Wednesday, December 29, 2021

 Hi Christina,

Welcome to the Diamond Mine. We're about to begin a new year, and I always enjoy to opportunity to reflect on the year and make goals for the new year. What about you?

Thank you so much for having me! I needed a nudge to get me thinking ahead! I do always create goals for each new year in different categories—writing, spiritual, physical, and social. I may not meet everyone, but they’re a great place to start.    

Christina Sinis’si Goals for Writing:  Next year, for my writing goals: 1) Write two new novels (I take about six months per book these last few years), 2) Submit to an agent, 3) Do a GoodReads Giveaway (the only form of promotion I haven’t done yet), 4) Do a book signing, and 5) Do a talk somewhere new.

Among my spiritual goals is to read and complete a new devotional so I’m not one to focus on just one Bible verse, but I do love digging into God’s word.

By the way, I’m a psychologist by day, and actually teach about creating better goals. Here are some guidelines: 1) Keep them to a few so as not to be overwhelming, 2) Keep them under your control—it’s up to me to submit to an agent, for example, but I can’t control whether I sign with an agent, and 3) Tie them to a time frame.

My latest book is titled, Sweet Summer.

In Sweet Summer, Shelby Marano is the youngest of three sisters and was always Daddy’s baby girl—until her father was murdered. Ever since, she’s been running from anyone or anything that could truly hurt her. Instead, she seeks calculated thrills that leave her exhilarated, but when she’s caught outside during a summer storm, she quickly realizes not all adventures are within her control.


Tyler Burgess offers her both refuge from the rain and a safe place to land. Time spent with Tyler proves him to be much more than just a nerd in a history museum, but what she finds out about him is a dealbreaker for her. As Shelby’s perfect little world is threatened by family health issues and an unknown stalker, she learns the hard lesson that no one can hide from the dangers of life. Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk?


Is this book part of a series, or a stand-alone? This book is the sequel to Christmas Confusion, but can also be read alone. The third book in the series, Why They Call It Falling, is set to be released in May 2022.

I can’t wait for everyone to read the whole story!

Christina, how can readers can connect with you?

Website/Blog:   Please sign up here for my newsletter!


Social Networking Sites:

Twitter: @ChristinaSinisi


Instagram: @csinisi123






Christina, thanks so much for hanging out with us today. Happy New Year to you and to our readers.







Monday, December 13, 2021

Interview and Giveway with author Linda Rondeau!!

  Today we welcome author Linda Rondeau to The Diamond Mine!! She is offering an ebook of choice to the winner of the drawing. To be in the drawing, just click on the 'post a comment' tab at the end of the interview and leave a comment along with your email. That's all there is to it!

Today we're showcasing her recent book: Wolf Mountain Legacy!

A widowed history teacher seeks to prove a Victorian mistress’s innocence from scandal, but first she must prove her current right to walk among the sane.

What about the 150-year-old ruins atop Wolf Mountain keeps drawing Marci Henderson to the site? Village legend says the beautiful wife of the older railroad tycoon, after setting fire to their mansion, ran away with his accountant. Was there no way to prove Felicity’s innocence? First, Marci must prove she had the right to walk among the sane.  

 Dr. Blake Montgomery, a college professor, has come to Collins Bend to work on his book, Adirondack Railroad Development. To aid in his research, Blake hires Marci Henderson, his former student, one he never stopped loving, who is now a widow. When Marci is insistent people are following the two of them, Blake wonders if she is headed for another psychotic episode.

 Old emotions surface as the two embark on a suspenseful journey leading them closer to solving the age-old mystery of Wolf Mountain, a journey fraught with suspicion and murder. Along the way, Blake’s faith is challenged, and Marci searches for spiritual truth about the God she had never known.

Sounds wonderful! Now let's get to the interview!

Can you tell us some more about your book?

Set in the Adirondack Mountains, Wolf Mountain Legacy’s heroine, Marci Henderson, a widow, is recovering from a long-term hospitalization following a psychotic episode after the death of her unfaithful husband. As she fights to prove she is now whole, she hikes up Wolf Mountain, a museum site that has drawn her for many years.

 Marci identifies with the denigrated young mistress of the Wordsworth estate, said to have run off with her husband’s accountant after setting a house fire that killed both her husband and her maid. Marci believes Felicity Wordsworth was innocent but has been unable to find any proof.

 On a climb in June, she experiences a near fatal fall and discovers strange remains on the mountainside, as well as a mysterious child who presents her with a pebble. Unable to make sense of what she sees, she believes her delusions have returned and retreats to her reclusive lifestyle.

 Her sister manages to convince her to attend a college alumni fund raiser. But when she arrives, she learns the event is hosted by a history college professor, her once romantic interest while a student at Briarcliffe. He is in Collins Bend to do research on his book about Adirondack Railroad Development and much will include the Wordsworth legacy to the industry.

When Professor Montgomery offers to hire her as his assistant, Marci is resistant. However, the opportunity might help her find the answers that may prove Felicity Wordsworth’s innocence. Marci accepts Blake’s offer.

 Marci continues to have strange sightings, a man in a blue tuxedo who disappears from her view while at the banquet, a man she met at the banquet and a fisherman who seem to be following her, and a white osprey that seems to be everywhere she goes.

 Intrigue increases as Marcie becomes more and more convinced they are being followed, more so as they discover important clues regarding the 150- year-old scandal. But Blake refuses to believe her until the elderly Alfred Donahue is murdered, Blake’s friend and colleague. But to what end? Why an innocent Irish professor and author?

As the two move toward danger and intrigue, their old romance begins to resurface. Are they only looking for what once was or is something new happening between them? Is a romance at this time, considering all the bridges between them, even wise?

 Each will be spiritually challenged. Blake is tested in his new faith, and Marci begins to realize the God she has resisted is ready to both forgive and to help her forgive … not just others from recent and her far past … but herself.

 I love the fact that it takes place in the Adirondack mountains!! My family went camping there many times.

How did you get your idea for this story?

 I’ve long thought mental health disorders are largely overlooked in Christian Publishing. I’m not sure if the stigma is still there, the outdated belief that real Christians should be immune to these things. Perhaps my many years in the human services field has helped me understand the physiological and emotional causes of mental health are not indicators of an ineffective spiritual walk. Our God cares and is ready to help us find healing … sometimes through physicians and counselors. My counselor in Wolf Mountain Legacy, is a Christian who is helpful in Marci’s journey to faith and healing.

 Secondly, having lived in the Adirondack region for most of my married life, I find the history and beauty of the area make great backdrops for intrigue and suspense as well as romance. The town of Collins Bend is fictional, however is inspired by both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake in the high peaks area of the Adirondacks. Wolf Mountain is also fictional but is inspired by the well-known White Face Mountain.

 I agree completely that mental health issues are often avoided in Christian circles, but I know from personal experience that God cares very deeply about our mental health, and that is one of the main healings that happens when we continue to walk with Him.

What made you decide to be a writer? 

Like most writers, the creative bent for story-telling is inbred. From an early age, I enjoyed writing short stories in school and entertaining my fellow students on my bus. When I decided to go to college, I wanted to major in creative writing, but opted for a degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education. However, after a marriage failure, my life took a downturn as I grappled with spiritual truths. I remarried seven years later and began a career in Human Services, the experiences running the gamut of social services options including elderly, family services, and children’s services. In 2000, the Lord recalled the writer in me. I left the human services field to become a writer. I don’t recommend new authors leave the day job; however, for me, it was God ordered. I have not regretted it since even though  another eleven years would pass before I received my first book contract (though having published and won awards for many shorter manuscripts during that time.)

My first book contract was offered eleven years to the date I left my employment. That book was also an Adirondack Romantic Suspense, The Other Side of Darkness, which won the Selah Award for debut novel.

 Like the plot twists of many a novel, this writing journey has been fraught with setbacks, disappointment, and challenges I never expected, but I would not trade this journey for anything.

 A writing life is worth the challenges!! Do you write from an outline, or just from inspiration, or both?

 My writing process is more from a mental outline than a written one. I generally know my BME (beginning, middle, and end), major characteristics of my main characters, and my message (which I believe is the controlling aspect as I write). Most of my narrative is inspiration, but the said inspiration is followed by putting my seat to the chair and just writing. I revise according to a five-point plot system (initiating event, inciting event, a crisis event, a climax event, and a resolution (dénouement).

 What an interesting process you have! Do you have any common  underlying themes that you want your readers to come away with?

 My theme is on my website: With God, our worst past becomes our best future.

 That's beautiful! Do your characters share any traits with you or someone you know?

 I use my experiences and life lessons to develop many of my characters, or they are inspired by people I knew. I think I identify with Marci’s faith struggles. After my divorce, I didn’t believe I could be a true Christian since I failed God. Everything I thought I knew about being a Christian was questioned. But God met my resistance, showed me his unwavering and unconditional love, and moved me forward to an abundant life.

That's a great testimony! God is so good to us!

Do your characters ever surprise you?

Though I have an idea of how my book should evolve, often, in the course of actually constructing the book, God leads me elsewhere than I originally intended. I am the kind of writer who allows for God’s intervention and detours. But having a concept of where I want to go and the message I want to convey helps me from going down unintentional rabbit holes. 

Oh, those rabbit holes!! Do you have a favorite character in your books?

I love all my characters like a mother loves all her children. But I think my favorite was Ahmed Fared, a Muslim raised by adoptive Christian parents, from The Fifteenth Article, a futuristic political thriller. An honorable man, he is caught in a whirlwind of dramatic political upheaval and can find no path to a reasonable solution until he surrenders his pride and arrogance to someone greater than himself, surrendering to the Savior of his adoptive parents.

What are you working on now?

My work as a managing editor for Elk Lake Publishing keeps me busy … work I love to do. But I am also a writer and have a need to continue my creative spirit. My next work in progress is a speculative/Biblical fiction, Babel’s Children, (how’s that for contrasting genres?), a book I have been working on for twenty years … just not quite been able to see the book in it’s message and entirety. I am a third of the way into the book now but had to put it aside to do some intensive Biblical research. I now know my BME and my characters’ major conflicts and how they will be resolved. I am anxious to resume my work. First however, I must complete work on several special projects for Elk Lake. Theses are fun so I don’t mind. All in God’s good time. (Sounds like another book I should write?) I also have an incomplete Adirondack Suspense I’d like to get back to. I have two more releasees in 2021: The Ghosts of Trumball Mansion and my first middle-grade sci-fi, G.L.I.C.K. I am contracted for a completed devotional series, Lessons Along the Way, release date uncertain at this time, based on my ten years of articles for my hometown newspaper. The column is no longer running and the rights reverted back to me and have subsequently been picked up as a devotional series by Elk Lake Publishing.

Well, Linda, thanks so much for the interview!! I really enjoyed it!

Okay readers, remember to leave a comment to be in the drawing for a free copy of your choice among Linda's books. Here is a bit more about Linda and also some of her links:

Known for her stories of encouragement and hope, veteran social worker Linda Wood Rondeau now lives in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over 40 years. Having lived in Northern New York for nearly thirty years, the author is no stranger to the Adirondack Mountains, the perfect backdrop for mystery, romance and intrigue. When not writing, the author enjoys the occasional round of golf, movies, and visiting museums. 

The author has been fascinated with the beauty, history, and mysteries encompassed in the Adirondack region, the perfect backdrop for Wolf Mountain Legacy. Find out more about the author on her website,, where you can read her blog, Snark and Sensibility, and sign up for her newsletter to stay informed. The author is a available to speak to groups, in person or online and will answer all emails from interested readers.

Find her at these additional locations:

Facebook author page: deau





Giveaway ebook of choice (Amazon author page)






Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Karen Wingate: Through Fresh Eyes

 Karen Wingate is legally blind. 

God is never limited by human labels. 

Below is the interview I had the privilege of holding with this incredible survivor, faith-warrior, and author, Karen Wingate. 

While her focus has mainly been nonfiction, Karen and I had the privilege of collaborating on a book entitled, Christmas Treasures, a collection of Christmas fiction stories written by Christian fiction authors. 

Karen and I share the same agent and now publisher. We are both pastor's wives and we both love teaching and writing curriculum. Another thing we have in common is that of living with disabilities. 

You are going to be amazed at how God reveals himself over and over again to Karen. And you'll amazed that, if you ask Him, how He will reveal Himself to you, too. 

In the following interview, we focus on Karen's newest book, With Fresh Eyes, which reveals the miracle of sight both physically and spiritually. 

Karla Akins is the author of the fiction novel, The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots and a nonfiction memoir entitled A Pair of Miracles about her twin sons with autism. She currently teaches as a full-time 5th-grade special education teacher in inner city Tampa, Florida. Karla's favorite food is Tacos, favorite colors are teal and purple, and favorite person is Jesus Christ. 

Follow Karla on Instagram: @KarlaKAkins