Archive for September, 2015

Please give a big welcome to BONNIE CALHOUN.




rem: Thank you, Bonnie for being on my blog this week.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

BONNIE: I was raised in the coal mining area town of Scranton, Pa where the majority of work was at the Army Depot, the textile mills or the clothing factories. I left that area when I was 27 and came sixty miles north to the Binghamton, New York area. Now I live in a log home in the country with 15 acres, an apple orchard that feeds the local deer, and a pond full of bass, but I only eat haddock from the grocery store. I share my domain with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom think I’m the wait-staff.
rem: I’d love to have 15 acres, especially with apples! Tell us three things about yourself.

BONNIE: I am an extrovert and never tire of crowds. I’ve sewed since I was like 5 years old and sold doll clothes in my backyard on weekends when I was 7. I went to the real Woodstock and lost a sandal in the mud because it was let it go or get run over by a really big tractor.

rem: My Granny was a seamstress also, and I learned to sew when I was young although not at five! Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

BONNIE: That’s easy because even if I love a novel I don’t usually read them again. The book would be the Bible. I’ve read it through five times and I began the bible study at church in 1996 and literally have read every word of the Bible, out loud in the church.

rem: If you’re gonna read anything more than once, the Bible’s the one to read! Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

BONNIE: Sorry…don’t have one…never had one as a child either.

rem: If you could chose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

BONNIE: Well, it’s not a book…it’s a movie. If I have to have someone cool to be it would be Laura Croft from Tomb Raider, because of how she handles herself, and her abilities.

rem: Movies count, and good qualities to aspire to! What do you most value in a friend?

BONNIE: Honesty

rem: Me too! Without honesty, all else is rather pale and worthless. What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

BONNIE: Multi-tasking

rem: What do you do as a hobby?

BONNIE: Write HTML code. LOL…seriously! That’s the most relaxing thing in the world to me!

rem: Whatever floats your boat! LOL Me, I don’t even understand it… What would you do if you weren’t writing?

BONNIE: Read more…and really retire.
rem: Reading is good. Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?

BONNIE: I have one dog that is 18 years old, and I have two female black cats that are two and a half years old…and they pretty much dote on the dog. He’s the alpha pack leader. I prefer both…and at the same time. They give different kinds of love.

rem: Yes, they do. I’ve five cats, and my daughter had a dog when she lived with me. Bonnie, I was so sorry to see your dog had died. You have my sympathy. Losing a pet after 18 years is, well, it’s losing a member of the family.


What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

BONNIE: I have no real routine other than I’m a night writer. I stay up till about 5am each morning writing, and just never seem to get much done during the day. I’m either at my desk in my office or on the couch in the living room.


rem: Something about those quiet night hours, eh? Tell us a little about your writing journey.

BONNIE: Not a lot to tell. I started writing a Stephanie Plum type character named Sloane Templeton, but became re-enamoured with the dystopian fiction of my youth, and featured it as a YA series. I like YA, and when I return to my Sloane Templeton character she is going to get a YA sidekick. On the writing side, I got my agent at the second writers conference I ever went to, and from there I’ve had three contracts in a row.


rem: Congrats on the contracts! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

BONNIE: Sorry but no writer’s angst here. I’ve never struggled with anything about writing. I’ve got more ideas in my head than I will ever need in two lifetimes, and I spend copious amounts of time reading and studying the craft.


rem: I, too, have stories bumping into each other in my head! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

BONNIE: Both because creating and editing require different parts of the brain. So this way my head doesn’t get lopsided from only exercising one side of it.


rem: Never thought of it that way – I enjoy both also; now I know why! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

BONNIE: Get a good thesaurus. Invest in good books on the craft of writing. Keep writing.

Three things not to do…quit writing. Let someone talk you out of writing. Don’t avoid learning the craft because you think you know it all.

rem: Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

BONNIE: Just watching people, especially at the airport. And Walmart! The characters I get outta Walmart…Oy Vey!

rem: Oy Vey indeed! Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

BONNIE: No, I like each one for different reasons, so they don’t compare to one another.

rem: Makes sense; like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. Tell us a little about your latest book?

BONNIE: My book is Lightning. In this second book of the Stone Braide Chronicles, Selah has found her real father and life for should have feel settled. But the horrors have just begun. In her broken world of toxic earth and tribal clashes, Selah must battle the forces of nature alongside those in the Mountain who are calling for her blood. Haunted by the pain of mounting losses, she forges on, seeking her lost family and uncovering new mysteries. But the ultimate betrayal of her own body may soon make her quest impossible as it becomes apparent that what has made her new could also drive her to a life of madness. There is also a FREE digital short story that should be read before this, and it is called Aftershock. It is the story between Thunder and Lightning.


bonnie book images


rem: What is your current project?

BONNIE: My current project(s) are the 3rd short story and the 3rd book in the series, titled Storm. After starting the transition into a novarium, Selah has less than nine months to connect with the Third Protocol or this change that is presently supercharging her strength and numerous abilities will begin to attack her physically and she will go mad. But there are those that would stop her from making contact because when she does, all Landers will be changed…and no one knows what that will mean.

rem: I’ve read the first prequel and I’m intrigued. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

BONNIE: That God is sovereign. When we think we know how He will accomplish something, He loves to surprise us.

rem: Oh yes, He can surely surprise us sometimes! And absolutely sovereign. How did you go from seamstress to author to marketing?

BONNIE: I have always been a seamstress. My mother was a master pattern maker, so I could sew before I started school. Then I decided to write, and while I was learning the craft I started marketing to build my own platform for when I was ready to have books of my own.

rem: I need some serious marketing coaching… oy. You are involved in multiple aspects of the writing industry: Director of the CFBA, Owner/Publisher of CFOM, Director for the Northeast Zone for the American Christian Fiction Writers, an author member of International Thriller Writers, web specialist for NovelRocket.com, and webmaster and marketing analysis assistant for agent Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency, and the webmaster for Hartline Literary. (I’m out of breath typing all that!) How do you balance each separate duty?

BONNIE: Well that would be very tiring if they all occurred at the same time, when thankfully they don’t! Some of them are months or years between activities. And some used to require more time but now require a lot less. LOL…and who knows. I may soon start retiring myself J

rem: Do writers ever really retire? wink wink What is your reaction to Terry Burns’ recently announced retirement?

BONNIE: Happiness and sadness. Happiness because I know how it feels to finally say “I really retire.” It can be very freeing. Sad because Terry has been a great friend, an awesome mentor, and a good agent. Every book project I have proposed to him has been published by either Abingdon Press or Revell. Thankfully our friendship has a lot more years left on it, so I will still be in contact with him regularly.
rem: Thanks for joining us today, Bonnie. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!











#bonniecalhoun, #authorinterview, #tremors, #thunder, #aftershock, #lightning, #storm

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Please give a big welcome to RUTHIE MADISON.



rem: Thank you, Ruthie for being on my blog this week. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

RUTHIE: I was raised mostly in Hanford California which is where I live now. I lived in Hanford since I was five.
rem: Tell us three things about yourself.


  1. I’m a Christian
  2. I’m sensitive
  3. I’m an introvert

rem: I think the sensitive and introvert are not uncommon in writers and artists. What is your most treasured possession?

RUTHIE: My Faith,
rem: What is your greatest fear?

RUTHIE: My greatest fear? Hmm I would say is—you know I don’t think I have any great fear although I still have some fear of heights, but it’s not to the point that I would panic or anything. I just deal with it.

rem: My guess is that’s tied in to your faith. What is your greatest regret?

RUTHIE: Are you ready for this one? Not going with my instincts about my previous publisher. I took one look at her and didn’t care for her looks yet because of my dear friend who told me about that publisher and she was going to work as one of her editors, I gave my rights to her. My other regret goes along with it: not making a copy of the signed contract for myself.


rem: Don’t we all dismiss our own instincts sometimes? What is your favourite quotation and why?

RUTHIE: What is done is done? I always say it because it’s the fact. There are some things you can’t undo.
rem: And so true. All we can do is move forward, and count our lesson learned. What do you most value in a friend?

RUTHIE: Their honesty
rem: Absolutely! What do you do as a hobby?

RUTHIE: Crochet
rem: I used to crochet… Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?

RUTHIE: I’m a cat person but I always wanted a Siberian Huskey.


rem: Another nugget we have in common! Both the cats and huskeys! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

RUTHIE: It’s been rough. I started out with a publishing company who also done me dirt. At that time, I didn’t know there were so many bestselling indie authors. I just saw them as a bunch of unknowns. It was until after I joined the Christian Indie Author groups where I found out that they were as prominent and successful as traditional publishing authors. In fact after my last experience, I think I will stay Indie for a long while until an agent or Christian publisher notices my books. (hehe) I used to believe writing was fun and easy, but authors have taught me it isn’t so: rewrites, edits after edits, proofreading and not to mention the cost having a great cover and editing. It was NOT something I would dream of. Solomon wrote that with much studying is wearisome to the flesh. It’s not to wear me out. I wish I could just write and not worry about whether or not the hook is good, whose head I am in and whether I’m showing or telling. In fact my stories are great but only if people like story tellers (Get it story tellers—teller of stories.). So yes, it is hard work. If I want my books to sell I have to go by those “rules”, Sigh


rem: Sometimes the rules are ironclad, sometimes not so much. That’s what editing is for, right? And when you find your voice, it’s on! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?


RUTHIE: Escaping from reality


rem: What is your Writing Routine?


RUTHIE: Try to spend an hour or two in the morning and afternoon, but not always easy.
rem: I think setting time for any creative endeavor is “not always easy.” Life seems to step on our creative toes! A LOT! What are your Top Writing Tips?



  • Join author groups
  • Read up on the craft. I recommend Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and Writing Active Hooks by Mary Buckham.’
  • Make sure you have a day job so you can afford to hire editors and proofreaders, etc.

rem: Good thoughts! Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

RUTHIE: Sometimes it comes to me or sometimes my own experiences inspire me.
rem: On your webpage, you said you write in Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy and Women’s fiction. Which is your favorite? And do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

RUTHIE: I need to change that. I thought Purify My Heart was Urban Fantasy but it’s more like spiritual warfare. Not sure what category that is. Maybe horror. I love Romantic Suspense. I love my first one because it’s my baby. It’s how I got my start in becoming an author. However, that book has come with a big learning experience and is not the best written one.

rem: There’s nothing like your first book, is there? Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

RUTHIE: Carmen DeSouza. She wrote “She Belongs to Me” and she is an indie as well and has sold lots of books. I have more of her books than any Indie author I know. She writes romantic suspense

rem: Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

RUTHIE: I have several in the making. I’m working on my YA Fantasy now that I got my rights back and rewriting Baby Blues. The Kalliwagans is about this family that is always on the move because these people from another dimension are pursuing them. They have come for one of their own- the MC mother Lily. Although you don’t get to meet them right away, you hear about them from the MC’s sister who dreams about them. Baby Blues wasn’t really supposed to be written. I only plan to make it one book and not have a few after it, but a promise is a promise. It’s about the MC’s desire to have a baby. She is infertile and therefore she’s unhappy. Not only that but she is unsatisfied with helping on the ranch. This is a battle that is in her. She struggles to let go of former ways (before marriage) and in the midst of her blues, her half-brother in law, escaped from prison and has Eric’s blood boil because he is a rapist. Eric prays that Drew won’t come after his wife. I won’t say much more about it. Formerly I had Julie on the birth control pill but some authors think my storyline around that is unrealistic.

rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

RUTHIE: That no matter your situation, there is hope.

rem: You’re so right, there is always hope. You also design covers. Where do you get your inspiration for that?

RUTHIE: I see other covers and want to the emulate them. I wish I was as good as Kirk Dupounce, but I don’t know any models to shoot a camera at. But there are two great ladies in my life who has really help me and they are Mary Campagna Findley and Samantha Fury. They inspire me. I started making covers for myself because I couldn’t always afford to have someone do it for me.

rem: How do you balance your time between designing covers and writing?

RUTHIE: I write on the weekdays and design covers on the weekends. But when I’m depressed or discouraged because of my struggles with my writing, I design to lift myself up.

rem: Art is excellent therapy to lift ourselves out of depression. Which is your favorite cover you’ve designed?

RUTHIE: For myself or others? For myself, you’ll just have to wait and see. For others, I would think it would be the cover I did for Melissa Wardwell (Finding Hope in Savannah) and Jessica Berg (A Place Called Home). But I like all my premades.

rem: Thanks for joining us today, Ruthie!


A cowboy is riding forward in the sunset with a rope above his head.

A cowboy is riding forward in the sunset with a rope above his head.







Order my books at:



#ruthiemadison, #authorinterview, #asecondchanceatlove, #thepasthunter, #babyblues

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Source: Know Your Players by Robin E. Mason

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Please give a big welcome to JENNIFER SLATTERY to my blog.




When you’re under attack, what’s your first response? To lash out? Self-protect, maybe retreat? Or do you see it as an opportunity to share the gospel?


I hate to admit it, but I’m often tempted to slip into self-protection mode. In fact, my thoughts can be so consumed with me, eternity might not even come to mind. And yet, what if those uncomfortable, even unfair, situations we all face are divine opportunities to share Christ’s love and grace?


It was 35 A.D*., and the church was feeling considerable strain. It’d only been about five years since Jesus’ horrific crucifixion, and though Christianity was expanding like dandelions during a windy summer, early church leaders were experiencing incredible persecution.


And out walks Stephen, a man who was initially selected to help distribute food to widows. Not stand on the front lines for Christ. At least, had I been him, that’s what I would’ve thought. But not Stephen. Stepping out in faith and the power of the Holy Spirit, he began performing “amazing miracles and signs among the people”. (Acts. 6:8)


This began to create quite a stir, and not in a good way. One day, a group of “religious” men initiated a debate with Stephen. Not a wise move on their part. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Stephen spoke with such wisdom, these men were left looking foolish.


Their response: to get even. Or at the very least, shut Stephen up.


“So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, ‘We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God” (Acts 6:11 NLT).


In the first century A.D., blasphemy was a capital offense. In other words, these men were drumming up support for the death penalty. Scripture says, “This roused the people, the elders, and teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council” (Acts. 6:12 NLT).


As Stephen, this man chosen to hand out food to widows, stood before this very powerful group of men, the high priest asked him point blank if the accusations against him were true. (Acts 7:1)


That was his out, right? If I’d been him, I would’ve been quick to jump to my own defense. I’m not a huge fan of death, especially death by stoning. I’m certainly not a fan of dying for something I didn’t do, and if given the chance to clear things up, well…


I really doubt I’d see it as an opportunity to share the gospel.


But that’s exactly what Stephen did. Without answering the charges against him, he launched directly into a long, detailed speech leading to one central truth: Jesus, the man those he was addressing had murdered, was the long promised Messiah.


Because regardless of what Stephen was doing, whether feeding poor and lonely widows or standing before a crowd of powerful men, his mind was centered on one thing: Christ and His eternal mission.


As I read this biblical account, one question niggled: Would I be able to do the same? Or would I be so focused on self, I’d fail to recognize the eternal opportunity God had provided?


I doubt I’ll ever face a life-threatening situation like Stephen did, but I face countless opportunities to share truth just the same. If only I’d learn, through prayer and consistent practice, to take my focus off of myself and place it firmly on Christ and the world He so dearly loves.


What about you? Can you share a time when, empowered by the Holy Spirit, you used a potentially dangerous or frightening encounter to share the gospel? What are some ways you have learned to become less self-focused and more eternity minded? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other!


*Using the dates provided in Tyndale Study Bible, page 2362


Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte





Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!


Buy it:

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/intertwined-a-contemporary-romance-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694439/pd/694430?event=ESRCN

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Intertwined-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694432/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intertwined-jennifer-slattery/1121268293?ean=9781596694439




#jenniferslattery, #guestpost, #intertwined

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The past is not silent. It does not leave us alone. We can run. But we cannot hide. The past always finds us.


Alexis Jergenson found this out. She left a high profile career for a low profile lifestyle. A college professor – teaching the law instead of practicing it. When Alexis is the victim – again – rather than the prosecutor, she flees.

Luke Stephens buries himself in his own college classroom, and with his horse on his small ranch. He doesn’t let women in; his past won’t let him. And it won’t let him forget.


Alexis and Luke’s pasts collide – literally, when she runs into him on her first day on campus. And when one of his students reveals that she is also a victim, he turns to Alexis and she cannot ignore the pain she knows the younger woman is experiencing. As they collaborate to help the student, their paths become more entangled, more secrets are uncovered, and they both are forced to face the past they thought they had left behind.


When Alexis encourages the student to prosecute her assailant, she puts her own life in danger. Will Alexis find that the God Luke trusts is enough? And will Luke walk back into battle to save the woman he loves? (excerpted from the back cover)


Ms. Rodante has addressed an extremely sensitive topic of rape and sexual abuse. Her characters fight their issues – their past – with realism, their angst surfacing in true-to-life moments. This story is not a Pollyanna view of the subject matter, but brings to life the very real threat of sexual crime.

I applaud Ms. Rodante for her bold approach to the subject, and for characters who were real to me. The story drew me in, and I found myself rooting for each of them in their separate, and joint, battles.




Born and raised in Florida, Linda loves the salt water, the sun and the swamp lands. She rescues turtles and injured birds and even has a thing for the snakes–not poisonous? Leave them alone!

Her blog at https://lindarodante.wordpress.com/ highlights human trafficking, sexuality in America, and her mother’s missionary trips to Israel and Indonesia.

Linda’s writing has won finalist and semifinalist awards with the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis and First Impressions Contests.

#lindarodante, #lookingforjustice, #humantrafficking

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