Welcome to Christian Author Interviews. Enjoy our interview with Richard Blackaby in this episode. Listen in via the video or audio and share your thoughts in the comments. Don't forget to enter the giveaway below and share this interview with your friends!
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Dr. Richard Blackaby is the president of Blackaby Ministries International where he works with his father Henry and brother Tom. He is an author and a popular international speaker. Richard is married to Lisa and they have three amazing children: Mike, Daniel, and Carrie. Richard has a Ph.D. in history. He loves reading biographies and hockey. He works with leaders in the home, church, and business community, helping them develop their leadership to higher levels. Richard also co-authored the revision of "Experiencing God" and speaks often in churches and to Christian organizations.Follow Richard Blackaby Website | Facebook | Twitter
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This week I have a talented lady, Bonnie McCune showcased. She’s a great author, and I know everyone will enjoy Bonnie’s response to a few questions I asked.
Bonnie, what makes you laugh?
The human condition. I can’t take most of life too seriously. We’re so nonsensical with our concerns about material things, status, what others think about us. That’s why my writing has a definite humorous touch.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
I like to get into other people’s heads. I think if we could feel what others do, we’d be a lot kinder to one another, as well as more pleasant. For me, fiction writing is the closest we can get to this perspective. One of the best books I’ve read recently is The Absolutely True
Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
Told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old Native American boy, it’s hysterically funny while simultaneously dealing with tragedy such as alcoholism, death, and racism.
I’ll never be fourteen, a male, or a Native American, but Alexie is so skillful a writer that I became young Arnold for the duration of the book. Needless to say, the quality of the
writing helps immensely. That includes good grammar!
Have you noticed any changes in your writing style or approach compared to when you began writing?
I used to think fiction writing was all inspiration and creativity, as if it sprang from the author’s mind and fingers with almost no effort. I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult for me. Now I believe that although inspiration and creativity play a role, regular hard work is much more important. And actually this has made me feel more in control of my efforts because I’m more in control. I can rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. I can benefit from suggestions by my critique partners, friends, and readers.
The real work does begin after you’ve created the fiction world and gave the
characters life. Besides writing and reading, what are your favorite activities?
Rudyard Kipling wrote, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” That’s the way I feel. My favorites cost almost no money and aren’t splashy or fancy, but I love doing them. Sometimes they’re based at least partially on guilt—like exercising, taking walks, riding bikes. It took me years to realize and admit I enjoyed them. Sometimes I have to control them for my own best interests—like eating
out (limiting myself to vegetarian choices helps). I have a strong commitment to volunteerism, although right now I’m reviewing my options to find ones that fit with my lifestyle. I like to people-watch. I like to be with people who have curious, active, learning minds. My very favorite-ist right now is being with my two-year-old grandson,
who’s the biggest comedian in the world.
It sounds like you have a busy life. I’m not surprised you enjoy people. Authors have a unique way of focusing on life. I too keep my grand’s and have found the most important things-cost nothing.
Tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it? My most recent publication is a novella called “Heart-Strong.” A ditzy divorced soccer mom, attracted to bad boys, meets a "normal" man who may be her soul mate--if she opens her heart. As a former soccer mom with no interest or skills in athletics, but who wanted to support her children, I identified with my heroine Rachel. And over the years I’ve known many women who seemed to have a problem meeting and staying with nice guys. Subconsciously, some of us are attracted to the idea of the wild, strong male (the rake” in Regency romances) and sabotage our own best possibilities. I wanted to give a nice guy a chance for once. Of course he turns out to be not quite as nice a guy as we think.
It sounds great, do you have any other works in progress?
I’m currently working on a contemporary romance tentatively titled Burn: Playing with Fire. When a woman first loses her job, then gets dumped by her boyfriend, she fears she’s destined to be homeless and loveless. But a raging forest fire lights flames between her and a brusque small town mayor to show her what’s really important in life. The setting is a town in Colorado loosely based on places I’ve known. I love these hamlets. They always have a wonderful mix of eccentrics, loners, and regular neighbors; yet their problems are universal. I also am working on a satire about government and government employees entitled Civil Servants. Not a romance although at least one occurs in the course of the book.
Thanks Bonnie for sharing a little more of yourself with us. I know you also have another novel out called “A Saint comes stumbling In, which is another great read.” Below are a few purchase links for her novels and a bit more about author Bonnie McCune.
Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem about rain rushing down the gutter to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization and managed Denver's beautification program.
Simultaneously, she’s been a free-lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers' and arts' groups, and children's literacy. For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Cook Off. A special love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged
optimism?), she believes that one person can make a difference in this world.
Her true passion is fiction. Her credits include a novel, A Saint Comes Stumbling In (2012) and a novella, "Heart-Strong" (2013), both from Prism Book Group. See information about these, as well as samples of her published short stories, on her website, www.BonnieMcCune.com
I'm very excited to showcase Ruth Roberts; she’s a very talented author who hits home base with her novel.
Here’s some information of the author behind “Home Run.”
Ruth Roberts has worked in public relations for fifteen years. She lives in Texas with
her husband, teenage daughter and their dog, Kimi. Her hobbies are reading romance novels and writing them. Her family says she is addicted to books, in her opinion that’s not a bad addiction to have.
Here’s glimpse into her contemporary Romantic Novella.
Cynthiana, beautiful, intelligent, and by all appearances, a spoiled socialite, finds herself as chair of the Inner City Youth League Charity Gala. Her Co-Chair, Roberto Luque, is Major League Baseball’s newest playboy from the Dominican Republic. Far from being in the league of men her parents expect her to choose from, which is just fine with her, since she has sworn off playboys. But, as they work together she discovers his devotion to the inner city children and wonders if there is more to him than his playboy reputation. Will she break her no playboy rule long enough to find out?
Roberto fought his way into the Majors. Now a successful pitcher for the Texas Rangers, he is living the life he
always dreamed of—until he faces off with a bad-tempered, blue-eyed, redhead that is not his type. Why is he so drawn to her? The Charity Gala gives him a chance to find out. What he finds beneath that socialite veneer captivates him, heart and soul.
When her powerful father threatens to tear them apart, destroying not only their love, but also Roberto’s hard won career, will he be willing to give it all up for love?
You can purchase this great novella at Amazon.com
These are only a few of the reviews.
Homerun is a Winner by Adventure Reader - When the seemingly-spoiled socialite, Cynthiana, and the professional baseball player, Roberto, team up for a fundraiser, sparks fly and they soon discover the electrical charge isn't caused by animosity, but by mutual attraction. What starts out as a simple straight-forward romance soon becomes complex when Cynthiana's father attempts to dictate the course of her future and destroy
Roberto at all costs. This novella has just enough spice and ample drama to create a real winner.
Krystal Zitak says, “Homerun was a refreshing and sweet romance. The characters were easy to connect with and made you hope they got their happily ever after. Ruth Roberts writing style made the story enjoyable and impossible to put down. I will definitely be reading more from her.”
Pure romance! By Carlene – "Homerun" by Ruth Roberts is deliciously romantic, but also full of surprises. I loved the characters and found them totally believable--also enjoyed disliking the villain, if that makes any sense. Just when I thought I had things figured out, they would take another 180 degree turn. This is a short, sweet story that kept me entertained (and guessing) to the very end. "Homerun" is well-written and definitely worth reading.
You can find Ruth Roberts on Facebook or on the web at RuthRobertsRomance.com. You can also email her at
email@example.com. She loves hearing from fans.
It is a delight to introduce Author Gay N.
Lewis! Her debut novel, Sarah: A Mission
of Love is one of the most charming angel tales I’ve read.
Sarah: Laney’s Angel is the next adventure for Sara, release date June, 2013.
Gay, I’m honored to have you on my blog. I’m eager to tell my readers all about Sarah, but first, I want them to know the beautiful person you are. Tell us about yourself…who is Gay Lewis?
Thank you Mary for inviting me, Who am I?
In a nutshell, I probably seem boring to my people around me. Like Ben Franklin, I go to bed early and rise early. I usually walk two miles each day, but now that I’m so busy writing, that seems to have slacked off a bit. I’ve shortened my distance to at least a mile, but I need to return to that two mile thing. I’m a pastor’s wife in a bi-vocational church located about thirty minutes from home. I live west of Houston in Fulshear, TX. However, it is almost impossible to tell when one leaves one city for another.
When I was eight years old, I knew God wanted me in special service. As I child, I thought assisting the Lord meant years as a missionary. Ten years after my decision to make this sacrifice of home and country, I married a Baptist minister. My husband felt called to ministry, but not to missions. Except for our first year in Oklahoma, we have served Him in Texas.
For years, my husband provided leadership as Senior Pastor in large churches, but by his choice, we now serve in a lovely, smaller one. Three languages are spoken in our pocket-sized congregation—English, Spanish, and Chinese. I teach adult Bible study during the first hour, lead music the second hour and direct Kid Jam Time when I’m finished. Sunday mornings exhaust me. I come home on Sunday and relax with a good book, and Mary, your Escape to Big Fork Lake is one I enjoyed on my afternoon of rest. I’ve always been an avid reader, and my favorite genre is inspirational fiction. My husband reads non-fiction and constantly wants me to read one of his choices. Alas! Just not enough time to read all the books out there.
I absolutely loved Sarah: A Mission of Love. I’m always a sucker for angel stories, but Sarah is quite the most adorable angel ever. Would you share a little about the storyline with us?
Sarah even makes me smile—and sometimes laugh out loud. This little angel is always lost and wishes for a GPS, but angels aren’t supposed to need one. In A Mission of Love she makes her first trip to earth from The Heavenlies. In this assignment, Sarah is to assist Tom Shoemaker unite in marriage by Valentine’s Day. How can she do that in six weeks’ time? My word, the man doesn’t even have a girlfriend.
With a need to escape church casseroles, Tom and his mother make their way to a diner. After donning a human disguise, Sarah joins them. While waiting for a cheeseburger, she fiddles with a few tiny pink, newfangled packages sitting next to the salt shaker.
What could those things be? After inadvertently tearing one open, she discovers a sugar like substance and spills it on the floor. Scrunching down to clean up the mess, Sarah causes the waitress to stumble and dump a platter of chicken-fried steak and gravy down Tom’s sweater. Oh merciful heavens! She’s accidently introduced Marcy Montgomery to Tom. Marcy’s a widow with a five year old daughter, and as soon as young Hope meets Tom, she wants him for a daddy. These three are obviously attracted to each other, but what if Marcy isn’t the one for Tom? What will the Superiors say? Poopty doopty! What’s an angel to do now?
In this story, we follow Sarah through one blooper after another. Mother Goodness, her mentor, comes often to guide Sarah, but this diminutive spirit loves cheeseburgers and red stilettos. Even Mother Goodness can’t keep the pint-sized being from disasters caused by her inappropriate choices for human disguises and her love for outrageous footwear.
What was your inspiration for this book?
Like most authors, I’ve always wanted to write. After I retired from the interior design field, I carved my first story—a historical, women’s fiction based on a true incident. Maybe with a rewrite, it will see print one day. The second book, a sequel, went nowhere. Along the way, I joined Romance Writers of America. Through this group, I met many diverse authors. Some were gigantic sellers of paranormal literature. With no knowledge of vampires or werewolves, and no desire to learn about them, I decided to write a fantasy about a dyslexic angel. I prefer uplifting, happy stories, and a well-intentioned goof-ball of a heaven sent spirit hit the spot. Through Sarah, I can also write nuggets about faith and Christianity. I thank God He gave me Sarah. I also thank Him for my enormous sense of humor. I’ve enjoyed using it with Sarah.
What is your favorite scene from Mission of Love? Would you mind sharing it with us?
I have many favorite scenes. This is one from Chapter thirteen. Sarah wants Tom to think of buying flowers for Marcy.
From Chapter 13
She moved to a section where beautiful floral arrangements were displayed. As she absorbed their fragrance and color, an idea came to her. Inside an empty cubicle in the ladies room, she materialized into the form of a man. She chose a tall height and medium build, black hair, black mustache and brown eyes. Tan slacks and a brown sweater adorned her new frame. She cleared
her throat to see what her voice sounded like.
It sounded female. That wouldn’t do. She massaged her throat a few times and tried again. This time, the result was a deep masculine voice. Perfect.
She strolled out of the stall.
“Yeek!” A woman shrieked when Sarah emerged from the stall in her disguise. The lady ran from the women’s rest room and yelled to all the patrons on the outside, “There’s a man in there.”
Sarah slapped her forehead. She had forgotten she was in a women’s rest room.
A male employee opened the door. “Sir, I think the lady customers would be more comfortable if you took your place in the men’s room.”
Sarah smiled. “Oh, sorry!” Oops! Her voice tinkled in a tone way too feminine and squeaky. She cleared her throat. “I guess I got confused and didn’t look where I was going. I’m leaving now. Sorry to have bothered anyone.”
Back in the store, she tried to imitate a macho man’s walk. She glanced over her shoulder and saw the employee frown as he eyed her shoes. A glance at her feet told her why. She had on red stilettos with five inch heels.
Are you able to share a peek into the plot of Laney’s Angel? Any idea when readers can expect it to become available?
Sure, I’d love to tell you a bit about Laney. Sarah: Laney’s Angel is scheduled for a June, 2013 release. Here’s a blurb.
A beautiful and stubborn, architect, Laney Taylor, battles her attraction to handsome, wealthy, but mulish homebuilder Cannon Carlson. After all, he is her employer, and business and pleasure don’t mix, do they? When Sarah, the blonde, blue-eyed, dyslexic angel reaches Houston with her assignment to bring these obstinate people together, she faces a major challenge, especially since Laney is threatened by a mysterious stalker who plans to kill her.
When the Commander of Heaven’s Host dispatches the seasoned warrior angel, Tomas to Earth with divine instructions to protect Laney, Tomas wonders if a hit-or-miss Sarah will get in his way. That charming, little angel loves red stilettos, can’t fly in the same direction twice, and craves cheeseburgers. When the need to appear human presents itself, Sarah manages one fashion gaffe after another. Angels in The Heavenlies are still twittering about Sarah’s goofs on her first mission to Earth.
Known in the upper realm as Heaven’s Little Romance Angel, Sarah has no sentinel duties, but can Tomas succeed in his duty to protect Laney with a bumbling spirit who wants to help? Can Sarah unite Cannon and Laney romantically together?
Oh merciful heavens! What will Sarah do this time?
What are you working on now?
I’m having fun with this story too. This little angel tries so hard to succeed, and I find myself identifying with her bungling efforts. In our home office, my husband sat at his desk while I pummeled the keyboard at my computer desk. When I broke the silence with laughter, he turned to me and said, “What’s Sarah done this time?”
In the third book, Sarah tackles the assignment to help a wealthy widow find a mate. Bella, the heroine, is lonely in ways money doesn’t satisfy and desires male companionship. Two attractive men flatter the lady with attention, but are the guys attracted to the widow or the fortune she inherited? Sarah distrusts the motives of these two and creates many blunders with her attempts to discover the one with honorable intentions.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse of scripture?
I have many. Here’s one at the top of the list. “I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep striving for that day when I will be all Christ saved me for and wants me to be.” Philippians 3:12, The Living Bible.
What a lovely picture you have shared with us Gay. Where was this taken and who is that beautiful lady with you.
This was at Minute Maid Park with daughter, Christy. We are huge baseball fans.
Where can we find your books? And do you have a website or blog, where readers can keep up with you and your writing activities?
Thanks for asking! My books are available in Ebook or print. You can find them at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any book seller. If your favorite store doesn’t have Sarah, please ask them to order for you! And please let me hear from you.
On Twitter: GayNLewis2
On Facebook: GayNLewis
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