Tag Archive | books

Tamera Alexander ~ Inpiration, Historical Romance Author

alexander tamera   One of today’s most popular writers of inspirational historical romance, Tamera Alexander writes novels that USA Today calls “a full on HIT!”(about A Lasting Impression)

We first met Tamera when she wrote her first book in the Belle Meade series which was set in Belle Meade Plantation bmp-structures-harding-cabin-0027 belle meadein Nashville, TN.

The book is titled To Whisper Her Name and was released in 2012. An historical novel set against the real history of Belle Meade Plantation that explores the struggles of real people of the post-war South and the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal.

to whisper her name belle meadeI read this novel and was transported into each page and came to know each character. To say that Tamera Alexander did an excellent job writing this book is an understatement. I could not put it down, I had to finish it; I could not leave these characters. If you haven’t read her books, you are missing a tremendous, exciting and  rewarding experience. I have since then read every book she wrote.  Since then she has written more books set in Belle Meade; To Win Her Favor and To Wager Her Heart.

Then came her books set in the Belmont Mansion in Nashville, TN. She wrote a Note Yet Unsung, A Lasting Impression and A Beauty so Rare.belmont 23

Again, not once have her books disappointed me. Each time I am transported to that time.

note left unsung 

She also has other books out, so you will have plenty to read while she is writing a new one.

carnton houseHer newest book, just released is, With This Pledge. This series is set in Carnton House which is in Franklin, TN. From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

Don’t miss reading this extraordinary book.with this pledge

 

Read Tamera Alexander’s story about her writing of these historical books in the new January/February 2019 issue of Southern Writers Magazine. Just click on the cover:

01_southern writers_jan-feb_2019

 

 

 

 

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Anthony Mays

Mystery, Suspense and Family Saga

What brought about the writing of this book, Halfway to a Vineyard?

Halfway to a Vineyard began from polling my fans to help select the title of my next book after I completed writing, Halfway to Magnolia House. I presented four potential titles, from which to select and Vineyard won with the most votes. Using a vineyard backdrop appealed to me after attending our daughter’s wedding at Firestone Winery in 2009. While there, we toured several vineyards and I was enthralled by the idea of writing a thriller using a vineyard as a backdrop.  After careful consideration and research, I also discovered an area in northern California that is known as the Emerald Triangle. halfway to a vineyardThe name refers to the counties of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity which are the largest cannabis producing region in the U.S.  Growers have been cultivating cannabis in the region since the 1960’s. 

 

How long did it take you to write it?

I began writing the book in June 2016. However, late September of that year, I needed a total knee replacement and it was to be a while before I felt like taking up writing again. I picked up where I left off about March of 2017 and completed the story July of that year.

Tell us something about you your readers don’t know.

During my military career I met very interesting people. I was privy to be present in Hawaii as Admiral Noel Gayler conducted the last evacuations of the Vietnam U.S. embassy. I also had the opportunity to brief the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Edward C. Meyer, and later, through my duties at the Pentagon, met the president of El Salvador, Jose Napoleon Duarte.

Are you working on another book to release this year?

I have been working on my next novel, Halfway to MMXX, which is slightly futuristic with an environmental theme. I won a local adult library contest using only the first chapter of the book as a short story. However, I am not able to project a release date due to another surgery this past January. Your interest, may be the spark I need to continue writing that piece of work.

Then by all means, please continue writing it. We want to read it. We love how you weave several plots into your stories making a great suspense––mystery.

Wasn’t your book picked as a semi-finalist?

Halfway to a Vineyard, was a semi-finalist in the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author competition.

 

Thank you for visiting Anthony. Let us know when your new book is published.

Visit Anthony at:  https://www.anthony-mays.com/

http://authors.southernwritersmagazine.com/anthony-mays.html

 

 

 

 

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield~A Hopeless Romantic and Patriot.

katherineCatherine is an ardent receiver of Christ’s rejuvenating love, an award-winning author as well as a hopeless romantic and patriot. She skillfully intertwines these elements into her writing as the author of The Wind of Destiny, an inspirational historical romance, and Images of America, The Lapeer Area. Her most recent history book is Images of America, Eastern Lapeer County. Catherine, was a former staff writer for Michigan Traveler Magazine, and freelanced for numerous publications.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books; Extraordinary Answers to Prayers,Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, and The Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Publishing, The Benefit Package, and Abba’s Promise; and Bethany House, Jesus talked to me Today. 

Catherine enjoys horseback riding, swimming, camping, and traveling the byroads across America. She lives in Michigan with her husband, Edward, of forty years and her Arabian horses. Her children grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter.

We welcome Catherine to AuthorsVisits today. 

Tell us about your newest book, Destiny’s Whirlwind, which is the second book in your Destiny Series.

destiny6Collina McConnell is thrust from adolescence to adulthood as she promises her dying father she will manage their estate, but her father dies before disclosing the mystery behind his legacy for Shushan. Dashing Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help, and suddenly Collina’s heart has a will of its own. Does he feel the same for her? War is declared, and he leaves for the Cuban shoreline. He holds the key to her heart, but will he return? A disgruntled in-law and a vindictive lawyer place the McConnell clan in the clutches of life’s tangled web of deception and greed. As Collina fights to keep her promise to her father, the words of Esther 8:6 ring in her thoughts. “How can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people?”

This is the second part of a four-part series, right?

Yes.

In Destiny’s Whirlwind the events within the novel, which is a historical romance, take place just before the Spanish-American war and span through 1898.

swept into destiny 2The struggles which the McConnell family faces throughout the Destiny series mirror the struggles and perseverance which have been shown by past generations of American leaders, like former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

History, and historical romances, are really about the past shaping our future. I think that is what my Destiny series portrays.

The series begins in the Antebellum era in the 1850s and it’s going to carry us all the way through . . . after World War II. It shows us that each generation peppers (its) wisdom upon the next generation. The people who lived in the past, they helped (transform) this nation into what it’s become. Those American leaders throughout our history (demonstrate) courage and wisdom … It really shows us how we survived, despite all odds.wilted dandeliions

I read an article that Elise Shire of The Oxford leader wrote about you. In it you said “I hope my novel, Destiny’s Whirlwind, a faith-based fiction will help inspire readers to face life’s challenges with similar fortitude. We’re sinners, but we’re willing to repent. Life may knock us down but, like the McConnells, we never quit. Our nation was founded by Christians. As long as we keep praying, God’s going to keep helping us through our ordeals.”

We thank you for visiting with us today, and we are looking forward to your next release in your Destiny’s series.  Please keep us posted.

Visit Catherine on her website and blog:

https://www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com/

https://catherineulrichbrakefield.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield

https://twitter.com/CUBrakefield

Jan McCanless~Beryl’s Cove Mysteries

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Jan McCanless is a retired school teacher and noted premier Southern Humorist. Her homespun articles appear in six national magazines, and her regular newspaper columns. Her delightful Beryl’s Cove mystery series is a cross between Mayberry RFD and Murder She Wrote, and she has two compilations of her humor articles out as well. Once you’ve read one of her books, you are hooked and become a Jan McCanless fan for life! 

Welcome Jan. We are thrilled to have you visit us today.

Tell us something you would like your readers to know about you they don’t.

I am an absolute fanatic about crossword puzzles, and am usually seen working on one anytime I am not writing.  Spouse claims I am the world’s best cook, and  I am an ordained Lay Minister of the Lutheran Church – a fact I am very proud of.

Wow, I did not know that.

I understand you traveled to a most unusual place. Where was this and did it wind up in one of your books?

Quite honestly, the most unusual place was a wax museum in New Orleans. It was dedicated to the macabre, and had some really unusual things in it. Scenes from Dracula, that sort of thing.  No, it never made it into one of my books.

Most of my columns are autobiographical in nature, so things of this nature find themselves in my stories.  Interesting thing about this adventure was the sign on each exhibit, telling the visitor to keep their hands down, so as not to sound an alarm. Naturally, I had to point and gesture, setting off every alarm in the whole place, at each exhibit. Spouse says I embarrassed him tremendously, but, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do with my columns?

In a previous life, what did you do before becoming a writer?

Most all my readers know I was a school teacher, but, a lot of them are surprised to learn I was once a registered Medical Technologist.  I was an assistant to a pathologist, and we of course, did forensic work, autopsies, tissue examination, that sort of thing. I’ve always been fascinated by forensics, probably why I write murder mysteries. I loved the work.  Retirement brought me to the job of volunteer tour guide for our local senior center, a very rewarding job, and I absolutely loved it.jan

If you’ve retired, how difficult was it to give it up?

My first day of not teaching was hard, I got up early, got dressed and was going out the door to school, when it occurred to me I was no longer employed there. I’d still be teaching if not for arthritis, which made it extremely difficult to walk the concrete floors and carry AV equipment, etc .  To this day, I miss my students, many of whom have remained friends over the years, and I miss the mental stimulation.  Realistically, I knew I could not give it my all, so, yes, I miss it.

Does coincidence sometimes play a role in your books? If so, is there a particular example you can share. 

Not as much as one would think,  since my books are pure fiction. My two compilations of columns  did have a coincidence. I had just submitted a column about my time up in Fish Creek , Wisconsin, visiting my brother. Spouse and I were taking a day trip up to the mountains, when I ran into a gentleman who was visiting North Carolina from Fish Creek, Wisconsin. My column ran that very week, so, I was quite surprised at the coincidence, and the gentleman and I had a nice, long chat. He loved visiting here he said, and I loved visiting there.  What I find so amusing is, someone at a book signing will invariably tell me they have been to Beryls Cove, NC, an entirely fictional place, yet, they will insist they have been there and loved it. Fans, you gotta love em !  back_to_b_cove

What is your favorite Hobby? Does it by chance have any influence on your writing?

Without question, its reading. I love to read, and  between May and July of this year, I read 14 books. I read constantly, when I’m not writing, and could not live without my books. I have a personal library in my home with over 300 volumes of books I want to keep and maybe read again some day. Other books go to consignment, there simply is not room enough for them.

Does reading influence my writing? Absolutely, I love to study characters and interesting, exciting plots will really hold my interest. I try to learn from other successful authors too, and have garnered many ideas from them over the years. You have to tell yourself  that they are successful  for a reason.  I try to take something away from all of them, and writing well is a constant learning process.

Do you have to do much research in your writing?

Writing a good story takes research, no matter what the subject. Even fiction has to be accurate if you are quoting facts, so, I actually enjoy research. I have a research assistant  when needed, and have found out many things about Las Vegas, for instance, and the book I’m writing now takes place in England. So, I am thoroughly enjoying researching places near my fictional town. Over the years, I have made a few mistakes in my facts, so, I quickly learned that to be accurate, I must research. It’s time-consuming, but, worth the effort. For the book I am doing now, I did about 3 months worth of research before I wrote the first word.

What are yo working on now?

It’s the third book in my Brother Jerome series, which is an offshoot of the Beryls Cove mysteries. I made the HUGE mistake of saying in my last book, there would be no more, and fans and publisher alike jumped all over me, wanting more, more, more. So, This book is entitled The Opera House Murders, and is about this lovely old home that is now a residence for elderly, retired entertainers in the small English village of Colliers Dog.  I have lovely, elderly British people, retired from show business, but, still entertaining themselves, and wonderful  English customs and sayings to employ.  My maternal grandmother was born in England,and I used to adore her way of speaking, and am absolutely fascinated by British mysteries, so, thought I would write one myself. I am really enjoying it,and having great fun with my characters,and especially Brother Jerome, a true misfit if there ever was one.  Hopefully, it will be out next winter.

Tell us how your newest book came about, the story behind it.

Well, as I said, I love the English mysteries, but, to tell you the truth, in my last book,  Gold, Frankincense and Mrrrdur , I had an English  character, and he was very popular with my readers. I loved the way his part in the plot was revealed, and enjoyed writing about him, so, I thought, why not?murder jan

What is the easiest for you? Writing dialogue, creating characters, plot or scenes?

For me, the easiest is the plot, it’s usually fomenting in my brain for quite some time before I sit down to write. In fact, it  generally keeps me awake at night,and when I can’t stand it any longer, I sit down and write.  Plots , for me, are easy, they just simply pop into my head.  Hardest is writing dialogue. For one thing, I was an English teacher, and proper grammar is important to me, but, most people don’t speak a formal English with a lot of correct grammar. I have to remember that when I write. A construction worker, for instance, is not going to tell you he is headed to the restaurant and going to buy a cup of coffee. No, he will say he’s goin to the diner to get a cuppa coffee, or joe.  Most folks are turned off by overly formal language and all the proper grammar a writer can throw at them, they are intimidated, so, I try always to write as the average person speaks.  In my early books, I have octogenarian twins, one repeated everything the other one said. Oh man, that was hard, because I was writing everything twice. It made their characterizations quite endearing though, but, it was a long, slow process.

What advice would you give to other writers?

I would tell them three things.  Stay the course, don’t be put off by rejection or two, we all get them or have gotten them.  If you believe in your work, then, eventually, someone else will, and you’ll be on your way. I self published my first book, because all the rejects I got told me there was not enough sex, violence or profanity in it. I don’t write books like that, and I believed in my work. One publisher told me I’d never get anywhere with it, but, I published it anyway, and it was out one week, and went best seller. the rest, as they say, is history. Now, my publisher asks me when he can receive the next book.

Network as much as you can with other authors.  Writing is a learning experience, and talk to other authors as much as you can, and you will find out a lot of good information.  Southern Writers Magazine is a marvelous resource for this, and eventually, you’ll hit upon your own voice and style of writing.  I work at least 2 book festivals a year, in other parts of the country, and I learn from every one of them. I see many author friends, and we get together and brain storm. you’d be surprised the good ideas you can pick up from another writer.  We swap books often,and you can really learn from all this.

Write what you know. If you are into romance, don’t try to write science fiction. Write what you know, and familiarize yourself with your audience. I had the advantage of writing newspaper columns for the middle ager, that’s what I know, so, my characters are almost all middle-aged or older, with few exceptions,  because I know and understand how the middle years affect people.  I could not nor would not attempt to write a book about teenagers, too far removed from them ,despite having 6 teenaged grandchildren, I am not with them 24/7 to see all their activities, or understand their language and music today.  My favorite genre of book is murder mysteries, Agatha Christie being my fave author, so, that is what I write. Murder mysteries, always with a twist, and always family friendly stories.

Tell me a fun fact about you.

I am an incorrigible practical joker, and I could not live without humor. I tried being serious once, it didn’t work for me.   Humor is  a big part of my public speaking, and I am a very frustrated pop singer.  Don’t tell anyone though.

It has been an honor having Jan McCanless with us today. Check out her sites and get her books if you want great reads.

 

janmacbooks.com

http://authors.southernwritersmagazine.com/jan-mccanless.html

 

 

 

Tom Conner ––Promoting Movie Classics

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Thomas Conner, also known as Tom or Tommy; but if you are family and friends you can call him TC.

Born in Florida two miles from the Alabama state line. He spent most of his early years living on the Alabama side.  Conner wrote his first novel when he was 12 (which burned in a house fire) and has been writing ever since.  He’s published a family history book, several articles. and his newest book,  Goodbye, Saturday Night.tom connwe vook

TC (I consider myself a friend) resides in Central California’s Big Valley, where he has worked in higher education at a prestigious private university in Student Life. When not writing or working his daytime job, he is involved with classic movies. He serves on a classic cinema committee and promotes summer classic movie series.

Tell us about this book.

It’s early May in 1956 in the small South Alabama town of Farmington, and eleven year old Bobby Crosby’s life is about to change forever. He’s still anguishing over the death of his father even though it’s been five years, and he’s come to despise the life centered around his mother’s cafe, a place that turns into the revelrous hot spot of the community when the sun goes down. Bobby escapes his real world by sitting every night in the local movie theater, third row left down front. There, alone in the dark, he leaves Farmington far behind and melts into the world of the silver screen. Bobby’s best friend is Hucker Nolan, a twenty-two year old drop-out from the swamps across the tracks who drives a taxicab in the daytime and works concession at the movie theater at night. Now, Bobby’s world seems to be collapsing and there’s nothing he can do to stop it; his mother has a boyfriend Bobby desperately resents and his feelings for Hucker are confusing and ever-changing, often filled with anger and jealousy Bobby doesn’t understand. Then, the worst thing possible happens to Bobby— he’s betrayed by the person he trusts the most.

I think a lot of people can relate to the feelings Bobby has about his situation, his friend, his mother, the loss of a father. I like how you included the movie theater. Most kids my age remember the movies. Of course we didn’t go every night, but we were always there on Saturdays for the matinée. Wouldn’t miss it. Sitting there, you just lost track of you and were drawn into another world. 

Thank you for bringing back the memories of the movie theater!

 

rick barry  If you haven’t met Rick Barry, then you definitely need to. He’s authored three novels: Gunner’s Run, Kiriath’s Quest, and most recently The Methuselah Project. In addition, he has hundreds of published articles and short stories to his credit.

But that’s not all, Rick speaks Russian, and served in the home offices of two ministries aimed at the former USSR. preaching

By God’s grace, I have visited Eastern Europe over 50 times and worked in Christian camps for children and teens.

His experiences have included skydiving, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping in Russia, kayaking, wilderness hiking, white-water rafting, visiting World War II battlegrounds, even prowling deserted apartments in the evacuated Chernobyl district of Ukraine. He believes that all experiences in life provide fuel for a writer’s imagination. And, he has also served multi-terms as president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) – Indiana Chapter.

In your newest book, The Methuselah Project, was your book research intensive? Did you find some fun facts?

rick barry book

Definitely. In my experience, writing a novel set at any point in past history requires research, especially if the time period is World War II, which continues to interest the public widely. If your details are inaccurate, there are amateur historians who will shoot you down. As bad as that feels for the author, I believe it hurts worse for the reader, who can no longer enjoy the story knowing that the author hasn’t done the homework and doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about. Fun facts that I learned might bore others, but they include flight characteristics of a P-47 fighter plane and historical details concerning Plainfield, Indiana, the childhood home of my hero.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

The premise for The Methuselah Project involves a hush-hush German experiment that used Allied prisoners as guinea pigs. Although the actual experiment in my novel is fictitious, Nazi scientists truly did experiment on captives, particularly Jews in the concentration camps. Reading accounts of those experiments qualifies as “not so fun.” The experiment in my own story is much less gruesome.

Does coincidence play a role in your book? If so, what was strangest coincidence you experienced and did you use it in your book?

I’m not a big fan of coincidences in fiction, although some authors and scriptwriters lean heavily on coincidence. (For example, the first Star Wars movie. I mean, really? Princess Leia hides blueprints of the Death Star in an android, which “just happens” to end up in the possession of–of all people in the galaxy–her biological brother, whom she has never met or heard of? That’s a biggie. But fans swallowed it.) The closest thing to a coincidence in my book is the fact that Captain Roger Greene ends up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he meets the main female character, Katherine. But because they are not related in any way, and because the shadowy “organization” manipulates Katherine into keeping tabs on Roger, I don’t see this as coincidence. The organization simply used her proximity to give her a mission. If Captain Greene had been in New York, they might have put another member on his tail.

What is the story behind the creation of your book?

Since I grew up in the home of a pilot, I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation. Also, WW II has interested me since 7th grade. A third spark for this tale is my interest in a well-told story about time travel. These three elements combined in my imagination. Even though Captain Greene doesn’t literally travel in time, he does end up looking young and still athletic many decades after the war, but with a biologically reasonable explanation that satisfies readers who don’t like sci-fi.

What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

There’s a special literary adrenaline that feels great when the words and inspiration fuse to produce a hot stream of words flowing from my imagination to my fingers and then onto the computer screen. It’s a wonderfully satisfying experience. The least enjoyable? When I’m stuck in the Sahara Desert of imagination. My trail has led me thus far, and I know of another point in the journey I must reach, but am not sure how to get from this dry valley to that point in a way that will intrigue the reader to stick with me.

Are you working on the next book?

Yes, although with frequent delays as I (too often!) must set aside that project in order to freelance edit, or write an article, or translate something from Russian to English to keep money coming in to pay the bills.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

About a year. I wrote it in spurts–a half hour or so in the early morning. Fifteen or twenty minutes during my lunch break. Sometimes an hour in the evening. It’s frustrating to close the Microsoft program when you know exactly what the next line will be, but that’s the life of a part-time writer. Anyone who assumes authors are specially entitled people with huge blocks of spare time for writing is kidding himself. To get started as a writer, you must carve writing time out of your day, protecting and using minutes other people will fritter away with Facebook or Solitaire or TV.

What’s next for you in writing?

Many readers have wished for a sequel to The Methuselah Project. I plan to answer that wish.

Well, please keep us updated and let us know the release date. Thank you for visiting with us today. We have enjoyed learning more about Rick Barry.

Please be sure and check out Rick’s website and social medias.

http://rickcbarry.com/

facebook.com/AuthorRickBarry, or on Twitter (@WriterRickBarry)

Heather Blanton–Lady in Defiance

Heather Blanton ph    Heather Blanton––Lady in Defiance

Heather said, “I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is … and God loves us anyway.” –

A former journalist, and avid researcher you skillfully weave truth in among fictional story lines. I understand you love to explore the American West.

Yes, especially ghost towns and museums. I’ve walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in my hand.

No wonder your books bring our western culture to life.

You write Christian Westerns. Besides your love of the west is there another reason?

I get to write about strong pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Romance is always a strong element in my stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God, and a perfect reflection of how he loves His children: sacrificially and lavishly.

You have been able to write Christian Westerns without being preachy or cheesy.

Like good old-fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, and lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense. I think readers find my stories heart-warming, realistic, illuminating and glorifying to God.

Where do you think this love for the west stems from?

I think it’s because I grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. My fondest childhood memory is of sitting next to my father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

I can relate to your love for the old west. I loved the western movies growing up. Every Saturday afternoon was movies and then home to recreate those Roy Rogers and Gene Autry movies. We loved that era.

You are the bestselling independent author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series.

This  series, Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, caused a few notable Hollywood producers to request the script for my first book in that series.

trio of heather    book1    book 2

You’ve been called “A Lady in Defiance” and your writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, your books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love. You just released Romance in the Rockies Books 1, 2, & 3 Plus The Lost Chapters.

Readers now can get all three of the bestselling Defiance books in ONE collection, along with a BONUS, never-before-published prequel novella, The Lost Chapters.

Heather, we wish you continuing success in your writing. We enjoy reading your work so we can’t wait to read this one.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 

To learn more about Heather visit her website: https://ladiesindefiance.com/ and get her newsletter.

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