Catherine Finger
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in beautiful (and much colder than Florida) Seneca, South Carolina! After a recent move, we’re unpacking and getting ready for Christmas all at once. But we have all sorts of interesting tidbits from author Catherine Finger, so let’s get started with her interview right away!

Welcome, Catherine! Please tell us about your book, Capsized by Death.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Police Chief Jo Oliver is finally about to begin a new life with her daughter and fiancé, but before they can celebrate their dream wedding in Maui, a serial killer with ties to one of Jo’s old cases unleashes a terror on the island. Can Jo and her team keep a ghost from her past from derailing her plans for the future? Read More →

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“At that time the deaf will hear word-for-word what’s been written. After a lifetime in the dark, the blind will see” (Isaiah 29:18 The Message).

My husband Patrick has a little spot below his jaw line that he invariably misses when he shaves. Sometimes he misses it two or three shaves in a row, and then it isn’t just beard, now it looks like hair. That little patch of hair seems to hide in the shadows, difficult to detect, and then all of a sudden there it is.

I began thinking about those little spots in my life that hide in the shadows, difficult to discern, until they take over some area of my life, and I have to go in and hack them off.

Frustration, loss of peace, making excuses, defending myself, occasional slothfulness, tendency to gluttony. All of these are areas of my life usually under control, but they still show up occasionally. When I least expect them. When I’m least prepared for them.

I praise God for being willing to take me, unworthy as I am, and make me into His image. This week, as you seek God, ask Him to reveal those blind spots you may have in your life, and then to cause them to evaporate. Gone!  So that all that is left is Him reflected in you and your life and words and actions.

Leeann Betts

Missing Deposits cover

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. In the Money is the tenth title in her cozy mystery series, and together she and Donna have published more than thirty novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters in Crime, and Christian Authors Network. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories. Receive a free ebook by signing up for their quarterly newsletter at www.LeeannBetts.com.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1pQSOqV

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1qmqvB6

 

 

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Happy Friday CAN Members!

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

This is Catherine Finger bringing you an interview with today’s featured author: Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.  In addition to to being an award-winning author, speaker, leader, coach, and beloved family matriarch, MaryAnn finds time to graciously leads our CAN reviewers—a great service to our authors. Thank you for joining us today, MaryAnn!

Catherine: What are your passions?

MaryAnn: Worshipping God, loving my family, sharing the Gospel, writing fiction. painting—especially in oils.

Catherine: Where do you volunteer your spare time giving you a more rounded life?

MaryAnn: I spend my spare time discipling women and ministering to my six adopted grandchildren.

Catherine: How do you use this experience in your writing?
MaryAnn: Ministering to women has made me more aware of the many challenges women face in an increasingly stressful world. I draw on these challenges as I create the heroines of my stories.

Catherine: What humorous thing would your readers want to know about you or your writing life?
MaryAnn: The first sale I made was to The Saturday Evening Post for a humorous poem about an argument between my then small children. This sale was humorous in that I am not a funny person by nature, and I had no clue what I was doing when I submitted to this major magazine. I was like the bumblebee who does not know that, aerodynamically, it cannot fly but flies anyway. The Lord used this sale to confirm His call on my life to write for Him.

Catherine: Do you have a funny story relating to your writing or an event?
MaryAnn: Yes. My husband and I met through a newspaper article I’d submitted (at my mother’s request) to my local paper about my earning my Master’s degree. My husband will tell you that my article was really a want-ad for a husband. We just celebrated our 50thwedding anniversary.

Catherine: Did you find a fascinating fact/story while doing research for your book?
MaryAnn: Yes. While researching my latest novel, In Black and White, I was quite surprised and chagrined to discover that the seven suburban communities named “Levittown” and built during the late 1940s and 1950s were racially segregated communities, as stipulated in their sales agreements. This sad fact gave me a backdrop for a portion of my story

Catherine: What are you currently working on and what attracted you to this project?

MaryAnn: I am currently working on two projects. The first is a compilation of the poems I have written over the last 40 years. The book will be called Poems for All Seasons, as the poetry deals not only with every chronological season of life, but also with the spiritual seasons of our lives.

The second project is a historical novel titled The Urchin of Naples and based on a story my late mother told me when I was a child. My mother was born and raised in Naples, and I have visited the city several times.

Catherine: What’s one thing you want our readers to hear from you today?
MaryAnn: I would like our readers to know that Jesus loves them just as they are and just where they are, and that He is the answer to their every need.

   

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is an award-winning author who writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, a love story about racism, released in November 2019.

MaryAnn has also written THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES trilogy, a page-turning, family saga revolving around the life of Maria Landro, a woman torn between two worlds, and who must choose between them. MaryAnn’s books for children include five picture books: WHO IS JESUS?, TOBY TOO SMALL, CANDLE LOVE, THE DANDELION PATCH, and POEMS FOR WEE ONES and one chapter book: DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES?

MaryAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They’ve been married 50 years and are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a very smart son-in-law, and six rambunctious grandchildren. When not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, play the piano, and make up silly songs with her grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn at maryanndiorio.com.

MaryAnnDiorioInBlackandWhiteBookCover

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Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Merry Christmas from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the privilege of interviewing the interviewer! Davalynn Spencer serves on my team of author interviewers—but today it’s her turn to be grilled. Davalynn has made a name for herself with her western romances, which have won multiple awards, including the prestigious Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award.

Welcome, Davalynn! Please tell us about your latest book.

Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

A High-Country Christmas is a two-novella set including my recently released Just in Time for Christmas and last year’s endearing Snow Angel. Each is a sweet tale of mishaps, memories, and emotions that test the mettle of Western couples in the Colorado high country at Christmas. Cowboys, anyone?

Yes, please! And just in time for Christmas. What inspired you to write this book?

I live in one of the most romantic locales known to romance readers–Colorado. At least that’s my biased opinion. And I love Christmas stories. This combination alone sets me up to write historical novellas that are perfect for the busy holiday season, offering readers a quick escape into another time and place. Life wasn’t easier in the Old West of the 1800s but it was simpler. I like to read stories that show daily challenges during that time period and how people overcame them, which means I like to write them too.

A High Country Christmas by Davalynn Spencer

A High Country Christmas by Davalynn Spencer

Simpler, not easier—that sums up the appeal of historical fiction. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

In the first novella of the set, Just in Time for Christmas, Abigale Millerton is forced to look at the difference between faith and trust. This was an exercise taking place in my own life while I was writing the story, so concepts and ideas flowed directly from my real day-to-day to the fictional page-to-page. I hope readers will discover again how incredibly personal our God is.

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord uses our own stories to teach us? So, how do you share Christ in your writing?

In my books, I like to share Christ in everyday settings, the same way I do in my everyday life. Preaching is not my goal. I want readers to see God’s love and companionship in a way they can apply to their own lives. One of my most cherished comments from a reader stated an appreciation for my “lifestyle” approach to Christian fiction rather than just an obligatory Scripture thrown in to qualify for the genre.

I love that approach! What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

After writing thirteen books, I see common threads of forgiveness and second chances. Another way to put it is “redemption.” I aim for redemptive stories.

Wonderful! Why do you love writing?

Can I say I self-medicate with words?

Yes, you may. And thank you for the laugh!

We all have dreams—do you have an unfulfilled dream?

I want to see Scotland. But that means I’d have to drive to the Denver airport first. The initial leg of the trip has me second-guessing already! However, traveling is a real dream. Not just to the Scotland of my grandfather, but also Ireland, Wales, Italy, Israel, and Vermont in the fall.

I hear you. I love traveling enough to brave the traffic through the San Francisco Bay Area. So, what ministries are you involved in, and why?

I’ve played the piano since I was five years old. For most of my life I’ve served on worship teams or led worship in informal settings such as Cowboy Church at rodeos where my enjoyment of singing and playing the guitar comes in real handy. I also teach Wednesday evening Bible studies at my church and write material that is distributed for those studies.

Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?

Blue the Cowdog is my 17-year-old Queensland heeler, and Oakley is his partner in camping out all day. Oakley’s litter mate, Annie, went to coyote heaven a couple of years ago (we live in the country), and I anticipate Blue’s departure to happier trails any day. Blue’s age and determination influenced the characterization for Chester, the beloved old dog in Just in Time for Christmas.

He sounds adorable (both Blue and Chester). Please tell us about your next project.

Book 3 of my popular Front Range Brides series, An Impossible Price, is set for a March 2020 release.

Sounds fantastic! Thank you for visiting with us today, Davalynn!

To learn more about Davalynn and her books, please visit Davalynn’s website and Davalynn’s blog.

Writing for Him,

Sarah Sundin

Sarah’s website

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The Christmas season is upon us, and with it comes non-stop shopping, gift-giving, and entertaining. Not to mention baking, bow-making, and balancing the checkbook. No wonder it’s hard to find peace in the hustle and bustle of what should be one of our happiest times of the year.

Often, in the midst of our hurry, we forget to count our blessings. One of the best ways to do that is to look around us and find someone with a greater need. Most likely we won’t have to look too far. It’s not just the poor, but the poor in spirit, who need a reason to celebrate life. Or, at least, life in the moment. We can help give them that reason with the gift of our time.

Angel trees, red kettles, and food kitchens are great places to lend a hand. But we should also minister to the widower in the back pew, the single mom who lives around the corner, and the frazzled caregiver whose elderly parent is lost in dementia.

The holidays are particularly difficult for someone who is already lonely or grieving. A smile, a hug, or a plateful of homemade cookies can go a long way toward making their day. An offer to clean their windows, or an invitation to dinner—even if it’s just to the fast-food restaurant down the street—can go even further.

Take a look around you this Christmas and count those to whom you can be a blessing. It will help you count your own.

 

Kathy Harris

Kathy Harris

Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville music business, where she has worked for thirty years as a marketing director. Her latest novel, Deadly Commitment, released on October 14. Read Kathy’s blog or follow her on Facebook,  Twitter, and/or Instagram.

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