Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Author Interview and Giveaway with Bethany Turner!

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 at a charming coffee house. Bonus points if that coffee house has lots of books under its roof. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So please consider this our virtual coffee house! I'll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today's guest. :-)

We are going to pry into the private life chat with Bethany Turner, author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey! I've had the pleasure of helping to promote both of Bethany's wonderful books, and you can read my reviews here and here!

Get ready for some epicness!

Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which was a Christy Award finalist. When she's not writing (and even when she is), she serves as the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Connect with Bethany on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Interview ~

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

Coffee in the morning, iced tea in the afternoon. And chocolate all day long…but only in solid form!

You are speaking my language! LOL! On to our second most important question: if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?

Oh my goodness, that’s a fabulous question. I had some fresh scallops in Cape Cod about five years ago and I’ve been thinking about them ever since, so I suppose that would be it! Although…one of my bucket list items is to have a chance to try the signature dish of a world-renowned chef, actually prepared by that chef. So if Gordon Ramsay is willing to cook me some beef Wellington, I guess I’ll take that over the scallops.

Surely Gordon Ramsay can make you some beef Wellington with a side of scallops! YUM! Where is your favorite place to write, and why is that your favorite place?

I have a small office space in my bedroom, and in addition to my desk and such, I have a recliner crammed in there. The recliner is my favorite. In the recliner, it doesn’t feel like work.

Recliners for the win! Confession time! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-)

 I’m not sure that it’s a habit so much as a neurosis! I tend to write a lot of dialogue in my novels—primarily because I see them as movies in my mind—and when I’m deep into writing a story, dialogue tags tend to make their way into my mind during real life conversations.

“What are we having for dinner?” her teenaged son asked, his stomach growling.

“I thought we might order a pizza,” his mother replied, her guilt at having lost track of time manifesting itself as bribery.

That sort of thing. Thankfully it usually goes away when I’m not facing a deadline!

That. Is. Hilarious! LOVE IT! What inspired you to write Wooing Cadie McCaffrey?

 I was on a plane and there was this family in front of me—the husband with one of their children, right in front of me, and the wife with the other child, in the row in front of them. Every once in a while the parents would start to talk to each other, and then their attention was always pulled away by one of the kids. None of it was bad. It was just life. But a couple times I saw this look pass between the husband and wife. A look that somehow captured lifelong love and commitment, and an affection for the life they had built together, but it also somehow said, “We’ll find time for us again someday.” It was so real, and I knew I wanted to write the story of a couple for whom love is never the problem. The problem is life, and the struggle to carve out time for each other. It morphed and grew a lot from there, but that was the beginning.

That is such an awesome story nugget! My romantic heart is all mushy! *happy sigh* What led you to write in this genre?

The truth is I wrote the story that was on my heart with absolutely no consideration of what genre it fell into. That was The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. I honestly knew very little about the Christian book market, and had no idea where that book would end up landing. But once I got in, I saw the need for more books like what I most loved to write anyway—books that perhaps can get away with going where some other books couldn’t or shouldn’t, because the journey is accompanied by laughter.

That is so awesome! I absolutely love that we are seeing more and more of these wonderful stories (like yours!!) appearing in the Christian Fiction market! What message do you hope to convey to your readers in Wooing Cadie McCaffrey?

That love is more than a feeling. Love is an action. Love takes effort. And I’m not just talking about the love between Cadie and Will—although…definitely. With Cadie and Will, their love for the other person was never in question, but they got complacent. And the same goes with each of their relationships with God. Their faith was secure, but they became as complacent in their faith, and in their relationships with God, as they became in their relationship with each other. Love is worth fighting for, and sometimes it’s not about fighting another person, or any outside source, really. Sometime the fight really happens within.

YES and AMEN to everything you said! Can you tell us a little about your next project?

 A very little bit! I just turned in the first draft of a story that will be published by Revell in 2020, and my manuscripts tend to get turned on their heads during edits. But it’s the story of two polar-opposite celebrity chefs who share a very public, very career-altering heated exchange, and then are forced to play nice with each other down the road. I look forward to sharing more soon!

Man, I need a time machine because I am SO EXCITED FOR THIS STORY!!!! Ahem. Sorry...I'm, very excited... ;-) Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

Ephesians 3:20. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Time after time I have thought I knew what needed to happen. I thought I had the plan all sorted out. But then God did what He knew was best, and He has a way of blowing all of my feeble dreams out of the water.

Love this truth! <3 What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds -- mine -- want to know! LOL! ;-)

I have a couple reads going. I’m just starting to dive in to Lincee Ray’s new release, It’s a Love Story. That girl is hilarious, and speaks such truth! And then I’m listening to the audiobook of Fosse, which is an in-depth biography of the dancer/choreographer/director Bob Fosse.

Those sound like awesome reads! *adds more books to the TBR that would take Methuselah a couple lifetimes to read* 

Thank you so much for hanging out with us and for answering all of my prying questions, Bethany!

Giveaway ~

Bethany has generously offered one paperback copy of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey to one worldwide winner!

"Romantics everywhere will sigh happily at the perfect ending."--Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn't love her in the "forever" way she loves him, Cadie believes it's time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie's favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It's a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

"I've found my new go-to author for rom-com with heart."--Carla Laureano, RITA Award-winning author of The Saturday Night Supper Club and Brunch at Bittersweet Café

"A modern, messy love story not to be missed."--Nicole Deese, Carol Award-winning and RITA-nominated author

"Playfully fresh."--Rachel McMillan, author of the Van Buren and DeLuca series

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away one paperback copy of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey

This giveaway is open worldwide!

This giveaway will close on August 28th, 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!


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, August 14, 2019


Good morning to the Diamond Mine. Terry Palmer here. Hope you are busy with shovel and pick, bringing to life the gem which God has given to you. Many years ago this ol’ author searched after and found many a fine rough agate. What a thrill to find that rough cob, knowing the beauty within, then to get that stone polished to a point of refined beauty – much like each of our books on the Diamond Mine.
I’m so pleased to introduce you to my friend and new Rough Diamond Mine author, BilliJo Doll! Our Montana high prairie gal offers us much insight into life on the high prairie as a conservation officer, but her heart is for serving the Lord in ministry. Where does she find the time to write and promote nine books? Find out as we travel deep into–The Diamond Mine!

TP: How about we start with a day in life on the high prairie, a place which few of us might recognize. Is it all dust and sparse grass?

BJD: Not even close. Dust does happen when it is dry–that is the same everywhere. I don't know what you mean by “sparse grass.” There are more species of grasses and forbs in the prairie than in the forest. In my book, My eMpTy Life, I write about Montana and the fullness of life on the prairie, both human life and plant life.

TP: As long as we are in the Diamond Mine and speaking of Montana, are you near some pinnacles where semi-precious stones are found?

BJD: There are sapphire mines in central Montana and there has been significant gold mining throughout the state. In fact, one of the names for Montana is The Treasure State. My newest book, Mara's Murder, addresses gold mining although not specifically in Montana.

TP: You also have youth ministry experience and accepted Jesus in Germany. Ausgezeichnet! (Excellent!) Can you share a definitive moment when the Spirit of God spoke, led, or placed you in a life-changing situation?

BJD: There has been so many. My mind is racing with example after example. I'll share the first and the most recent: when the Holy Spirit spoke audibly to me to go to Bible college was the first such experience. Most recent was to change housing and that hasn't fleshed out yet. I trust God that it will.

TP: You also travel more than a bit, plus have a ranch in Mexico. I’ll bet these lead to some interesting encounters? Can you share a few with us?

BJD: Recently I was in the Mexico City airport waiting for my flight to the US and I got an email from the airlines that my flight out was changed to the following day. Once I was at a banquet in Baltimore when a woman whom I did not know, approached me, after verifying who I was, she said her mother told her to tell me hello. I started to visit with a woman in the Denver airport once, and come to find out, she was my best friend from second grade's aunt. I met and visited with Ted Dekker in a California airport once (and I am not a huge fan of his books). Most of my travel is not noteworthy. However, I have met some interesting and wonderful people from around the world.

TP: Turning to writing and family, many of us are busy in other pursuits too, other than editing and writing, along with a balance of family. Do you also coach and do speaking? What are your sources for balance in life?

BJD: Yes, I am a writing coach/editor/ghostwriter as well as a trauma recovery coach. I have an active speaking ministry. To stay balanced in a very busy life, I start my day in prayer and Bible reading. I also take time mid-afternoon to pray. I eat healthily and make sure I rest. My days are usually 10-12 hour days with frequent 18 hour days so staying balanced is very important so that I do not get burned out. I take to heart Mark 6:31. In fact I want to get to a point where I can offer my home in Mexico as a sanctuary place for Christian workers to go to rest.

TP: In our day and time, our country is a mess and becoming dangerous for a Christian author. What advice would you give to a new author who is just beginning to write their perfect baby to help overcome for Jesus?

BJD: Follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Seek to stay in constant communication with God. No matter what a person says (it does not matter WHO the human is), try everything before Christ. Listen only to the voice of God. Whatever someone says, get that advice confirmed by at least two other Christians. What is most important? Your message or making money? If it is making money, do not write.

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?

BJD: I started by writing Christian drama skits; that is how God first spoke to my heart about writing for Him. My first traditional publisher contract was for a young adult science-fiction series. My last book, My eMpTy Life, is a historical fiction. My upcoming book, Mara's Murder, is a mystery. The mystery is not so much a “whodunit” as it is the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the main character. Most of my books are out of print. All of my books can be found on Amazon either under my name, BilliJo Doll, or under my pseudonym, Anna Schilke.

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

BJD: Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. My background and training is in natural resource conservation, not writing. Yet, God called me to write and to coach. Run to Him, cling to Him, listen to Him, follow Him.
Keep it simple. You don't need an expensive website. If you are in charge of pricing your books, keep them as low priced as possible. Getting the word out is more important than trying to make money. You need word-of-mouth support. My eighth book sold six copies in three years even though the publisher was highly recommended. Nearly 9,000 copies of My eMpTy Life were downloaded in three months. Make sure your manuscript/book is of the highest quality possible. No one likes a poorly written book.

TP: Do you have a special or favorite verse of scripture that carries you through the rough times, perhaps that remind you of a tough moment when faith in Jesus was your only answer?

BJD: Oh boy, I have many. II Cor 9:8-11 comes to mind, II Tim 1:9, and IS 50:4. A cool study is IS 51:1a, 2a, 7a, 12a, 16a . . .like a hidden code. :)

TP: Thanks so much for joining us on the Diamond Mine, BilliJo! She will be giving a free copy of Mara's Murder. Just leave your email in the comments section. Thanks for joining us today!