Interview with MaryAnn Diorio

 Since my friend MaryAnn Diorio and I both have Christmas books out this year, we decided to do a share blog today where I post about her and her book while she shares about me and my book. Hope you will enjoy both blogs!
Author PhotoThanks for visiting, MaryAnn, Please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
What an interesting question!  My favorite book as a child was actually a series of books about a set of twins called The Bobbsey Twins. I loved those books because I could relate to the main characters and their adventures.  I read every single one in the series and, to this day, still can recall the joy and excitement I felt reading them.
My favorite book of fiction as an adult is Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. Her beautiful rendering of Christ’s love for His wayward bride brought tears to my eyes as I saw, once again, God’s faithfulness in the midst of our sinfulness.  I also greatly admire Ms. Rivers’ writing, particularly her outstanding characterization. Her books have inspired my own.
I, too, loved the Bobbsey Twins as a child and Redeeming Love as an adult. No wonder we are kindred spirits! What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
My favorite Scripture verse by far is John 8:32:  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  This verse has been a guiding light for me as I have sought and continue to seek to renew my mind according to God’s Word.  Knowing the truth and applying it to our lives is what will free us from the lies of the enemy.
Amen! If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Another great question! :)  Without question, I would go to the Holy Land. For a long time, I have had a deep love for the Jewish people and for things Jewish. Having learned recently that I am of Jewish descent, I now know the reason. :) Since the Holy Land is the birthplace of our Messiah, I am continually drawn to it.
If we don’t make it there in this lifetime, perhaps we can visit there together on the New Earth! I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don’t like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
Well, I’m old enough to know that I would write the old-fashioned way because I did!  LOL!  I learned to type on my father’s old Royal typewriter. It is now an antique. I also wrote my first manuscripts on an electric typewriter.  But I love the new technology despite its periodic glitches that can cause frustration. For example, I recently needed to transfer large files from one computer to another, and I was able to do so with a simple email. It was wonderful! So, in short, technology as a whole has greatly enhanced my writing despite the frustrations caused by computer problems. I would not want to go back to the old way of doing things.
As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
Interestingly, my launch into writing came as the result of stretching out of my comfort zone. I attended a writers’ conference where the only workshop opening was on writing light or humorous verse. Since I am not funny by nature—or, at least, not deliberately funny—I did not want to take this workshop. But since I had traveled two hours to the conference, I decided to stay and, perhaps, learn something. The workshop was interesting, but I left thinking that I would never write anything funny. Well, a week later, my two children had a horrendous fight. In the middle of it, I realized that the topic of their argument would make a great topic for a funny poem. So, I wrote the poem and, neophyte that I was, I submitted it to The Saturday Evening Post. For you non-writers out there, getting accepted by The Saturday Evening Post is like having a first-time ice-skater being accepted to the Olympic team. But, God moved on that magazine to accept my poem, thereby confirming and launching my writing ministry. I will be forever grateful to Him.
What an affirmation from God! What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Don’t spend so much time learning how to write fiction before you actually write it. Just write your story and learn as you go.
Great advice! Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
Yes, thank you, Rose. A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING is available on Amazon or directly from my publisher, the Pelican Book Group.  Both links follow below.  My book is now on sale for only $0.99 and makes a wonderful Christmas gift.
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Christmas Book Winners

Three winners for my Christmas book! In Oct. and Nov. both I promised to send a Christmas book to one of my commenters, so even though I didn’t announce a giveaway for the month of Dec. ahead of time, I decided to giveaway another book. The three winners are:

October — Bev Flora
November — Dowdywriter
December — Delia Latham

Starting in January I will discontinue my regular monthly book drawing until I get more followers on my new website, but will still do giveaways from other authors who choose to do one, so hope you will continue to stop by and please sign up to be a follower. I lost the 147 followers I had on blogger when I switched. My webmaster, Gayle DeSalles has been so helpful in explaining about WordPress, that I can finally say I am glad I switched even if I only have a couple followers so far.

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Spotlight on Hometown Melodies

I’m glad to welcome Amber Stockton today to spotlight her new Christmas book which happens to be the second book in A Smoky Mountain Christmas series. Let’s learn a little about her book and her.

Melodies-Cover_Front_72-dpiBlurb: Melody May Buchanan left Gatlinburg to pursue a life in the symphony. When a letter arrives asking her to return home for her granddaddy’s 80th birthday, she knows she must go. Leaving her fiancé in Denver while the symphony is on break, she pushes behind her the reasons she left and heads home. But the homecoming isn’t quite what she expected. She’s immediately faced with everything she loved while growing up there…even her best friend, Drew. Old feelings surface, and she starts to wonder if she made a mistake. When her fiancé arrives, her two worlds collide, and she discovers Drew has become quite a success in the music industry. Now, she has a choice to make. Either way, one man will get hurt. But, which option is the best? Continue reading

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Jingle Belle by Delia Latham

JingleBelle_mjpgI’ve always loved to write, and from an early age, began to produce little bits of poetry, short stories and songs. Writing a novel was always a dream…one of those “kinda-sorta” goals folks keep in the backs of their minds and don’t say much about, because the truth is, they don’t really believe it’ll ever happen.

For me, it did – thank God! Granted, it happened later than it does for a lot writers (I was 49 when my first book released). I had four children, and kind of laid my writing dreams aside while they were small. I worked as a staff writer for a daily newspaper, and wrote articles for a regional magazine…but writing the stories that were floating around in my head had to wait until the time was right.  Continue reading

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When Mercy Rains

Book Review of When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I love all of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s historical and contemporary books, so this book was a double treat for me because the prologue takes place twenty years in the past, then chapter one starts in the present.

We see the present through the eyes of Suzanne Zimmerman, the woman who was seventeen and pregnant in the prologue. We also see it through the eyes of Paul Aldrich, her long-lost love, and Suzanne’s daughter, Alexa, and mother, Abigail.

Everyone involved needs to be forgiven and/or forgive someone else, and also accept God’s mercy and show it to others.

Whenever a secret or part of one comes to light, another secret is revealed, culminating in a whopper of a secret near the end. This is a very well-written, well-thought-out book. I would expect no less from this gifted writer—Kim Vogel Sawyer.


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Laughter by Ane Mulligan

I am so happy to host my friend, Ane Mulligan, again to share with you something she is an expert in—laughter! One of the best gifts we can give!Joy-of-LaughterI love to laugh. Even more, I love to make people laugh. The Bible tells us a merry heart is good medicine, Prov 17:22. And a merry heart comes from laughing.

Laughing and smiling use fewer muscles than frowning. Laugh lines are softer than frown lines.

Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Continue reading

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