Monday, April 27, 2009

And the winner of Sara Mills's Book is . . .

Michelle Sutton!

Thanks to all who entered the contest. I'll be getting Michelle's book off to her soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Win A Copy of Sara Mills's Miss Match Right Here!

As promised, I am promoting two novels by Sara Mills, a fellow ACFW member. About two weeks ago, Sara's husband suddenly died of a massive heart attack, leaving her a widow with three young kids.

No one is prepared for this at this time of their lives. Many of us at ACFW are rallying to get the word out about Sara's books. If anyone needs book sales right now it's Sara. And what's even better is that we're not asking anyone to buy a book that isn't a good read.

If you like mystery, stories about female private eyes, stories set in the 40s in New York City and points beyond, then these books are for you!

Her first book, Miss Fortune, came out last September about the time of the ACFW Conference and her second book, Miss Match, is being released right about now. I am currently reading Miss Fortune and I have to say -- I LOVE IT!

I just happen to have an extra copy of Miss Match and will be giving it away this coming week through a drawing. Below is an interview fellow ACFW board member, Cara Putman, did with Sara prior to this tragic occurance in her life. At the end of the interview click on the link and leave a comment. I will gather all comments on Monday April 27th and will pull a name from the bunch for a copy of your free book.

Note that you can click on the links next to each book's picture and it will take you directly to the website where they are featuring the books at a discount!

Here's Cara's interview:

These books are so good, I wish I'd written them. How did you set the stage to capture that gritty PI feel without being dark?

I find that a lot of PI stories are gritty and dark, focusing on the worst of the humanity, and while I wanted the Allie Fortune mysteries to be exciting and tension-filled I didn’t want them to be stark and hopeless.

One of the things I tried to do to counteract the darkness was to give Allie a multi-layered life. She has cases, relationships, friends and family, all of which I hope combine to make the stories textured, rich and full of life.

Allie is a character I'd love to have coffee with. What did she teach you while you wrote these books?

Allie was a great character to write. One of the things I learned from her was that human relationships (man/woman, mother/daughter, friends) are complicated and full of unspoken rules and expectations. Allie is a rule-breaker at heart and it complicates her life on a regular basis. One of the storylines I loved most is Allie’s relationship with her mother and how it grows and changes and how it’s shaped her.

Another dimension of Allie’s character that really taught me a lot was her willingness to do whatever was needed to help those she loves. There is no price on that kind of friendship and it’s a characteristic I’d like to see more of in myself. Okay I admit it, I’ve got a bit of a friend-crush on Allie. LOL.

One last question: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be and who would you take with you?

If I could go anywhere right now I’d head to Monterey, California (I’m writing a book set there right now) and I’d plant myself on the beach with a notebook, writing my story as the waves crashed. Sounds like my idea of heaven on earth. There’s something about the wind-shaped Cypress trees and the crash of the surf in Monterey that calls to me. I don’t know why, it just is.

469260: Miss Fortune, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #1Miss Fortune, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #1

By Sara Mills / Moody Publishers

In 1947 Allie Fortune is the only female private investigator in New York City, but she's kept awake at night by a mystery of her own: her fianci disappeared in the war and no one knows if he's still alive. Until Allie finds out, she will have no peace. When there's a knock on her office door at four in the morning, Allie suspects trouble as usual, and Mary Gordon is no exception. Mary claims someone is following her, that her apartment has been ransacked, and that she's been shot at, but she has no idea why any of this is happening. Allie takes the case, and in the process discovers an international mystery that puts her own life in danger.

Meanwhile, the FBI is working the case as well, and she is partnered up with an attractive, single agent who would be perfect for her under other circumstances-if only she knew whether her fianci was still alive.

469270: Miss Match, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #2Miss Match, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #2

By Sara Mills / Moody Publishers

FBI agent Jack O'Connor receives a letter from Maggie, a woman he used to love, saying she's in trouble in Berlin. The FBI refuses to get involved, so Jack asks Allie Fortune to help him investigate. Allie and Jack pose as a missionary couple who want to bring orphans back to the United States.

A child finds important documents that everyone in the city - Soviets and allies alike - want for themselves. Maggie refuses to tell Jack what the documents are, saying if things go wrong, they are better off not knowing. Through the course of the search, Allie's past is brought back to her, half a world away from home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where Have I Been??

When I looked at the date on my last blog entry, I nearly fell over. March 2nd! Over a month ago. Can I just say that the month of March went by faster than the speed of lightning?

The first week found me working like mad to get all things done that needed doing before the next week when I headed to Denver for the ACFW Operating Board and Advisory Board meetings. You think Denver and you think mountains, beautiful scenery, seeing friends and family. NOT!

We secluded ourselves in our hotel from morning to night both Friday and Saturday for meetings. By the time we emerged on Friday night to go to Outback for dinner, it was dark. Not exactly helpful for viewing mountains. Oh, and said mountains were barely visible the day I arrived thanks to haze. Saturday we were so tired by the end of that day's meetings we didn't even go out for dinner. Instead we ate at the hotel.

So, at 7 a.m. as the shuttle taking me to the airport made a turn to the west I gasped. At the time I was on the cell with a friend and he said, "What's wrong." I said, "Nothing at all. I'm seeing the mountains for the first time and here I am leaving." And what a sight they were. All snow-capped and glistening in the morning sun. I was able to see them right up until my plane turned east for takeoff. I kept my eyes pinned on Long's Peak, near the site of Estes Park where nearly two years ago I attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. It was an hello and good-bye moment.

Once back from Denver it was business as usual, getting the minutes for both meetings written and then the regular minutes for all the board discussions that month completed. In addition, the end of the month saw the end of the scholarship applications and the judging began. We had clear winners of all available scholarships and it was my job to contact them and coordinate all that is involved, including letting the other 53 applicants know they didn't make it.

April started out with just as much of a bang, and here it is already the middle of the month.

Stay tuned. I'm about to post an interview with an up and coming new author, Sara Mills. I'm having a drawing too!