Precious Riches – Cover Unveiled!

(Hidden Prospects #1)

Precious Riches (Hidden Prospects #1)

After years of supporting his mother and siblings, Paul Lancaster now has his independence.  He splits his time between his placer mine and the boardinghouse he built for his mother.  When a single spinster comes to town to visit a friend, he considers giving up that new found independence for love.  Life turns upside down when his business is threatened.  Paul must choose what riches are the most precious to him.

Millie Pritchett harbors a decades old secret that has kept her a spinster well into her late thirties.  Because of the pain of her past mistakes, she has taken on a shy personality to protect her heart.  When her father remarries and sends her away, she goes to Prescott, the town where her only friend lives.  Though she had to find a job, she never expected she would end up working for such an attractive business man.  Her secrets threaten to destroy her last hope for love.

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.  –Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)

Coming Fall / Winter 2013

Characters

Paul Lancaster

Millie Pritchett

Caroline Anderson

Thomas Anderson

Get a sneak peek!

Read Chapter 1

Read Chapter 2

 

Author Spotlight – Ruth Francisco

RF_5544_21. Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you aren’t writing.
I tend to write novels that are a little controversial. I don’t intend to, but a question grabs hold of my mind—do we have a right to say no to medical technology? What would it be like to be Jackie Kennedy? What would happen if you found out you were adopted as an adult? What would it be like to live with grizzly bears? Where is Islamic extremism taking us? What would it be like to live during WWII in America—and it won’t let go. I have to explore it, I have to write about it.

When I’m not writing, I like to be outside. I live in a beautiful part of Florida. I kayak and run and hike and garden and fish. I also love to cook, and was a food blogger for Mad Housewife Wine for several years.

2. What inspired you to write this book?
When I first drove to the Florida Panhandle from Los Angeles five years ago, I was smitten by the unspoiled beauty of the place. Thousands of Monarch butterflies flitted around my car as I drove down to Alligator Point. The first morning I woke to mullet jumping in the canal and screeching great blue heron. I looked out the window and saw snowy egrets and bald eagles. White squirrels jumping between branches of the pine trees. I went for a bike ride and saw bob cat, deer, and boar. I went kayaking and saw turtles and dolphin and dozens of different fish. I felt like a guest in a land ruled by animals.

One day I saw a fisherman throwing a cast net into the water and asked him to show me how to do it. We got to talking. When he heard I was a writer, he told me about several dozen soldiers who lost their lives during a training exercise while at Camp Gordon Johnston during WWII, how the tragedy was covered up.

So a few weeks later, I visited the WWII museum in Carrabelle and started doing research and interviewing people. I got completely sucked into the research, spending hours in the museum reading old newspapers on microfiche. Everything fascinated me—especially the newspaper advertisements—from girdles to hair tonic.

I started interviewing locals. Everyone had something to add. It all started to come together.

3. Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
I truly love writing fiction as if it were fact, so much so that sometimes people don’t know what is fact and what is fiction. I did an incredible amount of research for this novel. The vastness of my ignorance when it came to WWII military history was epic, so I had to do vast amounts of reading. I became a little overwhelmed and left the story for a few years to write other things.

It wasn’t until I interviewed Vivian Hess, who had been a little girl on the Camp Gordon Johnston Army base, that I felt I had a hook. Yet, as I wrote about her, the character separated herself from the real person, becoming increasingly impish and inventive. I wanted Major Goodwin to be a man of absolute integrity, but as I wrote him, he took on depth, becoming a man of great sorrow and great compassion. Vivian’s mother was somewhat based on my own mother, but soon she became this incredibly strong woman who had made great sacrifices, yet still yearned to be adventurous and free.

The mix of fact and imagination as it gets stewed in the writer’s brain is fascinating to me.

4. What books have most influenced your life and why?
When I was in high school, I began reading late 19th and early 20th century writers, like Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Henry James, Dostoevsky, Hermann Hess. Their characters lived simple lives, but lived them on an epic emotional stage. When I read “Tess of the d’Urbevilles” I thought to myself, “I would like to write a novel like that.” I had to go through several careers before I settled down as a writer. I think it took me years to synthesize experience, and to have something to say.

5. Is there an author who you would consider a mentor?
I don’t have a mentor, but I do have influences. Philip Roth, Anita Brookner, and Patricia Highsmith, as well as Ruth Rendell, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King. I guess my tastes run to the dark side. Beyond being great storytellers, all of these writers have characters who yearn for something greater than themselves, who challenge standard ways of thinking and behaving. And they use language beautifully.

6. What are you working on now?
I don’t know what I’ll write next. I originally envisioned “Camp Sunshine” as the first in a three-part series about the Florida Panhandle. I actually wrote and published Part 3 first, “Sunshine Highway,” about a corrupt sheriff in contemporary Florida. Now I have to write the middle volume about the “sixties.” It’s a stupid way to write a series, but that’s the way the stories came to me.

My readers of “Amsterdam 2012” also really want a sequel. I really want another trip to Europe. So perhaps that’s next.

7. How do you handle criticism?
I’ve been writing for a while now, so I’m not nearly as tender as a new writer might be. I think most people offer criticism with the intention of helping you write better, so I generally accept criticism, consider it, and often act on it. Occasionally someone will post a poor review on Amazon, and it makes me sad, because I want happy customers. Often the reader is critical because the book isn’t a genre they enjoy.

8. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to readers?
I hope when people read my book that they feel as if they’ve time-traveled back to 1942. I want them to hear the big band music and blues, feel the incredible vitality of the whole country pulling together for the war effort. It inspired me how selfless people were. When I started the research, I didn’t know that the Civil Rights Movement had its beginnings in WWII with soldiers agitating for an integrated military. I didn’t know about jook joints. I didn’t know about how the industrial war complex manipulated the war effort, how it all affected race relations in the South. So I hope readers will be as fascinated as I was with the history, as well as being entertained with the antics of the characters.

Author Bio
Ruth Francisco worked in the film industry for 15 years before selling her first novel “Confessions of a Deathmaiden” to Warner Books in 2003, followed by “Good Morning, Darkness,” which was selected by “Publishers’ Weekly” as one of the ten best mysteries of 2004, and “The Secret Memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.” She now has nine novels, including the best-seller “Amsterdam 2012,” published as ebooks. She is a frequent contributor to “The Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.”

Learn more about this author: WebsiteTwitter

Camp Sunshine by Ruth Francisco

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Genre: Historical fiction, mystery

Times of Trial: an End Times Thriller by Cliff Ball

Genre:   Christian End Times

Format:  eBook, Paperback

Title:  Times of Trial: an End Times Thriller by Cliff Ball

Available at:

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This novel is a parallel novel to Times of Trouble and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

In this Christian End Times thriller in a bleak near future, Christians suffer from persecution as the President declares himself dictator, implements the United Nations’ Agenda 21 with his own agenda attached, and begins targeting his political and spiritual enemies. Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Iran intensifies as the apocalyptic End Times approach.

1.  Welcome, Cliff.  Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you aren’t writing.

When I’m not writing, I like to read, mostly science fiction, but I’m currently reading a biography of Andrew Jackson and since I didn’t read them as a kid, the whole Wizard of Oz series. I’m a fan of NASCAR, I collect some sports memorabilia, I like hiking, and I’m a gamer when I’m not writing.

2.  What inspired you to write this book?

What inspired me to write Times of Trial was seeing the whole world slowly edge towards the Biblical End Times, and the US, in particular, seems like it’s headed quickly towards the end itself.

3.   Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?

There’s a chapter that’s based on a real life experience. When I was 4 and 5, my parents took in a Navajo Boy from the Window Rock Reservation in Arizona during two summers through the missions in our church, Tri-City Baptist in Tempe (now in Chandler). He didn’t get to come back after the second time because the shaman, I guess you call him, didn’t like Christians influencing him. The rest is all made up, unless there really are FEMA Camps waiting for us Christians….

4.  What books have most influenced your life and why?

The Bible because I’m a Christian and I want to live my life the way God wants me to. As for writing, I’m a big history buff, and I enjoy alternate history, along with historical biographies, so I read a lot of history to get an idea of something I might possibly write that could be made into an alternate universe.

5.  What are you working on now?

Currently working on a prequel to Times of Trouble, which starts in WW2 with Michael Evans’ grandfather stealing from the Nazi’s that would eventually lead to the Evans’ being the power-behind-the-scenes. Another one I’m working on is about a guy who sings in church, gets discovered by a producer of a national singing contest, the guy wins, and we follow him as he goes through his highs and lows shortly before the End Times.

6.  How do you handle criticism?

By trying not to take it personal and by praying for the right attitude.

7.  Do you have anything else you’d like to say to readers?

Every single one of my novels are clean reads, so I hope readers take an opportunity to try them out.

 

Cliff BallCliff Ball was born in Arizona, but currently resides in North Texas. He was saved at five years old and is currently a member of his local Baptist church. Cliff has two Bachelor’s of Arts, along with a Technical Writing Certificate from the University of North Texas. He has been a published author since 2008 and has nine novels currently out and two short stories. The first taste Cliff had of being published was in high school through his Creative Writing class. He won third for a short story submitted through the class to a young adult magazine produced by the Methodist church. He is currently the Author Pages Manager for CrossReads.com.

Cliff’s genres include: Christian End Times and political thrillers, science fiction/time travel/alternate history, and he even has a Western short story available. All are clean reads.

Connect with Cliff:

http://www.cliffball.net
http://cliffballauthor.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/cliff_ball
http://www.facebook.com/cliff.ball.author
cliffball@cliffball.net

Love and Redemption by Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams

Suzanne D. Williams is a native Floridian, wife, mother, photographer, and writer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors.

1. Welcome, Suzanne.  When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing nonfiction. For a number of years, I wrote how-to articles on digital photography as well as devotionals and journaling. Then in 2007, I went through a trying time in my life and afterward, had it on my heart to share how God’s grace set me free. I didn’t want others to struggle needlessly as I did.

I got into writing fiction in 2011 through the encouragement of a friend. I shared with her an idea I had for a story, and she said I should write it. I have never looked back.

2. How did you choose the genre you write in?

It chose me. The first book I wrote turned out to be a romance, which surprised everyone who knows me because I have never been big on romance in any form – books, television, or movies.  Now, I’m a romance fanatic, something I find amusing about myself.

I write both historical fiction and contemporary fiction romance for various ages from adult to young adult. Historical fiction comes naturally to me because I’ve always loved history. Contemporary fiction gives me an outlet to include more modern circumstances and situations. It requires less research and so often comes as a great relief to me. I actually enjoy writing both.

3. How did you come up with the title?

When I was about halfway into my first draft, I realized this would be a series of books. I wanted the titles to all reflect the same format, so I chose Love & Redemption, Life & Deliverance, and Faith & Forgiveness. There are actually six books in this series. The final three books deal with the children and siblings of the main characters in book one. Only book four has a title, Maire’s Song.

Each title is significant to the story and the life of the main character. Even the main character’s last name, O’Fallen, has meaning as I spelled it “Fallen” instead of the standard “Fallon”.

4. Where do you get your ideas?

I dare myself. Seriously. I wrote a short story just weeks ago saying I wanted the craziest boy-meets-girl storyline ever. A friend and I hashed it out and came up with the idea of a man who flies a hot air balloon falling in love with his passenger. Then we complicated the plot by having them crash in the midst of a group of anti-government activists living in the hills. As crazy as that storyline sounds, it was the most fun story to write. It was, however, very hard to title, but in the end I decided on Flight Risk. It will probably come out later this year.

I am also inspired by historical ideas. My first book, MISSING, came to be after reading about Clara Barton’s body-recovery organization after the Civil War. Love & Redemption was inspired by a television show where two youngsters were forced to marry and they didn’t want to. Everything I see is fodder for a story, and everyone as well.

5. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Michael O’Fallen in Love & Redemption is by far my most favorite character. I loved him so much I created more and more books based on this one story. Though each of the successive books has other main characters, he is a feature in each one in some part, continuing the story of his life. The reader will be able to read the books individually, but when all is said and done, want to read the entire series to get a grasp of how things fit together.

6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That God is big and strong and loving and only wants the best for mankind. He’s only a prayer away, one whispered word spoken from the heart. He’s a good God.

I also want the reader to see in my characters something of themselves. For this reason, I write more down-to-earth and emotional. The story must move me first before it will move the reader.

7. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

This excerpt is from chapter three in Love & Redemption.

Michael’s gut wrenched. How could they do this? He should speak up, say something.

Ferguson pitched forward, spurting fetid breath. “Here’s your present. Don’t you want it?”

Shadows swallowed his face, so Michael couldn’t read his expression.

Ferguson yelled at Chief. “Bring her here.” When she appeared alongside, he trailed his hand along her bottom, and she shrieked.

A female’s wail shot from inside the house only to be drowned out by the continuing squall of a baby. The boy pulled himself from the floor. “You’ll not take my sister. You can’t do this.” Stumbling down the steps, he pounding his fists on Chief’s back.

Chief glanced at him, his lip curled, and then barely flinching, sent the boy tumbling in the dust.

Ferguson laughed. “I’m afraid this one’s your father’s fault,” he cackled. “He couldn’t stop the game. ‘I’ve got a daughter,’ he said, ‘I’ll bet her.’”

Michael’s blood ran cold.

“Never could hold his liquor, Milton Sawyer. He did many a night’s watch for me during the war after losing at cards.”

Ferguson waved his hand toward Michael. “Give her to him. She’s his anyhow.”

Michael found his voice. “Mine? What are you talking about?” His horse paced restless, and so he gripped the reins tighter.

“Yours,” Chief snorted as he tossed the girl into the saddle.

Her slim form cupped warm to Michael’s chest.

“Now, shut up and take her.”

The girl’s sobs shook her narrow frame. “Papa,” she cried. “Why?”

Her father groaned from his place on the ground. “I’m sorry, daughter,” he called. “They took the farm, and I had nothing else. I thought I could get it back.”

“Why would you gamble away your daughter?” she cried.

Ferguson yanked his horse around, and the group of men followed. Pausing briefly, he glanced at the house. The girl’s father lay unmoving on the earth.

“Pleasure doin’ business with you again, Milton,” he laughed. He gazed at Michael, and his eyes glittered.

“What’s this about?” Michael asked. “And what do I have to do with it?” His horse paced sideways, and the girl slid in the saddle. With a yelp, she reached out for his arm. He wrapped a hand around her waist to steady her. “You gonna tell me or not? I’ve kept quiet ‘til now. I never signed up for this.”

Ferguson’s voice emerged a low growl. “You signed up to save yourself, and ye’ll do as you’re told. This here’s your wife, and we’re about to have us a weddin.”

8. As an indie author, what would you say to a potential reader who has never read anything from an indie author?

Indie authors get a bad rap and I understand why, having read some independently published books that were subpar. That said, some of the best books I’ve ever read are from indie authors and some of the worst through publishing companies. It pays to watch the lists and read samples, also to follow authors’ blogs. There are so many great ways to get bargain priced books and thus dip your toe into the water.  It isn’t necessary to go through a major company to be good. Instead, good writing comes through dedication and determination.

LOVE & REDEMPTION

99 Cents Through March 8th!

Love and Redemption CoverTake a trip into the past and fall in love with an Irishman.

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Michael O’Fallen simply wants to survive. A poor Irish boy living in post-Civil War New York, the events of one horrible night send him running–far south to unsettled Florida and an unplanned marriage with a girl he doesn’t know.

Now, he must protect her from the lust and greed of evil men and figure out how to make their escape. Will the dangers and perils they face tear their marriage apart? Or will he finally find true Love & Redemption?

View the book trailer for the first three books in the series!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHJqR2rWo6Y

To learn more about Suzanne visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor.