Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Diamond Mine's Dug Up Another Jewel in Montana or is it South Carolina?

The Diamond Mine's Dug Up Another Jewel in Montana...or is it South Carolina? Either way, she's a doozy and awesome!

We even have a great giveaway to go with this terrific author interview. That's right, The Lady and the Mountain Doctor is up for grabs. (Details following the interview.) So, snatch your blood pressure cuff off the table (you have one of those, right?), we’ve got a doctor in the house! Well…her book about a doctor. Does that count?

Let's welcome Misty Beller!

Renee: Hi, Misty! Grab a chair. I can’t wait to get started. I hear you have a new book that’s making rounds through the stores. Can you tell us about it?

Misty: Writing The Lady and the Mountain Doctor was fun! It's the second book in the Mountain Dreams Series, and is the story of Miriam, the lovable little sister of the hero from The Lady and the Mountain Man.
Miriam Bryant has always dreamed of leaving the never-ending work of her family's remote mountain ranch to travel abroad as a genteel lady. She's thrilled when the opportunity finally arises, but a gruesome hunting accident crushes her plans, leaving her stranded for weeks in a mining town. The single bright spot in her disappointment comes in the form of this mountain town's newest doctor…
Fresh out of medical school, Alex Donaghue is excited to join his brother's practice and prove himself in the mining town of Butte, in Montana Territory. But the tough conditions in the mines and the brutal winter are worse than he expected. Now a mysterious lung disease is killing patients he fought so hard to cure. The single bright spot in this dreary place comes in the form of their newest patient…
But when Miriam's life is threatened by the effects of a medical tragedy, will Alex have what it takes to save the woman he's come to love? Will Miriam ever find the place God created her for, or is it too late?

Renee: This book sounds awesome. It’s a series? Yep, I may need to get the first one, too. J And I love Butte, Montana. What a place to set a story! How do you decide what to write about and when do you do your research?

Misty: Hmm… My ideas for each story usually come about midway through writing the previous story. When I'm ready to get started, I spend several weeks on intense research as I'm writing my plot outline, which often helps me develop my plot. After that, I regularly do quick research on a topic as I write the scene. I've found that really helps me dig into the details and write about them while they're fresh.  I've also learned to make sure I keep a document with all the website links I use for research. They can be so helpful during editing and for future books in that series.

Renee: Now that’s a pearl of wisdom I may need to put in my cap. I write a pile of notes, but always search for things. Websites…websites…websites. Good idea, especially for my subsequent novels. So, for those new writers out there who may still be struggling to finish that first manuscript or find a publisher…do you have any other words of advice?

Misty: Oh wow. There are so many things that spring to mind! Some I've learned from wise writers. Some from my heavenly Father. And some from doing it the hard way. J If I had to narrow down my experience into advice, these are the three things I would share:

  1. Seek:  Read books on craft. Join a writer's organization. Make friends with other writers and develop connections. Seek to learn everything you can about this wonderful world of fiction!
  2. Work:  Writing takes so many hours of typing and plotting and editing. You may feel it will never end. But enjoy the journey, even the hard times. I heard a quote today that really hit home for me. "Happiness is counting your blessings for the good things where you are right now." We all need goals, but the joy truly can be in the journey.
  3. Pray: Seek God's face and His direction for your writing. If you're in His will, He will bless the work. His blessings may be a different outcome than you expected, but I promise it will be wonderful!

Renee: Thank you for those encouraging words, Misty. I agree wholeheartedly. Writing like our Christian life is indeed, a journey. One we should embrace with every fiber of our being with Christ at the helm. Speaking of writing, I’m what you call a plantser…or combo plotter and pantser. I write out a general thematic outline of the story floating around in my head and then let it fly! Which writing style do you prefer?

Misty: I'm a plotter. Not to the extreme, but I need to have a chapter and scene outline before I get started so I know where I'm going. J

Renee: Is writing what you’ve always wanted to do?

Misty: I was putting together my bucket list, and realized that I really did want to write a novel. So, "Write a novel that's published" made it near the top!
I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to do it. So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan. I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough! 
From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. Writing is in my blood. It's my passion. A true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.

Renee: I’d say your book, The Lady and the Mountain Doctor’s a way for Him to do it. As well as your series. What’s your favorite part of the book?

Misty: I had so much fun getting to know Alex, an easy-going Irishman who has a gift when dealing with people. He fights his own demons, though, (don't we all) and it takes his worst nightmare coming to life for him to accept the truth.

Renee: What an amazing character. Irish too! Now you really have me hooked. You sound like a terrific lady. I’d love to spend more time with you. Speaking of that, if you could go on an ultimate vacation, where would you sport off to?
Misty: I love to travel! I've been throughout the US, but never to Europe. I'd love to visit the old castles and estates in England or Ireland. And all that amazing historic architecture in Italy!

Renee: Are you sure we aren’t sisters? How did you know that’s my dream vacation? When do we leave? 
Thanks for joining us at the Diamond Mine, Misty. And for those who want a shot at winning this awesome new book, here’s your chance!


Comment Now to Enter!
Leave a comment about which favorite time periods you like to read (i.e. contemporary, WWII, 1800s, Biblical, etc.).

Prize: Winner’s choice of one e-book or paperback version of The Lady and the Mountain Doctor.
(Winner will be chosen by random draw on 6/3/15.
A minimum of five comments required to validate contest.)

About the Book:
Miriam Bryant has always dreamed of leaving the never-ending work of her family's remote mountain ranch to travel abroad as a genteel lady. She's thrilled when the opportunity finally arises, but a gruesome hunting accident crushes her plans, leaving her stranded for weeks in a mining town. The single bright spot in her disappointment comes in the form of this mountain town's newest doctor…

Fresh out of medical school, Alex Donaghue is excited to join his brother's practice and prove himself in the mining town of Butte, in Montana Territory. But the tough conditions in the mines and the brutal winter are worse than he expected. Now a mysterious lung disease is killing patients he fought so hard to cure. The single bright spot in this dreary place comes in the form of their newest patient…

But when Miriam's life is threatened by the effects of a medical tragedy, will Alex have what it takes to save the woman he's come to love? Will Miriam ever find the place God created her for, or is it too late?

About the Author:
Misty M. Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nancy Shew Bolton's Sophomore Release, Hidden Storms!

Wahoo! Another big celebration week! Nancy Shew Bolton is sending out another "babe!" Yes, her second release, Hidden Storms, hit the Amazon bookshelf on May 8th, and we're all so excited with her Sophomore effort. Here's just a peek at the blurb:

Lilli Clarke. They call her the marked girl. Beginning at her left shoulder, a pink birthmark tracks up her throat just past her jaw, like a finger pointing to her brain. Abandoned by her family, she is ostracized by everyone but her grandmother and cousin Bert, Six years of dust storms have left sixteen-year-old Lilli close to death with dust pneumonia. Now she must leave the only real home she’s ever had, or risk death when the next storm hits. 

Lilli is sent to her aunt and cousins in Florida to recover. The possibility of a different life presents itself, yet circumstances snatch it away, and she flees to New York City. Unable to find a safe place, she yearns for the storm ravaged home she left. All doors appear to be closed to her, and she resigns herself to the lonely fate of a marked girl. Once again, she is close to death, this time with no one to help her. Will this storm prevail, or is there a new answer for Lilli?

Find out more from about Nancy at:  http://boltonnancy.com/
       Nancy Shew Bolton is a wife of 41 years, mother of five grown sons, and grandmother to a boy and girl. Ever since she learned to write, she would jot down her thoughts and impressions in little
snippets of inspiration in the form of poetry, song lyrics, or short essays. About six years ago, she decided to try her hand at writing a full length book. She's since written five works of fiction, two non-fiction, and is working on an idea for a children's book, as well as more fiction manuscripts.

     Writing a full-length work is much more challenging than she thought, and she has received so much valuable assistance from other writers, especially from the ACFW critique groups.  Her husband has been supportive of her long hours spent at the keyboard.  Many thanks to her beloved Johnny! And now she's under contract with Prism Book Group. What a journey!

     Nancy love to write character-driven stories about relationships of love and faith, since she is fascinated by the complexities within this emotional terrain.  She thanks God and His Son for her life, her loved ones and the spark of creativity inside every person.  She believes each person is a unique creation, with their own special voice and place in this amazing universe.\

You can purchase Nancy's book on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or straight at the source at Prism Book Group. And Nancy has a sweet excerpt on her blog! http://boltonnancy.com/  Don't miss it!



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

GUEST BLOGGER! Farm Fresh Wisdom with Cheryl~When you Sink in Miry Clay

Peggy: Y'all know where I'm going with this. Done got my fiddle out to play a few rounds of There's a Hole in the Bucket Ole' Liza, Ole' Liza. Only my farm neighbor, Cheryl, had a much better rendition. And she's at the bottom of one humdinger of a hole. Sit down on that there bucket, aim at the spittoon in the corner while keepin' yer boots downwind, and take a listen. 

 Cheryl: Living in a remote area adjacent to a coal mine can be very challenging.  We do not have city water. We get our water from the roof top of the garage behind our home.  The water goes into the gutters and is transported into our cistern, coal mine dust, dirt, and all. A cistern is a large cavity which is dug into the ground about twelve to fourteen feet deep.  Usually the bottom is made of clay or sandstone that is a natural layer in the earth.  From this sandstone the walls are shaped with bricks and mortar up and up to the top until the cistern is in the shape of a vessel; narrow at the top and spreading out at the bottom. The shape is much like an upside down wine glass.  The top of the cistern has a square of concrete about five feet square with a smaller concrete lid that measures two foot square.  The base of this cistern is about ten to twelve foot in diameter. We do not drink or cook with the cistern water.  We use this water for all baths, laundry, and cleaning. We buy our drinking water.

     About two weeks prior to Easter, I began to notice a strange smell in our water, especially the hot water. I was hosting Easter for my whole family. So my husband, Darrel, suggested I put bleach in it.  This remedy worked until the next rain and so on. Rain/bleach/rain/bleach. I was almost to my breaking point when the smell developed into a complete stench! I could not stand it. So my husband and I resolved to pump the cistern dry to find the problem.  Sure enough, we found it!  We were getting so much rain that the ground surface water was also going into our cistern. The heating process made the algae and bacteria bloom and—wow, stink, stink!

     Once the water was mostly out, one of us had to get in and fill the bucket while the other lugged the rope and bucket full of mud up and out.  In I went.  Down into the mud-filled, smelly cave of a pit.  One shovel at a time I stooped this black slime out.  But as I worked, I remembered God’s word.

Psalm 40:2. (NIV)
           “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock            and gave me a firm place to stand.”

     Without my ladder I was hopelessly trapped in a pit that I had knowingly entered. Isn't it just like Jesus to remind me of how many times I willingly jumped into a pit that only He could get me out of? I began to realize how many time Jesus had done this for me—the exact thing I was doing in the cistern. Bit by Bit, scoop by scoop, layer of dirt and filth by layer, He carefully and deliberately lifted me out of the pit. He cleaned me from the inside out. The stench of my carnal nature fell off. The slime and mud I had created began to be replaced with the fruit of His Spirit which bloomed in me.
     Galatians 5:22 tells us about His fruits. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  He took my filthy vessel, cleaned it out and replaced it with clean things that please Him and grow His kingdom!

      After the whole afternoon of cleaning, scrubbing, rinsing, and pumping, our cistern was, at last, clean.  We ordered water from a local water hauler, and inch by inch our source of life-giving water was restored to a state of cleanliness.  We have since installed a gutter diverter device on our flow system to better control what type and how much water is allowed in our cistern.

     I would encourage you also to put a trash diverter device on your life to protect your soul.  If you are constantly exposing yourself to situations that will cause toxicity and filth in your life, have God’s Word as your armor.  Be ready, because if you fall into a huge pit, it is very hard to get out.  Call upon Jesus.  He will help you!

Peggy:  If'n ya got a shortage of sludge, give Cheryl a call. She's got plenty. On second thought, scratch that. Nobody needs that kind of filth, especially in you soul! If ya ain't done did it yet, and Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior!

Can't resist adding a little newfangled music that blends Psalms 40 right in. One of my fav's.

 40 by Ginny Owens.

Let us know about the miry clay and how Jesus Christ cleansed it away!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Care for a Spot of Tea with Author Rachel James?

Cheerio, my dear chums. Indeed, 'twill please you to no end to learn of our esteemed guest, author Rachel James, from across the pond in merry old England. I'm simply convinced we're in for a smashing good time of it. Now, before you say, Bob's your uncle, pour yourself up a spot of Earl Grey and grab a crumpet.

PT: Welcome, Rachel! Such a thrill to have you here. Everyone is dying to know where you hail from and what genre you write in.

RJ: I live in Norwich, in the UK, and I write inspirational historical romance. At the moment, my books have been set in the early medieval period, but I love history, and I may branch out to another time period at some point.

PT: Such an interesting time period. An inspirational tale always grabs my attention since Christ is such an integral part of my life and other Christians. Tell us about when you first realized your need for Jesus in your life.

RJ:  I was really young when I became a Christian, around 4 or 5 years old, although I can’t recall the exact date! I’m blessed to have been raised in a good Christian family. It’s not to say I didn’t sway from time to time though! I struggled with my faith growing-up, and it wasn’t until later in my teens that I re-committed my life to the Lord. Of course, realizing the need for Jesus in your life is a daily thing really.

PT: So, this is your second book. An author always learns a little along the way to each publication. Is there anything you like to change about writing or getting your books to published, now that you know the ropes a bit?

RJ:  I’m learning all the time, and I think if anything, I’ve come to appreciate the need for good solid research.  I’ve discovered more tools and methods of researching since my first book, which speeds things up a bit. Going through the various editing stages with a publisher has also improved my writing skills, without a doubt. Getting other peoples unbiased opinions of your work (although painful at times) can only be a good thing.

PT: Interesting. I LOVE doing research. Since your do inspirational stories, do you like to base your novels on one scripture or one Bible principle?

RJ:  No, not to begin with. My novels always start with my lead character, and her initial problem. In this instance, Alena is a princess, recently widowed and left to raise a small child. Not only that, her kingdom is under threat of invasion, and she has to wed a king from another kingdom.  That’s what I start with. But as I write and the story beings to unfold, Alena’s spiritual need for God soon comes clear to me.  The biblical theme in each of my books are different, according to the characters issues.  In The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, the spiritual theme was about forgiveness and redemption. But in the sequel, it’s more about self-worth, and how we are in God’s eyes. Acceptance.

PT:  My favorite part. Quick, tell us 5 quick things about Rachel that don’t have anything to do with writing!

RJ:  Mmmn. Let me think.
1.       I love tea. Far above any other beverage! I drink it often, sometimes by the hour, milk, no sugar, take or leave the biscuit.
2.       I love lakes and mountains. I went to Alberta in Canada for my honeymoon (over 13 years ago) and I’ve never quite seen anything like it!
3.       I’m a bit of a gadget geek… I relish in using the latest technology to aid in increased productivity!
4.       I play the guitar, and lead worship at church.

5.       I adore romantic comedies, but I’m terrible at telling my own jokes. I think I only know three, which I learnt by rote as child! 

PT:  LOL! Yes, my best jokes were learned from 2nd graders! Love it! And you are going to LOVE Rachel's book, The Last Princess of Meigen. Look at this great cover!

It is 626 AD, and the ancient Kingdom of Meigen is left vulnerable to neighboring Saxons. To unite the kingdoms and bring peace, Princess Alena must enter into a royal marital alliance. But when the handsome physician, Sherwin, befalls her, matters become complicated. Torn between obligations to her young son and country, she faces a difficult decision. Will Alena obey the king’s orders, or choose to follow her heart?

PT:  Jolly good show! Jolly good! Here my dear readers, is where you can locate her book and find out more about Rachel:

Add to Goodreads

Buy on Amazon

Book Teaser

And don't forget to leave a comment!  More than 5 means someone is about to win a free book from Rachel James!!! Onward, my dear Comrades! And comment!

About the Author
Born and raised in England, Rachel writes inspirational historical romance, she is also married to a pastor, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others through her writing. Rachel absolutely loves romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten!

Connect with Rachel

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sparkling Reviews on the Diamond Mine: Ugly Paradise by Lindsey Paley

Ugly Paradise by Lindsey Paley

The Book:

Katie Anderson has no idea who she is, or why she was abandoned to her fate after an attack by an escaped Sumatran tiger — the pet of a local Californian scriptwriter.
Who was she with when she was attacked? Why was there a severed goat's head secreted in her rucksack?

In the five years since the attack, Katie has grown accustomed to the indelible paw print etched on her cheek, which draws sympathetic glances and repulsed stares in equal measure. That is, until the cruelty of a casual comment from a wrinkle-free diner at The Alice Garden restaurant in Sanur Beach sparks her quest for answers, launching Katie on a painful path to discover the truth.

Will Katie find the spiritual and emotional serenity she craves? Or will society's obsession with physical perfection defeat her progress?

The Review:

A tale of mystery and intrigue woven with hope in the midst of heartache. Katie lives in paradise, but is missing a piece of her soul. Suffering from memory loss, she yearns for the answers to her true identity as well as the scars marring her beautiful face. But her current home in Bali only leads to more questions. When her surgeon and adopted family give her the chance to discover the answers, she jumps on a plane to England, and her dreams become reality…in more ways than one.

Lindsey Paley exposes many unpleasant aspects of life. The stigma of the disfigured…date rape…greed...all nestled in the glorious setting of palm trees and beaches. Life isn’t always as it seems.

I give this book five stars…for the story’s powerful, the writing’s superb, and the ending’s amazing.


Lindsey's giving away one e-copy of her book!

Enter by commenting below.

Prize will be awarded by drawing on 5/13/2015

The Author:

Lindsey Paley
Lindsey Paley was born in Yorkshire but is now an adopted Geordie. She has been writing fiction for twenty years. Her first novel, Baringer Manor, still festers in a shoe box in the attic.

Her next three novels, 'Legal Lust', 'The Wish List Addiction' and 'Ugly Paradise' are all published this year, the latter two by Prism Book Group. 
Lindsey's brand new novel 'Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?' has just been published and includes delicious recipes for you to try at home. Why not try the Lavender Shortbread for the most mouth-watering aroma? 

She is usually to be found sitting in the summerhouse (shed) scribbling her next novel - 'The Wedding Yarn', or whipping up her next culinary concoction.