Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Good End of September morning to everyone! I’m so excited to introduce y’all to my long-time mentor, friend, sister in writing, and in Christ…JODI RULE-ROUSE!





            I first met Jodie after the death of our daughter over twenty years ago when I signed on to become a GriefShare facilitator with Church Initiative. Jodi was charged with training a multitude of us grieving folks to help other grieving folks make it through the difficult journey of grief.

            But today I’m introducing you to Author Jodi Rule-Rouse and her eye-opening, spirit-stirring series.

            Book One: SATAN, THE REAL ENEMY






            Book Two: GOD, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT




            Book Three: LIES, PRIDE AND REPENTANCE



And her new release featured today:  “UNDER ATTACK”  





            Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Jodi!

            Hello to everyone and thank you for having me.


            First off, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself, where you live, your family, and how you came to the know the Lord Jesus as your Savior. I know with that single question you could write another book, but give us the facts, LOL, just the facts!

            I believe it was on August 19, 1976, at my grandparent’s home alone watching a Billy Graham crusade being telecast on TV from San Diego, California. I was mesmerized by the words Pastor Graham spoke. He spoke of me being a sinner and needing a Savior. (Yes, he was speaking directly to me…one of my bosses at work and his wife gave me a Bible the year before. I believed they had been praying for me all along to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior) Thank goodness for people who pray. They will never know what their kindness and compassion have meant to me.

            Back to my story…That night I accepted Christ as my Savior. In my grandparent’s living room. I fell to the ground…broken. The Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and I chose not to resist. I knew then I needed a Savior. The room had no light on except the light from the TV. Suddenly, the entire room lit up. I felt a warm loving feeling come over me. It was a feeling I had never felt before…utter joy, peace, contentment and love. I knew the Holy Spirit was there and Jesus had come into my heart and would be with me for the rest of my life.

            In 1982 I met my second husband, Robert. While going to church I grew in God’s Word and realized I had never been baptized. In August of 1986, I was baptized and knew I had accepted Christ in my heart, but never made Him Lord of my life. And there is a big difference! I acknowledged and allowed Christ to have complete control of my life and my decisions as He molded and shaped me to be more like Him each day to become His servant. Now my significance comes through God and not from people or what this world thinks. Total freedom!


            When you were a grade school girl did you dream of becoming a writer, or what did you have in mind to do “when you grew up?”


            Never thought I would ever write anything. I went to a vocational school and received two degrees in secretarial and clerical. Didn’t know how God was going to use those skills for His glory, but every bit of what I learned He used at Church Initiative. In February of 2020 the Lord told me to write and what to write. He even gave me the following scripture from Jeremiah 30:2… “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’” And that is what I have done and am doing.


            What brought you to become involved with Church Initiative and GriefShare?


            In 1997 I suffered nine losses in seven months. After my dad died, I began to search for a biblically based and Christ centered grief program and found GriefShare. The Lord built our GriefShare group to be the largest in the nation and Church Initiative sought after me. God provided a wonderful leader to take over the ministry in Las Vegas and I headed for Wake Forest, North Carolina, where I worked with Church Initiative for over fifteen years training GriefShare facilitators all over the country and loving every leader I met.


            How did God let you know you were going to write that first book? Did you know from the beginning there would be five books…so far?


            Over the last six years, since living back in Las Vegas, I have been working with pastors, chaplains, and ministry leaders who were having problems in their lives and in their ministries. I began to use the spiritual weapons God gave me while working with GS leaders for Church Initiative.

            God began having me write an outline and viola~ the book came together. It was all HIM!

            The responses have been amazing…shedding tears of joy many times when I hear how the books are being used to change people’s lives. These people are being healed in the name of Jesus Christ…and that is AMAZING!

            Now pastors, chaplains, counselors and leaders hand out my book, getting the message into the hands of those hurting. And some churches are using it as a Bible Study. When you read this book, Satan will NOT win. We have victory in Christ, but need to be reminded we are a sinful, broken person who needs a Warrior to fight our battles. And praise God…Jesus shows up!


            Now to your newest book in this series, UNDER ATTACK! What kind of responses have you had from this newest release?

            I have people who have been healed and are now telling others of this newest “UNDER ATTACK.” The book is so easy to use and is so friendly and scripture oriented. I’ve written “UNDER ATTACK” in a way that any person who has never read the Bible will know without a doubt who God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Satan are.


            There are a number of soon-to-be authors reading this interview. What words of wisdom and encouragement would you give them, Jodi?


            The most important thing I feel is to make sure that any fear, shame, worry, guilt, bitterness, resentment, hurt and offenses are removed from your spirit. That is what “UNDER ATTACK” does. Once those things have been removed, it gives room for the Holy Spirit to flow through you. You will be able to clearly hear the Holy Spirit and begin to freely move with Him. Then and only then will you know what to write.


            I know we all feel Jesus is coming back—very soon—but ‘til that time, has The Lord given you any idea what’s next? Another book? I could only wish you were still available to train new GriefShare leaders…I don’t know what I would have done without the comfort and healing of my Lord Jesus during those wretched months of grieving…then your coming alongside and teaching me how to help others…and now I’m anxious to watch and see what He’s going to do with you and this marvelous series. Time indeed is short!

Christmas is coming…what better gift could we give our loved ones than a book from this series…or better yet…give ‘em the whole series!


            I have two more books the Lord has given me to write. One is called “BECOMING.” It helps the Christian to move from milk to meat. To become a fully devoted follower of Christ. To learn how to “work out your salvation.” The second book will be called “IF.” When I began to read the Bible, the word “IF” kept popping out to me. “If” you do this says God…then God will do this. I am excited to see what marvelous words He will have me place into the next two books.


            Thanks again for being with us today, Jodi! I love you and sure wish this could have been an “in person” interview. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to give you a hug! But for all you readers, Jodi has graciously offered to answer any questions you have for her.

Sooo, let’s do this…if you want to ask Jodi a question in our comments to this interview, I will place your name in the hat to receive a free, signed, copy of “UNDER ATTACK.”

            The winner will be announced in the comments on Tuesday evening, October 5th. Have a blessed season of Thanksgiving and Christmas! See y’all in 2022!


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Cynthia Roemer - Inspirational Writer, Inspirational Woman

Hi friends! I've had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia several times, so this time I shook things up from my normal format for interviews. Before I dive in, if we have five or more commenters who give their answer of the fun question with their email address ( name (at) something (dot) com), one lucky winner will win an e-copy of her novel.

Cynthia Roemer is an inspirational, bestselling author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the hearts of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the mid-1800’s prairie and Civil War era. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon bestseller, Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies, a 2020 Selah Award winning novel. 

Cynthia writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-seven years. They have two grown sons and a daughter-in-love. When she isn’t writing or researching, Cynthia can be found hiking, biking, gardening, reading, or riding sidesaddle with her husband in the combine or on their motorcycle. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit Cynthia online at:

Now for a little more personal introduction. I meet Cynthia four or five years ago at a book signing I attended with a friend, and have since had the enjoyment of reading all her releases. (I've got her newest one sitting on the corner of my desk waiting for me to finish a couple of other required reads first. So watch for that review in the next month or so.) Cynthia is a beautiful woman who has walked through some very difficult trials over the last two years-- her husband's cancer, the death of her beloved father, and her own continued battle with cancer. Through it all, she has been an amazing example of loving and trusting God even in the hard times. She has graciously agreed to share some of her experiences and how they have affected her and her writing.

CC: Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your story. While you were writing Beyond These War-Torn Lands, you faced multiple family and personal challenges, including fighting an aggressive cancer diagnosis. How have you seen God work during that process?

CR: The past year and a half have truly been challenging with both myself and my husband being diagnosed with cancer and the loss of my dad. But through it all, the Lord has given me the strength and determination to press on. Writing provided a welcome distraction from the dismal reality of cancer and chemo and helped me focus on something worthwhile that I enjoyed.

CC: Writing certainly has been a gift from God for me in troubled times. I am so glad He provided you the strength and determination to keep at it. 

Did any of your experiences, emotions, or struggles with this time play into Beyond These War-Torn Lands? How so?

CR: I do feel the depth of emotions and spiritual content were enhanced by my experience. I’ve always had a deep sense of emotion, but during this health challenge, the Lord drew me in even closer to his unfailing love, and I pray that resonates with readers in this story.

CC: You have been such a light of faith, grace, and courage to your readers on social media as you go through this valley of struggles. What gives you the greatest encouragement on those hard days? 

CR: Thank you, Crystal. Just knowing others are praying for me is such a comfort. I received more than a hundred cards and so many gracious comments on social media. We had people stop by to bring food and offer to help in any way. All of those expressions of Christ-like love truly inspired me to keep going. I feel so blessed! 

CC: How can we be praying for you as you move forward in your treatment and in your writing? 

CR: You are so thoughtful, Thank you! Specifically, I would appreciate prayers for renewed strength and healing, for my kidney function to return to normal (it has suffered from treatment), and for the Lord to be glorified through this experience and in my writing. Please pray what I write will honor Him and that I will be obedient in whatever He calls me to do. Thanks so much!

CC: Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into this season of life for you. I'm excited to introduce readers to your newest release, Beyond These War-Torn Lands.

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin. (Purchase here.)

CC: What are you most proud of with this story? 

CR: All the historical details I was able to weave into the storyline. It was such great fun inserting my characters into encounters with real historical events and people. Countless hours of research went into this novel, and it’s so rewarding to see that appreciated in reader reviews and comments.

CC: I can only imagine all the work that went into creating this novel. What do you hope readers will take away from your story? 

CR: The main themes are forgiveness and loving our enemies—two issues that are challenging to us all! The theme verse for Beyond These War-Torn Lands is Matthew 5:43-44:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

Throughout the novel, both Drew and Caroline face challenging people “enemies” that they must make the difficult choice to seek revenge against or show Christ-like love to. With all the hatred and bitterness going on today, I feel this is a message we can all benefit from hearing. Loving the unlovable is one of the hardest things we’re asked to do but, as Christians, we are called to love even when others are unkind toward us.

CC: Was there anything you found fascinating while researching for this story? 

CR: Oh, wow! I could write another book on that. LOL! This was the first novel I’ve written that involved so much actual history and I became lost in the research numerous times. But, for the sake of time and space, I’ll share just a couple of fascinating tidbits that I ran across. 

In the opening scene of Beyond These War-Torn Lands, my hero, Sergeant Andrew (Drew) Gallagher, is injured at the Battle of Monocacy Junction, a lesser-known battle that was a loss to the Union. The Union commander in the battle was General Lew Wallace. After doing a little digging, I discovered something intriguing. If you’ve read or seen the movie, Ben Hur, you might find it interesting that it was written by none other than the retired Union General Lew Wallace!!

I also found that renovations to the U.S. Capitol dome began in 1861, but were stopped briefly at the start of the Civil War. Work quickly resumed, however, and was on-going throughout the Civil War and completed in 1866! I find that amazing!

CC: I love the research that goes into a story. There are so many fascinating details. Who was your favorite character to create? Why? 

CR: Oh, I loved Drew. He was such a good-natured guy, so fun to create. I dearly loved how he related to Caroline, his horse, his men, his superiors, and God!

CC: Who was your most challenging character? Why?

Definitely Caroline’s father, Eugene Dunbar. He was gruff, overbearing, and spiteful—all the traits in a person that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide!

CC: I am with you on that type of book. Will there be others in this series? 

CR: Yes. I’m currently working on Book 2 in my Wounded Heart Series which will be Drew’s younger brother Luke’s story. It begins in Richmond, VA in the final week of the Civil War and during the aftermath. The story is still in the developmental stages, but is slated to release in November, 2022.

CC: Ooooh. Already sticking it on my TBR list. :-) I've always enjoyed reading your stories. As always, I love to wrap up with a fun question. If you could choose to have lunch with any book character, who would you choose?

CR: Hmm. That’s an interesting question. The first that comes to mind is Anne of Green Gables. I love her down-to-earth nature and her tenacity! I’m certain we would be kindred spirits. =)

CC: Thank you so much for the interview, Cythnia. I truly appreciate it and will be praying for you. Readers, which book character YOU would choose to have lunch with? Tell me in the comments so we can create a virtual luncheon. :-)

If you'd like to connect with Cynthia Roemer, you can find her at any of these places:




Author Newsletter Sign-up:

Amazon Author Page:





Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Interview with best-selling author J'nell Ciesielski

One of the best things about being an author is watching fellow authors get their wings. I remember when I met this beautiful young woman in 2015 (see my interview here) with dreams in her head and words at her fingertips. And now, just look at her! All grown up in the romance book writing world and launching book after successful book. I couldn't be more proud to present this interview with the truly talented and lovely J'nell Ceiselski.

We share a mutual agent, Linda Glaz, of Hartline Literary Agency. And we both share a deep love of history.
J'nell is an impressive talent indeed. She is the winner of both the INSPY and Maggie Awards. She's also a Florida native (where I live now!) but now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

J'nell states on her website:  

"If you love a good romance, high adventure, intelligent heroines who can hold their own, men to make your heart swoon and knees shake then you’ve come to the right place.

All my life I’ve surrounded myself with books and awesome stories, particularly ones set in a time long gone by. My passion has always been history, and its secrets open up a world of possibilities. Throw in a melting romance that ends happily ever after and I’m hooked."


Put your feet up and enjoy the video interview with this brilliant young mind!

J'nell's Books can be purchased here: Books By J'nell Ciesielsky

Social Media Links

This interview by Karla Akins first appeared on The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction blog. 
Karla Akins is an award-winning author, educator, and speaker. She hails from the Tampa area of Florida where she resides with her husband, Eddie, her naughty Boston Terrier, Bella

Rose, and her two self-important cats. Her twin adult sons with autism live with them, too. A Pair of Miracles is about their life. Karla is a full-time 5th-grade public school special education teacher in inner-city Tampa and an online instructor. To schedule tutoring or coaching sessions, go to or to her Outschool platform.

Follow Karla on Instagram: