Friday, March 29, 2013

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

By Nancy Jill Thames


I read a comment that said, "That's where the real business of controlling your car is happening, where the rubber meets the road, - where it really matters, where it counts, generally." 

This is Easter Week, some call it Holy Week. Excitement runs through my veins when I stop and think about the power of the cross. It's what we Christians base our entire faith on - Jesus rising from the dead, promising us eternal life through the blood He shed for our sins.

When I first began writing my mystery series, I created a protagonist who loved gardening, her little dog, Teddy, and serving afternoon tea to her garden club friends. As my books progressed, certain situations evolved where Jillian couldn't help sharing her faith. I never started out intending to write Christian fiction - but sharing God's love for people is a natural outpouring of following our Lord. 

A few reviewers beat me up pretty badly over the fact that I hadn't disclosed these books were "Christian" and I remained bunged up for a while. Once I understood that taking a stand as a Christian Author would mean a smaller niche, I looked at it as being such a small sacrifice compared to the blessed life God has given me. So if you find reading a prayer from a protagonist bothersome, my books may not be for you. And if you're undecided about what to believe, my books may show you what it's like to be a follower of Christ. But if you're a believer, and agree that having Christ in your life makes a difference, you may enjoy the reads. 

The power of the cross - it's where the rubber of our lives meet being in the world. Have a blessed week and a Happy Easter!


See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill


Nancy Jill Thames is the author of "Jillian Bradley Mysteries," Christian fiction based on travel adventures with her husband. The stories reflect Nancy Jill's love of art and serving afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” She is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller's List and won awards for her blogs. Nancy Jill is a Texas Longhorn, having earned her degree from The University of Texas in Austin, where she resides. The author donates 10% of book sales to the Central Texas SPCA-a no kill animal shelter.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" due out in 2013.
Member of the Leander Writers Guild.

 







Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We Have a Reader Poll Winner!

A big Thank You to everyone who took part in the Free eBooks Reader Poll. Most of you said you were inundated with free books to read, and that is like having your very own library! More books - more work for authors like me. I'm excited to see what will happen in the eBook world over the next few years. I'll keep you posted!



Drum roll: And the winner is Alicia!
Alicia will receive the Jillian Bradley Mystery of her choice.
Thank you again so much for your help!

See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill


Nancy Jill Thames is the author of "Jillian Bradley Mysteries," Christian fiction based on travel adventures with her husband. The stories reflect Nancy Jill's love of art and serving afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” She is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller's List and won awards for her blogs. Nancy Jill is a Texas Longhorn, having earned her degree from The University of Texas in Austin, where she resides. The author donates 10% of book sales to the Central Texas SPCA-a no kill animal shelter.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" due out in 2013.
Member of the Leander Writers Guild.

 

Monday, March 25, 2013

"QUEEN OF AFTERNOON TEA" CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

"KING OF THE WEEK"
CELEBRITY AUTHOR
BOB DOERR
 









Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Earl Grey tea and we'll get started. Please help yourself to a ham sandwich and a current scone with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. For dessert, we have plum cake!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.     
 Hi, nice to be here. I live in Garden Ridge, TX, with my wife of 39 years. Before becoming a full time author, I spent nearly thirty years in the Air Force and retired at the rank of Colonel. I then worked for eight years with a financial planning company. For the past five years, I’ve focused on my writing.
Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?
 I guess you’d say I’m a traditionally published author, but my publisher is a small independent publisher.  Maybe that makes me a blend of the two.

What are your hobbies?
Other than writing which used to be a hobby and now is my profession, I like to play golf and to travel.  Golf may best be described as an aggravating addiction, if I could ever get good at it, maybe I would call it something else.  I’ve been fortunate to have visited a lot of different countries during my life, and I still have that desire in me to get up and go somewhere now and then.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?  
My current book is an international thriller with my protagonist on the trail of an international terrorist.   My inspiration was to write something different than my mystery series – which I still enjoy writing and will get back to writing soon.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?  
I started writing and telling stories when I was much younger than I am now.  I wrote short stories for fun and short stories for each of my children when they got old enough to read.   I always wanted to write longer stories but knew I needed to get to a point in my life where I could afford not to work.  With my background with AFOSI when I was in the Air Force, writing crime fiction and thrillers came as a natural fit.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?  
Tough to answer because I dabbled with my first book for years.  I didn’t have a deadline so it sat around a lot.  Once, I did decide it was time to dedicate myself to writing, my first novel was pretty much done.  Since then, it has taken me about nine months to write each whole novel.

Where do you like to write?
Away from my house.  Usually at a coffee shop or café where I can dedicate myself to an hour of two without interruption.

Favorite author(s)?
 I have several to include John D McDonald, Rex Stout, Dick Francis, Agatha Christie – as you can see, I’m pretty old school.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?
My sixth book will be released by my publisher in Apr/May 2013.  Five are mystery/thrillers in my Jim West series and the one soon to be released is a fantasy title The Enchanted Coin targeting middle grade readers that I authored with the assistance of my granddaughter. I’m working on the seventh, the aforementioned thriller which hopefully will be out at the end of the year.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?  
All my books are available through Amazon, several other online book stores, and at some actual brick and mortar stores, too. The books come in both paper and online formats.

What about a link to your website?  
My web page is www.bobdoerr.com , where your readers can learn more about me and my books.  
Thanks a lot for this opportunity to share some time with you and your readers!

It was my pleasure! Best success to you in your writing.

Award winning author Bob Doerr grew up in a military family, graduated from the Air Force Academy, and had a career of his own in the Air Force.  Bob specialized in criminal investigations and counterintelligence gaining significant insight to the worlds of crime, espionage and terrorism. His work brought him into close coordination with the security agencies of many different countries and filled his mind with the fascinating plots and characters found in his books today. His education credits include a Masters in International Relations from Creighton University.  A full time author, he has published five mystery/thrillers, the latest, No One Else to Kill, was released in December 2012. Two of his books were selected as finalists for the Eric Hoffer Award, and Loose Ends Kill was awarded the 2011 Silver medal for Fiction/mystery by the Military Writers Society of America. Another Colorado Kill received the same Silver medal in 2012, and the silver medal for general fiction at the Branson Stars and Flags national book contest in 2012.  He lives in Garden Ridge, Texas, with Leigh, his wife of 39 years.








Thursday, March 21, 2013

What About All Those Free Books?


Just checking in with you readers out there for some feedback. I've begun with mine.  To thank you, I'm giving away one of my books in a drawing (please name your choice). Remember, you must leave your e-mail to receive your prize.

Answer these seven questions and leave your e-mail for a drawing on 3-27-13. Here we go!


1. How many free books have you downloaded? 
(I've downloaded 48)

2. How many of them have you read? 
(I've read 44 through, 4 only part-way)

 3.Do you read books you've purchased all the way through? 
(Most of the time)

4. Do you read books you've downloaded for free all the way through? 
(Most of the time)

5. Do you tend to review books you've purchased over free books?
 (No)

6.Would you review more books if a link were provided to go straight to the review site? 
(Yes)

7. If links to Twitter, FB pages, and others were provided, would you become a follower?
 (Yes)

Thank you so much for your help!

See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill


Nancy Jill Thames is the author of "Jillian Bradley Mysteries," Christian fiction based on travel adventures with her husband. The stories reflect Nancy Jill's love of art and serving afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” She is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller's List and won awards for her blogs. Nancy Jill is a Texas Longhorn, having earned her degree from The University of Texas in Austin, where she resides. The author donates 10% of book sales to the Central Texas SPCA-a no kill animal shelter.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" due out in 2013.
Member of the Leander Writers Guild.

 

Monday, March 18, 2013

QUEEN OF AFTERNOON TEA CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

"QUEEN OF THE WEEK"
CELEBRITY AUTHOR
 DIANE MCCLOSKEY



Welcome! let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we'll get started. Please help yourself to sandwiches and scones. I made your Yoghurt Pie for dessert!


Thank you! And thanks so much for having me!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 I currently live in Killeen, Texas, about an hour north of Austin, with my husband, Jim, and our two dogs, Shadow and Moe. We moved to Texas after a house fire in New Jersey, to be closer to our daughter and four grandkids, who live about five minutes away. We also have lived in Florida, New Jersey and New York, where I was born and raised. We have three sons, all married; one in Florida, one in New Jersey, and one in California! (Lends itself well to traveling!)

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author? 

My only published work, Through Jenny’s Eyes, was picked up by BluewaterPress, LLC, after my having sent out queries to only 12 publishing houses! The proposed acceptance of my manuscript and subsequent contract were a great validation of my work, and I found the whole cycle quite exhilarating and totally rewarding.

What are your hobbies? 

Besides writing, I have dabbled in both oil painting and photography, and I love gardening, “The Great Outdoors”…things like that.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My inspiration for the book actually was a random act, and had neither anything to do with the book nor any intent on my part to write a book. It was my being “held hostage” in my car by a fierce thunderstorm while waiting for my mom to come out of Church. If you’ve ever lived in Florida, you know that the storms can be quite ferocious, and this one was no exception. So I sat in the car and began writing on this little piece of paper about the storm…how forceful it was, the feeling of gloom and doom it brought with it…and then I just thought about who those feelings belonged to, and it was Jenny, as an adult, having to confront something painful in her life…thus began the book.

How did you become a writer? When did you start? 

I wouldn’t say I became a writer…I believe I was born a writer. I wrote a poem in Kindergarten, that I recall about 90% of to this day. I think it was a combination of my having deep feelings about things, and being a perfectionist that made writing come so easily to me…I wanted to express what I was feeling and not have it be misunderstood. With writing, you can get it exactly how you want it.

How long did it take you to finish your first book? 

That’s a hard question to answer because I’m not sure when I started it or when I finished it. It was also in the midst of caring for aging parents and raising four children, as well as working on a book about my dad.

Where do you like to write? 

Wherever I am when something needs to be written. Like I said, Through Jenny’s Eyes began in a parked car. I have, most recently, revamped my desk area to create a centralized location for all of my writing tools and the like, but I am essentially a rule-breaker, and I seek a sense of freedom to write wherever. I am not a disciplined write-at-a-certain-time, write-in-a-certain place kind of gal.

Favorite author(s)? 

Myself, of course, and then it’s more a matter of favorite books, not favorite authors. Claude Brown (Manchild in The Promised Land) because of its raw truths, Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna) because of the unique relationship and this unique child, J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings Triology and The Hobbit) because of the author’s ability to make it all so believable, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince) because of its lessons in simplicity….

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more? 

I was just taking a tally the other day, and between books and short stories and a poetry collection, I currently have twenty projects, some done, some in-progress. As for planning to write more, that’s a given, it’s what I do.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books? 

My book is available for purchase on Amazon.com as both a softcover and an e-book for Kindle, or at the publisher’s website at www.bluewaterpress.com/jenny


What about a link to your website? 


Diane, it was such a pleasure to have you join us. Thank you, and the best success is wished for your writing endeavors. Here's Diane Mckloskey's recipe.


Yoghurt Pie

It’s extremely simple to make, and utterly delicious!

Two containers of yoghurt, any flavor (can be the same or different, doesn’t matter)
A graham cracker crust
One 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip
Mix the two yoghurts with the Cool Whip, and scoop into the graham cracker crust.
Freeze overnight with the cover on.
Remove from freezer at least 5 minutes before attempting to cut.
Run knife under hot water if need be; cut and serve!
Mmm, mmm, good!




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE BEST E-READER COMPARISONS POST OUT THERE!

I was going to try and explain the differences between e-readers on the market, but when I found this post, I had to share. A candid look at prices, features, pros and cons of almost every e-reader available, including the ones who've gone bust. If you're looking to buy, look before you leap! The one takeaway I got was that a Kobo device allows you to read your purchases on any other device. Great news for those of us who love reading on more than one! Here's the Chamber Four blog link, dear readers.


eReader Comparison

[Last updated February 25, 2013]


See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill


Nancy Jill Thames is the author of "Jillian Bradley Mysteries," Christian fiction based on travel adventures with her husband. The stories reflect Nancy Jill's love of art and serving afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” She is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller's List and won awards for her blogs. Nancy Jill is a Texas Longhorn, having earned her degree from The University of Texas in Austin, where she resides. The author donates 10% of book sales to the Central Texas SPCA-a no kill animal shelter.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" due out in 2013.
Member of the Leander Writers Guild.

 

Monday, March 11, 2013

QUEEN OF AFTERNOON TEA CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW


"QUEEN OF THE WEEK"
CELEBRITY AUTHOR
ELIZABETH TRUIETT 

AUTHOR, ELIZABETH TRUIETT



NANCY JILL THAMES
Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of English Breakfast tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to some Jo Anne’s Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Your Dark Chocolate Cranberry Scones with Rebecca’s Anniversary Pears and Fast & Easy Clotted Cream can easily be dessert! Readers will find the recipes at the end of the interview.
Where do you live?
     I live in the community of Oatmeal outside Bertram.  Almost 1000 acres of the original property was purchased by my husband’s grandfather in the 1940’s.  Recently many of the younger generation have moved onto the land subdividing it, somewhat.  It is quite beautiful with mountains and a creek, called Cow Creek.  We have inherited his grandparents’ farmhouse and are lovingly restoring it.  We hope to modernize it but keep the historic value and memories.  Grandma’s wood cook stove will have a place of honor beside my modern double oven.
How are you published?
     I am an indie author, published through Create Space.
What are your hobbies?
     I recently taught myself to crochet.  I love to read.  I am also interested in genealogy, cooking & baking, and target shooting.
Tell us about your current book.
     I am working on Murder at the Mountain Creek Festival.  My killer thinks the little town of Mountain Creek is the perfect place to hide.  The idea came to me while fighting crowds and traffic at our annual Oatmeal Festival.  My character Hope runs a new Bed & Breakfast.   There is a wedding taking place there over Labor Day weekend.   
How did you become a writer?
     In the summer of 2011, I was driving to Port Aransas with my husband Boyd and our 3 girls.  I remarked that surely, as much as I like to read,  I could write a book.  Boyd really encouraged me to try.  I was certain that all it would take was a good opening line.  So I wrote one.  Then came the prologue.  By the time we finished our vacation, I had written 20 pages.  By Christmas I had 20 chapters.
How long did it take?
     I finished Carolina Key in about 10 months.  I was so sad when I finished!  The fun was gone. 
Where do you like to write?
     I homeschool the girls and I have a desk tucked into the corner of our library/schoolroom.  It’s not very glamorous but the view of the mountain outside my window overlooks Balcones Wildlife Refuge.  Boyd is converting Grandma’s old wash house into a writing studio for me.  I imagine I will have a porch swing out front for when writer’s block hits.
Favorite authors?
     Too many!! 
Jan Karon, Sue Grafton, Beverly Lewis, Jeanette Oke, P.L. Gaus, Wanda Brunstetter, Judith Miller.
How many books have you written?
     Carolina Key is my first.  I have 3 others started.  I expect to write about 5 more of the Mountain Creek series and then concentrate on some geneology romances.  Boyd’s family has some especially fascinating stories in their history.
We’d love a link to purchase!
And a link to your website?
Be sure to read my blog A View from Mountain Creek.  I will be posting the cover reveal for book 2 soon.  Thank you for having me to tea!
Elizabeth, it was my pleasure!

Here are the Elizabeth Truiett's recipes for today’s tea fare:
 
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Scones
I use the Pioneer Woman’s scone recipe but I add my own flair to it.
3 c flour                                           
1/3 c sugar                                         
5 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 egg
3/4c heavy cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together all dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Add egg and cream.  Mix.  Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.  Turn onto a floured cutting board.  Knead into a smooth circle and pat down.  Cut into triangle shaped wedges.  Transfer to a greased baking pan or stone.  Bake 25 min.  Bottoms will be brown but light on top.  Cool slightly.  Serve warm with cold clotted cream and a mug of your favorite tea or coffee.



Fast & Easy Clotted Cream
My mother and I discovered clotted cream on a trip to London while I was in high school.  We’ve loved it ever since.  This is a very easy version.
3 o.z. cream cheese
1 c heavy whipping cream
3 T sugar
Let cream cheese soften then mix ingredients in a mason jar.  Shake well.  It is best if you let it sit refrigerated 24 hours.
 


Rebecca’s Anniversary Pears
1 sliced & cored red pear
1 sliced & cored green pear
Mix 1 T of cherry preserves and 1Tof orange marmalade together for dipping sauce.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=aea6d2bed2&view=att&th=13d4107b875495b8&attid=0.3&disp=inline&realattid=f_hdyu92yb2&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-cb8fxhReuW5X7TsQB4zln&sadet=1362969534372&sads=9vwnnd-i-dG79PxaSJYGLysJeWMJo Anne’s Chicken Salad
Start with 2 cans of chicken or 1lb. of cooked, shredded chicken.
Add your favorite ingredients.  We like: chopped onion, sliced boiled eggs
(about 4), sliced black olives, dill relish, and black pepper.  Top and stir with your favorite mayo, miracle whip or try a dash (1T) of horseradish.


Luscious Latte Punch
10 c hot brewed coffee
1 c sugar
Dissolve sugar in hot coffee and refrigerate overnight.
3 c nonfat milk
½ c chocolate syrup
tub of coffee ice cream
Scoop ice cream into punch bowl.  Add milk, coffee, and syrup.  Stir.  This recipe will be served at the bridal brunch in Mountain Creek Mystery Book 2