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Archive for February, 2012

S&S: Desert Breeze author Regina Andrews turned right on I-95 and landed in our neck of the woods.  Today we’re talking books and baseball.  Welcome, Regina. What prompted you to write Sterling Lakes Book #3, Praise of the Heart?

What a wonderful question.  This book has to do with dealing with the truth in life, whether it is by looking in the mirror, listening to the doctor’s report or finally allowing the love of God to shine in your heart. I wrote this book as part of the Sterling Lakes series. This one takes the series from the levels of the previous two books and turns it completely personal with the themes the characters have to address.

S&S: The hero, Cliff “Clean-up” Markham, plays for the Tampa Bay Stingrays. Do you have a favorite team?

Oh yes. Baltimore Orioles! Long story: RI girl, Red Sox fan forever. Remember going over the AL Standings with my father every night before it was AL East and West: Baltimore, Boston, Detroit…Baltimore, Detroit, Boston…Well, flash-forward to a broken-hearted world of Sox fans in’86 who never recovered (if you don’t know, just trust me!). Always loved the Orioles for their spirit and visited Baltimore lots as I grew up. Well, seems to me they always held pure and true! I love their spirit.

S&S:  Favorite line from the book?   ”Take a stand, find the truth and expose it, don’t run from it. That gives us all hope, Laura. You have done a wonderful thing today.”  (Great question, I am so happy that you asked this! ) [We didn’t pay her to say this!]

S&S: Congratulations! You have six more Sterling Lakes books contracted through July 2014 with Desert Breeze.  Are the books a progressive series featuring the same characters? What a joy the Sterling Lakes Series is! Yes, really for the most part. By that I mean the series is definitely a progressive series thematically, and that’s why this third book of the nine attempted to propel the story arc out a bit further – the series also has recurring characters from Sterling Lakes, as well as featuring a few choice newcomers. Most of all, I am writing these so that a reader can jump into the series any time and become acquainted with Sterling Lakes and the good folks associated with this wonderful town. Hopefully, then, they would be inspired to read another one. (Could I just add the neighboring town, Clark’s Falls, was inspired by Central Falls, RI, home of Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis )

S&S: Give us a Reader’s Digest version of a typical day for you.

Another great question! [Again, no pay, but lots of praise!] Up, to work at my day job as a copy manager at a national jewelry retailer, gym and home, write. Yikes!

S&S:  With six more books in the queue, when do you sleep? Describe your current writing space (dust bunnies and all); then give us your dream space.

My laptop holds a place of honor! It’s in a cozy corner by a sunny window on a spindly table.

My dream space? A octagonal-shaped library/study with sliding hidden doors, book shelves like Henry Higgins, a real desk (mahogany) with drawers and a printer, plus a leather love seat over in the corner overlooking the view out to the ocean and a wet bar with a mind-reading expresso-maker lol. Thanks for that fantasy moment!

S&S: Fantasy is a good thing, right? LOVED Henry Higgins’ library! Other than writing, what’s a fun thing you love to do? Love to sing, love to sun (lol) and love to mini-golf – not that I’m any good!

S&S: Hmmm, we love to sing, we love the sun, and we love to mini-golf (and we’re not that good).  You must be one of our “other” sisters!  Before you go, would you please give us a short excerpt?

With pleasure!  Excerpt from Chapter One:

As he viewed the scene in the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School picnic area, Cliff ‘Clean-Up’ Markham adjusted the brim of his baseball cap and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

You brought me back here to Sterling Lakes, Lord, safe and sound again after another year and for that I give You thanks.

He eyed the group of somber children sitting dutifully on the benches. Not all of them are as fortunate as I am. I’ll never forget the gifts You gave me, and I will always praise You for them. But, come on, we’ve got to liven this place up. They need spirit. Your spirit, Lord. Help me impart the joy of your spirit to them. Amen.

Bounding across the lush, green lawn on the long legs that had been his ticket to a career as a major league baseball outfielder, Cliff cried, “Play ball!”

Every head turned his way, and soon the lawn was a kaleidoscope of color and motion as the youngsters flew across the grass to him.

J.B. Norwood, head of the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School, exclaimed, “It’s Cliff! It’s Cliff! He’s back! Hi there, Clean-Up!”

“Clean-Up!” A laughing group of children reached him, swarming him before any adults.

“There you are, Russell. Jeremy, whoa, you got tall. Hey, Margaret, how’ve you been? Say, Bucky, what’s up?”

“They call me Billy now,” the boy replied, kicking the ground.

“Right. Good to know.”

Cliff reviewed the sea of faces before him — some familiar to him and some new from last year’s session. In each one he read hope, youth, goodness… and a desperate need for direction and connection.

Then he saw her. Standing by the edge of the grass. Tall, wearing a blue dress. A vision like something from the pages of a magazine.

He smiled, and she walked towards him. Her long, dark hair swayed gracefully with her every rhythmical step. She was in her early twenties, he guessed. She smiled, and Cliff felt the ground shudder under him.

Beaming, she opened her arms and said, “Children, give Mr. Markham some room to breathe, okay? Why don’t we go sit together under the apple tree?”

“Miss Laurie, he’s here to play, not sit around,” came an instant protest

“Russell, you have a good point. Let’s let our star attraction decide.” She tilted her head to one side and with a mischievous half-smile, fixed her gaze on Cliff.

Not many times in his twenty-six years had Cliff Markham been stopped short. Life to him was a big game — fun, baseball, travel, women. Good times seemed to flow his way with his natural charm and ease.

Until now. The challenge radiating from those dark brown eyes stopped him in his tracks, and right away he knew he was in big trouble.

He took a few steps towards her and held out his hand. “We haven’t been properly introduced, Miss Laurie. I’m Cliff Markham. From Sterling Lakes. I play baseball with Tampa Bay Stingrays these days.” He shrugged.

——-

Okay and let me say thank you again so much for inviting me to visit today! What a great time and I wish you both the best in your writings.

S&S:  Hey, thank you! It was wicked fun! Next time we’ll try mini-golf, okay?  We’re so glad you came!

 

For more information on Regina, please check out the following links:

Regina’s Desert Breeze Author’s Page (with links to all her books):

http://bit.ly/Aw27ku

Barnes &Noble: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://bit.ly/ypLxGI

Amazon: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://amzn.to/x9LdqX

Blog: regina Andrews.wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/FNY0oj

Website: http://reginaandrews.com/

Treble Hearts Books link to “The Perfect Proposal” http://bit.ly/lAPP21

Awe-Struck Publishing link to “In Good Faith”  http://bit.ly/pLV5w

Twitter: regina_eileen

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/yTXSJy

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Today I am so thrilled and delighted to welcome editor and author Danielle Thorne as she discusses her new release from Desert breeze Publishing, “Death Cheater”! Congratulations and welcome!

 

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Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog today, Regina. I’m so excited to share the news of my next release, DEATH CHEATER, a young adult inspirational paranormal from Desert Breeze Publishing.

 

It’s interesting, as the ebook industry grows, how different genres are popping up all over the Internet market. I’d have to say that besides Inspirational Romance, Inspirational Suspense is one of my favorite genres to read.

 

Now, when I say my new book is an Inspirational Paranormal, I’m not quite sure if that’s a category or not, to be honest! Perhaps I’m drawn to this label because of the foundation of my faith and my beliefs of life after death. Writing DEATH CHEATER didn’t just give me the opportunity to explore a new audience, it gave me a chance to reach deep into what I feel waits for us after this life. Targeting the young adult market felt very natural as I dredged up distant memories of high school; crossing over into the paranormal was a fun little treat.

 

In DEATH CHEATER, Athena Gray lives vicariously through her sister because people in general avoid her. Whether it’s strange things like dead butterflies fluttering to life, or the time she saved her dying grandpapa just by willing him to live, Athena knows that she is different. The only person who doesn’t seem to think so is Dan, the most popular boy on Omega High School’s baseball team. But even Dan can’t understand the reason she acts haunted, until a spirit roaming the local historic burial mounds takes an interest in people Athena cares about.

 

It’s my intention to make a three book series following Athena as she finishes high school and begins college. Her experiences with the other side will be poignant, yet at the same time chilling, when the situation calls for it. While it’s fun to investigate what lies beyond our earthly realm, I feel it’s important to be respectful and delicate. I hope readers connect with Athena and her young adult angst, but at the same time, I also hope the stories give a little reminder about who we are, where we come, and where we are going. Life is about love, no matter what you believe, and love is all around us. We just have to reach out to find it.

 

You can check out DEATH CHEATER at

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-259/Death-Cheater-Danielle-Thorne/Detail.bok

 

 

~Danielle Thorne

www.daniellethorne.com

Blogging as The Balanced Writer at http://www.thebalancedwriter.blogspot.com

 

Excerpt:

 

A low rumble echoed around me, and the tall, dark trees went still. Not even a leaf stirred. My heart hummed, and a tingle of apprehension made my palms damp. A snarl came from the shadow of a tangled thorn bush, and soft, padding footsteps shuffled in the late afternoon gloom. My breathing went ragged with fear. Maybe it was a raccoon or an angry squirrel.

Athena.

Whipping around, I stared hard into the murk. A voice. It sounded gentle, but at the same time it sent chills down my arms. I glanced up through the hooded canopy of tree branches and tried to see heaven.

God?

There was a growl, and the terror I’d been holding at bay zipped up my spine into my skull. I was sure my long hair stood on end, like when kids touched the electrostatic generator at the science museum.

Something was coming for me, and it wasn’t something from the woods. It’d been following me all day. Maybe even my entire life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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