Today has been a busy one and it’s barely past breakfast! Here is a link to an interview I did with Anaiah Press. Click it and see if you learn anything about me and my writing you didn’t already know.
Today has been a busy one and it’s barely past breakfast! Here is a link to an interview I did with Anaiah Press. Click it and see if you learn anything about me and my writing you didn’t already know.
About the book:
Mary Miller never thought much about destiny until God’s Archangel and Messenger, Gabriel, appears. Gabriel reveals she is destined to vanquish Darkness by spreading the Light and she has a revelation: she is the key.
Her first assignment is to restore the soul of a homeless man known only as the Walking Man. She’s thrust face to face with evil all the while losing her heart to her new love, Joe Deacons. Can she win the battle the Lord placed her in without losing all she loves?
My conversation with N.N.Light, otherwise known as Mrs N:
Mrs N, I have learned a lot about you through our on-line friendship, but I’m a curious person. As Paul Harvey used to say, I want to know the rest of the story.
I know you and Mr N observed your tenth wedding anniversary this summer. How did you celebrate?
Yes we did and to celebrate we went on a summer vacation. We hadn’t been away on vacation in over three years. We visited a lovely town and took the train. It was so nice to get away from the busyness of life and just unplug. We ate delicious food and met some nice people.
You’ve said you like Pink Floyd, that Love Actually is your favorite movie, and that you like to watch television. What is your favorite TV show?
Right now, we are watching as much college football and all things NFL. It’s our favorite time of the year! Other than that, we love Big Bang Theory, Antiques Roadshow, Columbo and Corner Gas.
You describe yourself as an imaginative baker who loves to try new recipes including bread, cookies, cakes and pastries. What has been your greatest success, and what was your biggest failure?
My journey to becoming an imaginative baker has been a rocky one. My greatest success would have to be my homemade fudge. It’s a humorous story, if you have a moment. When I first married MR N, I wasn’t much of a baker. Sure, I could make brownies or cookies but those were usually from a box. Once I married a chef (or my own personal Emeril), I was inspired to try new things.
MR N told me he loved fudge and I went to work to try to make it for him. I found a recipe online and followed the directions to the letter. Something went wrong and it didn’t harden up. I was crestfallen but MR N told me, “It’ll be perfect chocolate sauce for ice cream.”
I was determined and for the next five years tried to make creamy chocolate fudge. One year for Christmas, I decided to try it again. I had become a better baker and knew more about the chemistry behind candy-making. I made it, crossed my fingers and voila I made fudge! It was, and continues to be, my greatest baking achievement.
My biggest failure has to be the time I tried to make No Knead Bread. I read about it in the New York Times and I thought that recipe was right up my alley. Kneading is hard work and sometimes my arms are too sore to make bread. So I followed the recipe to the letter and it was a complete disaster! It looked nothing like the picture and tasted like soggy chalk. MR N was the tester and he tried to stay positive. I tasted it and it was disgusting! I threw it out and never tried it again.
Lesson learned, if you want bread you have to knead it!
As an avid NFL fan, which team is your favorite?
I am a devoted fan of the Minnesota Vikings. I grew up in Minnesota and I bleed purple and gold. I am also a big fantasy football fan so I have player favorites from various teams. We have the NFL Ticket so we get a chance to watch all the games on Sunday.
Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I have several but one of my favorites is Ernest Hemingway. I was exposed to him when I was fifteen years old. I read Farewell to Arms and I was instantly hooked. He was a great writer and he wrote what he wanted. He didn’t care what anyone else thought. I love the way he grabs ahold of the reader and doesn’t let go until the final page. A true inspiration to me as a writer.
What is your all-time favorite book, and why?
Geez Linda, you really ask the tough questions. Just kidding, as a writer, I have many favorite books. I think my go-to book when I am in need of a getaway has got to be The DaVinci Code. I love mysteries and it is fun to imagine the possibilities Dan Brown creates. Death, ancient sects, art, a puzzle to solve and all before they police catch up to them. Time well spent in my opinion.
I can’t wait to read Princess of the Light. Based on the blurb, it sounds as if Mary has to choose between love, even though that love may be somewhat questionable, and her sense of duty. If you had to face a choice between Mr N and what you felt you had been called to do, how would you deal with the situation?
Wow, talk about a hard question. Truth be told, I am sure God would never have me choose between my destiny and MR N. MR N and I work best together spreading the Light. However, if I had to choose, I would choose MR N. He is my soul mate, the love of my life and I love him deeply. Together, he and I would figure out a way to do what I have been called to do. It’s a tough call but in the end, I would choose love. You’ll have to read my book to see what Mary chooses.
What is ahead for you as a writer?
Being an independent author, I am working hard on marketing my book. It’s a full-time job telling people about spreading the Light. But I am up for it because I truly feel that my book can change people’s lives.
I am currently writing book two and outlining three more in the series. I am also writing daily on my blog.
I have one last question. When David and I come for dinner, what will be on the menu?
I asked MR N about that and he said he would love to make you a five star gourmet meal. Whatever you and David would like, he will create. I, of course, will be making a delightful dessert for us.
Mrs N, thanks for spending a little time with me today. Best of luck with Princess of the Light and with your continuing writing career. I look forward to that gourmet meal when we can make it from Texas up to Canada.
I just wanted to thank Linda for graciously having me on her blog today. If you feel led, please go and pick up Princess of the Light. It is available at many retailers around the world. Part of the proceeds goes directly to food banks. Together, we can spread the Light and end hunger!
Princess of the Light is now available here:
About the author:
N. Light was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband MR N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking. Most of the time you can find her on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest.
Part of the proceeds of Princess of the Light will go directly to food banks in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 6,122 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.
I’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:
Today I’m sharing an interview with Christian Piatt, author of postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care?, a new book which is described by Jericho Books as exposing the Church’s biggest “scandals” and “virtues” with bold new vision for Christianity’s future in a “post-Christian” World. Before we get to the questions and answers, let me share more of what the publisher says about the book. (more…)
Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at http://www.emilyungar.com.
You can also find her on:
I moved around a lot during my childhood–all across the country, in fact. My constantly mobile childhood shaped who I am as an adult. I used to think that was bad–but now I know it’s actually a good thing. Not only did it broaden my experiences as a child, but it helped shape who I am as a writer.
My favorite middle grade writer is Louis Sachar (author of HOLES and the Wayside School series). He writes with such a wonderful wit and respect for this age group. HOLES is one of those books that you can reread year after year and you still marvel at how the story is pieced together.
I also love to read women’s fiction. One of my favorite writers is Daphne du Maurier, the author of REBECCA (which was also an Alfred Hitchcock film). Her writing is beautiful without ever being flowery, and she is a master at creating psychological suspense.
Louis Sachar is definitely an inspiration to me, especially when writing more humorous middle grade fiction. I also love the Babysitters Club books from the 1980s and 90s.
Jessica Schmeidler (my editor) and I started chatting after she read a blog post I had written about a Twitter pitch contest I had entered. I ended up querying her with a different project that I hoped might be a good fit for the Adventures imprint. Jessica ended up requesting a full manuscript (which made me so excited!) and later on that month offered me a publishing contract for the book. I was so excited! I knew based on Jessica’s enthusiasm for the project that Anaiah Press was the right home for my book. A writer dreams of that editor who really connects with their work, and I feel so blessed to have found that with Jessica and with Anaiah Press.
Here’s the funny part: I’m a professional copyeditor. I edit nonfiction projects during the day as part of my job. I knew there would be a few things that needed to be fixed. I was shocked when I received my first round of edits and saw how thorough Jessica had been with editing! The suggestions were terrific, and I learned more about style and grammar in that one round of editing than I had in many of my college classes! After we got through that one big editing round, the following rounds were a bit smoother and quicker.
Don’t ever give up. Ever! Let me repeat that: don’t ever give up! There is a saying out there that the successful writers are the writers who just never gave up. And it’s true. Querying your writing out to editors and agents is in itself a natural-selection process for which writers are truly the most dedicated to their craft and the road to publication. While it’s okay to work on different projects and even set some aside for a time, it’s never okay to give up writing entirely. Find a mentor to coach you through those tough times when rejection letters get you down, but keep on walking down the road. Just improve a little bit with each setback. Learn something every time to give you a bigger edge the next time.
I think Savannah has quite a few tales left to tell. She’s definitely found her place at her new school, but next year Savannah will be moving with her classmates to a new middle school. Anything is possible. And bless her heart, Savannah can’t keep herself out of trouble for long.
About the book:
On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.
Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.
All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?
Rafflecopter Giveaway: CLICK HERE to enter to win an autographed Liberty Belle poster or a Liberty Belle folder.
About the book:
After Marianne discovers her bankrupt stepfather sold her into marriage to the highest bidder, she flees Philadelphia and heads west to start a new life.
Unfortunately for her danger follows. First, a stage coach accident leaves her stranded in the middle of nowhere – with an injured driver. And henchmen, hired by her spurned would-be husband, are hot on her trail, threatening to return her to Philadelphia and the man who is determined to own her.
Just when things seem hopeless, Marianne is rescued by a handsome, cowboy who offers temporary refuge. Knowing she can’t refuse, yet wary of his intentions, Marianne finds herself drawn to this quiet, enigmatic hero. But is he someone she can trust?
My review: Runaway by Renee Donne Is a Sweet, Western Romance
Romance is not my normal genre when it comes to choosing a book to read. Most of the women I read about carry a gun or can bring down an opponent twice their size with a quick kick to the temple. Runaway, however, was a nice change of pace for a lazy summer afternoon.
Renee Donne has written an engaging tale about an interesting cast of characters. You’ll care about some of them, and you’ll detest others, wishing you had the skill to deliver a blow to the head like one of the heroines on my typical reading list. Marianne, Donne’s main character, is not physically brave or aggressive, but she has the inner strength to survive betrayal, danger, and a life that has been turned upside down through no fault of her own. An underlying theme of faith adds another dimension to this sweet, western romance.
The next time you plan to spend some time in a lounge chair by the pool or on a blanket under a beach umbrella, pack your ereader along with your sunscreen. Renee Donne’s Runaway is a nice way to relax before hectic fall schedules call us back into the real world.
I received an advanced reader copy of Runaway in exchange for an honest review.
Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she’s a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she’s a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.
If you could tell your readers only one thing about yourself, what would you want them to know?
I am really quite shy, and feel that the characters in my stories lead more interesting lives.
Your author bio says you are a world traveler in your head. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Ireland. My grandparents were from Ireland, and I have always romanticised about going there.
Your bio also says you are an amateur chef. If you were planning the perfect dinner party, who would be on the guest list, and what would be on the menu?
I would invite my closest friends and family; and I would have it catered. Seriously, though, I am rather shy and not into impressing people. I cook for my tastes and hope that my guests enjoy what I prepare. I love trying new dishes and when eating out, I can usually pick out the flavors of a tasty new dish and recreate it at home. Holiday meals are always at my house, and those are the meals I enjoy preparing and sharing the most. So, in answer to your question, the perfect dinner party would be with family and friends, and the menu would be whatever new dish I have been wanting to make.
How did you develop Marianne, your main character? Is she based on a person or several people you know in real life, or is she completely a product of your imagination?
Marianne is pure fiction. In some ways my reactions would be similar in some of the situations she found herself in, but she is not based on anyone that I know.
In your author interview with Anaiah Press, you mentioned that one author who has inspired you is Frank Perretti. What do you find inspiring about him and/or his writing?
When I read This Present Darkness and the sequel, Piercing the Darkness, it opened my eyes to the spiritual battles we face on a daily basis. Peretti draws you into the story in such a way that makes it very real; once I start reading one of his books, it is very difficult to put it down.
What would you say to inspire other up-and-coming writers?
Everyone has a story to tell. Don’t give up on yours. Each rejection should only inspire you to improve your story. Perseverance reaps rewards.
When your readers finish the last page of Runaway, what do you want them to be thinking and/or feeling?
Sometimes I like to read what I call a “light” story, nothing too deep, but that allows one to relax and “escape” into a good story. I hope the reader is able to do this with Runaway. I wrote it to be an inspiring love story that shows how, with God’s help, people can overcome adversity and find love.
What’s next on your horizon as a writer?
I have a YA urban fantasy that is scheduled to be released through Anaiah this fall. I am also working on a romantic suspense.
Runaway is available from the following distributors:
Thomas Wolf said “You can’t go home again”–but thanks to modern electronics, a newly published author can still be interviewed by her hometown newspaper. I graduated from Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas in 1965 and moved away in 1967. Although I’ve been back for many visits, I haven’t been a Mesquite resident since then.
Last week, Kenny Green, Community Editor for the Mesquite News, contacted the marketing department at Anaiah Press to set up a telephone interview with me. Kenny and I talked for about twenty minutes, and here’s some of what he wrote:
Mesquite graduate publishes first book
Local author chronicles unique journey across U.S.
firstname.lastname@example.orgCaring for others as they get older tends to be a challenge for family members. For Mesquite High School graduate Linda Brendle, the challenge became the launching point for her first book, “A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos.”“The book itself is basically the story of a seven-week, 16-state trip [me and my husband] took in 2009,” Brendle said. “My mom and dad were suffering from dementia, so they came along with us”
Winter in the Soul, Jennifer Novotney’s debut novel, is a young adult fantasy released by Anaiah Press on July 15. I had the privilege of chatting with Jennifer about her writing and her life, and today I’m sharing our conversation with you. Be sure to read my review of her novel following the interview.
Tell my readers a little bit about who Jennifer Novotney is. I’ve been teaching English and writing for over ten years. I’m originally from Los Angeles, California, but moved to the east coast five years ago with my husband and daughter. My first publication was a poem when I was seventeen years old. I loved poetry in high school and college and always thought I’d be a poet. A few years ago, when I was teaching at Pennsylvania State University, I started writing fiction. I had my first short story publication in 2011 and never looked back. Winter in the Soul is my debut novel and I couldn’t be happier.
What’s the hardest thing about being a writer? I think one of the hardest things about being a writer is the wait time. The publication process is a slow one and sometimes, it can feel impossible to wait for a response from editors and agents. From the time a writer signs a contract to the time the book actually comes out can feel like an eternity. The writing is the easiest part about it. The wait time can be the toughest.
You said in your author interview that you wanted to inspire your readers in the way that Paulo Coelho inspired his. What would you like your readers to be inspired to do? I would like my readers to be inspired to follow their dreams, to live a meaningful life, and to never underestimate the power of a well-planned goal. To read about characters who persevere, no matter how difficult the obstacles, can be truly inspiring. I love those type of characters and I strove to create this world in Winter in the Soul.
Now that Lilika is fully developed, is she like you, like someone in your life, or is she completely different from anyone you know? Lilika is an innocent, pure soul. I’d love to say that she is like me, but I’ve had way too many life experiences for that to be true. I think I am similar to Lilika in her determination and her intense curiosity. Those are things I’m glad I’ve never lost. Lilika reminds me very much of some of my students. She is tenacious, brave, and curious. Those are traits I see in my students every day.
In your author interview, you also said that Lilika had to move past her comfort zone and that she gained by doing so. How have you moved past your comfort zone in your writing, and what, if anything, have you gained? I always thought of myself as a good writer. All my life I’ve been told that I was one. While that may have been true for academic writing, I still had work to do with my fiction writing. It’s been an interesting experience for me to work on my own writing and it definitely offers a perspective shift since I’m usually the one teaching. I have a better appreciation for my students and how flexible they are with improving their writing. That is the most valuable aspect of improving my writing that I’ve gained. I think I’m a better teacher for it.
Lilika is drawn to Winter in the Soul, that unknown, forbidden place that arouses her curiosity. Is there such a place in your life or in your writing? There is always that element of excitement to go to a place, whether literal or figurative, that is forbidden. It does arouse one’s curiosity! I think for Lilika, Winter in the Soul is intriguing because she knows her parents originated from there, but she’s not allowed to visit. I like to live beyond boundaries. If something is off limits for me, that only makes me more curious about it. Sometimes this is dangerous, but often times, it leads to growth in my life. I’m never afraid to go that extra mile to explore various facets in life and in my writing.
When you’re not reading or teaching, what do you do for fun? I love spending time with my family. I’m off for the summer with my six year old daughter and we go swimming almost every day. This is time that I treasure and I’m so happy to share these days with her. My husband and I love watching movies together. He’s a filmmaker, so we watch movies in every category you could imagine.
What’s the number one thing on your bucket list? Wow, this is one thing I haven’t thought of much because I have the type of personality where if I want to do something, I just do it. 🙂 One thing I’d love to do with my family is travel to Europe. That’s probably the one thing my husband and I talk about the most.
What’s the next step for you in your writing career? The sequel to Winter in the Soul is in the works. I’ve also just completed another young adult book.
My Review: An Entertaining Tale of Good versus Evil
Jennifer Novotney does a masterful job of describing the world she created in her debut novel, Winter In the Soul. Her rich descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of Spring Bloom, Summer Harvest, and Winter In the Soul give her readers a sense of being part of the story rather than simply observing it. “The sky was restless. Black and gray clouds moved at a moderate pace, exposing the dark sky and a few bright stars desperate to shine.”
This young adult fantasy takes us on a journey of discovery with Lilika as she first finds a mysterious golden locket; then, the world outside her home town of Spring Bloom; next, an engaging young man named Talon; and ultimately, her destiny. We feel her growing anxiety as she sits on the road alone, guarding the cart that carries to market both the harvest and the hopes of her friends and neighbors. When she hears the approach of someone in the surrounding darkness followed by a friendly voice, we feel her initial shock, and then we feel her relief. Throughout the story, Novotney offers a full range of experiences, from excitement to terror, from new friendship to new love, from doubt to determination.
Winter In the Soul presents an entertaining tale of good versus evil that leaves just enough questions to make us wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the sequel. I look forward to watching Jennifer Novotney’s progress as a writer and to reading what happens next to Lilika and Talon.
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