Friday, July 29, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – Amanda Stephan

My guest today is Amanda Stephan, author of Christian books. On she is described this way:

Amanda Stephan is just a normal, everyday country girl. She resides in Middle TN with her husband and children, three cats, one dog, and multiple roosters that love to hang out under their bedroom windows in the wee hours of the morning. She loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to have her feet tickled. She would say her most interesting trait is that she laughs like Scooby Doo.

Amanda's The Price of Trust, published by Tate, came out in May 2010. Her second novel, Lonely Hearts is due out in October 2011.

The Price of Trust is described this way:

Carly Richards is on the run. Forced to live as a fugitive as her ex-fiancé stalks her across country, she finds refuge in a small town in Montana. Her emotional scars are reluctant to heal, and Carly resists the friendliness of those around her --especially handsome farmer Joe Baird. Caught in the circumstances, the kind people around her begin to creep into her softening heart. God is at work, and she has to trust Him not only to take care of her, but care for the people she is learning to love.


Provided we get at least 10 comments on this interview (not including mine and Amanda's), Amanda is offering a free pdf edition of The Price of Trust to the person selected randomly from all commenters. But, we must have at least ten comments for this offer to kick in.


Q: How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

A: Well, I can't really say I used to dream about being an author, but when I couldn't find any books to read, I'd write my own. I used to hide stories away everywhere.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

A: My second novel, Lonely Hearts, is a sweet Christian romance that will be released in October of this year. It's the story about one lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors and VERY yummy apple pie! I have a sample of the first three chapters of my first book, The Price of Trust as well as the first chapter of Lonely Hearts on my website if any would like to have a peek... ;)

Q: When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

A: I want them to walk away with a stronger faith in God and the knowledge that He loves them. A better relationship with Him.

Q: Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

A: Um, all of them?! How big is your blog? Seriously though, I want to go to Scotland, Ireland, Europe, Italy  -- all for various reasons!

Q: What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

A: Historical -- Daniel in the lion's den. I'd be the one bawling like a baby. I always cry when I read that account.

Q: Do you have a favorite hobby?

A: When I'm not writing, you mean? Sewing. I love to make dresses and skirts. Not too crazy about shirts, but I love dresses. The older fashions, like the '50s and '60s are my favorite.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

A: Pray hard and often. Not to bend God's will to your own, but yours to God's.

Q: And how can they connect with you?

A: I love connecting with people. Here are some of the ways to reach me:

Facebook Homemomma Tips Page:
Personal blog:

Please contact Amanda and let her know what you like about this interview.

Friday, July 22, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – Rose McCauley

Today, I would like to introduce to Christian author, Rose McCauley.

Rose Allen McCauley lives in the beautiful bluegrass region of Kentucky on a farm surrounded by God’s creation. She has been writing for more than ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. Her first published fiction is a Christmas Belles of Georgia and it is a thrill for Rose since she loves Christmas books.

A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for more than 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and Mimi to three lovely, lively grandkids!

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

ROSE: I used to make little books and my mom would help me sew them together as a child on her treadle sewing machine. I was also editor of my HS paper, but I have just been pursuing publication since I retired from teaching.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

ROSE: Although I have selections in seven non-fiction titles, Christmas Belles of Georgia is my first fiction title to be published.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

ROSE: How God works in our lives throughout our lives, and will bring His plans to pass. And His plans are best. I also hope they will enjoy the Christmas season more and want to do something for others.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

ROSE: As a child I only went to three states besides KY, and they were the adjoining states of OH and TN and IN. After I married and had kids I wanted to take them all the places I had never been. Over the past forty years my husband and I have had the opportunity to travel to most of the states including Hawaii and Alaska, and we have travelled out of the country to Italy, Canada, the Bahamas and Costa Rica and Mexico. I've also had the chance to meet more of my brothers and sisters in Christ in other lands while on mission trips to Honduras, Barbados and the Ukraine. A place I still want to visit is Prince Edward Island where the Anne of Green Gables books are set.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

ROSE: I think Jesus would be enough.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

ROSE: Jesus's birth and His resurrection.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

ROSE: I like to read and walk and scrapbook.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

ROSE: I took violin lessons in second grade and haven't touched one since!

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

ROSE: read a lot, write a lot, join a good writers' group, and persevere!

Any last thoughts for your readers?

ROSE: I hope they will be blessed by reading my book and many of the great Christian books out there.

And how can they connect with you?

ROSE: I'd love for them to visit my blog and click to become a follower. On September 1, 2011, the release date for my book, my husband will randomly pick one follower to win a copy of Christmas Belles of Georgia. Also check out my website at to contact me or read more about other Christian authors. You can also pre-order the book from Barnes and Noble or Amazon by clicking on the icons on the home page of my website.

Thanks, Sid, for hosting me and introducing me to some of your friends.

Christmas Belles of Georgia

Surprised by Life—and Love—at Christmas

Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth. . . .

When she learns in a letter she’s adopted, Holly feels betrayed by her parents—and she books a flight out of Missouri immediately. Will she ever be able to love again?

Raised in a wealthy, loveless home, Carol rushes to Monticello from college in Atlanta when she receives her letter. She’s searching for family, but finds instead a boy she once mistreated. Will he remember her? . . .forgive her?

In one year, Starr has lost her parents, boyfriend, and job, so she’s sure her letter is more bad news. When the attorney flies to California to offer proof, Starr takes a second look—at the message and the man.

Noelle always knew she was adopted—and she’s always loved the foreman on her father’s Texas ranch too. But he’s so distant. . .perhaps a trip to Georgia is the break in life she needs.

Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift. . .of love?

Pre-order now from

Friday, July 15, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – Lisa Lickel

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin Magazine and loves to encourage new authors. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, an editor at Port Yonder Press, a writing mentor, a hostess at Clash of the, and enjoys blogging at and Find her at

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I’m one of those rarer creatures who did not consider being a professional writer until I was close to forty. I’d been a school and church secretary, and local historian, content with raising my family and all that goes with it, when I took a course from the Christian Writers Guild and started selling articles before I graduated. My first novel made the top ten of the First Novel contest, and I simply kept writing.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

To be Titled…Coming October 2011 from Black Lyon, a new love story of one unforgettable summer of renewed purpose, faith and strength in family. Set on a farm in a small Wisconsin community, a family rediscovers the meaning of trust, loyalty, and letting go. In the beautiful rolling hills of Oakville, a family is torn by the impending loss of their heritage. Told in layers by each of the four, Tessa Hasmer Murphy faces divorce when the man of her dreams walks back in her life and forces her to choose between what could have been and what is. Tessa’s daughter Lindsay finds a way to save the family farm, but it may cost her the only man that she has ever loved. Art Hasmer must face his ghosts and come home in time to be a parent to his son or risk losing the woman who has waited for him since high school. And when Andy, Art’s son, discovers the meaning of forgiveness, he must learn to accept it as well as give it in order to receive sweet Ella’s love.
~with co-author Shellie Neumeier

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

I honestly hope my readers have taken a little vacation from too-real life with my little slice of entertainment. Although my books often deal with tough issues (serious illness, disappearance of a spouse, life challenges) I try to include lighter moments as well. I hope my readers have enjoyed the story enough to tell several someone elses about it.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

Now that I’ve had a chance to meet my Norwegian cousins who came here for a vacation, I’d love to go visit them in my country of origin.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

I would love to stand in the middle of a busy space port when first contact with another species is established.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I like to sew and quilt.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

I’m completely useless when it comes to giving or receiving directions.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Writing and being published is such an up and down profession; do not take anything personally, never surrender, strive for constant growth.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

You hold a piece of my soul in your hands whenever you buy my work or read my stories. I’d love to connect with you to talk more about pretty much anything.

Books by Lisa Lickel available on

  • ·         Healing Grace
  • ·         Meander Scar
  • ·         The Gold Standard

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your writing story with us today. 


Friday, July 8, 2011

John 3:16 Network Blog Tour – Tracy Krauss

Today, we welcome author Tracy Krauss aboard The Christian Bookmobile. She's been here a couple of times before and I find her interesting to talk to. I hope you'll enjoy learning more about her today.

Tracy grew up in small town near Saskatchewan and has always enjoyed writing, along with many other creative pursuits. She received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan with majors in Fine Arts, and minors in History and English. She has lived in many interesting places in northern Canada with her husband, a pastor with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and their four children. She teaches English, Art and Drama at the high school level and lives in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia.

Tracy has two Christian novels available now and a third one will be out soon. We published an excerpt of And The Beat Goes On here April 18, 2011. See:

The other book, My Mother the Man-Eater is described below:
A forty-something ‘cougar’s’ search for fulfillment keeps getting foiled when her prospects fall for one of her daughters instead. Her ex-husband is out of prison and looking for revenge. He’ll stop at nothing – even murder – to ruin Joleen’s reputation as well as her relationship with their daughters. My Mother the Man-Eater makes for some truly tempting and redemptive reading.
I hope you enjoy reading this interview with an up and coming writer of Christian fiction, Tracy Krauss.

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

‘The Dream’ started approximately 25 years ago, shortly after my eldest daughter was born. I have always been interested in writing and the creative process in general, but that’s when I actually started writing seriously. (Clacking away at an old typewriter or writing long-hand in notebooks!)

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER is the story of a forty something ‘cougar’ out to find fulfillment. She has several men on the line at once, and life gets even more complicated when her ex-husband, fresh out of jail, begins to blackmail her. Added to this, there is a lot of family tension with her five grown daughters, not the least of which takes place when her love interests start looking at the daughters instead.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

Besides being entertained, I want them to reflect on God’s grace and utter redemptive nature. He doesn’t judge based on appearances or past mistakes, but takes everyone ‘just as they are’.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

I have never been to Europe. I especially want to visit some of the castles in Germany. I love architecture.

If you could have dinner with two people, who would they be?

Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandala – at the same time. I would love to hear them talk about their civil rights experiences and swap stories. It would be very inspiring.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

I’m a Sci-fi fan from way back, so I guess I’d have to say the future. Since it’s in the future, I don’t know what it would be …

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I am an artist as well as a writer. Right now I mostly paint, but I did a lot of printmaking at one time, too.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

Of course. And I’m not telling. On a more serious note, I was blind for several months between experimental eye surgeries. I regained my sight, but the experience taught me a lot about myself, among other things.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Just keep honing your craft. Everyone can always improve, no matter if you’re an old hand or a newbie.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

Thanks for hosting me. Keep your eyes open for my third novel PLAY IT AGAIN, coming in a few months.

And how can they connect with you?

I’m on a ton of sites, but the main ones are:

Friday, July 1, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner

If I had seen this book in a bookstore, or read about it online, I probably wouldn't have bought it. If not for the free review copy I received from the publisher, I would have missed reading one of the better books I've read in quite some time.

There are several reasons why I wouldn't have picked this book to buy. First, it looks bulky, and perhaps too long. A closer check shows the last hundred pages are notes and supplementary information. Of course a novel requiring notes may turn off some buyers. Another reason I was not enthused about the book was that the story is set in the year 2048 and, because of my own writing, I have been reading only contemporary books for a long time.

But, as I said, I am glad I took the free book and read it. In fact, I ordered, and paid for the Kindle version soon after I started reading just to be able to more easily make notes. Also, I prefer the size and weight of the Kindle over most printed books.

I never read reviews until my own is published, but I sure hope no one tells you everything about this book. Part of the enjoyment is the way it is organized and developed. You must experience it for yourself to fully appreciate the story. What I can tell you is that it is about the end of the world as described in Revelations. There are both good and evil people, all born on the same day and time, thirty-six years earlier, who are involved in the story. Paul Binder, a historian and professor of cultural studies, was also born at the same time. However, his role is that of a facilitator, and as such, he is an important part of the story.

Even though the book is set in 2048, the authors didn't delve into the futuristic aspects too much. Oh, there are a few glimpses into what may be in our future, but all are easy to accept. Pearl, for example, is a body-mind-interface device that people wear, or have implanted, to communicate and access information. It is not far beyond technological capabilities of 2011. Other futuristic references have to do with travel and the use of avatars.

There are many interesting characters and you will enjoy getting to know them all. It is not until near the end that you will learn which ones to cheer for, however. Even so, there are surprises all the way to the very last page. I loved this book and still think about it every day.