Monday, August 29, 2016

Interview with Author Melissa Martz

I have been a Nanny since 1997, and absolutely love my job. I have also written freelance articles for more than 30 publications, both print and online, but now have switched to writing books. Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child is my first book I published. I am currently writing a book about finding and hiring childcare, with the intended release date of Fall 2016.

 “This book will help playing side-by-side at the playground to occur and will also help with anti-bullying, and cultivate friendships, understanding and tolerance among all students.” –Melissa Martz

Welcome to my blog, Melissa. Please tell us about Play for Every Child.

Inclusive Playground: Play for Every Child tells the story of one family's quest of implementing a fully inclusive playground in their neighbourhood so their daughter who has special needs could play alongside her friends, and not watch them from the sidelines. I also give a glimpse to several other inclusive playgrounds throughout Ontario. This book gives you the framework of how one would go about bringing an inclusive playground to their community. Even though this book features playgrounds in Ontario, Canada, they are universally designed.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I read an article in our local newspaper about the Meissner family, and their plight to bring a fully inclusive playground to their town of Elmira, Ontario. This twinged my interest in what an inclusive playground was. I emailed Kelly (Kate's Mom)  to see what I could do to help. I wrote an article for a Canadian magazine called “Abilities” about inclusive playgrounds, and then a second article for a local magazine here in Kitchener called “Grand” Living Well in Waterloo Region. But still I felt I needed to do more, as in 2025 all public playgrounds in Ontario are suppose to be fully inclusive, and I found no resources available on the topic...with Canadian content; thus the birth of the book came. Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child was released on September 18, 2015

What kind of research did you do?

I researched with ABC Recreation Ltd (the Canadian version of Landscape Structures Ltd). Nancy Lochner of ABC Recreation Ltd was phenomenal! I went online and began searching for other inclusive playgrounds in Ontario.

Teachers are using it as a resource to help teach the concept of inclusion and disabilities to their students. The book has several photos, so kids will enjoy looking at the photos to determine what playground features they like best.

Where can my readers find you online?

My website has several of my freelance articles at:

I am on Facebook. I am on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @write_nanny and I am on Instagram: melissa.martz

Thank you so much for this interview, Melissa. I hope you will be able to educate the public about this important matter. All children need to be included at playgrounds.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Gail Pallotta

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s been a best-selling author on All Romance eBooks. She’s published five books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

Welcome back to my blog, Gail. Please tell us about your new book, Barely Above Water.

An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team and is determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Ten years ago I grew very ill. After a month of tests, the doctor told me they couldn’t diagnose my malady, so they couldn’t treat me. The last name of a chiropractor a friend of mine had seen ten years earlier kept popping in my head. I ignored it because I needed medical help, not an adjustment, but the name persisted until finally I called my friend and asked about him. He turned out to be David Lee, D.C., Ph.D., C.Ad., now an alternative doctor as well as a chiropractor. I scheduled an appointment, and he started treating me immediately for a toxic substance. Later, a scan at Dr. Lee’s office showed the bacteria for Chronic Lyme disease. Since then I’ve met and heard of many people suffering from Chronic Lyme disease, or an illness that can’t be diagnosed. Their stories touched my heart and inspired me to write Barely Above Water, which gives information about symptoms and treatments for the disease. I wanted the book to be fun as well as informative, so I included a romance and a cute group of youngsters on a summer league swim team.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Even though I personally have had the alternative treatments mentioned in the book, I read pamphlets and online information about them. Also, I’ve had them explained to me by Dr. Lee and assistants in his office.

Do you consider your female character to be strong and determined or meek yet spirited?

In Barely Above Water Suzie’s so determined to get better she leaves every trace of life as she has known it behind and moves to Destin, Florida, to receive the treatments she needs. Only because she’s strong in her faith can she take the drastic step, cope with the disease and coach the youngsters.

Where can my readers find you online?

I love to hear from readers. My web site is
Twitter - Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords (

Thank you, Gail, for this wonderful interview. I read your book and was so impressed with what I learned. Here is my review.

Suzie's relationship with Matt is adorable. Not only did I enjoy a sweet love story, but I learned about a mysterious illness that I had never heard of before. All the symptoms of the young woman made me want to read on to find out what she had. What could this illness be? I also found out how hard young children have to work to be in a swim meet. This was something new to me. The children are adorable as they interact with both Suzie and Matt. I loved the story and it was very well written!” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Monday, August 15, 2016

Interview with Regency Romance Author Donna Hatch

Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series," is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart. A music lover, she sings and plays the harp. She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six children. A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Welcome back to my blog, Donna. Where did you get your inspiration for The Rogue Hearts Series?

My intention was never to write a series. My idea for the first book, The Stranger She Married came, oddly enough, in part from Phantom of the Opera but with the idea that maybe the man with the mask was not a monster, but rather a kind and honorable man, and that maybe he had more substance than the handsome young man vying for her attention. Of course, my story has a few twists. The idea for writing book 2 came from a random sentence I typed without any forethought that he had a brother who was a pirate. And so book 2 was born. Then my editor suggested I should write a book about each of the four brothers. So I did. Two more books, about the sisters in this family, are not yet completed.

Please give us a short description of book one: The Stranger She Married.

Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. Her choices? A scarred cripple with the heart of a poet or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.

I read the first book in this series and absolutely loved it. It’s full of mystery. Now tell us about book two: The Guise of a Gentleman.

So glad to hear you loved it! The Guise of a Gentleman is about a young widow whose proper English world is shattered when a charming rogue re-awakens her yearning for adventure. The stranger’s irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a terrible secret that will test both her love and her courage. I promise it is NOT your typical pirate romance. Where The Stranger She Married has more mystery, this one has more adventure.

"The Guise of a Gentleman was very well done. The hero of the story acted rough and tough, just like a pirate would. Jared even looked at Elise, who is the main character, as a pirate would, which was not very gentlemanly. He was the perfect swashbuckling hero. It was fun to read a “clean” romance with a lot of intrigue and adventure. I was so impressed with was all the research this author must have done. She knew all the technical names of a ship, how they did their coordinates to know where to sail, and the ways of a pirate ship, such as having “articles” that they stood by. Great research! I learned a lot." –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke
A Perfect Secret is the third book. Please tell us about it.

Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian to marry the blackmailer threatening her father, but flees her husband’s violence. Though fate brings her back to Christian, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves. This book is more suspenseful than the others.

"A Perfect Secret had a very sad beginning but soon changed into one of suspense and forgotten love. This is the first time I’ve read a regency romance that began with sorrow, but I soon realized that the couple would be able to overcome their trials of the past. I absolutely loved Christian’s personality. He was humble, noble, and courageous. The secret that I loved about the relationship of this couple was the respect Christian had for Genevieve even when he was hurting. I just knew that his love would win out." –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke
The fourth book is called The Suspect's Daughter. What is this one about?

This is the book my fans have been demanding since the very first book. It’s about the cynical brother of the family, Grant, and the woman who is his match, Jocelyn. She is determined to clear her father’s name in a murder plot. Jocelyn aids an intriguing wounded war hero, Grant, to find the conspirators. England’s future hangs in the balance…and so does their love.

Each book is written to be a stand-alone novel, so reading the previous books in the series is not required to understand what is happening in subsequent books.

Thank you for this awesome interview, Donna. I have read your books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Below is my review for The Stranger She Married, which is my favorite book out of the series.
"The Stranger She Married was not only a clean romance, but was filled with action and suspense as well. What would it be like to marry a man you didn’t love but had no other choice? The most memorable moment in this story was when the heroine realized she was finally falling in love with her husband and told him so. I was waiting for that moment because I saw him as a caring and loving man. I wanted her to see that, also. The only time I was concerned was when the heroine had feelings for her husband’s cousin... that is, until I began figuring things out." –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Monday, August 8, 2016

Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Christina Lorenzen

A former journalist, Christina Lorenzen writes and reads sweet and inspirational romance. A Wife for Humphrey is the sequel to her first book, A Husband for Danna. She is at work on a Christmas novella, Snow Globe Reunion, for Lovely Christian Romance Press. She is the proud mother of two homeschooled children, now both successful young adults. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, 3 cats and 1 lone dog.

Welcome to my blog, Christina. Please tell us about your novel, A Wife for Humphrey.

Runaway bride Danna and her handsome new husband are happily setting up a new home and business in the small town of Harmony, where only months before they’d been stranded strangers together. While unpacking boxes Danna finds the gift from Minnie she’d never remembered to open. After finding the delicate silver locket with a young soldier’s picture in it, hopeless romantic Danna has to find out who he is.

Once she finds out that the soldier was the only man Minnie had ever loved and lost, she’s determined to find out if Humphrey Lewis still loves Minnie. Is there a chance for Minnie to have her happily ever after? It couldn’t hurt to check, could it? Though she should be working side by side with her sweet new husband in their soon to be opening antique shop, Danna becomes more and more invested in this decades old love story. And when she finally tracks down Humphrey, nothing, not even his disapproving grandson or a minor fall, will stop her from reuniting these two sweet people who never stopped loving one another.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This story is the sequel to the first book, A Husband for Danna. At first I wasn’t going to write a sequel. But several readers emailed and messaged me asking ‘what happened to Eric and Danna?’ and several asked if they would be in my next book. In the first book, Minnie gives Danna a small box when she and Eric are departing the town the two were stranded in for a weekend. That little box was the ‘what if?’ for this sequel. I wanted readers to find out what was in the box and join Danna on a little quest once she opens the box. In the first book, Danna is on the run from a groom that her father has found for her. In this second book, Danna gets to play matchmaker. Now that she has her ‘happily ever after’ she’s determined that Minnie gets hers too. And she won’t let anything get in her way.

What kind of research did you do?

This story needed very little research other than some facts about young men going off to war and family life during the 1940s. The setting, Harmony, is a fictional town in upstate New York. Mainly I drew on my experiences in small town living and created a town based on the small town neighboring my own.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

I love both the heroine, Danna, and the hero, Eric. I love that Danna is torn between honoring her culture and family and becoming her own person. I love that Eric, too, believes in family but has always wanted to be his own man  and does so by refusing his mother’s plea to come back to the family business.

Where can my readers find you online?

Since the debut of my first book, I have several places online that readers can connect with me. I have an author Facebook page under Christina Lorenzen author I can be found on Twitter at and at my website

Readers who are interested in keeping up on my upcoming releases and goings on can subscribe to my newsletter at All subscribers are entered automatically each month to win a $5 Amazon gift card.

Thank you so much for this interview, Christina. I hope my readers will check this book out. It sounds intriguing.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Interview with Christian Romance Author Renee Blare

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar. Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains with her husband, crazy dogs and ornery cat, she continues to serve her community as a pharmacist while penning her Christian stories any chance she can get. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Welcome to my blog, Renee. Please tell us about your novel, Through Raging Waters.

This book is what I like to call my roller coaster novel. Hang on because you are going for a ride!

Timber Springs is hit with a series of storms including one massive thunderstorm during spring run-off and water is everywhere. And in Wyoming, we like to say water only runs one way…downhill. It’s exciting, fast-paced and full of intrigue.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

My home…Wyoming. For those who may not know, Wyoming is as much a character in my novels as the people. This land is as temperamental and moody as an old woman. Whatever you do, don’t turn your back on it and don’t take it for granted.

That’s hilarious. I’ve never heard that before. What kind of research did you do?

Much of what you’ll read in Raging Waters is written from personal experience but I need to research a few things. Such things as how helicopters are used in logging and rescue operations, climbing techniques (I’m not a climber but my brother is), and the various routes and terrain in and around the Snowies including Vedauwoo. After all, I lived in that area quite a few years ago.

Do you consider your female character to be feisty or meek yet spirited?

Melissa Hampton is quite feisty for a small town girl. She may never venture very far from the boundaries of Timber Springs but that doesn’t mean she’s not a force to be reckoned with…especially when her loved ones are threatened.

Where can my readers find you online?

Thank you so much for this interview, Renee. I hope my readers will check out your book.