Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Spotlight on June Foster

It's nice to be interviewing another former teacher. How did you get started writing, June?
I never had the desire to write fiction until November of 2009. After I retired from teaching, I noticed a "story" in my head. I could even see the characters and what they were doing. This was not the norm for me. So, I happened to tell my daughter about the story, and she suggested I write it. That was the spark I needed. I got a Toshiba laptop, a printer, and a Sprint air card. Now my husband and I travel full time in our RV. My blog is entitled The Roving Writer – Life in an RV.

I have a friend and her husband who also travel the US and CAN in their motor home. I bet like her you have some interesting travel stories! Why do you write?
I have to believe the Lord put writing fiction in my heart as I'd never been interested in writing fiction until 2009. My stories are about Christian characters who struggle with issues in their lives thinking there is no way out of their problems. I allow the power of God and His word to minister to my characters who find victory in their lives.

The writing road can also be a long journey. Describe your journey to publication.
I wrote two novels before I really pursued publication. Those two are still unpublished and I'm praying I will see them in print one day. I decided to write a trilogy of three short novels, The Bellewood Series. The novels are set in the Seattle area of Western Washington where I lived for 10 years. I submitted them to Desert Breeze Publishing Company and the editor decided she was interested in pursuing publication.

Please tell us about the first book in the series which is now available.
Give Us This Day is a story of a computer expert who is raised by a doting mother and controlling father. Before he gives his life to the Lord, he abuses alcohol. Now that he's a Christian, he leaves that part of his past behind him but trades his addiction for another – food. He's a 300 pound man with serious diabetic issues. Holly Harrison is a young woman with a past. She was riding on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle when he had an accident. She lost her leg under her left knee and her unborn baby when she went to the hospital. Now as a Christian woman, she can't forgive herself for her past and thinks no Christian man would want her. Only God can heal these characters, opening the door for an unlikely romance between them.

Where can the reader find this book?
Give Us This Day is available for download at Desert Breeze Publishing Company, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes and Noble e-books.

And where can the reader find you on the web?
I have two blogs: http://junefoster.blogspot.com/ and a blog I share with 4 other writers, http://infinitecharacters.com/. I'm on Facebook and the author's page of Desert Breeze.

Thanks for visiting me and my readers, June. Best wishes on your continued journeys.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Guestblog by Peggy Blann Phifer, author of To See the Sun


by Peggy Blann Phifer

The writing process, or journey, is full of potholes, mountains and valleys, streams and rivers, all of which need to be navigated through or around. Agreed? And the beginning writer faces all of them, over and over again.

But we learn by them. Or at least we should. What triggered this topic for today was a blog post I read over at The Kill Zone, a secular blog of suspense writers, including James Scott Bell. Wednesday’s post (in the embedded link above) written by author Joe Moore, recites a long litany of reasons why a writer’s first book will most likely never get published.

Confession: I . . . love . . . ellipses! And I do overuse them. Oh, there’s a proper place for them, with moderation. But they’re so easy to use for emphasis, to set something apart. Here’s an example from my book, To See the Sun: (all examples below are taken from my book.)

She pushed the memory aside . . . again . . . just as she’d been doing for the past ten years.

I like to use them to show stress, or emotion:

“You . . . he . . .” she gripped the table, knuckles white. “He knew where you were? All this time?”

How about a trailing off thought or sentence:

“No one, including me, ever asked to see their identification.” He groaned. “Stupid, stupid . . .”

Em-dashes are fun, too, most commonly used to indicate an interruption. Another example from my book

“Little sister, you can do this. You’ve got more chutzpah than you realize—”

“No, I don’t. She intimidates me.”

Or, it is useful for interjecting a second thought in the middle of a sentence or statement:

Why did Justin—if it had been Justin—put the deed in the safe?

Funny thing, while I was writing this, skimming through the book for examples, I didn’t see as many as I thought were there. And that’s a good thing. Because that tells me that I’ve grown as a writer. From the first, horrible rough draft, through re-writes and re-re-writes, and editing, I’ve learned. I’ll still probably abuse the ellipses and em-dashes, but I’ll be aware when I do, and think through why I want to use it in that particular spot. Chances are, I won’t need it.

So, you writers out there . . . what do you think? Do you use them? Why, or why not? I’d love some feedback.


Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader and loves to escape between the covers of a good book. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband Jim.

TO SEE THE SUN is Peg’s debut novel, released January 2012

Contact her at her website at: http://peggyblannphifer.com/

Visit her blog “Whispers in Purple" at http://whispersinpurple.blogspot.com/

Where to buy To See the Sun:

· Amazon.com

· Amazon Kindle

· B&N (nook)

Read the first chapter HERE

Thank you, Rose, for featuring me on your blog twice this week. It’s been fun.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Help Tracy Krauss achieve best seller status on Amazon and get many free gifts for yourself!

One day only--February 21, 2012--buy Play it Again on Amazon

Tracy Krauss, author of ‘edgy inspirational fiction’, is launching her book PLAY IT AGAIN on Feb. 21. You can help her achieve ‘best seller’ status by purchasing the book at amazon.com TODAY – and receive all kinds of cool free gifts while you’re at it!

Here’s how:
1. Go to the Landing Page on Tracy’s Website
2. Buy the book at amazon.

3. Go back to the Landing Page and fill in the form with your name, email and purchase number

It’s that easy! You’ll be directed to your free gifts and all you have to do is choose which ones you want.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Spotlight on Peg Phifer

I am so happy to welcome Peg Phifer to my blog. I've interviewed her today so we can learn more about Peg, and invite you back on Friday to learn more about her book, To See the Sun.

Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
You know, I can’t really remember a specific favorite book from my childhood. My mother read to us all the time. It might sound strange, but I think the most memorable one from those years was John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Mom read it to us one summer sitting out on the front lawn on Sunday afternoons. As to a favorite book today? Impossible. If pressed to give an answer, I’d have to say Leon Uris’ “Exodus.” And the two have absolutely no connection whatsoever.

I also love Pilgrim's Progress which my 7th grade English teacher read to us after lunch. And I loved Exodus when I read it in high school, Peg. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
My favorite Scripture is both blessing and benediction, best worded in the New King James version:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
The scripture most encouraging to me as a writer (most recently): “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24

If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Oh, wow. All kinds of places. But, since one of the projects on the back burner, half-way written, the destination would be Chicago and northern Wisconsin to research a historical romantic suspense I really want to finish. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve been in that area and historical research online is less than satisfactory. I’d love to be able to spend several weeks, even months, digging up the facts I need to fill in the blanks I’m currently guessing at.

I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
If I had to go back to hand-writing a manuscript, I’d have to quit writing. My arthritic hands and fingers just don’t work right. If I had a typewriter, that’d be fine. Even a clunky old manual. Then I could do it. As it is, I’m grateful for today’s technology.

As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
The uncomfortable “zone” for me is this marketing thing. I’m not an outgoing person, sometimes hard to get to know. “Pushing” myself to promote my book comes close to giving me hives. That’s why I’m so thankful for people like you who offer the opportunity to present my book online and open a window on me and who I am. Another great benefit of today’s technology, yes?

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, Peg. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Don’t sweat “the rules” you keep hearing. They’ll slow you down, perhaps to the point you won’t write at all. The thing is, there ARE no rules. They’re guidelines. You’ll learn as you go. We all do. Just write the story of your heart. If God is in it, you’ll make it.

Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
Read the back cover blurb and first chapter at:

Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, book reviewer and author interviewer, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader who loves to escape by diving between the covers of a good book. Peg enjoys handcrafts of all kinds and her home shows off some of her work, though most end up as gifts for friends and family. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband of 25 years, Jim.

TO SEE THE SUN is her debut novel, released January 2012

Contact her at her website at: http://peggyblannphifer.com/

Visit her blog “Whispers in Purple" at http://www.whispersinpurple.com/



Where to get To See the Sun:

· Amazon.com

· Amazon Kindle

· B&N (nook)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Guestblog by Fay Lamb

Today we will meet author Fay Lamb by first having her answer some questions, then she will tell us a little more about her recently-released novel Because of Me

1) Tell us a little about your novel, Because of Me.
I met Michael Hayes one cool autumn day while sitting on my porch. Michael, unshaven, his hair a little scraggly, and his young face filled with tension, began to tell me his story. “There’s a young boy, Cole. I’m not his father, but he’s definitely on this earth because of me. I allowed something horrible to happen to his mother, but I still love her. I despise the kid, though. I’ve forgiven another for so much more, and Cole’s only fault is that his father is the man who took everything from me. How can I learn to love this child and protect his mother from the man who can again take her from me?”

And as easily as Michael entered my imagination, he turned and walked away. Michael’s revelation brought forth layer after layer of plot, and my novel, Because of Me was born.

2) What motivated you to write it?
Deep down, I think this story came about because my two boys were like Cole. In fact, my youngest son—the one who really never had the favor of his natural father—his middle name is Cole. My boys needed a man in their lives who would love them unconditionally, who would nurture and care for them, and show a Christ-like example of a true father. My husband, Marc, stepped into that role when my children were six and four years old, and he’s never let those boy think for a moment that he wasn’t as much their dad as the man they share DNA with.

Still, there’s so much more to Because of Me. It’s a story of forgiveness, the depths of which some may never experience, and the story will truly renew your faith in the Lord’s design for us. After all, God is always in the details whether you recognize it or not.

3) What is the main message you hope your readers will take away?
That no matter how badly we mess up or how much comes upon us, God is always nearby. I truly believe Paul didn’t idly pen the words of Roman 8:28. When the Scripture tells us “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose,” the Lord is telling us that it isn’t just the good in our lives that will work together for good. Only our awesome, loving Father can make provisions for us when we make mistakes. Only He knows the thoughts He has toward us, as Jeremiah 29:11 says, and there again, he promises an expected end, a future of hope.

4) Which character did you most enjoy creating and why?
A very hard question for me. This story has some truly memorable characters—not just the hero and heroine, but secondary characters. I absolutely love Michael Hayes and Isabel Putnam, the love of Michael’s life. They’re flawed, but they endure some mighty big conflict.

However, my favorite fellow in Because of Me is Ted McGillicudy. Ted kind of sneaked up on me and inserted himself in the story. He’s a gruff old country boy, and Ted knew that for Michael to eventually love Cole, he’d need an example of a father in his life. Ted watches out for Michael, accepts him, and for Michael, whose father left him when he was very young, Ted fills a void in his life. And Ted, he spouts off some one-liners that will take you by surprise.

5) Which character do you think your readers will most relate to and why?
Definitely, Michael. He’s lost so much, and he returns after being in prison and away from his hometown for several years. He is shocked to find that the woman he loves isn’t alone any longer, and he has issues to deal with before he can win back her heart. Michael struggles through those issues, but he clings to his life verse: Job 13:15: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.”

6) What are you working on now?
I have completed a second romantic suspense, Willow’s Path, and two contemporary romances, Charisse and Faith. Currently, I’m working on two other romantic suspense novels and the last story in the contemporary romance series while editing a contemporary fiction entitled, Storms in Serenity. Beyond that I am excitedly looking forward to delving into a novel that includes the intriguing world of professional surfing.

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel will be released on February 3, 2012, by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.

Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010. In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Because of Me:
Issie Putnam’s life took a detour the night she was raped at gunpoint in front of her fiancĂ©, Michael Hayes. Instead of marrying Michael, a promising young investigative reporter, Michael, along with the man who attacked her, and the man who held the gun on Michael, are imprisoned for conspiracy to assassinate the local district attorney—a crime Michael was trying to expose but had no intention of committing. Issie’s name is ruined, she lost her perfectly-planned future, but she gained Cole, her son—born of that rape.

On the eve of her attacker’s parole, Michael, already released from prison, follows through on his plan to return to the small town of Amazing Grace and protect Issie from the madman who promised to seek revenge. There, he meets Issie’s seven-year-old son for the first time.

Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart? Will Michael be able to protect the woman he loves from the man who will stop at nothing to destroy them all?

Purchase the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Because-of-Me-ebook/dp/B00722KIME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327670357&sr=8-1

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Spotlight on Diane and David Munson
I am happy to introduce to you some new friends of mine--Diane and David Munson. My husband and I watch NCIS each week, so I can't wait to read some of their books. As you read the answers to the interview questions below, you will find out their superb qualifications for writing these thrillers. And after looking at the photo of this husband-wife writing duo below, you can see they even look the part!

1. What is the central message of your newest release?

In The Joshua Covenant, CIA Agent Bo Rider is confronted with challenges on his job and in his personal life. He turns for answers to other federal agents, as well as an Israeli Mossad agent, but it is a Bible prophecy teacher from whom he finds answers. We highlight the “scarlet cord” that winds its way in God’s Word, from the Passover, to Rahab being saved by hanging a scarlet rope from her window, to the saving power of Christ’s death on the cross. We hope that as readers enjoy the international intrigue, they will see and believe that God keeps all of His promises.

2. How do you both weave your legal and law enforcement careers into your thrillers?
Because David is a former Special Agent with NCIS and DEA and Diane is a former federal prosecutor in Washington D.C., we bring actual aspects of our cases and events to our writing. Readers who crave suspense will receive a dose of reality in our six thrillers.
David – As an NCIA agent, I had a chance to investigate cases to preserve our nation, even getting involved in counterintelligence work. We highlight some of these aspects in The Joshua Covenant. Then with DEA I served as an undercover agent, seeking to stop powerful drug cartels. In that role, I traveled the country and overseas. The scenario had to be convincing or I’d be dead. Thanks to God’s protection, I lived to testify in many cases before judges and juries. It was excellent training for writing novels. Our plots and characters must be believable or readers will pronounce it DOA. In this information age, readers are well informed and probably won’t buy a second book by an author whose characters are not well developed or plots are not plausible.
Diane – Readers can watch for seasoning in our novels from my legal work. In this latest release, we extensively researched events in Israel, so readers will have a greater understanding of what is happening in the Middle East. In these perilous times, we want to emphasize that believers in Jesus can count on Him to protect and guide their lives, no matter what obstacles or trouble they may face. Our character, Bo Rider, reveals what happens when he is willing to consider the truths of the Bible despite being hounded by enemies, even those he once thought were friends.

3. Who is a typical reader of your thrillers?
As we travel the country to speak at libraries, churches, book clubs and in book stores, we are getting more readers every day as fans tell their friends, and our writing catches on. Our novels are family friendly so they are enjoyed by teens, men, and women who love a challenging thriller and are interested in what is going on behind the scenes of power. Believers and non-believers are eager for our next book as we write “factional fiction” without graphic words or scenes. Viewers of NCIS and those who read Joel Rosenberg, Robert Whitlow, Dee Henderson, and John Grisham also enjoy our novels.

4. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Holding everyone in suspense … our next novel takes place in … Virginia and Florida. We love to travel the nation as there are so many wonderful sights where we can enjoy God’s creation. Night Flight will be released in Fall 2012 and we have in store wonderful adventures for the Rider family in Treasure Island. After this, we’d love to head out West to Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. Stay tuned …

5. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
David – A special verse for me, that helped me in dangerous times in my career, is found in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Diane – A life-changing verse for me is John 3:16, when I realized Christ died for me. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Much of Scripture encourages us in life! When we submitted our first manuscript, we prayed over Psalm 90:12, 17, at our meals and at night. Three weeks later, we heard from a publisher who wanted to send us a contract. Though our prayers are not always answered in such a startling fashion, we strive to glorify our Lord from whom all blessings flow. It is hard when books don’t arrive for signings, bad weather hits as we are traveling, or life throws us curveballs. To those of you who are looking for direction in your writing, hang in there, and seek God’s still voice. Sometimes we have to turn off the TV or computer and listen. It’s not easy to unplug, but so worth it.

6. In what format are your books available and where can we buy them?
The Joshua Covenant is in trade paper or a soft cover. Autographed copies can be obtained from our website, www.dianeanddavidmunson.com. They are also available in print and eBook versions through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Christian Book Distributors, and in many independent Christian bookstores around the nation. On our website, readers can sign up for our free e-mail newsletter or enter an occasional contest. Readers can visit our Two ExFed News Wrap blog at http://DianeAndDavidMunson.com/blog and read our weekly critique of the NCIS show. They can also sign up at the blog to have it email to them each week.

Video links:



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Book Review--We're Not Blended, We're Pureed by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer and Marty C. Lintvedt

I don't often review non-fiction, but this book with its great advice and its catchy title is a delight to share with you all. Throughout the book, the authors share wisdom for "pureed" families. Diana writes hers from personal experience, and Marty adds the experience of a licensed, nationally certified professional counselor.

Other titles such as "Are the Wedding Bell Blues Becoming Your Song?" and "Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don't Let the Frustrations Bite" tell of heart wrenching and heart-warming true stories with humor and humility. Even if you aren't part of a blended family yourself, I am sure you know someone who could benefit from real-life answers to some solutions for those marrying the second time around. So, please order this book for yourself or them or both! I think it would also make a great study book for a group of blended families trying to blend harmoniously.

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is an author with a background in education and psychology who tells of her experiences as a widowed mom of two sons who married a widowed dad with a son of his own. She wrote this book to "help others better navigate the issues that arise in a new family."

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Mea culpa! Drawing for book contest 3 days late!

So sorry. February 1st went by without a thought to doing a book drawing, so I did it tonight after my hubby got in from the basketball game. He always picks a number from all the commenters for the previous month.

And the winner of Dry Rain by Gina Holmes is...Caroline.

The next book drawing will be for Board to Death by Amy Barkman, Debbie Roome and Tracy Ruckman, so comment during February to be eligible for that drawing March 1st. To see my review of that book, scroll down to check out the January 30th post last week.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Book Review--When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

I have read 13 books so far this year, and this is one of my favorites of the bunch. I read this romantic suspense in 3 or 4 nights, staying up late each time because I wanted to see what happened next and how the heroine would get out of the situations alive.

Firefighter Alexia Allen is almost killed in one of the first scenes in Washington State, then she goes back to her hometown where attempts are made on her life there also. Detective Hunter Graham puts himself in harm's way to save her, but because of her past, wonders if he is being deceived by her. Still, he can't help his growing feelings for her, and does come to believe in her innocence. But can they both get out of this alive to act on their emotions?

Lynette Eason has moved up to the top tier of authors whose books I want to read. I already have one of her first series, Women of Justice on my computer kindle. When the Smoke Clears is the first in a new series called Deadly Reunions. Can't wait for the next one to come out. Treat yourself to When the Smoke Clears as a valentine present or early birthday present. You'll be glad you did! It is heavy on the romantic attraction and deadly on the suspense!

Bio: Lynette Eason is the author of eighteen romantic suspense novels. WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS is her newest release. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children.