Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with Historical Romance Author Cynthia Hickey

Cynthia Hickey’s first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. All of her cozy series have been in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances through Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 200,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. Cynthia lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at

A Texas Ranger’s Arms is a sweet romance. I enjoyed this story about a Texas Ranger and a young girl who is trying to keep the land that was meant to be hers. Both characters were wonderfully developed. I totally fell in love with the Texas Ranger who is recuperating at his parents’ home.” – Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Welcome to my Family Friendly Blog, Cynthia. You have written in several different genres. Will you please tell us what they are?

I write historical romance, cozy mystery, contemporary, and romantic suspense, whatever the story on my heart is.

You have published a few books under “Heartsong Presents.” Heartsong only publishes Christian Romance and I’ve read several, including yours. Please tell us about In A Texas Ranger’s Arms.

KATIE GAMBLE IS ON THE RUN. After her unscrupulous stepfather accuses her of being a thief, a horrified Katie hopes to hide out until she can prove otherwise. But slipping into obscurity in a small Texas town isn't so easy. Not with Texas Ranger Ward Alston on her tail. 

Ward's used to getting his man—or woman. But he's not used to the accused being so resolute in her innocence or so beautifully appealing. As he uncovers the truth, Ward realizes this Harvey Girl isn't all she seems. Together, can they evade danger and obey the law of their own hearts?

I enjoyed your story and the Texas Ranger was awesome. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Once I decided to do a series on the Harvey Girls, I researched towns where there was a Harvey House. When I ran across the town in Texas, I immediately knew I needed to do a story of a Texas Ranger and a woman on the run from the law. It was a lot of fun to write.

The fourth book in this series, A Doctor’s Heart, is being released Nov 1st. What is it about?

Betsy Colter's Heart is On the Line. Betrayed by her soldier fiancĂ©, Betsy takes a job as a Harvey Girl waitress and vows to steer clear of military romance. But soon she's falling for her army pen pal, Dr. Spencer Gregory. When a wounded Spencer returns home and rebuffs her friendship and love, Betsy's deepest fears come true.

Though he's a decorated soldier, Spencer sees himself as a burden—one he won't saddle Betsy with. But keeping her at arm's length is no longer an option when Betsy's former fiancĂ© shows up eager to win her back. If their romance is to survive the war, Spencer must set aside his pride and win her heart.

Thanks, Cynthia. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Wow! Hmmm, I’ve been on television twice. The first time almost got me fired from my high school job. I worked at a pickle factory and they were doing a documentary on the factory. My job was to throw out the holey pickle slices. All I’d ever been told when I asked why they were holey was that they were rotten. Apparently, that was a joke. They’re only over processed. Anyway, when the documentary crew asked me what I was doing and why I was throwing out the holey pickles, I said, “Because they’re rotten.” Boy, did I get a talking to from my boss.

Haha. I can imagine. Thank you so much for this interview, Cynthia. For those interested, you may visit Cynthia’s website at and read about her other books.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Interview with YA Christian Author Gail Pallotta

Award-winning author, Gail Pallotta, is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen book, Stopped Cold, was a best-seller on All Romance eBooks, finished fourth in the Preditors and Editors readers’ poll, and was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards. She’s published short stories in “Splickety” magazine and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

"Stopped Cold is filled with emotion, strong characters, teenage romance, adventure, danger and the intricate workings of modern day high school studies and sports." --Larry Hammersley, Author

Welcome back to my blog, Gail. For those who enjoy a bit of mystery, this book has it. Stopped Cold is being reintroduced with a new cover and publisher. Please tell us about your book.

The theme of the book is: You don’t have to be number one for God to love you. It takes place in a small mountain town, but things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
This book has a wonderful message for teens. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

As a young adult I saw lots of heartache in several instances when people weren’t number one. Sadly, the drive pushed some of them to destructive behavior. I could only imagine the pain they must have gone through and how their God-given talents were wasted simply because they weren’t “the best.” The fact that God gave us all a gift or gifts to use for Him kept rattling around in my head until I decided to write about it. When I thought of being number one, even though we can win everything from a pie-tasting contest to a spelling bee, sports came to mind. As a young person I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and wanted to write a mystery. I pondered how to connect a sports story and a mystery and steroids came to mind. When I researched steroid use, one of the main reasons given for taking them was a desire to excel in athletics. This rounded out the book for my theme.  

What kind of research did you do for this book?

To learn about steroids I used the Physician’s Desk Reference in the library and several online sites. I also interviewed a couple policemen.

My daughter was a U.S. swimmer, and I swim laps, but I checked the local papers and heat sheets for up-to-date times for specific events and asked several people associated with the sport to check out the swimming scenes.

You did a lot of work, Gail. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

Oh yes. To name a few, the scene where the doctor explains steroids to Sean and Margaret’s mom reflects my research in the Physician’s Desk Reference book and the online sources. The entire character of Joe Garrett, the undercover cop, comes from talking with the police. The technical information about swimming shows up at every swim meet.

That’s awesome. You have a new young adult novel that was just released this week called Mountain of Love and Danger. Please tell us about it.

Mountain of Love and Danger is a novella. It’s a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and will be book number four in a series with four other authors. In it Jack Greenthumb’s having fun—a different day—a different girl to ride around in Fairwilde Kingdom. Then Dad’s attacked and beaten up. The family farm’s destroyed and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. A giant-sized criminal holds her captive atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. Jack launches an undercover operation that reveals Gwenie’s whereabouts, but reaching her is a dangerous expedition even for a champion rock climber. A Greenthumb Acres employee plants a miraculous seed from Heaven at the base of the mountain for the rescue. Suspense and danger mounts as Jack makes the perilous climb. When he reaches  Gwenie, they must escape then face a treacherous descent. Mountain of Love is available at Smashwords and Amazon

Thank you, Gail, for this wonderful interview. Gail is giving two e-books away. If you have a preference which book you want, let us know in your comment.