Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Series Ender, Series Starter wtih Julie B. Cosgrove

If you check your clock, you'll find a amazing discovery. Julie B. Cosgrove is back on the Mine! Her final installment of her series has arrived. First, she started the pendulum moving with Hush in the Storm, followed by Legitimate Lies, a real roller-coaster ride. Now, Freed to Forgive just hit the shelves on Oct. 23rd. How exciting!  Time's a wasting and I cant wait to get a copy. And Julie's got a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate to giveaway to one blessed commenter. So don't miss it!

PT:  Welcome Julie! I'm so excited for the third book in this series! What makes this one unique?

JC:  Thanks. I am as well. It is unique in that it written in the third person, whereas the other two were in first person. This one follows three lives which intertwine and all come together in the end as God orchestrates it for the benefit and healing of all involved. The others simply followed one character as she told her story. To be honest, this one is, as one reviewer stated, more gritty, but is told in as tasteful a manner with veiled descriptions of what human trafficking victims go through. I felt I had to lead the reader through her ten-year journey from trafficked to triumph so they could rejoice when they see how God moves in the background to heal and redeem her. That is the third unique thing—the plot extends into the near future of 2023. I spent a good amount of time teleconferencing with legislators, immigration attorneys and social workers to brainstorm what is coming down the pike in the next few years to provide assistance for these victims who have flooded our society.

PT:  That sounds like quite a challenge. What turned you toward writing a series about the sex slavery rings?

JC:  That was a God thing. I began to write a suspense novel and slammed into a wall after the third chapter. I wasn’t sure where it was to lead, but I knew I wanted to go deeper in the plot to teach a lesson about God’s redemptive power. So I put it aside and prayed about it. Long story edited…within three weeks I met three different missionaries with three different anti human trafficking organizations. The light bulb clicked on. I should have that as a sub-theme. However, each novel has another theme as well. Hush in the Storm dealt with widowhood grief and betrayal, Legitimate Lies dealt with post abortion guilt and Freed to Forgive deals with how an unforgiving heart can shackle us to the past hurts in our lives and prevents us from moving forward. All three also have a touch of clean romance. So, each one is a stand-alone novel even though they involve the same characters.
Now that the trilogy is completed, I will continue to advocate for these victims. However, I must admit I am glad to move on and write about fun stuff…like murder!

PT:  Lol. I'm intrigued. What do you have up your sleeve???

JC:  I am excited to announce I have signed a three-book contract with Prism Book group to write a cozy mystery series called the Bunco Biddies. Twelve ladies live in a retirement community of about six hundred residents who range from condo living to nursing home facilities. They play Bunco every Thursday evening. The ring leader, Janie, is a widow of a homicide detective. Her daughter is now married to a police detective and Janie worries he doesn’t spend enough time with his family. So of course, she recruits her friends to help him solve the crimes in their area so he can make his kid’s concerts and intermural competitions. Yes, it is a humorous series. I hope this turns into six or more books. Having written one and into the second, I already love spending time with my Bunco Biddies. I hope readers will as well. A hint: there is a touch of romance in them as well.

PT:  I know you attended a writer's conference here recently in Dallas. What did you learn/accomplish while there? What was it like to meet people you’d only known online?

JC:  Yes, readers, Peggy and I got to finally meet and hug in real life at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in September. This time, I came as a published author with a three-book contract, which made the event a lot more enjoyable because I wasn’t nervous about pitching to agents and editors.

I learned a great deal in a brainstorming session on marketing led be the head marketer for Bethany House. But most of all I reveled in the camaraderie of 500 other Christian writers. Since we all write for the same Person, Jesus Christ, there are no jealousies or competition. I was sorry we had to leave the belly of the whale (the basement of the hotel where we gathered and lived for three days) to go to Nineveh - back to reality and the real world.

PT:  Well, while we're stopping in Dallas, let's talk about your great state, Texas. Give us some unusual tidbits about it.

JC:  Got a while?? There have been books written on that subject. Briefly,
1. Texans are exceptionally proud of their state and because we were briefly our own country, we can fly our flag equally with the US flag…and do so - often!
2. Our state has every terrain imaginable from swamps to desert, plains to mountains to coastlands, farmlands to wastelands. And no, we don’t all have oil wells in our backyards. We do more and more have natural gas wells dotting our neighborhoods, though.
3. In Texas, any soft drink is a Coke. So a perfectly normal conversation is:
“Do you want a Coke?” 
“Sure, whatcha got?”
“Dr. Pepper, Big Red, Coke, Diet Coke, Orange, Sprite.”
“I’ll take a D.P.

PT:  I know readers can't wait to hear more about you. Perhaps you could tell us some of your favorite authors.

JC:  Why, Peggy Trotter of course! (wink, thanks, Julie!) Truly, I do love your novels. Prism has so many amazing authors like Anna Kittrel, DiAne Gates, Renee Blare, Vicki Pitts Caine, Brooke Williams, Gay N Lewis, Lindsey Paley, Carlene Havel, Rachel James…I could go on!

My favorite all time author was Mary Stewart. She wrote clean, British suspense romance. I also like Mary Daheim who writes clean cozy mysteries, especially her Bed and Breakfast series, Jan Caron, and Lillian Jackson Brown who wrote all of the Cat Who books. As far as the classics, I am a true Charles Dickens fan.

Wow. So much to look forward to from you, Julie! Thanks for stopping by. And don't forget folks, there's a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate in the offing! Leave a comment and your email address to be entered.

Freelance writer, author and professional speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian websites and devotional publications. In February, 2013, she was commissioned by an international relief and development fund to write a mission-based Bible study.

Julie has three Bible studies, a devotional, two inspirational books and four fiction novels published, and is currently contracted for five more novels. She is a member of North Texas Christian Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, Toastmasters International, Daughters of the King, Texas Association of Authors and the Christian Writers Network. She's a spokesperson for Women at Risk, International, a Christian missionary effort to rescue women from sex slavery in 30 countries. Julie is widowed, has one grown son, and lives in Fort Worth, TX with two cats. She loves mysteries—especially British ones—and playing word games. Visit her blog: Where Did You Find God Today? And her website www.juliebcosgrove.com

Can't get enough???  Read on for an excerpt:

     The social worker’s kind gesture chinked the dam Marisol had formed. The waters flooded forth and she threw herself into Bonita’s shoulder, her own heaving softly. She cried for herself, for the child she neither wanted nor would ever know. Next, she wept for her stupid temper and her wasted life.
     The familiar fury began to merge, cementing the cracks to keep any more of her past from seeping through into her present. Gasping the last sniffles, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
     “I’m okay now. No big deal. It’s over, right?”
     Bonita smoothed the girl’s hair from her face. “But it is a huge thing. Talk to me, Marisol. Tell me your story.”

     She jutted her chin. “It is no longer my story. Help me make a new one.”

*Though delicately worded with veiled descriptions, this faith-based novel does depict some disturbing, yet unfortunately all too common, sex trafficking scenes necessary for the plot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Amber Schamel is back at the Mine!!

Hey Amber. J It’s been a minute since you’ve been on the blog. How are things going?

Things are going well, but so busy!

I hear you’re getting ready to release your third book in the Days of Messiah series, The Master’s Calling. Can you give us a bit about that?

Yes! And I'm very excited to share the conclusion of the series with the world. This book has a lot more action than the previous ones, and my hope is that it will really bring the period of Jesus' death to life.

Amber will be givng away a copy of her ebook to one lucky person chosen from the comments section at the end of the week, so don’t forget to leave contact details! J

Can you tell us what it’s like to be Amber Schamel right now?

Haha, I could. But you wouldn't believe me. ;) I just got back from an extended trip on the 16th, and I'm leaving again on Tuesday to volunteer at a non-profit ranch for the month of November. Oh, and I'm editing a book, releasing another, and trying to first draft another.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My love is historical fiction, so you can always count on that from me. For now, I'm revising one of my bestselling books, and also writing a novel set during the Civil War, which is a little bit different than the Biblical Fiction I've done up to this point.

Tell us a bit about your new book. It’s release is scheduled for November second, right?

Yes, November 2nd, and I'm throwing a facebook party on the 5th that you're all invited to! It will be a TON of fun with trivia, lots of giveaways (because I LOVE those things), and chat about books, history and Jesus.

Anyway, back to The Master's Calling. This is a story about a young man who has a dream of becoming a disciple of Jesus...but when he finally gets to Jerusalem, it's too late. Here's the blurb.

After generations of waiting, the Messiah has come at last. And not a day too soon. All his life, Malon Ben-Tyrus has been stifled beneath Roman laws and religious traditions, and he longs to be free. The oppression of the Romans worsens every day, and the religious system led by the Scribes and Pharisees has grown corrupt.

Malon believes his life calling is to become a disciple of the Messiah and help free Israel from bondage.  When Jesus heads to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, Malon knows this will be a historic event. Jesus will enter the city as the Son of David and take His place as the Messiah of Israel. He longs to follow Jesus to Jerusalem, but his family won't allow him to go.

When at last his family consents, Malon arrives in Jerusalem only to discover that he is too late. The man he thought to be the Messiah has been crucified, and Barabbas—his greatest enemy—has been set free.

Appalled by the cowardice of Jesus' disciples, Malon returns home seething with frustration and despair. Everything he believed he was destined to become died with Jesus. Was he wrong about his destiny?

How does it feel to finish this series?

AMAZING!!!! I'm so glad this is an internet interview, because my happy dance and whoops and hollers would probably weird most of ya'll out.

What does this series mean to you, and are you going to miss it? I know when I finish a work, I feel a sense of regret.

Hmm....I've been working on this series for three years, so yes and no. In one way, I am so glad to have finally finished, finally accomplish THE END on the last one. At the same time, I will miss it some. And there are more stories that COULD be written, but I feel like it's time to move on.

This whole series started with one super short story. Like a 1500 word story. Folks told me I should expand it, and when I decided to do that, the Lord dropped the stories of the second and third books into my heart, and I just had to get them out. I wrote a lot of myself into these characters, so I will miss them. Their world is so exciting. Living in the time when Jesus walked the earth...I'm almost jealous of them. :)
I would have to agree. J

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Growing up, I loved to read. But as I got older, I started realizing how much immoral and terrible literature there is out there. That's when I felt the call to write wholesome, Christ-centered fiction.
I feel the same way. There is so much we can do to balance that scale, I think.
Have you accomplished what you wanted to, or did things turn out differently than you first supposed?
Things have definitely turned out differently than I supposed, but I can see God's hand at work, and I feel confident that I'm where I'm supposed to be. There are stories that I wanted to write, but haven't been written because God asked me to write something else. Many things like that along this journey.
What is your favorite part of the writing process, and your least favorite?
That is really hard to say...I love the research. I love the actual writing. And I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with editing. I guess formatting and marketing are my least favorite.
I’m with you on that one. I hate editing. I haven’t had the “pleasure” of marketing yet, but I’m sure I would hate that, too. J
Thanks for coming on such short notice Amber! Congratulations on your new book and may you have many more successes.
Thank you so much, Misty! I'm honored to be on the blog again.
Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest".  She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Interview and book giveaway with our own Peggy Trotter!!

Everything dissolved beneath Jules’ feet . . .
Can Jules trust God and step into a new life?
Can God's hope renew her?

Today we welcome our own fellow Miner, Peggy Trotter, to introduce her second book published with Prism Book Group: Reviving Jules.
At the end of the interview, please leave a comment with your email address to be entered into the drawing for a free copy of this sweet, touching romance.

And now, on to the interview!

Hi Peggy! How does it feel to have another book published?

Great, but I wonder if my fans will be confused.  The last one was a historical whereas this is a contemporary. But I can’t seem to stop doing both. I’m a two-fer-one type of author! LOL 

I like to write both, too! I'm sure your fans will want to read whatever era you write a story in. So, where did you get the idea for this story?

I love to start with women who are literary holding the shredded fiber of the end of their rope. This was no different. I started thinking how hard it is to make a living alone in today’s world and wondering what it would be like to share a household in the form of a marriage. And this is what the Lord bestowed upon me!

That's cool! Do any of the qualities or experiences in your main characters mirror you or someone in your life?

Jules reminds me a lot of me, but then all my characters are a small part of me. She’s quirky, vocal, and often sarcastic. Probably not good to admit that!

It makes you more interesting, don't you think? So, what do you like best about the relationship between Rhett and Jules?

I love how they vocally spar with one another. She starts with a smart aleck remark and he finishes with an outrageous one, which leaves Jules with her mouth hanging open in amused shock.  A fun relationship.

And fun to read! Are you a speedy writer, or does it take you a lot of time to fashion your scenes?

I’m a fairly speedy writer, but the scenes are already formed in my head. But I take a lot of time to fashion the entire project just because I’m short on time given I have a full time day job most of the year. One that often goes into 50-60 hours a week.

Ouch! You're a busy lady. When you begin a book, do you have a detailed idea of how it will develop, or do the characters kind of take over?

Usually I know the whole book. I’ve already daydreamed it numerous times.  But sometimes I add new scenes, which usually start with prayer, and God just opens up the whole scenario.  That is always a cool moment.  I’m always like, “Wow, that’s perfect! Thanks, God!”

I love those moments! What else do you like best about being an author? 

Pure unadulterated writing. The house is empty and quiet. T.V. is off, music off. Me and the computer. It feeds my soul.

What do you like least? 

Not being able to spend more time on it. But the naysayers are pretty hard to take at times.

Well, ignore the naysayers, and keep on telling what's in your heart. 
Is there a favorite theme in your writing that you want to convey to your readers? 

Yeah, I think cheering for the downtrodden, letting the reader know that its never too late for God to bring you an amazing blessing. Hope never dies with Jesus.

Well said! What are you working on now?

I’m working on a contemporary in which the heroine woman has made some serious bad decisions. She’s altered herself in many ways, and when she comes to Christ, she realizes she doesn’t need these extra adornments. But, changing the outside doesn’t always guarantee and complete change on the inside. I absolutely love the hero in the story. A big gentle, illiterate giant who accepts her the way she is.
But of course, I also have two historicals going, one which could be a continuation of Year of Jubilee, my debut. Wink.  We’ll see.

I love your books, so I'll be waiting to read your new stuff!  Thanks for sharing your time with us today, and keep on writing, Peggy!!

Here's a description about Reviving Jules:

Jules Summers, a proverbial Jonah, runs from family, career, and neighborhood. Where’s she going? To find a place of healing for wounds so deep, she shuts the door against the very One who restores. But God never abandons and a kindergarten angel arrives, towing her father, Rhett Carsen.

Rhett Carsen vows never to marry again. He redoubles his efforts to raise his motherless daughter alone, but runs into trouble when work sends him traveling. His daughter instantly bonds with the newcomer, Jules Summers, who in turn, assists him in caring for his daughter. She seems like the answer to his prayers—an instant live-in nanny. Yet, why does she captivate his every thought?

They work together as a team to care for Rhett’s child. But is, “practicality” the only thing God has planned for these two? Or could there be a whole lot more?

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address, in order to be entered in the drawing for Peggy's book! Now here's some more about Peggy:

Peggy Trotter has been writing something for over 30 years. The empty-nest syndrome set her to groping for a new direction, and wow, did God answer! Year of Jubilee, a Christian Historical Romance set in southern Indiana, debuted in April of 2015 through Prism Book Group. A second, a Contemporary Romance entitled, Reviving Jules, just released on Oct. 9th, 2015 as well. She loves to reveal God’s miracles through the world’s underdogs and mix in a little love, a dash of romantic heat, and of course, a happy ending.

She took third place in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest in 2013 in the Inspirational Category, and won the coveted Genesis Award in 2014 from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in the Novella Category with her entry, Spun, a Historical Romance.

God blessed her with a wonderful husband who cooks and helps clean while supporting her crazy dreams. She has two incredible grown kids plus two fabulous in-law kids, and two rays of sunshine, commonly called grandchildren. Seldom does she stand still, but when she does, it’s to praise her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Creator of all gifts and Bestower of all blessings!

Connect with Peggy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peggy.trotter.7

Purchase links for her newest book: 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Meet Author Kristen Joy Wilks!!

Morgan Ravn arrives in Denmark seeking clues about her mysterious heritage. What she finds is a flirtatious stranger who regales her with a story about a jewel thief from 1958 and then abandons her with a large unruly dog. Can Morgan locate the irresponsible pet owner before his monstrous canine drags her through every puddle in Copenhagen and sheds all over her last dress? And why are strangers dogging her every step, snapping photos? Is the shutter happy behavior a bizarre Danish custom or something more sinister?

Meet author Kristen Joy Wilks, whose debut novella, Copenhagen Cozenage is part of Penguin Book Group’s Passport to Romance series. Here’s an introduction to this new, entertaining author!!

Kristen Joy Wilks is the wife of a Camp Director and board game enthusiast, the mother of three fierce boys, and the owner of a Newfoundland. She has learned many things from living at a remote mountain meadow with her family. Including but not limited to: Spiders are endearing pets that must be named and coddled and gazed at with rapturous affection, Risk is a “total dice fest” and must never be included in a true gamers collection, and when you reach for your floss and it is wet, there is a good chance that a loving family member has washed it for you. 

But be cautious, for the sink and tub are not the only water producing fixtures in the bathroom. She once took her 120 lb puppy on a walk and the fact that she was 5 months pregnant did not keep him from yanking her off her feet and dragging her forcefully across the lawn when he spotted the water. But she is grateful. Her many adventures with the aforementioned puppy, her practical joking husband and overly imaginative sons have provided a plethora of story ideas.

Kristen is a member of ACFW, a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest, and a contributor to Nature Friend magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family Magazine. Her story Day of the Cyclones is included in Nancy Kennedy’s book Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Mothers, and Pelican Book Group is publishing her debut novella, Copenhagen Cozenage in 2015 as well as Athens Ambuscade in 2016. 

Now that you know a bit about Kristen, here's a peek at her book, Copenhagen Cozenage:

I yanked my attention away from my almost Prince Charming and focused on the passage of suitcases around the carousel. I teetered closer to the sea of trundling luggage, my inadequacies in the high heel department becoming blatantly obvious. So much for my disguise. 

I dropped my purse. With a few clacking steps, I maneuvered back to where it had fallen. Was my skirt
too short to bend over? I wobbled a little but snagged the purse with a finger. My heel stuck in the strap. I yanked. It remained immovable. I yanked again. No luck. With careful precision I attempted to liberate the purse while simultaneously lifting the offending heel off the ground. Standing on one leg while wearing girlish attire for the first time in nearly a decade is harder than it looks.

I pitched forward toward the rolling luggage carousal with windmilling arms and inarticulate squeaks of dismay. My fashionably-clad self plopped down amongst the luggage. Unmindful of my peril, the conveyor continued to trundle along toward a black tunnel where the bags were slurped down into the darkness.

A red sign on the left caught my eye. 
No Bags with Lose Straps
No Luggage Constructed of Soft, Easily Shredded Materials.
Any Damage is the Fault of the Ticket Holder.  

My person was a plethora of soft, strappy, easily shredded material. I struggled to escape. The fate of a flimsy duffel bag awaited me within the dark maw of that luggage tunnel

Sounds like a winner, Kristen!!

Connect with Kristen at: