Phyllis McManus  We welcome Phyllis McManus today. She is an author who turned painful loss into rainbows. Will you share with us your story?

My writing started as therapy when I lost both my parents in a car wreck in 2002. My world stopped and I wanted to stop with it. Finally, I went to my doctor and he suggested I start writing every emotion I was having down on paper. I took his suggestion to another level and decided to write about my momma and daddy and the things they had shared with me all my life.  There were more tears falling on my paper than words.  I kept my parents’ names, but changed the book from nonfiction to fiction.

My writing came  from my heart. I’m told this shows in my characters.

How long did it take to finish?


forever girl51C81saeIIL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Within six months, my first book, Forever Girl was finished. This first book turned into seven books, and I am still writing. Eventually I learned my journey of writing had turned into a passion.

Writing has been the rainbow in my cloud that God has given me, and I thank Him every day.

Was it hard for you to begin speaking?

Several organizations asked me to share my experience. I never thought I could stand before a group and talk about my feelings, but soon learned I enjoyed helping other people find themselves once again, as I did.

I understand you wrote a poem.

Yes, I wrote a poem titled, “The Edge of Darkness”. It focused on Alzheimer’s which is what my mother had to live with. It won 1st place nationwide in a poetry competition.

Congratulations, that’s wonderful.

Tell us about book Southern Patchwork Quilt.

quilt 51wseJKv61L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Southern Patchwork Quilt is a mixture of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, memories, recipes and quotes. Even though the majority of the work is fiction many are written straight from my heart and as true as our sweet Southern breeze on cool afternoons.It released in May of this year.

What about Do I Know ME? 

Sunny Miller enjoyed a top paying business career in New York until she received a letter letting her know her momma, Tessa, needed her. She got on a plane and rushed back to her home town of Monroe, North Carolina. Arriving home and talking to her momma,
she realized her momma’s mind was changing. She had Alzheimer’s. A lifelong friend and sister by choice of Tessa, was determined to stand by her side. They told Sunny about secrets they had hidden away. This book is filled with laughter, understanding secrets, rebuilding relationships, and finding true love. It also deals with the understanding of Alzheimer’s and how it takes a group of caring people to help deal with the journey of this dreadful disease. It was released in November 2016.

The book you released in February 2015. What about it?

southern secretsSouthern Secrets is a sequel to The Southern Belle Breakfast Club. The ladies had no idea how their life was going to change after they buried their best friend, Gracie. Gracie had been called by the others the “mystery lady,” and this was certainly true, even after her death. She had written letters to the others that could only be opened when she died. Each letter held a secret that she had kept her entire life. She needed her friends to help her take care of unfinished business. The mystery that followed Gracie to her death was soon to bring a challenge to her friends. Their friendship of over thirty years would continue even after death.

These all sound heart-felt and the type of book I would like to sit down and have a whole day to read all of them.

Thank you for stopping by. Let us know when your next book releases. Be sure and get her books if you want to truly have a wonderful reading experience.

You can reach Phyllis at:



Elaine Marie Cooper

Elaine Cooper   If you like to read historical fiction, you will enjoy reading Author/Speaker Elaine Marie Cooper’s novels 

Welcome Elaine. I read where you described yourself as a geek.

Yes, I’m definitely a history geek because delving into the little known facts of our American History is pure fun for me. My bookshelves are filled with volumes about the American Revolution. I became fascinated with this era when I was growing up in Massachusetts.

You have two award-winning books, Fields of the Fatherless, a Young Adult historical book and Bethany’s Calendar, which is a memoir of your daughter’s battle with brain cancer.

Before we talk about your historical writing, tell us about your book, Bethany’s Calendar. This book released in December 2014, correct?

Bethanys Calendar Cover Yes.  My world was turned upside down in January of 2002 when my then 23-year-old daughter was rushed to the local emergency room and subsequently diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. My husband and I took care of her for a year and nine months in our home. While we hoped and prayed that she would recover, the Lord had other plans. Bethany’s Calendar covers each month of her illness, what she went through and what our family went through. I did not hold back on the fears we experienced nor the faith that God helped strengthen in us during that time. It was an emotional journey that still brings tears to my eyes. Yet I know someday I will see her again. Praise God.

That must have been a hard book to write. Your passion for your family and your faith played a big part in this time of your life I am sure. 

Without my faith in the Lord, I’m not sure I would have survived this event. It was very painful to write Bethany’s Calendar yet the Lord made it clear to me that He wanted me to do so. Since it’s release, I have heard from numerous readers who thank me for sharing this story. That’s when I realize how important my daughter’s testimony is and how her legacy still lives on.

Your most recent publication is Road to Deer Run, a historical romance set in Colonial America in 1777. It is Book 1 of the Deer Run Saga and this will be followed by Promise of Deer Run in June 2016. Legacy of Deer Run in December 2016 and Saratoga Letters will release in October 2016 and will be a historical romantic suspense set in both 1777 and 1977.

This is very exciting to learn what you have in store for your fans.

Tell us about your book, Fields of the Fatherless.

fields of the fatherliess9781938499920_cvr_v2-193x300  This book was the winner of the 2014 Selah Award, YA Fiction; the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Best Religious Fiction; and winner of the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Best YA Religious Fiction. It is also based on a true story.

The real events depicted in Fields of the Fatherless actually occurred right down the street from where I grew up in Arlington, MA. I never forgot the old house on the corner and, as an adult, decided to find out about its history. Well that piqued this writer’s interest and I knew it was a story worth telling.

Here is the synopsis:

In the early months of 1775, war is brewing in the American colonies. Although frightened, eighteen-year-old Betsy Russell of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts, wants to be prepared in case of attack by British troops. Her father, prosperous farmer Jason, is the fourth generation of Russells on this land yet their very rights as British Colonials are being stripped away one by one. Will the King of England take their land as well? Tensions are growing here in the countryside west of Boston and the outbreak of battle seems a certainty. Jason desperately wants to protect his wife, children and grandchildren and their future. Betsy makes every attempt to be prepared for the worst. But not even the American militia could have predicted the bloody massacre that was about to occur right on the Russells doorstep. If Betsy loses everything she holds dear, are the rights of all the Colonists endangered?


Road to Deer Run - Cover  Next Road to Deer Run Released. Give us some background on this one.

This book is actually inspired by my own 4th great grandparents during the American Revolution. It definitely made the writing a personal endeavor! Here is the synopsis:

 The year is 1777 and the war has already broken the heart of Mary Thomsen, a nineteen-year-old colonial woman from Massachusetts. Her brother, Asa is dead — killed by the King’s army—so when she stumbles across a wounded British soldier, her sense of right and wrong is challenged. Should she help a soldier of the enemy who took her brother’s life, or let him die, cold and alone?

The war has also broken British soldier Daniel Lowe’s spirit. A severely wounded prisoner of war, he escaped his rebel captors while on a death march to Boston. As the pain in his injured leg worsens, he wonders if the young woman looking down at him is an angel or the enemy.

Need and compassion bring these two young lives together, but will the bitterness of war keep them apart? Or can they find their way to love and forgiveness on the Road to Deer Run?

These were great books, especially for those of us who like historical fiction set in these periods.

Thank you so much. I personally love to read historical fiction as well!

Thank you so much for dropping by to visit with us. I know your fans are excited to hear you have books coming out this year.

Thanks so much for having me as your guest!

Keep us posted on your books.

Elaine would love to hear from you so be sure and catch up with her on her blog:

And her website:

Until next time, Happy Reading.


Claire Fullerton-A Woman of Adventure

claire fullerton1download A word I would use to describe Claire Fullerton is adventurous. Although she was born in Minnesota, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee when she was 10.

I heard you consider yourself still a Southerner even though you now live in California.

“Yes, I do consider myself a Southerner, a card-carrying member of the last romantic culture on earth. When I was growing up, Memphis was a hotbed of social and cultural change. In this atmosphere, I embraced popular music, the city that sits on the bluff of the Mississippi is a musical mecca, and I wanted to be in its middle.  I found my niche in radio by being on the air-staff of five radio stations during a nine-year career.  Eventually this led me to Los Angeles where I worked as an artist’s representative securing record deals. After three years I took a trip to Ireland and stayed a year.”

I read you are a people watcher.

“My mother told me as a child, I used to sit and watch people.  I was thirty years old the first time I heard this, and she followed the revelation by telling me, “You still do.” If what is known as “the writer’s eye” is the ability to see the world from the outside in, then I am happily guilty.”

Tell us what opened the door to your writing.

“A happy accident involving a white dove that landed on my roof started my writing career. After a solid week of its residency, I walked into the offices of “The Malibu Surfside News” thinking maybe somebody had lost a pet.  The nice assistant at the desk asked me to take a picture and write a few lines. I decided to do better than that.  When news of the dove was published, the paper’s editor received public response, which she published in the subsequent edition. I felt it my civic duty to report when the dove flew away, so I wrote a piece in the interest of closure, but it opened a door instead. The dove led me to write a weekly column, which led to publication in magazines, awards in writing contests, and repeated appearances in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.”

portal in time19780989063227_p0_v1_s192x300Your first published novel, A Portal in Time, tell us the story behind that book.

“My husband and I took a trip to Carmel-by-the-sea on the Monterey Peninsula and stayed in a historic hotel. I tapped my dear husband on the shoulder at 2:00 in the morning to report I couldn’t sleep because the hotel was so haunted. That incident was the beginning A Portal in Time.”

01 SW Cover May 2015 (1)I loved your article you wrote in our May/June Southern Writers Magazine, “Keeping the Faith on the Road to Publication.” Not only was it interesting and helpful for other writers but I know people who don’t write that read it and they enjoyed so much learning about this part of a writers behind the scenes.

DancingtoanIrishReel2 1400x2100[1] Your second book, Dancing to an Irish Reel,  Tell us about your book. I think you captured everything I think of Ireland in this book. A land where family, breezes, tradition and adventure are all rolled in the landscape together.

“One reviewer described it as “A sensitive and lyrical tribute to the Irish culture and the wonders of falling in love.” The story concerns twenty-five year old Hailey Crossan, who takes a sabbatical from her job in the LA record business and travels to the west of Ireland, where she is offered a job too good to turn down. It becomes a year of firsts, where everything is about discovery as Hailey navigates the social nuances and customs of a culture as old as time itself.
Hailey works at The Galway Music Centre, where she is surrounded by a handful of vibrant Irish friends who help her decipher what’s going on when she meets a regionally famous, traditional musician, who is so unbalanced at the prospect of love that he won’t come closer nor completely go away!
The title, “Dancing to an Irish Reel” refers to the push and pull, the ambiguity and uncertainty of attraction with all its hope, fears,  excitement and confusions played out on an Irish stage!


“And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.”

You have a wonderful ability to weave your personal experiences into your stories. Indeed, you are a talented writer.

When your next book is ready to launch, please drop by and tell us about the story.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 Be sure and visit Claire’s website, She would love to hear from you.

Visit her on:  Facebook and  Twitter

Amy Clipston-Knows the Meaning of Success in Life

clipstonpublicity    Today we are delighted to have Amy Clipston visiting with us. Amy is an Amish and Christian Author. She is a native of New Jersey, but on graduation from high school, she and her parents moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she met her husband, her senior year in college at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk.

Tell us about the beginnings of your writing.

I was surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group one day and accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and met writers in all stages of their careers. They helped me realize I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through this group, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.

giftofgrace_thumb“My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.”

Tell us how your Amish series came about.

I love writing about the Amish. An Amish friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, reads my manuscripts for accuracy. I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me that the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the Amish and their culture.

“My plots come straight from my heart and all involve family issues intertwined with faith.”

We are always asking our author visitors what is something they would like their readers to know about them that they don’t know. Amy Clipston graciously shares her answer with us.

Some readers may not know that my husband, Joe, has endured two kidney transplants. Joe received a kidney from his brother in 2004, and it only lasted four years.  In 2008, he went back on dialysis, and he was very ill. I was willing to donate to Joe, but I wasn’t a perfect match. Instead of donating a kidney to Joe, I found another way to help him.

I donated a kidney through the paired donation program on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, my husband, Joe, received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. I donated a kidney to a woman, and in exchange, her husband gave a kidney to Joe. I wrote a memoir called A Gift of Love, which tells our story of how we fought Joe’s kidney disease.


Due to Joe’s kidney struggles, I’ve become an advocate for both organ and blood donation. I volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation, and I run blood drives at my church. If you are healthy and able, please give the gift of life and donate blood!

Gift of love You share yours and your husband’s story in a memoir called A Gift of Love that released March 2014.

“Anyone is free to email me and ask me what it was like to be a kidney donor. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. If you’re healthy, please donate blood! Also, become an organ donor.

Wow, thank you Amy, first for sharing that with us and for becoming an advocate for organ and blood donations.

Every author has a memory about how it feels to hold their book when it is published and sent to them. Amy describes what if feels like for her.

Oh, there’s nothing like it!  I jump up and down and screech like a child on Christmas morning when I see the boxes waiting for me on the porch.  I then call my sons and ask them to help carry in the boxes. Once a box is open, I pick up the book, touch the cover, hug it, and breathe in that awesome smell of new book. It never gets old, and I’m thankful for each book.

Your also write Young Adult books. Tell us about those.

“I wrote my first Young Adult book, Roadside Assistance in 2011 and the sequel, Destination Unknown 2014. The third book in the series, Miles from Nowhere release in April 2015.roadside_thumb    destination_unknown_thumb   MilesfromNowhere-small

You are an author who has learned how to balance her family life and her writing life. I understand you are a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America.

“Yes, and I work full-time for the City of Charlotte. My chaotic home includes my husband, Joe; two sons, Zac and Matt; mother, Lola; and four spoiled rotten cats…Molly, Rico, Jet and Lilly.”

When authors are writing their books and see them published we like to know what that author would like the reader to take away with them after reading the book.

I believe the recurring themes in my books are faith and hope. I think those themes are subconsciously woven into my books due to what I’ve endured with my husband’s kidney disease. We faced some tough times, but we persevered with our faith.  I hope that my books will give readers a sense of peace and help them find a renewed hope and faith in God.

You were just highlighted in the March/April 2015 Southern Writers Magazine in What’s The Story. Thank you for participating in the magazine.Cover March 2015 med

 We also thank you for coming today and can’t wait until your next book releases.  Please drop us a note about it.

 Visit Amy Clipston at her website and learn more about her.


Robin Lee Hatcher’s Sharing Love, Loves and Loving

robin lee hatcher photoWelcome Robin, it’s so nice of you to drop by and bring us up to date on your new books.  

Thanks for having me Susan. I’m excited to share my new books and how they came about.

Robin Lee Hatcher, author of two new books is visiting today. One of her new books is Whenever You Come Around. Tell us a little about that book.

Whenever You Come AroundThe idea for the heroine’s dog to cause the hero to fall and injure himself so that he can’t work was the initial impetus for this story. I pictured it so clearly in my mind. The accident. The guilt. And then the heroine being obliged to help him while he is immobilized. It seemed the perfect set up for romance.

This is the 2nd book in the Kings Meadow Romance series and the third book set in that location. It  tells the story of Charity Anderson, a successful novelist, and Buck Malone, a wilderness guide. Charity has avoided returning to her hometown over the past decade due to a painful secret that has kept her an emotional prisoner. But flood damage to her Boise home has forced her to come to Kings Meadow for the summer so she can concentrate on finishing a new book. When Charity’s dog causes an accident that leaves Buck with a broken ankle and wrist at the start of prime tourist season, Charity has little choice but to render aid while he recuperates.  Soon Buck becomes the inspiration for Charity’s hero, both on the page and off. The question is can he also help her face and overcome her fears so they might find their own happily ever after?


The other book is titled I Hope You Dance. Tell us about that one.

I Hope You DanceThe heroine of this novella is a dance instructor, and the hero, who needs to learn to dance for his friend’s wedding, has two left feet. The heroine dreams of her own wedding day and wants a big family, and the hero, the second of ten kids, has no plans to ever marry and definitely does not want kids of his own. Of course they are made for each other. NOT!

This book releases in  July 2015 in the Year of Weddings novella series and the fourth book set in Kings Meadow. Grant Nichols is a genius in the kitchen and a klutz on the dance floor. But his friend’s wedding is shaping up to be a shindig the likes of which Kings Meadow has never seen—including dancing. Lots of dancing. Then he learns a local dance teacher, Skye Foster, is offering dance lessons for the wedding party. What does he have to lose?

Oh how funny Robin. What made you choose this particular storyline for your books?

Most of my stories begin with a little glimmer of the premise, one that will not let go, one that forces me to keep thinking about it. Then the characters begin to develop in my mind. And once the main characters fully blossom into “real” people, I let them tell me their stories. So the short answer is, the stories choose me, not the other way around.

Were there any challenges in writing either book?

When I started writing Whenever You Come Around, I thought that Charity’s high school crush on Buck was at the root of what would be the crisis. But eventually I realized that Charity had much deeper and serious hurts than unrequited love. It led to an overhaul of the story that was sometimes difficult to accomplish and more time-consuming than I would have liked.

On the other hand, I Hope You Dance may have been the most fun I have ever had while writing. I loved Skye and Grant from the get-go. I loved the way they interacted. I love the way they fell in love. It was a joy to show up at the computer each day to see what would happen next.

How did you choose the plots for both books?

I’m an intuitive writer, and my books are very character driven. Which means most of the plot development happens in my subconscious, and it’s the characters who decide what will happen to them. I honestly cannot tell you where the idea of Whenever You Come Around first tugged at my imagination, but at the beginning, I thought it was going to be the story of high school sweethearts whose love went wrong. But it didn’t become that at all.

It is a little easier to identify the genesis for I Hope You Dance. For this second Year of Weddings, rather than telling the stories of the actual brides and grooms, the authors are telling love stories about the people who help make the weddings happen. I chose to tell the story of a dance instructor who is in love with love and who dreams of her own wedding–if she can ever meet the right guy. With that setup for the heroine, it was obvious to me that the hero had to have two left feet (to start with). Everything else blossomed from that beginning.

You do such a beautiful job of writing and I have enjoyed every book you’ve written. Can’t wait to read these two.

Tell me, what’s next for you? 

Keeper of the Stars. This book releases in January 2016. It’s the 3rd book in the Kings Meadow Romance series and the fifth book set in Kings Meadow. It tells the story of Penny Cartwright and Trevor Reynolds, whom Penny blames for the death of her brother. It was difficult for Penny to understand when her younger brother chose to join a country singer’s band rather than return to Kings Meadow after college, and the separation strained their relationship. Then a car accident made certain her brother could never return. Trevor has chased stardom in Nashville for more than a dozen years, but it remains out of his reach. After an accident kills his young drummer, Trevor goes to Kings Meadow to keep a promise—and perhaps to discover what truly matters in this life.

Oh, that sounds wonderful. Looking forward to this book too.

Thank you so much for dropping by and telling us about your two new books. They sound wonderful, and when I leave here, I am going to go get both of them.

Be sure to check her website to keep watch for new books releasing. Real the wonderful information Robin shares with her readers about herself and her books.


Until Next Time, Happy Reading.