Thursday, August 26, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Janetta Fudge Messmer

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Janetta Fudge Messmer

Linda: Welcome and thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent release, It’s a Mystery...Birds. Can you tell us a bit about the book and your inspiration for your plot? 

Janetta: It’s a Mystery…Birds is Book #5 in the Early Birds series. As I’ve said to my readers, my characters are not done talking to me yet. My hubby and I brainstorm ideas for my books, and when I came up with this idea of someone tagging along in Betsy or Rose’s RV, and I wanted to make it a mystery, he wasn’t so sure. I couldn’t blame him. It was my first time doing one, but what fun I had writing it. 

LM: You’ve written in a variety of genres. How do you decide which book/genre to write next? 

Janetta: I have to say it’s back to brainstorming. An idea pops into my head and I go with it. One I have in the back of my mind could be either a historical or contemporary. I’m just not sure I want to tackle another historical. 

LM: Research is an important part of writing. What sort of research did you do for It’s a Mystery...Birds, and is there a particularly intriguing tidbit you stumbled on you knew you had to include? 

Janetta: I don’t want to say I didn’t do research for this one, but the readers here today may not know
that my husband and I are full-time RVers. Since It’s a Mystery…Birds is about a famous author tagging along with my main characters, I thought it’d be fun to imagine someone coming along on our travels. What would I have to change in my lifestyle to bring along someone? What if they’d never camped before? How would we deal with having a stranger with us 24/7 in a teeny tiny space? Meals? Quiet time? Entertaining them? 

LM: What sort of routine do you have for your writing? (e.g. do you write at a certain time during the day, set up somewhere specific, etc.) 

Janetta: Since I don’t have a designated place to write, I’ve learned I work best in the morning hours, or when my husband is off doing something. Another reason I write in the morning; we like to go sightseeing in our travels. Getting my writing done early leaves the rest of the day free. 

Linda: What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

Janetta: Since I write Comedy, I look for comical scenes for my characters. The crazier the better. Those are the most fun to write. I enjoy when my readers tell me that my words made them laugh. Side Note: I also crack myself up at time. I tried being serious in my writing, but it didn’t work for me. I also enjoy editing. I’m an editor at heart. Back to writing, I’ve written long enough now that I can cut a scene if I don’t think it works. Years ago (i.e. first book – Early Birds), I thought every word was a precious gem. HA!!! 

LM: If money were no object, where is your idea of the ultimate vacation? 

Janetta: Taking around-the-world cruise 

LM: What is your advice for fledgling writers? 

Janetta: DO NOT GIVE UP. Take some time to pray about whatever they’re working on. Listen. The answer will come. 

LM: What is your next project? 

Janetta: Right now I’m editing a memoir. Next writing project is another Contemporary Romance. No title yet. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Janetta: Janetta Fudge Messmer, Author of Christian Comedies (with a touch of Romance). 
Books are available on Amazon: 

About It's a Mystery...Birds 

When Betsy Stevenson signed up for the writer’s conference, she thought she’d see her Houston friends and learn more about the craft of writing. However, rain, canceled flights, and a chance meeting with Dillon McCloud (a mystery writer and keynote speaker) turns her life into a back-to-back adventure. 
And the mayhem has to include Rose Wilford, Betsy’s bestest friend in all the world. Especially since she ‘happens’ to show up at the writer’s conference, and she isn’t a writer. While she’s there – Rosie invites Dillon to join them on a girl’s trip in her RV. The famous writer accepts.
Monday morning, they’re on the road. And they are no more than fifty-five miles when suspense and intrigue come knocking at the RV door. Not to mention seeing lingerie where you’d never expect to find undergarments. 
It’s a mystery, for sure. 
Follow the Early Birds, plus one, on a journey where snooping around leads them to more than clues. It may even include a little matchmaking amid criminal activity. Is there actually a crime, or is it all a marketing ploy for the mystery author to sell her latest novel?

Purchase Link:

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Sharon Rene

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Sharon Rene

Linda: Congratulations on your upcoming novel Hesitant Heroes. What was your inspiration for the story, and why did you decide to make it part of a series? 

Sharon: I read The Hunger Games series and it blew me away. It was the first speculative book I’d ever read, and I became very interested in the genre. I thought that Christian teens would enjoy a speculative series that wasn’t as violent as The Hunger Games. 
I came up with the idea of a high school in 2062 for exceptional teens all over the planet. The world is ruled by the authoritarian and anti-religious Global Collective. The Christian students are soon embroiled in mystery and danger. 

When I wrote Hesitant Heroes, I didn’t plan for this to be a series. The book ends with a satisfying conclusion – not on a cliff hanger. As the writer, I kept wondering what else happened. (LOL) So I wrote Relentless Rebels. While writing Relentless Rebels, I learned more about the backstory of the adults in the book. I decided they needed a book of their own, thus the prequel Defying Destiny. 

LM: Research is an important aspect of writing. How did you go about researching Hesitant Heroes

Sharon: Because Hesitant Heroes is set in the future I didn’t have to do a lot of research. If I needed a
special gadget I just invented one. That’s what’s so fun about writing speculative. The book takes place in the Alps and Venezuela, so I did research weather,  plants, and vegetation. The teens in the book have various skills such as martial arts, ballet, mountain climbing, and computer hacking. I had to research those areas too. 
LM: What is it that draws you to the YA genre in general and speculative fiction specifically? 

Sharon: I loved to read when I was a teen and I believe the books we read make an impression on us. I’ve worked with children and teens in Bible Fellowship for many years. Telling a story is an excellent way to keep the students interested. Teens can be more interesting than adults and definitely more real. I like speculative because our world is constantly changing. We think we’re secure and life will never change but that’s not true. Things can change for the better or the worse. I believe it’s good for teens and adults to read about a world they’d hate to live in. Perhaps it will help them try to make our world a better place. 

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing (e.g., listen to music, set up in a certain place, etc.)? 

Sharon: I don’t really do anything special. I write whenever I can find the time. I write on a notepad in the evenings and sometimes on my lunch hour at work. I have my computer set up in my bonus room and sometimes I’ll spend most of Saturday typing away. I also work on my laptop in bed. 

LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do? 

Sharon: One of the characters in Hesitant Heroes is a martial arts champion. As an adult, I took karate for over three years, but life got in the way and I had to stop. I wish I could have learned more. 

LM: What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to fledgling writers? 

Sharon: Never give up. Rejections are hard and you will get a lot of them. I try not to let myself dwell on rejection and concentrate on the writing itself. You have to enjoy the journey. If the Lord sets you on this writing path, He will guide and direct you. 

LM: What is your next project? 

Sharon: I have completed a romantic suspense that’s in search of a publishing home. I’ve started a middle-grade book about a girl and her friends who want to be detectives. Their curiosity and imaginations lead them into many adventures. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 


About Hesitant Heroes: 

In a future where the planet is ruled by the powerful Global Collective Council, Christian computer geek Jordan Scott is chosen to attend Global Collective University. Shy and insecure, she has difficulty fitting in with the intelligent, worldly teens at GCU. Christian students mysteriously disappear from campus. Jordan discovers these students will be framed in a plot to assassinate a radical councilmember. Suddenly she is forced into a leadership position as she and her teammates' journey from the European Alps to the jungles of Venezuela. Fighting fears that have haunted her for years, Jordan battles with the strongest political force on the planet. Did God place her at GCU for “such a time as this,” and will He use her to save the missing students and stop the assassination?

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Sharon K. Connell

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Sharon K. Connell

Linda: Welcome and thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your upcoming release. Can you tell us a bit about the book and your inspiration for your plot? 

Sharon: Thank you for having me, Linda. Ko’olau’s Secret is basically about trusting God. A young woman finds that her father, an Army major stationed on O’ahu, Hawai’i, is missing. Even his commanding officer has no idea what happened. Kyleigh learns that her father gave the Honolulu Police Department some information about criminal activity, but she’s getting nowhere in finding out what they’re doing to find him or what’s going on. She’s not even sure she can trust the detectives who are handling the case. And they certainly aren’t going to stop her from looking for her missing father on her own, even if it takes her into the Ko’olau Range to see if he’s had an accident up there on the mountain and no one’s come across him yet. 
LM: What draws you to the mystery/suspense genre? 

Sharon: I love suspense and mystery, whether it’s in a book I’m reading or something on TV or a movie. I suppose that’s why I started writing it. 

LM: Research is an important part of writing. What sort of research have you done for your books, and is there a particularly intriguing tidbit you stumbled on you knew you had to include? 

Sharon: Oh, my! Another thing I love to do is research. I’ll ask questions of anyone who will talk to me when I start looking for information I need for a story. For my books, I’ve contacted the Navy, police officers, first responders, searched online for trusted sites to get specific information like the Army and FBI, and even contacted the Chamber of Commerce in North Bend, Nebraska for my story Treasure in a Field. For Ko’olau’s Secret, I joined the Facebook group All Things O’ahu Hawai’i to talk to locals on the island. I subscribed to magazines and newsletters from Hawai’i and made friends with several people who lived or were born and raised on O’ahu. People are more than generous with information if you tell them you’re a writer working on a story involving their expertise or locale, and you’d like to get the details correct. So far, I’ve not been turned down. 

When it comes to stumbling upon information I wanted to include in the story, there was just too much. Tempted as I was to add things to the story really not needed for my plot or the scenes, I had to restrain myself. For Ko’olau’s Secret, I did add a section in the back of the book for some fun facts I thought the readers might enjoy learning about. 

LM: What sort of routine do you have for your writing? (e.g. do you write at a certain time during the day, set up somewhere specific, etc.) 

Sharon: When I first get going in the morning, I do some routine chores around the house, and then step into my office and start working on my current work in progress. Generally, I’ll do other chores as breaks from sitting at the desk. But I keep going until it’s time to make dinner. My writing is a full-time job to me, so I treat it that way. My husband made the guest room into an office where I have everything I need for my writing at my fingertips. It’s just like when I worked out of the home in the 9 to 5 world. 
Linda: What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

Sharon: That’s a hard one because I enjoy all of it. The first draft, coming up with little sub-plots, self-editing, getting critiques from my critique group, the research. It’s all a joy to me. But I guess if I had to be pinned down to a favorite part, it would be getting that notice that my book has been published, and then getting that first comment about the book from a reader. 
LM: If money were no object, where is your idea of the ultimate vacation? 

Sharon: I used to think that my ideal destination for the ultimate vacation would be in the United
Kingdom. But now that I’ve written Ko’olau’s Secret, I’ve changed my mind. I’d love to vacation somewhere at the foot of the Ko’olau Range, take walks up the mountain, visit the waterfalls on the island of O’ahu, and spend time with the native Hawaiians. 
LM: What is your advice for fledgling writers? 

Sharon: 1. If you have an idea for a story, write it. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or any of the editing details until you have that story down from the first paragraph until you add “The End” to the manuscript. Then go back and start your first read-through of your story. That’s when you start to make corrections. 2. If God’s called you to write, write. Ignore anyone who says you can’t do it. 3. Take some classes in writing. If you can’t afford them or don’t have time to go to school for writing classes, join a free online course. Look around online and find something that fits what you need. 4. Get to know other writers. No one is an expert in this field so take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Use what works for you, and discard the rest. 5. Read, read, read. It’s the best way for you to learn how to write. You’ll learn what you think is the right way to do it, and you’ll learn what you’ll think is the wrong way to do it. Use what you learn. 
LM: What is your next project? 

Sharon: In time for the holidays, I’m putting together a cookbook called Simply Cooking. This will be a cookbook for beginners, and/or for those who don’t have time for gourmet recipes or simply don’t care to cook with ingredients not normally found in their kitchen. After the first of the year, I’ll be writing a story set in the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado. I already have notes on that one. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

The new group I set up on Facebook to have my launch party, which is tomorrow evening is, Ko’olau’s Secret Bk launch party group: 
Facebook Author’s book page:
About Ko'olau's Secret

Kyleigh Flanagan, receives a strange note from her father, an Army Major stationed on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu. The wording tells her something is not right. Her calls to him go unanswered. 
With her best friend Marisa, Kyleigh sets off for O'ahu to find out what’s going on. Her father’s commanding officer has no idea where he is but ordered an investigation. The major had contacted the Honolulu Police Department with information about suspicions he had. But what information? 
After checking with HPD, Kyleigh and Marisa are told Detectives O’Shea and Swanson were assigned to the case. But the detectives are not available to speak to. Kyleigh is still in the dark. She is not one to sit around and do nothing when her father is missing. 

Could the mysterious Ko'olau Range, which holds many secrets, have an answer to her father’s disappearance? The two handsome detectives cause sparks to fly, and not the good kind. At least, not at first. Can Kyleigh trust them? Authorities had let her down in the past when her mother was killed and the murderer not apprehended.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Fiction Friday: New Releases

August 2021 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website
Historical Romance:

A Warrior’s Heart by Misty M. Beller -- Brielle Durand is a key defender and hunter for her people's peace-loving French settlement in the Canadian mountains. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. She won't allow another massacre like the one that killed her mother a dozen years before. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way? (Historical Romance from Bethany House)

The Debutante’s Secret by Mary Davis -- Will Geneviève open her heart to a love she never imagined? Geneviève Marseille, a French socialite, has only one purpose in coming to Kamola—stopping her brother from digging up the past. She has reluctantly journeyed alone to the quaint college town in central Washington State. Kamola is so different from her beloved Paris that she is tempted to abort her mission, but the kindness of a handsome deputy tempers her desire to flee. (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Beyond These War-Torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer -- The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart? While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)

General Historical:

Book Title by Terrie Todd -- War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes' sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son. Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created? (General Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Amish Romance:

The Cowboy’s Amish Haven by Pamela Desmond Wright -- Her home and her heart are on the line… On the same day Gail Schroder’s faced with losing her Amish family ranch, her old crush Levi Wyse shows up on her doorstep. He doesn’t know that when he left ten years ago he'd taken Gail’s heart with him. Now Levi’s her only hope of keeping a roof over her head. But can this cowboy teach Gail the ropes in time to save her home? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

An Amish Schoolroom by Amy Clipston -- Description. (Amish Romance from Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

A Mother’s Strength by Allie Pleiter -- Will finding her son a friend lead to forever love? Single mom Molly Kane will do anything to help her son overcome his anxieties—including enlisting former police officer Sawyer Bradshaw to give him golf lessons. Sawyer’s a loner, yet he quickly forms a bond with little Zack. And with Molly. But protecting Zack means Molly must keep her heart off-limits from Sawyer, even as her little boy draws them together…(Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad -- He's determined to confront the past she's desperate to forget. When Adeline Green’s now-famous high school crush descends on her quiet life, a public spotlight threatens to expose her deepest regret. After eight years of trying to bury her mistakes under a life of service, she's broke financially and spiritually. The last thing she can afford is feelings for the man who took center stage in her past—even if he does claim to know the secret to her redemption. But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Cottage on Seagull Lane by Patti Jo Moore -- Description. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)


Into the Unknow by Daphne Self, et. al. -- Humanity has spread and colonized regions of the galaxies. As their reach expanded, countries, colonies, and planets joined to form the Federated Nations, providing a centralized government among the stars. Along with the Science Conglomerate—who explores and researches the unknown regions—and the Judicial Clerical Court—purveyors of truth, history, and justice—humanity discovers new beings, wondrous worlds, old temptations, and strength in horrendous trials. (Speculative from Ambassador International)

One Hundred Proof Murder by Mary Ellis -- ravel writer Jill Curtis is in Louisville, Kentucky, on the next stop of her bourbon tour assignment, and is keen to explore the local distilleries with her videographer, Michael Erickson – especially since her new beau, Lieutenant Nick Harris, lives in the city. But the night before Jill’s first tour at Parker’s Distillery, she is shocked to learn that the master distiller, William Scott, has died suddenly of a heart attack – and even more shocked when she discovers William’s daughter, Alexis, suspects foul play. Is there more to William’s death than meets the eye? Jill is soon drawn into a deadly blend of rivalry, jealously, and cold-blooded murder as she attempts to uncover the truth behind William's unexpected demise. (Cozy Mystery from Severn House)


Exile by Brian Shotton -- Gone for three years, Scott returns home to find Aurora in decay. A curse has descended on the small Kentucky town. Someone is convincing the young to take their own lives, and with each suicide the death-cycle grows stronger, entangling all it touches. Scott and Father Stan must find the source of the evil if they hope to heal and restore community. Meanwhile, Dee and Tim find their own trouble at the Order of the Third Sister. A demon has infiltrated the Sisters, hellbent on discovering the truth behind the prophecy of the Scion and secretly ushering in the destruction of the enclave. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical, Independently Published)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:  
Justice at Dawn by Valerie Massey Goree, When a training exercise turns deadly, can Agent Callahan save the rookie, the abducted family, and himself? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Counterfeit Captive by Susan Page Davis, A chance for escape takes two unlikely allies on a romantic adventure along a desert trail. (Historical Romance)
Betrayal of Genius by Robin Patchen, Join Jacqui and Reid as they navigate this pulse-pounding, faith-filled adventure into the high-stakes world of medical research, innovation, and greed. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
P.W. Stone and the Missing Kingdom by S.C. Easley, Sometimes the planets and stars do align. Enter the Kingdom Realms, where the unseen is seen, and battles must be won... (Children’s/Middle Grade)
Sweet Summer by Christina Sinisi, Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk? (Contemporary Romance)
Potato Flake Christmas by Cathe Swanson, It seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Contemporary Romance)

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Valerie Goree!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back, Valerie Goree!

Linda: Welcome back and thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on the release of Justice at Dawn. What was your inspiration for the plot? 
Valerie: Since this is the last novel in my Stolen Lives Trilogy, I wanted to return to characters from the first novel. Although they feature in the plot, the story revolves around Cooper, IRO’s training officer, and his new recruit. What does it take to become an IRO agent? What training do they undergo and what skills do they need? 
LM: What draws you to write in the suspense genre? 
Valerie: I read romantic suspense so it seemed natural for me to write in that genre. I love to create a hook at the end of a chapter to entice the reader to keep turning the pages. A story that only focuses on perfect characters and their wonderful lives would be boring, in my opinion. So I love to put my hero and heroine in difficult situations and ratchet up the trouble. 

LM: How did you come up with the idea for the International Retrieval Organization? Is there something similar in “real life?” 
Valerie: IRO is my creation, a detective agency on steroids, with superior technology and unlimited funds. What fun to create a story world where my characters’ ingenuity is supported by the organization’s resources. 
LM: Your story is set in California. Did you choose that location for a specific reason? Have you had the opportunity to visit the area where you set your story? 
Valerie: Weep in the Night and Day of Reckoning, books one and two in the Trilogy, are set in
California. Although IRO has branches in other states, I needed my hero agent to be based in San Diego for this plot. I have visited San Diego and San Juan Capistrano. Although I have not spent time in the Caspers Wilderness Park, I relied on Google maps and my imagination for the cabin scenes. 
LM: What authors have influenced your writing? 

Valerie: I’ve been privileged to be part of a critique group for many years. As I write today, I can “hear” various members’ comments from the past. Corrections to problems I always made, the comma guru adding or deleting, insightful suggestions to improve the scene. I appreciate all the help I received from Catherine Leggitt, Marcia Lahti, Marcy Dyer, and you, Linda. 
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do? 

Valerie: I wish I could ice-skate. As a youth, I loved to roller skate, but since I grew up in a small town in Central Africa, we had no access to frozen ponds. When I attended university in the USA, I visited friends in Colorado one Christmas break. They took me ice-skating at Estes park. Well, I spent a lot of time on the ice but not on my feet. 
LM: What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer to fledgling writers? 

Valerie: Read novels in your genre, attend workshops or conferences, read craft books, join a critique group, but most importantly, hone your skills by writing, writing, writing. You can only improve your skills by “practicing”. 

LM: What is your next project? 

Valerie: One of my publishers is sponsoring a series of novels under the umbrella theme of “My Mother’s Secret.” My character’s mother worked in a genetic research lab. When Anna reads the will, she is astonished to discover… Aha. You’ll have to wait until that novel is published. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 


About Justice at Dawn:
Cooper Callahan has been an International Retrieval Organization operative for fifteen years. In all that time he has never worked with a trainee like Kitty Claire Briggs. Overflowing with energy, KC isn’t quiet long enough for him to think. But when the boss assigns them a training mission to follow Sadie, his wife, KC’s serious side emerges. Sure, former stunt double, KC, wants to be an agent, but she also has an ulterior motive to be accepted by IRO—she wants access to their superior technology. Can she locate her quarry without Cooper finding out? As Cooper shares the finer points of surveillance with KC, his waning faith is strengthened by her enthusiasm for the Lord and for the job. When the training exercise turns into a real abduction, will KC’s naiveté lead to death or to a successful conclusion to the case?

Purchase Link: