Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Michelle Medlock Adams-Prolific Writer with a Purpose

It's my honor today to interview Michelle Medlock Adams. Michelle is a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Hoosier State Press Association to name a few. She is a prolific writer with a purpose. Her list of accomplishments are impressive! Michelle loves the Lord and her writing shows she has a purpose with every book she pens. 

So, Michelle tell us a little about yourself.

 I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Jeff, and we have two married daughters, Abby and Allyson, three granddaughters and two grandsons. Jeff and I share our home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Greyhound/Lab mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, I enjoy bass fishing, cheering on Indiana University sports teams and the Chicago Cubbies, and all things leopard print.

 I know you've done ghostwriting, devotionals, children's books, and adult literature. Be honest: which is more fun? 

That's an easy one-writing for children is WAY more fun. Truly, my heart beats so fast when I start thinking about a new children's book idea and begin researching the topic and exploring the best way to tell that story. I love writing both fiction and nonfiction for kids. In all honestly, I have never truly "grown up." Most of my favorite people are children. 😊 I love looking at the world through their eyes. Writing for children is the best job ever!

Writers usually have a love for writing at a young age. When did you begin writing?

When I was in first grade, Mrs. True made an announcement that would forever change my life. "We're having a poetry contest this week," she said, "so use today and tomorrow to come up with your best poem."

 We had just studied the various types of poems, and I decided I really liked the ones that rhymed. In fact, I had checked out every book of rhyming poetry I could find from our school library, and I'd read them all--twice.

 As my classmates wrote about their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, I carefully crafted the words to my poem: "I Love Penny." Penny was my 7-year-old wiener dog and my best friend in the whole world. My poem went a little something like this: "Penny is my very best friend. I'll love her to the very end. She's a very special wiener dog. I love her though she smells like a hog..."

 OK so I wasn't exactly a first grade Dr. Seuss, but my poem was good enough to earn first prize. (I guess the other first grade poets must've been really bad.) At any rate, I won a few sparkly pencils and the honor of going first in the lunch line that afternoon. Mrs. True also displayed my poem in the front of the room for all to see. I stared at my winning poem all afternoon, and in my mind, I was already coming up with a follow-up rhyme.

That's the day I became a writer. I wanted to write all the time, and so I did. I wrote during recess while other kids played tag and climbed n the monkey bars. I completely fell in love with words.

What makes writing your passion?

Creating stories for children--stories that teach, entertain, encourage and inspire--it's a noble calling. It's a calling I don't take for granted. I truly love what I do.

What's the story behind your choice of characters?

For my book, "Dachshund Through the Snow"...

I've been a dog lover for as long as I can remember. So, after writing and publishing more than 100 books, it only makes sense that I'd finally write a story about my favorite breed of dog--the dachshund. (I grew up with a shorthaired red miniature doxie named Penny. And since then, I've loved Max, Maddie, Anne, Freckles, Miller, and our current cutie Mollie Mae.)

But, "Dachshund Through the Snow" was inspired by Miller, our longhaired miniature dachshund who loved to dig and dig and dig! He is in heaven but his memory lives on through Crosby in my book, "Dachshund Through the Snow." 

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I know a lot of writers are introverts, but I may be the exception. I am an extrovert in every way! I love to connect with my readers at book events, book signings, writers conferences, etc. I also love speaking to children in school convocations and encouraging them to follow their dreams. When COVID hit and closed all of those opportunities, it was so hard for writers to connect with their readers in a tangible way.

 I started doing Facebook Live events and chatting with readers via comments. I also started "Storytime with Michelle" and brought my stories to the kids at home. I think, as writers, we need to make every effort to connect with our readers through story, through social media, at events--in every way. It means so much to them, and it's so encouraging and enlightening to us! We can learn from our readers. I do every day!

What's your writing ritual?

I am at my laptop computer every single day--whether I'm working on an article for a magazine or coming up with a new children's story or working on a  non-fiction book. I write every single day. I love it so much that it doesn't even feel like a job, but it is my full-time job. I am a full-time freelance writer, so I can't afford to have "writer's block" very often.

 We're coming to the end of the fall season, what is your favorite fall family activity?

Fall is my very favorite season. It's so beautiful here in Southern Indiana in the Fall--lots of yellow, orange, and red bursts of color dot the highways and backroads. So pretty! It's hard to narrow it down to just one favorite activity but I'd say going to a nearby Fall Festival that features corn mazes, petting zoos, and hayrides, and eating lots of yummy fall food like pumpkin pie and persimmon pudding. It's also fun to carve pumpkins with the fam. My son-in-law Wes is amazing at it! Last year, he carved my pumpkin to look like a dachshund! It was impressive.

A dachshund?! That is so fitting for you!

Here is a link to Michelle's newest book. This is an adorable story with a special message for children! 

Just a few more questions and we'll let you get back to work! With the holiday season right around the corner, what are some of your favorite traditions?

It's all about family this time of year, isn't it? I have such amazing memories of past Christmas Eves. Every December 24, we used to head to my parents' house and spend the night, along with my brother and his family, and, my sister and her family. 

We'd eat lots of fattening foods such as fudge, buckeyes, my mom's famous chocolate oatmeal cookies, reindeer mix, and more. 

And, we'd play Euchre (a card game popular in the Midwest) for hours until one team proved victorious over all other duos. Usually, my sister Martie and I won, and when we had beaten every other team, we'd break into the "Sisters" song from the movie, White Christmas. Of course, no one else found this nearly as funny as the two of us, but we continued singing just the same. Sometimes, we'd even perform the accompanying choreography...yes, we were obnoxious. 

What fun! Precious memories for sure. What do you do now for Christmas Eve?

Our Christmas Eves are a little different now that my parents have moved to heaven and my girls are married and have families of their own, but December 24 is still wonderful. Now, we all go to my sister's house and spend the night. Fudge, buckeyes, reindeer mix, and my mom's famous chocolate oatmeal cookies are still part of our food extravaganza. 

What about the Euchre game? Do you still play?

Martie and I still dominate in Euchre and we still open one gift that night, unless we can talk my sister into two gifts--she is the matriarch now. 

The age old question, real or artificial tree?

Artificial trees, and I put up five. I love decorating for Christmas. I have a pencil tree that was my mom's which features all of the sentimental ornaments, including her favorite plush Grinch ornament. 😊 That one always has a place of prominence. I love Christmas so much!

Thanks so much Michelle for sharing a little bit about yourself today. It's been a pleasure!

For a chance to win Michelle's latest children's book, Dachshund Through the Snow, enter the rafflecopter. Leave a comment with some of your favorite Christmas traditions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Nashville, Writing Tribes, and More with Romantic Suspense Author Kathy Harris

Welcome back to the Diamond Mine. It's my pleasure to introduce you to a local-to-me author of romantic suspense, Kathy Harris.

About the Author

Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville music business where she has worked for 30 years as a marketing director. She sold her first Christian nonfiction story in 2007. Her debut novel released in 2012. She writes romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Visit Kathy’s website, read her Divine Detour blog or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

SW: Welcome, Kathy. Thank you for taking time to visit with us this week. Let's dive right in to the interview with some would you rather questions.

If money were no object, would you rather buy your girlfriends a piece of jewelry or take them on a weekend getaway? 

KH: Definitely a weekend getaway. Memories last longer than jewelry! 

SW: Great answer (and I agree with you). Would you rather arrive overdressed or underdressed to an event? 

KH: That’s an interesting question for me because I’m always the one wearing jeans. I think I’ve worn a dress twice this year, and once was for a wedding.

SW: I am so grateful dressing down is acceptable in society these days. I'm not a dress wearer either. What are three books on your tbr pile? 

KH: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The House of Sky by Ivan Doig, and Crosshairs by Patricia Bradley. 

SW: I've read one of those three. Let's talk about your books. How has your marketing work with The Oak Ridge Boys helped (or hindered) your work as an author? 

KH: It has definitely helped. I studied journalism/communications for four years in college. But I have studied marketing every day for more than 30 years at Oak Ridge Boys, Inc. I am blessed to continue to learn from some of the very best in the music industry, including Jim Halsey, who has guided the Oaks’ career for decades.

SW: Marketing is so daunting to many new writers, but I find it's something to embrace (then again, I'm the researcher in my crit group). Who are your writing mentors, supporters, and/or cheerleaders? 

KH: So many… and that list has grown through the years. My late husband was always my biggest cheerleader. My first crit partner, Rebecca Deel, taught me a lot about writing romantic suspense. I was writing women’s fiction at that time. 

My editor, Ramona Richards, is one of the best romantic suspense writers on the planet. She has also been my acquiring editor since 2012. First at Abingdon Press and now at Iron Stream Fiction. 

I’ve also been blessed with two amazing literary agents. It was because of the encouragement of my first agent, Kyle Olund, that I finished my first acquired manuscript. And when Kyle went back to corporate publishing, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Julie Gwinn. Julie is someone I have long admired and working with her has been a treat. 

I could go on and on and mention the support of many fellow authors, family and friends, and readers who’ve left encouraging reviews. The long-held idiom that writing is a lonely job couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, we sit at a keyboard in a room by ourselves for hours/days/weeks at a time. But writing takes a village of supporters and encouragers. 

SW: It's so true there are people who come around us to make us better writers and encourage us when we're doubting ourselves. yes, there are those lonely hours when we write and edit our manuscripts but we also know we can reach out to our writing friends at any time.

Where do you write? What does your writing space look like? 

KH: Before 2020, I wrote mostly in coffee shops. Now, I write at home, usually in a comfortable chair with my MacBook Air in my lap. But I also write at my desk in my home office, at the kitchen table, and on my back porch during warm months.

SW: Ah, 2020, the year we all want to forget but
can't. Your Deadly Secrets series is set in and around Nashville. What are the top three must-see places for visitors? 

KH: There are so many fun places to experience in Nashville! If you are someone who enjoys walking, as I do, I highly recommend Lower Broadway, especially at night. The sights and sounds are pure Nashville. If you can, park near Nissan Stadium and walk across the Cumberland River on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. 

During the daytime hours, check out the new Fifth + Broadway shopping and entertainment complex, which also includes the new National Museum of African American Music. I haven’t been to the museum yet, but I have heard that it’s incredible. And, of course, when you’re downtown, you’ll want to visit the Ryman Auditorium, which is also known as the Mother Church of Country Music, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Another walking adventure I recommend is Radnor Lake Park, a 1300-acre natural area inside the Metro Nashville City Limits. You can walk and hike there, and depending on the day you go, you will see anything from wild turkeys to turtles to eagles to deer. 

For a more urban walking adventure, and one that’s all under roof, check out the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which has acres of gardens under glass. While you’re there, grab a burger at Stax in the Delta Atrium. And if you are visiting at Christmas, which is a great time to be there, make reservations to see The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas in Tennessee dinner show, which runs from November 24-Christmas Day this year. 

SW: Oh, a couple new places for me to visit, too! Nashville is such a fun city to explore.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Deadly Connection

This book, which is the second in The Deadly Secrets series, has some interesting characters. It was fun writing them. There’s Dixie Grace, who may be a lot like your favorite aunt. She provides the fun, the food, and the spiritual foundation for the story. 

Hannah Cassidy is the heroine. She’s a successful singer-songwriter, who narrowly escapes being snatched from a parking lot in Nashville’s Hillsboro Village. But that’s just the beginning. Hannah’s hero is TBI Special Agent Jake Matheson, and together Hannah and Jake chase down a major player in human trafficking in Middle Tennessee. Along the way, they also find each other.

Other characters include Dixie’s six-year-old, autistic grandson, Brandon, and Dixie’s boyfriend, Roland Davis. They both play an important role in the story. But it’s the antagonist—whose identity isn’t revealed until near the end—who provides the biggest plot twist in the book.

SW: I enjoyed the book and loved Dixie and Roland (but really felt for the latter).

Let's wrap things up with the most important question: How can we pray for you? 

Thank you for asking! I’m always in need of wisdom and direction, not only for my writing, but for life in general. I love to stay busy, and I tend to take too much on. I would appreciate prayers for decision making. Not only for myself, but for my elderly mother. I’m her sole remaining family guardian, and I want to be the best daughter I can be for her. 

SW: We will certainly pray for you and your mother as well as direction in other areas of your life. Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy new release schedule to share a little about yourself with us.

About the Book

Will they uncover the secrets between them before it becomes deadly?
After fending off a would-be abductor, 27-year-old singer-songwriter Hannah Cassidy hides behind a car in the half-empty parking lot behind Pancake Pantry in Nashville. From there, she watches in horror as her attacker grabs another woman and pushes her into a nearby car. Within seconds, the vehicle speeds away.

TBI Special Agent Jake Matheson may have planned a quiet day off and a date with Shannon―the only name her online profile revealed―for an introductory lunch, but after pulling into a parking space on 21st Avenue South, he hears a scream. He races to the back of the building and finds a frightened young woman bent forward and gasping for breath.

Thrown together by uncanny circumstances and driven by the whys and what-ifs of secrets yet to be revealed, Hannah and Jake set out to find the connection between them before it becomes deadly.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Interview and Giveaway with Lena Nelson Dooley!!

Today we welcome prolific author Lena Nelson Dooley to The Diamond Mine!!!

Her new book is called: A Heart's Forever Home. It's book number three in her Love's Road Home series!

After the interview, please leave a comment, and your email, to be entered in the drawing for a free copy of Lena's book!

Hi Lena!! Please share a little about your series: Love’s Road Home, and your newest addition: A Heart’s Forever Home.

These 5 books are all standalone stories, but there are characters in each book that appear in at least one of the other books.


In A Heart’s Forever Home, the heroine came to Fort Worth, Texas, on an orphan train. When her new grandmother dies, her world is turned upside down. The hero is her grandmother’s lawyer.

Here’s the back cover copy for the book:

A single lawyer whose clients think he needs a wife. A woman who needs a forever home...or a forever family...or a forever love.

Although Theresa Killdare is a grown woman now, the discovery that her adoption wasn’t finalized sends her reeling. Especially when her beloved grandmother dies and the only siblings she’s ever known exile her from the family property without a penny to her name.

 Wilson Pollard works hard for the best interest of his law clients, even those who think a marriage would make him more “suitable” in his career. And when the beloved granddaughter of a recently deceased client comes to him for help, he knows he must do whatever necessary to make her situation better.

 As each of their circumstances worsen, a marriage of convenience seems the only answer for both. Theresa can’t help but fall for her new husband—the man who’s given her both his home and his name. But what will it take for Wilson to realize he loves her? Will a not-so-natural disaster open his eyes and heart?


This sounds wonderful!! How did you get the idea for the series?

Most of these stories have been percolating in my head for a few years. I do believe that God drops the ideas there, and they take time to develop. When I write historical novels, only my characters and their stories are fiction. I do a lot of research to make everything in the book authentic to the time period. I also try to have one or more major historical events in the story. In this one, it was a seriously bad idea that didn’t work out well.


I love doing research for historical stories! 

I'm curious. Are any of your characters a lot like you?

I do think that most books have some things from the author in them. My heroine is Irish, and I have Irish in my ancestry.


Which do you find easier to write: plot, or characters?

I write character driven stories, and the plot fits in with that.


I love stories like that! 

Do you have a central theme for your books?

I have a few that often appear in my stories: forgiveness and God’s plan for lives are two of them.


Those are really important themes to address.

Do you write for a set amount of time every day, or do you write in random bursts of inspiration?

I try to write for a set amount of time, but sometimes life gets in the way. This year it was covid. James and I both got covid in January. My case was mild. I wasn’t hospitalized, and I was well in 10 days. James’s was he opposite. He was in and out of hospitals and rehab for two months, then came home in bad shape. We learned later that the rehab center and their doctor thought he came there to die, so they didn’t do much with him. We almost lost him twice during all this time, but literally thousands of people both here and around the world were praying for him. He’s a walking miracle. I was unable to write until June.


I'm sorry you had to go through all that. But what a wonderful outcome!

So, what made you decide to be a writer?

God told me to become a professional writer in 1984. You can read the testimony of how that happened by going to my website, and read the About Me page.


I'll do that! 

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Knowing I’m doing what God created me to do.


Amen to that!

Do you have a favorite among your characters?

Usually, when anyone asks me that, I say it’s the characters I’m writing about at that time.

Good Answer!  :) 

What are you working on now?

Book 4 in the series – A Heart’s Redemption set in Grape Vine, Texas, in 1899. The hero and heroine are older than my usual books, and they have a history that isn’t good. He’s now a successful rancher, and she owns a boardinghouse, and they haven’t seen each other for 19 years.


That sounds really interesting! Thanks so much for your visit today, Lena! It's been an honor to interview you!

Okay, readers! Here's more info about Lena and where you can connect with her, and her books


Bio: Multi-published author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 950,000 copies of her 54 books sold. She is a member of ACFW and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has been on the ECPA and CBA Bestseller lists, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and several Amazon Bestseller lists as well as a reviewer’s Top Ten Books of 2011. She has won over a dozen major awards.


Social Media Links:


Blog: Http://



Official Fan Page:


YouTube Channel:




Amazon Author Page:



Buy Links:

Amazon -

Also Available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple iBooks



Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Shoop, Shoop, Shooping with Kerry Johnson for Some Snowstorm Suspense!

Welcome! Set your ski poles by the door and waddle on in. We're ushering in snow with this new debut author, Kerry Johnson with her Love Inspired Suspense book, Snowstorm Sabotage. And Kerry is giving away one paperback book to one blessed person who leaves a comment or leaves their information on our contact form! Before we freeze over, let's find out more about our guest.

PT: So glad you are here this week, Kerry. Tell us about your genre, how you chose this it, and how the writing bug bit you.

KJ: I’d written several stories before signing my first book contract in 2020, and three of them are part of a middle grade speculative/adventure trilogy that’s near and dear to my heart. I adored writing the action scenes in those stories. I mean, I’d choose a Marvel movie over a rom-com most days (except Christmastime, when I love me some While You Were Sleeping). After writing the middle grade trilogy, I tried contemporary romance, a full length one and a shorter, category romance-length. Then an author friend nudged me to try writing romantic suspense—and I was hooked. It mixed exactly what I love most—action and romance.

PT: Suspense grabs us doesn’t it? Now, what’s your motivation for writing?

KJ: Books and stories feed my heart and soul. They’re inspiring and comforting. I grew up reading tons and making up stories in my head in the woods of Connecticut, talking to trees and acting out scenes. For many years, I truly thought I was a weirdo. Nope, I was just a budding author. 😊 Friends have told me I said I wanted to be an author even back in elementary school, so there you have it.

PT: What helped hone your writing craft?

KJ: Entering contests, writing more books (this is a biggie; don’t spend years focusing on one story like I did—keep writing more!), finding critique partners who have different strengths than I do, and reading craft books. Oh, and attending writing conferences! Those connections and friendships are so important.

PT: Where is Snowstorm Sabotage set?

Click to buy!

KJ: It’s set at a New England ski resort, in a fictional town in Vermont called Maple Creek.

PT: Have you been in a real live blizzard?

KJ: Yes, growing up in Connecticut we had a couple blizzards in the 80s. I enjoyed them because we got to make fires in our fireplaces and snuggle up together as a family, and of course, school was cancelled. Also, my toddler years were spent in Columbus, Ohio, and my parents often recount a huge blizzard in 1977, I believe? Or maybe 1978. Obviously, I don’t remember that one.

PT: Do you ski?

KJ: The ironic thing is that I’ve water skied but never snow skied. So, I watched lots of videos and researched snow skiing for Snowstorm Sabotage.

PT: Do any of the characters in the book have similar personality traits to you or someone you know?

KJ: I would say Everly, my heroine, is very independent and take-charge. I’m independent, too, though not as strong-willed as Everly. I’m not sure I’d be up for running a ski resort like she does.

PT: Is there an inspirational/Biblical theme in this book?

KJ: Yes. The verse I chose for Snowstorm Sabotage is 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” For Everly, it’s trusting God even though it feels like He’s abandoned her. For Isaac, my hero, it’s about recognizing he has value despite what others say about him, because God values him.

PT: What’s your current favorite Bible verse?

KJ: I have so many I pray and recite during the day, Prov. 3:5-6 being one of the main ones. But lately it’s been Psalm 147:3. “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” My dad just passed away after a brief, difficult battle with cancer, and I’ve clung to this verse as my family and I mourn.

PT: On behalf of our readers and myself, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family. So, what direction are you headed in now in terms of writing?

KJ: I’m currently finishing revisions for my next romantic suspense, then sending it to my editor at Love Inspired. I’m excited about this new story, and hopeful it turns into a series, because I so enjoyed creating these characters. For NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, in November), I’ll be finishing up a timeslip story that I started last year. For now, though, I love writing romantic suspense for Love Inspired!

PT: My favorite part! Tell 5 things about you that have nothing to do with writing.

KJ: I’m highly distracted by babies and animals.

I’m obsessed with peanut butter.

I love lizards of all kinds and would own ten if I had the room and money, etc…

I tell my bed I love you, bed at night sometimes (this is sadly not a joke. I just love that feeling of slipping into a comfy bed at the end of a long day, especially if it has newly washed sheets)

My husband and I went to high school together, but we never met until we both worked at a local Burger King. He made Whoppers and I did the drive thru. We were sixteen.

PT: Well, that's a wrap. Let's hit the slopes! (You know, turn on a Youtube fireplace and snuggle up to read Snowstorm Sabotage!)

Kerry is giving away one paperback copy of Snowstorm Sabotage. Please leave a comment with your email or contact me on the contact form.

Kerry Johnson has been conversing with fictional characters since her childhood in the Connecticut woods. A long-time member of ACFW, she’s a seven-time Genesis Contest finalist and two-time winner. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her engineer husband, two teenaged sons, her nine-year-old niece, and way too many books. She loves Jesus, long walks, all creatures great and small, and iced chai tea.