Wednesday, September 24, 2014

V.B. Tenery: A Diamond of Christian Suspense

Kindle Copy of Dead Ringer
Leave a comment to enter!

Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Virginia. I’m so happy you’re here! As you know, the Mine digs into the wells of Christian Fiction and searches for those gems. I already know you write awesome suspense. And I see you’ve had a new release this year. Can you tell a little bit about it?

Dead Ringer was released in May and is an inspirational romantic suspense. The story follows Mercy Lawrence who is identified as a notorious missing model, Traci Wallace, by airport facial identification software. Traci’s husband is convinced she is his missing wife who deserted him and their ill son. He takes Mercy to a private island to care for the boy, and that’s when the action begins.

I remember tasting a bit of your stories on the crit loop for ACFW. Talk about suspense and intrigue. It makes me want to dig into this one right now! Do you think we can give the readers a bit of a peek?
Hamilton, Bermuda Friday, May 5 
Mercy Lawrence wouldn’t have noticed the large man standing by the silver Mercedes except for the way he was dressed. Unlike the tourists on the sidewalk, he wore a light gray business suit and tie. Sunglasses hid the upper portion of his face, and the grim set of his mouth detracted from his otherwise handsome appearance. He stood beside the car’s open back door, arms crossed as if waiting for someone.
Not wanting to stare, she tore her gaze away. In jeans, T-shirt, and sandals, she blended easily into the vacationers along the boulevard. She’d spent the last five months in this wonderful country, recuperating from a head injury. Most of her memory remained intact after the accident, but dark recesses still refused to reveal their mystery.
But tomorrow, like a good soldier, she would return to Houston and report to her new job at Sabine Oil, the fulfillment of a goal she’d worked towards for the past six years.
The city’s main drag ran four lanes wide with a palm-tree-lined median, the sea on one side, shops and hotels on the other. A soft wind filled the air with the scent of sea kelp and brine, mixed with a light floral fragrance from the purple bougainvilleas hanging on the walls along the walkway. Seagulls swept low over the water, looking out past the rolling surf for lunch.
She shook her hair loose from the confines of its ponytail clip and turned her face to the balmy sunshine—mainlining vitamin D. Her path took her within four feet of the parked car.
The man moved onto the sidewalk and grabbed her arm. “Having fun, are we?‛
He spoke with a slight Scottish burr, the strange question more an accusation than a greeting.
She tried to jerk her arm away. “Let go of my arm.”
 His grip tightened. “I’ll just bet you’ve been living it up.” His voice was harsh, his jaw tight. No one intervened. Casual observers would think she knew him. One hand locked on her arm, he shoved her into the backseat, slid in beside her, and slammed the door. His movements were so quick, so smooth, she had no time to struggle, no time to scream or put up a fight.
She swallowed the lump in her throat choking off oxygen. Women disappeared all too often on foreign soil, never seen or heard from again. “Who are you? What do you think you’re doing? Let me out. Now!”
 He ignored her protests and leaned forward in the seat. “Airport, Fergus.”
 Blood pounded a persistent rhythm in her ears. He couldn’t be police. They had to tell one the charges before making an arrest. Besides, she’d done nothing wrong. Her heart skipped a beat. She wanted to run, but it was too late for that. Pivoting towards him, she drew back her arm and aimed the heel of her hand for an upward thrust under his nose. The move from a seated position lacked the needed momentum.
He blocked the blow, slamming her back against the seat with a forearm of steel across her chest. “You dropped off the map six months ago. To do what, find yourself?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She squeezed her eyes shut. This couldn’t be happening. “This is kidnapping. My name is Mercy Lawrence and people are expecting me back at my bungalow.” She struggled against the vise-like grip, slapping at his hand.
“Stop it, and cut the crap, Traci, or I’ll slap you back. Taking a wife, a mother, home to the son she abandoned is not kidnapping.  Besides, you’re not a kid.”

See what I mean, folks? I love it, V! This one will have to join my collection. Anyone else agree? It may inspire me to write a story about kidnapping a bride. Just kidding.
Speaking of that…how do you find inspiration for your stories?

I’m never sure where my story inspirations come from. Some from new headlines, some from observing human nature, good and bad.

Is there anything in particular you wish someone to receive from your writing?

I write to inspire and entertain readers. When the reader finishes one of my novels I would like them to feel it was time well spent and feel good about the experience.

Your books are full of twists and intrigue. I love to read them and they entertain me. In fact, a person would love to read them for the excitement alone! But what’s unique about them? What’s one thing all of your books have in common?

There’s a thread of forgiveness in most of my stories not only of others but of one’s self, and of staying strong in the face of adversity. I also use biblical symbolism in some of my stories. 

That’s awesome. I think I love that the most about your books. You truly are a terrific person and author. Do you have special events planned surrounding the release of your title?

Since this was published earlier in the year most of my promotions have been done. But I still buy advertising and promote on Facebook from time to time.

And a few blogs here and there, huh? I guess every little thing helps! What’s your biggest challenge in writing?

At the moment its finding time to write. Promotion is a big part of a writer’s life today. I once thought when I became published I could sit back and relax. Wrong. I’m busier than I’ve ever been.

I have to agree with you and I haven’t even published my book yet! Of course, my job takes up a lot of my time too. As a reader, what do we have to look forward to? What’s in the works?

I have just published an Indie novel this month, the second book in the Matt Foley/Sara Bradford romantic suspense series. I also have another novel with the Pelican book group, The Watchman that releases in a couple of weeks on October 3rd.

Awesome! I can’t wait. Anyone else agree? Well, I believe we have another diamond to add to our collection…V.B. Tenery!

About the Book:

Bermuda airport facial recognition software has identified her as missing runway star, Traci Wallace. Despite Mercy’s protests, Traci’s husband, ex-CIA agent Thomas Wallace, is convinced Mercy is the mother of his ill six-year-old son. With only his son’s welfare in mind, he abducts Mercy and takes her to a private island to care for the boy.
But Mercy soon discovers there are men much more dangerous than a father desperate to save his son. Her doppelganger has made deadly enemies—a relentless team of killers who now want her dead.
When Thomas is lured into a covert mission to rescue a CIA asset and uncover a government mole, Mercy is left isolated and alone—and Thomas finds himself stranded on foreign soil with a compromised mission and a wounded agent. Fighting against a rogue nation’s timetable for launching a nuclear strike, he has to escape Saudi Arabia alive and rescue Mercy and his son before assassins finish the job they started.

About the Author:

Author V. B. Tenery lives with her family in East Texas. Her passion is writing books with shining characters and settings with plots so exciting readers come away feeling delighted with the experience. Not content to stay in one genre, her novels range from contemporary suspense and supernatural suspense, to an upcoming historical suspense set in WWII England. When not writing she enjoys reading, hiking, and tube-floating down rivers in the beautiful Texas Hill Country   


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nancy Shew Bolton Debuts with her First Novel!!!

I am so stinking excited! Nancy Bolton is one of the first of our group to see her words in print! Somebody scrape me off the ceiling, 'cause I can't hardly contain myself. I'm so honored to be the one to interview her! We here at the Diamond Mine are all so incredibly proud of Nancy, and delighted to be part of her journey to publish. We knew this story when it was yet a tiny babe.  And now it's blossomed into a full-blown novel. All right, enough gushing for one day. On to the fun.

Nancy, we're all so excited for you! How does it feel to actually get your work in print?

Words fail me. Pretty sad for a writer, isn’t it? I think I could express it better if I were a bird and could fly around singing, or if I were the horn section of an orchestra! As it is, I’ll say I’m amazed and thrilled. Very much so.

So let's delve into how this all began. What started you on this writing path, and how did you reach this point in your writing career?

Ever since I learned to write, I’d jot down thoughts, poems and lines of inspired sentences on various subjects that struck my interest. As a teen and an adult, I branched out into song lyrics, poetry and essays in college. Then around 2007, during a very hot, humid stretch of summer, I was emailing with a friend about the beauty and silence of a winter night in the country, and how welcome those temperatures and conditions would be right about then. I realized that for a brief time, it had felt as though I were really there. Though at the time, I was writing a non-fiction project, somehow, that short, intense experience gave me the incentive to attempt a fiction novel. And here I am!

Was there anyone who influenced you or inspired you?

As far as influence, my father kept urging me to write the story of how my husband and I moved out onto undeveloped land with five small boys. Kind of a modern-day pioneer story, as we had no electricity or running water out there. This was my first book, and I put it aside when I started with fiction. However, I’m now editing the final version of it and hope to see it published. As far as inspiration, I’d have to say the encouragement of family, and a life-long voracious habit of reading works by numerous incredible authors. Also, life inspires me, with all its challenges, struggles and delights.

How does your faith play a part in your novels and is there an underlying message?

For me, my faith is my heart, the foundation of my life and thoughts, so in my writing, I explore this internal relationship in the lives of my characters, and try to show how faith determines actions and reactions. I am endlessly fascinated by how a relationship with God transforms a person.
Where did the idea of this book start?

Well, my husband and I worked in a family-run doughnut shop for a few years, and I remember how the workload really took over our lives. When you’re that busy, your life mainly consists of work and sleep. That reality formed the catalyst for the dilemma of my main character, Ann. And it grew from there!
What can we expect next from Nancy Shew Bolton?
I have a novella set in the later dust-bowl years, which will come out next spring with Prism. I also have two other fiction novels I’m working on, as well as two others I’ve completed and submitted. Now I’m waiting to see if they are picked up for publication! I also have two creative non-fiction novels, and I’m knocking around with a children’s book, as well. I love writing, even when it drives me nuts! One of my prayers is that my husband will collaborate with me on one of these projects. He has a wonderful, quirky sense of humor that I think would fit really well in a children’s book. So maybe one of these days, you’ll see a book written by John and Nancy Bolton! It makes me smile to think of it!

Nancy, it makes us all smile to see this story come to fruition! All of us couldn't be more pleased than the proverbial punch. (Tropical, please, with fresh pineapple juice!)

And here is the cover reveal, and a little 'taste' of Nancy's confection, The Right Ingredients! 
Catch it on Sept. 24th!

Missing the right ingredients for a life of joy, a young baker learns lessons in the true recipe for love. 

   Ann’s hectic work responsibilities demand all her time and effort, and what was once a useful, satisfactory life has become a burden. Her bakery partner Susan has lost none of her enthusiasm for their business, and Ann can’t understand her exuberance, or her friend’s Christian faith. So she trudges along, hiding her dissatisfaction from Susan, resigned to a life of work, sleep and problems.
   Unexpected comments offered by two different people cause a crack in Ann’s armor and her thoughts careen into unexpected directions. Attention from a young widower with a son challenges Ann’s resolve to stay safe and uninvolved. Susan’s example of faith through trial furthers Ann’s curiosity about God. Ann must choose to step toward the unfamiliar freedom of giving and receiving love, or stay in the shadows, stuck in the grip of past hurt and long-standing barriers.

Leave a comment for Nancy and you are entered to win a copy of her debut novel, The Right Ingredients!

You can find Nancy's debut novel on: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Prism Book Group.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interview with J.E.B. Spredemann

Hello J.E.B. It’s nice to meet you. We’re so happy to have you at the Mine today. I found out when doing some research the J.E.B. stands for Jennifer, Emily and Brandi. J Are we talking to all three today, or just Jennifer?

It’s just me, Jennifer. Thank you for having me!


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself (selves)? What books do you have in the works, and what book are you giving away this week?


My first book released in November of 2012 and has done wonderfully. God is so good!

So far this year, we’ve released Leah’s Legacy (Amish Girls Series – Book 8), and Learning to Love – Saul’s Story. I have a book due to release in September. It is book three in the Amish Secrets series, and is titled A Secret of the Heart. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Other books releasing this year include another novelette in the Amish Fairly Tales series and a Christmas novella from the Amish Girls Series.

Our books are available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook and can be purchased here:


I am intrigued by the thought of a book written by three people. Are you sisters?


I am the mother and Emily and Brandi are my teen daughters. The Amish Girls Series (a primarily teen series) is penned by all three of us, while the other books are written solely by J. Spredemann. (I kept the name so as not to confuse readers.)


Tell us some of the hardships of writing with others, and then some of the rewards. J

There aren’t many hardships. Once in a while, we’ll have a difference of opinion on how something should go.

Rewards are numerous. If you get stuck at a certain place, you can just hand it to the next person. There’s always someone encouraging you to keep going. Three sets of eyes usually work better than one.


I also learned you write Amish fiction. I’m excited to find one of your books and devour it. J


Yep, I enjoy writing about the Amish. Their lifestyle is intriguing. I’ve learned many interesting things in my research. If you’re looking for a book, An Unforgivable Secret is currently FREE on Amazon, as is Danika’s Journey.

What made you decide to move to southern Indiana? Was it for the express purpose of the Amish Community?

Partially. Ever since I visited Pennsylvania at age twelve, I’ve wanted to move out this way. We decided on southern Indiana because we believe this is where God led us.


Did moving across country affect your writing in a good way, bad way, or not at all?


I think there’s a good and bad side to just about everything. I choose to focus on the good. Yes, it was a little unsettling but I prepared myself for that. Now that I’ve settled in a little more, I’ve been able to focus on writing. Moving has provided new opportunities I never imagined, such as being involved in the making of the Amish-themed documentary, Breaking the Silence, which is due to release in February. You may view a trailer for the film here:


What made you want to be a writer?


Oh boy! I have no idea. I’ve always loved writing and dreamed of writing my first book in high school. Only until recently has that dream become a reality.


What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals?


We began writing at an inopportune time, as far as publishing is concerned. I’d scoured through Writer’s Digest books to look for publishers accepting manuscripts. None of them took unagented manuscripts, so the next step was to look for an agent. I found a small handful of agencies that might, which turned into one, that was accepting manuscripts. I contacted them and was informed my manuscript was not the length they desired.

At this time, I felt a sense of urgency and really wanted to get my story into readers’ hands. So, I weighed my options and jumped into Indie publishing with both feet. I think it was the best decision I could have made and I thank God for leading me in that direction.


Thanks again for joining us today. This has been an awesome interview. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. J




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Interview with Nicola Furlong

I'm pleased to welcome multi-published author Nicola Furlong to the Mine today! Read on for her interview, and make sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I’m the sixth of eight in a long line of rabid readers. Like my father, mysteries were my first love. After devouring whodunits for years, I finally figured I could write ‘the butler did it’, as well as the next armchair Poirot. For my first gumshoe, I stuck close to home and chose a sporty gal named Riley Quinn as my amateur sleuth. After intensive research, which included lugging a forty-pound bag during pouring rain for a couple of professional female golfers, I putted out TEED OFF!, my first crime story.

I was off the first tee, as you might say, and running. Although I had plans for a Riley Quinn series, another idea soon struck home and I delved into darker thriller material for my second novel, A HEMORRHAGING OF SOULS. Once again, my writing plans changed. Though I had this new second series in mind, I lucked into a divine gig and eventually wrote six light-hearted inspirational tales for the CHURCH CHOIR MYSTERIES series from Guideposts.

Definitely diverse! So what's a day in your life like?
I’m very fortunate. I am semi-retired and live in a small seaside town on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The creative side to my day varies, depending on whether I’m writing, researching, marketing or pondering something new. There are, however, four daily constants in my life: Walking dogs (a giant Yorkie & a spud-coloured Maltese mix; Gardening (crazy about poppies, bamboo & succulents): Exercising (playing hockey with a bunch of old dudes, biking our rural roads or Nordic walking along the seaside), and Eating chocolate fudge (homemade & always available).

What can you tell us about your most recent release?
My latest novel is a departure from the mystery scene. When I was chewing over a new series (by now you’ll know I’m gun-shy of that term), I decided there was enough misogyny and violence out there. I no longer wanted to create stories about heartache; rather I hoped to pen something heart-warming. For the first time, I chose the familiar subject matter of family and gardening, and then planted a question that haunts me: is this all there is to life? Thus in my new inspirational novel HEARTSONG, the Shepherd family and their plant nursery business blossoms, and my main characters discover a calling to help others seek redemption for past wrongs. I think we all have regrets, and it’s these cold cases of the heart that Faith, Hope and Charly Shepherd tackle in the Sisterhood of Shepherds series. And yes, it will be a series as I’m nearly finished Book 2, HOMEFIRES.

That sounds very uplifting. :) You've written a bit of both non-fiction and fiction. What were the challenges with each one?
This’s a tough question as all writing has many challenges. For fiction, it’s mostly in discovering your author’s voice and unleashing it in the right subject matter. Discovering the voice takes time, experimentation and often results in frustration and dead ends. You have to be persistent and have faith, not easy when you may have few results to show for it. Finding the right subject can be as easy as writing in the genre you generally prefer to read, but hitting upon your ideal vehicle may require diving into new areas.

Non-fiction is more about being recognized as a professional and less about crafting sentences. Once you have the expertise, however, then you need to share it in manner that befits your target audience. For example, the writing style, chapter design and book length will differ greatly between writing about growing blue poppies and playing ice hockey. I have to admit bending some of these rules, though, when I self-published my primers on electronic publishing, mystery writing and gardening. I seized upon the immediacy and popularity of ebooks and traded on my expertise and breezy writing manner to deliver succinct and inexpensive how-to ebooklets.

I noticed on your website that you've also done podcasts about the writing process. What's that process like and what made you want to start the podcasts?
I really appreciate that you noticed THE NOVEL EXPERIENCE Podcast. I believe podcasts in general are an amazing yet relatively unknown medium. I’ve always been interested in radio drama and audio books. Several years ago, while creating videos and music for my interactive online thriller UnnaturalStates, I developed expertise in audio and video software. After using iTunes, I discovered their podcasts and quickly saw the opportunity and manner to post audio clips on the Internet.

As a writer, I’m always hunting for suggestions from experts to improve my work and figured other authors would be, too. Most of the writing world infotainment is fan-oriented, not technique driven. I decided to host my own audio interviews with fellow book professionals (so far, several authors, a screenwriter and an editor) and to post them online as The Novel Experience Podcast. It’s been a lot of fun sharing ideas and learning new writing skills. Listeners can find listening links below.

What's your favorite book you've read?
My all-time favourite is a classic: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Harper Lee’s compelling story of family, racism and redemption. It showed me how a single isolated incident in a small town could be a powerful universal theme. Another inspiration is THE RED FOX by Anthony Hyde. This exciting best-selling thriller proved to me that Canadian genre authors could hit the big time. Well, at least some of them can!

What do you hope readers take away from your writing?
I hope readers relate to the characters and find my stories entertaining. I dig getting behind the scenes to learn new things, and trust others do, too, so anticipate that they’ll enjoy discovering a bit about golf, opera or what it’s like being the middle child. Lastly, I’d be gratified if they would be encouraged to buy more of my books and consider recommending my work to their friends.

Thanks for joining us, Nicola! It's been a pleasure getting to know you. Make sure you leave a comment for Nicola, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Nicola pens mystery and inspirational novels, creates interactive books for the iPad, podcasts about genre writing (The Novel Experience), and teaches electronic publishing, when she's not playing Old-Timer’s hockey, growing blossoms and bamboo or eating chocolate fudge.

The co-creator of Quillr®, a multimedia storytelling platform, Nicola gardens in a small town on southern Vancouver Island, BC. Her other novels are mysteries and include Teed Off! (recently re-published by OakTreePress), A Hemorrhaging of Souls, and six inspirational cozies from the Church Choir Mysteries series. Her ebook how-to primers include YOUDUNIT WHODUNIT! HOW TO WRITE MYSTERIES, SELF-PUBLISH YOUR EBOOK IN MINUTES! and TOP TEN GARDENING TIPS. She has also created her first children’s story, SAVING GRAPE-JELLY CHEEKS, as an interactive musical tale, available on the iPod/iPad/iPhone devices.

You can connect with Nicola at the following sites: