfriend can’t handle the guilt, so he bails on her. His older brother steps in and supports her in his brother’s absence and they grow to love each other. But the problem is that both brothers are in love with her and they don’t want to give her up. She’s confused, of course, and learns to follow her heart as she heals from the devastating experience.

JA: Your heroine, Annie, has a great life until tragedy strikes and everything falls apart. As a social worker, have you ever had to help someone in a similar situation?
MS: All the time.

MS - Its Not About MeJA: What do you want people to take away after reading It’s Not About Me?
MS: That there is a difference between believing Jesus is real and knowing Him personally. That being a good person isn’t enough. And that there is a difference between infatuation and the type of love that lasts. Also, to learn to seek what God wants for your life.

JA: Your publisher is the newly formed Sheaf House. What’s it like being part of something brand new?
MS: The great thing about this new publisher is they don’t strip my voice and my personality from my books. Plus, I had total input into the cover and many other aspects such as marketing, etc.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
MS: Right now I’m revising my second story in the series so you can read about Susie’s drama in Sept 09 when It’s Not About Him comes out.

JA: When did you first experience the desire to be a writer?
MS: In August 2003. Never thought about it before. I always loved to read, but write a book? Never occurred to me that I could do it until I felt God calling me in that direction.

JA: You’ve become known as the Edgy Inspirational Author. What do you consider edgy?
MS: Edgy is content that is real, sometimes hard to think about, but definitely worth examining. Edgy is stuff that may raise the eyebrows of your readers, but because it’s so authentic it gives the story a certain richness that doesn’t occur when things are smoothed over in a story in order to be PC.

JA: Is there something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
MS: I really do sleep every night.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
MS: The easiest way is to subscribe to my blog. I announce news on it and I also post book reviews and do regular giveaways. It’s

Thanks for stopping by to visit with us, Michelle. May God continue to bless you in your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of It’s Not About Me just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on October 6th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

CFBA presents JOHN 3:16 by Nancy Moser

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
John 3:16
(Tyndale House Publishers - September 9, 2008)
Nancy Moser


Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner, and her latest historical, Washington's Lady.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters,
symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.

Find out more at Nancy and Sister


Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expect... In my usual "big cast" style comes a story of what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son, Billy, a University of Nebraska football hero with a promising life ahead of him. But when Billy's coach encroaches on Roman's relationship with his son, Roman fears he'll lose Billy forever. Roman isn't the only one whose world turns upside down. He's one of five unsuspecting people whose lives intersect on a bright fall day.

If you would like to read the first chapter of John 3:16, go HERE


I made the mistake of reading John 3:16 on an airplane. This was a mistake only because at one point, I started crying. Not just misting up a little, but actual tears-rolling-down-my-face-type crying. And I had no tissue. But it was well worth a little embarassment and a soggy shirt front.

We've all seen the signs held up in crowds at sporting events, but in her moving novel, Nancy Moser makes us feel the impact of one such sign. She masterfully intertwines the lives of seemingly unrelated people and shows us how the results of our actions spread out like ripples, touching others and changing lives. In John 3:16 we also experience God's love and grace. The book is a poignant reminder that God is always with us, even when life doesn't make sense.

Friday, September 26, 2008

There's A New Christian Publisher In Town!

Have you heard? There's a brand new Christian fiction publisher getting ready to launch. I was at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference last week and had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Gerke, founder of Marcher Lord Press. He's an energetic fellow with a heart for God and 'weird' fiction. Here's a little bit about the new company:

MLP LogoMarcher Lord Press is the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. Whether it's science fiction you love, or fantasy, or time travel, monster stories, supernatural thrillers, alternate history, end times, chillers, spiritual warfare, or modern magic stories-if it's crazy-weird and it's Christian, Marcher Lord Press is the place for you.

I'd like to encourage you to go to and check it out. Even if speculative fiction isn't your cup of tea, why not take a moment to support this new venture? While you're there, register for their newsletter and you'll be entered to win the grand prize: a trip to the 2009 Comic-CON in San Diego! If you do register, I'd love it if you let them know I sent you: Jennifer AlLee from I believe you need to register before the official launch on October 1st to be entered in the contest... so hurry on over :+}

Welcome Back Darlene Franklin - Interview & Giveaway!

Darlene FranklinTHE BIO

Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin resides in the Colorado foothills with her mother and her lynx point Siamese cat Talia. One daughter has preceded her into glory; her son and his family live in Oklahoma. She has published two books previously (Romanian Rhapsody and Gunfight at Grace Gulch, both with Barbour, as well as numerous devotions, magazine articles, and children’s curriculum. Visit Darlene’s blog at


JA: You are one of the authors in the Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology. Tell us about your story.
DF: In Dressed in Scarlet, “Denver’s big snow” (the blizzard of 1913) traps both heiress Natalie Daire and mechanic Frabizio Ricci at the Brown Palace Hotel. Natalie and Fabrizio form a close bond as they seek to entertain the snowbound guests, but will their different worlds tear them apart once the storm ends?

JA: What was it like working with the other authors when planning out your stories?
DF: Dressed in Scarlet includes small touches on the other three stories. For instance, the other couples attend Natalie’s birthday party on Christmas Eve. But those details were easy to add.

LND - Colorado ChristmasJA: You live in Colorado, so it must have been easy for you to find inspiration. What was it like writing a novel with a Christmas theme?
DF: Becky Germany (the editor) contracted the book just in time for us to write our stories over the Christmas season. It was easy to get in the spirit of the book! I loved giving my snowbound hotel guests Christmas carol sings and gift-making activities to pass the time.

JA: What do you want people to take away after reading Snowbound Colorado Christmas?
DF: Most of all, I hope they enjoy the romance between Fabrizio and Natalie. I also hope they realize that in Christ, barriers are swept aside.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
DF: 2009 will be banner year for me. The second and third mysteries in my Dressed for Death series will be released in 2009. Next year Barbour will also publish my first full-length historical novel, Beacon of Love. The story takes place against the backdrop of the Great Gale of 1815. Pretty soon I’ll be known as the disaster lady!

I’ve also contracted to write another Christmas novella! Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter will appear in Texas Cowgirl Christmas.

JA: How can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
DF: Check out my website,, or my blog,

Thanks for returning to the blog, Darlene. May God continue to bless you in your writing journey!


Dressed in Scarlet, the final book in the Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology, is a charming wrap up to a lovely collection. The pairing of socialite Natalie Daire with working class Fabrizio Ricci provides a unique and engaging romance. The perfect book to curl up with in front of a fire and read while sipping a mug of hot cocoa, Dressed in Scarlet will leave you with a warm glow.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Snowbound Colorado Christmas just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on October 3rd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CFBA presents ISOLATION by Travis Thrasher

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(FaithWords -September 12, 2008)
Travis Thrasher


It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in the summer of 2007. This year he has two novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.





. . . Alone

When a missionary family moves into a secluded mansion in the mountains of North Carolina, they think they are escaping their nightmares. But when a snowstorm hits and they are trapped inside their new home, their worst fears become reality. As they fight to stay alive, they will be tested in ways they never imagined. Can their love for one another and their faith in God save them from the dangers lurking here?

A masterfully written story that will grip you from its mysterious beginning to its chilling end.

From Publishers Weekly:
"In this dark chiller, Thrasher (Sky Blue; The Promise Remains) demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre. Like Stephen King, Thrasher pits flawed but likable characters against evil forces that at first seem escapable but gradually take on a terrifying ubiquity.

The Miller family has recently returned to suburban Chicago after a harrowing experience on the mission field. Hoping to get away from the busyness of suburban living, they travel to the mountains of North Carolina for an extended stay in an enormous, remote lodge where husband and father Jim plans to write a book while trying to reconnect with his family.

When a snowstorm isolates them further and spiritual attacks make them feel they are losing their minds, both Jim and his wife, Stephanie, begin to wonder if God can rescue them and their two young children. Aside from sharing too many plot points with The Shining, this novel hits very few false notes and should appeal to fans of Christian fiction, the horror genre and all who enjoy well-crafted and suspenseful stories."
If you would like to read the first chapter of Isolation, go HERE


I'll be honest; I didn't know what to expect from Isolation. The plot sounded interesting, and I liked the idea of a thriller told with a Christian world view. What I found was a riveting book that kept pulling me back to see what would happen next. Although the main plot points were slightly predictable, Thrasher does a great job at keeping the action moving. It reminded me of a cross between The Shining and This Present Darkness. If you don't scare easily and are a fan of edge-of-your-seat fiction, this could be the book for you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Bonnie Leon, Author of LONGINGS OF THE HEART


Bonnie LeonBonnie Leon is the author of fifteen novels, including the popular Queensland Chronicles and the Sydney Cove series and the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. She also stays busy speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.


JA: Your latest book is Longings of the Heart. Please tell us about it.
BL: I’m so glad you asked. I’m very excited about book two in the Sydney Cover Series.. Longings of the Heart picks up where book one, To Love Anew, left off. There are a couple of unanswered questions in book one, so some of the readers I’ve heard from are anxious to continue the story of John and Hannah. The transplanted Australians have survived betrayal and imprisonment and are ready for a new beginning. They imagine grand possibilities, but soon realize that their dreams are in jeopardy.

They hope for children but as the months pass and Hannah doesn’t conceive she’s certain it’s God’s discipline, consequences for her past sins. And to make matters worse she’s kept this part of her life a secret from John.

There is a person in their midst who waits for an opportunity to destroy the couple’s happiness. It will take courage and strength, not just from John and Hannah, but from the community as well, to stand against evil. Only God has the power to overcome, but will friends and believers stand with John and Hannah or give way to the power of darkness?

JA: Your Sydney Cove books deal with Australia’s early history and settlement. Was there anything you found out while researching the period that surprised you?
BL: There were lots of surprises, but I will address only two. In the early nineteenth century London was not what I imagined it to be. It was a vicious city that devoured its own. And the filth and degradation of the society was astonishing. I’d love to write another book or series that takes place in London during that time period. There is great fodder for storytelling.

Secondly it was stunning to discover that the majority of prisoners transported to Australia were guilty of minor offenses. And some were completely innocent of the charges brought against them. Women, who were arrested, often were forced to take their children with them. It was a horrendous situation with little room for mercy.

BL - Longings of the HeartJA: In this book you delve deeper into the relationship between Hannah and John. What is your favorite thing about this couple?
BL: First and foremost that they are real people who struggle with the same things all human beings wrestle with. But they are determined to not let life’s circumstances destroy them.

Secondly I’d have to say the power of their love, not just for each other, but for God. They faced unimaginable suffering and treachery, they let God down, let each other down and yet their love fought to endure.

JA: What do you want people to take away after reading Longings of the Heart?
BL: That living a transparent life, though risky and even frightening, is the best way to live. When we hide behind masks, hoping to conceal who we truly are we shortchange ourselves and God. When we live authentic lives we make ourselves available to others. God wants us to love as he does, without conditions. This is something I personally feel strongly about so it has been extremely satisfying to write this particular story.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
BL: Book three of the Sydney Cover Series will release early in 2009. John and Hannah discover that life sometimes delivers terrible surprises and that God is greater than any of our troubles. He can solve even the most difficult dilemma. I’m very excited about the book. I think it’s the best in the series.

Presently I’m working on a new series with a working title of The Sleeping Lady. It takes place in 1935 Alaska and is the story of a woman who dreams of being a bush pilot. It’s a fun tale with a good blend of drama and adventure.

JA: Your journey to becoming a writer is fascinating. Would you please share some of it?
BL: Unlike many authors I didn’t dream of becoming a writer all my life. It wasn’t until I was nearly forty that I was gripped by a compulsion to put down my thoughts on paper. I was having a great time writing short stories, personal experiences, and poems when an auto accident with a log truck put an end to the fun.

God spared my life, but I was left with disabilities and chronic pain. For many months, actually years, I didn’t know how I was going to push through, to survive even one more day, let alone the rest of my life. I lost my ability to do the things I loved. Being a wife and mother was a joy for me, and suddenly I couldn’t stand long enough to cook a meal, or do the family shopping, or clean my home. I struggled to attend some of my children’s activities. In the beginning I could sit for only about thirty minutes. I spent most of my days propped up on pillows on my sofa.

It was a devastating time, and I felt as if I had nothing to offer my family or the Lord. On one particularly bad day, through my tears, I asked God to give me something to do that mattered. Soon after that I started writing again, spending thirty minutes or so a day at my computer.

When I was offered a scholarship to the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference I knew I needed to trust God and so I went to the conference, fearful but expectant. God used wonderful writers to teach me. In the ten months after the conference I wrote my first book. And that following summer I returned to the conference and presented the book to the acquisitions editor for Thomas Nelson Publishing. Thomas Nelson contracted for that book and two others. The Journey of Eleven Moons, my first book, made the bestsellers list. No one was more shocked than me.

I’ve been writing ever since. My physical condition remains a challenge, but I’m better than the doctors thought I’d be. I have bad days, but try to fully live life and enjoy every moment.

JA: I looked at the “Speaker” section of your website and there are some very cool topics listed. What’s your favorite thing to speak about?
BL: That’s a tough question. I love to teach. And every time I get in front of an eager group of students it’s a thrill to watch as they grasp new concepts and begin to believe that they can create great stories.

From Idea to Completed Manuscript is one of my favorites to teach. It’s great fun. It’s an all-day class, which gives me enough time to connect with students. I present the nuts and bolts of novel creation—from idea to completed book. It equips writers with enough tools and information that they can return home and write a book.

Opening Lines is another favorite. One of the things I love about the class is that we get to look at some great writing and some not so great writing. Making the comparisons is fun. I’d been writing many years before I got a grasp of how important opening lines can be. They can make or break book deals. You’ve got to capture an editor’s or a reader’s interest right off the bat. It takes practice and creativity to produce great openings. The class is interactive and lots of fun.

JA: Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?
BL: I have a long list of surprises, but I’ll focus on just one. I was in high school during the late 60’s. It was a time when the concepts of free love and experimentation with drugs were the “in things”. I was right in the middle of it all. It was one big party, but most of us weren’t having fun. I ended up being arrested and charged with the sale of drugs. That was definitely not fun.

I can’t say I regret my experiences because so much of what happened drove me to Christ. He gave me a new life. And because of Him I’m a new creation.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
BL: Thanks for asking. I post news on my website at and I publish a quarterly newsletter. There’s a place on my website to sign up. I also post a blog two days a week—Quiet Moments With God and Tips For Triumphant Living.

I look forward to hearing from some of your readers and to making new friends. :+}

You heard her, folks… Check out Bonnie’s website and give her a shout out! Thanks, Bonnie, for sharing your talent and your heart with us. May God continue to bless you on your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Longings of the Heart just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 22nd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome Back to Susan Page Davis & Megan Elaine Davis!


Megan Elaine Davis - NewMegan Elaine Davis grew up in rural Maine where she was home-schooled with her five siblings. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing from Bob Jones University, and has published poetry, articles, and humorous anecdotes in various publications. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, travel, theater, cooking, and chatting with friends. Her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, and C. S. Lewis. Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is her first novel. She lives in Clinton, Maine. She recently became Mrs. John-Mark Cullen and makes her home in England.

Photobucket Susan Page Davis is the author of 13 published novels, with more coming soon. Her historical novel set in colonial Maine, The Prisoner’s Wife, won the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, the ACFW Book of the Year, and was favorite historical of the year in the Heartsong Presents book club. Her suspense novels include Frasier Island (a Faithpoint Book Club selection and Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), Finding Marie (a Crossings Book Club selection), and a January 2008 release from Love Inspired Suspense, Just Cause. She’s the mother of six and grandmother of five. She and her husband Jim, a newspaper editor, live in rural Maine.


JA: Treasure at Blue Heron Lake is the second of your Mainely Murder series. Please tell us about it.
SPD: Emily Gray and Nate Holman spend a weekend with friend Jeff Lewis, who owns Lakeview Lodge on the shore of Blue Heron Lake. A burglar breaks in during the night, and Jeff tells the story of the man who owned the lodge a hundred years ago and died mysteriously there.

SPD - Treasure at BHL JA: This is the second book the two of you have co-authored. Are you still speaking to each other?
SPD: Ha! Actually we’re on pretty good terms, and have just finished writing book three, Impostors at Blue Heron Lake, which will release next spring. We’ve had our moments, but I don’t think we’ve disagreed much over plots. We save that for real life stuff.
MED: So far we are still speaking to each other, but give us time. ;)

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
SPD: For me it’s a set of three romances set in Alaska, more suspense books, and a longer historical novel coming from Barbour in ‘09.
MED: I’m going exploring next! I have to decide what type of writing I want to work on once I move to England, and I’m not entirely sure yet. I might continue with my journalism, or I might use my spare time to write another book.

JA: Since Megan’s wedding is only days away (it will actually be over when this interview runs) I’m going to keep things simple and ask some very light and fluffy, romantic questions.

Who do you consider the quintessential fictional leading man?

SPD: Call me boring if you wish, but I’ll take George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life) any day. He was a real hero, but it took an angel to tell him that.
MED: Possibly Knightly from Jane Austen’s Emma.

JA: What’s your favorite three-hanky movie?
SPD: I haven’t watched many movies lately, so it would probably be an old one. Something like The African Queen or To Kill a Mockingbird. And The Little Princess always makes me cry.
MED: Silas Marner or Somewhere in Time.

If you could choose an actress to star in the movie based on your life, who would it be? And who would play your love interest?
SPD: Angela Lansbury and Howard Keel.
MED: Miranda Otto and Billy Boyd (Eowyn and Pippin from Lord of the Rings)

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
SPD: Visit me at I love to hear from readers, and I have a “painless” drawing for a free book every month.
MED: Right now I have a page on my sister Amy Ballard’s Web Site: Look for the link “Sister Site.”

Thanks, ladies, for taking time out of your jam-packed schedule to visit with us today. May God continue to bless you both in your writing, and Megan, may you have much joy as you embark on the greatest journey of all: marriage!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Treasure at Blue Heron Lake just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 17th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Meet Lena Nelson Dooley, Author of SNOWBOUND COLORADO CHRISTMAS


Lena Nelson DooleyLena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning, bestselling author. Her 18th book released this month. One of her books from last year is a finalist in the Book of the Year contest for American Christian Fiction Writers. She loves to mentor other authors. Thirteen people have become published after she helped them. She and her husband are active in Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, even though they live in a nearby suburb. She's on the Altar Ministry Team. She also volunteers with Global Ministries and in the bookstore. She loves spending time with friends and family.


JA: Please tell us about your latest book, Snowbound Colorado Christmas.
LND: This book was really fun to write. It’s set during an actual historical snowstorm in Colorado when the snow continued for about a week and accumulated to 48 inches. Tamela’s story starts the collection with the first party of the holiday season in early December. My hero is a new doctor in Denver, and my heroine is the daughter of the rancher where his father worked. At first, she doesn’t recognize him.

JA: Did you and the other authors in this anthology discuss what storylines to pursue, or did you work independently of each other?
LND: With a collection like this, you have to work together. Most of the characters appear in Tamela’s story and mine. The heroines are friends who attended finishing school back east together. So we did have to know a lot about the heroines in the other stories. And Tamela and I had to work very closely together for many scenes.

JA: You have been (and will be) part of several Christmas anthologies. What’s your favorite thing about that time of year?
LND: This is only my second Christmas anthology, but I’ll be in two next year. I love Christmas. I start playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. I love to hear Christmas music. I also enjoy the aspect of remembering how our Savior became a tiny baby, let mere humans take care of Him, and then went on to purchase salvation for us on the cross. Christmas celebrates the beginning of His time on earth. And I love to get together with family and friends.

LND - Colorado ChristmasJA: What do you want people to take away after reading Snowbound Colorado Christmas?
LND: I’ll only speak about my story—The Best Medicine. Don’t make arbitrary decisions about people—don’t judge them. And the readers will need to check out the last line of my story to find out what the best medicine actually is.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
LND: My agent is marketing several proposals to major publishers. We have some interest in more than one. I’m hoping soon we’ll be able to make an announcement.

JA: You’ve been writing full-time since 2002. What was it like making that transition?
LND: Scary! When you’ve been receiving a regular paycheck, it is a little scary to step out in faith and trust the Lord when He tells you that He will take care of you. It’s also freeing. To learn that you can trust Him completely when He tells you to make a change.

JA: You and your husband, James, enjoy traveling. What would you say is your most memorable excursion?
LND: We’ve been in Mexico visiting missionaries several times. One time, we took several members of three different missionary families from their towns—Guadalajara, Rancho Esperanza, and another town that I can’t remember the name—to Manzanillo. We really enjoyed spending a couple days in a hotel on the beach. On our way back to Guadalajara, we took the old highway so we wouldn’t have to pay so many tolls on the new highway. The Suburban we were in broke down. We were stranded with two toddlers, for several hours. We only had a couple gallons of water and some peanut butter and bread, besides the babies’ stuff. And all the things that happened to get us out of there sounds like a comedy of errors. A very long story. I’ll never forget it!! It did help me understand that I should be praying for the missionaries’ vehicles.

JA: Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?
LND: I’m a little kooky. Yesterday was James’s birthday. He works in one facility of our church. The junior high were meeting last night. My daughter, who is a counselor, bought him dinner and I made a birthday cake and took it. We and several of the adults had a party in the kitchen. They had given out temporary tattoos to the kids when they arrived. I had my daughter put on my chest so it showed in my v-neck. My junior high granddaughter asked why I put it there. I told her so that Grandpa would know I was a Wild Woman.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
LND: I have a web site: There’s a book page where you can read about all my books. On the events page, you can see slideshows of the events where I’m attending or speaking. If you leave a comment, you’ll be in a drawing for a free book. Some months I give away more than one.

I also have a blog: I interview other authors on this blog and we give away free copies of their books. I featured all the authors of Snowbound Colorado Christmas on my blog in late August.

I also have a space on ShoutLife:

Thanks for visiting with us today, Lena. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Snowbound Colorado Christmas just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 15th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CFBA presents BACK TO LIFE by Kristin Billerbeck

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Back To Life
(Avon Inspire - September 16, 2008)
Kristin Billerbeck


Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and gained a bachelor's degree in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing.

She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year for What A Girl Wants in 2004, and again in 2006 for With this Ring. Featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show. She is credited with jump-starting the inspirational chick-lit phenomenon. Most recently she has been named as a finalist for the Christy Award in the Lits category for The Trophy Wives Club.

Her other recent books include: She's All That.


Lindsey realized when she married Ron, a man 17 years her senior, that the odds were he’d see heaven before her, but she never expected to be a widow at 35. There’s too much of life left for her to just sit around in mourning. But she can’t seem to kick start the rest of her life.

That is until she gets some help from Ron’s first wife, Jane, who shows up unexpectedly at her door one day as the executor of her husband’s estate. Jane is everything Lindsey’s not… independent, stubborn… and a lot older. Plus she has one surprise after another… including a son named Ron Jr. (she insists he’s not “really” Ron’s son). But an unlikely friendship develops as each woman begins to reevaluate what is really important, and owns up to the mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Lindsey, and with the return of many of the witty characters of The Trophy Wives Club, this book is a lighthearted, relatable read for when life goes in a direction you never planned. With faith and friends, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

If you would like to read an excerpt of chapter 1 of Back To Life, go HERE

Monday, September 1, 2008


Writing can be a solitary business, but every now and then God knits you together with someone very special. Today, I’m pleased to introduce one of those people. A talented author and one of my best writing buds, Patti Lacy’s debut novel, An Irishwoman’s Tale is available in stores and online now. Let’s meet Patti!


PhotobucketWhen Patti left the Louisiana swamps for college in 1972, she actually returned to the site of her first home, Baylor University, where from 1958 to 1962, she lived with her parents in Martin Hall, the boys’ athletic dormitory. Patti’s two hundred big brothers entertained her with magic tricks and tales of wild escapades which planted the love of oral narratives in her heart.

Five years later, Patti graduated with an Education degree and shortly thereafter married Alan Lacy. Both schoolteachers, the couple moved to Arizona, Texas, and eventually settled in the Midwestern town of Normal, Illinois. Alan and Patti are the proud parents of two college-aged children.

The inspiration for An Irishwoman’s Tale was born one day during a discussion on a front porch. An impetuous, red-haired friend asked Patti this question—“What is your first memory?” Four hours later, Patti had been gifted a wonderful story that culminated—four years later—with a trip to the breathtaking cliffs of County Clare, Ireland.

Patti’s second novel contracted in April of 2008. Unsettled Waters takes the reader on a quest with Sally, Mary’s gregarious friend in An Irishwoman’s Tale, to the often-murky bayous of the Deep South. In Unsettled Waters, themes such as racism, sexual abuse, betrayal, and sexual dysfunction within marriage are explored. Patti is also working on a collection of short stories and a memoir.

Besides writing, Patti is passionate about Ministry& More, an organization that provides food and, through prayer, Bible study, and personal testimony, offers the true Bread of Life to clients. Patti also serves as the Midwest Zone director of the American Christian Fiction Writers.


JA: Please tell us about your book, An Irishwoman’s Tale.
PL: An Irishwoman’s Tale spans two continents and chronicles the quest of Mary, a feisty red-haired woman who’s trying to come to terms with not one, but two dysfunctional families. When her daughter slips into substance abuse, Mary loses her tenuous grip on sanity. At the encouragement of Sally, a chatty new Southern friend, Mary returns to her beloved Ireland and with God’s help, begins to make sense of her past, present, and future.

JA: The friendship between Mary and Sally is really beautiful. What is your favorite thing about their relationship?
PL: Like sweet and sour sauce, they complement each other. One’s caustic, the other syrupy sweet. One’s a motor mouth, the other’s barely civil. Yet the sisterhood of believers provides the glue that holds their friendship together.

PhotobucketJA: Your inspiration for this book was a conversation with an Irish woman after a book discussion group. Can you tell us a little about that?
PL: In 1995, “Mary,” a red-haired woman in a book discussion group I formed stayed late after one of the meetings. I thought she just wanted to help me clean up and pick through the juicy hors d’oeuvres I’d spent hours making a la Southern Living style, but she had something else in mind. As I chatted about my kids, she paced in the family room, finally plopping into a rocker.
“What is your first memory?” Mary asked me.
“I don’t know. I’ve never had to think about it,” I answered.
Her eyes took on a glint of steel. “How pretty. Not to have to think of it.”
Hours later, I’d been gifted a tragic yet majestic story of God’s forgiveness and sovereignty over even the most dysfunctional situations.

Four years later, my family moved away from Mary’s town, yet by now, Mary and I’d become close friends, and stayed in touch. During quiet times, Mary’s story often slipped into my thoughts, and I’d shake my head. Someone sure should write that story, I’d tell myself. One January morning, God told me to do it. I opened a computer file, titled it An Irishwoman’s Tale, and the journey started and didn’t end until Mary and I went back to Ireland and two years later, I’d signed a book contract.

JA: How did the trip to Ireland affect you?
PL: From the minute our jet hovered over the hilly land of a thousand shades of greens, something in my soul opened up and I begin to hear the minor chord of those unbelievable Irish whistles and flutes. With Mary at the wheel, we bumped across the narrow roads of County Clare, meeting Mary’s old neighbors and zany characters who’d find their way into the novel. Mary talked, her expression changing with the intensity of the story, as I held my voice-activated recorder close, hoping to pick up the brogue that was growing thicker by the second. I cherished every minute in that breathtaking country, and the fragrant turf fires continue to burn in my heart.

JA: What do you want people to take away after reading An Irishwoman’s Tale?
PL: The sovereignty of God over even the most dysfunctional situation. The need for society to better accept mental health issues. The value of sharing secrets with Christian companions. The power of Christ’s example of forgiveness.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
PL: My second novel, Sally’s story, is under contract and will be published in spring or summer of 2009. I think y’all will be surprised at the secrets hidden underneath Sally’s sunny facade.

JA: How has your life changed since you took the plunge into full-time writing?
PL: As much as I miss teaching, I’m thrilled to be doing what I feel God wants me to do. And it’s great to work at home, so I can get a roast going for dinner, have a friend over for coffee, and/or stay in my PJs until noon if I want to.

JA: You write women’s contemporary fiction inspired by Romans 8:28. How has that verse influenced your work?
PL: I love to load my stories up with conflict. The more dysfunctional, the better. Romans 8:28 brings hope to my protagonists (and I hope my readers) no matter how screwed up their lives have been.

JA: Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?
PL: I’m a pretty normal wife and mother living here in Normal, Illinois. However, I slip so often into the imaginary world of my characters that I have trouble distinguishing truth from fiction. My kids and husband are helping me change this bad habit.

A: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
PL: I’m not a blogger—not yet, anyway—but I do update my website monthly and have contests. Please visit and make an entry. I’d love to send you a $15 book card! And thanks for taking the time to visit Jennifer’s blog.

It was great having you as a guest, Patti. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


In this stunning debut novel, we meet Mary Freeman, a nurturing woman who wants to take care of her family and have a bit of peace in her life. But caring for her ailing mother is wearing on her, as is her concern for her youngest daughter. When Mary prays for a friend, she never expects God to answer so quickly… or with such a unique woman.

An Irishwoman’s Tale is two stories in one: the tragic heartbreak of young girl who endures one rejection after the other, and a beautiful, healing friendship between two very different women. Like the threads that make up fine Irish linen, Lacy weaves Mary’s story, combining the past with the present, until both converge and take Mary back to where it all started.

Lacy’s lyrical writing style is perfect for this tale which takes us from Ireland to America and back again. Get ready to settle in with this one, because once you start, you’re not going to want to put it down.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of An Irish Woman’s Tale just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 8th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!