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Archive for the ‘Sterling Lakes’ Category

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October 24th, 2012

I’ve been tagged by the talented Diane Craver for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. We’re going to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still WIPs. This is Week 18. The hop rules require me to answer 10 predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, I’ve listed authors who will answer the same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.

What is the working title of your book?
Light of the Heart (Sterling Lakes Book One) and I am currently finishing Book Five, Reflections of the Heart.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in a small New England town, I loved the experience of living in a community. I realized it would be interesting to share that viewpoint, and explore all it demonstrated about human nature.

What genre does your book fall under?

Light of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Reese Witherspoon would be able to play Cascade Preston. She has the strength of character and vulnerability that Cascade demonstrates. For Dan McQuay, I would have to go with Rob Lowe.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stained-glass artist  Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes…but when she is approached to design the new windows for the town church, she has to decide if she is going to live in the shadows of the past or if her faith will carry her to the light of tomorrow.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am happy to say it has been published by Writer’s Exchange Publishing (www.writers-exchange.com). In fact, they will be publishing all nine books in the Sterling Lakes Series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This story was waiting to get out; I completed it in 3 months. At the same time, I was basically writing the story arc for the series. The first 3 books deal with themes of the past, the next 3 deal with themes of the present and the final 3 address theme about the future. In a heartwarming, fun way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s similar to series books by other Inspirational romance writers in that it has three main characters instead of two: the hero, the heroine and God. Janelle Burnham, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Stattler and Lena Nelson Dooley come to mind as writing similar Inspirational romances.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
When I witness struggles that people go through in their lives, some at a very tender early age, it seems that faith in God keeps them going. To explore in writing how folks find strength in adversity felt natural to me. That spirit came from the loving example of my parents, who found joy in every day, who led by an example of love and who knew the true meaning of sacrifice. They gave everything to each other, to their family, their community, their country and their God.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At some point in our lives, we each face a moment of truth, a moment that will forever change the direction of our lives. The courage to make such a profound decision, like the one facing Cascade, rests on our shoulders as individuals – but we do not make that decision alone. God is always there with us, whether we admit that or not. Do you take the leap of faith and trust God? Do you have the courage to try and love again? Do you listen to what God is telling you? Or do you hang on to what you think is the truth? Maybe Cascade’s childhood memories aren’t entirely accurate…and she has to learn the real truth now as an adult.

Also, readers will find the supporting characters interesting and fun. They’ll like the settings and I think the dialogue as well, and they’ll relate to the way the characters evolve and change, developing  throughout the course of the book. All this will be very warm and satisfying – I hope!  Most of all, the romance between Dan and Cascade is a believable, exhilirating roller-coaster ride!

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

Regan Taylor

Suzie Carr

Nike Chilleme

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Christine London

Thanks to everyone for visiting, to Diane for tagging me and my five author friends above for joining the Hop!

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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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I am over the moon with happiness at this wonderful review of “Angels of the Heart “by Author Anna del C. Dye for Readers Favorite! Thank you, Anna!

Here is what she wrote and a link to the review and the DBP site:

5 Stars! “ANGELS OF THE HEART is a well-written Christian romance that will appeal to anyone looking for a true, clean romance. It has some light mentions of God and His inspiration in our daily lives, but otherwise it isn’t a preachy story at all. It portrays great imagery of people and especially of the place where the story takes place. Maryanne Lynch is the host at one of the TV stations in Sterling Lakes. Her love for people and the quaint town has made her the best in the market. After a particular segment she did about the renovation of the parish in the town, she not only finds a problem with it, but also finds out that all things in our past come back to haunt us. The presence of the real estate developer, Travis Collimore, in town is a two edged knife. Once, Maryanne stood Travis up many years ago for their Senior Prom. Now he has come back to destroy a landmark that is entrenched very deeply in the lives of the townspeople and in her own heart. It is at this time that Maryanne feels once again the touch of God in her heart. Years before her unanswered prayers for her now dead brother prompted her not to believe in Him anymore. Now, with a re-found love for God, she hopes that she will save the historic landmark of Sterling Lakes, and also save her heart before they are both buried by the handsome Travis Collimore. As you close its last pages, this story will leave you content and rewarded. It will be well-liked by young adults and adults alike for it is a clean, warm, and wholesome story.” ~Readers Favorite http://readersfavorite.com/review/5531

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-189/Regina-Andrews-Angels-of/Detail.bok

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Happy New Year, Friends!

If you’re like me, you have resolutions for 2012. Here’s a quick list of mine:

1) Be more promotionally-active! This includes follow-up, like letting you know “Light of the Heart” is up in the Predators and Editors Poll 🙂

Here’s the link: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml

I’m in the link called “All other Novels”

Click on “Light of the Heart” and then you will get an email in your box which you have to confirm — just by clicking — and then the voting is complete.

There are a couple of steps, but all in all, it’s pretty easy! Thank you for helping out!!!

2) Stay in touch with cyber-friends and colleagues
I can’t tell you how I cringe when I see it’s been 2 or 3 months since I’ve been in contact with my virtual friends and writing colleagues. They have been there for me through everything. I don’t know what I would have done without them! And I want to thank them for that! More than that, I vow to be there, actively, for them in 2012.

3) Branch outside the box and travel beyond the comfort zone. As a writer, especially one who is in the midst of a nine-book series, it’s easy to let all your other writing go…but then, how do you grow? Take a pledge with me now to cultivate your own garden and see what you can do that’s outside of the realm you ever imagined — writing-wise. I’ll bet it’s so cool!
Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

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I’m always excited to greet the New Year, like you, too, probably, right?

There’s so much promise and excitement associated with a new beginning, and a whole new year presents, to me, almost unlimited possibilities! I can’t sleep!

BUT, this New Year’s Day is ultra-exciting for me, since”Praise of the Heart”, the third book in my Sterling Lakes Series is now out!

Tell me, what do you think of the cover art? I love to hear your comments!!! And tell me, too, what do you think of the story? I love your comments!

“Praise” is the story of a small-town boy who makes it BIG in the major leagues as a baseball player and a small-town girl who wants to stay in her comfort zone…but God seems to have other plans for both of them!

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/v34ZJs

And here’s an excerpt:

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.

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With great joy, I am finally able to share the cover of my second book in the Sterling Lakes Series, “Angels of the Heart”.

The cover was ready on time and the book released on time…but my computer decided to…go on vacation. Not in good time, in my opinion!

This was so not easy, being on the dark side of the moon! And with the third manuscript in the series due September 1st. I almost can’t talk about it, because as soon as I start, you just know I won’t stop.

Suffice it to say all seems to be in order now. But I will be backing up my current ms on a disc, as well as my flash drive, that’s for sure!

To be continued.

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Today I am so happy to welcome the wonderful Gail Pallotta to the 2011 Summer Blog-String Fest! She is a fantastic writer and a kind, caring friend – understanding, too, when my computer crisis delayed getting her posting up ! Thanks for being you, Gail and thanks for visiting today!

The July 4th Spectacular at My House
by
Gail Pallotta

This past July 4th, I got up and dressed in blue jeans and a three-quarter-length shirt, attire a bit warm for the day. But perfect for the fireworks display that night, because there was less of me exposed for the bugs to bite.

During the afternoon it rained, but my husband, Rick, said, “It’s supposed to clear up. I don’t think we’ll have a problem going to the show tonight.”

We’d been to the fireworks before when it rained, even got caught in a storm there one year and waited an hour or so for the event to start.

The rain stopped. Rick and our daughter, Laurie, who always comes home to go to the July 4th fireworks, dressed in jeans. At twilight we grabbed a can of bug spray and our stadium seats and started out the door. A loud crack of thunder roared. We slinked back inside like wet puppies to wait until the sky cleared. It grew darker and the thunder louder. Lightning danced around our front yard.

Rick turned the television to a weather station. The radar showed red and yellow patches in a line of dark green headed right for us. “This should be gone soon. We’ll leave then.” More thunder boomed and lightning flashed.

In the background of the thunderous roar I detected faint pops. “Did you hear that? One of our neighbors must be shooting fire crackers.”

“Yes, but the thunder’s so loud I can barely hear them,” Laurie said. “I wonder if we’re going to make the show.”

“We still have time. When it lets up, we’ll leave,” Rick said.

But another line of storms showed up on the weather station. Rick’s lips turned down. “I’m not sure when this storm’s going to end.”

Trees fell in the neighborhood. It wasn’t safe to go out. We watched a clip of the fireworks show on the eleven o’clock news. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was God’s way of saying He wants to be part of our country.

BIO
Gail’s husband, Rick, says she’s the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with the cashier’s life story. That’s probably because she enjoys talking to people. In her spare time she swims or bargain shops with her daughter. Sometimes they try on garments so wrong for them, they laugh for fifteen minutes. When they finally find a treasure, they’re so pleased.
After writing articles for years Gail’s friends and family encouraged her to write books. In 2004, the year her first book, Now Is the Time, was released, the American Christian Writers Association named her a regional writer of the year. Last year a scene from Love Turns the Tide won the Clash of the Titles competition in the best setting / weather category.

Now Gail is on the staff of Clash of the Titles. She wants to write books of faith that show God’s love.

About Gail’s Book, Love Turns the Tide

Feature writer Cammie O’Shea suffers through a heartbreaking split-up with her fiancé. She wants no new relationships when she moves to Destin, Florida, to take a job at a newspaper. But she has to interview real estate developer Vic Deleona. He’s quite smitten with her and arranges extra meetings in an attempt to court her. Cammie resists his advances. However, after several mysterious break-ins occur, including one at Cammie’s condo, she and Vic launch their own investigation into the crimes. Then Cammie grows fond of him. She gets an opportunity to return home to her old job. Will Vic solve the crimes and win Cammie’s heart or will she leave Destin?

Read more about Love Turns the Tide on Gail’s Web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com and visit Gail’s blog at http://wwwgailpallotta.blogspot.com

Love Turns the Tide is available at http://www.awe-struck.net in the inspirational category.

Check out the latest review of Love Turns the Tide at http://gabixlerreviews-bookreadersheaven.blogspot.com/2011/07/heartwarming-inspirational-story-leaves.html

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