Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist, writing "Seatbelt Suspense" for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers. She also has written the distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons).

She and her family divide their time between the California Bay Area and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Visit her website at


A young woman with a mysterious past and a deep need to belong. An assassin with unusual methods and great professional pride. One woman’s secrets unleash an entire town’s pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

From the Back Cover

Something sinuous in the water brushed against Paige’s knee. She jerked her leg away. What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand.

Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers.


She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. Something solid bumped her wrist. Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out.

Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night—and finds herself face to face with death.

Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice.

In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith’s first glimmer. One woman’s secrets unleash an entire town’s pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

I’m a big fan of Brandilyn’s blog. It was one of the first blogs I started visiting. I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing from her. I highly recommend reading from the first post until now. She shares her experiences about breaking into the writing business.

Brandilyn's blogsite:

Scenes and Beans, the virtual blog for the fictional Kanner Lake characters from this book series:

Baby Names

Don’t you just love coming up with your child’s name?

My husband and I had a great time coming up with our daughter’s name. I’d throw a name out and my hubby would veto it. I finally found a name I loved. Michaela, yes I was a Dr. Quinn fan. My husband thought I said Nichaela and fell in love with the name. I like unusual names, so I agreed on Nichaela. We haven’t met any Nichaela yet, so its hers for a while.

When it came to our son, I wanted to name him after his daddy. Clyde isn’t a name many people have so I thought it would be perfect. My hubby hated his name and vetoed it quickly. We went through a bunch of names until we agreed on Rahaman, which is my husband’s middle name. I even called the baby Rocky as he grew inside me.

The day he was born, my husband looked at him and said you can name him whatever you want. I smiled because the baby looked just like his daddy. I knew he could see he was a Clyde Jr too. We called him CJ until he started preschool last year. He politely informed us his name was Clyde not CJ.

Now we have to come up with a new name, so I’m asking for your help. My hubby is good at vetoing names, so if you have something unusual send it my way.

For now I’m calling the baby Malik. I like it, reminds me of Malik Yarbo he was a cutie.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It’s a BOY

I had the ultrasound and it’s a boy. Watching him move on the monitor was amazing. A little person is growing inside of me. Seeing his heart beat brought tears to my eyes. During pregnancy you always hear the child’s heart beat, but to actually see the heart beating is breath taking.

My little tummy is no longer little. Everyone at church keeps teasing me that I’m having twins, I tell them if so, one is going home with someone. LOL.

My kids are getting a kick out of seeing my stomach grow, each day the run up to me to touch and see how big it is.

Last week I attended a conference for my job. To my surprise they held a surprise baby shower for me. Again the tears were held in check. Have to stay professional.

I had no idea they were doing this, especially since there was another pregnant co-worker who is due next month. I knew about her shower, I just didn’t realize it was a joint one. There were two beautiful cakes and baby presents.

My son is six and so we gave away every baby thing we own two years ago. We honestly thought we were done. God had other plans, so now we’re like new parents, scrambling for baby things.

I registered at and if you would like to donate to the Hoffman’s new blessing. It will be greatly appreciated.

Under - LaShaunda Hoffman /Clyde Hoffman - St. Louis, MO

Monday, September 25, 2006

In Memory of Judy Candis

August 8, 1950 to September 18, 2006

Judy, author of ALL THINGS HIDDEN went home to be with the Lord.

She will be missed. My deepest sympathies goes out to her family, friends and fans.

Friday, September 22, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: James David Jordan

Something That Lasts by James David Jordan.

When Ted Balik rises from his pew to speak, no one in the crowded sanctuary of the O'Fallon Bible Church can imagine that their peaceful community will be shattered by his shocking disclosure: Reverend David Parst, beloved husband and father and pastor, committed the unthinkable crime. He had an affair with Mrs. Balik.

As the church members explode into an uproar, Ted silently grabs a gun out of his pocket, raises it to his temple and pulls the trigger.

These few moments of horror plunge the reverend, his wife and their twelve-year-old son into a struggle with God and one another that will span generations - a struggle to find something that lasts beyond the rage, lies and fear.

James David Jordan's website:


Monday, September 18, 2006


See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Mary E. DeMuth:
I've been writing since 1992, first as a newsletter editor, then as a newspaper columnist. In 2002, I started publishing articles in magazines. After writing a novel, I attended Mount Hermon Christian Writer's conference ( and met my agent. Since then, I've published five books:

1. Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (A devotional for moms released by
Harvest House in 2005)

2. Sister Freaks (a devotional about girls that gave everything to God; I'm one of four authors. Time Warner, 2005)

3. Building the Christian Family You Never Had (a parenting book for those who don't want to duplicate the homes they were raised in released by WaterBrook in January 2006)

4. Watching the Tree Limbs: A Novel (NavPress, March 2006)

5. And its sequel Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress September 15, 2006)

Currently, I live in the south of France with my husband and three children where we are planting a church with two other families.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book.

My current release is Wishing on Dandelions where I revisit the character Maranatha Winningham from Watching the Tree Limbs. She's now seventeen years old and is haunted by sexual abuse from her past. This book highlights that struggle, along with God's continued redemptive hand as she pushes away Charlie, a faithful boy who loves her. Theirs is an interracial relationship set in East Texas. The book is populated with lots of quirky characters, all who play a role in Maranatha's story.

Here are some endorsements:

Wishing on Dandelions is a journey into the heart and mind of a young women caught between womanhood and a painful childhood. Natha is both fearful and fearless as she faces life's injustices, overcoming the only way she knows how -- one wish at a time.
T. Suzanne Eller, speaker and author of The Mom I Want to Be – Rising Above
Your past to Give Your Kids a Great Future

Mary DeMuth offers up a great story that's a feast for the senses. Her characters' struggles and triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned.
--Sandra Glahn, ThM, coauthor, Lethal Harvest and False Positive

Mary DeMuth's lovely talent for infusing prose with metaphorical treasures shines as brightly here in Wishing on Dandelions as in its poignant predecessor, Watching the Tree Limbs - and accomplishes the same wisely-employed task of exposing with dignity edgy themes like sexual abuse, bigotry and unforgiveness. Her finely drawn, multi-dimensional characters are allies to cheer for, scoundrels to loathe, wounded souls to
tenderly embrace.
--Susan Meissner, author of Why the Sky is Blue

"Step into words so beautiful they hurt, pages of rich symbol, and emotions so genuine you can't look away. Experience a powerful, lyrical voice in contemporary fiction. Maranatha pleads, "Jesus, show me your love." Her longing to be reassured of God's love will resonate with every reader as they share her journey." Sharon Hinck, author The Secret Life of Becky Miller

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I want my readers to long for Jesus' healing touch when they close the book. I want to offer readers hope that no matter what kind of horrific abuse someone may have suffered, God is bigger still.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

Since I live in France, I can't do book signings, unfortunately, so I've worked very hard developing a web presence. I have a website: where I highlight my current books and provide writer helps, recipes, examples of proposals, pictures from France, and several essays. My blog,, receives a lot of traffic. There I ruminate about the art and craft of writing, the difficulty and joy of living in France, and whatever else pops into my mind. I belong to Amazon connect. I've been on the radio several times.

Marketing is very important. Gone are the days when an author had the luxury of simply sitting down and writing. There's more to it. If you want to continue writing, you have to sell books.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

Read widely. Read deeply. Read writing books. Go to a critique group and dare to let others critique your stuff. Go to writers conferences. Write, write, write. There really is no substitute for BOC time (bottom on chair). I've found that the more I write, the easier the ideas come, the faster I get through books, and the more clear my prose.

Also resist the urge to be flowery. I started out writing flowery. Now I write spare. I want my words to bring readers into a world. I don't want flowery prose to pull them away from that world. Use strong verbs. Kill adverbs. Be relentless about not repeating words and phrases.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

Always be professional. Don't print business cards on your printer. Go to or and have them professionally printed. Design letterhead that matches your business cards. When you meet with editors, dress nicely. Always be polite. Don't gossip. Don't burn bridges. Don't be difficult. Be edited with grace. This is a very small world. If other publishers find out you're not easy to work with, they won't hire
You again.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Roget's Super Thesaurus
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

DEMUTH: for gleaning Bible verses.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Use the contact form on my website:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro - Taylor Field

I’ve joined the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance to help promote authors. My first author to promote is Taylor Field. His book is Squat.

Taylor Field has worked since 1986 in the inner city of New York where he is pastor of East Seventh Baptist Church and it’s service arm Graffiti Community Ministries. He holds a M.Div. from Princeton and Ph.D. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Among his previous books is Mercy Streets. Mercy Streets won Outreach magazine’s Best Outreach Resource of 2003 award in the Testimony/Biography category.

Field and his family live in New York, New York.


"We live in a squat. We don’t know squat. We don’t have squat. We don’t do squat. We don’t give a squat. People say we’re not worth squat."

In the shadow of Wall Street’s wealth, homeless people with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as "squats" where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. The light in Squid’s obsessive-compulsive mind’s eye is Rachel, a loving soup kitchen missionary who tells him about faith and unfaith, hypocrisy and justice, the character of God and finding identity in Him. And in the wild twenty-four-hour passage of literary time that is Squat, Squid begins to believe that his life may actually amount to something.

Read a sample chapter of SQUAT

Monday, September 11, 2006


See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Nikki Arana:
I live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with my husband of thirty years, Antonio, and my two grown sons. I was a real estate broker for thirty-two years, but this year I have put my writing first. I write Inspirational fiction, and I’ve written four books for Revell, one romance and three women’s fiction. My agent, Natasha Kern, is currently shopping a new women’s fiction series I’ve written a proposal for.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

My most recent release is The Fragrance of Roses, number three in the Regalo Grande series. It came out in August. It is the story of a young boy with cancer and the desperate search to find a blood match for him so he can receive a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. But it is also a story of how God hears and answers our prayers, sometimes in unexpected ways. I just submitted a fourth, stand alone book to Revell, As I Have Loved You, that will come out early summer 2007.

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

All of my books deal with contemporary or social issues. In The Fragrance of Roses there are a couple of things that I hope the reader takes away. One is regarding prayer. Without supernatural insight we can’t see how God is working. We must just faith into his infinite love, wisdom and caring for our lives, and the lives of those we pray for. In this book I suggest to the reader that there is more than one way to view the outcome of this particular situation. The second thing is that I hope to raise public awareness about the need for more minorities to donate to blood banks and marrow registries. Because minorities are underrepresented in marrow registries, it makes it more difficult to find a peripheral blood stem cell match for minorities who need a transplant.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

In my opinion, marketing is as important as getting the book published. Without exposure you can have the best book on the shelf, but no one will know about it. This requires that the publisher be behind you. Authors can only do so much. The one thing I did that I think made a difference was I hired a publicist to set up a national radio campaign. That provided me with exposure to thousands and thousands of people I would have never reached. And I never left my house! My publisher backed me up by providing books for the radio stations to review and give away.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

Educating yourself is so important. Conferences can be expensive; fortunately there is a lot you can do even if you have a tight budget. Look on the internet for classes. Try to build a reference library. If you can save two or three dollars a week, you can build a nice library in six months. Just consider it investing in your career. I’ll tell you my favorite writing books in a minute. They are in my reference library.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

First, realize that writing is a business. It is extremely unlikely that you’re going to just sit down, write a book and quickly get it placed somewhere. First, you need to get educated about the craft of writing. We may be gifted with words, but the craft of commercial fiction goes far beyond that. Take classes and read books about writing. Second, you need to study the market, study the publishers of the genre you write. Make choices about submitting that are based on an analysis of information. People are startled when they learn that I have sold or had accepted everything I’ve ever submitted. But that’s how I did it. If you write what the publisher is looking for, and if it’s well written, they’ll buy it.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

This is tough because the top five books I would have listed while I was writing book one are different than the top five books I would list as I write book five. So, keeping that in mind:

The Writer’s Journey by Vogel

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King

Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Dixon

Scene & Structure by Bickham

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Swain

See Ya In The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers. I’m serious. I love his writings. They give you so much to think about.

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

I use everyday and I frequently query the American Christian Fiction Writers loop. But most of my resources are developed to fit the book I’m writing. I usually e-mail to the “Contact Us” address given on a website that I think might have helpful information. I say I’m an author and I need some information about such and such. Then I ask if they can help me, or direct me to someone who can. I have had amazing luck with this. For The Fragrance of Roses it led me to a research scientist in Europe who is at the top of his field in the very thing that I was writing about. He worked with me for ten months on that book. My second book I needed a public defender to help me. I connected to one through the Internet and she read all my paragraphs pertaining to that. Over and over, God has provided just who I needed, just when I needed them.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I’d love to hear from your readers. Or visit my website: