A great Christmas gift

Wow! Christmas in a week? No way!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my stories, whether The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, or my most recent novella, Sara’s Surprise. Any (or all) of them would make great Christmas gifts…as would any book. Books are the gift that keep on giving!

If you haven’t yet read Sara’s Surprise, here’s a short excerpt:

Sean gathered Madison in his arms, hugging her tight and lifting her into his arms. Over her shoulder, he bobbed his head and tossed Sara a smile. His heart thumped at the sight of her, her gentle eyes returning his greeting. She rose as he joined her.

“Thank you for watching my girl.”

Sara waved toward the table. “My pleasure. Will you join us?” Her eyes seemed to beg him to stay. He’d like nothing more.

He set Madison down and moved to an empty place. “If I’m not imposing.”

Madison patted his hand. “Miss Ann said she had cobbler for us. But you have to eat all your dinner before you can have some.” She pointed to her plate. “I ate all of mine.”

Sara shook her head. “She’s a corker. Ne’er seen the like of it.”

Sean reached over to tickle Madison under the chin. “You can say that again.”

His daughter giggled. “What’s a corker?”

Sara patted her hand. “An adorable, enjoyable, funny, delightful darling, that’s what.”

Sean’s pulse quickened, and perspiration tickled his brow. He swiped it with his napkin. Sara’s a corker too.

Sara rose from her chair. “I’ll be right back.”

What was it about this woman that made him feel like a sentimental schoolboy? Everything.

“Sara’s so nice, Papa. You should marry her, and she can be my mama.”

He froze, furiously scanned the room hoping no one heard the comment, and turned a scolding eye to his daughter. “Hush, child.”

Madison pursed her lips, frowning an apology.

Sara returned with a pretty smile on her face, a plate of food and a glass of lemonade in her hands. “I wasn’t sure if you’d like coffee, but seeing it’s so warm this evening, I thought this would be most refreshing.”

Sean grinned, motioning for her to join them. “It’s perfect. Your smile reminds me of an Irish saying, ‘Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.’”

Sara’s cheeks turned a pretty pink, and she batted her long lashes. “Why, thank you, kind sir. But I think I’m far from a state of wisdom.”

“There are different degrees of wisdom, lass.” He pointed to his daughter with a tilt of his fork. “This one is too wise for her own good sometimes, but you seem to have a fairly balanced measure of wisdom.” He took another bite. “This is delicious. We’ll have to come here more often.”

Nearby, a sing-song voice offered agreement. “And I hope you do.”

Buy it here at Amazon or Barnes&Nobles.

Thanks!

 

 

 

Meet author Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller is the most surprised that God has given her opened doors to write 55 books and speak in 8 foreign countries and 35 US States. Her books are in a variety of non-fiction genres: women’s Bible studies, Christian Living and inspiration, and Bible commentaries. She is a wife, mom, and grandma and lives with her fabulous husband of almost 50 years in Southern California.

Tell us about your newest book.

Heart Wisdom is a women’s Bible study about Proverbs. It’s the fourth book available in her Daughters of the King Bible Study series. Each of the ten lessons focus on one topic that Proverbs addresses. There are questions and room to answer along with commentary.

What inspired you to write Heart Wisdom?

I love to study in depth each book of the Bible and when it was time to study Proverbs, I wanted a way to categorize the different topics. I began reading each verse in order and then wrote the verse down in a notebook on a page that was labeled with the appropriate topic. I used that research to create the ten lessons on different topics in Heart Wisdom.

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

The biblical book of Proverbs spreads its wisdom throughout the book, so Heart Wisdomhelps the Bible student to categorize and study the many topics.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Non-fiction because that’s the way I think. I did write one short story that was published and I have half a novel written but I love to share practical, biblical wisdom with readers while sharing stories and instruction to make the Bible come alive.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I love sitting at my desk and putting thoughts, beliefs, and concepts into words on the computer page. I do know it’s God’s giftings. I just never knew his full plan. I’ve been writing since 1978 when my first article was published. I’m so grateful that the Lord encourages me with sometimes seeing my writing make a difference in someone’s life.

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

My first priority is to write. And I always have a new book in my mind when I finish one of the them. I’m also a lay counselor so the challenge of writing is a difficult one. But I want to seek God’s will by abiding so sometimes I put someone on a waiting list who wants counseling. And I also have a fabulous family including my husband. Our nest is empty and family lives a little distance away, so we counsel together.

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

Being interrupted by the needs of others. My temptation is to feel most comfortable at my desk and not with people. But people are the reason I’m writing, so again, I must surrender to whatever God wants for each of my days.

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

Seeing ideas come together and being surprised by the insights God’s Spirit provides. Right now I’m writing a devotional book about the questions God and Jesus ask in the Bible and my research has revealed so many different background facts and ideas. I love it.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I sky-dived! I still can’t believe I did it but I’m glad I did.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I think in Bible knowledge because of having to study the Word because I want to share truth not supposition.

What is your favorite pastime?

Writing. LOL. Truly. And travel. Larry and I have traveled to Greece eight times to minister there and I love it. We’ve been to many other countries and we are taking the family next summer on an Alaska cruise to celebrate our 50thwedding anniversary.

Do you have other books?

We’d love to know. Just a few. I’m currently writing my 56thand can’t believe it. It just means I’m old and have been writing a long time.

What are you working on now?

The working title is: 100 Questions God and Jesus Ask in the Bible: What They Reveal about God’s Nature and Our Motives.

Website: www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Wisdom-Kathy-Collard-Miller/dp/1950051668/

Social media links: www.Facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor

@KathyCMiller

Instagram: KathyCollardMiller

 

 

 

Lisa Carter on romantic suspense

Multi-published author Lisa Carter likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” The Stronghold won a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4½ star Romantic Times Top Pick. She also has two contemporary romance series with Love Inspired. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family and teaching writing workshops.

Tell us about your newest book.

Runaway bride AnnaBeth Cummings needs shelter for the holidays when a blizzard leaves her stranded, and rancher Jonas Stone’s happy to help. But his son’s been wishing for a mommy for Christmas, and town matchmakers are convinced Annabeth and Jonas are perfect for each other. As the storm clears, city girl AnnaBeth will have to decide: does her heart now belong in the country?

In the snowy splendor of an Appalachian winter, a little four-year-old cowboy’s Christmas wish brings these two hearts together for a happily-ever-after in a second chance romance set in the small town charm of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

What inspired you to write Stranded for the Holidays?

Stranded for the Holidays is the third book in the Blue Ridge Matchmakers series. The books are stand alone, but many characters from earlier books continue to make “cameo appearances.”

I love stranded at Christmas stories. On the surface, AnnaBeth and Jonas couldn’t be more different. A former debutante, she is bubbly, a big city girl. Jonas has been burned by love and is raising his young son, Hunter, on his beloved ranch in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Jonas is very quiet and down to earth. Yet his chemistry with AnnaBeth was fun to write. And the meddling machinations of the three elderly matchmakers seem to be a hit with readers.

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

When a little boy makes a Christmas wish for a mommy, the truelove matchmakers make sure that a runaway bride and a widowed cowboy find in each other their one true love.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I got my start writing romantic suspense, but right now book contracts have me focusing on my contemporary romance series with Love Inspired.

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

I keep regular office hours. My best creative hours are in the morning so I’m usually working by eight a.m. I generally pull the plug on writing by three o’clock each day as my energy begins to flag. Sometimes I’ll work on marketing or turn on Netflix for “research” purposes.

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

Working in isolation and the self-doubt. After twenty-four books, you would think it gets easier to write. Not for me. I think it gets harder because with every book I try to stretch and grow my craft as a writer. To make this book better than the one before.

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

I love meeting and interacting with readers. Writers were readers first. Book lovers speak the same language. It’s like finding your tribe.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I have a Netflix addiction to British mystery dramas.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to travel.

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

I’m writing my twenty-fifth book now. Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, A Vast and Gracious Tide, is my latest romantic suspense novel. Another romantic suspense novel, A Sound of Falling Leaves, will release in 2020. The best way to keep up with my book happenings is to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

What are you working on now?

I just turned in book four in the Blue Ridge Matchmaker series to my editor. I’m currently writing book five.

Website: http://www.lisacarterauthor.com.

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Stranded-Holidays-Love-Inspired-Carter/dp/1335479600/

Social media links:

Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter and BookBub.

 

 

 

 

 

Sara’s Surprise

Sara’s Surprise released a few weeks ago and is getting rave reviews. If you’ve read it, please consider writing a review. If not, here’s a quick excerpt:

Sara carefully picked up one of the heavy trays with three teapots on it, trying not to spill as her hands shook.

How could he expect her to know things when he didn’t tell her? How dare he? She gnashed her teeth, attempting to disseminate her frustration.

Once in the lobby, Sara could see where she was to set the tea—a long, finely decorated table adorned with flowers and a lacy tablecloth. Two waiters in perfect livery stood like soldiers at attention. She set the tray on the table and removed the pots, careful not to spill any tea on the lace. As she started to return to the kitchen, something latched around her ankles.

Sara squeaked out a high-pitched “ah!” before clamping her mouth closed. Snapping her gaze downward, she discovered Madison looking up with a mischievous grin, still holding tight to her while the tablecloth draped over the back half of the girl’s body.

“Good afternoon, Miss O’Neill. Papa thinks I’m sleeping in the office, but I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to say hello to you.” The imp gazed into the parlor, where about a dozen fancily dressed women waited for tea. She released Sara’s legs and grinned again. “I think I might get some treats. But it’s so hard to wait.” Her pretty little pout drew a smile from Sara.

“I must be about my work, wee one. I’ll try to save you something special. Now go back to your papa, else he mightn’t let you have any. And remember to be quiet as a mouse.” Sara glanced toward the front desk and picked up her empty tray to return to the kitchen.

“I will.” Madison scooted out from under the table and tiptoed toward the office unnoticed by her father.

Sara nodded her off with a whisper. “See you later, Madison Mouse.”

Madison giggled, putting her finger to her lips, and disappeared into the office.

Their pleasant moment together proved short-lived. Chef LaFleur met Sara at the kitchen door, his face red and eyes blazing. “What are you doing, playing with that child when you should be working?”

~ ~ ~

And don’t forget…it’ll make a great Christmas gift!

Buy here on Amazon or Barnes&Nobles

Thanks, friends!

 

 

 

 

Meet author Aaron Zook

Aaron M. Zook, Jr. is a multiple-award-winning author and speaker. He’s thrilled thousands of readers with his expanding YA Christian mystery/adventure series about two inquisitive boys and their dogs who solve one crisis after another around the world. He’s taught classes in Europe and the U.S. about the Young Adult writing process and offers coaching to aspiring writers. Aaron is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Texas.

Tell us about your newest published book.

The Isle of Intrigue’s fast-paced, heart-thumping action takes the reader through an intriguing plot involving a technology power-grab by the Japanese mafia that involves the U.S. military, Okinawan government, and our heroes, Gabe and Alex Zanadu. The two boys with their dogs, Thunder and Lightning, and Okinawan friends struggle to avoid capture, and when they fail, they plunge into frantic activity to free themselves and defeat the criminals. High-speed chases, near misses, and gut-wrenching courage keep the boys and their friends racing to stay ahead of the villains.

What inspired you to write the Thunder and Lightning series?

My inspiration for the entire series, which will be twelve books when completed, is my two sons, Jeremiah and Michael. Watching the joy and excitement of two boys learning to grow and grapple with life changes while we moved according to my military job requirements made writing the books a labor of love. My wife, Joyce, and I experience cultures around the world and watching our two boys get those experiences, grow as young men, and give their lives to Christ in the process made for excellent inspiration to write the books. I used to tell stories to them in Germany while we rode in our van to various castles, swim meets, or other youth adventures. I’ve escalated the intrigue and depth of those stories which has now blossomed into a vibrant series.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I focus on Young Adult Mystery/Adventure stories because I read many mystery and adventure stories when I was a teenager. I found that the stories helped me grow when I was younger and I wanted to pass on a Christian version that still kept the fast pace and tension of a mystery/adventure story, but also tracked two young boys growing into Christian men. The action and mystery focus draws the reader into an incredible story and in the background, the boys learn lessons and grow from their experiences. What young man doesn’t? Not only do the stories provide intense suspense and action, they have their comic relief as well. I like writing about the fast-paced changes of a teenager’s life as they grow into maturity.

Why do you write? What drives you?

The driving force behind my writing comes from watching the developing world around me. To my eyes, I see that worldly values are permeating our society and the biblical worldview roots are being slowly covered or plucked away by senior people with agendas that don’t encompass Christian believers. Some of these people are from different religious backgrounds and some are political organizations. I want to find a way to help young boys and girls understand that the Christian faith is essential for a strong individual and community life. That’s why I am using the principles contained in Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ to influence the growth of the two boy-heroes in the story.

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

Most months, I will work on my books by taking a short, secluded writing vacation of four to five days. I travel to a time-share we own, only take care of essential email, and then focus on writing first the outline, then chapter summaries, then the rough draft, and finally an edited draft of my work. When that’s complete, I send it to my writing coach who helps me review the document for editing and theme consistency. When we are finished, I send the final draft to my publisher. The rest of the month I tinker with research and some story ideas, but mostly focus on the business side of writing which includes book sales, signings, and other related work.

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

I think the hardest part of being an author is revising chapters and scenes which I have grown fond of but which do not propel the reader into action and adventure. In my desire to provide a full picture of my heroes and the story line, often I will lapse into backstory or non-essential information. To keep the drama fresh and lively, my writing coach and I discuss scaling back certain scenes, ramping up emotional conflict, or sending the protagonist in a completely different direction. Removing a scene or chapter that I’ve loved creating takes emotional strength and fortitude; however, the end result makes the decision worthwhile.

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

The best part of my author’s life is getting to know other authors, editors, agents, and publishers. I enjoy talking with them, listening to their ideas, gaining knowledge and expertise, and finding new revelations that help me and those that I teach how to be better word-wranglers or creative geniuses. I get stimulated by the energy pouring out of a newly published author and someone who finally puts their thoughts on paper for the first time. I enjoy watching others grow!

What’s one unusual fact about you?

An unusual fact about me is that I love to play guitar and sing, especially if I’m leading a congregation in praise and worship. I’ve played for and led churches/chapel services as a Praise and Worship leader for over twenty years while I was serving as an officer in the military.

What is your favorite pastime?

Something I love to do in addition to spending time with my wonderful wife, is playing golf. I’ve recently moved to a home located in a golf community and enjoy learning how to play the game well in addition to meeting and making great friends and neighbors who love the outdoor enjoyment. I try to get in two games a week, but this is often not possible due to book sales, signings, and other activities with family or church. I love the great outdoors, well-kept courses, and the sunny weather.

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

The first four books of the Thunder and Lightning Series are currently available. These books chronicle the adventures and mystery escapades of Gabe and Alex Zanadu as they grow up from twelve and fourteen-years-of-age by six months in each book. Each self-contained mystery provides another link in the lives of the boys as they mature into Godly men.

I’ve also published a non-fiction book called Our Dad, the Hero, which he authored as a ghost-writer for Robert (Bob) Gosney. The book is a biography of Bob’s life in the Army, his time as a helicopter pilot and commander in Vietnam, and his time as Chief of the Military Mission in Liberia. The book is titled by his daughters who look up to him whole-heartedly.

What are you working on now?

The Crashin’ Coaster Mystery is my newest book and is currently at the publisher for final launch preparation, tentatively scheduled for Fall 2019. The heroes of the story, Gabe and Alex Zanadu, plus their dogs, Thunder and Lightning, and friends literally plunge into a deep mystery about roller coasters crashing, first in Texas, then in other states. The terror of being hung upside down for hours begins an adventure catapulting the two boys into the hot seat as the felon tries to incriminate them in the crashes. The tension ramps up when the FBI gets involved and injuries mount. Can the boys stop the perpetrators? Will the FBI capture the villains? The reader will hang in suspense until the end of the book, wondering the outcome.

Website: https://zookbooks.org/

Link to book:

https://zookbooks.org/store/

or https://www.boldvisionbooks.com/shop/the-isle-of-intrigue

Social media links:

FB: Facebook.com/ZookBooks
Twitter: @ZookAaron

Instagram: ocf.fthstx