Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Interview and Giveaway with Acclaimed Writer Dvora Waysman!!

Everyone is searching for something or someone to make their lives more meaningful. In Dvora Waysman’s novel, “Searching For Sarah”, Leah is searching for Sarah, the artist whose portrait obsesses her; Sarah is searching for something lost that can never be replaced; and Gershom – he seems to be searching for G-d. ~ A tender story of Israel ~ Ordinary People ... Living Extraordinary Lives.

Today on The Diamond Mine, I'm very honored to welcome multi-published author and worldwide syndicated writer Dvora Waysman! What a treat to share this time with her. And readers, please click on the Post a Comment section at the end of the interview to leave a comment and be entered in a drawing to win a print copy of Dvora's latest book:"Searching for Sarah."

Hi Dvora! It’s so good to connect with you again, and have a chance to ask you some questions!
You live in what I consider to be the most important city in the world. What is it like to live in Jerusalem?

Jerusalem is wonderful. There are other cities perhaps more beautiful like Venice, Paris etc. but Jerusalem is more of an emotion than a place. A poet put it beautifully (Yehuda Amichai):  "The air over Jerusalem is so full of prayers and dreams, that it is hard to breathe."  It is deeply spiritual.

I can tell by the many lovely articles you've written about Jerusalem, that you have a deep bond to it, and in your own words, you"feel uniquely privileged" to live there. I can certainly understand your sentiments!
As writers we live in this world, but when we write fiction, we reside in a world we create with each story. Do you ever find it challenging to live in both of these worlds?

I think even our fiction is based on our own reality - we couldn't express it if it were not a place that we know and which resonates with us on a deep level.

Wow. That's a very true observation. Even when I’m creating a world and characters, I realize they are based in the realities I know. Thank you for saying that!
How much of your own self do you put into your characters?

All my characters have a little bit of me in them - something I've experienced; a joke I've laughed at; a song I've sung... that's the only way to create a 3-dimensional character.

Yes. I think it’s often those little things that really reveal the inner life of the character. Do you ever have dreams about your characters or stories?

Not dreams - but a deep affection when I think about them.  They stay with me long after the book is finished.

I know what you mean! Do you have a favorite among your books or characters?

Yes.  The heroine of my novel "Esther" - a Jerusalem Love Story, because a lot of it was autobiographical - my life in London when I went there at 19; my work as a war correspondent in Lebanon in the Peace for Galilee campaign in 1982;  and bits of a romance way back then.

 That sounds like quite a wonderful story, especially since it has so much of your own story woven in it. Tell us about your latest book. How did you get the idea for it?

My latest (14th) book is "Searching for Sarah".  It is loosely based on a real experience I had when I once rented an artist's 1-room studio on a rooftop in Jerusalem.  I found there a portrait an artist had left behind, and although it was 25 years ago, I have never forgotten that painting or the effect it had on me.

Isn’t it amazing how a single thought or experience can grow and expand into an entire book? It’s really incredible when I think about that. What do you like most about “Searching for Sarah”?

I like the fact that the theme is that everyone is searching for someone or something to fill an empty place in their lives.  We all have a void somewhere.

That’s very true. Do you have any recurring themes in your books?

Jerusalem is the recurring theme in most of my books.  I never wanted to live here, was reluctant to leave the easy life in my birthplace Australia, but once it grabs hold of your soul, it never lets you go.

It definitely sounds like you fell in love with Jerusalem! Here are excerpts from your article"Love Song For a City":

Falling in love with a city is not so different from falling in love with a person. It is an emotion that grows slowly.You begin to notice what you had overlooked before. There is the quality of light that begins with a pearly dawn. When the sun shines, masses of grey stone are turned to gold. At twilight, the indigo shadows lengthen. The night sky is black velvet strewn with stars. Your senses become aware of an ancient perfume that wafts down from the Judean hills compounded of sage, thyme and rosemary. You hear the wind whispering in the pine trees, and echoes of a pain-filled history. You stroll through the Jerusalem Forest, where shy cyclamens in mauve and cream and wild violets nestle among the rocks.
It took a few years before I became bonded to this city and its people. Now I have lived here for 45 years, of the 50 it has been re-unified, and although I've seen most of the world, this is where I want to stay. Like all Jerusalemites, I feel uniquely privileged and although we can contribute little during our brief sojourn here, we know that Jerusalem is eternal.

These words really evoke the effect the city has on you, as I imagine it does for most everyone who has ever been there.

Do you write every day?

Yes.  I have written thousands of articles & still do for papers around the world.  But for the poetry & fiction, I need to be inspired. 

Yes, I agree. Inspiration is an essential element for poetry and fiction. What are you working on now?

I'm 86 now so I have just started what will probably be my swan song.  This one is just for my large family (4 children; 18 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren.)  I am calling it: "Stories I never told you". One of my grandsons is quite a famous musician in Israel - David Lavi - & he recently wrote a song for me in English. The last 3 words are: "Please don't go."  He has always known me as quite an elderly lady, but I want him and the great-grandchildren to know me when I was a child; a teenager; a young woman. I want them to come with me on a journey to become who I am today and not just remember me as an old lady.

What a blessing that will be for your family. And who knows? You may decide to share it with your readers, too! And I hope you will fulfill your grandson’s plea, and stay with all of us for a good number of years to come. Thank you for this interview, Dvora!!

Here's a peek at some of Dvora's other books:

Here are Dvora's social and purchase links. Dvora has written 14 books. You can find them at:: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_rsis_1_0?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=dvora+waysman&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks%2C495

And also:

She can be contacted at: dwaysman@gmail.com or on her blog: www.dvorawaysman.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Peggy Trotter's Diamond in the Rough (featuring The Secret Things)

Peggy Trotter's

on the Diamond Mine

Please welcome Peggy Trotter to the Diamond Mine as a featured guest author. She's a special person and for those who don't know this wonderful lady and her books, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you. She's also agreed to give away one copy of her latest and greatest, The Secret Things. This book is amazing so please don't hesitate to enter! Details about the giveaway and how to enter are after the interview! Are you ready? I am! Let's get started.


Renee: Hey, Peggy! I'm so excited to do this! I can't wait to talk about your new book and writing adventures. Why don't we start with your book, The Secret Things? How did you pick your title?

Peggy: Thanks, Renee. I'm pretty excited to be here myself. I have to say this book has been a loooonnnggg time coming! LOL I wrote this book originally about 15-20 years ago. Most of my books do not have titles until they are finished. I always write and edit with a “working title.” Deuteronomy 29:29 has always been a fascinating verse to me. It basically states that some things are meant for us to know and discover, and others, well, they are just God’s secrets. We all have secrets. True. But some block our closeness to God.  So this verse became the theme for this book. The Secret Things is just the first of a series, individual stories wrapped around some sort of secret.

Renee: What an interesting concept! I love it. We do try to hide things from God, don't we? Too bad that's not possible. I love where this book takes place. Did you pick it by some particular method? For a particular reason?

Peggy: Oh, yes! I’ve been there. The Smokey Mountains are absolutely gorgeous! I love the remoteness, the beautiful mountains, and the mystique the mist lends to the area. Plus, it’s a perfect place for a person to get…lost. So it was a perfect place for Jerrica to be discovered! And perfect for a criminal to hide.

Renee: I love the Smokey Mountains. They are amazing. I've only been there once or twice but I agree with you. They are the absolutely perfect place for your book, any book! LOL I know writing is a lot of fun, at least for us writers. Heehee. Can you share a quick, fun story about writing this particular story? What did you learn from it?

Peggy: Easy! For several years I called this novel my ugly stepchild! 😃 Let’s just say it’s been around the block. It’s had several harsh judges, none of which encouraged me to change my nickname for it. Not only that, I have seven versions of this book. (Yes, the majority of this book has been re-written and reorganized seven times!) It went from being a novella to a full-length book, from simple romance to romantic suspense. It has taken me on quite a ride!

Renee: Through it all...and I say "all" because I know you've been writing for quite a while...what writing style do you prefer?

Peggy: Visceral. That explains it all. I want to feel all the feels. I want to know what the characters are feeling, thinking, planning, fearing, imagining—everything. I think I must write that way. I know that while I write, it can be very gut wrenching. I live and feel it while I write.

Renee: I believe that is probably a good way to do it, if you ask me. Not comfortable, but good. On a more personal note, what do you do when you're not writing? Do you have any hobbies or fun activities you like?

Peggy: I have a full-time day job so I spend a lot of time doing that! But I am a very busy sort of lady, I guess. My hands are seldom idle. And I absolutely LOVE hobbies. Let me just share with you the ones I’ve been involved in over the years: knitting, crocheting (sweaters, afghans, etc.) , cross-stitch, crafting, making pillows, quilts, clothes, making jewelry, latch hooking rugs, beading, sewing Bible covers, making
Barbie clothes (yes, really), painting Scripture signs, crafting interior decorations, painting, making dolls, painting wall murals, playing numerous instruments, writing plays/poems, and any DIY project (making bookcases, refinishing furniture, building a deck, painting kitchen cabinets-twice, lol-roofing, laying flooring, dry walling, hanging drop ceilings, phew! That’s enough!) DIY still very much occupies my time! Curse this old house! 😛 Hope you enjoy a few of my projects.

Renee: Wow! You are a busy lady! I love it. I've enjoyed this time chattin' and I'm sure the folk have too. But before we go, do you think you can share why you are so dedicated to the Lord and how He continues to impact your life today.

Peggy: I would love to! As a farm girl growing up, I could always see Him in the world around me. In the intricate design of a simple flower, the complexities of the animals around me, plus their unique personalities. I always say I first met God at sunset on top of a fencepost as the geese flew south. I even painted a picture of it. So I always was aware of Him. But I didn’t completely surrender my life until my senior year of high school at church camp. At that point I felt my life take a turn, and it would never be the same. Every deed, decision, and way of life was and is filtered through pleasing God. And it has never changed. Although I fail quite frequently, I live the way I do because of Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. I do as much as I can to spread God’s message, because as I tell my students quite frequently, it’s the most important decision of anyone’s life!

Renee: Thank you so much for being on the Diamond Mine today...as an author. You are a true blessing in the Christian Fiction world as well as our little ol' Diamond Mine. I'm so happy that your very own diamond in the rough serves as a beacon for God's glory to the world.



Comment about blog for a chance to win your very own copy of this amazing book!
One winner will be selected by random draw on 5/24/17.
Name and email required to validate entry.


About the Book, The Secret Things:

Deep in the Smokey Mountains, secrets abound. Jerrica Rankin doesn't know who she is. But she's certain she isn't the woman in the wedding photo. So who is the stranger on her porch gripping this incriminating picture? How will Jerrica conquer her panic attacks and find her identity to prove he's wrong?
Brock Langston buried his wife three years ago. But he finds her, deep in the Smokey Mountains, very much alive and denying who she is. How could she have forgotten their relationship and why didn't anyone contact him? Is Jerrica really his wife? Or an impostor?

About the Author, Peggy Trotter:

When Peggy Trotter‘s not teaching or DIY-ing, she’s immersed in a story scene of some sort, always pushing toward that sigh-worthy, happy ending. 2 kids, 2 in-kids, and 2 grands delight her life as well as her Batman of 32 years whose cape is much worn from rescuing his wife from one scrap or another. Winner of the prestigious ACFW Genesis Award in 2014, she flips from Christian historical to contemporary to suspense. But ultimately, it’s always about revealing God’s incredible love.