Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fun Facts and Kimberly M. Miller

Welcome Kimberly Miller to the Diamond Mine! Kimberly Miller is a writing and film professor by day, author by night. She enjoys watching movies, making jewelry, and creating fun, romantic stories for her readers. Let's see what she has to say about her newest book, Forgiving Tess.

Give me one fact about you as an author that most people don’t know.
I recently signed up for an adult tap class.  

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?

Tess struggles with forgiving herself as much as the fact that others haven’t forgiven her. Working through all the ways she needed to let go and accept the freedom of forgiveness was an excellent thing for me.  

Was there a scene you had to edit out which you really liked? Tell us about it.

One of the original scenes I envisioned in this story was of Tess hitchhiking and Josh picking her up, neither of them realizing who the other was. But, when I edited the story I moved their reunion to Josh’s turf in Florida, which meant she couldn’t be in that situation. It was sad, but I think the book is stronger as it is.  

I love strong male heroes, don’t you? What is the quality you like the most about your hero?

I adore Josh’s ability to love Tess unconditionally. Even when she doesn’t yet believe in him.  

If you could go back and change one scene, which one would it be and why?

Hmm... that’s a tough one. Overall I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out. 

Being a writer is a busy life, isn’t it? I’m sure you’re working on something new to fascinate your readers. What’s in the works for you right now?

I’m working on a story that involves an actress who has a strained relationship with her father and her career (in an agent who is too much like her father). When she finds love again, she finds the courage to protect herself and redefine her career. I don’t have a title yet and a solid first draft is about half done so it may be a while before the story sees the light of day. Still, as always, I’m having fun writing it! 

Here's a great blurb:
Tess Carson had finally turned her life around. After a string of bad decisions, she was making amends, paying back debts, and working to bring her family back together. It was her own forgiveness that remained elusive.
So when Tess’s childhood crush re-enters her chaotic life, she’s certain it’s the worst time for romance. Even if he still has those mesmerizing dimples.
In Tess’s eyes, Josh Thorne has it all. As a youth pastor with a thriving ministry, he’s exactly what she needs. He’s stable, kind, confident, and not afraid of Tess’s troubled past—even if she still has an entire town that insists her sins will never be forgotten.
But when the demons of her past collide with the incredible promise of her future, Tess wonders if it’s possible to forget and if she has enough courage in her to forgive.

Buy links

Catch up with Kimberly here:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Comedy, Inspiration, and Romance with Author, V. Joy Palmer!

Welcome to one of our own today! I’m super pumped to be interviewing V. Joy Palmer this week and introduce you to her new release, Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. Joy is gliding in her favorite dream world with her second release! And it's all set in an antique store. Intrigued? Grab your cat eye glasses, adjust your pillbox hat, and don those vintage lace gloves. We're on a roadshow towards Joy's joy!

PT: Let’s start with the nuts and bolts. Tell the readers your genre.

VJP: I write inspirational romantic comedy. My heart is to make readers laugh and swoon while sharing God’s love. <3

PT: You have such a witty, funny way for writing. How did you come to the point of choosing your genre, or did it choose you and how did that happen?

VJP: Thank you so much! I fell in love with Erynn Mangum and Jenny B. Jones’ stories. When I started to search for other books like theirs, I was heartbroken to find so few within CBA. It was around that time that I heard the saying, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” I had tried my hand at some other genres, but once I realized that I wanted to write the kind of stories that I love to read, then my voice came out with a…well, a Tap, tap, tap! on the keyboard. LOL!

PT: Was the first book, Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations based on a real story or a total fabrication? What about your new one?

VJP: Well, I like to binge-watch wedding reality shows, and that’s certainly played into both stories. But Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations was really born when I was single and frustrated with the man who is now my husband (and who thankfully has a good sense of humor), and Izze (my main character) started chattering in my head one day. While it’s not autobiographical, our love story is the story behind the story. <3
Like my first book, Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations has pieces of my love story and personality, but I also poured a lot of heartache and emotion into the story. While I wrote, waves of trauma crashed into my friends, my family, and my heart. The situations were different from my characters’ journey, but the emotions and healing process were the same. I rediscovered my worth in God though Apryl and Chance’s story, and I hope this story of my heart can do the same for its readers. <3

PT: Now, the first book was set in a wedding dress store. This one is based in an antique store, Are the two novels a series? How did you come up with using an antique store?

VJP: Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations is the second book in my contemporary romantic comedy series from WhiteFire Publishing and the sequel to Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations. However, it functions as a standalone, so you do NOT need to read my first book to enjoy this one. However, there are some jokes and things that will make you grin if you have! :-D
There’s actually a building in my town that inspired me to use an antique store in Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. This building has two separate business: an antique store and a mechanic for antique cars. My hubby and I were walking into town for ice cream (cake batter) one day, and I started wondering how that setup happened. It sparked an idea that tapped into my love of all things vintage and wedding reality shows. ;-D

Here's the Blurb:
Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

Read the first two chapters of Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations here:

 PT: Tell 5 things fast about V. Joy Palmer that have nothing to do with writing:

I love scarves, and I’ll even wear light scarves in the summer. 
I consider myself fluent in Gilmore Girls
I’m obsessed with bookish merch like candles, mug rugs, and book sleeves. 
I live and breathe coffee, but chai lattes are my go-to drink in new places. 
I love to go for walks, especially in autumn and spring.

PT: Do you write on a laptop or PC?

VJP: I’ve always written on a laptop. I love being able to write anywhere, and I’ve discovered that I work best outside of the house. There’s too much to clean at home... Excuse me while I continue to avoid mopping the floor…

PT: What’s on the screen right now? A new book? Editing? Marketing? Or all of the above? Or other?

VJP: I’ve been pretty focused on marketing for Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations and the teetering TBR pile that comes with being a reviewer. I have started working on a new story, but it’s slow going at the moment – much to the dismay of my awesome readers! <3

PT: Favorite color, food, and chair to write in?

VJP: My favorite color is purple. I have a lot of favorite foods, but they usually consist of chocolate, cheese, and/or potato. Not all together.  ;-) My favorite writing chair is at my favorite coffee shop (where I do a big chunk of my writing). It’s like a padded bench seat. It’s all soft and squishy – which is perfect for when I’m in a writing haze for four hours – but the straight back keeps me from falling asleep! LOL!

Ah. And there you have it. I picked up a few treasured nuggets of knowledge on our vintage search to know Joy a bit better. Generous to a fault, she is offering an international giveaway of Weddings, Willows and Revised Expectations! If you're new here, just leave comment with an email and we will choose a person at random.

More about Joy~
V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Even MORE about Joy~

           Facebook -
           Twitter -
           Instagram -
           Pinterest -
           Website -
           Author blog / Joy's Blog -
           Snack Time Devotions Blog -
           Amazon Author Page -

(Wink) VJP: And I do author interviews on this lovely group blog ~

•           The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction -

If you can't wait to see if you win, you can purchase her book here and now:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Interview and Giveaway with Clarice G. James!!!

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. ;-)

We're going to pry into the private life chat with Clarice G. James! I got to meet Clarice in person a few months ago, and she is so kind! I'm looking forward to our chat! <3

Clarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction. Readers are likely to find a thread of romance, a sprinkling of humor, and/or an element of mystery throughout each story. Her novels include Party of One, Manhattan Grace, Doubleheader, and The Girl He Knew. When she’s not writing, Clarice is reading or encouraging fellow writers.

Clarice grew up on Cape Cod and raised her three children there. Eight years after she was widowed, she was blessed to remarry (Ralph) David James. She and David live in Southern New Hampshire. They both enjoy the writing process and host a critique group in their home. Counting their five married children, ten grandchildren, and extended family, they have relatives in eight states. Clarice says, “So, you know what our vacations are like.”

Connect with Clarice on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or via e-mail!

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... No pressure or anything. ;-)

Hot black coffee in the morning. No coherent conversation until after the second cup.
Tea and scones at my favorite tea shop while visiting with old friends.
Hot chocolate always tastes best after skating on a frozen pond. (Of course, I haven’t done that since I was sixteen.)   

I like your system! LOL! On to our second most important question: if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?

Veal Oscar, a classic French dish, made with tender veal cutlets, crab meat, blanched asparagus, all smothered in a rich bearnaise sauce. The last time I had this dish was when I worked at a Cape Cod restaurant over 30 years ago—but I still remember the mouthwatering flavors.

 I am drooling. Yeah, that's happening. That sounds AMAZING!!! Where is your favorite place to write, and why is that your favorite place?

My husband built an office for me in our dry and heated basement. That might not sound very glamourous, but the space is decorated in a feminine and colorful style that makes me smile. It’s also quiet, so quiet.
That sounds wonderful! And quiet is always good! LOL! Confession time! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-) 

Every Sunday, I edit the church bulletin and the song lyrics … during the service … when no one’s looking.

 Hehehehe! This is one of my favorites! <3 What inspired you to write Doubleheader?

The first novel I wrote was Party of One. The protagonist ANNIE was based loosely on me, and her daughter CASEY had some of the character traits of my daughter. When readers wanted to know more about ANNIE’S daughter,” I decided to give CASEY her own story, and Doubleheader was born. The first edition came out in 2015. The current and updated version includes the 2018 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship. (Don’t worry. The book isn’t really about sports.)

That's so much fun! What led you to write in this genre?

Every one of my books has a little of me in them, so it was natural for me to write contemporary women’s fiction, which is also mostly what I read.
That's awesome! I love it when I can see the author's heart in the story! What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

Let go and let God. His plan is way better than anything you can come up with.  

Yes and AMEN!!! <3 Can you tell us a little about your next project?

My fourth women’s contemporary, The Girl He Knew, will be released this September. Set in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Charlie Dawson’s grief over losing his wife to a drug overdose is compounded as he struggles to understand how the girl he knew, the one he married, could have let this happen.

Sounds like it's going to be a powerful story! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

Love this verse! <3 What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds - mine - want to know. :-)

Between the book club I belong to and the requests I receive to read and endorse books, I read a variety of titles and genres. In the few weeks, I read the women’s historical, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen by Linda Brooks Davis. Linda is such a gifted wordsmith.

Then I followed that up with the heart-wrenching memoir, When Sunday Smiled by Andy M Davidson. Trying to cope with the loss of his first-born son, Davidson hikes the Appalachian Trail to work out his grief.  

Pine Cone Mountain, a romance, by Sherri Gallagher came next. Sherri did a wonderful job creating authentic conflict and tension and realistic resolutions.

I have Devotedly by Valerie Elliot Shepherd and The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings waiting by my reading chair.  

I love your busy TBR!!! I can relate to that life! <3

Thank you so much for hanging out with us and answering all of my prying questions, Clarice!

Giveaway ~

Clarice has generously offered to giveaway one of her published novel's (Doubleheader, Party of One, Manhattan Grace) to a winner in the continental US!

Featured Novel ~ Doubleheader

Casey Gallagher credits her carefully crafted game plan for a solid marriage, a lucrative marketing career in Boston, and the popular sports column, Doubleheader, which she writes with her brother, Griffin McGee. When she discovers her late father, the one man she idolized, had an affair which produced a son he never knew about, Casey’s determined to identify this so-called brother before he sullies her father’s reputation.

For more information about Clarice's other novels, check out her website here!

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away one book to a winner in the continental US. The winner gets to choose between Doubleheader, Party of One, or Manhattan Grace.

This giveaway will close on April 17th, 2019, at 12:00 A.M. for all the night owls.

A winner will be drawn within four days of close of giveaway. If the winner does not respond to our e-mails within one week of notification, then a new winner will be drawn in their place.

May the odds be ever in your favor. ;-)

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


V. Joy Palmer 

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Connect with Joy on her website, personal blogdevotional blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Shawn Lamb Shares Her Novel, "The Great Battle"

Hello! Terry here. We are pleased this day to welcome Shawn Lamb, a Christian Fiction author who has much to share.

You have a rich background of animation and writing. How did you use these talents in your recent  'Allon' release?

Writing freelance scripts for children's television during the 1980s helped me grow as a writer in multiple ways. First, it gave me the opportunity to challenge my writing skills. The demand in Hollywood is for fast production. There is no such things as "writer's block" when hitting deadlines. If you missed a deadline or delayed in any way, doubtful you would get another assignment. Second, it taught me how to write for children. Prior to that, I was preparing historical fiction books for adults. There are really only slight differences, but enough to give understanding of how to captivate kids.  Third, it honed by voice and style by learning that I write "cinematically" - like watching a movie. Thus, I tell stories chronological and without plotting. It's all in my head, as often times I had to come up with ideas on the fly. All these things I learned writing scripts, made the transition to fiction very easy.

It takes so much time and energy to write a book. What can you share about the balance of being an author, a mom, wife, Christian writer, and so many other demands?

Honestly, I didn't land my first book contract until I was 50 years old. By then, our daughter was grown and out of college. (She's almost 31 years old ) However, Allon actually became a family endeavor when she was in high school. Yet, even with that blessing, the act of creativity needed to be harnessed so as not to interfere with family life. Scripture says, there is a time for everything. I always believed in God first, my husband, our daughter, and others, with my writing further down the list. Now, we are enjoying the fruit as a family.

We often use the term, ‘Christian’ fiction in many ways. You have found discipleship as a key for you. What can you share about discipleship that helps you every day or more?

For discipleship - or discipline - one needs to understanding their responsibility first God, and then in order of priorities after God. Paul talked about beating his body into submission, well creativity needs to be subjected to life's priorities rather than impulses. Just because I put on my "creative writing hat" doesn't mean all Biblical principles go out the window. Scripture doesn't differentiate between fiction (make-believe) and reality. I'm just as responsible for the words I write, as the words I speak. I don't compartmentalize my life. Scriptural principles rules everything.

So we have your new release. Please give us a fun ‘blurb’, as we reach for it. Where we can find your books, and where is your next book selling event?

"Fun blurb", lol. Well, here's a humorous exchange from "The Great Battle" between Kell, Captain of the immoral Guardians, and his aide, Avatar:

"Describe this beast you mentioned," said Kell.
"Which one? There were three different creatures inside some kind of holding room. A fuzzy worm the size of a large mortal family cat sprayed me with disgusting, stinging, and smelly green goop," said Avatar.
"A gullet worm. The goop is for preparing its prey for eating."
"Wonderful! It thought I was dinner."

The back jacket summary for "The Great Battle."

The vast splendor of the Almighty's compound graced the Region of Sanctuary. With wisdom, compassion, and justice, Jor'el utilized his immortal Guardians as administrators of the kingdom.  For centuries, the mortals lived in peace and prosperity under divine guidance. They went about content with life - or so they thought.  Guardians interacted with mortals on a daily basis. They offered protection and order. They were content in their role - or so they thought. When one Guardian upsets the balance, the consequences are devastating. For the first time ever, Guardians will face each other in war! Can the kingdom survive a battle of immortals?

All my book are available online including Amazon, and from the Allon Books bookstore via the Allon Books website - . My next personal event will be May 3-4 in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Convention.

Thank you for your interview. Am very appreciative. Make sure to look up her books and thanks for reading.

Shawn is giving away a free copy of The Great Battle! Leave your name and email below in the comments to be entered.