Meet author Norma Gail

Norma Gail’s debut novel, Land of My Dreams, won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. Within Golden Bandsreleases May 19th. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals have appeared in several publications. She lives in New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.

Tell us about your newest book.

Within Golden Bands is the sequel to my debut novel, Land of My Dreams, which released in 2014.

Here is the back cover copy:

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

Meanwhile, they are faced with a malicious stalker who threatens not only their lives, but the sheep farm Kieran’s family has built over generations. Who knew that the path to parenthood would also reveal a family secret and lead to a kidnapping?

What genre do you focus on and why?

Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, contemporary Christian romance. Because a book cannot be considered romance once a couple is married, Within Golden Bands is considered women’s fiction and romantic suspense. I love exploring the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. My author tagline is: Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. I want to encourage the reader through my stories.

Why do you write? 

I love words. They hold so much power. From the time I was small, I have always made up stories. I wrote them down as soon as I could. I convinced my sisters and neighborhood friends to play out my ideas. I have notebooks full of stories and poems written in junior high and high school. In fact, a novella that I am preparing to submit to an agent is a rewrite of a story I wrote in high school.

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

My main character is Bonny MacDonell. I had a great aunt named Bonnie and always thought what a beautiful name it was. I changed the spelling simply because in Scotland, the word bonnie is used so often that I wanted it to be different. Bonny is an American college professor who met her husband, Kieran, while teaching at a college in Fort William, Scotland. Within Golden Bands begins a couple of months into their marriage. She discovers that life with a new marriage, in the rainiest part of Scotland, far from her life in New Mexico, is not an easy thing.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

Right now, crazy! One of the reasons for the years between books was some major surgeries for me, the death of my mother, taking on the care of a childless aunt and uncle in their 90’s, moving them from a small town to assisted living near me, my aunt’s death, and the continuing care of my uncle. Add in my husband’s partial retirement and decision to work from home, and the temporary return of our 36-year-old son. No two days are the same. Other than a quiet time in the morning, my writing and book marketing have to fit around the needs and schedules of others.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The marketing and social media time is the hardest part for me. I would love to sit and write books without worrying about anything else. However, book promotion is a major responsibility for any author today. It can mean hours of promotion with no change in Amazon ranking, which is the number that an author’s world revolves around. I wouldn’t mind the social media if it meant just getting to know other authors and readers, however the marketing gets in the way.

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

I love time sitting at my computer in silence and letting words flow through my fingers and seeing the result on my computer monitor. I love creating a story world that makes a reader feel as if they have been there, and characters that they get emotional about. Reviews can be awesome when they are positive and show that readers want more.

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

After the release of my first book, I did a book signing at a tea room and tea store where they said they had hosted Christian authors before. They had another author at the same time because they said it had worked well in the past and the readers often bought books from both. It was pouring rain, which tends to make New Mexicans stay home. The other author had written a non-fiction book about evolution. He was perhaps the most uninformed person where the Bible is concerned of anyone I ever met. Anything I said kind of bounced right off of him. We had an interesting discussion, drank a lot of tea, and ate too many sweets. I sold two books, both to a friend who bought them for gifts. He sold about half a dozen books to people fascinated by his evidence for evolution found in New Mexico.

What are you most proud of?

Pride may not be the right word, but I am honored and blessed to have raised two children, adopted as infants, to be wonderful adults who are the delight of my life. I am proud of their hard work and big hearts that reach out to everyone who crosses their paths. I enjoyed being able to take the experiences of infertility and adoption and write them in a fictional format that I hope will minister to many people who read it, or make people more aware of the wonderful blessing of adoption. There are far too many children in need of a home in this world. I believe if adoption were more widely accepted and understood, there would be far fewer abortions.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading and writing fill my days, however, I take a break now and then to indulge in my passion for family history. I have boxes full of old family photographs to scan and much more research to do. I have gone back 14 generations on one side of the family. My husband and I love to travel in our RV and whenever possible, our trips include a visit to a town or cemetery related to my family history. I am planning a series of historical novels based on old family stories.

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

I have already mentioned Land of My Dreams. The idea of basing my stories in Scotland resulted from some dreams I had around the time my husband and I took a 30th anniversary trip to Scotland in 2006. I had no idea I would ever write a book. A few years later, when a broken foot landed me in a wheelchair, unable to drive, I decided to see if my desire to write would lead to anything.

What are you working on now?

I recently accepted an invitation to be a monthly contributor to the inspirational devotional site, Inspire a Fire. I am getting used to writing on assigned topics and adding that into the mix of launching a new book and all the previous responsibilities I mentioned. I hope to submit the novella I mentioned later this year, and then move on to writing historical fiction. Somewhere in there, I hope to begin doing author interviews on my own blog again.

Website: http://www.normagail.org

Link to book:

Within Golden Bands: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084TSQ432/

Social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/norma-gail-holtman-3b271a42/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/normagailth/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/normagailwrites/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/

 

 

 

A Glimpse of the Grandeur

Just for fun, here’s an excerpt from Devyn’s Dilemma:

Devyn took one step into the entryway and stopped dead in her tracks. “And he deceived me about this being a hunting lodge. I had no idea it was so grand.”

Brice laughed, his voice deep and comforting. “Aye, and I am to give you a tour. I was with the Bournes when they first viewed this place, and they reacted the same way as you. Mrs. Bourne was entirely overcome, though their primary home on Long Island, called Indian Neck Hall, is far grander.” He allowed Devyn to take in the large stone fireplace, massive granite pillars, carved stone arches, and vaulted ceiling before continuing. “This is the Great Hall where we receive our guests. And look at these infinity mirrors.” He led her to the center of the room and pointed to the mirror over the fireplace.

“Oh my! It seems to go on forever.” She snapped her head around to see a duplicate mirror on the opposite side of the room that created the illusion. “Amazing.”

He grinned and motioned her on to what looked like a hall closet. “And over here is the wine vault. It holds an excellent collection.”

“And suits of armor?” Devyn quirked a brow as she glanced at the armor standing at attention and then turned back at her tour guide.

“Aye, this room makes quite an impression for first-time guests, don’t you think? The Bournes love to delight everyone who visits them.” Brice set down Devyn’s carpetbag and continued his tour of the lower level. He led her past the kitchen, gesturing toward it. “You’ll see the kitchen soon enough. Everyone is reelin’ just now preparing for a dinner party tonight, so we won’t disturb them. But you’ll be pleased to know it’s a fully equipped, modern kitchen with indoor plumbing, a gigantic range, a dumbwaiter, and a servant call box.”

She liked his slight brogue that spoke of his Irishness. He rubbed his clean-shaven chin, apparently debating with himself where to take her next. He was a head taller than her, his short hair neatly parted down the middle. His strong features made him appear rather aristocratic. But those eyes …

“This is the east wing where some of the servants reside, and the laundry is there too. You’ll explore that another time.” Brice touched her arm to turn her around, sending a shiver through her. He motioned her down the hall. “Are you cold? The castle can be chilly at times.”

“I’m fine, thank you.” She scurried past the kitchen and back into the Great Hall, where she hoped to catch her breath. His presence, his voice caused her heart to race.

Brice caught up with her. “Another fascinating detail about The Towers is that you’ll find several secret passageways throughout the castle.”

“I’m sorry, I just can’t get over my shock. Falan told me none of this.” Devyn rested her hand on her chest.

“Aye, well, let’s finish touring the ground level, shall we?” Brice didn’t wait for her to answer but led her once again back through the Great Hall to the other side of the

fireplace. “Here’s the library and billiard room, and over there …” He pointed to the left of a huge granite fireplace. “There’s a hidden switch in the bookcase panel that opens a secret passageway so we servants can move from room to room without disturbing anyone.”

Devyn grinned so wide that her lips felt dry and taut. She loved secrets and hidden places—and books. She loved to read and discover faraway places and marvelous stories. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad here, after all.

Check out Devyn’s Dilemma, Book 2 of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series You can experience this wonder yourself in my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Lori Hatcher

Lori Hatcher is the author of several devotional books including  Refresh Your Faith – Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible, and Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women , the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year. The editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, she’s also a blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker. Lori’s goal is to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.

Tell us about your newest book.

It’s called Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible.

What inspired you to write Refresh Your Faith?

I knew that a daily quiet time was important to my spiritual growth, but I’d grown increasingly disappointed by most of the women’s devotionals. They all seemed to focus on the same 20 or 30 Bible verses, ones I was very familiar with, like the Top Ten of Bible stories. Surely there must be more to the Bible than this, I thought. So I began a journey through the entire Bible looking for uncommon verses pregnant with relevance and truth. The result was a collection of 66 uncommon devotions.

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

Refresh Your Faith is for people who have become bored with their devotional time. The book contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. It contains an unusual faith action step and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it’s time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I’m a devotional writer. I love to help people discover dynamic truths in the Bible that can change their lives.

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

I work two days a week as a dental hygienist, and I spend at least one day a week with my four grandchildren, so that leaves Mondays and Tuesdays for my writing life. When I’m writing a book, I try to write two chapters (devotions) a week in addition to writing for my blog, freelance writing, and editing the Christian magazine I work with.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Finding the balance between serving God, serving my family, working, writing, and resting. There are so many ways to spend our lives. I want to spend it in a way that honors God and fulfills His purposes for me.

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

I love hearing from readers who say that something I’ve written has drawn them closer to God.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I hate coffee. Please don’t shun me.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

Although I’ve lived in South Carolina most of my life, I grew up in Bristol, a tiny seaside town in Rhode Island. I began my writing career composing long poems of unrequited love on the shores of Narragansett Bay.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’ve learned to pray and ask God for everything I need. Direction, inspiration, artistry, opportunities, and skill. Philippians 4:19 tells us He will supply all we need according to his riches and glory. It’s exciting to experience that.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to take long walks in scenic places. Lots of thinking space there.

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

Yes! Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women , the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year

What are you working on now?

A new devotional book called One Word, spotlighting a single word from each book of the Bible and pairing it with a five-minute devotion written especially for women. Simple in format yet rich in content, each reading begins with a life-giving word from God’s Word and goes deeper, giving women a singular concept to cling to, meditate on, and apply to their lives.

Social Media Links:  blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter(@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).

 

 

 

 

Meet author Kaye Schmitz

Kaye Schmitz is the author of the award-winning novel, The Consort Conspiracy, A Covington Family Mystery. Active in the writing community, she is a member of the Florida Writers’ Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is also an active speaker and teaches a writers’ workshop titled, “We All Have a Story to Tell.” Ms. Schmitz makes her home in St. Augustine, FL where she lives with her husband, Michael.

Tell us about your newest book.

On the eve of an international G7 Summit, event coordinator Mattie Maguire discovers that the small North Carolina town of Sinclair Station, home to her family for four generations, is more than simply a picturesque setting. The century-old estate, Clairmont Place, site of the upcoming meeting, is also the center of a decades-old mystery and political conspiracies involving ruthless foreign infiltrators that together, result in a series of death threats. And Mattie’s beloved grandparents are trapped in the middle of them.

As Mattie struggles to protect her family and ensure a safe event for the most important leaders in the world, she uncovers secrets that endanger her own life as well. The key, Mattie believes, to eliminating the external dangers and protecting those she loves, is to locate Clairmont Place’s rightful heir, hidden away for decades after the murder of his father. But will the true owner’s return to his childhood home put his life in danger as well?

What inspired you to write On Deadly Grounds?

So far, my stories have been inspired by real life events in history and this one is no different. My inspiration was the 1929 Beverly Hills murder of Ned Doheny, supposedly by his male secretary, who then turned the gun on himself. Forensics at the crime scene didn’t match up with the story told by those in the house at the time, so to this day, there is still speculation about who did the actual shooting…or if a third person was involved who shot both of them. My husband and I visited the mansion grounds several years ago and the story intrigued me so much, I had to write about it.

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

When she is hired to manage an international meeting at the hundred-year-old mansion, Clairmont Place, just twenty-two miles east of Asheville, NC, Mattie Maguire discovers that the house she has loved all her life harbors secrets that could prove deadly to her and her family.

What genre do you focus?

Suspense/Mystery, with a large dose of history

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

The main character is Mattie for Matilda) Maguire. I believe she chose me—just popped up and said, “Pick me for the story you’re writing.”

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

I’m in my office every day, researching and writing—sometimes two to three hours a day, sometimes eight to ten. Depends on what characters are talking to me and how much they have to say.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The mind talk that tells me everything I write is garbage.

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

Making my own schedule and taking as much—or as little—time as I want to spend on it on any given day; communicating with my readers and filling them in on how the process is going.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I am a former award-winning ballroom dancer

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I just finished my third book, titled The Road Remembered, which I describe as “A story of humanity set against the atrocities of World War II.” I consider it Band of Brothers meets The Nightingale. The thing that’s different about this book was described by one of my early readers who said, “I could see the scenes in your first book, but I felt them in this book.” So, the answer is, I am now writing not only from the heart, but also from the soul.

What is your favorite pastime?

My standing Monday night movie dates with my husband, followed closely by planting spring flowers in a myriad of colors.

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

My first book was The Consort Conspiracy, a dual timeline that takes place two hundred years apart, where modern day Kate Covington solves not only a two-hundred-year-old murder, but also discovers who killed her own mother. And, as mentioned earlier, I recently finished my third book, The Road Remembered.

What are you working on now?

Next week, I plan to go back to a sequel to the first book, where Kate Covington attends a wedding of one of her distant cousins and helps solve the murder of the cousin’s mother from thirty years earlier.

Website:    www.kayedschmitzauthor.com

Link to book:  Don’t have it yet; so far, described on my website

Social media links:

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

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

Twitter:           @kayedschmitz

 

 

 

 

Meet author Jodie Wolfe

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She’s a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie.

Tell us about your newest book.

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy. Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

What inspired you to write Taming Julia?

I’ve always had a fascination with the whole mail-order bride era. How could a woman answer an advertisement, choosing to leave all she’d known in order to take a chance on love and find a new path in life? How did she choose to leave the familiar and step into the unknown with someone she’d never met?

The more I studied stories and clippings from the past, the more my mind kept spinning with ideas. What would happen if a pastor was dictated by his congregation that if he wanted to keep his job, he had to find a wife by a certain time? What if the wife he advertised for was completely different than what he expected? How would he handle it? That nugget of an idea is what spurred the inspiration for Taming Julia.

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

A gun-toting, breeches-wearing wife wasn’t what the minister ordered.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Ever since I was a little girl and read my first Little House on the Prairie book, I had a fascination with the 19th Century. I don’t know if it was the fact that people lived more simply back then, or the whole idea of eking out a life on a prairie from scratch that drew me in.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because it’s part of the way God created me. I love to come up with characters and create a story world and then let my characters go so I can see what happens to them.

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

My heroine’s name is Julia Montgomery (since they marry by proxy before the story begins), but she goes by Jules. I look at her as a diamond (jewel) in the rough. It will take a lot of chipping away to find the precious gem that she is.

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

It all depends. Taming Julia I actually wrote within two months, but that’s unusual. Most often it takes a few months to write and then a month or so to edit.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Editing, marketing and promotion. Marketing and promotion are a stretch for me because they are way out of my comfort zone as an introvert. Editing is hard too because I’m so closely tied to the story that sometimes it’s difficult to see the errors.

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

It never gets old seeing something I wrote in print, but it means a lot to hear from readers that my story (stories) have touched them and drawn them closer to the Lord. That’s the ultimate reason why I write – to share His hope with others.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I like to insert quirkiness in each of my characters. Let’s see… a quirk or two about me… I’ve been known to drink pickle juice (dill) and every winter you’ll find me and my husband praying for snow.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I actually wrote Taming Julia over eight years ago. I’ve changed a lot as a writer during that time. I think I’ve learned more tenacity to stick with things even though an end isn’t in sight – to trust God to work things out in His timing and in His way.

What is your favorite pastime?

Other than writing? Reading and spending time with my best friend, my husband.

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

Taming Julia is actually my seventh book in print. I also have written Hearts Tightly Knit, Love in the Seams, Let Love Spring, The Hope of Christmas, To Claim Her Heart, and Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two books – a sequel to Taming Julia (part of the Burrton Springs Brides series) as well as a book set in the town where I live dealing with belonging entitled, Hannah’s Quest.

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

Links to book:

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Julia-Jodie-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B083L8MDD5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=taming+julia&qid=1578503989&sr=8-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-julia-jodie-wolfe/1136004491?ean=9781522302711

https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37_46&sort=&filter_id=671&alpha_filter_id=0

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jodie_Wolfe_Taming_Julia?id=FH7IDwAAQBAJ

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1