INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Authors Tim & Gail Sattler

Welcome, readers! I have Author Gail Sattler back on the blog today, sharing with us about another one of her books and talking about some more tidbits. Once again, meeting other authors through the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) genre pages has been amazing for networking and making great connections.

But that is for another time. Let’s get to Gail…

Welcome back to the blog! First, lets start off by getting a feel for this novel. Can you tell us a little about it?

This is not my usual romance novel, this was co-written with my husband, and it’s a supernatural adventure.  It was written over the course of about ten years. We would talk about it for a while, then I’d get a contract for another book, so we put it aside and time went on. When my youngest son was in grade twelve I worked the night shift for a year. We would put the dogs in the car, drive our son to school, then take the dogs for a morning walk along the Alouette River, and that’s when we put everything together for Mercury Rising. More time passed, but now it’s finally done, and we’re very happy with the result.

Supernatural romance? I’m intrigued…

What was the inspiration for Mercury Rising?

This is mostly my husband’s plot idea. I’m not even sure how we got started. But once we got started, more and more ideas came, and we couldn’t stop.

I know how that goes! Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

While I enjoyed writing stories in school, I only wrote one book in my teenage years, and it was filed and never saw the light of day, which is not a bad thing. I wanted to go to university to take music and be a music teacher, but that didn’t happen.  I taught piano lessons from my home when my kids were small, and now I’m in 3 bands, but I never did make a career out of it.

That’s pretty cool. THREE bands!?! I can barely keep up with life and writing!

Speaking of which…there’s always something about the writing process every writer doesn’t care so much about. What is it for you? What part of the writing process do you dread?

I don’t really dread any part of it. I always outline, so I know where I’m going with my story at all times. I know the ending before I write the first word, so there is nothing to dread at all while I’m writing. I never dread the edit, as the purpose of the edit is to make the book the best it can be. However, after the writing, editing, proof, and all the final work, comes the marketing. That’s what I dread. When I first started writing, all the writer had to do was write the book. Today, that doesn’t work. Now the writer has to do a lot of marketing and promotion, but all I want to do is just write the books.

Promoter and Writer seem to stem from two totally different personality mixes, don’t they?

At any rate, what are you currently reading?

I’m not going to say the title, but I’m currently reading a book I got for free from Amazon. I actually picked up a few freebies, and sadly, they’re not very good.  I’m trying to get a feel for what’s out there, and there is a lot, some good, some not so good, in order to gauge the competition in the marketplace as I move from the standard publishing by a book publisher, to indie publishing, which is promo and marketing by the author.

I understand this is the danger…the minefield of indie publishing. There are great books out there and there are…not as great books.

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

I work full time, plus I’m in 3 bands, so my time is limited. Fortunately my husband is retired and does all the housework and we share the cooking (but he does the dishes). I write mostly evenings when I don’t have band practice, and on weekends. Since we are recent empty nesters, I now have one of the bedrooms in my house turned into an office.  Gotta love it.

It does sound like you are quite busy! (My husband does the dishes, too. And we share house duties.)

I am eager to hear, though… Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

One of my main characters, Ardent, makes small appearances throughout the book, then he comes out in full force near the end. I had to give him a different speech pattern to set him apart. Every time he showed up, I had to somehow use the phrase “do not be afraid” to give the discerning reader a hint of who he really is.

And, lastly, 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.

Gail, thank you so much for coming on the blog again today and sharing with us Mercury Rising and giving us more insight into your process. As usual, I promise not to keep you all, but let you get right into the book details:

Mercury Rising

Michael wants to save his daughter, but first he’s got to save the world. Michael and Charlotte meet when Michael is trying to find Ashley, his missing daughter, who has fallen into drug abuse, and Charlotte is searching for her son Jon, a brilliant and aspiring young scientist who has also gone missing. Ashley and Jon should have nothing in common, but after the murder of Jon’s favorite professor, they become ensnared in a tangled web that becomes worse with every new discovery. When Michael and Charlotte join together to figure what their children have become involved with, they, too, are sucked into a sinkhole for which there are no answers, only more questions. When all seems lost, will they all recognize the source of strength offered to them, and… will they take it?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Michael sat in the hard wooden chair, numbly staring down into a Styrofoam cup. He’d been told that cop shows didn’t truly imitate reality, but this police station coffee really was as bad as the television characters said.

After he’d missed Ashley and Binky at the park, since the police hadn’t come to him, he’d gone to them. But because Ashley was an adult, and because he had no evidence of abduction or foul play, especially considering her history, they couldn’t officially consider Ashley a missing person. Instead they’d told him to go home and wait for her to return, as most people returned within three days. But first, they wanted more information on Binky, a name they recognized as a person of interest in a drug trafficking case. He would gladly give them all communications between Binky and Ashley, except Ashley’s cellphone battery was nearly dead, so they needed to find a charger to plug it in.

Michael swished the coffee dregs and set the cup on the desk. They would never find Binky. He’d watched enough cop shows to know that Binky would be using an untraceable burner phone for his drug deals. This tidbit, he had no doubt, the cop shows had based on reality.

While he waited for the officer to find a charger, Michael watched the action at the reception counter. He couldn’t hear all the details, but some woman was ranting about finding her son’s hat at a murder scene.

Of course they couldn’t tell her anything. It had only been a couple of hours since it happened, and they still hadn’t finished with the crime scene. Yet instead of leaving, she continued to argue. If he’d been in a better mood, it would have been almost comical. The woman was small, not quite as small has his daughter, but she obviously didn’t let her size stop her. She had dark blonde hair, but this woman wouldn’t be the subject of any blonde jokes. She laid all her facts in order, leaning closer to the unfortunate officer at the counter and narrowing her eyes in those few moments she demanded a response, none of which apparently met her approval. She actually made the officer cower a few times, even though at no time did she ever raise her voice. She was by no means a raving beauty, but he would have called her better than average. Still, when she spoke, she had the attention of everyone in the near vicinity, including himself. 

At least watching gave him something to do until the officer who was helping him came back with a charger compatible with Ashley’s phone. Then they could read the logs of her texts with Binky, and then he could go home to wait for her.

Again, he looked at his watch. If Ashley did get home and he wasn’t there, he hoped she would phone him. Of course, he had her cell phone with him, but she could always use the wall-phone in the kitchen. If she remembered how to use it.

 Since the woman wouldn’t leave, they escorted her inside and offered her a chair next to the desk beside him.

Another officer gave her the same speech about her son, who was twenty-three, that they’d given him about Ashley. The officer paused, cleared his throat, and looked at the woman with the utmost sincerity. “I’m sorry, Ma’am. Since your son is an adult and you have no real evidence that he’s hurt or in danger, and no significant amount of time has passed, we don’t have a reason to file a report.” 

Instead of calming down, the woman thunked a green ball cap on the desk. “But I have evidence. The murdered man was his friend. My son was there.”

“Allegedly murdered, Ma’am. And if the hat was indeed at the crime scene, it would have been inside the yellow tape, and you wouldn’t have had access to pick it up.”

Her mouth tightened. “It was outside the yellow tape, but it was still there. At the scene. It was his friend who was murdered. My son is missing, and I know he was there.”

“We’ve already interviewed all potential witnesses, and your son’s name is not on the list. When did you last speak to your son, Ma’am?”

“Last night. But I know he was home this afternoon and he hadn’t been gone long. I know he went to the crime scene. The news article was on his laptop. I know something’s wrong.”

The officer sighed. “That means he read the article, and went to the crime scene subsequent to the crime being committed.”

She leaned closer to him. “I know that, but I know he went there.” She poked her finger into the top of the hat, now laying on the desk. “Because he lost his hat. And now he’s missing.”

“I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do. He’s not a person of interest because we know he wasn’t at the scene at the time of the incident. While the state of Nevada has no specific time frame to wait to file a missing persons report, you do need to have a significant reason to believe that something is wrong. Finding a hat you believe to be his outside the perimeter of a crime scene can’t be taken as evidence that something has happened to your son. But I can take some details, and if he still hasn’t returned after thirty-six hours, and you have significant reason to believe he’s in trouble or distress, then we can start looking for him.”

“Then tell me what you’ve found about Sal Fesbane’s murder.”

“You know I can’t do that, Ma’am.”

Michael watched the two of them stare at each other in silence.

The officer sighed, then composed himself, no doubt controlling his frustration. “I can enter some information and file the report if we determine later that he really is a missing person.”

“Yes. Do that.”

The officer who had been helping him, in the loosest definition of help, returned with a compatible charger. They plugged in Ashley’s phone, Michael flipped to the log for Binky, and handed the officer the phone.

While he waited, out of the corner of his eye, he again watched the two beside him. Going through the same frustration with the system about Ashley, he certainly could empathize. Still, he didn’t want her to catch him looking at her for fear she’d start a conversation. He didn’t know her, but he’d hazard a guess that the woman was ready to blow a gasket. He didn’t want to be the one talking to her when that happened.

The officer typed her son’s personal information into the computer, then rested his fingers on the keyboard and turned to her. “Do you know who might have been the last person to see your son, Ma’am?”

She started to shake her head, then stopped. “I don’t, but I do know he had an appointment with a student he was tutoring. He must have phoned to cancel the appointment. Maybe she knows something. I went straight to the bar because I was positive that’s where he’d be.”

The woman dug through her purse, drew out a cell phone, and swiped. “Yes, he called someone right at the time I think he left.” She pressed her finger to the phone, no doubt to redial. At the same time as she held the phone to her ear, Ashley’s phone rang from the hand of the officer in front of him.

The officer held the phone out to Michael. “You might want to answer this.”

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Authors

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 Tim) and her books

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gail.sattler.3

Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/Gail-Sattler-author-568988573496833/?modal=admin_todo_tour

GIVEAWAY!

Gail is offering a copy of one of her older works to one (1) winner in the continental United States or Canada. Please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OVERCOMING GRIEF: When Will It Pass?

On January 3rd, I celebrated a birthday. And it was so hard. I broke down on January 2nd. See, my mom and I had this…well, kind of a little joke about it. I am a midnight baby. I believe my birth certificate states I was born at like 12:02 am or some such. But my mother holds that the doctor did not note the time until they had gone through the normal processes of cleaning and measuring me. She contends that I was actually born on January 2nd.

Of course, I think that means I need a two-day all-about-me celebration. She’d tell me to pick one day and it should be the 2nd. The rest of my family kind of rolls their eyes at this, but my mom got it.

Now no one really does.

See, this April marks 2 years without my mom. It’s still fresh.

Last January 3rd, the first year. My birthday was nice. Really nice. But something was off. All day.

It wasn’t until the end of the day that I connected the dots.

I was waiting for the call from her that wasn’t going to come.

I say all this to share that I’m almost two years after the fact and it’s still fresh. It still hurts.

Some might think…shouldn’t she be over this by now? Or at least more over this?

No. Not at all.

Someone else might be further along in the grieving process, but not me. Not my personality makeup. I’m still somewhere in that process. The grieving process is not cut and dry. It’s different for everyone. Both in the movement through the stages and the duration in each stage and in the process as a whole. To learn more about the stages, I wrote about it here.

The truth is, we grieve deeply because we loved deeply. And, the pain may ease into a smile of nostalgia, but for some the ache will always be there. And that’s okay. My counselor has said to me: “You’ll never get over it, but you will get through it.”

I do think of her fondly and smile at times, but other times, it brings tears. That’s where I am and I’m fine with that. Is that where my siblings are? Not necessarily. And that’s okay, too. Doesn’t mean they loved her more or less. It means they are different people. And their grief process looks different than mine.

My friend found a book of liturgies for me. I’ve never thought myself to be interested in a book of prayers. But this book has moved me to laugh, cry, and brought my heart closer to Jesus. There is one about grieving that I wanted to share:

It comes from “Every Moment Holy” by Douglas Kaine McKelvey. The liturgy I’m pulling from is called “Anniversary of a Loss”:

Let that which broke me upon this day in a past year, now be seen as the beginning of my remaking into a Christ-follower more sympathetic, more compassionate, and more conscious of my frailty and of my daily dependence upon you; as one more invested in the hope of the resurrection of the the body and the return of the King, than ever I had been before.

Let this loss-hollowed day arrive in years to come as the kindling of a fire in my bones, spurring me to seek in this short life that which is eternal. Let the past wound, and the memory of it, push me to be present with you in ways that I was not before.

Do not waste my greatest sorrows, O God, but use them to teach me to live in Your presence–fully alive to pain and joy and sorrow and hope–in the places where my shattering and Your shaping meet.

Amen

OVERCOMING FATIGUE: One Woman’s Journey to Find Daylight Hours

I struggle with the basic problem that many of you might have: I over-plan and plan to overachieve in my days. My “TO DO” list is a mile long and the perfectionist in me strives to cross off every single thing. You can imagine that this, in and of itself, will lead to mental, emotional, psychological, and, yes, even physical fatigue.

Enter a wiser Sara. After YEARS of counseling, I have learned to greatly reduce the number of things on my “TO DO” list and even be okay….well, mostly okay if I don’t get it all done. So I’m generally sleeping better.

But I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder…that thing where you get gloomy when the daylight hours shrink because of winter solstice? Yeah, sign me up. Less daylight hour potential and on top of that, the clouds are ever present…or so it seems.

To top it off this year, I had gotten a hormone shot to help combat another medical condition. A side effect I didn’t count on? Fatigue.

As you can see…the cards are just, as they say, stacked against me.

It’s more important than ever that I’m managing this fatigue or else I’m liable to spend November through February in bed. And I’m not exaggerating. The fatigue is that real right now.

So where did I get real with combating it? What helped when the rubber met the road?

MY HAPPY LIGHT

Do not discount the effectiveness of a happy light. This is one of those things that is in a box or shaped like a picture frame (mine is) or ipad that you sit in front of up to an hour twice a day (optimum) to get some of that light you are missing in the gloomier seasons.

Some things you should know. They have to be the correct brightness (recommended amount 10,000 lux) to do the trick. This is the one I chose: the Verilux HappyLight Touch.

Was it effective? You bet. I had to start at 15 minutes once a day and work up to 1 hour, twice a day, but I immediately felt I had more energy. And this was easy to fit into my life. I could work on my laptop or read, as long as I was diagonally facing the happy light.

ESSENTIAL OILS

I have shared before how essential oils have been a God-send in my life. And this is another instance where they really packed a punch. The oils, whether diffusing or diluting and rubbing on my skin, seemed to lift that heaviness that I felt. It then seemed more like I had a choice. I wasn’t compelled to sleep/nap/stay in bed. I could choose to get up and be productive. Does that make sense?

The oils I found most effective are (I used Young Living): Valor, Awaken, Brain Power, and En-er-Gee

ADRENAL SUPPLEMENTS

I know, I know….traditional medicine does not recognize “adrenal fatigue”….they don’t truly recognize adrenal malfunction until you have Addison’s Disease (at which point, your adrenals are pretty well shot). But other practitioners who do take a more integrative approach (practice both eastern and western medicine) know this is real.

How do I know my adrenals were fatigued? I started taking a supplement and I got better. The supplement recommended to me was Licorice Root. I took Metagenics Licorice Plus. It took two days for me to feel better. Two days. I had more energy and I couldn’t believe, overall, that people could feel so good.

WHAT GOES INTO YOUR BODY

Finally, what goes into your body makes a difference. Feeding your body the right types of fuels will keep your metabolism revved and going. Instead of sluggish and fatigued.

You know what I’m going to say. It’s not rocket science. Vegetables, limited fruits, lean proteins, and good carbs. These are the things that will give you energy without weighing you down and tiring you out.

CONCLUSION

It all makes a difference. Our bodies are a whole system working together and we need to address the whole thing. When one part is “hurting” (like the adrenals) we need to make sure it’s gears are running smoothly again. But other times, it’s about treating the system as a whole (what you eat, using oils, etc.). Things I haven’t talked about that also make a difference are your psychological and emotional health, your spiritual wellbeing, creating white space in your calendar for rest/rejuvenation…all of these are good and right things to do for yourself.