Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the honor of interviewing author, speaker, and relationship expert Deb DeArmond. Deb writes and speaks about family relationships, but her latest book . . . well, honk if you love the concept!
Welcome, Deb! Please tell us about your book Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes.
Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes is a humorous devotional built on the belief there are spiritual principles everywhere we look—if we open our eyes to the truth. From the bumper of the car in front of us to the fortune cookie after the Chow Mein, one-liners meant to entertain often hold a deeper meaning when seen through the eyes of Christ-followers.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California, where I’m processing the wonderful time I had at the online West Coast Christian Writers Conference last month. I had the absolute joy of serving on the conference leadership team with my good friend Jeanette Hanscome—who is our lovely guest today! A multi-published author in a variety of genres, Jeanette has some exciting news.
Welcome, Jeanette! Please tell us about your new project.
I just signed a contract to write two novels for Annie’s Fiction as part of their Rose Cottage Book Club series. It’s work-for-hire, and Annie’s created the cast of characters and the story world, but I couldn’t be more thrilled. The series takes place on Nantucket. It centers around a book club, most of the characters are knitters, crocheters, and quilters, and one of them owns a bookstore. It’s a perfect fit for me. Getting this contract felt like confirmation that fiction is the right path for me right now. In a way it also felt like God’s way of saying, “You have my permission to write something fun.”
Welcome Readers. Davalynn Spencer here, pleased to introduce today’s featured author, Linda Goldfarb and her book, LINKED® for Couples: Maximizing Heart Connections One Link at a Time, co-authored with fellow CAN member Linda Gilden.
Linda, please give us a quick overview of your book.
Hitting #1 across five separate Amazon categories upon release, LINKED® for Couples Quick Guide to Personalities is a communication shovel to help readers dig deep into their relationships, their hearts, how they think, and how they react to situations, both big and small.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing Winnie Griggs, author of 25 novels, which have won awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award! Her novels have had a Western setting, both historical and contemporary, but her latest novel branches into a new genre for her—Amish fiction.
Welcome, Winnie! Please tell us about your book, Her Amish Wedding Quilt.
Spirited Greta’s been told to change or she’ll be a spinster. When her last hope for a husband chooses another, Greta pours her efforts into her quilts.
Widower Noah needs a new wife so when Greta offers to matchmake, he accepts. But no one seems right. Have they unexpectedly grown close?
February greetings from Marti Pieper, who is grateful to have had both power and water throughout this chilly month! I’m also grateful to reintroduce a familiar face to our CAN readers today. It belongs to our multitalented president, Angela Breidenbach. I first met Angie when we were both teaching at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. I then had the privilege of working closely with her on the CAN newsletter for several years. I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her and her books.
Welcome, Angie! I’m so glad you’re with us today. Please tell us about your latest book.
The Mail-Order Standoff: Marriage plans put on hold in the Old West when four mail-order brides have second thoughts. How will their grooms win their trust?
This four-in-one book includes Right on Time by Angela Breidenbach. Could two people be less suited than an English gentleman and a Western gal who is used to giving the orders? From the wild Montana Territory to the refined Kentucky horse farms, can Timothy prove worthy of Tara’s heart?
Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I do, but I’m constantly working toward them. Them—because as I achieve one, I move to the next on my list. Oh yes, I have a long list. Currently I’m close to graduating with my genealogical studies degree and specialty in English records. I’d like to add more specialties (halfway to Scottish records already) and take small professional tours on genealogical research visits to Scotland, England, and other countries. I’m also working toward having my screenplays produced on TV and big screen. I dream of writing movies that touch lives and of leaving a body of work. I’d also like to have an endless lap pool someday inside a heated sunroom. Why not, right? Who wants to walk out in the snow to swim? Some very big stretch dreams.
Especially when you live in Montana, as I know you do! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
Music. I love singing and am learning the harp. I hope to use both of those talents in church and music therapy. I also really enjoy teaching/speaking on genealogy, writing, and historical topics.
You amaze me with all you fit into a day! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I’ve had a variety of jobs from airlines to radio to heating company co-owner (still am, but no longer in the day-to-day). Every job I’ve had informs my writing as I create characters. Once I’m finished with my last few genealogy classes, I’ll take genealogy projects for clients starting late summer/fall 2021.
Anyone who follows you on social media knows the answer to this one: Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
Muse, my fe-lion executive assistant, inspires a lot of humor. I share our Muse and Writer conversations on social media and my website. He also inspired An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar. We hope to work together more this year to produce A-Muse-ing Tales series in the genre of cat comedy.
Sounds purrfect! What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
Themes are a little harder to define because they’re not as interesting as the story world that reveals the deeper meaning. But the themes I tend toward are unique life experiences that reveal our life purpose and overcoming. For instance, I’ve written nonfiction in story form that deal with one specific characteristic like becoming a confident woman in Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience, and I’ve taken that same thing and built it into a character’s sense of not being good enough in the historical romance Right On Time (Mail-Order Standoff).
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
Writing is telling stories whether fiction, nonfiction, articles, screenwriting. The biggest thing to me is that as a writer, I don’t read one genre or write only one genre because I’m interested in so many different things. As much as the industry tries to box writers into brands, and we have to establish that for readers, but my writing interests are hugely varied.
I understand that well! What inspired you to write this book?
I love following obscure historical tidbits, then setting characters into those interesting events. This one is in 1883, the year my own grandfather was born. The time zones, as we know them today, did not exist. Train crashes killed thousands of people because clocks and watches were set to the sun at high noon at the nearest town. I was fascinated by how something so mundane and normal today changed the entire world my grandfather was born into. I wondered how something that seemed so small might actually have caused a huge shift in societal life. What would that be like? How would that affect families? Business? I was stunned how long it took for the time zones to be normalized, but how it immediately saved lives. Some of the smallest decisions have the biggest impact.
And what do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Change, though scary in the expectation, becomes an amazing opportunity. Change in hindsight becomes normal, and fear disappears as that change becomes normal life. Each time we conquer the fear of change, we gain confidence.
So true. So what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
I’ve been in college for that genealogy degree. Writing while in college, while speaking at conferences, and while caring for my family was really an adventure in pushing myself and my capabilities.
And I know you did it with excellence. Please tell us about your next project.
Coming this summer, I’m excited to release my Queen of the Rockies series. It’s set in Helena, Montana, starting in 1889. Helena was a very modern and beautiful city in what was considered the wild west. I love this gorgeous series full of vivid characters and real history.
Muse and Writer will also release A-Muse-ing Tales, book 1, cat comedy for the whole family in time for Christmas.
Davalynn Spencer here, pleased to introduce you to our regular host today, Sarah Sundin. It’s her turn for the spotlight, and what a light it is for her new book, When Twilight Breaks.
Sarah, tell us a little about this book.
Munich, 1938—Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent determined to expose the tyranny in Nazi Germany. After brutality hits close, American graduate student Peter Lang uses his connections in the Nazi Party to feed information to Evelyn, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward war.
Your titles are always so intriguing, drawing us into the lives of people impacted by WW2. What inspired you to write this particular book in your collection?
When we visited Ellis Island several years ago, I fed family names into their computer. I found a record of my grandfather’s trip from Hamburg back to New York after his junior year abroad in Munich. In 1936. I knew he’d studied in Germany—he was a professor of German—but it had never occurred to me that he’d studied in Nazi Germany. My novelist brain got to spinning. What was it like for Americans living in Hitler’s Germany? And—of course—what sort of trouble could I get my characters in?
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing a former Californian, now a Michigander—Carol Grace Stratton is one of our newest CAN members and a multi-published author of fiction as well as a nonfiction book for frequent movers. And she has a fun dream career . . .
Welcome, Carol! Please tell us about your novel, Deep End of the Lake.
Ally has it all: an upcoming wedding, new writing gig, and two great kids. But when life turns upside-down with a rebellious daughter, shaky job, and shakier engagement, she leans on her newfound faith, learning if you’re in the deep end of the lake, you’d better learn how to swim.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing multi-publishing author and popular speaker Kathy Howard. Kathy’s sharing today about her new devotional book, which sounds amazing!
Welcome, Kathy! Please tell us about your book Deep Rooted: Growing through the Gospel of Mark.
Deep Rooted is a 40-day devotional journey through the life and ministry of Jesus. Its unique format shows readers how to interact with and apply Scripture, not just read it. The meaty, daily devotions use a simple study framework to help readers be transformed by God’s Word, not just informed.
I love the idea of a meaty devotional! What inspired you to write this book?
I lead a Bible reading group on Facebook that’s been active for several years. It includes thousands of women from all over the world. The format I use there has been encouraging and equipping them to get into the Bible. Seeing how God has used this group inspired me to want to take the same principle to a larger audience.
Why did you write this book?
I want to equip readers with the tools they need to study Scripture for themselves every day. This journey through Mark guides them to use these tools and develop a habit of being in God’s Word.
So important! What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
I’ve read the Gospels many times. I’ve studied Jesus’ life and ministry. But studying it all again and writing the devotions gave me a fresh and deeper experience with Jesus. It was a wonderful time with Him!
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
God called me to be a Bible teacher. My writing and ministry on social media are extensions of that call. I want to share biblical truths and principles and help others to study God’s Word for themselves.
Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
Don’t know if I could call her a “reader” of mine, but this is a great story. I was doing a book signing for one of my new Bible studies at a LifeWay store. (Yes, it’s been a little while since this happened.) The store set me up at a table right inside the door. There were stacks of books and posters with my face and book cover. A lady came through the door and walked purposefully up to the table. I thought she must have come for the book signing! I smiled and greeted her. Her response? “Can you tell me where the Beth Moore Bible studies are?” Funny, but humbling!
I have a “Why are your books here and not Beth Moore’s?” book-signing story too! The Lord certainly keeps us humble. What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I fell in love with God’s Word through a women’s Bible study when I was a young mom. That fostered my passion for teaching others. I’ve been involved in women’s ministry leadership for decades. I love teaching in my local church and training other Bible study leaders. I also support and participate in missions as much as I can. Sadly, COVID has hindered any mission trips this year.
So many vital things COVID-canceled. But reading isn’t one of them. What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I love fiction set during WWII. Right now, I’m reading a novel called The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar. It focuses on civilian women trained by the army to fly during WWII. I am also reading Adamant by Lisa Bevere and several commentaries on Ezra and Nehemiah for a potential Bible study project.
That sounds fantastic! So what are you working on now? Please tell us about your next project.
Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith will release in August 2021. This 52-day devotional combines ancestral, historical, and biblical stories of faith with biblical principles for leaving a spiritual legacy and tips for genealogy research.
What a great concept! Thank you for sharing with us today, Kathy!
Greetings from Colorado, where the sky is bright blue and the temperature low and frosty. Davalynn Spencer here, pleased to introduce you to author Sarah Hamaker and her book, Illusion of Love.
Sarah, what’s your tagline for this intriguing title?
A suspicious online romance reconnects an agoraphobe and an old friend.
Wow – there’s a lot of information and curiosity tied up in that word, agoraphobe. What inspired you to write this book?
Believe it or not, Illusion of Love is loosely based on something that happened to a friend of mine. I can’t give any specific details without giving away one of the plot twists, but sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.
Happy New Year from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing award-winning author and speaker Dena Dyer. She sings! She acts! She writes! And today she’s chatting about how God works through her writing.
Welcome, Dena! Please tell us about your book, Wounded Women of the Bible.
My co-author and I studied 20+ wounded women in Scripture, told portions of our testimonies, and collected stories from contemporary women. During the process of writing the book, God once again showed us how practical and real the Bible is and gave us comfort in our own areas of woundedness.
What a great concept! What led you to write this book?
My friend and co-author Tina Samples and I had prayed about writing a book together for years. Then God gave her the idea for Wounded Women of the Bible. When she asked me to consider writing it with her, I immediately thought, “Yes!” My second thought was, “Why has no one written this book before?” My third thought was, “Oh no!” because I knew God would want to work on some of my own wounds during the project. (And He did!)