Meet author MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults. She writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. MaryAnn resides in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They are the blessed parents of two adult daughters and five rambunctious grandchildren.

 

 

 

Tell us about your newest book.

My latest release is titled Return to Bella Terra. It is Book 3 in my trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. Return to Bella Terra completes the moving story of my heroine, Maria Landro that began in Book 1, The Madonna of Pisano, and continued in Book 2, A Sicilian Farewell. The trilogy was sparked by an incident that occurred in the life of my great-great-grandmother.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I focus on writing women’s fiction. For over 40 years, I have ministered to women from all over the world. As a woman and a life coach, I understand the feminine heart, and I can relate to the deep and conflicting emotions that women often feel. I also understand the complexities of the challenges that women face on a daily basis.

Why do you write? What drives you?

One reason: God called me to write. It is this calling—fueled by my passionate love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my desire to obey Him—that drives me. He has ordained that I would proclaim the Gospel message of love and redemption primarily through my writing and primarily through writing fiction. I love writing fiction!  There is nothing else I would rather do with my life.

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

My main character in Return to Bella Terrais Maria Landro. The name simply came to me after I asked God to write the story of His heart through me.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

When writing a novel, I am quite disciplined. I write from 9:00am until 2:00pm or 3:00pm five days a week. When on deadline, I also write in the evenings and on Saturdays. I treat my writing as I would treat a day job. I have a set time to get to my office and a specific word count goal to reach every day. I usually do not stop until I have reached my word count for the day. If I have to stop, I make up my word count before the week is over.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

For me, the most difficult part of being an author is the waiting for results. If God has taught me one thing during my writing career, it is that I am in need of patience. This Scripture verse in Hebrews 10: 36 sums it up for me: Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

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

The best part, without a doubt, is the joy of co-laboring with God in the creative process. I see myself as His pen as He writes the story of His heart through me. I know that other writers who follow Jesus have had similar experiences. The joy of it is unspeakable!

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

I would have to say that the craziest thing I’ve experienced as an author was my first sale. Novice that I was, I submitted a funny poem to The Saturday Evening Post, totally oblivious to the fact that this was a magazine virtually impossible for a beginning writer to crack. The poem resulted from a funny incident surrounding an argument between my two little girls. At the time, I had been praying for a sign from the Lord that He wanted me to write. When The Saturday Evening Postaccepted my poem for publication, I knew that a miracle had occurred and that God had given me my sign.

What are you most proud of?

Rather than proud, I would say I am most thankful that God has chosen me to write for Him.  I am also quite thankful to have fulfilled my longstanding dream of writing The Italian Chronicles.  So many stories are still gestating in my heart that I feel I will need several lifetimes to write them. My prayer is that the Lord’s will will be done in my writing and in my life.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to create works of art in colored pencil, oils, and acrylics. I also love to make up silly poems with my grandchildren.

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

Yes. I have two published novellas: A Christmas Homecoming (Pelican Book Group) and Surrender to Love (TopNotch Press). I also have a published short story titled Magnolia Memories (TopNotch Press).  As for children’s books, I’ve published four picture books and one chapter book. The picture books are Who Is Jesus?,Candle Love,Toby Too Small, and The Dandelion Patch. The chapter book is titled Do Angels Ride Ponies? This fall, Lord willing, my latest children’s picture book will be released by TopNotch Press. It is titled Poems for Wee Ones and is a collection of the poetry I have written for children over the years. My wonderful illustrator is Valeria Wicker.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a contemporary novel, also women’s fiction, with romantic elements. It is titled In Black and White and is a story about racism and reconciliation.

Website:
http://www.maryanndiorio.com

http://www.maryanndiorioministries.com 

Link to book:

https://www.amazon.com/Return-Bella-Terra-Italian-Chronicles/dp/0930037243/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1509201943&sr=8-1&dpID=51JLAuqv9RL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=detail

Social media links:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maryanndiorio
Blog Talk Radio: http:www.blogtalkradio.com/drmaryanndiorio
BookBub.com: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maryann-diorio
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/DrMaryAnnDiorio
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/@DrMaryAnnDiorio
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DrMaryAnn
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryann-diorio-phd-dmin-mfa-99924513/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/drmaryanndiorio/
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrMaryAnnDiorio
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drmaryanndiorio/
Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/profile/drmaryanndiorio
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user46487508

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/drmaryanndiorio/

 

 

 

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Meet author Beth Vogt

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Both a Christy Award and an ACFW Carol Award winner, Beth is the author of ten contemporary romance novels and novellas. Her first women’s fiction novel, Things I Never Told You, releases May 8, 2018 from Tyndale House Publishers.

 

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Things I Never Told You asks the question: Is family always worth fighting for? It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine – as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

What genre do you focus on and why?

This is book one in the Thatcher Sisters Series and marks my debut in women’s fiction. Before this, I wrote contemporary romance. Two years ago, as I was writing the final novel in my destination wedding series, I prayed about my direction as a novelist. I determined that I wanted to transition to women’s fiction. I also switched publishers, and am now with Tyndale House Publishers.

Why do you write? What drives you?

One of the reasons I love writing women’s fiction is because it delves into the relationships between women: sisters, mothers and daughters, best friends. I believe life is complicated – that relationships are complicated – and that God steps into our lives with the truth and says, “I have more for you than this.”  Writing is also one of my opportunities to reflect God to the world.

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

Payton Thatcher became a “twinless twin” when her identical twin sister, Pepper, died ten years ago. I named her after Peyton Manning, one of my favorite football players, but with an “a” instead of an “e”.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

Interrupted. My writing day looks interrupted. Sometimes I get up early, say at 4 a.m., and I write for a couple of hours before my husband and youngest daughter get up. Sometimes I stay up late and write until midnight. And I write throughout the day – in between doing errands, or letting the dog out, or maybe catching lunch with a friend. Sometimes my grandgirls visit, and they do a “couch” picnic, where I give them snacks on a little tray, and they watch a movie and I write.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

For me, the hardest part is balancing my real life and my writing life. Of course, I always want to be a good writer – a getting-better-at-my-craft writer. But, I’m a relationship-oriented person and I like to be available to my family and friends. I also work on deadline and I’m usually writing one book and getting ready to market another. So balancing all of those competing demands is challenging.

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

I love connecting with other writers and encouraging or mentoring them, as well as celebrating their successes. I also love connecting with readers and talking story with them finding out what’s going on in their lives.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

Okay … the first thing that came to mind was when I was writing nonfiction. At the time, I was an editor and I was also writing magazine articles. I was attending a conference and someone asked me what I wrote. I told him and when he found out I didn’t write books, he said, “Well, you’re not a real author then.”

STUNNED SILENCE.

It never, ever occurred to me that someone would think that.

What are you most proud of?

As an author? I used to think winning awards would be significant – and that has happened, and yes, it means a lot. But when I hear from a reader that one of my books has touched their heart or changed them in some way … it’s not that I’m proud of that … but that’s why I write … because I hope God can use my writing in a way the encourages or helps someone.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love grabbing two cameras – one for me, one for my husband – and going for a long walk or hike and taking photos. I also am the (un)official photographer for my daughter’s high school and club volleyball teams. That’s a lot of fun too.

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

Things I Never Told Youis my 12th book, including novels and novellas, and one nonfiction book, and my first women’s fiction. There will be two other books in this series.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the second book in the Thatcher Sister Series. Each of the Thatcher Sisters – Johanna, Jillian, and Payton – is the main character of a book.

Website: http://bethvogt.com/

Link to book: http://bethvogt.com/beths-books/

Social media links:

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

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

https://twitter.com/bethvogt

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

 

 

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Meet Larry W. Timm

 Larry W. Timm is a husband, father, and preaching minister. He loves creating stories with heart, soul, and high doses of adrenaline.

 

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Murder for Emily’s Sake is a story about how the gift of life is not only God’s most sacred gift, but one of His most fragile as well. The story follows the lives of three women being stalked by a man who blames them for the death of his teenage daughter, Emily. On a moonlit night in Wichita, Kansas, a tormented father stands by the grave of his teenage daughter, Emily, and makes a chilling vow to avenge her death. Once he gets his hands on the three women he holds responsible for his daughter’s death, they will regret the day they met Emily outside the abortion clinic. He will expose a dark secret. He will bury them, as he buried Emily. Bury them alive. And after their caskets are in the ground, they will die…for Emily’s sake.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write suspense fiction because that is what I like to read. I love the tension, danger, action, and twists and turns of suspense. The old axion is “write what you know.” My wife would probably agree that is why I don’t write romance.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I love the power of story and that love drives me to put my heart and soul into crafting stories that will illustrate truth. Our Lord Jesus used stories—many of them quite gritty and suspenseful—to grab people by both sides of their brains and engage them with truth that called for action and response. I am intrigued by the task of communicating God’s truths, whether it be by preaching, teaching, or writing. Yes, I want to entertain in a way that holds a reader’s attention, but I also want to bring them face-to-face with truth that leaves them thinking.

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

Lindsay Birk is the main character (but there are several other characters who are major characters also). I’ve dedicated this book to my daughter, Jayne. Lindsay is her middle name.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

My responsibilities as a pastor keep me busy, so I carve out time to write wherever I can find it. Those times seem to be on evenings (when I’m home) and on my day off (Friday). But when I do get to write, I just start and “let ‘er rip.” I don’t outline or prepare any plot plan in advance, so I will write for a while, then go back and revise, interspersed with pacing, mumbling, and several unnecessary trips to the fridge. Often, I will stop to think about something that comes up in the process of writing whatever chapter I’m working on, and do some research to make it better.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

I suppose this changes from time to time, but I’d say the hardest part of being an author for me right now is finding ways to market and promote my book. A close second would be finding ways to engage people so they will be as passionate about reading my book as I was about writing it.

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

I love writing and revising. It really gets my juices flowing! Seeing a story idea take shape and get into the hands and hearts of readers is wonderful. I love to process of writing, but I don’t write just to write, I write to be read. So, when someone tells me they’re reading my book, it thrills me.

What are you most proud of?

Being my wife’s husband, my children’s dad, and my Lord’s follower.

What is your favorite pastime?

Spending time with my family and reading are my favorite things. I’m also a fan on the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Vikings, though both teams test my emotional stability and mental well-being.

What are you working on now? We’d love to know.

I am in the process of revising my second stand-alone novel and hope to pitch it to a publisher soon. It is about the persecuted church and the cost many pay to follow Jesus.

Website: www.booksbylarrywtimm

Link to book: there are links on my website

Social media links: Twitter: @larrywtimm

 

 

 

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Meet author Jayme Mansfield

Jayme H. Mansfield is an author, artist, and educator. Her award-winning novels, Chasing the Butterfly and RUSH, are book club favorites and Amazon bestsellers. Her stories weave artistic, visual imagery with compelling plots and captivating characters. Romance, nuggets from the past, and timeless truths provide the fiber to make her novels rich and memorable.

Jayme lives in Lakewood, Colorado, where she and her husband have survived raising three hungry, hockey-playing sons. Currently, a very needy Golden Retriever runs the roost. When Jayme isn’t writing, she teaches art to children and adults at her long-time art studio, Piggy Toes.

Tell us about your newest book.

I grew up hearing the tales about my great-great grandmother and her participation in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893. Though deeply rooted in research and family history, RUSH is the fictional account of this determined and faithful woman who played a part in the making of the American frontier. I’m honored that RUSH won the 2017 Illumination Gold Medal Award for Christian Fiction and is currently one of three finalists for the prestigious Colorado Book Award. Here’s the back cover copy for a peek into the story and you can catch the beautiful book trailer at this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbdg6w0c3JA.

Mary Louisa Roberts won the race of a lifetime … or so she thought.

In competition with desperate homesteaders, ruthless land seekers, and a sheriff determined to see her fail, Mary rides out on a horse to strike her claim in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893. When she finally thrusts her flag into the dirt, 160 acres becomes her own. But with that claim, she risks more than she could ever imagine. A naïve school teacher and young mother abandoned by her hard-drinking, gold-seeking husband—whom she believes to be dead—Mary is faced with letting go of a past riddled with loss, hardship, and reminders that a woman isn’t capable of surviving on her own.

Daniel McKenzie, an illustrative journalist sent on assignment to document the race, has his own past to forget. Bound by a lost love and guilt from a haunting event in the streets of Boston, he wonders whether he will ever know happiness again.

Will Mary’s and Daniel’s stubborn and independent spirits keep them mired in the past? Or will two broken hearts find forgiveness and love in the wild plains of the Midwest?

What genre do you focus on and why?

Historical fiction has a special place in my heart. I believe the past has a magical way of drawing us in—a reminder that we are a part of it. I also love the learning and wisdom that comes from researching for historical fiction. The bunny trails can become a tremendous distraction from meeting my daily word count, but oh, how fun the adventure!

Why do you write? What drives you?

At my core, I am a storyteller and have been since I was a little girl. Once the spark was lit over ten years ago to actually write novels, my passion was solidified. I’m driven by the ever-present seeds of stories flitting around in my mind—characters, plots, settings, themes, and the need to make sense of life through expressing with words.

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

Mary Louisa Johnston Roberts is actually the real name of my great-great grandmother. Often names are changed in fiction, but in this case, it felt right to use her given name and my relatives agreed. I don’t think she would have minded either as I believe the story does her justice.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

My favorite days are when I get up early, head over to my studio office, set the music, and write, write, write—often until the sun sets. On those days, when I have the discipline to ignore the demands of answering emails, posting on social media, and jumping on the plethora of marketing opportunities, I am in my most happy place. Admittedly, I like marketing and promotion and know it’s an essential part of being an author. Ideally, the days that I add quality and substantial content to my work-in-progress, and also tackle a handful of top priority business items, then it’s a day well spent. Striking this balance continually proves to be the most difficult part of being an author … oh, and waiting for responses from publishers and editors.

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

Besides the moments when I am lost in the “writing zone” the friendships I’ve gained on this journey bring tremendous joy. From being the guest author at book clubs and speaking events, attending conferences, participating in writing groups, social media interaction, and simply chatting about writing one-on-on with a fellow book lover at a coffee shop, these relationships bring immense richness and fulfillment to my life.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

With the release of RUSH last fall, I hosted a western launch party at my art studio. I had no idea so many people would attend! The space was shoulder-to-shoulder with friends, family, and new acquaintances—all to support and celebrate a book—imagine that! I’m blessed to have the encouragement of many people, but to experience that level of support and love bowled me over.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud that I’ve remained true and steadfast to my passion for writing books. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I believe it’s my calling. Often not easy, but balancing being a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and enjoying my other passions in art and education, remind me of my many blessings.

What is your favorite pastime?

Time spent painting in my studio, walking my Golden Retriever, Bella, playing tennis, and reading for pleasure are the icings on the cake. As my three boys (17, 19, and 23) are nearly all out of the house, the shape and form of my days are changing. It’s sad, yet inevitable—perhaps more time for my husband and I to renew hobbies that have been stowed away in the midst of the madness with a houseful of hockey-playing, rowdy boys.

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

Chasing the Butterfly is an award-winning, lovely story set in Paris and Provence from 1928-1960. It follows the life of an artist as her innocence of childhood slips away and love is lost and found Readers swear they can smell the lavender as pages turn!

Seasoned, a slip-time romance from contemporary back to World War II through the Vietnam War, is complete and waiting patiently on several editor’s desks.

What are you working on now?

My new endeavor is so exciting! I’m collaborating with a good friend who is in the business of art forgery detection and authentication of fine art to research and write a series filled with twists and turns, art history, and a fascinating female protagonist. My learning curve is to the moon while the story development is stretching every writing muscle.

Website: www.jaymehmansfield.com

Link to book: RUSH – https://www.amazon.com/Rush-Jayme-Mansfield/dp/1946016292/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522088874&sr=8-1&keywords=rush+jayme+h+mansfield

Chasing the Butterfly – https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Butterfly-Jayme-Mansfield/dp/1941103375/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522089052&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+the+butterfly

Social media links:

FB – https://www.facebook.com/JaymeHMansfieldAuthor/

Twitter – @JaymeMansfield

Instagram – JaymeMansfield

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/jaymemansfield/boards/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=jayme+mansfield

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Janet S. Grunst

Janet was raised in a military family. She’s a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. Janet has worked in the banking industry, as a freelance writer, and for an international ministry, Community Bible Study, most recently as the EA to the Executive Director. She continues to serve as a leader in her local class. She and her husband live in Williamsburg, Virginia, part of the historic triangle, (Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown).

Tell us about your newest book.

A Heart Set Free is set in 1770, pre-Revolutionary War Virginia and its theme is forgiveness. A Scottish woman indentures herself to leave her troubles behind in Scotland and start a new life in the colonies. A widowed planter needs help raising his two children so purchases her indenture.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Historical Romance. Who doesn’t like romance and I’ve always had a passion for history. Unfortunately the emphasis on teaching world and US history has declined in recent decades. To paraphrase, George Santayana, Those who do not learn from history are prone to repeat it.

Why do you write? What drives you?

My love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, and entertain, as well as bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader.

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

Heather Douglas. It’s a Scottish name that reminded me of the lovely flowers that grow abundantly across he Scottish moors.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

It begins with prayer and Bible study. Some time is devoted to marketing and developing my platform.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

The marketing. Finding successful and economical ways to increase a books exposure is very challenging.

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

Writer’s manuscripts are like children. We pour our time, love, faith, insight, imagination, discipline, and hope into them. We want to see them mature into a creation we can be proud of, and that others will benefit from and enjoy.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading

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

A Heart For Freedom releases October 1, 2018. It’s a stand-alone story that picks up in 1775 with the characters in A Heart Set Free.

What are you working on now?

The third story in the trilogy, a stand-alone story that begins in 1781.

Website: https://JanetGrunst.com

Link to book:

Social media links:

http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/

Facebook Janet Grunst, Author

https://twitter.com/janetgrunst

 

 

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