Bill will give away EITHER a print copy OR an e-book of The Day She Died. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.
Hi Bill. First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m married with three children and live in Oklahoma City. I’m a CPA and work in healthcare but my real love is great stories. I don’t want to be mindlessly entertained; I want to be moved emotionally. I spend my weekends going to basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball games and love every minute.
Lots of writers were young readers. What about you? If so, what did you read?
I was an avid reader. I remember winning a most read books contest in 2nd grade and getting a free book. In sixth grade, my parents gave me a bunch of books for Christmas, and I remember being disappointed because I wanted toys.
Ahh, sorry about the toys, but congratulations on the contest. Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I really enjoy telling a story and creating a feeling in the reader, a feeling of joy, surprise, shock, love, happiness. I write for the reader. I also write because I have something on my heart and I want to convey something from God. It is hard to write a novel when God isn’t behind it.
About The Day She Died
The Day She Died is my latest book, and my only book. It’s a time travel mystery in which the main character, 45-year old John, wakes up one day back in college, on the day his fiancé disappeared. He travels through time, visiting college, high school, adulthood, then back to college again, gathering clues to both the mystery of his girlfriend’s death and the keys to enjoying a life without regrets.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I used to walk from my work to a parking garage several blocks away and just daydream about what it would be like to be back in high school playing basketball with all of the knowledge of the game I had as an adult. That kind of thinking went on for years, just for fun, as I imagined taking the wisdom of a full life back into time to have a few do-overs. Then you throw in the experience of three previous novels and the inspiration of other time-travel books and movies, and the idea for this book was born.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
I really get ideas from other stories. Plot twists, locations, characters…maybe. But the big ideas are the emotions and the feelings you get after you read a great book. I want to create the same feelings in my novels.
What themes do you write about?
When I reflect on the themes of my three novels and I realize there is an over-arching theme, and that is we’ve all messed up, and no one is perfect, but God has blessed each of us with a wonderful life, or God is capable of bringing anyone out of the darkness and into the light, regardless of their past. It feels like the spiritual themes of my novels were written to address my own spiritual weaknesses at the time. Writing The Day She Died helped me accept my life and the decisions I’d made and to not live every day thinking about what I could have done differently.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never be afraid to ask for help. In fact, force yourself to get involved with other writers and critique groups. You will learn so much and you will be amazed at how willing they are to help.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Sadly, I’m doing it. Just kidding, but I’m an Auditor for a state agency and work in the health care field. I love spending time with my kids and their sports activities. I’d enjoy working in the food industry. I think it would be fun to run a restaurant…but maybe because I’ve never worked at one.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Thank you for letting me be a guest today. I had a lot of fun answering these questions. You can learn more about me and my novel at www.billgarrisonauthor.com
A kickoff of new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
An Interview with Two Heroes
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to a conversation between two heroes from different eras?
Today, Shanna Hatfield brings together two of her popular heroes for an interesting interview. Luke Granger is a banker, rancher, and involved community member in The Christmas Bargain, a sweet Victorian romance taking place in 1893 in Hardman, Oregon. Tate Morgan is from the contemporary sweet romance The Christmas Cowboy. He’s a retired saddle bronc rider who calls his ranch near Kennewick, Washington home.
Welcome to you both. Tell us a little about life where you live.
Luke: I live in the small but bustling community of Hardman, Oregon in Eastern Oregon. We have several churches, a school, a newspaper office, skating rink and mercantile there. My wife, Filly, and I live in the house my parents originally built on the edge of town where I raise cattle and a few horses.
Tate: I live on the ranch that my grandfather started back in the early 1900s. We’re about thirty miles from Kennewick, Washington. We primarily raise beef cattle, wheat, and hay.
What does a typical day entail for each of you?
Luke: My day begins by donning my chore clothes and going out to feed the horses and cattle. I check the coal level in the basement furnace and stoke up the stove in the kitchen before I go out. When I return from completing the chores, I take a bath and dress for work at the bank while Filly makes breakfast. Filly frequently reminds me how fortunate we are to have indoor plumbing and all the latest conveniences in the kitchen, like a refrigerator. After breakfast, I kiss my Filly and our baby, Maura, goodbye then head off to the bank for the day. I also serve on the school board and help at the Christian Church where my friend Chauncy Dodd is the pastor. It is a marvel to me that we have such modern communications with the speed of letters traveling back and forth across the country not mention the telegraph.
Tate: I’m all for modern communication. (Grins and hands Luke his cell phone, giving him a brief explanation of how it works. While Luke reads an article about Hardman Tate Googled, he talks about his day). My wife, Kenzie, and I are both early risers. I get started on the chores outside while she makes breakfast. We can almost get through a cup of coffee before our little boy, Gideon, wakes up. Since we have such a big place, I meet with our ranch foreman every morning to go over details for the day before we head out to work. I can’t imagine trying to feed the cattle without some of our modern conveniences like an enclosed tractor cab. It makes it nice on these cold mornings to step into that welcome heat.
Luke: Tractor? I’ve heard of tractors. Are you telling me they come with heat?
Tate: Sure do. (He takes the phone from Luke and shows him a photo of a big John Deere tractor).
What’s your favorite thing about your home?
Luke: (Smiles) Without a doubt, my wife is what makes it home. Filly is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Tate: (Nods in agreement) Kenzie turned a quiet ol’ ranch house back into a home. She’s the best and first thing that comes to mind when I think about home.
What’s about Christmas? What do you love most about the holiday?
Luke and Tate: (Answer simultaneously) The treats! (Looking at each other, they smirk)
Tate: Kenzie is an amazing cook and she makes these gingerbread bars that are so good. I once compared the bars to her kisses… One is just a taste, two gets me started, and three leaves me hungry for more.
Luke: (Shaking his head) Filly has a reputation as one of the best cooks in the county. She makes all sorts of delectable treats during the holiday season. We most always have pralines and caramels and sweet breads. My brother-in-law, Blake, is quite partial to her kisses.
Tate: (Raising an inquisitive eyebrow) Sounds like a friendly brother-in-law.
Luke: It’s a cookie! The man nearly eats me out of house and home since my sister can’t cook.
Tell us one thing you’ve done that your wife wouldn’t want you to share.
Luke: When I first married Filly, she’d never been kissed. (Tate gives him an incredulous look.) I offered to give her lessons and to further tease her, I sent the boy who runs errands at the mercantile to the house with a container of lip salve. Her face was as red as a holly berry when she mentioned receiving my little gift.
Tate: Kenzie will probably make me sleep in the bunkhouse for sharing this, but she likes to sing Christmas songs when she thinks no one is listening, only she changes the words to a bunch of nonsensical craziness. She also has a thing for Christmas pjs. She wears them the entire month of December.
Luke: What are pjs?
Tate: Pajamas. Like these (pulls up a photo on his phone, causing Luke’s eyes to widen in surprise).
Luke: It appears the world has drastically changed.
Tate: That’s a fact.
Thank you both for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?
Tate: If you enjoy historical fiction, sweet romances, or good westerns, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in the Hardman Holidays and Rodeo Romance series.
Luke: Be sure to check out The Christmas Calamity, releasing Nov. 13. My assistant Arlan really gets into the magic of the season with the arrival of a prestidigitator in town.
Tate: I’ve never met a prestidigitator, although I’ve been around some great rodeo clowns.
(The two men get to their feet.)
Luke: If you aren’t in a hurry, might you have a moment to explain to me what happened in the last hundred or so years?
Now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.
Where to Find The Books
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty
The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994
In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!
Enter to Win Prizes!
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
To enter to win an e-book of Veiled at Midnight leave a comment and e-mail address below.
I BELIEVE IN PERFECT FAMILIES—by Christine Lindsay
I used to envy people who grew up in perfect homes. Then I discovered that, sadly, perfect families are an extremely small percentage. All people live with some level of dysfunction.
In my family it was not only my father, but also my brother and sister who suffered from alcoholism. That certainly marred my hope for a perfect family. I never struggled with alcohol, but I did wrestle with other sins that seemed to be handed down generation to generation.
According to Romans 8 there is no longer condemnation for those who follow Christ. I have seen how the Lord Jesus steps in and heals a person, entire families from past imperfections. But these ugly human traits from the past still creep out of our families and spring up in our own hearts at unexpected times.
How long must we wrestle with this conflict in our natures? How long until we are perfect?
One of the clearest examples of healing I’ve seen has been in my younger brother’s life. Two years ago Steve was in such despair over his drinking, he set a photograph of his daughters on his bedside table, his Bible next to that, and he drank a full bottle of vodka along with a bottle of over-the-counter sleeping pills. He expected to wake up in heaven. He didn’t. He woke up very sick in his bedroom.
God was not going to let my brother die in his imperfection.
For the following two years Steve took the brave steps of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous. He came to live with us for a time, and joined us each Sunday at church. What my brother learned is, the Lord is faithful to those who truly walk the line with Him. Today he is clean and sober, has a beautifully renewed relationship with his daughters, and is living his life with joy. He’s still not perfect though. And neither am I.
There are no easy answers to dysfunction. No quick fixes.
But…and I love this “but”. In Romans 8 we read. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It seems God likes to work with imperfect people, and the stories of how He heals our imperfections on a daily basis.
In that same chapter 8 of Romans, we learn that we all must live with the torture of trying to walk the line with Christ and failing. But we have the hope that God is constantly working to help us become the people and the families that He wants us to be.
Romans 8: 22 says, “ We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
It’s like giving birth, you can’t rush the process. So when your ugly human traits raise their nasty fangs and you fail, go to God, ask for His forgiveness and strength to get back up again, and know that one day when you see the Lord face to face, then you will be perfect.
And if you would like to read a novel about this moral dilemma of our family natures, keep in mind that the theme verses of my latest novel Veiled at Midnight are Romans 8:38 and 39.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
About Veiled at Midnight (Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj)
As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is
Captain Cam Fraser
his sister Miriam
and the beautiful Indian Dassah
Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?
As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.
Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?
The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever?
ABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY:
Stories of Christine Lindsay’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book2 Captured by Moonlight, and now the newly released Veiled at Midnight.
Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland.
Christine makes her home on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.