Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance Writer

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ane Mulligan novel

POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS. BOOK GIVEAWAYS EACH WEEK

Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, September 1, 2015 to be entered in the DRAWING for an eBook copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.


         CHAPEL SPRINGS SURVIVAL
                        by Ane Mulligan


Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Novelist and playwright, Ane is the executive director of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, a new community theater. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, she resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane at her website, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Read, in Ane's words, about what sparked the story of her upcoming release, Chapel Springs Survival:

 
Chapel Springs Revival was sparked by an overheard conversation. The sequel was a bit different. You see, one day I got a phone call from our eldest son.

"Hey, Mom. I emailed you some pictures. Take a look and call me back." Click.

He hung up. Without asking how I was. I hurried to my computer.

I opened his email, and the first photo was of a nice looking, very Latin appearing young woman. Something told me she wasn't from here. I clicked on the second photo—a photo with her in a wedding dress.

I hit speed dial.

It seems Michael, a widower with two children, had gotten himself a 21st Century mail order bride. He met her in a chat room for women in Columbia, South America, to meet and marry American men. They communicated for a year, then he flew to Columbia and married her.

Without us knowing anything.

He came back and spent the next year trying to get her into the U.S. legally.

Did I mention it was without us knowing anything?

He didn't tell us until she got here. Our two grandchildren knew. His brother knew. But we didn't. Do you remember that old margarine commercial, where the woman said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature” and zapped someone?

That’s what I said. I told him for not telling me, it was going in a book. And it did.

Now, I have to tell you that any similarity between our son's story and my book stops there. Our daughter-in-law turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our Michael. We adore her and our two step-grandsons and the newest Mulligan grandson.

Now, that wouldn't have made a good story. There was no conflict. But add Claire Bennett into that mix, and there's plenty. To find out how it turns out, be sure to pre-order Chapel Springs Survival, releasing December 3rd.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapel Springs Survival:

(The book's cover will be made using this painting done by Ane's artist-husband.)
 

Like shot pinball, Claire Bennett pinged against, around and between hordes of straw hats, bikinis, and plaid shorts. All along Sandy Shores Drive, shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of people crowded the sidewalk and spilled into the avenue. A party atmosphere—with noise level to match—permeated the quiet morning and their once peaceful village.

What had they done? When she and her friends envisioned the revitalization of Chapel Springs, it was a nice, controlled rise in tourist trade—not this craziness.


One bruised elbow later, Claire reached the door of her art gallery, The Painted Loon, and turned her key in the lock. A heavy hand grasped her shoulder. Her heart skipped a beat. Was she about to be robbed?


Hold on. In broad daylight? With this crowd watching? She may not be the brightest color on the palette, but she did possess a little common sense. Her gaze traveled up the beefy arm to a scraggly-bearded face with beady eyes. A rolled red bandana wrapped around his forehead, held back salt-and-pepper hair. Beside him stood a bleached-blonde motorcycle mama, dressed in a halter-top and the skimpiest shorts Claire had ever seen. Strings hung from their ragged edges and drew attention to the lumpy cellulite dotting the back of her thighs. Who was this woman trying to kid? She was fifty if she was a day.


"You're the loon lady," Motor-mama said. "We want to see your pots." They tried to shoulder their way into the gallery, but Claire stood her ground.


"I'm sorry, we aren't open yet. Please come back at ten." She threw the deadbolt, pulled down the window shade, then leaned her back against the door and drew in air. The familiar scent of lemon oil-rubbed wood with the underlying twang of turpentine surrounded her like a security blanket.


After rattling the door handle a few times, the couple retreated. Claire released her breath in a whoosh as she slipped into the back workroom, where she and her gallery-partner-slash-best friend, Patsy Kowalski, created their art. And, Claire had to admit, a problem for Chapel Springs. The review they received last year—Patsy for her paintings and Claire for pottery—had put them on the art world's radar.


Between that and the town's cleanup campaign, Chapel Springs attracted half the population east of the Mississippi. Then Rod Campbell, Nashville's newest country heartthrob, strolled into The Painted Loon one day and bought some artwork. He told a Hollywood producer about them, and the producer told one of his starlets, who was an art collector.


Now Chapel Springs was filled with stargazers. Their quiet little village by the lake had become the trendy place to visit in north Georgia. Because Claire had come up with the revitalization plan, the mayor blamed her for the ensuing problems. And problems were plentiful. College kids decided their little village was the perfect party town. Aside from their noise and litter, and traffic congestion on the main road through town, Chapel Springs didn't have enough rentable living space for more than a couple hundred overnighters.


Peeking out the back door, she found the coast clear and sprinted for Dee's 'n' Doughs. One of Dee's apple fritters and fortifying high-test coffee would go down good. Then Claire and her friends, all local entrepreneurs, could strategize a way to survive this pickle.


She slipped into the bakery's rear entrance and was immediately plunged into gastronomic delight by the heady aroma of sugar and spice. It made her want to lick the air. Dee stood next to a large industrial mixer, pouring milk into its stainless steel bowl. Claire waved but between concentration and the noise of its motor, Dee didn't look up. However, her new assistant, Trisha, who was elbow deep in a huge batch of some wonderful concoction, did look up and frowned. With the back of her wrist, she rubbed the side of her nose, leaving a trail of flour.


Claire waggled her fingers as she passed by. "I'm avoiding the foot traffic out front." 


"Well, just don't touch anything."


Sheesh. Even a newcomer knew her infamous reputation for calamity. She had hoped being elected to the town council would have brought her a modicum of respect. But no such luck. She was still the town's favorite joke. If Henderson’s hadn't had a Halon fire alarm system in the cooking school, it wouldn't have been a big story.


Maybe if she ran for council chairwoman she could change her personae—become a purveyor of wisdom instead of a diva of disaster.


     A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, 
                                       and illegal art.
               Can Claire and Chapel Springs survive?

Claire Bennett's Operation Marriage Revival succeeded and life is good. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son has married a Brazilian mail order bride. When Claire tries to welcome her, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus.

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa—then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Then her groom's adult son moves in—on everything.

From the first sighting of a country music star in The Painted Loon, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing residents to flee the area. When her best friends put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got.

With her son's future at stake and the town's problems to solve, it's Claire's who needs a guardian angel.


To learn more about pre-orders or purchase of Chapel Springs Survival check Ane's Amazon author page.

Ane, thank you for visiting with my readers and me. One commenter will win an eBook copy of Chapel Springs Survival when it comes out, which you have offered. (Commenters, please remember to leave your email address so I can enter you in the book drawing! If you win, I'll need your email address to contact you.)


The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Plum Upside Down by Valerie Comer is Trixi. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Valerie Comer romance novel

POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS. BOOK GIVEAWAYS EACH WEEK

Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, August 25, 2015 to be entered in the DRAWING for an eBook copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.




 PLUM UPSIDE DOWN
                           by Valerie Comer

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Welcome, Valerie. If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus) who would it be?
I don't really have historical heroes who stand out that way. My favorite dinnertimes are when my entire family surrounds me: my husband, our kids, their spouses, and the three grandgirls. What a blessing!


What is your favorite Bible verse?
Zephaniah 3:17 (The Voice)
“The Eternal your God is standing right here among you, and he is the champion who will rescue you. He will joyfully celebrate over you; He will rest in His love for you; He will joyfully sing because of you like a new husband.”


What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the process of seeing where God and the characters will take each story. I don't plot much in advance, so I get some big surprises during the writing process. I ask God to make His message shine through the conduit of my writing. It gets a bit scary at times, but the exhilaration makes it worthwhile!


What can your readers expect from you next?
My September release is the fourth in my Riverbend Romance Novella series, a fun story called Team Bride. I don't have the official blurb yet, but Corbin and Sarah meet when they are best man and maid-of-honor at their best friends' wedding. He's a bit of a prankster, and she… well, let's just say she is not amused.


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Let their friends know they loved it! Whether it's by writing a review, putting it on lists at Goodreads, raving on Facebook — or other ways. Plus, I have a Street Team on Facebook for those who are eager to help spread the word.

Please tell us a little about your novel, Plum Upside Down.
Topsy-Turvy… or Right-Side Up?


Green Acres newcomer Chelsea Riehl is annoyed. After all, she signed on as an event planner, not to pit plums alongside mission-minded hippie Keanan Welsh, the only other single on the farm. 


Discouraged by Chelsea’s lack of spiritual depth, Keanan is confused when she offers to arrange meals for the church Alpha program he is co-hosting. Maybe he misjudged her, after all.

When fake it ’til you make it gives way to a leap of faith, both Chelsea and Keanan have some soul-searching to do. Will getting on the same page spiritually be enough to flip their budding romance right-side up?

What takeaway value do you want your readers to have?
I want Christian women to realize anew the depth of love that God has for them as individuals, not just as one of a large group of believers.


Where can readers find you online?
Come over to http://valeriecomer.com where you can find my blog, social media links, and a signup to my email list — a free Farm Fresh Romance short story is available to subscribers.


Where can readers purchase Plum Upside Down?
Links to Amazon (kindle and paperback), Kobo, Nook, and iBooks can be found at http://valeriecomer.com/plum


Any parting comment?
While Plum Upside Down is the fifth book in my Farm Fresh Romance series, it can be read as a standalone. However, the first book in the series, Raspberries and Vinegar, is available as a free e-book on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks, so you can easily see if you'd like to invest yourself into the entire series! One more book, Berry on Top, will complete the set in early 2016.


Please leave a question you’d like readers to answer.
Have you ever struggled to believe God loves you personally and passionately?


Thanks, Valerie, for visiting with my readers and me. One of the commenters will win an eBook copy of Plum Upside Down, which you’ve graciously offered.



Caryl Kane, please remember to leave your email address so I can enter you in the book drawing.


The winner of last Tuesday's blog post for a copy of The Extraordinary Presence of God by Ann Knowles is Connie. I’ll email you.

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Catching Up with Daylight by Gail Kittleson is Patricia. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling. 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gail Kittleson book

POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS. BOOK GIVEAWAYS EACH WEEK
Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, August 18, 2015 to be entered in the DRAWING for an eBook copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.


Catching Up with Daylight:
A Journey to Wholeness
by Gail Kittleson

Gail Kittleson has always loved to read, but had no burning desire to write fiction. She was happy instructing college expository writing and English as a Second Language, but after she penned her memoir, the fiction bug bit her. She's been addicted ever since, with special interest in the World War II era. She and her husband enjoy life in small-town northern Iowa, their grandchildren, and in winter, the Ponderosa forest of Central Arizona. Meeting new friends is the frosting on her cake—please feel free to contact me however it works for you.

Welcome, Gail. Please describe yourself with three words.
I’d say different, sincere, and intrigued.


Like many writer-types, I’ve always felt a little out of it in certain situations. Years ago, Kathleen Norris helped me a lot with this in The Cloister Walk. Writers were born to report, she says, so we stand a little off sometimes, observing. Maybe I’m just strange, bottom-line, but it comforted me to think that this “reporter” stance might be the origin of this sensation.


Sincere describes me to a fault. Being sincere can really drain a person—you can’t do anything halfway. On the other hand, because you feel things so deeply and put so much of yourself into everything, high moments become extremely intense, and you can feed off them for a long, long time. A counselor once advised me that I notice the SLIGHTEST STUFF, things a lot of people would simply overlook. You can see how this is both a bane and a blessing, especially for a writer. (Makes me a great proofreader, so I do that on the side for folks. I can see others' errors a lot easier than my own—smile!)


Ah, intrigued. So many things interest me, and people far more than things. How does this personality function, as opposed to this other one? How does this theology work in real life?


For example, What IS it about people who talk incessantly—I just do not get how anyone can feel important enough to take up all the air in the room. I'm betting they actually feel quite small, yet I don't understand how that works. But that doesn’t stop me wondering. These kinds of questions intrigue me—keep me looking for an explanation.


It’s a good way to face life, I think. Hungry to understand, wanting to comprehend.


What do you enjoy doing for relaxation?
I love to walk, garden, and ride bicycle. Movement energizes me, and so does Nature’s beauty. Maybe because I’ve never been “sporty”, I like to take long walks or cooperate in a plant's growth.


When I need a writing break, when I’m puzzling over something or need to pray, I walk. I walk by myself, with my husband, with our grandkids. Alleys are my special place to walk—they tell you so much. Puzzling and praying meld together, and often an idea of how to phrase a concept or tackle a certain character flaw comes to me.


The concept of God in us—working in partnership—often seems most real when I’m out walking (writing in my head/heart).


What can readers expect from you next?
My World War II series waits in the wings. Two books are complete, but the third is undergoing a major operation. I believe it’ll survive, mainly because of some strong characters with no intention of letting it perish. The forthcoming book in my World War II series is titled In This Together.



Please tell us a little about your memoir, Catching Up with Daylight: A Journey to Wholeness.

I taught writing at Eastern Oregon University and attended their summer writing institute. That started me writing about specific events from my childhood. When my husband returned from Iraq, we moved back to Iowa, where his parents were, and started renovating an ancient house. It needed SO much work, and as I went through rooms, stairways, landings, they took me back to my childhood home.

Then I met the octogenarian + woman who was born in this ancient house. I heard about her mother's life with seven children born here, her nervous breakdowns, and how she sat by the dining room window listening to the Metropolitan opera on Saturdays for an escape.

That led me to write about how women support each other--how our friendships bring us through difficulties. During this time, I also learned the ancient Benedictine meditation method of Lectio Divina, and it revolutionized my devotional life. So I share about that in my memoir, too.
 
Where can readers find you online?
Website
Facebook
Email
Linkedin


Where can readers purchase Catching Up With Daylight?
Amazon
Barnes and Noble - Nook
Barnes and Noble - Paperback

Any parting comment?
Please stay tuned to my website for a cover reveal and purchase information for In This Together.


Thanks for having me, Jo. I liked your question about describing oneself with three words, and would love to hear the words readers would choose for themselves. I think this would be a good way to draw out our novel characters, too, don't you?


Please leave a question you’d like readers to answer.
I would love to hear the three words readers would choose to describe themselves.


Thank you, Gail for visiting with my readers. One of the commenters to this post will win an eBook copy of your memoir, Catching Up with Daylight: A Journey to Wholeness.


Have you visited my inspirational blog, Lifelines? I share my thoughts there on various subjects in an insightful way. I post on Lifelines on Mondays.  

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Dynamo by Eleanor Gustafson is Maxie. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ann Knowles book

 POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS. BOOK GIVEAWAYS EACH WEEK

Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, August 16, 2015 to be entered in the DRAWING for your choice of a paperback or eBook copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.





The Extraordinary Presence of God:
True Stories of Faith and Courage in Ordinary Lives
by Ann Knowles


Ann Knowles is a freelance writer, editor, and speaker. She has published articles and devotionals in national, regional, and local magazines and newspapers, and online. Her background includes an M.A. in Education, and seminary courses in religious journalism, Biblical Counseling, and missions. Being a pastor’s wife has given her a heart for ministry and a love for missionaries. Helping new writers polish their work and get it published is her delight. She is passionate about writing for “Christ to the World Ministries” because she can be a missionary through her radio dramas that are heard in 32 language, often in places where missionaries cannot go.

If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus) who would it be? Why?
I’d want to have dinner with my daddy. He died before he knew my children and I’d love to tell him about his grandchildren and how he has influenced their lives even though they never knew him personally. He’d be thrilled to hear I had published a book.

What fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself?
A piece of my heart resides in Texas. I’ve lived in Berlin, Germany and traveled in Germany, France, Spain, and Turkey. I studied Spanish in Mexico and went on a Mission trip to Brazil. My unfilled dream is to play the piano.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5,6 NKJV)

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
They can friend me on Facebook and twitter, follow my blogs, tweet about the book, host me on their blog. Enter contests where my book is featured and win a chance to get a free book.

Please tell us a little about your book, The Extraordinary Presence of God: True Stories of Faith and Courage in Ordinary Lives
The Extraordinary Presence of God: True Stories of Faith
and Courage in Ordinary Lives grew out of inspiration from three miracles in my extended family.

The stories in the book are about people from all walks of life who will encourage and inspire those who are seeking a closer walk with God or who are going through trials of their own.

The writers share how God has worked in their lives to direct, protect, heal, and even preserve life. All have experienced the extraordinary presence of God in their lives in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Where can readers find you online?
Website
Blog
Christ to the World Ministries
Personal Blog
Life to the Fullest blog

Facebook
Linkedin


Where can readers purchase The Extraordinary Presence of God: True Stories of Faith and Courage in Ordinary Lives?
Amazon 

 
Any parting comment?
Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Jo. I have enjoyed chatting with you and answering your questions.

Please leave a question you’d like readers to answer.
Have you ever experienced a miracle in your life? Or witnessed one in the life of someone close to you? Tell us about it in a few sentences.

Thank you, Ann, for visiting with my readers and me. One of the commenters will win their choice of an eBook or paperback copy of your book, which you’ve offered.

__________

My newest release is Book 2 in the West Virginia Mountains Series and available at Amazon. Trust Me is out in Kindle eBook, and paperback will follow soon. Here's the cover and a bit about the book:


West Virginia, 1960 
A mine owner. An elegant lady. 
Seductive voices that scoff at trust.



Loreen Fletcher has suffered heartbreak. She resolves never to trust a man again. She has earned a respected position with no help from anyone, especially not from a man. At thirty-six, Loreen knows loving brings inevitable misery, and she won’t pick at that scab again. 

Claude Capshaw’s life has taken another detour. Things that drove him no longer motivate him. Nothing fulfills him anymore—except that elegant lady at West Virginia University. Why won’t Loreen trust him when he tells her he’ll never betray her?




Till next time … keep on smiling.