BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

AMANDA CABOT UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL PLUS 5 BOOK DRAWING OPPORTUNITY




ABOUT AUTHOR: AMANDA CABOT - From the time that she was seven, Amanda Cabot dreamed of becoming a published author, but it was only when she set herself the goal of selling a book by her thirtieth birthday that the dream came true.  A former director of Information Technology, Amanda has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  She’s delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian historical romances.  Her Texas Dreams trilogy received critical acclaim, and Christmas Roses, her first stand-alone story, was just released.


How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book?

It all started when another author who’d read Scattered Petals told me she wanted to see one of the secondary characters have a happy ending.  I started thinking about that character, and – as often happens to me – my thoughts took a major detour.  Instead of a young bride in Texas looking forward to the birth of her first child, I envisioned a young widow in Wyoming, wanting nothing more than to keep her infant daughter safe.  Christmas Roses was born.

I enjoyed your novel and characters, what made you set it in the time period you did?

Dare I say practicality?  I’d done a lot of research for the Westward Winds series, which takes place in Wyoming in the 1880s, so it made sense to use some of what I’d learned by giving Christmas Roses a similar timeframe.  The reality is, that was an exciting time in Wyoming history.  The Indian conflict had ended, and settlers were coming to the territory to raise cattle and, in the case of my fictional town, to mine copper.  I know you asked about the time period rather than the setting, but readers might enjoy knowing that although Easton is a fictional town, it was inspired by the real copper mining town of Sunrise, Wyoming.

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?

Let’s start with why I write fiction, specifically romance.  I love telling stories where characters overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to find love and happiness.  In a world where bad news sometimes seems to dominate, I find it reassuring to write about happily-ever-afters.  Next comes the Christian aspect of my writing.  I believe that being able to incorporate my faith and show how God’s love helps heal wounded spirits and how it strengthens the love between the hero and heroine adds an important dimension to romance.  I also like to think of my writing as a form of ministry, using fiction to tell stories that – if I've done my job correctly – touch readers’ hearts and strengthen their faith.

What has surprised you in writing Christian Fiction as opposed to writing for the secular market like you did?

The biggest surprise is how much more fun it is.  Oh, dear, that sounds as if writing for the secular market was a chore.  It wasn't, but I always had the feeling that I was censoring myself, making sure I didn't offend potential readers by including anything related to God.  Now that I’m free to include faith elements, I feel liberated, and that makes it even more fun.  

I've heard you say in an interview that being an author is who you are, not something you do. What has surprised you in this journey in discovering you are an author and it’s not just something you do?

The biggest surprise was discovering that there’s a difference between what I do and who I am.  Once I recognized that, everything made sense.  I realized why every time I tried to stop writing, I felt as if there were a void inside me that needed to be filled.  I also realized why it was so easy to walk away from my day job.  I enjoyed the day job, and it was fulfilling in many ways beyond the paycheck, but it was what I did.  Writing is who I am. That’s why it’s only when I’m writing that I feel whole.

What scriptures bring you hope, healing and comfort to your soul?

My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  I find comfort in knowing that God is with me wherever I go, and the fact that this is phrased as a command makes me determined to be strong and courageous, although I don’t always succeed.  

Can you give us a peek at what you are working on now? When can we expect it to hit book shelves?

 Publishing schedules being what they are, I’m currently working on two books that will be 2014 releases.  One is the last of my Westward Winds trilogy, the other the first of a new series tentatively called Home Front.  What’s more exciting for me right now is that I have a new book almost ready to release.  The official pub date for Waiting for Spring is January 1, 2013, but the print version should be available in brick and mortar stores and online around the middle of December.  I’m absolutely delighted with the cover for this book.  Though Revell has given me gorgeous covers for all my books, I think this is the best yet.  They even commissioned the gown specifically for this cover – a huge honor and one that left me speechless.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

You've been given the opportunity to use a time machine. Where would you go and what would you do?

A time machine – what a marvelous idea!  I've always thought it would be fun to live in England at the turn of the last century.  They had many of what I consider essentials of life, things like indoor plumbing and electricity, but the lifestyle seemed more relaxed and – dare I say? – elegant than our current frantic lives.  Of course, I need to add that my dream involves being part of the aristocracy, the people who had servants to wait on them, rather than being part of the “downstairs” staff.  If you read my answer to question #4, you’ll know that mops and I are not the best of companions.


If you had 24 hours to hang out with any two people alive or dead in the history of the world (besides Jesus – that’s a given), what two people would you pick and what would you do?

This was a tough question to answer – so many fascinating people, and you let me choose only two.  My first person to meet is Abraham Lincoln, and I've selected a specific date to spend with him: the day after Appomattox.  I’d love to know what he was feeling now that the war that almost destroyed the country had ended and, even more importantly, what plans he had for the future.  I’m confident that had John Wilkes Booth’s bullet missed its target, the post-war period would have been far different, but if I could talk to Lincoln, I’d know just how different.  

One of the reasons I’d like to spend some time with Lincoln is that my very first writing award was for a short essay entitled “Lincoln’s Ideas of Americanism” which I wrote as part of a contest for elementary school children when I was ten years old.  It didn't make me rich or famous, but I still have the prize: a picture of Lincoln created not with brushstrokes but with the words of the Gettysburg Address.  

My second person to spend a day with is Walt Disney.  I've heard people who knew him say that he was a genius, and I don’t doubt that.  I think it would be fascinating to watch him at work and get a glimpse into the imagination that created so many enduring characters.

Where did you live growing up? What did you like about growing up there?

I spent my early childhood (ages one to seven) in a small Texas town.  After that, I lived in the suburbs of metropolitan areas, but I never forgot the friendliness of small town life, the feeling that everyone knew everyone else and that I was safe, no matter where I went – except for the cemetery, which had rattlesnakes.  My lifelong fear of snakes had its roots there.

Name two jobs that you've had people might be surprised at.

In high school I worked as a clerk at a self-service laundromat.  What a glamorous job!  Not only did my responsibilities include cleaning the washing machines at the end of the day, but I had the privilege of mopping the floor.  That was enough to convince me that I’d never have anything but no-wax, easy to clean floors.  Later, when I was a newlywed and my husband was stationed in Germany with the Army, I had a part-time job as secretary for the Service Club.  Let’s not mention that the job paid less than minimum wage.  Instead, we’ll focus on the fact that I was able to combine my love of writing and travel to create a newsletter to promote the Club’s various tours.  Even better, I was able to speak German with the staff and learned to make strudel.

Name three everyday things you’d not want to live without.

My computer, my e-reader and the microwave.  


What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why? If you didn’t watch movies as a kid what book affected you?

The Diary of Anne Frank” influenced me in many ways.  I’d read the book, but seeing the movie brought the terrible inhumanity that was part of World War II to life.  Even now many years later, I cringe when I hear European police sirens, because to me they symbolize the Nazis coming for Anne and her family.   


ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS?

I’m delighted to have been able to spend this time with you.  Thanks, Nora, for inviting me to be part of TBCN.
Amanda

THANKS for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your new book.  I’m thrilled that Revell is giving away copies of your new book at The Book Club Network’s contest. Which starts on the 19th. I hope that you can join in the discussion. The readers and book club leaders enjoy the author interaction.

READERS HURRY ON OVER TO TBCN and ENTER THE DRAWING for a copy of LYNETTE EASON'S NEW BOOK WHEN A HEART STOPS!! www.bookfun.org

ALL Entries Are to be made at TBCN Not on this blog post!

Sincerely,
Blessings to you in your writing adventures.

Sincerely,

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

LYNETTE EASON UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY


ABOUT AUTHOR: Lynette Eason is the author of Too Close to Home, Don't Look Back, and three other romantic suspense novels. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.

How did you come up with the idea for this series? Deadly Reunion – and this book When a Heart Stops?

I was watching a television show about an innocent little thing called a high school reunion. And my brain just started weaving scenarios. I started asking those, “what if” questions and before long, I had a tagline: Three friends plus a secret equals a killer high school reunion. I originally had thought to make it a six book series, but he publisher only wanted three books. Which turned out to be the better idea. I don’t know if I could have kept readers’ interest for that long.

What do you hope readers take away from this series? 

I want readers to take away the fact that God is there even in the bad stuff. I want them to look for Him in every situation. To reconnect if they've been distant from God, to find his forgiveness and accept it. And I want them to say, “Wow. That was one of the best stories I've ever read!”





Energy and emotions are engaged by the reader from the start, as Serena Hopkins wakes up and realizes someone is in her home looking through her things. Serena pretends to be asleep when she hears the intruder in her room she thinks, “What should I do? Move and draw attention to herself? Continue to pretend to be asleep?” Given you were in this situation Lynette what would you do? 

I probably would have simply just passed out from fear. LOL. I really don’t know what I would have done. I have kids so as long as he was in my room, he’s not in theirs, right? I probably would have done what Serena did and just laid there and prayed he left. Then grabbed a brass lamp and followed him to make sure he didn’t get anywhere near my kids. I sleep with my phone next to me so I would have probably found a way to call 911. But seriously, who knows what we’ll do in a situation like that, until, God forbid, we’re in a situation like that!

We live in a society where crazy things happen to people every day. We wake up and turn on the TV to hear of someone going into a movie theater and shoots people randomly. It’s hard to not be controlled by fear as we go out of our homes each day. What advice to you give readers in dealing with situations like the one you've described. Because with home invasions like the one you describe in your book, our home isn't safe either. Is there a scripture you cling to? Something you tell yourself as you dig up info in researching your book so fear doesn't take over your emotions? 

This is a great question. You know, I research a lot of icky stuff. Stuff that could take over, as you said, my emotions, fill me with fear, etc. But God is bigger than all the bad stuff I research and I do a lot of praying for protection of my mind. I may read about a serial killer and ask God, “What was your plan for him, Lord? What could he have done with his life if only He had turned to you?” And I wonder. But I don’t linger. I get the stuff I need and move on. I watch I LOVE LUCY reruns and laugh. I make sure I don’t dwell on where my research takes me. And I thank God for blessing me with the ability to do what I do. One scripture that I love is: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 and also, Philippians 6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

What is the draw for you in writing these types of stories? What do you hope the reader learns? Takes away from this series? 

The draw is the puzzle. The mystery, the spine tingling feeling suspense gives you, the desire to know what happens next. When I get immersed in a great story, I can push aside reality for a while. I can forget about troubles and angst and worry. And if the book has a good faith message, I can spend a little time with God, too. I want my readers to take away a sense that they've just survived an incredible adventure and God was there with them the whole way. Then I want them to take that experience and apply it to their everyday life. They may not be running from the bad guys, but whatever is going on, they can rest assured God is right there with them.
Brain storming book ideas with Author Friends

There are so many crime shows on T.V. right now CSI, Blue Blood, Elementary, Sherlock Holmes etc. What are your favorites and why? 

I love Elementary, the new Sherlock Holmes. I also enjoy Castle and Hawaii 5-0. I like Elementary because my mind doesn't work anything like Holmes and he can surprise me. I like Castle because it’s just silly. And I like Hawaii 5-0 because I enjoy the camaraderie between Danno and McGarrett. One of my all time favorite shows is NCIS Los Angeles. I just love the characters.

Can you give us a peek into what you are working on right now and when it will be published? 

Right now, I’m working on my third series with Revell. I don’t have release dates yet, but late 2013 or early 2014 will see book #1 come out. The last in the Deadly Reunions series comes out May 2013. It’s called WHEN A SECRET KILLS.




FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

You've been given the opportunity to use a time machine. Where would you go and what would you do? 

I would go ten years into the future to see what my kids were up to and with that knowledge, come back and either redirect or encourage!

Where did you live growing up? What did you like about growing up there? 

I lived in Greenville, South Carolina. I had an ideal childhood and loved just hanging out with my friends and running the neighborhood.

Name two jobs that you've had people might be surprised at. 

I worked at Bojangles in high school and I worked at a retail store! Both were jobs I hated and I didn't last long at either.

Name three everyday things you’d not want to live without. 

My God, my family, and my laptop.

What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why? If you didn't watch movies as a kid what book affected you? 

I was a book worm. Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Sweet Valley High. I loved them all! They are the reason I write what I write today.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS?

Thanks so much for having me here! I love to connect with my readers. You can find me on twitter: @lynetteeason or facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and my website is www.lynetteeason.com . I’m also part of a new blog called Suspense Sisters. There are nine of us top suspense authors that have joined together to talk about writing mysteries and suspense and give away lots of prizes! You can follow along with us at www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com .

T

THANKS for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your new book, Lynette.  I’m thrilled that Revell is giving away copies of your new book at The Book Club Network’s contest. Which starts on the 19th. I hope that you can join in the discussion. The readers and book club leaders enjoy the author interaction.

Blessings to you in your writing adventures.

THANK YOU Nora!

READERS HURRY ON OVER TO TBCN and ENTER THE DRAWING for a copy of LYNETTE EASON'S NEW BOOK WHEN A HEART STOPS!! www.bookfun.org

ALL Entries Are to be made at TBCN Not on this blog post!

Sincerely,

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where book fun begins!!
www.bookfun.org




DEE HENDERSON UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



 ABOUT AUTHOR: Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com.


How did you come up with the idea for Full Disclosure? And why the long break in between books? I work at a Christian Book Store and people have been asking me for years, "When is Dee Henderson coming out with a new book?"

It’s always nice to be missed. It wasn't a plan to have so much time between books, it’s simply how this particular story evolved. Full Disclosure originated in a mystery series I had developed over the course of a couple years. That series turned into the back-story for a larger single title. I don’t recommend arriving at a book that way, but I personally like the results of a richer plot line and more complex characters. I hope to be creating stories for my readers to enjoy for decades to come, just hopefully with not as much time between finished stories in the future.

Nora: It was definitely worth the wait. It has also made me want to go back and read the series I missed. I love how you tie it all together. I loved your complex characters and rich plot line.

In Full Disclosure I gave two very good cops a car wreck, a suspicious death, and a lead on a hired shooter. The case which began so simply will lead them to the kind of secret that will change how history is written once it is known.

Nora: Loved to be surprised and oh, was I. Grin!

So at is most basic Full Disclosure is a mystery and a romance.

I like writing about cops. With Full Disclosure I wanted to portray the job that a cop’s life really is—the cases keep coming to be solved and if you’re going to have a private life outside of work, you’d best learn to create time for it and nurture it. I gave Ann and Paul a tough case to deal with, and secrets that would have an explosive impact when revealed.

Nora: I loved that aspect of the store too!

I also wanted to write a romance that was a bit against type. He wants to get married and is looking for the right lady. She’s content being single, and hasn't been thinking about marriage. It made for a fascinating pair of characters in Ann Silver and Paul Falcon that I think readers are going to enjoy.

Nora: That story line made the romance fun and interesting. It kept the reader wondering will these people get together or not!

That shift from single to married is a wonderful window into who people are and I love to explore it in my books. How people get to that point, why they cross it. I wanted to write more about their lives after the wedding, and this story let me go that direction. It’s something I hope to do more of in future books – write that next chapter in my characters lives.

Nora: That was fascinating to read and it gave the reader a peek into how you think and what you think is fascinating! Like that!

I write a lot about survivors—overcoming what’s happened, learning something about yourself and friends, deepening what you know about God—it adds a rich layer to the stories I want to explore. This book follows that basic theme, so I think its going to read as familiar to my fans even though its more layered than prior books.

Nora: I liked how you naturally wove the relationship both Alice and Paul had with the Lord into the story line. Loved it. I also found it honest and real!

I adored the relationship between FBI Special Agent Paul Falcon and MHL Ann Silver. Ann Silver a good cop that likes to write novels. Her books "were based on people Ann knew, friends of hers, and had been written by request."  I just loved how you incorporated the O'Malley series and that of the Military series as well into the story. I know readers will enjoy that as much as I did. I haven't read all your books in either of this series. It's made me want to check them out. I've said all that to ask you this question. Was either of these series based on real people you knew? If not, what was your inspiration for the series? Why incorporate them in your new book?

You can pretty much read a book of mine for the dog I either have or want to have. But the characters in my stories come from my imagination.

I enjoy the characters I’ve created across the set of books and plan to use them in several upcoming books to let people know more about how their lives are playing out. Full Disclosure is the pivot book that will let me do so.


Nora: GREAT NEWS DEE!!

Why write Christian Fiction when you could write any other market? What's the draw for you?

What a character thinks about God, whether they believe or not, interests me. People in real life have their work, their day-to-day life, their personality and character, and then they have the rest of who they are. Stories that ignore the fact people have a spiritual dimension in their lives lose out on a rich vein of character insights. What someone believes in and why, what they do with that believe and how it changes, or doesn't change, how they live their lives, is rich story material. It’s useful when you want to write a strong book to use every tool available. Ignoring faith makes people two dimensional.

Nora : So true!

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you are working on now? I'm curious as to what it's about!! Do tell!!

There are two stories in the finishing stage.

Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story begins when Jennifer and Tom meet, and ends with the opening of The Negotiator. I love this series of books, and doing Jennifer’s story was important to me to have the arc of the series complete. This will come out as a small gift-size hardback in May 2013. (I am still thinking about doing Tom’s story in the year after The Rescuer.)

The second manuscript just left my desk this week for my first readers. I love Charlotte and Bryce, I love the romance that develops between them, and the story behind who Charlotte is, and the layers of the crime that needs solved. This was my fun time for the summer as the Full Disclosure marketing was going on. I got to spend the months with Charlotte and Bryce and loved every minute of it.

If you had the opportunity to write anything on any topic (and you were guaranteed a market to sell it in) what would you write? Why?

I’m actually able to do that now in a small way. I’m writing stories on spec, writing what interests me, and then seeing if there is a publisher who would be interested in the story. I've had a short list of stories I would like to tell and I am spending my days now writing them.
      
Who has influenced you the most in your writing? How?

My parents. I was blessed because my dad never once said, implied, or doubted, that I could be a writer if that was what I wanted to be. He would recognize the effort, and encourage me to keep at it. I’m sure he thought it was a very long odds that a girl with a talent for math and not for English was going to turn into a writer able to make a living at it, but he let me have the dream and he encouraged me to keep working at it. Being a writer is a child’s dream come true, and it stayed alive over the years because my family made room for me to dream it. My mother has been for the last 15 the helper that makes it day in and day out possible to write. She’s stuffed more envelopes and counted more bookmarks and fixed more meals for me that I can count. If the books have sold, its been because of Mom’s tireless efforts to tell people about them on my behalf. She’s made the income of being a writer possible.

Nora: Thanks for sharing!

What is your goal or mission in writing Christian Fiction? 

My goals haven’t changed much since I began publishing twelve years ago. I want to make my books a destination for readers—those who read my stories because of what they say about God, as well as with readers who enjoy my books in spite of the fact they talk about God.

In the last year my goal as become a lot more specific. I want the O’Malley series to replace Shades of Gray in the bestseller lists. It bothers me the direction culture is going, that real romance is being lost in the distortion of what popular culture thinks it is. I’d like to revive a sense of true romance and remind readers good guys do exist.

Nora : I Amen that!!



FUN QUESTION I JUST HAD TO ASK

A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for a couple of days. What would you do with it? Any events you'd like to experience? If so which ones?

I’d enjoy being at the wedding where Jesus performed his first miracle. I’d like to be on the first trip to the moon so I could see the earth from space. I’d like to go back and enjoy more the first days when I wrote the O’Malley stories and relive some days from my own life again.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians - all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you'd play?

I’m the store keeper in charge of supplies.

What THREE things would you not want to live without? (Besides your bible, family and friends)

microwave, air conditioning, cell phone, (the fourth is the television remote).

Nora: Grin!

What movie impacted you most as a child? Why? If you didn't go to the movies much what books impacted you the most? Why?

The fact books existed is what impacted me the most. I could hold a story someone else had written and get lost in that world. I loved it.

What is something that would surprise readers if you told them?

I was asked one time – what is your favorite holiday? And I replied I actually don’t like holidays – they are too busy – I’d rather have a regular day that goes 24 hours without something going wrong during it. That would be a nice holiday.


ANY FINAL COMMENTS AND/OR THOUGHTS FOR READERS!!

I appreciate the mail and the feedback – good or bad – its how I learn what works and what doesn't with stories. I invite you to drop by www.DeeHenderson.com and say hello.

Wow, Thanks Dee for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books. I'm excited to learn about the two projects you've done that will be hitting book shelves and the internet soon! I really enjoyed Full-Disclosure!

LAST DAYS TO ENTER 10 BOOK GIVEAWAY @ THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK!! 

Bethany House is having a 10 book drawing of Dee's new book Full-Disclosure. There are Two days Left. Sign up today!! @ TBCN www.bookfun.org

No entries are accepted here ALL entries are DONE AT THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org. Join TBCN where book fun begins!!! 

HAPPY READING

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network CEO