Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Angel Ranch
Mary L. Ball

Kayla is a home designer for a well-known company, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation shows her innocence, but she's without a job and no prospects for employment.

To get away from the dishonesty surrounding her, Kayla returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to help with the family business until the New Year.

Angel Ranch is a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters, and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind.

When Kayla and Reed meet, two mistrusting hearts collide. Can love prevail, or will it take a Christmas miracle?

Author Interview:

Mary L. Ball writes Christian fiction. She lives in North Carolina and weaves stories about real life problems, blended with romance.

Mary hopes to encourage people to see the wonder of love and divine guidance.

When she's not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at various functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy fishing and singing with my husband and our church group.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
For me, it’s the challenge of finding time to write.  I have elderly parents with dementia. I’m an associate pastor’s wife and I also keep my grandson around the school schedule. I get up early before the rest of the world wakes (LOL) and work on my story. During the day, I write when I can, as often as I have time.    
I”ve heard it said that an author Must write each day for so many hours. That’s not necessarily true. Writers have to adapt to the situations in their lives, and still find time to create novels. 
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Don’t give in to negativity. Keep on writing and submitting your work to publishers.
How did Christmas at Angel Ranch get started?
The publisher of one of my novellas, “Postmarked Ever After” mentioned how fun Christmas novellas were. Having never wrote a themed book before I thought I’d give it a try.
Tell us about Christmas at Angel Ranch.
Kayla is a home designer for a well-know design firm, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation shows her innocence, but she's without a job, no prospects for employment.   
 To get away from the dishonesty surrounding her, Kayla returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to help with the family business until the New Year. 
Angel Ranch is a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters, and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind.   
When Kayla and Reed meet, two mistrusting hearts collide. Can love prevail, or will it take a Christmas miracle?
While you were writing Christmas at Angel Ranch, do you think it mattered where the book was set?
Yes, it did.  Angel Ranch is a hunting Lodge, so the setting needed to be a place where hunting was enjoyed and an every season sport.
Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?
 Yes, too often people let the past stand in the way of reaching full potential. They may feel as though they can't achieve certain goals because of mistakes, but with God it's possible.
Each of us must work to overcome, and remember that with God, we are new creatures.  He doesn’t look behind at our mistakes, neither should we, except to learn from them.
I write a lot about God's plan in a person's life, in my novels. My characters struggle with their desires, verses trying a new path ordained by God.
Along with letting the past hold someone back people can be too focused on the things they want, overlooking situations that God places before them.
What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next?
I have a new released coming on Nov. 19 by Prism Book Group, “Redemption in Big Fork
Lake.” This novel takes the reader back to visit with the characters in my debut novel,
“Escape to Big Fork Lake.”
Next, is a romance, with suspense elements. It’s tentatively titled, “Sparks of Love.”
I’m thinking of making this into a series.
Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering.
 In Chapter 3, Kayla’s hums along with her favorite Christmas tune. 
I would like to give away an eBook (Mobi or ePub) to a reader who comments
and shares their favorite Christmas song.
Where can readers find you online?


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Question of Destiny


Anita Higman

Lucy O’Brien is about to be given ten millions dollars and a chance to live a life she never imagined. Will this new found wealth be Lucy’s undoing, or can she rise above the temptations within high society and choose to become a nobler version of herself? And will the solitary Andrew Whitfield—a man who watches over Lucy as she adapts to her new lifestyle—cause her to close the door on her dreams or will he be the key that opens the rest of Lucy’s destiny? 
Q & A With Anita Higmana
Can you tell me a little bit about your novel, A Question of Destiny?
I’d be happy to. It’s basically a rags-to-riches story with a few surprises along the way.
How did you come up with this story?
I’ve always thought the rags-to-riches concept was fascinating. There’s so much ready-made conflict. Even though we’ve been told by the world that to receive a windfall would be an idyllic situation, in reality, a lot can go wrong. You can truly lose your way. In life, love, faith. Everything. Since a writer needs a lot of conflict to keep those loverly readers turning the pages, I thought this would be a good plot element to add to a love story.
In A Question of Destiny you have the hero loving the city while the heroine loves the country, and it becomes a sticky point between them. Where did you get your inspiration for this conflict?
I suppose both of these viewpoints are inside me. I grew up on a farm, but I now live near Houston. I love the city and the country equally, and so does my husband. So, we are building our retirement home in the country, but because of a soon-to-be-built freeway nearby, we will have access to the city. But I won’t tell you how my heroine and hero work out this intense disagreement!
What is the farthest place from home you’ve ever been?
Melbourne, Australia. I loved it there. It’s such a beautiful and fascinating city. So much so, I set part of a novel there, which was entitled, Winter in Full Bloom. I’d love to go back to Australia someday, but it’s expensive, and it’s a very, very long flight!
Want to share one of your dreams?
I would love to have one of my books made into a movie. Right now two of my novels are optioned for movies, so I’m hoping something exciting will transpire from that.
How long have you known that you wanted to be a writer?
Growing up I dreamed of telling stories. When I was very young I started working on a novel about a man from Mars who wanted to go to college in New York. I never finished that novel, but it left an impression on me. I knew deep down that writing was my dream, even though I didn’t get around to fulfilling it until I was in my thirties.
What do you hope your readers will come away with after reading one of your novels?
I would love for them to be inspired, challenged, and entertained. If I accomplish even one of those things I would feel my writing time wasn’t wasted.
If you could have dinner with two well-known people, who would they be?
Josh Groban, because his music inspires me and Leif Enger, because I love the way he writes.
Is there something about you most people wouldn’t know?
I love licorice ice cream, but it’s a rare find.
Any advice for new writers?
My advice would be, “Don’t rush the process. Take your time. Read and learn about the craft, network, and attend conferences. Start a blog, and find your own unique voice. Be faithful to your stories and write every day. If you really have a passion for writing, you won’t find my suggestions to be a punishment—but a pleasure.”
How can your readers connect with you?
I would love for you to visit my website at and connect with me through the “Contact Me” button, or you can go to my Facebook Reader Page at

Saturday, November 1, 2014

So, you’re a voracious reader whose tablet is begging to be fed. Because you read a lot, you want a greater breadth of material, rather than the same-ole-same-ole, at reasonable ebook prices.

Boy, do I have the website for you!

Indie Christian Fiction Search—“Ickfuss (ICFS) to its friends—is THE site to find affordable Christian fiction by independent authors.

Why was this site created? For a number of reasons …

Independent fiction is growing rapidly as a viable choice for readers. Many authors whose stories have been spurned by traditional publishing houses solely on the basis of marketability of topic, have chosen this route of publication in order to fulfill the call God has placed on their hearts. This is great news to the avid Christian reader. It means a greater breadth of story, from a biblical point of view, that is also affordable. You can read lots of it without breaking the bank.

ICFS was also created because as independent fiction grows, the need for REAL gatekeepers becomes increasingly important. Not just to ensure quality of product, but for the Christian reader, to set a standard of biblical content as well (see the ICFS Statement of Faith and Content Warnings). But now, it must be the READER who will lead the way, not the executive or the marketing team who makes decisions about the life or death of a story based on numbers that do not touch the hearts and minds of what each reader really wants. YOU can tell us what YOU think about a story and whether it relates to your world, be it small town, big city, Midwest or historical—not what the fad of the day dictates. YOU have the power. You just need a place to exercise it with others who share your faith and your passion for a great book.

Why do this on Indie Christian Fiction Search (ICFS)? Because it is the one site with the greatest ability to sift through large numbers of books at break-neck speed. And as it grows, with more books added, you will need that function more than ever! With ICFS, you can sort by genre, watching the little covers float across the page, or plug in search criteria, including author name, character professions, time-periods, story themes, etc. to find something that suits you to a tee. Plus, if you check out all its views and play with all of its functions (listed on the “How to Use This Site” page), it’s just plain fun—kinda like when automatic car-window openers were invented (I know, I’m dating myself :o)).

Check it out. Read the “How to” page. Play with the views and try some search criteria. Watch what happens. Hee hee!

Indie Christian Fiction Search is a growing site. Make sure you come back again to see what happens after a few months! And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. I promise it will not load down your email inbox unnecessarily. It will be sent no more than quarterly. Plus, if you sign up by October 31, 2014, you will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Stop by and have some fun. You won’t be sorry!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Day She Died: A Time-Travel Mystery


Bill Garrison

A mystery. In this clean time-travel whodunit, a middle-aged coffee-shop owner always wondered what his life would have been like if he’d stayed in town the day his college fiancee disappeared, the victim of an unsolved crime.

One morning he wakes up 20 years earlier and finds himself a student at the University of Oklahoma again on the day she died. In a journey that takes months, he stumbles over people connected to Kim’s disappearance and puzzles over connecting the dots.

Oddly enough, things are different when he relives sections of his life. For example, as a teen he plays baseball and as an adult he discovers what it’s like to be a Christian pastor, things he never did before.

Can he find some answers about Kim and about his own life? Or prevent Kim’s death? And if he succeeds in changing history, what happens to his wife and kids?


Chapter 1

Darkness pulled at John, weighed him down like an anchor. Tendrils of knowledge and light penetrated his subconscious, lifting him toward the noise hammering against his mind.

Buzz, buzz, buzz, followed by heavy silence, not the usual Dora the Explorer from the living room television.

Would today be any better, or would Renee still not look him in the eyes?

The musty smell of dirty laundry wafted to his nose. Twisted covers. Brightness.


He threw the covers aside and swung his feet to the floor. Why hadn’t Renee or the kids awakened him?

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

He shut off the alarm.

He sat at the edge of the bed and looked around in stunned silence.

Heart pounding, he tried to make sense of it. This had to be a dream. But dreams were never this real, the smells never this strong, the colors never this bright. He squeezed his eyes shut, but he knew nothing would change. This was real.

He sat on a twin bed in a small apartment. Not just any apartment. His old Village Square efficiency apartment, the place he lived during the fall of 1992.

Could it be an elaborate prank? Would Dennis do something like this? Would Renee let him?

John stepped to the window and looked out. Overgrown weeds shot up through cracked asphalt. His dark gray 1988 Grand Am with the racing pinstripe, a car he’d relegated to the junk pile many years ago, sat in perfect condition, parked to the left of the front door.

He turned back to the room and took it all in. The bed with its sagging mattress served as chair, couch, and, of course, his bed. The ironing board, a permanent fixture in the kitchen, doubled as more shelf space when necessary.

The dirty laundry formed a pile in the corner between his bed and the wall. His pride and joy, a Compaq 386 computer, sat on top of a rickety computer desk that had taken him hours to put together. A TV rested on a milk crate with a VCR perched on top. It had been luxury … eighteen years ago!

A clicking noise caused him to jump.

The window air conditioning unit powered up and began delivering ice cold air.

This wasn’t a joke. This was his old apartment.

The phone rang.

John stared at the phone on the dresser. It kept ringing. Four rings. Five. Six. No answering machine. No Caller ID.

Should he answer it? He shrugged. Why not?


“Are you coming over or what?” Music pounded in the background, the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime.” He recognized the voice right away. Dennis Vance.

“Um, sure. What time?”

“Now would be good. Don’t forget the money. I have the tickets.” Dennis hung up.

Tickets? The memory slammed into his mind. The Red River Rivalry. The only tickets he ever bought from Dennis were for hard-to-get tickets, especially for the Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns football game at the Texas State Fair. His hand tightened around the phone. No! It couldn’t be.

He swallowed, and his gaze darted around the room for anything that would tell him the date. John dropped the receiver onto the dresser. His trembling fingers grabbed the Oklahoma Daily, the college newspaper, off the kitchen counter.

A cockroach scurried away.

John’s heart pounded out of his chest as he focused on the date.

October 9, 1992.

The day Kim disappeared.

The worst day of his life, and he was living it again.

He clenched his fist and slammed it into the refrigerator. The appliance shook, and a framed picture of his parents and younger siblings fell from the wall onto the vinyl kitchen floor. The glass shattered. John shook the pain out of his hand. You didn’t feel pain in dreams.

He grabbed a pair of Levi’s off the floor and pulled them on. They fastened so easily, a sensation he hadn’t experienced in a while with his expanding forty-year-old waistline. Putting on a Sooners sweatshirt, he stepped into the tiny bathroom.

He leaned toward the mirror and stopped cold. A smooth face with thick, dark hair stared back at him. No wrinkles and no gray hair. Somehow, someone or something had reached into the life of John Michaels, forty-year-old coffee shop owner, and transported him back into the life and body of a twenty-three-year-old college student.

Fear wedged into his heart, but he pushed it away.

How had this happened? Why did it happen? He needed to get out of his apartment. He grabbed his wallet and keys from the ironing board but couldn’t find his phone. John threw clothes and papers across the room looking for it. He’d lost the stupid thing again.

No, wait. John halted his frenzied search. He didn’t have a cell phone in 1992. No one did.

He grabbed his watch. Two fifteen.

Tickets could wait. He still had time.

He picked up the cordless phone from where he’d dropped it. His fingers, white with fear, clenched the receiver as he dialed Kim’s number from memory even after so many years.

The phone rang. And rang again. No answer.

He hung up.

“I can do this, I can do this.” He searched his memories. The police had talked to all of Kim’s acquaintances, but never figured out her exact movements that day. Except for one thing . . . she had last been seen going to Gittinger Hall on the South Oval of the University of Oklahoma campus.


This is an except of a full-length novel, releasing Oct. 15, 2014.

For more information about the rest of the book, visit


Debut author Bill Garrison lives the American Dream with his family of five in Oklahoma City. As a graduate of Oklahoma University, Bill works in the healthcare and accounting industry by day, but lives his creative side once he leaves the corporate world. After putting the kids to bed with a good story, he turns to his laptop and spins his daydreams into novels. Bill Garrison, CPA by day, story weaver by night

Friday, October 17, 2014

Vegas Vacation


Clare Revell

 Former protective services officer, Sgt. Martin Ames, is five weeks short of medical retirement from the Vegas PD when he lands one last case: spoiled English heiress, Lady Tamlyn Bradshaw, whose bodyguard is hospitalized with suspected food poisoning. 

Tamlyn is on holiday, her first without her father and his ever present bodyguards. She wants to have fun, not spend the time stuck in a hotel room with a disabled cop, even if he is tall, dark and disturbingly handsome. 

When food poisoning becomes murder, passions and tempers flare as Martin attempts to keep Tamlyn safe from the assailant who gains everything on her death.


“Martin, you’re the only person in the department with the security clearances and the experience to do this.” 
“I haven’t worked protective services for over three years and for good reason. I’m five weeks from early retirement, and I don’t want to spend them running around after a spoiled heiress.”
“Did I ask what you wanted? This woman’s father is royalty and I just got off the phone with him—”
Tamlyn cringed in her seat, her cheeks burning. This was a bad idea. She’d go back to the hotel and trust God to protect her. No one knew who she was; she was just one more tourist in a city of thousands. 
The angry voice continued its tirade in the office. “Royalty? In that case, I’m sure she can afford a replacement bodyguard. Even better…ask the British Embassy to provide one. My days of babysitting people are over.”
“Unless you want to be fired five weeks before your retirement date, your assignment for the next three weeks is to be Lady Bradshaw’s bodyguard. There’s the door. She’s by your desk waiting for you.”
The door flung open, and Tamlyn glanced down. She focused her gaze on her fingernails. Maybe she could just pretend she hadn’t heard. 
Heavy steps crossed the room as muted conversations started up again. They stopped by the desk. “Lady Bradshaw, I presume?” 
She looked up into the most intense, glittering pair of blue eyes she’d ever seen. His hair was pulled back in a long black ponytail, and he leaned on a cane. They had to be kidding. A disabled cop? His navy blue shirt and tie at least gave an appearance of professionalism. Although the gun holster on his shoulder made her shiver. 
She stood, grateful he couldn’t read her mind, because she was already regretting that first thought about his gorgeous eyes. She held out a hand. “I am. You must be Sgt. Ames.” 
AUTHOR BIO:                                                                     
Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

Friday, October 10, 2014



Lillian Duncan


Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently.

Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation.

She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with her kidnapped son. Used to working alone, Jamie’s not happy when she’s assigned a partner. And after a failed operation and their failed romance, Enrique Rodriguez is the last person she wants to work with—ever.

To succeed, Jamie must confront her past as well as the people who want her dead.


To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter the contest but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish.

So hop on over to TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at  to enter. Leave a comment on the post REDEMPTION and you’ll be entered to win. Easy Peasy!!

Tell us about REDEMPTION.
It’s the third and final book in my Sisters by Choice series. Well, probably last. I do have an idea for a fourth book rattling around in my brain, but it’s only an idea at the moment. Who knows if it will actually grow into a book?
Redemption brings the series full circle and gives closure for those who’ve read all three books. Jamie is the missing twin in the first book-DECEPTION. And in REDEMPTION, we come to learn more about Jamie and her spiritual struggles. But the main story is about a missing child who Jamie is determined to find—no matter the danger to herself.
 What’s the setting for REDEMPTION?
This story is all over the place. It starts in Florida, then Jamie goes to Ohio and on to Wyoming and New Mexico—and not all of her own doing!
 How did you come up with the title for REDEMPTION?
The story begins with Patti not understanding why her twin, Jamie, continues to place herself in serious jeopardy time and time again. Jamie doesn’t understand either. Only that she needs to help others if and when she can no matter the danger to herself.
As the writer I know why, and I’ll share the secret with you. Jamie is ashamed of things she’s done in her past. As a result she feels God can’t love her the way she is. So she seeks redemption by putting herself in dangerous situations to help other people.
But then I checked out the definition of redemption. defines redemption as an act of atoning for a fault or a mistake; deliverance or rescue; deliverance from sin; salvation; atonement for guilt.
Wow! As I look at those definitions, I realize REDEMPTION is full of all sorts of redemption for many of the characters in the story—not just Jamie’s. No wonder that’s the title I chose.
Why did you write REDEMPTION?
We only catch a brief glimpse of Jamie in DECEPTION and BETRAYED. REDEMPTION is Jamie’s story.
What do you want readers to take away from REDEMPTION?
God loves us no matter what we’ve done in the past or what we do in the present or will do in the future. His love is the one constant we can always count on!

Does REDEMPTION have a theme?
God loves us just the way we are and He is always there waiting for us to come to him.
What’s the SISTERS BY CHOICE series about?
This series definitely has romance in it, but I also wanted to explore the strong bonds that form between women—through blood or through the choices we make. Each story focuses on a relationship between two women that becomes as important to the story as the romantic plot.
 Why did you become a writer?
I always had stories in my head waiting to be told. Unfortunately for many years those stories were only being enjoyed by me. One day a light bulb went off—hey, maybe I should be writing these stories down for other people!
That was the day a writer was born, but it took many long years until I could say, “I’m a writer!” Now, I love saying that.
What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.
When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.
Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be. As the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. REDEMPTION was no exception. I thought I knew who the bad guy was but as usual there were a few surprises!
Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s all right. I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.
As mysteries and suspense, there is, of course, some violence in the stories. However; I don’t promote or glorify violence. I make sure to show characters experiencing the natural consequences of bad choices and bad actions.
Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?
My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.
My stories shows characters in crisis. I use the crisis to illustrate how real Christians react to real problems in their life. We all react in different ways when bad things happen and the same is true in my stories. I show characters having doubt but also resolving that doubt and becoming stronger in their faith as a result of the crisis.
One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.
If REDEMPTION becomes a movie who would you like to see play your main characters?
I’d love to have the Oslin twins play Jamie and Patti. As for Enrique—a dark, handsome actor with a bit of a Hispanic accent. Mmm, who could that be?
 What are you working on now?
In July, I had a new mystery novella series released--DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. It features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. Having been a speech pathologist for almost 35 years, this story was so much fun for me to write.
The second in the series—NOWHERE TO BELONG—will be released sometime next year and I still have some work to do on the third in the series. Along with that I have a few other projects I’m working on. Busy, busy, busy!

My website is My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at I also contribute to Putting On The New at


Thursday, September 25, 2014



Clare Revell

 Turned upside down by misadventure. Amy Childs is running late for a party, when she makes an illegal U turn, and hits a pedestrian—the brother of one of the most corrupt men in town. Now her brush with the law has her running for her life from those who want retribution.

Torn apart by tragedy. Detective Sgt Dane Philips lost his wife two years ago to a serial killer. He’s juggled work and his two daughters ever since, but can no longer cope. A live in nanny seems the solution. He knows he shouldn’t hire someone without references, but he needs a nanny and Amy needs a job. Perhaps it’s an answer to prayer.

But for all of them, the nightmare is only beginning as the events take a sinister turn. And only a miracle can save them all from destruction.

tag: Three lives torn apart by tragedy and one more turned upside down by misadventure, only a miracle can save them all from total destruction.


 She got out of the car. Her legs buckled, not wanting to hold her up. She glanced to her right. The guy in the blue shirt lay on the pavement, surrounded by police and paramedics. A huge crowd of onlookers stood everywhere. “Is…is he dead?”

“No. What’s your name?”


“Amy what?”

“Amy Childs.” She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the scene.

“Have you had anything to drink in the last hour?”

“No. I don’t drink.”

“Breathe into this until I say stop.”

She frowned. “I told you, I don’t drink.” But she did as the police officer asked. “Can I go now? I have somewhere I have to be.”

“Amy Childs,” the police officer spoke firmly, pulling her hands behind her back. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of dangerous driving.”

“What? It was only a U-turn…”

“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defense if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” Metal cuffs snapped around her wrists and firm hands put her into the back of the police car.

“But it was only a U-turn,” she repeated.

“U-turns are illegal,” the cop said sharply. “And you hit a pedestrian.” The door slammed shut. 

Amy looked at it. It had no handle on the inside. She swallowed hard against the rising nausea as the car started to move. What had she done? Tears burned her eyes.

The journey was short. The officers led her inside the custody suite to the desk. The place stank of sweat and sick. She gave her name and address and handed over all her belongings. The officer took her down to a cell and removed the cuffs. She had to take off her shoes and leave them in the corridor. The door slammed shut, leaving her alone.
Author Bio:
Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Honduran Plot
Horton Prather

Jake Grayson learns that his best friend, Ruben, recently disappeared in Honduras, leaving behind few clues. They had been there together on a mission trip three years before, and Jake vowed to never return—but he just can’t abandon his friend. Could he really accomplish anything by going back? Despite his apprehensions, Jake returns to Honduras, determined to solve the mystery that baffled the police. Forced into an alliance with Amelia Ramirez, a cynical agnostic, he is pulled into the perilous politics of a country on the verge of a socialist coup. When Jake hacks into the government’s computers, the situation escalates from cyberspace to real-world, armed conflict. Jake learns to trust in God, one step at a time, as he and Amelia confront the subversive forces led by the head of the Honduran secret police.

  1. Is The Honduran Plot your first novel?
It’s my first novel, but by the time I was ready to press the ‘publish’ button it felt like my second. I re-wrote the first draft, eliminating several chapters and adding others. Every scene was revised in some way making it a different, and better, story.   

2.  What is your favorite scene in this novel?
It’s a romantic scene near the end. Here’s a short excerpt:

  He came up behind her and savored the Jasmine scent he had come to associate with Amélia. “I didn’t mean it … didn’t think,” he said.

She remained staring into the silvery light, a fragrant statue. Jake reached out and touched her neck, warm, pulse pounding. She flinched at his touch, but made no other move. He placed both hands on her shoulders.

“I’m staying for you … for … us.”

She turned and he could see tears on her cheeks, glistening in the moonlight—diamonds on mocha. “Us?” she whispered. “Is there … can there be, us?”

Reaching toward her, Jake said, “I want there to be.”

Amélia let out a sound, something between a sigh and a sob. “I don’t see how, not now.”

  1. What are you working on now?
I’m about halfway through the first draft of Threat, which is a sequel to the first novel. I hope to have

it published late this year. It’s another suspense, but is more character driven, with a larger focus on

romance, faith, and social issues. A favorite new character is a little girl who was kidnapped by her

grandmother to prevent her from being abused.

  1. What is your favorite genre to read and to write?
Suspense and mysteries are my favorites, but I read a wide variety of things. Over the past few years, I’ve focused more on books with a Christian viewpoint.

  1. What authors have influenced your writing the most and why?
Suspense authors such as Grisham, Clancy, and Patterson probably influenced my writing style. Francine Rivers is another favorite, and inspired me to add a Christian message in my stories. Non-Fiction books on writing have helped, and I would list Randy Ingermanson and Donald Maass as major influences.

  1. Weaving spiritual elements seamlessly into a novel seems to be a gift. Have you mastered the technique and if so how?      
I don’t think I’ve mastered the technique, but I keep trying with characters who struggle in their faith. Some Christian authors inspire us with characters who are strong in their faith and lead others to salvation. While I want my stories to be inspiring, they should also raise questions. Struggling characters can encourage Christians coping with issues of faith—they can relate to doubt and weakness—and others who have a superficial faith may start to evaluate their beliefs. I also want to connect with non-Christians—to give them characters they can relate to, and perhaps open their minds without being preachy. For these target audiences, I hope the growth of characters in the story will lead readers to new-found or stronger faith.

  1. Tell us about yourself and how you decided to become a writer.
I’ve been an avid reader since my early teens and developed an appreciation for literature and poetry in college. I also had 20+ years of technical writing experience in my career. Thus, I decided fiction writing would be enjoyable in my retirement years. As an added benefit, it keeps my mind active and learning new skills. In addition to writing, I am gaining experience in cover design, formatting for print and e-books, and marketing.

  1. What is your favorite all-time novel?
I always have trouble picking favorites; even today, I don’t know what my favorite color is! (I usually just tell people, “plaid.”) When I was young, Atlas Shrugged made an impression on me. Several years ago, Francine Rivers books, particularly The Sin Eater, became inspirational favorites.

  1. What profession or job did you have before you became a writer?
I was an Electronics Design Engineer for spacecraft communications, and later held positions in engineering management, project engineering, and marketing in the space and defense industry. That’s why you will find a technical side to the story in my novels.

  1. Any advice for new unpublished authors?
Continue to improve your writing through adult education coursed, books on writing, and programs in writing clubs and conferences. Submit your work to critical review through critique partners, contests, or professional editors. Listen to the critiques, and don’t let your ego get in the way. No matter what your skill level, you can continue to improve—even Tiger Woods used golf coaches.