Friday, June 21, 2013

K Dawn Byrd's newest book - Hotline Girl

K Dawn Byrd, that marvelously prolific author, sends us another intriguing novel!

Please check K Dawn's online links for purchase info.

Facebook Christian Fiction Gathering:

Abby is surprised to find out that the guy she's been counseling through the hotline at school is her forever crush. Can she give good advice when she really wants to tell him to dump his girlfriend?

Hotline Girl

When the school counselor asks Abby to work a counseling chat line, she begs her to choose someone else. When Race, Abby's three-year crush, begins using the chat line to talk about his girlfriend problems, can Abby be impartial when she really wants to tell him to dump her?

Race notices Abby after she has a complete make-over. He begins to spend more time with her and feels like a cheater because he likes the hotline girl too. How can he like two girls at once?

Abby is thrilled when Race begins spending time with her, but she's crushed when he tells the hotline girl that he likes her and wants to take her out. Is he a player? Will he even want to be with her when he finds out that she is the hotline girl and knows all his deepest secrets?

KDawn talks about the book
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
 It's important that when Christian teens choose a boyfriend or girlfriend, they choose someone who shares their Christian faith. 

Why did you choose to write this book?
I thought it would be fun to explore how a couple could fall in love on-line. When my heroine's high school begins a counseling hotline, she's chosen to work it anonymously. She finds herself giving advice to a guy she's had a crush on forever. Once she knows all the hero's secret, will love blossom or fail? When he divulges the problems he's having with his girlfriend, she's tempted to give him advice that will break them up. Will she do the right thing? 

What did you learn while writing this book?
I really love writing for the young adult market. Bouncing back to YA after writing suspense is a refreshing break.

About the Author:
K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, sports cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"

When painting with words...expect the unexpected!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Just Verdicts - brand new (cheap!) fiction from Max Lewis

Just Verdicts on Kindle
– Literary Short Stories, by Joseph Max Lewis

On the heels of his success with the open throttled, no time for doubts novel, The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, Joseph Max Lewis displays his versatility with a new release, Just Verdicts.   These are “first person” short stories of legal suspense.

Hunting Lawyers – A troubled man victimized by the legal system decides to hunt lawyers.  Neither he nor his prey are likely to escape unscathed.

The Judge’s Eyes – Gulf War Veteran Ralph Jackson returns to Iraq after the second Iraq war as a legal advisor to Isha Hami, Iraq’s first female Judge.  When Isha defies Iraq’s deadly political factions, Jackson’s legal and military skills are put to the test.

Redemption – (Previously released)   After a personal tragedy, Steven Burgess allowed himself to sink into self-pity and his law practice into disrepute.   Now he has one last chance, but will it lead to ruin or Redemption?

Just Verdicts costs 99 cents and, as with The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, a portion of the author’s royalties go to support Pine Valley Camp, a Christian Ministry that provides a free camp experience for inner city kids.
About Max:
Joseph Max Lewis served as a member of an Operational Detachment in the U.S. Army's Seventh Special Forces Group, the storied Green Berets.  During his service Lewis received antiterrorist training and his detachment was tasked to "Special Projects."  Afterward, he served as an instructor at the Special Forces Qualification Course.  Lewis attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, and the University of Pittsburgh, receiving degrees in International Politics and Law while being certified in Middle East Studies. After living and studying abroad, first in the Middle East and then Southeast Asia, Lewis returned home to practice law.  He’s a columnist in the New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator, author of The Diaries of Pontius Pilate and currently lives, writes, and practices law in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gail Pallotta: Stopped Cold, and giveaway!

Gail Pallotta talks about her newest YA, Stopped Cold.

Welcome! Gail is giving away EITHER a PDF file OR a coupon to purchase the version of your choice from Smashwords to a commenter of her book. Drawing will be held on Saturday.
Gail, what was the inspiration for Stopped Cold?
I wanted to write a fun-to-read story. As a teen, I especially liked Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries. The amateur sleuths in Stopped Cold are reminiscent of them.

As far as the plot goes, over the years I’ve seen quite a bit of pain in some children and young people when they can’t be number one. Whether the pressure comes from within, peers, siblings or parents, not winning often hurts and sometimes leads to destruction. When I was in college a student on my hall tried to commit suicide because her grades weren’t as good as she or someone thought they should be. The agony she must have felt gnawed at me. Then the message in the book started rattling around in my head. We don’t have to be number one for God to love us.
Young people face lots of problems today, but I chose to write about steroid use. Reasons teens give for using steroids range from simply wanting to look better to attract a girlfriend or boyfriend to wanting to build muscles to enhance athletic performance, which indicates a desire to be “number one.”
Today’s society throws a lot at young people, in some instances giving mixed signals about right and wrong. This makes it more difficult to make good choices than it ever has been. It’s inspiring to see so many making decisions that lead to  rewarding, fulfilled teen years and set them on a happy path.     

How did you research?
   For information about steroids, I read quite a bit of material from library books, the Physicians Desk Reference and the internet. Also, I interviewed an undercover detective and a narcotics officer as well as an administrative policeman.
   As for swimming, my daughter was a high school and U.S. swimmer, so I had lots of experience as a Team Mom doing everything from timing to serving as a team coordinator. Still, it’s been a while, so I consulted a coach and a director of summer league swimming about the technicalities.

Share a funny life moment. Hmm. Recently, I was asked to tell something romantic my husband, Rick, did when we were dating. It’s been so long. My mind went blank. Then I thought of our first date. Rick had offered to come over and grill a steak.  

When he arrived, I showed him to the patio with the grill then went to the kitchen to check on my baked potatoes and chop lettuce for a salad. 

          “Could you bring some water?” He called out to me. 

          Thinking he was thirsty, I filled a glass.  

Then he hollered, “Could you hurry?” 

I rushed out and gasped. Flames shot from the grill. I hurriedly handed him the water and dashed back to the sink with my heart beating like a jackhammer. I charged outside with a pitcher in my hand and a large pan of water wedged under my armpit, splashes sloshing on my living room carpet. On the patio the blaze nearly scorched the plywood ceiling. 

From the street below a passerby yelled out, “Hey buddy, I think it’s done.” 

          Only a couple more trips, and the grill sat smoking. 

          Perhaps, not romantic, but certainly exciting and what one would call a “hot” date.


Could you introduce us to your heroine, Margaret? 

          Margaret’s a good student and competitive swimmer at Meriwether Christian High School in Mistville, N. C. She’s known as Maggie Butterfly to her swimming buddy, Tammy, because butterfly is Margaret’s favorite stroke. She’s enjoying life going to swim meets, hanging out with friends and flirting with Jimmy Wilmore. Then her older brother, Sean, has a stroke from taking a steroid. Suddenly the deep heartache cuts her off emotionally from her friends and the life she knew. She resents her dad for pushing Sean and her in sports. Maybe if he hadn’t Sean wouldn’t have taken the drug. She’s overcome with hatred for the drug dealers who sold Sean Winstrol V and won’t rest until she finds them. Her goal is to report their whereabouts to Detective Joe Garrett, the cop on the case. She’s a believer and prays for God to heal Sean while she and her friends launch an investigation. She just wants to have her brother and her life back and to heal the hate inside.   


What do you hope your audience gains from this book?

I hope they enjoy the story as they experience the excitement of Margaret’s swim meets, her closeness to Sean, Jimmy and Emily and the scary search for the drug dealers. 

They’ll know why not to take steroids, and hopefully will benefit from the message that they don’t have to be number one for God to love them. There’s a huge difference in using one’s God-given talent to the best of one’s ability and having to be better than everyone else.


Book Blurb for Stopped Cold

    Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay. Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate and open her heart to love.

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her new teen book, Stopped Cold, is a best-seller on All Romance eBooks. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Readers can find her on the internet on the staff of Clash ofthe Titlesat her blogand on her website.

Buy Links for Stopped Cold:


Front Porch Romance


All Romance eBooks

And visit:

My book review:

Stopped Cold

Gail Pallotta
Front Porch Romance
c. April 10, 2013
e-book $2.99
Young Adult

From the publisher: Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.

My review:

Pallotta’s high school drama could take place anywhere. Pressure from all sides: parents, teachers, coaches, and peers take their toll, no matter the size or type of school. Margaret McWhorter and her brother Sean attend the exclusive Meriwether School, one which is targeted by drug-trafficking creeps who have infiltrated the very place that’s supposed to be a safe and supportive environment.

It’s not enough to be talented in the world of high school athletics. Margaret and Sean’s parents unwittingly push their son over the edge as new competition for Sean’s quarterback position comes in and takes over. Sean is pressured into taking steroids and body-building, and suffers a stroke and subsequent coma. Even though the pressure for Margaret, a champion swimmer, is eased by Sean’s condition and the resulting parental guilt, she can’t stop her own consuming desire for vengeance against those who hurt her brother.

But Margaret is only a freshman. She’s just learning about life in high school, what can she do to find the bad guys? And who are they? Who can she trust, besides her mother’s faith that God will make everything right? And Dad—he was the one who pushed Sean too much to begin with.

Detective Garrett, the one assigned to the case, is moving way too slow for Margaret’s taste. He won’t figure things out until someone else gets hurt, and Margaret isn’t about to let that happen. She finally confides in her best friend Emily, who agrees to keep her eyes and ears open around school and their fav hangout, The Grill. Life changes in many ways as Margaret is forced to learn who to trust and what to believe in. Emily is a Buddhist, and a boy Margaret secretly admires, Jimmy, wants to hang out and help find the people behind the drugs. Is Emily’s faith stronger than Mom’s? And what does Jimmy really want?

Find out in this great new read. Told in first person, follow Margaret’s journey to discover the depth of true character and faith not only in school and friends, but family.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Michelle Sutton talks about Surprise Love, baseball, and Ashton Kutcher

Michelle Sutton is the author of over eighteen inspirational novels with more coming in the future. She has been married almost 23 years to the same man and they have two kids in college. She lives with her family in Arizona.



Introduce us to your favorite character in your book.

Well, I like Bryan the hero who is trying out for the Texas Rangers baseball team because he looks like Ashton Kutcher "only cuter" according to the heroine, anyway.

What kind of research did you do for this book/character?

I consulted with some people who knew about the rodeo lifestyle and people who were avid baseball spring training fans. I also referred to a couple of situations I came across while in Surprise like someone who had a freezer full of tarantulas and scorpions (frozen) because they made paperweights with them for fun and sold them on the side.

What specific aspect of your book do you hope readers will discover about (themselves/your main character) in this story?

Don't follow someone else's dreams for your life. Make your own choices.

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

Favorite work experience? Probably the day my employees gave me a card that said something like, "Do you want your people to love you or fear you?" And the inside said, "I want my employees to be afraid of how much they love me." That was hilarious. Plus, I didn't realize boss's day was coming. It also included several Starbucks gift cards.


If you could do anything you want, what would it be? Write fiction full time and review books for say, Publisher's Weekly or the Library Journal.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled?
Hmmm... exotic? I live in Arizona and there is plenty of exotic stuff to see here. Maybe Mexico? But it was a border town and there were people begging on the streets. Not used to seeing that stuff in the USA. Not like that anyway.

What do you see outside the closest window right now?

The Huachuca Mountain range with a light dusting of snow on the peaks.

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

Actually I tell them I'm a supervisor for the state government, and by the way, I also write fiction and have 18 different books they can buy on Amazon.

Where’s your favorite place to grocery shop?

Um, my husband does all of the shopping. I just eat whatever he buys, but I guess if I had to choose, then Safeway.

What, to you, is worship?

My heart inclining toward God and being open to hear what He is speaking to my heart.

Michelle Sutton - Healing Hearts - fiction making an impact on real lives...
new titles releasing in 2013... Collette's Crusade, Learning to Trust, Somebody Help Me,

Her Innocence, Serena's Something


Monday, June 10, 2013

Work in Progress blog hop - The Last Detail pique!

Greetings! And welcome to another blog hop! I'm following the fabulous Teena Stewart, who is one of my co-conspirators on Brave New Century, a historical novella collection from the Prism Book Group, coming...sometime!
Teena blogged on June 6.  But our book isn't the one I'm talking up today - this one is the latest I've been blessed to sign with Prism, all on my own.
What is the working title of your next book? It's called The Last Detail.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Several years ago I met a good friend half way between our homes for a weekend catch-up and getaway--this happened toTree covered bluff on water be at Peru-LaSalle, Illinois, and one of the parks we visited was Starved Rock State Park. It had such a neat history, as well as the gruesome story of a murder in the 1950s. A local author wrote about this murder, and for me, the idea morphed into what would happen when people die who have no family to clean up after them? The fictional business The Last Detail was born. The story takes place in this area, in a fictional community, of course, called Fox Falls, and uses Starved Rock park often.

In what genre does your book fall?

 I hope it will be contemporary fiction.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

 Ug - this is not something I think about. I'm terrible at this! I suppose a Ben Affleck-Amy Adams couple would work.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

 All Christian marriages should be perfect, right?

Who is publishing your book?

 The Prism Group. Thanks, Marcy!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About six weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think a little of Cynthia Ruchti's book, They Almost Always Come Home, which is also not a genre romance, but of rekindling what was lost. Contemporary is hard to categorize, because although there's love and romance in there, the story is more about keeping it alive after, and I think that's what makes for good conversation. Probably Jodi Picoult's books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to talk about marriage--the way men and women perceive each other while they're getting to know each other; how we think we're doing God's will when He has other plans in mind; how even after we get what we want, it's hard, hard, hard work making marriage be the blessing it's meant to be. Sometimes we're so busy doing for God or following our own path, we forget to take time out for each other.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The characters aren't based on my oldest son and his wife, but it was interesting that I was writing about a missionary who never planned to marry, which was something my son's wife had thought about in her life at one point, and a young woman who was very safe in her own little community, with no desire to change anything.

Find more news and more books on my website.
~Lisa Lickel
Follow along on our hop by visiting the fabulous Karla Akins next!    

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Where's Zack? Keeping kids reading in summer

Keeping children reading during the summer months can be a challenge, but this summer there’s help. New Christian Books Online Magazine is holding a summer reading quest for readers nine and up called Where’s Zack?

There will be lot of wholesome reading materials, both articles and short stories, posted free at the magazine at  The focus will be on finding Zack, the fictitious 13-year-old who disappears in the Florida backwoods in Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery by Cheryl Rogers.

In the e-book, Zack battles nature for 30 hours until being found by a search helicopter and airlifted to safety. Now Zack disappears again, this time during his family’s summer vacation.

During the month of June, visitors will read about the family’s vacation destinations and modes of travel. By June 30, they’ll need to guess were he disappears this time. They will be able to choose from a multiple-choice listing on an online form. Everyone will receive free e-books.

“Those who correctly guess where he separates from his family will be given the next Bible Camp Mystery slated for release later this year. It is called Alone in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery,” says Rogers, who publishes New Christian Books Online Magazine.

The e-books will be awarded in early July, leaving participants with more wholesome content for the rest of their summer. No purchase is required to enter the quest. Readers of any age may participate (one entry per person, please).

New Christian Books Online Magazine features new book announcements, book excerpts, Bible-based living columns, digital book news, features and author marketing news, plus an online store and affiliate program.