Introducing Chain of Mercy’s Hero Richard Brooks & a Giveaway

Before I begin my interview with Chain of Mercy‘s hero, Richard Brooks, allow me to introduce the debut author behind the story, Brenda Anderson. Brenda has introduced many new authors to the blogosphere over the years, including me, and I’m delighted that I now have that privilege to do the same for her.


Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds readers they’re not alone. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.


And to give you a little background on her novel’s hero, here’s the back cover blurb from Chain of Mercy, which officially releases, Tuesday, April 22nd, from Winslet Press:

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself.

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his world came crashing down.

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves.

But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer suits in his closet.

Oooh, has that spiked your curiosity? Well, let’s grill Richard a little, shall we? 🙂

Question: Thanks for talking to me today, Richard! The grapevine tells me that you used to work in corporate America, a Vice President in a Fortune 500 company, but now you’re doing custodial work. What compelled you to make that huge career move?

Richard: (sighs and tugs at a chain around his neck.) It’s not that big of a change. I’ve always been a fixer. I grew up on a dairy farm, and we fixed anything that broke down. It was a natural progression to become a corporate fixer, but that’s a high-pressure position. Working as a custodian has relieved much of that pressure.

Question: Why make the move from Manhattan to Minneapolis?

Richard: Minneapolis is close to family, and family is very important to me. Now I get to see my nieces and nephews more often. I won’t miss birthdays, holidays any more. I get to take the nephews fishing, go to ball games. I get to spoil my nieces.

Question: Family is important to you, yet you’re a confirmed bachelor. Have you ever considered settling down, starting your own family?

Richard: (fiddles with the chain again) I’ve always wanted to be a father, and thought maybe I’d found that someone to share my life with, but it didn’t work out. Right now I’m satisfied with being an uncle.

Question: Hmmm. That grapevine I referred to earlier has you connected with Sales Executive, Sheila Peterson. Any truth to that rumor?

Richard: (Laughs) Do you really think a company executive would want to be seen with a janitor?

Question: Hmmm. That’s exactly what I intend to find out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s interview. You can connect with Brenda at the any of the links below, and if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for a copy of Chain of Mercy, please leave a question for Richard in the comments. Let’s see if we can squeeze some more info out of him. 😉

Giveaway is limited to US or Canadian addresses and all comments must be made before 10 pm EST, Sunday April 27th. Winner will be notified by email.

Website link:

Blog links:

Facebook link:

Twitter link:

Pinterest link:

BTW, Tuesday, April 22nd, I’m guest posting at:

Seriously Write, talking about persevering through Writer’s Block


Introducing A Must-See Site for Christian Fiction Lovers & Giveaway

Discover a whole new world of Christian fiction authors

I have invited the creator of the newly revamped Christian Fiction Site, Soul Inspirationz, to share a bit of the site’s interesting history and exciting future. It is an awesome resource for readers and will soon become a go-to site to sort through the exploding indie market in Christian fiction. At the end of the post, we’ll also be sharing an exciting giveaway we’re hosting at her site.

Soul Inspirationz Banner

Hi, my name is Ellie and I run Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site. I live in New Zealand, and thanks to the internet, have been able to express my love of Christian fiction over the years with readers all over the world by sharing what I find on the website.

Elle (2)It all started back in 1998, when I was an internet newbie, and I watched someone else make a “homepage” as they were known back then. I saw the HTML code and what it did, and thought, “I can do that!” So of course, I did. So, just like everyone else at the time, I started a homepage about me and the things I liked. But just like everyone else’s homepage, it was rather boring. I wanted to share more about what I loved – which was Christian fiction and music.

At the time, there were a few websites that shared information about CCM music, so it wasn’t very original to duplicate something that was already being done. It was easier to link to those sites from my homepage and focus on my other great passion… fiction. But, there were no publisher websites to look at. Not a single author website. No Facebook. No Goodreads. Not even MySpace was available then. Just So, I started with the authors I loved most at that time – Janette Oke and Gilbert Morris. I created pages that listed their books. And it really didn’t take long to complete those lists (Gilbert Morris was still only halfway through writing his House of Winslow series back then).

Screenshot 2013-11-12 18.06.43

At that time, if I wanted to hear more about the next book my other favourite authors were bringing out, I had to search long and hard for them – and realised it would be the same for everyone else as well. Working voluntarily in a Christian bookstore here, I had the advantage of having access to the publisher catalogues, so knew what to look for, but of course, the average reader did not have such information at their fingertips. And that’s when the idea to create a website listing monthly Christian fiction releases was born.

It started out small, simply called “Ellie’s World of Christian Fiction”, but by 2002, the monthly listings of new releases were getting a lot of attention from readers, authors, librarians, and even publishers, so the site was renamed “The Christian Fiction Site” and given a new look. Still, a primitive look compared to today’s standards, but back then, the only way to create a free website was the hard way – typing in the HTML code from scratch. In addition to listing the new releases, I had the opportunity to interview a few Christian novelists as well.


By 2007, I had a full-time job that took all my time and energy, so unfortunately had to stop updating the website as it was too time-consuming, and I couldn’t keep up with the monthly lists. At about that same time, though, other sites were established and were able to pick up where I left off. And although my efforts were gone from the website, my love for Christian fiction remained. (You can still see the old website in its archived state here.)

Just over a year ago I found myself with enough time on my hands to investigate re-establishing the website. With advances in websiteJulie Lessman creation during the past five years, I found that if I chose the right option, it didn’t need to be as time-consuming as it once had been. So, after a bit of research, I settled on Weebly and started the new website on Christmas Day 2012. By mid-January the new site was launched, rebranded as Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site, and the first author’s interview with Julie Lessman was posted on the all-new blog.

While creating the Author Portfolios and hosting the author interviews

(now with giveaways) were fun, by August I noticed that unlike I had previously thought, there was still nowhere on the internet listing monthly fiction releases like I used to do them. So…

in September, the first of the monthly new releases posts was published, complete with book giveaways, and a new era was born. CBA Trade titles are listed at the beginning of each month, and Category Fiction is listed in the second half of the month (Love Inspired and Heartsong Presents). A new section focussing on novel releases has also since been added to the main site.

A community forum

was added in August, and has become a hub for readers to share what they love about the books they read, and ask other readers about authors and novels they are not familiar with.

So, what does the future hold?

With a shift in the way novels are published in recent times, there is a whole new frontier to be explored with the showcasing of

indie Christian novels.

Without the publishing houses to screen the novels for content and quality, readers rely on the honest reviews of others to determine whether a title is worth reading or not. And without the marketing prowess of the publishing houses, authors are struggling to get their novels “seen” by the audience they are intended for.

So this is where Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site can step in.

 Over the coming months a new feature service will be available for readers to find quality indie Christian novels to read, and for indie Christian novelists to list and advertise their titles to readers.

If you are a reader

and would like to know more about this new feature, sign up here:  Soul Inspirationz Readers Club

If you are an author

and would like to know more about this new service, sign up here: Soul Inspirationz Author Directory

Once there is something in place, you will be the first to know 😉

I hope you take the time to visit and browse through all that Soul Inspirationz has to offer. Dozens of Author Portfolios have been added, with hundreds more to come. Featured Authors have been spotlighted all year, with at least one scheduled every week. Sign up to receive the blog notifications by email, so you don’t miss out on any of these Featured Author Interviews or the monthly new release listings. You can also find Soul Inspirationz on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Have Your Say:

In the comments section below: Let me know what you love to see in a website dedicated to Christian fiction. What would you like to see more of? Is there anything you would like to see less of? What would make your browsing for your next read easier? Are book reviews helpful or do they influence your reading choices in a negative way? What about book trailers, do they work for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Giveaway for Sandra Orchard’s Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust

Soul Inspirationz is hosting a rafflecopter giveaway for a copy of Deadly Devotion for you or a friend of your choice, and an advanced copy of Blind Trust, once available, plus additional prizes contingent on the number of entrants. You get more chances by doing things like sharing the post, liking Sandra’s FB page etc., but there are 2 mandatory questions to answer to enter. You can view the copter here or at Soul Inspirationz. All entries are thrown into the same hat. (Giveaway void where prohibited.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Introducing Dangerous Passage & Giveaway

Revell Publishing has added romantic suspense author, Lisa Harris, to their September lineup, and I was thrilled to get a sneak peek of her new release, Dangerous Passage, to write an endorsement.


What a compelling read!

I finished it in two days and have been looking forward to introducing it to you ever since.

My Review:

In this compelling and emotionally-charged read, Harris exposes the alarming state of human trafficking in the U.S. and the incredible challenges faced by law enforcement to stop it. The intriguing plot, lightened with a sweet romance, kept me reading late into the night. Looking forward to the next in this series.

Back Cover Blurb:
When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective Avery North discovers they share something in common—a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But as they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are quickly taken to the very edge of their abilities—and their hearts.

I asked Lisa what prompted her to write a suspense centered around human trafficking. Here’s what she shared with me:

Several years ago, I wrote Blood Ransom, a novel that focused on human trafficking in Africa. At the time, I had no idea this was an issue in the US. With this new series, I decided that setting this story in the US, the backdrop of human trafficking would not only make an exciting story, but would also help people become aware of this very real issue. 

Thank you, Lisa. It is frightening how widespread this problem is here in Canada as well–and a serious challenge for law enforcement.

Lisa Photo

If you’re wondering why Lisa wasn’t aware human trafficking was an issue in the US, it’s because Lisa and her family have spent almost ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

Lisa is a Christy Award finalist and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over twenty novels and novella collections in print.When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. 

For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit

Your turn: I’m giving away a copy of Dangerous Passage to one randomly selected commenter. Please ask Lisa a question about her new series or ECHO Project or about her life in Africa or the writing life etc. and/or share why you’d especially like to read this book. (Lisa will be traveling as of Tuesday, but will check in when she can)

The winner will be notified by email on Sunday, September 1st. Can you believe it?!! Only one more week until September is here!

 Sept 1 Update: Thank you so much to all who contributed such great questions! Our giveaway winners (chosen by are Sybil Bates McCormack, Robyn Conners and rlee. Check your inboxes/spam folders for my email. 


Sneak Peek of Fatal Inheritance

My favorite part of being a writer–receiving messages from readers–has picked up again with the release of Fatal Inheritance to the Love Inspired Suspense book club subscribers. Subscribers receive the book more than a month ahead of release.

Fatal Inheritance

But… if you can’t wait until it appears on store shelves next month or in your favorite online shop, you can order it now directly from Harlequin in regular print, large print, or Epub format.

Of course… if you wait until Friday, they usually have a special, in which if you order 2 books, you get a selected book free. (sometimes it’s an LI book, sometimes it from one of their many other lines)

For the benefit of book club subscribers I have made the bonus features for the book live ahead of the official release. Also hoping to tempt the rest of you. 😉

You’ll find:

Deleted Scenes

On Location in Serenity

Doesn’t that make you wish you could sit on the heroine’s back porch and enjoy the view?

Editor’s Cut with Commentary

Josh’s Tasty BBQ Veggies

Character Interviews:
Joshua Rayne   (picture Mark Wahlberg)
Becki Graw

If you haven’t read Fatal Inheritance yet, and want to whet your appetite:

Click here to read Chapter One

Your Turn: What’s on your reading list this summer? Do you tend to read “extras” from authors if they’re offered?

Sunday Update: Kav is the surprise giveaway winner. I’ll be in touch

My Answer to the question: I’ve been catching up on the Texas K-9 Unit with Love Inspired Suspense. They had me at K-9.  🙄 Aside from character interviews on blogs, I’ve never read extras from other authors, beside prequels or sequels. I’ve never heard of any. 

A House Full of Hope – Character Interview & Giveaway

I first met author Missy Tippens at a conference a few years ago and she’s as sweet as her book. In addition to being a wonderful writer, she’s the mother of three, wife to her pastor husband and an adjunct instructor at a local technological college in Georgia.

I’ve invited Missy here today to share an interview with Hannah Hughes, the heroine of A House Full of Hope.

1. What’s the most important thing in your life?

Without a doubt, the thing most important to me is my four beautiful children. They’re my pride and joy!

2. What do you like to do with your children?

I love to play hide-and-go-seek with the kids. And to read to them. I don’t have much time for free time, but if I did, I’d love to take them for a day at the beach.

3. What are you afraid of most in life?

I fear not being able to provide well for my children. Since I’m a widow, it’s tough to provide for them in the way I’d like. I want them to have a nice home with lots of room. I’m working toward owning a home to help give them a place to feel secure.

5. Beside your kids, what is the most important thing to you, personally?

Feeling secure and loved. Feeling like I’m important to someone. I guess it’s part of my “baggage” that I continually have to deal with. 🙂

6. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Who has time to read?! 🙂 Right now, my favorites are the books I read to my children.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d worry less and trust God more.

8. Do you have a pet?

We have a pet on our rental property that the kids have pretty much adopted. A black Labrador retriever named Blue. He’s into everything and about drives me crazy! But I’m growing more and more attached to him.

9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I’d have to go way back to elementary school–before my parents started having trouble and my sister got involved in the wrong crowd. I have good memories of laughing a lot with my dad (teasing my mom about being so uptight). And great memories of family vacations at the beach.

Wow, I can so identify with Hannah, right down to the dog that drives me crazy. LOL. Is it any wonder I enjoyed the book so much? One of the things that drew me to Christian fiction in the first place and inspirational romance in particular was seeing the characters face similar circumstances to what I was facing or circumstances I feared (losing a spouse) and overcoming. They inspire and give hope. 

Your Turn: How has a book inspired or given you hope in your circumstances or fears?  

Btw, A House Full of Hope is now in stores or you can order it directly from Harlequin. Use this link and coupon code SAVE10AFFO to receive an extra 10% discount off its already discounted prices before 3/31/12. 

I’m also giving away a copy on Friday to one of my commenters from Monday’s or today’s post. Be sure to check back on Friday. 

An International Feast

I was recently invited to join the International Christian Fiction Writers blog. Written by authors of Christian fiction representing a variety of rich cultural traditions from Canada to the UK to Tasmania to Brazil to Mozambique, it’s goal is to promote international Christian fiction.

In celebration of our second year of blogging, we’ve collaborated to create an International Recipe Ebook which we’re giving away as a free download to our readers.

Travel with us around the world as we sample delicacies that uniquely represent our home countries or the settings of our books.

Try our exciting selection of entrees, sides, mains, desserts and snacks:

• Peanut soup from Bolivia.
• Chicken croquettes from Brazil.
• Cornbread from Tennessee, USA.
• Cranberry salad from Australia.
• Bobotie and Cape Lamb Pie from South Africa.
• Mennonite stew from Canada.
• Passionfruit and coconut cake from Mozambique.
• Pavlova from New Zealand.
• Scones from England.

And many more! Over 40 recipes in all. 

Don’t miss… the hero of Deep Cover, Rick Gray’s delicious and oh-so-easy chili that he teaches the heroine’s little sister how to make. Click here to download the book. You can choose from a variety of formats that can be read online or on popular Ereaders, or as a pdf for printing. 

Your turn: What’s your favorite international food and why? 

P.S. Please take a moment to stop by the International Christian Fiction Writers blog and meet the authors. 

P.S.S. I’ll soon be giving away free downloads to another cool cookbook called Novel Morsels, which will feature favorite recipes of characters from books. Subscribe to my newsletter and/or Facebook page (links on the side bar) to be sure you don’t miss the announcement.

Fun Friday – Getting into Character?

Let me start by assuring you that I DID NOT duct tape my daughter to the chair. Honest! 

And isn’t Bella a true hero–um, heroine–to try to free her? 

Before I tell you what’s going on at the whacky author’s house, I want to give all of you a chance to guess. Let’s have some creative fun. 

Your turn: What do you think is going on? 

Then…join me tomorrow at Jaunty Quills where the answer will be revealed, and one lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of Deep Cover. 

Also until Sunday, at Margaret Daley’s blog, tell me what undercover cop assignment you would find most intriguing to read about for another chance to win a copy.

Exciting News!!!

The Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired are introducing a new and improved blog today!!!

We’ve merged to include the contemporary, suspense, and historical authors all on one site. And to celebrate, we’re going big, Big, BIG!

We’re giving away a $135.00 gift card AND a BOOK BLAST to the winner. The winner will receive books galore in her mailbox from many of us at the Craftie Ladies.

So spread the word and tell your friends, if you post during the week of September 1 – 8, your name will be put into a basket and we’ll draw for a winner.

Plus…we’re giving away extra books at random during each day.

Come on by and chat with us! They’ll be fun baby pics and more.

Join me…

today at Romance Writers on the Journey for an in depth interview and giveaway. I have the privilege of being the final guest of this fabulous blog. You’ll find lots of interesting author stories in the archives. My question at RWotJ is what’s the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

For a list of upcoming blog tour stops, click the Deep Cover Blog Tour tab at the top of this blog. One change: yesterday, I was at A Christian Writer’s World, (Lena’s blog), instead of Thursday. There’s still time to enter that giveaway though if you wish.