Meet author Cynthia Simmons

Tell us about your newest book.

My latest book is the third in the Southern Gold series. Peter and Mary Beth own a bank in the Confederacy. They don’t trust the paper money issued by the government and prefer to use gold only. However, an officer in the military asked for a loan he could repay with Confederate bills, and he refers to them as traitors when they hesitate to comply. When the officer turns up dead, accusations fly everywhere. Through all the hardship, the couple learn to reflect the love of God to those around them.

What inspired you to write Reflecting Gold?

The Southern Gold series needed a finale. In the prequel, Valuing Gold, Peter and Mary Beth learned to value eternal things. In the first book, Pursuing Gold, they learned to pursue the Lord about everything else. In this final book Reflecting Gold, they learned to love others even if they suffered through trials of their own.

What genre do you focus on?

I write more historical fiction than any other genre. First, I enjoy reading it and I like to depict characters in different time periods. However, my novels also have a mystery. Unconsciously, I include bits of suspense in my fiction.

Why do you write?

I love unearthing stories from history, so I feel an obligation to share what I learned. Stories from the past illustrate the Bible without being preachy, so the two make a perfect combo.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I love words. So, I enjoy putting words together to communicate. I’ve written homeschool curriculum, devotions, Bible studies (they go with my novels and are free to download), and articles. I enjoy completing a project that shares truth from the past and Scripture.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I hate math. In elementary school, teachers taught us what they called ‘new math,’ and I never understood it. When I started homeschooling my children, I didn’t know how I would teach math to my kids. However, Mortensen Math blocks helped me understand math better. If I had been taught with manipulatives, I might have enjoyed it more.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have learned to enjoy people. In the past, I always considered myself an introvert. However, when I’m speaking, I’ve met interesting people, and I find myself welcoming new friends.

What is your favorite pastime?

I have always had a problem with too many hobbies. Reading, sewing, making jewelry are among the top favorites, but researching history tops them all. Any time I visit a new town, I enjoy learning about the founders and learning fun facts about them. I have discovered three relatives who fought in the revolutionary war, and so I joined Daughters of the American Revolution.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have a trilogy on money during the Civil War; the prequel is Valuing Gold, the first book is Pursuing Gold, and the third is Reflecting Gold. I also have curriculum for homeschool mothers. Pursuing Gold: Critical Thinking Curriculum goes with the second book in the series. Lincoln Family Curriculum is a 12-week curriculum on Abe and Mary Lincoln.

What are you working on now?

I’m researching my hometown for a series of novels in the 1870s, which was the reconstruction in the South. I have a great time asking libraries and churches for their history.

Website: https://clsimmons.com/

Link to book: https://clsimmons.com/product/reflecting-gold/

Social media links:

Heart of the Matter Radio/Podcast: https://heartofthematterradio.libsyn.com/

Twitter: @CynthiaLSimmons

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

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthia-l-simmons-

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.l.simmons.7/

https://www.facebook.com/HrtMtr

 

 

 

Meet author Patty Smith

Multi-published author Patty Smith Hall lives near the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Danny, her two daughters, her son-in-law and her grandboys. An acquisition editor for Winged Publications, she enjoys helping new writers get published. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or playing with her grandsons.

Tell us about your newest book.

A brave fight for literacy during the Great Depression, four women set out on horseback to bring the library to remote communities. Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. Ride along with four book-loving women who bravely fight for literacy in remote communities during the Great Depression by carrying library books via horseback. Will their efforts be rewarded by finding love in the process?Forced out of her nursing job due to budget cuts, Ruth Sims applies for a position with the Pack Horse Library incentive, only to discover she must go to the one place she swore never to return. The children instantly steal her heart with their thirst for books, and she’s happy in her post until she meets their teacher, Will Munroe—the man who broke her heart.

What inspired you to write In This Moment?

One of the first Christian fiction books I ever read was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I loved that book, from the characters and setting to the conflicts that made that book what it was. So when we decided to do a novella collection about the horse librarians, I felt this was my chance to have a Christy moment!

What genre do you focus on?

I mainly focus on historical romantic fiction. I’ve always been kind of a history buff so digging into the research and making the history come alive is very satisfying for me.

Why do you write?

That’s a good question. For me, I write because I’ve felt called to use my writing abilities to serve God. It’s never been about money or fame with me though I wouldn’t turn it down if it happened! I just feel it’s the ministry God has placed me in and until He tells me to stop writing, I’ll continue to do it.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Ruth Sims and Will Munroe are my main characters in this story. As is my habit, I choose character’s names from a vast list of family and friends. In this case, Ruth is after my grandmother, Ruth Rogers Clark and Will is after my best friend’s oldest son.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Usually, I write six hours a day when I’m working on a book, but now there’s school to deal with so I’ve had to switch that up a little bit.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The hardest part for me is staring at that blank page at the start of a new project. In that moment, I wonder why I ever became a writer, and what makes me think I can string together coherent words, much less a decent story. It’s kind of frightening.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part of my career is when I get an email from one of my readers telling me that my book made a difference to them. That is the highest praise I could hope for.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

This may sound a bit braggy, but I was very talented in my younger days. I danced with the Georgia Ballet and offered an internship with the Atlanta Ballet. And I could sing—an old boyfriend sent Kenny Rogers a tape of me singing, and a few weeks later, I got called in for a try out. The problem was I had horrible stage fright, so I thanked them very kindly but gave them a firm No.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’m not as much of a pantser now as I once was. I think that’s from putting out so many books in a short period of time—I had to plot out my books if I wanted to get them written and turned in on time. Now, I’m a healthy combination of both pantsers and plotters.

What is your favorite pastime?

Right now, going back to school takes up a large chunk of my time.  But I love to read when I can. I also love to cross-stitch and any time I can spend with my family is precious.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have a lot of books out there, so the best place to find them is on my author web page at www.pattysmithhall.com or my Amazon page.

What are you working on now?

I’m juggling a lot at the moment. I’m finishing up a novella based in the Georgia goldrush that will be released at the first of the year, then I’ll be working on a Christmas novella for Barbour due in February.  And as I’m writing this, I’m in the Outer Banks of North Carolina researching a full-length book for part of Barbour’s Heroines on World War II series.

Website: www.pattysmithhall.com

Link to book: The Librarian’s Journey

Social media links:

Website: www.pattysmithhall.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorpattysmithhall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorpattysmithhall/boards/

 

 

 

 

 

The St. Lawrence River’s moods

As in all my Thousand Islands Gilded Age stories, in Colleen’s Confession, Colleen Sullivan comes to love the St. Lawrence and Comfort Island. She loves to draw it and dreams of growing in the craft. But tragedy strikes and her orphan dreams of finally belonging and becoming a wife and an artist are gone. What will her future hold?

Here’s a short excerpt to which you can likely relate:

The fiery sunset ignited the sky with an effervescent warmth that kissed her cheeks. They sat still and quiet, the silent spell broken only by the crickets and bullfrogs. On the August winds, dark clouds rode upon colorful chariots.

Colleen glowed in the pumpkin light. “I love the river more and more each day. When I draw it, I am swept up in its majesty and wonder.”

She turned to her latest drawing, a serene rendering of the landscape before them. In the foreground, a fish jumped, its mouth open to catch its dinner.

“You amaze me, fraulein. Truly.”

Just then, Colleen seemed one with the beauty of the river—yet not. Something hidden in the deep recesses of her being hung there like moss entwined in the propellors of a fine yacht. How could he untangle it?

Jack agreed with her admiration of the St. Lawrence. “Sometimes the river gurgles and coos like a happy infant. Other times, it growls like an angry bear. Sometimes it groans like an old man after a long winter’s nap. And other times, it dances like a fair young maiden after her first kiss. The Saint Lawrence River is like that. You can’t tame her, for she’s wild and free.”

“Like the bald eagle?” Colleen searched his face, her gentle eyes fringed with dark lashes, long and thick. “Your eloquence paints a pretty picture, sir.”

She’d listened to his tale of the bird? Perhaps he could break through to the formidable fraulein after all. “Like the magnificent bald eagle. You’re as beautiful as an eagle soaring on a St. Lawrence sunset. I can’t wait to see you fly even higher, Colleen.”

His thoughts had tumbled from his heart to his lips before he could catch them. His pulse hammered wildly as he sucked in a breath, wishing he could retract the premature confession. But he couldn’t. So, he waited—for her to gasp and flee.

She didn’t. Something had changed.

Do you love the river, too? I’d love to know!

 

Meet author Kate Breslin

Author Kate Breslin lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she enjoys spending time with her husband and family. She also loves reading, writing, hiking, and traveling to new places for the next story idea. Kate’s WWII debut novel, For Such a Time, received ACFW’s 2015 Carol Award, and her fifth novel, As Dawn Breaks, is her newest. Please visit her at www.katebreslin.com

Tell us about your newest book.

What inspired you to write As Dawn Breaks? While researching for my previous novels, I came across stories of how the British women had to step in and fill the role of working jobs previously held by men now fighting overseas in WWI. In particular, that special breed of women working in the munitions industry, making shells, packing them with TNT, and making propellant for ammunition. It was highly dangerous work, but most of these ladies were patriots, and if not for them, Britain might have lost the war. I also discovered the competitive, lucrative, and often shady business of arms dealing was as relevant back then as it is now, and my story came together from there.

What genre do you focus on?

I love history, especially when I discover little-known nuggets to write about. I also have a passion for anything British, so my stories or characters hail from that country. Currently I write WWI-era novels because there was so much innovation emerging at that time and plenty to write about, so I hope to continue in or around that era for future books!

Why do you write?

I simply love story. I read voraciously growing up and I also loved being able to express myself through the written word. Poetry, journaling, short stories, and much, much later, I began writing novels, because I’d read all of the books by my favorite authors and wanted to create my own. Easier said than done. It took me many years to publish my first book, in between working full time, a family, and most importantly to realize exactly what God wanted me to write. When I finally wrote my very first inspirational novel, For Such a Time, a Biblical Esther retelling set during WWII, I was blessed to receive my first book contract and since then I’ve never looked back.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Rosalind (Rose) Graham is my story heroine, and her name is the same as the main character in the play As You Like It. While Shakespeare and I wrote completely different tales, there are some similarities between his Rosalind and mine, but that’s a spoiler and you’ll have to read the story to find out.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Once I spend a couple of months doing research for the next story, I create an outline and then sit down and begin writing 4-5 days a week, usually 5-7 hours a day, mostly in the afternoons. When I’m nearing deadline however, I’ll sometimes work twice that many hours in a day, seven days a week, to finish the manuscript and turn it in on time.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I think the number one challenge for me is finding time for everything. After my first novel released, I quickly learned there was more to publishing than merely writing the story. Deadlines, revisions, and then rounds of edits before a book is pristine and ready for readers, and afterward there’s marketing, social media, book events, and the list goes on. While I love it all, it’s hard sometimes to juggle my writing life with my personal life, and I’m always striving to find more ways to provide a good balance between the two.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

My readers, hands down. They’re awesome. They are wonderfully encouraging and kind, and through the years have always been supportive of me and my novels. Sometimes, when I’m feeling low and exhausted after working a crazy shift at the computer all night, or having a “bad hair day” with my writing and the words aren’t flowing and I ask God if I’ll ever finish this manuscript—it’s then I receive an email from a reader about how much they enjoyed one of my stories, or someone will send me a kind note on social media. Suddenly my spirits are lifted and I’m infused with new energy. Those are “God moments” to me, because oftentimes that’s how He answers my prayer.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I had a terrible time learning to read. I have mild dyslexia and was also very shy, so when my first grade teacher instructed each of us to stand in class and read aloud from a beginner book, I froze every time, the letters in the words making no sense to me at all. I continued to struggle for another year, until we moved to different state and school and I was introduced to the Phonics teaching method of sounding out the letters. It absolutely changed my world. At last I could begin to read and understand the words, and the rest as they say, is history.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

Well, I certainly hope that my writing has improved and grown with each new book, but even more importantly my relationship with God has become stronger. Creating a plausible, readable, likeable story over the course of 100K words has been one of the biggest challenges of my life, and it reminds me daily that I can accomplish nothing on my own without the Lord by my side to inspire and guide me.

What is your favorite pastime?

Aside from reading and taking my daily walks, I love to putter in the garden, especially my rose garden. Give me an audiobook and a weed puller and I can work all day.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes thank you, Susan. Aside from my newest release, As Dawn Breaks, I have four other novels published with Bethany House, which can be found on my website with reading excerpts and buy links. As I mentioned above, my first novel is a WWII story, and the others are connecting stand-alone novels set during WWI.

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m finishing the manuscript for my sixth novel, which is set in Britain during the summer of 1918 and features as the main character, Marcus Weatherford, who has played a part in each of my five other connecting WWI stand-alone novels. The book is scheduled for release in December 2022.

Website: https://www.katebreslin.com

Link to book: https://katebreslin.com/as-dawn-breaks/

Social media links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kate_Breslin

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

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-breslin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7115378.Kate_Breslin

Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-breslin-87531b61

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Terri Gillespie

Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture women’s souls that include a women’s devotional, Making Eye Contact with God, The Hair Mavens Trilogy: award-winning She Does Good Hair, CUT IT OUT!, Really Bad Hair Day, and her newest release, the award-winning, Sweet Rivalry. Recently she launched Author for Authors YouTube channel with three series to promote other authors, thanks to hubby’s brilliant video editing.

Tell us about your newest book.

Sweet Rivalry begins as an ordinary morning for Sarah Sweeting—watching her favorite baking show, Cupcake Rivalry while getting ready for work at her Granny’s small-town bakery. All that changes when Sarah spots a contestant who looks like her, sounds like her, moves like her. Was this her twin sister? The twin her mother ran away with twenty years ago? Were hers and Granny’s prayers finally being answered? When Granny confirms the shocking discovery, she suffers a heart attack. On the west coast, Raven Souwers’ morning began at a frenzied pace—incessant ringing phones and a Beverly Hills’ bakery full of customers. All because everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Cupcake Rivalry contestants—Raven and her best friend, Will Durning. But a phone call from an excited woman claiming to be Raven’s long-lost sister—a sister Raven has no memory of—informs Raven that a grandmother she never knew was in the hospital. The call changes the course of Raven’s life and brings up the pain she thought she’d overcome.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Long lost twins find each other through their love of baking, but will the past and not-so-sweet rivalries separate them again?

What genre do you focus on?

Women’s contemporary. I love “real-time” life in my novels. My goal is for readers to know the characters so well they wished they were friends. Or at least want to invite them to lunch. Or a cupcake.

Why do you write?

Okay. This is difficult to share. For most of my childhood, I struggled with reading and reading comprehension. It was the 1950s and 60s, so resources and information weren’t readily available. Of course, I just thought I was, well, stupid. Other kids could read and talked about all these great books. I loved the feel and smell of books. I loved going to the library. When the bookmobile pulled into the school parking lot, it was magical. I’d stand in line, my heart beating like a hummingbird, waiting to step inside and have a librarian help me find a book I would enjoy. I checked-out the maximum amount every time. And never finished a single one of them. Imagine loving books, but struggling to read them, much less finish them. My best friend was my grandmother. She was a storyteller. Great stories about her father the town doctor. Her miraculous birth. It didn’t matter how many times she told the tales—I couldn’t get enough. In hindsight, she must have sensed my struggles. One visit she had set up a rickety metal secretary’s table and placed her ancient Royal typewriter on top. Typing paper and a ballpoint pen stacked neatly next to the great beast, she pointed to the chair and said write. I typed stories. Illustrated them. Then bound them with tape. But when I read Jane Eyre, I heard my voice. Charlotte Bronte’s tragic, moody, angsty deliciousness. Yet, with a strong redemptive theme. I wanted to write for women today who felt they had no worth. Stories of characters who finally learn their value is in our Heavenly Father because of His Son. Always hoping these books would open new doors of opportunity for other women. My tag is Nurturing Women Through Stories of Hope. My grandmother did that for me. Charlotte Bronte, and many others over the years—they nurtured me with stories, so that I could return the favor.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Raven. Actually, Rachel Raven. Raven’s mother, Lizzy chose it because of her love of Edgar Allen Poe. Telling you anymore gives away too much of the story.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I’m up early for my quiet time and daily writing “tithe”—my Daily Word devotions blog. Next social media, ACFW, Author for Authors vlogging, and congregational business. Then [happy sigh] writing. If I’m on deadline, personal hygiene tends to be ignored. I have an amazing husband who will still kiss my greasy head before he asks what’s for dinner.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Marketing and promotion. I love promoting others, but me? Meeting readers face-to-face or speaking? That, I enjoy. Interaction with readers is so much more interesting than talking about me.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The moment when I know I have connected with the heart of God about the story because what comes out of my imagination couldn’t possibly be just me. Yes, when that tiny speck of creativity from the Creator of the Universe lodges in the imagination … Wow.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I’m related by marriage to three famous people: Frederick the Great of Prussia; Vincent Price; and Rush Limbaugh.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I buried hubris recently. Hopefully, it will stay dead this time.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

My first book was a weekly women’s devotional, Making Eye Contact with God. It came out in 2008, and I’m still blessed with royalties. Someone in Dubai bought fifty copies last year.

The Hair Mavens trilogy—Modern day Ruth and Naomi stories set in a hair salon. Book one: She Does Good Hair. Book two: CUT IT OUT! Book three: Really Bad Hair Day.

What are you working on now?

Due to peer pressure from one author in particular—you know who you are—I’m attempting to write a cozy mystery. Plotting begins. Stay tuned!

Website: www.authorterrigillespie.com

Link to book: https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-books/sweet-rivalry/

Social media links:

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

Twitter: @TerriGMavens

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terri.macalady.gillespie/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Terri-Gillespie/e/B002BMCBL6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1633377339&sr=1-2

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/terrilgillespie/_created/

BookBub Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/terri-gillespie-03735cb1-12a1-470f-8caa-467d4113919d

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2775460.Terri_Gillespie

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/terrigillespie

YouTube Channel (Terri Gillespie, Author for Authors): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2iMKu7zt6wB4vmPKqsM7EA

 

 

 

Meet author Beth Vogt

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her newest release is Unpacking Christmas: A Thatcher Sisters Novella. She’s authored ten contemporary romance novels and novellas, before writing her women’s fiction series with Tyndale House Publishers including: Things I Never Told You; Moments We Forget;and The Best We’ve Been. Beth is a Christy Award winner, an ACFW Carol Award winner, and a RITA® finalist.

Tell us about your newest book.

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas novella because I love reading them. Since releasing The Best We’ve Been, the third book in the Thatcher Sisters Series, readers were asking about Payton, Jillian, and Johanna, so I thought it would be fun to catch up with them during the holidays.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Like everyone else, the Thatcher sisters have plans for Christmas. But things don’t go the way they expect – do they ever? This Christmas, Johanna, Jillian, and Payton will realize the true magic of Christmas isn’t found in gifts or decorations or treasured traditions, but in the love of family.

What genre do you focus on?

I write women’s fiction because I love to explore the depths of relationships between best friends, sisters, and mothers and daughters, as well as the heart issues that women care about.

Why do you write?

I believe that life is complicated. That relationships are messy. But I also believe God steps into the middle of our complicated, messy lives and says, “I have more for you than this.”

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The main character in Unpacking Christmas is Heather Thatcher. She’s the mom of Payton, Jillian, and Johanna – the Thatcher Sisters. I chose her name because my eighth-grade teacher’s name was Heather. She was one of the first teachers I looked up to – who influenced me as a young writer – and I always thought her name was beautiful. I used her last name for another character in the novella.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I always say I write in between the interruptions. I would love to keep a regular schedule, but I juggle writing and real life. Sometimes I juggle things well, and sometimes it’s not so pretty.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The hardest part is merging the dream of writing with the reality of writing. If we’re not careful, the realities can squash the dream. Reality can create all sorts of “logical” reasons to quit. Writing is hard work. But we have to remember the “why” and we have to banish the words “I quit” from our vocabulary.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Oh, there are so many wonderful parts! Brainstorming an idea. Finishing a first draft. Getting feedback. Holding your book in your hands for the first time. Meeting a reader. Meeting an author you admire …

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I always tuck a true-to-my life fact into every book I write. Close friends and family always figure it out. Oh! And I never read my books once they’re released.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’ve learned failure is part of success – and I’m okay with that.

What is your favorite pastime?

Being with my family – doing anything. Cooking. Playing boardgames. Watching old movies.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I sure do! You can find them on my website at bethvogt.com.

And if you’d like a free novella, you can sign up for my Words of Encouragement newsletter on my website. https://bethvogt.com/newsletter-sign-up/

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new women’s fiction story that’s a bit true-to-life. I named the main character after a good friend (and fellow author). And I’m having so much fun with this new story!

Website: https://bethvogt.com/

Link to book: https://bethvogt.com/beths-books/unpacking-christmas/

Social media links:

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethvogt

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5042181.Beth_K_Vogt

Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.com/Beth-K.-Vogt/e/B001JSBFIS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1531329067&sr=1-2

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/beth-k-vogt

Dream Readers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/193916211212564/