Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Interview and book giveaway with Barbara Britton!!

Today we continue our visit with Barbara Britton as she answers interview questions and offers a free, signed copy of her latest book
 Defending David. 

All you need to do to be entered is to click on the comment button after the interview and leave a comment and your email. 

Here's a short blurb about her book:

When a quiet journey to Jerusalem turns tragic, newly orphaned Rimona must flee a kinsman set on selling her as a slave. Racing into the rocky hills outside of Hebron, Rimona is rescued by a rugged Philistine commander journeying to Jerusalem with six hundred warriors. Can Rimona trust this giant foreigner or will she be betrayed once again?

Exiled commander Ittai the Gittite is seeking refuge in the city of David. Protecting a frantic Hebrew woman is not in his leadership plan. Though having a nobleman's niece in his caravan might prove useful for finding shelter in a foreign land.

As Rimona and Ittai journey to Jerusalem, an attraction grows between the two orphans looking for a new home. The unlikely pair arrives in Jerusalem on the eve of a revolt against King David. Will the chaos separate them forever, or can a bold woman and a Philistine exile defend an aging king who has slain tens of thousands, but cannot control a rebellious son?

Well, this sounds so interesting! Barbara, what inspired you to want to write this story?

I first heard about Ittai the Gittite in a sermon my husband preached called  A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother. Ittai befriended King David during Absalom's rebellion and became a trusted confidante of the king. What caught my attention about Ittai is that he is a Philistine exile. The Philistines were enemies of Israel and they worshipped many gods. But Ittai's first words in II Samuel 15:21 show why he might have been exiled from Philistia: 

"As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives,"

Did you catch it? Ittai believes in the Living God. The One True God. Ittai also pledges allegiance to King David, God's anointed king. I would love to know Ittai's backstory and how he became a believer. I write my ideas in the book.

No wonder this character sparked the interest of you and your husband! What made you decide to be a writer?

I had no plans to be an author. I was teaching Bible stories to elementary students in chapel and needed to modify my curriculum and write new lesson plans. I prayed to God for creativity, but I wasn't specific that I needed help with only my chapel lessons. After the prayer, I had a prompting to sit down and write sweet historical stories. I finished three books before I started writing about little-known Bible characters. I should have started writing about what I was teaching each week. I guess I'm a slow learner.

I love writing about people in the Bible that many Christians haven't met. It surprises me how many stories are new to me, and I have been a Christian for a long time.

There is so much rich history in the Bible, and so many people whose full stories aren't told. Yet! What is the biggest challenge for you in being a writer?

When I started writing, the internet and social media weren't invented, or were in their infancy. I didn't have to balance my writing time with building a social media platform. My family responsibilities and my church ministries haven't changed, but now I need to find time to write posts and snap pictures and comment on friend's stories. 

It can be distracting to have dings going off when you're trying to concentrate. I have to constantly remind myself to make writing a priority over social media. I'm sure we've all had it happen that you're only going to check for notifications on Facebook and a half hour later you're still looking at pictures.

How true that is!

Do you write from an outline, or just from inspiration, or both?

I love it when God gives me an outline and I can follow a story in Scripture one verse at a time. I focus on II Samuel, chapters 15-19 in "Defending David." There's plenty of material in those chapters to write a story. David had an interesting life, and a lot is written about him in Scripture.

When there isn't much in the Bible about a person or story, I have to fill in action that may have happened and make it fit the customs of life in biblical times.

I bet that can be pretty challenging!

Do you have any underlying themes that you want your readers to come away with?

I have themes for all of my books. For "Defending David," I chose Proverbs 18:24:

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Ittai sticks closer than a brother to King David. It's interesting that none of David's brothers are mentioned during Absalom's rebellion. Some may have passed on or they were too old to assist David. David was about sixty years old when his son tried to seize the kingdom.

Our ultimate friend and Savior is Jesus. Jesus' mother and step-father, Mary and Joseph, were both from the line of King David.

 Do your characters share any traits with you or someone you know?

In Biblical times, life was difficult. The Israelites lived under occupation and meeting daily needs was a chore. I like to think my characters are a lot bolder and more courageous than I am.

People in the Bible couldn't fathom having a social media account or imagine the advancements of technology. maybe they would think that we are the fearless ones.

That's an interesting thought!

Do your characters ever surprise you?

When I'm working under the constructs of historical times, my characters don't surprise me much. When I work on a contemporary story, I find my characters surprise me all the time. With technology, there are a myriad of conflicts that can happen in present day stories. As an author, you have to write a novel so that technology doesn't make your plot points obsolete. One nice thing about history is that it doesn't change with the new I-phone release.

Thank goodness for that!

What are you working on now?

I'm briefly breaking with Bible stories and writing a contemporary series. I am using the wisdom I gained as a breast cancer survivor to shine a light on self-esteem and health issues.

That sounds like a much-needed issue to shine a light on. I appreciate you spending time to answer my questions! It's been wonderful to have you on The Diamond Mine!!

Now readers, here's a bit more about Barbara and her links. And don't forget to leave a comment so you'll be entered in the drawing for a free, signed copy of "Defending David."

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow-- when it accumulates under three inches! She is published in Biblical Fiction and loves bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Her WWI historical Until June released in 2020. Barb is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.

You can connect with Barbara on:

And you can find her books here: 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Award-Winning Author, Barbara M. Britton: Bringing Bible Characters to Life

Barbara M. Britton is not your average author. Battling breast cancer at the same time her publishing career was launched is a story of grit, grace, and tenacity. When it comes to war, Barbara knows how to fight. 

Her latest book, Defending David, explores the unlikely friendship between one of ancient history's favorite kings and an obscure Gitite named Ittai. How does a Philistine giant end up joining King David in his later years and support him in battle? Who is this Ittai? Who has heard of him or remembers reading about him?

I had the privilege of spending some time with Barbara chatting about books, King David, and the  trials of this world that fight to silence us. This interview has some fascinating twists and turns. I'm fairly certain that this is the first time that King David and Bob Dylan have been mentioned in the same interview! 

I know you'll enjoy our chat. If you do, please let us know in the comments! What giants have you been fighting lately? Have any become your friends? Weigh in!

Barbara's Website:

Karla's Website:

Karla's Instagram:

Karla's Outschool - I can homeschool your kids!

Karla Akins is an author, educator, and disabilities advocate. She is the author of A Pair of Miracles, the inspiring memoir of how God miraculously works through the lives of her adopted twin sons with autism. Karla has a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education, a Master's of Education in Learning and Technology, and a Master of Arts in English Language Learning. She teaches children with varying levels of ability all over the world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Writing and Preservations with Rachelle Paige Campbell and a Giveaway

Welcome back, readers. We so appreciate you taking the time to visit us each week and learning more about the wonderful authors we interview.

This week, I'm pleased to introduce Rachelle Paige Campbell. Keep reading to find out more about Rachelle and her newest book. Plus enter to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card.

Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance filled with heart and hope. No matter the location—big city, small town, or European kingdom—her feel-good stories always end with a happily ever after. She’s grateful for the support of her family, her robot floor cleaner, and her reluctant writing partner (her dog).

Connect with Rachelle: Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

SW: Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Rachelle. We’re grateful to have you here and introduce you to our readers.

Let’s get started with a couple of Would You Rather questions.

Would you rather live somewhere it is constantly summer or constantly winter?

RPC: If those were my only choices, I’d go with summer. BUT I love spring and fall so I don’t mind winter.

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

RPC: If I can still write down what I’m thinking, I’ll go with never speaking again. (Coincidentally, every time I lose my voice, my kids love to guess my pantomiming.)

SW: Now that we’ve gotten the icebreakers out of the way, introduce yourself. Tell us about your family, day-to-day life, hobbies, etc.

RPC: I’m a stay-at-home mom of two boys, turned stay-at-home writer. My husband also

works from home (he has for the past decade), so I spend a lot of time with my family, and I love it. When I get the opportunity, I love to travel. Closer to home, I enjoy gardening (because I live with all four seasons, I don’t ever have to weed for too long) and taking long walks with my dog (a rescue poodle mix).

SW: What are three books on your TBR right now?

RPC: The Single Dad’s Holiday Match by Tanya Agler

Montana Reunion by Jen Gilroy

Rancher to the Rescue by Patricia Forsythe

SW: I've read two of those, and you're in for some great reads! Would you share about your journey to publication? Do you have any advice to those aspiring authors out there?

RPC: Don’t compare yourself to others and find a writing group. Those two statements sound like they should be separated by or rather than and. Writing can be lonely and having a group of other writers in your corner, to bounce ideas off of and encourage each other and read for each other, is so important. But you can’t compare your journey to anyone else. It’s impossible to really understand what someone else has experienced but it’s easy to see their success and feel bad about yourself.

SW: Here’s your chance to give a shout out to some people. Who has inspired and/or encouraged you in your writing?

I have been blessed by so many people along the way. Lyz Kelley encouraged me to join a writing organization and I found Chicago-North Romance Writers. Within the bigger group, I’ve made some really good friends that have led me to others. My friend, author Kayla Kensington, put me in touch with the amazing Tina Radcliffe who has really helped guide me forward. My friends Kelly, Kelly, Shannyn, Pamala, Tammy and Julie, aka the Panera Supper Club, have been so supportive of every twist and turn I’ve taken.

SW: Tina Radcliffe is wonderfully supportive of other authors. And I 100% agree with finding a writers group. Some great friendships are formed in those.

Of all the characters you’ve written (and you can include works in progress), who would you most likely accept a date with and who would you most like to be best friends with?

RPC: Easy! I would absolutely accept a date from Noah Kidwell and would be best friends with Zoey Wright. These two are side characters in Her Hometown Dream. The second book in the series *spoiler alert* follows these two on their rocky reconciliation.

SW: Oh, intriguing. Now I want to know more.

What was your inspiration behind Her Hometown Dream?

RPC: As a kid, I wanted to preserve old homes. I was obsessed with Colonial Williamsburg. This book was born out of daydreaming about pursuing that path.

SW: Are you working on anything new for your readers?

RPC: I am editing the sequel for Her Hometown Dream with a spring release planned. I have another two books in the series under contract with Anaiah Press. I’m so excited to share this special, sweet, small-town with my readers. 

SW: Let’s end with the most important question of the day. How can we pray for you?

RPC: I am so touched. Thankfully, at the moment, my family and I are healthy and happy. We’ve had a rocky year (like so many others). I want to pray for our whole country, that we see the good in each other and heal together.

SW: Amen. There are so many people hurting in our world, and our country needs a revival.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us this week, Rachelle, and congratulations on your books. We look forward to reading them.

About the Book

Amy Parker returns to her hometown for a two-week visit before moving on to take a job she really doesn’t want. But when the historic mansion that sparked her passion for history hits the market, she thinks she’s finally found a way to stay for good. With the help and support of family and friends, Amy sets out to make her lifelong dreams come true.

The tenth anniversary of the tragic death of Jake Grant’s best friend is fast approaching, and all he wants to do is create a charity to honor him. Too bad Jake has no idea what he’s doing. To make matters worse, the woman he holds responsible for his friend’s death is back in town, and she doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Jake and Amy need each other’s help, so they forge a professional relationship to get what they both want—Amy has the skills necessary to complete the charity paperwork, and Jake can approach the mansion’s owner on her behalf. Professionalism quickly morphs into something more, though, and old feelings resurface. As they grow closer, a shocking revelation forces Jake and Amy to make sense of the past if they have any hope of a future together.


Rachelle is giving one of our readers a $5.00 Amazon gift card. To enter, just leave a comment and let us know what your next read is. Earn a bonus entry if you sign up for Rachelle's newsletter (let us know you did so in the comments). Be sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you are randomly selected as the winner.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Author Colleen Hall's Frontier Hearts Series Will Charm You!

 Warrior's Heart Book Giveaway!

Welcome weekly readers and visitors from all around! I've a new author for you. One that has never before graced The Diamond Mine. And when I researched her, I was so fascinated with her new book, I bought it! LOL. I love western stories with Native Americans, and that is just what Colleen Hall's book is about. So get your fringed buckskin on and braid your hair, because we're riding headlong across the grassy prairie to learn more about this week's author and her new book, Warrior's Heart.

PT: Introduce yourself and tell us how you began writing.

CH: Thank you, Peggy, for having me. I’ve loved writing ever since I was a child. My mother tells me that I wrote my first story in third grade. In middle school I wrote novels in installments, and my friends read the latest installment on the bus on our way home from school. I continued to write as a hobby until after I married and had children. However, I didn’t get published until about seven years ago when I got serious about being a writer.

PT: What genre do you write in and do you have another genre you’d secretly like to write in?

CH: I write inspirational historical fiction. Sometimes I dabble with the idea of writing a contemporary romance, but I love history, so for now, at least, that’s what I write about.

PT: Describe your writing space.

CH: My writing space is a nook at the back of the house. My husband went shopping with me at several antique stores to help me find the perfect old desk where I could work. After all, if I’m going to write historical novels, my desk should be appropriate for helping to create the proper historical ambiance.

PT: Give us a book/author that is in your top five books.

One of my favorite books is The Outsider by Penelope Williamson. Ms. Williamson has a gift for weaving historical information into her stories to create a vivid “world” that takes the reader back in time. Her characters are multi-faceted and believable. Their strengths and foibles give them so much depth that they seem to leap off the page.

PT: Hobbies?

CH: I love browsing antique stores and hiking with my husband, and I love reading. I also love messing with my horse and riding when I have the opportunity.

PT: Pets?

CH: Over the years our family has had a menagerie of pets, from dogs and cats, a rabbit, lizards, and horses. I love horses and have owned horses for most of my life. Now, we’re down to one horse and three cats.

PT: Favorite foods while writing?

CH: Hmm. . . I try not to snack, ever, but I do love chocolate and will occasionally indulge when I feel like celebrating or if I’m in a tough spot with a plot. Chocolate helps the creative process!

PT: Do you work with silence or music or other?

CH: Silence, definitely! Music distracts me and takes me out of the story.

PT: Do you have a current favorite Bible verse and why has it become a favorite for you right now?

CH: It’s hard to choose one favorite verse, because I have several. I love Psalms because the Psalms deal with so many life issues that we experience. Psalm 139:17, 18 are special to me. These verses remind the believer that the Lord is always with us, and they humble me to realize that God actually thinks about me.

Psalm 139: 17-18 (NIV)
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

PT: Tell us about your new release, Warrior’s Heart?

CH: Thank you for buying Warrior’s Heart! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Warrior’s Heart is the book that I didn’t plan to write. Book #3 in my Frontier Hearts Saga was supposed to feature another character, but as I tried to develop a story around this person, nothing happened. I couldn’t get any ideas for this plot. And while I was struggling to develop the story, Wild Wind (a character readers meet in Wounded Heart, Book #2) was in my head demanding that I tell his story. He wouldn’t let me go. 

Finally, I scrapped the initial story idea and gave in to Wild Wind. Once I let him have his way, a story line began to develop. I created a love interest for him named Rose. However, Rose wouldn’t come to life. I couldn’t get her off the paper, and Wild Wind refused to love her. Wild Wind had already met and fallen in love with a woman in Book #2, and he now refused to love anyone else. This created a problem, since between Books 2 and 3, the woman Wild Wind loved had married another man. Wild Wind is such a strong character that he wouldn’t budge, and I couldn’t make him love another woman. 

So, I had to make his love interest a widow and free her to love Wild Wind in Book #3, which meant that I had to rework parts of the plot. Once I gave in to Wild Wind on this final point, the story came together and flew off the page. I guess I could say that Wild Wind really wrote Warrior’s Heart! I find the love match intriguing. 

PT: How did you come up with the idea and the setting for this book and the series?

CH: The first book in my series is set in the South right after the Civil War. In this book, Her Traitor’s Heart, the hero mentions wanting to go West to help with the army’s Indian Wars. It seemed natural to move the story West for the following books, especially since I’ve always been fascinated with the West. I try to put each of my books into a particular time in our nation’s history and explore what social, political, and economic factors influence and shape the characters. Warrior’s Heart takes place during the height of the army’s Indian Wars when white settlers fear and hate the Tribes, and it’s in that context in which I set Wild Wind’s struggles to bridge two cultures and to love a white woman. I thought those dynamics would help to increase the tension in the story.

PT: Tell us 5 things about Colleen Hall that have nothing to do with writing:

1. I'm a redhead. (Probably everything that you've heard about redheads is true!)
2. I’m left-handed.
3. I’m not mechanical—for me, trying to figure out anything mechanical is like trying to speak Greek. 
4. I’m a New Englander by birth, but I married a Southerner, so I’ve lived in the South longer than I lived in New England.
5. I don’t like coffee.

PT: What’s on the chalkboard for future books? A new series?

CH: My Frontier Hearts Saga will have five books. The last two books feature Wild Wind’s sons—Cole and Rafe Wild Wind. Book #4, Wild Heart, is set during the time of the Colorado uranium mining boom during the Titanic era. Book #5, Valiant Heart, takes place right after World War I, in which Rafe Wild Wind’s war experiences as a “flyboy” fighter ace profoundly affects his life after the war. I just completed Book #5, so I’m not sure where I’ll go from here. I have several ideas, though.

PT: Now, I would ask more questions, but I'm in the middle of Warrior's Heart! But thanks so much for being with us, Colleen! Readers, you can keep up with Colleen here:


Website:    Sign up for Colleen's newsletter!

and buy her stuff here:

and find out more about her here:

I'm a displaced New Englander who came South to attend college, where I met and married a Southerner. I never returned to the North to live. I now reside in the Upstate of South Carolina with my husband and family, one horse, and two very spoiled cats.

and enter to win by leaving your name on our contact form or leaving a comment with an email to win a copy of Warrior's Heart!

Now, everybody shhhh! I'm reading. (wink)