Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Interview with Award-Winning Author Nadine Brandes

Today, let's welcome award-winning author Nadine Brandes to The Diamond Mine!! She's the author of the three-book Out of Time speculative fiction series. And her newest book is due out this July: Fawkes.

She's a gifted, imaginative writer whose stories will rivet you with vivid characters and compelling settings. What an exciting and rewarding experience it is to read her books! Welcome, Nadine! I'm so honored to host you today!

So, let's begin by hearing a brief description of your Out of Time series.

These books are about a world where everyone has a clock telling them how long they have to live. The main character starts with one year left to her life.

A premise like that really grabs the reader from the beginning. I know it did for me! What element of this story really brings it alive for you?

It feels very personal because Parvin (the main character) wrestles with a lot of the same questions I did as a teen: What’s the point of being alive? Can I really make an impact on this world? How do I tackle this God thing?

You did a great job of exploring these questions that so many teens as well as adults find themselves struggling with. Very true-to-life. 
Speaking of that, are any of your characters based on real people?

I draw all of my inspiration from real life, but no character is based off one person in general. :) 

I know what you mean! So many of my characters have aspects from real people, but have their own unique personality which develops as the story does. 
Do your books begin with a small idea that grows as you write, or do you have a fairly fleshed-out story in mind before you begin to write?

It really depends on the book! For A Time to Die, it was a small idea that grew as I wrote it. (Grew into a three book series!) But for Fawkes (my upcoming release) I had the story fairly fleshed out before I started. 

So just like your characters, your books have their own personality, too! Do you write nearly every day for a period of time, or do you write in short or long bursts depending on inspiration?

Haha! I definitely don’t write every day. My creative juices have to refuel, so I usually have two “big chunk” writing days a week. The other days are spent plotting, blogging, and interacting with my readers via social media.

Sounds like a good balance that obviously works well for you. I'm curious. Which book of your series was the easiest one to write, and which was the most challenging?

My second book, A Time to Speak was the easiest to write because by that point I knew all the characters and the world had been established. I was ready for things to get real (plot-wise) and get bigger. I loved writing that book and it came out so smoothly! The growth in that book is my favorite  and a lot of readers say it’s their favorite, too.

The hardest book in the Out of Time Series to write was the last one. Man, trying to wrap up all those plot threads and have a decent ending was almost the death of me! I rewrote that ending at least four times and was afraid it would go to press incomplete! Thankfully, God brought it all together in the end. 

But if we’re talking about all my books, Fawkes was the hardest book I’ve ever written. But I’ll have to get into that another day. ;-)

Wow, you've got me mighty curious about Fawkes. Guess I'll have to wait until July, though! So, which do you prefer to write: a series, or a stand-alone story?

This might sound weird, but to me all my stories feel like standalone. Some are just longer than others. I prefer to write the story the way it needs to be written. The Out of Time Series had to be a three book series to finish the story. But currently my next two books, Fawkes and Mysterious Title Mwahaha, are both average-length standalone. :)

I see what you mean. Even in a series, it's good for each part to be its own unique story, and deliver a different experience to the reader. When you imagine someone reading your books, what reaction or reactions would you most like them to have?

I want them to leave inspired. Not just inspired writing-wise, but inspired to totally go after life with 100%. To not back down and to realize that they can impact this world in magnificent ways. :) And to realize that God is worth it. There are so many poor representations out there, but when you really get to know Him…He is the one who will send you off to change the world.

Absolutely! What a great point!
Now for a rather personal question. Do you enjoy feedback about your stories even if it’s critical?

I don’t think anyone likes learning that some people didn’t like their stories, but I really appreciate honest readers and the courage it can sometimes take to post a negative review. I love and learn from all feedback. And no matter the level of criticism, I just hope we can be friends. :-) (Even though that sounds cheesy.)

I don't think that's cheesy. Sounds mature to me.
So, what do you like most about being a writer?

Connecting with readers! You would think that I would like writing the best, and I do like that a lot. But it’s so special to connect with readers and show them that I’m accessible and I’m here for them. When I was growing up and social media wasn’t really a thing (wow, that makes me sound old) all my favorite authors felt untouchable—as though they were in this other world. And I would have loved to talk to them about how their stories changed me. Now that there’s social media and I’m an author, I want to be that author that can be reached and that does talk back. :)

Wow, I never thought much about that. What great advice for every author to think about. Thanks Nadine! I'll have to start doing that!
Okay, tell us a bit about your newest book, and what you’re working on now.

My newest book, Fawkes, is a historical fantasy that tells the story of the Gunpowder Plot—where a group of men decided to blow up the king of England in 17th century London. My story is told through the eyes of a plotter’s son and how he joins the plot for his father’s approval, but then faces the impact of whether or not he’s brave enough to go through with it.
 True story, too! (Except for the fantasy elements. :P ) It’s currently up for pre-order and releases July 10th!

Sounds like an awesome story! That's on my to-read list! Nadine, thank you so much for spending time at The Diamond Mine. I really enjoyed this interview!

Well, readers, here is a short bio about Nadine, followed by her social links:

NADINE BRANDES once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She is the author of the award-winning Out of Time Series and Fawkes (July 2018) Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she's not busy writing novels about bold living, she's adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. She and her Auror husband are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom. 

Here are my main social media links:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Roped and Twisted along with DiAne Gates (Fabulous Giveaway!)

Young Adult Fiction Takes a Ride

The Diamond Mine takes a gander at Young Adult this week with our very own DiAne Gates and her recent release, Twisted. We follow her down the trail of this amazing series of which Twisted is Book Two. So, saddle up and come along for an amazing ride! Don't forget to drop your name in the bucket for your own copy of her one of her books at the watering hole (that'd be the end of the interview for y'all young cowpokes and greenhorns.)


Texas writer, DiAne Gates, illustrates and writes fiction for children and YA, and serious non-fiction for the folks. Her passion is calling the Church’s attention to how far we’ve catapulted from God’s order as evidenced by her blog Moving the Ancient Boundaries,

DiAne worked as a photographer and writer for the East Texas Youth Rodeo Association magazine, and had the opportunity to be in the rodeo arena, feel the sting of Texas turf in her face and across her camera lens, giving birth to her western rodeo adventure series, released by Prism Book Group in August of 2015, ROPED.

DiAne leads LifeSavers, an adult edit group for North Texas Christian Writers. In addition to her key blog site, MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES, she also writes a blog entitled THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF FLAVOR, where DiAne shares family recipes and many tricks to cutting calories while retaining a massive injection of southern and southwest flavor. She also facilitates GriefShare, an international support ministry for those who’ve lost loved ones.

Wife, mother, and Mimi, whose passion is to share those hard life lessons God allows in our lives.


Renee: Howdy, DiAne, I'm excited about this chance to talk to you! The Diamond Mine has exploded with authors and interviews of late and I can't seem to get a word in edgewise. I guess I ain't too good at takin' numbers with my ol' Wyoming ways, huh? 'bout we dispense with chitchat and dig in to the good stuff?

DiAne: (chuckling) Your ways aren't so bad. Go ahead. Shoot!

Renee: Be careful saying that word around here, my old shotgun's loaded, and my Cooper-dog's always ready to hunt them birds! 💥 Now, where was I? Oh yeah, your awesome books...but I guess I need to ask this question first. Why do you like to write in the Young Adult genre so much?

DiAne: The opportunity to be a directional arrow toward the Lord in this upcoming generation is the most exciting reason I know of to write YA.

Unlike many older adults, I believe those waiting in line to take our place in society understand things must change. I believe the next revival may be at our door-step, because our young adults are searching for truth. And God tells us when we search for Him with our whole hearts we will find Him. Yes, many of them are going about their search in different ways than we would, but realistic action adventure fiction, couched in an intriguing, believable story, will find God’s mark every time! 

Renee, did you know many adults read YA? Think about it, my book is advertised for young adults, but adults read this genre too. Winner! Winner! All joking aside, I love the action, expectations, and learning curve of this genre.

Renee: Now that does sound exciting and I can understand why you would love it. I can also see why adults love to read it! What about Twisted? Was there something in particular that inspired you to write this story?

DiAne: Well, of course, ROPED helped. Couldn’t leave the Crosbys and the Fairgates where I left them in that last chapter, could I?

In the beginning, I planned a series that would talk about the issues our young adults face every day. Which meant it had to have a multi-generational story line. We are taught to “show,” not “tell” in our writing. What better way than to weave a story of two families going in opposite directions—in everything. I believe in showing the good, the bad, and the ugly as well as the consequences those choices bring. And TWISTED indeed shows the results of choices each of those families made.

We don’t have to preach to our young people. They are savvy—most of them—and I’m hopeful they will enjoy the story, yet learn the choices they make every day, small and large, determine their success in life.

Renee: I see what you mean. I also believe the young people of today are intelligent. They have to be to navigate the programs on computers, smartphones, and such, especially as fast as they change. What a great way to show them actions and decisions have consequences! If you could pick a favorite quote or part of Twisted, what would it be?

DiAne: Without a doubt, Chapter Thirty titled “The Horrible Truth.” The emotions that rush out of this chapter, many of our young people have lived. Lies Mr. and Mrs. Fairgate had lived, told and thought to protect Jodie Lea from, swept both families into a torrent none of them anticipated. And each character in this series, just like in real life, made choices—some that would affect them—how long we’ll have to wait and see—perhaps forever.

Renee: Oh, wow. Truth always catches up with us, doesn't it? The web of secrets and lies grows like a cancer until it destroys everything we've built until the truth is finally revealed. And if we are fortunate, that web doesn't rip everything good from us. Your book sounds amazing, DiAne. What do YOU want your readers to take away from Twisted?

DiAne: God is sovereign. Jesus is Lord, Savior and King. And the reader’s decision to love, trust, and obey Him, or turn and walk away determines their destiny now and forever.

Renee: Absolutely. In the end, it's up to us and that decision is of upmost importance. Thank you for that! I ask this next question of all my authors. With all the changes in the industry, the frustrations, the flooded market, why do you keep writing?

DiAne: Why the salary, of course! 😛 😜 My husband loves to tell friends I work from home, 24/7, and earn about three cents an hour. I always retort, “I think you’re overestimating!”

I can’t not write. Once I learned the basics, and that was by the planning of the Sovereign God we serve, who placed six serious writers in my path. We called ourselves The Literati and for over five years we met every Wednesday night, editing, brainstorming, and being taught by our illustrious leader, Lori Freeland.

God opened doors and pushed me through them with many writing opportunities. And let’s face it, at my age, it's past time to become really serious about these opportunities.

Renee: You're an inspiration to young, new, and even veteran writers out there trying to figure out if it's worth it to keep plugging away! Thank you, DiAne! Speaking of "opportunities," what's next on the agenda?

DiAne: UNTIED is next in THE ROPED SERIES…I’m about eight chapters into this riveting part of the series. But I’ll give you a hint, God’s sense of humor will relegate justice to these two girls. It will be worth the read. And any mothers of teen girls will certainly understand.

I hope to continue writing monthly articles for, an online Christian magazine. High priority will also be given to four books I wrote and illustrated a number of years ago. I received one rejection and threw them in the file cabinet drawer. This is the now-or-never year for their resurrection. It’s a four book family devotional series currently entitled THE MASTER’S PLAN. And the fifth book living in the drawer with the other four won first place in the North Texas Christian Writers Competition several years ago, about an ant by the name of Arnold, who refused to be an ant.

And as long as God allows, I plan to continue facilitating a GriefShare support group for those who’ve lost loved ones. God tells us, “…we are to comfort one another with the comfort He has given to us.” I often speak and lead an edit group for NTCW called The LifeSavers. Another one of our edit group is a multi-published author, and two others are almost ready to launch their first novels!

Renee: Agenda? That sounds like a full-time job! 3-cents an hour? You need a raise, woman! Thank you so much for this opportunity to interview you on the Diamond Mine. You are truly a wonderful lady and friend. I can't wait to see the third book of your series released as well as read Twisted!

DiAne: Renee, thank you so much for allowing me to spend time with you talking about TWISTED! Available on And, of course, I’d be forever grateful to receive reviews from you or anyone who has read or will read ROPED and TWISTED.

***** E- BOOK GIVEAWAY *****





About the Book, Twisted:

What begins as a nasty rodeo competition morphs into a ring of horse thieves, an uncle with a past, and consequences that span generations.

TWISTED, continues the journey of the Crosby and Fairgate families. Will these two Texas teens finally overcome the past and discover the future God has planned, or will they forever be trapped by the crimes of their fathers?

If you haven't read Book One, pick up Roped today:


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Finding Balance and Paying it Forward with Sara R. Turnquist + Giveaway

Welcome back to the Diamond Mine. Are you settling back into your routines after the holiday break?

This week our guest is someone who lives less than 100 miles from me but we met at an ACFW conference in Dallas, TX a couple years ago. Please welcome Sara Turnquist.

First, an introduction

About Sara Turnquist

I'm a coffee lovin', word slinging, clean Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. I love those odd tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That's what inspires me. Well, that and a good love story. 

But of all the love stories I’ve read, mine is my favorite. I live happily with my own Prince Charming and our gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning.

I have authored some enticing historical fiction with meaningful romances, including: The Lady Bornekova, The General’s Wife, Hope in Cripple Creek, Off to War, A Convenient Risk, Leaving Waverly, The Lady and the Hussites, and An Inconvenient Christmas.

Connect with Sara: 

Twitter: @sarat1701 -
Facebook: AuthorSaraRTurnquist -
Pinterest: SaraVTurnquist -

Welcome, Sara. We're so glad you could join us this week. Let's warm up with a few easy questions.

SW: Ballpoint, Uniball, or fountain pen? 

ST: Ballpoint

SW: Early bird or night owl? 

ST: Night owl most of my life…but I worked in zoo education for a while and those shifts start EARLY

SW: What are three things you’ve used as a bookmark? 

ST: Pen, receipt, movie ticket stub

SW: Fill in the blank: Some day I want to... 

ST: return to the Czech Republic

SW: Tell us a bit more about Sara 

ST: Sara is a bit quirky. But she is outgoing, friendly, and a strong leader. She loves nothing more than sharing her gifts and talents to edify others. And she’ll do almost anything for a laugh.

SW: We’ve talked before about one of your former jobs, so share with us what the worst job you’ve ever had was. And the best one? 

ST: THE WORST: I’ve really enjoyed most of my jobs…perhaps the worst was waiting tables. I don’t handle “on the spot” stress very well. And when you have 12 people all wanting 3 things from you and NOW…that gets stressful. And some people can be so rude. It seemed like the roughest tables were the ones who left you a handful of change. 

SW: I have always known I wasn't cut out for the food service business so I never aspired to waiting tables :)

Me with Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Education Team – I’m on the back row, third from the right
ST: THE BEST: I loved working as a Zoo Educator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was so much fun. Sharing my love and knowledge of wildlife and wild places…okay, and Disney…was amazing. And making a difference for wildlife. If some of my guests listened to half of what I said and took me seriously, they went home and did something toward conserving our world.

Do you have any secret talents? 

ST: Okay…I always get strange looks…but I can unwrap a starburst in my mouth in under 20 seconds. Yeah…that’s totally going on the resume.

SW: Hahaha! That's a great secret talent! 

Name a place you would like to visit that you haven’t been to yet. 

ST: I’d love to take one of the Historical Tours of the Biltmore Estate. I hear they are just fascinating.

SW: Yes, they are. I've been on one (at Christmas) but would love to go again!

As a mom of three children, how do you balance writing and home life? 

My three kiddos: Audrey, Aiden, and Andrew
ST: It is not easy…when all three of my kiddos were at home, I did most of my writing during quiet time/nap time (even when my kids outgrew naps, we still insisted they have “quiet time” in their rooms…perhaps more for our sake than theirs) and in the evening after bedtime. Now that two of them are in school, the time to write is much more…plentiful. You just have to write when you can. If it’s important, you will make time.

SW: Who makes up your tribe (supporters, mentors, uplifters, prayer warriors, etc)? 

 Me and my number one fan, my husband, Greg
ST: I am part of a MOMs group that has moms who are further along the journey than us of younger kiddos. They are praying for me I know. My husband is a big supporter for me. My family is, too. As well, my critique group encourages me along the way. My beta readers are pushing me along, kindly critiquing my work. And my writing mentor, author Hannah R. Conway, offers unending support.

SW: Tell us a little about your reading and writing habits.

ST: I am a fast reader. I alternate between fiction (mostly clean Historical Fiction/Romance, but I try to read in other genres as well…Science Fiction being my early first love) and nonfiction (usually craft or spiritual growth books). And I always have one of those Barbour Collections of novellas in case I just want to consume a story in an afternoon. (Novella is generally a 2 hour read for me.)

SW: Those Barbour novella collections are great, aren't they. I'm actually reading one right now. A novella here and there between my other reading.

ST: Writing…I have always been a pantser (write by the seat of my pants…no planning or outlining). But I have become more of a “plantser”. I do stop and do some preliminary character planning/development. I find that taking the time to do so creates more three-dimensional characters and deepens the story. Some of the novel is outlined based on what kind of historical event/person I am involving. Then I pants my way through the rest. 

And I have come to love Scrivener…especially the “compose” mode, which blocks out the whole screen except your word processor and puts an image you pick in the background. Great for distraction-free writing. I have also come to love the set up my husband designed for me – two monitors! I use one for my writing and one to pull up research as I need to.

(image courtesy of
SW: What is the first book you remember reading or the first one that made an impact on you? 

ST: I remember reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I was so drawn into the story. I fell in love with her life and the trials they faced and it so captivated me I read the whole series. (Though I have never watched any of the TV series.)

SW: Share some of your writing habits. Do you have a favorite place to write? A favorite time? Must-have snacks or drinks? 

ST: I have a great set up for writing in my office at home. I have my storyboards there, my two monitors, and all my tools. But I love being able to get away to the local coffee shop and sit in a booth with a cup of coffee and tap away on my laptop. At home sometimes the things that need to get done in my other job (housewife and mother) nag at me. So, getting away from the house helps. I generally do most of my writing mid-afternoon or in the evening. But whether at my house or elsewhere, I have to have the coffee…always the coffee.

SW: What is your writing kryptonite? 

ST: Facebook…ahhh….

SW: You are not alone in that one! 

You’ve worked with a small press and independently and now have signed with an agent. Give us the highlights of each of those avenues (per your experience).

SMALL PRESS: I so enjoyed working with Clean Reads, a small press. They were so personable and really did the right amount of hand holding to ease me into this step of my journey. The owner is just amazing. I cannot say enough good things about her. But I wanted to try things on my own.

PUBLISHED INDEPENDENTLY: My husband and I decided we wanted to get our feet wet with indie publishing. And it worked well for us. The amount of marketing you do for publishing with a small press and publishing independently is pretty much the same. And publishing independently, you retain your rights and don’t split the revenue. I would not recommend it for someone fresh out of the gate though. I think the lessons I learned from my time with the small press were so valuable and I will maintain my relationship there as much as I can. 

AGENT: I love having someone who really knows the industry to bounce ideas off of. And who is looking out for me. It is a new partnership for me, so I haven’t gleaned as much as I can yet to really speak to this.

SW: In addition to writing, you also speak at writing conferences and women’s groups. Tell us what you love most about sharing with others? 

ST: I am all about passing on your knowledge and experiences. I believe that is why you go through things. Positive and challenging…so you can touch others’ lives with the things you learned. For some, that is having coffee with a hurting friend or a lunch with your cousin who is an aspiring author. For me, I have a strangely loud voice and good stage presence and command. So, I speak.

SW: Share with our readers more about your books.

Who was your favorite character to write?

ST: I loved writing Katherine from “Hope in Cripple Creek”. She had some of my personality in there, but definitely more spunk, you know? She had a fire in her that I admired.

Order Hope in Cripple Creek at Amazon

SW: Historical fiction requires a lot of research and detail. What is the craziest/most interesting/funniest thing that’s happened to you while researching a book. 

ST: I was in the prep for Hope in Cripple Creek and I was planning the major details of the story. Namely, the location. My husband had spent some time in Colorado, where I wanted the story to be set. We were driving and I didn’t have internet on my phone at the time, so I asked him “What sounds like a good name for a town in Colorado? Just make one up.” He thought and said, “Cripple Creek…sounds like something I would hear around there.” Well, later, when I was researching gold mining and mining strikes, a key component of the novel, I found that the last gold rush to Colorado, preceding a major, rather well-known strike, was in Cripple Creek, Colorado, a REAL town. He had probably heard the name somewhere along the way and forgotten that it was a real town. At any rate, I found it interesting…the town name he “made up”.

SW: I've actually made up a town for a state I've never visited before only to find it on Google!

Tell us a little about your most recent release. 

ST: This past December I released my first Christmas novella and a companion to “A Convenient Risk”: “An Inconvenient Christmas”. I call it a “companion” because it’s not really a sequel. I didn’t leave any “loose ends” to be tied up at the end of “A Convenient Risk”. I went back and found a thread that could be continued and enhanced. Either way, “An Inconvenient Christmas” is a peek into Amanda and Brandon’s happily-ever-after. Christmas will be a time to share with their little family and maybe experience some much needed peace on earth. But that’s when the letter comes. And everything is turned upside-down. Nothing is as it should be and tensions mount. Will they make it through this holiday season unscathed? Or will they be torn apart by the time Christmas Day comes?

SW: What are you currently working on? 

ST: You might laugh…I am currently working on four books. Yeah…I am notorious for working on multiple projects at a time (usually one in editing, one writing, and one resting). But this is a bit much even for me. I have two that I am processing edits on: “Among the Pages”, a time slip that focuses on the Woman’s Suffrage Movement and “Trail of Fears”, which follows a white missionary to a Cherokee village and what transpires from the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830 to their forcible removal in 1838. I am researching and writing the third installment to The Lady Bornekova Series. And I am researching for a book set during the Biblical era.

Order The Lady Bornekova Series on Amazon

SW: Wow, I'm worn out just thinking about keeping all of that straight. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking time out from all of that to visit with us today.

About the Books

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

A companion novella to "A Convenient Risk"

Brandon and Amanda are ready for their “Happily Ever After”. This Christmas will be a time to share with their little family and maybe experience some much needed peace on earth.

That’s when the letter comes. And everything is turned upside-down. Nothing is as it should be and tensions mount. Will they make it through this holiday season unscathed? Or will they be torn apart by the time Christmas Day comes?



Sara is graciously giving away a fabulous prize pack that includes:  Signed  paperback copies of The Lady Bornekova and The Lady and the Hussites with bookmarks, an ebook copy of Leaving Waverly, a notebook, and some swag (Continental US address only)

To enter, comment below and tell us what historical period you love to read about. You'll get a bonus entry if you follow Sara on social media and tell us you did so. Be sure and leave a way for us to contact you if you win.

***The legal stuff: Contest is not valid unless five (5) unique individuals leave a comment. Ends Tuesday, 1/16/18 at midnight EST. Valid only for those with a continental US address.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Perfect for Publication. . .Author Megan Besing!

   I couldn't be more excited if I drank a gallon of Mountain Dew while parasailing behind my own speedboat waving at family and friends on the dock of my own beachfront home! (Yellow, please.) Slap me and call me silly, my very own daughter is publishing! (Can you tell it's a proud Mama moment? If not, rewind and read above one more time.)
  If you don't believe dreams come true, cast your mind back to 2014 when I first interviewed this lovely lady. ( now, also a bone fide author. (I can almost hear her blush. LOL) All right here. Switching to professional mode (for your safety), I have a super interview for you, our faithful readers. Let's dive in!

PT: Welcome to the mine! Make yourself at home, here on this Adirondack at my yellow beachfront home. We always have to get the particulars out of the way, as usual. So, what genres to you write in, Megan?
MB: I think the genre I'm being published in is perhaps a less complicated question. But if I’m completely honest, my absolute favorite stories to create are YA Fantasies…which is close to polar opposite of my debut which is Historical Fiction. I’ve dabbled in a bit of everything, however as long as there’s a thread of romance, a message of hope, and I like my characters, the worlds I find them in whether past, present, or make-believe isn’t as important for me.

PT: And where did the inspiration come from for your debut novel?

MB: When my publisher sent out a call for mail-order bride stories, the first thing that popped into my head was the hero. I knew I wanted the star of the show to be a preacher. Between my husband and my extended families, there’s a lot of preachers. But if you stop and think about all the main heroes of different books, preachers don’t usually get drafted very often, which I thought was a shame because they have such potential.
Then I started thinking what would provide conflict… a bride whose background was less than stellar, and a congregation that was bent on keeping them apart quickly rounded out the story. And that’s the super short run down of how Perfect for the Preacher came to be. 😊 

PT:  All the readers want to know if this is based on reality or totally made up?

MB: This Historical Fiction is completely made up. However, growing up around preachers and my husband and mine’s numerous military moves, which meant many, many different church homes…I felt confident in my ability to portray the inner workings of a church. In most books you have two main characters, but Hilltop Chapel, the church in Perfect for the Preacher, became a character all its own. And I hope they are a realistic portrayal of a congregation that isn’t perfect, yet of course is very redeemable.

PT: Of course! Now let's get to food. You have to have something that fuels you, lifts you, inspires you! Share your favorite snack for the writing room.

MB: Crunchy Snacks! Whether they actually help my brain become more creative, or if it’s just my imagination that they do, I seem to work better with some kind of crunchy food. My current favorite is Traditional Chex Mex and of course a Vanilla Coke is my drink of choice.

PT: Speaking of fuel for your creativity, let's get to the ultimate spiritual food. What is your favorite Bible verse?

MB: As long as I can remember, Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been my go to verse. It has so much truth and application packed inside those two short verses. Got problems, doubt, fears—Trust—God’s got this, whatever the ‘this’ may be.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” –(NIV)

PT: I think that covers it all. Now, lets take the readers on a little trip here on my make-believe deck. Tell a favorite place you visited.

MB: #Ihearttravel I have had lots of opportunities to visit lots of cool places. My go to answer is always: THE BEACH. Love it! Been to several, several beaches. But I think my favorite vacation was when my husband and I went to Puerto Rico, but our visit to Washington DC was a close second. However, we’re planning a trip to Ireland that I imagine will soon take the top spot. 

PT: Ahhh, well there you have it! And now nothing better than to show you the cover. Let me remove my virtual sunglasses. There. What do you think?
Oh, did I fail to say there were nine total mail order bride stories? Oh, my. It must have been the imaginary sun affecting my brain. Yes, you read that right. Nine authors and nine mail order bride novels all bound within one cover. And a gorgeous one it is. As my granddaughter would say, Bam-What???

I am happy to give you a little blurb as well. (PS: I've read it and it's AWESOME!)

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he's mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn't an ex-saloon girl, and worse, pregnant.

Short and sweet. And very tempting! Just like my spot here, sipping fictional lemonade and enjoying the mythical breezes of the salt sea wind. But this book isn't imaginary! And you can win a copy right here on the faithful ole' Diamond Mine. Here's the drill, if you're unfamiliar-become a reader to catch all the giveaways-leave a comment and your email, and we'll get in contact with one of you lucky readers! If you will excuse us now, we must grab our towels and be off to the fabricated white sands of the beach! Thanks for reading!

Megan Besing adores reading, writing, and reviewing stories with happily-ever-afters. She’s received many awards, including being a multi-category finalist in ACFW’s Genesis and a winner of MCRW’s Melody of Love contest. Her debut Perfect for the Preacher releases February 2018 in Barbour’s Mail-Order Brides Novella Collection.

She lives in Indiana with her husband and their children, where she dreams of the beach and drinks way too many Vanilla Cokes. Connect with Megan at