Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Life and A Dad for Christmas according to Wendy Davy (Giveaway!)

Christmas Arrives Early on the Diamond Mine

with Wendy Davy!

Please welcome award-winning author Wendy Davy to the Diamond Mine. She's celebrating the new release of her Christmas romance A Dad for Christmas and we want to celebrate with her! This book promised to be a diamond among the gems of Christian Fiction! I can't wait to get to know this writer. What about you?

Oh, by the way, she's giving away TWO (2) e-books of A Dad for Christmas after the interview! Make sure you check out the details below!


Let's get started! This week's featured author is Wendy Davy, award-winning inspirational romance writer who enjoys outdoor activities and small town charm. As you read her books, you will visit special places close to her heart. No matter where her characters come from or where they take you, it will always be an exciting journey, page after page. Ms. Davy enjoys traveling and searching for new places to include in her stories.

RENEE: Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Wendy! I'm excited you could join us.

WENDY: Thank you for having me on your BLOG. I’m glad to be here!

RENEE: I love your picture. It reminds me of some lakes around my home. I like to hang out at the water too. Do you have a special place or cherished spot as well?

WENDY: My happy place is sitting on the dock at Smith Mountain Lake, VA while reading a book. I grew up spending much of my summers there and am fortunate to be able to still spend time there. My mom used to love it too and I have very fond memories of seeing her sit in her happy place and relax with a book.

RENEE: What a great memory. I have to say, nature is such an awesome place to relax and get in touch with the Lord...and regroup. I recommend it to everyone who feels overwhelmed with the rigors of life. That includes releasing a new book! Your books are fantastic, by the way. What is your biggest challenge as an author?

WENDY: My biggest challenge is staying focused. Life has a way of interrupting at the most inconvenient times. Like when I’m in the middle of writing an action scene and a neighbor rings the doorbell to bring back my dog who happens to love breaking through the backyard fence to go visit the neighbors hoping for a treat. (She’s escaped so many times I’ve nicknamed her Houdini.)

RENEE: LOL I can relate to that. I have a hard time focusing on my writing for other reasons. You seem to compensate well though! Congratulations on your latest book, A Dad for Christmas. What makes this book unique? How did you pick your setting for this one?

WENDY: The setting for my new story is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Shenandoah Valley is a beautiful place that I’ve visited many times. I love nature and I enjoy using beautiful settings for my books.

RENEE: Oh, how gorgeous. I want to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains someday. I've heard they are wonderful. And your characters? How do you make them three-dimensional, realistic?

WENDY: I have a general idea of who my characters are when I begin writing a story. As I write I get to know them more and they come to life in my mind. They have strengths and weaknesses, fears and goals and I am sure to keep these traits in mind when writing about them.

RENEE: What do you have planned for our readers with A Dad for Christmas? I know I'm excited.

WENDY: I'm giving two e-books away! The first book goes to the first person who comments on this blog. The second book will be awarded by random draw from the rest of the people who comment thereafter! I will send the books out on December 1st when they become available. 



The first book goes to the first person who comments on this blog. The second book will be awarded by random draw from the rest of the people who comment thereafter! Wendy will send the books out on December 1st when they become available. 

RENEE: Woohoo, what an awesome giveaway! Did you here that, folks? A great book, no, two great books, up for grabs! Sorry, back to the interview... I've had to face a serious question recently, and I'm curious. What would you do if you couldn't write anymore?

WENDY: I would read and review tons of books for other authors. I appreciate support from others and have learned how vital reviews are for helping people decide which books to read.

RENEE: Readers and writers, they tend to go hand in hand, don't they? Okay, I have one last question for you then you can go back to writing your awesome books. What's your life goal?

WENDY: Well, that’s an easy question to answer and here I thought it would be a tough one... to have my books made into movies!

RENEE: That's a great one. I think that's my new goal too. :) It's movie time or should I say giveaway time?


Comment on the interview and you may win an ebook!

About the Book:

Tis the season for unexpected gifts.
High school teacher Reed Mason wants a family to call his own. When his prayers seem to remain unanswered, he expects to spend Christmas alone working on home improvement projects. But plans change when a chance encounter with a child's letter to God touches his heart. Inspired to help someone in need, Reed sets his sights on assisting his beautiful new neighbor. Independent-minded widow and single mom Emma Richards wants a fresh start. When she moves to Shenandoah Valley with her son, she expects to handle life's challenges on her own. But plans change when her handsome neighbor takes a sudden interest in her well-being. As Reed maneuvers his way into her heart, Emma sets out to discover his true intentions.

About the Author:

Wendy Davy is an award-winning inspirational romance writer who enjoys outdoor activities and small town charm. As you read her books, you will visit special places close to her heart. No matter where her characters come from or where they take you, it will always be an exciting journey, page after page. Ms. Davy enjoys traveling and searching for new places to include in her stories.

About the Miner:

Best-selling author Renee Blare has hung her hat in several states but only calls home to one...Wyoming. A bookworm by nature, she began her writing journey late in life, but her first publication, Beast of Stratton was a semi-finalist in the 2015 ACFW Genesis Contest and a best-seller on Amazon. Her second and third publication joined the ranks as well. 
A pharmacist for over twenty years, she served the veterans, the Native Americans as well as those who lived around her everyday. A warrior of CRPS, she relaxes by fishing, hunting . . . well, if and when she can . . . and picks away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Wyoming Black Hills, she pens her stories about every day folks facing good and bad times as they travel along the paths of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check her out on her website, blogs, and social media.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hi, Diamond Mine Readers. Julie Cosgrove here. 

I have something to confess...I love reading Christian Y.A. (young adult) fiction. Do you?  Maybe I am in my second childhood...but I hope not. I really don't want to go through adolescence again. Ugh. 

An author, who writes for the same publishing house as the one who will publish my next three books, writes great Y.A. Her books not only make great reading, but they would make wonderful Christmas gifts for any tweens or teens you know. (Yes, 'tis the season soon to think about what to get who.)

 Please welcome Cynthia Toney.

 Cynthia, since you write for tweens and teens (and old folks like me) briefly tell us a funny or touching story about your teenage years…

Writing petrified me! I dreaded the assignment of a paper that was more than a page long. I was okay with a short composition, especially if I could use humor, but a term paper sent me into a tailspin. I couldn’t gather, organize, and write information in my own words in a way that connected and flowed. My friends, who didn’t become writers of any type, spent much less time laboring over their term papers than I did.  But I somehow made good grades in spite of myself. I wish I had one of those papers to look at and laugh over today.

Maybe you just wanted to write fiction even back then! Term papers are daunting things, and not very exciting to read. I remember pulling my hair out while formatting all the endnotes and footnotes and references. Shudder. It's enough to stifle any creativity.

Tell our readers what encouraged you to be a writer then, and specifically writing books for teens? 

I love writing for tweens and teens, particularly those who speak without thinking, make poor decisions, and have love to give but don't always know where to direct it. Young people I've encountered over the years inspired me to write novels that show them how wonderful, powerful, and valuable they are. Today's tweens and teens can identify with the emotions, needs, desires, and challenges of characters in my historical as well as contemporary novels.

Being told we are wonderful, powerful and valuable is a message we all need to hear, especially middle school and high schoolers. What nugget of inspiration do you want your readers to grasp?

Small steps can accomplish big things, very good things, for oneself and for others.

Great saying. Anyone want to needlepoint that in a sampler? As I confessed, I love to read YA. Do you find many adults read and like your books, too?

From what I can tell, just as many adults read my novels as young people do. Often, adults will read one of my books first to screen it for a child or grandchild and then tell me how much they themselves enjoyed it.

See, I am not the only one, am I Diamond Mine folk? So now that we all know we can enjoy this genre no matter our age, Cynthia, tell us about this series by giving us a short blurb on each of the books in it. Also, does the reader have to read them in order or do they stand alone?

Occasionally readers tell me that they have read one of the books without considering—or sometimes without knowing—that another book preceded it, but that they fully understood and enjoyed the story anyway.

I usually suggest that an 11 or 12-year-old start with the first book of the series, but a 12 to 14-year-old could easily begin with book two, and it could stand alone, although readers usually want to know what happens next to the cast of characters. However, if someone wants to read the newest release (fourth and final book of the series), I suggest reading book three to fully enjoy book four. It is not necessary, because I weave in enough background to support the reader’s understanding, but I simply recommend that. 

Here are the books in order:

8 Notes to a Nobody (Bird Face book one)
 Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send fourteen-year-old Wendy down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.  
10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (Bird Face book two)
 When Wendy questions her neighbor about one 1960s photograph, she opens the door to triple trouble—a Cajun family secret, feelings for two very different boys, and a fight to keep a grandmother’s love. 

6 Dates to Disaster (Bird Face book three)
 Wendy’s goal is to fly to Alaska. Her family is broke. Will an opportunity to make money be the answer to her prayers—or the road to disaster?

3 Things to Forget (Bird Face book four) 
In Alaska, Wendy thinks she’s left behind the problems resulting from her mistakes in Louisiana. But strange surroundings bring strangers into her life, and those strangers have a secret that threatens her friendship with Sam. Will Wendy be able to forget what she hopes to, or will new challenges teach her the importance of remembering the past?

Why did you set this current book, 3 Things to Forget,  in Alaska?

I wanted my character, Wendy, to travel as far away as possible within the U.S. from her home state of Louisiana, and for it to be a very different environment from what she was used to. Of all the places I’d visited, Alaska was my favorite, and it was just right for the setting of this story. 

One of my bucket list places to visit! I know many of our readers who have visited or want to visit this amazing state will want to get this book. Give us a tidbit of 3 Things to Forget.

 There’s something to be said for escaping 4500 miles to the third least-populated state in America, where no one (well, almost no one) knows me. Otherwise, leaving behind my disgrace from the biggest academic scandal ever to hit my school—resulting in the breakup with my boyfriend on the night he said he loved me—might’ve been impossible.
Surrounded by strangers on the second of two connecting flights to Anchorage, for a total of fourteen hours on a Friday, I summoned teeth-grinding determination to forget the past. What better time for an intense study, a.k.a. cramming, of American Sign Language? Before the plane would land in Alaska, I might become proficient enough in ASL to communicate with Sam and his deaf friends without making a fool of myself.  For the month of June, I’d live with Sam and his family in Anchorage. I’d work with him and other teens, possibly deaf, as a volunteer at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. And I’d do whatever it took to fit in.

Now that we are all hooked and want to read more, where can readers find you and your books? 

Cynthia has agreed to give away an ebook of the reader's choice from the series, but only commentors are eligible to enter the giveaway. So be sure to leave your thoughts for her along with your email address so we can find you. The drawing will be on Tuesday, November 13th.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Interview and Giveaway with Author Peggy Trotter!!

Enter the giveaway for a free copy by leaving a comment after the interview.

Today on The Diamond Mine, we welcome back author Peggy Trotter, one of the founding members of this blog! I feel so blessed to have met Peggy years ago through our ACFW critique group. Peggy has an awesome talent for creating moods and characters that really grab your attention. Her latest novel, out today, is The Secret Storm

Here's a short description:
Within the cozy coastal town…secrets abound. Stormi Zobroski’s life is finally on track. Her immoral life decisions, stemming from a dysfunctional childhood, are nothing but a bad memory. New town, new life. Or so she thinks. When a new friend, Ake Pearson, is belittled, Stormi conjures up the perfect plan. Yet, how could a little face-saving kiss cause so much harm? Now, she will do anything to fix it.
Ake Pearson is a simple man. Faith, family, and fishing. Even if everybody calls him “Dummy,” he’s content with his lot. Only when Stormi thunders into his life does he realize what he is missing. Family disapproval and misunderstandings threaten to tear Stormi from him. But when a long kept secret surfaces, Ake may lose his very life.

Well Peggy, this sounds like a great read! Can you tell the readers something about your new release and what inspired you to write it?

I wrote it for people who have left the rails. Their life is off-kilter and out of God’s will. They’re making bad choices because they have lost their way. Or perhaps they’ve grown up in a dysfunctional family that veered them from the path God intended. They are angry and bitter and try to carve their own way through life. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
I always want to show people that no one is beyond God’s ability to restore them. No secret sin is too big.

That's so true, and a message that people really need to hear.
So, without further ado, here's an excerpt from The Secret Storm:

Ake took a deep breath. “They think I want you as my girlfriend.”
A laugh burst from Stormi, but his lowered head frightened the mirth away. “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing about that, really, just it sounds like high school.”
Ake gave a small smile. “Yeah.”
The sadness written on his face sobered her. “Really, Ake. I wasn’t laughing at the thought of us being boyfriend and girlfriend.”
He nodded. “It’s okay. I only had one date my Senior Prom. Hoge found a girl to go with me, but she said it wasn’t like that either. She did it as a favor. I understand.”
Fury and sorrow fought a battle in Stormi, and she shoved her mittened hands into her pockets. The men returned from the grill with hot drinks, pounding Ake on the shoulder again and laughing. It took a large amount of control not to knock those two down the stairs. When the two men made it to the dock, one of them handed a Styrofoam cup to Ake’s brother. More scowls.
What complete blockheads. As if Ake didn’t deserve a normal blissful life of marriage and a family. A perfect plan began to formulate in her mind. “You know. We could pretend.”
“We could give them a real show. Shut them up for good.”
Ake’s eyes crinkled. “I don’t follow you.”
Stormi scooted closer and shot Ake a grin. “We could pretend we were together. A couple. Then they wouldn’t tease you.”
He shook his head with a start of a smile. “I’m not much into pretending.”
“It wouldn’t be complicated.” Brilliance lightened her demeanor. She arched closer and tilted her head coquettishly, the flirt that never failed to provoke a man’s attention. “You wouldn’t have to say anything about us. You could just shrug it off. Or just smile. What’s between a man and a woman is private, after all.”
His dark eyes, open and trusting, glued to hers. “I don’t know how that would work.”
“I do. We could kiss.”

Well, that surely makes me want to see how all this turns out! So Peggy, what sort of a writer are you?
Do you schedule your writing time or do you write in “bursts” of inspiration?

Both. But mostly bursts of inspiration. I am not a scheduled kind of person. I need to be. I try to be, but I am just a live-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, LOL. I finish things by each deadline. There is good and bad things about that. I suppose it means I’m a creative person. But it also means that mostly the squeaky wheel things get done, prioritized by time. I’ll skip meals, stay up until two in the morning when inspiration is whispering in my ear and not even notice the time. Or my stomach. J

It's amazing isn't it? You can lose yourself in the writing process and time just melts away!
Did you always know you would be a writer?

No. It seemed too far-fetched. Sure, I dreamed of it even as a very young child. I remember writing my cousin when I was about twelve telling her I wanted to be a writer. Then the writing bug bit me pretty hard when I was fourteen and totally obsessed with horse novels. Until I realized, after three pages of pounding out my “novel” on a manual typewriter, writing was hard!
But writing has never left me. It’s been quite handy in other job situations. I’d write a poem here for an event, a play here for a preschool, a silly story for a niece and nephew. I scribble a chapter here and there as my kids grew. But writing was always this nagging thing in the back of my mind that never went away.

I think that's true for many writers. And I'm so glad you stuck with it so I can read your stories!
What do you like best about writing and what do you like least?

Oh, best by far is when inspiration has you by the horns and I am pounding out words as fast as I can. When my characters are thick in tension, love, and overcoming the worst possible situations. That is like the sweetest candy. The worst is marketing. Trying to get your novel out there in front of the people who need it. I suppose that matches my personality as well, LOL. Writing is creating while marketing is planning.

Boy, do I hear you on that one. Marketing is not a strength of mine, either! But I guess we have to keep learning about it so we can get our stories in front of  more people.
What are you working on now?

Well, I just finished my fourth book which comes out tomorrow. The Secret Storm is the second in the series of Unchained Souls. I am working of the third of that series called, The Secret Mirage, with the hopes of a fourth after that. I am also working on taking my Historical and possibly turning it into a series. That is, if my publisher goes for that, LOL, therefore I have two others that I am working on right now in the historical category. So I’ll be back in the writing cave. Yay!

You said it! The writing cave is such a great place to be! Peggy, thanks so much for this interview. And readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Peggy's book! 
Now, here's a bio of Peggy, followed by her social links:

Peggy Trotter, a semi-retired teacher, is on a continual quest to find one of her many pairs of glasses. But once those readers are parked on her nose, she‘s immersed in a story scene of some sort, always pushing toward that miracle happy ending. On a dusty shelf lies a couple of writing honors like the prestigious ACFW Genesis Award, Novella category, even though she writes full-length historical, contemporary and suspense Christian Fiction.
She has two amazing grown children, two terrific children-in-laws, and two unbelievably fantabulous grandchildren, who deserve way more than the average amount of adjectives and adverbs. Her Batman of 34 years, whose cape is much worn from rescuing his wife from one scrap or another, is the delight of her life. She’s a smoldering pot of determined discombobulation who, by the grace of God, occasionally pulls it together to appear in public as a normal confident woman while privately craving a few hermit hours to woo the printed word.
Amazon Author’s Profile Page:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Welcome Author Gail Pallotta

Good morning everyone! I’d like to introduce you to my friend and fellow author, Gail Pallotta. Gail is an award-winning author, wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. 

Gail, I’ve read several of your books, and I’ve always wondered where does your story line come from? Real events in your life? Totally fictional? Or a whisper from God?

A mix of all three. Sometimes I observe a situation or have an experience that nags me until I write about it. In general I know something about my subject matter. As a result, I understand what a character would do in a certain situation from a personal perspective as well as from research. However, I weave fictitious stories around the things I know. In Barely Above water a young woman finds out she has Lyme disease. I have the disease, so I know the subject matter, but I only wish I were in my twenties living at the beach. In my new book Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, the heroine runs her own beauty salon. I practically grew up in my mother’s beauty shop, so I’m familiar with the perspectives of the hairstylist and the customers. However, I researched today’s new products and techniques.

When did you begin writing? In school? Or was there a particular life changing event that directed you to write?
I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember. For years, I penned stories and essays and stuffed them in a desk drawer. My first published piece appeared in a grammar school newspaper a friend and I wrote for our class.

Readers always want to know more about their favorite authors than what appears in our short bios. Where did you grow up? Are you married? Who’s the lucky fella and do y’all have children or grands? Tell us a little about your family.

I grew up at the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains, and yes, I’m married to Rick Pallotta. We have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law, but no grandchildren.

 Is there a particular event or scripture that affected your writing? Will you share that time with us?

In college I was asked to participate in the school’s first ever creative writing class. Now, am I old or what? I’d always wanted to write, but knew I had to make a living. I learned in the class I could support myself writing for a newspaper, magazine, radio station or possibly for a large company. And that’s what I did. I graduated and worked as an editor and copywriter. Then, I took a job in public relations handling press releases and writing articles for the company magazine and newspaper. It wasn’t writing books, but it paid the bills. I tucked away the desire to write fiction for many years and am happy to have the opportunity to do it now.

When and what was the first thing you ever had published? And how did that happen? I believe new writers are always wanting to know how that happens for the writers they read.

The first thing I had published outside of a school assignment was a poem. The instructor for the creative writing class in college required us to send a poem or short story to a publisher, so we would better understand the submission process. Fortunately, “The Wave” was accepted and published by Anthology of American Poetry, Book V.

When you’re not writing, what fills your time-outs?

My family, church, friends, swimming, reading, going to lunch with hubby. I don’t sew or create crafts. However, when I have time I enjoy making flower arrangements.

Now let’s zip toward the exciting news—the reason we’ve scheduled this interview for this point in time—YOUR NEW BOOK—Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, which I believe releases November 2nd.   Will you please give us a sneak preview…from your lips to our eyes and ears?

Here’s a statement about Hair Calamities and Hot Cash“A comedic romp from small town to big city in search of missing money, hair catastrophes, and love. A truly fun read”—Cynthia Hickey, author of the Shady Acres Mystery series.
In the story a New York stockbroker crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s North Carolina beauty shop...on the same day the young widow’s defective hair products are causing wild hairdos.  Soon Eve finds herself helping the handsome stranger hunt the thieves who stole his client’s cash...and hot on the trail of two of the F.B.I.’s most-wanted criminals! Romance blossoms amid danger, suspense and Eve’s hair-brained plan to get back the money.

What do you want readers to take away from this latest book?

A sense of people accepting and caring about each other. The atmosphere of the book reflects the small-town ambiance of my mother’s beauty shop. The people there weren’t perfect, but they were kind and caring. They had best friends, acquaintances, people they tolerated and those they kept at a distance. However, in times of crisis, illness or grief, prayers went up and casseroles went out whether the person was a close friend, somewhere in between or someone kept at a distance. They were all God’s children. I wanted to bring back the sense of community.

Please explain to our Diamond Mine viewers how much their reviews mean to all of us who write.

Good reviews are priceless. They’re a vital part of a book’s journey the author can’t fulfill. Other people decide whether or not to read a novel based on what reviewers say about it.

I always want to hear this next answer from every writer I interview…If you could give an unpublished, new writer one piece of solid advice that helped you and you believe would help or encourage them, what would those golden words be?

Keep writing. Keep learning everything possible about the craft, and don’t get discouraged.  

And, as always, readers want to know what’s next…will there be a sequel? A new series? Or is to early to be thinking about a new current WIP (work in progress)?

Thank you for asking. I’m working on a couple of romantic suspense novels, but they’re in early stages.

            Gail, it’s been fun having you on The Diamond Mine. And guess what…Gail’s going to

be giving away a copy of her award-winning book “Barely Above Water.” All you must do is comment by answering this question…

Question: Finding a hairstyle we like isn’t always easy. What qualities do you look for in a hairdresser?

            And don’t forget, you can pre-order Gail’s new release, Hair Calamities and Hot Cash. Again, release date is November 2nd    and if you pre-order the price is 99 cents. Be sure to check back with us here on the Diamond Mine, Tuesday, October 30th around 9 p.m. to see who wins a copy of Barely Above Water. 

Pre-order link for Hair Calamities and Hot Cash
long -
short -
Blurb for the giveaway book - Barely Above Water
Barely Above Water is a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award Winner.
An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?
Amazon buy link: