Today, I welcome my friend and fellow writer, Amy Blake, back to my blog for a reason that gives me extreme pleasure! The release of another of her books–Colorblind. I’ll let her tell you about it.
I’m excited to share with you about the release of the second book in my On the Brink Christian suspense series, Colorblind. The first book in that series, Whitewashed, released last February. The series follows three homeschooled friends–Patience, Christy, and Natalie–as they step into adulthood. Since each book tells only one girl’s story, the books can be read in any order. You can buy Colorblind and Whitewashed in both e-book and paperback on Amazon. I hope you’ll pick up your copies today!
Here’s a little more about Colorblind:
Eighteen-year-old Christy Kane has always been Daddy’s princess. But on the first day of her music internship at his mega-church, reporters shatter her world with terrible news: Daddy’s had an affair with the church preschool director. Christy feels as betrayed by God as the man she’s always considered Prince Charming.
When Mom sends her to Buckeye Lake to help with Aunt Jo’s School of Music and Dance in the restored Pier Ballroom, Christy’s problems only increase. First, the ballroom sits on Buckeye Lake, making her face her greatest fear—water. Second, she must help lead a handful of semi-talented volunteers, who harbor racial tensions and mysterious underlying antagonisms, in a professional quality performance for the Grand Reopening of the ballroom. The stakes are high—Aunt Jo will lose the place if they fail. Third, Christy discovers a diary written by Lillian, who lived near Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and becomes intrigued by the stories of thousands coming to play at the amusement parks and dance in the ballrooms. But her interest soon turns to concern as tragic events from the diary happen in Christy’s world, ninety years to the date of their first occurrence.
Between her shattered past, her uncertain future, and her dangerous present, Christy doesn’t know where to turn. Does Daddy’s God really exist? If so, does He care enough to rescue her?
Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels–Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.
Nike Chillemi is very good at slapping my writing wrist. She’s a long-time critique partner who asks the probing questions and tells it to me straight. I try to do the same for her, though on this latest release, I didn’t have to work so hard. Besides her “deadly” wrist-rapping ability, she’s pretty skilled at suspense.
I enjoyed working on Deadly Designs. For one thing, I loved the characters. Since this is the second novel featuring Ronnie Ingles and Dawson Hughes, they felt like family, and I was happy to be along for the ride. I posed a few questions for Nike, just so I could feature her second book in the series on my blog. Here’s how it went:
For those readers who may not know, how did Veronica “Ronnie” Ingles first meet Dawson Hughes?
Ronnie and Dawson met in the first novel in the series, HARMFUL INTENT. Ronnie’s husband has been cheating on her in Abilene, Texas. Immediately after this sassy Brooklyn, NY private investigator arrives in west Texas and confronts him, he’s murdered. Handsome Deputy Hughes isn’t convinced this heavily-armed city gal didn’t kill her husband.
How did you come up with your idea for this series?
The series has been writing itself. The concept keeps enlarging. It started out quite small, as a writing challenge for a short story, of all things. The objective was to take a character and place them somewhere uncomfortable to them and then stress them even more. I took city gal Ronnie Ingels, plopped her in west Texas and then have her virtually accused of killing her cheating husband. The short story grew to 55,000 words, then to a full-length novel at 81,000 words.
Tell us about your favorite place to write.
As far as a favorite place to write…I have my computer desk. We live in a two-floor, three bedroom, brick, attached-house in Brooklyn. A three bedroom house in the city isn’t as large as one in the suburbs or in a rural area, and our lot is tiny. I’m a NYC gal, just like my heroine Ronnie. My writing space is my desk…that’s it. A great deal has come out of this little ‘creative’ space.
Tell us a bit about Deadly Designs.
Private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels teams up with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster’s missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against the husband’s pro-Israel, conspiracy theory broadcasts. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes from a manicured Connecticut estate, to interviews with an elitist A-List society crowd, and run-ins with cranky local police detectives. Then they plunge deep into the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world, with the specter of international terrorism hovering.
Hughes has recently been promoted to lieutenant in the Taylor County, Texas Sheriff’s Department. He’s on leave on a special assignment with Authorized Operations (AO), a clandestine, quasi-government agency operating out of a sea-side mansion in Hither Hills, NY. The only thing is, many powerful politicians, and government big-wigs claim Authorized Operations doesn’t exist.
Ronnie is furious at both Hughes and the broadcaster for waiting thirty-six hours to start the search. She knows the longer it takes, the less chance there is of finding the child alive. The problem is, radio talk-show host Ed Harper has been hoping-against-hope that his pot-smoking, model wife is on one of her ‘esoteric experiences’ and has simply taken the child while she romps for a few days. He doesn’t want to seriously consider the other, more hazardous possibility… that his radio broadcasts have angered some very dangerous people.
What’s up next for Ronnie and Dawson? Are you stopping at a trilogy?*
The third novel in the series is BLOOD SPEAKS. Ronnie and Dawson have become engaged to be married. Ronnie and her two gal-pals (from the first two books in the series) are on a bridal shopping spree. Ronnie thinks she’s finally arrives at a threshold in her life where nothing will spoil things. Hmm, then there’s a murder. And naturally the killer begins stalking Ronnie and her bridesmaids. This one has a political spin on it. *See next question for answer to second part.
Do you have any other works (or ideas) in process you can tell us about?
In DEADLY DESIGNS, I introduce all the heroes in this extended series. One of them is Dr. Dimitri Garmonin, forensics psychologist for the NYPD. He is the hero in book four. There will be three novels with this charming profiler and the lovely lady cop he can’t get off his mind. This will be a ‘law enforcement couples’ series. At this time I’m planning for twelve novels in all. Main characters from one trilogy may turn up in another trilogy as secondary or minor characters.
More about Nike Chillemi
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press, won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historic Suspense category. Her new release is DEADLY DESIGNS. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Today it is my great privilege to welcome a guest to my blog. Amy C. Blake has the honor of being my very first critique partner in the writing craft–or rather–I am the one who is honored by that! We commiserated over Genesis entries and submissions to agents and publishers. We cried and ranted and sometimes came “that close” to giving up on this writing thing. But we hung in there and today, several years and many rejections later, we’re not only still here, but we’re both published writers.
Amy and I are no longer “official” critique partners, but we still help each other out occasionally, with a read-thru or a word of advice when needed. And, we help each other with marketing, because a writer can never have too much help with that.–Betty O.
Amy C. Blake–
To me, Easter is all about the intersection of truth and mercy. The truth is, as sinners, we deserve punishment for our sin, including eternity in Hell. The mercy is, as the only sinless Son of God, Jesus took the punishment for Christians and gave us His righteousness instead.
Truth: God is holy and punishes sin. Mercy: Jesus made a way for us to spend eternity with that holy God instead of getting the eternity we deserve.
In my new adult suspense novel, Whitewashed, Patience is a stickler for truth, so much so that when her childhood friend Devon started down the path of drug abuse, she screamed truth in his face and pushed him away. As a student at Verity College, Patience encounters Lily Rose–a young woman with a bad attitude and an abusive boyfriend–and Patience again spews cold, hard truth without considering how her words might do more harm than good.
Yet when Patience endures her darkest moments, trapped by a psychotic killer and on the verge of death, she begins to comprehend the verse her old friend Mabel, a woman caught in the throes of Alzheimer’s, repeated to her the night before: “In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6, NKJV).
Patience begins to understand that truth and mercy go together to make the way for repentance. As Mabel’s elderly husband Moses says, “The truth shows you the sin you need to root out, while mercy helps you do the rooting.” Patience realizes speaking the truth to Devon and Lily Rose could never be enough without mercy to help them comprehend the truth.
Just as God is a God of truth who showed great mercy to His children through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so we ought to be people of truth who show mercy to those around us.
Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. She contributed to Barbour’s Heavenly XOXO’s for Women,Book Lover’s Devotional, and Every Good and Perfect Gift. Amy wrote short stories and articles for Focus on the Family,MatureYears, Significant Living, Vista, Encounter, and other publications. She won awards at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference and West Branch Christian Writers Conference. The Trojan Horse Traitor quarterfinaled in the 2011 ABNA contest. Her juvenile fantasy novel The Trojan Horse Traitor, releases in November, 2015, and her new adult suspense novel, Whitewashed, released February 15.
Eighteen-year-old Patience McDonough has a plan. Despite her parents’ objections, she will attend Verity College in Hades, Mississippi, and live with her grandparents. She’ll complete her degree in record time and go on to become a doctor. But things at the college are strangely neglected, her class work is unexpectedly hard, Grand gets called out-of-town, and Poppa starts acting weird—so weird she suspects he has Alzheimer’s. On top of that, she has to work extra hours at her student job inputting financial data for the college—boring! But soon her job gets more interesting than she’d like: she finds that millions of dollars are unaccounted for and that something creepy is going on in the Big House basement. She discovers secrets tying her family into the dark beginnings of Verity, founded on a slave plantation, and she is forced to question the characters of people she has always trusted. Finally, confronted with a psychotic killer, Patience has to face facts—her plans are not necessarily God’s plans. Will the truth set her free?
I am (what you do): An Author/Editor/Speaker/Coffeeholic/Manager of the Nut House
My best trait: My amazing ability to walk with a foot in my mouth
My bad habit: My amazing ability to put my foot in my mouth. Sometimes both.
Qualities I admire: Tact.
What I like to read: Just about everything
What I write: Romantic comedy, chick lit (a term no longer used. Sigh.)
What I watch: Food Network, Hallmark channel, UP Entertainment, Inspirational Channel—and Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Bluebloods.
My family: is my most precious God-given gift.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: I like junk food—hamburgers, hotdogs, tacos—and downright trash, like Cheetos, Fritoes, and anything containing chocolate. (Bet you thought I was going to say “coffee,” right?!)
What I love to do: have one-on-one time with family and friends
What I admire: Talent
What makes me happy: Being loved
What makes me sad: N/A (the answer would be way too long)
Betty: Thanks, Linda, for taking part in Authorview!
Over twenty years ago, after a decade of life as a “single-again,” author Linda Yezak rediscovered God’s love and forgiveness when He allowed her a second chance at marital happiness. She is now living her greatest romance with her husband in a forest in East Texas. After such an amazing blessing, she chooses to trumpet God’s gift of second chances in the books she writes. Linda’s novels are heart-warming hallmarks of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
Linda’s Books —
The Cat Lady’s Secret
Emily Taylor loves to help people, loves to ease their burdens and make their dreams come true. But when a conman ruins her reputation, she discovers that helping others is safer and easier from behind the scenes.
When one of Emily’s gifts captures the attention of an avid journalist, her identity as the town’s anonymous benefactor—and her renewed relationship with her high school sweetheart—are threatened.
As her private life begins to unravel, she realizes the one hope for regaining control lies behind prison walls.
You can find more of Linda’s delightful books here.
This week’s Authorview guest, Elizabeth Noyes, has been here before. You may recognize her from an earlier post. Her debut novel, Imperfect Wings, is a recent release from Write Integrity Press. She has a wonderful, humorous style, and I hope you enjoy her interview.
Nickname or “wannabe” name:I grew up being called “Betty Ann” by my family and friends (that’s a strong southern emphasis on Ann, two syllables, pronounced “Ayyy’-yun”). My brother dubbed me with my nickname – “Boop” (as in Betty Boop, not that I looked anything like her). Today, people call me Betty.
I am (what you do): For several years, I’ve told people I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—retired! Last month I did it. Now, I plan to refocus my 40-hour work week on my writing.
My best trait: Perseverance
My bad habit: Self-doubt
Qualities I admire: Confidence, outgoing natures, positive outlooks
What I like to read: Reading is my addiction. I love all genres – suspense, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, biographies, even some horror (if it’s not grisly). No war stuff, though.
What I write: Action/suspense with a dash of romance
What I watch: On television, I watch old movies, baseball, football, and bullriding! But I also like to people-watch at the park, at church or while shopping. You get some crazy ideas for stories that way.
My family: I have a husband (been married for 41 years this Christmas), one son married with a son of his own, and one daughter also married with a daughter and son. There are also assorted grand-dogs at any given time.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Ice cream – Chunky Monkey, Pistachio, Butter Pecan – haven’t found a flavor I’d turn down yet.
What I love to do: Read, crochet, read, yoga, read, write, read, bridge, and … did I say read?
What I admire: People who can put themselves out there without fear of rejection.
What makes me happy: Sunshine, blue skies, oceans, cruises, other people’s smiles, children playing, dogs napping, flowers, clean toilets, and that all important first cup of coffee in the morning.
What makes me sad: A friend’s tears, movies that make me cry, the end of a good book series, a wasted day.
I believe: There is a Creator who put order in the universe, one who lets us make mistakes and learn from them, one who created us for a purpose and will gently guide us to the right path if we allow Him.
Elizabeth Noyes–professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer–lives in Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human character clamoring to be heard. Imperfect Wings is the first novel in her romantic suspense Imperfect Series.
Evil stalks TJ McKendrick. Three years after burying her father, TJ visits Honduras where he died. While there, she witnesses a murder and is forced to flee. Don Castillo dreams of power. Funnel the drugs into the States and it’s his. First though, he must kill the woman who dared spy on him. The last thing Garrett Cameron needs is another woman interrupting his life, but when the feisty vixen that put a monkey wrench in his mission two years ago shows up at his ranch running for her life — what’s a man to do? The attraction between TJ and Garrett bursts into flame in the midst of danger, a fierce desire that neither is prepared for. Her past is filled with betrayal. He’s lived a life of violence, and love isn’t for someone like him. Do they dare let go of past hurts and embrace a future together?
Only faith in God and trust in each other can overcome the deadly odds they face.