Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Meet Christy Hoss-Children's Author and More


Hello everyone! Jill here, for my first interview for the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. I plan to focus on children’s Christian fiction and perhaps some children's nonfiction from time to time. As the children’s Christian market continues to grow, I look forward to bringing you some excellent examples of this exciting genre. 


Parents and grandparents everywhere see the necessity of presenting Christian books to children. If you’re one of them then you’ll love this author. For my debut author interview, I chose someone special to me, Christy Hoss. Christy is one of the editors who assisted me with my first chapter book. Her patience and perseverance gave me the confidence to keep working to make it the best book it could be. 

Welcome Christy to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction, and thank you for agreeing to visit with us today. We’re interested to learn more about you and how you began your writing journey. 

 The oldie but goodie question, what inspires you to write?


I was inspired by my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Olson. She had a writing contest, and I won first place with a story about my dog Noodles. I won a picture of my favorite animal, a giant panda, and encouraging words from Mrs. Olson: “You’re going to be a writer one day. That was 1972. I dedicated my second book, The Rubber BandStretches- Rocky’s Story, to her. I never forgot that dream she instilled in my young heart and mind. I began actively writing 15 years ago, attending writing conferences and learning the craft. 

To really answer the question, I’d say my characters inspire me to write. I love creating their unique situations and personalities. Each character will have their own book, and once I get started on writing one, I can’t stop. It’s addicting. 

I’m so blessed to have a very strong support group of writers to inspire me as well. One of our members has been writing for more than 40 years and is a New York Times bestselling author. 


Teachers play such an essential role in children’s writing success. I know you’re a former school teacher, as am I. Who knows, someday we may hear of former students who became writers!

How long have you been writing?


I feel like I have been writing since the moment I could hold a pencil in my hand. I used to write romance stories in fourth grade and would write them for my friends too. I’ve been actively pursuing my writing career for the past 15 years.


Do you only write children’s novels?


I am currently writing middle-grade novels for children, but I dabble in romance novellas and hope to have some of them published soon as it is a series. I wrote a romantic thriller, Palms of Death, and self-published it.


Who has been the most significant influence on you in your writing? 

I have had a few writing mentors from my experiences at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Brandilyn Collins gave me the best advice, to put hooks on the end of every chapter no matter what genre you are writing. They keep the reader engaged. Mary Demuth was another mentor that taught me how to write a captivating first page to pull the perspective reader into your book. Francine Rivers is my current mentor and part of my writing critique group. She truly is a wonderful friend, woman of faith, and confidant that will always let you know what she thinks of your project. She loves my characters and already has them grown up and married. She also endorsed my first book- I am so blessed from God to have such a gift.


Who is your favorite author?


I love Francine Rivers and Brandilyn Collins.


What is the hardest part of writing a book for you? 


Putting my butt in the chair. I am highly distracted by the many projects around the house that call my name. If there is a puzzle lying around, begging me to finish it, I can’t help but put some pieces in it before I write.


Do you have any projects you’re working on right now?


I am writing the third book in The Rubber Band series called The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer. I’m also completing a romance novel, the first in the My Heart series called Fair Well My Heart. I am working on my personal memoir paralleling The Wizard of Oz to what has happened in my life. Last but not least, I am working with an illustrator for my picture book, My Question for Jesus.



Wow! All of those projects sound exciting. I’ve learned writers usually have several projects going at one time, and you sure do have your hand in many different areas. I look forward to seeing these titles when they come out. 

 When you work on these projects, would you say you are a night owl, an early bird, or some bird in between?


 I used to be a night owl keeping my husband awake, but as I grow older and go to bed earlier, I am now a morning person.


With all these different interests, what is your all-time favorite book? 

Little Women.


If you could talk to any author for a sit-down chat, who would it be?


C.S. Lewis, because I love The Chronicles of Narnia. As a kid, I devoured his series.


When we worked together, I found out you had a rescue dog. I would love to hear more about him. How long have you had him and how does he help you? 

My dog Aiden is a service dog. I’ve had him for 4 years, and he is six years old. He comes from Dogs for Diabetics and smells my blood sugars dropping, alerting me before it becomes dangerous. He alerts by grabbing a padded bar that hangs from his collar. At home, he will go get my glucose tablets and glucose monitor when he senses I’m low. 

I do have two rescue dogs. 12 years ago, I fostered dogs for a rescue. The first one we fostered was a pit bull mix that survived distemper and had a lame leg and a nervous jerk that made him look like he was in constant seizure mode. His name is Sparta. He is now 12 years old, having learned to live with three legs and outgrew his nervous twitch. The second dog I’ve had since he was four weeks old. I bottle-fed him and three siblings until they were old enough to be adopted. He was the last one left, but I don’t think he wanted to leave us because the night before the rescue, he got sick from eating a carnation variation in my garden. In the middle of the night, I took him to the emergency vet. It cost $600 to get better. Since I paid the bill, I declared him mine. He looks like the Egyptian God Anubis, so that’s his official name, but we call him Newbie. He’s a terrier/chihuahua mix.


I’m amazed at the idea of a rescue dog helping someone with diabetes. I’m sure he’s one remarkable fella. It sounds like the other dogs have a place in your heart also.  

Since people love to hear about food, here are some quick and fun questions. 


Coffee drinker?


 I gave it up due to circumstances when I got Covid- Now, I drink tea and feel healthier.


Do you like to cook? 


Not at all.


What is your favorite dish to prepare? 


Popeye’s Lasagna


Favorite restaurant? 


Boudin – San Francisco


Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?


Escargot on a cruise ship. Upon picking up the second snail, I noticed it still had its antennae, and all I could think of was the snails from my garden. I lost my appetite immediately and shared the rest of the dish with my older family members.



Thanks, Christy, for taking the time to share a little about yourself with us here at the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. It was a lot of fun learning about your writing and about Aiden! We look forward to all the wonderful projects you have planned for the future. 

To be entered for the newest book, The Rubber Band Stretches, Rocky's Story, leave a comment and your email address. You can also leave your name and email address on our contact form on the left if you prefer more security. One person will be selected for the giveaway. Please comment because we need five people to constitute an official giveaway. Thanks! 

The following are Christy's contact links if you'd like to know more about her and her amazing dog, Aiden.










Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Mission-minded Messages with Shirley Gould + a Giveaway

Welcome back to the Diamond Mine, friends. We are so grateful you continue to visit us each week and hope you have discovered some new favorite authors through us.

This week, I am tickled pink to introduce you to Shirley Gould and her latest books (yep, you read that right. Books, plural), and she's giving one of our readers copies of both.

About Shirley

Shirley Gould is an inspirational speaker, an African missionary, and an author. She’s the founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children, an orphanage in Kenya. Shirley has written non-fiction for thirty years and is presently writing Christian Fiction novels. Her debut novel, The Sahar of Zanzibar, was released in May 2021. Her first children’s book, Tubby Can’t Swim, was released in February 2021. She lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Connect with Shirley: Amazon | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Instagram

And Now for the Interview

Suzie: Welcome, Shirley, and thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend the week with us.

Let’s warm up with a few “would you rather” questions. Are you ready? Here goes: Would you rather live somewhere it is constantly summer or constantly winter?

Shirley: I’d rather live where it is constantly summer…in fact, I’ve already done that while serving as a missionary in Kenya for ten years. You can eat watermelon all year around!

Suzie: One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fruit.

Would you rather always say everything on your mind or never speak again?

Shirley: I would rather say what’s on my mind than to never speak. 

Suzie: Would you rather be without internet for a week, or without your phone?

Shirley:  I would rather be without the internet for a week than to be without my phone because of keeping in touch with my family.

Suzie: Sometimes taking that break from the internet is best for our sanity, anyway.

Ok, now that we’ve learned some random truths about you, give us some of the basics. Tell us about your family, day-to-day life, hobbies, etc.

Shirley: I’m a widow…I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

I run a ministry that helps orphans in Kenya. I write as often as possible. I also love oil painting.

Suzie: What are three books on your tbr right now?

Shirley: Three books on my tbr pile right now are

*DEAD EVEN by Susan Sleeman in the Truth Seekers Series


*Rereading the 3rd book in The Bradford Sisters Series, by Becky Wade…I’m watching how she wove the characters of each book into the other volumes…like I’m doing in my African Skies Series

Suzie: Some good choices there. Can you share a little about your journey to publication? Who are your mentors and cheerleaders?

Shirley: I’ve studied the craft of writing for eight years with Susie May Warren and Novel Academy. I write my novels according to her The Story Equation method of writing. 

My late husband was the first to love my prose…now my family and friends are my faithful
cheerleaders, but the teachers of Novel Academy have been my mentors on this publication journey.

Suzie: Your newest release, The Sahar of Zanzibar, is set in Africa (as the entire African Skies series will be). Will you share an experience or two you’ve had with the country?

Shirley: As missionaries, my husband and I were one of three missionary couples that held the first open-air Christian Crusade in Stone Town on Zanzibar Island. 

While setting up for the service, a Zanzabarian grandmother brought her granddaughter to me. “Can your God heal?” was her question. I answered her in Swahili, “Yes, He does.”

She said, “Ask Him to heal my granddaughter.” I explained how the afternoon would transpire, there would be music and singing, the minister would preach, an altar call would be given asking those who want to give their lives to Jesus to come forward. Then He will call for those who need to be healed. It is then that you can bring her forward to be prayed for.” She nodded and said she would wait. I asked her the child’s name and why she needed healing. She said, “Her name is Happy and she is completely deaf.”

When the minister gave the appeal for those who wanted to be saved, the grandmother came forward with Happy. I was playing the keyboard for the altar time…watching Happy. Suddenly, she covered her ears with her hands. Her eyes were wide. She had been healed before anyone prayed for her.

Happy became one of the most successful witnesses on the island. Without fear, she would speak to Muslims. “Why are you praying to a dead god, my God heals. I was deaf—now I can hear.”

I put Happy in my novel. She is working as a tour guide in the story.

Another story…After the crusade, we had no place to build a church. All land was owned by Muslims…except one plot of land. 

In the late 1800s, a Protestant missionary martyr, anti-slavery crusader, David Livingstone, lived in Zanzibar. Since it was a law that every person who lived there had a place to be buried…the Parliament gave a plot of ground next to the Anglican Church so  David Livingstone and any other Christians would have a burial spot. They had the Anglican church take care of the property…mowing the lawn and keeping the perimeter fence secure. 

After our Crusade, leaders in the Anglican Church came to the man who was sent to pastor the new converts and gave him this plot of ground. They were tired of taking care of it for over one hundred years…

That is where the church is in my novel…

Suzie: Such powerful stories!

In addition to writing romantic suspense, you also published a children’s picture book in 2021 and you are a popular speaker. What is/has God teaching/taught you in each of those areas?

Shirley: Yes, Tubby Can’t Swim was published this year. It’s a colorful book that encourages children to be the best they can be, tell them that everyone is different, and shows friends trying to help each other. It is the first children’s book I’ve written in a series of ten books featuring African baby animals. 

Speaking gives me a great opportunity to share my passion for the Lord. I also can tell about my writing and have book signings after I speak at churches, ladies retreats, and women’s conventions. 

So many that have followed our mission career are interested in the many adventures I share as I speak with the purpose to challenge them to make a difference with their own lives.

Suzie: What can readers expect next from you?

Shirley: I’m doing edits on my next novel, Escape from Timbuktu, the second novel in my African Skies Series. I’ve written the second book Ollie Tries to Fly in my series of Children’s books. It is ready to go to the illustrator.

Suzie: Goodness, you are one busy lady! The final question I have for you today is: how can we pray for you?

Shirley: I would ask for prayer as I market and sell these books. I’m finding marketing is much harder than writing the book.

Suzie: Boy, isn't that the truth? 

Thank you again for taking the time out of your packed schedule to share some of your experiences, your heart, and your writing with us. We look forward to learning where God takes you next.

About The Sahar of Zanzibar

In a scary case of mistaken identity, Olivia Stone is threatened by Aga Kahn, a powerful Indian ruler, because she could pass as the twin of the missionary's deceased wife. Kahn calls her the Sahar of Zanzibar who has returned from the grave to torment him and demands that she leave the island or face his wrath. She'd come to exotic Zanzibar in search of adventure, but she experiences much more.

A handsome widower, Missionary Eli Deckland, steps between Olivia and the angry Indian, rescuing her. There's an instant connection between Olivia and Eli that escalates when he comes to her rescue again and again. Amid the chaos, Eli tries to prove Kahn murdered his late wife. After several attempts on Olivia's life, she's kidnapped. Eli joins the police to find her before it's too late.

As every moment passes, Olivia's life is in more danger... Will she be saved in time? If she is rescued, would it work between her and Eli? With an ocean keeping them apart, will their feelings fade? The answer is in the African skies... 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | IndieBound | Goodreads

About Tubby Can't Swim

A hippo who needs to know how to swim because hippos stay in the water all day. His friends teach

him how to swim, but it won't work. The wild owl tells him hippos don't swim, they just stay in the shallow waters.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A MillionIndieBound |Goodreads


One winner will receive autographed print copies of The Sahar of Zanzibar and Tubby Can't Swim! by Shirley Gould. Giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only and ends at 11:59 PM EST, Tuesday, 8/31/21.


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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Author Mindy Steele's Harvest of Amish Romances!

Our book garden is full this week, just in time for the end of summer! Author Mindy Steele has stopped by to give us a little peek into her two new Amish romances. I love sunflowers personally, so I cannot stop looking at An Amish Flower Farm's cover! But there is more! Come join me as I chat with Mindy. This garden is full of blooms, and I promise there will be no weeds to pull. And never forget, there's always a book giveaway!

PT: Hello, Mindy! Welcome to the Diamond Mine. Tell the readers what genre you write in and what called you to writing

MS: I currently write Amish romance, but I have a few books being shopped currently in suspense. I don’t want to limit myself. I have so many stories to tell !!!

I have always been writing, somewhere, starting with my mother’s walls. Thankfully, I learned how to better put sentences together and use paper instead. My grandfather was quite the closet poet and very good. I like to think sitting with him nightly, jotting squiggly lines on my notepad while he blended big words together I didn’t know yet, had a huge part in it. I don’t know how to truly answer the question. I think you just know when you are meant for something. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.

PT: So true. It’s like a calling. So, do you put a Biblical message in your books or does it happen spontaneously?

MS: I always include a verse or three somewhere but not so much as to overwhelm the reader.  Of course, I want to think that my books hold some value to my readers, especially when they feel a connection to one of the characters. But if I only targeted a Christian audience then what kind of impact have I made?

Spontaneously, for sure. I wish I could say I have the entire Bible memorized, but I do not. However, while writing a scene, it simply comes when it needs to.

PT: So, how was your year? Did you manage any vacations in the chaos? If so where and why that location?

MS: No. Last year was a busy writing time for me and even though that doesn’t seem to be slowing down we had planned a vacation in June for our anniversary but that had to be canceled as well. Then my eldest called me up, said, “pack your bags mom,” and he let us tag along with him and his family for four days. We went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Ate like kings and walked for hours. Then we drove the mountains of North Carolina. (I touched the walls of the Biltmore and walked the gardens for hours). We drove through Virgina, paused at Big Stone Gap, and took the long way home. It was glorious. I had my computer, and believe it or not, only wrote 1000 words the whole trip. I think even my son knew I needed a lot of fresh air and mountain peaks before my book tour began.

PT: Are there any pets that inspire your writing time?

MS: I have no pets, (unless you count chickens) but my children have collected a few over the years that find me to their liking and now seem to be my responsibility.

This is Mira, a dying kitten that I allowed Blake to bring home to die. He was barely breathing when he found him. (That was 7 years ago). He inspires me to practice patience. He likes to wait until my fingers are flying over a keyboard to want to go out or eat. He refuses to kill mice, but give him a grasshopper and he is 2 again. He pulls my hair if I sit somewhere too long. We have a love/hate relationship, but we manage.

Jase is my hiking buddy, and also a rescue. His years are catching up with him but these days we just hike a bit slower.

PT: It does seem that animals adopt us! What about food? Tell us your favorite guilty-pleasure dessert.

MS: Blueberry streusel cake. I make it from scratch and can eat the whole thing if no one is supervising.

PT: Which type of retreat would you most enjoy? Would you prefer to be alone or with writing buddies and where would you go?

MS: I’m a mother of four and step-mother to one. We have eight grandchildren and one coming in January. Alone works for me. I came down with a fever while vacationing once and spent the day alone in camp while everyone went water rafting and hiking. I drafted Cicada Season, book three of my Miller’s Creek series, in that day. Imagine what I could do alone in a cabin, by a lake, in autumn? On the flip side, having a large family does give you lots of good writing material. LOL

PT: Share the best book you’ve read recently.

MS: I am an avid reader, so, that’s a hard one. I love all genres and have many favorites. Recently I read Laura Frantz’s newest and WOW!!! I have a small library and find myself very choosey on who gets a place on my shelves. This one has a place.

PT: Does your husband inspire or resemble any of your male characters?

MS: Mr. Steele has certainly inspired a few characters in my books.  Daniel, the man character in His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past, coming out in September, is actually written a lot with him in mind. I have used a few male family members for inspiration to build strong lead characters. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many good men.

PT: Do you utilize a program or a certain procedure for keeping story notes?

MS: I wish. I have tried my hand at plotting and find it takes me twice as long to finish a book. My office literally has notes, hanging from walls and clutter on my desk from multiple projects. I keep a notebook in my car, my purse, and beside the bed. I am constantly writing, usually at the worst time. But I know exactly where everything is, so that’s all that matters.

PT: Tell us a little about An Amish Flower Farm.

MS: I wanted to write a book that was sweet from start to finish without any floods, tornados, or death-defying situation. Love doesn’t always have to be big and daring, sometimes it comes gently. Belinda and Adam’s story is that book. It has all the Hallmarky feels with an ending that will have you swooning.

Of course we get to watch a shy woman bloom while a busy man learns to slow down and…smell the flowers. Adam helps coax Belinda out of her shell when they strike a deal to help one another out. He also learns that nothing is planned in this world and that he cannot do everything himself. There are other characters that will have you laughing out loud and a few scenes that will have you surprised. Bee charmers do exist!!!

PT: You also have another book, His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past coming out in September. Give a sneak peek into this upcoming release.

MS: I actually made a joke with one of my dear friends after reading a few new releases circulating that I should write an Amish witness protection story. We both laughed. Funny how that works because she has read everything I have written and this is her favorite.

Daniel Raber is a solid hero, the handsome loner who needs no one and nothing. He owns his own lumber mill and of course catches a few single women’s eyes. He was born Amish, but grew up in the English world. Having that world take all he ever cared for, Daniel returns home to Miller’s Creek and his Amish community and bishop uncle. Life was steady and calm, until us marshals drop a woman and three little girls at his doorstep.

Englischer Hannah Raber will do anything to protect her children when they are sent into witness protection—even marry her late husband’s brother. Learning to be an Amish wife is a big adjustment, especially since she’s determined to keep an emotional distance. But as her girls bond with Daniel, Hannah can’t help but wonder if strangers from different worlds can turn a convenient marriage into a forever love…

Becoming an Amish wife is her only option...

PT: Tell the readers how you research and obtain background for writing Amish novels.

MS: I base all of Amish novels locally, with exception of An Amish Flower Farm which was birthed from a small area in South Whitley, Indiana. I often take pictures of family farms and am currently making a mural on my office wall to help me not lose track of roads and structures. Each story is completely born of my healthy imagination. I live near the local Deacon, and he gives my spelling of Swish Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch the check of before I write them.

PT: What are you working on right now?

MS: I actually have three books going at once. It’s crazy I know, but the process works for me. I draft a story, set it aside, and when I get back to it, it’s with fresh eyes. I’m finishing the draft for a third book about Daniel’s Daughters series, which is currently being shopped and writing a new book for Love Inspired. I have a draft for a contemporary about an Alzheimer’s patient and the family who doesn’t know her. And yes, I am currently tweaking a second Hallmark book. (You’re the first to know this formally) Everyone agrees, Tabitha needs her own story.

PT: Tell us 5 things about Mindy Steele that have nothing to do with writing.


I have a deep sinful relationship with coffee.

I write for sometimes 9 hrs. a day and never less than 4 on a busy one.

I’m a binge watcher. I seldom watch TV but when I do, I want the whole series in a day or two.

I hate shopping. It is absolutely the most irritating adult responsibility I have. If ClickList actually gave you what you ordered, I would order everything to keep from shopping. 

I love fishing and hiking. I seldom get to do either these days, but hope to catch up doing them again soon.

PT: And that's wrap! Thanks, Mindy. We enjoyed getting to know you better, and we can't wait for your next "produce." (Sorry, you know I can't resist!)


And Mindy is giving one fresh volume from her harvest of great books! 

An Amish Flower Farm is up for grabs. 

All you have to do is leave a comment and your email address. (You can leave your name and email address on our contact form on the left~Contact the Miners Here~if you prefer a little more security.) One person will be selected for the giveaway. Please comment! We need 5 people to constitute an official giveaway!
Thanks for joining us! Don't forget to:

Mindy's Bio:

Raised in Kentucky timber country, Steele has been writing since she could hold a crayon against the wall. Inspired by her rural surroundings, her books are peppered with humor, and sprinkled with grace, charming all the senses to make you laugh, cry, hold your breath, and root for the happy ever after ending. Mother of four, Steele enjoys coffee indulgences, week end road trips, and researching her next book.  Represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, she has four debut novels releasing in 2021. To Catch A Hummingbird from Vinspire, An Amish Flower Farm with Hallmark Publishing, Christmas Grace with Entangled, and His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past with Harlequin’s Love Inspired imprint. 

Author links: 







I hope you enjoyed this interview! Please follow Peggy Trotter and subscribe to her newsletter @https://www.peggytrotter.com/. P.S: Don't miss her new Release, The Misfit Bride.

Lori A. is the winner of the book giveaway from last week! Congrats! Olivia Rae has a book for you. Please leave your email in the contact form so we can contact you concerning your prize!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Spying out the Scottish Castle with Author Olivia Rae

Rip the plaid from yer looms, my readers! We've a castle to spy out. Or in this case, a new author! Olivia Rae has ceased from wandering long enough to chat at my stone fireplace, though the hearth is cold given it's blistering summer (wink), with turkey legs in hand. Her books have the most fascinating backstory, much more interesting that my lame opening, ha! So let's not dilly about, let's dive in!

PT: Olivia Rae, welcome to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. My first thought is motivation. Can you share with the readers your motivation or reason for writing? Throw in  why you write this genre and why?

OR: I love to tell stories. In fact, I started verbally telling stories even before I started writing them. I decided to write Christian fiction because I could share my faith and the love of Christ along with telling a good story. I have always loved history, so writing historical novels seemed a great way to share the knowledge I have gained from studying different times in history.


PT: That’s a great reason to write! So do you have a Bible truth that is your mantra for your books?

OR: Though all my books carry a different Biblical message (i.e. A lie is never the answer; man can plan, but God directs). All my books share that salvation that is found through Jesus Christ.


PT: Despite the chaos of last year, did you have anything special or moving that occurred/memories made/ rediscoveries?

OR: My children are all grown and live far from me. Usually I see them about once or twice a year. The pandemic has stretched that time into two years. My writing has kept me sane and fought back a lot of depression. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be an independent person. I am thankful for my health and that of my husband’s. I will say I have gotten closer with our church family during this time. Another wonderful blessing.


PT: Our church family is so important. What a great support system! Tell us a little about your devotional time.

OR: I usually do my devotions and prayer time early in the morning.  Like in the movie War Room, I have a private closet. I have a long prayer list which I divide up into ten people a day so that I can take the time to say a special prayer for each person on my list. Of course, there are always urgent prayers that need attention daily. I also do a devotion with my husband after dinner. This way I start and end the day with my Lord.


PT: What an inspirational plan to stay close, not only to God, but to your husband as well. I, too, love doing my devotion time first thing in the morning. So, do you write on the inside or outside? In an office or random spot? Do you need a snack or no snack? Then, give us a peek into your writing schedule.

OR: I usually write in the morning from 8:00 to noon or 9:00 to 1:00. I am usually up in our loft, which is my office. If I write 1,000 to 1,500 words a day, I think I am doing great. I try to get up every hour and walk around the house. Snack – somedays yes, and others no. Snacking is a mood thing for me. I also set a daily (Monday thru Friday) goal with three other writers. This helps me stay on track.


PT: That’s a great schedule! I bet you get a ton of writing done. Can you share the best place you have gone since reopening?

OR: I was able to fly to California to visit my kids.


PT: How do you deal with writer’s block or distractions while writing?

OR: I never understood this question until my husband retired. He isn’t the quietest fellow.  If I can’t focus because he is making noise downstairs, I will go in another room to write. One that has a door!

As far as writers block, that only happens to me when the plot isn’t flowing right. At those times I brainstorm with my critique groups. Yes, I have two groups. This always helps me to get back on track.


PT: Which is the most trying for you: writing, editing, promoting, or some other thing?

OR: It has to be promotion. I absolutely hate tooting my own horn. I was taught that is a prideful thing and not necessarily a good thing. I have a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram account, but I don’t post like I should.


PT: I’m always curious how writers determine the looks of their characters? How do you do it?

OR: Sometimes if they are real people, history will give me their looks and names. Some character looks are determined by real historical relatives. (I.e. Father had blues eyes so son has blue eyes) Most character looks just come to me as if they are born looking a certain way in my mind.


PT: It’s funny how characters just come to be in our own minds, complete with their own looks. Well, tell us a little bit about your new series, The Secret of the Queens.

OR: Back in 2009, I went to England and learned about Lady Jane Grey who was queen of England for

nine days in 1553. Her life was very tragic. Her father and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland in an attempt to grab the throne forced Jane to become queen. The coup failed and Jane was executed. She was only sixteen.  The first book in series is a “what if” Lady Jane Grey lived.

 PT: What an interesting backstory! Give a us a little bit about the second book, A Life Redeemed?

OR: A Life Redeemed is actually the story of the sister of our hero in book one. Audrey Hayes is contacted by Queen Elizabeth to uncover secrets of treason that are brewing up in Scotland. Audrey goes to Scotland where she meets a mysterious Scottish laird, who has a son of questionable heritage. A heritage that could connect him to the English throne.


PT: Oh,my! A Life Redeemed sounds very intriguing. Will there be another book in the Secrets of the Queens series?

OR: Yes, one more. Thomas the young boy in book two is all grown up and will be leading us all on a merry chase. Through England, Scotland, and the Malabar Coast.


PT: It sounds like a series our reader won’t want to miss! Now, we’re at my favorite part. Tell us five things fast about Olivia Rae that have nothing to do with writing?


I love to hike. I love our national parks.

I love to take convertible rides.

I have a wanderlust spirit though I have been married for 43 years.

I hate snow, but live in Wisconsin.

Every trip I take must have a castle or a fort or I am not going.


PT: Hiking, no snow and add a castle, got it! What is on the horizon for your next book?

OR: I am working on book three for my Secrets of the Queen series. After that, who knows?

PT: Olivia Rae, it was so good to have you’re here on the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction! Here's Olivia's links so you can check out more info about her and her fabulous books:

Buy Link: A Life Redeemed: https://amzn.to/2UZKlrc
Buy Link: A Life Renewed: https://amzn.to/3fg7Seb

Olivia Rae is giving away a SIGNED copy of her new book, A Life Redeemed!

Don't miss your chance. To enter the contest, leave a comment, and your email, or you may enter your email in our contact form. 

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Author Bio:
Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long days in the classroom go by much faster. After becoming a teacher, she decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories.

 Olivia is the winner of the Angel Awards, Book Buyer’s Best Award, Southern Magic Award, New England Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Quill Award, the American Fiction Award, and the Illumination Awards.


I hope you enjoyed this interview! Please follow Peggy Trotter and subscribe to her newsletter @https://www.peggytrotter.com/. P.S: Don't miss her new Release, The Misfit Bride.