Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reverend Michael Duncan shares about Shadows: Book of Aleth and his outlook on publishing

Christian author and pastor, Michael Duncan has served the Lord and the church for nearly 25 years preaching and teaching God's Word. He has shared God’s message across the U.S. and beyond and is currently the pastor of his church in the Pacific Northwest and a co-host on the Alive in Christ radio network. He is also on the executive board of the Northwest Baptist Convention and a board member of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association. Given the opportunity, he may be found on the golf course! Michael has been married to his wonderful wife, Patty, for almost 20 years and they have three amazing children – all in their teens (which is the reason for the greying hair).
I have three novels in print, and two non-fiction books. All my books can be purchased through my website.
My latest novel is called Shadow Remnant.
(ISBN 9781480168268)
When truth is lost, liberty dies.
For a hundred years the United States has been gripped by martial law, with freedom and faith a forgotten memory. In the summer of 2132, Peter Sheridan learns this the hard way when he finds himself on the wrong side of the government–but the right side of freedom.
All he wants to do is escape the notorious education center and find his parents. But when he is shot and left for dead, he is rescued by a mysterious recluse and finds himself drawn into a world of chaos and intrigue.
Racing against time and the government to try and complete his father’s mission—Peter must reignite the call for freedom. To do so, he turns to the last hope for America, the mysterious group known as the Shadow Remnant.

Michael, What do you love about this book?

I think that this book (Shadow Remnant) is my favorite one I’ve written. It speaks to the nation today about the world that we might have tomorrow. It takes courage and determination to stand up for what is true, and often it is those who linger in obscurity that begin to make the most difference. It might be that just one voice is all it takes to turn a nation back to the truth.

What have you learned about writing and yourself since you started this book?

I learned that I am far more politically minded than I ever imagined. Being a political suspense/adventure book, Shadow Remnant became my effort to speak to a nation. I also learned that I am deeply troubled by the amoral direction our country is taking. The deeper I delved into writing the book, and the more I spoke with people around the nation, the more I realized that there is a fatigue in many conservative-minded people. Several I spoke with are at the point of simply giving up – not believing that their voice or vote makes a difference. I needed to write something that would encourage God-fearing, truth-believing people that it’s not too late.

Tell about your latest release.

You’re reading about it. J It is called, Shadow Remnant. The premise of the book – “When truth is lost, liberty dies.”

What three things do you know now about the publishing world that you wish you knew when you first started?

I have learned that patience, being a virtue, is an absolute necessity in trying to get a book published. Editors, agents, and the like are so overwhelmed with work that to actually make it to the eyes of a publisher is a time-draining reality. I have also learned that “dull is dead.” That is to say, a story that plods along, says little and only barely scratches the surface of intrigue will never see the light of day in the market. Finally, I have learned that I like to write far more than I like to edit – so I am deeply grateful for the editors who have looked at my works and given them such deep attention.

What are the five best things writers can do to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

Five best thing – here they are:

1. Hone your craft! If you’re a writer then, as much as it is possible with you, be the best—and get better.

2. Learn your audience. They are real people who read your words and you must reach them. Too many authors live in the analytics of sales—and forget that there are hearts to be touched not just books to be sold.

3. Find your audience. Now that you have learned about them – go and find them! They are out there, waiting to hear from you. Where do they hang out? Are they social insiders or outcasts? Find them.

4. Love your readers! You will never become a best-selling author without people buying your books. It is not you who is great. You didn’t make your audience… they made you. Be humble and know that your readers have loved you – so be grateful to them.

5. Remember reality. Yes, I said it… don’t live in your fictional worlds! Use your gift of writing to speak to the world at large, but you must not lose yourself. You have family, loved ones, spouses, children, parents… all who love you and still need you. Becoming an author can dominate a life, to the point of decimating that life. Walk away from the keyboard once in a while and walk hand-in-hand with real people.

Getting to know you:

What’s been a favorite work experience you’ve had so far in life?

Being the pastor of my church. I love to share God’s word with them and to see them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

If you could do anything you want, what would it be?

I would be a pastor and an author (and be able to make a living at both J).

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled?

That would have to be South Korea. I spent a year there in the military (USAF) and traveled all over the country, hiking through the mountains and enjoying the hospitality of the Korean people.

What do you see outside the closest window right now?

Whitehorse Mountain – it stands at about 7,000 feet.

What do you tell people when they ask “and what do you do?”

I tell them that I’m the “Doctor Who” of the body of Christ.

Where’s your favorite place to grocery shop?

OOO... wrong question! I hate shopping – but if I MUST go, it would be Safeway.

What, to you, is worship?

The yielding up my life in obedience to Christ for the praise and glory of God.

Connect with Michael:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When the Heart Heals
Sisters at Heart - #2
By Ann Shorey
352 pages
Pub Date: February 2013
Readers are invited to travel back to 1867, to the town of Noble Springs, Missouri, for an engrossing story of love's  tentative first steps and fragile future in the face of opposition. With tenderness and grace, Ann Shorey tells the story of Rosemary, a sympathetic but strong woman determined to thrive in a world that doesn't always understand. 
Courageous and unconventional, Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse during the Civil War, a service that has caused most women in town to regard her as unfeminine and downright vulgar. Although she would like to put her experiences as a nurse behind her, she must support herself. She takes a position with Dr. Elijah Stewart and a mutual attraction begins to develop. But when a sophisticated woman arrives in town claiming to be Elijah's fiancée, a heartbroken Rosemary decides to leave Noble Springs and start fresh. Can Elijah convince her of the mystery woman's deception before he loses her forever?
Ann Shorey is the author of Where Wildflowers Bloom, The Edge of Light, The Promise of Morning, and The Dawn of a Dream. She has also published selections in the Cup of Comfort series and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul. Ann and her husband make their home in southwestern Oregon.
My review:
A son and daughter born of a Southern mother return from serving with the Union Army during the Civil War, are shunned by their parents and must make their own way. They move a few hours from St. Louis, Missouri to Noble Springs. The second book of the Sisters at Heart series picks up after Rosemary Saxon’s brother Curt has married and moved to his wife’s home, leaving Rosemary alone in the small house. Rosemary may be on her way to spinsterhood, but she values her independence above all else. In an era where women are expected to work at home, or in gentle pursuits, perhaps with a family business, Rosemary can offer the only work she truly knows, that of nursing wounded soldiers, and preparing herbal remedies from her mother’s recipe files.
With Curt gone and a new doctor in town, Rosemary puts on her courage and visits Elijah Stewart, a doctor she’d worked with only a few weeks in St. Louis before he’d been shipped out to the front. He doesn’t remember her at first, but is convinced having a nurse involved in his practice is wholly unnecessary. Until he thinks about it, and decides perhaps someone like Rosemary in the office, greeting patients, keeping records and tidying up the place would work in their favor, never mind the fact that they’re attracted to one another. When he learns Rosemary takes in stray people, and has been mixing up and dishing out herbal remedies, he is naturally on his guard and disapproving, again, until he thinks about it.
Several issues hamper this couple’s courtship, including potential love interests on both sides who wreak havoc with everyone’s emotions, along with a mysterious stalker and vandal who accuses Rosemary of awful things, and Elijah’s father who would rather have his son in Chicago.
Shorey’s characters are unconventional, certainly; Rosemary teeters on the likeable scale, even after we get to know her. The author reminds readers people are people, and not always sweet and even-tempered and romantic. Noble Springs feels like a cozy community, but peopled with fallible souls who are quick to listen to gossip. Love triangles that don’t  go anywhere, and a main character who is as quick to judge as the townspeople who hurt her don’t truly deflect from the story, which is, after all, about love and redemption. Rosemary learns forgiveness is a two-way street, and independence is good, but a soul mate to depend upon is better. Told from both Rosemary and Elijah’s viewpoints, the story is built across a number of entwining subplots of romance, mystery, and danger, the author leaves plenty of room to explore what’s sure to be another sequel.
“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wife "SOS"!

Wives Saving Marriages
Attend The Wife S.O.S. Event

Online Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013
Noon - 4 PM Central Time
All from the comfort of your home!

Register to Win at Right.
This four hour live-cast webinar includes the four keynote speakers and worship leaders shown below, live Facebook and Twitter parties all afternoon, plus prize drawings each hour. Attend by webinar here or by phone at (206) 402-0100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE (206) 402-0100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting , Access Code 876918#. The event is 100% free and online. Register at right for the chance to win free prizes and invite every wife you know! Click on the ticket, poster or flier downloads at left.
Breaking the Marriage Code
Register to Win Lindsay's CD: My Song
Tap Into Pam & Bill's:!
The Marriage Code
Keynote Speaker, Pam Farrel, launches us with the keys to lasting love. Lindsay Huggins leads us in worship as we launch into this awesome afternoon. Order your own copy of The Marriage Code by Bill & Pam Farrel. Book and study guide. Available in paperback or audio.
Loving a Wayward Husband
Read Vicki's Book:
When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography
Keynote Speaker, Vicki Tiede, shares what wives can do if they find their husband is involved in pornography. Enter into worship with with Pastor, Singer, Songwriter, Brenda Kilber. To learn more, read the book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography by Vicki Tiede.

How to Change Your Marriage for the Good
Read Kathi's Book:
The Husband Project
Keynote Speaker, Kathi Lipp, shares a doable plan that will help you turn your marriage around in 21 days. Enter into worship with Leann Albrecht with music from her recent release, Sreaming on the Inside. To learn more, read the book, The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp.
Great Sex: God's Idea of Great Fun!
Read Shiela's Book:
The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex!
Keynote Speaker, Sheila Gregoire, shares humor, research and a fresh Godly perspective on this age-old topic. A beautiful, powerful voice and messenger, encounter the Lord in worship with Jagee Melton. To learn more, read the book, The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire.

The webinar box at left will get bigger and go live on February 14, 2013. You may listen here or call in at that time to (206) 402-0100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE (206) 402-0100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting , Code 876918#. The replay will be available!
Click the icon to join the Wife S.O.S. Facebook party page in advance and to invite your friends! The party goes live on the 14th.
The live Wife S.O.S. Twitter party will be hosted at Tweetchat, #WifeSOS.
In the United States, over 50% of first marriages end in divorce, 67% of second marriages end in divorce, and nearly 74% of third marriages end in divorce.g  

Statistics show that 2/3rds of divorces are initiated by women. And according to a New Woman’s Day and AOL Living poll, 75% of women surveyed have considered leaving their husbands at some point. 

The economy is tough and CNN reports that financial pressures are the biggest stress on marriages in the past 60 years. 

The demands of life are also taking a toll: According to one study, the average married couple spends just four minutes a day alone together. 

One in three American marriages is “low sex” or “no sex.” While promiscuity is on the rise: Nearly 60% of married adults have had at least one affair and even if partners marry after an affair, over 75% of those marriages end in divorce. 

A University of Chicago study by Dr. Linda Waite, proved that staying married, despite a tough situation, is the most likely way to be better off relationally, financially and personally after five years than divorcing. In fact, 2/3rds of the couples in the study who stayed together were happy, and even those who were still unhappy in their marriage, were no less happy than those who had opted for divorce during the 5 year study. The unhappy couples were traced for five years: 2/3rds of those who stayed together reported happy marriages at the end of five years.  

Among those who rated their marriages the most unhappy, 8 out 10 who stayed together showed dramatic turnarounds including the happiest ratings of all in the study.  

In addition, the study found that on average unhappily married adults who divorced were no happier than unhappily married adults who stayed married when rated on any of the 12 separate measures of psychological well being. Divorce did not typically reduce symptoms of depression, raise self esteem, or increase a sense of mastery... Even unhappy spouses who had divorced and remarried were no happier on average than those who stayed married. 


a Boswell, John. 1995. Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. New York, NY: Random House.

b Bride’s Book of Etiquette. 2002. New York, NY: Perigee Books.

c Connolly, Katie. “Why So Few D.C. Residents Are Married.” Newsweek.com. October 20, 2009. Accessed: October 28, 2009.

d Gottman, John M. and Julie Schwartz Gottman. 2006. 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

e Graff, E.J. 1999. What Is Marriage For: The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

f “Groom.” Online Etymological Dictionary. Accessed: October 27, 2009.

g Harrar, Sari and Rita DeMaria. 2007. The 7 Stages of Marriage: Laughter, Intimacy, and Passion. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Books.

h Hein, Holly. Sexual Detours: Infidelity and Intimacy at the Crossroads. 2000. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

i “Husband.” Online Etymological Dictionary. Accessed: October 27, 2009.

j Mannes, George. “Is the Economy Ruining Your Marriage?” CNN.com. August 21, 2009. Accessed: October 27, 2009.

k Moore, Matthew. “Divorce Damages Your Health—and Getting Remarried Barely Helps.” Telegraph.co.uk. July 27, 2009. Accessed: October 28, 2009.

l Neal, Rome. “Signs of Divorce Ahead?: New Study Tries to Predict Which Marriages Will Last.” CBSNEWS.com. August 7, 2002. Accessed: October 29, 2009.

m Squire, Susan. 2008. I Don’t: A Contrarian History of Marriage. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.

n “Where You Live May Affect When You Get Married.” CNN.com. October 20, 2009. Accessed: October 28, 2009.

o “Wife.” Online Etymological Dictionary. Accessed: October 27, 2009.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Menehunes Missing, with Cheryl Martin

Nancy Drew is back...and she's Hawaiian!

Book Two of the The Hawaiian Island Detective Club is here!

About Menehunes Missing:
The acrid smell of billowing smoke
from a fire set as a diversion sends a clear message for
Leilani Akamai, Maile Onakea, and Sam Bennett
to shift into Detective Club mode,
and discover who is stealing the statues of
Hawaii's Leprechaun-like little people.
And why.

I love Cheryl's cheeriness.

Cheryl grew up in Southern Oregon and earned a BA with honors in Recreation and Park Management from the University of Oregon. She went on to work for a number of years as a Recreation Coordinator and Community Center Director in Portland, Oregon.

After years of working with and teaching kids, she is now writing for Middle Grades. Her childhood love of Nancy Drew sparked a never-ending appreciation for mysteries, and her sun-worshipping spirit led her to the Hawaiian Islands for a year while she attended The University of Hawaii.

Her series, The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, springs from her experiences in mystery and the exotic land of pineapples, palms, sand, and surf. The first book in the series, Pineapples in Peril, won the Novel Journey YA/MG contest in April 2010 and placed third in The Kiss of Death, Daphne Du Maurier Mainstream Mystery Competition in July 2010.

She is a member of Oregon Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Vice President of the Portland Chapter of ACFW.
Book Three, Ukeleles Undercover, in releases August 14.
Connect with Cheryl:
My website address is www.cheryllinnmartin.com I also have a blog all about Hawaii at www.lifeinflip-flops.blogspot.com
You can also connect with me on my facebook author page at www.facebook.com/authorcheryllinnmartin
If “tweeters” would like to comment on The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, they can add the hashtag: #HIDC
Enjoy an interview with Kimo from the book, and with the author.


Kimo, you have a real love/hate relationship with Leilani, huh?

Leilani’s a super good detective, but she doesn’t think I’m good. But I’m real smart and do good at snooping and stuff. I also saved Leilani, Maile and Sam when they were trapped in that old shed.

Yes, you did! Is your sister going to let you be an official member of the club?

I dunno. But she’s teaching me lots of way cool stuff. She says I’m in training to be a real detective.

I know you helped out with the Menehunes mystery. What was your favorite part?

When I got to drive Mrs. Wong crazy. She’s soooooo funny! She scares everyone else, but she just makes me laugh and laugh. I also liked figuring out the clues. Leilani, Maile and Sam couldn’t even get the first clue right. I was the only one who knew the right answer. (Kimo puffs his chest and grins)

Did you ever get involved in something scary?

Nope. But I got real scared when the police came to our house, because it made Mom sad. I was afraid she would cry and cry, but the officers were way nice and they just wanted to help.

You don’t like water sports, so what do you like to do for fun?

I like to draw, do detective things and play video games. I also love playing the ukulele. After school starts, I’ll be taking lessons again.

Thanks for visiting, Kimo.


Questions and Answers by Cheryl

Here are a few Q & A for you to pick from if you would like to include an interview of me on your blog. Take the liberty of personalizing the questions to correspond with the answers. Also feel free to send me your additional questions, and I’ll answer them!

If something doesn’t make sense, let me know and I’ll try to clarify.

What is a Menehune and how do they go missing?
They are Hawaii’s treasured “little people,” kind of like a Leprechaun. As a school fundraiser, Menehune statues are hidden around town. Leilani, Maile and Sam get clues and try to find the locations. But the kids soon discover that the statues are missing from their spots.

What inspired you to write this series?
I have always loved Hawaii ever since I lived there while attending The University of Hawaii. I combined that with my interest in writing for ages 8-12 years and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club was born!

The three books in this series are entitled Pineapples in Peril, Menehunes Missing, and Ukuleles Undercover.

What advice do you have for new writers?
If you’re goal oriented, try setting a reasonable word count goal that allows for you to get ahead at times and gives you make-up time as well. Also, set aside that time to simply sit down and write—don’t go to any e-mails, facebook pages, etc. It’s all about planting yourself in front of that computer and pounding out the words!

Who or what inspires you?
I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!

Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.

What do you do for fun and relaxation when you’re not writing?
I love to grow veggies, and blueberries and raspberries on my deck. I also love to sing, and am part of my church’s drama team—challenging, yet rewarding. I swim with my son and do push-ups with the Oregon Duck (the U of O mascot) whenever Oregon scores—and, yes, they’re men’s push-ups! I’m practicing for another great fall of football and push-ups!

Tell us a little about your family:
I have a great husband, three amazing kids and Lilly, a Persian cat who’s definitely “The Queen.”

My oldest son, Ian, has his own home and works for Nautilus. My daughter, Ashley, is married to a wonderful man, Dave. She works for Portland State University and he is a lawyer for a Portland, Oregon firm. My youngest son, Shane, wants to be an artist for a Graphic Novel company. He’s busy working on projects and sending them off—not unlike being an author!

This May, Ashley and Dave are making me a first-time grandma (Tutu in Hawaii)!

What They’re Saying About Pineapples in Peril, Book One of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club 

Nancy Drew is Back . . . And She's Hawaiian! –Jessica Nelson

My daughter, who is not a huge reader, is loving her copy!  She is reading Pineapples in Peril and I don’t have to push her to read the 15 minutes she’s supposed to read every day! –A Mom

My son was super excited to show his class the book that you autographed. He has already finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. He is already excited about the next book in the series! –A Mom

My thirteen-year-old twin girls just finished reading Pineapples in Peril and both loved the book. One particularly focused on the characters. "I felt like I knew them by the time I got to the end." She also enjoyed how the author built the plot in such a way that kept her guessing. My other twin writes: "What I liked was the never-ending excitement, as well as the atmosphere of intensity growing with every page. I enjoyed how Leilani includes her brother even though he gets on her nerves." –A Mom

Bethany loved your first book! I will be ordering this one for her. –A Mom

The fifth-grade class in library this morning were so excited to check out Pineapples in Peril! Also, a few of the students who had purchased books were carrying them into library. I had one student tell me she has already read it all the way through one time and is in the process of reading it a second time because "it is soooo good!" –C. Reed, Librarian

This is such a great book! –A Fourth Grader

Thank you for writing my favorite book ever! –Emma

I love this book—My favorite book! The best thing about it is the mystery. Annika

I am totally a fan of you! –Amanda

It's the best mystery book I've ever read and I think it's now my favorite book. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. You write good books. –Iyana (age 10)

Your book is awesome! –Jadon

We love your book so far! –Nakkita (the class is reading it at school)

I love the book you wrote and can't wait till the next ones come out. You should write more books for the Hawaiian Island Detective Club series. Annika (age 10)

This is a very good book with some excellent morals we can learn from: like treating your siblings with love and respecting your parents. I really liked Leilani and felt her loss and victories. –Maddie



When I was a middle school teacher, my students would have loved this book. Do you want to get your children, grandchildren, or neighborhood youngsters hooked on reading good books this school year? Then you’ll want to grab this great middle-grade mystery –Davalynn Spencer

This is such a fun story! An adventure-mystery set in Hawaii where the kids have to solve the crime—what's NOT to love?! It's the kind of adventure I drooled about having when I was in middle school. Even as an adult, I couldn't wait for the next chapter! –Emily C. Reynolds

Fun, exciting, and well-written. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is exciting.  I read the book in two days (while homeschooling and writing!) – I enjoyed it that much. –Danika Cooley

Cheryl has a way with writing for Middle Readers, but little does she know, she has this writer hooked on the mysteries as well. –Linda Glaz

The description and lure of the Hawaiian setting is so great it gives readers a chance to feel like they’re walking on the beaches in their flip-flops. –Sophie Cuffe

A Nancy Drew-style story for the twenty-first century—packed with investigative fun that will bring young readers back for more adventures with the Hawaiian Island Detective Club. –Jill Williamson


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Inspirational Bloggers Award

I've been awarded the Inspirational Blog Award by Gail Pallotta. She writes sweet inspirational romance and has out a new book, Stopped Cold, coming out soon. It's a great YA-themed story about peer pressure and supporting the ones you love. Be sure to stop by her blog and see how loving and supportive she is to other authors. Thank you Gail for this award!

I'm supposed to share seven things about myself.

1. My favorite Bible verse is Hebrews 10:23: "Let us hold unswervingly to the faith we profess, for He is faithful." It's a reminder to me how great is the gift He has given us; it is also a challenge to remind me to practice what I preach.

2. I just started back leading Bible study after a several-year absence and on the first session, forgot my Bible.

3. Missed a tissue in the laundry this morning...ick...

4. I'm a local history nut.

5. I'm enjoying watching three amaryllis plants peek out of their dried up bulbs in pots in front of a snowy landscape

6. My farm neighbors are Amish.

7. I collect miniature dragons.

I'm giving the award to nine authors with inspirational blogs. Be sure to stop by and visit them.

Linda Glaz

Teena Stewart

Davalynn Spencer

Karla Akins

Gail Kittleson

Tamera Kraft

Karen Prough

Karen Wingate

Janet Grunst, Colonial Quills