An Interview with Mary L. Ball

Hello Romantics!
Today on the Blog I’d like to do something a little bit differently.  As some of you know I have done a few interviews with more established authors but I want to shine a light on a Newbie who has just joined the ranks of published authors!
I met Ms. Mary L. Ball through this blog and I have enjoyed getting to know her.  She has one published work through Prism Book Group and a new release coming out this summer. In today’s, interview I want all of you to get to know her and her thoughts on writing.
Welcome to the blog Ms. Mary Ball!
Thanks Shineka, It’s great to be part of your lovely blog. I look forward to meeting everyone.
Hi Mary! Thank you for joining us today. Since you are a relatively new kid on the block, tells us about yourself?
I don’t feel so new now, my first novel “Escape to Big Fork Lake” has been out since March 2012 and my second novel will be released this summer. I’m from NC, just a regular southern girl who loves to fish and read.  I have a very busy family life since I keep my grandson around the school schedule and step in to take care of my ailing mom as much as possible. Oh yea, and did I mention I sing gospel music with my husband as we have the time.  Shineka, you can bet in all the activity I find time in my schedule to write. I enjoy weaving stories together, that’s my biggest release from the hustle of life. 
What would you say are your biggest influences in your writing?
Every writer has a different answer, for me it’s a desire to show the world that even though life isn’t always fair, with the mercy of the Lord people can  move pass problems and be happy.
I know that you mostly write romantic suspense novels. What about that genre sparks your interest?
I love to read romantic suspense, so it’s only natural when I started writing the genre drew me in. I guess the reason I write that variety is because I believe we live in a challenging world where at times stressful things happen, situations often cross our paths that we must overcome. I’m also a romantic at heart, and believe circumstances are easier to handle with a love interest by your side. 
If you couldn’t write in the romantic suspense genre ever again, what other genres would you consider and why?
Mystery, which is the genre of my next novel, “Stone of Destiny” the story is spiced with romance of course, so that’s another option. 🙂  
For those of us that are still dreaming of being published, what was it like when you got your acceptance email/letter? Were you cool calm and collected or did you do some kind of crazy dance? and If you did a dance do you have a video of it? I think we’d all love to see it. 😉
Shineka, I remember I was getting ready to go out with my husband and decided to check my e-mail before I left. I was sitting on the sofa,(he was next to me in the he recliner.) I pulled up my mail and saw the response from Joan, the editor-in-chief  of Prism Book Group. I smiled and waved my hands in the air hubby looked at me in question. Then I yelled, “Thank you Jesus!Joan offered me a contract.” it was so wonderful. The offer to publish was a year and half in coming. Prism Book Group is great at giving new authors a chance to grow. 
You have a new release coming in the summer. What’s the title of it and give us a little synopsis of it?
Thanks for asking about my coming soon novel. The title is “Stone of Destiny”
The sapphire is said to symbolize mental clarity, faithfulness and truth. For centuries, the legion of the Harrison family revolved around a ring. The family stone believed to have divine favors that  transform lives-sometimes forever.
 Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete. That is until her grandmother asks her to oversee renovations at the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.
 First contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange dreams. Feelings surface; she doesn’t understand; mere thoughts that should remain unspoken, are voiced. 
 Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself-forcing her to question everything she believes.
 Is this a fairy-tale or her soul, reaching out for a different world, a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?   
Mary it’s been great talking with you but before you go, do you have any advice for aspiring writers both near and far?
Yes, Build a website. They’re plenty of easy to maintain free sites out that will get you started. Showcase contents along with your coming soon novel. Scribe things on-line anywhere you can to build a presence. Never give up!~ Query and re-write , do it over and over, until you finally get a publisher to notice. It takes a while for a first time author to get an offer.  
 I re-wrote “Escape” about five times and sent off over fifty-five queries in a year and half time frame.
If you want to get to know Mary better be sure to check out her blog:
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An Interview with Linda Carroll-Bradd

Hello Romantics!

Today on the blog, I’m pleased to be interviewing author Linda Carroll-Bradd.  I was introduced to Linda and her writing through this very blog about two or three weeks ago.  After reading a manuscript she sent me I knew I definitely wanted to talk to her and get her take on life and writing in general.

Welcome to the blog Ms. Linda Carroll-Bradd!

Hi Linda! Thank you for joining us today.  So for my readers who don’t know you very well please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a native Californian who returned home last May after living 12 years in San Antonio, Texas. I write contemporary and historical sweet romance with many of my stories being set in Texas. My four children are grown and on their own, and my husband and I live in a national forest in southern California with our two dogs.

What would you say was your greatest influence in your writing?

Early in my writing, I had the good fortune to discover the Romance Writers of America and joined a local chapter. This organization of more than 10,000 members supports and guides those interested in learning how to write a romance novel. I wrote for 12 years before I received the first call that an editor wanted to buy what I’d written, which was a confession story. In 2006, I sold my first short story to The Wild Rose Press. I also learned that my writing benefits from working with a critique group.

I know you write mostly novellas and short stories. Have you ever thought of writing a full length novel?

I have written several full-length novels. One is currently being reviewed by an editor, and the other needs revisions to make the plot a bit tighter. The novel I wrote when I first started writing almost 20 years ago was my learning tool and will probably never see the light of day—although I love the story.

So the Novella I read was called Dipping in a Toe.  Can you give our readers a short synopsis of the story? You know something that will make them want to rush over to Amazon and snatch it right up. 😉

Jessa Landers has a secret crush on her teens’ swim coach. A widow for three years, she’s managing her life and enjoys her freedom—except for long, lonely evenings when she craves an attentive man.

Coach Rick Grant loves being a high school teacher and swim coach. Surrounded by families has him yearning for his own romantic connection—and his eye is on Jessa.

Will Jessa protect the balance of her family life, or take a second chance on love?

Who from this short story would you say is your favorite character and why?

Got to be Jessa, because I wanted to explore a character who takes the step of making a choice just for herself after putting her kids first for several years. I also wanted to write the story in first person and that always gets you into the thoughts and emotions of the character.

I personally, am a purveyor of strange and weird facts, the crazier the fact the easier it sticks in my brain.  Do you have any strange little personality “hiccups”?  What would you say is your strangest one?

Although I write sweet stories, I love action films and am an avid reader of thrillers by Scandinavian authors.

Thank you again Linda for joining us. Before you go, Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

The process of writing is comprised of both storytelling and lots of revision. Know that at least 50% of writing is the time spent perfecting and refining sentences and paragraphs so they are clear and concise.

So there you have it Romantics a great new novella by Linda Carroll-Bradd.

For one of you lucky Romantics Linda is giving away one of her novellas!

From those who leave a comment on this blog, I will draw a name and that person will be eligible for a title of his or her choice from Linda’s backlist. You have until Tuesday, April 23rd 11:59 pm est. to enter and a winner will be randomly chosen. Be sure to include your email address: name(at)internet(dot)com


Website: Linda Carroll-Bradd

My blog Linda Carroll-Bradd Blog

Facebook Linda’s Facebook Fan Page

Twitter  Linda’s Twitter Fan Link

 Can Jessa let another man into her life after being a widow for three years? Will Rick ‘s age be a problem for Jessa? Can Rick find a place in Jessa’s  very organized and settled life?

You’ll have to read to find out!

Dipping In A Toe By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dipping In A Toe By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dipping In A Toe Amazon Link

Re-readability Rating:

3.5 stars

I could see pulling up my kindle and coming back to read this story for a quick romance fix every so often.

Romance Rating:

3 stars

Some nice flirtation, snappy banter, and a very sweet male lead.


No book review today.

Hello Romantics!

So unfortunately, I’m a little behind in my reading. I don’t have a review for you today. However I do have a link for you all to find free and reduced price Christian Novels.

I get a newsletter from them everyday and score a ton of deals on great reads.

The link is Inspired Reads website.

Check it out and see if you can find some deals for yourself.

I’ll see you next week with a new review/interview for an up and coming new writer.

Love you all!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride: An Emma Rae Creation By Sandra Bricker

Hello Romantics!

(High pitch squeal of joy) It’s here!!! The time is finally here! The Final installment of the Emma Rae Creations series was released Monday!!!! Woo hoo!!! Yippee!!! Yahoo!!!

What’s that you say? You have no clue of what I’m talking about?

Well, in that case then, I will start you guys off with the first book here in a review and while you all are off starting from the beginning, I will be in literary heaven reading the last book in the series!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride is the story of Emma Rae Travis,  an up and coming premier baker who unfortunately, can’t taste any of her sugary masterpieces because of her diabetes.

On a rainy day in Atlanta, a handsome widower comes into her bakery, Jackson Drake, new owner of a hotel/premier wedding boutique that was the dream of his deceased wife.

All Jackson wanted when he came into the bakery was a cup of black coffee and a brownie. He never expected to find a pastry chef for his new hotel or a woman whose green eyes intrigue him.

Of course, no story would be complete without a wonderful cast of friends and family to make the story fun and exciting.  Jackson’s three sisters, Georgiann, Norma Jean, and Madeline are wonderful southern belles who being the older sisters that they are feel the need to help their little brother with the setting up of the hotel. I mean he is a man who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.

Then there is Fee, Emma’s Goth baking assistant. Miguel, Jackson’s nephew-in-law and a minister determined to help Jackson during his time of mourning and bring him back to God. Of course you have to add in Emma’s Aunt Sophie, who has a few memory issues. Last but definitely not least, there are Emma’s divorced parents, who happen to be part of the Southern Elite.

Will Jackson be able to put aside his heart ache and see that God has given him a new love? Will the Tanglewood be successful? Will Emma find her true love?

I guess you’ll have to read to find out!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Re-readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

I’ve read it about 4 times in the last year since mid summer.

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Some very romantic scenes. Don’t believe the hype that Jackson doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body. 😉