Saturday, February 6, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 6 | Interview with Nadine Brandes & Giveaway!


Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Nadine! Will you share a little about yourself and your latest book? Why thank you, Melanie! And congratulations on your Blogoversary!! *squeal* I can shower you in confetti or cookies…your choice. ;-)

*ahem*

I’m a booknerd and a dork. We’ll start with that. My favorite hobby is adventuring and I’ve been writing adventure novels since I could hold a pen. My latest book that released is A Time to Speak, the second book in my dystopian trilogy (book 3 releases this fall! Eee!) It’s the story about a world where everyone knows the day they’re going to die and my main character has only a year left to make something of her life.

Hubby is my fellow adventurer and brainstormer. He and I live in Idaho with no pets, no kids (aside from the 20+ teens who come play games with us every Friday.), and a lot of snow.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your newest story?
Oh man. This is my favorite book of the series, so I could talk a long time (but I won’t…) I hope readers come away inspired to be bold! It’s totally scary to step up and be bold or make a stand, but it’s so worth it when you’re standing for Christ and being an example of shalom. *deep breath*
We are all meant for something great, because God doesn’t write mediocre or bland stories. But it’s up to us to pursue that greatness and He’ll lead us. Parvin (my main character) finally does this in A Time to Speak and she rocks it. :P (In my opinion.)

Do you find it more fun to write stand-alones or series? 
I’ve never written a standalone, but I’m in the process of plotting one and I really like it. I love reading standalone because I feel like they pack a much stronger punch than books in a series. So…I’ll try my hand at a standalone and let you know! All I’m sure of so far is that series are really hard to write.

Who are some of your favorite authors whose books have never disappointed you?
Marissa Meyer! If you haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles do it now! They’re phenomenal. Also Jill Williamson, though I haven’t read everything she’s written. But I’ve read most of it and every book is so unique and perfectly developed. My favorite series is the Blood of Kings Trilogy. Lastly, I love Rae Carson’s writing. It’s tight, it’s clean, and it’s very unique.


What's the last thing you celebrated, not including birthdays or holidays?
*blushes*
Well, my jaw is still on the floor for this one, but my debut novel A Time to Die won the ACFW Carol Award. It was a big deal—full-length gown, banquet, speech and everything. Phew! The nerves! (Don’t worry, I had my inhaler with me. :P ) So my entire family basically drowned me in celebrations. It was such an enormous honor and I still tear up at the thought.
I can’t even.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what was your favorite book growing up?

Friday, February 5, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 5 | Interview with Liz Johnson & Giveaway!


Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Liz! Will you share a little about yourself and your latest book?
Thanks for having me! I love stories with heart, humor, and happily ever afters. By day I’m a marketing manager for a nonfiction team at a Christian publisher in Nashville. I find time to write late at night and always have stories to tell.

My newest book, The Red Door Inn, tells the story of Marie Carrington, who is broke, desperate, and hoping to find sanctuary on Prince Edward Island while decorating a renovated bed-and-breakfast. Seth Sloane moved three thousand miles to help restore his uncle's Victorian B and B—and to forget about the fiancĂ©e who broke his heart. He wasn't expecting to have to babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they've got--and they have to find a way to work together. In the process, they may find something infinitely sweeter than they ever imagined on this island of dreams.

Have you visited Prince Edward Island, the setting for your new series?
Yes! I’ve been to PEI four times. It’s my favorite place in the world. Many years ago, I told my mom that I would take her to PEI when I sold my first book. She got me hooked on Anne of Green Gables when I was young, so I thought it would be a fitting way to celebrate my first book contract. But no one told me that I wouldn’t make much money on my first book, so we had to wait for my second contract. We went the first time for five days in September of 2010. And immediately started planning our next trip. My sister joined us for the second and third trip, and on our last trip, my oldest niece joined us.

I fell in love with PEI the first time I set foot on the island, and I hope that I shared a little bit of that in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your newest story?
I hope that readers will be reminded that God is present in our lives, especially during the hard times. He is our good Father, who loves us more than we can imagine.

Do you find it more fun to write stand-alones or series?
I love writing both stand-alone books and series. Single titles are fun because they often stretch me out of my comfort zone. I generally build a series around secondary characters. I love getting to tell each of their stories and catching up with characters from previous books. In my new series all the characters meet through the Red Door Inn, and I love reconnecting with them in each book.

Who are some of your favorite authors whose books have never disappointed you?
I have a number of favorites, including Julie Klassen, Karen Witemeyer, and Meg Cabot. I always look forward to their new books and have reread their backlist titles many times.

What's the last thing you celebrated, not including birthdays or holidays?
This last year has been filled with numerous writing deadlines, and I try to celebrate every milestone—even the little ones. When I met my last deadline in November, I celebrated by taking a day off of work and inviting some friends over for pizza and one of our favorite movies. We laughed and talked and just enjoyed a low-key day. It was a simple celebration, but very encouraging after a long lineup of deadlines.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what was your favorite book growing up?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 4 | Interview with Susan Sleeman & 3-Book Giveaway!



Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Susan! Will you share a little about yourself and your latest book?

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and Christian. I have lived in nine states, two of them twice, and I currently live in the beautiful state of Oregon. I write romantic suspense and mystery books for both the Christian market and the general market. I am a computer nerd at heart. I love to work on my websites, and I host the Christian/clean read mystery and suspense book review site, www.thesuspensezone.com. And I love to garden.

My latest book is High-Caliber Holiday, which is book three in my First Responder seriesFirst Responders is a six book series about a fictional elite First Response Squad in Portland, Oregon. The team includes two hostage negotiators, a sniper, a bomb technician, an EMT, and a commanding officer. The team members not only work together, but they also live together in a remodeled historic firehouse donated to the county.

High-Caliber Holiday features team sniper Brady Owens. When ex-lawyer Morgan Thorsby is held hostage on a train, she finds her powers of persuasion failing her for the first time. Former marine sniper Brady Owens is her only hope—but his split-second hesitation on the trigger leaves her wounded. Yet when an obsessed stalker threatens Morgan, Brady steps up and hopes to catch the culprit in time for Christmas.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your newest story?
The entire First Responders series is about finding peace in the midst of struggles. So often, when hardship sets in, we lose our peace. To be on such a high-pressure first response team, member must have great self-control and not get flustered or react to events in a highly emotional way, which means they bury their personal turmoil and conflict and are in need of peace in their lives. I hope their search for peace helps readers find that they can be peaceful in times of need, too.

Do you find it more fun to write stand-alones or series? 
I love to write series. In fact, I have never written a stand-alone book. I love to write families, or characters who are part of a pseudo family, like in my First Responders series. I love the interaction between the characters connected in a series. I think it adds depth to the books and to the characterization of the characters.

Who are some of your favorite authors whose books have never disappointed you?
Great question, but asking me to list my favorite authors is like asking me to choose between my children. I have so many favorites, I just can’t do it. J

What's the last thing you celebrated, not including birthdays or holidays?
That would have to be contracting a new series with FaithWords, an imprint of Hachette publishing. This is a series about another special team, an FBI Critical Incident Response Team. All team members are former military and they stand ready to deploy within four hours, anytime and anywhere, to mitigate the highest-priority threats facing our nation. Book 1 is tentatively titled Fatal Mistake and is scheduled to release in April 2016. Here’s a description of the book.
Each day could be her last…
Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf Bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan. To stay alive for another day, because she knows he’s coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

But not if he can help it.
Special Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months—to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf’s bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person whose unforgettable memory can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. Now Cal’s goal changes. Protect Tara at all costs and make no mistakes while hunting down the bomber, as one wrong move could be fatal.


Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what was your favorite book growing up?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 3 | Chesapeake Bay Fun Facts with Dani Pettrey!


COLD SHOT FUN FACTS


Hi friends,

I’m super excited to share my latest novel with you. COLD SHOT takes place in the Chesapeake Bay region where I live, and today I’ll be sharing a few fun, get-to-know-the-area, facts with you:


Did you know?
Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.