Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Meet Abigail Kay Harris, Debut Author

Today we welcome Abigail Kay Harris to the mine. I love it when readers like Abigail become authors. Her first novella arrives in just a few days (on Memorial Day). More about that later!


About the Author


Abigail Kay Harris is a daughter of the King with a personal degree in book-nerdiness. A sister to seven, her passionate love of the written word and deeper meanings hidden in normal things leads her to spend her time reading, writing, using sarcasm, and defining obscure words. When she's not chasing words, she enjoys watching shows, classic romance movies, tea, sunrises, and the outdoors, especially mountains, beaches, and forests.



Connect with Abigail:

Website | NewsletterFacebook | Instagram | Pinterest | MeWe | Amazon | Goodreads


SW: Welcome, Abigail, we're elated to have you join us this week. Congratulations on your upcoming novella.

Let's play a quick round of "Would You Rather" as an ice breaker.

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

AKH: A pause button, I wouldn’t want to rewind anything as I would lose the lessons I’ve learned in the past and I would prefer to know what I know now and see the mistakes and achievements I made in the past.


SW: Excellent answer! Would you rather be able to talk to animals or speak all foreign languages?


AKH: Oooh, this one is hard only because I would love to be able to speak to animals. They show you so much but that’s still not knowing what an animal is going through. However, I would pick to be able to speak all foreign languages, or at least be able to read them. I can read slight bits of Latin, German, and Dutch but have mostly forgotten what I played around with when in school.


SW: I'm waiver on that answer too, and it changes on any given day. Ok, one more: Would you rather be without internet for a week or without your phone?

AKH: This one hurts. I actually don’t have internet right now as my brother (family tech know-it-all) has been working on upgrades the past week, thankfully his laptop has internet and he’s kindly allowed for me to borrow it. Quite honestly, I would prefer not to have my phone for a week! I’ve done that many times as I seem to lose my phone often. The internet is a pain, and I am not so in love with the lack of ability to do everything I need to do to get ready to launch my book. It’s been fun and gut-wrenching for sure with several publishing deadlines! ;)


SW: Yeah, we do rely on both pretty regularly. 

Ok, let's go deeper. Tell us a little about yourself? Family? Hobbies?

AKH: I’m the oldest of eight kids, we’re the kids of a homeschooling stay at home small business owner mom, and an Air Force veteran dad. I’m a blogger and writer of nearly five years, a proud owner


of a hedgie, and lover of randomness. I love reading, writing, and especially love sharing books with others! I also love to be outside when it isn’t melting hot out. I’m normally reading or writing in my spare time, what else is needed as a hobby when I can read or write?! Another hobby of mine is researching and teaching myself everything I can learn/find about writing. I’ve always been interested in what goes into publishing a book and I’ve taught myself everything I’ve needed to write and indie publish my own book. The hardest of which was formatting and it turned out to be my second favorite thing about publishing a book. I also love graphic design and dabble in making covers for myself along with mock covers just for fun! I keep some of my favorites here!


SW: There is a plethora of things to learn about writing, for sure. And it changes often.

What drew you to writing?

AKH: I loved the idea of writing a book ever since I stopped hating reading in my preteens, in my midteens I had started a blog and was talking with lots of other writers. I thought it would be fun to publish as a young teen and didn’t really expect it to be hard… Which turned into a big joke when I started wanting to write just because I hadn’t finished a book yet and then I just couldn’t stop writing even when I wanted to give up.


SW: It definitely draws you in. I am acquainted with you from the book blogging world, so what are three books on your current TBR?

AKH: Oooh, I love this question because it has to do with books and I don’t have to answer an insane


question like what’s my favorite book. ;) I have some VERY different books on my TBR pile but right now my top next reads are In a Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem set around the Great Depression, a young adult spy-thriller called Deadlock by P.D. Atkerson, and finally a Marine romance by Jess Mastorakos A Match for the Marine is the first book in her series First Come Love.



SW: Yeah, I dislike that "What's your favorite book" question because I'm constantly adding favorites to my list. Can you share a little about your writing routine. 

AKH: I don’t have a set time to write lately. I mostly write every spare minute of the day I get! However, when I start a new story I take about two to four days to write out a VERY short draft around 2,000 words long by hand and then I break it up and put it in a doc to go back over each part making chapter breaks. I set it aside a while, around a week to a month, then I format it so I can make lots of notes, print it, do another round of rewrites, and do another write as I read my paper copy and type it into my laptop from anywhere to a week to a month depending on what other projects I do.


SW: Ah, another author who writes longhand to start. What have you learned while writing your first series?

AKH: That my writing style is weirdly different from any other writers and that that’s okay. I found my way of writing a story and it’s my way and that’s okay.


SW: Different is good! Tell us more about your Oh, the Brave series.

AKH: Ah, my current favorite subject. Haha, anyway, the Oh, The Brave series features four main books, one being my novella releasing on the 31st, followed by three novels each releasing on a holiday notable to military, military families, and Americans! Oh, The Lamented will release on November 11th (2021) in honor of Veterans’ Day, Oh, The Dwindling will release on the Fourth of July (2022) in honor of the 4th, and Oh, The Slain will release on September 11th (2022) in honor of 9/11. There are also going to be some shorter stories along the way or after the main novels are out because I can’t seem to leave these characters alone. The series was born out of a very short little flash fiction I wrote a while ago and I couldn’t be happier with how it is turning out.



SW: Readers have lots to look forward to from you over the next couple of days.

I saved the most important question for last. How can we pray for you?

AKH: That I would write what God wants me to and not be discouraged by the setbacks that happen sometimes, and that I would clearly show my passion for the subjects I’m writing about in a way that glorifies God.


SW: Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Abigail and the best of luck with your series. Readers, please tell us in the comments what intrigues you about the Oh, the Brave series or welcome Abigail. And now, let's here's the promised information about Oh, the Fallen, releasing this Memorial Day (5/31/21). You can pre-order the ebook for $0.99.


About the Book



In the cause of freedom, some will give their all.

When Matt Renicker joins the Army, he's determined to give his best for his country and his Lord, even if it means risking everything he loves most. But when tragedy strikes on a routine patrol, more than one heart is left shattered and lamenting.

In the wake of a terrible loss, will those left behind find the strength to go on? Or will the faith, family, and freedom Matt fought to preserve be broken beyond repair?


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Debut Author, Jill Chapman



Howdy! I’m out on my porch with a brand-spanking, new author, Jill Chapman! Her debut book is soon to hit the shelves! She and I have spent some wonderful time on each other’s porches (Yes, literally! On our porches!) chatting about life, challenges, and writing! So wedge your rocker a little closer. You won’t want to miss this interview!

PT: Hello, Jill! Fancy meeting you here, on the porch of the Diamond Mine! I know you are over-the-moon excited to see your first book in print. Oh, the hours we’ve chatted about our writing dreams and publishing goals. So, let’s get to the nuts and bolts for the readers. Tell everyone what genre  you write in and why? Then, give us a little information about yourself.

JC: My first book contract is for a middle-grade chapter book, The Bomb Squad. This work of action/adventure fiction takes readers on a wild ride with a group of small-town boys as they solve a mystery. I’ve also self-published a nonfiction book for newbie homeschoolers. Both books are the first in a series.

PT: Ah, yes! A middle-grade chapter book. So many readers look for quality Christian books in this genre. And for those of you interested in homeschooling, I’ll put that cover and link up right about here:

Click here for purchase link.

PT: All right. Everyone is always interested in how an author came to be, well, an author. So how did you come to this place of publication? Why did you choose middle-grade fiction?

JC: I’ve been a writer since middle school. Recently, I began writing in the hopes of being published. My head and heart overflows with adventure stories for children, and with books of encouragement for adults.

PT: Now, I think you told me there might be more than one book eventually. And is your non-fiction book also part of a series? So what is the names of your books/titles of your series?

JC: The Bomb Squad, a mystery middle-grade chapter book, is Book One of The Bomb Squad Series. The second book is entitled, Off the Grid.

10 Common Mistakes Newbie Homeschoolers Make and how to avoid them-First book in Homeschool Hustle Series for parents new to home education. In the works for this series is: Journaling with Children and Silent Partner.

PT: Let’s get back to The Bomb Squad. How did you come up with the concept of this book/series?

JC: As a youngster, I loved mysteries and action books. The idea for The Bomb Squad came to me one day as I thought about Fourth of July celebrations throughout my life then I threw in a mystery to the story. I decided to write a story about a group of adventurous boys inspired by boys from my life, past and present.

PT: Buckle down that rocker, girl. It’s time for my answer quick session. Ready? Go: country girl/city slicker? Pets/no pets? Coffee, tea/something else? Desk writer/wherever? Favorites: color? Book? Author? Food? Vacation spot?

JC: Country girl all the way. Indy is my yellow lab who flunked out of obedience school. Not once but twice! He’s a lovable goof ball. Hot tea is my go-to drink in the winter. Iced tea in the summer. I write on my laptop where and when the mood strikes me. Sometimes I’m in my art room and some days I’m in the dining room with the ceiling fan going. When I need the sunlight to keep me motivated, I’m in the kitchen at our island. My favorite color has been red all my life. I love to watercolor paint and find my paintings tend toward blue and green though. Tacos, nachos, and a Pepsi make my day. I love the beach but surprised myself when we took a trip to Alaska and fell in love with it. I mean, head over heels in love with the wild landscape and the people.

My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve met some criticism for many reasons on this book but it speaks to me. I reread it almost every year. The courage and strong characters strengthens me deep down.

PT: What Bible verse is near and dear to your heart right now?

JC: This is a tough question to narrow down to one. I have so many that I lean on regularly.

Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. NIV

My writing isn’t new but seeking publication and becoming a professional at it is new. It seems like a wilderness to me at times because I have so many things to learn for this profession. Yet, God has already made a way and I know he’ll continue to lead me where I need to be. He continues to do new things in my life every year.

PT: Do your books reflect a timeless Bible concept/Bible verse?

JC: Wow! That’s another tough one. My desire for The Bomb Squad would be for youngsters to see loyalty in friendships, overcoming fear, to take challenges head on, and to learn to be a part of community. All of these things are some of what God desires from us. So that aspect would be what I hope children take away from my book.

PT: Why do you write?

JC: Writing is part of who I am. I’m a communicator and seek out ways to connect with people of all ages. Throughout my life, my writing takes on the form that I need at the time. Journaling, newsletters for the homeschool group, Sunday School lessons, Missionary Day programs, and now, writing for middle grade readers.

PT: What’s next on your book writing trail?

JC: I have an adult novel completed in rough draft. (very rough!) Another project in the building stage is a book for those struggling in their faith. The title of this project is Tell Yourself. I’m very excited about this project but it is still in the first stages.

PT: Tell 5 things about Jill Chapman that have nothing to do with writing.

JC:

1. My life centers around my family and my faith.

2. I love to eat chocolate, spicy foods, and visit with friends, not necessarily in that order.

3. In the past, my happy place was the beach but after our vacations to Alaska, I long to go back there again. (I still love the beach though! Alaska has beautiful coastlines but not like Florida)

4. I love to buy craft supplies and once in a while I actually use them. Painting with watercolors is also something I love to do. 

Isn't this awesome??!!

5. I would never wear shoes if I could get away with it.

BONUS!!! 6. I’m a huge advocate for those on the Autism Spectrum. Autism remains a challenge that many families face without being fully addressed and supported by communities. I would love to see more communities show support and offer services to those families who struggle. Awareness is wonderful but acceptance is key to their success in life.

PT: Oh, Jill, it’s been fabulous sitting on the porch chatting with you! I know our readers are thrilled to meet yet another new Christian author. We love our readers who continue to support Christian/Inspirational authors who fill the world with the Lord’s fiction to encourage, entertain, and comfort all of us on our life journeys. Thank you, Jill, for being with us this week!

JC: Thank you so much for having me!

If you want to connect with Jill and her exciting path of publication, you can find her at these links:


The release date for The Bomb Squad is set for September 2021.


Jill is giving away her homeschool book, 10 Common Mistakes Newbie Homschoolers Make: and how to avoid them to one lucky person who leaves a comment and email (you can always leave your email on the contact form.) Thanks so much for joining us!

***

Jill resides in Southern Indiana with her husband of forty-two years. They enjoy their country lifestyle and visit with their children and grandchildren as often as life allows. Her life centers around her family and her yellow lab, Indy. She enjoys being an avid movie watcher, loves Mexican cuisine and dabbles in watercolor painting.

Jill also hosts The Mighty Pen, an eclectic writer’s group for people in various stages of their writing endeavors.

Her interest in books began in my childhood, where reading provided a wonderful outlet for her wild imagination. She loves to tell stories about her life experiences with humor mixed in to convey the sense of adventure she feels every day. Her life is like a good plate of nachos, a tiny kick of spice, and a whole lotta cheese.

***

Speaking of new releases, mine is coming out on June 1st! The Misfit Bride is the first of my newest Inspirational Historical Series, Society of Outcasts. Stay tuned for a cover reveal! Please don't miss any updates and sign up for my newsletter now! peggytrotter.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Encouraging others to let GOD heal. Plus a Giveaway.

 Help me welcome Sondra Umberger to the Diamond Mine.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for an E-copy of this great trilogy.

Sondra is a new author to me. Let’s learn about her together.

Renette: Welcome Sondra, before we jump into your books. Tell us a bit about yourself. What kind of things do you enjoy for fun?

Sondra: Great to be here. My first passion is fun. I love to have fun even when I am working. My second passion is travel. I arrived home yesterday after exploring the treasure of God’s creations in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Cave exploration takes you into a world of imagination. I was amazed at the beauty of the stalactites, stalagmites, columns, popcorn, pearls, chandeliers, and what is called bacon formations. It is called bacon, because it looks just like bacon hanging from the walls of caves. This cave was exceptional because, in the past, it was an ancient underwater reef. Talk about a kaleidoscope of design and formations; I was in constant motion pointing out all imaginary characters coming into focus, similar to cloud watching.

Renette: Wow, how awesome to see GOD’s creativity and beauty. He shows Himself everywhere, doesn’t He? Traveling to see new things is such fun. Where else have you been?

Sondra: I love to travel and have traveled the world. I have explored over 60 countries and hope to continue with travel as I have a new book brewing in my mind that takes place in Jerusalem. I would love to return to the Holy Land to explore and do some research on an upcoming book.

Renette: Speaking of books I understand you have a few to share with us today.

Sondra: Yes, I am excited for the opportunity to share with you and the audience about my trilogy, UNRAVELED-REWOVEN. Below is the description of the trilogy. Each book stands alone, but it is very connected to the following book in the series. The titles themselves give you a hint at what the books entail—just a quick sneak preview. I can’t resist. Book One: ROBBED, Book Two: RIPPED, and Book Three: RESTORED. The three-book series is a story of trauma to triumph, victim to victor, and regret to restoration. Hopefully, I have wet your appetite for more.       

UNRAVELED-REWOVEN

                                                        A trilogy based on true events.

                 Author: Sondra Umberger

 

CATHERINE—must face her suppressed childhood memories, secrets hidden for decades, from when her family called her CATIE. Fragments of haunting images creep out of her subconscious and merge into one recurring nightmare.

 Determined to unlock the mysteries of her past, Catherine seeks Christian counseling with MARION. Together they reopen terrifying windows in time Catherine nailed shut nearly thirty years ago. A time she refers to as her lost years.  

 Catherine fights to remember the horrific abuse of her dreadful, deceiving stepmother. She battles to save herself, and her baby brother, CHARLEY, from the evils of the Satanic occult, a world that few people realize exists; a diabolical can of worms.


A time—meant to be forgotten.

 When HUNTER enters her life, spawning an unexpected relationship, Catherine’s pursuit of truth takes new twists and turns. While Catherine unearths her youth, digging for the truth, new perils arise as her husband; HUNTER’s dark secrets are exposed. 


 Secrets—meant to be concealed. 


Frightened and fragmented, only seeing pieces to the puzzle, Catherine perseveres. Images appear. Secrets revealed. Questions are answered as the recollections unravel. Catherine experiences God’s provision, protection, and exercises the unique gifts he gave her as a child.

· As darkness is uncloaked, a spiritual battle erupts. Is it all too much?

· Will Catherine overcome the formidable odds stacked against her?

· Will she trust an invisible God and a husband whose betrayal amplifies her brokenness?                   

 

          The unspoken—is exposed.

          When all feels lost, discover hope, healing, and redemption.   

          What was once unraveled is now rewoven.

            www.ConnectingToChrist.com ConectingtoChristwebsite@gmail.com                                   

                  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L4KLKT2

                  Books2Read E-books https://books2read.com/rl/Wjmbd0


Renette: Tell us more. Which character will we love?

Sondra: The books are novels based on a true story written from the three main characters’ point of view, which are: Catherine, the adult, Catie, who is Catherine as a child, and Marion, the Christian counselor.

I believe each character offers something unique to the reader. CATHERINE is open and raw about her struggles. She speaks out of the things, so many women are thinking and feeling but are too afraid to say. She takes the reader through the process of finding the courage to address her fears in order to find healing and wholeness.

CATIE is Catherine as a child. She is a spunky little kid that will capture your heart. She gives a child’s perspective and shows how lies and beliefs are introduced and reinforced or built upon through life’s experience. Catie’s pure childlike faith inspires others to cling to the truths of the Bible as Catie did---as her very life depended upon it for survival.

MARION, the Christian counselor, plays a vital and powerful role. She tackles the struggles by asking probing questions that assist Catherine, Catie, and the reader to search their hearts for answers. Marion equips the characters and the reading audience with the word of God and encourages the application of Biblical principles in order to overcome the many battles we all face. The books are written as novels but they address the real issue with real solutions. Regardless of the character’s circumstances, my books offer hope, the truth, and the answer through JESUS!

Renette: Can you tell us why you chose these stories and this subject?

Sondra: The key point in writing the trilogy UNRAVELED-REWOVEN was to emphasizes the redemptive and healing powers of Jesus Christ and how the scars and pain from the past and devastating sins of the present need not be permanent. The books are a great testimony of how God can use everything in our lives, even evil deeds, to accomplish His ultimate purposes TO SET US FREE. I want to give others hope through my books, showing that healing comes in and through God. The Lord himself proclaimed that it is the truth that sets us free.

Renette: Writing this kind of trilogy must take a lot of energy and inspiration. How and where do you find them and the time to write?

Sondra: Many women have a shoe collection, but I seem to have a hat collection, as I wear many hats; as a Christian counselor, a wife, ordained minister, author, sister, friend…you get the idea. So, I had to make the time. At first, I just starting writing, letting the story pour out of me. I would write in between appointments, and if I had a client cancellation, the keys would sound loud, tap, tap, tap, for the whole duration.

Once the books were written, I knew I needed more time and took a sabbatical to do the editing and fine-tuning. The inspiration was from God. I was obedient to give a voice to the story he asked me to tell.

Energy, I’m not sure. I was dancing as fast as I could and still was burning the candle at both ends. Coffee was definitely my friend during some long sessions, but I admit writing captivates me.

Renette: It is so interesting to learn how each author writes. We all are facing obstacles, trials, and unique issues in today’s way of life. What is one piece of advice you would like to leave us with?

Sondra: What I have learned as a faith-based counselor for almost 20 years is that false perceptions and lies can be seared into our minds through a tragedy or a significant emotional event. Examine your thoughts for truth. Examine your problems through becoming a truth seeker. The storyline in my books help others learn about the battle for the mind and how trauma, abuse, betrayal, misspoken words, and various other circumstances can be used to distort our views of God, ourselves, and others. Most problems are rooted in our identity. If you don’t know who you are, you set yourself up to let someone else define your identity. I’m not talking about what you do; I am talking about a much deeper sense of how you identify yourself. As a child of God, I know who I am. I understand that I will continue to face struggles, disappointments, and an onslaught of challenges, but I also know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I hope my words bring you hope and encouragement.

Renette: I love that you want to share and encourage others in how to let GOD heal them. Anything else you‘d like to tell us before we go?

Sondra: I’d love to give away an E-copy of the entire trilogy. God is our great physician and is gracious to bring us healing in various ways. I’ll choose one winner who briefly shares an experience where the Lord brought them hope and healing.


Renette: Thank you, Sondra, so kind of you. Folks jump right in with your comments to be entered in the drawing. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you.

Thank you, Sondra, for the wonderful interview. It has been a blessing having you with us.

Sondra: Thank you for having me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story. You have been awesome, and I’ve enjoyed our interaction. I hope your audience is blown away by my books and that they find hope and healing as they cruise the pages of UNRAVELED—REWOVEN. Blessing to you all, Sondra


Sondra Umberger 
www.connectingtochrist.com

Sondra Umberger, Christian counselor, an ordained minister, and President of Healing Hearts Ministry, Inc., and Connecting to Christ, offers faith-based materials and counsel on how to prevail

through the challenges and struggles of life. Sondra instructs on a variety of topics, including confronting and overcoming abuse.

Sondra loves to laugh and enjoy outdoor activities and adventures with her husband in the vast playgroundUSA. 

                                   

                                     www.connectingtochrist.com


Thank you for joining us today. May you be blessed by HIs SONshine.

Renette Steele

Lady SONshine






Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Author Interview and Giveaway with Janalyn Voigt

 Hi, guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ;-) And one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends at coffee shops then head to the bookstores. Yes, plural. After all, books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination! 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. <3

Today we are going to pry into the private life of CHAT with author Janalyn Voigt!


Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read chapters from classics as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with the tales "written" in her head.

Today Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in several genres. The same elements -- romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy -- appear in all her novels, no matter what the genre.

Learn more about Janalyn Voigt and the books she writes at http://janalynvoigt.com!

Connect with Janalyn Voigt đŸ † Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, Mailing List, and Website for Authors!

Interview ~ 

This may be the most important question I ask -- no pressure or anything, LOL! 

*drum roll*

What are you drinking in our virtual coffee house? Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Something else altogether?

Mocha! It’s my favorite hot drink. I don’t indulge often, but today is special since we’re having this chat.

I usually start the day with several cups of Greek coffee. It’s strong, sweet, and good for you. The Greek Island of Ikaria is one of the world’s ‘blue zones,’ places where a large percentage of the population lives longer than average. Scientists suspect that the coffee they drink has something to do with it. Greek coffee is ground to a fine powder, then brewed in small pots until it almost boils. This process creates a creamy layer on top that makes the coffee go down smoothly.

For writing sessions, I favor a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. In my book (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun), the flavor is synonymous with creativity.

LOL! That pun was GOLD! ;-) And that sounds delicious! If you could order anything in the world to eat (we can dream, can't we?), what would it be? 

I can’t resist pineapple-upside-down cake made with fresh pineapple. After I arrived in Hawaii, where my serviceman husband served a tour of duty, I discovered that I only hated canned pineapple. I only use fresh pineapple when I make this cake, which isn’t often since I can’t resist it.

YUM! Where is your favorite place to write, and why is that your favorite place?

For a long time, I wrote in a closet beneath the stairs that I converted into an office. That was by choice rather than necessity. My family tended to forget my whereabouts, or else it was too much trouble to hunt me down. I didn’t inquire. It was the most productive I’ve ever been. After a while, I started feeling cramped, so I moved into the guest bedroom. I plan to add a murphy bed against one wall so I don’t dispossess house-guests entirely. My office is on the second floor and offers a better view for procrastinating daydreaming than a closet ever could.

Love that you had a writing closet even if it didn't have a view! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies?

No. Next question, please.

Okay, well maybe, yes. About those cups of tea…I sometimes discover a full cup of tea at my elbow, completely cold, and wonder how it got there. I glance around but never discover the little elf that spirited it there. This only occurs while I’m writing, so I must be an easy target while I’m lost in a storyworld...

Man, those elves strike again! ;-) What inspired you to write The Promise Tree?

I wanted to continue the Irish-American family saga I started in the Montana Gold series. Those books were well received, so I knew my readers would enjoy more stories about the family. The Montana Treasure series, of which The Promise Tree is book one, picks up ten years later. Some of the children have reached marriageable age, and I continue with their love stories.    


A preacher’s daughter shouldn’t encourage a troublemaker, no matter what her wayward heart desires.

Liberty has always believed she should marry a man of God, but Jake doesn’t qualify. The promises they’d made at age twelve can’t change that. If only Jake would stop pursuing her, she might keep from falling in love with him.

Jake fears he’ll lose Liberty to Beau, the new man in town. He doesn’t trust the smooth-talker—and certainly not with Liberty. Expressing his opinion sounds jealous and pushes Liberty further away. Jake’s efforts to forget the woman he loves lands him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

A bounty hunter on the trail of a notorious outlaw gallops into town, and Liberty finds herself in unexpected peril. When Jake rides after her, he faces a test of faith. Jake and Liberty must each overcome their own false beliefs. Only then can they experience the truth of God’s redeeming love.

Set during a troubled time in America, the Montana Treasure series explores faith, courage, and love in the Wild West. Read this heartwarming story to affirm your faith in love.


Purchase The Promise Tree HERE!


Love that concept! What led you to write in this genre?

I blame my father. If it wasn’t for him, I’d have gone outside to play on a Sunday morning rather than watching vintage westerns. They were habit-forming. My father brought me up in parts of California where the wind would whistle while tumbleweeds rolled across the road. Add a love of history and an active imagination into the mix, and I didn’t have a chance.

What great memories! What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

I write mainly to entertain but also to inspire. The Promise Tree explores the meaning of love in many contexts. The story explores expectations within romance, friendship, the bond between a mother and daughter, and the love of a father for his child. I anticipate that readers will examine their own expectations of love and come away with a greater appreciation for its complexity and beauty. 

That's beautiful! Can you tell us a little about your next project(s)?

The second book in the Montana Treasure series, as yet untitled, tells the story of a beautiful, vivacious, intelligent spinster. Phoebe has turned down her share of suitors. Why marry for the sake of it? There has to be more to life than courtship. When Phoebe learns her cattle baron uncle is seeking ranch hands, Phoebe persuades her uncle to hire her. That puts her in close contact with Will, her uncle’s ranch manager—the only man who ever swayed her decision to avoid marriage.

Phoebe's story sounds wonderful! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

There’s a poem that I remember when I’m afraid to strive for something new:

 

George Gray

by Edgar Lee Masters

 

I have studied many times

The marble which was chiseled for me—

A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.

In truth it pictures not my destination

But my life.

For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;

Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;

Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.

Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.

And now I know that we must lift the sail

And catch the winds of destiny

Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,

But life without meaning is the torture

Of restlessness and vague desire—

It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.


What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds -- mine! -- want to know. ;-)

I discovered Daphne du Maurier when I read Jamaica Inn. It’s amazing what vintage authors could get away with. Pages of description would be frowned upon now. I’m so glad she was able to write freely. I’ve never read her Rebecca—an omission I’m currently correcting. 

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.” What is it about the first line of Rebecca that captivates me? The words are simple, and yet they hold depths of drama. I don’t even know what sort of place Manderlay is, but I’m already perceiving it through the veil of a dream.

Besides enriching my life, reading (and being humbled by) great literature improves my own writing. 

I completely agree with you! 

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

Giveaway ~

Janalyn has generously offered to giveaway one print or digital copy of ANY book in the Montana Gold Series!



Learn more about Janalyn Voigt's Montana Gold Series HERE!


Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away one print or digital copy of ANY book in the author's Montana Gold Series!

This giveaway is open to the US! 

This giveaway will close on 05/12/2021 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. This will only be done once. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

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


See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!