Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Interview with Jackie Layton, author of Caught and Collared!

 Hi, guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ;-) And one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends at coffee shops then head to the bookstores. Yes, plural. After all, books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination! So consider this our virtual coffee shop. I'll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today's guest. <3

Today we are going to pry into the private life of CHAT with Jackie Layton, author of Caught and Collared!

Former Kentuckian Jackie Layton loves her new life in the Low Country. She enjoys time on the beach, despite one vacation that ended with cracked ribs from riding her boogie board with the kids and another trip that ended with a fish hook in her foot and a trip to the emergency room. There’s nothing like time at the beach, although she tends to be a bit more cautious these days. Jackie is the author of four Low Country Dog Walker Mysteries, including Bite the DustDog-Gone Dead, Bag of Bones, and Caught and Collared.

Connect with Jackie Layton on her website, blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazonand on Facebook her pages Jackie Layton Author and Joyfuljel!

Interview ~

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

*drum roll*

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

I changed from tea to coffee when my youngest son was in college. He and his girlfriend enjoyed it so much, and before I knew it, I was hooked. 

What a fun story! If you could order anything in the world to eat (we can dream, can't we?), what would it be?

Provisions is a restaurant in Holden Beach, North Carolina. I would order a grouper sandwich, onion rings and Key Lime Pie. It’s one of my favorite meals.

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

I enjoy my office because it’s sunny and has enough room to spread out my maps, story boards, and research material.

Sounds perfect! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-)

I’m not sure if it’s odd, but I like to write early in the morning and/or late at night. 

Nice! What inspired you to write Caught and Collared?  

I enjoy the characters in A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery Series so much, and it’s fun to visit with them. In Caught and Collared, a newcomer is murdered, but will his secrets die with him? The victim has a radio show and a podcast where he examines cold cases.  

I love visiting with old characters! What led you to write in this genre? 

I’ve loved cozy mysteries since I read my first Nancy Drew book. I can still remember visiting my grandmother’s house and finding my mother’s books. I’ve been reading mysteries ever since.

Love the generational side of your story! What message do you hope to convey to your readers? 

Love others. Throughout the investigation, Andi Grace learns to care for strangers. She’s always been able to shelter and care for stray dogs, but people were different. 

Love that message! Can you tell us a little about your next project(s)? 

I am contracted to write two more books in this series. I also have a contract to write a series set in Lutz, Texas. The main character is a flower farmer, and Lutz is another small town.

YAY! Lots to look forward to reading! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level? 

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.  In 2022, my goal is to be more focused on writing and ignore distractions.

Such a good goal!!! What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds -- mine! -- want to know! ;-)

I’m reading Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and The Purpose Driven Life. 

Agatha Christie's been on my TBR pile for some time now -- I'll have to remedy that! Thank you for answering all of my prying questions, Jackie!

Be sure to check out Jackie's upcoming release, Caught and Collared! It's available for preorder now, and -- #dealalert -- if you preorder the eBook, it's only $3.99! After releasing on February 15th, the price will go up to $4.99.

When a scavenger hunt turns up a dead body, dog walker Andi Grace Scott will have to make a dogged effort to collar the culprit . . .

Setting out for a day of fun on her town’s first-ever scavenger hunt, Low Country dog walker Andi Grace Scott is dismayed to find an unattended dog wandering the streets—but that’s nothing compared to the shock she gets when she finds a dead man floating in the swimming pool of the dog’s owner. What’s more, she’d seen the very same man having a very public altercation with his wife just the night before. Despite being warned off the case by the local sheriff, Andi Grace can’t help nosing around to find out who’s behind the foul deed.

It turns out the victim was a well-known radio personality who focused on cold-case investigations and was rumored to be breaking a huge story on his next show. As Andi Grace digs deeper to learn who may have wanted him dead, she’s faced with a suspect list that includes a cold-hearted widow who stands to inherit a bundle, a local country star with family demons to hide, and any number of unknown criminals who may have been the focus of the victim’s big reveal. Whether the motive was love gone bad, a career under duress, or a killer’s deadly secret, Andi Grace knows she’ll have to act fast before she becomes the next cold case herself . . .

Praise for the Books of Jackie Layton

“Andi Grace is adorable, resilient, and has a doggedly curious need to solve a murder. A pleasure to read.” —C. Hope Clark, award-winning author of Edisto Tidings

“Completely charming—and exactly what a cozy mystery should be. Amateur sleuth (and dog whisperer) Andi Grace Scott is wonderfully endearing, and her devotion to her pooches—and to justice—will have you rooting for her from the absolutely irresistible page one.  Bow wow—What a terrific debut!”  —Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally best-selling and award-winning author of The Murder List

“I promptly fell head over heels for this cast of characters, and the dogs burrowed quickly into my heart. The plot of Bite the Dust was intriguing and complex, with plenty of surprising twists and turns. What impressed me the most, though, was the warm tone of the author’s writing voice . . . you just want to snuggle in and keep reading.” —MeezCarrie

Purchase Caught and Collared on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords!

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


~V. Joy Palmer

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Interview with Molly Noble Bull with giveaway!

Hello readers. This is Kathleen L. Maher, your hostess, and today I have the privilege of introducing you to a wonderful woman of faith and talent. 

Hi, Molly, and welcome to Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. I’ve had the pleasure of your acquaintance for a few years, now, and I have admired your writing, your faith, and your tenacity in this challenging craft.

Tell us a little about yourself.


I am a native Texan. My father and my grandfather were cattle ranch foremen, real Texas cowboys. I spent part of my growing up years on a sixty-thousand-acre cattle ranch in South Texas. I am a wife, the mother of three sons, and a grandmother.

In 2021 Scrivenings Press published Bluebonnet Bride, my most recent novel. Scrivenings Press also republished my historical Christian western, When the Cowboy Rides Away, and they will publish Cowboy Cousins on March 29, 2022.

But For Always, my post World War II romance, was my first published novel; and it came out from Zondervan Publishing House in 1986. At that time there was no internet—no email addresses. I typed out my manuscript, and had a good typist retype it. Then I put it in a box, posted a name and address on it, and sent it to Zondervan the old fashion way—via the U.S Post Office.  

Zondervan also published The Rogue’s Daughter that same year. I was working on my third novel for Zondervan when they stopped publishing Christian romance novels, and I had no idea what to do next. So, there is a long space between The Rogue’s Daughter and my third published novel.


   What has been the highlight of your many years of your writing calling? I know you’ve won several awards. What was that like?


Brides and Blessings, my third novel, was published by Love Inspired in 1999. Love Inspired/Steeple Hill also published The Winter Pearl in 2010. Though my Zondervan novels are no longer in print, Brides and Blessings and The Winter Pearl are still available.

   But Sanctuary, my fifth novel, is no longer in print because the publisher went out of business. Nevertheless, Sanctuary, a long historical, won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award in the inspirational category and tied for first place in a second national contest for published authors that year. Later, Sanctuary was republished under a new title, The Secret Place, and the two novels, Sanctuary and The Secret Place are exactly the same. The only difference is the title and cover information, but neither of these books is still in print.

   However, Gatehaven, my Gothic historical, is still available to buy. Gatehaven won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Creation House Fiction Writing Contest, and When the Cowboy Rides Away won the 2016 Texas Association of Authors contest in the Christian western category. Both of these novels are in print today.

   But for me, novel writing is not winning contests; Writing fiction is my way of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, and yes, some of my books won awards. I thank God for the gift of creative writing and for all the good things in my life. But I can do nothing without the LORD. I give Him full credit for all my achievements. For that reason, (But to God give the glory) is written on the dedication page of all my published novels.



Tell us about your recent release, Bluebonnet Bride.

 Bluebonnet Bride is a modern-day romance, and the story begins in a parking lot in Austin, Texas where Gina Hollister meets Billionaire, Steve Bryson, for the first time, hoping to explain why she cannot go to Colorado for the summer to tutor his dyslexic daughter, Amanda. Gina and her African American business partner, Nicole Danton, plan to build a learning center for children with learning problems in the little town of Hill River in the Texas hill country. But so far, they are unable to find a bank willing to finance the project. When Steve offers to finance the learning center if Gina accepts the summer teaching job, she finally accepts, but reluctantly. Regardless of Steve’s wealth, charm, and drop-dead good looks, Gina doesn’t trust him, preferring to believe all the gossip rather than her own inner thoughts and opinions.

   Gina promises to go with Steve to Hill River to show him the building site where the learning center will be located and to discuss plans for the trip. But she has no intention of telling him that, like his daughter, she too is a dyslexic. Those who knew her as a child in school knew about her reading and spelling problems, and she was cruelly called names like wacko and stupid. As a result, Gina, as many in her situation do, resorted to becoming the class clown. She is a creative person, able to think up witty comebacks that cause others to laugh and be put at ease. However, she has kept her dyslexia a secret to protect her reputation and prestige in the academic world as Dr. Gina Hollister. She’s worked too long and too hard to allow her newfound victories to slip away.

   Despite all her misgivings, Gina likes Steve. But what else is he hiding? Is there more information yet to be revealed other than what she learned from his late wife?

   The Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas, and Gina calls the location where the center will be built Bluebonnet Hill. In the spring the entire area is a sea of bluebonnets, and it is a tradition in the Hollister family that brides marry at Hill River when the bluebonnets are in bloom. Gina dreams of becoming a “Bluebonnet Bride.”

   She has always felt like an outsider because of her learning disability, hoping one day to become more like everyone else. But will it ever happen? Can it?

   Their Saturday together in Hill River is heaven for Gina and maybe for Steve too. They climb the rocky hills, float down the river on inner tubes, have a picnic supper, and visit an antique store because Gina loves antiques. Steve likes ginger cookies, and she calls him the Gingerbread Man. He calls her a Bible thumper.

   But what will happen once they arrive at his estate in Colorado—a place Gina calls “the castle?” Their lives and backgrounds are too different. Will she be able to keep her Christian life and values in check? Or will she fall into the arms of the biggest womanizer in the state of Texas?


   What projects are upcoming for you? I know about one, Cowboy Cousins, a novella collection with Scrivenings Press, because you spearheaded the project and very graciously invited me to participate. I’m excited about its release this year! Tell us more about Cowboy Cousins and any other projects you’re working on. 


Cowboy Cousins is a collection of historical western novellas by three different authors—Kathi Macias, Kathleen L. Maher, and me—Molly Noble Bull. Kathi’s novella title is “A Panhandle Sunrise;” Kathleen’s novella is titled “The Meddlesome Maverick; my novella is titled “Lucy and the Lawman,” and as mentioned, Scrivenings Press will publish Cowboy Cousins on March 29, 2022.

Cowboy Cousins is about three cowboys; their mothers were sisters, and they all grew up in Juniper, a small town in the Texas hill country. Each novella tells what happened after they became cowboys as well as grown men.

It was an honor to take part in this interview. Thanks, Molly Noble Bull


   To learn more about all my books, visit my page at Amazon.

and my website.

Molly, thank you so much for spending time with us here on the Diamond Mine. I would like to offer one of our lucky readers a free ebook of their choice from among your titles. I can specifically recommend Bluebonnet Bride, as well as When the Cowboy Rides Away, and your Christian Gothic, Gatehaven, because I had the privilege of reading and reviewing them. All five stars, of course!

*All our readers need to do to enter to win one of Molly’s books is leave a comment here for Molly, and for **extra entries, share this blog on your social media and tell us how many shares. (facebook, Instagram, pinterest, twitter, etc) Winner will be drawn Tuesday January 25th. Thanks Molly, and Thanks everyone for reading. Hope your 2022 is full of Godly adventure!


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Interview and Giveaway with Author Peggy Trotter

I'm excited to introduce you to one of Diamond Mine's authors, Peggy Trotter.

When Peggy Trotter’s not crafting or DIY-ing, she’s immersed in a story scene of some sort, always pushing toward that sigh-worthy, happily-ever-after ending. Two kids, two in-law kids, and four grandchildren are the delight her life, as well as her Batman of 37 years whose cape is much worn from rescuing his wife from one predicament or another.


On a dusty shelf lies a couple of writing honors like the prestigious ACFW Genesis Award, Novella category, even though she writes full-length historical and contemporary Ransomed-Ever-After Fiction. She strives to bring characters and storylines alive to reveal God’s guiding providence and unending love.


Always on a search to find one of her many pairs of glasses, Peggy’s a smoldering pot of determined discombobulation who, by the grace of God, occasionally pulls it together to appear in public as a normal, confident woman while privately craving a few hermit hours to woo the printed word.

A few fun facts about Peggy--

Given the choice of:

Coffee, tea, or water? Water

M&Ms or Skittles? M & M’s

Cat or Dog Person? Bothish~I have 5 cats but love my son’s Great Danes!

Favorite Song? Right now is Until Grace by Tauen Wells and Gary LeVox

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter? SUMMER!!!

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Mostly I read Historical fiction. But, I have found I really enjoy biographies as well. So when I’ve had enough petticoats and wagon wheels, I peruse the biography section.

Which is your favorite book youve written so far? Why?

I have two. Year of Jubilee was super fun because it was the first one and that story had lived in my brain for at least a decade. But also The Lowborn Lady. The main character actually had its start in Year of Jubilee, so I waited several years to put her to page. I enjoyed giving Rhapsody pluck, boldness, and just a dash of arrogance. But mostly, I love redeeming her ugly character, watching her grow into this person who really saw and cared for people.

Tell us about your latest release:

The Lowborn Lady came out in December and it is the second book of the series Society of Outcasts. Rhapsody Hastings carries a deep set guilt about the death of her first husband. So when her carriage breaks down on a dark country road, and she’s caught in the arms of a ruffian, Cavanaugh Blackledge, she must wed him to still rumors and save her reputation. So, she accepts the arrangement as her own personal penance. Yet, her new husband’s unexpected mission wakens her dead heart despite the fact that a high society lady shouldn’t be involved with such…dangerous illegal conspiracies. 

Do you find yourself returning to a similar theme in your novels or do you have a new message with each release?

I like to redeem unredeemable characters. Personalities that are at the end of their rope, the bottom of the pit, at the point of no return, completely desperate. Because that is usually where God meets us, isn’t it? I love the quote from the Bible about the prodigal son when that proverbial light bulb explodes in his head. The KJV says, “When he came to himself…” Luke 15:17a. Isn’t that just the way it happens? We finally, after searching, trying, working, striving, realize that all our ambitions and effort are useless and futile without God.

Did you enjoy creating one character more than another? If so, why?

Rhapsody possessed some haughty, arrogant undertones at the beginning of the story and it was fun to create her personality. I found myself having to rewrite certain sections to give her more snootiness. But in reality, she’d had a very important epiphany, and it was a joy to transform her character to be more like Christ.

Just for fun--As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot? Why?

A horse, or rather a trotter, LOL. Mainly because I have always adored horses. My childhood and adolescence was spent reading books about horses, both fiction and nonfiction, and because thoroughbreds were my favorite, following the Triple Crown winners. I remember poring over a particular book that displayed the various breeds of horses in full color. That was a treasured book.

If you'd like to win a copy of The Lowborn Lady:

Say hello to Peggy in the comments, and we'll choose a winner.

Where to find Peggy:




Amazon Author’s Profile Page:










Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A New Year Full of Opportunities!

 Welcome to 2022!

I think, like us here at the Diamond Mine, you may have high hopes that this new year will bring fresh joy and churn with amazing opportunities. All of us are anxiously awaiting a time at least, of normalcy. A new year also means a time for change. A time to say hello to brand new adventures and goodbye to  others.

In particular here, we here are saying goodbye to some faithful interviewers. DiAne Gates, Jackie Layton, and Renette Steele are setting sail on their journey of writing and leaving the Diamond Mine. We wish them the best in their endeavors. We will miss them! I know you readers have enjoyed getting to know them, their books and writings, and their interviews. Their efforts here are so appreciated!

But we are also welcoming in some new talent which is so exciting! Penny Frost McGinnis will be joining the Mine in 2022. You can learn more about her here: She is releasing her first book, Home Where She Belongs, book one of the Abbot Island Series. And as with most authors, she has other creative hobbies like writing poetry, photography, and felting.

Here's her bio:

 If Penny Frost McGinnis could live in a lighthouse or on an island, she would. Instead, she and her husband are content to live in southwest Ohio and visit Lake Erie every chance they get. Blessed with five children, their spouses, and a passel of grandchildren, she adores her family, indulges in dark chocolate, enjoys fiber arts, and grows flowers and herbs in her tiny garden. Penny has been published in Chicken Soup, and The Upper Room. She blogs at Hope for Today's Heart and believes God has called her to bring hope to people's lives through the written word. Penny's debut novel, Home Where She Belongs will be published in May 2022. Thank you readers for being so dedicated to the Diamond Mine and the wonderful authors and books we highlight. To celebrate the New Year of 2022, onboarding Penny, and the renewal here at The Diamond Mine, I am giving away one copy of my newest release, The Lowborn Lady. Leave your email address in the comments or enter it on the contact form to be entered in the giveaway!

We appreciate YOU readers! Here's to a fabulous 2022.


Book Two of Society of Outcast Series. Enter to win!

A high society lady shouldn’t be involved in dangerous illegal conspiracies…