writing

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Rachel J. Good

Hey, readers! I have a treat for you today! Author Rachel J. Good is on my blog today sharing about her novels and her process. And is she ever prolific! I met Rachel through the ACFW Romance genre Facebook Page. That has been a wonderful place to make great connections!

Not only is she spending time sharing with us today, she is offering a GIVEAWAY to every reader that visits my blog today. How can we thank her enough? So, I won’t keep you. Let’s dive in, but keep reading to find out more about how to enjoy that giveaway.

Thank you for joining us today, Rachel. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

The Amish Midwife’s Secret is Book 2 in the Love & Promises series. (Book 1, The Amish Teacher’s Gift, is about Ada, a teacher in an Amish special needs school.)

After Kyle Miller’s older brother joined the Amish, the two of them became estranged. Bitter and resentful, Kyle is determined to avoid the Amish at all costs. Medical school and a demanding residency fill his lonely hours. The last thing Kyle wants is to return to his hometown and relive the guilt and pain of the past.

But when the family doctor retires and invites Kyle to take over the practice, he can’t refuse. To his dismay, he discovers Dr. Hess not only has many Amish patients, he serves as emergency backup to Leah Stoltzfus, the Amish midwife. Kyle finds his resolve tested as he works with Leah; he’s attracted not only to her but also to her strong faith.

Although the handsome new doctor catches her eye, Leah pays more attention to her work than to this Englischer. As a midwife, she has much to learn and a deep desire to help others. She senses Kyle’s loneliness and welcomes him warmly, but he mistakes her friendliness for interest – an interest she does her best to discourage.

Then late one night, Kyle and Leah struggle to save a mother and baby during a blizzard. The bond between them deepens, and they realize how much they care for each other. But how can they be together when neither of them is willing to sacrifice their beliefs?

What a gripping introduction to the novel! I think I’m already hooked! What was the inspiration for The Amish Midwife’s Secret?

I went to a presentation by the Clinic for Special Children on diseases inherited only by Amish and Mennonite children, and then toured the clinic where we got to see the gene research and hear success stories of babies they’d cured. That touched my heart, and I knew I wanted to include it in one of my novels.

Then while I was in an Amish natural products store, I saw the herbal blend my Amish midwife had me drink before she delivered my sons at home. Suddenly, all the pieces came together. I’d have an Amish midwife whose family owned a natural products store and a doctor who believed only in science and medicine. He’d be angry at God, and she’d be true to her faith. That would lead to sparks between them in many different ways, including romantic ones. Once I had the two main characters and their underlying conflicts and the added complication of a baby with a deadly disease needing to be saved, I couldn’t wait to start writing the story.

Wow! I’m even more intrigued!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved reading, but I never considered writing until I had 5 children under the age of 8. I needed to do something to keep my sanity. I began writing for children’s magazines, then went into educational writing for children before ending up writing inspirational novels.

That is quite the journey. Glad you found your way through to your passion. But we all know it’s got it’s upsides and then there are things we don’t love so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

Deadlines. I’m the world’s worst procrastinator, so when the deadline seems far away, I keep busy with many different things. Then suddenly it’s looming, and I wonder if I can possibly write 90,000 words in such a short time. A few times I’ve had to ask for extensions this past year, but part of that was overcommitting to writing 12 novels in a year.

A woman after my own heart! Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

I think writers need to work on their craft – attending conferences, lectures, and classes as well as reading books. Even after you’ve had multiple books published, I believe you should still keep learning. I now have 40+ books in print under various different pen names, but I have 4 writing books on my bedside table to read.

The most helpful thing I did besides taking classes and reading books was to join a critique group. Having a group of writers who are learning and growing gives you a support system and provides you with valuable feedback. I joined several critique groups, and my writing skills grew as I heard others’ responses and suggestions for my stories. Critiquing other people’s work also helped me improve my writing because I had to analyze why their writing wasn’t working or why it drew me in.

I also found joining professional organizations helped me a lot – SCBWI for my children’s writing, RWA for romance, and ACFW for Christian writing. There are other organizations, too, that are genre-specific. Those are great places to find critique partners, and the conferences and classes are helpful. They also give you opportunities to get your work in front of editors and agents.

One final tip: They say you need to put in 100,000 hours to become good at your craft. I think that holds true in writing too. Keep putting those words on the page and setting aside time for writing. That dedication will pay off.

All sounds like good advice. Thanks! What are you currently reading?

The craft books Verbalize: Bring Stories to Life & Life to Stories and Story Genius by Lisa Cron.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I prefer to write from 10 pm to 3 am. I can’t always do that because I have a 3-year-old to take care of during the day, but it’s my most creative time. I prefer to write in bed. It’s comfy, and when the house is dark and quiet, I can more easily slip into that almost dreamlike state where writing flows.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends. I’ve written 60,000-word books in 2 or 3 weeks when I’m under deadline. Usually I like to have several months for novels, but often I’ll procrastinate until I have little time left. On the other hand, I have one novel I’ve been working on for 10 years. That one’s not under deadline, so it gets pushed aside.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m always working on more than one novel at time. Right now, I’m busy editing the third book in the Love & Promises series, The Amish Widow’s Rescue. Grace Fisher’s husband dies, leaving her pregnant and with two small children. Her neighbor, Elijah Yoder, offers to do her farm chores. A loner and a bachelor, he keeps his distance from the pretty widow and especially her children. Ever since his childhood family fell apart, he’s been convinced loving leads to heartbreak. Then he saves Grace’s son from drowning, and holding the little one makes him realize how much he needs friendship, and possibly even love. But can he overcome his past hurts and open his heart to a ready-made family?

I just signed a 6-book contract with Kensington, so I’m also busy writing the first book in the Amish Blessings series. In Book 1, His Unexpected Amish Twins, Micah Miller becomes the guardian to seven-year-old twins and struggles to help them with their grief. Hope Graber, the owner of a horse therapy farm, might have the answers and the healing touch, not only for the twins, but also for Micah. But working together may be impossible because she and Micah have so many hidden secrets.

I’m also working on Book 4 in the Sisters & Friends series, Big-City Amish. Rebecca is courting Abner, but when he’s blackmailed into working on a TV series during Rumschpringa (the Amish running-around time), their relationship becomes rocky. Rebecca’s ready to join the church, but Abner is angry at God after his father’s death and mother’s cancer diagnosis. Although Rebecca promises his mom she’ll take care of all her boys –Abner’s four younger brothers and Abner too — Rebecca’s not sure how she can do that when Abner seems enamored of the big city and possible stardom.

Wow! You are busy! Well, I’ll let you get back to it and let my readers dive into The Amish Midwife’s Secret…

The Amish Midwife’s Secret

An Amish midwife and an Englisch doctor must embrace their differences to rescue a baby in need in this uplifting romance that will “capture your heart and leave you smiling” (Amy Lillard).
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her traditions with his modern medicine…
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Kyle sought Dr. Hess’s eyes before he announced, “Pneumonia.”

Dr. Hess nodded.

“I know.” Leah, who’d been stirring the stinky onion-and-lavender mixture in the pot, motioned for the mother to hold out the nylon bag so she could spoon the mush into it. “That’s why we’re making this poultice.” With a quick motion, she wrapped the nylon in a towel and hurried to the table.

She practically elbowed Kyle out of the way as she reached for the baby. With deft movements, she placed the stinking mixture on the baby’s chest, quickly redressed him, and swaddled him in warm blankets. “This should help.”

“Help?” Kyle’s eyes burned from the sharp stench rising from the infant’s body, and he choked. “That child belongs in a hospital.”

“Hospital?” Leah shot him an incredulous glance. “How could his mamm be with him? She shouldn’t be jolting all that way to the hospital so close to delivery, and who’d care for the children?”

Kyle couldn’t believe his ears. “Children under age two are at the greatest risk—” He broke off when Dr. Hess jiggled his arm. Snapping his mouth shut, Kyle waited for the doctor to speak. This was still Dr. Hess’s case, after all. Just because he’d allowed Kyle to offer a diagnosis, it didn’t mean Kyle should take over.

“I’ll put the baby in the cradle.” Leah looked at the mother, who nodded.

Dr. Hess held out a hand to stop her, and Kyle released a pent-up sigh. The doctor would explain the need for hospitalization. Instead he gestured toward Kyle. “Before you go, Leah, I’d like you to meet my assistant. I’m hoping to convince him to take over my practice.”

Leah ducked her head and mumbled a brief greeting. She refused to meet his eyes, which might be just as well, because his face likely would reveal how upset he was about the home remedy. Pneumonia wasn’t something to fool around with, especially not in infants.

“Kyle, you’ll be working closely with Leah. She’s in training to be a midwife, and she makes many effective herbal remedies.”

Kyle managed to say, “Pleased to meet you,” but he wasn’t sure how true that was.

Dr. Hess might trust Leah’s homemade brews, but when Kyle graduated from medical school, he’d taken an oath promising his patients’ health would always be his foremost consideration. So how could he stand here and let her smear a stinky concoction on a baby’s chest when that child should be taken to the hospital?

He could never allow anyone to harm a baby. Never.

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging stories of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Surprised by Love and Unexpected Amish Blessings (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book. To learn more about Rachel, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.

Connect with Rachel and her books

Website: http://www.racheljgood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-J-Good/e/B019DWF4FG

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-j-good

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelj.good

Newsletter sign-up: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q

GIVEAWAY


Author Rachel J. Good is offering for every reader, an e-copy of Gift from Above. Here’s a link to get a copy: https://bit.ly/2zmV40u

spotlight

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Gail Sattler

Hello, readers! I have another author to introduce you to today that I met through the ACFW Romance genre Facebook page. It continues to be a wonderful way to meet other authors in my genre and network. And find some good reads. But, I won’t bore you with my rambling. I’ll get right to my interview with author Gail Sattler. And keep reading for an excerpt and details of a giveaway!

Thanks for being on the blog, Gail. Tell us, what was the inspiration for The Other Neighbor?

This book is based on a true story. One day my husband, who at the time ran a web design business, got a strange phone call asking some odd questions, which we later realized was the FBI. We didn’t find out until quite some time later what his customer was planning, but it certainly did explain why they disappeared and then his business shut down, unfortunately owing my husband’s company a lot of money. I still have a link to the story concerning the arrest and conviction. This just proves, you never really know about these things until it’s too late.

That’s incredible! Inspiration comes from anywhere they say, but this one was certainly something you knew well.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was in middle school I wrote a novel, coincidentally similar to a Nancy Drew novel, and the four primary characters, also coincidentally, were myself and my 3 best friends. Fortunately it never saw the light of day. I didn’t do any writing after that, until I was in my late 30’s, and I was laid off from my job. Suddenly I had lots of time (or so I thought). A friend gave me a box of books, one of which was pretty bad, and in my arrogance, I thought I could do better, so I started writing. I didn’t do better, but the writing bug bit me, and I couldn’t stop. I did most of my writing on the dining room table with my kids playing in the living room, or during nap time, join a few writers groups, and worked to improve my craft. My first book sold on my 40th birthday, and the rest is history.

What a story! I love that you kept at it.

I think we can always learn from each other. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Join a critique group. There is more to learn by DOING a critique than what you will receive, because if you do it right, your task is to find out what is wrong, and make suggestions on what will work to fix it.

I usually listen to music when I write to set the mood. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I am a musician and am in 3 bands – a jazz band, a community jazz band, and an Elton John tribute band. I can’t listen to music when I write, it’s too distracting.

Interesting! What a talented lady!

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies. In panic mode, I have written a book in 10 weeks. But that was all I did, besides my full time day job, at the time. My kids were older and didn’t need babysitting, and my husband, bless his heart, did all the housework. Gotta love the guy.

These husbands of writers are pretty awesome.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’ m working on a 6 book series called The Kozlowskis. It starts when Zac Kozlowski’s distressed sister (and her dog), two wayward cousins, and his eccentric aunt (and her cat), all move in with him, and his neighbor, Cara, tries to help, but then gets buried in her own issues. I have no dates, but as I progress, I’ll keep everyone posted on my website on the release dates.

Sounds intriguing. Thank you so much for being on the blog today and for sharing about your process. I look forward to hearing more from you!

The Other Neighbor

Cheryl Richardson doesn’t know that her landlord who owns the other half of the duplex where she lives is plotting to build a bomb—but the FBI does. In order to discover what her landlord is planning to blow up, agent Steve Gableman moves next door to get closer to Cheryl to learn what she knows, namely the target and motive, so they can stop it. But when Steve involves himself in every area of her life, including her dog, will Cheryl be the one to explode?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Cheryl winced as the wire she was using to bind the flowers together pinched her fingers. As if it weren’t bad enough that she’d waited in line at the wholesaler for today’s new flowers, Nora had called in sick. Since Ellen couldn’t work on Wednesdays, this left Cheryl to handle everything alone and still meet the deadlines for all the orders. Technically she could do it, if no walk-in customers needed a special request. Hopefully Jason would show up on time, because she certainly didn’t want to deliver the two special orders as well, but if he didn’t, she wouldn’t have a choice.

She’d never before wished for a slow day, but today she almost considered putting the closed sign on the door, except people would see her inside.

Fortunately only a few customers had come in so far. They’d simply wanted to purchase bouquets made of loose flowers with a few additions of baby’s breath and ribbons with some nice wrapping. Those were easy and, most of all, fast.

She’d almost finished the order for the Red Hat Ladies’ monthly meeting when the bell over the door tinkled again. Without looking, she smiled. Jason was exactly on time. Something could go right today. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she muttered without looking up as she added a final sprig to the last arrangement for the tea party. “Traffic must have been good. I have that rush delivery almost ready.”

“Oh . . .okay . . .” responded a voice much too deep for Jason.

Instead of the gangly adolescent, a tall man in dark clothing stood in the doorway. His dark brown hair was exactly the same color as the frames of his glasses, with his eyes only slightly lighter, presenting a striking image. The scholarly styled glasses contrasted vividly with his strong jaw and a nose that had a bump on it like it had once been broken, which hinted of a cleaned-up bad boy, a good image for a popular action-packed movie.

On someone else, the slightly mismatched clothing would have looked nerdy, but the way he stood showed wide shoulders and hinted of lean muscles that would make any movie heroine and all female viewers swoon. Strange, she’d never seen him like this before. But then again, she’d never really looked.

Cheryl cleared her throat. “Steve? What are you doing here?” With her words echoing in her head, she felt her cheeks turn warm. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I meant to say, what a surprise to see you here. Is there something you would like?”

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Gail Sattler’s first book sold on her 40th birthday, and she hasn’t looked back. Gail now has over 40 novels and novellas, and a few works of non fiction, most still available on Amazon. Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver BC (Canada, eh!) where you don’t have to shovel rain. A recent empty nester, Gail lives with her husband, 2 dogs, and a guinea pig who isn’t shy about asking for snacks.

Visit Gail’s website at www.gailsattler.com

Connect with Gail and her writing

Facebook

Facebook author page

GIVEAWAY!

Gail is offering one of her older books from her archives to one (1) winner in Canada or the continental U.S. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

spotlight

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Regina Rudd Merrick

Hello, readers! I have, yet again, another fabulous author for you to meet! This author is someone I came to be in touch with through one of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) genre pages–the ACFW Romance Facebook page. This is, again, one of the amazing pluses to being a part of something like the ACFW. Having a place where you can connect and exchange information and bounce ideas off other authors in your genre. Authors ask questions, share thoughts, celebrate successes, and encourage each other on these genre pages. Just to note…I’m also on the ACFW Historical Fiction Facebook page.

But I digress…today, I would like to introduce you to Author Regina Rudd Merrick. She is here today to talk about her Southern Breeze Series and is offering a giveaway (details to follow)! But I’ll quit vamping and get right to Regina:

Thanks for being on my blog, Regina! First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Carolina Mercy is book two in the Southern Breeze Series, published by Mantle Rock Publishing, LLC. It released in July of this year. Book one, Carolina Dream, tells the story of Sarah, a girl from Kentucky who goes to South Carolina to claim an inheritance, and finds more than an inheritance – she finds love. In book two, Sarah’s friend Lucy comes to South Carolina in the aftermath of a tragedy in her life, reconnecting with a man she met the year before, but has not been in contact for months after what seemed to be a terrific date. Tom has had trials of his own, and they’re not over. There’s family issues, a hurricane, and a wedding in this novel – and some of the issues overlap!

I love sequels like this…where the author picks up a thread from the first book and carries that story to more fullness. What was the inspiration for Carolina Mercy?

After writing Carolina Dream, I knew I wanted to continue with Lucy and Tom. The characters were just too much fun to ignore!

Fun! Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

No, I didn’t always dream of being a writer! When I was a child, I went through the phases of nurse, teacher, and mommy. Then secretary. I ultimately became a librarian (and a mommy!), which introduced me to the world of Christian Fiction.

That sounds like a dream job…to be surrounded by books! And teaching others the love of the written word!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first considered becoming a writer when I began writing fan fiction about the television show “Sue Thomas:FBEye,” based on the true story of a deaf F.B.I. Analyst. It was produced by Christians, and never shied away from religious undertones OR overtones. I found a site dedicated to people who didn’t want the show to end, so we kept it alive in fan fiction world. The feedback I received from that, as well as some now-published authors on the site that invited me to join a small group with them for writers pursuing publication were what made me think about it more seriously.

That’s wonderful! My first writing was fan fiction as well. But for science fiction…now I write Clean Historical Romance…go figure! I love about the Christian Fiction writing world that authors are so encouraging and helpful!

What part of the writing process do you dread? There’s always something…

The blank page. Once I get started, I’m fine, but it’s like a new job every single time. I’m currently working on my fourth novel, and I’ve approached all four in a different way, as far as plotting goes!

I can relate! You probably already know this, but it’s so important we keep learning. Some of that comes through critique groups, conferences, online classes, craft books…but a lot of what we learn, I believe, comes intuitively through reading others’ work. What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading A. H. Gabhart’s second “Hidden Springs” novel, Murder by Mail. It’s kind of “Mitford with a mystery!”

What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

If I listen to music, it has to be easy listening instrumental. I’m a church musician – piano and vocal – so it’s very easy for me to get sucked into singing along or thinking about the lyrics. My favorite Pandora stations are the Chris Rice channel and the Jim Brickman channel!

Jim Brickman! You are speaking my language. I do only instrumental as well. Actually…same for the same reason 🙂

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I tend to take care of business in the morning, then around lunchtime, or after, I can concentrate on writing. I have a corner of a guest bedroom where I have my desk. Funny thing – My desk has been in a different place for each novel. I’m hoping to keep it here for a while! It’s upstairs and quiet!

I know it’s different for each writer…and can be different for each work…but readers are always curious: How long does it take you to write a book?

I’m really not sure! I would say about 5-6 months. The lines get blurry when you’re in edits AND writing a new book!

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’d love to! I’m currently working on two projects: a new series based on a brother-sister renovation company, set in Kentucky, and a novella collection set on beaches and islands with three other Mantle Rock authors! The first book in the new series, hopefully, will be released next summer, and the novella collection is scheduled to release in September 2019!

How exciting! I LOVE novella collections. I am really partial to that “good afternoon read” that I can pick up and finish in a couple of hours.

Thanks again, Regina, for being on the blog. And for sharing about your book series and your process. So, without further ado, I’ll let my readers check out your novel:

Carolina Mercy

She’s always gotten everything she’s wanted. He thinks he has to give up everything.

Her best friend’s wedding is foremost on Lucy Dixon’s radar. Her biggest concern is once again meeting Tom Livingston, who has ignored her since an idyllic date on the boardwalk of Myrtle Beach the previous summer.

At least, it is her biggest concern until tragedy strikes. Where is her loving, merciful God, now?

When Tom Livingston meets Lucy, the attraction is instant. Soon after, his mother is diagnosed with an untreatable illness and his personal life is pushed aside. His work with the sheriff’s department, his family – they are more important. He knows about the love of God, but circumstances make him feel as if God’s mercy is for everyone else, not him.

Can a wedding and a hurricane – blessing and tragedy – bring them together?

Enjoy an Excerpt

from Chapter One

Lucy Dixon wanted it to be a bad dream, but it wasn’t.

Auto pilot. It was the only way she was getting through this. Daddy was dead. Two other workers lay in the hospital in critical condition because he’d pushed himself in front of them before the explosion. Grandmommy was burying her son, and she was burying her father.

Another group of friends reached the casket, and she braced herself for their condolences. If she had to do this much longer, she feared she would run from the room screaming.

And then he came.

Tom. She hadn’t heard from him in eight months.

“Now who in the world is that tall drink of water?”

Lucy took a deep breath and tried to slow her heartbeat. “It’s Tom Livingston, Grandmommy. The man I told you about from South Carolina. I guess he came with Sarah and Jared.”

“Is Sarah’s young man, Jared, the boy with the dark hair and eyes?”

“He is.”

“Well, no wonder she’s stayin’ in South Carolina.”

“Grandmommy, behave.”

Buy Links

Amazon – paperback

Amazon – Kindle

More About the Author

Regina Rudd Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 35 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming in Feb. 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series.

Connect with Regina and her writing

Email: rmerrick.writing@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Regina-R-Merrick-512257938964888/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/trmerrick64

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reginamerrick/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rmerrick/

Website: https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com

Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/

GIVEAWAY!

Regina is offering a giveaway! One (1) ebook version of Carolina Mercy. Please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway