Archive for August, 2010

Today my guest is author Carie Lawyer, who writes under the name of Carie Lawson.

We’ll be discussing her writings and her exciting new release from Desert Breeze Publishing, “Beyond Summer”.
RA: Hi Carie, it’s nice to have you today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

CL: Thanks for having me, Regina. A little bit about myself…I’m a mother of four kids. So I drive the SUV to soccer games and gymnastics practices knowing that if I encounter a mountain, I can take it. I homeschool the kids–that keeps me busy and sometimes fragmented. My husband and I have lived in four states in the last fifteen years, but we’ve made our home outside Nashville. I love that you have to pass cows to get to the interstate.

RA: How long have you been writing? What’s the most rewarding aspect of it?

CL: I’ve been writing seven years. It’s easy to keep up with the time, because I started writing when I was very pregnant with my daughter, who turned seven this summer.
The most rewarding aspect is someone enjoying one of my books. The simplest compliment leaves me glowing for days.

RA: You have a new release. For those who haven’t read the book yet, would you tell us a little about it?

CL: Beyond Summer is about Zane McCord, who has good reason to mistrust beauty. When former pageant queen, Carly Peterson is forced on him as his summer nanny, he keeps waiting for her to act like the spoiled brat she must be. Just when he starts to believe in her, trust her, love her despite his best intentions, he finds out she’s a thief. Can he find a way to set aside his past and see Carly’s inner beauty again?

RA: What was the inspiration behind your book?

CL: Forgiveness. In this book, both Zane and Carly have to find ways not only to forgive each other, but themselves. Zane is impulsive and hotheaded. His life hasn’t been an easy one. He made mistakes that hurt people he loved. Carly took the easy way out. In order to forgive herself, she has to right old wrongs and learn to live with mistakes.

RA: That’s so interesting! Could you tell us what to expect in any other books you’ll be releasing?

CL: I’d love to. Beyond Ever After is Haven McCord’s story. It’s coming out March 2011. Haven married her high school sweetheart, even though her parents didn’t approve. For five years they’ve made each other miserable. When she announces she’s going to the Democratic Republic of Congo on a mission trip, Brody insists on going with her. Can a change of scenery change their hearts?

Beyond Baseball is Jude McCord’s story. He’s never met a woman he didn’t love. Except the girl who moves into the neighboring ranch…the land he’s spent a decade buying from her grandparents…the place he’s building his dreams on.

RA: Do you plot your stories in advance, or just start writing and see where the story goes?

CL: The idea is there. I know where the characters are going, but not all the twists and turns that take them there. That’s the fun part, imagining what could be.

RA: Do you belong to a writer’s group? Have you in the past?

I have a wonderful writer’s group, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Jen Stevens, the author of the Heart’s Journey Home, invited me before either of us were published. MTCW has been blessed with Kaye Dacus, who’s dedicated to helping all of us become better writers. It’s a very encouraging, supportive group.

RA: What role does the geographical location play in your storylines?

Beyond Africa and Beyond Ever After are very much driven by location. They are both set in the Democratic Republic of Congo which can be a very dangerous country and that element pushes the stories along.

In Beyond Summer, the West Texas ranch is a nice place for Carly to hide, when she’s running from some very big secrets.

RA: For plot development, have your methods changed since you began writing? How?

I’m still a seat of the panster. But trying to add conflict into every scene has been something I’ve learned along the way.

RA: How does writing a series differ from writing a stand-alone title to you?

The series gives more depth to the characters. In Beyond Summer there are a few clues to the relationship between Haven and Brody. It’s also nice to visit the characters again in the next book. I hope readers enjoy catching back up with the characters from the previous book–I know I do:)

RA: Outside of your writing life, is there something you would like to advocate through your writing?

I’m a big believer in family. It’s one of God’s greatest blessings. What’s so nice is that the romantic love I like to write about is the foundation for families.

RA: Who is your favorite author and why?

Oh, it’s so hard to pick. I have to tell you that I read constantly, but one of my favorite books I recently read was from Deanne Gist.

RA: Thank you so much for sharing with us, Carie. Good luck with your release and please come back again soon!

Here’s a buy link to Carie’s books:

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Our interview today with author Danielle Thorne is quite enlightening! Here’s a multi-faceted woman who combines her love of the sea with her writings…to great success. Her newest release, “By Heart and Compass” is now available from Desert Breeze Publishing.

RA:Hi Danielle, it’s nice to have you today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

DT:Hi Regina! Thanks for having me here today. I’m a Southern sweet romance author who enjoys working history and sea themes into my stories. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, and won my first award when I was a tween. I grew up with four crazy brothers and have four sons of my own. Having a family and my books makes me feel complete. As far any hobbies, I try to garden and cook, love to travel and scuba, and I am really into geocaching right now.

RA:How long have you been writing? What’s the most rewarding aspect of it?

DT:I’ve been a writer my whole life, but I started writing seriously with a goal of becoming published a little over twelve years ago. Three years ago, I took the leap into novels. For me, sharing my talents with other people and getting positive feedback is a way to feel like I have something valuable to offer to the world. Plus, it’s just something I love to do.

RA:You have a new release. For those who haven’t read the book yet, would you tell us a little about it?

DT:Sure! BY HEART AND COMPASS is about following your heart, even when you’re afraid and unsure of where it’s going to lead you. Here’s a little blurb:

When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?

RA:What was the inspiration behind your book?

DT:I published my first novel, THE PRIVATEER, after over twelve months of in-depth research. The Age of Sail is a fascinating time to me. These men were a courageous type that you don’t see often anymore. When I was finished, I knew I someday wanted to bring the past into the present. Since Blackbeard’s ship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge, was discovered off the coast of North Carolina, I have enjoyed following the excavation and research that is made available to the public online. These events inspired me to think about what it would be like to discover my own pirate ship. Of course as a teenager I was in love with the pirating adventure film, “Goonies,” so I’m sure there was some subliminal influence there as well.

RA:That’s so interesting! Could you tell us what to expect in any other books you’ll be releasing?

DT:This winter my first Regency romance will be released. I’m very excited to share my love of Jane Austen and that time period with readers. Of course, my hero is a naval sea captain. I can’t keep the sea out of my stories!

RA:Do you plot your stories in advance, or just start writing and see where the story goes?

DT:I always plot my stories after I get the first initial ideas. Laying down a plot map helps keep me on course, but I let the characters get from one point to another all on their own.

RA:Do you belong to a writer’s group? Have you in the past?

DT:Years ago I lived in Memphis, and I did belong to a mid-south writing group there. It was nice to meet up and share our work and try to provide some feedback. Since I work and promote more online than anywhere else these days, I have joined several writing groups and also author support organizations (EPIC, Classic Romance Revival, The Sweetest Romance Authors). They are great for making both friends and contacts.

RA:What role does the geographical location play in your storylines?

DT:With the exception of my upcoming Regency, all of my novels are set in the South or in the Caribbean. These are places I know and love, and something I can share with other people. For example, I set my short novel, Turtle Soup (Awe-struck, 2009) in Atlanta, Georgia. I wrote the novel during the time I moved to Georgia so it was great fun to explore the area and incorporate it into the work. Also, I happen to love West Indies history and cruising the Caribbean, so most of my other books are full of these experiences.

RA:For plot development, have your methods changed since you began writing? How?

DT:When I first started out, I didn’t know how to plot a novel. It was definitely by the seat of my pants. I knew what I wanted to happen, so I let the characters have full control. I’ve learned though, that by plotting and paying attention to the plot’s structure, I can save time and of course, write a more exciting adventure. One book that helped me a lot I always recommend is “Hooked” by Les Edgerton.

RA:Outside of your writing life, is there something you would like to advocate through your writing?

DT:Besides writing sweet romances that are appropriate for all ages, I do try to tie in my deep love for our planet. Environmental romances are a new idea, but if that is truly a genre, I’d like to think I’m a part of it. We are stewards of this beautiful world, and we need to take care of it. I feel very strongly about that.

RA:Who is your favorite author and why?

DT:Patrick O’Brian is my favorite author. Reading the Master and Commander series years ago, literally changed my life. Here I was, this mid-life suburban housewife craving adventure, and he took me into a world I had never known. New words. New history. Knowledge I had never been exposed to.
O’Brian is a master at characterization and he writes the prettiest purple prose (So that makes it okay!). He also is a brilliant educator of the Age of Sail and does it all through his whimsical storytelling. I recommend his books to everyone—any age and any interest. They will take you away.

RA:Thank you so much for sharing with us, Danielle. Good luck with your releases and please come back again soon!

DT:Thanks Regina! I appreciate you taking the time to have me over.


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Hi Everyone! Thanks for visiting. Today I'm delighted that author K.Dawn Byrd will be visiting with us and discussing her writings. She is the author of "Killing Time," just released by Desert Breeze Publishing.

RA: Hi K. Dawn, it’s nice to have you today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

KDB: I am an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Queen of Hearts, a WWII romantic suspense released on April 1 and was a bestseller for Desert Breeze Publishing during its debut month. Killing Time, a contemporary romantic suspense will release August 1, also with Desert Breeze Publishing.

I’m an avid blogger and give away several books per week on my blog at http://www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. My blog spots include not only information on the books, but also author interviews.

When not reading or writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 15 years while walking our dogs beside a gorgeous lake near our home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

RA: That’s sweet! My husband and I just celebrated our 13th anniversary. How long have you been writing? What’s the most rewarding aspect of it?

KDB: I’ve been writing for about three years. The most rewarding aspect to me is the friendships I’ve made along the way. I’ve made some fabulous internet friends and I appreciate them so much.

RA:You have a new release. For those who haven’t read the book yet, would you tell us a little about it?

KDB: My new release will be the second book I’ve had hit it the market this year, but actually the first book I wrote. It’s called Killing Time, which is a play on words due to the fact that my heroine is wrongly accused and incarcerated.

RA: What was the inspiration behind your book?

KDB:Not too many years ago, I worked as a counselor in a jail. I’ve always wanted to write a novel and after working at the jail, I thought that maybe I’d like to write a book set in one. I began jotting down notes pertaining to the environment (sights, sounds, odors), and before I knew it, characters had formed in my mind begging me to tell their story.

RA: That’s so interesting! In my upcoming release, “Light of the Heart,” the heroine volunteers in a prison. Could you tell us what to expect in any other books you’ll be releasing?

KDB:I have three more novels finished, but am unsure of what I’ll publish next. Currently, I have one other book on the market, Queen of Hearts, which was released by Desert Breeze in April. It’s also a romantic suspense, but set during WWII. It’s had some fabulous reviews. You can check them out on Amazon.

RA: Do you plot your stories in advance, or just start writing and see where the story goes? Plotter or panster, I guess!

KDB:I am very much a plotter, so much so that I don’t even go to the grocery store without a list. (grin) I start with a pretty intensive plot and then begin to develop my characters from a character worksheet. Once I feel like I know as well as I know my friends, I began to write their story.

RA: Do you belong to a writer’s group? Have you in the past?

KDB: I’m proud to be a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and am looking forward to attending their annual conference for the first time this year.

RA: Oh, that ought to be fun! ACFW is such a nice group. Speaking of traveling, what role does the geographical location play in your storylines?

KDB: Queen of Hearts is set in New York in 1945. As the story evolves, my heroine leaves New York City and goes into hiding in an abandoned mental institution in the country. Killing Time could be set in any small town in the United States. My heroine is incarcerated in a regional jail and returns to small-town life upon release.

RA: For plot development, have your methods changed since you began writing? How?

KDB: My method of plotting has changed somewhat in that I rely more heavily on character development and less so on story boards. The thing that I find amazing is that sometimes my characters take me in a different direction than I’d initially headed. I love it when that happens.

RA: I know what you mean! Outside of your writing life, is there something you would like to advocate through your writing?

KDB: I write inspirational fiction and even though my novels are not preachy, there’s always at least one character who is a Christian. For example, in Killing Time, Mindy McLaurin is a very strong Christian. When she is falsely accused and incarcerated, she must rely on her faith in God to see her through.

RA: Who is your favorite author and why?

KDB: Gosh…I love James Patterson’s romance. Sundays at Tiffany’s, Sam’s Letters to Jennifer, and Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas are among my favorites. Also, anything by Michelle Sutton, especially Danger at the Door.

RA: That’s fascinating. I wish we could talk all day. Thank you so much for sharing with us and for visiting today, K Dawn. Good luck with your releases and please come back again soon!

Trailer link is:


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I just want to thank Regina for having me today and for starting off my blog tour for my children’s book, “The Giving Meadow.”

REGINA: Hi, Stephanie, it’s so nice to have you today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

STEPH: I was born in Manchester, NH but live in Castaic, California with my husband, Brent, and two sons, Andrew and Joseph. I have fond memories of Manchester, but have made California my home. I earned a BS in political science from California Baptist University in 1995.

I have been writing since I was 5, first making homemade comic books. Now, I work on creating short stories and novels. I spent 11 years in the US Army and over 7 years in Germany. Writing is a passion that still challenges me. The Giving Meadow is my first book with 4RV Publishing.

REGINA: “The Giving Meadow” is a children’s book. Is this your first children’s book? Why?

STEPH: Yes, it’s my first children’s book. I kind of lucked into it. I help to teach Sunday Preschool at my church, Blessed Kateri Catholic Church. Since I’m a writer, I wrote the Easter play for our preschool program “The Giving Meadow” in 2009. The kids loved it. I showed it to Vivian (Gilbert Zabel, publisher, 4RV Publishing) for her feedback and she offered to published it. It was a nice, unexpected surprise.

REGINA: What was the inspiration behind his book?

STEPH: I always write the Easter play for the preschool program. My other 3 year old teachers, Shirley and Maureen, helped to give me input. We wanted to use nature as our backdrop. Also the change a caterpillar goes through into a butterfly is a wonderful way for children to understand the mysteries of Easter.

REGINA: I’m not sure people would be able to see how a “fur and fangs” author like yourself would have the range to do a piece like this one. Could you address that for us? Did anyone else talk to you about that?

STEPH: No one else talked to me about it. I write everything. I wrote Destination: Berlin as a “sweet” military romance, but I didn’t want to be limited by any romantic sub-genre. After Berlin, I decided to cut my teeth writing short stories and exploring other romantic sub-genres. It’s been very rewarding. I’m very comfortable writing horror, fantasy, thriller/suspense, romance, mainstream, and children’s writing. My mainstream/literary short story, “Spontaneous Decision” won 8th place in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition.

REGINA: What did your sons say when you read them this fun and fabulous work?

STEPH: Andrew was impressed I mentioned him in the dedication, but he’s 8 and he was like “That’s nice, Mom.” Joseph liked it and wanted me to read it again.

REGINA: How long did it take you to write “The Giving Meadow?” Then re-write it?

STEPH: Well, when I showed Vivian Zabel it was in script form. She asked me to re-write it in a manuscript form. It took a day. Surprisingly, there was no other edit. It took maybe a week to write after Shirley, Maureen, and I fleshed it out.

REGINA: And how about publishing this piece? What time frame did that take?

STEPH: I signed the contract back in May 2009. In August 2009, I picked the illustrator. I’m not too sure how storyboarding the book goes and then the design of it, but I’m sure that took time. It was published in June 2010.

REGINA: Please share 3 things we would never imagine about you that you really enjoy.

STEPH: Well, I got married in Denmark in 1991. I like to play racquetball, but I don’t have a racquetball partner to play with. And I have an extensive comic book collection of X-Men, Teen Titans, and Legion of Superheroes.

REGINA: Now it’s time – what are we to expect in any other children’s books you’ll be releasing.

STEPH: I submitted this year’s Easter play, “The Accidental Garden” to 4RV back in June and I’m waiting to hear back from them. I have an 11-14 year old/(Tween) Young Adult story due out from 4RV Publishing early next year. It’s called “The First Flag of New Hampshire.” High school Juniors Alyssa Rydell and Miguel De Soto have to solve the mystery of the first flag of New Hampshire as a school project.

REGINA: Outside of writing, is there something you would like to advocate through your writing?

STEPH: Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Hemophilia, and I support our military along with law enforcement.

REGINA: What are you doing this summer?

STEPH: Blog tours! LOL!! I just finished up a blog tour for my book, “Destination: Berlin.” This month I’m touring for “The Giving Meadow.” I’m also working on a novel called “Victorian Scoundrel.” It’s a Steampunk. Modern royals, Edmund and Alice Windsor, travel back to 1851 England. Edmund is a mischief maker and is up to no good. It’s up to Alice to sabotage him. They meet their great grandparents (4x)Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and fall in love with the mostly unlikely people. There’s a lot of coal dust in this one. –grin-

REGINA: Thank you so much for sharing with us, Stephanie. Good luck with your releases and please come back soon.

STEPH: Thank you for having me, Regina. Hope the summer is treating you well up in Providence, RI.


The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who hatches from his egg in the middle of a meadow. As he travels through the meadow, he meets new friends who learn the value of sharing.

“The Giving Meadow” is wonderfully illustrated by Stephen Macquignon. Stephen primarily works in the medium of pen and ink and color digitally. He has had the privilege to work with Director Michael Sporn of Michael Sporn Animation Inc. He is also a monthly contributor for Stories for Children’s magazine.

Stephen’s children’s books with 4RV Publishing include Angeline Jellybean by Crystalee Calderwood and Colors by Dana Warren.

GOODIE TIME: Leave a post here on the blog. I’ll pick two lucky winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. I’ll also be giving out an autographed copy of the book to kick off the tour. Winners will be drawn out of a hat, and I’ll return on 3 AUG to announce them.

























Romance Under the Moonlight

THE HUNGARIAN – MAY 2010 Desert Breeze Publishing

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