Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Interview with Suspense Author Tom Threadgill

I'm delighted to introduce you to my friend, Tom. And I'm humbled to have Revell author Tom Threadgill in my life as a friend, critique partner, and editor. I had the great privilege of knowing Tom before he became author-famous. We clicked as colleagues in the area of wordsmithing and motorcycles. And now, I'm thrilled you get to know him, too.

From Tom's website: 

"Tom Threadgill was born and raised in Memphis back when the muddy Mississippi was less riverish and more streamish. His childhood was unremarkable. (Unless you count the concussion. Oh, and the time he nearly got arrested. And the time his dad made him smoke a cigar so he wouldn’t try cigarettes.)

After giving up on a calling as a professional Pong player, Tom married his high school sweetheart and moved off to Nashville. He attended Belmont University where he majored in English (because the sky’s the limit for English majors, right?), learned to type on an IBM Selectric, and helped his wife study nursing terms with flashcards.

While there, Tom began an almost thirty-year career working for a package delivery company, spending most of the time working his way up the ranks and looking for his stapler. The job took him to Indiana, Missouri, Florida, and Texas, before he opted to retire early and move to rural West Tennessee. Think Green Acres minus the farm but with the helpful county agent.

These days Tom spends his time piddling in the yard and writing novels. His hobbies include working jigsaw puzzles, trying out Dad jokes on his grown kids, woodworking, and using leftover potted meat cans from Y2K for target practice.

Tom enjoys riding his Harley in the mountains with his wife, who shuts off the microphone after the third 'I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.' He’s also a rabid hockey fan, following his beloved Predators as they chase their first Stanley Cup."


Self-deprecating Tom is now the published author of four books and I'm sure a gazillion on the way. I'm so tickled he has found success as a Revell author. His other three books were published by another fine publishing company, Lamplighter Suspense.  Tom and I share a literary agent friend and critique partner, Linda Glaz, also a Lamplighter Suspense author and ACFW 2019 Agent of the Year.



Even though I know Tom a little, I still had some questions for him.

Karla: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And did you sell it?

Tom:  My first "official" novel took me around two years to write. I wasn't too confident in what I was doing, and spent a lot of time learning the process. I also attended several conferences and tried to figure out what worked for me and what didn't. I actually signed with an agent (whom I love and still represents me) before I finished that first book. Yes, that story sold. It actually ended up being the second book in the Jeremy Winter series, "Dead of Winter."


Karla: I remember those years and even though we knew each other online, we finally met at an ACFW Conference. Why do you like to write gritty suspense?

Tom: It's what I like to read (and sometimes watch). The realism appeals to me, but I had to learn to do it in a way that didn't clash with my Christian values. That means no profanity and no graphic sexual situations. There is a tad bit of gore in some of my books, but I try to keep that to a minimum. I'm not a blood-and-guts kind of guy. The reader's imagination is far better than what I can write, so I try to point them in a direction and let them fill in the blanks.

Karla: Yes, well, you're very good at that! How many more books do you have in you?

Tom: Great question. If I'm knee-deep in the gazillionth round of edits, I'd say I'm done. No more books. But a week later, I'm itching to get back to my keyboard. I've got one trilogy done (the Jeremy Winter series) and just finished the second book in the Amara Alvarez series. I've had a lot of requests to continue with Winter, but my next novel will probably be another Alvarez book.

Karla:  What is your process? Are you a panster or a planner?

Tom:  I'd estimate I'm about 95% pantser. I try to do a little plotting, but it rarely works out for me.

Karla:  What's your favorite part of being a writer? What's your least favorite part?

Tom: I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from a book reaching the publication stage. There is so much work that goes into writing a novel, from the multiple drafts to the edits to waiting to hear that "yes" from a publisher. My least favorite part would be the days when the words just don't come. Writing becomes a chore and more often than not, whatever I wrote that day gets deleted the next time I sit down to write.

Karla: Thank you, Tom, for taking the time to visit with me! I'm eager to dig into Collision of Lies, and I'm so excited it's on audio, too! 

If you love gritty suspense, you can find Tom's books everywhere books are sold. Come back to the comments and let us know what you think!



Until next time, I hope you're all staying safe and healthy! God is in control! Praise His Name!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Our Own Kathleen L. Maher Shares her New Release!

We are so excited to have one of our own putting out a
new release, Kathleen L. Maher! And she's giving away a free e-book of her new book. All you have to do is share this post on social media! Leave a comment below with an email address so we can reach the winner!

PT: So tell us how you came to be a Historical writer.
KLM: I grew up in a town saturated with history, from the Revolutionary War (Battle of Newtown) to the Civil War (Elmira Military Rendezvous and Civil War POW camp). I heard local stories of Underground Railroad-era hidden tunnels through people’s cellars, and it all became so vivid in my imagination. I was hooked! Soon I began to dream up stories of  young ladies and young gentlemen, which forced me to dig deeper to get the nuance of dress, mannerisms, transportation, and all the historical minutiae accurate, to tell their stories well.

PT: Let your readers have a peek where your favorite location to write, get creative ideas.
KLM: I write wherever I can find a few minutes of peace and quiet. We have a busy house. Four dogs, four cats, three kids, and a husband who is a darling but sometimes competes for my attention.  So favorite location to write is away from distraction. Is there such a place in this connected world?
Where do I get my ideas? Often I literally dream them at night. Sometimes I see a photo on Pinterest that captures my imagination. Or if I’m at an estate sale or shop and see an intriguing antique.

PT: Pet Lover or no? Tell us if you do.
KLM: That would be a huge yes. Maybe a little on the extreme, but NOT building an ARK yet. Check back with me in a few.
We are owned by Newfoundlands. They are a giant, fluffy water rescuing dogs. Think of black St. Bernards without the snow or the rum. And then in the feline department, we have two tuxedo cats, and two all-black cats.

PT: What are you working on now? Edits? New story? New idea?
KLM: I want to finish book three in the Sons of the Shenandoah series, but I have this other book intruding on my focus. It’s a medieval in the way that the Princess Bride is, with castles and knights and princesses, but with a twist. Each main character has a quirk that back then would have been very misunderstood. Today we call some of these quirks developmental disability, or Traumatic brain injury, or narcolepsy, or… you get the idea. It’s a fun story about accepting others’ differences and a romance and an epic adventure and allegory all in one. And it might just be bigger than I am able to tame, but I’m hooked. No turning back now.

PT: Give us the best comment you’ve ever had from a reader:
KLM: I’m paraphrasing, but I had one reviewer say they hated my hero and my heroine and wanted to knock their heads together, but they couldn’t put it down because “the writing, the writing the writing.”
 I’ll take that as a compliment. ๐Ÿ˜‰

PT:Share with us your favorite Bible verse right now.
KLM: I’ve been thinking a lot about the one in Micah lately. My new novella Bachelor Buttons has me thinking about human nature and what makes one person feel entitled to loot and riot under unjust circumstances, while another person in those same difficulties and uncertainties decides to be a force for good and not evil. I think this scripture sums it up.

Micah 6:8-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love 
mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

If we want to please the Lord, we don’t seek our own, but to please Him and to serve others.

PT: As I sit at my window and watch the last of winter battling the arrival of spring,  tell us which is your favorite season and tell why: Spring, summer, fall, or Winter?
KLM: Oh, this is the hardest question! I love many things about all four. I live in upstate New York where we have four very distinct seasons, and I look forward to spring flowers, winter snowstorms all cozied up inside with hot coffee and a good book, or swimming and hiking in the summer, and of course the cooler temps and glorious colors of fall. God shows off and gives us joy in each season of life. I think He knew the way humans would always need something to look forward to.

PT: My favorite parts! Tell 5 things about Kathleen L. Maher that have nothing to do with writing.
KLM: I was a single mom for seven years before I met Mr. Maher, the real hero in my story.
I was raised by a single mom who will forever be my heroine.
I love to draw and paint, and I have my own art page on Facebook.
I love to sing. Before asthma and allergies took their toll, I was pretty good. Now I just sing worship too loudly in our small church.  Poor Pastor.  LOL
Gardening and preserving my own food has become a growing interest to me. Each year I try something new—peach preserves last year, and this year, my own elderberry syrup, Lord willing.

And here is what you've been waiting for! The cover of Kathleen's new book.


Share on Social Media and post a comment below where you shared it!


The daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, Rose Meehan longs for a better life than the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men--a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instructor who has captured her heart--she must choose between the two. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln's unpopular draft, Rose’s decision could mean the difference between life and death.
Kathleen L. Maher’s Author bio:
"Where every underdog has his day."
Kathleen L. Maher’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. She has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS' collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist's Daughter and The Chaplain's Daughter.
Kathleen and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie
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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Would You Rather (and More) with Tanya Eavenson + a Giveaway

Hello, reader friends. Welcome back! This week I'm excited to introduce you to author Tanya Eavenson! And she's generously offering one of our readers an Amazon gift card (you'll have to keep reading to find out those details, though).




Tanya Eavenson is an award-winning Christian romance novelist. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/


Connect with Tanya
Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Bookbub





Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Tanya. I’m so excited to introduce you and your books to our visitors!

Let’s begin with a short round of Would You Rather. I promise that none of these are disgusting questions.

Aww, thanks for having me, Suzie! And I love the game Would You Rather! We play it all the time as a family and yes, some of the questions can get disgusting. The things my kids can think of eating is beyond me! 

SW: Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button on your life?

TE: Pause button. The reason, my life is very blessed where I am. I won’t change it for anything.

SW: Would you rather be stuck on a broken ski lift or in a broken elevator?

TE: Oh, my! Can I just say, I’m TERRIFIED of heights, but I’m also claustrophobic. I would be a mess in either situation. However, if I was to pick, I guess it would have to be the broken-down ski lift so I’d be able to breathe. Breathing is a good thing. LOL!

SW: Would you rather lose your keys or your cell phone? 


TE: Keys, hands down.




SW: Tell us a little about yourself. What does a typical day (if there is such a thing for an author) look like for you?

TE: Since most of Americas are sheltering in place from COVID-19, my typical day isn’t very normal. It’s hard to explain. My day job has allowed me to work from home, which is a blessing, but it’s a little hard to work with a house full of people. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m sure several of your readers can relate! Then there’s writing, and for some reason with everything that’s going on, I’m not able to concentrate to put down on single word. I’ve decided instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything, I will give it to the Lord day by day. Honestly, now I have more peace as I sit at home with my family. God’s got this virus, He has my family, and my writing, He has everything is in the palm of His hand. 


SW: Yes, I know many of us can relate. It's hard to concentrate on routine right now. 

If you weren’t writing, what would your career involve?

TE: If I wasn’t writing, I’d have to say something with social media or with finances in some way. But honestly, I can’t see myself not writing. It’s a part of me. 


SW: What three books are at the top of your TBR?

TE:

1) Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano
2) Above the Fold by Rachel McDaniel
3) Loving the Mysterious Texan Series by Mary Connealy 


SW: I've read the first two and your are in for some laughs with Jen's book and some great banter in Rachel's. 

You’ve got a busy 2020 with a few book releases. How do you balance writing different stories in different settings and time periods?

TE: It’s a busy year for sure! For me it’s not hard to write different stories. Each story plot and character is different from one another, they’re easy to separate. The hardest part is not being able to write fast enough because a lot of my time is doing research. Yes, even for contemporary stories, there’s a lot of background work that takes place before writing that first word. 

Book One of the All Roads Lead to Texas series



SW: To Gain Forever in the Love is in the Air Romance Collection is your upcoming release (readers: this is only $0.99 until the May 10 release day so grab your preorder before the price goes up. More details and order links are below). Can you share a little about the collaboration process for a multi-author collection like this?

TE: It’s fun working with authors to make a project come alive. Having a vision and a goal is so important because there are many deadlines. My partner in crime, Candee Fick, and I, have taken different admin roles for this set, and we’ve had a great time getting to know one another. I love how God brings people together! I’ve certainly enjoyed getting to know these ladies and look forward to more projects in the future.


SW: I think we can all agree that we’re here because we love words and stories. There’s a lot that goes into those and life/the world is so different right now than any of us ever imagined. How can we pray for you during this season and even throughout the rest of the year?

TE: I certainly appreciate the prayers! Please pray that God will heal those with COVID-19 and protect the ones who do not. For my writing, that the words will flow. And in all things, God will be glorified. 


SW: Thank you so much for you time today, Tanya. It's been a pleasure chatting with you and getting better acquainted. We're praying for God's blessings for you this year.

About Love Is In The Air


All you have to do is look up.


This collection of five brand new romances is sure to send your heart soaring. Journey from Canada to Georgia and Colorado to Paris by way of Michigan as these couples find love is in the air. All they had to do was look up.

First Class Wrong Flight by Laura V. Hilton
Candi Walker is excited to attend her former college roommate’s wedding. At least it’s a direct flight across the country and the potential of messing up is next to impossible…until she crashes into a handsome pilot. Now it’s a dream-come-true or her worst nightmare.

Alex Kuklewski has one last flight before he attends his stepsister’s wedding. Desperate to escape his tagalong ex-girlfriend’s clutches, Alex prays that his future wife would drop into his path. And she does. Too bad he and Candi aren’t headed to the same destination.
Emotional baggage on both sides exceeds the weight limit, and the flight to happily-ever-after seems grounded. What will it take for them to launch true love into the air?

A Castle in the Clouds by Candee Fick

Aspiring romance novelist Miranda Scott has her head in the clouds and her nose buried in a book. Raised by a single mother, extravagant trips to castles overseas are only a fairy-tale…until a co-worker’s accident has her boarding a plane to teach creative writing on an all-expenses-paid school-sponsored trip. Family responsibilities kept Joshua Clark close to home, but it’s finally time for the history teacher to spread his wings. Hopefully his time chaperoning an overseas trip and seeing history in person will reveal what the next chapter holds.

However, falling in love surrounded by teenagers was never the plan.

Flying Into Love by Kathleen Rouser

Unable to say no when others need her, Talia Sampson took on her deceased aunt’s advice column and the care of her special needs niece. Then new veteran, Ben Tanner, shows up unexpected on her doorstep. Hurt many times, he wonders where home is. Talia isn’t happy finding a hot-air balloon with him, but she treasures the old journal with it. Ben hopes restoring her family’s antique will please her, until he discovers a secret that shatters his trust. And Talia hates flying. Will she trust God—and Ben—enough to go airborne?

To Gain Forever by Tanya Eavenson

Karianne Bennett, small-town wedding coordinator, has always believed in happily-ever-afters. That is, for everyone but herself. Her fiancรฉ’s alcohol-related death put an end to her own dreams and turned her career into a weekly reminder of all she’s lost. Hope comes when she adopts a retired service dog and a newcomer catches her eye.

Trey Scott has been fascinated with fireworks since he was a boy. If he can land the account for a hot-air balloon festival in an out-of-state town, he’ll be that much closer to achieving his lifelong goal. But his dreams never included a beautiful dog walker who also happens to be the stranger he’s been praying over for years.

Written in the Clouds by Kathleen Friesen

A mysterious cloud formation, a nerve-wracking introduction for JR and Serena, an unexpected reunion for Jim and Blythe, a few traumatic memories, a pilot for the company plane, and another afraid of flying. Mix them together…and what in the world is God up to? Is it love at first flight?

Can love—for two generations—be written in the clouds?




Giveaway


Tanya is giving one of our readers a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card.
To enter, leave a comment and tell us one thing you are thankful for. Be sure and leave a way for us to contact you in case you are chosen as the winner.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Surprising Facts about Delia Latham And Her New Release

It’s so nice to have Delia Latham on the Diamond Mine today! Wait till you read what she’s been working on. Take it away, Delia.



Give me one fact about you as an author that most people don’t know.


Once upon a time, in a far and distant land…well, at least in another time and place…I was the lead singer in a Country Western band. Even then, I wrote—songs, of course, both gospel and country. (I was also working as a Staff Writer for the largest daily paper in Kern County, California, and freelancing numerous articles to a regional magazine, so I was writing a lot.) Had a grand time with the band, but it was just a curve in the road of life that brought me to where I am now.



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?


I’ve been blessed all my life to have people who love and watch out for me—friends and family who are always there to help with whatever I need and wish only the best for me. It’s easy to forget that not everyone has that—some people are forced to scratch and claw, with no help from anyone, just to have the basic necessities. This book awakened me to a couple of things that are all too easy to overlook. 1) Be grateful for what you have, be it ever so humble. As the Apostle Paul said, “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” 2) Keep an eye out for fellow “travelers” in this world who could use encouragement, a hand up, or even a kind word and a smile. You never know when your kindness will literally change someone’s world.


What is the quality you like the most about your heroine?


Norah is smart, determined, and tough. Nothing in life is handed to her on a silver platter. She knows the world doesn’t “owe” her a living, and she’s willing to work to better herself, and do whatever it takes to make a home for her son. I’m not sure I’d be so strong and self-sufficient in the same situation, but I admire women who are. Norah’s character was created to be a little like a sweet, godly woman who is very dear to me, someone I love, admire and respect. In many ways, she’s who I want to be when I grow up. ๐Ÿ˜Š


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



Sweet Scent of Forgiveness, available now for pre-order, will release April 14. I’m working on Book 2, Radiant Rays of Grace, which will be followed by Glorious Gift of Hope. Potter’s House Books all have themes of hope, redemption and second chances. I love the concept, and I’m always grateful for projects that provide an opportunity to touch the hearts of hurting, desperate, searching people—those who, even if they don’t know it, are looking to fill a God-sized hole in their lives. I pray these books will fulfill that goal, touching hearts and stirring souls to look up…to Christ.

Delia will give away an electronic copy of Sweet Scent of Forgiveness as a special, "early" gift to the winner who comments below and leaves their email address. She also has a novella in a Christian fiction anthology that releases the same day! Speakeasy: Collection 1 is three novellas by three different authors. She'll give an electronic copy of her Speakeasy story, Something Almost Heavenly if there are five comments or more.   



Book Blurb:


Norah has a delightful seven-year-old son, owns a thriving nursery business in the Sierra Blanca Mountains of New Mexico, and adores both. She’s past the horrors of earlier years and life is good.
Then Marcus Corman walks into her nursery looking for a couple of special rose bushes. For the first time since she met her late husband, Norah finds herself drawn to a man. Even so, she’s not ready to trust love again.
Neither is Marcus. His ex-wife abandoned him and their infant daughter years ago. Why bring another possible source of pain into little Juliet’s life?
Still, Norah and Marcus find themselves thrust together when their children meet and become fast friends. But as their attraction becomes undeniable, a dark shadow from Norah's past finds her and her son. Will Marcus turn away as all is revealed?
Within the petals of a rose lies a profound message. Will they find it in time to save Norah's life and open the door to love?


Buy link:


https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Scent-Forgiveness-Potters-House-ebook/dp/B085X6FP5L/

Social Media Links:






Author Bio:

Delia and her husband Johnny live in East Texas, where their pampered Pomeranian, Kona, kindly allows them to share her home. The author enjoys multiple life roles as wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but above all, she loves being a princess daughter to the King of kings. She admits to a lifelong, mostly un-battled Dr. Pepper addiction, and loves hearing from her readers.