Meet Mary Hamilton



Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I write contemporary coming of age novels that are aimed at 10-15 year olds. They’re set at a Christian youth camp and feature mostly male characters who are dealing with family and peer relationships.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories?
I’d call them heart-warming and hopeful, with a bit of adventurous thrown in for good measure.

What is the name of your latest book?
My latest book is Speak No Evil. It’s the second book in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?
One theme of Speak No Evil is to look deeper than the outer appearance. Taylor, a 15 yr. old boy has a reputation for being a bully. But that tough outer shell protects a hurting, insecure heart. The one person who believes in him is his sister, whose adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. It’s not until someone else sees the good in his heart, and believes in him in spite of overwhelming evidence, that he recognizes what his need for God to cleanse him and give him a new start.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
I’m working on the third book in the series, titled See No Evil. It’s an interesting title because the main character is a 17 yr. old young man who is blind.

Describe your writing space.
I write in several places. I have a desk and comfortable chair in an upstairs bedroom where I go when I really need to concentrate and not be distracted. But I occasionally write at the dining room table, standing up at the kitchen counter, or sitting out on my patio.

Do you work a "day job?" Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost 28 years. My kids are grown now so I don’t have the tug of war between family and work. But I find writing on deadline very stressful because I’m a slow writer. I’m looking forward to completing the Rustic Knoll series so I can have a life again. At least until the next idea strikes!

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.
I don’t blog regularly, but I do have one on my website: www.maryhamiltonbooks.com

Now the fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?
This has nothing to do with what I’m writing now, but I would go to the British Isles and explore every part of them. I’ve always been fascinated by castles, so that’s what I’d initially want to experience.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?
I’m not much for audio books, although I did enjoy one I received as a trial. I like e-books when I’m reading for fun, but for instructional books or authors whose writing style I really enjoy, I prefer paperback so I can underline and mark spots I want to remember.



Author bio.
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. One summer, she even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.
When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.

Book blurb.
Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain would go so deep.
At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.
Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.
Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction?
Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?
To view a book trailer go to: http://tinyurl.com/on44xf4

Which of these things can readers can do to help spread the word about this book?
Word of mouth,
Amazon.com/Goodreads reviews,
Blog posts,
Tweets/Facebook posts,
Like the author's Facebook page, follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads,
If you win/buy a copy, post a pic with the book,
Repin book quotes or cover art from the author on Pinterest.com,
Recommend to a library or book club, or start one with this book.
All of these are great suggestions. I’d add one more: if your church has a library, or your kids attend a private school, buy this book and donate it. Thank you!
You can connect with me here:
Twitter:@mhamilton122

Thanks Mary!

Trying Fan Fiction

It started with a necklace.

Actually, it started with a book... Okay, it started way before that, but for the sake of brevity--it started with a necklace.

I wanted the replica of Jonathan Tarquinias' ivory horse head necklace, and I wanted it bad. (Why? Read Chasing the Lion to find out.)

So when I saw author Nancy Kimball wearing one in a photo, I asked where I could purchase one of these necklaces. She said "Nuh-uh, girl, you're going to have to work for it." Haha! No, not really--she's a sweet lady. But she did mention she was giving away one of the necklaces in her upcoming fanfic contest.

Me?
Write fan fiction?
What? It'd be way too hard. There's no way I could get into the characters' heads enough to be believable. After all, these people came out of someone else's head, not mine. I'd fail epically, then be laughed permanently out of Wannabe Writer Land.

But, aaaaggghhh, I wanted that necklace! So I decided to try.

I reread half the book (Which was a pleasure--since picking up the quill, I seldom get to reread books I love. This gave me the perfect excuse.). I steeped myself in the provided backstory. Researched Roman vases and looked up words in Latin. Wrote a horrible draft that was WAY too short. Revised. Revised again. Edited. And WOAH, word count overflow. Trim trim trim. Snagged a proofread. Sent the entry. Whew!

Waiting thoughts: Prolly won't even final. Nancy's writing's amazing. I know she has lots of writer friends, and if they write half as good as she does, I won't have a chance. At least I'll have fun reading the winning entry and seeing how other writers represent Nancy's characters.

So I mosey over to:
http://www.nancykimball.com/#!fanfic/caot

What in the world?!

Is that my face? Is that MY entry???

YAY!!!

I'm a little woozy over this news and the lack of my usual Sunday nap, so this post may read like an 8-year-old's diary, but I wanted to share my first fanfic experience with y'all. Fanfiction-ing was fun! 


Now I'm off to listen to the audiobook, narrated by Joseph Narducci--y'all, he is SO Jonathan.

BTW, Chasing the Lion is only $3.99 on Kindle as of 8.10.14! 



Full Steam Ahead Review

A few short thoughts on Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer:

 

This story starts with a bang (literally) and draws you into the plot. Darius Thornton and Nicole Renard don't meet until well into the story, but the payoff was definitely worth staying with it.

The faith thread, as well as the romance, is sweetly beautiful.

The hero/heroine combo is delightful:
Pirate-princess secretary meets deeply wounded, propriety-flouting gentleman scientist.

This hero broke free of every character cliche I've ever read. Darius is just chock full of contradictions. Gentle, but intense. Wounded, but so strong. Protective, but entrusting. Curious and cautious. Clean and unkempt. Taking on the world's problems while shirking his own responsibility. Annoyingly determined. Dangerous. Delightful.

His perfect complement, Nicole was a gutsy, running off by herself, protecting everyone at her own risk, females can do anything kind of girl. I've seen quite a few of these types recently, but happily, despite her opposition to the view of womanhood held by society in the 1830s and 40s, she remains decidedly feminine. Bravo, Mrs. Witemeyer! Also, Nicole's willingness to sacrifice for those she loves and her ability to bring healing to the hero was a beautiful thing to behold.

Random Reading Facts: 
  • While reading, I sensed nuances of both Pride and Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast.
  • Also, I kept picturing Darius as Tom Hiddleston a la Cransford, which makes no sense, since I haven't watched that in a while and Darius doesn't exactly look the same, but there you have it.
  • Nicole's name and irrepressible spirit reminded me strongly of Drew Barrymore's character Danielle in Ever After.
  • I kept closing the book to scowl at the cover--Darius is blonde.
  • On page--er, I forgot what page it was (and can't go find it, because I just loaned the book to my BFF), but somewhere in the middle of the book, on the lower right-hand page, is a smudge of caramelly praline goodness. I had made a praline graham cracker treat and was so into the story, I forgot to lick the caramel off my finger before turning the page. :) (Sorry, BFF!)

Back Cover Blurb:

          When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

          Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.
          Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.
          After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.
          Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

*** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. ***

Have you read Full Steam Ahead? What did you think of it? What are you reading now?

Mary L. Ball Interview


Hi, Mary! Thanks for visiting us today! 

Why don't you start by describing what you write.
I write Inspirational fiction, mystery, suspense, and romance.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, funny, educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening?
Hallmark stories laced with the faith and the Lord’s mercy. 

What is the name of your latest book?

Stone of Destiny. 

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?
The theme is having faith through prayer. It really came about in an odd way. My grandson likes to read all those magic books. One day I passed him reading and  thought, “I need to write about God’s wonderfully, mysterious ways.” 

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
Before Christmas, I signed another contract with my publisher. We’ll soon begin the editing process. Below is the blurb.

Redemption in Big Fork Lake

What happens when an addiction takes over?

Only after Robert Turner attempts to hurt someone does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life.
 
For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope.
A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future.

His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness-free Robert or will he return to the life he once had?

Wow! That premise resonates with me, because the hero of my historical WIP faces the same issue. Very needful subject these days. 
Now, about you. Do you work a job other than writing? Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?
Yes and no-I don’t work in a public job, but I keep my grandchildren and I’m a part-time caregiver for my eighty-one year old mother. My technique isn’t one at all. I write when I can, as I can. Sometimes, it’s a few hours a day, or I go several days and only write a few paragraphs.    

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?
I read both paperback and e-Books. I love paperbacks. The feel of the pages takes me back to an easier time, but with my busy schedule there are times when I wouldn’t be without my e-reader. I can read while waiting at appointments and don’t have to worry about remembering my books. 

I completely agree! Thanks for coming, Mary!



About the Author:
Mary L. Ball enjoys weaving together Inspirational fiction novels blended with romance.
Mary lives in North Carolina and weaves together stories that she hopes will encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that often lies dormant, waiting to be found.
When she’s not writing Mary enjoys fishing, reading, and hiking.


Stone of Destiny Book Blurb):

Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete--until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.

Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange, unexpected feelings that she doesn't understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced.

Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.

Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world--a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

Where can readers find you and your books online?

To follow Mary on her blog, click here:
 
Like Mary's Facebook page:

Follow Mary on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inspires4mary

Book Challenge Update

To see the original book challenge post click here.

Challenge Stats:

My goal - 50 books this year.


Books read thus far - 23.

Currently reading: The Lawyer's Luck by my lovely critique partner Piper Huguley and Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer.

Goal 46% achieved - 2 books behind.

TWO whole books, y'all! :) The holdup? I've entered the submission process for my own book, Heart of Valor. Yay! I've queried and submitted to several agents and am praying it all falls into place.

So, out of the 22 books I've read thus far, which have been my favorite? Here are a few:
  • Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
  • Vanished by Irene Hannon
  • A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
  • Chasing the Lion by Nancy Kimball
  •  Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
  • The Guardian's Promise by Christina Rich
Next on my TBR list:
  • Yankee In Atlanta by Jocelyn Green
  • Caught In the Middle by Regina Jennings
  • The Beast's Enchantress by Elizabeth Kitchens
  • It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
  • Courting Kate by Leslie Gould
  • Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
  • The Letting Go series by Nicole Deese
  • The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter
  • Love In Disguise by Carol Cox
  • The Snowflake by Jamie Carie
  • Submerged by Dani Pettrey
  • The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz



How's it going with your own challenge? What books have you really enjoyed this year?

ACFW July 2014 New Releases

Hi, everyone! Here's a list of Christian fiction books coming out this month from the members of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Some great titles coming out this month!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website by clicking author's name or book title.

July 2014 New Releases


Amish Romance:

A Plain Love Song (The New Hope Amish) by Kelly S. Irvin -- Adah Knepp wants nothing more than to sing and play the guitar and write her own songs. That's a dream that will never come true in her strict Amish community. But then she meets Jackson Hart, and all of a sudden she finds the chance for a different kind of life. But pursuing her dreams means turning her back on her family and community--and saying goodbye to Matthew, the gentle Amish farmer she can't get out of her mind. Is it worth giving up the only home she's ever known to pursue her dreams? (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)


Biblical Fiction:

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar -- Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better. (Biblical Fiction from River North [Moody Publishers])


Contemporary Romance:

When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family) by Susan May Warren -- Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime. Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet. (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)


Contemporary Women’s Fiction:

Hope Deferred by Elizabeth Maddrey -- Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse? June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage. Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams? (Women’s Fiction from HopeSprings Books)

The Tidewater Sisters by Lisa Wingate -- Tandi Reese and her sister, Gina, have always been bound by complicated ties. Amid the rubble of a difficult childhood lie memories of huddling beneath beds and behind sofas while parental wars raged. Sisterhood was safety . . . once. But now? Faced with legal papers for a fraud she didn't commit, Tandi suspects that her sister has done something unthinkable. With Tandi's wedding just around the corner, a trip to the North Carolina Tidewater for a reckoning with Gina was not part of the plan. But unraveling lies from truth will require confronting strained sibling bonds and uncovering a dark family secret that could free Tandi from her past or stain her future forever. (Novella) (Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)


Historical Mystery:

Murder at the Mikado (A Drew Farthering Mystery) by Julianna Deering (DeAnna Julie Dodson) -- Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiance, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet. (Historical General Fiction from Faith Words [Hachette])


Historical Romance:

Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund -- Michigan Territory, 1814. A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom. The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders. Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley. As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Groom by Design (The Dressmaker's Daughters, #1) by Christine Johnson -- Dressmaker Ruth Fox gave up her dream of a husband and children long ago. Her family's floundering dress shop, her ailing father and her two younger sisters require Ruth's full attention. Though the handsome new stranger in town is intriguing, Ruth is certain he wouldn't look twice at a plain spinster of twenty-six. Sam Rothenburg's connection with the shy young woman next door is immediate, but he knows Ruth will be crushed when she discovers his real purpose in town. Sam is secretly working to open one of his father's large department stores in Pearlman, Michigan, which will surely put Ruth out of business. How much is Sam willing to sacrifice to claim Ruth's heart? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Hero in the Making (Brides of Simps) by Laurie Kingery -- Nate Bohannan won't let anything stand in the way of his grand plans in California. Even if it means traveling there with unreliable huckster Robert Salali. But after a destructive bender in Simpson Creek, Texas, the unscrupulous Salali runs out, leaving Nate to carry the blame—and the debt. He can fix broken furniture…but can anything fix the despair in café owner Ella Justiss's eyes? When her café was destroyed, Ella felt sure she'd lost her dreams along with it. Yet somehow Nate's cheerful care and optimism fill her with hope again. Painful secrets from her childhood make Ella wary of men. When danger threatens, will Nate be the hero Ella can finally trust—and love? Brides of Simpson Creek: Small-town Texas spinsters find love with mail-order grooms! (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Warrior's Vow by Christina Rich (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Historical Women’s Fiction:

Annie's Stories (Ellis Island) by Cindy Thomson -- The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House. But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret. Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true. (Historical Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)


Thriller/Suspense:

Operation Zulu Redemption: Overkill by Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage Part 1 by Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere - Part 2 by Seagrass Pier (The Hope Beach Series) by Colleen Coble -- Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares. The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton. Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. But one man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much. (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson & Zondervan])

Firewall (Deadly Force) by DiAnn Mills -- After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company? With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)


Shake Down by Jill Elizabeth Nelson -- To clear his imprisoned father's name, Shane Gillum must find evidence hidden in a Martha's Vineyard cottage. But he arrives to find the "vacant" property being prepped for sale by real estate agent Janice Swenson. Is she tied to the notorious owners? Or is she in over her head as the "accidents" on the property grow increasingly dangerous? And who is the saboteur targeting—Shane with his search, or Janice with her dark, hidden past? With so much at stake, trusting Janice is a huge risk…but keeping silent about the cottage's mysteries could mire them both in a deadly scheme. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sherri Wilson Johnson Interview

Please make welcome author Sherri Johnson!




Hi, Sherri! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I write both Historical and Contemporary Inspirational Romance with a sprinkling of Suspense.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories:
romantic, heart-warming, heart-wrenching, suspenseful, sweet.

What is the name of your latest book?
http://collarcitybrownstone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/hugh-jackman-australia-plaid.jpgSong of the Meadowlark

Using any celebrity, past or present, who would you cast as your main characters?
For Rex, I would cast a young Tom Selleck or young Sam Elliott. Maybe Hugh Jackman with a beard. For Cora, I would cast Cobie Smulders from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?
Song of the Meadowlark is about starting over and second chances. I wanted to explore the idea of a woman on a quest for forgiveness (both giving and receiving) and getting lost along the way, then finding herself and so much more in the end.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
I'm currently working on a romantic suspense with an Assistant D.A. as the heroine and a defense attorney as the hero. All she wants is a vacation. What she gets is a "conflict of interest" when the charming defense attorney charges into her life.

Ooooh!!! Sounds interesting. :) Describe your writing space.
I work in my daughter's former bedroom. She moved out two years ago and I took over. I sit on a comfy couch with my precious Chihuahua, Posey, by my side. My flowering cactuses sit in the windowsill and brighten the room. I am in the process of hanging framed photographs of the ocean, my true inspiration, on the walls. A cup of coffee, my Bible, and some sunshine is all I need to get me started for the day.

Do you work a "day job?"
I work from home as a freelance editor, virtual assistant, and bookkeeper for several different companies.

Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?
I write best at night because I'm a night owl and that's when my juices start flowing. But that's also when my family is home. So I make sure to get all of my "real jobs" done before everyone comes home for the evening. If I get done early enough, I usually edit. I write in bed at night using my cell phone. I email whatever I've written to my computer and insert it into my manuscript the next morning. Writing is like playing to me most of the time. So I work hard to get the work done so I can play. Prioritizing is the key. Not wasting time on things that rob you of your creativity.

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.

Now some fun stuff... :)



On a dream research trip, where would you go?
I would go to Italy.

What would you ask to see/experience first?
Everything!

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio?
Paperback!

Why?
I don't have an eReader and since I'm on the computer all day for work and doing my writing, when I read, I like to curl up with a book, smell the ink, turn the pages. I'm old-fashioned. I hate to see real libraries disappear.

Author bio.
Sherri Wilson Johnson lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general–good, clean romance. She is a bird-watcher, loves the ocean, roller coasters, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by her side every day when she writes. She is represented by Les Stobbe, is a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild writing course, a blogger, virtual assistant, freelance editor and a former homeschooling mom. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara) and is a columnist for Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.

 


Book blurb.
Here is Song of the Meadowlark’s synopsis: When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town. While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area. Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.


Which of these things can readers can do to help spread the word about this book?

Word of mouth,

Amazon.com/Goodreads reviews,

Blog posts,

Tweets/Facebook posts,

Like the author's Facebook page, follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads,

If you win/buy a copy, post a pic with the book,

Repin book quotes or cover art from the author on Pinterest.com,

Recommend to a library or book club, or start one with this book!

All of the above.
But definitely "Like" my author's Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (as Sherri Wilson Johnson), and Goodreads!


Thank you for this opportunity to share about my writing!
Sherri