Monday, October 29, 2007

A Visit from DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is releasing an addition to The Texas Legacy series, just in time for the holidays.

A Texas Legacy Christmas by DiAnn Mills

Zack Kahler is ready to head out of New York City and back to Texas to take over his hometown paper. Just before leaving town, the newsman finds himself the intended victim of a pair of lively six-year-old pickpockets by the name of Curly and Charlie. After learning the two are homeless, Zack decides to bring them back to Kahlerville. But will Zack be able to run the newspaper, recover from a lost love, and still manage to keep his unruly charges out of trouble?

Chloe Weaver has been an outcast all of her life. When she and the twins are thrown together, they form a unique bond. Through their relationship, Zack begins to learn some lessons about life and feels his heart stirring with love for this delightful woman. But when a misunderstanding threatens to drive them apart, Zack is in jeopardy of failing the biggest test of his life.

Zack, Chloe, and the twins each have past reputations to overcome. Will they succeed in finding the acceptance for which they’ve longed? Could it take a Christmas miracle for their dreams to come true?

Snuggle down between the covers of A Texas Legacy Christmas, where the miracle of love and life awaits you on every page.

Q & A with the author - DiAnn Mills

1. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Do we ever really know what God has planned? ☺ I’ve been contracted to write more contemporary romantic suspense, and I’m very excited. I’m also excited about writing historical fiction for Avon inspire.

2. Tell us a little about your family.

I have four sons – stair steps. Three are adopted. They are grown, and we have one precious granddaughter. Dean and I have been married thirteen and a half years. He is a tremendous help and support to my writing ministry. I often say that he is my best cheerleader and my worst critic.

3. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

I read critically while enjoying a good story. One change is if I’m not hooked from the first sentence, I’ll continue the page and maybe a few more pages, then I’m done.

4. What are you working on right now?

Contemporary romantic suspense. My head is spinning with the characterization and plot elements.

5. What outside interests do you have?

I mentor writing students for Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild. I also teach writing. I’m actively involved in ministering and raising awareness about the critical situation in Sudan, and I volunteer at a Biblical counseling center. Oops! I’m finishing up a degree at Moody Bible Institute.

6. How do you choose your settings for each book?

It is all about “what-if.” Many times the setting is a character too. For example: if a character is afraid of water, then the setting will be near a body of river. If a character cannot tolerate heat or cold, then the setting will be there.

7. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Louisa May Alcott. Her book Little Women and those that followed were my childhood treasures. They inspired me to adopt boys, write, and give back to others.

8. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

☺ To read Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook along with taking his workshops. But I don’t think he was in the forefront then.

9. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

• To understand forgiveness.
• To continually challenge myself in writing.
• To grasp how wide and deep His love.

10. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

• Pray about your writing ministry.
• Read and write everyday.
• Take what you learn and help other writers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Discuss The Restorer

For those of you who are part of the ACFW online bookgroup, or who signed up for it to discuss The Restorer in October - be sure to check your emails (or yahoo group posts). The discussion has begun! The moderator posted her first question.

On the 20th of the month they begin discussing the book of the month. I'll be popping in every couple of days to answer any questions - so discuss away!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Visit from Deb Raney

I first met Deb Raney at a small brainstorming retreat. She has such a sunny heart, that it made me feel better about the world just because of meeting her.

I recently attended her class at ACFW and soaked up every detail she shared about her writing process. I tend to stress out about a lot of issues, but she helped me take a deep breath and remember that writing can be joyful and peaceful (at least some of the time).

The brand new sequel to A Vow to Cherish, (her first novel, which inspired a World Wide Pictures film by the same name) will release this week from Steeple Hill in mass market format. Within This Circle continues the story of John Brighton and Julia Sinclair. After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness, a fresh marriage and, now that their children are grown, a new era in their lives to revel in the promise of the future. Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a heartbeat. The Brightons life is turned upside down when John's daughter, Jana, abandons her husband Mark and three-year-old daughter. As Jana struggles through delayed grief over her mother's death, her actions put her marriage and her own daughter in danger. John and Julia reach out to little Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but the little girl is confused and longing for her mother. How much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure? Two very different couples––each with only their love and faith to guide them––can only pray it will be enough.

A Vow to Cherish released in mass market format last month. This beautiful book duo would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your favorite reader.

Deborah Raney is at work on her seventeenth novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award and the Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and Playing by Heart was a Christy Award finalist. Her new Clayburn Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster kicked off with Remember to Forget. Leaving November will be out in March 2008 and Yesterday's Embers early in 2009. Deb serves on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves teaching at writers conferences. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They have four children and two little grandsons who live much too far away.

Order Deborah's books here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Soundtrack for an Autumn Day

Barber's Adagio for Strings is playing from my iTunes.

Outside, a blustery gray wind is rippling the golden prairie grasses on the far side of the pond. The tall maple in our back yard shakes like a wet dog and sheds clumps of leaves.

It's a melancholy day.

I love the Fall...the "sharpened pencils, clean notebooks, back-to-school" feeling.

I love the vibrant leaves, the scent of woodsmoke, and the harvest from my backyard garden.

Yet sometimes as Fall days grow brittle and dark,
I feel a dull ache.

I miss the people I've lost - more than in any other season.
I fear the dark cold days ahead.

Nostalgia twines around my limbs and tugs me backwards.
I feel old...

and a little lost.

So Barber's Adagio is the perfect accompaniment.

The music coaxes me to let go of another season.

Book of the Year Awards

A friend just sent me a photo she took of me leaving the stage after getting the second place Book of the Year Award in the Lits category for The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

Since I was having too much fun to remember to get my camera out, I didn't have any good photos until this one. You can catch a glimpse of the book cover on the screen behind Cheryl (at the podium).


I'm back from four wonderful days of tromping in the forest with my hubby. We explored some remote old-growth forests and I'll post photos and share a few thoughts in my next blog post.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

A Visit from Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote's first historical series, BLESSED ASSURANCE, is reissued, revised and revamped--all three in one book by Avon Inspire. The love of God conquers all as three generations of women struggle to find true love in these three historical dramas.

In Whisper of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her own son against the Great Chicago Fire.

In Lost in His Love, San Francisco heriess Cecelia Jackson meets social activist Linc Wagstaff who opens her eyes to her role of the abuse of the helpless as they face the Great 1906 Earthquake.

And in Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff, just back from volunteering in WWI, must now face the challenge of the racial barriers of the 1920's New Orleans in order to prove her childhood friend did not commit murder.


"The omnibus collection of the three superb Wagstaff BLESSED ASSURANCE
inspirational historical tales will elate fans of the genre as each
era comes alive due to the strong lead couple and a deep support
cast." - review by Harriet Kausner

Also drop by and read Lyn's blog about
Chicago 1871. The latest Blog discusses a Chicago institution, the
Marshall Field's Department Store, which after over a century of
doing business in Chicago was bought out by Macy's in the past few

Lyn, thanks for letting us know - and congratulations on this new three-in-one release!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Mountain of Mist

Last night I was driving to a meeting. On the horizon, I saw mountain peaks.

In my normal, muddled state, I wondered when a mountain range had developed to the north of Minneapolis.

Minnesota is a beautiful state, but we don't have towering mountains that pierce the stratosphere. Yet as I gazed down a street that looked like a perspectives-exercise from art class, there in the distance were purple mountain's majesty.

After my brain caught up with my senses, I figured out that I was looking at a thick bank of clouds, in the triangular shape of mountains - dark enough to contrast with the dusky sky and create the illusion of the Rockies transplanted to my neighborhood.

It made me wonder about how many of the mountains that seem to bar my way are mere mist. From the distance they look sturdy, powerful, daunting. But if I wait awhile, a strong wind will blow them away.

Maybe I'd have more faith to move mountains if my vision were clearer and I saw some of those mountains for what they really are.

Lord, open our eyes.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Stray Photos

1. The banner at the awards banquet at American Christian Fiction Writers.
I don't have a good photo of me scampering up on stage to accept the award for second place in the Book of Year - Lit category, so this banner photo is my tribute to that night.

2. My friend Nina reading.

3. The gathering of Sci-fi/Fantasy fans at the ACFW conference in Dallas. How many spec-fic writers can fit into one hotel room? LOTS!

4. Another view of the gathering

5. Me having a ball at the ACFW multi-author book signing in Dallas.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gala Book Launch 3

What was I thinking about as I welcomed everyone?

A theme threaded through my novels is that God can take ordinary, flawed, and weak people, and accomplish remarkable things.

The fact that He stirred me to write, helped me complete manuscripts, opened doors for books to be published, (especially these books which are so unusual and by all conventional wisdom didn't have a chance) and allowed those stories to touch hearts is a huge gift of grace. As I looked out at all the gathered faces, I wondered what gifts of grace He is planning to unfold in each life. Delightful plans. Amazing adventures. A room full of wounded healers and unlikely heroes. There were people from North Carolina, Kansas, and Wisconsin. There were people facing trials of various kinds. Men and women of all ages. God knows the story in each heart, and they are far more poignant and dramatic than any story I could write.

Thank you so much to everyone who came -- to the Book Buddy volunteers who brought food, handed out prizes, and greeted people; to the wonderful staff of Northwestern Bookstore, Burnsville; to the musicians who arranged beautiful harmonies and performed the songs from each Restorer book; to my eldest daughter for taking photos; and to my family and friends who prayed me through the writing and release of The Restorer's Son.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Gala Book Launch 2

1. The singers
2. Sharon reading
3. The signing
4. visiting with readers
5. one segment of the long line

Gala Book Launch

Music, prizes, food, and fellowship . . .
what could be more fun? Here are a few photos from the October 6th book launch.

1. The display
2. The flutist
3. Greeting folk as they arrived
4. Chatting with a book club that came together
5. Folk filling the cafe' as they waited for the program to begin.

A Visit from Linda Hall

Shadows in the Mirror
By Linda Hall

An October release from Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Suspense

"Never go back to Burlington!" Those were the dying words of the secretive aunt who'd raised orphaned Marylee Simson. Yet to discover who she was, Marylee had to go back, sure the Lord would look out for her. But learning anything about her past was proving impossible. Why were there no records of the accident that claimed her parents' lives? No records of her parents, period? And who was trying to stop her from finding out? Someone whose threats were escalating. Someone close to her, such as Evan Baxter, the handsome photographer she'd entrusted with the one clue she had.

Shadows in the Mirror is the first in a three-book romantic suspense trilogy where these shadows of the past must be accepted, acknowledged and forgiven before one can move onto life and love in the present.

What people are saying about Shadows in the Mirror:

Linda Hall has done an outstanding job. The tension and suspense will engage you from the first page. The fast pace and even flow of the story will keep you turning the pages. I recommend you read this novel to find out the dramatic ending.
Romance Reviews Today

In Shadows in the Mirror, Hall has done an excellent job or marrying her skills in character development and suspenseful plots with a strong romance element…. if you love Romantic Suspense, with the October release of Shadows in the Mirror you have cause to celebrate, as another strong Romantic Suspense author has been added to the must read list.
The Suspense Zone

About the author:

Linda Hall is the award winning author of fifteen novels and a number of short stories. She is the author of the bestselling Margaret’s Peace and the critically acclaimed Sadie’s Song. She has received The Word Guild award five times for best Christian mystery in Canada, has been short listed twice for a Christy (Sadie’s Song and Steal Away) and once for a Daphne (Steal Away). When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends and listening to good music. She and her husband also enjoy sailing the New Brunswick and Maine coasts.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Restorer's Son Release


* "An Interview with a Restorer" - a brilliant book report (using an interview format with a main character) by a young reader. WARNING - don't read it until after you've read The Restorer and The Restorer's Son.

* Podcast with Jill Hart - every time we chat, it's a time of giggles and grace

* Where the Map Ends - Q & A with editor Jeff Gerke about Christian fantasy

*Interview at Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My! blog.


Library Journal (November, 2007)

Road To Romance - Reviewer's Choice Award

Bookshelf Review

Relz Reviewz

Rebecca Luella Miller at Christian Worldview of Fiction

Cheryl Bader at Edenstar

Harriet Klausner (number-one ranked amazon reviewer)

Amy Wallace at Peek-a-boo ICU

Valerie Comer at In My Little World

Deborah Khuanghlawn at Books, Movies, & Chinese Food

Chawna Schroeder at Imagination Investigation

Cara Putman at The Law, Books, and Life

Judy Fedele at Believer's Chapel MOPS

Barbara at Stray Thoughts


* Signed by the Author - Get your book personalized and autographed by Sharon even if you can't come to an in-person event

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Podcast at CWAHM

The irrepressible Jill Hart interviewed me about the release of The Restorer's Son and you can listen to our chat at the Christian Work at Home Moms website.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Interview at Where The Map Ends

I've featured Where The Map Ends in the past - a terrific resource for fans and writers of speculative fiction. My interview with the creator of Where The Map Ends is now up, so pop on over for more than you ever wanted to know about my opinions about the speculative fiction genre. And be sure to explore all the great book lists, interviews, writing tips, and forums!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)