Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Introducing the Sparkling Ruth Buchanan!

Ruth Buchanan is a delightful contemporary fiction author you are going to fall in love with from the get-go. She is a Christian writer with degrees in ministry and theology. She has published fiction, non-fiction, plays, sacred scripts and is an avid blogger. 
I hope you enjoy the video of her interview with me on my Sparrow Song Radio YouTube channel! 
What did you find the most interesting? Let me know in the comments below!

Karla Akins is the author of The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots and A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith and Determined Parenting Her hobbies are book-hoarding, swimming, and riding her motorcycle. She is represented by Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency. Currently, she is a special education teacher and curriculum designer. She has a BA in Special Education, a Masters of Education in Learning and Technology and a Doctorate in Christian Education.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

From Diamond Miner to Debut Author: Welcome back, Abigail Wilson

You may recognize our guest this week. Abigail Wilson spent a stint here at the Diamond Mine interviewing authors. Now, with her debut novel in the hands of readers, she is back for her own interview!

SW: Welcome back to the Diamond Mine, Abigail, and congratulations on your debut release.

AW: Thank you, Suzie! I’m so glad to be here.

SW: Let's get to know Abigail a bit more.

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.

SW: OK, there are the basics, now it's time to get down to some smaller details. I always like to get started with a few “would you rather” questions as an introduction. So…

Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?

AW: I would much rather be able to fly. What an amazing experience that would be to zoom over all the places I’d love to visit. I’m pretty sure being invisible would just get me into trouble.

SW: Oh, yes, flying around the world would definitely be better than eavesdropping. Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?

AW: 20 minutes early. To some extent, I tend to already do that now. I hate being late.

SW: Me too. Running late makes me feel like I'm running behind. This one is a tough one for authors: Would you rather live without the internet or live without AC and heat?

AW: If you only said AC, I’d have picked that in a heartbeat, but I absolutely hate being cold. So, I guess I’d say I would choose to live without the internet, but I’d have to spend my writing time at the university library for research.

SW: Good to hear you have a backup plan. You’d like to visit everyone one of our national parks. Of the ones you’ve seen already, which is/are your favorite(s)?

AW: This is seriously a tough question because they all have their unique characteristics that make them special national treasures—each an amazing creation from God. I’ve been to about 20 from Denali National Park in Alaska to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Glacier National Park, however, is just the prettiest place I’ve ever been. From hiking in the snow to swimming in a glacier-fed lake—all in the same park.  Redwood National Park would come in a close second. Towering, ancient trees are just awe-inspiring.

SW: This is a two part questions regarding your preferred hot beverage. As a chai tea connoisseur, do you drink coffee? And what is your go-to chai drink?

AW: I am not a coffee drinker; however, I do consume tons of hot tea with chai being my absolute favorite. If I could pick any variety of chai tea, I would recommend the regular one at the Coffee Bean and Tea leaf. So good!

SW: I'm not a coffee drinker either but chai tea is my go-to hot drink. What are you currently reading?

AW: I just finished an advanced copy of Sarah Ladd’s next book, The Governess of Penwythe Hall. LOVED it! Next up is Pepper Basham’s My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. It looks so good!

SW: Tell us a little bit about your journey to publishing. What surprised you?

AW: So many things have been a surprise, but just how long and how much was involved in learning the craft of writing and later selling my story has been an eye opening experience. And now that I have gone through launching a book with a publisher as well, I am amazed at how many moving pieces had to come together to bring my book to the shelf, from marketing and editing to graphic design. It has all been an adventure.

SW: The author community is fantastic when it comes to encouragement and support of up and coming authors. Tell us about a few of the people who have cheered you along.

AW: What an awesome question.

Megan Besing has been my critique partner for some time, and this book would not have been the same without her writing wisdom. She’s been my biggest encourager and such a wonderful friend. Here we are at the Romance Writers of America Conference last summer.

Dawn Crandall and Rachel McMillan have also been fantastic supporters. They both took time out of their busy schedules to encourage, answer questions, and help promote. I’m just blown away by their kindness. 

SW: Love that! Megan and Dawn have both visited the Diamond Mine. Now I feel like I need to get Rachel here too! 

People have strong opinions about the first-person point of view. What drew you to writing a regency with this type of POV?

AW: I’ve always loved first person POV. I gravitate to books written this way, so I was shocked when I met with my agent at the ACFW conference and she told me first person historicals can be a difficult sell. She encouraged me to rethink my book at the time. This was before Dawn Crandall and so many other great historical writers had been published using first person POV. She suggested writing a suspense book instead. I’m pretty sure she meant contemporary suspense, but I ran with it. The last thing she said to me at the conference was to write what you love because that is what people will want to read, and that is just what I did.

SW: Well, it worked for your debut! What are you currently working on? What’s in store next for your readers?

AW: My next book will release on July 2, 2019 titled Midnight on the River Grey. I’m working on the galley edits now. It follows another member of the highwaymen in the area, who’s tragically been involved in the death of the heroine’s brother. Romance and mystery take center stage and with a feisty heroine I absolutely loved writing, I cannot wait to share this story with you all in July!

SW: Oh, sounds like another fabulous read! Can't wait! Thanks for spending time with us this week, Abigail! It’s been a pleasure having you back and we wish you all the best.

Thank you, Suzie! It was truly an honor to be on the Diamond Mine again.

About Shadow of Croft Towers

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself?


Abigail Wilson is generously giving one of you a chance to win a print copy of In The Shadow of Croft Towers (US and Canada addresses only). 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Let's Talk Historical Romance with Kelly Goshorn

Hey everyone! Erin, here. It's my first time on the Diamond Mine. I can't wait to get to know everyone and to talk books.

It's almost Valentine's Day and the perfect time to curl up and read a good romance. And what better novel to enjoy than Kelly Goshorn's book, A Love Restored? Let's see what she has to say about her writing and becoming a published author.

Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and an M.Ed. in History from Penn State. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
Hi Kelly. I can't wait to talk with you.
Hi Erin, Thank you for hosting me on the Diamond Mine today. I look forward to chatting with your readers.

It’s great to have you today. Give me one fact about you as an author that most people don’t know.
Writing can be a very solitary activity. But I have a little buddy that keeps me company, my six-year-old Welsh corgi, Levi. Levi is usually by my side, sometimes quite literally. I bought a cushion that sits on the side of my desk where Levi can lie and look out the window while I’m working. He joins me in my office, the recliner or on the back porch. When its time for some attention, he’s been known to lay across my keyboard and insist on a belly rub, giving me the opportunity to take a little break. He’s been such a good little companion, that I gave my heroine in A Love Restored a corgi as her little buddy, too.

As Christian writers, we long to share God’s love, goodness, and grace with others through our writing. But quite often our stories speak to us as much as our readers. How did God use this story to help you stretch and grow as a person?

Of course I’m thrilled that A Love Restored earned a publishing contract with Pelican Book Group but more than that, my faith has grown by leaps and bounds through this process. My writing journey began with a simple prayer for the Lord to give me a passion to serve Him in some way. But the path that lay ahead would not only prove to be challenging from a craft point of view, it would require me to face my biggest personal and spiritual obstacle—the fear of failure.  What I discovered is that God sees not only who we are, but who we can be when we place our trust in Him. He calls us to tackle our biggest obstacles so that we can rest in total dependence on Him. Wherever the writing journey takes me, I’ve been irrevocably changed. There’s no going back and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Ruth Ann is quite a character in A Love Restored! Was there a scene you had to edit out because she was showing a little too much of her personality?

Hahahaha! You’re right, Erin. Ruth Ann is quite a character! Actually, I can’t think of scene I had to edit because of her spirited nature but I did edit out a pretty hilarious scene where she tries to prove to Benjamin that she can live without hired help. He teaches her to milk a cow and gather eggs and let’s just say mayhem ensued.

I love strong male heroes, don’t you? What is the quality you like the most about Ruth Ann’s love interest, Benjamin Coulter? 

Oh wow, what a question. I do love a strong male hero. I think Benjamin Coulter’s strength comes through his humility. He is quick to recognize his own faults and take appropriate action to remedy his mistakes. When he foolishly breaks Ruth Ann’s heart, he goes to great lengths, including risking his life, to demonstrate his regret.

As writers, we love our book babies. If you had to pick one scene from A Love Restored that is your favorite, which one would it be and why?

This is a really tough question. There are so many scenes that I enjoyed writing—Ben and Ruth Ann’s first kiss, Ben cutting a whole in the center of the pie, and Ruth Ann opening the Montgomery Ward catalog to a page of women’s undergarments in front of male onlookers in the mercantile are just a few of my favorite scenes. But if I have to choose one, I think I would pick their meet at the creek. It really showcases their personalities and I think is a great deal of fun to read. 

Being a writer is a busy life, isn’t it? I’m sure you’re scheming new ideas to intrigue your readers with the next book. What’s in the works for you right now? 

Right now I’m working on a three book series also set in Hillsboro,Virginia during the Civil War. Surrendered Hearts, examines what happens when God requires us to surrender those things we hold most dear. Characters are called to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions, their pride, and for one, his life, as God recklessly pursues each of them. Readers can learn more about the books in this series at

Here's a little about A Love Restored:

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. 

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first? 

Amazon buy link

Well, we had a great time talking to you, Kelly.

Everyone who comments on the question below and leaves their email address will be entered to win an eBook of A Love Restored. What’s your favorite swag to get from an author?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jaime Jo Wright and her Chilling Chiller Novels!

Creeeeeaaak. Door eases open. Step. Step. Step. Pause. Silence. Good evening, my darlings. Come closer to the coffin so I can see you better, my pretties. Ah, ah, ah…ahhhh.

Reader's choice giveaway to follow! Leaping lizards, don't miss that!

Ahem. Sorry. I think I just got caught up in the in the atmosphere of this week's interview with Jaime Jo Wright!

Booya! Now, don't be alarmed. No caped Bella Lugosi shall step from the shadows. But there is plenty of  eerie loveliness in Jaimi's novels. Pat your face with the white make-up by the door, don your cape, and join the fun. Baaaaaha-haaaaaa! Goohblah.

PT: Welcome Jaime! I just read The House on Foster Hill. Man alive, (no pun intended) was I hooked from the first page! BTW, its a 2018 Christy Award winner. And now, The Curse of Misty Wayfair is out, and I can barely restrain myself from digging into its dark pages. So tell us, how did you settle on writing books set at the turn of the century with a touch of suspense? (Note the splendid creepiness on that cover!)
Ahhh, the splendid creepiness. :)

JJW:  I’ve always had a fascination with history—specifically the early 1900’s as that’s when the bulk of my own family history can be traced back to. So it’s always neat to study the era of my great-great grandparents! As for suspense/mystery, it’s been my go-to since I was a kid and introduced to Nancy Drew. The questions and intrigue are always the best!

PT: How do you do your historic research? It must involve a great deal of work.

JJW: Google, library, etc.  Mostly online. Sometimes I use reference books. I could utilize the library more, but I learned from a close author friend, Erica Vetsch, that it’s more fun to buy and own your own library of reference books! 😊

PT:  Ah yes, books. Delightful books. But I digress. So if you had to tell the readers about travel, recipes, or a special gift, which one would you choose?

JJW: I love to travel!! Before kids, I was more of a world traveler, now I stick more to the States. But I’ve been to Thailand, Nepal, China, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and more! My favorite place and city of my heart is, Rome! 

PT: Ah, travel. Interesting. Now, tell the readers your most inspiring location to write from? 

JJW: Probably at home in my chair with a cup of coffee. Either that, or my local coffee shop. I do love the hustle and bustle of people around me while I write!

PT: While staying under cover as novelist of intrigue, no doubt. (wink) But all dark fun aside. Let's get to things that are truly everlasting. What Bible verse is currently the most inspiring to you right now? 

JJW: I really love Psalm 4:8. “In peace I will both lay down and sleep. For you, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”. It’s such a comforting Scripture. That childlike faith of knowing someone else is watching over things!!

PT: Now, look deeply into my eyes. You are under my control. (Yeah, yeah. Just go along with it, LOL.) You will answer 5 questions about Jaime Jo Wright that have nothing to do with writing.

JJW: My favorite color is red. Barn red, preferably. 😊
I love cats. All things cats!! I have three of my own, Maddie, Ivy, and Fluffers. (Or I call him “Foo Foo”.)
I am well known for being able to fall asleep anywhere. I’ve fallen asleep on rocky shorelines, in the middle of church service, and I even drifted off when I was in labor with my daughter.
I have a thing for sweaters. Big, oversized, cozy sweaters!

PT: Cats? Indeed. Oh, ye dark and fearless felines who evaporate into the murky shadows of midnightUh, yeah. Perhaps you should just belly up with one of Jaime Jo Wright's novels. Like this one:

Quiver. Such ghoulish glee I see!

PT: Ah, my TBR pile just grew. How about yours? And guess what, my faithful followers? Jaime is giving away a book of your choice! Either The House on Foster Hill or The Curse of Misty Wayfair! You. Can. Choose. CHOOSE!


Leave a comment for Jaime and don't forget your email! For, I, thy noble picker-out-of-the hat blogger, will not be able to choose you, if thou doest not leave thou email. Ah, gee. That was fun. 

SNAP (I disappear.)