Linda Yezak – Authorview

Linda Yezak

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!
Linda’s Bio:

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.

Growing Connections

I first met Ralene Burke via the ACFW regional page on Facebook, but I think I’d seen her before. According to her article below, we were both in Denver at the 2009 ACFW conference. I can’t imagine being in the same room with Ralene and not noticing her. Her bright personality is hard to miss. After relocating to the Louisville area, she set a date for a meeting and several writers gathered. We’ve been meeting once a month, ever since that day, picking up more members as we go. Her fresh ideas keep us coming back for more. So of course, I had to ask Ralene to share her take on Connections for this month’s theme on my blog. I hope you enjoy the post!

Ralene: When your parents tell you that you can be anything when you grow up, that leaves a whole wide world of choices for the young mind. As a young woman, fresh out of high school, I was ready to tackle the world. Or so I thought. 

For several years, I stumbled about, trying to find my place. I floated from job to job. Sure, I excelled at whatever I put my mind to, but I wasn’t happy. Satisfaction eluded me. I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.

While I was working at a bank, I had a chance encounter that included my high school bus driver and my teller supervisor. The result was this brilliant (yeah, not so much) idea for a novel. So, in my free time, I started writing. Over the next few months, I continued to work on the story in bits and pieces. I was even brave enough to let a fellow bank employee read it. 

In February 2006, my husband returned home from deployment, and we moved to Texas. I went from working full time and going out with friends to being a stranger in a strange land: a stay-at-home mom with a newborn with no local friends. Aaaah!

But, the new freedom gave me more time to write. I really didn’t know much about writing or publishing, and I wanted to learn. So I joined Writing.Com (free basic account, which I later upgraded) and found a forum for YA novelists. This group became my source of growth and encouragement. I’m friends with many of them still today.

A year or so later, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and immediately got involved! I took the free courses and participated in the loops. When I was eligible, I even became one of the Zone Directors. In 2009, I went to my very first writing conference: ACFW in Denver, CO. I thought it would be awkward, not knowing anyone, but it turns out I knew more than I thought. Of course, my critique partner was there, but so were several members from my zone, whom I had communicated with and gotten to know online. 

It was about this time that I started getting into Facebook and blogging. Here was an opportunity to connect with even more writers. Even more homeschoolers. More people to encourage and support, and in whom to find the same. 

Today, as a writer and homeschooler, I find that my life can get rather hermit-esque. All too often, the day-to-day stress (and joys) of working from home while educating my kids can get to me. It’s nice to have found fellow writers who understand my journey. It’s a joy to know that I can reach out to other homeschoolers when I am ready to tear my hair out. And those rare few who write and homeschool? Well, they completely get me.

I’ve finally found my place. It took a few years, a few wrong turns, and a multitude of prayers, but I’ve made it. And God provided me with the support He knew I would need. 

About the Author:Whether Ralene Burke is wielding a writer’s pen, an editor’s sword, or a social media wand, she always has her head in a dreamer’s world. And she wants to make it SHINE! In her own writing, she spins fast-paced tales of fantasy worlds, angels and demons, and the broader calling of every human being. A place where the light pierces the darkness . . . You can find out more about her writing and editing services on her website:

A Writer’s Life – In Pursuit of Dreams – Nike Chillemi

A Dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work. ––Colin Powell

I’m fascinated by those who weave good suspense stories. How do they come up with some of their ideas?  Nike Chillemi is one of those writers who “fashions” her stories of suspense and intrigue complete with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the end. And she isn’t above adding a dash of humor into the mix. It’s been my honor to be among her critiquers the last couple of years and let me tell you, it’s not a chore.

So how did she answer my questions? Let’s find out…

Would you consider yourself a dreamer? 
Nike: I’d consider myself a grounded realist with a great imagination. When I was much younger I was a dreamer, often lost in my own thoughts, my own reality. I think that was good, and was the foundation for my creativity. But the toughness of life and life’s lessons has brought me down to earth. Now I think more in terms of purpose and vision.
Daydreams or night dreams? How else do you come up with ideas? 
Nike: Interestingly enough, I often come up with ideas, sometimes entire scenes either right before bed or when waking up. If I don’t have a notebook at bedside to write it down, I’ll run straight to my computer before I forget. I also get great ideas for my novels in the shower. I think my demeanor at bedtime and in the shower must be very relaxed. Those are times when the cares of the day fade away and cease crowding my mind. So, creativity is better able to flow.

 What steps do you take to bring your purpose and vision to life? 
Nike: I’ve put in the time and honed my craft. When I started out, I took a free online writing course given by Harlequin. I still use a modified version of the character information sheet they offered in that course. I participate in author discussions online to keep up with industry trends, and I read articles on the ins-and-outs of publishing. In addition, of course, I write, write, and write.
Filling in the middle: How do you keep yourself moving forward? 
Nike: I’m excited by the novels I have inside me. I have a great desire to see them in print and to have people reading them. I hate it when newbie authors says, “God told me to write this book,” and then of course, it needs a great deal of rewriting. However, my desire to have my books in print and to have them read has sustained itself. It is the desire of my heart. So, I do believe God placed that desire there.
    My big dream right now is to see my new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT, released. This novel is the introduction to my new mystery series which will have tons of thrills and chills, lots of action, as well as laugh-out-loud humor. Each novel will have its own male and female investigator main characters, so natch, there will be romance at various levels, depending upon the personality and life situation of the characters. I’m very excited and have big dreams for this new series.
Do you have any advice for other dreamers? 
Nike: Keep dreaming. It’s fun to dream and stirs up creativity. But don’t fly so high that you never touch the ground. You have to have you feet on the ground to take the practical steps necessary to have your dreams become a reality.
Find and connect with Nike Chillemi here:
Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista
Coming soon from Nike Chillemi
Harmful Intent  Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the side of this meddling, female New York PI. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Nike doesn’t have a cover for Harmful Intent at this time. The very talented Ellen Sallas (Ellen C. Maze)* is working on it. Since the novel is set in the horse country of Texas, Nike visited a stable as part of her research. This is one of the photos she took while there. 
“I carry a digital camera with me nearly all the time so I can spontaneously snap photos that are useful for my writing research. This is one way I work. Taking photos helps me focus on my writing project(s) and also helps me dream.” 
 *To see Ellen Sallas’ work

End of the Road: Home

The long road ahead. Saw lots of these.

Road trip, anyone?

Just a few days off the road, I missed the adventure.

These are a few of my favorite pictures, ending with my son being reunited with his wife and their dog.

Gusto “Houdini” Owens
“Ah” Moment

Another “Stop the car so I can take a picture!” moment…

The road to Grand Canyon. Several layers of beauty here.

We made it to the GC!

And now, the moment we’d all been waiting for.
Their little family is back together again. That’s the reason I flew to Seattle, so we could have a moment like this.

And now my big adventure is at an end.

Feeling a little sad. But not for long. There’ll be more great adventures ahead for me. I’m looking forward to them.

Thanks for stopping by,

Book Review: Give the Lady a Ride, by Linda Yezak soon as I opened Give the Lady a Ride, I knew I was in for a treat. A big treat—big as Texas. From the rollicking chapter headings to the barbed wire section breaks, this book promised good-natured romantic fun and it delivered. 

The well-crafted story reads with a definite western drawl. Pure pleasure. The author did a wonderful job of setting the scene and pulling the reader in. She described the rodeo bull-riding scenes so perfectly (not too much) my senses kicked in. I was there. 

New Yorkers Patricia Talbert and her friend Marie Lambeau land in Texas, smack dab in the middle of a working ranch, which Patricia has inherited from her uncle. The plan is to check out the place and get it ready to sell. But these two city slickers soon find reasons to delay their departure. Two good-looking reasons. Cowboys. Bull-riding cowboys. 
Patricia, campaign manager for her senator father, falls in love as much with Texas and ranching as with Talon Carlson, foreman of the Circle Bar Ranch. But it’s not all fun-in-the-sun, as Patricia quickly learns. There are a few barbed wire fences to cross along the way. Sometimes strength and determination are not enough. Sometimes it takes faith. And when you follow your heart, it’s almost always worth the journey.
If you’re looking for a good summer read to take to the beach, this is a great choice. I’ve got only one warning. Once you start it, you won’t want to put it down. You may have it read before you ever get to the beach. 
I’m keeping this one. I want to read it again, but more slowly this time. Maybe.