Accidental Meeting ~ Free e-book Jan. 21-23

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: , , | Posted On at 11:50 AM



I'm excited to introduce you to my friend and author, Susette Williams. I've known Susette for a few years, and have enjoyed the pleasure of reading several of her stories as she's written them. Her characters are strong and endearing, and this is particularly true of the hero in my most recent read of one of her romances.

I met this handsome gentleman in the pages of Accidental Meeting, a book by bestselling romance author Susette Williams. Let’s sit back and get cozy while we meet the hero of my pick of Amazon Kindle KDP top read of the week, Accidental Meeting.



Bruce, please introduce yourself to our readers?



I’m 34 and a CEO of a major corporation. I believe in being prompt and disciplined if you expect to get anywhere in life.



And what about your family? Are you pretty close to your family? Tight-knit, I mean?



I’m single. As for my parents, my father passed away a few years ago. My mother remarried. I presume she didn’t want to live alone. She could have moved in with my sister’s family or myself if she’d wanted. My nephews, John and Alex are wonderful, exuberant boys. My sister was pregnant with John when our father died, so she named him after our father. We didn’t used to spend a lot of time together, but we’re trying to get together more.



Bruce, you’re on crutches? What happened?



Um…it’s kind of surreal to be honest. I was in a car accident, but didn’t get hurt.



Then how did you end up on crutches?



Abbey was so excited that I wasn’t hurt, she ran over to hug me and I stepped backwards…which is when I fell down the embankment and broke my leg.



How does this affect your day to day life?



I’m not able to drive with the cast on and since Abbey was recently unemployed, I hired her to be my chauffeur.



You hired her?



Well, she offered to work for free to make amends, but I insisted on paying her.



That’s a bit peculiar. What do you know about the lady who hit you? Was she pretty?



She’s not as crazy as I thought she was. (Bruce laughs.) She has the most expressive green eyes I have ever seen, they change with her moods, and she has shoulder length hair that bounces when she walks. She’s also a great Christian witness. I don’t know another Christian, or anyone in fact, who would be willing to go the extra mile and make amends for a mistake they made.



 Accidental Meeting 
(Free January 21-23)



Meet the Susette Williams, romance author 
 


I started writing poetry in 7th grade because a friend of mine did. That was also the first year I ever had to do book reports and after reading over fifty romance novels in the next year, I felt like I could write one. However, I never did set about trying to until I was in my mid-twenties. I wrote a few pages of one, and it wasn't specifically Christian.

My husband and I rededicated our lives to Christ, so I threw that story away and didn't begin 'really' writing until after my twin sons were born, and were around ten months old.

It was challenging writing with six children, but it was like I 'had' to write. Nearly sixteen years later and I am still writing, have never stopped and don't plan on it anytime soon.

I love sharing the stories in my head with others. It is fun to watch someone actually reading one of my stories, to see their facial expressions change while they are reading, or if they laugh out loud. It is a wonderful feeling to know I can transport someone into my stories and elicit feelings from them as they read.




Author Website: www.susettewilliams.com


Deeply Devoted - Christmas Giveaway

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: , , , | Posted On at 8:01 AM


Our friend and beloved author of the Heart of the West series has a wonderful new book recently released: Deeply Devoted. She's sharing about a fabulous giveaway by her publisher, Revell Publishing. I'll let Maggie tell you more...


Well hello y'all,

I promised you a Christmas Giveaway that you just couldn't refuse!!


I’m excited to announce the launch of an incredible promotion from my publisher, Revell, in celebration of Deeply Devoted. The prizes are amazing: A $250 Bed & Breakfast Date Night, a 21-piece Blue Willow china set, or a gourmet Italian feast fit for a king (or queen!) Wouldn’t one of these prizes be the perfect way to start the New Year? 

To enter the giveaway, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-Brendan/209545385783344?sk=app_28134323652

The link is also on the sidebar on the left of my facebook author page as well.


Don't forget to savor the meaning of Christmas admist the shopping, decorating, etc. Slow down and take time to enjoy the free gift of God's incredible gift--the reason for our celebration.


Blessings,






Thanks Maggie and Revell Publishing, for dropping by to tell us about this incredible contest!
To learn more about Maggie and all of her books visit her website and blog.
Both are listed on her author page on Facebook.

Author Janice Thompson on Writing and a Giveaway of Her Book: Fools Rush In

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: , | Posted On at 12:08 AM


We have a great guest visiting today!

Author and writing teacher, Janice Thompson joins us to chat about writing and a little about grandkids.

Janice, you are one BUSY lady with online courses, webinars on writing, your own editing business and writing. You've written a lot of books, tell us what genres you've written and how many you've published/contracted.

Yes, I’ve written a lot of books! I’ll be signing a contract soon for book #62. Seems crazy, especially in light of the fact that my first book wasn’t published until 1999. I write in multiple genres: contemporary romance, romantic comedy, historical, historical romance, cozy mystery, suspense/thriller, non-fiction self-help, non-fiction devotion. 



Any genre you enjoy writing most?

Those who’ve read my most recent novels know I’m particularly tickled to write romantic comedy. This dates back to my days as a playwright. All of my stage plays are comedies. (There’s no greater reward for a writer than to listen to an audience roar with laughter at something you’ve written.)

Who was a favorite character you've written?

Ack. What a tough question. I love Aunt Rosa in the “Weddings by Bella” series, but I think I love Grandma Lenora even more. She’s the grandmother character in my upcoming “Backstage Pass” series from Revell. She’s an aging Hollywood star who’s stuck in the 1950’s.

I really want to take a moment here and highlight this, I think so many readers of this blog would also like to become writers but don’t know where to begin…Janice, you're very active in teaching ACFW's online courses, having free fiction writing webinars, and providing online courses for fiction writing. Please share with us more about what you offer in your online courses.

Thanks for asking. I’ve always been a teacher at heart. Back in the ‘90s, I taught drama and creative writing at a school of the arts. I also homeschooled my four girls and seven other students, as well. And yes, I’m active in the ACFW course loop. I’ve had such a blast helping other writers learn the craft.

Because I feel called to teach (and because so many writers come to me with the same questions/issues) I decided it would be easier to come up with actual lessons. Sending a lesson is much easier than repeating the same information over and over again!

I started with a course called “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer.” It’s all about earning money with your writing. Each of the ten lessons in that course will become its own course. I’ve just completed the “Fiction Writing Master Course,” which I believe to be one of the most comprehensive, affordable courses available to fiction writers today.

To learn more about both courses, go to www.freelancewritingcourses.com.

Thank you, Janice. I’ve been there and there are several courses I’d love to take.

What would you say to the person visiting with us now who feels she has a book in her but doesn't know where to start, never written anything that wasn't a school assignment?

Learn the craft. I see far too many people dive in and write the book, not knowing the acceptable manuscript forms and writing styles. Learn, learn, learn. Then take what you’ve learned and apply it to what you’re writing. If you’re serious about selling that manuscript, figure out how to write a solid proposal.

Spend time checking and re-checking your manuscript for common problems like passive writing, and make sure you have a clear understanding of POV (point of view). I’ve seen more fiction writers shoot themselves in the foot because of POV than anything else.

What advice would you give a novice writer? What sort of support systems would you recommend also?

I would encourage you to do several things: join a local writing group, if you can find one. Get in a critique group. If you can’t find one, then join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and asked to be put in an online group. Be willing to accept critique, both from critique partners and from editors and agents. Go to conferences if you can afford them. There, you will meet like-minded writers and others in the business. Finally, consider signing up for my online courses. As I said above, they are both comprehensive and affordable.

How can we find out more about your books and you as an author?

Easy! You’ll find me on the web at www.janiceathompson.com. I’m also on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jhannathompson


How can we find out more about your online courses and where can we go to see when classes are starting?

The classes are audio/video driven and are a “work at your own pace” style, so they’re always available. Check out the information at www.freelancewritingcourses.com. For more on the fiction course, go here: http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/category/fiction-writing

For more on the “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer” go here: http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/becoming-a-successful-freelance-writer


Any question(s) you wished I'd asked that I didn't?

You didn’t ask about my grandbabies!

Oh my goodness! That would be the best part of our interview! Please do tell us about your little sweeties!

I have six beautiful grandchildren: Madysen Lynae (3), Avery Rae (2), Peyton Renae (2), Ethan Ames (18 months), Boston Craig (four months) and Brooke Ryleigh (three weeks). Can you imagine six grandbabies, all in this age group? They’re precious and I love each and every one!

Thank you so much the visit and the writing advice and sharing where we can take your writing courses! And, thank you that you’ve kept them so affordable!

Janice is giving away a copy of her book:

Fools Rush In
Book one in the Weddings by Bella series


Visit Janice's blog to look over her Books page.

Come back here and tell us what 
top 3 titles sound like an great read to you.

Don’t forget to leave your email address in this format:  YourName[at]whatever[dot]com

This giveaway ends Oct 31, 2010

Follow Pete Wilson Friday!

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: , , | Posted On at 12:03 AM

Well, we have to have a little fun to cap off the work week (especially after my long absence from you all--have you forgiven me yet?) Before we do, I want you to know I'm reading and going through a study in Pete Wilson's book PLAN B. I got the book in exchange for a review, but this thing is so GOOD that I couldn't help but to go through the study.


Let me just take a brief moment here to tell you this--life can go haywire crazy, hopes can shatter like glass, and dreams can remain way off in the distance. Out of reach. And sometimes, the way we think things should have been come back to us and haunt us. The What Ifs and the Whys become loud clashing cymbals and drown out everything else. And God can seem so far away. But He's not. The Plan didn't fall apart, even if you feel like you have. I highly recommend PLAN B for anyone facing life with big questions and huge disappointments.



Plan B
by 
Pete Wilson
Available Now!

Okay, back to the fun--I saw this video on Pastor Pete's blog Without Wax--if you haven't visited Pete Wilson's Without Wax blog, you're missing out!

So, back to the video--which was actually from last weeks posts on Without Wax. Pete had a competition with his lovely bride, Brandi, to see who could hold their breath the longest. Silly, I know, but fun and so funny my stomach hurt from laughing so much.


We're a little late, but after you watch the video, click over to Pete's blog and answer the question he asked on his post. Com'n, let's go visit Pete! While we're there, let's check out the latest series there at Cross Point Church:  Empty Promises. There are a few vids to check out on that and you can watch the Sunday message feeds. Click here: http://www.WithoutWax.tv 

Enjoy your weekend!

Special Guest - Carman Boley talks about her Christian Book Giveaways blog (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: | Posted On at 12:04 AM

Some of you know our guest, Carman Boley, very well from her blog Christian Book Giveaways. 

But for those of you who don't, you'll want to get to know her very well, especially if you enjoy reading Christian fiction! 

Carman is not a writer yet, but she does something fabulous for readers and authors and we thought you'd love to know about it.
Carman, you have a wonderful free service you provide to authors ~ please tell us about it.
 

On my first blog, A Sequence of Continuous Delights http://continuousdelights.blogspot.com/, I host author interviews and giveaways featuring one or more of the author’s books. It mainly helps get the word out about a new release and generate excitement about reading the book. I also do reviewing, which (I hope) is helpful to both readers and writers.





On my second blog, Christian Book Giveaways http://christianbookgiveaways.blogspot.com/, I post about giveaways that other people are having on their blog. This creates a site dedicated to helping readers find giveaways that interest them. This also helps bloggers get more traffic, and author’s books get more exposure.

It's wonderful! I know so many authors and readers appreciate what you're doing. So, how and why did you get into doing this?

It all started when I got a facebook. Weird, I know, but it’s true. I was really excited when I found out that a lot of my favorite authors were on facebook, so I added as many of them as I could to my friend list. On day I got an email from Jenny B. Jones asking if I would like to review her next two books that were about to be released. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

I kept on reviewing and posting my reviews on places like amazon, borders, Shelfari, and other places like those. But, a few authors said that they couldn’t send a person a book, unless they had a blog to post their review on. That stunk but I still didn’t want to get a blog. (It seemed like way too much work and I was a little overwhelmed by the idea.) But then, I heard from Julie Lessman that you had to have a blog to review one of her books. Well, that sealed the deal for me. I had my first blog (SCD) set up by the end of the day.

For my other blog, CBG, it got started when I found the site, Sweepstakes & Contest List Directory http://theblackcell.com/blogs/. I loved the idea of the site, and I would go everyday and see the book giveaways going on at the time. But, I grew tired of sifting through those giveaways trying to find ones with Christian books. Not to mention the book covers of some of the books were not things I should be looking at. I thought it would be nice to make a place that dedicated itself to Christian giveaways. Then people could go there and find good books without having to mess with all the other ones. Now, I’m posting around 45-60 giveaways a month on my site with more coming all the time.

Tell us about the type of books you enjoy reading.
Mainly I like to read romance. I’m a romantic at heart and love Jane Austen, and the Christian fiction romance authors. I try to avoid reading secular fiction, and only read things that I don’t have to feel guilty about later. :) Also, I’ve lately tried to add in more non-fiction books to my regular every-day reading. They might not be the most FUN things to read, but they are important and they can help us to grow in Christ.

What was the most recent book you read that you'd highly recommend to others?
Hmmm… let me think. That would be “So Over It” by Stephanie Morrill. Actually that whole series is amazing. I know it is a teen’s story, but the lessons in it are truly uplifting and inspiring for all ages.


What's in your 'To Be Read' pile?
Oh gosh. More than I can count! LOL. I have around 400-500 books on my TBR list, but in the little pile I keep near me at all times… I have Angel Song (Walsh and Cushman), Heartless (Stengl), City of the Dead (Higley), and The Fruitful Life (Bridges). All of these authors are new to me, but I’m looking forward to reading them!

Have you ever thought about writing books? If so, what types of stories would you write?
My mom thinks I should write, but I’ve never wanted to. However, if that is what God wants me to do, then I’ll gladly try, because I know that if He calls me to do it, He’ll equip me for it. :) I would probably write CF romance novels. As to the time periods… anything really. I love learning/reading about any time period from ancient history to contemporary. (The funny thing is that I HATE learning history from a schoolbook, but I love reading about it in a historical fiction setting.)

Where can we visit your site on giveaways? Do you have a subscriber signup--for email notices of new giveaways posted, so we don't miss any?
Here is the link to my blog, CBG: http://christianbookgiveaways.blogspot.com/

Yes, I have that option for readers on both of my blogs. That really is the best thing, in my opinion, because that way if you forget or don’t have time to go to my blog to search for giveaways, you don’t have to. You’ll get an email with all the latest giveaways listed right in your inbox. The place where you enter your email address is in my blog’s sidebar.
A few fun things about Carman:

Favorite dessert
Um, just about anything with sugar. :P I’m a confirmed sugar addict. But, one of my favorite every-day desserts is homemade whipped cream with strawberries. YUM. It is fantastic.

Someplace, anyplace in the world you'd love to visit?
I’ve *always* wanted to go to Europe. See all the old places that I’ve read about, the palaces, the history, the people’s ACCENTS! It sounds wonderful. But, I’ve been very blessed with lots of family vacations and have seen many beautiful places.

Favorite music:
Just about anything. I like praise music, Christian rock, rap, dance music (gotta love that dance music), and, yes, even a few country songs. ;)

Authors you'd love to meet:
Too many to count!
Here are my favorite authors and I would just about faint from excitement if I got to meet any of them (listed in no particular order):

Michelle Sutton, Julie Lessman, Jenny B. Jones, Mary Connealy, Deeanne Gist, Jill Williamson, Roseanna White, Sarah Sundin, Susan May Warren, Erynn Mangum, Sharon Gillenwater, MaryLu Tyndall, Denise Hunter, Janice Thompson, Linore Rose Burkard, Cathy Marie Hake, Tracie Peterson, and Lynn Austin.

Also, I think it would be so fun to get to meet my fellow bloggers. I love all you guys!

Wow! That's quite a list of incredible authors! Carman, we loved having you and hope you'll join us again!

Thanks so much for having me Tina! It’s been fun. :D

You can get on Carman's email list to be 
notified of upcoming interviews and giveaways. 
Just sign up in the sidebar of her blogs.
 
Well, she may not be an author (yet!), but we've got...
a giveaway!

Speaking of Cathy Marie Hake 
as one of Carman's favorite authors,
we'll giveaway a copy of...

Texas Brides
by
Cathy Marie Hake

Go to one of Carman's blogs and from one of the books/author's she has listed, let us know what book sounds like a good read to you. Leave your answer here, along with your email addy.

This giveaway ends October 31, 2010


Now, please go back to Carman's blog and check out 
some of those other interviews and giveaways! 

My Come to Jesus Moment by Billy Coffey

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: , , | Posted On at 12:01 AM

Well, if you've been making yourself at home here, then you already know our guest is no guest at all. He's family.

That's because his writing comes straight from his heart to ours. And it's a God-given gift--his talent to tell a good story.

But before we head over there, I just want to take a moment to share the great news that Billy's book, SNOW DAY, is releasing SOON! So, head over to your favorite book store and reserve your copy, and be sure to tell a friend. And order a copy from your library and ask them if they'd display it on their front shelf of featured books. (THANK YOU!!!)

Snow Day
by Billy Coffey
Available: October 11, 2010!

The following is another favorite excerpt of mine. Billy's testimony. Loved it. I know you will too...
My Come to Jesus Moment...by Billy Coffey
You do stupid things when you’re seventeen. Things that maybe don’t make much sense later, but certainly do at the moment. It’s a scary age. You stand right on the pivot point of your life, teetering and tottering between the child you were and the adult you want to become. You try to find your balance, but more often just stumble and fall.
 
At seventeen, I stumbled and fell.

I referenced Allison in a post on What I Learned Today and the events surrounding her then-anonymous letter to me, and I alluded to what I considered at the time to be a one-way trip into the mountains above my town. At the time, I wrote only what I had to in order to put the rest of the story in perspective. But since so many of you wanted to know how I came to Christ, I’m going to do that right now.

Here’s the part I didn’t tell.

The sad thing about high school is that everyone from teachers to guidance counselors expects you to be able to plan the rest of your life. That’s just not possible. Being a senior in high school is all about living in the moment. The now. It’s enjoying what you have because you’ve realized you won’t have it much longer.

Me, I enjoyed my senior year for that very reason. I was leaving. Headed for either college or some major league farm system. So while my classmates crammed and studied and stressed over SATs, me and my motley crew of friends partied, fought, and chased girls. Looking back, I was being stupid. But at the time? 

Oh, it was magical.

But it’s usually when we manage to convince ourselves that we have the world on a string that the string breaks. Mine broke during the sixth inning of a baseball game. Not slowly, mind you. I didn’t hear it tighten, didn’t hear it strain. There was just one clean, violent snap.

My future was there, then it was not.

Then there was nothing.

Men define themselves by what they do. It’s one of the first questions we’ll ask when meeting another man for the first time. “What do you do for a living?” we’ll ask. Me, I was always going to answer “Ballplayer” to that question. That was all I had. All I was.

I was an awkward teenager. Never confident, never truly happy. But when I stepped between those lines I was both. It was the one thing in my life that brought me joy.

Also the one thing God took away.
.............................................................
It's just gets better friends.
Let's head over to Billy's blog porch to hear the rest. 
Click this link to meet me there: http://www.BillyCoffey.com

Crazy Monday Recipe ~ Steak Pita Wrap

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: | Posted On at 12:05 AM


Okay, this one has been on the list to share with you for a couple of months! But, you know how crazy life can get and I'm just re-entering my writing life again (YAY!)

There's so much to share with you, but we'll just ease into it all. So today, we're starting with our Crazy Monday Recipe and it's sooooo goooood!

And EASY-peasy!

You need leftover steak (ha, like there'd be any!) or any kind of leftover meat--hot or cold, baby spring greens salad mix, blue cheese or ranch dressing or tzatziki sauce (the Greek sauce with Greek yogurt and cucumber), and pita or, my preference, garlic Naan bread (it's Indian bread).

That's it!

1) Cut left over meat into bite sizes.

2) Baby spring greens salad mix

3) Dressing/sauce of your choice

4) Naan bread (or pita, but not as good as the break from India)

Stack it, give thanks to the One who provided for it, eat, enjoy!

You'll need a napkin. Aw, go ahead, just lick your fingers, I won't tell.

Yum! Did I say YUM? I'll say it again, YUM!

What about you? 
Tell us how you make your favorite sandwich.

P.S. - Stop by tomorrow and we'll hop over to Billy's porch for a great story!

This week's line up

Posted by Tina Dee Books | | Posted On at 5:19 PM

How have you been?

I'm just popping in to tell you about the things going on this week, so come, make yourselves comfortable.

The weather has cooled - I'm welcoming my favorite season: AUTUMN!

Monday--on Crazy Monday Recipes we'll have a quick and easy steak pita sandwich.

Tuesday--we're getting our much needed dose of Billy Coffey.

Wednesday--we have a special guest, Miss Carman Boley, to tell us about her very popular blog Christian Book Giveaways.

Thursday--I'm praying, Chapter 7 of Love's Gamble (hope with me on this!) I didn't realize I've got a whole chunk missing from the last part of the chapter, the only thing there? Just the unintelligible scrawlings of my rambling mind.

Friday--we'll laugh with Pete Wilson on a video he and his lovely Mrs., Brandi Wilson, did--then go visit him at Without Wax.

Saturday--we'll enjoy some time with author Janice Thompson and learn about how you can become a writer too.

So there ya have it!

I also have a surprise, but I'm waiting for the okay to share it. I will, as soon as I get the go-ahead. (No, I wasn't offered a contract with a publisher...I wish!)

Have a blessed week! 
See you Monday!

Author Erin Rainwater - Giveaway of Refining Fires

Posted by Tina Dee Books | Labels: | Posted On at 12:02 AM


Sit back and relax was we visit today with author Erin Rainwater. Erin's here to chat about her book, Refining Fires. So, grab your cuppa and let's enjoy some time with Erin.

[Also, a quick editorial note: I don't know what has happened, but my blog has a mind of its own today, the formatting is doing something crazy, so please excuse the post's messiness! Goodness!]

--Refining Fires - Fires is plural. Could you tell us why?

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.   This quote from Isaiah begins the book. Each of the characters in these three stories goes through a refining process. The hero of the stories is Peter Cochran, and his fiery process is literal as well as figurative. So the title of the first part of the book, which deals with him and his nurse Clare, is “Refining Fire” (singular). But the nurse, the little girl, and the woman of questionable repute all undergo some type of refinement and redemption. Thus the plural Fires captures all of their trials.  


Questions for Refining Fires' hero - Peter

--Peter, could you tell us about yourself, your injury and how you got it, what struggles you're facing?
There was a time that seems not so long ago when I never would’ve answered your questions, Tina, and in fact would’ve told you what you could do with them. But my world is different now, thanks be to God and the gift He sent me. 

I was born into a Christian home but wandered from those roots. I had money and good looks, so doors of worldly opportunity were wide open to me, and I went through them. Yet I remained in the family business and took it over when my father died. I served in the Korean War, and on my last day there, the plane that was bringing me home crashed. After many months in the hospital, I returned home badly scarred in more ways than one. 

Bitterness reigned in my soul. My only friend was my butler, Leopold, who remained loyal despite my acrimony. I rarely left the sanctum of my home. Why should I, only to face all the wide-eyed children and the wincing parents who’d grab their kids by the collar and steer them clear of me? And I steered clear of God. Four years after the crash is when Clare entered my life.

--In the story, Peter, we find out that Clare is a VA nurse--how does she come to work for you and what challenges did you face early on?
I look back and wonder sometimes if God allowed the unfair circumstances in Clare’s life just so she’d be desperate enough to accept the job as my live-in nurse. It pains me to think so, but she sure had to be desperate—homeless and penniless—to put up with me. She had cared for soldiers as an Army nurse during the war and veterans at the VA, but all put together they didn’t equal the challenge I presented. But my anger was no match for her chicanery in getting me to hire her after I’d already had her thrown out. No match for her tenacity. Nor for those emerald eyes of hers. Nor her laugh. Nor her…but I digress. Suffice it to say, Clare resurrected my long-lost sense of humor, along with the courage I’d need to define myself as a man. But the biggest challenge I faced with her was learning the meaning of what it is to love sacrificially.

 --What was your first impression of her?
My first impression was tainted by my bitterness, and I did not want to hire her or to like her. I even tried sabotage, and had her thrown out, but her fight for fairness moved me in ways I hadn’t counted on. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. To this day I don’t know what would’ve become of me if she hadn’t tricked me into hiring her.

Now, back to Erin:


--Erin, tell us about the how the three stories in this book are connected.
The first story, “Refining Fire,” is about a former Army nurse who is just desperate enough to take on the most horrible patient any nurse could ask for—Peter Cochran, a bitter and disfigured veteran. But her faith and determination combine to elicit renewed life from his damaged body while evoking a raw yearning in his damaged soul. In “Blind Courage” you’ll meet a frightened young girl name Susannah whose mother is very ill and there is no one to save her but Susannah. At first you’ll see no connection to the first story, but be patient. Susannah crosses paths with a man who has suffered his own fiery trials and who offers her help with her refining process. Then you’ll meet the “Kept Woman.” Oh, she’s a prickly one, all right, and refining her is no easy task. But a little girl and a man well familiar with God’s grace show her a different path than the one she’s on that leads to self-destruction. 
  

--How long did it take to write the entire book?
Considering I wrote a form of the middle story, “Blind Courage,” as an English assignment in the eighth grade, I guess you could say it took me about forty-six years. Then it was a short story, and I got an A. Unlike most grade school work, which is forgotten once handed in, I never did get the story of this little girl out of my mind. I wrote the story of Peter and Clare in my thoughts over the course of a couple of years, and got the insane notion of combining the stories into one, which obviously necessitated reworking “Blind Courage.” The idea for “Kept Woman” came last, and I wrote that fairly quickly, deciding to make it a part of what became a sort of trilogy.


--What do you hope your readers will 'take away' from reading Refining Fires?
The fact that God’s unfathomable love takes many forms, and sometimes takes the form of discipline. Peter learned that what God allowed in his life was an act of love, impeding his progress toward that which would have been ruinous to him. Sometimes His love takes the form of a test, asking us to prove our faith is genuine. But the Refiner’s hand is always on us, regardless of how circumstances may appear.  And He always provides the courage and tools we need to persevere and come out refined.

--What other books have you written? Can you tell us a little about them?
I published two historical love stories via POD, both of which I’m thrilled to say readers are loving. The first is True Colors, a Civil War-set romance/adventure, a scene from which is being translated onto the theater stage this fall:

Cassie Golden feels called to leave her safe but lonely Pennsylvania farm to tend the Union wounded in Alexandria, Virginia. Love and conspiratorial intrigue enter her life there, both arriving in the form of an intelligence officer, Major Michael Byron. When duty sends him away, Cassie becomes unwittingly enmeshed in a mosaic of espionage, kidnapping, imprisonment and murder. Their unanticipated reunion only creates a chasm between them as sweeping as the one dividing the nation. Only the truth can bridge such a chasm. And truth is in short supply.

The other story, The Arrow That Flieth By Day, picks up just after the ending of True Colors, and takes place in Colorado:

Mandy Berringer is on the last leg of a homebound journey to Denver when a mistaken accusation by Indian warriors diverts the course of her life. Believed dead by her family, Mandy will do anything to get home. But a disabling accident, an epidemic, an unexpected love and a tragic loss prolong her separation from her family until she is finally reunited with them—only to be devastated by what she finds. The man she loves undergoes crushing trials of his own, and their search for each other leads them on separate journeys into new tests of faith and enduring love.


--Where can readers find you on the internet?
My web page is www.erinrainwater.com


Erin Rainwater in the spotlight:

--What's your favorite book and why is it?
To Kill A Mockingbird. I love Scout, her pluck, her curiosity, and even her wisdom. The plot is so powerful, yet there’s humor, and overall it’s heartwarming. But mostly I love the story because my father was an attorney like Atticus Finch—honest, intelligent, a lover of his children. He died when I was two, so I saw in Atticus a picture of my father. Gregory Peck played him in the movie, and I’ve been in love with him ever since. So is Clare in Refining Fires.

--What's your favorite breakfast?
Anything served in bed. Just not runny eggs.

--Who from present or history would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?
First and foremost Jesus, of course. But assuming you mean besides Him, I’d pick Abraham Lincoln. I’ve read a lot about him and all things Civil War related, and I am fascinated by his humility, his sense of responsibility, his wisdom and his wit despite the incredible power he held and the immense burden he bore.

--Do you have any pets?
I love animals, but I’ve had a dog that died at the age of six, two cats that went missing, and two ferrets that also died. I determined to never again own a pet because it’s just too hard to lose them.

To win a copy of Erin's book, please visit her site to find the answer to her question, then return here and leave your answer and your email address (email[at]whatever[dot]com format)  in a comment. 

Erin, thank you for being our guest today and for the opportunity for one of our readers to win a copy of Refining Fires. 

Here's Erin's question for you:

There is a scene in my novel True Colors where the hero, Michael Byron, must decide whether to remain at his present position or answer a deeper calling that would take him away from his love, Cassie. What real-life scenario is part of that scene based on?