Sharon Srock Interview

Hi, everyone. Please welcome author Sharon Srock!

 


Author bio.
Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty five years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. Her books include: The Women of Valley View: Callie and The Women of Valley View: Terri, both of which are currently available. The Women of Valley View: Pam will release 11 April 2014.

Hi, Sharon! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I share stories of ordinary women using their faith to do extraordinary things.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, tummy-tickler (funny), educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening.
I’d say heartwarming is the term I hear the most. Tear Jerker follows a close second.

What is the name of your latest book?
THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: PAM

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?
Forgiveness and the fact that indifference to a person or situation is NOT the same thing. I think if we’re honest, we’ve all been there.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
The series continues in book four with Samantha’s story. I’m currently working on Kate’s story.

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

Now the fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?
Rome, Egypt, the Holy lands. There is so much history left there to see and touch. I’d be hard pressed to know where to look first.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?
I love the feel of a book in my hand, but I find myself relying more and more on my e-readers simply for the ease and portability. My husband is grateful that we are no longer in danger of being run out of our house by books.

Connect with her at www.sharonsrock.com.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock#!/SharonSrock
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock
Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Srock/e/B009OB2HSO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Free PDF: MEET THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW:

Free Novella: FOR MERCIE’S SAKE




Book blurb.
Pam’s divorce broke her heart. The cruelty of her ex-husband broke her spirit. A bottle of sleeping pills almost took her life. Four years later the scars of Alan Archer’s emotional abuse are beginning to fade under the love of her new husband. When Alan returns to Garfield, Pam must learn that buried secrets and carefully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness.
Alan Archer has returned to Garfield with a new wife and a terminal heart condition. His mission? To leave a Christian legacy for his children and to gain Pam’s forgiveness for the sins of his past.
Two hearts hang in the balance waiting for the delicate touch of God’s healing hands.

Wow, this sounds like a heart-rending story, but we trust there will be redemption in the end. With 50% of America's marriages ending in divorce, we do all we can to prevent marriage failure and hold high God's standard of "one man for one woman," but for the many who are on the other side of divorce, I'm sure this book will minister and bring the message of hope and healing through forgiveness. 
 
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!
I think reviews and just sharing your enjoyment in any medium you prefer.

 
I have two freebies I’d like to offer your readers.
  1. A free PDF that introduces my women:
http://pelink.us/wovvbonus 

2. A free Novella, FOR MERCIE’S SAKE:

Finally, a reminder to visit my blog or my face book page to sign up for my quarterly news letter.


Natalie here. Sharon is kindly offering a copy of THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: PAM to one reader who comments! Everyone finished with spring cleaning? Er...don't dare look at my house right now. Haha! Audiobooks and Kindle's text-to-speech options are wonderful to listen to when cleaning, though, right? Who else loves the flexibility of audiobooks?

Pam Hillman's Kindle Fire Giveaway

Hey, everyone!

I interrupt our normal blog schedule to announce a very special giveaway!

Pam Hillman, author of Stealing Jake and her newest release, Claiming Mariah, is hosting a Kindle Fire giveaway during the month of April! You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget here in this post.

Claiming Mariah is on sale for $2.99 today on Kindle download!

I truly appreciate this author's writing, because she is not afraid to write about the precious blood of Jesus that takes away our sin! I especially remember that from her first book, Stealing Jake (available as an ebook).

 Blurb:

After her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.



Pam's Author Bio:

Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have an eReader tablet? What do you like most about it?  

Book News Update

Hey there, friends!

Several of you have asked when my book will be available, so I wanted to give an update on where I am in the process via my first ever vlog!

I haven't published yet. Believe me, I'll be having a Hallelujah Chorus episode when that happens. You won't miss it. :) But there ARE some exciting things happening. Without further ado...

Here's the video. Dun Dun DUUUUNNNN!!!! ;)




First ever video blog.  Sorry for the weird background noise. :)

Contact: nataliedmonk (at) yahoo (dot) com

Or visit my blog at: htpp://sweetsouthblog.blogspot.com

Sign up for my newsletter on the right hand side of my blog page or click the "Get My Book News" button on my facebook page: facebook.com/nataliemonkauthor

*** Next month I'll send out a free contemporary Christian short story written by yours truly to all who have signed up for my newsletter by May 1. I promise not to send yucky spam. Just book news updates. And a free short story! Sign up today! :)


I hope to pitch my story to one of my dream agents this month, so please keep me and my manuscript in your prayers!
 
So what do you think of video blogging (vlogging)? Have you tried it? I have to admit, I'm normally shy and I felt like a drama queen at 16 filming this. I'm not sure if I look more ditzy or snobbish. :s Yikes! Do you like being in front of a camera?

If you have any more questions about the publishing process or the specific steps required to get an agent, comment and we'll chat! :)

In the meantime, enjoy these writerly cartoons. :)

G. E. Hamlin Interviews Her Character Randall Connor


Hi, everyone. Please welcome today's guests, G. E. Hamlin and her character Randall Connor!

Hello, Natalie. I’m honored you’ve invited me to be interviewed for your blog. I write women’s fiction with a focus on troubled marriages. My writing style reflects the qualities of Nicholas Sparks’ soft side and the fast pace of James Patterson.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, tummy-tickler (funny), educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening?
I humbly say, all of the above. As in real life, my characters walk through an array of experiences, which stirs each of the emotions you’ve identified at various points in their lives. We’ve all experienced dark times in our lives, which hopefully have opened our eyes, as well as every other emotion you’ve listed in between.

What is the name of your latest book?



“Marriage Takes Three”, is my debut novel, and is scheduled for release from Chalfont House/HopeSprings Books on April 02, 2014.

Using any celebrity, past or present, who would you cast as your main characters?
This is a great question. I’d be interested to hear who the readers would cast in the roles of: Randall Connor, Darla Connor, Paul Connor, and the protagonist, country music artist Jack Collins (also known as J.J. Collins). As for me, when I wrote “Marriage Takes Three” I had specific actors in mind, so you can see why I like your question.
http://imstars.aufeminin.com/stars/fan/alec-baldwin/alec-baldwin-20050216-25565.jpg 
Randall Connor – I envision a younger Alec Baldwin (I say in his 40s).

http://unblogdepelicula.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Diane-Lane-Man-of-Steel.jpg 
Darla Connor – Diane Lane is my ideal actress for the character. 


http://s1.bwallpapers.com/wallpapers/2014/01/01/zac-efron-backgrounds_095924.jpg 
Paul Connor – I pictured Zac Efron.



Jack Collins (J.J. Collins) I visualized a younger Kris Kristofferson (also in his 40s).



What is the theme of your story?
I’d like to invite one of the people, intimately involved with the theme of “Marriage Takes Three” to share his perspective. So, without further adieu, I introduce Mr. Randall Connor.
G.E. Hamlin: Hello, Randall. How are you feeling today?
Randall: In a word, Optimistic. Now if you ask me in twenty-four hours my answer may change. As a recovering alcoholic, I’ve learned to take it one day at a time.
G.E. Hamlin:  Randall, I’ve been asked to share about the theme of “Marriage Takes Three”, which is your family’s story, so it seemed appropriate to ask your perspective. Would you please tell me and Natalie’s readers what you feel the theme of “Marriage Takes Three” is about? One caveat, please don’t give too much away. LOL.
Randall: I’m humbled that you would want to include my opinion, and I certainly have one. My wife, Darla and teenage son, Paul, would say I have an opinion on just about everything. I believe the theme of “Marriage Takes Three” is about what happens when God is not part of a marriage. Many couples don’t include God in their marriages, look at the married couples who are struggling to stay in their marriages let alone enjoy them. The common denominator (I’m an accountant, so please forgive the analytical approach) is the majority of unhappy troubled marriages are godless, or best case scenario, only one spouse is putting God first in the marriage.
G.E. Hamlin: You mentioned your wife, Darla, and your son, Paul; I sensed a little tension when you said they feel as though you have an opinion about everything. What did you mean?
Randall: As a Christian man, who wants to be the head of my home -- under the leadership of Jesus Christ, it can be perceived as if it’s ‘my way or the highway’ when in fact, its God’s way that we should be seeking. Granted, my delivery isn’t always in love, but I try as best as I can with the help of Jesus to walk in love…. And trust me, He’s working on my delivery.
G.E. Hamlin:  What have you learned experientially that you didn’t know before your marital trials?
Randall: That’s easy. God is faithful even when I’m not and for that I am forever thankful and it also encourages me to be the person He wants me to be, versus who the world says I should be.
G.E. Hamlin: Randall, thank you for sharing your perspective. I couldn’t imagine doing this interview without prayer or your perspective.
Randall: Thank you, and thank you, Natalie, for allowing me to be included in the interview. G.E. Hamlin, as for your sentiment about not doing the interview without prayer or without me, I say, I couldn’t have done “Marriage Takes Three” without God or without you. Thank you.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
Before I respond to that question, I want to say, Randall is such an interesting man. Thank you, Natalie for allowing me to include him in the interview. With regard to what I’m working on next, well, it is a subject matter that needs to come out of the dark and into the light. The topic is pornography. In my second novel “Forsaking All Others” a Christian married couple confronts the issue of pornography in the husband’s life and the fallout that occurs.

Wow, these are serious, prevalent issues Christians face today. I’m glad someone is taking them on to help minister to the struggling and brokenhearted. Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.
My Blog is titled “For Better or For Worse” and the URL is: HTTP://eghamlin.com/Gblog

Now some fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?

On a dream research trip, I’d like to go on a ‘Couples Cruise’ to some wonderful tropical island, where I could pick the brains of the married couples about what they think works and doesn’t work in marriage.



Author Biography:
G.E. Hamlin (Ginny) passionately writes about broken marriages and the restorative power of Jesus Christ. Her stories stem from personal experiences and working in lay ministry as a member of her church. Her characters encounter the natural consequences of addiction to: alcohol, drugs, and sexual immorality. It is Ginny's hope each story will create a bridge for discussion in real life.

Ginny has been a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) for over six years. Her style of writing reflects the qualities of Nicholas Sparks' soft side and the fast pace of James Patterson.
She and her husband Ed have a blended family with five adult children and eight grandchildren. Ginny and her husband live in Southern California where they enjoy the beach, desert, and mountains. As a full time author, she is blessed with frequent opportunities to spend time with the grandchildren.




Marriage Takes Three - Blurb
Darla Connor is struggling with whether to stay in her troubled marriage or walk away. Maintaining a long distance friendship with an old sweetheart isn't making the decision easier, especially when that sweetheart, now a famous country music star declares his love for her, even though she is married. Randall Connor is a recovering alcoholic and wants to heal his broken marriage, and as a new believer, he is counting on God to help him. When Darla rejects his ultimatum to sever ties with her old boyfriend, he's in for the battle of his life. Will Darla follow promises of a better life with her old boyfriend, or will she surrender to God in time to save her marriage?


Which of these things can readers can do to help spread the word about this book?
Word of mouth
Amazon.com Pre-order Marriage Takes Three

My main Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/GEHamlin
You can find me on twitter Twitter.com@GEHamlin


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!

Again, I humbly say…. All of the above please. ;)

Thank you, again, Natalie for having me and Mr. Randall Connor as your guests.

Connie Almony Interviews Character Carly Rose

Oh, my goodness! I'm so excited! Today is our first EVER character interview here on the blog!
 
Today, author Connie Almony is interviewing Carly Rose from her novella, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Carly Rose. I develop prosthetics to help people who’ve lost limbs. I work mostly with veterans. Though I grew up in the business, helping my father who started Rose Prosthetics, I wanted to learn all aspects of the field so received training as a physical therapist as well. Right now, my dad and I are trying to start a new company, since my brothers ruined the one he’s originally created.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
I don’t know if you’d call it quirky or downright crazy, but I moved in with a very bitter disabled Iraq-war vet, Cole Harrison, to help him rehab with my prototype prosthetic products. I was hoping to get him to invest in a new company and redeem the Rose family name. Only I didn’t realize the guy would be such a … oh well … Let’s just say he’s not all together pleasant (cough) a-beast. Ahem. Excuse me, I had something in my throat.

Tell us three things about you that may surprise people.
1)      My favorite part of my work is wielding a blow-torch. Yes, a blow-torch! We use them to heat molds for prosthetic sockets during the fitting process. I don’t know why I love that part so much. I guess it just makes me feel a little dangerous.
2)      I’m not real good filtering what I say, especially if I’ve been insulted. I tend to lash out. Dad says I got my temper from my mom. She’d been a little fiery when she was alive. Dad always smiles and winks when he tells me that.
3)      I’m not afraid of much, but I’m deathly afraid of horses, especially Cole’s horse, Lightning. No reason. No childhood trauma involving the big brutish creatures. I think it’s just because they are big, and I am not. Oh yeah, and they don’t talk so you can’t reason with them about not stepping on you, kicking you, or galloping off with you at top speed. And they’re big. Did I mention that yet?

What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to get lost in a book. It can be a well thought out classic or a fluffy, fun romance, just as long as it takes me away from the heaviness of worrying about my dad … not to mention bearing with the sardonic, arrogant curmudgeon I live with.

I especially love to read outdoors. One of the perks of this new living arrangement (with Oscar the Grouch) is that his estate is at the edge of a lush forest with beautiful trails and views. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring them, appreciating God’s creation in all its glory. Too bad Mr. Friendly doesn’t believe in God. He might better appreciate the work of the Master Creator.

When did things change dramatically in your life?
Things had been going slowly down hill since my brothers took over my dad’s prosthetics company, but it really hit the fan when a disabled vet fell down some stairs while using a prosthetic leg created by the Rose company that had a seriously defective screw. Between the lawsuits against the company and the recalls that followed, my father’s mood had become very dark. It was his dream to help amputees since his brother killed himself years ago, but his own sons have destroyed that dream.
Still, my life changed dramatically when I moved in with Cole. Our arrangement gave my father hope, so I didn’t have to worry about him so much. But now I traded that concern for the man I live with—a man who wrestles many demons, though I’ve been increasingly aware, has a softer, generous side. If only he didn’t feel such a great need to shield it from vulnerability.

Is there anyone you despise?
Oh, I can’t say I actually despise anyone, though I’m really angry at those wretched, selfish, beasts of brothers I have—Ahem—I mean, I’m not too happy with my siblings. Sometimes I’d like to wring their scrawny necks and throw mud on their former-model wives’ sequined gowns … but I couldn’t say I really despise them. I know, since God has forgiven me my sins, I need to forgive them theirs … someday … I hope.

What is your current life goal?
That would be to rebuild my father’s dream to help injured vets become whole again. My father did it by providing prosthetic limbs to amputees. I’d also like them to know there’s additional healing they can receive through Jesus.

What stands in the way of achieving that goal?
I guess that would be my brothers’ cutting costs and making inferior products that can injure rather than help. That’s why I started developing prosthetics on my own. However, my reputation is aligned with theirs, so no one will invest in my new designs. Except, maybe Cole. I don’t know why because he’s made it painfully clear he wanted nothing to do with prosthetics again. But for some reason, he’s trying ours.

In three words, describe yourself.
Tenacious, hard-working and plain.

Plain?
Yeah, well, next to my brothers’ former-model wives, I think most people would call me plain.

Does Cole find you plain?
<Carly fidgets and lifts her chin> Yes, I believe he does. He often mocks me by calling me Beauty. Only sometimes I wonder … well … never mind. Yes, he thinks I’m plain.

Are you a highly scheduled person, or do you like to “wing it.”
I’d say I’m somewhere in between. I like to be organized and know how my day will be laid out. But if this time with Cole (and his personal demons) has taught me anything, it’s that life throws you curve balls now and again, and a person needs to adjust.

Do you trust yourself in your work or do you rely on the wisdom of others, feeling they may know more than you do?
I know the business of prosthetics inside and out. I’ve been trained in all aspects of the job from fitting patients to the right product, to rehabbing them. My father taught me to do everything as if for God, so I take my work seriously.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t remain open to suggestion. I’ve been very fortunate to have Cole’s horse trainer, Joe Sakamoto, give me advice about how to deal with the ornery owner of the manor. And Sam, the horse trainer’s son, has taught me the benefits of therapy with horses (hippotherapy)—even if they do scare the daylights out of me. We now use this therapy to help Cole heal both physically and from the psychological trauma of PTSD.

That sounds interesting.
Yes, it really is. But don’t tell Sam or Joe I said that. I’d get a tag-team attack of I-told-you-so from the two of them.

Thank you, Carly, for joining us today. I hope Cole decides to invest in your new company.



http://www.amazon.com/Edge-Dark-Forest-Reflection-Reflections-ebook/dp/B00IIVIYH4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Book blurb:
At the Edge of a Dark Forest
Cole Harrison, a war veteran, wears his disfigurement like a barrier to those who might love him, shielding them from the ugliness inside. He agrees to try and potentially invest in, a prototype prosthetic with the goal of saving a hopeless man’s dreams.
Carly Rose contracts to live with Cole and train him to use his new limbs, only to discover the darkness that wars against the man he could become.
At the Edge of a Dark Forest is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Only it is not her love that will make him whole.


http://livingthebodyofchrist.blogspot.com/
Author Bio:
Connie Almony is trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. Her newest release, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, is a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet, amputee struggling with PTSD.
You can find Connie on the web, writing book reviews for Jesus Freak Hideout, and hosting the following blogs: InfiniteCharacters.com and LivingtheBodyofChrist.Blogspot.com.
You can also meet her on the following social media outlets:


Valerie Comer Interview

I'm so excited about our author interview today! Everybody welcome Valerie Comer!





Hi, Valerie! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.

Hi Natalie! Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I write contemporary romance from a rural perspective: farm lit where food meets faith.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, tummy-tickler (funny), educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening.


I'll go with fresh. After all, it's in the title of my current series, A Farm Fresh Romance. But light, funny, and heart-warming are all fighting for second place!

What is the name of your latest book?

Wild Mint Tea.

Using any celebrity, past or present, who would you cast as your main characters?

I can't really answer this, as I don't pay much attention to celebrities. However, readers can check out my Farm Fresh Romance board on Pinterest to see stock images of my characters: http://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/farm-fresh-romance/ I've got other story inspiration on that board as well.

Cool! I love this. And LUV Pinterest.com :) Gotta run go check it out for myself. Okay I'm back. Ya'll, there is seriously fun stuff on that pin board!

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it? Any real-life inspiration?

In the end, I think the theme of Wild Mint Tea is "being enough." Claire worries about not keeping up her share of the expenses of Green Acres Farm that she bought along with her two friends, Jo and Sierra. Of meeting people's expectations.



And sure, it's a universal struggle, I think. I know it's a problem for me. Am I good enough wife, mom, grandmother, author? Am I meeting everyone's expectations, or do the people in my life look at me and shake their heads?



Zephaniah 3:17 is a great reminder. "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."



I'm not only "enough" for Him, but He writes me love songs. How cool is that?


A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

Sweetened with Honey is the third book in the Farm Fresh Romance series. Both Sierra and Gabe played a large role in the first book, but Gabe wasn't around for the second story. Now I'm having a great time finding ways to push them further apart before allowing them their happy ending. Sweetened with Honey releases in March, 2015.



I've also joined forces with Angela Breidenbach to write Snowflake Tiara, a Christmas duo of novellas that releases in September. Angela's story is historical, and mine contemporary. And yes, my beauty pageant novella is still right on my brand of farm lit! You'll have to read it to see how.

Oooh! These stories sound like something I would love to sink my reader teeth into! Now, tell us where all these fun stories are born! Describe your writing space:

My laptop stand is right in front of a west-facing window upstairs in our little farmhouse. Today snow is drifting down and there's no evidence of mountains or even neighbors. In summer, the lush view includes my vegetable garden, our pastures, the neighbors' farms, and the mountains beyond.



Inside, I have a long worktable that forms an L with my makeshift desk. Above that rest two vital boards. One is a large inspiration board, covered in photos, maps, calendar printouts, floor plans, book covers, and other items that serve to keep me inspired about my work-in-progress. The other is a giant whiteboard, where I can scribble notes and jot mind maps when a little brainstorming is in order.



I share my office with visiting granddaughters from time to time, which means everything that could be remotely interesting to toddlers has to be removable!

Haha! I can imagine how fun that is! :) Speaking of grandchildren and keeping busy, do you work a “day job”? Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?

I don't anymore, though I did for the first ten years of my writing life. These days I write fulltime from home, along with a couple of freelance online marketing jobs. I don't have any tricks. Every day it's a struggle to keep the balance between new words on the page, email, blogs (I'm part of 4 group blogs as well as my own), social media, marketing (my own and paid), and my real life which includes a lot of gardening and food preservation in the summers as well as time with my family.

Wow! I have enough trouble keeping up with my own little blog. (He he he. Valerie knows this well, since I actually forgot her interview until late today. I felt terrible for it, but Valerie is such a kind person and made it all okay. *smile*  ) Speaking of blogging, do you do you want to leave us the address to yours?

I do! I've been blogging at http://valeriecomer.com/blog for a long time. It's morphed a number of times during those years, and I currently blog a "simple smile" on Tuesdays and a longer post, usually where food meets faith and fiction in some way, on Fridays.

Now some fun stuff about you... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?

As a farmer and foodie, I live my research, lol. But I'd love to see how others do it. Ideally, I'd go somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (where my series is set) or western Canada (where I live) and experience a farm-to-table restaurant, interviewing the owners and savoring the local food.

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

For me, it's mostly digital reading. I have an eye disease that makes paperbacks challenging, so I'm very thankful for my Kindle that adjusts to meet my needs. I doubt if paper books make up even 5% of my reading any more! While I love podcasts and nonfiction by audio, I haven't yet ventured into fiction that way, but I should give it a try. My brain needs something to think about during all that weeding in summer!

Author bio.

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her stories. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released in August, 2013.

You can connect with Valerie at her website and blog at http://valeriecomer.com, where you can join her newsletter list where she offers exclusive contests, giveaways, and news on upcoming releases. Her social media links are also available on her site. Please visit!



Book blurb:

She’s rooted deep. He flies free.

Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.

Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.


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!

Absolutely! You have a great list here, Natalie. I think the biggest things that readers can do for a book they love is share it. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads really help a lot so that strangers will take a closer look at the title.

If you've read a book and loved it, also ask your public and church libraries to order a copy. Blog about it and tell people what, exactly, struck you as "true" about the story. Definitely tell your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!

And if you've loved one of my books, I welcome you to subscribe to my newsletter, where I offer contests and giveaways as well as exclusive content. This way, you'll be sure to know when there's something new in the pipeline. Join me at http://valeriecomer.com/connect/enewsletter/

Thanks so much for inviting me over, Natalie! I've loved chatting with you about Wild Mint Tea.

Your readers are welcome to enter my Goodreads giveaway (open until March 17) for a paperback. But I'm happy to offer one commenter a digital copy, as well—winner's choice of Kindle or ePub.

I shared one of my favorite scriptures (Zephaniah 3:17). What's one of yours? Why?



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

Wild Mint Tea

by Valerie Comer

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Winner of last week's giveaway (Heidi Glick's Dog Tags) is Amanda. Congrats! I'll be emailing you shortly.

Heidi Glick Interview

Heidi Glick has a B.A. in biology, a minor in Bible from Cedarville University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. Heidi’s debut suspense novel, “Dog Tags,” was released in June 2013.


Hi, Heidi! So great to have you here! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.

I write scintillating Christian suspense with a touch of romance. I write to entertain as well as to encourage with faith-building stories.



How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, tummy-tickler (funny), educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening.

Though I write suspense and my books include dark moments, I also like to include humor in my stories.



What is the name of your latest book?

Dog Tags was released in June 2013.



Using any celebrity, past or present, who would you cast as your main characters?

Well, based purely on physical similarities to my characters, if he were still alive, I would have cast Paul Walker as the hero, and I’d cast Rachel McAdams as the heroine.
http://bestscreenwallpaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Paul-walker-hd-wallpapers-Fast-Furious-Paul-walker-wallpaper-Free-wallpapers-10.jpg



 What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?

The theme of the story is forgiveness. The story also deals with grief and loss. While writing the book, I lost my father to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Also, my husband and I experienced infertility.



A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

Right now, I’m working on a crime/suspense novel in which a federal agent tries to save greater Cincinnati from a chemical spill that threatens the Ohio River.



Describe your writing space.

I usually write on my laptop while sitting on my couch (nothing fancy).



Do you work a day job? Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?

Before my son was born, I worked as a technical editor/writer for several years. Now, I stay at home, and I occasionally perform freelance editing jobs. When I worked full time outside the home, I wrote early in the morning and at night. I also would use a voice recorder in my car to record ideas, and I would sometimes write during lunch breaks. As a stay at home mom, I write when my son naps or in the evenings.



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

I have a personal blog called the Queen City Quill. More frequently, I blog for Sleuths and Suspects, a site for readers of mystery, thriller, suspense, and romantic suspense genres.



Now the fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?

I would go to England because it is a brief setting in one of my manuscripts. Otherwise, I’d travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, because that is also a setting in one of manuscripts.



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

I prefer e-book because I can read while on the treadmill; I like to multi-task when possible.


http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Tags-Heidi-Glick/dp/1611162602
Book blurb.

When disabled ex-Marine Mark Graham reconnects with his best friend’s sister, he finds himself falling in love. But Beth Martindale’s presence is a constant reminder of events he’d rather forget. Mark wants to move forward, but the secrets surrounding her brother’s death as well as his own confinement to a wheelchair threaten to tear them apart. When a psychopath who calls himself The Knight fixates on Beth, Mark is determined to give her the protection he failed to give her brother on the battlefield, yet he discovers that a wheelchair isn’t the only impediment he has to keeping Beth safe. Will terror win or can Mark find the strength of mind and body to rescue Beth and find his own redemption?

Oh my word!! Talk about a gripping premise!!! Cannot wait to read this one.

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

Word of mouth is great, but I appreciate any of the following ways to spread the word about Dog Tags

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!


Heidi has offered a digital copy of Dog Tags to one commenter! Leave your email address in your comment in the following format to be entered: email (at) address (dot) com.

Winner of last week's giveaway of Bonnie Leon's Journey of Eleven Moons is (drumroll) Maxie! Congrats! I'll be emailing you soon!!