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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Blogger Peggy Blann Phifer and To See the Sun


PEGGY BLANN PHIFER is an author and columnist, book reviewer and author interviewer, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader who loves to escape by diving between the covers of a good book. Peg enjoys handcrafts of all kinds and her home shows off some of her work, though most end up as gifts for friends and family. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband Jim.

Contact her at her website at:
Visit her blog “Whispers in Purple" at

by Peggy Blann Phifer
Published by CreateSpace


Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her...

Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.

When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband's gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger. With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help...and it just might be her undoing.

Readers, buy your copy of To See the Sun today!

Read the first chapter here.


Ever since I can remember, something inside told me I would be a writer. Not that I recognized it. Life interrupted too many times for a number of years, until I retired from the working force in 2000. All of a sudden I had time to follow that urge. And God managed to nudge me—repeatedly—to pick up the pieces I’d fiddled with through the 1990’s, my affirmation that I was to write His story. The story He gave me to write.

It all began back in the 1940’s. Honest. My dad let me play with his Royal typewriter, a big, heavy thing with a 15” carriage, the one on which he wrote his Master’s Thesis. Even before I took typing in high school, I was able to pound out some business letters for Daddy and fool around with vague ideas of stories whirling around in my head.

An avid reader, I guess it was inevitable I’d soon begin to believe I could write better than some of what I read. The rest, as they say, is...not quite history. Life happened. Marriage, children, a move to a location a hated, culminating in an unwanted divorce and a chronic condition that indicated a change of climate. At age 40, I packed up everything I could into my 1973 Lincoln Continental Mark III and headed for the desert southwest. Hot and dry. Just what the doctor ordered. Literally.

New in town, now job, no friends, no funds except $2,000 in Traveler’s Checks, I found an apartment for $219 a month in a location I soon learned was...dangerous and drug-ridden. But I landed a job that turned out to be within walking distance from the apartment. I had little choice until I started earning an income. And that’s when the writing urge returned. Shy, and hard to befriend, I took my one-hour lunch to begin to form the basis of the story that became TO SEE THE SUN. That was 1980.

My job had me on the phone through various positions, and when I’d make an out-of-town call and identify myself “Hi, this is Peggy in Las Vegas” I grew tired of the immediate response in various forms of “Hey, Peg, won any money lately?” My standard come back was something like “Hey, you know there’s more to Vegas than “The Strip” and gambling. People actually live here. Our children even go to school. We go to church. Believe it or not, many of us never enter a casino!” Yeah, I tended to get a little sarcastic.

So, the more I worked through multiple location changes in my manuscript, none of which quite felt right, I finally decided to set it right here in my adopted home town. When I retired in 2000, I set out in earnest to seek publication. Up to that point I was more or less playing around. That’s why I say my newly released book was 10+ years in the making. I don’t like to admit it was actually over 30 years.

But God kept the story alive and gave me the tenacity to stay with it. I’m eternally grateful He did...AND that I listened.

* * * * *

Thank you, Peg, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Whether you’re a reader or a writer...or both...has a change in location, job, or situation made a life-changing difference in your life? How so? Was it for the better, or worse?

ENTRY RULES Readers, IF there is a book giveaway, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide. Paperback copy to anyone in the contiguous 48 states of the United States. E-book version (Kindle or Nook) to everyone else.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome David Bond and All Things are Possible


DAVID BOND is 56 years old and blind. He lost his sight in 1988 due to diabetic retinopathy. He earned a BS in Bible from Lancaster Bible College in 1995 and served as program director to a ministry to victims of crime until 2000. Since then he's pursued several avenues searching for a job or career, and discovered he enjoys writing fiction. He has been married since 1986 to Kimberly, and they have a 16-year old son Nathan. Along with a beagle puppy. They live near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

by David Bond
Published by Desert Breeze Publishing


Jessie Weaver narrowly escapes the North Tower on 9/11 and sets out to find her destiny. She owes her life to a man, and his tattered attaché. Zach Brenner believes he is doing something productive for once by going to Iraq as a private contractor, but ends up losing his eyesight. Jessie is convinced the attaché is her link to a man she believes she could love. But when she takes a job working for his family business, now owned and managed by his blinded brother Zach, she must come face to face with a new destiny. Will Zach find his footing in a suddenly dark world, and will he ever find his purpose in life? What if Jessie never sees Joel again? Only a Divine power could have placed two people going in opposite directions on a collision course with destiny, and each other. Yes, miracles do happen.

Readers, buy your copy of All Things Are Possible today!


I'm not a blogger, but here's my blog article:

One thing I've come to realize in the nearly 10 years I've been learning the craft of writing is, very few of us write in the same way. What I mean is, some, if not many writers, have "real" jobs. These writers have limited time to devote to writing and I think I admire this group of writers the most.

I am blind, and I don't have a regular job. My job is full-time writing. IF I did the math, my pay rate is probably about $.03 per hour! And that's probably on the high side!

I recently told someone I wouldn't have gone into writing had I not lost my sight. Although I am gifted with artistic and creative abilities, prior to losing my sight at age 33 (23 years ago), writing was definitely not the area I would have chosen to make use of this gift.

But I am now a published author with my debut full-length novel released this past January 1 (2012). And I consider myself a writer in every sense. The one thing I find interesting is how creativity is not a fixed substance. Where it served me in the past in visual ways, such as when I was a draftsman, or when I used to render house plans for a general contractor I worked for, my God given creativity slid easily into this new mode of fiction writing. And I am enjoying it thoroughly!

The funny thing is, at least in my situation, my blindness actually opened doors for me. Looking back, my previous jobs held little future potential. Although I’ve often said I might have ended up shifting from the old-style drafting to modern day CAD, I don’t know that for sure. The important issue is, am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing now? My sight loss wasn’t an accident in God’s plan for me. Do I see everything from this God perspective? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, well, yes too!

I plan to reflect this sediment in my novels. In my debut, The Attaché, the main character loses his eyesight. He is a man who does not believe in God, believing his ordeal was simply an accident—he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Throughout the novel, he comes to realize there may be other answers. But it’s not a message I pound into the reader’s head. I won’t do that to a reader.

My current tag line is: “To entertain, encourage, and edify.” Inspirational fiction these days must accomplish these essential objectives, in my opinion. And I place a lot of emphasis on the first one—entertainment. Readers have millions of books to choose from, and in the world of fiction, if a reader is not entertained, then what’s the point? Educating, uplifting, even inspiring readers will come on the heels of a good read. And that’s my ultimate goal: to write books that are good reads!

* * * * *

Thank you, Dave, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Is it hard to do research? And how do you type? Does your computer talk to you at any time?

ENTRY RULES Readers, IF there is a book giveaway, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE e-copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Welcome Betsy St. Amant and Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK


BETSY ST. AMANT lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

by Betsy St. Amant
Published by Barbour


Sixteen-year-old Addison Blakely has tirelessly played the role of PK—preacher’s kid—her entire life. But after Wes Keegan revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, Addison begins to wonder how much of her faith is her own and how much has been handed to her. She isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. Join Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence.

Readers, buy your copy of ADDISON BLAKELY: CONFESSIONS OF A PK today!


I think people often have a misconceived perception of authors. They hear the word “author” and they either automatically assume we are all Stephanie Meyers and J.K. Rowlings of the world, and ask to borrow money since we have so much, or they assume we have the cushiest job out there—that we sit back and eat bon-bons in front of our computers all day as we write to our heart’s content, every word we ever jot down publishing-worthy and epic.

The only true part of the above is the chocolate, but trust me, it’s discount ::wink::

I’m here to reveal a REAL glimpse into an author’s life.

I don’t get bon-bons, I get stale goldfish crackers that my toddler hasn’t polished off. I don’t write to my heart’s content, because well, then I’d never stop. I don’t sit in a pool of golden sunshine, delicately pondering life’s poetic experiences and writing as my muse sprinkles fairy dust over my keyboard. No, I sit among piles of laundry and dishes, and write in snippets during the day, or with red swollen eyes late at night, usually to the tune of a toddler hollering “Mama, I’ve got to poo-poo!” or the phone ringing or Nick JR blaring from the TV. I don’t get fairy dust sprinkles, I write with the dropping-anvil weight of other part-time job duties hanging over my head, job duties that actually pay the bills. And as for the publishing-worthy, epic words? Ha! Rejection letters still pile in, as do the bad reviews and the reader complaints.

But you know what? It might not be the cushiest job in the world, but for me, it’s the best.

Because those stale goldfish and toilet flushes and cartoon jingles just remind me that I have a precious toddler, who is a blessing to my heart and loves me unconditionally. The laundry and dishes prove that I have a home and husband to take care of and a life that gives me hope and joy to put into my writing to share with readers. Those rejection letters show me that I’m trying and not giving up on the dream God placed in my heart, while the bad reviews and reader complaints prove that I’m a published author, living that dream out in real color.

There are good reviews, too. There are handwritten messages from readers who were touched or affected in some way. There are fan emails and Facebook messages from people eager to read my next book. There are pictures of people reading my novel or pointing to it a bookstore. There are book-signings and royalty checks and advances and heartfelt notes that speak of a life changed.

And you know what all of THAT reminds me of?

How holy God is, and how unworthy I am.

And really, that’s the only reason why I write in the first place.

* * * * *

Thank you, Betsy, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: If you're a writer, why do you write? If you're a reader, why do you read?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

The contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 2012 New Releases in Christian Fiction

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Halflings by Heather Burch — One girl. Three half-angel guys. And the fate of the world. (Young Adult from Zondervan).

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot — Stagecoach robberies and a certain lieutenant make Abigail Harding’s summer at Wyoming’s Fort Laramie unforgettable. (Historical Romance from Revell).

The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden — Libby Sawyer’s quiet, respectable life in Colden, Massachusetts is shattered when a bold stranger from Romania invades her world. Fascinated by this enigmatic man, Libby uncovers layers of mystery surrounding Micahel Dobrescu’s amazing past…and his plans for the future in which she plays a startling role. (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

A Life of Joy by Amy Clipston — Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. (Romance from Zondervan).

An Amish Family Reunion by Mary Ellis, — As Phoebe embarks on a new romance and an unlikely career choice for someone Amish, the Miller family tries to put aside differences long enough to attend a joyous family reunion. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House).

The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher — Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding–again–she knows who is to blame. (Contemporary Romance from Revell).

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter — Two high-school sweethearts, a wedding reenactment, and one absent-minded preacher. Is it a recipe for disaster or a chance for a new beginning? (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson ).

All Roads Lead Home by Christine Johnson — An orphanage agent must drive her car across the United States to save a boy from a disastrous placement with the man who claims to be his father, but she needs the assistance of a mechanic, and the only one willing to help is the man she jilted two years ago. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Firethorn by Ronie Kendig — Explosive Conclusion to Ronie Kendig’s Discarded Heroes series. Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor. (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing).

Tomorrow’s Sun by Becky Melby  —  Faith reaches across the centuries when Emily Foster finds old letters in the 160-year-old house she’s remodeling, but Jake Braden, the contractor she’s just hired, doesn’t share her vision. (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing).

Cherry Blossom Capers by Cara Putman, Lynette Sowell, Gina Conroy, and Frances Devine — The lives of four neighbors are irrevocably changed amid mystery and romance. Assistant chef Tara Whitley is seeking a state dinner saboteur. Attorney Ciara Turner is tracking down a murderer. Budding archeologist Samantha Steele encounters a forger. Shop owner Susan Holland is someone’s target. Will God protect them in life and love? (Romance/Mystery from Barbour Publishing).

The Secret Heiress by Terri Reed  —  An adopted woman discovers she’s heir to a fortune, only someone doesn’t want her to live long enough to inherit. So she must hire a bodyguard to keep her safe but soon realizes her heart’s in danger as well. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired Suspense).

Amelia’s Journey by Martha W. Rogers  —  When young rancher Ben and socialite Amelia meet again after six years, they are attracted to each other immediately, but Amelia’s parents have other ideas for their daughter and forbid the relationship. (Historical Romance from Realms).

Winter Promise by Martha W. Rogers  —  Abigail Monroe comes to Porterfield, Texas to open a library and to join her brother, Daniel and best friend, Rachel Reed with no thoughts of marriage, but young Doctor Elliot and Deputy Sheriff Cory Muldoon are both smitten and vie for her heart. (Historical Romance from Realms).

Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey – Will Faith Lindberg follow her heart, or marry the wrong man to achieve her goal? (Historical Romance from Revell).

Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant  —  Sixteen-year-old Addison Blakely has tirelessly played the role of PK-preacher’s kid-her entire life. But after Wes Keegan revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, Addison begins to wonder how much of her faith is her own and how much has been handed to her. (Young Adult from Barbour Publishing).