Wednesday, July 21, 2021

New Release *Character Interview* and GIVEAWAY

 Hello fellow spelunkers. Welcome to my writing cave here on the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. I'm Kathleen L. Maher and this week is my rotation to post an interview. Since I have a new release, I thought it might be fun to interview my heroine from No Man's Daughter, which is book 3 in the series Sons of the Shenandoah. The stories are set during and after the Civil War in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, and follow four sons and their father, a gritty half-Cherokee horse trader and thoroughbred breeder, through the unique trials of our country's most tumultuous time.


Let me introduce the young lady who has captured the attention of the youngest son of Sam Sharpe, Benjamin. Willa is by far the most complicated and mysterious heroine who has graced my pages. And boy does she have a story to tell. So without further ado, Welcome Willa.

"Thank you, kindly. I appreciate the gathering. Though I'm not so sure I deserve all this attention."


Willa, can you describe what went through your mind when you first met Ben Sharpe? Was it love at first sight?

*Willa huffs in laughter* "Oh, heavens, no. Love? That was the last thing on my mind. I'd say I was more akin to frightened. He come over the boundary line riding his big horse. Next thing I knew he was sneakin' around on foot, under the cover of the trees. Gettin' closer and closer to the house. Whole thing looked mighty suspicious."


You didn't recognize him as your neighbor?

"No, Ma'am. I didn't know him from Adam. I knew there were menfolk over there, but I generally just kept myself out of sight."

Until that morning, I guess?

"Uh-huh. He come up looking for his mare, I suppose. That little black horse kept jumping the fence and coming over to me. Was I expected not to love on it and give it treats? Well, maybe that little mare was a matchmaker, sent by God. Because it brought Benjamin Sharpe to my doorstep."

But then you shot him, didn't you?

*Willa covers her face for a second, and when she withdraws her hand, her cheeks match the strawberry blonde tinge of her hair.* "I did. And Lord forgive me for it. But how was I to know he wasn't here to do me harm? I've seen enough of marauding menfolk with evil in their hearts..." Her eyes take on a glistening of unshed tears, and her lower lip trembles. "Ben proved different. And God showed His love through that man's patience. I'll always be grateful for that naughty little mare for bringing us together."

Animals can be agents of God's providence, I agree. I have a few who have brought me great blessing, too. So how did Benjamin Sharpe go from being shot to proposing to you?

"Oh, well..." Willa wipes the single tear that manages to escape down her cheek. She chuckles. "It was Doc Sterling's suggestion. I wouldn't quite say he put Ben up to it, but his advice didn't hurt. You see, Ben wanted my land something fierce."

Explain to the folks how you came to have this property.

"Old Mr. Thompson lived on the cattle farm next door to the Sharpes even before Sam Sharpe came to the valley, as I understand it. Thompson's only son Walt was killed at Fredericksburg, and Mrs. Thompson died of a broken heart not long after. Mr. Thompson was old and ailing and Doc Sterling thought I could take care of him and have a place to stay for the time being. When Mr. Thompson died, he left me the property like the daughter he never had."

That's a lot for one woman alone to manage, though, isn't it?

"That's what they all told me, but I was doing fine until those no-good Darby brothers tried to drive me off the land, and I broke my arm. I guess I realized I would need help at that point, but I never thought it would come in the form of a marriage of convenience." She shakes her head, but a slow smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. 

I guess alls well that ends well. But how did you and Ben learn to trust and even find love for one another?

Willa places her hands on her hips. "I can't share all of my secrets, now, but I'll say this much. A handsome smile goes a long way to a girl's heart, especially when kind deeds come with it."

Well, I hope these nice readers will pick up a copy of No Man's Daughter and learn more about you and Ben. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy farm life to chat with us, Willa. One last question. Is it true that you and Ben might have a little Sharpe on the way?

Willa smiles full and her eyes soften under a warm expression of love. Her hands involuntarily go to the front of her work dress, where the waistline has been lifted to more of an empire style. "We should be expecting his arrival in a couple of months."

His?

"Well, that's how I imagine it'll be. A little auburn haired boy, like his daddy."

Well, congratulation to you and Ben, and we will visit again soon, I'm sure. Sam Sharpe's story hasn't been told, yet, and I think it would be amazing if he finds love even in his grandfathering years. Perhaps there's something in the works there.

***And speaking of congratulations, I will be giving away a kindle copy of No Man's Daughter to one random commenter here. Leave a comment with your email addy (email at domain dot com) so I can contact the winner next Tuesday. Extra points if you share this post.***

GIVEAWAY


No Man's Daughter

A man with something to prove and a lady with something to hide clash over hotly contested property and a marriage proving anything but convenient.When the Sharpe’s elderly neighbor passes after the war leaving a vacant farm with no heir, Benjamin Sharpe inquires to purchase the land. What he doesn’t expect to find is a beautiful and stubborn squatter has taken residence. Will her claim on the property prove harder to drive out than her claim on his heart?Willa looked after Old Mr. Thompson through the war until his death. The late owner promised her a permanent home there, like the daughter he never had, but with some strings attached. When young and ambitious Benjamin Sharpe shows up with intent to evict her, Willa gives him a piece of her mind with a piece of lead aimed at his boots.The youngest of the Sharpe brothers, Benjamin has been bossed around his entire life by his brothers, and he isn’t about to take it from any girl. All three of his brothers have veterans’ boasting rights in the War, and he must prove his mettle, too. But will his ambitions go so far as to force a waif from her home? As the girl’s resourceful defense of the property frustrates his plans, admiration plucks at his heartstrings. Ben must find a compromise while saving face with his family. But the chit has no intention of playing nice or seeking truce. In Bridgewater, Virginia, the war is still on!

"Stories 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. Author of Genesis Award-winning The Abolitionist's Daughter, as well as The Chaplain's Daughter, No Man’s Daughter, and Amazon top-selling novella Bachelor Buttons, Kathleen lives in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with her husband of twenty-three years, their children, and a small menagerie.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Talking Book Covers with Sherrinda Ketchersid


 

I'd like to welcome my friend, Sherrinda Ketchersid. She writes inspirational historicals. 

Sherrinda, where'd you get the models for your cover?

Since I have been writing historical romance, I’ve gotten my model images at Period Images. They have a wide range of eras and categories to choose from: Biblical, medieval, fantasy, cowboy, Regency, etc. They are very affordable and you can get the photo with a transparent background to use over a landscape for a cover design.

Do you have an artist that helps you design your book covers? Was it fun or more stressful?

My first book, Lord of Her Heart, was published with a small press, so I didn’t have much say on the cover, but I loved how it turned out. When I decided to self-publish my second book, His to Keep, I knew I wanted the covers to be similar, since I wanted to make a series of medieval romances. So I found the designer of Lord of Her Heart and hired her to do the cover for His to Keep. Her name is Elaina Lee and you can find her at For The Muse Design. She just finished the cover for my third book, Hers to Love, which will release sometime in September. She is very affordable and super easy to work with.

I did design the cover for my novelette, A Lady’s Dilemma, which is the prequel to my series. I did this cover in the program, Book Brush. It’s not as good as Elaina Lee’s designs, but I am happy with it. I give away this story for free to newsletter subscribers.


Everything about your historicals seems so authentic. How much research have you done to achieve this? 

I’ve read a lot of medieval romances, particularly anything by Lynn Kurland, so I was well-versed in the “flavor” of the period. But with every book, I’ve had to research things like hand-fasting, sheep herding, foods eaten back then, and even flowers typical for the area and time period. I had to learn what was typical for the 1200’s in England and Scotland. You can’t have your characters writing on paper when paper wasn’t used for another 100 years. Historical readers are very knowledgeable and would call me out on those types of errors, so I try to make the historical aspects as true to history as I can.

The characters speak differently than we do. Did you read writings from this time period? 

In order to give a medieval “flavor” to my books, I have them speak with ’tis, ’tisn’t, ’twasn’t, etc. It is just to give a hint of the dialect, because readers wouldn’t be able to wade through a book if it was written as they really talked back them. Old English is completely different than our way of talking. The book releasing in September, Hers to Love, is set in Scotland, so I have included more Scottish sounding words like dinna, wouldna, bairn (instead of babe), etc. I will include a glossary in this book because of all the unusual words. Hopefully, that will help.

How did you get interested in writing historical romance?

My dad read fairytales to us girls when we were little. I think that is where my love for historicals originated. I love most historical books, but medieval and regency books are my favorite.

What's next? Have you written another book, and do you have an idea when it'll be available?

The third in my medieval series, Hers to Love, will release sometime in September. I’m still in the editing phase, so I’m not sure of the release date and don’t have a pre-order up. If anyone is interested in getting notified of its release, they can sign up for my newsletter (and get the prequel, A Lady’s Dilemma, for free) or they can follow me on Amazon or Bookbub to get notified when the book releases.

I am about to start writing a contemporary romance with a hint of Christmas magic that I would love to release in time for Christmas, but since this is new territory for me, I can’t promise I’ll have it ready by then. I’m a slow writer, but the goal is to have it ready before the end of the year.

Thank you for having me today! I loved sharing about my books and their covers.

Thanks so much for taking time to chat with us, Sherrinda!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

NORMA VERA, AUTHOR, ARTIST AND FRIEND

 Good morning everyone, I’m thrilled to introduce y’all to my long-time friend and author, Norma Vera.


Norma and I began our writing careers with North Texas Christian Writers where we were both ‘bout as green as blackberries in May. LOL!

Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Norma. I’m so glad to have you with us today.

Thank you, so great to be here and for this wonderful opportunity to let other writers and readers know who I am!

Let’s jump right into some of the questions our readers want to know. Norma, when did you begin writing and what was your first book? How long did it take you to write it?

A children’s book called, Fibbie. About a little worm who lied…all the time…until he learned a hard lesson about lying. I can’t remember how long it took to write and I have no idea what happened to the manuscript. But my first published book was “Grandma, Teach Me Wisdom.”

Was there a certain point you knew God was calling you to write? When? And what was your first book of obedience to Him?

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been writing. Even as a child I knew there was a writer inside me—just can’t pinpoint the moment God called me to write…just remember asking Him to let me write and be published. My first published book was “Grandma, Teach Me Wisdom.”

Tell us a little about your family, where you grew up, and tell us a little bit about what you know the Lord is calling you to write in the future.

I grew up in a small town south of Lubbock, Texas. I am the mother of four grown children—one daughter and three sons. I have six grandchildren, and many precious great grandchildren.

And I continue to feel God is calling me to write bilingual children’s and wisdom books.

Now you’ve gone to braggin’—LOL. Six grandchildren? You are surely blessed. For those of you who don’t know, Norma is also an artist and illustrator. When did you discover God had gifted you with that talent? And what is your favorite book you’ve illustrated?

I’ve only illustrated one book—my newest bilingual release—I Was Adopted…Soy Adoptada. I am teaching myself to illustrate…I’m more of a Bob Ross type artist…not really a cartoon artist. I realized my God given talent in the 2nd grade when I painted a horse from a magazine picture. My teachers couldn’t believe I’d done it. Then in 4th or 5th grade I copied an Easter bunny out of a book and my teacher made copies for the whole class to color for Easter.

And for our readers, this book has just been released by Amazon.


Can you share with our readers some of the doors God has opened for you after releasing your book The Midnight Cry? And why did you write this one?



One, to stop what I was doing and write a different book. I was reluctant, but obeyed. After it was finished, He asked me to translate it into Spanish— Un Grito En La Medianoche.



To my shock and surprise, this published book made its way all over Texas, then across the United States from California to New York in a matter of weeks. People bought them by the dozens, and someone bought a hundred to send to prisons, strangers, and loved ones everywhere.

An international radio ministry out of Dallas has asked to take this book to the international market. Even this week, a man took a bunch of them to Houston, and another friend took a bunch more to Mexico.  No other book I’ve written has been distributed as fast as these books. It is remarkable. Almost unbelievable. But we serve a remarkable God. I’ve been told this book made some cry. Others that this book covers every area of salvation. It’s humbling to see what God does…when we obey Him.

We always have new aspiring writers viewing these interviews, Norma. You and I are probably older than many of our readers. What is the one piece of wise counsel you want to share with these new writers…something you’ve had to learn the hard way?

DON’T EVER GIVE UP! If no doors open for you, just keep on writing anyway. God will open the doors in due season. Most of the books I am publishing today are thirty or forty years old, and have been written, rewritten, and rewritten again. And I still have many unpublished manuscripts—Jesus will probably return before they are all published. Maybe this is just training and I’m going to write for all eternity! Wow…wouldn’t that be amazing?

 Oh, my goodness, Norma! I thought I was the only one with manuscripts written in years gone by. If you look at the dates on my illustrations in The Master’s Plan Series, you’ll find I did the illustrations and original manuscript in the 1980’s. God has certainly been patient with us old gals, hasn’t He?

I know you were very ill and hospitalized with Covid last year. Are there any words of encouragement you can give our readers about what God taught you during this time of uncertainty? And any other words of wisdom you’d like to share with readers and writers today?

This Covid experience was hard, but at the same time, a wonderful experience. I was hospitalized most of January 2021 and the Lord was with me every moment. We fellowshipped twenty-four-seven. Jesus has a wonderful sense of humor and He made me laugh so hard. For months after I left the hospital I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve never in my entire life felt so happy. It never crossed my mind I could have died. Later I was shocked to find my children were preparing for my funeral. That part broke my heart.

What did I learn? Life is short—live it to the fullest. Laugh all you can and stay focused on what matters most in life—like God and family. Don’t sweat the small stuff—wasted time. God loves and cares for you. That’s all that matters!

Thank you so much for being with us today and sharing your story, my dear friend.

Thank you and the readers and writers of The Diamond Mine. I’ve enjoyed talking with each one of you today. I would love to give a copy of The Midnight Cry to one of the readers.

What a great treat, Norma. Okay y’all, for an opportunity to register to win a copy of Norma’s book, answer this question…WHAT IS THE ONE THING I’VE NEGLECTED TO DO THAT GOD HAS TOLD ME TO DO? Don’t make this harder than necessary. Could be you rolled out of bed this morning and God told you to clean house…and you’ve put it off. Or perhaps He reminded you to call a friend…what are you waiting for? Fess up, share with us, then do what God told you to do! And Norma and I both know God will bless your obedience too!

I’ve listed the Amazon addresses where you can find Norma’s books, including her soon-to-be released, I Was Adopted. And it’s bilingual print… Soy Adoptada.

 Norma’s Books:

 GRANDMA TEACH ME WISDOM

www.amazon.com/Grandma+Teach+Me+Wisdom+Norma+Vera

 I WAS ADOPTED

www.amazon.com/I+Was+Adopted+by+Norma+Vera

 THE MIDNIGHT CRY

www.amazon.com/Midnight-Cry-Norma-Vera-ebook/dp/B087NCCWZ8


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Meet Jennifer L. Wright

Hi all! It is my great honor and pleasure to introduce to you today, debut author, Jennifer Wright.


Jennifer Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a Master’s degree in Journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news for her to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. A born and bred Hoosier, she was plucked from the Heartland after being swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, and every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home. She tries to squeeze in time to write in between rolling with the punches of her husband’s unpredictable schedule and corralling her two children (and one grumpy old dachshund).


She currently resides in New Mexico and has discovered a passion for all things green chile.

She is a member of ACFW and can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and sometimes (but very rarely) on Twitter. You can also visit her website: www.jennwrightwrites.com

Her debut novel, If It Rains, will be released on July 6, 2021. Pre-orders can be purchased on Amazon, through Tyndale House Publishers, and any other place where Christian fiction is sold.


CC: What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

JW: My biggest challenge has been patience! I have been writing steadily for over ten years, and yet ‘If It Rains’ will be my first published novel. Publishing requires a lot of grit and persistence, more than little luck, and mounds upon mounds of patience. It takes long time to complete a book, from first draft to polished manuscript, and even longer to get it into the hands of readers. Learning to be still and wait has been a huge but valuable challenge for me.

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

JW: I keep several Bible verses taped to my desk, but the one I read daily is: “My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is a mighty rock, my refuge.”—Psalm 62:7 Especially as I move into the time of publication, I know I will be confronted with criticisms and not-so-nice reviews; it comes with the business. This verse is a reminder that, no matter what happens with my book, my salvation and my honor depend on God alone. He determines my identity and nothing else.

CC: What is your writing Kryptonite?

JW: Reading a really, really, really good book! As crazy as that sounds, if I find one of those rare reads that leave me breathless and stay with me long after I’ve finished, I have a terrible tendency to hate everything I write because I feel as if I’ll never write anything as good as that book. It usually takes a little while before I regain my confidence enough to start writing again.




Let's talk about your book If It Rains.


CC: Who was the most challenging character to create? What made them so difficult?

JW: Helen was an extremely difficult character to write. There’s a fine line when you’re creating a villain; she had to be unlikeable but also believable. Though her actions may be unforgiveable, I hope I did justice to why she did the things she did. People are not black and white. We are all shades of gray, and I hope readers find something redeemable in Helen (even if they hate her!)


CC: Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?

JW: Kathryn was the most fun to write. She’s obnoxious and immature and pigheaded, but she also has a lot of heart. She is based partly on how I was as a child (minus the clubfoot, of course), and it was so much fun to dig into that side of myself as I wrote her.


CC: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

JW: It’s no secret If It Rains is an homage to L Frank Baum and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I’ve hidden several Oz easter eggs within the pages, from names to character parallels to quotes, and I can’t wait to see how many my eagle-eyed readers can spot.


That is so cool. If you'd like to learn more about her book, you can read the blurb below. If you'd like to be entered to win a copy of the book, leave a comment with your email and whether or not you think villains can be redeemed?


A story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments—the Dust Bowl.
It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband—and her new social class—expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading.

Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.


Buy your copy wherever Christian fiction is sold.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Interview and Giveaway with Author Lisa Prysock!!!


Today we welcome author Lisa Prysock to The Diamond Mine!! She will give away a free ebook copy of A Bride For Lane to 3 readers who comment on this post, and who answer these three questions:

1. Tell us how many books you plan to read this summer?

2. Something you enjoyed hearing about in this blog post

3. Do you prefer Tacos, Fettucini Chicken Alfredo, or something else as a favorite dinner?

So there you go, readers! At the end of this post, just click on leave a comment to answer these questions and be eligible to be in in the drawing for a free ebook of A Bride for Lane.


Now let's get started with  the interview!

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Nancy!

I love being able to use my creativity and imagination to take readers to another world where faith can grow. It’s a world where anything can happen, and the impossible becomes possible.

What a great answer!

Do you have a favorite book or character among your many novels?

I think I love them all, but Katie from Marry Me Katie stands out because it was the first book I wrote where my inclination toward including humor in my stories really started to spark within me.

Where do you get your ideas for a story?

 I think the Lord sparks them within me since I’ve had a tendency to escape into books and dream world as a child from a very young age. I could dream wide awake for hours as a child, thinking about the stories I’d read, developing them until they took on a life of their own. I can look at a house or picture and instantly be pulled in, thinking about who might have lived there and what they accomplished in their lifetime.  

 I also grew up with a great love for books, inherited from my mother and maternal grandparents who always had great libraries and stacks of books on their nightstands. There are jokes in the family about the dread of who might have to help my mom or grandpa move next because of how many books they had. The family talked about dropping them in the mailbox to mail one by one as it would have been preferable to lifting the boxes. 

Sounds similar to how I grew up!  

Which comes first, the story idea or the characters? 

 I usually find a story idea first, and then I start building the characters, but not always. Sometimes I can see the characters, or even a title first.

 Yes, inspiration does tend to vary in the way it hits! 

What is the most odd or weird inspiration you’ve ever had for a story?

Tacos. I’ve recently had inspiration from tacos for a story, and I think it’s weird, but you never know…I’m still tossing that one around.

Well, that sounds interesting! 

Do your characters ever take over and run off with the story or do they always behave?  J

 Yes, they do sometimes seem to have a kind of life of their own. I’ll want them to be all nice to each other and get along, but they often want to take the long way around and have a couple of good rows or arguments first.

I know what you mean!! 

Do you ever base the qualities of your characters on yourself or people you know?

 Sometimes I find inspiration in someone I’ve known, but I try to avoid writing about the people I actually know. However, their character, behaviors, and qualities may definitely move me enough to end up as some part of a character. Sometimes the qualities are good, and other times, human nature displays itself in a more, shall we say, interesting route.

 I hear you! I imagine that's how it is for most writers.

Do you write in bursts, or in a more disciplined manner? 

 I try to write every day except for Sunday or the day we’ve chosen to take a Sabbath rest. However, sometimes I’ve been working so hard I’ll need to take a few days away from words. Right now I’m on a tight deadline, and it’s one, big, long burst after another with breaks long enough to eat, sleep, shower, and do it all over again.

 Oh those nerve-wracking deadlines!!

What do you hope that readers will take away after reading your books? 

 Jesus is who I hope they embrace, and I also hope they find the inspiration and courage to stay on the path with Him and toward Him. I hope they find encouragement, life, greater understanding, blessings, miracles, increased faith, joy, peace, divine intervention, love, healing, deliverance, acceptance, and friendship with the writer, as well as the characters on the pages. In a way, writers take readers by the hand as a friend on this journey of life, and we want to leave them with plenty of positives in an entertaining, faith-filled way.

Those are very worthy hopes and goals for a writer.

What are you working on now? 

 Last Friday, I released my historical Christian romance novel, A Bride for Lane. I write both contemporary and historical books, and they are always sweet, clean, and usually fun!

Readers can check out all of my books at my website, www.LisaPrysock.com, but here’s something new from behind the scenes about my next release.

 Currently, I’m writing another Whispers in Wyoming story. It’s called Secret Admirer. There’s a dancer in the story, so I’m researching the Cha Cha, the Rumba, ballroom dancing, hip-hop dancing, and that sort of thing. (Yes, I love to dance, so I’m really enjoying the research.) She’s moved to The Sweetwater Ranch to leave New York behind to teach dance and theater to the ranch guests.

 There’s also a character who was a kind of “bad boy” after he lost his father at a young age in a car crash. He didn’t get along with his stepfather, got into trouble in school, and although he has grown up a little and now owns a restaurant, he’s been acting like a womanizer and remained strayed from the faith. He’s also involved with the wrong sorts of people, and consequently, trouble follows him. However, he has to return to Wyoming to visit his grandmother in the nursing home and tend the property she is giving him as an inheritance.

When he meets the dancer, a strong Christian, she has promised herself she won’t get involved with another guy like the director of the last Broadway musical she starred in. She has decided she will only date someone who is a man of strong faith and integrity, everything he isn’t right now.

I’m also in a box set with 12 authors, each of us writing one book in the collection, releasing in September, Save the Date. I’m so excited to share more about it with you. Readers can pre-order it here.

Readers will receive 12 Christian contemporary romance novellas in this exciting collection. The set hits all the bases in these 12 books. Readers will find stories with themes which include all of these genres--: beach/coastal romance, office romance, rom-com, small town/rural romance, inspirational/Christian contemporary romance, Paris romance, a romance set in New Zealand, friends to lovers, two marriage of convenience stories, a military romance, and so much more.

 



My story in the set is A Valentine for Veronica. This will become Book 1 in my new Brides of Distinction series, releasing in 2022. Here’s a look at the cover, and I hope readers will consider grabbing this 99c pre-order now as it is only going to be available for a limited time at this price! We are trying to make USA Today with this collection, so we’ve lowered the cost to offer readers a fantastic deal and a way for them to get all twelve books for an incredibly special price. --:

  
        
 




 Don’t forget to pre-order it here. Below is another look at the eBook box set collection in three dimensional view--:

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Nancy!

And thank you so much, Lisa!!!

And readers, please remember to leave a comment with your answers to Lisa's three questions in order to be entered for the free ebook!

Also remember: Readers, you can check out all of her books at her website, www.LisaPrysock.com


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Get Real with Your Favorite Author

 The Virtual Chat with Liz Bradford




Welcome to the Diamond Mine, everyone and I apologize for posting this late! As all of you know I am never one to be on time these days! LOL


Hi, it’s Renee Blare, your friendly Miner! Let me first say that this will be the LAST INTERVIEW ON THE DIAMOND MINE for me at least for a long while. I will be devoting my time to writing, advocating, and first and foremost, my husband. Life is taking more than I can balance at the moment and I finally feel like writing again.


That being said, I know I am handing over this blog into good hands. I trust Peggy and those under her wing to keep it about the ONE who keeps us all writing— The LORD.


And now let me introduce you to an amazing author who has helped me return my interviews to where I want them to be, Liz Bradford. I know you will love her and her books as much as I do, especially after this Diamond Mine Experience.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Misfit Bride, Author Life, and More with Peggy Trotter (Plus a Giveaway)

It's my delight to introduce (or re-introduce) you to one of the Diamond Mine's founders. Peggy Trotter does a lot behind the scenes to keep us up and running, so it's a privilege to spend some time with her as she gets the spotlight as we celebrate her new book release.

About the Author

When Peggy Trotter’s not crafting or DIY-ing, she’s immersed in a story scene of some sort, always pushing toward that sigh-worthy, happily-ever-after ending. Two kids, two in-law kids, and three grandchildren (and one on the way!) are the delight her life, as well as her Batman of 37 years whose cape is much worn from rescuing his wife from one predicament or another.

On a dusty shelf lies a couple of writing honors like the prestigious ACFW Genesis Award, Novella category, even though she writes full-length historical and contemporary Ransomed-Ever-After Fiction. She strives to bring characters and storylines alive to reveal God’s guiding providence and unending love.

Always on a search to find one of her many pairs of glasses, Peggy’s a smoldering pot of determined discombobulation who, by the grace of God, occasionally pulls it together to appear in public as a normal, confident woman while privately craving a few hermit hours to woo the printed word.

Connect with Peggy: Website | Blog | Diamonds in Fiction Blog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodreadsAmazon | Instagram | Pinterest | LinkedIn | BookBub | MeWe | Parler | USA Life | Gab


SW: Welcome, Peggy, and congratulations on another book release.

Just for fun and as a quick introduction, let’s start with a few rounds of “Would You Rather.”

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

PT: Elevator. It would be scary, but at least I wouldn’t be dangling thirty feet in the air in the freezing cold!


SW: I'm with you there. Would you rather go to dinner or a movie alone?

PT: Movie. I think I would just get lost in the story and forget about being alone.


SW: Plus it's dark in the theater so no worries about people watching you. Finally, would you rather explore space or the ocean?

PT: Ocean. I love the ocean and love snorkeling. I would love to learn scuba diving.


SW: Fun!

Ok, now tell us more about Peggy. This is your fifth book release. Can you share about what your writing journey has looked like?

PT: Sure. I’ve always wanted to write since I was a young girl and wrote sporadically since I was fourteen. Then school/kids/jobs/life/church took the main focus for a long time. I joined ACFW in 2012 to learn more about writing and head toward publishing. It was my “university” of sorts. Through crit groups/contests/networking/reading/writing I learned a lot about what I needed to do to sew a story together. I won the ACFW Genesis in 2014 and got my first contract shortly after. Now, I write full time and look forward to getting my newest series Society of Outcasts’ three books out there!


SW: Fantastic! And what about life outside of writing? Family? Hobbies? What fun facts can you tell us about Peggy?

PT: Oh, my. I am a DIY-er to my very roots! Right now, I’ve just finished painting the living and dining room a new color, torn down wallpaper and replaced it, patched, sanded, painted, spray painted base boards, and getting ready to do the crown molding. Then it will be on to the kitchen to do the same thing. Sometime this summer, I plan on re-staining our 2 decks. That will be a hot job! But, I am also a bit of a hobby junkie. I crochet, paint (on canvas), build, craft, sew, knit, sketch, etc. I love trying new hobbies. I guess I like working with my hands, LOL. But I also enjoy spending time with my family. We just got back from a family vacation to the beach. (I LOVE THE BEACH!) I crocheted two washcloths while I was there because our rental house didn’t have any. I guess my hobbies can come in handy!


SW: Yes, sometimes they can. Plus, it has been too long since I've visited the beach!

What does your writing space look like?

PT: Currently, it’s a mess! Ha! I have been working on my office for a while now. I have my own little space under the rafters upstairs. It’s painted in a dark color (I like things to be darkish when I write) and will eventually have a little loveseat (that I plan on making myself, of course!) and maybe a fireplace. (That I am dreaming to build as well.) That is, when I get it all organized. But, for now, I often write on my recliner downstairs on my laptop. (oftentimes with a DVD of a fireplace on the TV.)


SW: Do you have any words of encouragement or wisdom for new authors or those considering writing?

PT: A successful writer is one who didn’t quit. This is my personal mantra, and I’m sure a paraphrase of someone else, but I claim it as my own. I say that to myself all the time. Because there are so many times when I, and many other writers that I’ve spoken to, want so bad to just chuck it all in. A writer’s life is fanaticized as exciting, exotic, and amazing. And, it is! But it’s also lonely, discouraging, and extremely difficult. It very much is a “job.” There is very little support when things go awry. You have to be very determined. You better be prayed up and you’d better be willing to learn, grow, change, and deflect certain opinions. But I absolutely love it.


SW: Well said! The author life is not for the feint of heart, for sure!

Share about your newest release and how the story came about.

PT: Well, once upon a time Peggy wrote a first novel that was so horrendous, even she gags when she reads it! And it will never see the light of day except in my dark office. But—it has spawned forth four books. My first book Year of Jubilee came from this first manuscript. And the other characters wouldn’t go to sleep. Boy, they nagged me to death! So, I wrote them into the next three books, my newest series. The bad thing is, two more from the first book are whispering to me now. Perhaps there will be two more books in this series?

The full blurb for the book is below.


SW: Oh, The Misfit Bride sounds intriguing and hurray for the other books (and possibly more) in the series.

I’d like to end with the most important question. How can we pray for you?

PT: I love this question! I’m trying to figure out the marketing equation for my books. It’s a strategic area, and I am not a strategic sort of person. I’m more the “creative, doing” sort of person. So, keeping track of numbers and the business side of writing has always been a challenge.

I also, if I could, like to ask one other request of prayer. My message. I always want to put forth God’s message. I want to clearly imbue a Biblical concept that entertains or helps a fellow Christian on their journey through life. Sometimes that gets lost in the details until I get finished and then I realize, oh, it highlights this precept. And that is wholly a God thing.

In my new series, Cora, Rhapsody, and Sissy (main female characters in my next three books) became representations of people being left out, being odd, or misplaced. Or, at least feeling that way. And we, as people, often feel like an outcast—rejected, hated, scorned. Especially in today’s world of social media. I wanted to tell people that just because you feel like an outcast doesn’t mean God thinks you are. He loves the weirdest of weird, the oddest of odd, the squarest of all pegs because He made you that way! And He died for you, no matter how kooky or out-of-place you feel.

That is my message that I want to keep as the center of my books. God loves you. He sent His Son Jesus to die for you. It’s my whole point of writing. Thanks for praying!


SW: With so many hurting people in the world, your message is a needed one, too.

Thank you so much for visiting with us this week, Peggy. We will be praying for your marketing and that your books get in the hands of readers who need to hear that God loves them just as they are.



About the Book

Zero. That’s how many suitors Cora “Too Tall” Taggart’s entertained in her nineteen years. That is, until her father corrals a man nearly twice her age needing a mother for his children. However, Cora’s heart aches to find true love with a man who would embrace all of her misfit qualities.

When Trigg Gentry discovers Cora in a back alley, using his horse as her own personal writing desk, sparks fly between them. While he searches for his runaway sister, Trigg crosses paths once again with Cora on a steamer bound for St. Louis, and neither Trigg nor Cora can deny their blossoming relationship.

But Trigg’s unexpected exit from Cora’s debutante cotillion comes under suspicion. The guests’ jewelry is missing, and he’s linked to a murder case. Cora fears these accusations will make it impossible to avoid her father’s arranged marriage. And to make matters worse, her heart belongs to the man now pegged as a criminal. How can Cora convince her father that Trigg isn’t involved in either crime when all the proof points straight at him?



Giveaway




Peggy is giving one of our visitors an autographed copy of The Misfit Bride, a bookmark, and a trio of crocheted dishrags. To enter, tell us in the comments what most interests you about The Misfit Bride.
 
*Giveaway ends Tuesday, 6/8/21 at 11:59 PM EST and is open to US mailing addresses only.