Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Interview and Giveaway with Jae Blessing!

Hi guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ; ) And since we are all friends, one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends, family, the teens I mentor, and everyone else at coffee shops/bookstores. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So, consider this our virtual coffee shop. I’ll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today’s guest. ;-) 

Today we are prying into the private life chatting with Author Jae Blessing!


Jae Blessing has always enjoyed the creative process of writing.  One of her earliest memories of writing includes a free-style report she gave in second grade that had her classmates laughing by the end of her tale. Her very first Christian novel was On A Slow Boat To China, followed by her Western novel, Evergreen Tree. She now has plans to re-release Evergreen Tree in 2020 with updated content. In the meantime, her first novel and several of her short stories are available on her website for readers to enjoy! Jae's desire is that the people who read her stories are not only entertained but also blessed by them!

Visit Jae Blessing at her website(http://castleguardchristianfiction.com/Castleguardart.html) or send her a message at jb@castleguardchristianfiction.com!

Interview ~

First things first, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question... No pressure or anything. ;-)

Definitely tea. But if it’s warm out, it’s going to have to be unsweetened iced tea. And if it’s cool
out, a nice cup of hot tea— Irish Breakfast or English Teatime— with cream and sugar. It’s my
comfort drink.

Yummy! On to our second most important question: if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?

Anything? Oh, wow, let me see... There are so many things to choose from... Hmm... Okay,
so, since I’m having tea of some sort whilst visiting with you, I would order a gorgeous cheese
danish (heavy on the cheese, please), or a great big beautiful bear claw with butter on the side.
Oh, why not? I’ll have both! ;)

Yum, yum, yum! Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place?

I would like to say that my favorite place to write is in my wicker rocker next to a window that
overlooks a pine lined horse pasture as butterflies flit by and the bird song serenades me.
Unfortunately, it’s far less interesting, because when inspiration hits, just about any place will
do: Indoors, outdoors, table, sofa, floor, vehicle... It doesn’t matter as long as it’s somewhat
quiet. Shhhh! Writer at work!

Haha! "Writer at work!" should be a sign that we carry at all times! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies?

Hmm. I had to really think about this one and I kept coming up with zilch. So, I asked my Mom
and she came up with one in short order! ;) My odd habit would be that I cannot just give a
quick reply to emails or letters (what are those?). For instance, when I inquire about something
or other and the party in question replies, I can’t seem to just type out, “Thanks” and let it go at
that. No-o-o, not me. It will go something like this— “Hello ______! :) Thank you for your
reply and the information that you sent me. I’m sorry that I took so long to get back with you.
Thanks again for your time. Have a great day! :) Sincerely, blah blah.” I’ve also been told by
my brother that when I email a friend, it’s like I’m writing a book to them. In conclusion, I am wordy! It’s actually ironic that the majority of my books are short stories. Go
figure! :)

Haha! I can definitely relate to the wordy, long responses! What inspired you to write The Twelfth of Never?

Well, I believe that my Heavenly Father gives me the inspiration for every story I have written,
and He inspires me in so many different ways. For this story, it was a very particular section of
a piece of music from an old movie soundtrack. I heard the instrumental and with it started
coming these pictures (not from the movie, mind you!) or scenes, as if a teaser trailer was
playing in my imagination. Now, whenever I hear that piece playing, this story is all I see in my mind’s eye. That probably sounds kind of weird, but there it is.

I always LOVE hearing about the different things God uses to inspire a story! It's so cool! What led you to write in this genre?

I enjoy writing in a variety of genres, but for this book, the setting is a real location that I visited
with my family, more than once, many years ago. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North
Carolina. It is such a beautiful, grand old “summer cottage”. It was built in the late 1800’s and
the romance of that era permeates the entire estate. With that said, I just couldn’t imagine the
story being anything but Victorian.

I love the Victorian Era! *happy sigh* What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

I’m not sure if all writers are like this or not, but whenever I begin a story, I’m not even thinking
of a message that I could be conveying to a reader. All I’m doing is just writing what I would like
to see in a movie, or on TV, or in reality. But I’ve noticed that the farther I get into the story, the
LORD starts dropping in these life lessons that minister to me. By the grace of God, I always
come away from writing these stories stronger, I think. Wiser, and just— somehow better, you
know?

So, all that to say, I think the message in this book is: Take your time when answering
something as big as a marriage proposal— or anything else that can be life changing. Talk to
God and let Him show you what way to go, no matter how long it may take, and no matter how
much pressure there may be from whoever or whatever. It will be worth it.

Yes, seeking God's heart on those big decisions is always worth it! Can you tell us a little about your next project(s)?

Well, now that my wonderfully simplistic website is finished (visit me at
CastleguardChristianFiction.com or contact me at jb@castleguardchristianfiction.com), I can
get back to revising my previously published Western novel, Evergreen Tree. I have hopes of
re-releasing it in 2020 (even if it’s December 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.!). In the meantime, as the
Holy Spirit leads me, I will continue to grow my “Jubilee Series” and work on various other
writing projects I have going. That’s my goal for now, anyway. I’d also like to be able to
someday have my books available in print-on-demand, but until then, this is where I’m at.

Awesome! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

I’d have to say that Paul’s Epistles to Galatia and Ephesus are my current favorites. Over the
past month or so, the main theme that keeps running through my spirit and soul is that we have
been saved by grace, and that we are not under the law of Moses, but rather the law of Love.
That it’s not religion, but a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I heard a Bible teacher say
something like, we’re not in God’s Throne Room, we’re in His Family Room. I like that! :)

YESSS!!! I LOVE THAT!!! *clears throat after exuberantly shouting* ;-) What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds - mine - want to know. :-)

It’s actually been quite awhile since I read any fiction or non-fiction books. However, if you
would have asked me a few years ago, I would have given you a list like none other!

Sometimes life gets in the way of a bookworm's valuable reading time. So rude. Sigh.

Great chatting with you Jae! Thank you so much for answering all of my prying questions!

Giveaway ~

Jae Blessing has generously offered to giveaway a digital copy of The Twelfth of Never in pdf format to one winner!


The Twelfth Of Never
Summer 1896
Asheville, North Carolina
Spending a couple of relaxing months at her childhood friend’s new summer cottage in
Asheville, North Carolina, seemed to be exactly what Emerald Rose Lockheart needed as she
prayerfully contemplated accepting the proposal of marriage she had been given some weeks
earlier by her suitor. With the decision having been more confusing than anything, she
suddenly finds it not quite as difficult upon meeting one of her friend’s old school chums— the
gentleman cowboy, Edward Grayson.

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away one digital copy of The Twelfth of Never in pdf format!

This giveaway will close on June 26th, 2019, at 12:00 A.M. for all the night owls.

A winner will be drawn within four days of close of giveaway. If the winner does not respond to our e-mails within one week of notification, then a new winner will be drawn in their place.

May the odds be ever in your favor. ;-)

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by, my writerly, bookish friends! <3 See you next time!

Hugs,

V. Joy Palmer 

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Connect with Joy on her website, personal blogdevotional blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Author PJ Gover Steps into Fiction


Good morning to the Diamond Mine. Terry here. Hope each of you are busy with shovel and pick, bringing to life the gem which God has given to you. I’m so pleased to introduce you to my friend and new author, PJ Gover! Our Texas gal has a story to tell which will give our readers a peek into the life of PJ Gover as wife, mother, and writer for our Lord – and maybe an update on her picture mascot, Moo COW!

TP:  PJ Gover, our readers and fellow authors want to know about your call to writing. How did that happen? When did you know you wanted to write and why?

PJG: I sensed God’s calling to teach His Word when I was in College. I am a long-time Bible teacher and never viewed myself as a writer even though I researched and wrote out my own lessons. Due to health concerns, I was unable to continue weekly teaching, although I occasionally substitute for other teachers. Eight years ago, my husband suggested I do my teaching through writing. Two years prior to that, a friend asked me to write weekly devotionals for a group at church. That started my email devotional ministry which led to a Christian book and gift store hiring me to write their one-year devotional book. A spiritual ministry website asked me to serve as their guest devotional writer for about a year. The Secret Place Devotional Magazine and my 10,000 member church’s newsletter and grief ministry website also published my devotionals.
Five years ago, I felt God’s leading to write a novel based on my father and his secret work as a rocket scientist during the Cold War of the 1960s. He was a devout Christian who died under mysterious circumstances. I wanted to honor God and my father with a Christian novel. It turned into a thriller. I have since written a sequel and my literary agent is shopping both to publishers.



TP: Can you share with us when you came to faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ?

PJG: I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior as a child. My faith growth is a journey. 2 Corinthians 5:7, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

TP:  Many of us are busy in other pursuits, other than editing and writing, or your Wednesday update post? For you, it’s more than the next picture of MOO COW. When you’re not in pounding the keyboard, what occupies your time?

PJG: Family, of course, especially our two-year-old grandson. My husband and I are leaders with college students at our church. We host retreats at our ranch for our church’s college and singles groups. We’ve had more than one couple contemplate marriage while at our ranch! It’s a special feeling pouring into the next generation.
Moo Cow


TP: You have something else to offer to our readers and that is about life on a Texas ranch. Can you offer a story which highlights life in the rugged Texas outdoors?

PJG: No specific stories, but all aspects of the ranch offer inspiration for my writing––devotionals and novels. My devotionals can be found on my website www.PJGover.com. The well-worn trail to the big pond made by generations of Black Angus cattle leads me to consider the Christian legacy I am leaving for generations to follow. The time we accidently left the barn door open and the cows deposited their ‘leavings’ throughout makes me think how we open the door to sin and the residual mess may take months or even years to deal with. Only God can lead us out of sin and into newness of life.  And when the calves get to a certain size they’re shipped to market. The way mama cows ‘cry’ for their babies must be how God grieves when we wander from Him. The ranch also makes an appearance in both of my thrillers.
Please share with us a little bit about your family. Are they often an inspiration for your writing? My husband and I will celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary this October! I do find inspiration from him and our daughter (even her dog) for my novels. My main character shares my daughter’s career and looks a bit like her too. I utilize some of their same mannerisms. Neither my son-in-law nor the two-year-old has found a place in my stories. Yet! But I’ve written two books just for the little one!

TP: In our day and time, our country is a mess, the distractions are high for an author. What advice would you give to a new author who is just beginning to write their perfect baby?

PJG: Learn the craft. Read, read, read. Take a course. I took Jerry B. Jenkins Your Novel Blueprint online course. There are many out there to help guide. I knew nothing about plot, structure, and dialogue and needed all the help I could get. But writing devotionals helped me learn to convey my message in a tight and efficient way. Above all, trust God.

TP: Can you share a definitive moment when the Spirit of God spoke, led, or placed you in a life-changing situation?

PJG: When I was a senior in high school I was coming out of a devastating situation. As a high school senior, one night I was in my bedroom sobbing out of deep emotional pain. I had come out of a traumatic situation lasting years. My father had died when I was eleven-years-old. After being raised in the church, my family basically dropped out after his death. I was not praying, reading scripture, or even contemplating godly things that night. God was the furthest thing from my thoughts, and yet, the words of John 3:16 burst into my mind. God’s Spirit brought it back. I immediately looked up and stopped crying. The verse is a salvation verse and one I had memorized in Sunday School as a child, but in that moment, God brought special meaning. He touched my heart in a way I will never forget. The words of the verse, “…shall not perish…” jumped out. In that moment, under the situation, I was perishing. As a child of God, I realized I would neither perish eternally nor in that situation. God was real, His Spirit all powerful. I would survive.

TP: Now I’m more than sure, our readers want to know about your writing journey—what genre? You’ll soon have a new book out? Can you give us sneak peak to what it is about? Do you offer other books? Where can we find them?

PJG: My one-year devotional book, Celebrate Thee Date, is available at https://4homestore.com/devotional-books. My agent is shopping my Long Shadow Series, Christian thrillers based on my father whose life informs the novels. In the first one, in present day his granddaughter searches for clues to clear his name and solve his fifty-year-old murder. The Vice President of the United States, the mafia, and the Russians make an appearance. The second book in the Series involves a woman in present day trying to reconnect with her sons she was forced to abandon during World War II. In the granddaughter’s quest to help the woman, she encounters a German arms dealer and a secret international consortium bent on destroying the nation of Israel. The granddaughter’s faith journey grows from little interest to full reliance on the power of God and prayer. Stay tuned!

TP: And finally, do you have words of encouragement and hope for some of the new writers among us… Words of wisdom from a Biblical Christian and student of the Word?

PJG: We don’t know the plans for our writing, but choose to walk in faith and trust anyway. No matter what happens on our journey, God is still in control. I am not. You are not. He is sovereign and worthy to be trusted and praised. We are to be obedient to His Word, His leading, His wisdom.

TP: Do you have a special or favorite verse of scripture that carries you through the rough times? What about a favorite one you breathe when you’re just thanking and praising God for life’s journey?

PJG: I believe in Scripture memory, so I have a number of verses memorized. It gives me instant access to His Word and allows God another avenue to reach my heart, as evidenced with my John 3:16 experience. A favorite one is Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Claim a favorite verse and memorize it now.
For praising God, I love Revelation 4:8, 11. “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.” V11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory, honor, and power. Thou didst create all things and because of Thy will they existed and were created.”

As a celebration of PJ's new fiction career starting, she is giving away a copy of her devotional book, Celebrate Thee Date. Please leave a comment below with your email to be entered for a chance to win her book! Thanks, PJ for being with us this week.