Monday, December 15, 2014

Author Spotlight: Interview and Give Away

Today I am honored to have Ruth O'Neil as a guest on my blog. Ruth has been writing for over 20 years and has published hundreds of articles. Ruth is offering a GIVE AWAY of one of her books to one lucky reader. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win the Ruth O'Neil book of your choice. 

1)      When did you start writing? What was the first story you remember writing?

When I was nine I wrote my first story called "The Hunchback Bug." My mom allowed me to use her typewriter. I felt proud as I sat at the dining room table pounding away at the keys. When I was done I asked if I should put my name, age, and date at the bottom. She thought it was a good idea.

Later on that story came up missing. I never knew what happened to it until my mom passed away. Dad gave all four of us kids our baby books that Mom had meticulously kept up with from the days we were born. Inside were treasures of all kinds: hair, reward certificates from school, honor roll certificates, report cards, and…my story. She had kept that story all those years, safely tucked away so it wouldn’t get lost or damaged.

I still have it today.

2)      What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Helping other potential writers. I want to see others see their writing dreams come true. I have witnessed more than one person cry when they hold their book in their hands for the first time. There is nothing like that feeling!

3)      How many books do you currently have available?

I started a series of novels, What a Difference a Year Makes. The novels are all stand-alone with different characters. But over my life I’ve seen that so much can happen in a year. I wanted to do a series, but I get frustrated when I buy a book and it’s the second or third in a series and I haven’t read the previous ones. With my series, order doesn’t matter.

After the death of her father, painfully shy and introverted Shelly finds her world turned upside down. She is forced to speak with people and she may even have to move from her comfortable apartment. Sorting through her father’s possessions at his house brings back many memories, including how they would research her mom’s genealogy so that in a way, she could get to know her mother’s family, who are all deceased. Shelly wonders why her dad never researched his own family and she never remembers any family events. Why? She begins a journey that takes her to places she never dreamed. Throughout the entire story, God nudges Shelly to get out of her comfort zone. That’s easy for some, but for Shelly it may almost be impossible.

Get your copy of BELONGING on Amazon:

Come Eat at My Table

Karin Miller has a need to feed everyone. One of her twin daughters always teases her about it, while
the other daughter, Faith, realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Faith’s suspicions are confirmed when she is assigned a project in school that forces Karin to talk about her past. Most people have pleasant memories from childhood, but not Karin. Instead, she has a lot of secrets that she has managed to keep hidden for twenty years. These secrets have contributed to her vulnerability and lack of self-esteem. Her husband tries to convince her to talk to their girls about it and let it out. Would it be good for the girls to learn more about their mom and why she is the person she is? Until Karin faces her past, she and her family cannot face their future.

Everyone has things in their life that form who they are. It’s Karin’s past that has formed who she is. This is a story about perseverance, love, and especially forgiveness. We can all take the bad things
that happen in our lives and turn them around to benefit those with whom we come in contact.

Get your copy of COME EAT AT MY TABLE on Amazon:

4)      Which book(s) inspire you the most?

That’s like asking which child is my favorite. I think different books inspire me at different times – depending on what I’m going through at the time. I think it’s great that different authors can have an effect on me when I need it.

Keep in touch with Ruth at her blog, Real Life is Better Than Fiction 
And don't forget to leave a comment on this post, with your email address in a safe format (example: username (at) internet server (dot) net) to be entered for a FREE book. Deadline is Friday, 12/19/14 at midnight EST. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Author Spotlight - Suzanne Williams

I'm starting a new feature on my blog - on Mondays I will post an Author Spotlight or Book Review. This week, I'm happy to kick off with someone I met through Facebook. Suzanne D. Williams is a best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction books. She's also a photographer and does graphic design for indie published authors. Suzanne and I share a love of photography as well as writing. 

Suzanne has a Christmas-themed novella with a title many of us up in the frozen North will be drawn to - and dreaming about! Merry Christmas from Florida is just the thing to warm you up and get you in the Christmas mood. 
Fashion model Whitney Hobart snuck off to Florida to solve her Christas blues. A bad, extremely public breakup combined with endless rounds of holiday cheer seem like simply too much to endure. She'll hide out at a small hotel on the coast, soak in the winter sunshine, and no one will be the wiser.
But when her secret gets out, the problems she's tried to escape multiply, and what's supposed to be relaxing isn't anymore. The only good thing remaining is hotel manager, Fletcher Collins.
She finds in him a listening ear, a gentle hand, and maybe, just maybe, the greatest gift of all - love.

Suzanne, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?

I snickered a little at this question because when am I not writing? I write practically all day every day. That said, I do stop to eat. I like to try new recipes, especially desserts, and to cook with my daughter. I also garden. I plant both flowers and vegetables. I love watching the birds and bees enjoy what I've planted. I enjoy that even more with my camera lens. Nature photography is like therapy for my soul. It helps me set aside all the nonsense of the day and clears my head. When nothing else makes sense, photography does.
A sample of Suzanne's photography
A sample of Suzanne's photograpy


 When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I was a graphic artist first, doing book covers, newsletters, and the like. I went through a trying time in 2007 and decided to write my personal testimony. This was my first effort at writing and, for me, the hardest. Writing fiction, came after that. I had an idea for a story and a friend encouraged me to go after it. Though I had no idea what I was doing at first, I've never looked back. 

   How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I write mostly novellas of about 20,000 words. That said, I currently have 59 novels/novellas/short stories released, 34 of which I released this year alone. My brain seems to be an endless fountain of ideas.
I love all my stories, but have a fondness for Love &Redemption (The Florida Irish) and Me & Timothy Cooper for their place in kickstarting my writing career. Love & Redemption has been not as popular as some series, but it was the book I learned to write on - how to plot, how to create meaningful characters. Me & Timothy Cooper set me to writing YA romance. There's something about the innocence of youth that appeals to me and keeps me coming back to that genre.

    Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I have all kinds of themes slated for next year. I have a YA Rodeo series, a YA Surfing series. I have a contemporary Celebrity series. I also have a historical fiction series to finish as well as several individual contemporary novels. I do write a lot of romantic suspense and have even written sci-fi. 
If I would list favorite characters, my swoon-worthy hero is Michael O'Fallen in the Love & Redemption series for that amazing singing voice. My favorite YA hero is Aaron Loving in All About Romeo. He's imperfect, but somehow, that makes him so likeable. For personality I would choose Atlas Bellamy in Atlas(Billionaire Boys Club) Book 1. He's strong and confident, knows who he is and doesn't turn aside for anyone but his wife, who he adores.
Get Merry Christmas from Florida on Kindle or in print at
About the Suzanne D. Williams:
Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit or link with her on Facebook at

Friday, December 5, 2014

Naultag, the middle of nowhere

When Sean Taggart first meets Caitlin Harrington, his initial impression is that she's too sophisticated for a small town. "She didn’t belong in the middle of nowhere, which was pretty much the exact map location for Naultag, Massachusetts."
This is Lake Lashaway - the "model" for Lake Naultag
I patterned Naultag after my hometowns. I grew up in North Brookfield, moved to Brookfield, then moved back to North Brookfield. We're pretty close to the town line for East Brookfield. And I've worked in West Brookfield. Sounds like a lot of Brookfields, doesn't it? They're just four small towns smack-dab in the middle of the state. Chock full of everything you'd expect in an area that used to be very rural and is slowly creeping toward suburban. 

In this post, I want to give readers a peek at what Naultag might look like. So here are some pictures of the Brookfields. As you read She's Mine you just may recognize some landmarks.
the pond on Brickyard Road - yes, it's a real place!

Main Street, North Brookfield

First Congregational Church of North Brookfield
Asparagus & Flower Heritage Festival 
the new Police Station in North Brookfield, MA
Haston Library, Main Street, North Brookfield, MA

Merriam-Gilbert Library, West Brookfield, MA
Explore more of Naultag and get to know Caitlin Harrington, Sean Taggart and the rest of the residents in She's Mine, now available on Amazon