Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield Interview

Hello, Diamond Mine readers! Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is on the Mine today to give us a sneak peak at her latest book Swept Into Destiny, a Civil War historical and the first in a series that you won't want to miss.

One brave decision leads to serious consequences. Maggie is secretly educating the slaves at Spirit Wind Manor. But the manor’s serenity is soon threatened by abolitionist John Brown. A new republic looms on the horizon and with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, her countrymen’s anger escalates as secession spreads across the southern states. With the fires of civil war glowing on the horizon, Maggie is swept into its embers realizing she is in love with the manor’s hardworking, handsome Irishman Ben McConnell. Ben joins the Union Army and Maggie is forced to call him her enemy. An unexpected chain of events leads her into choosing where her loyalties lie. Conscience and consequence—did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South? As the battle between North and South rages, Maggie is torn. Was Ben right? Had this Irish immigrant perceived the truth of what God had predestined for America?



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

When I fell in love with books! I did dream of some day writing my own book, but that seemed impossible to me. I wasn’t good at spelling or grammar. I didn’t like school much and preferred being active. To me books were an active pursuit. My imagination was always in overdrive as I pursued my heroine through the written word. The colorful places, the leaps I took into another time period, wow, books continue to be an exciting adventure.

When I grew up we had black and white television sets, no internet, and, would you believe—no cell phones. So, if I wanted color, I read a book. I was captivated with the rhyming sonnet of words, the flowing musical notes of the written language!

But it wasn’t until my grandmother came to live with me that I actually sat down and put my thoughts and love for words on paper and began my first novel.

Yes, books! The love of story. Where it all begins. I couldn't agree with you more.

What inspired you to write about the Civil War?

My grandmother’s stories about the South, her down-home dialect captured my imagination. Gran was originally from Kentucky. Also, my husband is from Alabama. I realized that many southerners did not want to secede from the Union; they fought because of their loyalty to their beloved South. I also learned that only a small percentage of southerners owned slaves. However, Irish immigrants were often hired for ridiculously low wages to do the work normal people, even slaves, were too valuable to do.

I was amazed to learn about the sacrifices and loss of property the southerners endured. But what surprised me the most was the southerners’ strong Christian beliefs. In spite of untold hardships, instead of being bitter toward God, they embraced Him. I wanted to write the truth about the antebellum era, the political unrest, and the spiraling effect that people and events had in opening the door for a civil war.

How long did you spend researching before writing Swept into Destiny?

I feel like saying twelve years, because that is the length of time my grandmother lived with my family. But my serious research started about 2005, when my grandmother left to be with Jesus and my children were grown. I knew I wanted to write a sequel and I wanted the first book to begin during the antebellum era and for the last book of the four book series to end after World War II. 

I love how your grandmother inspired your writing. I wish I'd had more time with mine to tap into that wealth of history and truth. What a wonderful gift.

What were your goals on writing the book?

It is my prayer that people, after reading Swept into Destiny, will come away feeling uplifted and edified by the Irish immigrant’s fortitude and courage. This book is for every immigrant, every ethic group and every person who has felt the lash of inferiority. Ben McConnell’s faith was put to the test repeatedly. When Ben was slapped in the face with injustice, prejudice, hate, or with “No Irish need apply” verbiage, he responded, “We’ll show you through our attitude and work ethics that we shall persevere and with God on our side, we will become victorious.”

I loved Ben's drive and strength. Are any of your characters based on real people or just from your imagination?

The main characters, though inspired by my grandmother’s stories, are created from my imagination. I must admit, I had to stop and think about that. Maggie and Ben became so real to me, so alive in my imagination; it is hard for me to believe they are imaginary.

The secondary characters, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, John Brown, Dred Scott, and Dr. Isaac Anderson were real people, and I attempted in Swept into Destiny to re-emphasize their forthright spirit and accomplishments. 

You highlight the Irish plight in America and their contribution to the Civil War so well. Do you have Irish ancestors?

Yes, I do. My grandmother was Irish, with a bit of Scottish thrown in for flavor. My grandfather was English. It was my mother who told me about how the Irish immigrant did the work the slaves were too valuable to do. I never learned this in my history classes or books. I had to do some extensive research to dig up this information.

To show you how well kept these facts were, I happened across a gentleman in Lexington, Kentucky, and he said the same. That he didn’t learn about the Irish immigrant or their plight until he took a college course.

When I went to Gettysburg, I saw a Celtic cross dedicated to the Irish Brigade. I thought Ireland sent a brigade to the United States to fight in the Civil War? You can imagine my astonishment to learn it was Irish immigrants who formed three Union regiments and two Confederate regiments that fought in the Civil War!

Needless to say, I include in my Author Note at the back of Swept into Destiny some interesting facts about our Irish immigrants. There is also in the back of the book, Book Club Discussion Questions.

What was the most difficult part in writing this book?

Keeping my word count down! I wanted to tell my readers oh, so much. I view history as a springboard into the future. I wanted to encompass more about the history Swept into Destiny introduced. For instance, like the plight of the Irish during the Irish Rebellion against the British of 1798 and the song “The Wearin’ of the Green.” Wearing green clothing or wearing the shamrock was considered a rebellious act, punishable by death. “They were hanging men and women for the wearin’ of the green.” Much like what is happening with what ISIS is doing to Christians.

How important is it to include a spiritual emphasis in your writing?

Very! I write because of my Savior, Christ Jesus and getting His truth out to those who do not know Him is important to me.  

I don’t believe that in heaven God will segregate us into ethnic groups. We can’t determine what nationality, eye color, physical features, not even the mental capacity we will be born with. But we alone determine what we do with what we are given.

My heroine, Maggie, was right in saying that we are all slaves. Slaves to ourselves and our sins and without the blood of Christ to wash them away, our destiny on earth is hopeless. In Galatians 4:7 we read, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then heir of God through Christ.”

Would you like to see this book made into a movie? Who would you choose to play the hero and heroine?

One of my dreams is to have the Destiny four book sequels placed on the motion picture screen. I just finished hearing a lecture by Stanley D. Williams about how to structure your story to make it a worthy candidate for film adaptation.

Because of my love for Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, I’d probably pick Kiera Knightly for Maggie and Matthew Macfadyen for Ben. For Mrs. Gatlan, Jane Seymour and for Mr. Gatlan, Tom Selleck. He has a no-nonsense personality like my character.

YES! Love Kiera and Matthew for the leads. They would be perfect. :) And one of the reasons I thought of the above question was because the whole time I was reading the book, I kept thinking how great it would be as a movie. Hope I get to see it someday.

Could you share a few thoughts about the continuing story in your next book in the series?

Out of Kentucky’s bluegrass, debutant balls, and old-world charm, and into the burning ashes of a defeated cause sweeps … Into Destiny’s Whirlwind… Ben McConnell swears his oath before God Almighty and renames his estate Shushan. 

Upon the dawn of the Spanish American War, Collina McConnell promises she’ll uphold Shushan’s legacy… and ponders the mystery that lies beneath her father’s dying request. A dashing Rough Rider named Franklin Long steps uninvited into her world, and her heart suddenly has a will of its own…

Can't wait!


Catherine is an ardent receiver of Christ's rejuvenating love, as well as a hopeless romantic and
patriot. She skillfully intertwines these elements into her writing as the author of Wilted Dandelions, published by CrossRiver Publishing, an inspirational historical romance, along with her first Christian Romance novel, "The Wind of Destiny", and her other history books,  Images of America,The Lapeer Area and The Images of America, Eastern Lapeer County. published by Arcadia Publishing.

Catherine was a former staff writer for Michigan Traveler Magazine (Breckenridge, MI), has free lanced for numerous other publications; Woods-n-Water News, Michigan History Magazine and Tri-City Times Newspaper, L. A. View Newspaper, and The Romeo Observer Newspaper.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books; Extraordinary Answers to Prayers, Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, and The Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Publishing, The Benefit Package, and Abba’s Promise; and Bethany House, Jesus talked to me Today.

Catherine lives in Addison Township, MI., with her husband Edward of forty four years, and her beautiful Arabian horses. She enjoys horseback riding, swimming, camping, and traveling the byroads across America. Her children are now grown and married with families of their own. Catherine and Edward are now the blessed  recipients of two handsome grandsons and one preciously adorable granddaughter.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Food, Faith, and Forever Love with Alexis Goring (+ Giveaway)

Today's guest here at the Diamond Mine is someone I've had the privilege to meet in person. We were both attending our first ACFW conference. Even though we'd corresponded a few times online and done some critiquing for each other, meeting new people is always a bit intimidating to me. But Alexis's infectious grin and warm, welcoming personality can put anyone at ease. 

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Alexis Goring

About the author

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.



“God is Love” blog:


Welcome, Alexis! I’m thrilled you’re able to join us this week at the Mine. Let’s start with some lightning round questions. 

Thanks for having me!

I'll start you off easy with a few warm up questions. :) Ballpoint, Uniball, or Fountain Pen? 


Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

Such a night owl!

Ugh, I was a night owl in college but now need my full eight hours of sleep! What are three things you’ve used as a bookmark? 

Paperclips, postcards and folded printer paper

Oddly, no one ever answers that questions with "bookmark," LOL! What one book would you recommend to someone who is new to Christian fiction?

The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon

I have read Sarah Monzon's books but have not yet read this one.. 

Name one thing that drives you crazy.

The crunching sound of Ginger Snaps (cookies) in people’s mouths.

That's very specific! Fill in the blank: Someday I want __________

to experience my own happily-ever-after in real life. 

Yes! Us single gals are in agreement on that! 

Are ready to dive deeper? Food plays a part in most of your stories. The characters are at restaurants or cooking dinners (all of which tend to make me hungry, thankyouverymuch). Do you consider yourself a foodie?

I am a total foodie! Sometimes I dream of owning my own restaurant with attractive locations in Maryland, Virginia, D.C., New York, Montana, Texas, and California.

Wow, writing and restaurants! If you were a superhero, what would your name be? 

Wonder Woman. I’ve wanted to BE her since age 4. Most recently, Gal Gadot played a modern version of Wonder Woman and she slayed in that movie! She’s my new inspiration. 

I was behind the times and watched the new Wonder Woman a couple weeks ago. I agree, Gal Gadot made a fabulous modern day Wonder Woman. But Lynda Carter will always be my favorite. 

Do you have any secret talents? 

I found out that journalism was a secret talent when a Journalism Professor (Stacy) believed in me as a college student and opened up a whole new world of career possibilities. Before then, I’d only thought about being an English Major and writing books that hopefully would turn into movies. But when I started studying how to be a journalist, it was like the sun rising and felt like the perfect fit.

And how long have you been writing? Or another variation of this question: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing stories since age 9. But not “real” books until about age 25. But since age 9 I always “knew” that I wanted to be a writer and I pursued it whole heartedly by joining the Journalism & Yearbook class in high school, getting my B.A in Print Journalism, and earning my MFA in Creative Writing. 

There is no such thing as a typical day for an author, but tell us a bit about some of your habits (where you write, what inspires you, what do you like to have with you, etc.).

I write in my house but want to start writing in coffee shops. God inspires me because He gave me the gift of writing. Other places I receive inspiration are when people watching in every day life in various locations like the mall, the bookstore, the park, etc. Movies and books also provide great inspiration. Music is my favorite muse!

Coffee shops tend to be too busy and packed for me (plus I don't drink coffee), but I can sit at a table at Panera and write for hours. 

What is the first book or story that made an impact on you?

The Holy Bible was the first book that made an impact on me. But other than that, I’d say The Guardian by Dee Henderson as a fictional book made the most impact on me as a reader and writer. It introduced me to her O’Malley Series!

I absolutely loved the O'Malley series. I think it's one every reader of Christian fiction will agree on! Tell our visitors a bit about your latest book. What do you hope readers come away with after reading A Second Chance?

My book, A Second Chance, was published in Jan. 2017. It’s about two entry-level journalists who need a second chance in love. 

Traci, the heroine, is a jilted bride who’s knee-deep in wedding expenses after her fiancé ran off with her Maid of Honor on their Wedding Day. Needless to say, Traci is bitter and even doubtful that God has good plans for her life after that experience. Marc, the hero, is known as a “Mr. Nice Guy” and that bores his girlfriends so they always break up with him. He feels forever in the friend zone and when readers meet him, he’s pretty much written off finding love and resorted to throwing himself into his work. But his niceness is of invaluable help to his sister Gina who is struggling to raise her two children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Marc helps out by babysitting her kids whenever Gina needs a break or needs to meet a book deadline because she is a bestselling romance author. 

I hope that my readers takeaway a lesson on life after they read A Second Chance and that lesson is that no matter how dark and dismal things may seem, God still loves you and has good plans for your life just like He promises us in Jeremiah 29:11.

Who would play Mark and Traci (and even Gina) in movie?

I’d love it if movie producers cast Zac Efron to play Mark, Amanda Detmer to play Traci, and Alexis Bledel to play Gina in the big screen version of my book, A Second Chance!

Check out the A Second Chance Pinterest board to see some of the inspirations behind the story.

And of course, because I am a fan of a good story, I always like to know…what are you working on now/next?

Recently, I finished writing my third book. It’s about a wedding photographer who’s never been in love…until she meets the one man she cannot forget.

Sounds like another great read! Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to spend some time with us, Alexis. As always, it’s been a delight to chat with you!

You’re welcome! Thanks for hosting me on your blog and allowing me to talk about my life and my stories. God bless you! 

More about A Second Chance

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life. 

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. 

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts. 

Available for purchase on Amazon

Alexis is giving one lucky reader an e-Book copy of A Second Chance. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us how you met your true love (or if you haven't met him yet). Be sure and leave your email address so we know how to contact you if you are chosen as the random winner.  Earn an extra entry by connecting with Alexis on social media and letting us know you did so. 

*Must have five entries in order for contest to be valid.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Saddle up with Author, Jim Burnett!

Welcome to another fine week on the Diamond Mine! We’re always entertaining new authors, and this week is no exception.  Get yer spurs on, giddy-up, and welcome Jim Burnett.  I’m scatter happy this week, so I’m firing out those questions! Ready? Shoot!

Well, howdy in, Jim. Let’s hurry and get the intros out of the way. What genre do you write in? Fiction or Nonfiction? Both. My Christian Western Novels are fiction. I also write for several Christian magazines about leadership.

Tell us about your family/neck of the woods. I hail from Brandon, MS which is about 12 miles east of Jackson, MS. I am happily married for 32 years, have three children and three grandchildren, one horse and one dog.

Is writing your first occupation or did you have another? I am and have been a full-time pastor for over 28 years. I have been writing for over 20 years. I have found that writing extends the influence of my ministry. I have met people via writing books and magazines I would have never met otherwise in a lifetime.

Do you have a favorite place to visit in the United States? Cades Cove in Townsend TN and several places in Wyoming, including Horse Creek, which is the setting of my novels, Casper, and Greybull. I have some cowboy friends there. I have incorporated several of these places in my books.

Did you base your story on a particular Bible verse/concept? Yes. The prequel, which is Horse Creek Trading Post has Acts 17:26 as a guiding verse. God has appointed our times and where we live. For such a time as this we are alive, and God wants to use us right where we are geographically.  The sequel, Return to Caller’s Spring Ranch is driven by Acts 13:36 where it is said of David, he lived for God’s purposes in his generation. The first book, Miracle at Caller’s Spring Ranch can really be summed up from Luke 15 and the prodigal son. In this case, however, it is a prodigal family.

 Would you rather live in the mountains, near the seaside, or nestled in the rolling hills of growing crops? Why? I love the mountains. I would be perfectly content living in the foothills of TN. I love seclusion. However, I also like wide-open spaces. I could picture my wife and I living on a ranch in Wyoming.

Do any of your characters resemble you and why? Yes. Many of the experiences in the characters of my series come from my own. Being around horses, love for western heritage, etc. Jeb Reese’s birthday is the same as mine. He’s in my sequel.  Some of my children’s names are characters in the book.
 Tell about your book and what you hope your readers will gain from reading it. Horse Creek Trading Post is a prequel that is a historical western. A Quaker family by the name of Reese sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to begin a homestead in eastern TN. Another generation moves west to Horse Creek, Wyoming where they set up a homestead. This homestead becomes more than just a place where supplies are purchased and services rendered. It becomes an outpost of heaven.

 What book is next on your agenda? A fourth in the series, which serves sort of as a sister to the other three. I am also working on a collection of short stories.

Pshew. The last one. My favorite! Tell 5 things fast about Jim Burnett that have nothing to do with writing. 1) I’ve been interviewed on Fox and Friends about prayer in schools, 2) I am absolutely crazy about horses. My wife says I’m about half horse. 3) I love the Lord and am earnestly seeking to live for his purpose in my generation. 4) I like to use lots of creativity in my preaching and teaching, 5) I’d like to invent cologne that smells like a horse.  

Out of shot, folks. That was quite a round. Thanks, Jim for stopping by the Diamond Mine. And as usual readers, we WANT you to be qualified to win one of Jim’s books! You know the drill, but if you don’t, leave a comment with your email, and we’ll select a lucky winner.

Or, if ya can’t wait to dive into Jim’s new book, mosey on over here: and have a copy real quick-like. :) I mean, how can you resist a book that looks like this?

Dr. Jim Burnett is a pastor, teacher, speaker, and writer who has pastored churches in Mississippi over his twenty-eight years in ministry. The lead pastor of Willow Pointe Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., he is also the author of leadership articles, and the Christian western novels, Miracle at Caller’s Spring Ranch and Return to Caller’s Spring Ranch. As an advocate for prayer in public schools, he was interviewed on Fox and Friends. An avid horseman, he has a deep love for western heritage. He and his wife Kim have three children and three grandchildren.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Author Interview and GIVEAWAY with Elaine Stock!!!

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, family, the teens I mentor, and everyone else at coffee shops/bookstores. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So, consider this our virtual coffee shop. I’ll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today’s guest. ; )

Today, I am very excited for you guys to meet my friend, Elaine Stock! I met her at the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference. She is such a kind woman who is dedicated to helping other authors.

Elaine Stock is the author of Always With You, which released in January 2016 and has won the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award in fiction. Her novels fuse romance, family drama and faith in a clean fiction style. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and contributes to the international “Happy Sis Magazine” and “InD’tale Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active six-year-old blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.

 Elaine's short story, In His Own Time, won the People's Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest and has been published in a printed anthology: The Story: 2014 Anthology. Her short story The Forever Christmas Gift is published in the Amazon bestseller Christmas Treasures: A Collection of Christmas Stories.

Look for her Christmas romance novella, And You Came Along, to release December 2nd, and her next novel, Her Good Girl, releasing January 2018.

 Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Connect with Elaine ~ Website, Everyone's Story Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads,

Interview ~

First things first, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question…

I’ve been an unapologetic coffee lover since the age of eight, so if it’s morning, I appreciate need my two mugs of coffee. Please. If it’s a cool afternoon, herbal tea is nice. A cold, as in wintry, post-coffee afternoon is always more pleasant with a hot chocolate, but hold the whipped cream.


Yes, yes! All of the above! On to our second most important question: if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?

Probably an assortment of things. Ha—you didn’t want to hear that, right? Actually, I love “healthy” foods, so I’ll choose a scrumptious salad, the freshest of fish and stir-fried veggies like carrots and Brussels sprouts served over a bed of barley and quinoa. As a snack leading up to this feast I’d have dried non- sulfured figs. But, I’m not totally weird. For dessert I’d love either a heavenly huge slice of chocolate cake with mocha cream filling or the gooiest chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies. You know, let’s just make it both desserts.

Haha! I love salad, and you speak my language when it comes to dessert! Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place?

I don’t have an office. Yet. So, right now it’s “my” corner on the living room sofa, about four feet away from the woodstove (cozy nice in the winter!!) and with a view out of three 6’x3’ windows. We have a new/antique-old glass topped table on our back deck, which is lovely to work at in the warmer months when the sun is angled right and not beating down. Have laptop will travel.

Those sound like nice, cozy spots, and that antique table sounds lovely! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-)

Not really. However, I do begin my writing-days with the classical music radio station playing as I warm up my brain cells and fingers by sorting through any urgent emails and promotion. I love Bach and Beethoven. Once I open my writing files I must have quiet so I can slip into my character’s world and totally tune out my world, my thoughts, my angst. It’s all about the character and what she or he feels, experiences, and fears.

Classical music can be so soothing! What inspired you to write Always With You?

I attended a local RWA workshop many moons ago in Saratoga, NY, the home of the Saratoga Race Course for all horse racing fans (which I’m not part of). In keeping with the summer racing theme, the workshop leader that day distributed copies of the local newspaper racing-thingies (see, I warned you I’m not into horse racing—LOL) that listed the horses’ names. We were instructed to choose a name and develop a story based from the name. Thoroughbreds often have long, elaborate names. The one I chose, Don’t-Tell-Isabelle, eventually became my working title before my editor suggested Always With You. I had to know what Isabelle didn’t know and why, who kept things from her, and if she ever found out. The story incubated for many years.

The horrid sad day of 9-11 happened (interestingly enough, I was heading up to Saratoga that morning to be the presenter of a workshop, but ended up turning around to go home). This tragic day changed me as a writer, as a person, as it did for many, if not all of us. That’s when Always With You became alive enough for me to write about, focusing on why people hate, what hatred can do to families and individuals, and what or Who can intervene to set things straight.

That is an intense story! I love how you built a story around the horse, Don’t-Tell-Isabelle – it’s so unique! What message do you hope to convey to your readers with your stories?

That with faith in God, we can have hope in a tomorrow and bless each other with love and respect. This is essentially my author theme.

Love! What a wonderful theme! Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I have 3 I’d like to share about. First is my Christmas romance novella, And You Came Along, which will release independently December 2nd. However, it’s releasing in its original format as part of a novella collection, Winter’s Kiss, with a handful of other awesome Christian-fiction authors. It’s up for pre-sale for only $.99 on Amazon with a release date of November 7th. The story centers on the theme of whether true love is ever mistaken.


A Mother's Christmas Wish
All single mom Jacey Tucker wants for Christmas is for her young son to have a home and a smile. What she never expected was an eviction notice from her apartment, or the loss of her job. Now she can’t leave Kindred Lake, Pennsylvania fast enough.
A Wounded Detective’s Second Chance
Zander Paxton, wounded on duty while trying to save the life of his partner, needs a new residence for the second half of his recovery. His hometown of Kindred Lake offers promises, but it may be too late to make up for his past.
She heads south. He heads north. In the middle of a blizzard, five days before Christmas, they collide and wreck their vehicles, and nearly each other, on an ice-covered road. The kindness of two strangers provides a cabin for shelter, a place where pain is soothed and hope is renewed . . . until their pasts catch up to their present and threatens a forever separation. Is true love ever mistaken?

I’m also excited to share that I have another single-title releasing in January. Her Good Girl is a coming of age story of a whole family. I’ll be revealing more about this family-drama, psychological suspense in the next few months.
Excuse me a moment. *frantically adds books to Amazon Cart* And I’m back. What is your favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

Both the story of Noah and Joseph have inspired me since I was a child. Noah grabbed my heart since I was very young because what’s not more wonderful than the Father of the whole universe loving His creation so much that He wanted to give us a new beginning to follow Him and be with Him . . . talk about an Author’s Theme! And then, because I come from a very fragmented family, the story of Joseph and the huge troubles he faced within and by the hands of his own family and how he not only survived but also prospered because he followed God, definitely speaks to my heart, still to this day.

The story of Joseph is a favorite of mine, too! What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds – mine – want to know. :-)

I just finished an excellent compelling fast-read creepy suspense novel, The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne. Now I’m reading A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti who I had the pleasure of her autographing the book at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat 2017 back in August.

Ooo! Love autographed copies!  #win

Thank you so much for answering all of my prying questions, Elaine! I had a lot of fun talking with you!

Giveaway ~

Elaine has generously offered to giveaway 1 Kindle copy of Always With You!

In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful. When families and values collide, they marry and believe they're on the right track for happiness. But, when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices: Staying could endanger her child. Leaving could cost her life.

Available on Amazon!

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away 1 Kindle copy of Always With You. It closes on November 1st, 2017, at 12:00 A.M. for all the night owls out there. If the winner does not respond to our e-mails within one week (by November 8th), a new winner will be drawn.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~

Thanks for stopping by my writerly, bookish friends! <3 See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction: INTRODUCING AUTHOR AND FRIEND, LINDBERG CORNELL!: AUTHOR LINDBERG CORNELL Lynn, I’m thrilled to have you on The Rough Diamond Mine blog today And please thank your wife, B...



Lynn, I’m thrilled to have you on The Rough Diamond Mine blog today And please thank your wife, Beverly, for encouraging you to write! She was right—you are indeed a writer—an excellent word weaver! So, let’s get on with this interview so all the folks can find out what I already know—your first novel The Color of Redemption is beyond Five Stars! I’ve included my review of your book at the end of this interview.

Q. Readers want to know, beyond the back-of-the-book biography, about the authors they read. Will you share a little about yourself and your family?

Thank you DiAne. I’m glad to be visiting with you today. As for me, I’ve been a Christian for forty years and have a passion for teaching verse by verse through the entire Bible. I’ve been married for twenty-four years to my second wife, my first wife passed away. We have five children and thirteen grandchildren. I’m an avid cyclist when not writing.

Q.  With thirteen grandchildren I don’t see how you have the time to cycle and write. LOL. I have three and when they were little they wore me out! When did you know God called you to paint a canvas of words? How did you know and tell us about your journey?

My wife encouraged me to write. Of course, as a typical man, I blew her off, but she kept encouraging me. Finally, and I don’t remember why, she signed me up for a Write to Publish writer’s conference in Wheaton, Illinois. That’s when the writing world opened up to me. From that time, I began the process of learning to write. Of course, now, I don’t have enough time in the day to write everything that’s in my heart. I will say to new writers…learn the craft of writing first. That’ll save you yards of time in rewrites. I had written the entire first draft of The Color of Redemption without knowing how to write.

Q. Don’t think you’re alone. I finished the first draft of Roped (then entitled Silver Buckle Dreams) before knowing I had no clue. And my first conference was Write to Publish in Wheaton also. Small world! I’ve read and reread The Color of Redemption and must ask, is this, in part or whole, about a relative or someone you’ve known?

No, I wrote the book because of current race relations I saw in the church—among Christians in the modern church. I was surprised and saddened how Christians thought and felt ethnically, both black and white Christians. And I was saddened the one place that should have been a refuge for me was actually a place I had to be guarded among my heavenly family. I was surprised how much one’s culture trumps their faith. I guess that might make The Color of Redemption a fantasy book. LOL!

Q. Your characters leaped off the page and into my heart. This novel is a timely and riveting account of life’s reality—then and now—fear, prejudice, tribulations, hate, forgiveness, and love…God’s love for us…in spite of our faults. Do you have a life verse that brought you to and carried you through writing this powerful story?

1 Corinthians 11:17-34. I realized as we celebrate the Lord’s table, we don’t all recognize every believer as partakers of His body and blood. This scripture, of course along with many others, should wake us up that we all have one source of eternal life—Jesus!

Q. In my early teens I read a new book in our church library entitled Red Like Mine. And I know exactly what you mean. The church librarian must not have read the book. My own mother asked what I was reading and when she heard and I returned the book, it suddenly disappeared out of our church library. Shameful! And that book has remained with me all these years. I grew up in the deep south—in the ‘50’s…a few years before Katie’s story and know firsthand the need for telling Katie’s story. The bondage, white hoods, and burning crosses were as despised and feared then as they are now. I saw them. And the silence of multitudes who disagreed, yet feared speaking. What is your purpose in writing The Color of Redemption? What do you want the reader to take away from this incredible story?

I was naïve to think I could walk into any church and be welcomed as a fellow believer. But sadly, this is not true. Blacks speak disparately of whites and whites avoid blacks—not all, of course. But the divide in many churches is too wide and shouldn’t even exist. My hope is Christians will one day realize we should be bold examples to the world of God’s love abd what a unified body looks like.

Q. And finally, a very selfish question…well, not so much a question as a hope…please tell us there’s going to be a sequel. Or at least a WIP? And, how long do we have to wait for more from Lynn Cornell?
Interesting! I could have written a three-book series focusing on Katie’s life in the south. In earlier drafts, I explored her husband’s journey and the town they lived in. And I have enough in my head for a sequel, but at present, I have no plans for a sequel.
I have finished two first drafts—God’s Pearl, Man’s Find—just a working title. This story is about a gold-digger who finds God’s worth in her and finds love God’s way. In God’s Honor—the second book tells a story about a zealous Muslim (a female Paul), an Iranian secret police officer who comes to faith, falls in love, and marries the Marine who smuggles her to America.

First drafts, hmmm? That means at least another year to wait? Well The Color of Redemption was certainly worth waiting for! Do you have any closing comments for your readers? Oh, BTW, Lynn is giving away a signed copy of his marvelous novel. So be sure to leave a comment to toss your name in the hat for this copy.

DiAne, I’d like to close by urging Christians to pray for our nation. Pray for our President. Whether we agree with him or his politics, God has placed him as head of our nation. I pray God would give him wisdom, grace, mercy to lead our country. And I urge everyone to pray for the victims of the shootings in Las Vegas and for all the victims of the hurricanes that have hit our country hard.

Thank you for having me on The Rough Diamond Mine. Sure hope your followers will read The Color of Redemption and leave me a review.

Lynn, the pleasure is ours. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Consider yourselves reminded, folks. After all, that's the way you all can let us know you've enjoyed our writing. 'Cause writing can sometimes be a very lonely occupation. And don't forget to leave a comment here so you can be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Lynn's book!

And here's my review of this spectacular book...

"Scrolling through FB friend invitations I found Mr. Cornell’s request and looked at his page. And as I clicked through his posts there was a picture of his book, The Color or Redemption, and the voice in my soul whispered You must read this book. So I purchased it.

The rest is history. After reading the first page, I couldn’t put the book down. I’m sure part of the attraction was the period and place in history. I grew up in the deep south during this time. And while some of Mr. Cornell’s words were gritty and difficult to read, I know first-hand they are absolute truth. Evil has been with us since the Garden, but certain times in our history have screamed the ugly reality of evil more clearly than others—and such is the time and story of The Color of Redemption—and such are our times.

In light of the current national and world crisis of anger and hate, this book should be on everyone’s must-read list. Mr. Cornell weaves a story painting pictures you can touch, smell, and feel, other scenes there is nothing to do but weep. And still in other chapters the Spirit of God touched areas in my life God desires to change.

Mr. Cornell understands and writes about real solutions. Eternal solutions…for anyone with ears to hear and a heart to forgive in Jesus name. God gave us the answer, but that answer requires the humility of dying to self and living in complete obedience to Christ because He died for you and me.

How does that play out in everyday life? Read The Color of Redemption, an inspired up-close and personal searching of my heart. Wish I could give ten stars! Five is all they allow. Great book. Thank you, Mr. Cornell."